Monday, August 31, 2015


After the epic rains we had this Spring, there were a few times when I was at the farm and got caught in a downpour and all I could do it wait it out on the porch.  That got me to thinking that we need a rain suit of some sort for the farm.  If I had to go out and do something on the property in the rain, it would be nice to have a means to get around without getting soaked.

I've recently started shopping for some other things at Duluth Trading (more on those purchases later) when I stumbled across their rain suit.  It had great reviews and the yellow was on "special clearance" because of an issue with the color.  Instead of just a basic yellow, it was a bit more fluorescent yellow and had some small barely visible spots.  It was about half price.  Great deal!

It just came via UPS the other day. 

Duluth Trading Yellow Rain Suit
It is definitely a fluorescent yellow.  2nd Man looked at it and he said "um, yeah, I'll be able to see you anywhere on the property...and probably Google Earth satellites too", LOL.  The regular one (not on the super clearance) is blue.  Oh well, it will be easy to see in the rain and that's OK if I'm out in a monsoon, at least he (and Google) can keep an eye on me.  It's two pieces, an upper jacket with protective hood and built in visor, and then pants with numerous pockets.  There are even inner pocket zippers so you can get to the pockets of the clothing you are wearing underneath.  They have zippered ankles to tighten up around your rubber boots.  It is made of a super water repellent coated fabric and is very lightweight.  Oh, did I mention it's fluorescent yellow?  HA!

It is one more of the things that we felt would be good to have at the farm "just in case" we need it.  Obviously, I don't plan on gardening in the rain, but someday we just might have to get out in a heavy downpour and do something like tie down an item that has come loose, put a tarp on a roof, close a barn door or window, move a car, etc, and we'll definitely be grateful to have this item hanging in the closet.  

And by the way, nothing for me from Duluth in exchange for this, just me sharing something I found online that we like (but of course, if Duluth would like to contact me, the button is above, LOL!).

Anyone else have a rain suit?  
How do you use yours if you do?

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Fat is Fuel for Fighters, vintage poster image courtesy of NYPubliclibrary archives
Here is an interesting poster image I found online recently.  It comes from WWI, and urged farmers to raise pigs because they help feed soldiers.  

A soldier's daily ration had 1 lb of meat in it and so a sow and her brood of ten would feed 3000 men in one day.  The tag line is that fat is fuel to fighters!  Hmm, I guess since I could easily eat a pound of pork in a day too, does that mean it's fuel to office workers now?  HA!

Hope you are having a good weekend!  More later this evening!

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Woke up to a mess in the kitchen...

...but it was because of this!


Homemade Biscuits
2nd Man had made fresh, homemade of my favorite things. We had them with real butter, homemade dewberry jam (our second to last jar).


It was a good start to the weekend...hope you are having a great start to your weekend as well.  We have some cool "ish" weather, just running errands and not sure how the weekend will play out.  We have an event to attend tonight in downtown Houston so we'll be in town today.

Friday, August 28, 2015


We LOVE this sign...

We want something exactly like this at the entrance to the property.  We thought it would be neat to have it on a split rail fence near the spot where the driveway begins going toward our house.

A great reminder when you pull in to leave all your troubles and worries behind.  Hmm, maybe a smart phone/tablet free zone sign too?  LOL!

It's been a crazy busy week, I will catch up on all your wonderful comments this weekend.  Hey, just remember...

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Flower garden, image courtesy of
For those new to the blog, every Thursday, we post up a photo that we have found online, sometimes years ago, sometimes recently.  The purpose is we will be able to save them to remind us later of things we would like to do, that inspire us, and of course to share with you.

This is a lovely patch of flowers.  Here in the dog days of Summer, when everything is parched and dry, we love seeing something like this.  The colors all just blend so nicely together.  We'd love to have a patch (or two or three) like this scattered around the yard.  Someday!

Be inspired!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


This is a super easy and wonderful side dish.  We use purple and green cabbage, broccoli and kale.  2nd Man runs it through a shredder attachment on our food processor.  We also mince up about 4 garlic cloves.

Spread it all out on a baking sheet.  Drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper over the top and toss well so that it's evenly distributed throughout.

Roast it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Since they are shredded, they will cook fast so keep an eye on them.

They shrink up a bit too, as expected since they are greens but they are so delicious.  A bit crispy and full of goodness.  Here we had them with pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy.


1 cup each shredded cabbage (purple/green), broccoli and kale
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
salt/pepper to taste

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


What's that little yellow spot?

Went to the farm this weekend and after the rains last week, the grass had started greening up nicely.  Then we noticed that these little yellow flowers were coming up all over.  

They are tiny little things...

Rain Lily long, slender stem, no leaves, just coming up in random spots all around the yard in the full sun areas.

