Author: Julie Lancaster-Whann

Stay Out of the Water, JAWS Week

Stay Out of the Water, JAWS Week

            JAWS Good Morning! Welcome to our JAWS Shark Week Dessert post: Microwave Note:  Make Dish that looks like the Beach I’ve had that note on the microwave for the past 2 years.  Then I finally created a dish that […]

Julie’s Backyard Wildlife and Gardening Blogging

Julie’s Backyard Wildlife and Gardening Blogging


Meet Sparky and Spooky

Meet Sparky and Spooky





August 19, 2019

Meet Spooky and Sparky

They are the newest members of our family.  They are rescue dogs.  A mother and her son.  Spooky is a Chihuahua, and Sparky is a Chug.  A Chug is a Chihuahua/Pug mix.  Sparky’s father was a Pug.  Their story is a very sad one.  They lived in a trailer park.  The father sold drugs and would abuse the dogs.  I believe the wife did alert Pug Rescue and a volunteer went out there to retrieve them and take them away.  But, there were days when they got no food or water.

The drug dealing father kicked the pug father so badly that his stomach swelled up to the size of a basketball and he wasn’t able to use the bathroom for two weeks.  He was rescued and placed in a hospital for weeks.  I don’t think he made it.

What amazes me about these two is how quickly they fit in here.  They are so happy with us!  It’s as if they knew this is their home now.  🙂

I remember back to when we first adopted Monk, how sad he was for days.  I would sit with him many a day and just hold him and pet him because he was so sad.  He had been passed around so much prior to us getting him.  I wanted to assure him that this is his forever home and that we will love him, and care for him forever.  And we did.  When we adopted Sugar she acted as if we had kidnapped her.  Hyperventilating for 2 days!  My god I thought she was going to have a heart attack!  But they both settled into their new environments and realized that we were going to take care of them from now on.  A pug’s lifespan is 14 years.  We got Sugar to 14, but we got Monk to almost 17.

With Spooky being 4, and Sparky being 3, we will have them for many years to come.  🙂

It’s been 2 weeks since adoption day and we are still getting to know each other.   When I brought them home they had no concept that all that these dog beds were for them.  So, they would sleep on the cold tile floor in the kitchen as that is what they are used to.  Finally, they realized those beds are for them.  Oh, and because I am so lazy and I don’t feel like dragging one dog bed around the house, therefor I have 4 dog beds. 

Dog toys are also a bit foreign to them.  They just don’t know what to do with them?  Sparky is getting the hang of it when we toss the toy he does know to run after it, but he doesn’t know to retrieve it and then bring it back to us.  He just runs after it and then stands there.  But they are learning.  Just feeding them in bowls is new to them.  I don’t know that they are used to that.  They also won’t eat if I’m standing there.  I have to leave their eyesight otherwise they won’t eat.  It probably has something to do with the abuse they suffered.

You know, an evil person can ruin someone in one minute but it takes year’s to undo that one minute worth of damage.

I wish that I had some great photos to post of them but with this terrible soaking wet August there is no where really dry to take photos outside.  And when it is dry there is so much mold, and mud from all this rain and humidity that we have to do some cleaning outside first.  But, I’m thinking there will be plenty of years to take photos.  🙂

With Gordon being overseas all he knows of them are photos that I send him and he hears their barks when he calls.  He loves Sparky’s bark!  But, Spooky is something of a yipper.  Most men don’t like yipper’s, but Gordon does say that he loves Spooky’s little yip.  He has been doing research on them online and he is quite impressed with the loyalty of Chihuahua’s.  They are territorial and extremely loyal to their families.  I have discovered that most Chihuahua dog owner’s LOVE THEM!  It’s people that don’t own them that don’t love them.  (I do hate using that word “own.”  But I know no other way to describe how other people view them.)

We are settling in with Spooky and Sparky and they are getting to know us as well.  We are trying to establish a routine.  But for some godforsaken reason they start barking at 6 fickin’ 30 every morning!!!!  (We are working on that though.) 

Proud Mom of Spooky and Sparky,



August 2019

Sparky and Spooky

The cutest little dogs in the world!  🙂


August 3, 2019

Doggie Adoption Day

Julie and Veronica in Clearwater, Florida


Ever since our beloved Sugar and Monk died,……

Click Here For:  Monk and Sugar Blogging

……we knew that we would be adopting more family members of the canine variety to be a part of our lives.  I had signed up to receive notices from doggie adoption agencies in and around our area, and I would view the dogs that were up for adoption.  I would even inquire about a few but most of the time my inquires would go unanswered.  Finally I saw these guys up for adoption from



Pookie & Sparky – “Pugs” of the Month (bonded pair)

July 27, 2019|Ready for Adoption

If you are looking for double the cuteness, well look no further!

