Wednesday, October 31, 2018


We hope you have a scary and safe Halloween!  

Image via
Every year we post something about Halloween candy and favorites by state.  This year we saw this and thought we'd see what everyone thinks.

What is your LEAST favorite Halloween Candy?

Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Found three more "clearance plants" at the store the other day.  This time they were TWICE as much as the last ones we got...  

There were a whopping TWO dollars each, ha.

We got two Cape Honeysuckle, they are hardy down to low 20's and drought tolerant once established.  I think they can get big so we need to find the right spot for them.  We certainly have the space!  

They only had one of these but we got it anyway.  It's a lime sizzler firebush.  Also freeze and drought tolerant.  Looks like a very pretty plant from the pictures we've seen online.

Raised bed Napa cabbage
Here is the Fall garden update.  These are the Napa cabbages.  Doing very well and look healthy and strong.  So glad to have them.  We have a recipe we really want to try...

Georgia collard greens
...and here are the Georgia collard greens.  Also doing great, nothing looking weak as they have perked up and even grown a bit bigger.

It'll be a small harvest this Fall but it will still, hopefully anyway, be substantial enough to provide a few meals.  Nothing wrong with that!

Monday, October 29, 2018


It was a BEAUTIFUL weekend.  I went to the farm Saturday.  Stopped at the garden center on the way out (more on that tomorrow).  

The yard is still mowed
I was hoping I wouldn't have to mow so I could work the fruit trees.  I was in luck.  Even with some rain this past week, the cooler weather has apparently told the grass "don't grow, Winter is coming" and this is what it looked like...exactly a week after the last mowing.  Looks like I just did it!

Bags of soil
Since I anticipated not having to mow, I stopped and picked up some bags of soil, to top off the fruit tree raised beds.  But first, I needed to do something else.  I needed a way to protect the base of the trunk from the weedeater, keep soil from being too close to it, etc.  Plus it's a solution that allows me to easily change them out as the trees grow.

4" coupler
So I found these 4" diameter couplers in the plumbing section.  I bought eight, one for each tree (I just realized as I typed this, I'll need three more once I get the citrus planted, but that's next Spring). I think each one was maybe a dollar?  

Fruit tree trunk protection
Then I took my utility shears and cut through one side of each one.  This way they could easily go around the base of the tree, kind of like a C-clamp.

Tree trunk protector
I put them in place and then topped off the soil in each bed
(oops, missed that spot of grass).

Raised bed orchard
When I was done, other than needing a last "edging" of the season later on, they are clean and ready for some straw mulch next weekend.

Side note, that picture of the ring around the base of the tree, that's one of the apple trees.  It's grown almost twice as big as when I put it in the ground.  It is definitely happy!

Sunday, October 28, 2018


It's been a long weekend, which I guess is good. Saturday was farm day solo as 2nd Man had to go in to work. More on Saturday's tasks in tomorrow's update but wanted to post something today and check in.  

Fresh bay leaves
2nd Man reminded me to grab some bay leaves for cooking because we were out.  So I snipped off some leaves and brought them back.

We washed them and left them in the window ledge to let them dry.

Bay leaves
Then we put them into an empty jar we have and they are ready to be used.  Harvesting your own stuff is so rewarding when it comes time to cook with it...even something as simple as bay leaves.

Speaking of bay, does anyone know which leaves are better to harvest?  I mean, I guess obviously the older leaves and not new young growth. My question is more along the lines of how far down the tree and how many can you safely take?  Do they grow back in the same spot or does this cause it get taller and more branches?  It's in a pot and grows slowly so I don't want to take too many leaves.  

Homemade meatloaf
Dinner today is meatloaf and mac and cheese.  Of course after a meal of meatloaf comes leftover meatloaf sandwiches...and that will be tomorrow's yummy meal.

We would be remiss if we didn't mention the horrific act of terror in Pittsburgh, PA.  It just horrifies us that people harbor such hatred and it only seems to be getting worse.  Our deepest sympathies to those families and indeed the residents of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania.  We are all indeed stronger when we are together and United.  We must get back to that and push the hatred back into the dark recesses it has been let out of.

Friday, October 26, 2018


We saw this and it made us laugh so we thought we'd share and maybe you'll get a laugh. Who knew cows could be so musical (and fans of 80's hits)?  

It's Friday, finally, and it's been a long week for some reason.  Work has been stressful for both of us, 2nd Man has been feeling a bit under the weather, not sick like having a cold, but just "feeling" the weather change, and we've had rainy, dreary days most of the week.  Today, finally, it is nice and this weekend is supposed to be beautiful.  We'll see if they are right and we'll see what can get done at the farm.


Thursday, October 25, 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!

