Thursday, May 31, 2012


Garden Chair, courtesy of:
This is something I've always loved, a chair in a garden. 

The idea of a garden chair in a comfy setting amongst the flowers and bushes you've worked hard to create into something beautiful.  Too often, it's easy to forget to take that time out of the day and just sit back and enjoy.  Don't forget that end table to put a glass full of the beverage of your choice!

Blog day off today, though I will be replying to comments that I wasn't able to get to while out of town.

Other than that, I'll see you back here tomorrow!  As always, thanks for stopping by.  We appreciate it!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


My job anniversary was the other day and we usually don't get gifts. This time, a few of my coworkers got me a very thoughtful gift.  They bought me this little Jade plant.  They chose it because it doesn't require a lot of care and water and they thought it would be perfect for the farm since we wouldn't be there daily to water it.  Plus they can be pinched off and started in other pots so it's an easy way to get 'more plants' later on.


So I brought it home, looked through our milk glass collection and found just the right one for it.  It fit just perfectly in this one!  The green of the plant looks great against the white of the planter.

Here it is in its new home at the farm. I put it on the back of the desk that's in the foyer, against the wood wall.  It fits perfectly as a contrast to the dark wood.  When I left, I made sure it was watered and it should be good for another week.  A very neat little surprise that got me to thinking, what are some other indoor plants that can maybe be watered once a week or if pushed, once every couple of weeks?  I might just have to fill the house with them.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Saw this interesting article online.  It seems more and more retirees and opting for life in the country.  As they say in the article, trading Thai restaurants and high speed Internet for homegrown veggies and birdsong.

 CLICK HERE to read about it. 

It is a journey that I think a lot of us are taking...either already there, working toward getting there (like us now) or just dreaming of the day when we can.

Our "Retirement Spot"
It's an interesting dynamic, seeing people move from the city to the country, and I have to wonder what is behind this?  Is it the economy?  Concerns about food and all the chemicals and processed nature of it?  A need to live a simpler life to clear your mind?  Worries about some natural/man made disaster?
Some combination of all?
Country Sunset


Americana Pig
For those who have followed the blog for awhile, you might remember the story of how we named our farm.  Every good farm needs a name, right?  So we named ours Seda Bolsa.  If you are a new visitor to the blog, or just missed the naming debate last summer, you can CLICK HERE to read all about it.

We figured we needed a mascot, something that would make visitors remember the name, maybe something that could even become a logo to personalize stationary or something for the guest room at the farm.  So of course, with the name we chose, a "pig" was the obvious choice for an image.

Flash forward to this long weekend and during our trip to Oklahoma, I found this little guy and he just seemed perfect.  He's black and white, and since he's now sitting on the desk in the foyer, with it's black and white floor and black and white toile chair, he just seemed to fit nicely.  The rustic "Americana style" of the design also works with the overall style of things in the house.

What about your place, does it have a mascot?  A symbol?  A logo?

Monday, May 28, 2012


REPOST:  I posted this a few weeks ago but it was accidental (I used the wrong date) and was in between two other automatic posts that went up an hour or on each side.  I think it might have gotten lost in the shuffle.

Since today is a holiday and I'm traveling, I figured I'd repost it and see if anyone has some more book suggestions.  I can always use more books, LOL!

I am so excited!  I got this book yesterday a couple of weeks ago on the recommendation of several bloggers, and I have to say, I LOVE it.  I've never seen so much great information in one place.  This is a classic book I'm sure many of your have seen.  It's been around since the early 70's but it's periodically updated with the most current information and is the newest 10th edition.

It's almost a thousand pages of valuable information.  Recipes, cleaning tips, how to home repairs, gardening, beekeeping, canning, butchering, orchards, flowers, fence building, how to milk a goat, making soap, building a chicken coop, and literally dozens (hundreds?) of other topics.  Right now, I'm enjoying just flipping through it randomly and reading whatever section I land on.  With this newest edition, they have even added web pages, email addresses and mail order resources for all sorts of topics.

While we have TONS of books (see HERE), cookbooks and gardening books galore, I am always on the lookout for the "must have" books for eventual life in the country.

Are there any books you have that you feel are essential?
Any others similar to this one?

