Flag Poke Cake

This is one of my favorite cake recipes. I got it from a cook book I had when I was a kid. I’ve made this cake every 4th of July, and sometimes for Memorial Day, for many years. Luckily I copied the recipe before I lost the cook book. You will need:

  • 1 package white cake mix (and ingredients for it)
  • 1 small package red gelatin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • About 1/2 tub whipped topping (like Cool Whip)
  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1 cup blueberries

Prepare the cake, following directions for a 13×9 pan. Let the cake cool down. Using a large fork, poke holes in the cake about every 1/2 inch. Pour the gelatin into a bowl. Add boiling water to the gelatin and stir until the gelatin dissolves, about 2 minutes. Add cold water and stir. Scoop some of the gelatin out of the bowl and pour it over the cake. Put the extra gelatin in the refrigerator. Put the cake in the fridge for about 4 hours.

Take the cake out of the fridge. Add about 1 inch of hot water to your sink. Dip ONLY THE BOTTOM of the cake pan into the water for about 30 seconds (this loosens the cake from the bottom of the pan, making it easier to remove). Remove the cake from the pan and place it on a large tray. Cover the top and sides with the whipped topping. Arrange the strawberries and blueberries to resemble the American flag. Keep the cake in the refrigerator until serving time.

Bon appetit!

Flowers blooming in the yard, May 2020

Well, it looks like Spring is finally here to stay. The flowers in my yard had begun to bloom over the last few days. Yesterday, when taking Sherlock out into the yard for the first time that morning, I noticed how beautiful the flowers looked with large drops of morning dew. So, after he had finished his business, I brought him outside, ran outside with my camera, and snapped as many pictures as I could before it began to lightly rain.

These are the best I was able to get with my Canon 5D Mark IV and Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. I wish I had a proper macro lens, so I could get even closer to capture the smallest details, maybe I’ll get one when I get a new job. The aperture was set to f/5.6, shutter speed 1/500 and 1/800, ISO Auto, and they were edited in Adobe Lightroom.

P.S. Can you tell that I like vignettes?

Playtime in the yard, May 2020

Earlier this month, we had some decent weather here in southeast Missouri. So, I decided to take Sherlock out for some playtime, while practicing my photography skills. I couldn’t take him to the local dog park because it was closed due to COVID-19, but I didn’t need to anyway, because we have a large yard here. He loves to be outside, playing and exploring in the yard!

These photos are the best I was able to get. I used a Canon 5D Mark IV, with a Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. These were shot at f/5.6, speed 1/1000, with ISO set to Auto, and edited in Adobe Lightroom.

Building the garden bed

A few months ago, I decided I wanted a vegetable garden this year. I started the seedlings several weeks ago, and they are progressing very well. It’s almost time to plant them. I have a planter, and my family and I have also decided to build a garden bed for my mom’s seedlings. I am planting cherry tomatoes, carrots, and peas. My mom is planting a wide variety of vegetables and flowers. We will be using compost and organic plant food to feed them, so we will hopefully have many yummy vegetables in a few months!

First time in 2 months

Yesterday was the first day that I went to the local gym in about 2 months. It actually reopened last week, but I was hesitant to go.

When I arrived, I had to fill out a form, indicating that I understood and agreed to comply with social distancing rules, and that I did not have any symptoms or knowingly come in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19. Then, they zapped my forehead to check for a fever. The water fountains were closed off, and some of the exercise equipment had been moved into the hallway.

But, it felt so good to go after such a long break. I spent 25 minutes on the elliptical, but decided not to do anything else because I haven’t been there in 2 months. I can’t wait to go back (while respecting social distancing, of course).

I hope that I can use my telescope soon

This is a Celestron Astromaster 114EQ. I got it for Christmas a few years ago, but it has been sitting in a corner ever since because of my busy life and a bright suburban sky.

Now that I live in a much better location for observing the night sky, and my life has slowed down significantly, I hope to use it soon. I have been reading books and watching videos on how to set up and use it, so hopefully I will be able to see something other than the moon. I also have special adapters to attach my Canon camera, so I will be posting pictures and videos in the future.

My first sewing project

This is my first sewing project in 20+ years. Yes, it is a face mask. I sewed it by hand after ordering supplies from Joann and watching a video tutorial on YouTube about a dozen times.

I realize that I am a little late, because many people did this a month ago. But, even though the lockdown is ending in Missouri, the virus is still present, and it will be for a long time.

Time to go outside

I bought this strawberry plant a few weeks ago. I had to keep it inside due to the below average temperatures (we had a chance of frost for the past two nights, which is very rare for May in the midwest USA). But the weather conditions are changing for the better, so I put it in a planter and placed it outside. I can’t wait to get some fresh strawberries from it!

My name is Sherlock

Hi! My name is Sherlock. I’m 9 months old, and I am a Labrador mix. I am very playful, affectionate, and full of energy. I love to play outside, explore my world, and run around the yard.

Mommy adopted me from a shelter in Illinois. I have two brothers, and I hope they were adopted by nice people like Mommy.

Mommy likes to take pictures and videos of me, and she will share many of them as I continue learning and growing!

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