Thursday, March 31, 2011

PINCH ME


It's here!

Date. Time. Location. 

Houston, we have a C-L-O-S-I-N-G!


INSPIRATION THURSDAY


Ponds are so tranquil and relaxing...if our drought ever ends, we might
actually have one!

I'll be back here again tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

REVIVAL MARKET HOUSTON HEIGHTS TEXAS

2nd Man and I were fortunate enough to spend an hour last Saturday roaming around at the newest retailer to come to the Houston Heights....Revival Market.

Revival Market is the brainchild of Morgan Weber, of Revival Meats (check out his website here) and business partner chef Ryan Pera, formerly of The Grove restaurant.  Morgan has been selling meat from his farm at local venues such as Houston Dairymaids (review of them coming soon) and the Houston Farmer's Market, as well as supplying many area restaurants.  Morgan's philosophy is to keep it local, sustainable and most importantly, humanely raised.  His farm is known for its Mangalitsa pigs as well as the fact that it does not use growth hormones, GM grain, or antibiotics in any way.  He features beef, pork and veal.

Ryan's involvement and background is to bring his culinary expertise and putting that into curing meats, a process called Charcuterie.  As in bacon, ham and sausage (among other things).  In fact, Revival Market has Houston's first and so far, only, dry curing room in a retail shop.  Some amazing stuff is coming from Ryan and the use of that room. 

The two together have created a really nice, and much needed, alternative to the Whole Foods and Central Market's of the city.  One important thing they have done is partner with all sorts of local food producers/providers.  Including, but not limited to, cheese from Houston Dairymaids, bread from Slow Dough Bread Company, and to die for desserts from Fluff Bake Bar (chef Rebecca Masson).  Also represented are several other smaller providers of local products.  They even have locally roasted coffee beans in their in-house coffee bar.

Our purchases for the day included farm fresh eggs from Burr Farms in Wharton, TX (yes, I know, we'll soon have our own supply of farm fresh eggs but when you have the opportunity to buy them IN Houston, don't pass it up).  We also bought some low pasteurized milk and cream from Way Back When Dairy (love that name) in Jacksonville, TX, a loaf of french bread, and some of their house made strawberry jam.  It was wonderful spread across the still warm baguette.  Oh, we also got a slice of cake to have later with a glass of the freshest milk we've ever had.

We wanted the bacon in the worst way, which I've heard amazing things about.  So we stood in line to get some, but unfortunately, they sold out, just one person prior to our turn.  We'll have to get there early next time.  Their steaks and meats (including chickens) were beautiful.  The beef was a deep, rich, red color, the kind you don't see at regular grocery stores.  They also have sausage and cured meats and the like.  The store was packed the day we were there and I hope this is a good sign for them.  Despite the crowd, we were able to check out quickly when ready. 

That's one of the great things about this place is just ALL the local stuff.  We've never had anything like this, short of going to a weekend farmer's market, all in one grocery store.  When we pulled into the parking lot, a gentleman was bringing in a huge basket of fresh vegetables, he was one of the suppliers, and later those veggies would be for sale in their produce department.  From harvest to grocery store shelf.  The only way you could get something fresher would be to pull it out of the ground yourself and eat it.  A nice feature is that most everything they sell, puts the name of where it's from on the nameplate underneath it.  You can SEE that what you are buying is about as local as you can get.  They even have local honey, Texas grown and made olive oil, fresh herbs and veggies, and their own house made pickles, jams, and butters.  Rumor has it they are going to expand into prepared meals as well.



So please, if you are in Houston and especially inside the loop, it's worth checking out.  See what "eating local" is all about.  This is exactly the philosophy we want to adapt to by having our own farm.  Now it will be great having a source for similar things in the shadow of downtown Houston!

They are located at 550 Heights Blvd (just North of I-10).

They are open Mon-Fri 6:30am to 7:00pm, Saturday 8:00am to 7:00pm, and Sunday 10am - 5pm.

Morgan, Ryan, and all the other fine folks at Revival Market, WELCOME TO THE HEIGHTS!

