Friday, September 28, 2018


What IS it about clean laundry and cats?  

It's like a is Hobart, about 10 seconds after I put the basket down.  I had folded half the items in there and went to put them up.  I came back and there he was, giving me this look.  Of course, instead of running him off, we let him take his nap, because, well, sleeping cats...they should be allowed to do their thing, right?

We have rain in the forecast again this weekend.  We'll see.  They could be wrong.  Let's just get through Friday first...

Thursday, September 27, 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!

Raised bed flower garden, image via
With gloomy gray skies for what seems like weeks on end lately, our thoughts turn to flowers.  Probably a little late in the season but it's never to early to daydream, ha.  We've always liked this idea of a raised bed filled with flowers. We've posted a few in prior Thursday posts, this one his nice as well. 

We have some empty raised beds in the garden we aren't using each season (yet) for veggies, so it might be fun to plant some flower seeds in a couple and put the irrigation to them when next Spring rolls around. Since they are raised and have good soil, we should have amazing flower potential.

Be inspired!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018


One thing I love almost as much as working in the yard is shopping.  I know, some people are bored to tears by shopping.  My Mom took me around to every antique shop, flea market, garage sale, craft store, decorating store she could find when I was young.  Don't get me wrong, she didn't go crazy buying stuff.  More often than not, we just window shopped but it was always nice to just roam around.

2nd Man isn't much of a shopper, EXCEPT for kitchen supply stores, restaurant supply stores, grocery stores etc.  I on the other hand can roam around in just about any store for a couple of hours, looking at things and imagining where they could go.

Case in point, about three weeks ago, I stopped at a couple of stores on the way to the farm.

I found these two signs.  I got them because when I saw them I knew exactly where they would go.  

We put the "Farm Sweet Farm" sign above the mirror in the foyer by the front door.  It's the perfect spot for it as one of the first things you see.

The "Live/Love/Eat" sigh (a perfect motto by the way) hangs from a doorknob in the pantry (sorry, I missed the picture of it).

Then I found this beautiful item at another store.  It's a tin, painted pineapple.  I guess a sort of artsy/decorative item. It doesn't really "do" anything, expect look pretty, ha.  It's vibrantly painted in yellows, oranges and of course green.

Just like the signs, when I saw it, I knew where it was going as well!  This is a stand in the entryway that is ironically below the mirror in the top picture, ha.  We were never sure what to put on that bottom shelf because baskets always seemed to be too                   small, just sort of using the bottom 1/4 of space, still seemingly empty.  This now sits on the shelf and visually fills up the space.

Pineapples are a symbol of hospitality and so it seemed appropriate to be another one of the first things you see when you open the door.

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


Citrus trees
The Good:
Part 1

I found the three citrus trees that we'll need to plant behind the house with the other fruit trees!  Yay!  I was so excited.  I was on the way to the farm, it wasn't raining so on a whim I stopped in a garden center that was having an "end of season" sale.  All plants/trees 75% off.  I figured what the heck, maybe they'll have the varieties we'll need for our area.  Sure enough, they had the ones we needed according to our local Ag department list.

So we have replacement lemon, lime and orange for the new location behind the house.  This will keep them close by so we can better protect them in the Winter (with electrical outlet, we can even put lights/timers on them to keep them warm).

They are pretty nice specimens, about 5 feet tall.  Best of all, $39.95 marked down to $10 each.  

Mowing on the Zen Machine
The Good:
Part 2

I was able to get everything mowed!  I went out there expecting rain but while it was raining in town, it was not raining (yet) at the farm.  So, pleasantly surprised, I grabbed my jumped on the zen machine and did my thing.  This is a shot from along one side of the property.

Storm clouds coming
The Bad:

Here's the bad. The weather turned.  I knew it was coming and sure enough, the wind started blowing, there was thunder in the distance and things started to deteriorate.  Remember the sepia tone beginning of The Wizard of Oz?  It was kind of like that.  I knew I had to batten down the hatches and get on the road or I'd be stuck there.  Mind you this was after "the ugly" (below) and so I was ready.  I got in the Jeep and headed back into town, driving through a monsoon rainstorm and lightning streaking across the sky.  Any other time it might be fun to watch.

The Ugly:

Yes, this is a wasp story.  Definitely bad.  I hate them.  Click HERE to read the details I posted Sunday.  Long story short, I was trimming a plant and there was a wasp nest that I didn't see and I got stung four times.  I'm better today, thank you for all the suggestions.  I thought about the fact that I had stings and for some people that can be dangerous.  Since I was by myself, I kept my phone with me just in case something started to feel different.  Thankfully, 2nd Family is always only a minute away.

