Diva Musing: Choose or Loose….

Is what you choose making you loose?

I’m always reminding us that form follows thought. Making a decision is choosing a thought that goes in a defined pattern. If form follows thoughts then that decision can make a long-lasting effect upon us and others around us. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Queen Elizabeth I, Henry the VIII, Our founding forefathers, all made choices that had long-lasting impact on others; both good and bad.

There are those who choose to lay down their lives for others safety and freedom. Then there are those who try to terrorize and murder innocents and take away their safety and freedom. Each will certainly answer for their decisions with the Karma Cops. So you see choices do matter. I told my children that when they hit 16 they would have to live with the consequences of their choices for the rest of their lives. It is a Universal Law that ….”when you play you must pay!” It’s easy to remember. Good choices result in good Karma or consequences; bad choices result in bad Karma or consequences.

Each decision we make points us in the specific direction of our intention. Our destination is determined by the decisions we made. Get out of your own way and listen to the Guidance of the Universe wanting to assist you in making right choices/decisions. Be grateful that you have a Guide so willing to keep you out of trouble.

Namaste, The Queen Cronista


Diva Ranting: I had to laugh….

I had to laugh…
Recently I was told a story about one of my former clients. He was young just out of secondary school and trying his first part time job while going to college. He came from a interesting background without much training in social niceties. While mowing a large grave yard an angry woman came up and told him to fill her mothers grave at once.
He kindly replied…”That is not my job I just mow”. However, I will advise someone at once of your concern.” The woman still on the attack said …”Get your A@$$ over there and do it now.”
Again he repeated…”I am only mowing. I will be sure and tell someone for you”. She wasn’t hearing it. In true bully form she once again demanded…Get your lazy a%$$ over there and fill that grave.  This went on for sometime and she wouldn’t stop.  As most people might do when saturated in a no win situation the teen replied…”F{(# you, and your dead mother too. “
He got fired, of course, but I have to give him props for not backing down to a bully. Now we just have to teach him about win, win, negotiations. LOL!!
Don’t sit there feigning indignation. You know you loved it too. We all need to learn to control our rage. However, I usually accept a little more when standing up to a bully. Even in grief we don’t have the right to bully the innocent. The Diva has spoken.
Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Tasting: Shrimp Linguine & Salad…

Shrimp Linguine
1 Pound Uncooked Linguine
3 Tablespoon Butter
4 Tablespoons White Cooking Wine
6 Teaspoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Teaspoon Chopped Fresh flat Leaf Parsley
1 Sm. Bag Baby Spinach
1 Pinch Kosher Salt And Pepper To Taste
2 Pounds Medium Shrimp, Peeled And Deveined
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat; add wine, cheese, garlic, spinach and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Increase heat to medium high and add shrimp to saucepan; cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until shrimp begins to turn pink. Do not overcook.
  4. Place pasta into a large bowl and spoon sauce on top toss to let flavors marry; garnish with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, if desired. Serve Family Style or in individual pasta bowls. Serve with Salad, garlic crostini and Lemonade Tea.
Insalata Cotta e Cruda Salad Side
1 Jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts and Chopped
2 Bulbs Fennel, Trimmed And Quartered
1 Head Romaine Lettuce
2 Medium Head Belgian Endive
1 Large Tomato
4 Ounces Feta Cheese Crumbled
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoon White Rice Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Dijon-Style Prepared Mustard
1/2 Teaspoon Or To Taste Sea Salt And Ground Black Pepper
  1. Blanch the fennel in boiling water for about 8 minutes and cool
  2. Place the marinated artichoke hearts, fennel, in a medium bowl toss.
  3. Rough Chop the romaine. Cut the endive into thin strips lengthwise. Core the tomato, and cut into medium dice.
  4. Crumble the Feta
  5. Mound the lettuces in a shallow bowl, and sprinkle with the tomato. Arrange the vegetables over the top. Sprinkle with the feta.
  6. In a small bowl combine the olive oil, vinegar, and mustard. Salt and pepper to taste. Beat lightly with a fork. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and toss.

