Saturday, April 30, 2016


...come again another day!

More rain coming through. This was this morning at 5:30am when we were awakened to thunder and lightning.  This is relatively fast moving so even though heavy rain, no flooding should occur...

Of course none of us need the rain here now.  

The grass at the farm is crazy tall, I need some zen machine time, so I asked 2nd Family and they said since our end of the property is up higher, the rain that fell, moved through quickly and drained off, but it's still a bit wet.  I'm hoping that tomorrow (Sunday), after today has given things a chance to dry out, I'll go out again and hopefully be able to mow. But we'll see!

For now though, we will leave you with these words of wisdom:

So, so true...

Friday, April 29, 2016


So the other day, we walked into the bedroom and saw this amazing light show on the wall on top of a bookcase:

It was truly mesmerizing!

What happened is that we had moved some things around and put this blue carnival glass bowl on top of the shelf next to a blue glass vase. In doing that, the light from the nearby window, at the same time every day, comes in, hits the carnival glass bowl, bounces up and into the vase and then light just sort of radiates out of the blue and green smoke. 

Too cool!

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Every Thursday, we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm.  
Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and hopefully recreate it...enjoy!

Image of hanging flower baskets courtesy of
Right now at the farm, we have ferns in hanging baskets.  And you know we love color.  So when looking at porch pictures, we saw this and loved it.  Of course, I doubt we could keep these up with only being out there on the weekends to water but dang, they sure are pretty.

Maybe I can figure out some sort of slow watering system.  I believe some of you have mentioned diaper lining in the bottom of the basket to hold water.  Heck, it might be fun to try and see what we could come up with.

Be inspired!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Every Wednesday for the month of April, I will post wildflower photos taken around the farm.  For us, it seems that March showers bring April flowers.  At least in these parts!

So enjoy the beauty of Texas Wildflower season!
(click each to make bigger)

We saved one of the best flowers for last.  

The Texas Bluebonnet.  

Nothing symbolizes Texas' Wildflower season as this flower.  Seeing bright blue flowers in the landscape is so beautiful (and unusual).  Blue and yellow together is even prettier!

It's like an ocean of blue everywhere you turn...

Close up of Bluebonnet flower
Here is one closeup...such a lovely flower.  And the state flower of Texas! What's funny is when you try to plant them on purpose, they almost never grow.  

But spread some seeds around randomly and they do great.  

Texas Wildflowers
I saw this white fence down the road from us.  It was along the front of someone else's property and they had wildflowers growing all around it.  It was truly magical to see in person.  An inspiration for us and our 'future'!

Hope you enjoyed Texas Wildflower season 2016!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


How about some food?  It's been awhile!  Here is something 2nd Man threw together once and now we have it at least once a month.  It's not unlike a frittata, but owes it's existence more to casseroles than anything else.

Baked Breakfast Casserole
Above is what it looks like when finished.  
Yummy and bubbly goodness!

So he started with a greased casserole dish.  And then poured baked potato chips into the bottom. Wait, what?  Yep.  

Kettle brand Baked Potato Chips
2nd Man saw these baked, 100% all natural potato chips and said "what if I used these in the bottom of a casserole for breakfast?" 
Um, who says no to that?  

Next he mixed six eggs, 2 tsp parsley, 2 cups chopped (cubed) ham, 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (divided, 1 cup used now and 1 cup used later) and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl and poured it over the potato chips.

The eggs will settle down into the potatoes and the ham will sit on top.  That's OK, the eggs will rise up as they bake.

Sprinkle the 1 cup remaining cheese over the top of all and bake in the oven, uncovered, in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until eggs are cooked and the cheese is bubbly.

Breakfast Casserole
Remove from the oven and serve while still warm.  Slice and put on plate.  It's very delicious and the use of the baked potato chips saves a lot of time (no slicing of potatoes) and adds flavor.  Great for serving at a breakfast brunch, or just eat on it for a few days like us!


Monday, April 25, 2016


CLICK HERE for yesterday's post about the water and now today...welp, bad news...the new hive is gone.  

Not only gone, but GONE GONE...

Absconded bees
When I looked at the new hive, there wasn't any activity at the entrance.  That worried me so I quickly donned the bee suit and took the hive apart.  

