Sunday, August 31, 2014


Green Vegetables Keep You Fit, vintage poster image, courtesy of UK Historical Archives
This one isn't connected to the war as so many of the poster images are, but this one is vintage none the less.  It comes from London, circa 1940's/1950's.  I'm not sure if they were directing this to children or to adults but the message would be the same to both.

"Green Vegetables Keep You Fit".  Of course, cute little elephant is holding a cabbage with it's trunk to remind everyone of that.

Hope you are having a good weekend!  We finally got some rain in town almost an inch.  Last night the weather forecast said sunny and clear.  Woke up to pouring rain.  Looks like the farm had rain too but haven't heard from 2nd Family yet to get the total.  Hopefully it's at least measurable, ha.  

Saturday, August 30, 2014


For those new to the blog, 2nd Family is the daughter, son in law and granddaughter of "Ma" that we bought the house from.  I've known them for more than 25 years and so we both consider them like having our own "2nd Family".  They live on a piece of property that is at the front end of ours.  We actually share the first part of the driveway from the road.  

Anyway, we stayed in town today because of the weather (rained but not at the farm, go figure) and just a few minutes ago, I received this picture in my email:

They found these cute guys in their yard!

At first, they had no idea where they came from...until they called the guy who owns the property next to both of us.  He had them at his pond but left them alone overnight and not fenced in, so they wandered off.  They spent the better part of a day wandering through heavy brush across several acres.  

2nd Family agreed to take care of them in their duck area (they have two grown ducks already).  They made a separate space in the duck pen and went to get additional supplies...they are awesome people like that.  Their pen is safe from predators and they can't escape, not to mention they'll be showered with love and attention.  They came to the right place, ha.  Next time we go out, I'll have to make sure to get some new pictures.

Never a dull moment!

Friday, August 29, 2014


This is the farm earlier today, looks like we may have had some rain, hopefully.  Haven't heard back from 2nd Family yet to get a total.

This was the sky, so it definitely looked ominous enough.  We need the rain, things green up quickly at the farm with an inch or two.

THIS however, is what's meandering around in the Gulf of Mexico.  That red pin there is the house in town and the farm is off to the West.  All of this is moving onshore and swirling through South Texas, all night tonight and throughout the day Saturday.  It's not a tropical storm, but they are calling it a "disturbance" or "area of disturbed weather".  Ya think?  Weather forecasters...masters of understatement, ha.  We're guessing there will be no farm stay this weekend as it will be just too wet and nasty to drive out there.  But it's a three day weekend and as long as it doesn't rain ALL weekend  you never know.  

More updates as anything interesting happens.

Hope YOU have a great weekend doing what makes you happy!


Cow humor

I crack myself up!  Sorry, just couldn't resist!

More later this evening!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

We love this outdoor fire pit area.  I'll be honest, when I first saw this picture, I thought of "The Flintstones", LOL!  Doesn't it just look like something brought to life from the cartoon?  OK, maybe instead of that, an ancient stone monument used for some really cool ritual?  OK,'s a stone seating area with a fire pit in front of it.  Still neat huh?  We like the way it's just sort of out in the middle of this beautiful area (of course, no way to know what's on this side of the camera, ha).  It certainly looks like it would hold up for a lifetime.  Heck, it doesn't even need the fire pit, the idea of seats like this would be neat in spots all around the area.

Hope you are having a great week!  We have a small tropical disturbance floating around in the Gulf of Mexico (just offshore) and so there could be a lot of rain.  We hope so, everything is very dry and we could use it.

Be inspired!  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I was at the farm recently, planting flowers in some freshly 'augured' holes and I was wearing my normal garden hat.  It's just a regular, wide brimmed straw version that I got in Mexico a few years back and it does a great job of keeping the sun off my face and neck.  So here I am, kneeling down, putting a flower in the ground and as I was patting the dirt down around it, I noticed my shadow.  Thinking it would make for a fun picture, I pulled out my iPhone and snapped a quick photo.

I turned around to get the watering can and when I turned back, my shadow looked like this:

This caught me off guard because it totally looks like my Grandmother (on my Mom's side) as I remember her from my childhood!  She wore this big floppy hat when she was outside working on her garden.  She was also smaller in stature than I am now and had these rounded, slightly slumped shoulders.  Other than some familial facial features, we did not have any other physical resemblance, yet there she was, staring back at me!

