Tuesday, June 30, 2015


I swear we're not sure if we should just give up on all outdoor activities for the rest of the year or what.  

As I type this, we've had almost 4 inches of rain in about 2 hours.  Flooding is occurring all over town, and the storms are virtually stationary so the water is just continuing to come down.

We're not positive, but this just might have to be the next project for the farm...

Sigh...will write when I can as power is flickering on and off.


A few months back, we cleaned out one of the storage units that had my parents stuff in.  One of the things we reclaimed was this chair.  When my Grandmother passed, I went up with my Mom to help her go through things.  This was one of the things that she wanted.  This was my Grandmother's chair, she sat in it all the time.  She had back problems in her later years and she liked sitting in a straight back chair and this one was her most comfortable chair.

So, we brought it back to Houston and my mom kept it at her apartment.  After my mom passed, I put it in storage with everything else and it ended up there for a few years.  We have it out now and found where it's going to go at the farm.  We needed a chair in the bedroom as a place to sit and put on shoes, relax a bit, etc, so we put it in this corner.

It was the perfect spot!

Old chair project
Now I will have a project (perhaps later this Summer when it's too hot to do anything else outside) to repaint, refinish, etc.  First, we have to figure out a color scheme.  The master bedroom is shades of blue and white with black.  I was thinking of something like a base color of dark blue and then maybe using the various detail parts of wood as accents.  Or maybe vice-versa, white base with blues and black as accents.  I've seen some really cool painted chairs online where people do things like paint each spindle section a different color (or match the colors to an opposite piece).  Or maybe a whimsical design?  I'll need to sand and do all that fun stuff first, then I can paint and lastly, maybe a nice coordinating cushion on the seat.

MID DAY UPDATE:  After reading comments, you all have inspired me, I think I just might sand it to clean it up a bit and leave it as is, instead of changing it too much.  Still might get a cushion though, the kind that tie on.  That could add something new without being permanent.

Anyone ever done a project like this or have suggestions?

Monday, June 29, 2015


After Friday night's fortune saying I'd have a four wheeled adventure, it certainly was, more so than before.  I don't have pictures because it was either something happening too fast to capture or too gruesome to show.  

Instead, I'll post some flower pictures taken after I was done mowing

As I was mowing, there were creatures everywhere.  Frogs of all sizes hopping all over the place.  I'm guess the weeks of rain and standing water has brought them out in full force.  I tried to avoid them whenever possible.

Then there were bunnies.  EVERYWHERE.  Not sure if it's bunny mating season or what but they were all over, big, little and in between.  They would dart out from tall grass and hop away at a high rate of speed.

Then there were birds.  They followed the mower and were loving the freshly mowed grass and all the bugs/seed I presume it turned up.


...and clouds of dragonflies too.  

Then the bad part of the adventure:  

I ran over a snake in the tall grass.  It was a rat snake, about two feet long.  It was mortally injured, and could not move, as much as it tried.  It was suffering and I couldn't let it continue like that.  I went back to the house, got the machete and took care of things swiftly and as humanely as possible.  

The whole circle of life moment.  It was DEFINITELY an adventure like I've never had before.

Now maybe I should play those lotto numbers on the back of the fortune!

Sunday, June 28, 2015


 I beat the rain!  Below is the radar image from last night after a few hours of rain at the farm.  The rain started about 2 hours after I left for the day.  

Side note, having smart phones so we can watch live, real time weather radar is a pretty amazing thing...

I woke up and got to the farm by 7:45am.  It was damp from morning dew but I went ahead and started so I could beat the rain.  I mowed the driveway first so I could get the car out if it was raining hard.

Then I mowed the front and back yard.  I set the mower to mow very short.  Until the weekly monsoon rains level off, we want it to be short so that if we have to wait a couple (or three) weeks to mow, it won't be very bad. 

Lots of space to mow, but I was in the zone, and enjoying my four wheeled adventure as the Friday night fortune suggested, ha. Had to leave the cut grass down, though our mower has an extra blade to mulch the grass so that helps.

Got most of the trails mowed, which we like to keep mowed because that is the space we can use for walking around, exploring and planning.  I didn't get to edge, but that's easy, mowing everything else is most important.

Here is the radar image from this morning, so you can see from the first radar image to this one, it rained, on and off, all night.  No farm visit today, even when the rain stops, it will again be too wet out there.  

More updates later, I did experience something new (and not so good) but we have some errands to run!

Saturday, June 27, 2015


WELL guess what's in the forecast for today and tomorrow?


