Monday, May 31, 2021


Today is Memorial Day...

...and we are thinking of all the men and women who have passed that have done so much for our country.

Thank you, your sacrifice does not go unnoticed. 

Friday night, we got a line of storms spring up and it brought HEAVY rain.  Above is the radar over the farm at about 10:15pm.  I spoke to "J" and she said we had almost 3 inches of rain added to the total at the farm.  We realized that meant it would be too wet for mowing this weekend and our only hope would be a dry Saturday and Sunday and no rainy Monday.  Well we got that and so today as this posts, we're headed out to check on things.  I'm hoping I can get some mowing in.  Even if I can only mow the driveway and the yard around the house, that'll be fine.

Fingers crossed!

Yesterday I made two racks of bbq ribs and we split one rack with a side of coleslaw and today we're having the other rack with homemade mac and cheese.

Sunday, May 30, 2021


 Regular blog readers know that we are fans of car racing.  NASCAR is what we most often watch but of course the INDY 500 is fun too and so today are TWO!

The Indianapolis 500 is on first (as this posts), followed this afternoon/evening by...

...the NASCAR Coca Cola 600 race.

We'll be "raced out" by the end of the evening, ha.  There are baby back ribs in the oven right now, I made some coleslaw and 2nd man is going to make mac and cheese.  We might be raced out but we'll be well fed.

We're off tomorrow and since we had a monsoon rain at the farm Friday night, tomorrow will be farm day to check things out and, hopefully, be able to mow.

Hope you are having a good weekend. 

Saturday, May 29, 2021


 We are devastated this morning to learn of the sudden loss of a dear blogger friend.  It has taken the wind out of my sails today and we are both shedding a tear.

Many of you will know her from her comments here.  She posted as "Anne Marie in Philly" and was a noticeable presence across many blogs with her wit and comments and love of life.

She also had her own blog here:

From My Brain To My Mouth

She was a self professed Str8 Ally to our community.  She loved life, she was fiercely political and hated injustice and intolerance and bigotry.  She never forgot our birthdays or our anniversary, always sending us well wishes and even creating posts on her own blog to give us a shout out.

She loved it when we posted pictures of Hobart.  This one was going up this weekend and we were looking forward to her comment so we dedicate it to her...

Goodbye dear Anne Marie, to quote the words you often used on your blog posts;

"This is how I am feeling right now...

Dance like no one's watching...

Sing like no one's listening..."

Well sweet Anne Marie, we hope you are dancing because we're all watching and we hope you are singing because we're all listening...

Thursday, May 27, 2021


Was in Kroger grocery store the other day on the way back from the farm and saw this...

...a huge display of Ball Mason canning jars.  I don't think I've ever seen quite so many in one place ever (short of some place dedicated to canning supplies).

I had to take two pictures to get it all in.  Normally, a Kroger grocery store has one small section, in the baking aisle, of canning supplies.  Sometimes there are a few varieties of jars but I've never seen this many all at once.  We were wondering if the pandemic sales were so high over the last year that stores are stocking up?

I think we have enough jars right now, but we'll keep our eyes out.  Once I can go back to thrift store shopping I will see if a lot of jars "appear" as people change their minds from quarantine canning, ha. 

Canning definitely gained in popularity during quarantine.  Regular readers know I've dabbled in it (and enjoyed it).  I keep all of our supplies in a canning jar cabinet at the farm and some things in the apartment.  When we get something done with the house, I have been saving ideas for not only storage of canned goods but places to keep all the supplies including empty jars.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021


Yesterday was the garden update, POST HERE, and today is the update for the fruit trees.

After the week long storms with high winds and some hail, we had to check the farm.  The house was fine, a couple of shingles lifted, but we've lost a few in the past nothing major and it's all going to be redone in some form later on.  The fruit trees survived the wind but...

...some of the apples did not.  Found about four scattered around.  Here are a couple in the grass.

Anna apples

Fortunately we still have some in the tree.  Here are two of them, hanging tight and still growing.  Fingers crossed they make it to harvest.


And look!  The "mystery fruit" has survived and is getting huge.  There are a couple more on on the tree so we're still leaving them all on to fully develop.  There is no fuzz on this so we're pretty sure it's not a peach.  This is the one we're eyeballing to be the first one ready as the others are a bit further behind.  The more and more they grow, the more it looks like this is actually a nectarine tree (related to peaches).

The true test will come when we cut it open and check out the pit and of course the taste.  Peak season for nectarine harvest is traditionally July/August.  At the rate this is growing, we can't imagine this making it to August seems more like a July ripening.