DONE AND BACK IN KANSAS


OK, not really Kansas of course....but a 30 minute drive to the county courthouse, literally about 3 minutes inside to hand them the paperwork and get a receipt showing it's been paid and recorded, then a 30 minute drive back to the office, and now I'm done.....
I just emailed copies to the mortgage people and I hope the next reply I get from them is one telling me when the closing date is....

OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD


OK, not THAT wizard....But I am off to the county courthouse today to get this last bit of paperwork handled.  Hopefully this "shared well agreement" will be the last thing I need to do, and once I get it recorded with the county clerk and send a copy to the mortgage company, they will give me a closing date. 

We'll keep you posted with an update later when I get back. 
Let's see how the wheels of bureaucracy work this time around!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ALMOST THERE

Looks like the biggest hurdle of the two that appeared late last week, is now past us and we just have a minor paperwork issue to deal with.

Another dear friend had words of wisdom yesterday.  She reminded me that nothing good is ever easy, but to just think how someday I'd be sitting on the porch saying "remember how difficult that damn closing was?  Now, pass me some dewberries, tell the goats to stop making noise, and while you're at it, give me some of that homemade cheese!"

Truer words were never spoken, ha.  While we won't have goats (at least not in the foreseeable future), we'll definitely have an acre or more of dewberries, and I fully intend to add cheese making to my list of hobbies to pursue out there.      

Monday, March 28, 2011

A SNEAK PEAK



A lot of you have asked for more pics of the land and the house.  So, here is a pic for you all....some green trees, and bushes, and...


...wait, what is that in the background?  Why that's a sneak peak at the farmhouse!  Yes, there it is, and it really exists!

So the big question is...will this be THE week?  I have a feeling it is....

Sunday, March 27, 2011

BEAUTY ALL AROUND US

I thought this would be a neat photo essay. These are pictures I took at the property on a walk one day and I found that even weeds can have beautiful color and design.  Be sure and click on each photo to see it enlarged.  Love this pink, but the detail is amazing.


Now these aren't weeds of course, it's a patch of wild Honeysuckle growing near the pond site.  Bright white and yellow flowers (and smells wonderful!)



This was the only pink flower of this type blooming.  Not sure what it is, but it was a neat combination of pink and purple....


This is definitely a weed, but the detail is incredible.  Sure it's a weed, and I guess it should be pulled up and eradicated, but still, isn't it amazing?



Have no idea what this is either but I'm pretty sure it's another weed.  Purple and yellow.  Almost looks like some sort of alien flower....

A patch of pink flowers with yellow centers. Funny how so many of the weed flowers are pink and purple.  I wonder if there is a reason for that?  Maybe to attract bees so that they get carried and spread around?


So, next time you are out and about, walking around, take a look beyond the obvious and you might just be surprised and how beautiful nature can be...

GARDEN POETRY

_______________________________________________________
"Grass"
by Poet Brian Ingalls

Grass is the forgiveness of nature -
her constant benediction.
Forests decay, harvests perish, flowers vanish,
but grass is immortal.
_______________________________________________________

Saturday, March 26, 2011

FARM BELL WHAT IS IT AND WHY WE WANT ONE

Nope, not talking about a cowbell,  but a "Farm Bell".  I've also seen them called "Country Bells" or "Homestead Bells" and even "Yard Bells".  Whatever you call them, it's a great reminder of a bygone era, and something cool to have on a modern day place in the country.


Sometimes they are mounted on old worn posts like the one above...


...or mounted to the wall or side of a building or barn like this...


...or maybe take an antique bell and put on a new post like this...


...or an old metal post such as this one.

It is not clear when or where these bells first originated, but their debut appears to have first come into widespread use in the United States in the 1800's.  As farms and ranches appeared, and of course got larger and employed more people, there needed to be a way to call all the farmhands and workers to the dinner table....speaking of......


...here is another form, perhaps more familiar to those who watch old westerns.  This is the more common "Dinner Bell" seen around chuck wagons and campfires.  These came into being because they were simple to make, usually by the iron smith or farrier that worked on the ranch.  They were also lightweight, didn't take up much room, and were easy to carry with them on the chuck wagon.  

