Monday, January 30, 2017


Things have been happening at the farm, working on a variety of projects. 
Here is one of them:

This is a concrete bench that "Ma" left behind when she sold us the house and moved.  Now I see why she didn't take it with weighs a ton.  OK, maybe not a ton but a few hundred pounds easily.  It's been behind the house, in three pieces, for a few years.  The part you sit on and the two end pieces.  

Solid concrete and very heavy.  

So I got the hose out and cleaned it up.  Since the bench's new home was more than an acre away, I got out the trusty Rubbermaid garden cart and took the pieces over one at a time.

  Here is a closeup of the detail on the bench.  It's cute and we think it fits in with its new "woodland" home, right?

Bench in the bee yard 
This is in the bee yard area.  I wanted to begin creating a space to sit and watch the bees from a distance as well as a place to just sit and relax after working with them.  It's far enough away that I can take the suit off in the heat of the Summer and organize my supplies, take notes, etc while doing bee work.

Our goal is to eventually have flowers growing all over this area.  I was thinking of cardboard laid around in various spots so it kills the grass and makes the soil ready for seeds.  Then I could scratch up the ground under it, scatter some flower seeds around, and cover with potting soil/compost. Seems like that might be an easier way for quick color. 

We'll see how that goes! 

Above is a photo showing where things are going.  The new location is a bit more protected from hot sunshine as is the site for future expansion. 

Yep, this means we're getting back on the horse, er back on the hive? And by "we" of course I mean "me" as 2nd Man will only be providing moral support for my beekeeping adventures, LOL.  For now it'll be back to one hive this Spring (when the bees are ready) and we'll see if I can keep them healthy and happy through an actual honey harvest and beyond of course.  

If at first , second , you don't succeed, try try again, right?

More in the coming days!

Sunday, January 29, 2017


Didn't want everyone to wonder where we were.  2nd Man is of course staying in town and still resting up from his accident, I've been buying more wood and having it cut and then building some raised beds.  Pictures later today.

Hope you are having a great weekend.  It's a bit cool here in the morning but the day is absolutely gorgeous.  My muscles are sore, but it is what it is, ha.  

Friday, January 27, 2017


Time for another thrift store find...

Found these at a thrift store last week at lunch.  I'm sure they aren't old but they are fascinating nonetheless.  They are candle holders of course and hold tapers of any size but the cool thing about them is...

...they have handles to carry them. I guess sort of a candle powered flashlight, LOL.  They'll be useful at the farm if we have a power failure or just to maybe carry outside at night to the porch (not in a strong wind though, ha!).

They were $2.50 each so $5 for both, not a bad deal for something fun.  If nothing else, they'll be a great conversation starter. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017


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 anyway, recreate it...enjoy!

Tree slice garden path, image via Pinterest

Saw this online and we fell in love with the idea of using a tree like this. We have some felled trees on the property, and love the idea of slicing them up and making them into stepping stones.  I'm sure that they won't last forever of course, but perhaps a bit of stain/sealer might make them beautiful and help them last for a few seasons.  

Anyway, great idea for a path in a garden or even beside a house or driveway. It's natural and has a neat kind of "Hobbit" vibe, ha.  

Of course, that garden is to die for too!

Be inspired!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


2nd Man made this with some of our leftover turkey after Thanksgiving and I forgot to share the photos and recipe. It's a great way to use leftover turkey or of course, just chicken any time of the year.  

He started with 8oz cream cheese and 1 stick butter stirring them together in a skillet over medium heat...

Stir until combined and melted...

Add seasonings at this point, salt and pepper to taste...

Stir in 2 cups of of milk...

Next, he added 2 cups shredded cheese Parmigiano-Reggiano.  We love the flavor of this cheese in an Alfredo but you can use shredded Parmesan.  

Stir until melted and incorporated...

We had a large turkey breast and a thigh leftover so he diced them up into chunks, along with the skin and a bit of the gelled turkey juices that were in the container (it was refrigerated)...

He added it all to the milk and cheese mixture...

Stir to combine...