Of course, I know it was just the angle, the way my head was turned making the hat look different...and while it was an eerie feeling to say the least, it was also comforting in a way.  You see, my Grandmother LOVED her gardening and while she enjoyed vegetable gardening (and made it look so easy, ha), she loved her flowers even more.  Perhaps she is happy that we are finally adding some of them to the farm...

* not our flowers...yet
Keep visiting Grandma, flowers are coming...eventually!

Monday, August 25, 2014


Every Monday, Daphne's Dandelions hosts "Harvest Monday" where bloggers can post their harvests.  Click her link above to see what others are harvesting and see below for what we harvested recently:

These are the last of what we harvested before I pulled up the garden plants for peak Summer heat.  I thought I had posted this but I realize I didn't.  Since it still counts toward our year to date totals, I'll post it now*

(*and I decided to do it with a different kind of photo, ha)

Jalapeños are now done, they did really well considering we just had one plant.  Next Spring, a couple of plants at least.  There were ten six (garden snacking, don't judge, ha) cherry tomatoes and they were so good.  Still, they didn't do as well as we had hoped.  Might be too late of a start and the heat got them before they really started.  Same for the tomatoes, these are Homestead 24's, they did the best in our heat.  Will try them again next year.

Also harvested some herbs, but no picture of them, standard basil, chives, oregano and thyme.

Vegetable harvest:  2 lb 10 oz
Herb harvest:       15 oz

Total harvest YTD:  15 lb 12 oz

Happy Harvesting!

P.S. For those who missed it, look at yesterday's post for a weekend update.  Hope you had a nice weekend!

Sunday, August 24, 2014


This is the front yard, which hasn't been mowed now in almost two weeks.  It looks the same.  Good for me in this heat, bad for the aesthetics of the yard.

This is the area behind the garden, it was lush and green a few weeks ago, now it's brown and dry!

The mowing necessary!

Less green in the yard and more 'gold'!

2nd Family calls this the "dry and crunchy season".  And sure enough, as you walk around the yard, it does sort of crunch underneath your feet.  It's an odd sensation to say the least.

This was the outside temp yesterday when we left the farm.  Now granted, this is a bit higher because the car was sitting in the hot sun but I'm sure that while I was working outside in the yard, my temperature gauge was over 100 as well!

In this part of the country, the month of August is sort of no man's land...people just stop working outside if they can, and the plants even sort of seem to give up.  It's definitely the "dog days of Summer"

Hope it's cooler wherever you are!


Make conservation a habit, vintage poster image courtesy of US National Library
Fascinating take on getting people to conserve.  This poster image dates from WWII and the conservation effort.  Just like soldiers had to have the habit of digging a foxhole for their own protection, the government wanted to remind people back home to make conservation a habit...for their own protection as well.  It would be nice to see an organized and well backed national effort at getting people to conserve.

Hope you are having a good weekend, it's been HOT here, yesterday 100+ and today is no exception.  More of an update later today!

Friday, August 22, 2014


When we were at the farm recently, we were sitting on the porch and I noticed something moving in the driveway.  The way it was moving, and with my glasses kind of dusty from mowing, I thought it might be a snake.  So I moved closer... was a turtle, the first one we've seen at the farm.   When I got close to it, he (she?) stopped moving and pulled in all the extremities.
Texas Box Turtle
I did some googling and it appears to be a "Texas Box Turtle".  It had very pretty markings and looked very healthy and large.  I moved away and let him/her be on its way.  It was definitely a turtle on a mission.   There is a pond site on the property, about 2 acres away, so we're guessing it was on its way to there.  Still, we will definitely be on the lookout in the future.  

I love when we find new wildlife on the property.

Speaking of, off to the farm today, there most likely won't be much to do, it's hot again (perhaps our hottest day so far) and so I'll just water and keep an eye out for our new turtle friend!


Brisbane, sleeping and/or possibly ignoring us
Brisbane...sleeping happily, dreaming kitty dreams.  When we call his name, his ears move around but he usually never budges.  We think we are most likely being ignored, LOL...until "hungry time" comes around and then it's time for love and happy dances.

Still, is it possible to resist a sleeping kitty?
So sweet and innocent looking.

More this afternoon!

Thursday, August 21, 2014


I found this picture online once and while it's not something we can do just now, it's definitely something that would be really nice.  It's a cutting garden, laid out in rows like a vegetable garden might be done.  Very neat way to do it.  You can have rows of veggies, why not rows of flowers?

We have plenty of space to do this of course, but the watering, until we are out there regularly, wouldn't be easy for something like this.  Until then, we can keep it here on the blog to remind us what we want to do.