Sunday, May 27, 2012


War Garden General, Image courtesy of: Historical Society National Archives

As I'm on the road traveling this weekend, I'll keep my commentary short on this one.  This is from WW1, during the "War Garden" campaign.

This started as a cartoon and was turned into a poster.  I think everyone can related to being a "General" in the garden, getting the "troops" in line.  Although the potato scares me just a bit, LOL, I do love the "enemy plotters" lurking in the background.

Enjoy and as always, you can click on the "History" tag below or to the right and see all the vintage poster postings I've done.  

Thank you, and hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Saturday, May 26, 2012


This weekend, my Grandfather turns 95.  Yes, 95 years old!
He was born all the way back in 1917.

He's in a nursing home in Oklahoma and while physically he's not able to get around very much, his mind is still sharp and he is, occasionally, just as ornery as ever. He is the last of my grandparents so he's kind of special.  Both sets of grandparent's (and both sets of great grandparents) had farms and/or gardens, but he was the one that I spent Summers with when I was little.  I would help him in his gardens and would then help (but mostly watch) my Grandmother canning all of the stuff that he grew.  I can directly relate my want of a small farm/garden to that influence from all of them, him in particular.

So this weekend, today actually as you read this, we are driving up there to see him.  It's a surprise visit so I'm sure he will be thrilled to see us.  He may be 95, but he loves 2nd Man as if he were his own.  That's pretty awesome in my book.

We talk by phone several times per week but because he's in Oklahoma, I don't get up there as often as I would like.  While we are there, I hope to get some gardening tips and advice from him, and maybe some stories that he might remember of gardens and farm living from back in the day.  I haven't told him about the farm yet, I wanted to surprise him with that.  So I'm bringing lots of pictures, I can't wait to hear his reaction.

Have a great long weekend and I'll update as I can!

Friday, May 25, 2012


More wall sconces
On my weekly lunch break trip to the thrift store, I scored some more metal candle wall sconces.  The large one is made to hold two tapers, and the smaller one to hold a votive or small pillar type candle.

As you can see, one is black, and the other is a brownish/rust color.  I think I might actually paint these, depending on what room I put them in.  I could paint one pale yellow or pink and put it in the guest room, or leave the black one as is and put it in the foyer.

Best of all?  Scored both of these for less than $3.  The large one was $1.89 the small one .99 cents.  Can't beat that!  And now we have a bit more alternative lighting and/or mood lighting.  Now if I could just find some oil lamps...

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Photo courtesy of:
Any big, fenced in garden is an inspiration to me (and I'm working on our future garden site as we speak!).  I hope to get a big flat cleared area like this one, minus the trees and hills in the background of course.  Anyway, on this one, I'm most intrigued about the fence.  Have you ever seen something like this?

I really like it, and I can't help it, but the first thing I thought of was The Hobbit. Go figure!  It's definitely a much more whimsical design than a traditional garden fence and it looks like it's been cobbled together from timbers.  Probably one of the main reasons I like it, it's not traditional!

It's still an inspiration to get our space finished so we CAN put up a fence around it before the raised beds go in.  See you back here tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


We've lived in the city all our lives.  Even growing up, as I moved around with my parents, we lived in large cities with full city sewer and water, so I never had to help with anything involving a septic tank or overheard my parents talking about how to take care of it.
How a septic system works
Flash forward to now and we have the farm, with its small septic tank.  Only one shower, one toilet, and no dishwasher, washing machine or disposal.  I've of course learned what can't ever be put into a septic tank and, from the above picture, how it all works and is all connected together

My question though is this: What SHOULD we put in there to keep it healthy?

I see all sorts of stuff on the market, name brand things that all say they are the "best product to use".  Then I've read online that just plain old yeast is good to flush down the toilets periodically, or a mix of yeast and sugar.
Dry Yeast
So my question is, for those of you on septic systems, what advice, home remedies, store bought miracle substance, good old fashioned advice do you have for someone new to the world of septic tanks?  Remember, for now it's only being used on the weekends, but every time I'm out there, I was wondering if I should regularly drop something in (good bugs?) so the system stays healthy?

