Monday, October 18, 2021

COOL WEEKEND FINALLY

It was such a pretty weekend.  So pretty that I lost track of time when I stopped off at some garden centers and got to the farm a bit later than I anticipated.  But that's OK, got a couple of bargains, more on those in upcoming posts.


I got there and the grass was fine, not too much longer but enough that I needed to mow...


It was a picture perfect sky for sure.  Cool breeze and low humidity.  It definitely felt like Fall was finally here.


I mowed, however my mower app is not working.  We got new phones last week and now the app doesn't track my mowing. I need to figure that out, I miss the tracking.  The good thing is I can still manually add a mow and put in the date and time so at least it will keep it in my history.  I emailed the app developer, we shall see if they create an update for it.

You can see in the photo above that I still need to edge around the workshop and shed.  I ran out of trimmer string and since I figured I won't have to mow this coming weekend, I'll buy it this week and do it then.


Look at the low at the farm on Sunday morning!  48 degrees!  Wow.  It was February or March the last time we dipped into the 40's.  This coming weekend should be nice and we hope so because...


...we have our garlic and it's almost ready to plant.  I checked the calendar and the last two times we planted it (and it was successful) was the first weekend in November.  So this coming weekend I'll finish up the garlic raised bed to get it ready for planting turning the soil again and adding compost and topping off with soil.  For now, they are in the fridge at the farm like bulbs, pretending it's gotten cold so they'll get ready to do their thing.  Maybe the weekend after, which is almost November 1st, will be a good planting weekend.

Part of what I was looking for at the garden centers was some collard green starter plants.  It's too late for me to start with seeds but in years past I've always gotten them in October.  This year I can broccoli, cauliflower and things like that but no collards.  I'm going to make some calls this week and see if I can find some.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

GOOD FOOD AND HOBART SUNDAY

 Where does the week go?  Here we are, another Sunday is here.  The weather has been so nice.  Today is of course a little warmer for a high than yesterday but we have low humidity and a cool breeze...so nice!

Avocado toast with bacon and egg

2nd Man made some homemade bread again and this morning, I made this for us.  Some toasted bread, spread with avocado, a fried egg and some crumbled bacon on top.  Life is good and so is the food!

Hobart is watching

We can't tell if Hobart was jealous of our delicious lunch or just having a stare down.  We think he'd rather watch for birds out the window and dream of what "could be", ha!  We've noticed that he's getting fluffier, as cats do when the seasons start to change.

Hope you are having a good weekend!


Friday, October 15, 2021

A WONDERFUL BIT OF NOSTALGIA

 We don't know about y'all, but we're both kids at heart around here...and a favorite memory from childhood was the annual airing of the Peanuts holiday shows.

It was a tradition as kids to watch every year (same with The Wizard of Oz, but that's a different story). 

These have been hit and miss in recent years and sometimes they only show one and not any of the others.  The other day, we read that all three are coming back this year on PBS, which probably means commercial free too.  Yes!

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Sunday, October 24 at 7:30pm ET on PBS


A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 21 at 7:30pm ET on PBS

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Sunday, December 19 at 7:30pm ET on PBS

We could all use a bit of the innocence of childhood in these trying times.  We for one, can't wait to welcome back some old friends!


Thursday, October 14, 2021

CARDINALS ARE BACK INSPIRATION THURSDAY

Haven't seen many cardinals this year but of course with just once a week visits, we may have just crossed paths with them.  The last couple of weekends though, we've seen more and more of them.

Or just the same one over and over, ha.


They are so pretty and always add pops of color to the yard.  When they sit in trees, they look like ornaments in a Christmas tree.

Bird Feeding Station, image courtesy of Better Homes and Garden, BHG.com

We posted this on one of our Inspiration Thursdays and we wanted to share it again. This is one idea and here is another we found recently...

Bird feeding area, image courtesy of DavesGarden.com

It's a neat idea to give the birds a place to stop off and get some food and water.  In this photo, we like how they incorporated plantings at the bottom (flowers are never a bad thing, ha) and it even has a birdbath for those hot Summer days.

So pretty and we'd definitely have happy birds!

