Thursday, October 31, 2013

HALLOWEEN FARM SIGNS

Booo cow sign
We interrupt Inspiration Thursday to bring you these fun signs.

The other day I was at lunch and stumbled across the sign above in the Halloween decor section.  It's laminated cardboard.  I thought it was cute that it was farm themed with a cow dressed as a ghost.  I was on the fence about getting it though.  Then I noticed the package indicated it was two sided.  I figured the other side probably had the same image.

But I turned it over and found the one below.  I HAD to buy it.

Love it and I think I might leave it up year round in the mudroom.  After all, we are fans of the TV show "The Walking Dead" and we do try to 'eat local' as much as possible.

Of course, I am on the John Deere often...perhaps I should keep an eye out?

Eat Locals zombie sign
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

TIME TO PLAY WHAT LIES BENEATH

It's time to play another farm edition of what lies beneath!


So I get out to the shed where zen machine is kept.  I saw this!

A huge hole, dug under the mower, precariously close to the rear tire.  Whatever it was even shredded up the bag I had with some garden tools in it.

So the next thing I had to do was remove the cover.


I'll be honest, I didn't really want to stick my hand underneath this and pull it off, but I had to.  First, I pulled it off the rear tires and jumped back to see what might run out.



Nope, not an armadillo.  Thank goodness.  I know I grew up in Texas and they are everywhere, but they creep me out.  Next, I pulled the cover over the seat and steering wheel and jumped back...











Nope, it wasn't a skunk, tail up and ready to spray.  I swear I smelled a faint skunk odor in the wind though, perhaps my mind playing tricks on me.  Finally I pulled the rest of the cover off the front engine compartment and bumper and ran back...






Nope, it wasn't this either (though I have to admit, that would have been cool).  I got on, started it up and backed up quickly (and carefully)...


Alas, after all that drama and my increased heart rate, no real answer. 
This was it.  Just a hole in the ground and piles of dirt.

So the mystery remains.  I'm thinking it could have been one of 2nd Family's dogs that chased an animal under the mower and then dug and dug into the ground to get at it.  At least that's what I choose to believe.  Whatever the outcome, we'll never know.

Never a dull moment at the farm but I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SYDNEY


A break today from goings on at the farm.  This is Sydney.  One of the stars of the Funny Feline Friday posts and certainly the star of our household.


Sydney Ray, our 18 year old cat
Today, he is 18 years old.  Yep.
Born just before Halloween way back in October of 1995.
Hard to believe!

He still gets around pretty well, though his joints are a bit stiff when he walks (we do give him Cosequin which we've found helps him tremendously).  More recently, he has lost the vision in one eye due to cataracts.  Unfortunately he's too old for risky surgery, so we just have to help him along when needed.

He is still a very happy kitty, he eats well, he sleeps in all his favorite spots, and he even plays a little bit every once in awhile.  He has a great quality of life and we're happy to have him sharing our life with us.

Happy 18th to the best cat in the world!

Monday, October 28, 2013

A PRETTY DAY WITH THE WINDOWS OPEN

Blue farm sky
Saturday was such a great day, cool, no humidity, a breeze blowing and hardly a cloud in the sky.  Just big, beautiful blue Texas sky.

Breeze blowing
So of course, we opened the windows in the house and let the breeze blow through.  When you open them on opposite sides of the house, it gets such a great cross breeze.  The house has pretty much been sealed up all Summer because it was just so hot outside, we kept the windows closed.  So it's always nice this time of year to open things up and let it air out.

Windows open
You could hear birds chirping, the new wind chime I hung on the porch and the sound of the breeze coming through the screens...and a nap may have occurred here, I'm just sayin'. 