Good Bacteria
UPDATE:  Thanks for all the awesome replies (and keep 'em coming!).  Tomorrow is my blog day off and I just got home a bit ago (long day) so I'll reply to each of you on Friday.  Thanks again!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Two Sisters Trail
Forgive the pun in the posting title, I like to play with words sometimes, ha.  I thought I'd share a photo of one of the (many) things I've been working on.  I so often blog about things I want to do, and little projects, this has been a rather big one that I devote at least a few hours to each weekend.  Baby steps!

So, here is one of the trails I've been diligently creating.  I've been clearing brush and some small Mesquite tree saplings a little at a time, and then trying to keep it mowed on a regular basis as well.  Hopefully, it will keep the wild look that I'm enjoying right now, and yet let me roam around to different parts of the property more easily.  I created a path (several actually but more on those in a later posts) from the house and future garden area.  It runs down in between these two trees, curving toward the end to match a curve in the ground cover and the terrain...because sometimes you just have to let nature guide you, ha!  Oh how I'd love to be able to mulch/gravel these paths but that would literally take tons ($) and tons ($$) and tons ($$$) of material.

I think if I just keep it mowed that will be just fine.

These trees have been neglected for years and while very healthy and very tall, they are in need of a good pruning.  That will have to come later as I sharpen learn my pruning skills and of course I'll need to clear out the areas under them before I attempt any pruning measures (no telling what exciting creatures I'll discover then).  The neat thing about these two is that they are the exact same trees, the only two of their kind on the property that I can find.  Not sure what variety they are, I need to get some leaves and figure that out, but because they are both the same size, they make a great pair of bookends for the trail and more importantly, a landmark on the property.  So this past weekend, while on my Zen mower/tractor time, I decided to start calling them the "Two Sisters".

It's nice to be able to locate things on the property by using phrases like "I saw this unusual bird over by the Two Sisters" or "walk down Two Sisters trail and turn left."  I know I like to have a frame of reference when I'm roaming around so I figured that's a good way to tell others how to find their way around as well when they come to visit.  Obviously, it's not like you'd get lost, it is only 10 acres after all and as you can see, not densely forested.  But still, it's a nice way to plan for things in the future as our ripples move ever further outward onto the property.  For now I'll keep the trails cleared on a weekly basis and I'll continue exploring other areas and discovering new things.

That's half the fun!  I'm thinking the other half is hard work!

Monday, May 21, 2012


We enjoy a glass of wine now and then and want to have wine at the farm, so the other day I was at a store and I found these awesome "Subway Art" prints.  Speaking of, does anyone know why this style is called that?  It seems to be pretty popular right now, I see it everywhere.  Anyway, they were on sale and I just couldn't resist because they are perfect for this corner.  They are printed canvas on a wood frame and the black one has the names of red wines and the white one has the whites.  It's kind of hard to tell in this picture but the background is a sort of wood floor effect.  I hung them in an awkward corner of the dining room above what will soon be a bar table.  It seems black and white is a becoming a recurring theme in the house, matching the vinyl floors, the desk  chair, some of the other furniture, etc, so these fit perfectly.  The bar table should will be finished soon.  Still trying to find the right pieces for it.  Need some more glassware, a tray of some sort and a few other things.  Might be time for a thrift store run...but it should be neat when it's finished.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Women Dig for Victory Poster, WWII, courtesy of UK Historical Archives

I like it, for the message it's trying to send, but do you think it might be viewed as a bit sexist in today's times?  This was from WWII, the British "Dig for Victory" campaign, so it was a different time period and a different world they lived in.  Of course, men were the ones in the military at that time, so women were left at home to care for the family and other things, so the campaign directed this toward them.

The purpose was to remind people that farmers were growing the other  essential crops and that they needed to grow the vegetables for their kids' nutrition.  I do like the suggestion to turn your garden over to vegetables, and get the "older" children to help.  DO IT NOW.  Ha, can't go wrong with that.

As always, a nice glimpse into our not too distant past.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Close up of wildflowers at the farm
Today was a good day.

Didn't get everything I wanted done, but I did enjoy my solo time out there.  2nd Man had to work to make up for yesterday, and they didn't have a big SUV or truck available as a rental, so we got a Dodge Journey with a third row of seats.  Don't need that but oh well, it is what it is.

