Wednesday, September 29, 2021


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


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.


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


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


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?

Thursday, September 23, 2021


Well yesterday was the first day of Fall...

...and Houston weather did not disappoint!

We got down into the mid 50's overnight!  Welcome to Houston, Fall 2021!  Best of all, there is almost no humidity.  It should be a great weekend this weekend.  A little on the warm side during the day but still about 15 degrees below where it was just a week ago and without the humidity, for us who are used to it, it will feel like 60's, ha.

It will be a good weekend for yard work again.  Of course it is Houston, we could be back up to a 100 in a week, so we make the most of these days while we can.

We hope your Autumn is off to a cool start.

So long Summer 2021...

Tuesday, September 21, 2021


When I got to the farm, I walked into the kitchen as usual.  The light switches are there above the trashcan.

I looked ahead of where I was walking and I saw that spot on the floor in the living room (see it there?).  I thought to myself, "dang it, I must have tracked in grass the last time I was in".

I flicked on the light switches...

A SNAKESKIN...about 3 feet long.


Here's actual video of my reaction:

I got out of there and back to the porch to collect my thoughts and calm down my heart rate.

Not a mouse this time, not a mouse in the house...

What could it be and where could it be this thing in the house that is not a mouse?

Could it be in a closet for us to see?
Or in a cabinet to hide and be?
Under the bed to crawl on our head or
under the couch to be a big ouch?

It's a snake!  It's a snake!  It was not a mouse in the house!  It was a snake inside, run run away far outside.

OK, so I'm no Dr. that point I really had ZERO interest in figuring out where it was.  It was hot, my heart was racing, and so I just spent the rest of the time outside doing what I needed to do.

2nd Man suggested a for sale sign but we'll get through having a snake in the house.  It's not the first time, it won't be the last.  We hope it leaves the way it came in.

It's a snake!  Grab the rake, grab the rake and take care of the snake.

Monday, September 20, 2021


It was hot again...

When I decided to wrap things up, it was 95 with a feels like of 103.  Fortunately, I was able to skip mowing as it just didn't need it and in this heat that was OK...

Here is a picture of what it looked like.  Not much change since last weekend with no rain.  Even the hoped for wind hadn't blow away much of the grass clippings, though I guess some of it did.

The driveway grass was still short so there was no need to mow that either.  With mowing off the table, for now, I thought about doing some edging but really, the cool weather is coming, it can wait.  I watered the things on the porch, watered the fruit trees, and did some weeding in the garden.  It was still hot and humid to the point that I could only work in short time frames so I could cool down between them.

About 2:30, I decided to call it a day.

Lows in the 50's by the end of the week.  With the first day of Autumn coming midweek, we're getting there.

If it's as pretty as we hope it might be this weekend (the low humidity makes ALL the difference in the world), it will be a good time to finally start getting everything back on track in the yard and garden.

Come back tomorrow to see what I found inside the house...

Sunday, September 19, 2021


 Sometimes, simple is best...

2nd Man made his stovetop mac and cheese and we fried up some slices of ham.  It's so good and always such good comfort food...

And of course it's Sunday and we know what that means, Hobart! But shhh, don't disturb him, he's busy meditating and contemplating the meaning of life, or maybe just sleeping in the sunshine after breakfast.  

Either way, he's the king of the house today.

Hope you all have had a great weekend!

Saturday, September 18, 2021


As usual, heading to the farm today.  Unlike last weekend, no prep for an impending hurricane.  I do need to check on things of course.  "J" from 2nd Family said that it barely rained out there Mon/Tues and since then nothing, but she said the wind gusts were pretty strong.  I need to make sure trees are OK and that the cardboard stayed on the raised beds.

If I'm lucky, no mowing.  Of course, even if it looks like I could, I may just put it off because next weekend, we may get our first cool weather of the Fall!  We shall see.

Until then, today it's supposed to get up to 90.  

I'm stopping on the way out to get wasp spray (they are taking over the porch), trimmer line for the weedeater (to get ready for the cool weather), and some bags of soil to start getting the garden beds ready for planting garlic (under the cardboard coverings).

If it's oppressively hot, I may also just water and come back into town.  Then I'll be saving my energy and time for next weekend and what is shaping up to be a perfect weather event (for us anyway, ha).

Hope your weekend is off to a great start!

