Monday, January 31, 2022


 We moved our HOMEMADE FIRE ANT KILLER from a ziplock baggie to a jar.  I used the tall wide mouth jars and one of the screw on lids I found on clearance at the store a while back...

...then I made label for it and now it's on the shelf at the farm ready for use...and I did use it.

When working on the raised beds for the fruit trees a few weeks back, we found that fire ants seem to love the corners of the beds and make nests there.

So I put the ant killer down again...

But a week later, some were still alive.  I think I was a little too light handed in putting it down this time.

I put it on more heavily and then I did this...

...I took a piece of rebar I had in the yard and made a hole deep into the mound.  Then I poured a lot of the homemade ant killer into the hole and around it.  A week later, they were all dead.  That was good because I needed to use the weedeater to get the last of those weeds and I speak from personal experience when I say, it is no fun hitting a fire ant mound with a weedeater!

No flying fire ants!

Sunday, January 30, 2022


It's been a nice weekend.
Cold of course, but clear and beautiful.

2nd Man had to work again and it is the time of year when there is not much to do at the farm.  I went out to prep some things for a possible freeze later in the week.

Pan seared pork chops

We had some nice, thick pork chops I found at the store the other day.  He pan seared them and turned the drippings into a sauce.  Then we had our favorite lemon pepper broccolini on the side.  Currently, there is banana bread in the oven and it smells heavenly.


Here's a cute picture of Hobart.

I wish it was clearer but by the time I got my camera, he looked up at me and I could tell he was about to get up...I had to click fast, ha.  He frequently lays down and crosses his front legs.  It's so cute when he does that.  It always looks like he's just so relaxed...he just needs a book to read, ha.

We'll catch up on comments later today/tonight.

Hope you are having a good weekend!

Friday, January 28, 2022


 The other day, 2nd Man texted me at work and said "do you want breakfast for dinner?  I was thinking of making waffles and sausages?"

Waffles and sausage

So we had waffles with maple syrup, whipped cream, toasted chopped pecans and sausage links.  It was a great choice.  It was very good and oddly satisfying on a cold weeknight after work.  We often do this.

When I was growing up, Mom would often make pancakes for dinner or sometimes bacon and eggs, even oatmeal and bacon.

Breakfast for dinner?
Weird or do others do this too?

Wednesday, January 26, 2022


Was at the store one day and saw these.  We love the Frick's hams and we usually buy their "carver hams" but they sell these too...look closely at the name, they call them "BISCUIT HAM SLICES".

Of course they are round thick slices of ham...perfect for frying up in a pan...

Making some homemade biscuits...

And putting them together into one glorious food moment, ha.  We made extra and froze them, we're going to see how they warm up in the microwave for a quick homemade breakfast.

2nd Man is still loving his Lodge 'biscuit pan' as he calls it now.  That's what we use it for all the time.

Monday, January 24, 2022


It was cold this weekend, at least it was sunny but it was cold.  Inside the house (remember, no heat) it was 37 degrees when I got there.  On the porch it was 50's.  The sun was shining and it felt better out there, ha.

But I did a bit inside, mainly declutter, dust, and vacuum the bedroom floors and dead bugs in the windowsills, ha.

Here are a couple of pictures of the master bedroom...

This is from one corner looking back toward the other side of the room.  That area on the other side of the half walls was an add on by the previous owner.  We currently use it as an area to keep all of our crafting supplies.  One side has storage boxes and all sorts of cubbies for things and there is a giant bulletin board on the other side with a matching lower cabinet below it.  The two chairs are just some extras we had and it seemed like a good place to put them.  The middle table is a file cabinet end table/stand that we brought from town when we sold the other house.  So few people have a need for file cabinets nowadays (with everything digital) and that's why we decided to keep it.  We print out things we find online, articles from magazines, recipes, etc and keep them in there.

Then I walked over to that opening between the two areas that you just saw and turned around to take a picture back the other direction.  The open doorway goes into the living room and toward the kitchen.  The door on the left side of the mirror is the (tiny) closet and the door on the right side is the (tiny) bathroom.  The windows are just off camera to the right.

We went with a blue and white color scheme here as you can tell.  This is the room where this corner shelf is with the few blue and white pieces we have.

Hope you enjoyed the mini tour.  Whatever we end up doing with the house, we'll keep our blue and white colors in the room because we find it relaxing and calming...and besides where else would we put it, ha.

Sunday, January 23, 2022


 Another cold weekend but at least it's been sunny and clear.  I went to the farm yesterday, 2nd Man stayed in town because there is a big work project due Monday.  But he did manage to whip up one of our favorite meals...a hearty potato soup.

Potato soup with ham, bacon and cheese

Here is the recipe he used from the time we posted it:  

It's super addition to potatoes of course, it has a couple of carrots and two stalks of celery, some diced up ham, seasonings, broth, milk and's just so comforting and hearty.  We top it off with some shredded cheddar, bacon bits (you cook the bacon to save the fat for sautéing the veggies), and some dried chives that we had saved from our garden.

On a cold Winter day, it was heaven in a bowl...

Hobart Sunday

And of course we know you like to see him, so here's Hobart, posing for all of you.

On his afghan.

From the dining room chair.