So last night, we went out to eat Chinese food.  Here is my fortune:

This morning, here is the radar image for Texas:

All those storms are coming this way.  I HAVE to mow or I don't know what we'll do.  So it's off to the farm, in a race against time, to make the fortune cookie come true...have an adventure on my four wheeled zen machine.   

Fingers crossed!

Will respond to comments of the last few days when I'm stuck inside this weekend once the rains come.

Friday, June 26, 2015


I guess we have something new to add to the list of things to do at the farm...

Thank you to the United States Supreme Court!

Quite simply,
it's about love...


There is no other reason for this post than...

...well bacon!

Crispy bacon slices
One of our most favorite foods!

Do you have a bacon favorite?  
Any recipe you want to share, link to?

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Sunflower Art Barn, image via Pinterest and art by Annie Stranger
OK, stumbled across this a couple of weeks ago and loved it.  It's a beautiful sunflower mural painted on the side of a barn (or possible other outbuilding).  It's just stunning and I can imagine how amazing it must look in person.

While we would not have this painted on the side of brand new barns, the purpose of our inspiration posts is so that we WILL have a record later on of things we might want to do.  So who knows, in a few years, when they might need a new coat of paint, it might be pretty to look out the window of the house and see something like this across the yard!

Be inspired!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


This past weekend, while trying to dodge the rain, was beehive checking day.  I figured that this time, I'd make sure I used the beesuit since they haven't been messed with very much this rainy season.  I gathered up all the tools I'd need...

...including my smoker.  It's the first time I got to use it.  It will never be this clean and pristine again, ha.  I got it working, after several attempts but didn't end up using it for very long.  The ladies were pretty docile.

As I approached the hives, they looked good.  It is said that a clean hive is a good hive.  No dead bees on the ground, bees coming and going, and clean landing boards, those are good signs.  Happy bees keep their hives clean.

When I took the roof off, the upper super, which will be the honey super, had bees but not much activity.  There is a queen excluder between the two, the purpose is to keep eggs from being laid in the honey stores.  However, our rains have also delayed their progress this first season. 

The lower box, or "brood box", was bustling with activity.  Lots of comb being made and bees doing everything they should be doing.  I wanted to look a bit closer by pulling the frame out but...

...I've read that the less interference the better, at least in the beginning so I opted not to pull frames.  I did get this closeup to show the honeycomb they've made and they are busy working through all of the frames.
Bees and honey
As I pulled up the excluder, I broke off a piece of honeycomb and, imagine this, some honey dripped out, ha.  It only took a few seconds for the ladies to get to it and started taking care of things.  I had to get a picture of that!  

Overall, I think things are going well.  The rains have slowed them down but they seem happy.  There was a lot of pollen going in, a good sign, and no indication of mites on the mite board so that's good as well.  The last thing I read is to just listen to your hives.  If you lean over and listen and it sounds like a smooth running (and humming) engine, good things are happening.

So far, the adventure in beekeeping is going great!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


This was at a 'stock tank' (basically a small pond for cattle) that is just down the road from the farm.  With all the recent rains, the pond is full and of course attracting all kinds of wildlife.

Cattle Egrets
We were driving by the other day and saw the birds and I thought it would make a nice picture.  They are called "Cattle Egrets" and are quite common.

I've always thought they were pretty birds because they are so striking against the green backdrop of the landscape.  They are usually hanging around cattle but I guess these needed a break and decided to hang out by the water.

Monday, June 22, 2015


With the rain (AGAIN) this weekend, and visiting family for Father's Day, we didn't get much done.  Just moved some stuff around, organized some things and relaxed.  Might have even had a nap.  OK, so we DID have a nap.  Nothing like a nap in the afternoon on a rainy day!  

So I took some photos of things to share and ask about.  Here is an inherited piece that I thought I'd share.  A bit of back story, my Mom had a cedar "Hope Chest" when she was growing up.  But it was one of those pieces that you grow up, move, get married, move two or three more times and it stays at parents house for awhile and you just sort of don't remember what ever happened to it.  My Mom lost track of hers over the years.

So on my parents 25th anniversary, my Dad got my Mom this one.  It's the "Lane" brand (not sure if they are still around) but they've made cedar chests for years.  And side note, isn't the idea of a hope chest fascinating?  I wonder if that's still a "thing" or not?  

Lane cedar chest with pansies
This is ours, now in place at the farm.  We put it in the guest room at the foot of the bed.  It's got painted pansies on the front, in a sort of 'washed', light finish.

Cedar chest interior
Opening the top reveals a full cedar interior, all four sides, top and bottom.  What I'm curious about, and what is fun about asking all of you on the blog, what does one put in a cedar chest?  Being at the farm, and storing things in various places, we wonder what would be best to put in here?  It is large, but of course, one large quilt or two would pretty much fill it up.  Maybe better for things like tablecloths and small blankets? 

