Wednesday, May 30, 2018


This weekend was a good one for a variety of reasons.  I got a lot mowed (always feel good after that) and then of course the garlic harvest on Sunday (see yesterday's post for that info).

 Veggie harvest
We also got to harvest some veggies and herbs.  Here is a basket of fresh basil and oregano as well as some cucumbers and banana peppers.  It almost looks like a meal just ready to be assembled.  

Bruce plum
And what is this?  A tomato?  No, those are still growing.  This is a plum.  This variety specifically is a Bruce plum.  It was on the tree Saturday and turning a deep reddish pink.  On Sunday, while I was there, it dropped off.  Not sure why but hey, at least I was there to retrieve it.  I resisted the temptation to eat it since 2nd Man had to stay in town so I put it in the fridge and brought it back into town.

Bruce plum inside
We sliced it in half and each ate a piece.

WOW.   Was it ever good.

A lot of flavor packed into that little plum. There are about four more on the tree, all green. Not sure how this one turned before the others but maybe that's what they do. We just hope we get to the others before they drop off.  

Apple blossom
And guess what else we have?  Our first ever apple blossoms!  Not just here...

Dorsett Golden apple blossom
...but two different branches!  We're hoping that this year we get our first ever apples.  This is on the Dorsett Golden apple tree.  It's been in the ground two years now so hopefully it will do it's thing.

It's nice to see a payoff to hard work, albeit a small payoff but one nonetheless.  It's shows us we've done something right.  Now we just need time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


This weekend it was time...

...time to harvest the garlic and start the curing process!  Our first batch ever to make it to this point!  2nd Man came out with me Saturday but we had to leave early for the rugby game (see yesterday's post) and then he had to work Sunday. So I ventured out alone on Sunday.  We just couldn't leave it one more week..

As a bit of background, this was the raised bed of garlic a few weeks ago...  

You have to have patience but as soon as they start to turn brown, you stop watering, this is usually about a week or two before harvesting. This lets the soil dry out and prevents bulb rot.

Raised bed garlic
After a couple of weeks this is what they look like. We probably should have done this last weekend but with limited time, well, priorities, ha. These aren't dead, they are just doing what they do.  While they are still somewhat green but browning and yellowing, it's time to remove them from the ground.

Garlic being dug up from the ground
You can of course just pull them straight out of the ground but you run the risk of damaging the garlic heads so it's best to just dig out around them.  Our soil, being a raised bed and full of organic material, is very loose so I just used my hands to dig out around them and gently pulled them up.

See the papery skin around the neck?  This is what happens as the plant dries out after it's matured.  And this is what you want to encourage, the drying of the "paper" all around the bulb.  

Shake the soil off but don't rub it. You don't want to break or damage that protective skin.  Don't wash them either.  This will elicit bulb rot if the moisture gets inside the bulb.   

Garlic sunburn
Did you know that freshly pulled garlic can sunburn? We didn't either but after I read that, I was prepared during the harvest.  Since it took a little while to get them all up, I grabbed a couple of our old t-shirts and used them to cover up the garlic as I loaded them into the basket.

Side note, when we buy new t-shirts, we wash and bleach the old ones and store them away for using around the house.  Usually cleaning windows, washing and drying vases, things like that.

This time, they worked great for the garlic project.

Empty raised bed
After they were all pulled up, this is the raised bed after it was emptied.  Will need to prep it later this Summer just in time for next Fall's crop of garlic.

And the cycle repeats (hopefully!)

Garlic harvest basket
Here is the basket on the porch.
So much garlic!

Garlic pulled from the ground
A few were huge.  This looks so good!
A great large head of garlic. 

Sorting garlic for drying/curing
I put that little cart I found downstairs last year to good use yet again.  I tried to sort them by size and got the roll of twine out and a pair of scissors.  

The first batch I tied using regular brown twine.  I kept losing it in the brown leaves so I switched to a dark green color so I could find the ends, ha!

Bundles of garlic
I grouped them in bunches of five.  Then I wrapped around the tops of the bundle, tied it off, and created a loop of twin to hang it from.  As I did each bundle, I just used some random nails on the porch to hang them while I finished all of them.

Garlic hanging in the barn
Then I took them to the barn, hammered some nails in the rafters and hung the garlic bundles  I spread them apart so they will get some air circulation.  They need to be hung and kept in a dark and dry spot.  We've definitely got the dark part down in the barn and we're crossing our fingers for the dry part.  We normally have humid weather of course but this week is supposed to be dryer and hotter so we think they'll be ok in the barn for now.

We'll just have to have faith and see how they do this coming weekend.  That's about all we can do.  

Texas Lilac (Vitex) in bloom 
The weather outside was hot of course but the porch was breezy, shaded and naturally cooler.  I can't tell you how relaxing and peaceful it was just sitting there on the porch, in the rocking chair, with the cart in front of me, wrapping the garlic in bunches to hang.  Hearing nothing but bees buzzing around the the Texas Lilac, which is currently in a sweet smelling bloom period, well, I felt connected to the farm in a way I hadn't ever experienced before...