Diva Musing: Micro prairies…

I decided to turn my front yard patch into an old English Garden.  Here is an interesting bit of information I found.  I love it so far. Pictures will follow if I can get it going.  Fall Planting in my zone is coming up soon. Nature has been watering with great rainfall so far.
Micro prairies: No yard is too small to go with earth-friendly native plants
If glimpses of strikingly beautiful butterflies are scarcer than a rare bird alert in your yard, maybe it’s time to go native.
Native plants are key to aiding and attracting native insects and pollinators, including swamp metalmark and monarch butterflies, hummingbirds and endangered rusty-patched bumblebees that were once plentiful in Wisconsin.
Restoring green space is important  . . .  no matter the size.
In fact, the more modest the yard, the easier it is to transform it into a micro prairie teeming with living things. Think of your yard as just one diminutive piece of the collective urban landscape.
No yard is too small for the inclusion of native plants,” said Neil Diboll, consulting ecologist and president of Prairie Nursery in Westfield. “Even one plant of butterfly milkweed can attract monarch butterflies to lay their eggs and result in caterpillars that become the next generation of monarchs.”
RELATED: Turn your backyard into a birdwatching paradise by creating a ‘birdscape’ of native plants

Wisconsin’s Neil Diboll, owner of Prairie Nursery and native plant expert, stands with spectacular big bluestem grass. (Photo: Prairie Nursery)

Diboll is an internationally known expert on native plants who is living and working right here in Wisconsin. He is intensely knowledgeable and a regular guest on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Garden Talk.
Numerous studies have shown that green spaces in cities improve air quality, reduce summer temperatures and benefit people’s mental health,” Diboll said.
Restoration of the planet does not depend solely on preservation of large tracts of land in a pristine condition,” he added. “Small plantings of native plants, in urban and suburban landscapes, can provide critical habitat for a wide variety of birds, pollinators, other beneficial insects — even reptiles and amphibians, too.”
Diboll proposes the alternative of native plants.
One of the advantages of a prairie in a small yard is the replacement of a nearly sterile lawn with a living landscape of beautiful native flowers and ornamental grasses.  . . . They also provide wonderful opportunities for children to learn about the intricacies of nature right in their own backyard.”
Prairie is the French word for meadow,” he said. “The term prairie has come to represent the mid-continental grasslands dominated by warm-season prairie grasses and many showy flowers. Meadow typically refers to cool-season grasslands more common in the higher rainfall (areas of) northeastern U.S. and Canada.”
Little house on the little prairie
It seems that homeowners are looking to spend more time with birds than with lawnmowers, as native plants top the list of demands in a recent survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Karen Johnson is setting the example in her Bay View yard.
A member of the Southwest Milwaukee/Wehr chapter of Wild Ones, Johnson wanted to “attract insects which in turn attract insect-eating birds.” Wild Ones is a national non-profit organization that began in Milwaukee in 1977 to promote landscaping with native plants.
One of the advantages of a prairie in a small yard is the replacement of a nearly sterile lawn with a living landscape of beautiful native flowers and ornamental grasses.  . . . They also provide wonderful opportunities for children to learn about the intricacies of nature right in their own backyard.”
Prairie is the French word for meadow,” he said. “The term prairie has come to represent the mid-continental grasslands dominated by warm-season prairie grasses and many showy flowers. Meadow typically refers to cool-season grasslands more common in the higher rainfall (areas of) northeastern U.S. and Canada.”
Little house on the little prairie
It seems that homeowners are looking to spend more time with birds than with lawnmowers, as native plants top the list of demands in a recent survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

A whopping 84% of both single-family and multifamily owners wish to incorporate natives into their yards. Drought-tolerant plants and low-maintenance landscapes came in second and third on the list  . . .  some qualities that native plants can also deliver.

Karen Johnson is setting the example in her Bay View yard.
A member of the Southwest Milwaukee/Wehr chapter of Wild Ones, Johnson wanted to “attract insects which in turn attract insect-eating birds.” Wild Ones is a national non-profit organization that began in Milwaukee in 1977 to promote landscaping with native plants.