Here's a funny story.  When we would go visit my Grandparents, I would always take a nap right after we got there (even though I'm sure, were he here, my Dad would say that I was asleep the entire drive up there, but I digress).  My Grandmother had a couple of chenille bedspreads with these giant peacocks on them.  You know those old chenille ones with large ridges in the design?
I'd wake up with impressions and ridges on my face.  It was still a great nap.
I inherited those bedspreads when my Mom passed, they will make an appearance someday at the farm, in all their garish beauty.

Do you like opening windows on a pretty day?  We have friends in town that say "Oh, I NEVER open my windows".  Maybe it's a country thing?


Sunday, October 27, 2013

CURSES FOILED AGAIN, PARTIALLY

Partly cloudy
So...Saturday we get to the farm early, beautiful day, blue skies, a bit cloudy but a nice breeze blowing.  Yesterday I posted my list of tasks that I hoped to get done this weekend.  Sunday was a toss up, according to the weather forecast, so I planned to do as much as I could.




I got quality time on the zen machine, which was nice.  The breeze was so cool it felt nice just riding around lost in thought...just mowing...







...and mowing (the driveway is my favorite thing to mow)...









...and mowing.







Also edged and cleaned out the raised beds and mowed the inside of fenced in garden area with 2nd Family's push mower.  2nd Man cleaned inside the house while I did stuff outside.  Side note, it's amazing how many bugs find their way to the window sills during the week and die looking for a way out.  Where are they the rest of time?  I never see them flying around, but give it two weeks or so without checking, and then there are 4 or 5 in every other window. 

Anyway, we didn't spend the night this time as we had dinner plans in town with some dear friends.  We came back about 6pm.

Farm radar image
Then we woke up this morning to torrential rains and this was the radar image for the farm (that dark red, worst weather, had already moved through).  We have had about 3/4" in town and 2nd Family says that we've already had about 1 1/2" (so far) at the farm.  Is it too much to ask for for TWO CONTINUOUS DAYS of nice weather on the weekend? 

 Oh well, I got 3 of 5 things done on my list, that's good right?  I'll have posts during the week of yesterday's adventures.  There were a couple of, uh, let's just say "startling moments".  Never a dull moment in the country.

Hope your weekend is going well!

VINTAGE POSTER SUNDAY, WIN WITH TIN

Vintage poster, WWII Win With Tin, image courtesy of NY public library
This one is really neat.  As usual, this is part of the WWII recycling conservation effort.  I like the posters like this that, instead of just having only the message, in this case "Win With Tin", also gave you instructions on how to do it.

Clean the can under water and remove the label.  Put it on the floor and stomp on it, ha, slip the cut off ends inside and give to a collector.

I bet today, even with instructions, not many would do it.  Kind of sad in a way.
We've almost always recycled, but I know many don't.

Hope you are having a good weekend!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

OFF TO SEDA BOLSA

For those new to the blog, Seda Bolsa is our farm name.

For the first time in several weekends (three? four?) today is beautiful and clear and relatively cool.  Woo hoo!  So as this posts automatically, we're at the farm, 2nd Man cleaning and me doing the outside stuff.  There is a 50% chance of rain on Sunday.  Of course that means there is also a 50% chance that it won't, but still, I need to do as much as I can, 'just in case' I can't be outside on Sunday.

Farm sky and happy sigh
My list grows ever longer but I've pared it down to the essentials for today:

First on the list, a little Zen Machine time (riding mower)
Then mow (push mower) inside the garden and edge around the raised beds.
Next I want to clean out the beds of dead plants and weeds that took over.
Then, taking seed garlic and shallots and want to get them planted in a bed.
Lastly, I'm planning on getting some holes dug for some of the plants so that the next time I go out (Sunday, hopefully), I can plop them in the ground with half the hard work already done.

Hope your weekend is off to a great start!

Update above!


Friday, October 25, 2013

WONDERFUL SANDWICH BREAD


Sandwich bread ready for slicing
2nd Man made some fresh sandwich bread the other day.  It's his own recipe he just made up and perfected over time.  We love homemade bread, it makes for great sandwiches, or on the side of a main dish, and of course toast.  Best of all, if it doesn't get entirely eaten, bread crumbs for later use!