The blueberries and newly planted cherry bushes survived as well.  The blueberries are starting to plump up, we think they have truly loved all this rain.

Us, not so much...

"More flooding could be on the way to Houston; Flash Flood Watch in effect until Tuesday evening"

Above is one of the blaring headlines on local news sources.  Rain is good but we're ready for it to stop.  It has rained 18 of the last 24 days.  Yesterday was some flooding around town with more rain coming today.

Not sure if I'll be able to mow this weekend either...

Monday, May 24, 2021


Even though it was a washed out weekend (see yesterday's post), I was able to get out there.


Our first harvest from the garden...

Pickling cucumber and tomato

...OK, don't laugh, ha!

One pickling cucumber and one early girl tomato. We are guessing the rain put things into overdrive and a couple of them were ready.

Now what to do with them?

We could make the worlds saddest little salad, but instead we opted for using them to sample the first garden flavors of the season.

Cucumber spears

We sliced the cucumber up and then...

Cucumbers in pickle brine

...added it to the brine of some pickles we already had the refrigerator.  The brine can naturally do its thing to the freshly added cucumber.

As for the tomato...

Early Girl tomato sliced up

We sliced it up and then...

Tomato and egg toast

...put the slices on top of some homemade bread with some fresh farm eggs from 2nd Family and a sprinkling of finishing salt.  AMAZING flavor in one tomato.

It's always fun to enjoy the rewards of your efforts.

Now here's hoping for more veggies to enjoy later on throughout the season!

Sunday, May 23, 2021


Yesterday (and today) is a rainy mess again.

I made it out to the farm but when I got there, it was raining.  I was kind of afraid of getting the Jeep stuck in the yard so I had to be careful.  I parked in the highest spot of the yard and was VERY careful when backing up to turn around.

Standing water was everywhere.  I think the total from the prior week was about 5 1/2 inches.  Of course, then it was raining yesterday and today so that total has been increased I'm sure.  There was no watering and no mowing or edging.  That means the mowing next weekend is going to be brutal, ugh.

I drove out there to check the house (fine) and the garden and fruit trees (mostly fine, update tomorrow).  After I was there about an hour, it started raining pretty heavily.  I headed back into town and we've been hunkered down in the rain the rest of the weekend.

Speaking of hunkered down..

...I took this picture of Hobart as I was creating this post.  Yep, he's over there on our his dining room chair that we pushed over to the window on one of our his quilts...sound to sleep on this rainy day.

We keep telling y'all HE'S NOT SPOILED. 😂

Hope you are having a good weekend!

Friday, May 21, 2021


Here's another still life moment from the desk at the farm.  A few weeks back we posted HERE about items we have on the desk and shelves at the farm.  It's a scattering of things connected to our lives in some way and we know you all enjoyed it the last time.

Here are some more:

The brass cowbell - We're not 100% sure if it was used by my Grandparents but they had a farm cow at one point and it's possible this was on the cow...or they could have just acquired it along the way somewhere. HERE is the link to the original post about it.  All we know for sure is it's old and handmade.  It also has the best sound when you wave it back and forth.
"More cowbell", right?  LOL! 

The amethyst - one of my childhood things.  I collected rocks and minerals and gemstones like this for ages when I was little.  Not even sure where I got this originally but I've had it for most of my life.

The tin metal rocket - that's a purchase.  2nd Man got it for me years ago as a surprise gift.  It's a vintage tin lithographed friction toy.

More bits and pieces of lives lived...

Wednesday, May 19, 2021


What a night.  There was a line of storms earlier in the evening that they said would be sliding to the North...then, as nature does, the line shifted and started moving due East...and then it intensified.

It was at the farm in no time.  The red pushpin above is the exact location of the farm and the darkest color is the most intense storm.  Then suddenly there was a radar indicated tornado over the town nearest to the farm!  Our phones were blowing up with urgent weather alerts.  We texted 2nd Family and they had just seen the alerts going off as well and were getting in a hallway under a mattress.  She said it was getting pretty scary out there.  About 30 minutes later, that same storm was coming into the Houston area.  Now we were under the gun for the intense weather.  As it moved into the city, we got this message:

Tornado Warning in Effect for Houston

Weather Information
The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Warning for all of Houston until 10:15PM.  This means a tornado has been spotted on weather radar and/or by trained professionals.  

Protective Actions
People within the affected area should SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY.  Take Action as there is an imminent danger to life and property.  A tornado is coming. 

Get In:  Get inside a sturdy structure, find shelter in an interior room, away from windows.
Get Low:  Seek shelter on the lowest floor possible, or underground, if possible.
Hold On:  Grab on to a sturdy object and hold on.