Didn't even look like they did anything.  Almost seems as if they left not long after they were put in.  I didn't even need the bee suit, in fact, I took my gloves off and just took it apart.  I made sure it was clean and I put it up in the barn so it would be safe until whatever comes next

Most likely it was something called "absconding" which is when a colony of bees just leaves.  It's not like they died, they were just gone.  I looked all over the property to see if they moved elsewhere but nothing.  Of course with 11 acres, and much of it flooded, they could have been up in a tree anywhere and I could have easily missed them.  The queen is clipped though (she can't fly) so I'm not sure how they vanished and where they could have gone.  Maybe she died since she got released from her cage too soon?  Or somehow got out of the hive and without a queen, the others just left?  Of course, they were installed a few days before 17" of rain.  The hive was dry inside, but maybe they just didn't like the constant downpour?  Weren't established enough to, pardon the pun, 'weather it'?  I guess we'll never know...

Thankfully, Ariadne hive right next door is doing wonderfully, literally buzzing with activity (I love standing next to it and hearing the hum).

I have contacted the apiary to see if I can get some more but I think they sustained some water damage in the floods.  It's always a learning curve and this will just be another lesson...

Sunday, April 24, 2016


17" of rain...that's a LOT of water!

I put the rubber boots on (God I love these things!). Standing water everywhere...

Not sure what happened to this tree (a mesquite) but it's a goner...

This is the pond site (yep, we have a natural pond site and to say it's overfull would be an exaggeration).  It's about 1 1/2 acres of water.  This is on our 'future project' list to have it turned into a 'real' pond but for now, it's where all the water from the property goes on its way to the road and ditches at the front of the property.

This is why I couldn't mow, these ruts are from where I mowed last weekend, just a low spot, and now it's full of water.  These are all over the trails so there would just be no way to do anything outside.

This is interesting, we looked for these around the property...this tall grass is laid down flat because water was flowing through this area.  We want to learn where these spots are for the future.

This is one of the main roads to get to the farm.  See the laid down grass?  See the bridge up ahead?

This is looking out the car window down to the "creek" below. This creek is mostly a trickle during the year.  Even after a few days of normal rain, it's not this much.  But after the monsoon rainfall we received, that water rose all the way up and over the bridge, and then flowed down over the grass in the picture before this one.  This road was flooded for about 3 days.  This is about a mile from the farm. 

And guess what?  Here is the radar today.  We had two days of sunshine, and now this.  Not what our area needs.

More tomorrow...including the bad part.  


Most every Sunday, we try to post an image of old posters that we find during online surfing.  We enjoy the ones that reflect farming, gardening and/or food preservation and rationing.  We enjoy them because we often wonder if anyone today would heed the kind of advice they gave back then...enjoy!

In honor of Earth Day a few days ago, I found this awesome ad from the 1940's
In case this is hard to read, here is the transcript:

“The Earth and I are friends now”
Last year I never thought of the earth except as something to walk on. But in the spring I turned up the sod and planted seed. Summer – I got friendly with the land.
Well, it’s autumn now. And something good has happened to our family!  We’ve weeded and watered and hoped together. And said our table blessing over our own harvest.
It seems to me that my family has come back to some important things. Come back to one another, and to our good soil. We're all closer now. Closer to the men whose prayers are tied to earth and sun and the early frost.  We know now what's in a farmer's mind when his fields are sick with blight.
Yes, now we know something about this earth. Respect it. And respect the people who tend it. And we know that the fruits of the soil are hard-earned and hard-won.
This is our land. As it was so many years back – when the harvest of the land alone sustained our people...our land...our harvest.
In appreciation of the big job being done by our partners, the professional farmers of America...and by the new millions of amateur farmers, this message is presented.
Dedicated to the wider use and better understanding of dairy products as human a base for the development of new products and a source of health and enduring progress on the farms and in towns and cities of America.
Pretty wise words...then AND now!

Heavy rain in the forecast again today, so we are in town.  
Updates to come later tonight on the farm and it wasn't all good...

Saturday, April 23, 2016


2nd Family walked around and all looked good, a few missing shingles, so we need to check inside and make sure all is good. 

I had 2nd Family send a photo to see if it's clear and they sent this.  It's a sunny day and no rain in the immediate forecast so that's good.

We'll let everyone know how it goes.  The route to the farm will take us over and near some flooded roads (yep, still flooded almost a week later).  

More later! (and I'll catch up with all the week's comments)

Hope your weekend is off to a great start!

Friday, April 22, 2016


 2nd Family checked out the house for us, a couple of shingles off, a utility pole bent a bit, but everything else looked ok, albeit really, REALLY wet.  

They knew we'd like to see this as a surprise, so they snapped this picture of flowers in the midst of the wetness...

It's near our house, just springing up...