Dorothy Messner, of Fond du Lac, sought approval from the City of Fond du Lac and started a native wildflower prairie near her home in 2015. Years later, her vision has come to life and greets those who take a small walking path near Camelot Drive and Knight’s Way in southern Fond du Lac. Wochit

Initial preparation for natives is labor intensive, Johnson explained, but after that “maintenance is minimal.”
According to Diboll, the first step is destroying turf grass and weeds.
For fast micro prairie results this summer, manually dig up turf. Or, rent a mechanical sod cutter for larger areas. Visualize the area by using a garden hose as a border.
For an easy but slower method, Diboll recommended smothering the lawn with black plastic, cardboard or plywood for about three months.
Or, kill grass with a broad-spectrum, non-persistent herbicide such as glyphosate (Roundup) at eight-week intervals beginning in late May.
Plants then can be placed directly into the dead grass. The easy, slow method’s advantage is it does not disturb the soil and expose it to invading weed seeds.
Leaving a spot or two of bare soil in your yard is also beneficial to native bees, as 70% nest in the ground.
Once your natives are planted, water as needed until they are established in about two months.
Be patient with native plants, as they will first develop their long roots. Prairie plant roots can easily reach six feet or more, where turf grass roots grow only a few inches.
Mowing may be needed a few times the first season or two for weed control. After that, mow just once in early spring. Early spring is best because many insects overwinter in plants, and the native seed heads are a good food source for birds in the winter. 
Transplants are definitely better than seeds for micro prairie gardens,” Diboll said. “Seeds require two to five years to reach maturity, while many transplants will bloom the year they are installed (not all). Plants also result in tidier, planned gardens, while seeded prairies have a more casual and wilder appearance.”
Buy natives locally; Be picky about plant choice.
Regard any generic “wildflowers” with suspicion (especially in those free seed packets); make sure what you’re planting is truly indigenous and desired. The last thing you want is to unwittingly introduce invasives to your micro prairie.
It’s best to obtain native plants grown as locally as possible, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Most nurseries will reveal where their plants are grown, but ask if it’s not apparent.
Luckily, Wisconsin native plants are readily available.
From Prairie Nursery, order online or by telephone. Live transplant plants are still being shipped through June 6 then resume after Labor Day. Seeds are shipped anytime.
Prairie Nursery offers pollinator favorites, grasses, hedges, shade plants and no-mow grass. You’ll find natives that thrive in clay or sandy soils, moist or dry areas. The pre-planned gardens feature selections skillfully picked, or you can opt for the U-pick plant kits.
Stein’s Garden & Home also sells native plants at its 16 locations in Wisconsin. Stein’s has offered a special True Wisconsin Native area since 2011.
Customers were looking for native plants that in many cases were already in our collection but mixed with the other perennials,” said Michelle Blayney, horticulture merchant for Stein’s. “True Wisconsin Native program allowed for those plants to be easily identified separately from the rest of the plants in the perennial assortment, as well as some additions that were not in the collection.” The natives saw strong growth, especially the bee-friendly varieties, she said.
Blayney said Stein’s True Wisconsin Native plants are raised in Germantown and have not been subject to hybridization. “They are truly Wisconsin natives,” she said. “They are unaltered.”
Johnson in Bay View said she finds natives at Stein’s, Shady Acres Perennial Nurseryin New Berlin and annual sales at the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and Wehr Nature Center.
Other timely native plant sales are also coming up.
In Menomonee Falls, Wild Ones members receive 40% off all container-grown natives at Johnson’s Nursery throughout June, which is Wisconsin Native Plant Appreciation Month. Proceeds will benefit the three Milwaukee-area chapters of Wild Ones.

Every year, the turf grass shrinks and the native plants expand in Ben and Marian French’s yard in West Allis. They are members of the Milwaukee Southwest/Wehr chapter of Wild Ones. (Photo: Ben French)