It was pretty intense here in town too, though not as much as we imagine it was out there at the farm.  We got in touch with them to see how they were.  She said it was a lot of lightning, some hail, some strong wind and a LOT of rain. The yard was flooded.  The tornadic storm rolled over the entire distance from West of the farm all the way across Houston and off to the East in about an hour and a half.  Haven't yet heard of any major damage.  Lots of power outages around town.

"J" said she would walk around our house tomorrow and check it out.  We fear for the garden and/or the fruit trees in the heavy rain & wind.  I guess we'll find out soon enough.  

Later in the evening, she texted after it passed through and said "so...when we get both our houses done, do y'all want to go in halfsies on a storm shelter?"

Monday, May 17, 2021


This was on my weekend list las time and I got it done.  Thought we'd share the pictures.  With warm weather here and only getting hotter, it was time to restring the fishing line on the deer fence around the orchard area.  We figured with the blueberries and fruit trees putting on fruit, it was time to update it so that deer will leave things alone.

T-post and fishing line

Last year I made the mistake of doing them in one long continuous strand for each level.  I'd go around one post and wrap it around a few times then go to the next pole, wrap around again, go to the next and wrap around, and so forth until I got to where I started and then tie it off.  What ended up happening was if one section broke, it caused that whole line all the way around to sag or fall.  I didn't want to make that mistake again, so this time I cut each line in a section from post to post.

Protecting the fruit from deer

Sure it took a little longer but it'll be worth it in the end. We added a fourth row of line too (a low one) so we feel it's well protected from attack.  Our only issue last season was the random goat attack from the neighbor's goats but his fence is fixed and at that time, we didn't have a lower line so they just came in underneath.

Deer fencing

We have had great luck with this in keeping out the deer.  Deer are easily startled and people who've used this method say that in time, because they are creatures of habit, they just avoid the area if they are spooked by the "scary invisible thing" that touches them. They just start avoiding the area completely.  We haven't had any issues with birds or other animals getting into the lines.

So far, it's been a perfect solution for us.

Sunday, May 16, 2021


Well, this week is going to be wet...

...and it's starting today. In fact, as we post this, it's pouring rain here in Houston and at the farm.

We are under flash flood watches and warnings and they said it will probably be that way all week.  At least I got to the farm yesterday but the errands we were going to run today are cancelled.

And of course, it's HOBART SUNDAY!  Here is a picture of him doing what he seems to do best, sleeping.  Of course look outside behind him; it's raining and gray and gloomy but he has a warm fuzzy blanket and some soft pillows...hmm, I think we're getting sleepy too!

We've got a couple of chickens dry brining in the fridge and we'll roast those later.  We always do two, eat one and take the meat off the second one for a future meal.

Hope you have a having a better weekend!

Friday, May 14, 2021


Something happened with it, a Blogger error and/or Google because the website was down for a bit.  It was reported to Google and it has been fixed. They are also going to keep an eye on things.  It's always something. I won't repost because it's completely gone.

Just didn't want anyone to wonder or get a weird message.  So here, enjoy this sunset in downtown Houston.  Sure a farm sunset is beautiful too but we do enjoy this view too.

More this weekend!  Several things planned, we'll see what all happens.  Might go tomorrow, might wait until Sunday as other things are planned for tomorrow but not sure what will happen first, ha. 

Be safe, have a good one!


  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.

THIS however, is NOT one of the latest:

I went downstairs recently and saw this thing sitting there. Side note, this is how things are often left when I pick them up. This is one that I saw the sign and went "oh wow, cool!" (big and free!). But then I stepped back, looked at it again and went, "WHAT IS IT?"

We still have no idea.  I even had 2nd Man come down and look at it and we couldn't figure out a use for it, whatever it was.  It was obviously handmade, or maybe custom made (welded together) and was very heavy made up of various large pieces of metal.  The top curved piece rotated, almost like a globe would do.  We were kind of thinking maybe something laid in there, like a piece of art or an artifact like a sword or something similar?  It was probably expensive originally.  

We DO pass on things, ha, I just never take pictures of them.  This one tough, we thought you'd enjoy.

So what do you think it was?  It was gone later that evening so SOMEONE found a use for it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021


After the garden and veggie update, here is another part of what I did plus some baby fruits.  Alas, no baby ducks in these pictures, ha.

I got the cherry bushes planted.  For those who may have missed the post about them, you can read about it HERE.  They are Nanking cherries and while not a cherry tree, they are in the cherry family and produce a bush type of cherry that grows in drought, heat AND hard freezes.  Perfect for our crazy climate!