I'm guessing this looks like some sort of canna.  The funny thing is we didn't plant it and it has never been there in the couple of years past.  Perhaps a bird dropping something?  A woodland creature digging up stuff elsewhere and bringing it here?  I was thinking cannas grow from some sort of bulb?  We wondered if we cleared out around it, is there a way to make them multiply or dig up part to plant elsewhere?  We'll take anything that grows well like this in wet and heat, ha.  

Anyone have an canna advice/tips?

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Well this just added to an already sad week...

I hate when we lose our icons of youth...

  Prince has left us, and the world is a bit less colorful.  Being children of the 80's, there is nothing more iconic than Prince and his music.  I had the fortune of seeing him live in concert back in the 90's.  Wow is all I can say.  One of my favorite memories.

I saw Whitney too...

And Michael...


RIP Prince


There could be no greater Inspiration than seeing the everyday heroes that have helped Houston during this unprecedented event.  We only thought the Memorial Day floods from last year were the worst it could be.  

As bad as they were, this is much worse.  

They estimate that 240,000,000,000 (yep, BILLION) gallons of water fell from the sky, that's enough, they say, to fuel Niagara Falls for 88 hours.

3000 square miles were affected, twice the size of Rhode Island.

We received more rain in 12 hours than we get in two or three months.

9 people, sadly, have lost their lives, thousands of Houstonians are without homes, and the property damage is approaching $60 billion.

1200 high water rescues were made.

2nd Family tells us the farm received 17 inches of rain (in 24 hours!) and they have been landlocked for a few days (but today the water on roads receded).

The insurance company I work for has had 3600 (and counting) flooded auto claims filed. That's just one insurance company.

There are still areas of Houston that are continuing to flood because the water from upstream is flowing downstream and/or backing up in reservoirs.

Through it all, the emergency response has been wonderful.  All the first responders, the Red Cross, and neighbors helping neighbors and rescuing others from rooftops and flooded cars.  

Watching the aftermath gives us hope in humanity, how we can, and do, come together in an emergency.  I'm sure there are the bad things that happen, but thankfully, they are FAR outweighed by the good we have witnessed...

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Every Wednesday for the month of April, I will post wildflower photos taken around the farm.  For us, it seems that March showers bring April least in these parts!

So enjoy the beauty of Texas Wildflower season!
(click each to make bigger)

We love this, it almost looks like a Monet painting.  It was an ocean of blue and yellow (with some pink and purple thrown in for good measure, ha)

Pink, yellow, white and orange...

Hot pink, more yellow, orange, just a palette of never-ending color.  We sure do love Texas Wildflower week, we saved the best for last, the ubiquitous Texas Bluebonnet!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016


For checking on us, for sending the direct emails or leaving comments.

Living in a high rise means we don't have to worry about our possessions flooding.  We were however sort of landlocked today, unable to leave downtown because of flooded roads all around.  So we spent the day watching it all unfold on television, one of the biggest single day flood events in Texas' history.

We do take it to heart to be prepared, we had food and fresh water for a few days if we were unable to leave.  What we are going to do now is take our extra food and water to a donation place so that it can be used for those less fortunate and we'll just replace it in a couple of weeks. 

We were worried about the farm, but we finally got in touch with 2nd Family, and they are OK.  Lighting struck a tree next to their house, blowing the bark off and then it travelled to their antenna and fried their TV, one computer, and some other electronics.  

The property does get wet (no mowing for awhile) but there was in excess of 10" of rain at the farm this time and that's beyond wet.  The houses sit up high so no worry there.  They are however, also landlocked as the roads all around are flooded and will be for several days.  They too stay prepared so all is good for them.  They did check our house, sloshed out there in the rubber boots and all looked OK but of course we'll do a full check this weekend.

We were fortunate and now we keep our thoughts with the thousands and thousands of people in the are who have lost so much and we'll be doing what we can to assist.

I'm in the insurance business and it's all hands on deck now, so I will catch up to comments and emails when I can, that is if I don't come home and just go straight to bed...

Monday, April 18, 2016


I had another post scheduled to go up this morning, but then it started raining....and raining...and raining...

The dot is us downtown, I wish this radar was animated, the rain has not stopped, it's what they call a self sustaining storm.  One weather person said it is like a living organism, it breathes in warm Gulf air and moisture and then exhales it to the North as rain and then then repeats it.  That keeps it from moving. This radar has looked like this since midnight.

Look at these rainfall totals...this is since it started last night.  The heavy rain started about 11pm.  And yes, those totals are inches of rain.  13", 12", 15"...there is one weather station that has reported TWENTY INCHES of rain. 

