Saturday, December 31, 2022


Today is New Year's Eve but for us it's just a regular weekend day mostly.  We don't go out and fight the crowds.  Our thinking is that nothing good happens on the roads after midnight when you're out.  Too many crazy drivers.  Plus, we feel we're past the age limit for partying until all hours of the morning to ring in the New Year.  We'll leave that for the younger crowd, ha.

Much nicer to stay in with some good food, we'll still have some bubbly and then just watch the festivities as they unfold on TV.

We saw this the other day and were cracking up:

This sums it up perfectly! 😂😂😂

Enjoy the evening have fun and be safe whatever you do and wherever you go!

Friday, December 30, 2022


When we went to the farm the weekend before Christmas, we found this in the mailbox...

An envelope with a sparkly snowflake ornament and a card.  Turns out, it was from the "mail lady" as she called herself in the card.  She does this every year when she works the route at Christmas and leaves a handmade ornament.  We hung it on the tree and last weekend, we left a card with gift card for her to thank her for her work during the rest of the year.

Then, for the first time, our local John Deere dealer sent us this Christmas card with Santa riding a tractor (a "reindeere"? ha).  We're keeping this one for future decorative use, it's just too fun.

And finally, you all may recognize this picture, it's our lucky "trailcam deer in snow" picture from a few years ago.  Ironically, one of you said it would make a great greeting card.  Well, one of our fabulous, super talented blog readers, took the picture and made it into a card.  She added 3D puffy white snow that sparkles and then colorful, raised snowflakes on the front.

It's beautiful and we are honored to have our picture as a greeting card, even if only for a few or one, ha.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2022


Well, even though we had a burst pipe, there is some beauty to be seen.  2nd Family has one of those septic tank aeration sprinkler systems.  You can see our barn and shed in the background of this picture.

It created its own snow.  We didn't have any rain or anything, this is just from that system.

It's amazing how water and freezing temperatures can create such amazing things.  Now, it's not always nice to look at of course, but in moderation, it's pretty. 

This one is so cool.  Much like the process of candle making, where a wick gets dunked over and over while it builds up laters of wax, so do these grasses with ice building up on them until it creates this.

It's like an art installation, ha!

Monday, December 26, 2022



14 degrees...

Wind chill of single digits...

Heaters on in the kitchen/bathroom/mudroom kept the inside temp in the low 50's...

10 lights strung under the house with 150 watt incandescent bulbs for heat...

But it was all for naught:

Stepped out of the car and the yard had standing water.  I knew what that meant.  We had burst pipes.  I looked under the house and there was water pouring out.

I called "R" from 2nd Family and he said the valve should have shut off all the water.  I called a plumber (all closed Saturday/Sunday for Christmas) and left a message. "R" called back and suggested turning the valve on and off a few times, there could be debris or corrosion keeping it from completely shutting off.  So I tried that, sticking my hand down in a tube filled with near freezing water, ha, and turned it as hard as I could. It slowed to a trickle and stopped. Phew. Crisis (temporarily) averted.

We don't need water at the house right away.  We're not out there in the Winter and I'm only watering so we'll deal with the pipe later.  We still have January and February to deal with potential arctic blasts.  I can turn it on, water the plants on the porch and turn it back off.

In GOOD news...

Here are the avocado trees, cherry bush and one of the banana plants in the kitchen, doing great and looking healthy, enjoying their "spa week".

And here are the other bananas and the "yesterday, today, tomorrow" plant in the mudroom also doing great and enjoying some warm spa time.

At least we saved those.

So 14 last Thursday, 75 this Thursday.

Gotta love Houston weather!

We crawled under the house to check and I told "R" that I tried but I guess it wasn't good enough.  He said "well, look at it this way, you only had a one foot section of pipe freeze, everything else, all the other pipes, including the pipes under your sinks, were OK so you did do something right.  Replacing a one foot section instead of ALL of it is way better".

OK, I will accept that victory, ha!

Sunday, December 25, 2022


This picture is not this weekend, though with a little moisture in the air, it could have easily been!  This is from 2017 when we had some snow at the farm on Christmas...and two deer came by the trailcam at the right moment.  Now the one in front may not have actually had a red nose, but you never know! 😆

We wish you all a wonderful and very merry Christmas and holiday season.  We hope you get everything you wanted and have a happy day.

Now since it's also Sunday, we can't forget to share a little Hobart and here he is moments ago...

...basking in the glory of playing in the discarded wrapping paper until he passed out from all the excitement.  Because...


Friday, December 23, 2022


2nd Family sent this.  Sure we have our apps on our devices that tell us the temperature but seeing it in reality is another thing, ha.  

