Tuesday, December 31, 2013


OK, after yesterday's creepy snake posting, let's get back to something fun, like food!  LOL!  It's that time of year again, bargain turkeys!
We got some more great turkeys on sale since it was after the holidays and they were fresh, about 14 lbs a piece, and best of all, only $5.00 each!
So we bought three.

First we get out our handy dandy trusty beer can turkey roaster.
Yes, there IS such a thing, but apparently not for long, as they've been discontinued by the manufacturer. 

We don't use any beer or other liquid for them though.  For these turkeys, we just rub them down with olive oil and then some of our house blend (or is that farm blend?) of seasonings all over that.  We then put it and the giblets and neck on a foil lined baking sheet.

We remove all but one rack from the oven and then roast them on that bottom rack, standing up just like this, for about 50 minutes to one hour, or until done.  They come out beautifully golden and browned all over and best of all, they are so very moist.

After it's cooled, we pull off the meat off the bones.  We also discard the skin, though some of which might actually have been eaten during the process.  I'll never tell.  
This is the meat from one turkey.

We vacuum seal them in portions of 1 1/2 pounds each as we've found that's a nice amount for all sorts of turkey dishes.  We save the roasted neck and giblets for gravy at some future point as well.

Now of course, we just had to go ahead and use one of the packages.  2nd Man whipped up a pie crust, filled it with turkey, veggies, herbs and some "cream of" soup and then voila...
Homemade turkey pot pie
...turkey pot pie.  Yum.
This lasted several, a few, a couple, a little over a day.

Monday, December 30, 2013



OK, here is the latest drama at the farm that I thought I'd share on this lovely Monday morning.  So this weekend we're at the farm, and since we hadn't been out for a bit, I thought I should check the area around the water heater just to make sure it's alright and nothing is leaking.  I pulled back the curtain on the water heater closet and had my flashlight looking around at pipes and then I glanced down and saw this...

Snake skin!
My apologies for the blurry photo, I didn't want to think about hanging around too long to take the picture, because I'm assuming the snake that this skin belonged to could still be inside somewhere.  We were all over the house doing cleaning, looking in drawers and moving stuff in cabinets and closets and didn't see anything.

Now the bathroom doors stay closed shut when we're not there so if it is still there, it's probably back underneath the tub. 2nd Man said NO WAY he is going to use that bathroom at night until we take care of this.  In fact, he's not even comfortable spending the night out there at this point.  No one wants to get up in the dark of night and worry about stepping on a snake!

Of course, he wants ME to get under the house and look for any openings and seal them up.  OK, say I find an opening or two and close them up, do we end up trapping said snake inside the house? 

So my question, does anyone know of something that deters snakes?  Something they don't like that we can put in that area or toss into that water heater closet?  Heck, maybe they make a good snake repellent?


The mice I can handle.  The thought of a snake slithering around the house at night?  Um, not only no but HELL NO...LOL!

Sunday, December 29, 2013


2nd Man surprised me for Christmas with a new camera.  It's a Nikon with interchangeable lenses and something like 28 megapixels.  So I spent part of the day at the farm yesterday, roaming around taking random pictures and experimenting with different effects and lenses.

Mistletoe in a tree
I found this mistletoe up high in a tree.
I was able to get some good details.

Red Fall leaves
These red Fall leaves were on a tree on the other side of the property, I just zoomed in on it.

Mesquite leaves closeup
I LOVE this photo of the Mesquite leaves.  This was probably 100 feet away.
It will be neat to focus on the subject and have the background in blur.

Blue the dog
As usual, 2nd Family's dog, "Blue" came to visit.  Of course, he killed a rat under this brush pile shortly after this photo was taken, but I'll spare you those pictures, all 'circle of life' and all.  I should add, as scary as he looks, he's a sweetheart and just wants to be loved and fetch sticks.

2nd Man said that he thought a good blogger needs a good camera, aww, he was very thoughtful.  My old camera was just that, old, so it was definitely time.  I feel like I'm a member of the paparazzi, only I guess my 'celebrities' will pretty much be the neighbor cows, ha.

Now mind you, I still have pictures of the farm that I've already taken that I'll use in upcoming posts.  They were taken by the old camera, so for the next few weeks, there will be a mixture of old and new, but it will be exciting to learn how to really use this new gizmo.