OK. today is going to be just a random picture.  One of those that just appeals to us on many levels.  Maybe because it combines much of what we like...let's see, large outdoor table, check.  Pergola cover, check.  Cut fresh flowers, check.  Lights in the pergola for nighttime, check.  Neatness factor, check.  There's even a pizza oven in the background!
Check check! ha.  

Again, nothing specific, just the overall "feel" of the photo and the area it's in.  I guess in the grand scheme of things, we like this "style".

Be inspired

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


A very dear coworker told me the other day that Lowe's had some great deals on plants.  So on my way to the farm, I stopped off at a Lowe's.

Sure enough, they had a huge section of plants on sale.  The sign showed 75% off.  Great deal.  I got my cart and walked around and picked out 15 plants and headed to the checkout.  

I got up there and she rang them up and they were only $1.00 each!  I started to go back and get more but I had to get on the road to the farm in case it started raining.

Sorry about this picture, the green colors kind of blended together.  The final haul was:

Six rainbow lantana
Three yellow lantana
Three radio red salvia
Three blue butterfly bush

I'm going to stop again this weekend and see if they have anything else I might could use.  These are all good plants for our area, drought tolerant and mostly freeze tolerant as well (lantana will freeze but usually comes back).  I won't be getting them in the ground this Fall, it's a bit late in the season as we're getting cooler now for me to be able to safely put them in the ground.  I'll just keep them on the porch until next Spring.  It will be instant plants without having to go to the store to buy new.  Hoping for some more this weekend, though fifteen new ones for next Spring planting isn't bad.

Anyone else buy the "clearance plants" in Winter?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Wings Over Houston airshow cloudy and rainy
So this weekend was hit and miss.  You probably saw our post about the airshow.  Well, it was a bust. I mean we had fun seeing the planes (more on that in an upcoming post) but the airshow portion (including the Blue Angels) was cancelled because ceiling (cloud cover) was too low.  Our tickets were only for Saturday so of course, wouldn't it be our luck that Sunday...

Green grass and blue skies was blue skies, dry, cool and just beautiful.

So at least I had a great day for yard work.  I didn't need to water as we had received some rain during the week, but I did mow and as you can see above, it looked nice when it was done.  Probably not much more mowing this season with our cooler weather.

Raised bed Fall garden
And, wait, what's this?

Well we did go ahead and plant a couple things for the Fall garden, yay!  We're doing one bed of Napa cabbage (we did it a couple years ago and it did great for us) and another bed I filled up with Georgia collards.  We love them and they have also done well for us in the past.

The garlic will be planted in early November (same as last year) and so that will give me some things to keep an eye on this Fall.

Pork chop and pasta
We had food at the airshow (breakfast, lunch and afternoon hot dogs and ice cream) so Saturday night was just snacking at home.  Sunday though, after a day of mowing and planting and watering, I got to have a big thick pork chop with pasta Alfredo made with mascarpone cheese.  So yummy and very satisfying way to end the weekend.  

Hope you had a great weekend! 

Saturday, October 20, 2018


Today we are getting out and doing something fun and different, something we haven't been to in a long time.  Today, as this posts, we will be at the Wings Over Houston Air Show.  It's an annual air show.  They have planes on display to walk around and get inside of.  Of course they have all sorts of flying planes and aerobatics and war reenactments.  Oh and this year they are going to have the Blue Angels for the first time in a few years so that will be fun. 

We splurged and got the super duper tickets.  We have reserved seats, breakfast lunch and afternoon snacks, private entrance, up front parking, our own bathrooms, open bar with free drinks of all types, and we each get a cap, program and poster.

It will be an all day event, fingers crossed for good weather because if it rains we don't get a refund.  

Pics in a future update.  Tomorrow should be the farm but we'll see how tired we are and how the weather is.  We are supposed to have a lot of rain early next week and it could start Sunday.

Friday, October 19, 2018


OK, fess up, how many of you experience something like this?  As a teen/young adult of the 80's, my brain knows the lyrics of, oh, 1,765 songs or somewhere thereabouts.  I can sing along with every single top ten single of the 80's...but the other day at work we were talking about dinner and someone asked what we had last Friday.  Um.  I couldn't remember.  

So 80's, 70's, 60's songs filling your head vs what you needed in the kitchen, a meal from a week ago, a name, it's all the same I guess.  Maybe our brains have a limited capacity and I filled mine up with too many songs?  HA!

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, October 18, 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!

Wishing well herb garden, image via
OK, so this one is silly but still kind of fun.  Someone took a barrel, painted it, put a roof over the top of it and made it a wishing well.  Actually, with the herbs (looks like rosemary mostly) growing around it, it becomes kind of a neat way to have a focal point that is both cute to look at and be productive as well.

Be inspired!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Yesterday, I posted HERE about cleaning up the raised beds over the weekend and getting them ready for Winter sleep and/or planting.