Introducing Pookie and Sparky, and bonded mother and son! They are looking for a home where they can stay together forever, and we are hoping that home might be yours!

First, let’s talk about Pookie. She is an adorable 4-year-old white chihuahua. (and mom to Sparky). She is very loving and devoted, and loves to snuggle. She will curl up against your neck to take a nice nap. At night, she loves to sleep under the covers. Pookie does have a strong alpha personality, and can become a little protective over her human if other dogs are around. She will need to be in a home with no other dogs (except Sparky, of course) or another submissive dog.

Next comes Sparky! He is a 3-year-old pug mix (chug), who loves to snuggle and give kisses. He loves belly scratches, and will lay on his back with his head in your arms. He just wants to be loved on all the time! If you will let him sleep in your bed, he will cuddle up next to you and keep you warm all night.

As a bonus, these two pups are completely potty trained and housebroken. No chewing on furniture for these two! They are also both healthy and have no current medical issues. They are up to date on their vaccines and heartworm negative.

As our “Pugs of the Month” the adoption fee for this pair will be waived so their new family can spend that extra money on treats and toys to help them start their new life.

Pookie and Sparky are keeping their paws crossed that the right family comes along quickly. If you feel you are a good match, please fill out an adoption application today at



BREED: Chihuahua (female)

AGE: 4

WEIGHT: 12 pounds

BEST QUALITIES: Loveable nap buddy



BREED: Chug (male)

AGE: 3

WEIGHT: 19 pounds

BEST QUALITIES: Well trained, and great snuggler


Pookie and Sparky in Foster Care
So, I ended up inquiring about Pookie and Sparky.  I had my home visit from the organization to make sure that we were a good family to adopt.  We passed with flying colors!  I was so happy to hear that the woman and her son who conducted our home visit determined that “any dog will be happy there.”  That made my day!
But, I then saw a special needs dog named Fiona that I was interested in adopting.  I fit the criteria to a T, except when it came to our home.  It has mostly carpet, and Fiona will automatically urinate on carpet.  They say that because she was a rescue from Puerto Rico that lived her first 2 years in a kennel cage, that she assumes carpet is grass and will urinate on it no matter what.  That meant that the only solution is for me was to diaper her all the time.  The Pug Rescue didn’t like that as she isn’t incontinent.  So, they turned me down.  I was so very sad but I was approved to adopt other dogs within the agency.
I then remembered Pookey and Sparky!  So, I contacted them and asked if I could adopt them?  They told me “yes.”  They also told me that they were FREE as no one has wanted them.  FREE?  Sounds good to me!  The best things in life are FREE!!


Last Saturday my daughter Veronica and I drove out to Clearwater to pick up Pookie and Sparky and bring them home!  They were so panicked at first.  Scared.  They didn’t understand where they were going and why?  That is one reason I wanted to take Veronica with me.  I knew that I may need help in getting them home.

Sparky and Pookie in my Car

They are so sweet and cute!

Pookie and Sparky Exploring Their Backyard

I brought them home and turned them loose and they fell madly in love with their surroundings.

Around the Magnolia Tree

All they want to do is to snuggle, and be close to me.

So, I moved a chair close to mine by my computer and that is where they sit.  Just while they adjust.


I have to say that I am not a fan of the name, Pookie.  I did originally think of the Taco Bell dog whose name was Gidget, but her stand in was named Taco.  A name that I love!

Gidget, the Taco Bell Dog

I am famous for my chicken taco’s.  Veronica and I adore Mexican food, especially taco’s.  So, I really wanted to name Pookie, Taco.  Veronica and Brodie even had the Taco Bell dog toy from when they were little.  We loved that little Chihuahua!

Pookie in JAWS’s mouth left, and Sparky and Pookie, right.

Seeing as how Pookie would not respond to the name, Taco, I knew that I had to come up with a name similar to Pookie.  That is when I realized that the name “Spooky” would be perfect!  She is solid white!  I adore Halloween!  I adore everything spooky!  I also adore the X-Files and the name, Spooky Mulder…….

“Do you think I’m spooky?  That’s spooky.  That’s my name, isn’t it?”

Fox Mulder

Therefor, Spooky and Sparky, it is!

