Monday, December 31, 2012


Here is another fun, thoughtful and definitely useful gift from 2nd Man.

A couple of seasons back, I was clearing some old cactus (!) from around one of the trees in the front yard and I hurt my back while walking around and around in a circle all bent over chopping and digging.  With me about to start working on the raised beds and then having to go up and each row once they are growing, 2nd Man remembered that and thought I might could use something like this:

Image courtesy of
It's a rolling garden cart/seat.  Here is the link from Amazon if you are interested in reading more about it: Rolling Garden Seat with Turnbar.

It has a turnbar on the front so as you roll, you move the handle and it steers the front wheels.  The seat is a tractor style seat (so it's comfortable) and it swivels to make it easier to move around while using it.  Now, as the Amazon reviews say, I will have to admit the assembly instructions were lacking to say the least but I was able to figure it out.  It was worth it to me to get it put together so I can use it soon.  Speaking of, below is a picture of what it looks like when it's in use.  It's got a cool little tray underneath to hold tools (and seed packets!) and then a basket on the back end to hold more.
Rolling garden seat in use (FYI, not me) image courtesy of
It was definitely a surprise and I can't wait to use it this season.  Once it's in use, I'll do an update review of sorts.  Did you get anything you didn't know you needed but now can't wait to use it?

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Sydney, Brisbane and Hobart, happy, warm and sleeping
It might be hard to make out what this is, but it's the three boys, Sydney, Brisbane and Hobart, all sleeping on the same pillow on the couch.  It's kind of cold in the house (this is in town, not at the farm) as we keep the heat set at a lower setting.  Seems they all found a spot to sleep lined up in a row.

We put this pillow on the couch a couple of weeks ago so that Sydney, who is the oldest cat at 17yrs and counting, would be more comfortable on his old bones.  Now it seems the other two have discovered that's it's warm and comfy and when they are lined up in a row, they generate quite a bit of heat.

Sleep warm wherever you are!


Save a Loaf, Poster image courtesy of US Library of Congress

This is a neat set of posters.  During WWI (circa 1914-1918), the United States set up the US Food Administration.  The ultimate goal was to avoid rationing by cutting down on the amount of food consumed.  We were not only providing food for our own, but our soldiers and the Allied soldiers as well.

With these posters, they reminded homemakers that if they cut back their usage by just one loaf, it would make a difference.

Hope you are having a great holiday season!

Save a Loaf a Week, photo image courtesy of US Library of Congress

Saturday, December 29, 2012


It's cold and gray today, damp, wet, windy and cold.  Current temperature as I type this is 39 degrees.  The high humidity coupled with the wind makes the actual "feels like" temperature in the low 30's.  It's only getting colder.

I know there are those of you in parts of the country with temps in the 20's, 10's, and even below zero.  I feel for you.

Not much any outside work getting done this weekend, so we came back into town.  It's a good day to stay in and read the books I got for Christmas.

So stay in and stay warm wherever you are.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


White porch swing, photo courtesy of:
Here is one of my favorite things...a porch swing.  Just as this picture shows, I think they are so inviting...come on over, sit down, kick off your shoes, grab a book and just relax.  Ma had one up before we bought the house, but of course took it with her when she moved to put up at her new house.

I even like them when they are under trees, and we have a couple big enough for a swing as well.

We don't have one yet, but at least we finally have the porch!  Do any of you have a porch swing?  

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I thought I'd share my Christmas over the next few days, starting with some books.  I've linked to the Amazon pages for them in case any of you are interested in reading more about them or purchasing them. 

Christmas Books
The first book was one that, of course, 2nd Man knew I just had to have.  It's the Green Chile Bible: Award-Winning New Mexico Recipes.  This is a cookbook featuring the famed green chile from New Mexico.  In case you're wondering why, it's because of all the Hatch Green Chiles I roasted a few months back and stored away in the freezer.  Hmm...of course, since he does so much cooking, perhaps it's a way for him to gain a new cookbook too?  LOL!  Either way, the book is long out of print and a welcome addition to our library!

The next one was a nice surprise that will give me some great recipes to try out at the farm next Spring and Summer.  It's a cookbook/recipe book called
It contains over a hundred recipes to make our own liqueurs and such, like fruit liqueurs. Might have to try out something with dewberry when they come into bloom.  I think there is even a recipe for homemade amaretto.  Mmmm...