Copper Lily aka Rain Lily
Even though they no bigger than a dime, they are absolutely stunning up close.  This is a super close-up photo...isn't it beautiful?  I'm sure they will be fleeting, see them once, blink, and they're gone but hey, at least we captured the image.

We call them pop up flowers but I'm sure they have a "real" name, ha.

Anyone know what they are? 

Update:  Thanks to all the kind commenters who gave us the info.  The actual name is "Copper Lily"...also known as "Rio Grande Copper Lily" and the one we like best of all, "Rain Lily"...because rain is what brought them to our yard!

Thanks again everyone!

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Above is the driveway as seen from the porch last weekend, a week ago today as a matter of fact.  This was after several weeks of no rain.  

Everything was turning brown and crispy...

This is the same camera angle today, after several days of nice slow rain showers.  The grass is greening up and even the trees look happier.  

Mother Nature sure bounces back doesn't she?

If we get a few more showers this coming week, next weekend I just might have to get on the zen machine for the first time in OVER A MONTH!

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Saturday, August 22, 2015


We have rain!  
Who would have thought we'd be excited for that after the Spring we had?

We've had about an inch at the farm.

We stopped at a little resale shop today while running errands and saw this feed bag.  It's for Hubbard's Chicken Feed, I'm sure it's a reproduction, but it's still pretty neat.  For now it will stay folded up in a drawer until we decide the best thing to do with it.

We'll take the rain...we've had about an inch at the farm.  Good for the grass, the trees, and most importantly, the bees!

We are staying in town today, in between the rains it's still hot though low 90's is a welcome relief from low 100's.  Will head to the farm tomorrow and drop off some stuff (including more rocks, LOL!) and just check everything. 

Hope you are are having a great weekend!

Friday, August 21, 2015


Farmer's Garden by Vlasic
Never been a big fan of store bought pickles vs fresh homemade (we usually buy ours at a local farmer's market).  Someday I'll tackle making our own but until then, when we do buy regular grocery store pickles, we do like Vlasic brand.  They are always crunchy and always good.  So imagine our surprise when we were in the store recently (a grocery store out by the farm, ironically) and saw these jars.

It is something new that Vlasic is trying.  They are pickles of course, but made just like you might if you were canning them yourselves.  No fake colors, no artificial ingredients, just veggies, seasonings and distilled water.

Farmers Garden pickle jar vs Ball canning jar
They are hand packed and bottled in a jar very similar to a standard Mason or Ball jar.  Alas, I was hoping that the rings might just fit these jars but they do not.  Oh well.  The jars, once cleaned out, would still make for nice glass jar storage of things.  There are five varieties according to the VLASIC WEBSITE.

So how do they taste?  

Strangely enough, not as good as we had hoped.  Vlasic pickles are usually very crispy (they know how to do that), but these were a bit limp and the carrots were a bit mushy as well.  They might be hand packed but they are definitely over processed.  The seasonings were also a bit lacking.  In a jar such as this, I would hope to see some fresh dill, some peppercorns or maybe even some mustard seeds floating but nope, it's just the veggies and water.  There just wasn't much flavor.  In all fairness, it's possible we picked up an older jar that was maybe on the shelf longer than it should be.  There is no way to know that for certain and it wasn't near the 'sell by' date.  We appreciate the fact that they do not use artificial colorings and flavorings but feel these could be much better.  To be honest, we like their regular Vlasic pickles better. 

Alas, we think this might be more of a marketing ploy than anything else.  That is a double edged sword...on the one hand, it could make people want to try more farmers market/fresher type foods or it could have the opposite effect...make some people think "farm fresh goods aren't all they are cracked up to be after all".  And that would not be a good thing.

But hey, at least the jars are cool!


Thursday, August 20, 2015


Photo courtesy of
As we daydream about future plans in the searing heat of August, and after this day last week where I posted a picture of a red barn with flowers, I stumbled across these photos...and now we love the idea of sunflowers around the barn and shed!  There is something about the happy yellow flowers in contrast to the red and white barn colors that just seems so natural.  

Plus, sunflowers grow well down in these parts, I believe they are heat lovers anyway.  Now I just need to find the best varieties for us and how to grow them.  Plus we'd get sunflower seeds to eat!

(I think?  Do all varieties produce edible seeds?)

Photo image courtesy of
Be Inspired!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Last year, we posted a recipe for TOMATO AND ONION MIGAS.  I realized we never posted anything about the regular egg and cheese migas that we often make.  Migas are a Tex-Mex kind of dish, made with tortillas and eggs and cheese, just that simple.  With all the farm fresh eggs we are getting from 2nd Family, this is a great way to use some of them up.

Tortilla chips, eggs and cheese!  That's all it takes but feel free to add whatever seasonings are your favorite.

Preheat a nonstick pan over medium heat with a few TBSP of olive oil.