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

CAPTURED LIGHTNING REALLY CLOSE

So recently, we had some thunderstorms roll through.  I decided to try to catch some lightning.
  

First photo.  Catching lightning is hard because, well, it IS lightning and of course you don't know when it will strike.  It was coming fast and repeatedly so what I usually do is have my shutter on automatic and I just hold down the button for a few seconds at a time and hope I can capture it.  That's what happened here.


Second photo.  Whoa!


Third photo.  OMG!


Fourth photo is blurry because, well, for obvious reasons, I didn't have the steadiest hand at this point! I'm lucky I didn't pee myself, LOL!  Remember, all of these pictures happened in less that 2 seconds.  I wish the final picture had been sharper but I can assure you, it was quite the light show in person!

And loud.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

GOOD FOOD AND HOBART SUNDAY AND MONDAY

It's been a good weekend.  Yesterday was beautiful, today looks like it might rain.  More on that tomorrow.  As has become sort of a tradition on Sundays, here is some good food and Hobart!

Homemade carnitas

2nd Man made carnitas.  For those who haven't had them, it is pork shoulder that is fried in all sorts of good ingredients and it gets crispy browned on the outside and is moist and tender and flavorful on the inside.  Cilantro, onions and a squeeze of lime and some tortillas...perfect meal.

Hobart deep in thought

Here is Hobart, pondering the great mysteries of life.  Or maybe the carnitas just smelled good and he was mad that he couldn't have any!

Hope you have had a good weekend full of good food, happy animals & whatever makes you smile.

Update: This will have to be Monday's post too, I'm adding this from my cell phone which isn't the easiest thing.  Hoping internet is working tonight. 

Friday, October 8, 2021

PAINT COLOR OF THE YEAR 2022

 Saw this online the other day...every year, the paint company Behr announces a color that they see trending on various sites and popularity in sales and come up with a new blend that they call "color of the year".

"Breezeway" image courtesy of Behr.com

Sure it's a marketing gimmick but they do have a knack for picking up trends year after year and the colors they come up with do seem to be popular.

Here is the color on a door.  They named the color "Breezeway".  It's a silvery green that the description says was inspired by the sea glass found on beaches around the world.  They wanted a color that was sort of a fresh start to the year with "renewal, restoration and healing" being the feelings they wanted it to convey when you saw it (and we can all use that in 2022).

It is pretty.  We've always been partial to a shade like this (it's kind of a lighter version of jadeite, ha) and seeing this one, it does seem to evoke a sense of calmness.  With a pending remodel of the farmhouse (hopefully) coming next year, we could see this color used in a bathroom or the mudroom or laundry room...seems like it could be a good choice.

Do you like it?


Wednesday, October 6, 2021

LODGE CAST IRON PIE PAN REVIEW

I've reviewed our other two Lodge additions to our kitchen.  It was the pizza pan reviewed HERE and then the baking pan reviewed HERE.  We love them both and this one will be more of the same Lodge-love, ha.


This is the LODGE cast iron pie pan.  We have used it a few times and it just works as amazingly well as their other products.  The heat conducting ability and even heating all over is just astounding.

Lodge now has a "store" on Amazon.

Here is the link (affiliate):


Lodge cast iron pie pan

Recently, he used it to make a chicken pot pie.  You can see the crust cooked evenly and browned beautifully.

Lodge cast iron pie pan handles and edge

There is a nice wavy design molded into the cast iron that can help create a decorative edge to your piecrust. 2nd Man didn't need a guide since his crust for the pot pie needs to be higher up because of the filling.

Chicken Pot Pie in a Lodge cast iron pie pan

Unfortunately, we couldn't turn it upside down to show you the bottom for obvious reasons, ha, but it was even and golden brown.  No soggy bottom!

It has really just been a perfect bake, every time.  He's made a pie in it twice (pecan and pumpkin) but I forgot to get pictures.  Will do that the next time and reference back to this.  As with everything from Lodge that we've ever purchased, it is a great cooking vessel.  And of course, like all cast iron, if you take care of it, it cleans up like a dream.  2nd Man loves it!


Monday, October 4, 2021

WEEDS FIRE ANTS AND A SCORPION OH MY

It was a pretty day at the farm.  Hotter than we'd prefer for October, but pretty.  