  I was able to mow everything, including the trails that 2nd Family had used the brush hog on to clear them.  I am mowing over them regularly, to keep them cleared and it's working.  Of course I stopped many times to avoid frogs and butterflies and a small rodent of some sort.  In addition to mowing, I also took down a few smaller trees, and have started cleaning up the future garden site.  I didn't get to the flower beds, but without having a vehicle to transport the bigger items, and plants, I'll use the upcoming long Memorial Day weekend to get some of that stuff done.  Inside I put up some shelves in the closets, brought some more baskets out there and put them in strategic areas for storage (love baskets for that!), hung a few pictures and enjoyed the cold air inside the house (extension cord works great by the way).

Hey, any day on the big green machine (the John Deere) is a good day.
Hope you all had a great day and we still have one more day for the weekend!  Have plans tomorrow with 2nd Man's family (a graduation) and we're looking forward to that.  Not sure if we'll make it to the farm but like I said, long weekend next weekend, and I'm making my list already!

Friday, May 18, 2012


When a day is gloomy, and things don't seem to be going right, this is the kind of thing that makes me smile.

Was sitting on the couch and I looked over at this...two of our cats (out of three) curled up together, sleeping soundly.  The black one, who is only visible as a pillow, is Sydney, a black and white Tuxedo who is almost 17, and the one with the comfy place to rest his head is Brisbane, who is about to turn 12.  I stared at this for about 5 minutes and it made me happy inside.  Such contentment.

Thank you kitties, nature's blood pressure medicine!


Well, there is always something unexpected around the corner huh?

2nd Man had an accident this afternoon. Ugh.

The upside, he's OK, no injuries thank goodness, it wasn't his fault either and the other person has insurance, so that's all good.  The downside, the car is not driveable, so now we have to get a rental car and go through all that.  This will of course impact this weekend's farm plans as we were going to use his Jeep (much bigger than my car) for hauling some things out there and buying bedding plants and we will most likely end up with a smaller rental car.  He also may have to go into work tomorrow to make up for being out this afternoon.  Alas, posting and comment replies might be sporadic this weekend until I'm sitting in front of a computer, but I'll see what I can come up with.


by David Hobson

The best way to garden is to put on a wide brimmed straw hat and some old clothes and then, with a hoe in one hand and a cold drink in the other, tell somebody else where you want them to dig.

Compost is best aged a little like a fine wine; would you prefer to drink a nice 97 or something made last Thursday?

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it; if it comes up out of the ground easily, it's definitely a valuable plant.

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.

Spring does not arrive until the ice is out of the compost pile.
Winter does not arrive until the ice is IN the compost pile.

Any self respecting rock will break at least one shovel before accepting its new home.

A good compost pile should get hot enough to poach an egg, but not so hot that it would cook a lobster.

Gardening requires a lot of water, most of it in the form of perspiration.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Photo Courtesy of: Moose Country Gardens
One thing I've always loved, and you'll see it reflected in some of the pictures I've used for my "Inspiration Thursday", is a nice place to sit in a garden.

Sure we don't have our gardens up and pretty just yet, but when we do, I want something like this.  Just a simple bench, a place to sit, amongst the flowers and bushes.  Isn't it pretty?  And peaceful?  We all need a place to stop and smell the roses...and admire our hard work.

Today is my blog day off so I'll see you back here tomorrow morning, bright and early!  Hope you have a great day.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Closet Door Shelf Organizer
Not sure how many of you have used one of these but they are awesome.  Since our guest room has two closets and realistically, we only need to use one of those for guests and storing other things, we decided to make this one our cleaning closet.  This closet is closest to the kitchen and since we have a vacuum to deal with and the attachments for it that seem to fall all over the place, we decided to get this.  We will use it for keeping those and most all of the other cleaning supplies in one spot.  I found it at our local Home Depot.  It comes in two sizes and since this door is narrow, this is the smaller of the two sizes, the 24" wide version.  Still, for just 24", it packs seven shelves into that space.  This is the first time we've used one but we couldn't be happier with the purchase.

It was VERY easy to install; just 6 snap on plastic brackets (2 at the top, 2 in the middle and 2 at the bottom), a couple of screws in each one and it was done.  Took me about 10 minutes total time.  We don't have it full now of course, but as you can see, it will be the perfect 'central location' for our cleaning related things and in a small house like this, that's important.  We can still hang coats in there and I will be putting a shelf above the closet rod this weekend.  