However, I like the ones at the top better.  These were not ONLY dinner bells, as the triangle was, they were also used as a means to call anyone back to the main house.  Being a cast iron / forged metal bell, they were usually very loud (and could be made in multiple sizes).  They were usually rung by pulling on a rope that caused the clapper inside to strike the bell, although some had a forged handle that could be used to rock the bell back and forth.


For approaching storms or bad weather, they could be used to warn others; if a visitor or traveling salesman came calling, the residents of the house could call the appropriate person back; if there was a fire nearby it could be used to call for water or firefighters; in fact, it is even believed that they were used to warn nearby neighbors of impending Indian attacks on their homesteads!


They sell them all over the place.  Amazon even has one.
However, we like this one sold at Lehman's the most.  Unless of course we could find an antique one.  Anyone have any suggestions for that?


I doubt we'll be worrying about Indian attacks, LOL, but with 10 acres, if I'm at the other end and 2nd Man needs me to come back for some reason, how cool would this be to let me know??


Oh, I bet you're saying "why not take a cellphone, wouldn't that work just as well"?  Sure, but would it be as much fun?  I don't think so!

SEVENTH GENERATION DISH WASHING SOAP - GREEN LIVING

Green Farm Living
As I was thinking of the Scotch Brite products that I reviewed the last time, it dawned on me that a more all natural dish soap would be a perfect compliment to the Greener Earth product.  So, starting at the sink, I decided to try the Seventh Generation brand of dishwashing liquid.  Let me say, we really like it!


Seventh Generataion Dishwashing Liquid
Once again, I found it at my favorite store and after reading the ingredients on the label, I thought we should give it a try.  The first thing I like is the fact that they have a fragrance free option.  I'm not sure why manufacturers think we all want our hands and dishes to smell like a Spring Meadow or the ever curious "Mountain Stream" (what DOES a mountain stream smell like?  I'm guessing fish, but I digress).  Anyway, I love the fact that it's scent free.  They do have options with scents, and while I didn't choose them, they didn't smell bad at all, very subtle.


One benefit to their product that we really like is the fact that it is safe for septic systems.  Not that we have a septic system in the city, but we will at the farm, and keeping it "healthy" is very important (more on that in a future post).  Not to mention that being on "well water" as our only source for all our water needs, water that's under the very ground you are living on, reminds us that we want to put only safe stuff into the ground, because at some point, we're going to be drinking that water.


This dishwashing liquid is derived from natural plant based materials and contains a water softener made from cornstarch.  We found it cut grease as well, if not better, than our usual suspects, Dawn or Palmolive.  It doesn't foam up as much, but that's because other dishwashing brands add chemicals, many times petroleum based, that cause the foam.  You know why?  Apparently they seem to think that people don't believe something is cleaning if it's not full of suds and bubbles.  Go figure.  Trust me, it's cleaning. As I said, we've seen no difference in the cleaning ability and even get a squeaky clean to the plates and glasses.  I also notice our hands were softer feeling.  Not that they advertise that fact, but I would figure that without soaking your hands in harsh, chemical filled solution, there's got to be an added benefit to your skin.


They also never test on animals (always a plus), it's kosher-certified (for our Jewish friends) and the bottle is even made from 90% post consumer recycled plastic. You can't get much greener than that!

Overall, we really enjoy this product.  It's the first thing we've purchased in their line of products and we're VERY satisfied.  This will be our new "go to" dishwashing soap for both the city and the farm.  As we try other products they make, I will let you know our thoughts.  They also have a dishwasher line, we just might try that next, stick to the sink area and then branch out from there.  If any of you have used their products, no matter which ones, let us know in the comments how you liked them.
 

Friday, March 25, 2011

WHAT A THOUGHTFUL BIRTHDAY GIFT

Burpee Wildflower Perennial Mix
Today, my coworkers celebrated my birthday and surprised me with lunch out (a rare treat for our office to close down and all go together) and of course a card and balloons, even a candle.  But then they gave me a cool gift....this bag of Burpee Wildflower seed mix.  When they gave it to me, they said it was for me to "make your farm look colorful".

Some people might think "Seeds?  That's silly!" but I think it's great thinking "outside the box" for an unusual gift.  

If I use the bag of 50,000 seeds correctly, we could have something to enjoy for a long time to come.