It was almost a picture perfect day, sky wise anyway, ha.  As you can see from the yard, it didn't need to be mowed, which was good.  Even though the ground was wet from about 2 1/2 inches of rain, it mostly absorbed and/or ran off.  Still, wasn't going to take the mower into areas that might be muddy so I skipped that.  Worked in the garden and almost have that finished up.

FIRST UP, WEEDS!


I had to find a before picture of the last bed I need to clean up and so this was it a few weeks back when there were still some old cucumbers on there.  The heat of Summer was at its peak and it only got worse from there with the grass and weeds growing.


I got it all cleaned out, fresh soil added and turned and now it's ready for the garlic planting.  But wait, what about that clump of of grass?

NEXT UP, FIRE ANTS!


That clump is a large fire ant mound.  You can see them above, all stirred up.  Every time I pulled up a weed or grass clumps, they swarmed out.  I have several bites on my hands and legs to attest to that.  Ugh.  We hate them.  If you are lucky enough to live in a part of the world without fire ants, consider yourself lucky.  They are nasty little things.  I put down a homemade remedy so next weekend, we're going to see how that worked.

LAST UP, SCORPION!


I moved a clay saucer that was on the railing in the garden and a scorpion wasn't happy to see me.  In all fairness, the feeling was mutual and as much as I hate killing things, one of us had to go.

The scorpion drew the short straw, ha.

I didn't need to water the fruit trees after the nice rain so I left those alone, much like I've left the grass around them alone.  It's a mess but dormant season is coming soon and I'll be able to take down the fishing line fencing and get the mower in there and probably borrow 2nd Family's push mower.

I also pulled up quite a few of the vines that we posted about the other day.  I also sprayed a homemade vinegar solution for weeds, we'll see how that worked.

Hope you all had a great weekend free of pests!

Sunday, October 3, 2021

GOOD FOOD AND HOBART SUNDAY

The farm was yesterday.  It's still hot here, though not AS hot as it has been.  We'll take any reduction in temperature.  As has become sort of a recent tradition on the blog, here is some good food and Hobart.

Steak dinner

This was dinner last night.  Nothing like a nice steak, with some sautéed mushrooms, asparagus, and a loaded baked potato.  A glass of wine completed the evening.  It was a good end to the day.

Hobart sleeping on the laptop

2nd Man said it's hard to work from home with a cat that decides a laptop makes a nice place to sleep, ha.  Here is Hobart, taking a cat nap on the laptop the other day.  It had been on and was closed up so it still was giving off warmth.  He probably thought we did it for him...because isn't that how cats always think?  LOL!

Hope you had a great weekend, eating and napping like us!


Saturday, October 2, 2021

RAINY FEW DAYS

The last few days have been rainy. No flooding but pretty heavy at times.


This was the radar image for most of yesterday morning. The farm and our apartment are there under all that. Not sure how much rain the farm has had but our guess is at least a couple of inches. It's been dry for a while so the ground hopefully soaked most of it up.

I'm guessing I won't be able to mow (not getting that mower stuck any more, ha).  But hopefully since I mowed it short last week, it hasn't grown that much.

The plan will be to finish up in the garden and then some projects inside the house.  I shouldn't have to water the fruit trees but the porch for plants for sure.

There is a chance of rain later this afternoon.

Hope your weekend is off to a great start!
More tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

NATURE FINDS A WAY

We might have stopped doing much in the scorching heat of Summer but apparently the weeds didn't...


This climbing vine is EVERYWHERE.  Here it is on the porch, taking over the railing and one of the posts. 


I guess I haven't used this rake and shovel in awhile, which makes them the perfect climbing posts...


Here's the rubbermaid cart that I've put about a hundred miles on over the last few years.  I think if we let it go longer, it would just be swallowed up and disappear into the earth, ha.

 In another time, it might be pretty and fun to let grow but it just goes crazy when we're not there to contain it.  None of this was bad a couple of weekends ago.  We don't even know what it is but it's prolific. Someday we might cultivate it in a special area and let it do its thing and enjoy the flowers but for now, it needs to go.
 