Any suggestions on the best use of cedar storage like this?

Sunday, June 21, 2015


2nd Man and I have both lost our fathers.  While I never got to meet his Dad, he did get to meet mine and my Dad loved 2nd Man like another son, which was pretty awesome.

I'm always sad that our parents didn't get to see the life we've made and my Dad especially, being a woodworker/craftsman, would have LOVED the farm and built/done whatever we needed, ha.  

So today, as we remember our Dads, we want to wish all of you who are fathers, a wonderful and happy Father's Day!  

We give you a hug too!



So we got to the farm, and it was blue skies like I posted yesterday...then it got darker, and darker...

...and more clouds arrived quickly followed by pouring rain!  So needless to say, there was no yard work. No mowing (next weekend will be three weeks), no weedeater work, no planting...

DID however check the bees (update on them in another post) and we did some cleaning inside the house. Since today is Father's Day, we were invited over to 2nd Man's brother's house for a party (his brother has three children and a grandchild) so we came back into town early during a break in the downpour.  

I feel your pain Charlie Brown...I feel your pain.

More later!

Saturday, June 20, 2015


First time in two weeks.   Didn't go last weekend because of the rains, and of course we had tropical storm rain the first half of this week.

Now, it's nothing but blue skies!

The last few days have been hot and rain free so we are hoping for not too much mud and standing water.  I'd really really like to mow because I'm sure once again, it's going to be a bear to tackle and if I have to wait until next weekend, well, then, it's time for goat rent-a-herd, ha.

There is always edging, and so we'll just have to see.  If nothing else, it can be a work free weekend and we can relax. 

More updates later!

Friday, June 19, 2015


OK, back to fun stuff..

After what seems like weeks of rain (and probably was) we finally had a day of sunshine.  What better way to spend my lunch break than by doing a little "retail therapy".  

There is something we've been wanting at the farm for awhile now and that's a couple of aprons.  But, I'm here to tell you, aprons for the ladies are everywhere.  Flowers, fruits and veggie prints, lacy, frilly, long, short, vintage, new, you name it, there is one out there.  Aprons for men however, well, that is a much harder item to find...unless of course you want some obnoxious catch phrase relating to beer or grilling or worse yet, some sort of bodily function.  There are plenty of those to be had.  

So we've steadily looked and never found anything we liked.  

Until now!!

Men's aprons
These are so awesome!  They are nice and long (about knee length), have two pockets, and are made of a heavier weight, thicker cotton fabric than most.

Ticking stripe aprons
Best of all, they are made in a vintage ticking stripe fabric in both traditional red and traditional blue.  In fact, the blue one reminds me of overalls that my Grandfather used to wear all the time.

Red striped and blue striped aprons
I found them at Marshall's Homegoods and they were only $10 each!  It was definitely TOO good of a deal to pass up.  I can't wait to have a joint cooking session to wear them.  Of course, I will have to convince 2nd Man to let me into his 'space' in the kitchen...

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Flowers around fencing, image source southernliving.com
This is not unlike our fencing at the farm around the garden.  We actually saved this picture a few years back (before we had a garden fence) and I was looking through an old thumb drive and found it.  Now that I see it again, this is actually very close to what we pictured in our heads when it comes to going around the garden fence.  I'm actually going to have the landscape timbers to keep it somewhat tame around the front but otherwise, this is very doable.  

Maybe a few more flowers and some bulbs to pop up on occasion but otherwise, we can do this...if it will ever stop raining of course, LOL.

Be inspired!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


We survived...as most tropical systems often go, Bill was unpredictable in the final hours before landfall.  It was moving NW, closer to us, but then changed suddenly and moved due West, putting the heaviest rain further away.  

Then, after it came ashore, it moved North again and those bands of rain moved over our area...

You see the image above?  This was before landfall and shows you how much moisture was in this storm.  It took up a large swath of the Gulf of Mexico and the warm water just kept building up storms and rainfall.  We've had some tornadoes around the area, the winds guested to around 50-60mph.  Had the storm stayed out in the Gulf longer, it would have most likely become a Cat 1 Hurricane.  And speaking of rainfall... 

...this is the rainfall projection after landfall.  The colors indicate rainfall totals and you can see along the sidebar what the colors equate to in inches.  The shades of brown in this image?  Those are upwards of 10 inches of rain.  Something we don't need, Texas doesn't need, Oklahoma doesn't need, and other states to the North don't need.  Of course, we do hope the rain does make it to the areas that definitely need it.  We are in the red/dark red spots and sure enough, we have had about 3 inches total so far but even this chart might not be accurate because we may end up exceeding that 3 inch total.  As for the farm, we've been unable to reach 2nd Family to check in (they have texted that they are ok, just haven't been able to ask them the rainfall total) but I'll update this post when we do.  This has been THE wettest season we've ever had...