Thursday, September 16, 2021


 So you all know me, the storm watcher from way back.  I went out onto the balcony to watch it many times and took some pictures to share...

This was the night before the storm...what's the old saying?  Red sky at night?  Does orange count?  It was actually very beautiful.

Definitely dark and ominous.  The wind really started to pick up quickly and the rains came.

This was Tuesday afternoon as the center of circulation passed over Houston.  It was a gray, rainy, windy day.  It stayed like this until nightfall.

The skies cleared, the moon came out and things went back to normal.  Mother Nature is pretty amazing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021


Nicholas became a hurricane before making landfall just South of us about 1am this morning...

Lots of rain and some flooding to the South of us.  The good news is there was almost NO rain at the farm!  Houston metro did not have any major flooding either, all the bayous and streams stayed in their banks.

There were strong winds however, here in downtown we had gusts over 65mph.

As a result, there are some trees downed, I took this picture near the building, streetlights are out, and there is some debris (mostly tree limbs) on the roads.

Unfortunately, there are also WIDESPREAD power outages all across Houston...

...this is the power outage map of the Houston metro area.  There are about 500,000 people without power right now and they are saying this could be a multi-day event.  We only have sporadic internet here at the apartment but at least we have power.

For the most part, we were lucky.

Monday, September 13, 2021


So I went to the farm on Friday to get a few things done before the weather starts going downhill.

I was hoping I wouldn't have to mow but seeing the forecast with (now) tropical storm Nicholas headed this way, my thinking was that it will possibly be too wet this coming weekend.  So I mowed.  It's looking better though the clippings from previous mows are scattered about.  That's OK, once the wind comes this weekend, it will be cleaned up by nature, ha.

Still need to edge (as evidence by the mess around the buildings in the above picture).

It was a little less than a regular mow because I did skip a few areas.  There is just so much to do, I'm going to wait for the cooler weather to come so I can spend a longer time on the mower.

I finally tackled the area around the trees, got it all knocked down and all that's left is some hand cutting of some stuff growing around the bottoms of the trees.

My other goal of course was the garden.  There were two beds left to clean up...

Here is the worst one.  I got all the grass pulled up, the soil turned and...

...covered it all up with cardboard.  Phew.  Grass laying around that I had pulled up but again, nature will take care of that.  I did go back before I left and put more bricks and rocks on all of the cardboard.

I feel like I got what I needed to get done, done.  Except that gate, ha!

And now we wait for the this posts, it's raining.

New forecast is for some areas to have 15 to 20 inches of rain!  Houston could have 6 to 10 inches.  Of course, rain just doesn't stop because the "line" says it will.

If this is spread over a few days, we'll be OK, it will drain away as it's supposed to...we shall see.

Sunday, September 12, 2021


Several of you mentioned that 2nd Man would probably have some good food waiting for me when I got back into town on Friday...

...and he did not disappoint, ha!  He fried up some chicken tenders, made some mashed potatoes with homemade gravy and lest you all worry about us having vegetables, there was an awesome salad on the side too, ha.  It was all so usual.

It's funny, we were talking the other night and realized we haven't been to a restaurant in well over a year, but then when we see these pictures and look back at our meals, I don't think we're missing out on anything, ha.

And here is Hobart of course!  One night he was laying on the arm of the couch as he kept an eye on things.

Or maybe it was just that I was in the kitchen, it was close to feeding time and he was keeping an eye on ME!

And here we go...Tropical Storm Nicholas is on the way. It shouldn't make it to a hurricane so that's good and this probably won't be a big wind event but the big worry, as usual, is rainfall.  They say anywhere from 4 to 12+ inches of rain.  If it's spread over a couple of days, that's OK, we can handle that.  I'm guessing no mowing NEXT weekend!

Saturday, September 11, 2021


 Well, here we go again...

...there is an area of disturbed weather moving in this general direction.  They are not sure if it will become a named storm yet.  Even if it doesn't, it will pull rain into our area as we'll be on the "dirty side".  In fact that eye goes right over the farm in this forecast.

They don't think it will be terrible flooding like we've had with Harvey or Ike or Allison, but notice the "plus" sign on this map...I think that's their way, if we have major flooding, of being able to say "well we said it could be even more than our forecast", ha.

And of course, on this 20th Anniversary of the terrible events of 9/11, we remember...