Add 1 lb of cooked and drained pasta.  
Because of the kind we used (with a lot of nooks and crannies) it pulled in a lot of the sauce and dried it up a bit.  So he added just a little more milk, maybe half a cup or a cup, depending on how thick or thin you like your sauce...

Stir again to combine and simmer just a couple of minutes until thickened...

Turkey Alfredo pasta dish
Dish it up, serve and enjoy!!  
Oh, we garnished with a bit of dried parsley.

It's one of my favorite post-Thanksgiving dishes.

Dang it.  Now I'm hungry.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


 Some good news for a change...

This is the raised bed garlic about two months ago, right after I planted it.  

EZ Straw mulch
I had covered it a few weeks later (after I planted the seed garlic) with this EZ Straw.  I LOVE this stuff after I used it last Spring on the other beds.  I ordered it on Amazon HERE because our local Tractor Supply was out.  One of the advantages with ordering it is that the bag from Amazon was much larger.  
We've still got a lot left for future raised beds (here in a few months, ha).

About a month later it looked like this.  
Some of it was coming up but not all...

Raised bed of garlic
And last weekend, it looked like this!  I counted and ALL 36 that were planted are now coming up!  


We should have a lot of garlic, fingers crossed, in a few more months.  I'm going to have to read up on how to harvest it and dry it and put it up for future use.

Anyone have garlic tips?

Monday, January 23, 2017


Yesterday I went to the farm solo, mainly just to check on things after the storms of this past week.  Heavy rains, strong winds, and even a small tornado/twister about 10 miles away from the farm.

 2nd Family said the final total was 6 1/2" of rain.  In January!  It's like our Spring monsoons.  We hope this isn't a sign of things to come later this Spring.  Anyway, you can see, this is the path the water takes from our end of the property.  There is an area they created on purpose when they originally got the property for Ma and it drains water away from the house, diagonally across the yard toward the driveway and then down a low spot along the side of the driveway and on down toward the road where there are drainage ditches.  

I had stopped to get wood and had it cut so I could start building the raised beds for the fruit trees that will go in behind the house and garden.  We now have enough for four of the beds but we still need enough for seven more.  

But alas it was too wet everywhere and I almost got the Jeep stuck.  It is 4WD, so I suppose I could have gotten out, ha, but I backed up and parked in a drier spot in the yard, ha. Ultimately, I just put the wood in the barn until things dry out.  Next weekend I'll get enough for four more, then three more after that and I can start building.  More on that when it happens.

It was VERY windy.  30mph sustained all day with gusts to 45mph.  As the weather forecasters said last night, we basically had a Tropical Storm hit yesterday.  Thousands without power, some trees down, etc.  At the farm, it was a good time to open the windows and let the house air out.  We like to open windows on opposite sides and ends of the house, it creates a wind tunnel effect and airs things out quickly.  The curtains billowed and drifted around...

 ...and at times were blowing around like the house itself was moving.  I expected to look out the window here and see an old woman on a bike ride by and tell me she'd get me and my little dog too...LOL!

Took this picture of Barnabas (the party tree) and like the way it came out.  

The Winter grass has greened up with the rains and the tree (it's an old Mesquite) has a majestic beauty to it this time of year.  It just has great "lines" that you can't see in the Spring when it's covered in leaves. This is the area where we will eventually put an outdoor dining table under there and would also like some string lights hanging under it.  But that will all come in time.  Other things to do first.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Sunday, January 22, 2017


A view at the apartment in town of...

...a couple of skyscrapers.

And a view at the farm of a couple of other skyscrapers...

Off to the farm today for watering and some fruit tree planting preparations.  2nd Man is staying in town getting some much deserved rest after his accident.

Will catch up on comments when I get back.  
Hope your weekend is going well!

Friday, January 20, 2017


Sorry for no post yesterday and not replying to comments...I got a phone call at work, 2nd Man had been involved in a serious accident.  
He was OK, shaken up of course but thankfully, not hurt...

2nd Man had a green light on a one way street.

Driver's side rollover smashed
The other person was traveling down the feeder road and ran their red light...