Mackenzie with Sparky and Spooky

Happy Adoption Day!


p.s.  They are the the happiest dogs!  They fit right in.  There has been no adjustment period.  They just know this is their home.  I/we could not be happier and I could not have chosen better dogs to fit in with our life.  🙂




          Meet Hurricane Hurricane is a Blue Mustard Betta Fish If you look closely you can see his mouth here.  It kind of looks like he’s smiling.  🙂 Hurricane Acclimating Betta Fish are from Asia.  They live in the rice fields.  […]

Shark Week Feeding Frenzy

Shark Week Feeding Frenzy

          UNDER CONSTRUCTION We Love Shark Week! I couldn’t think of a better start to Shark Week than this! Shark’s Enjoying their Feeding Frenzy (Carved wood sharks that Gordon purchased in the Philippines during his Navy career.) Various Sushi’s with Ginger […]

Julie’s Cooking

Julie’s Cooking


Italianate Tre

Italianate Tre


Julie’s Side Project

Julie’s Side Project


Out on our NEW Lanai

Out on our NEW Lanai


Cool, Refreshing Summer

Cool, Refreshing Summer


My Mermaid Lagoon Christmas in the Nook

My Mermaid Lagoon Christmas in the Nook


Ghostly Frights Bites with Tasty Spirits

Ghostly Frights Bites with Tasty Spirits


Sh.. Sh.. Sh.. Sh.. SHAAARK WEEK!

Sh.. Sh.. Sh.. Sh.. SHAAARK WEEK!


Our Stars and Stripes 4th. of July Breakfast

Our Stars and Stripes 4th. of July Breakfast

Independence Day

Good Morning Patriots

Welcome to Our Stars and Strips 4th. of July Breakfast

(These would be the “Stars.”)  🙂

Wakey, Wakey.  Can’t you just smell the Patriotism?


Gordon and Julie Whann

(Not a “Real” American last name.  We humbly apologize.

A real American last name would be an Indian name.  Just sayin’.)

Orange Juice, (Florida, of course.)

Ah, Liberty Sausages from Patriotic Pigs

(who voluntarily lined up for the slaughter.)

You can just Taste the FREEDOM!


So, what’s on our Patriotic Menu?

-FREE-TTATA (Fittata)

Because “Frittata’s” aren’t FREE!

-Chief Whann’s Blue Potatoes


-The Southern Biscuits Shall RISE AGAIN!


Chief Whann’s Blue Potatoes

Gordon is a retired Navy Chief.  He served 20 years in the military.  When we created this great breakfast Gordon and I were thinking of names to call it?  Gordon suggested that we use the colors of the flag to determine the names of the dishes.  However, the colors Red, White and Blue did not have meanings for the Stars and Stripes in 1777. 

But, the GREAT SEAL did.

White signifies Purity and Innocence.

Red, Hardiness and Valour.

And Blue, the color of the Chief, signifies Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.

Hence, our Chief Whann’s Blue Potatoes

(Because these blue potatoes don’t run.)  🙂


I am so giggling as I type this.  We did this breakfast in 2018, but I didn’t get around to working on it until this year, 2019.  Gordon is currently working overseas but we do talk on the phone daily.  I was telling him that I am doing the write up for this and we have been batting around fun “patriotic” names on the phone while laughing our heads off.

Stan and Francine Smith, American Dad

Not because we aren’t patriotic, but because we had the T.V. show American Dad, on our minds.  We are a huge fan of the show and this is the kind of breakfast that the Smith’s would serve on Independence Day morning.

Happy July 4th. to ALL!

Because whether or not we agree politically, we are all American’s no matter what our last names may be.  And we all should love our country enough to protect it from foreign adversary’s.  This is our holiday!  I really don’t want to say——

-Cyactnnboro 4ro.nionr ——-in the future. 

That’s Happy July 4th. in Russian!


Old Glory


Chief Whann’s Blue Potatoes

Rinse your potatoes well using a large colander as shown.


1 large bag of Blue Potatoes = ~ 18 potatoes

½ stick of Butter
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 large Yellow Onion
3 Garlic Cloves
Salt and Pepper to taste

Using a sharp knife slice your Yellow Onion into rings as shown about ¼ inch thick.

Place about 2 Tbsp of butter in a large sauté pan on medium heat.

Slice your Blue Potatoes into ¼ inch think rounds as shown. Once the butter has melted, add your
potato slices.

Add your Olive Oil to the pan and stir to coat and cook evenly.

Nice picture Julie!  🙂  (Thank you Gordon.)

Add some salt and pepper to taste. The salt we used is a Florida Blend!

While the potatoes are cooking, slice your garlic thinly and the onion rings in half as shown.

(Here Gordon is flipping/tossing the potato mixture to blend together. 

To “Flip” means to Saute in French culinary terms.)


When your potatoes are tender and almost finished cooking, add your onion slices. Toss the mixture to
mix or stir them all together.

Now, add a touch more butter and olive oil to the pan. Continue to Sauté the mixture until the onions
start to brown as shown, then add your garlic slices.

Sauté the garlic for about 5 to 6 more minutes to rid it of its raw flavor and then you are done!

What a great addition to any breakfast!


Breakfast FREE-ttata’s

With this recipe, you can use as little or as much as you want with the ingredients. Just be sure to not
use too many vegetables though so you will still have room for your eggs. I like the ratio of ¼ veggies to
¾ egg mixture.