The last book surprise was Alluring Lettuces: And Other Seductive Vegetables for Your Garden.  It's a really neat book that showcases 75 different vegetables that are very unusual and unique.  As the book says, these are varieties that you won't find in the grocery store.  From what I've seen as I've briefly thumbed through it, there are lots of Heirlooms, with their histories and growing information so I'll very much look forward to reading this one as well.

Those were a few of my gifts.  As I read them and use them, either to cook or garden, I'll be sure and post updated reviews.  Feel free to check them out if you are so inclined.  I'll share a couple of other gifts later this week.  I'll have to give 2nd Man credit for thinking of some really fun and thoughtful gifts.

How about you?  Any awesome books you got that you just can't wait to read?

Monday, December 24, 2012


From both of us at Seda Bolsa Farm,

We are wishing you and yours all the best this holiday season!
- 1st Man and 2nd Man

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Red Cross Christmas Roll Call, WWI, poster courtesy of US National Archives
It's hard to find Christmas specific vintage posters but I did run across this one that is somehow fitting.  The Red Cross does great work across our country, especially in the wake of disasters and tragedies.  The rest of the year they do wonderful things with blood drives and fundraising and disaster education.

This poster must have been beautiful in its day with vibrant colors and a very stylized design.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

Saturday, December 22, 2012


...that you celebrate this season, we wish you all the best.  I will take some time off from the blog to enjoy the long weekend.  Hope to get some yard work in at the farm but not sure how that will go with all the other stuff we need to do; final preps for Christmas gifts, making and cooking some of them, and to top it off, we also have a bit of a cold snap here, though nothing like those of you in the Northern and Eastern parts of the US.

I do have an automatic post ready for Vintage Poster Sunday, and a Christmas greeting for Tuesday.  If anything comes up, I'll break in for an update, and of course I'll read all of your blogs and catch up on missed reading.

Regular posts will resume Wednesday.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Christmas trees growing on a farm 
OK, this might seem strange, but when we first started talking about having land, my mind wandered to being able to grow our own Christmas tree!  I know, weird, but I thought that we'd have land, it's just a tree stuck in the ground and watered and in a few years, voila, your very own Christmas tree.

I found these pictures online, randomly sourced a few years ago, of some people growing their own.  I think they are farms that grow them to sell but why couldn't you just do it yourself if you have the space?  These pictures certainly inspired me to think in that direction.

Of course, this year and next have been more about fruit trees and bushes that produce something edible, but I need to start thinking about a few varieties of pines that do best here in our climate.  It would be a few years down the road before we'd have our own ready, but it's nice to plan ahead.

Christmas tree farm

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


OK, I just have to post something that made me laugh.
There is so much sadness in the country, I think we could all use a smile.

Now let's just hope this is JUST a funny and that's all, LOL.


From time to time, I like to share plans I have for various projects.  I'm never sure when they will come to fruition, I do have my priority list of other more important projects this early on in the process, but this blog allows me to condense my thoughts and my research and what I like into one spot.  Then, later on, I can come back here and look at what I found and how I wanted to do it.  This is one of those projects.  It's a Fairy Door.

Future project: Tree fairy door
We have this cool little area at the base of Barnabas the Party Tree.  I had never really focused on what I could do with it, I just considered it an open spot in the tree and never gave it much of a second thought.  Then last Spring, Dani over at one of the blogs we follow, Eco Footprint South Africa, had a post about making a fairy door at the base of a tree on her property.  She mentioned seeing it on another blog too (isn't that how we find all sorts of fun things? ha) so I sort of filed this away in the back of my head.

Then the other day, I was roaming around on the property looking at things and daydreaming and decided this would be the perfect place to do it.  I did some googling and found the pictures below to use as examples;

Love the door on this one, so rustic and looks handmade (by the little people of course!).  It's almost like it's been there for years.

This one is just amazing, it has a whole entryway, a well, even some thatching on the roof.

This one is very ornate, vines growing around the door and and even has a  tiny window.

There aren't really instructions, as every tree is different.  It's really just taking wood and being creative.  This is on my planning list for next year.  I figure this could be knocked out in a weekend, especially since all the work can be done in the shade, LOL.  Of course, this is after I get my garden beds done...and the flower beds done...and the plantings around the trees done...and so on...but I still think this would be a really fun and cute idea.  It would certainly enthrall our friends' children when they come to visit.