Don't Shiver Order Coal Now, vintage poster, image courtesy of US War Archive
OK, I'm guessing this poster was put out in Summer or early Fall.
Still, a very cute method of reminding people to get their coal early instead of waiting until the middle of Winter.

Makes me wonder, do they still use coal today in any home heating systems?  Or is it just fuel oil and/or wood?

Stay warm if you are somewhere cold!

Another post later today!

Friday, December 27, 2013


Let it frost, let it frost, let it frost....
Frost on the driveway at the farm
OK OK, so it's not exactly snow, but there was some white color on the ground at the farm this Christmas.  Since we stayed in town for Christmas this year, 2nd Family took these pictures at the farm to share with us.

It was a light freeze but there was moisture on the ground and so it created some beautiful frost.  I'm guessing this means that everything is certainly dormant and/or dead for the season.

Closeup of frost on the ground
I guess it's time to start dreaming of Spring, right?

Feline Friday will return next week, just need some time before going through photos of the kitties.  This weekend we'll be heading to the farm to do some cleaning while the weather is cooperating.

Stay warm wherever you are!

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Christmas tree on front porch, image via PINTEREST
With the weather, the illnesses and the loss in our family this year, we didn't decorate much for Christmas.  So now I'm starting to think about next year and things we can do.

I'll be honest, I never thought about putting a tree outside on the front porch.  Lights, garland, other decor of course, but I love the idea of putting a whole tree out there.  I'm thinking about the after Christmas sales, I might look for a tree that would work next year on the porch.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and spent time with family.  And of course, hope Santa brought you everything you wanted.

Be inspired!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013



'Tis the season to remember those we love and celebrate this wonderful gift we call life.  Also time to eat great food and laugh and just be happy.

Did Santa bring you everything you wanted?  We sure hope so.

From our home to yours, from our state to your state , from our country to your country, 2nd Man and I are wishing you the most love and most happiness,

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Christmas Eve is here!

Wishing you all the best.  We'll be having a quiet Christmas Eve, and our tradition is to open presents Christmas Eve, but we usually save one for Christmas morning as well.

I love this old postcard image, but of course, we would never have this kind of snow in our part of the country.  However, it IS cold here, a light freeze actually, so that's good.  Christmas needs to be cold, right?

Stay warm wherever you are!

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Plant More Sugar Beets, vintage poster image courtesy of NYPublic Library
This poster image is unusual because they focused on a specific vegetable.  In this case, it's "Sugar Beets" because of course, sugar is energy.
(though, this guy looks like he might have had enough, ha).

I'll be honest and say I didn't know what a sugar beet was.  I thought it was just a regular beet, but I see after some research that it's completely different.  They were raised for use as a source of sugar.  Fascinating!

Hope you are having a good weekend!

edit: I had already set this to post automatically today, as well as some others this holiday week, but came online to just let you all know that we appreciate your comments on the loss of our precious kitty Sydney.
Thank you each and every one.  It means the world to us.

Friday, December 20, 2013


Not the post I wanted to do on this "Feline Friday"...but we lost our senior kitty this morning.  We had to make the tough decision no pet owner ever wants to have to make, but it was the right thing to do.

I'm not sure how much loss we're supposed to endure this Christmas, we feel like we get up only to get pushed back down, but it is what it is I suppose. 

There will be a longer post with some photos of our precious kitty throughout the years whenever I can bring myself to sort through them and create a nice posting.  I was there when he came into the world and we were both there at the end.  He never once set foot outside, so he was by our side every day for 18 years.  To say we were attached would be an understatement.

He lived a wonderfully long life so we must have done something right huh?

We're just emotionally wrecked for now, so taking another break for a bit.  We just have to reorient things before the holidays, and get our wind back.

Thanks for understanding...

Thursday, December 19, 2013


 Tulips cutting garden, image courtesy of www.propergardens.com
I like the idea of devoting some raised beds to bulbs.  I have scattered some around the property, but It would be nice to have some directly sown into one spot so that they come back and give some special flowers for decorating with.

Not sure I would do all tulips though, it would be nice to have some variety.  Of course I would guess that for most of the year they would just be beds of dirt?  Not sure how exciting that would be, ha.  But this sure looks good!

