Monday, September 16, 2019

BACK ON THE ZEN MACHINE AND OTHER HAPPENINGS

Guess what I got to do?  

Yep, mowing!


It rained at the farm but not much.  Maybe 1/4 inch according to 2nd Family.  We figured not enough to grow the grass but apparently it soaked it up and had a growth spurt.  It was enough to make it slightly more green than it has been.  You can see above (from my mowing app) that it wasn't like the usual mow. I was able to skip a few areas that were still brown and then it was just the regular mowing spots.


I mowed the driveway and the yard all around the house and outbuildings.  It looks better and as it turns out, it was good that I did mow because they are saying we may have some heavy tropical moisture coming this week.  That will DEFINITELY give us a growth spurt.


In a patch of green grass I saw these white flowers that had popped up...


Not sure what they are but they are brilliant white.  So white that the sun reflecting off of them made them overexposed on the camera, ha.  

Of course I mowed around them.
Because.  Beauty.


Remember our fig tree/bush that I posted about a couple of months ago?  

Above is the tree at its peak a few weeks back when it was bearing fruit...


...and this was it this weekend.  WHAT THE HECK??  I've never seen it do this before in the years it has been growing there.  I've read conflicting info online, some say it's a fungus others say it's "Fall" and this is normal.  Not sure.  I do know it is getting more shade than it probably should.  When it was first planted, the mesquite tree next to it was much smaller.  Now it's bigger and casting a shadow.  I also started watering it when it was producing fruit but maybe I over watered it.  Not sure.

We do know that we want another fig tree or two and have a sunny spot for them with all the other fruit trees behind the house. 


It was a good, albeit brief, weekend.  Still hot here, upper 90's and we even made it to 100 one day last week.  But again, supposedly rain coming this week.  They were mentioning flash flood possibilities.  Of course it quite often rains in Houston but not at the farm so we guess only time will tell!

Hope you had a good weekend! 

Friday, September 13, 2019

TOY MEMORIES OF YESTERYEAR

So the other day, my boss brought some wooden hangers from home, they were doing some Fall cleaning and no longer needed them.  So he had a big bag of those really nice solid wood hangers with the metal hooks like these....


I carefully stacked them, much like the photo above, and put my arm through them to carry them to the car.  I put them in the back seat.  I reached in to move my umbrella out of the way and when I pulled it out, it got caught on them and they all fell out into the parking lot.  Then picking them up was just a jumbled mess.  

I share all this to say that when I got back to the office and related my story, my boss said it was like that old game "Barrel of Monkeys".  I had not thought of that in YEARS.


That broadened into a larger conversation of toys of our youth (those of us of a certain age of course).  These were so much fun.  Do kids even know about these now?  There's probably a "Barrel of Monkeys" app, ha! 

Here are some we came up with...


I grew up with LEGOs and today those are even better than when I was little.  But what about Lincoln Logs?  Oh my I loved building those cabins and buildings.  A friend and I made a whole 'neighborhood' of cabins and then we pretended that a tornado blew through.  Yeah, we were weird like that but my imagination ran wild with possibilities...


And then there were Tinker Toys!  I would create all sorts of weird objects.  Where Lincoln Logs pretty much limited you to creating buildings, Tinker Toys would let you create all sorts of shapes.  Sometimes I just went full on artist and made random "sculptures" that my parents would let me display on top of the TV for a while.


And of course there was the ubiquitous Lite-Brite.  I remember punching the holes in the black paper with those little plastic pegs that lit up like glowing jewels.  It was pure magic when you turned off the room lights and turned on your creation.  Once I made the roosters and rainbows and smiling suns, I started making spaceships and planets.  I think it was Star Trek inspired.

Would kids today know about these?  Do you think they'd be bored with them or would it spark imagination once again?  I find that many kids today don't seem to have the imagination we did when growing up.  Maybe there is too much information available and that takes away some creativity?

Or maybe we're just getting old, ha!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

BIRDBATH PLANTER INSPIRATION THURSDAY

Every Thursday we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm. Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and someday, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!



We have an old birdbath at the farm.  It was left by the previous owner when she moved.  It's heavy and concrete and not being used for a birdbath.  Kind of hard to keep water in it when we're not there full time.  Someday we'll have a birdbath for birds (more than one!).  

We've always wanted to do something else with it.  It's currently in two pieces (base and bowl) in the killer bee area, ha.  Now that the bad bees are gone, I can go back and get this and move it closer to the house to do something with it.  

This is a neat idea to fill it with soil and plant something in it.  Shallow rooted of course as above.  



Or perhaps something like this, maybe succulents or even cactus.  So pretty and different.

Be inspired!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

REMEMBERING 9/11


I'm sure we all have a memory of where we were when we heard.  When we saw it.  

It seems as though when the years go by that it becomes more of a distant memory, something that someday young people will only know by us telling them our memories.