Anyone have any suggestions on how to get rid of it, other than Roundup or something like that.  There are no other plants around it that we care about so is there anything homemade we can use to get rid of it?

Monday, September 27, 2021

WARM WEEKEND BUT PRODUCTIVE


It was a cool start to the day.  It was 64 just before 9am at the farm.  It was beautiful.  I decided to go ahead and mow and be done with that.


CROP CIRCLES!  OK, so it's just the way I mowed over the front yard, going in a tighter circles while trying to disperse/even out the clippings when I was done.


About usual speed and distance.  OK with that.  Still some areas I've stayed away from until it gets cooler and the grass is dormant.  But, KNOCK ON WOOD, the mower is working as it should.

Guess what else?


I fixed the gate!

Without 2nd Man to help, I stood there for a bit thinking "how do I hold the gate in the right position to drill the new holes and put in new screws"?  Then I looked down and realized that I could use one of the landscape timbers to hold it up.  It worked perfectly!  I remounted both hinge pieces and was also able to redo the latch (since it didn't line up).  Now it works just as it should.  Small victory.  All I needed was for it not to be a "feels like" of 115 like it was all Summer, ha.

I did some work in the garden and bought a few bags of soil and compost to get ready for Fall planting.  Hoping to plant some collards and Napa cabbage.  For sure we'll be planting the garlic.

I also spent some time looking around inside the house for the snake.  I took a flashlight and opened every door and cabinet (with caution of course) and looked under the beds.  The only place I couldn't (or didn't) want to try to move were the couches.  I'll just assume it's not under there.  Everywhere else was clear.

The only guests were...


...these spiders.  They are everywhere this time of year but thankfully this one was just up in the corner of the porch out of my way.  I let her do her thing.  They eat bugs and mosquitoes and even wasps.  Go for it!

I watered everything well since rainfall has been sparse of late.  I didn't edge, still putting that off because it's going to be a lot of work and it was getting a bit warm.


By the time I left for the day it was 88 with a feels like of 92.  Not terrible but still not what we would call "FALL WEATHER".  It was perfect for a couple of days.  We do enjoy the lower humidity but really, you can't say high 80's or low 90's is Fall.  But that's coming.

Eventually.


On Sunday we had some work done on the truck so that was a farm errand of a different sort.  We've been slowly getting things done on it.  Last month we had all four tires replaced (tires are expensive).  I'd like to have new wheels but those are even worse, ha.  At least we have new reliable tires and the ones we got are made for rough roads as well as highway driving so hopefully they'll be good.

More on the truck later!

Sunday, September 26, 2021

GOOD FOOD AND HOBART SUNDAY

It's Sunday.  A nice relaxing day.  Yesterday was good, update tomorrow.  Today I awoke to smell of bacon cooking and then this...

Pancakes and bacon

...fresh pancakes with maple syrup and some wonderful applewood smoked bacon.  The breakfast, or in this case today, brunch, of champions!  So good.

Hobart sleeping in the sunshine

And for all you kitty lovers, here is a picture of Hobart doing his thing...which is sleeping...

In the sunshine...

On his afghan...

He'll be 16 in a couple of months so sleeping is pretty much a priority for him.  We can't blame him it's nice. 

Hope you all had a good weekend.  It was cooler here but the heat is coming back, closing in on 90's.


Friday, September 24, 2021

PRODUCE CRATE TRASH TO TREASURE

Regular readers know that I have a favorite place to look for bargains...our downstairs trash area!  Our building has trash chutes on every floor and they feed into a separate room, but for boxes and other things that people can't put in the chute, there is an area (indoor) near the loading dock where people can put the things they don't want.  I've found quite a few cool items over the last few years.

Here is one of the latest!

This was sitting with a pile of cardboard boxes and I almost passed it up thinking it was just another cardboard box.  The writing on it caught my eye.  I grabbed it, looked at it and decided it was worthy of saving, ha.  It's a wooden crate, albeit a very thin wood, that held oranges shipped from Spain.

It has great graphics on it with a very retro look to it.  It will be neat to use for storage.  We were thinking of using it in the pantry to hold something...maybe packages of pasta or something similar.

After all, storage doesn't have to be only practical, it can look fun too, right?