FREE-ttata Ingredients:

½ Red, Yellow, and Green Bell Pepper – sliced and chopped
¼ Yellow Onion sliced and diced
2 Garlic Cloves sliced and thinly diced
4 to 5-inch piece of ½ of a Leek – sliced into half rounds
Cherry Tomatoes
¼ stick of butter
Green Onions
1 Dozen Eggs
1 Culp Half and Half
Italian and Mozzarella Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Washing Herbs

Depending on how many FREE-ttata’s you are going to make, will depend on how much of each ingredient
you are going to use. With that said, begin to slice up your Bell Peppers.

Slice your Bell Pepper in half, then remove the seeds and the stem.

Now, slice the bell pepper into long thin slices as shown.

Using your knife, remove any white part of the inside of the bell pepper as it is very bland.

Nice picture Julie!  🙂  (Thanks Gordon.)

Do the same for all the Bell Peppers.

 Then chop the
slices into medium dice pieces.

Here is your Leek which can be very dirty inside, as seen later on.

Be sure to rinse all your vegetables before slicing them.

Pour about 3 Tbsp’s of Olive Oil into a large sauté pan and turn to medium heat.

When the oil is hot, add your Bell Peppers as they take the longest to cook.

Add some salt and pepper to taste.  We are using a Florida blend salt mixture here. 

But you can use whatever you like.

Slice your Leek in half as shown. I told you this vegetable is Dirty!

Rinse the dirt away from the root end as shown. Doing this will ensure the dirt doesn’t get further down
into the white part of the leek.

Here, I am slicing up the onion.

Now, slice your root end off the leek, then slice the leek into thin strips as shown.

Picture of me cooking everything… multitasking at its best!

Once your bell peppers are nicely sautéed, add your leeks and onion and stir.

Slice your Cherry Tomatoes in half as shown.

Now, slice your garlic thinly.

Once your onions and leeks have begun to wilt, add your cherry tomatoes.

Then add your sliced garlic and stir together well.


Add about a tsp of butter to the mixture and stir some more.

Add some freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Left, Slice your Chives thinly as shown. These are from our garden!

Next, slice the root ends off your Green Onions, and slice into thin rounds as shown.

Beautiful Colors!

Remove the Oregano from the stems as shown.

Remove some of the larger stems from your parsley before slicing.

Slice your parsley thinly.

Gordon Cooking in our Florida Kitchen

We do so love our tacky Florida Kitchen.  🙂



Crack your eggs into a large bowl… here we will use a dozen.

Using a whisk, combine all the eggs until well blended.

Pour 1 cup of half and half into the whisked eggs.

Whisk to Combine


Add some salt to the egg mixture … here we added a special Florida blend.

And also add some freshly ground pepper.

Add as much or as little of the herbs you just chopped to the egg mixture and whisk to combine.


Using your favorite cooking spray, coat each ramekin with enough to just cover the surface.

Now, add a large spoonful of your sautéed vegetable mixture to the bottom of the ramekin.

Add about a Tbsp of Mozzarella cheese to your ramekin.

Using a ladle to add the egg mixture to your ramekin. Add just enough to go ¾ of the way up the side of
the ramekin as shown.


Top your egg mixture with about a Tbsp of any Italian cheese.

Place your ramekins on a cookie sheet just in case the eggs spill over during the cooking process.
Preheat your oven to 350’F and when at temperature, place them in for ~15 minutes.


Here is a great picture of the eggs most of the way through the cooking process. Nice close detailed
shot Julie! Cook them about a few minutes more and they should be fully cooked. Remember, the
residual heat will continue to cook the eggs well after you have removed them from the oven.

Here you can really see the beautiful colors of the herbs and vegetables.


Our Southern Biscuits Shall Rise Again!!

As someone who was born and raised in the south, except for our 13 years of living in a foreign country, Hawaii—— and our Yankee year’s living in Maryland.  I am ashamed to say that I have nevah made biscuits.  I shall have to remudy that in the fewcha.

Howevah, these biscuits are a nice substitution for the real thang.


Our Patriotic Sausages

Heuh is the “red” in houwuh Red, White, and Blue.

These are just little smokey sausages that Gordon browned in a saucepan with olive oil, on the stove top, on a medium heat. 

You just want to brown them.




“As GOD as my witness, As GOD as my witness,

they’re not going to lick me!

I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again.  No, nor any of my folk. 

If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill, As GOD as my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.”

Scarlett O’Hara

(At least not until the BBQ Dinner later on.)  🙂


Happy 4th. Y’all!

Julie and Gordon “Whann”

(And no, we’re not Mexican, or Chinese.) 

Whann is Welsh.  🙂

My Love Affair with All Things Asian

My Love Affair with All Things Asian


Sandwiches:  Between the Slices

Sandwiches: Between the Slices


Old Florida Food

Old Florida Food