In the North Shore, the Schlitz Audubon Center is hosting a native plant celebration and sale on June 3. Drop-in activities will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with Wisconsin Master Naturalists and Gardeners. Six scheduled events will feature presentations and guided pollinator plant hikes.
For further guidance, read “Landscaping with Native Plants of Wisconsin” (Voyageur Press, 2007) by Lynn M. Steiner, a Wisconsin-raised author and speaker on native plants.
In addition, “Wildflowers of Wisconsin” (Adventure Publications, 2000) by Stan Tekiela is handy for easily identifying flowers and distinguishing natives from exotics or invasives. If something blooms in your prairie, it’s imperative to know if it’s native or something detrimental that should be destroyed before going to seed.
Jennifer Rude Klett is a Wisconsin freelance writer of history, food and Midwestern life. Contact her at jrudeklett.com.
RELATED: Want to help animals and other wildlife avoid extinction? Choose native Wisconsin plants
Top 10 native plants
Here are Neil Diboll’s top 10 plant recommendations to help transform your yard into a beautiful, natural sanctuary that’s restorative for both people and wildlife. The list contains low-growing prairie plants for southeastern Wisconsin micro prairie gardens on well-drained, medium soils with full to mostly sunny conditions.
But keep in mind, there are natives to address just about any yard issues, including heavy clay soil, shoreline protection and nibbling deer.

Little bluestem native grass offers year-round interest and blazing red fall color. (Photo: Prairie Nursery)

Prairie dropseed (sporobolus heterolepis), elegant emerald clump
Little bluestem (schizachyrium scoparium), blazing red fall color
Butterflyweed for clay (asclepias tuberosa, var. clay), attracts monarchs
Smooth aster (aster laevis), late fall bloomer

Feed pollinators in late autumn when everything else has faded with smooth aster, a profuse bloomer. (Photo: Prairie Nursery)

Cream false indigo (baptisia bracteata), loved by bumblebees
Purple coneflower (echinacea purpurea), butterfly favorite

Native purple coneflower is a butterfly favorite. (Photo: Prairie Nursery)

Rattlesnake master (eryngium yuccifolium), attracts beneficial insects
Prairie blazingstar (liatris pycnostachya), beautiful lavender spires
Wild quinine (parthenium integrifolium), extra-long-bloomer
Ohio goldenrod (solidago ohioensis), compact pollinator favorite

Diva Tasting: Panna Cotta…

Panna Cotta; Dessert


1 (.25 Ounce) Envelope Unflavored Gelatin

3 Tablespoons Cold Water

2 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream

1/2 Cup White Sugar

1 Lemon Zested

1/2 Pinch Kosher Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 Cup Buttermilk

1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice


  1. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water; stir and let sit 5 or 10 minutes until it thickens and becomes rubbery.

  2. Pour heavy cream into a saucepan. Whisk in sugar. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture just barely starts to simmer, 3 to 5 minutes. Add lemon zest as mixture is coming up to temperature. As small bubbles begin to appear here and there, remove pan from heat. Add tiny pinch of salt, vanilla, and bloomed gelatin. Whisk until gelatin melts into the cream mixture. Add buttermilk and lemon juice; whisk until blended.

  3. Strain through fine sieve to remove zest and any lumps. Pour into serving dishes or ramekins. Allow to cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 5 hours or, ideally, overnight. Serve with your favorite tea cookies or cakes.

Diva Rambling: 8 Good Foods….