Don't be afraid of these ready made, wire organizers.  They do have their place for storage in your house and best of all, they are very affordable.  In such a small house, you have to steal some storage space wherever you can get it.

Can't wait to get it organized!
Closet Door Shelves in use

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Came home today to fresh baked bread.  Don't you love that aroma?

2nd Man got home early and baked some bread that he had rising since this morning.  I know you'll want recipes and all that goes with that, but this was already a done deal.  Sadly, I didn't have the chance to photo each step, and besides, he just sort of wings it, experimenting with different ingredients and amounts .  For example on this, same bread dough, he was trying out different designs on top, go figure.  Side note, I like the one in the foreground.

Still I wanted to share what was baking in our oven today, what's baking in yours?  Bread?  Pies?  Casseroles?  Cakes?

Soon, when we're at the farm more regularly, or have some rainy weekends in town, he wants to regularly bake all sorts of stuff and I reminded him we'll need recipes and photographs to share every step of the way.

You live with a blogger, get used to it.

He just rolled his eyes.

Yummy Homemade Bread


Wall Mounted Candle Holder
Here is a lunchtime thrift store find, two wall mounted candle holders or sconces!  They are metal, sort of a tin type metal, and are in a shape that sort of reminds me of a pineapple, though I think it's probably just supposed to be leaves.  They hold one candle each with a small area to catch drips.  Of course, we have a huge supply of smokeless/dripless candles so that's not usually an issue but it's still a nice feature to keep any wax off the floors.  I almost wonder if there was some sort of glass hurricane shade of some sort on them at one point?  I'll keep my eyes out for something that might work for that.
I thought about painting them, but after hanging them on each side of the clock to measure them and see what they looked like, I decided I kind of liked the look and the character it brings to the living room.  So they will be left as they are.  Best part of all?  It was only $3.50 for the set of two!

Buying these and putting them up reminded me that we want to have other things in the house that could provide alternative means of light in the event of a storm or some other reason we are without electricity.  I have some oil lamps that I salvaged from my Grandparent's cellar years ago and I need to get them cleaned up and usable as well.  We already have the wall mounted oil lamps in the dining room that I blogged about HERE, so we just need some more "alternate light sources" in the other rooms.  What about you?  Do you keep oil lamps and other similar things around just in case you need them?

Monday, May 14, 2012


As luck would have it, or is that "unluck", I got my first mesquite thorn mower flat tire.  Yes, the mesquite thorns here are big enough to flatten a tire.  Even a CAR tire!  Several people recommended something called SLIME, a liquid, tire repair system.  The stuff was AWESOME!  Here is a picture of the tire with the offending thorn...

It comes in a bottle like this (and yep, it's fluorescent green!) for about $12.  The black cap on top is a valve stem removal tool.  You just unscrew the cap, flip it around and use it to do this...

...unscrew the valve stem core.  This pretty much immediately removes all the air from the tire and gives you an opening for this...

 ...the tube that it comes with is attached to one end of the bottle and the other to the valve stem.  Then you just tilt it up and squeeze.  It's a flowing liquid so it's pretty simple.  For this size tire, it's about 2/3 of a bottle, but I cheated and used 1/2 on this tire and 1/2 on the other front tire.  After you pour it in, replace the valve stem core, and air it back up to regular pressure.
Once it was aired back up, I pulled out the thorn and it started bubbling and fizzing where the hole was. That's the air pressure forcing the SLIME into the the hole.  After a minute or so, it stopped, and hardened. I went on to mow 2 acres without any loss in air pressure.  The best part is that this stays liquid inside the tire and if you run over another puncture causing item, it just reseals and you keep driving.  Everyone is telling me the best thing is to just put them in all four tires as a preventative measure.  Well I did it on the other front tire, and will most likely do it on the rear two tires soon.  For those curious, this does not affect 'changing' a tire at a future date.  The only downside is that it's messy, being a liquid, you have to wash a tire if you take it off the rim or you'll have fluorescent green all over everything.  Still, it's environmentally safe and not dangerous for future tire changes so that's important.  I'd highly recommend at least one can of this in your barn or shed if you have any sort of tire usage on your property.  It works on ATV tires, mower tires, tractor tires, even wheelbarrow and bike tires.  They have different varieties for the various tire types, so just check out your local auto parts store, or even the big box retailers.