Impact side on 2nd Man's car
...and t-boned him on the passenger side, spinning his car around and rolling it over onto the driver's side.  We are not sure if it somehow bounced back upright or if the bystanders who rushed to help pushed it back upright.

Other person's car
This is the other person's car.  
They were taken to the hospital (not sure of their condition, we believe it was just as a precaution).

Again, 2nd Man is fine, airbags deployed and the car really protected him.

The next couple of days will be hectic as we get rental lined up, get the car moved to the shop to see if it will be repairable or totaled (we lean toward it most likely being a total loss), etc.  We will keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


We have had a surprise rain event overnight...well, they did tell us it would rain but no one expected this much...

Parts of the area have had as much as 6" of rain.  Those familiar with the blog know that when it floods here in Houston, it floods.  This happened overnight while everyone was asleep and then people got up to go to work, school, etc and have found roads everywhere inundated with water.  There is more rain coming later today and this line is moving slowly across the city.

2nd Family said we had 2" of rain a couple of days ago.  Overnight the farm has had another 7" of rain.  They are flooded in out there.  Safe of course, never any danger of their house or ours flooding, but the roads around the farm are cut off and the driveway is flooded.  

In town, we're in a high-rise so we're good there.  2nd Man can work from home so that's good (for him, ha).  I work very close to home (less than 2 miles away) and in the insurance business so guess what?  I have to go in. Sigh. 

We've come to expect these epic rains in the Spring but January?  That's a new one for us!

I'll update this post tonight with the days events so check in later.  For now though, it's off to work.


Well, the rains came again but not quite as heavy, maybe another inch at most. The bayous and drainage areas were able to recede and direct the water away and toward the Gulf of Mexico as it should.  

2nd Family said we got another inch out there as well.  There were also a couple of small tornadoes (if a tornado can be small, I guess that's the better one) in the area, one touching down just about 10 miles South of the farm.  "R" was able to get to work but only via one road.  That reminds us that someday when we are there full time, we will need to make sure we have all our supplies in case we are flooded in for a few days.  

We need to prepare for all outcomes I suppose!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Saw this at the store and snapped a picture... never hurts to be reminded of the importance of imperfection...

I'll catch up on comments tonight, there was a blogger issue yesterday that kept logging me off.  Seems to be fixed this morning but now it's off to work, ha.  

Monday, January 16, 2017


Definitely LOOKS like Winter has come through...

The fields are brown and dormant, and the trees have lost their leaves (the green colors left in the photos are invasive vines growing in trees behind us).

This is one of two citrus, the orange and the lemon, they look fine...  

...this however is the lime tree.  
The leaves have been freeze burned but the tree still looks viable.  
Fingers crossed.

This is the bay laurel tree, 2nd Man was happy.

Here is one of the avocados.  
They don't look good but like the lime tree, hopefully they still have life in them.  

Sadly this is the aloe.  
100% my fault, forgot to move it inside for protection.  Sigh.

Here is a plant that we were happy with, it's called "Gold Star Esperanza" and it was another that just took root where it sat and was doing great.  Not sure if it will come back, we won't pull it up and will wait for Spring to see if it's alive.

This is the blue plumbago, probably got it in the ground too late in the season for it to be established but we'll see.

Lost all the ferns hanging in baskets on the porch.  Again, my fault, didn't put them inside.  Maybe we need some hanging plants that aren't so sensitive to freezing weather, if there is such a thing.

For some reason, the back of the house is covered in mildew again?!?!  Maybe being the North side and somewhat shaded this time of year?  

Too bad the freeze can't kill all this!

Here's a tree that fell, not sure why, it might have been dead but with the brush around it we couldn't see it.  In the wind and cold, it just fell over.  Now I have something unexpected to add to the list for Spring...lovely. 

And here is hope...this is the lavender we just planted a couple of months ago. It was doing great and we were both excited to have lavender.  This is what it looked like.  Now that's not frost on the foliage (kinda looks like it but this was mid 70's weather so definitely not, ha).  I moved the dead leaves and found green underneath.  I think there is hope for this one.

And of course, we have to laugh when we can.  Saw this and thought it was just too fun and just had to share.  

Yep, this is the way it is in this part of Texas.