We're still trying to decide if we want to do a Fall garden.  Of course I've missed the time for Fall tomatoes, peppers, etc, so I will have to plant things that like cold.  We might do a bed of collards, we love those, and a couple of years ago, we had success with Napa cabbage.

That being said, there WILL be planting for sure.  This box came a couple weeks ago.

What is it?

Lorz Italian seed garlic
OUR GARLIC!  Woo-hoo!  We ordered from the same place we did last year, Great Northern Garlic.  By the way, we don't get anything in return for you clicking.  We just wanted to provide the link.  You have to order earlier in the season to be guaranteed to get some (they are already sold out for this season).

This time we ordered enough to plant TWO beds of garlic.  Since we had good luck this Spring with the garlic we planted last Fall, we decided to double our yield.  We might be swimming in garlic next Spring but there could be worse things right?  

This bag of seed garlic is the same variety we grew this year.  Don't mess with a sure thing, ha.  It's currently in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator getting "chilled" so we can trick it into thinking it's Winter.  It will get a head start on doing what it does best.  We did this last season and it worked great for us.  Last year we planted the garlic on November 7th. We're aiming for the first weekend in November this year as well.  

So at least there will be planting, just not sure of the extent of the rest of the garden.  I feel like I need a break from bigger Fall gardening but then I feel like I'm missing out if there's not at least something else growing that we can harvest.

We'll see!

Monday, October 15, 2018


Well this weekend was time to clean up the garden.  I had pulled up all the spent plants weeks ago.  I should have done all the rest of this already but it's just been so hot and my time has been limited by other obligations, I just didn't get to it.

With cooler(ish) weather, this weekend was time.

All the beds looked like this.  Plants gone but the straw mulch was still there and, though I had already done it when I took this picture, some random weeds and grass in every bed too.

The first thing I did was pull up all the weeds and then I raked up the straw and disposed of it.  I put it in my garden cart and took it to a wooded area and scattered it around.  Waste not!  

Next I broke up the old soil and added a small bag of compost and a large bag of raised bed blend soil.

4 x 4 raised bed
Then I just mixed it all up with a shovel and smoothed it out.

4 x 8 raised bed
Here's the long raised bed after I did it.  I left the chives in the middle because they are perennials and the row will make a nice way to separate the areas for future plantings.

Raised garden beds end of Summer
Here's another shot.  The back four beds before I had raked up all the straw mulch.

Raised garden beds
And after...all cleaned and freshened up with new soil.  We're hoping the wind will blow away all the straw that blew out onto the ground, ha.

They are ready for planting and/or closing up for Winter.  More on that tomorrow.

Saturday, October 13, 2018


Today it's off to the farm.  We have cooler weather, though not as cool as I'd hoped and there's a chance of rain.  But much cooler weather is coming.  I am hoping I don't have to mow or edge and in fact, I might just skip it even if I do have to.  

It's going to be really cool next week so the growing should slow down.  My goal today is to get the garden ready for planting or sleep.  Or combination of both.  More on that later.  I'll be stopping at the garden center on the way for soil and compost and maybe a plant or two.

Hope your weekend is off to a good start!


A grocery store near my office is remodeling.  They are constantly putting stuff on clearance because I guess they are making space for new/more stuff.

So the other day I found these:

Spiral Jars from Ball Canning
Two cases (though only four each) of the new(ish) widemouth spiral canning jars.

We guess this is something new this year.  Not sure if it's going to stick around but when I saw them and saw the price, it was too good a deal to pass up.

Ball Spiral Jars
That price?  They were originally marked down to $6.19 which would have been a not too bad deal in and of itself.  But these were ANOTHER 50% off of that price, so $3.09 for each set of four!

I'm not sure if there is anything special about having them shaped like this other than just being something different and more attractive than a regular jar but hey, for 77 cents each, we'll figure out something to do with them.

Thursday, October 11, 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 recently got our second galvanized tub (haven't blogged about it yet though).  After the big one we found downstairs at the apartment a few months back, we realized we should start looking for ideas.  So we found these and like how they are used.

Put in groupings, of course they aren't anything you couldn't do with random clay pots of a various sizes, but there is just something appealing (to us anyway) of the way they looked when grouped together like these are.

They are so pretty with flowers of varying sizes and colors.  It makes for neat focal points somewhere in the yard where the makeup of the ground soil doesn't matter.

Be inspired! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


Dinner can sometimes be simple and simple is sometimes the best.  Case in point, the other night we got home from work, dug around in the fridge and something came together.

BLT ingredients
Hamburger buns, toasted.
A sliced tomato.
Some mixed greens.
And of course bacon. 

A little mayo (or Miracle Whip) slathered on the bread, stack everything up and voila...

BLT sandwich
A perfect BLT.
One of life's most special meals, ha.

Easy.  Simple.  Best.