Get some "Slime", you won't regret it!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Well, today is Mother's Day, so first and foremost,

Happy Mother's Day to all of you Mom's out there.

Hope it is a happy day and you get treated like the queens you are!

We miss ours terribly, but we know they are always here in spirit to watch over us (and help us make the right decisions on the farm, ha). 
Mary Mary Quite Contrary, Victory Garden poster Courtesy:  Chicago Art Institute Archives
For today, here is a cute poster.  I'm not sure about the rhythm of the 'poem', it loses a bit at the end, LOL, but it's still funny and definitely original.  It uses a classic Mother Goose.  This one is from WWII and once again, they urged everyone to plan their "Victory Gardens", which helped the war effort.  I know I am planning ours now!

For those new followers and new visitors to the blog, every Sunday, for about a year now, I've posted an image of a classic, vintage, gardening or canning poster that I've found online.  Usually from library collections or historical societies or just found randomly online, you can click on the 'history' tag below this if to view them all. 

As always, we hope you are having a great weekend!

Saturday, May 12, 2012


I recently found this graphic illustration over at National Geographic and it's pretty startling to see.

It shows us that in only 80 years, if you can fathom this statistic, we have lost 93% of the variety in our foods.

Let me repeat that, we have lost 93 PERCENT of our food varieties!  What does this mean?  Well, looking at this chart, let's take cabbage for example.  In 1903 (the chart uses stats from 1903 to 1983) cabbage had 544 varieties...just 80 years later, it had only 28.  Tomatoes had 408 varieties that dwindled to 79.

This lack of biodiversity is why HEIRLOOM SEEDS are so important to us all.
Save the heirloom varieties by planting them and saving the seeds for future use.  There are many companies that sell them.  Not only are they delicious, they are unusual, unique and actually quite beautiful.

Heirloom Tomatoes
Heirloom Eggplants

Friday, May 11, 2012


Today, I found out I was the winner of a contest celebrating the 100th post over at one of my favorite blogs, Prairie Cat over at Back to Basics.
She has a great blog by the way, check it out!

The strange thing?  Somehow I missed entering her contest, probably the two days I was without computer access and fell behind on my blog reading.
So how did I win if I didn't enter?

Well, therein lies the other cool part.  Three awesome and faithful readers of our blog told Prairie Cat that if their name should be drawn, they wanted me to have their prize.

I'm at a loss of words for the kindness they showed.  I want to, in a small way, give back to them.  So, I'm asking that you all visit their wonderful blogs, and if you don't already follow them, please do, let's share the blog love.

So thank you to Prairie Cat, Granny, Cloud and rock!


More details later tonight when I get home and have full computer access, but I wanted to let you know that I won a cool prize via another blog, and some awesomely generous blogger friends.


OK, my canning experience so far has been limited to a few times, and they were successful.  But I intend to start canning in earnest later this Spring/Summer and I only hope when I'm doing it on my own without class instructors and friends around me, it's not like this!  

Very cute though, love the book she has on her counter, "Home Canning in 327 Easy Steps"!  Too funny.  Hope you have a laugh and hope your canning experience is much more relaxing than hers apparently is.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Photo from (via VonnieThe HappyHippy!)
Sometimes, we get unexpected inspiration from other places.  This photo was sent to me by Vonnie over at "The Happy Hippy", one of our very sweet readers.
Please be sure to check out her blog: CLICK HERE TO VISIT HER BLOG.

She found it while she was surfing the web for ideas and inspiration and was kind enough to think of me!  (THANK YOU!)

I love this image, everything about it just screams to me to do something similar.  From what I have learned, it's the Connecticut garden of Pamela Page.  It looks like is LOTS of work, but hey, nothing beautiful is ever accomplished without a little sweat equity, right?  Ironically, when I was looking at the area that I am slowly, but surely, clearing out for our future garden, I decided something simple and rectangular would be the easiest to work with...fence off a big squarish space and then start filling it in, a little at a time.

And here it is, almost pulled from my imagination.