Bread and pasta, my weaknesses, ha.

UPDATE:  After many requests, recipe will be coming in an updated post as soon as we type it into something that makes sense.  

Sandwich bread sliced and ready for eating

FUNNY FELINE FRIDAY



CHILDREN!  CHILDREN!
Don't make me come in there!

On this particular day, Sydney and Brisbane were apparently having a disagreement.  They spent the entire day sleeping on opposite ends of that window seat.  I guess they were "in a mood".  Silly kitties!

Hey, it's Friday!  Yay!

More this afternoon!



Thursday, October 24, 2013

VINTAGE CLOTHESLINE POLES, INSPIRATION THURSDAY


OK, so this might be an odd inspiration, but it reminds me of my Grandparents.  My Grandmothers (both) had the T-shaped galvanized metal poles for their clothesline.  I remember one of my Grandmothers wondering why they couldn't be painted?  She wanted either a green one or a red one.  Well flash forward to when I saw this and I was reminded of that time long ago.

Sure, we don't have a washer at the farm.  But we do have one in town, and we have a car, and we're out there almost every weekend...so why couldn't we take a load of wet clothes to the farm when we head out in the morning, and hang them up to dry?

I found the perfect spot at the farm for a pair of poles.  Then I remembered this picture I saved a couple of years ago and so I did some Googling.  While I couldn't find a red one, I did find a green one!  And they are regular galvanized metal poles.  A modern take on the old style poles of my youth.

Shhh, don't tell 2nd Man but I'm going to see about ordering two of them next month.  Can't wait to get them in the ground.

Have a great day!

Be inspired...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

PENNY CANDY JARS

Penny Candy Jars

I found these great jars on clearance the other day and one of my local lunch haunts.  I think they call the shape "Penny Candy" jars?  These are a bit smaller than their original counterparts.

For us, the better part is that they have screw top lids (the originals have a lid that just sort of sits on top).  Those will keep them sealed tightly and since we aren't at the farm all the time, we won't have to worry about bugs, moths, and mice getting into whatever we put in them.


Of course, therein lies the big conundrum.  Whaven't decided what to put in them yet but we will eventually.  We have many other jars with things like rice and lentils and flours, sugars etc.  These need something special in them I think.  Nuts?  Dried fruit?  Actual Candy?

As time goes by, and we are out there more often, we'll run across something we need to put in them that we just can't live without, though I still think candy is a good idea.  Maybe some of that old school fun 'retro candy'?

Monday, October 21, 2013

OUR DIY BAR STAND REVEAL

Last year, I blogged HERE about wanting to have one of those bar stands or carts that you see so often in magazines (click on the link for some examples). Well it took some time to find the right pieces and put it all together but we did and over the last couple of rainy weekends, we were finally able to put them all into place.





First up, we had this 'dead' corner in the dining room that just cried out for something like this.  The obvious solution would have been a corner cabinet of some sort, but I wanted something a little bit different.  So one day, at our favorite furniture store NADEAU, we found this end table. It was the right color and being round meant it fit the corner perfectly.  I just knew that I could do something with it.











We couldn't have a lonely table with a big empty space above it.  So a few months later, I found these awesome subway art prints.  There was one for red wine and one for white wine.  I figured they would work out perfectly above the stand and would visually fill the corner with some much needed height.





Next up, I didn't want bottles scratching up the wood surface so I found a glass table topper.  It's the kind that goes on those round decorator tables that you can buy and put a tablecloth over.  Somehow, some way, it was the perfect diameter to fit the top of the table.




Then we started looking for the accessories.  First of all, wine glasses and then the mixed drink type glasses. A blender and some tools came next.  Followed by a pitcher and of course, last but certainly not least, bottles of liquor.  Once I had everything I thought we'd need, it was just a matter of putting it all together and voila...