Just thought I'd share....

p.s.  I'll give you one guess what my wish was when I blew out the candle...

INGREDIENT ESSENTIALS - Sriracha Sauce

Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
This week, I'm going to start a new feature where I will discuss one of the things we consider an essential must have in the kitchen pantry or fridge. 

Oh, dear, wonderful, Sriracha Chili Sauce, how do we love thee?  How did we go through life without ever trying you?

I'll be the first to admit, I'm not a big hot sauce lover.  I know, sacrilege, but still, I'll occasionally use Tabasco, it's got such a unique taste, but the rest of them that are out there all seem the same, hot, hotter, and OMG!  I never bothered to try this now famous sauce, sometimes also called by it's nickname of "Rooster Sauce" (the symbol on the label) thinking, "how different can it really be?"  Boy, how wrong was I.  This stuff is great!  I bought it originally because it was an essential ingredient in a recipe for Five Spice Pork (will post that later!)  The recipe came out great, and I have to give alot of that credit to the Sriracha.

You have probably seen this sauce, in its ubiquitous plastic squeeze bottle, with green spout and the rooster on the front.  This chili sauce was created by a gentleman who was producing it and selling it in his home country of Vietnam before immigrating to the United States in 1980.  Not long after, he opened Huy Fong Foods  and started selling it.  It quickly caught on, and today, they produce almost 15 MILLION bottles annually.

It is spicy without being overly spicy.  I'm not going to lie and say it's not hot.  It is.  After all, it IS a jalapeno based chili sauce, but this doesn't seem to 'burn' and linger on your tongue or in your mouth.  It's just the right combination of slightly sweet, hot and spicy, smokey, and some other subtle, yet complex flavors....it truly does go great on everything.  A few nights ago, 2nd Man made "Migas" (a Mexican dish of eggs, tortillas and cheese, topped with avocados) and I decided to add a swirl or two of Sriracha to the top and oh my, it was great!

We've also found that when you pair it with a cheese or other sort of dairy product, it really cuts the heat that it has,  and brings out all those subtle flavors.  I like to mix it with mayonnaise, you can just decide what amount you like best, depending on how hot you want it, but I've found a 4 to 1 ratio works great (i.e. 4 TBSP mayo & 1 TBSP Sriracha) and then use the mayonnaise as you normally would.  Another thing we enjoy is mixing it into a little Philadelphia Cream Cheese and spreading it on a cracker, topped with whatever you want.  Yet another great option is to add a little bit to some Ranch Dressing, and then dip your french fries in it.  Wonderful!  You can add this to just about anything you are cooking, from soups and stews, to chilis and pasta sauces.  Even adding a TBSP or two in a batch of Marinara sauce gives it an extra zing that will leave your guests asking for the recipe.  It's so versatile, it's almost like an Asian style  version of ketchup (or is that catsup?).

I have also seen, though not tried, a similar sauce they make, it comes in a jar instead of the squeeze bottle, and has more garlic in it.  All of their sauces are made without added water or artificial colors.  That red comes straight from the pepper!  The sauce has even become so popular, it now has it's its own Facebook page with almost a quarter million friends.

It's usually found in the Asian/International food sections of most grocery stores, but is sometimes in the hot sauce section as well.  So do yourself a favor and grab a bottle next time you're at the store and try something you might never had tried before.  I think you'll enjoy it and find all sorts of uses for it.  And if you DO use it now, please share how you use it.  I love to get new ideas and try new things!


MORE NEW REGULAR FEATURES

I know the purpose of a blog is not only to tell a story, but also to share information and of course, that is what I hope we are doing here.  I also realize that when you have a favorite blog you enjoy visiting, it's fun to come back and see regular features, much like a favorite column in a newspaper.  

So, over the next few days and weeks, I'll be adding all sorts of regular features that I hope you will come back for to see the latest update.  Some have already made an appearance, others will be appearing soon (one today in fact!), and yet others are still simmering on the back burner for use at a later date....

