Monday, December 5, 2022


Christmas decorating is up and done.

We have a few new things this year.  

On this table, the rest of the year we keep a box with teabags in it and a dish with sweetener packets.  This year, I found a box to move the tea into and then this teddy bear Christmas dish.  The top lifts off and we keep the packets in there.

It's a nice change for the season.

The addition this year for 2022.  You may have seen the other two of these last year in our Christmas decor.

If you didn't, here they are all together.  This is from a popular/iconic Texas burger chain called Whataburger.  The chain is so popular, they have a whole online catalog of merchandise.  In 2019 they came out with the first one.  Then in 2020 they had a second.  Last year we ordered the 2021 version but due to supply chain issues, they cancelled the order.  This year they did have one and of course we had to get it.

Now the three of them adorn the front of the hutch in our dining room.  They fit so well here.  If we get any more nutcracker employees, we'll have to open up a franchise for them, ha!

And here is the tree up and in all its glory:

For those new to the blog, this tree was downstairs in our recycle area with a note on it saying "FREE!".  It's 9 feet tall and is pre-lit with LED lights.  The cool part is that if you push the button to turn it on, it's white.

Push it again and... changes to multi-colored.  We love it and it fits in this corner perfectly as we can see it from the kitchen, dining and living room.  The table isn't finished, have a runner we need to put down.

We decorate the tree with our collection of "Old World" style ornaments (glittery, sparkly, glass).  This year, we got to add some new ones.

A very sweet friend gave us this new ornament and we love it.  It's a wonderful sparkly red barn with a cow in front and other neat details.  It hangs next to the pig given to us by another dear friend who carried it back with her from overseas just for us.

They also gave us this beautiful pineapple, symbol of hospitality and welcoming.  We needed one for sure!

    We don't have a fireplace, so our stockings are always hung on the dining room hutch with care, ha.  This is where we usually put them, above where the nutcrackers are.  This year, we added these wonderful round metal ornaments.  They are made of a galvanized type of metal and each one has our initial on it.  We decided to hang them from the toe of each stocking.  SO cute!

More decorations in upcoming posts...

Sunday, December 4, 2022


 Yesterday was a misty, gloomy day.  But I got some things done at the farm.  Can't believe it's already December.  Where does the time go?

2nd Man made this the other day, so good, especially in colder weather.  It's ground beef, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, potatoes, carrots, peas, onions and seasonings.  All cooked together the same pan, it's almost like a simple stew.  We had some leftover beans from the night before and served those on the side in the same bowl.  So comforting on a cold evening and isn't that what makes it comfort food?

Here's Hobart, sleeping on his blue fuzzy blanket.  Well, OK, technically this isn't his blanket, we ordered for us for chilly evenings on the couch but, of course, he discovered it and so now we have to cover him up and leave his head uncovered and in this case his leg and tail, because...


Friday, December 2, 2022


  Regular readers know that I have a favorite place to look for bargains...our downstairs trash area!  Our building has trash chutes on every floor and they feed into a separate room, but for boxes and other things that people can't put in the chute, there is an area (indoor) near the loading dock where people can put the things they don't want.  I've found quite a few cool items over the last few years.

Here's another of the latest (and might seem familiar):

So I went downstairs to check on things and found not one, not two but THREE ADDITIONAL binders full of CD's.  If this sounds familiar, no, the bottom one is not the same one that I had already found a few weeks back (read about that HERE)...

Here is that one!
This was another one, the same size.  Plus two more.

The large one is FULL of CD's again.  Another 256.  Then a medium sized one filled with 64 CD's.  And finally, a smaller one holding 32 CD's.

SERIOUSLY?  I mean, we understand people don't use them as often as they used to but WOW.  Between all four, we now have well over 600 new cd's for our use.

Another nice variety of artists, Pentatonix albums, Luther Vandross, Beach Boys, Ed Sheeran, Jennifer Hudson, Maroon 5, Jimmy Buffet, Prince, a little classical, some bluegrass...I could go on and on.  A lot of "Greatest Hits" by various artists and those are always nice because you get the best of the best and songs you are more familiar with.

The weird thing is the second large binder matches the first one I found (same brand).  Too coincidental.  Maybe they threw the first one away and didn't find these until they unpacked more stuff.  We'll never know.