We're almost to the weekend, hope you are having a good week.

Be inspired! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Here is a quickie breakfast that we just love.  I'm not sure what it's even called, but we call it tomato poached eggs on toast.

First we have some toasted bread.  Of course homemade is always best.  And yes, the recipe is coming soon.  I finally got him to record it to paper when he made this loaf.  I'll post it soon.

Then we make a tomato sauce using a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, some tomato sauce, herbs, scallions and garlic.  Really it's just whatever type of tomato based sauce you like.  Once the sauce is heated, thick and bubbling, crack some eggs into it (don't stir!) cover the pan, and let them poach in the sauce.

Once they are poached to your preference (we like ours pretty firm), just put an egg on the toast and spoon some of the sauce over both.
Eggs poached in tomato sauce over toast
Lastly, we sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top, top it with a little dried parsley (or oregano) and it is good to go.

And boy is it delicious!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Based on your suggestions when I asked about heating options for the farm, we made some purchases.  First, we decided on these oil filled radiator heaters.  We bought two for now.  I did my research and found that these by DeLonghi were the best reviewed.  

DeLonghi radiator heaters
The unique thing about this particular model are these unusual vertical thermal tunnels which allow more heat out into the room.
DeLonghi radiator heater with vertical thermal vents
And wow, did they work great!

We only took one out this weekend (in case I needed to send them back).  It was cold and damp on arrival.  The temperature in the house was 56 degrees.  Outside temp had been in the low 30's overnight and was about 44 degrees when we got there.  So the house does stay warmish even without heat.

Anyway, I put it in the bedroom (where we'd want to make sure it was warm when we stay overnight) turned it on and closed the curtain door I blogged about here.  In one hour it had warmed to 65 degrees.  When we got ready to leave, it had warmed to 70 degrees!  Holy cow!

Then we got one of these:

Beautyrest heated mattress pad
I debated between an electric blanket or the heated mattress pad but after some research, I found that the mattress pad was a much more efficient way of keeping you warm.  This is because heat radiates upward and around your body, whereas the electric blanket loses more than 50% of its heat because it's on top of you and that heat radiates up and away from where you want it, on your body.  Now we haven't slept on it yet but will soon and I'm sure a warm nights sleep will be wonderfully relaxing.

I'm going to look at the bubble wrap on the windows next.

Baby steps, right?

Monday, December 16, 2013


It was a gloomy Saturday at the farm.  Having been sick for the better part of the last three weeks, and of course dealing with my Grandfather's passing, we have not been to the farm in three weekends now.

Cold Winter day
The weather was damp and gray and cold...

Garlic and shallots in the raised bed
But the garlic and shallots are growing...

Yellow kitchen hutch
I found these cute metal signs last week and looked for a place to hang them.
I finally decided to put them on the hutch in the kitchen...

Three dead mice
Unfortunately, there were three 'dispatched' mice in traps.  We have ten traps down, a couple in each room, and there were three 'sprung' traps this time.  They are instant kill traps and you don't see them, they are contained inside a container that you dispose of.  I hate the mouse problem we have but it is what it is I suppose.  All drawers, beds, couches, and closets were clear so at least there's that.  They are only making it to the traps so they are doing the job.

Gloomy Winter day
We did a few more things I'll share in upcoming posts.  When we left, it was colder and getting windier, but you know what?  It was still so refreshing and rejuvenating out there, I wouldn't trade it for anything.  Even a cold gloomy day out there is relaxing than being in town.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Vintage Grow More Food poster, image courtesy of Imperial War Museum
Love this poster image.
It dates from WWII and the Dig for Victory campaign in the UK.  Here in the states it was called the Victory Garden.  Of course it urged people to grow their own food for themselves and that in turn helped with the war effort.

I'll have a weekend update later.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


One of the blog families we follow is grieving the loss of their littlest man.  The family has shared every intimate moment of Finn's short but valiant fight for life, and we are moved to tears by his loss.

Please join us in sending love and prayers their direction.

Rest in peace little Finn...

Friday, December 13, 2013


Cat "hide and seek" epic fail
Hobart was racing through the house one day and jumped up on this bench that had a quilt on it.  He dove underneath and then sat there for about five minutes, like no one knew he was there.  His tail twitched and swished back and forth but he hunkered down like he was hidden from the world.