It was a good way to end the weekend.

Monday, May 28, 2018


Saturday was our first home game for the 
that we were able to attend since the first one we went to.  The second one was the weekend we moved and timing just didn't work out.  

We were excited to go back, hot as it was, ha!

Flag and National Anthem
During the National Anthem, they unfurled a flag and then...

Coast Guard flyover
...there was even a flyover just as the anthem ended.  It was a rescue helicopter from the Coast Guard.  Very neat to see, it flew low and made a couple of passes over the stadium.

Houston Sabercats vs Utah Warriors
The game was action packed as always.

Our players were great on both defense...

...and offense. 

Sam Windsor about to kick
Speaking of great plays here was one. Sam Windsor was up next for getting some extra points on the board.  He kicked the ball from the 50 meter line...

It was a long way...

But it flew high and straight down the field...

And he slotted it right through the uprights!  
Three more points!

We entered half time with a lead.

Houston Ladycats
Here are the Houston Ladycats, the Sabercats' cheerleaders.  As usual, they put on a great halftime entertainment program.  Great job Ladycats!!

Sabercats and Warriors
The second half was just as rough and tumble as the first half.

Houston Sabercats Rugby
Both teams played well and we had the upper hand several times.  

Rugby scrum, Houston Sabercats vs Utah Warriors
Here is one of several scrums that happened.  Always fun to watch and root for your team.

Alas, in the end, a last minute score by Utah gave them the lead and ultimately the win.  

Next home game is this coming weekend. A night match.  That should be fun!


EDIT: Somehow, this posted but didn't allow comments or show up in sidebar feeds of other blogs.  Not sure what happened.  A glitch I suppose.  I turned it back on and a couple of coments appeared.  

Sorry if you were unable to comment.

Sunday, May 27, 2018


 It's been a good weekend.  Saturday I got to mow and of course you all know how much I enjoy that.  How much?  

Well, this much!  HA!

Got a lot done.

There were veggies ready too...

But then we had to get back into town for our rugby game...

Today I went to the farm by myself to finish a project, but more on that in its own post...

Came back in time for the Indy 500 and...

NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 is on now...

Feels like 103 degrees at 4:44.  It's hot.  Good time to stay inside.  

There is chicken in the oven and...

Hobart says hello!

Hope your weekend is a good one so far!  More on all these in upcoming posts (and comments catch up!).

Friday, May 25, 2018


Here's something neat and with good memories.

I got these two lamps after my Grandfather died and my Mom and her family were cleaning out the house.  These were in the cellar (Oklahoma, where every other house has a cellar) and I asked if I could have them.  No one else wanted old, used, oil lamps so they became mine.  To be honest, I put them in a box and stored them in the garage at the house (this was 2001) and forgot about them.  There they sat until we sold the house and were cleaning out things.  

I put them in storage again only this time at the farm and recently got them out yet again while I was straightening up the barn. This time we brought them back into town and will get them all cleaned up. 

They need new metal parts (I'm going to have to learn the names of all these parts, ha). 

They also need new wicks, but maybe that comes with the whole upper part.  We believe Lehman's has these types of supplies in stock, hope they have the correct size (any other website suggestions?).

Vintage oil lamps
It'll be easy to replace the parts because they just screw in. We'll just need to measure the openings since the ring portion that the whole top part screws into is permanently mounted inside the glass base.  

They aren't valuable.  To some they would just be a matching set of old school oil lamps, but for me, the fact that they lit the way during dark and stormy times, well, that makes them priceless.

Besides, a homestead can always use an alternative source of light during a disaster or power failure, right?

Thursday, May 24, 2018


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 someday, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!

Regular blog readers know that I have a desire for a hammock.  I've been told though to "wait" by 2nd Man, which I think means possible future gift?  Shhh, he won't see this blog post, ha.  So anyway, while I "wait", it doesn't hurt to look at pictures and plan for some future possibility.  

While I think I found two trees near the house that would work nicely, this idea of two large posts is pretty great too.  This means you could put one anywhere.  Of course they'd have to be set in concrete but still, could be a good alternative.  

Be inspired!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Here's a favorite breakfast of ours. It's pretty simple but has some great flavor.  

We take about 1/2 dozen eggs (this makes enough for a couple meals for us) 
2 cups baby spinach
Seasonings if desired (we used 1 Tbsp each of dried cilantro and onion flakes).  

This is one pound of Mexican style Chorizo fino (it's the all meat, no cereal fillers version).  It's raw and needs to be cooked.  Cook in skillet over medium high heat until mostly done, about 10 minutes.  

It will continue cooking some more in the next step.  Drain the oil and then push the sausage to one side of the pan.

Add the baby spinach to the hot skillet, reduce heat to medium and cook.

Continue cooking spinach until it is wilted and incorporated into the sausage.

Pour in the beaten egg mixture and cook until done (scrambled eggs consistency).

Plate it up and enjoy.  We serve it with Lavash on the side, but of course you could also use flour tortillas (traditional) to make breakfast tacos.