All we DO know is that their trash is definitely our treasure.  I told 2nd Man that whatever we do at the farm, we need to make sure we have a stereo system that will allow these to be played, either physically or from the cloud.


Wednesday, November 30, 2022


Recently, I was at the grocery store...ostensibly for groceries, as one usually does...

But when I walked in, I noticed all their plants on display outside were on clearance.  Some were $4.49 and the rest were $7.49.  Regular readers know, I will look for a deal.  So I did look around...and found...

A "Cherry of the Rio Grande" also called "Barbados cherry".  Not a true cherry but related and grows in a more tropical climate.  That's us.  We have our two Nanking cherries growing but I figured this would be fun to try and see what comes of it.  Then I scored an avocado!  We have wanted one for ages but they are always expensive.  Both trees were 5 gallon containers so I picked them up, finished my grocery shopping, put them in the car and headed back to work. 

After I got home, 2nd Man said "maybe we should get another avocado tree since we love them so much?"  I knew they had more like the one I bought so the next day, I went back.  I was just going to get one more, thinking they just had the same variety as I got the day before.

Then I saw another variety!
And yet another!

I grabbed both of them and put them in my cart.  I figured two for $15 ($7.49 each) was worth it.  As I was at the checkout, they rang them up and she goes "that will be $119.49".

What the what?

They rang up at full price of almost $60 EACH.

I said "uh no, these are supposed on clearance, I bought two others yesterday".  She called over the manager and he looks at them and goes "oh yeah, they are all on clearance.  They are $4.49 each".

I wasn't going to argue, $120 worth of trees for $9


I loaded them into the car and went back to work.  At the apartment I put them in our parking spaces until we could get them out to the farm.

Here they are at the apartment parking garage one morning when I left for work.  They had nice sun coming in and I kept them watered.

I took them all to the farm the following weekend.
We have three avocado trees;


They are all cold hardy (once established of course) down to low 20's and one, to the upper teens and are best suited to our climate/zone.  Sounds good to us!  They'll stay on the porch until Spring and we'll keep them protected if we have a freeze.

Sorry 2nd Man, you asked and now we have to figure out where to put our "avocado orchard"...

Monday, November 28, 2022




Well this caught the entire city off guard.  Things going along like normal, the end of a long weekend, getting ready to wrap things up and head to bed and then boom!  Don't drink the water!


But we are prepared, scroll further down for that.

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Houston Public Works Issues Boil Water NoticePUBLIC WORKS 11-27-2022

Houston Public Works Issues Boil Water Notice

Houston, Texas – A boil water notice has been issued for the City of Houston’s Main Water System (TX1010013). Earlier today, the water pressure dropped below the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s required minimum of 20 PSI during a power outage at the East Water Purification Plant on Sunday.

As a result of the Boil Water Notice, the public is advised:
*Do not drink the water without boiling it first.
*Bring all water to a boil for at least two minutes.
*Let it cool before using. 
*Individuals without power to boil water are advised to use bottled water for consumption. 

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes.
In lieu of boiling, individuals may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the public water system officials will notify customers that the water is safe for drinking water or human consumption purposes.  It could be Tuesday before the all clear is issued.

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand/mail.

This is not the first time, we had a random event a few years ago similar to this...and then during the epic freeze in 2021, we had the same issue.

We try to keep our "water cabinet" as we call it, fully stocked.  Jugs of water for our coffee/tea maker, some soft drinks for 2nd Man...

Flavored sparking water for variety and regular bottled water as a backup (usually for cooking).  This picture is from the last time we had this happen, we're a bit low now because I haven't been to the store since before Thanksgiving but...

...we have a water dispenser machine that we use for our main drinking.  We always have a max of 15 gallons on hand.  We have one in the machine, one beside it for when it runs out and another in the back of the closet for emergencies.  We have a delivery service and get two bottles every other week since that's about when we run low but last night, when the breaking news starting blowing up our phones and interrupting TV, I got the backup one out and when the one in the machine runs out, we are good.

No boiling for us.

Always be prepared!

Saturday, November 26, 2022


It has literally been raining every day since Wednesday, though we have a break right now.