Bar cart / stand
...here is the final result!

It will need some tweaking as we begin to use it, but for now, it is what it will be.  I thought about putting wheels on the bottom, it would be very easy to do, but rolling it across the not so even, old floor boards, loaded with breakable glassware and bottles, might not be such a good idea, LOL.  We'll put a few more bottles of liquor on it, and a few more bar tools.  We're trying to stock up on the basics like rum, gin, vodka, whiskey, scotch, bourbon, tequila etc.

We love it and hope that it will serve its purpose well. 


Sunday, October 20, 2013

YES IT CAN BE TOO WET




After the rains last weekend, and then rain this week and then an inch and a half Friday and Saturday, to say it was too wet at the farm would definitely be an understatement.  Standing water and mud.




It was just too wet to do much of anything outside.  I tried pulling some weeds in the raised beds but it was more about just walking and sinking in mud everywhere I went.  And definitely no way to edge or mow for sure.



Water water everywhere, so the trees and plants are surely happy.  The water table too!  However, it does look like our long range forecast shows no more rain the rest of the week.  Next weekend should be perfect.  Until then I'll just enjoy this new small pond that appeared, LOL.






VINTAGE POSTER SUNDAY, I'LL CARRY MINE TOO


WWII and saving engines and rubber!  Encouraging people to walk by reminding everyone in this poster that "Trucks and Tires Must Last Till Victory".

Many posters from the time urged recycling and this was just another step in that direction, urging things to be saved before they wore out.

Wouldn't it be amazing if today they had similar campaigns?  Of course, I wonder how many would actually follow it. 

Hope you are having a great weekend, yesterday ended up nice after the wet start and today when we got up, it was crisp and cool and amazingly beautiful.  When this posts, I'll be at the farm checking some projects off the list.

More later this afternoon!


Saturday, October 19, 2013

CURSES FOILED AGAIN


SIGH.

Started raining yesterday at 4pm, this was the radar at the farm when we went to bed, and now this morning it's still raining.  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday was clear and pretty.  Downhill yesterday and today.  Now tomorrow is supposed to be perfect and pretty, but of course the ground will be soaked, and muddy.  We'll just have to see how things progress over the next few hours.

It's actually stopped raining now and the sun is trying to come out.

I think we'll go run some errands and get some things we need for the farm and then head out tomorrow morning early to check things out.

Hope you are having a better start to the weekend.

Friday, October 18, 2013

RANDOM FARM BEAUTY


Saw this butterfly and it was just so pretty. It resembled a Monarch but I'm not 100% sure. It was actually a
Gulf Fritillary or Passion Butterfly (thanks LindaP). It  looked a bit beaten up but still flew all around the bushes this particular day.  She kept me company while I pulled weeds and did some yardwork.
I really tried to capture this image the way it was in person, but it didn't quite come through as I had hoped.  It was a grove of shady trees and there was a ray of light shining down on this white flowering weed.  It looked as if t was glowing.  It really was so pretty.  I swear, it's a vacation every time we go out there, and hey, it's time again!  Fingers crossed for great weather.

FUNNY FELINE FRIDAY

White cat outside
This is 2nd Family's cat Benny.  He roams around in the brush and trees and just sits there like no one would ever see him at all.  Then he acts all surprised when you walk over to him to pet him.

He's not hard to miss in the brush, even at night he practically GLOWS in the dark, ha!  Silly kitty!

It's Friday!  More later this afternoon.






Thursday, October 17, 2013

ELEGANT PICNIC TABLE DINNER, INSPIRATION THURSDAY

Picnic table dinner, photo source unknown
Many of you that follow the blog know that we have this great dinner party tree that we call "Barnabas" (click HERE to read more about him).  Well, I spent some time clearing out around it and under it to create a future spot for an outdoor dining table.  I was torn on table and chairs or picnic type bench.  Well, a very sweet friend of the farm emailed this photo to me the other day to give me inspiration.  And boy did it.