Heck, it enthralls me and I'm 40something...

Oh the backstories I could come up with about this, it will be fun!

Monday, December 17, 2012


I may have mentioned a couple of times that I've found bricks from some long ago abandoned project of Ma's (the previous owner).  So here are some bricks by the garden area...

...and here are more bricks that I loaded up but didn't get very far before I got a flat on the wheelbarrow.

Yet more that I dug out of the ground by the memorial circle of trees a couple of weeks ago...

...and here is the last batch next to a tree behind the house (at least I think hope this is the last of them, ha)!

I hate to have them hauled off but I don't want them piled up being unused as they are now either.  So my question to all of your is this:

Does anyone have any suggestions for their use?  I know there is the obligatory use as pavers for a patio or path, but honestly, I don't think I have that in me.  They are more likely to sit around like this before I am able to get to something like that.  There aren't quite enough to build anything that I can think of.

Are there any uses you can suggest to upcycle them?

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Red Cross - Sox Knit Your Bit
Last weekend, I posted something similar to this poster.  That one was a British poster from WWII, this one also from WWII, asked the same thing of Americans, to do some knitting and make socks for the troops.

As this poster says, "Our Boys Need Sox, Knit Your Bit".  I like the knit your bit line, kind of catchy.  I didn't realize that knitting was an important part of the war effort.  The gardening and food saving was what I always thought of as important to the war effort, but I find it really neat that soldiers were wearing homemade socks.  I just wonder how many hundreds of thousands (millions?) of socks were actually knitted across the world?

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Small Rosemary

Some of you may remember when I planted this Rosemary.  It was early Summer and I thought it might be nice to have right by the front door. This is what it looked like when I planted it then.  I had the not so great idea to put the other flowers around the base.  I had visions of them cascading down the sides and for a while they did.  Well now...
Large Rosemary

 looks like this!  Flowers are long gone but that's OK, I enjoyed them while they were there and now we have a large, healthy Rosemary that seems to be thriving.  It's a great plant, very aromatic, drought tolerant, and a nice place to snip some of the herb for use in cooking. It's delish with potatoes roasted in the oven, one of my favorites!  Anyone else have any favorite uses for Rosemary?  I"m going to have a lot of it.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the terrible, unfolding tragedy in Connecticut.

"Weeping is not the same thing as crying. It takes your whole body to weep, and when it`s over, you feel like you don't have any bones left to hold you up.” - Author Sarah Ockler

And tonight, our nation weeps...

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Red Potting Shed, image courtesy of: The Two Seasons

This is one of my favorite things I've found while surfing.  This is the potting shed of a landscape architect (imagine that) in Kentucky.

I have always loved the idea of a stand alone building as a potting shed, at least a building you can go in and walk around, with windows and a real roof.  And of course it will have to be surrounded by a white picket fence.

I'm sure a building like this doesn't come cheap, but oh how I'd love to have one, someday.  I'll put it on the bucket list.

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Summer peak
With our first freeze officially here (low of 29 two nights ago), any semblance of green will now be going away and stay gone until Spring.  This summer, the trails I rode on the Big Green Zen Machine were green and abundant with flowers as seen above...

Now, as you can see below, after the freeze, everything has already started turning or will be turning, brown.  I like the colors of Winter elsewhere, but without snow down in these parts of the country, we don't get the Winter Wonderland look, we just get brown, dead and bleak.  Even the sky looks different.  And everything just looks like that much more work.  Spring can't come soon enough, though I must admit, I DO enjoy the break...

Winter bleak
Still, it's the time of year when many of us start to get into the Winter blah's, and it only gets worse into January and February (though for many of you in other parts of the world, it might be Summer and pretty now).  What about you?  How do you beat the Winter blah's?  Seed catalog therapy?  Planning for the garden next year?  Or is it just maybe time for a mental break from all that?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Seeds of the Month for December

Got December's batch of seeds from the Seeds of the Month club.  I love receiving them in the mail.  Always fun!  Every month, I ask via a blog post about them.  I know what these are this month, but a few I'm not sure I've ever used in cooking.  Fennel?  Turnips?