About 14 degrees this morning.  Thankfully we have no moisture in the atmosphere so no sleet, ice, snow. Just bone chilling temps.  We know there are other parts of the country WAAAAY colder, but for us, this is pretty intense.  We have the lights on under the house, the heaters on in closed off kitchen and mudroom, the heat lamps in the bathroom and the water running in small streams, though in retrospect, I wish I had turned them on to a bigger stream.  But at least they aren't just dripping, so there is that...

So to distract from worrying about what's going on out there, here are some more of our ornaments including some new additions:

Here's one I got for 2nd Man on our anniversary so we could put it on the tree this year.

This Santa we've had for years but he's so neat looking and old world we had to let him make an appearance!

Here is a new one this year, sent to us by a very sweet friend.  A snowman with a galvanized bucket on his head!  I mean, come on, how fun is this?  We love it!

I think we may even have a bucket just like that at the farm!  Of course, we're not saying if we've ever had our bucket on our heads but hey, Frosty can do whatever Frosty does in his off time!

We got this one in Oklahoma (my home state) a few years ago when visiting relatives.  A Christmas themed covered wagon is pretty cool.

And this one and the next one were gifts from a coworker.  She knew of our love of sparkly old world style ornaments and the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead so she gave us these.  The white one is so pretty and looks like many of the "sugar skulls" that you see.

And then she found a yellow one that's just as pretty and unique.  Sparkly blown glass. Love it!

Hope you all are having a good weekend and staying warm wherever you are.  A friend just send me a text and said it's currently 55 degrees in Boston Massachusetts and 19 in Houston TX.  Go figure.

Happy Christmas Eve Eve...

Wednesday, December 21, 2022


The bottom is about to fall out of our temperatures...

Thursday night it's getting down to 20 and possibly teens.  We are hoping they are wrong, at least maybe by a few degrees the other direction, higher!  But this is going to be a hard freeze, rare for us. 

Last weekend, we bought foam pipe covers and some accompanying "T sections" and "elbows" to cover bends and turns in the system.

It was a bit on the cool side so I grabbed my gloves and headed to the back of the house.

And I spent a couple hours on Saturday crawling around under the house covering all the pipes.

I also wrapped the outside faucet and put this box over the wrapping.  After this picture I put a couple of large rocks on top to keep it from blowing around.

I also got the two radiator type portable heaters ready for the kitchen and utility room so all I have to do is turn them on. We did this last year and it worked great, though we didn't have quite this hard of a freeze.

Then the other day, I thought of one more idea to help save the pipes:

I bought two of these.  They are construction/worksite lights that are on a heavy duty cord.  Each one holds five light bulbs in a cage and they use 150 watt bulbs.  Of course, for the heat to come off the bulbs, we needed actual incandescent bulbs and not LED.  I found some and also got some screw hooks.  The plan is to put them under the house.  I will drape them from the hooks, one strand plugged into the porch outlet on the front and the other from the porch outlet on the back.  Those 10 bulbs should put out enough heat to keep the pipes from freezing.

Today, I am taking a 1/2 day off work and going to the farm to turn on the heaters, drip the water and put these under the house.  Oh and no worries, our new plants/trees/bananas will all be inside in the kitchen and mudroom where the heat is.

And then we wait...

Monday, December 19, 2022


Here are some more of the decorations that we have up this year. You can see the other two parts that we posted HERE and HERE.

We take the chance to hang a decoration on a cabinet knob or door pull, like this sparkly Santa hanging from a cabinet knob.

This is dead space below the sofa table and we have some Christmas themed boxes that we keep down here.  They double as decoration AND storage.  The Santa one is full of bows.  The round one has spools of ribbon.  The red/white striped one is a recent addition and we're keeping blank cards in there. Another has extra strands of lights if we need them.

Here is what is on top of the sofa table, using our wonderful apothecary jars we bought a few years ago:

We have filled them up with various Christmas items. Here is one end.  Bows are great quick decorations.  The large bowl shaped one is filled with Lindor chocolate truffles (our holiday Christmas guilty pleasure).  The container is an old holder made OF Christmas cards that are stitched together.  Each side is a different part of a card. We put our Christmas cards in it each year.

Some more bows (told you they make great quick decorations, ha).  The smaller one has white fluffy stuff in it and it sparkles like snow.  That's not showing in the photo but it is pretty.  A little stocking embroidered by one of my Grandmothers hangs on the top and then there's a Christmas sign we enjoy.  In the back is one with candy canes in it.  And lastly, on the end is a Rudolph coffee mug that I won in an "ugly coffee cup" exchange once.  We LOVE it.  It's not ugly, it's cute and very vintage looking.

We don't do a lot since we have a small space but it puts us in the Christmas spirit and that's what matters.

Sunday, December 18, 2022


 I didn't take any food pics the last week (though there was plenty of good food had!) so today will be two for one Hobart pictures.