Add tortilla chips to the pan, and stir them around a bit.  This is where the traditional dish would utilize corn tortillas but we shorten it up by using corn tortilla chips.

Add whole eggs to the pan.  Here we used six which ended up creating about four servings.

Stir it all around to cook the eggs.  The chips will break and soften as your stir, this is normal.  Just cook the eggs as if you were making scrambled eggs.

While the eggs are still just slightly underdone, add the shredded cheese.  For this batch, we used 2 cups of a cheddar cheese blend.  

Gently toss everything around in the pan to finish cooking the eggs and get the cheese melted throughout.
Easy Egg and Cheese Migas
Then dish it up and serve!  
Here, we topped ours with some guacamole and a few dashes of hot sauce, but of course you could use salsa or leave it au naturel.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015


With the hot, dry weather, I didn't have to mow but I roamed around exploring a bit and found this.  Loved, LOVED discovering's wild lantana growing along an old fence line at the front of our property!  

So pretty!

Wild Lantana
I know many people don't like lantana for its invasive nature but hey, in our soil conditions, we'll take whatever grows AND gives us flowers at the same time!  This is growing wild without watering, no one planted it in a freshly dug hole, and it's thriving.  

So now my question is:  Do you know if there are any easy ways to propagate this type of plant?  Cuttings for example?  Or divisions?  Maybe a few stems and just a glass of water until roots pop out?  I'd love to replicate it and plant it elsewhere on the property.  I did cut some and put in in a jar of water but not sure if that will work.

Any suggestions?

Monday, August 17, 2015


So here is the same shot I took last week, looking down the driveway.  It's now over three weeks since I last mowed.  Um yeah, the "zen machine" time this Summer has been pretty scarce.  But in this heat, I'm thinking that's OK.

I noticed a bunch of leaves on the ground...Autumn coming?  Or tree complaining about no rain?

I did stumble across this book at a yard sale on Saturday.  It was only 50 cents, can't beat that deal, so I got it.  And not just that we want to have roses, eventually anyway, at the farm, but because...'s from 1930!  Even though we have a 
lot of new books of all kinds, there is just something I love about thumbing through the pages of an old book.  There is even a smell of an old book that I adore.

Here is Brisbane...sleeping under the ceiling fan and air conditioning at the house in town.  We are thinking he knows how to deal with the we hung around under the fans and air conditioning and did some reading...

But there is hope on the horizon!  This is the forecast for next week.  A really strong chance of rain for most days this week and then the weekend is clear.  Temps not over 100, so that's good, but creeping back up.

Saturday, August 15, 2015


Happy Birthday to Julia Child...
...we miss this true American icon.

Julia Child in her famous kitchen, image courtesy of Wikicommons
"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude." 
                                                     ---  Julia Child


"What are you looking at?"

This is 2nd Family's horse, Artax, and a couple of weeks ago, she came up to visit and to see if I had brought carrots or some other snack, as I often do.  I forgot.  When she came to see me at the fence line, I held out my hands and told her I was sorry, I didn't bring anything this time...she promptly turned around walked away.  Oh snap! 

This time, I'll make sure I bring snacks.

We have stuff to do in town and it's still well over 100 for heat indexes so we're not sure how much we'll get done this weekend.  Of course, this month is the month of not worrying about anything other than watering, so it's OK.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, August 14, 2015


Love this...saw it online and had to share.  
It's from a store in California...

It really get's the point across huh?  I love how they have the signs prepared to just fill in the blank with whatever would be impacted most if bees were suddenly gone from the eco-system.

Of course, all of this is referencing the die off/shortage of bees that is scaring scientists, and beekeepers, around the world.  We are doing our part!  

Garden Hives
The bees are hanging in there this Summer heat, though one is thriving and bustling with activity, the other is a bit weaker.  Not sure what is up there.  "Ariadne hive" the one on the left, is crazy busy and building up and storing honey.  "Persephone hive" on the right has much less activity.  They are producing, but just not as much as their next door neighbor.  

That's why we did two the first year, to learn what works, what might not, and of course to see how two colonies with the same start, same environment and conditions, can have one thrive and another one not so much.  We'll just have to see how the first bee season ends for us.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015


Red barn with flowers, image courtesy of
I kind of like this look for around the barns.  Planting some flowers and plants all around the perimeter might be a nice thing to look at from across the yard.  It hides the lower part, fills in nicely and the plants look beautiful against the barn red background.  I'm not sure we'll put the stones around the bigger barn (it sits up higher and would need lots of stones), so this might be a nice compliment to the smaller shed with the stones around it.  

Of course, this would definitely have to be a "next year' project...but that's the purpose of these posts, to share things we like with you and for us to have a permanent record of things to look back at and do something similar later on, instead of going "what was that picture we saw that we liked?".

Be inspired!