  • GREEN LIVING
  • RECIPE BOX
  • INGREDIENT ESSENTIALS
  • INSPIRATION THURSDAY
  • GARDEN POETRY
  • POLLS
  • TV WATCH
  • BOOK REVIEW
  • MAGAZINE REVIEW
  • and many others coming in the future....
So check back daily, maybe you'll have a favorite feature that you'll look forward to seeing.  They will all be tagged with labels, listed over there on the right side of your screen. And if you miss a few days, no problem...by clicking on one of the labels, you will be taken to all the posts that use that label so you can read what you missed.

Maybe you can even suggest some things for me to try out, or a neat garden poem you know, or a great picture to use for inspiration.  A blog works best when everyone participates and I hope for lots of participation.  Let's all take this journey together.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What a Day

Focus on your Goals
OK......so after today's semi depressing turn of events, and seemingly being overwhelmed by it all, I realize that I need to refocus and remember what this is about.  It's been a lifelong dream for both of us, so I can't get distracted by this little setback.  It's only a bump in the road on this journey......

Getting to your Goal

I saw this graphic tonight and it made such perfect sense to me.  It reminds us that every step toward the goal, no matter what it is, is just another piece in the puzzle that will get you there....

When it Rains it Pours

Well, one day things are down, then they're up....now today, they are back down.  Seems like now they need more detailed information on the furnace in the house.  It's been there for 10 years, it just wasn't hooked up for the inspection.  Now they are wanting to know that it works.  Problem is, since it hasn't been hooked up, not sure if it will  work.  Really, do we need to worry about heat when it's 85 degrees here now and will be for most of the rest of the year?

I know, you could argue that "well they need to make sure it's working before the next winter comes" but I could also unhook everything 2 mins after we close and won't have it hooked up for next winter anyway.  Not sure why this should affect the closing, especially when Winter is so far away now.

It's one of those things on the priority list, for once we move in, but still, I don't understand why it must be done now.

We're working on all options at this point.  Still looks like this might be the last major stumbling block; I've already gotten a shared well agreement and that should be ok, so this could be the last thing I have to deal with.  You'd think we were buying a million dollar property.  Sigh.

I hope this is the last issue, otherwise I might have all my hair turn white, instead of the few that already have...

Americana Porch Review








I think this is such a neat, "all American" look.....all it needs is some Apple Pie and a Baseball game out in the pasture and it would be classic "Americana".





White and blue house with the Stars and Stripes.  So cool! 






This is a more lodge like porch, stones and wood, but the flag still fits.  And I'm am LOVING the red rocking chairs!  Me thinks I see some red rockers in our porch's future.



Love how this flag hangs from the top of the porch and down.  On a small porch it might obstruct the view, but on this porch it looks like there is plenty of "view".







Might be in the way when walking down the porch, but still just seems so appropriate.  And is that a porch swing I spy down at the end?  Race you to it!!







Lace curtains, begonias and an American flag blowing in the breeze. Classic!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Texas Flag

Don't we have a pretty cool state flag?  I've always liked the Texas flag, even when I was little and didn't live here.  I know visitors from other states love their flags too, nothing wrong with a little state pride, but I really do think the Texas flag is a pretty cool design. 


Texas Lone Star Flag
I want to make sure we have a flag flying out there at "unnamed farms", a US flag of course, but also a Texas flag.  Just because we don't always agree with our politicians doesn't mean we have to negate our patriotism or love of our state and country.  And besides, doesn't a farm look more like a farm when a flag is flying from the front porch?

Ray of Sunshine

Well, a little good news after yesterday's setback....there were just some minor 'technical' things to answer about employment history and such, got that done.  The other part was a misunderstanding on the furnace but it looks like we're past that hurdle, and now we just need a form that's called a "shared well agreement", since there is one well for both properties.  Always been that way, in fact, there are homes out there in that area where 4 or 5 people are sharing one well.  From the research I've done, it's very common.  The water all comes from the same place, and in rural areas, when homes are close by, it is not uncommon for one well to be dug and the cost shared by several homeowners/landowners and then they all share the same water source.  In our case, it is only two homes, our soon to be home, and our family at the other end.  Something works fine for 20 years, then all of a sudden they need new paperwork.  That's bureaucracy I suppose.  Anyway, working on that form, found one online (love the internet) and so hopefully once that is faxed, we'll be good to go.   Patience Grasshopper...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Wise Words

A great reminder from a dear friend......thanks!