Nanking cherry

We had two planting rings ready to go with the right soil and I planted them.  This one has grown into a "V shape" we're fine with that.  Just planted it and mulched it.  One down one to go.

Nanking cherry bush

This is the second one, it's more of just a straight single stem, we'll see how it develops over time.  It was a bit windy and we were a bit worried but we're willing to let them grow and be strong.


We have four blueberry plants and they all have at least a few berries on them.  We'll have to get some bird netting over them soon.

Mystery fruit

They mystery fruits continue to grow.  There are four on there.  I hope to let them at least grow enough for me to sacrifice one for educational purposes (ha!) to see what it looks/smells/tastes like on the inside.  Then maybe the identity will be revealed.

Anna apple

And look at this!

One of about half a dozen apples on the Anna apple tree.  We're excited about that.  I did harshly prune it recently (more on that in an upcoming post) so it could be that.  Or that PLUS the record breaking cold freeze we had.  Either way, we're happy to have them.  Last year the three we got were eaten during the "Great Goat Attack", ha.  So we didn't get any.  Hoping this is the start of many years of ever increasing harvests!

Monday, May 10, 2021


 It was a good day Saturday.  I got the garden set up for automated watering.  And look, we have veggies coming in.  The plants all look healthy too.

Pickling Cucumbers

The pickling cucumbers are growing like crazy, the vines climbing the trellis.  There are blooms and a couple of tiny cucumbers (click to enlarge).  Exciting to see.


Eggplants bloomed and the blooms went away and now there are tiny little fruits on there.


And of course the tomatoes are doing their thing for sure.  They aren't so tiny either and are looking good.  So far no issues.  Hoping they keep growing.  This is just one of the plants, the other tomato plant has about four on it, all in varying sizes.

The basil plants are still struggling but hoping with regular watering they'll perk up.

Next was time on the Zen Machine...

After two weeks it wasn't too bad and you know I love my time on the Zen Machine anyway.  This was about normal (actually a bit quicker).  I mowed it pretty short, our grass grows quickly and this will allow me to skip a week which will help with planning other yard projects.

And then as you may remember, 2nd Family had ten new babies...


...and here they are!  Getting bigger.

They are in an enclosure for their safety.  I asked "J" if she had picked them up and she said no, Mama is way too protective.  I got in there and tried but this was as close as I could get.  Yes, mama is VERY protective.  She always put herself between me and the babies.  

But still, we could have sat there and watched them for hours.  They are adorable.

It was a good weekend.

Sunday, May 9, 2021


Yesterday, we posted about my goals for spending the day at the farm.  Well, I'm back in town today (for in town errands) but here is the update:

Mow (DONE)

Edge  (KIND OF 1/2 DONE)

Plant the cherry bushes (DONE)

Plant a fruit tree

Transplant the pineapples into larger pots

Restring the deer fencing (DONE)

Set up the garden watering system (DONE)

Not too bad.  More on some of those in upcoming posts.  The mowing was good as always, there was no mud and I cut it pretty short.  It always comes back and we'd rather it be short enough so that if I miss a week for whatever reason it's not a long day of mowing and clogging up the mower, ha.  Yesterday was good!

When I got back, 2nd Man made one of my favorite weekend meals...pork loin with herbs de Provence (with the lavender), mashed roasted sweet potatoes with garlic and buttered green peas.  Put it on the plate, pour some pan drippings over it, a glass (or two) of wine (not wind, ha, thanks for catching that Marcia!) and it becomes a good end to a day of hard work...

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there!  We don't have ours but we wish a happy day for all and nothing but good memories to all! 

Saturday, May 8, 2021


As this publishes, I will have been up at 7am and headed out for the day...

After last weekend's washout, we're back to clear skies and warm weather and I have a long list of things to do.  In a perfect world, this is what I'd get done:



Plant the cherry bushes

Plant a fruit tree

Transplant the pineapples into larger pots

Restring the deer fencing

Set up the garden watering system

But it's not always a perfect world.  I need to stop and get gas.  I need to stop at the garden center.  I need to get some supplies for the garden and trees.  I will mow for sure.  I'd like to edge but that can wait (who's gonna see it? ha).  I will definitely plant the cherry bushes.  I need to add some fishing line to the deer fencing around the fruit.  And I have to get the garden on the automated watering system now that our water is back on and the days are heating up.

If I can mow and we don't get any rain this coming week, I might not have to mow at all next weekend and I can make this a two part list. 

Check back tomorrow and of course next week and we'll see what all gets done.  2nd Man has to be in all weekend on a project for work but I'm sure we'll get some good food in at some point.  And Hobart will be napping, as usual.  Hope you all have a great weekend!