For me, the days after 9/11 are a bit of a blur because we found out on 9/12 that my Grandfather had passed away, in his chair with the TV on.  The general thinking is that he had a heart attack while watching the coverage.  Just one of probably many others like that around the country.  

At the last office I worked at, I got to speak to a lady that moved here a couple of years after the attack.  She was in the South tower when the North tower was hit.  What she described is something that can only be described by her words, not by anything we've ever seen on TV footage.  I found out recently that she passed away last year, complications from breathing the air at Ground Zero.

On this day we remember all of those lost in the terrible attack and the brave first responders from all places that came to help and continue to struggle today...


Monday, September 9, 2019

SAME OLD SAME OLD HOT WITH GOOD FOOD

The yard seems to be hanging in there...

Cloudy but still no rain
...there are still some green blades there in a few spots, ha.  Again, this is no mowing since end of July.

Very dry yard
Here is what it looked like when I pulled in and parked where this part of the yard is definitely more dry than others.  This time of year, in this heat, it's just bare minimum work out there.  The temp was 100 degrees with a "feels like" of 107

Dry yard
It's funny (or not when I have to clean it out later, ha) that the only place there is good strong green is in and around the raised fruit tree beds.  Not much I should worry about cleaning out now, I'm still watering.  And it's too hot to mess with.  I'll save this project for the Fall when it's cool.

Penzey's Spices
I stayed long enough to water to keep the trees living and came back into town.  2nd Man and I went to Penzey's (the spice/seasoning store).  There is only one in Houston and it is a cook's paradise for sure.  We always go a little overboard when we go.

Sheet pan chicken and veggies
We came back home and we made one of our sheet pan chicken dinners.  One chicken cut up, seasoned with olive oil and seasoning and tossed on a sheet pan with sweet potatoes, onions, and cherry tomatoes.  Roast at 425 for about 40 minutes or until chicken was done and veggies are nice and roasted.

Cherry pie
Then 2nd Man got a wild hair and made a cherry pie.     I'm always OK with that, ha.  Alas, we didn't have ice cream but it was still very yummy. 

Hope you had a great weekend.

Friday, September 6, 2019

CEREAL TEXTURE FOOD DEBATE

It's time for the "Friday Food Debate" where we tackle some of the burning questions of the culinary world...LOL!

This week, the burning question is:


So here is this week's debate.  There are two schools of thought on cereal.  Some people like it crunchy like it is right after you pour the milk in it, you eat it quickly so it stays crispy and crunchy.

Still others like to pour the milk in and let it sit for a few minutes so that the cereal starts to get soggy and the milk takes on the flavor of the cereal.  Great for drinking after the cereal is gone!

Around here I think we are split again but I could actually go either way.  I love how crispy it is when it's first poured but in the end, I like it soggy and that delicious milk that's left over.  2nd Man wants it to stay as crunchy and crispy as long as possible.

So...are you team crispy or team soggy?



Thursday, September 5, 2019

TREE FLOWER BED INSPIRATION THURSDAY

Every Thursday we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm. Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and someday, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!



One of the projects I want to do next season is put some flowerbeds around the trees over in our wooded section that I cleared.  It's a big open area with trees that we are keeping and it just seems kind of empty.  We think some pops of color would be awesome in that space.  Something like this, just some areas around each one planted with some simple color would be nice.  It might be nice to scatter some bulbs in there too.  

Of course we'll need something growing that is partial shade loving or likes dappled sunlight.  Flowers preferred, ha. 

Be inspired!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

HOT AND DRY LAZY LABOR DAY WEEKEND

It was a nice weekend of rest.  Having a three day weekend is always welcome, especially after a long hot Summer.  We ran some errands but mainly just relaxed and enjoyed the time off.

Hot and dry
It was another hot and dry weekend outside though.  Here is the photo from roughly the same angle I've been taking each time at the farm.  The green is hanging on, ha.


We had a glimmer of hope.  This was the radar the other day.  It was POURING in Houston.  There was brief flooding, hail, wind, lightning, and about 2" or 3" of rain.  This is the radar image from when it was happening.  The storm literally only encompassed the main part of Houston proper, there was NO rain anywhere else.  Crazy how that can happen.

Drought cracks in the ground
The cracks in the ground are getting wider.  This is about an inch wide.  It runs for about four feet.

I watered the fruit trees and plants on the porch and then left.  Really there is not much else to do out there.  With only one window unit a/c in the house it's just too hot to deal with trying to cool down the house.  Yet another reason we're working diligently to remedy that situation.  Hope to have an update soon on that front.  

Bay leaves drying
2nd Man was getting low on on bay leaves so I snipped a couple dozen and brought them back into town to dry in the window ledge for a few days...

Home grown bay leaves
Then I put them in a bottle and up in the cabinet for him to use.   He was happy.  

Hobart the cat
Hobart was his usual self all weekend.  Sleeping wherever he found the most comfortable spot.  Of course, in retrospect, we kind of did the same thing...

Hope you all had a good weekend.