Be back here tomorrow!  Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Arbequina Olives close up
What is this, you might ask?  It's a closeup of some olives.  Yes, olives, growing on a tree, in a clay pot, in the back yard!  This is one of several trees I still need to transplant to the farm, just not sure where I want to put it yet.  If it survives in the ground, it is a tree that will last literally for decades and I want to find just the right spot for it out there. 
Arbequina olive in a clay pot
Above is a picture of it in the clay pot where it is now.  It's a large pot, about 18" across, and when I bought the tree it was probably a foot tall, if that.  It's 5 years old now and about 4 1/2 feet tall.  It needs to get in the ground so it can grow to its full potential! 
Closeup of tiny Arbequina olives
Here is a closeup of how they grow, almost like clusters of grapes, and as you can see, in all stages of growth, from tiny to large.  I would assume they produce at various times later in the year.

This is the Spanish, "Arbequina" variety, and is supposed to do well in our Southern climate, which is similar to the climate in the region of Spain that they come from.  In fact, there are a few places here in Texas that produce olive oil and this is one of the trees they use most often.

Without a doubt, having fresh olives at the farm in a few years would be an amazing thing.  In fact, if it does well in the ground, and since it's done well in a clay pot I don't see why it wouldn't continue to thrive in soil where its roots can spread out, several olive trees scattered around the property might be pretty nice.  Not enough for olive oil of course (it takes dozens of trees for that) but wow, I could dream about that all day long!  Having enough to be able to use them in cooking would be great.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Here is the shower curtain we got for the bathroom.  It just came in the mail the other day (bought it online).  We liked the colors, because the yellow is a recurring theme in the house, and the gray is a nice accent color we hadn't thought of.  We will be able to pull from it when decorating the bathroom.  I'm seeing yellow and gray towels, rugs and accessories.  The white is a slightly "off white" when you see it in person, and that fits in as well.  Heck, the pattern is even reminiscent of the pattern on the master bedroom comforter so that's a nice bonus.  This is one of the rooms that we weren't sure what direction to go as far as decorating so hopefully this will let us move forward.  Of course, we still need a water heater, but that's another post...


Sears Kenmore 15,100 BTU Window Unit
Yay, we have cold air, but, alas, with an asterisk.

We bought two of them Friday night after work.  Since they were on sale at a great price, and were the largest BTU's you can get for 110V electrical, the timing was just perfect.  We got them loaded into the Jeep, took them out there, and carried the heavy monsters into the house.  The instructions, as I feared, left a little to be desired, but after about 2 1/2 hours, we had the first one in and turned on.  Wonderful cold air blowing into the room and it started cooling down the house, at least the front part of the house.

So we decided to go ahead and unpack and install the second one too.  Actually, 2nd Man voted for waiting until next weekend, but I said let's just do it, while we don't want to do it and get it over with.  You know, like when you just rip off a band aid.  So we did.  Second one only took about 30 minutes start to finish!  No, we are not available for hire, haha.  We turned it on as well, and there was even more cold air blowing.  It started cooling the back half of the house, and was awesome.  First time in years the house had been that cool,
well, on a 90+ degree day of course.
So we were enjoying it...until....
With both of them turned on and running at the same time, they tripped the circuit breakers and everything went dark and quiet (not mention, warm).  I did some checking and it looks like the two outlets, even though they are in different rooms, are on the same circuit.  Unfortunately, we can't move them to different windows and the cord is only long enough to reach those outlets.

However, we can at least run one of them at a time with no problem, so it's not like it will be hot in the house.  Just need to call the electrician back out to do some more work (ugh, more $$).  Until then, we'll just cool the part we're in at the time.  There are a lot of home renovation projects I'll at least attempt to tackle, but electricity is something I don't want to mess with.  Sure I can put up a light fixture, change out a switch, or do something simple like that, but when it comes to circuits and rewiring, I'll leave that to the experts.  If I mess up the plumbing, I get wet.  If I don't lay the tile just right, it will just bug me every time I look at it.  If I paint something wrong, I can just paint over it.  But if I don't do the electricity just right, it could have serious, life altering consequences, LOL.

Anyway, we have them in, we know they work and we know they will completely cool down the house so this is but a mere hiccup in the road.  At least the next time I mow, I will have cold air when I come inside.