Healthy Reminders year round.  We, as usual are on a health review.  Our habits need tweaking every day.  I hope this tweak helps you as well.  I found this today and needed the review of the benefits of these goodies.  Hope they help you as well.  Thank you Health Captain.  Namaste, The Queen Cronista
8 Foods to Eat More If You Want to Lose Weight
We all know losing weight, and subsequently maintaining it, is no easy task. Especially when temptations such as calorie-rich foods are all around us and even manage to hinder the weight loss attempts of the most determined of dieters.
To help you increase your odds of success and shed the unwanted pounds, take a look at this list of foods you should eat more if you want to lose weight, as recommend by nutritionists. Add them to your diet and enjoy their proven weight-loss benefits!
Apples are extremely popular and healthy fruits, with numerous perks. If you want to lose weight, eating more apples can also help you keep pounds away.
One reason is that they contain about 85% water, which makes them very filling. Filling foods usually reduce appetite and promote a lower calorie intake. More than that, apples are rich in weight loss friendly fiber. A medium apple has around 4 grams of fiber, which translates into 11% of the recommended fiber intake for men and 16% for women.
Another fiber-rich ally for your weight loss plan is asparagus. This green veggie is low in fat and provides only 40 calories per cup, while packing 4.5g of protein and 4g of fiber (soluble and insoluble).
Fiber is slowly digested by the body, keeping you satiated for longer, thus making asparagus a perfect choice in your weight loss attempts. While helping the scale go south, asparagus also provides you with important vitamins and minerals such as A, C, K and folate, calcium and iron.
Potatoes are usually considered weight-loss saboteurs but when part of a healthy diet, they can actually help you lose weight instead of gaining it.
Plain potatoes have around 160 calories, no fat and around 4 grams of fiber. Plus, they are rich in vitamin C, potassium ad vitamin B6. Due to their fiber ad resistant starch, they rank top in terms of satiety, making them a good choice if you’re trying to lose weight. Just pay attention to how you prepare them. No frying, turning them into chips or covering them in sour cream.
If you have been avoiding beans for their gassy reputation, just know you’ve been missing out on their weight loss perks.
Kidney beans, chickpeas or soybeans are all high in fiber and protein, helping you eat less and reduce your calorie intake. The soluble fiber in beans has a great satiating power while the 7 grams of plant-based protein control the hunger and satiety hormones.
Beans also have a low glycemic index, keeping hunger pangs away by keeping stable energy and blood sugar levels.
When it comes to weight-loss breakfast options, eggs reign supreme. They are rich in protein, low in calories and packed with 13 essential nutrients and healthy fats.
Eggs provide around 6 grams of high-quality protein, helping you feel satiated and eat less throughout the day. Being high in protein, eggs also boost your metabolism to burn an extra of 80-100 calories per day, due to their thermic effect.
Cottage cheese
Just like eggs, cottage cheese may work just as well in making a good breakfast choice when trying to lose weight. That’s because it is low in calories, with 160 calories per serving, high in protein and calcium to keep you full and satiated and stimulate fat-burning.

Citrus fruits
If you’re trying to lose weight, you might want to add some citrus fruits to your list next time you go shopping. That’s because oranges, lemons or grapefruits are extremely low in calories, between 35 and 62 calories to be more specific, and rich in fiber and water.
The 3-4 grams of fiber citrus fruits provide, help you maintain a sense of fullness and satiety and reduce your calorie intake at the next meal. They’re juicy, sweet and keep you satisfied! What’s not to like about citrus fruits?
Naturally sweet and delicious, berries are also ideal for any weight-loss diet due to being low in calories and high in fiber. They also include high amounts of pectin, a soluble fiber than boosts satiety and reduce cravings. Apart from helping you trim down, berries can also lower cholesterol and abdominal fat.
When part of a low-fat diet, berries can also lower triglycerides and improve insulin resistance. They are cholesterol free, highly nutritious and extremely versatile.

Diva Tasting: S’mores Bread Pudding…

S’mores Bread Pudding
1 Pound Cake Cut Into Cubes
1 (14 Ounce) Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Cup Half N Half
4 Eggs, Beaten
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
2 Cups Miniature Marshmallows
1 Cup Miniature Semisweet Chocolate Chips
5 Graham Cracker Squares, Crushed
4 Tablespoons Cream
4 Tablespoons Miniature Marshmallows, Or More To Taste
4 Tablespoons Miniature Semisweet Chocolate Chips, Or More To Taste
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 square baking dish. Spread pound cake pieces out onto a baking sheet.
  2. Bake cake in the preheated oven until dry and crisp, 7 to 8 minutes. Cool completely.
  3. Beat condensed milk half n half, eggs, vanilla extract, and nutmeg together in a bowl.
  4. Spread cake pieces out in the bottom of the prepared 9×13 baking dish. Pour milk mixture over cake. Scatter 1 cup marshmallows and 1 cup chocolate chips over the milk mixture; let rest until mixture is slightly soaked into bread, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over the top.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until a knife inserted into the center of the bread pudding comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
  6. Whisk 2 tablespoons milk, 2 tablespoons marshmallows, and 2 tablespoons chocolate chips together in a saucepan over medium heat until marshmallows and chocolate are melted and completely incorporated. Pour marshmallow mixture over bread pudding and cool, 20 to 30 minutes. Yum!