For this month, they are:

Turnip, "Golden Ball"
Endive, "Broadleaf Batavian"
Cantaloupe, "Hales Best Jumbo"
Fennel, "Florence"

Anyone used and/or grown these particular varieties of each of these veggies (and fruit)?  Not sure what might be Spring or Fall.

Thanks as always for any tips and suggestions!

Monday, December 10, 2012


Sitting area empty wall
This weekend, I started working on the sitting area in the master bedroom. It's one of the last mostly unfinished spaces.  We have this wall on one side of the area that is big and blank and tall.  I wanted to put a low piece of furniture on the wall, so I found the one below.  It's the perfect size for the space, not too deep, and the exact perfect width.  Storage is important in a small house so this one was also appealing because of the spaces for storage baskets.

Sitting area picture wall
These white boxes are on "loan" from the mudroom.  I'd like to find some white baskets with lids but I'm sure I'll find those when the time comes.  This will give us the storage of course, as well as a spot for some things sitting on top, but the most exciting part is the big, blank wall above it.  I've always wanted to do a "memories wall".  Photos of family and friends and pets and places we've been...and then do something like in the photos below:

Photo picture wall
I like the various elements in the one above, even having an empty frame or two would be neat.  There are also things other than frames, for example the initial on the wall, the plate, and the mirror...I kind of like that.

Photo collage grouping
Having all black and white photos is a really nice touch too.  Not sure we'll do that, but I like how these are very symmetrically arranged and with a tall narrow space, I just might have to do something more like this arrangement.

Collage Wall
This is a nice grouping as well.  Sort of random, with a mixture of frames and styles.  Not sure of the significance of the numbers in this photo but I like that too.  Birthdays perhaps?  It's nice to make it personalized like that.

Now I'm off to find some random frames and start deciding what pictures to use and what other things we want to use for our "memories wall" and then to decide how to arrange them all into something that looks nice.

Do any of you have anything like this on a wall in your house?  Any suggestions or advice?

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Vintage Please Knit Now poster, image courtesy of Imperial War Museum

Here is a really fun one.  It's a WWII poster from the UK. "Our Jungle Fighters Need Socks, Please Knit Now".  Love the image, the knitting needles with socks on the end.  I did some research and found an interesting back story.

During the war, Knitting was a very popular pastime for women (edit: and many men).  They were spending a lot of their time in air raid shelters and to alleviate boredom and keep nerves down, they urged them to knit socks for the soldiers.  Just as gardening and food storage helped citizens do their part for the soldiers, so did this.  

People could get patterns and even the wool by simply applying to the government council in charge of this program.  Isn't it fascinating to imagine how many warm and comfy socks must have been made like this?

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Saturday, December 8, 2012


As many of you know, we are sponsoring a pig for a friend's son.  He is in the FFA (Future Farmers of America) and this is his first livestock.  He graciously decided to name the pig "Seda", after our farm "Seda Bolsa".

Seda the FFA pig
Here is Seda's latest picture.  Notice the sign that my friend made for his pen?  She's kind of "crafty" like that.  I think it looks awesome.  I'm sure her son was all "Mom, seriously, do we really need a sign on the pen?"

They didn't have a tape measure when this picture was taken, so the only stat we have is his weight: 152 lbs.

When we first "met" him, he weighed about 60 lbs, so he's gained almost one hundred pounds.  Amazing how fast they gain weight (almost like the rest of us at the holidays!).  He's also looking really good and is very healthy and according to the instructor, at all the right numbers for everything moving forward to auction in a few months.

More measurement stats soon.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Yesterday, I had an interesting and humbling experience.  I was in line at Trader Joe's while on my lunch break.  There was one person in front of me at the register and she had just finished checking out.  She paid for her groceries with a gift card.  The remaining balance of the bill was $2.93.

She swiped her debit card and it was declined.  It actually showed up on the screen as insufficient funds.  She apologized and asked if they could take something out that would make it less than $3.00.  The cashier called the manager over and, in all fairness, they were very nice in trying to figure out how to do it.  Apparently though, they couldn't because of the fact that the transaction had already been completed.  Since the main part had been paid with a gift card, they could void the entire transaction but because it was a gift card, the money couldn't be put back on the card or refunded to her there.  She could get it back, but would have to write to the gift card company and provide receipts.  She kept apologizing and said she was so embarrassed that she didn't have the $3.00 in her account because it was in between paydays.