He had been watching us for a few years getting water from the machine.  So a couple of weeks ago, he went over there and meowed and we laughed and filled up a glass for him.  Oops!  Now here is his newest trick:

He goes over, meows and we fill up a glass with cold water and he sits there and waits while it fills up.  And then he runs to wherever we put it down...

...and drinks his "tall water" from the glass.  He still has two bowls of fresh water (changed several times a day) that he drinks out of and NOW we have to leave a glass sitting in middle of the floor in the dining room so he can drink out of it, because...


Friday, December 16, 2022


 On Friday in the past we have done a "Friday Food Debate" where we tackle some burning questions of the culinary world, ha. We have expanded it now to other fun and different regional uses of words in addition to food related words and even other things to debate.

It's been about three years since we asked this and with new followers and new people commenting, we thought it might be fun to bring back.  And regular commenters, please add your answer so we can all compare.  Or maybe you have changed your tradition?

This week, the burning question is:

There are really only two times you can open presents at Christmas.  "Christmas Eve" like I did while growing up, or "Christmas morning" like 2nd Man did when he was growing up.  Of course, Christmas morning/day could be anytime after midnight.  We have some friends that say they stay up until midnight and then open at 1:00am.  There are those that do a split, opening one or two the night before and the rest in the morning.  

2nd Man and I have sort of adopted the latter tradition...we get to open a present after dinner on Christmas Eve and the rest when we wake up Christmas morning.  I guess even though we both grew up with different traditions, we've made our own now.

So...when do you open your presents?
Christmas Eve?  Or Christmas Day?

Wednesday, December 14, 2022


 Who knew this would become the thing many of you asked about?  Several emailed us and/or commented asking about our Santa.  Here are some up pictures and details about the history of them: 

These didn't come together.

The Santa belonged to my Grandparents.  Grandma always put it under the tree as a decoration and as a little kid, I was enthralled by it.  Some years later, they added Rudolph because they just looked like they belonged together.  When they moved to a new house in the 70's and were downsizing, they passed Santa and Rudolph along to my parents who did the same thing with our tree.  It was always under or beside the tree as part of the decorations.  When my parents passed, I had to make sure to take care of Santa and friend and now they sit around to watch over our Christmas.

Not sure who they will get passed to for another generation to enjoy but we'll figure that out someday.

The Santa was made by The Ruston Company and still has the original tag.  Grandma said she got it in the late 1950's.  It's older than both of us!

Check out his boots.  They are stitched leather, still shiny after more than 60 years!

Because this was sponsored by or maybe even sold by (not sure) Coca Cola, he is holding a coke bottle.  This has been so well taken care of all these years, this is still the original bottle that it came with.  It even still has the metal cap on it.  No liquid coke in it of course, it was made in a solid color to look like it was full but just so cool and vintage.

Look at this face!

It looks like the image of Santa that we all know and love.  The detail is so nice.  While the body is stuffed fabric and the lower part of his beard is fur, the face and hands are rubber and still in great shape with no cracking.  He (and Rudolph) get carefully wrapped up each season and are packed into their own storage box...ready for next year.

Now we don't know what they do in their off season, but they are back in time for Christmas every year.

Monday, December 12, 2022


Here is some more of our decorating for this year.

The wreath on our front door.  Made for us by a coworker a few years ago and we love it.

We love poinsettias but of course, can't have live ones with a kitty so we use artificial ones.  This one we put in a vase we have out the rest of the year.  We put it on top of these tin containers we have to just add height and keep some Christmas theme going.  It's always nice to keep some containers on hand because not only do they add Christmas decor, they serve as a container for treats if we need them!

This is our dining table.  We have these glass containers on the table year round.  Sometimes, we have candles in them, other times citrus or other fruits, but at Christmas, we do this.  We put glass ornaments, red, silver, and gold, in them.  It is so pretty because the shiny metallic captures all the light in the room and makes them sparkle.  This year, we added this runner  embroidered with silver thread snowflakes.

This artificial plant is normally in the corner where the tree is now, so we have to move it.  This is by the front door and we just stick a big red bow on it and it's the first thing you see.

For those asking, here is Hobart's stocking hanging from a cabinet knob.

Shhh, don't tell him but he has some new toys in there, including a fun new laser toy, and some snacks. We have catnip up high in a cabinet so he doesn't "seek it out".  Because he's been a good boy.

This is our bar/storage cabinet in the living room.  We love these artificial poinsettias, found them downstairs a few years ago.  They are made of a velvet fabric and look so real.  Last but not least is our favorite thing to put out, our vintage Coca-Cola Santa and Rudolph.  The Santa has been in my family for years.

One more post with some more things, hope you enjoy our little tour of Christmas!