I will remember this as the process moves along....

OH OH



       Get it?  It's a Monkey, and a wrench.
We have to laugh when we can.
  Well, as I figured, things couldn't go great ALL the time.  Mortgage lady emailed me and said the Underwriters had some issues with the appraisal, so they need to talk to the appraiser and see if they can clarify a few things...if it's not the weather, it's the county, if it's not the county, it's some paperwork issue....sigh.....

I will keep everyone updated.  If ever there was a time to send out good thoughts, this is it.  We're at the last hurdle, the finish line is in sight, we just need to keep our eye focused on the goal!  I don't want issues at this point in the process....

Spring is HERE




Call a Doctor, yesterday was the first day of Spring and I'm getting Spring fever in the worst way!  I have an overwhelming desire to plant and dig in the dirt and create something beautiful!  There is nothing more satisfying than planting seeds and watching them grow, 

If we don't get to close this week, I think I might go insane!  And I KNOW the wonderful family friend we're buying it from will too!
(hang in there, you know who you are!)

I made the mistake of going to the garden center today.  A veritable explosion of color.  Of course, I think April is when the bulk of the fun begins, so I don't feel like I'm too far behind, but I'm definitely ready to get some color out there.  Originally the plan was to get the house done first, and while that's still the main priority, I'm going to have to get some greenery in the ground so it can start growing.  We sure don't want to be putting in flowers in June, they might not ever bloom!  We realize the main part of it might not happen until later, but some has to be done now.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it....LOL.

FINGERS STILL CROSSED.  I've got stuff to plant!  

FABULOUS BEEKMAN BOYS SEASON 2

This show is great!  If you haven't watched it, check your local listings for the "Planet Green" channel (or ask your cable provider for it!).  The second season premieres tomorrow night, 10pm E/P, 9pm C. 
Fabulous Beekman Boys Second Season


It's a hilarious look at two guys who bought a large farm (a historic and beautiful home!) and are trying to give up the city life for the country life.


They started a business, Beekman 1802 (great name by the way) , and they raise goats, make soap and cheese and run a retail shop as well, all while juggling the realities of living in the country after coming from the city.  It's a fun show, give it a look!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

GARDEN POETRY


_______________________________________________________


"Who Loves A Garden"
by Poet Louise Seymour Jones

Who loves a garden
Finds within his soul
Life's whole;
He hears the anthem of the soil
While ingrates toil;
And sees beyond his little sphere
The waving fronds of heaven, clear.

______________________________________________________

Saturday, March 19, 2011

SCOTCH BRITE GREENER CLEAN - GREEN LIVING

Green Farm Living
One thing we want to do on "Unnamed Farms", Seda Bolsa Farm, is to live greener, perhaps just leave a smaller footprint on the planet.  And you know, what better way is there to start that way of living than from scratch?  

We realize that we have THE perfect chance to buy 'green' whenever we get something new for out there.  We are, after all, furnishing a new home.  Of course we'll need to bring some stuff from the city to the country, but for the most part, when we get out there, we'll be buying new stuff to stock up with.  So when we have to buy, for example, paper towels, why not get a recycled brand?  Or bamboo blend bath towels?  As we buy stuff, I will review items that we get and explain why we bought them or chose them.  

So one thing we've been using here in the 'city' for the last few months is the new Scotch Brite lineup of Greener sponges/cleaning pads.  In full disclosure, I have not been given sponges or anything from the Scotch Brite company, I just saw these in my favorite store one day and decided to try them.  

We LOVE them!  They work very well.  From regular daily use, all the way to overnight stuck on messes, they scrub without scratching!  Safe for all types of cookware.  They make Scrubbers, Sponges, and Soap Pads.  Price wise, they are slightly more expensive than the ones we used to buy, but only by a few cents.  A worthwhile investment just to do a little bit more for our environment.

They are made from 100% all natural materials like Agave and Corn.
They are reusable.
Some are even Biodegradable AND Compostable.
The packaging is also made from recycled materials.



Try them some time!  I'm sure you'll like them and you'll be doing a small part to reduce/reuse/recycle!  If anyone has some suggestions for neat items for us to try, be sure and let me know in the comments section.  Who knows, your suggestion might just appear here!