I reached in my pocket and pulled out $3.00 and handed it to the cashier.  The young lady almost started crying.  She thanked me, the cashier thanked me and then she said she wished she could do something to repay me.  I asked her to just "Pay It Forward".  She said she would.

She left and the cashier and manager told me that it was a pretty nice thing to do.  I told them that as I stood there listening to her, I realized that I am indeed fortunate.  I just recently bought a new car, I have a job that I love, I have health and happiness, heck, we even have the farmhouse and land that we are slowly building our dream place to retire to.  We truly are blessed and yet someone else standing in front of me had trouble putting together a small amount of money, an amount many of us throw away on a cup of Starbucks.  I didn't even give it a second thought.  In that moment, it was the right thing to do.  Did it change the world?  No, of course not.  But for that young lady, it might have made a small difference, at least for a bit.  And who knows?  Hopefully she will pay it forward and help out someone else in a small way and in that sense, it will continue out from there.

We're all ripples on a great big pond aren't we?  What good is success or happiness if you can't share it with someone who might need it?  Showing kindness and generosity to others, especially when it's unexpected, is a great responsibility, one we should all take seriously.  You never know when one small, simple act can have a greater impact than you could ever imagine.

Practice random acts of kindness and then
pay it does a body, spirit and soul good!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Apologies for posts that show up but aren't there and comments that have been deleted, or show that I replied and the replies are missing.

Blogger assures me they are working on the issue.

UPDATE:  Seems to be working now, but I lost all the comments I had replied to last night from the last few days, so bear with me as I re-reply (I don't think that's a real word, ha).  I also lost some comments on a post I had today, and the post wasn't being indexed (whatever THAT means) so I had to re-post.  Those comments were lost but I can cut and paste them from a copy I made before I deleted and re-posted. 

It's always something.


Garden shed with pond, photo courtesy of:
OK, this is one of those off the wall photos that just inspires me for a variety of reasons.  The greenery, the small pond, the ramshackle overcrowded shed, a comfy place to sit and relax...I just like the mix.

I've always wanted a small pond and that coupled with the disorganization of the shed, is pretty neat.  It seems more like how a shed might really be.  It makes it kind of fun and not quite so intimidating, you know?  I'm not even sure what it is supposed to function as.  A potting shed?  A storage shed?  A covered lean-to of some sort that has just accumulated stuff over the years?  Who knows.  I do know (well, I imagine), that sitting in that rocker in the shade, looking back toward the pond toward who knows what on the other side of the camera lens, would be five kinds of relaxing, don't you think?

See you back here tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Stormy weather coming
I love stormy weather.  I don't want the damage of course, floods and hail and all that bad stuff, but I do love a good thunderstorm.  When I was at the farm trying to get some yard work done (of course!), there was a big storm brewing, so I snapped some pictures to share.  I love taking pictures of a storm as it's approaching and getting darker and darker.  I think what I've always liked about them is the contrast of the clouds as the lighter ones resist as long as they can, ultimately giving way to the darker ones.  This particular storm system gave us a good 1/2" of rain (and nothing bad) so that was nice.

Storm clouds over the house
Even though it's approaching Winter, we've had a pretty dry Autumn so far.  We definitely needed the rain for the plants and trees and most importantly, the aquifer that is a 150 feet below us.  Water is a gift whenever it arrives.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Cedar hanger rings
Has anyone ever used these?  I found them on sale at a store and I thought we should try them out.  They are fresh cedar rings that you simply put over your clothes hanger.  They don't interfere with putting your clothes on the hangers and I guess they keep clothes fresh and of course repel moths.  It's definitely an interesting item and cedar has long been used as a repellent in homes around the world.

There were 20 rings in each package (I bought two packages) and so I put a few on some hangers.  I must say, from the time I put them on until we left, they made the whole closet smell of cedar.  It was nice.  If nothing else, I guess we'll just leave them on and enjoy that fresh smell when we open the door.  It reminds me of an old cedar closet or cedar chest.

So this got me to thinking, are there any other suggestions for things like this to keep in closets and/or drawers?  Maybe more cedar?  Any essential oil?  Not for mice per se, but just other creepy crawlies and flying things?

Cedar hanger rings in closet