Be inspired!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Recently, we had a quick but satisfying snack using the last tomatoes from the garden.  We sliced up a tomato (one for each of us) and put it on a plate with some oyster crackers we had on hand.  Of course we had to sprinkle it with some kosher salt, and ate a slice or two just to 'test it out' of course.

Then we added some cracked black pepper, drizzled some olive oil over the top and sprinkled it all with some fresh shredded mozzarella.  

Tomato and cracker snack
It was delicious and hit the spot!

That got us to wondering...what is your favorite simple snack?  Something you just throw together in a few minutes and enjoy it like it was the best meal you've ever had?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Everywhere a wasp wasp...went to the farm and was in the shed where we keep the mower.  I looked up and saw wasp nests...

A small nest was just starting here...

Then there was another nest behind this piece of wood leaning up against the wall...

Another nest on one of the posts of the shed...

And finally, a nest behind a sheet of glass that was leaning against the wall!
Raid Wasp & Hornet spray
What the heck?

I didn't even see any a couple of weeks ago, now all of a sudden it was like wasp central!  Well, after a few squirts of "Raid", they no longer exist.  Some of you suggested that we leave the nests up in order to deter other wasps from building in the same spot so we did that too.  Hopefully they'll stay away.  I also roamed around the perimeter of the house and found a few more nests in the eaves up near the roof and so I took care of those as well.

Wasps are on the list of allowable kills.  We hate them and rank them up there (or is that 'down' there?) with fire ants, scorpions and poisonous spiders.

Any suggestions on how to deal with them in any other way or is this best?  Anything that will prevent them from building in the first place?

Monday, August 18, 2014


Pop up basil
As I walked into the garden area at the gate, I glanced down and saw this basil that just popped up randomly along the fence line.  The basil is in a raised bed about 4 feet from here.  I guess a seed made it's way over to the fence and the conditions were just perfect.  We love when nature finds a way, ha.

Lonely eggplant
Got one eggplant (not enough to have a "Harvest Monday" post, ha) but there are about seven more on the plant, all in various stages of development, so it's bounced back nicely.  I think eggplants are definitely something to put on the list for next season.

I thought I got some pictures of the jalapeño's but I guess I didn't, so please feel free to use your imagination.  They are doing great, though this may be the last harvest week or so for them.  They have definitely done well for us and obviously like the hot weather conditions.

Squash in raised bed
The surprise of the day was this squash plant.  I gave up on the squash a few weeks ago because the raised bed they were in was getting too much water.  I needed to redirect the water to the other beds to help them so I disconnected it and pretty much just stopped taking care of this one plant.  Now of course, it's growing, getting big and there are three blossoms on it!  Maybe the secret is ignoring it completely?

Sweet potatoes in a container
And lastly, I realized we haven't given an update lately on the sweet potato experiment.  Here it is!  In one container, they are getting huge and growing vines like crazy.  The other container is slower growing.  Not sure why, the fickle nature of plants I suppose.  Anyway, this is a first time for sweet potatoes so I'm not sure how long we have to let them go before they are ready.  I'll do some research on that but I can only hope that when we dump this out, it is full of those wonderful orange jewels...we absolutely LOVE sweet potatoes!

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Got the mowing done...

It always looks so clean and tidy, even though the growing has slowed down.

But as with most things at the farm this time of year, the yard is less green.  The trees look great of course, they are the natives to the property.  They are used to these conditions, ha. 

Even the driveway, that is usually lush and green, is starting the gradual fade to beige that happens by the end of August.

Still, it was just SO hot.  I should have taken this with the time on was at 10:40am!  I think it got up to a little over 100.  No rain and so I had to water all the trees by hand.  I use two, 2.5 gallon watering containers and fill them, watering each fruit tree with 5 gallons.  That, so far, has been keeping them doing well in this hot Summer.

Hope your weekend is going well!


Interesting poster image today.  This is from just after WWI and it's fascinating how they took the 'bad guy of the war' and connected him with home canning.  "Can Vegetables, Fruit AND the Kaiser too".  The images are interesting, canned tomatoes and peas and then the Kaiser who is 'unsweetened', ha.  

It makes one wonder how this might go over today if directed at a 'common threat'.  "Can Veggies, fruit and Al Qaeda too"?

Hope your weekend is going well!

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Forgive me, just being artsy today.  Took this picture a couple of months ago and recently doctored it up in a photo editing program.  I actually have one of these blown up into a larger size in a picture frame in town.  