WALK AND MOW OR RIDE AND MOW THAT IS THE QUESTION

Not me on a riding mower, yet anyway, ha

So, now comes the conundrum.  What kind of mower to get?  Spring is here (almost here) and the grass will rapidly be growing out of control.  Coming from city life, we have a yard guy that mows as most urban residents do, for us it's because the garage is so small we have no room for a lawnmower, it's easier to just pay someone. 

Out there at Nameless Farm, we'll need a mower.  The area around the house is pretty good size.  I'll need a tractor for the bigger part of the property but around the house can used a mower.  I realize a self propelled mower could get the job done, with a lot of walking but really, do I want to spend more time walking?  Or use that time I save for gardening and doing other stuff around the house?  Ma had a riding lawnmower, as does our family down the road.  So a riding mower it is!

Now the question is, what are some good makes?  I've always been partial to the John Deere brand, it's what my Grandparents used. I wouldn't mind something that has the ability to have attachments added later on.  Of course, I don't want to spend a fortune either. 

Another issue I'd love to be able to address is electric vs gas.  Unfortunately, any electric riding mowers/tractors they have out are WAAAAY expensive and, sadly, I just don't think the technology is there yet.  Not to say it won't be at some future point.  And, if you check out this one, Ariens, it looks like it might be almost there.  It runs 75 mins on a full charge, depending on terrain, dampness, etc.  It would be nice if we could try one out sometime and see how it works.  Maybe a neighbor will get one sometime and we can borrow it, ha. 

Another option for alternative fuel/power is propane.  Ferris makes this one among others.  Looks awesome and will mow 7.2 acres/hour.  Very nice.  VERY expensive, but very nice.  Anything other than gasoline would be nice if we could afford it.  Ahh, maybe someday....

So back to gasoline, so many brands out there.  We're going to need one sooner, rather than later.  I guess we'll make runs to Lowe's and Home Depot to see what they have to offer.  There are SO many brands, it'll be hard to find one we like.

Does anyone have any suggestions?  

Friday, March 18, 2011

FALSE ALARM

Came home tonight and in the mail was an envelope from the soon to be mortgage company.  We got all excited, hoping maybe it was going to give us the closing date.

Alas, it was just the standard credit disclosure, showing the credit scores from all three agencies.  Nice to see and know what they are, but we want to close!!!!!!!!!

In good news, we did get the newest Lehman's Spring Catalog, so I'm about to settle down with a glass of wine, the catalog, a sharpie, and do some farm "window shopping".....



NEW FEATURE


Per the request of several people, I have added a link (look at the top of the page) for a "Follow By Email" feature...it will let you subscribe, and then whenever I have new posts, you will be notified via email.  I've been told that the email updates aren't the prettiest in the world (I think maybe the pictures don't , but still, it's a great way to keep up with the latest posts!  Thanks for all your kind words!

FRITTATA GLORIOUS FRITTATA

OK, so this is a recipe teaser.....2nd Man was cooking a Frittata the other night and I went in there and said "whoa, wait a second, I need to take pics!!!".  Of course it was already in the process. *

So I figured I'd at least post the pictures that I was able to take, just to give you a glimpse.
 

Step 1.5, ingredients in pan!
  Here are a few steps in the Frittata recipe I will be posting soon.

This first step already has the eggs cooked., sorry didn't get a photo before 2nd Man put it in the oven.

It's a combination of eggs, mushrooms, seasonings, and cheese, then baked in the oven.  Then you just lay sliced tomatoes and basil on top of the cooked egg mixture and pop back in the oven.


Step 2 of the Frittata, cheese!



After the tomatoes and basil have cooked a bit and softened, it's time to start adding shredded cheese to the top.

Step 3, more cheese, then put in oven
 


Really, can you EVER have TOO MUCH cheese?

Step 4, Voila!  Done!  Enjoy!
 
After you take it out of the oven, it's all puffy and delicious!  The cheese is golden and brown and it's all melted in with the basil and tomatoes.  Can't get much better than that!

RECIPE COMING SOON



* (He's so not used to this whole blogging thing.  
I'll train him correctly eventually!)