Silly kitty!

Thursday, December 12, 2013


 The Gravel Garden, photo Courtesy of Lisa Roper, Chanticleer
This is a photo from the Chanticleer Gardens in Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. It's so pretty.  I would like to think that someday, I could manage something similar, but I just love the path of stones.  Granted, I don't think I could pull this off with these ginormous stones, but I do like the way the path just sort of meanders through the property and has some random flowers planted throughout.  I have always liked that look.

Of course, it's also cold and things are either not blooming, dead or are virtually dormant, so I like seeing some color now, even if it's not my own, ha. 

Hope you are having a great day.

Be inspired!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


This is 2nd Family's horse, Artax, meeting the 'new neighbor'.  I watched this for about thirty minutes the last time I was out there.  This calf is on one side of the fence, the neighbor's, and then Artax is in 2nd Family's back pasture.

The calf discovered the horse, and they followed each other up and down the fence line.  They would be nose to nose, then they would nudge each other.  It was so adorable.
A horse and a cow, best friends
Wherever Artax grazed, the cow followed along.  I tried to snap some more pictures, but then I was busted!  "Hey, what are you taking pictures of?"

Thank you all for the so very kind words about the passing of my Grandfather.  It's comforting to hear such nice thoughts from all of you.

I'm also back to normal.  Cold is almost over, well, my physical cold, the actual outside cold weather is still here and boy is it cold, brrrr.  I'm back amongst the blogging world, so I wanted to start back with something sweet that I took pictures of the last sunny day at the farm.

Contest drawing will finally happen in the next couple of days!

Saturday, December 7, 2013


 Grandpa B 1917-2013
I lost my Grandfather yesterday.

Got the call at about 3:30am (boy, nothing good ever comes from the phone ringing that early in the morning does it?).

He had recently been diagnosed with pneumonia and was having difficulty swallowing. He was taken to the hospital in Oklahoma City and while he rallied for a couple of days, in the end, he slowly faded from us and died peacefully in his sleep.  I was not able to be there because of the Winter ice storm that is gripping Texas/Oklahoma, but I was able to speak to him briefly and we were able to say our goodbyes.  He told me I was the best Grandson he could have ever hoped for.  And he told me he loved 2nd Man.

Forward thinking for a 96 year old.

He was my garden guru growing up and one of these days, I'm going to try to find some of the photos of his amazing gardens and my adventures growing up each summer with them and share.  One thing for sure, I know that next Spring, I'll have an extra garden helper with me.

He was the last...I've now lost both parents and both sets of Grandparents.  I'm an only child, no siblings and thus no nieces or nephews, so it's an odd feeling in a way, sort of a lonely feeling, but hey, life goes onward and upward, right?

We love you Grandpa!

Friday, December 6, 2013


$#%@ CATS!
Oh to be a cat (in this house especially, LOL) and stay in bed all day long on a cold, wet, dreary day.  Sigh.

This is Sydney and Brisbane, curled up one morning as we left for work.  When one has pets, cats or dogs, I guess making the bed becomes an exercise in futility at some point?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


  Taking a couple of days off to get better.  Had to go back to work this week and while I was starting to feel a bit better, being at work these last few days has taken its toll.  It's just a cold but the nagging cough is driving me crazy.  Yes, the socks/vick's thing works great, but alas, only at night while I'm sleeping, can't do it at work, ha.  Any other home remedies are always welcome.  I'll catch up to your comments and reply soon, and we'll have the drawing for the book giveaway!  Don't give up on us!

Monday, December 2, 2013


On Thanksgiving, we went to 2nd Man's extended family for dinner.  When we got to their beautiful home, the hostess, "A", had this fun idea.  She put up this sign in a frame on a table.  It says "Welcome! Tell us what you are thankful for on a leaf and hang it on our tree."

She had these leaves cut out and put in a can with some pens.  The leaves were different colors and there were also some pre-cut pieces of twine.  Then when people were done writing on their leaves, they hung them on the tree, as seen below.  

Tree of Thanks
Then after we ate dinner and dessert, she read all the leaves on the tree.  Lots of laughs (kids being thankful for Wii's and tablets) and lots of warm thoughts of family and love.  Definitely something memorable and we're thinking of doing something similar, but on a permanent basis, at the farm.