I'm off to the farm to mow.  2nd Man has to stay in town and work on some stuff he's been putting off the last few weekends.  It's actually been three weeks since I've been on the zen machine (I MISS it!) and while it might not "need" to be mowed, it will still need to be cleaned up and made to look better.  Last weekend there were scattered weeds popping up and so just mowing it down will keep it all looking neat for a while longer.

Hoping for cooler weather but alas, hoping won't help's supposed to be near 100 degrees today.  I will just stay hydrated and take lots of breaks!

More updates later!

Friday, August 15, 2014


Cat toys and a tired cat
One thing we've learned over the years, if it's not nailed down, it's a cat toy.  So we got a basket and just dump their toys and their "toys" in there so it's all in one spot...temporarily of course.  So Hobart loves it when we get it out and he digs around in it, plays and then sleeps next to it.  

We're guessing he's having happy dreams...

More later today!

Thursday, August 14, 2014


White table and chairs, image courtesy of
Regular readers know that we have an affinity for outdoor dining spaces.  With just over 10 acres, we have many potential outdoor dining areas, but that's not on our immediate planning list of things to do.  Still, it doesn't hurt to dream and keep a record of things we see and like.  This is no different.  Just a small white table in a little patch of clearing, some pretty tulips springing up, the nice greenery around it all...just a comfy, nice little set up.  Who wouldn't want a breakfast or lunch here?

I'm actually clearing a spot behind a large tree near the house and the clearing it not too dissimilar from this...minus the tulips of course.  Still, it's something I keep in the back of my head as I'm mowing and cutting back brush.  

Someday! (soon!)

Be inspired!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Stopped at a thrift store the other day at lunch and found this nice crocheted afghan.  I often see afghans and throws but as you know, they can be made in any number of color combinations.  It's just one of those things where you want to find the one that appeals to you most.  This one did.

Multi color crocheted afghan
We liked the bright colors of this one because we were hoping they would add a pop of color to the living room at the farm. 

Afghan on couch
 So the last time we were out there, we put it over the back of the couch and sure enough, it's a nice and colorful addition.  I'm thinking of maybe replacing the flower pillows that came with the couch with something as colorful as the afghan.  We love the farm themed pillows we found so those will stay, but I think it's needs a bit more color, don't you?

Monday, August 11, 2014


Robin Williams
Robin Williams is no longer with us.  Such an odd thing to type.  He was one of our favorite comedians and we have enjoyed him from when we were children watching Mork and Mindy, through every movie and comedy routine through the years, all the way up to now.  I know he struggled with so many internal issues...I heard someone say just moments ago that often, the funniest comedians are the ones with the deepest pain.

His humor will be missed...we hope he finds the peace that seemed to elude him.  Sending comfort to his family.  Thank you for making us laugh over and over and over, now and forever.

"Legacies of lightness are sometimes left by people with the heaviest hearts"
-  author unknown

Instead of responding to each of your comments, I want to let them stand on their own as a caring testament to someone who touched us all...



"...Increasing heat index values expected each afternoon over the next several days and through the upcoming week across Southeast Texas...the combination of warm temperatures and high dew points will produce afternoon heat index values of 100 to 105 degrees over the weekend across much of the area.
The hottest conditions are expected mainly between 1 PM and 6 PM CDT.

The highest heat index temperatures could exceed 110 degrees by midweek.
Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside.  If possible...slow down...reduce...or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities until the coolest part of the day.  Wear light weight...loose fitting...and light colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight. Drink plenty of water and avoid any alcoholic and caffeinated beverages."

The eggplants, after struggling due to the ant infestation bounced back and we harvested about a dozen or so but now the plants are starting to struggle.

The herbs are hanging in, basils are doing the best, but even they are starting to fade as the intense heat of our Summer kicks in.

So, we decided it was time for me to start putting the garden to rest for the hottest part of the year.  I pulled up all the tomato plants.

We're beginning to think that our Summers are just too hot to do regular gardening, or   I think we could get by with some hot weather crops like okra and cowpea family of plants, but of course it's too late this season.  We do have a Fall season but I need to assess our beds and figure out what's best to do first, amending the soil, etc.  This coming weekend we'll do a better assessment of what we have left to do and where we stand on our progress.  So far, we haven't been too disappointed with our learning process and we're already deciding what worked, what didn't and what to do for next Spring.

As the classic Kenny Rogers song goes...

"You've got to know when to hold 'em, 
Know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away,
Know when to run."

It's time to fold 'em for this Summer garden but there is still a lot to do and things we'll have to do to get the beds ready for a potential Fall planting.