Now granted, it's not like we'll have this exact set up of course, but it definitely gives me ideas to go off of and that's the whole purpose of inspiration!  I would have never thought about beaded curtains to hang from the tree.  And of course putting a chandelier in the tree would be awesome, ha.

Have a great day!

Be inspired!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

AVOCADO AND EGGPLANT SANDWICH


SO...this is a sandwich we created with just a few ingredients we had at the farm.  We had an eggplant, an avocado, a tomato, a loaf of homemade wheat bread, and two eggs.  What to do, what to do?





We got out the cast iron skillet, sliced the eggplant, put a little bacon fat in the bottom and fried them up.  Not coated or anything, just cooked in the bacon fat with a little salt and pepper.





Then we fried up some farm fresh eggs (love those deep rich yolks) in the same pan.  We like ours over easy, but of course you could just fry them hard if you prefer them that way.  While the eggs were frying, I toasted four slices of bread.





I took the avocado and sliced it in half, spreading 1/4 of it on each slice of bread, using it as a spread of sorts.  Sprinkled a little salt and pepper on it as well.




Then came the layering.  We used once slice of eggplant on each side, for the top and  bottom, and then topped one half with a fried egg.




Lastly, we placed the tomatoes on top of the egg half and then carefully put the other side on top of the already made stack. 


Avocado and Eggplant Sandwich
OK, now I know some people don't like the runny eggs (we love the creaminess that it imparts), so you might not like this picture BUT as I said, it can definitely be made with a fried egg and avoid all that.  The eggplant makes the sandwich a bit slippery, but if you mash it down a bit, it all comes together nicely.

We have decided to call it a "FARMWICH"™, ha.

It was delicious!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

FLOWERS ON A BIKE




OK, so I went to lunch the other day and saw this!  I just couldn't resist taking a few pics.

This lady had attached a trellis to her bike and turned it into a rolling flower garden...albeit artificial, but still, too funny!  I saw her go into the store and tried to find her but missed her.  I wanted to ask her about it.  Since I didn't get to ask, I thought it might be fun to imagine the benefits of a bike like this...













No matter which direction you looked while riding, you'd always see something pretty?

When someone looked in their rear view mirror at you, they'd see a person framed by flowers?

You're always in a parade?

Because it makes you and passersby smile?

Enjoy your day because I'm sure the owner of this bike is enjoying her day wherever she is!

Monday, October 14, 2013

FREE RANGE CHICKEN GARDENS BOOK REVIEW


Got this AWESOME new book recently and I've been loving it from cover to cover.

It is called Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard (a long title for a great subject), by author Jessi Bloom, who is herself an award winning garden designer.  She's combined her skills at garden design and love of chickens into what I think is a great resource of information with information for the novice and maybe some new tidbits for the long time chicken keeper.




The inside is filled with great chapters and has lots of diagrams, lists of do's and dont's, good and bad, and best of all, suggested layouts for a chicken yard.




It also has beautiful photography (by Kate Baldwin) that shows happy chickens and close up details of plants and coops and chicken yards that others have created.



It's divided up into sections such as Free Range Chickens, Natural Fertilizer, Organic Pest Control, Soil Aeration, Fresh Eggs, and Thriving Gardens.  There are also lists of dangerous plants for chickens, and even plants that make for great shade and healthy snacks for the egg laying ladies.  She also goes into chicken keeping basics, including coops and the best way to lay them out, fencing, safety, feed, care, egg laying, etc.  




This is what our future plans are for this area.  I've been slowly clearing this spot and keeping it mowed so that it just sort of stays clean and not overrun with weeds and brush and sprouting trees.

The barn will come next Spring (we are planning it now), and while we still won't have chickens right away, I can now use this book, and all the great online resources I've found, to start getting it all prepped ahead of time.  I've got a list of plants I'd like to find for next Spring to put in the future chicken yard so they can get established ahead of future residents.