I was going to catch up on comments yesterday but didn't get on the computer much.  I will start tonight. We hope you all had a great weekend, with lots of good and no bad or ugly, ha. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018


So yesterday at the farm, I thought I'd finally trim those bushes on each side of the front stairs.  I did the first one, it went great.  I started on the second one.  Had trimmed about half of it when I grabbed a branch and didn't realize there was a wasp nest in one of the branches...

The first one got the top side of my right hand...

The next one hit the back of my left arm elbow...

The third one hit my temple...

The fourth one hit behind my ear...

Since wasps can sting over and over, I'm not sure if it was one wasp four times or multiple wasps.  Whatever it was, they are dead.  I sprayed that nest and killed all of them.  Then in my pain induced frenzy I went around the house and sprayed every nest I could find no matter where it was.  

The pain is pretty harsh for about 10 minutes. Then it goes away only to come back later. Today I have some swelling on the back of my arm, my pinky finger has tingling and the ones on my head are sore, probably because the skin is thinner on your head.

Good day to stay in and rest.

Update on the rest of the weekend tomorrow. 

Saturday, September 22, 2018


We saw this and it made us laugh.  SO true.  Yesterday was 92.  

Today is supposed to get to 90.  AND it's raining.  With the potential for flooding.  Rain chances are at 90% today and 70% tomorrow.  Sigh.  No mowing this weekend I would presume.  As this posts, barring a monsoon downpour, I'll be at the farm to check the house, water the plants on the porch, check around the property, look at the garden and fruit trees, and do a few things inside.  2nd Man will stay in town and work from home.

Sausage gravy with homemade biscuits
Of course the morning started with sausage gravy and biscuits.  The breakfast of champions, ha!

Hope your weekend is off to a better start...

Friday, September 21, 2018


Haven't posted any thrift store finds recently.  I found these a couple of weeks ago while at lunch.

Hanging candle lanterns
Ceramic candle lanterns with handles to hang them.  They don't look like they have ever been used.  They are a white ceramic and have a beautiful perforated pattern of holes on them.  

Candle lantern
Each one is between the size of a pint and a quart Mason jar. We're not crazy about the shiny brass wire handles but that could be easily remedied.  

While they could stay inside the house, we're thinking of using them on the porch.  We don't even have to use actual candles, we could use the battery operated tea lights.  

The best part is when a candle is lit up inside, it puts out a beautiful pattern of lights that dance on the walls and ceiling.

Price?  $1 each.

Thursday, September 20, 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!

As Summer comes to a close, and our own flowerbeds are now just a mass of dead plants and weeds (more weeds now than dead plants) we are reminded about what can be done when we see a picture like this.

It looks like they are all annuals but the mix of colors is just so vibrant and colorful.  We think next Spring we may just do something like this to shake things up a bit.  Our flowerbeds are almost identical to this.  

Be inspired!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Here's another sheet pan breakfast we make.  This I guess is sort of like a sheet pan omelet.  It's a variation on another one that we do.

We roasted some new potatoes and sliced up sausage (already fully cooked) on a sheet pan. Tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper (potatoes cut in half) and then roasted it all at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. 

We had some bacon already cooked from a few days before.  We like to keep cooked bacon on hand, you never know when you might need it, it's like duct tape for the kitchen, ha. We crumbled up several slices on a sheet pan.

Add the potatoes and sausage to the bacon and scatter about evenly. Yes bacon and sausage, this is a meat lovers omelet, ha.

Six eggs in a bowl with herbs and seasonings to taste.  Here we used about 1 TBSP onion flakes, 1 tsp garlic powder,, 1 tsp dried parsley, salt, pepper and some red pepper flakes, again it's really all to taste and of course to your personal preference. 

Pour egg mixture over meat and potatoes.

Scatter 1 cup shredded cheese (this is a Monterrey jack blend) over the top of all and pop in the oven.  

Sheet pan omelet
Bake in the oven at 400 degrees, for about 20 minutes or until eggs are set and cheese is melted and bubbly.  All you really want to do is make sure the eggs are set and cooked.

Slice it up and serve.  It's great for breakfast or a lunch or even a snack. We can eat on it for a couple of days several times.  It's very flexible you could add veggies, other meats, different cheese, more seasonings, etc.  


Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Well, less a relocation than just a new place to grow them.  The ones that froze in the big freeze last year have never really come back.  It looks like they came back from below the graft so they will never fruit. 

Sure enough, all Spring and Summer, not a single flower and the leaves look a bit different than before. 

That being said, we felt that ultimately they are in the wrong spot to take care of properly.  They are harder to water where they are now and they are harder to keep covered and/or warm in the Winter.

So here in a few weekends, they will be removed and we will repurpose the galvanized metal ring containers elsewhere on the property.  

As for new trees, there is a prefect spot for each one in the middle of the rows and in between every two beds of existing trees.  That makes room for three more trees in the orchard behind the house.

One more advantage of being behind the house is now we can easily plug in some Christmas lights to put around the the citrus trees if we get another hard freeze this year.  We'll still use our frost cloth but now we can easily supplement it with other things to keep the trees alive in a hard freeze.  

Raised bed orchard
As it turns out, we still have three unused sets of the steel corners to build the raised beds.  Three is all we need.  One lime, one orange and one lemon!

I will build the raised beds once the weather cools down but of course won't plant right away.  At least the hardest part will be done and all we will need is the soil and the trees.

This time of year, there are 70% off sales at most of the garden centers. We can (hopefully) get the three we need for our area. A Meyer lemon, a Persian lime and a Mandarin orange. We don't need to plant them now as we can keep them alive this Winter by keeping them in town on the balcony until it's time to plant them in raised beds early next year.

There is one more advantage to taking them out from behind the garden, it leaves us space for future a greenhouse perhaps?  :-)

Sunday, September 16, 2018


Sunday musings.   We had rain yesterday, the farm according to 2nd Family is muddy and wet, so even though today is Sunny, we've decided to just stay in town this weekend.  

My boss was in New Mexico and brought us back a big bag of peppers from a local Farmer's Market. The orange is of course an orange bell.  Does anyone know what the red ones are?  Before you answer, it's sweet.  Not hot or spicy at all, almost like a sweet red bell pepper.  We're going to save some seeds and maybe see if we can grow them here next year.

This cow.
Ready for her closeup. 

Last weekend I noticed that the Maypops (Passion flower) are developing fruit.  We thought they were only in the Spring?  Not sure if we can harvest these, honestly have never eaten them.  We've always seemed to miss them, they are there one weekend, we forget for a couple of weeks and then they are gone (wildlife we presume).

Maybe we should try?

No truer words!

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Friday, September 14, 2018


OK, we saw this and it made us laugh. Thought with all the oppressive news that seems to be non-stop, we could all use a laugh.

And of course we ARE in Texas, ha!

Hope those in the East are safe from Florence.  We have a rain event from a "tropical system" in the Gulf and so our weekend is looking to be yet another washout.  We'll see.  

Thursday, September 13, 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!

We'd love to find an old wheelbarrow like this one. Though this one is so cool as a vintage piece I'm not sure I'd want to fill it with flowers, ha.  Anyway, we love this idea and have posted other wheelbarrow "flowerbeds" before.  

This one looks like it could be just a vessel to hold potted flowers.  Either way it's very pretty just as a focal point in the middle of the yard.  And it's mobile so it can be moved around to other spots in the yard!

Be inspired!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


I love pasta.  In any way, shape or form.  I think I must have been Italian in a previous life.  So when 2nd Man says "do you want pasta?" I'm all like "um, YEAH!!!!!"

This one is simple and good.

Simple tomato sauce.  This has no meat.  It's made of tomatoes both canned and fresh.  Oregano, basil, garlic, salt and pepper.  Just a basic sauce, any style you like.  Of course you can put meat in your sauce if you are so inclined.  

Next, boil a pound of lasagna noodles in salted water.  Remove when they are al dente and lay out to dry a bit (we put ours on a fresh dishtowel). 

In a separate bowl, mix one 15 oz container of ricotta cheese, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 large egg, 1 TBSP fresh Italian flat leaf parsley (chopped), 1 TBSP fresh basil (chopped), and salt and pepper to taste.

Spread about 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.

Spread 2 to 3 TBSP filling on each lasagna noodle and roll up.

Place seam side down in sauced baking dish. 

Just keep repeating the process until... have filled your baking dish with the rolled up noodles.

Pour remaining sauce over the top of all.

Sprinkle some shredded cheese over the top and place, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for about 50-60 minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbly.

Remove from oven and dish it up. It's so yummy, almost like having a lasagna (I said "almost", ha).