Above is the radar image as of this morning, even though the bulk of the storm is up into North Texas and Oklahoma, the moisture it is pulling along behind it is "training" into the Houston area and we are having torrential rains all over.
Neighbors near the farm have had their entire gardens just die, and even trees dying off because of too much water and now there is much much more coming today and this evening. In a way, it was probably fortuitous that we didn't start a Spring garden this year.  

As a side note, when several of us bloggers posted our selfies the other day and I put mine up, CLICK HERE, you all left some wonderfully kind comments and I updated the bottom of the post to just add my group thanks.


Rain has moved out of our area at last...final tally:

4.25 inches in town
6.50 inches at the farm 

Monday, June 15, 2015


And so it begins.  

We live along the coast and part of that means living through Hurricane season every year.  It lasts from June 1st to November 30th.  Usually the busiest time is August and September.  But here we are in mid June and we may have Tropical Storm Bob (Ana formed and dissipated earlier before the season even started).  All eyes are now on the Gulf of Mexico...

We always have to watch what are called, amusingly, "spaghetti models".  They are named this because they look like, well, spaghetti.  These are the computer models that tell forecasters where a storm is most like headed.  For those who find weather fascinating (as I do), here is an interesting link to all things Tropical and is updated in real time...


The models change and meander around of course because, let's face it, it's still hard to predict Mother Nature's plans.  The image above is the one from last night, but I'm sure as this posts, there will be an updated one.  Still, it's probably headed toward the middle of the Texas coast which puts us on what they call "the dirty side"...i.e. the East side of a storm always has the heaviest rain/wind.  Tropical storms are bigger rain events than Hurricanes.  With those, we worry about wind and tornadoes in addition to the rain, but in Tropical Storms, we worry mostly about rain...heavy, heavy rain. 

The City of Houston Office of Emergency Management is predicting 6 to 15 inches of rain and is telling us to be prepared for flooding like we just had or possibly worse than Memorial Day and more widespread.

If this were a large Hurricane, we'd head to the farm, our "bug out" location.  For this event, we'll stay in town, though the next few days may still be crazy.

We're making sure we have plenty of food, batteries, candles, we have some oil lamps, radio, flashlights, fresh water, and of course the cats have everything they need.  This is not a long term event, but it could be a couple of days where we don't want to leave the house and get out in it and there could be power outages if there is wind.  Not even sure we'll stay at work all day, the city usually calls for employers to send employees home to get them off the roads in rush hour to avoid dangerous driving conditions.

Keep your fingers crossed for Texas and later, Oklahoma and the other states as the storm and rain moves North and East.

'Tis the season!

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Recently, Texan posted a picture of herself.  Then Kev issued a challenge to show our faces.  Kymber and Jambaloney posted theirs as did others...see what Texan started?  LOL.

SO......without further ado....

Here I am!  

Hopefully I haven't scared everyone off.  Believe it or not, this is also my first "selfie" (hey, it only took 50 years to keep up with the youngsters).  By the way, I was not driving, I was parked in the parking lot at the barber.  It was taken shortly after getting my Summer buzzcut (I hate long hair in the heat). 

I'm reminded of a line from the movie Titanic...when old Rose was looking in a mirror and said "the reflection has changed a bit".  Looking at my selfie, yep, I would say it's changed a bit as well, ha!

2nd Man has no immediate plans to show his face, but I'll work on him.  

Still raining today, sporadically, but it's been quite a bit at the farm.  Staying in town, so we'll have a week with no visit and no work getting done.  This Spring has been c-r-a-z-y weather.  Great time, as sweet Gail reminded us, to relax and spend time planning and daydreaming.


Since thanking everyone individually for the nice comments about my selfie would seem oddly self serving, I shall simply say:

You warmed my heart...

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Well, here we go again...

Pouring rain today, though it comes and goes.  We are also under Flash Flood watches and now, to top it all off, there is a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico that could very well be heading this direction mid week as either just  heavy rain or a full fledged tropical storm.

As one weather forecaster said last night, "I hate to say this but we could be looking at a repeat of the Memorial Day flood event over the next few days".

Needless to say, stuck in town again this weekend (though if it lets up a bit, might try a visit tomorrow to check on things).  Thank goodness I was able to mow and edge last weekend or else we might have been looking at renting a herd of goats to graze 24/7, ha.

Hope your weekend is off to a better start!