2nd Man and I are stuck at home today, of course in a high rise we are safe, but we can't get out of the building, most roads around the building are underwater.  We last heard from 2nd Family about 2am, they texted and said lightning had struck and fried their TV and computer and were without power.  Not sure how everything else is out at there but at 2am, they said rainfall had exceeded 10 inches.  It was coming down so hard, they couldn't get outside to check again. 

Words they are using this morning on every news station... 



Sunday, April 17, 2016


Everyone in Houston just got this alert today.  We are going to have some really heavy storms and they are about to start.  Check the picture further down in this post.  It's the estimated rainfall totals by Tue night.

The National Weather Service and Harris County Flood Control District say that the Houston area can expect to see an increased threat from severe thunderstorms over the next few days.  Main threats from this system will likely be: 

- Flash Flooding - Roadway Flooding - Damaging Winds - Hail 

While a majority of the area can expect to see 4-8 inches of rain over the next few days - depending on how storms line up - some areas may receive in excess of 10 inches, which has the potential for Flash Flooding and will likely cause high water on area roadways.   Actions you need to take...  The city of Houston is advising residents to make preparations now for the impact of this severe weather system.  This should include:  

- Ensuring you have enough food, water and supplies for the next few days 
- Have flashlights, batteries, etc. in the event of power outages 
- Begin monitoring conditions with local media, the Harris County Flood Warning System ( and the National Weather Service   If heavy rainfall begins and roadways begin to flood, residents are advised to avoid travel whenever possible and wait for conditions to improve. Remember, it only takes a few inches of water to float most vehicles, and rain makes it difficult to see the depth of water in area roadways. If you come upon an area of high water, Remember - Turn Around, Don't Drown


I got as much done at the farm yesterday as I could, some good things, but alas, some bad things...more on all that later!

Saturday, April 16, 2016


As this posts, it's a day of 'beat the rain' at the farm.  I didn't mow last weekend because it was "bee weekend" and I was working in the garden.  

This weekend it definitely needs it because it's grown for a couple of weeks and is getting tall.  

The urgency is that our weather forecast calls for heavy rain starting tonight (possibly this afternoon) and then staying heavy tomorrow and Monday and Tuesday and even into Wednesday.  That would mean next weekend will be far too wet to mow.  

I have to check the new bees as well.
And put some more compost and soil in the raised beds.

So fingers crossed today!

Updates later!

Hope your weekend is off to a wonderful (and drier) start!

Friday, April 15, 2016


Love love love this find the other day at the thrift store.  I almost passed them up because it was after Easter.  

They were in the basket section.  I glanced and saw they were Easter baskets and I thought "hmm, cute but..." and almost walked by.  

Then I took a second glance.  

Vintage Easter Baskets
They were displayed like they were here.  I realized there were no handles.  "Well that's different" I thought.  So I picked them up and found they were attached, one inside the other...they weren't meant to have handles...instead...

Easter Baskets shaped like an egg
...the "extra" basket next to each actually folded up and over the other part to form a giant, wicker, Easter egg!  How cool is that?  They certainly seem vintage, at least from the age of the wicker and the old elastic closure. 

Once I realized what they were, I certainly couldn't resist.  And at $1.50 each?  Well that was a no brainer!  They are so unique and best of all, there are two.  Maybe I can convince 2nd Man for us to fill them with goodies next year, start a new tradition.  

Adults need candy and treats too, right?  

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Every Thursday, we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm.  
Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and hopefully recreate it...enjoy!

Garden gate door, images courtesy of
Recently, we were looking online for photos of ideas for garden gates.  Our gate is starting to wear out a bit, and I was thinking of something different.  THEN I found this!  We LOVE this idea, we have the two posts (and with a fence on each side) and this would just be SO awesome as the entrance to our garden.  Our opening is 36" wide which I would hope we could find in an old door size that would work.  We even love the missing glass in the upper section.

And of course, it just HAS to be red!

Be inspired!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Every Wednesday for the month of April, I will post wildflower photos taken around the farm.  For us, it seems that March showers bring April flowers.  At least in these parts!

So enjoy the beauty of Texas Wildflower season!
(click each to make bigger)

Texas Wildflowers
I wish I knew what they all were, we do have a Texas wildflower book (and some of you have sent great links on ID'ing them but haven't had time to slow down and do that).  I swear the one above looks like a painting...

Not sure what these are, wish the camera had gotten a better picture.  They were so gorgeous with the sunlight shining on them, they were almost glowing. 

There are a few bluebonnets popping up in this photo.  We think the variety of color in every field is what makes wildflower season so enchanting.

More wildflower photos next Wednesday!