Since we had pics every day of the turkey brining process, we figured we'd show you the end result:

This was it after we took it out of the fridge Thursday morning and then rubbed melted butter on it.

And here it is after 90 minutes.  Golden and beautiful, super moist and delicious.  We ate half for our meal and leftovers and then we took the meat off the other half and vacuum sealed two bags of meat for future use.

I'm not going to the farm today, will probably go tomorrow, unless it rains again.  I certainly don't need to water.  So today will be Christmas decorating day!

Here is our basement storage unit (the overhead lights were off, it's not normally this dark) full of Christmas and other stuff.  I will be getting all the decorations out (the tree we use is in that box) and, as this posts, we'll be in the midst of Christmas decorating!

Pictures to come later!

Hope you are having a good weekend!

Thursday, November 24, 2022


As we usually do, we like to post a vintage postcard image for holidays.  They are always fun to see.

On this Thanksgiving Day, we take this opportunity to thank all of you for coming along on the journey with us for another year.  We are blessed to know you, to share with you, to have you share things with us...we are truly thankful.

2nd Man had to work and didn't get off until late last night.  So as this posts, we have a turkey roasting and are busy prepping all the other things for our Thanksgiving dinner!  Hobart will get some turkey meat as a treat so dinner for him too!


Wednesday, November 23, 2022


Well, we are finally at the day before Thanksgiving, food prep should be in full swing.  Check out our turkey, 24 hours after starting the dry brine process:

You can click HERE to see yesterday's post with the picture right after it was put in the fridge.  Comparing them you can see that it is definitely changing.  The skin has tightened up as it dries.  But the skin seals the meat to keep it moist and seasoned. In the next post, we'll show you all the end result.

OK so here are a couple more vintage ads showing some weird food ideas.

OK, so we guess this is cute, in a way.  Maybe something for kids to do but not sure we'd want it as a centerpiece on the Thanksgiving table, ha.

Now we suppose this is a variation on candied sweet potatoes but it's not presented in a very appetizing way. Plus, it just seems to be so much sugar and sweetness.  Maybe just skip to the pie for dessert instead of this dinner side dish, ha. 



Tuesday, November 22, 2022


 Countdown to Thanksgiving is on.

My coworker gave us some more sweet potatoes and so last night I roasted them in the oven, mashed them and vacuum sealed for future use.

We had already used one from our last batch so we're back to what we had plus one, ha.  You can see how we did those HERE.

And then...

...we got our turkey ready for the dry brining process.  We do this every year now.  We love it.  Seasoning and duck fat, 48 hours in the fridge and then butter and roasting in the oven.  More on that when it happens, but you can read about the process HERE.

And now for something, um, odd, for Thanksgiving from an old ad or picture from a cookbook:

We like peas.  We like mushrooms.  We like fruit. We even like what ever "meat" is featured.  But all together in one dish?  This is just not even remotely appetizing.  Not sure whatever the ring of jellied meat is, but yeah, we'll stick with our traditional meal.


Monday, November 21, 2022


Well, it's cold for us, we understand the rest of the country has a lot colder weather (and crazy snowfall).

Scroll to the end for a weird food ad from he past, a sort of annual tradition we have here on the blog.

Saturday it rained ALL day.  Sunday we needed to check on things but 2nd Man had to work (big project coming up at work) so I headed out.

Got there about 10am it was cold and damp.

I watered the plants on the porch, restrung some fishing line around the fruit tree area, started the mower and let it run, took the truck for a spin a couple miles down the road and did some organizing the barn.

By the time I left at about 2:30, it was down into the 40's and dropping and I was getting a bit too chilly.  Definitely time to get back to someplace warm.  Not sure if a picture can "look cold" but I took this one when I left.  The grass is still green but not growing due to the cold weather.  It's just sort of stunted where it was in late Summer.

Since this is a short week, work wise, and of course holiday for everyone (here in the states), we often like to post some funny food ads from the past.  I search the internet for some fun ones and post what I find.  There will be a few this week.

Here is the first:

Nothing says Thanksgiving and holidays like mayonnaise mixed with cranberry sauce and jello and then sticking a birthday candle in the top and lighting it.

Congrats, it's your dinner salad!