That we push over to the window so he can watch outside and have some sunshine coming in.  


Hope you are having some good food and warm weather this weekend.

Saturday, January 22, 2022


Here is the radar image from Thursday night/early Friday morning...

...the farm is the little red "pin" on this radar image.  The pink and light blue is sleet/freezing rain with some snow behind it...the dark blue and green is just rain.  We were just in between the two.

2nd Family said there was some frost on Friday morning but no frozen precipitation fell, just rain.  As this posts, I'll be heading out there, it's currently 34.  It's cold (for us) this morning, 29 out there as the low temp overnight.  Since I skipped last weekend with the rain and previous cold blast, I need to go check on things.  Of course, yet again, it's wet and very there is not much I can do outside.  I will just water the plants on the porch and do some cleaning inside until it just gets too cold. 

2nd Man is making some potato soup for us to have when I get back.  It'll make the day go faster with that as my end goal, ha!

We hope your weekend is off to a good start!

Friday, January 21, 2022


OK, so on day recently, we were sitting in bumper to bumper traffic and this car drove by in the HOV lane.  I noticed it and took a picture (FYI, we were stopped and I was in the passenger seat).

It was five large containers of gasoline.  Now in all fairness, we're not sure if they had gasoline in them.  They could have held water or something else, but we  noticed that they had "flammable" and "caution" stickers on them.  In the light and shadows, you could see liquid sloshing around in them so they were full.

If they did indeed have gasoline in them, we can't imagine what might have happened if someone rear ended them in traffic.  But of course not any other way to transport that much either?  Certainly you wouldn't put them inside your car.  

Smart idea or risky idea?

Thursday, January 20, 2022


Here is a post I thought had gone up but guess it didn't.  We wanted to make sure we posted it.  When I was cutting back the bushes by the front steps, a few weeks back, my eye caught something.

Do you see it?

Right here on this was definitely in a good hiding spot that I interrupted. 

Here he/she is in a closeup.  Just chillin' on the branch, though I'm pretty sure it was giving me "side eye" for ruining a good nap.  Needless to say, I quit cutting on this bush and left the frog alone.  Then when I was finished with everything else, I still needed to move it elsewhere.  I got a clay pot and saucer and coaxed him in.  The frog was then relocated to the back of the house in a shady spot.

Side note, love their little suction cup toes.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022


Not too long ago, we posted a picture of our meatloaf meal.  We ate it over the weekend and it was so good.  Thankfully, 2nd Man made two.

Sliced meatloaf

Here it is (you can just see the edge of the other one on the side).  This one was sliced up and vacuum sealed for the freezer.  We found that two fit side by side on the largest sheet pan we have, so we just double up the recipe and make two.

We do the same thing when roasting chickens...

Two roasted chickens

...we do two of those as well.  Our philosophy for cooking things like this is that if we're going to heat up the oven to cook one anyway, two can cook at the same time and temperature and we have future meals ready to put up in the freezer.  For the chickens we will have one for immediate dinner and then when the other has cooled down, I pull all the meat off and vacuum seal it for using in other meals.  It's like having a rotisserie chicken at the ready most any night we need one.

Now if we could just figure out how to get two turkeys in one oven at the same time, ha.  Side note, don't those chickens look delicious?  Now I'm hungry!

2nd Man has always wanted double ovens in his kitchen.  If we end up with that at the farm, then we could have 4 chickens and 4 meatloaves and 2 turkeys at a time, LOL!

Anyone else do this?

Monday, January 17, 2022



Cold today.  Well, cold for us.  Windy and just cold.  Low 30's with "feels like" in upper 20's.

TexMex comfort food

We stayed in town this weekend (see yesterday's post) and 2nd Man made a meal of tamales (made by a coworker) and then he made Mexican rice, refried beans and I whipped up some pico de gallo and served it over some sliced avocado.  TexMex comfort food!

Warm Hobart

It's cold outside and Hobart knows this.  So he is on the couch, on "his" fuzzy blanket and of course, we are required to cover him up because, well, #notspoiled. 

Stay well fed and warm wherever you are!

Saturday, January 15, 2022


 It's been one of those weeks where stuff went wrong.  Of course other than my trash to treasure finds, ha, see yesterday's post for that.

The other day at lunch I had a flat.  That's never fun.  I was able to make it back to my work parking space before it went completely flat.

Got the spare put on but of course, while bigger than a "donut" spare tire because it's a 4x4 vehicle, it's still a little smaller than normal so all the warning sensors and lights are on inside and it pulls to the left.

Because it was getting close to time for new tires anyway, we decided to just go ahead and replace all four.  That's never a fun expense to incur, sigh.

I will deal with that next week.

Then, there were rumors flying that Harris County (where Houston is) was going to threat level red for covid. Sure enough, they upped it... least we're vaccinated and boosted and other than the grocery store once a week and me going to work, we stay in and mind our own business, ha. 

We personally know four people who currently have COVID.  One is unvaccinated and is very sick.  The other three are vaccinated and experiencing symptoms like a cold except for one who said it's like a bad flu that they wouldn't wish on anyone.  Even a mild case can result in long haul COVID symptoms in some people, so we're happy to just keeping masking, social distancing and avoiding catching it if at all possible.

Today when we got up to head to the farm, we looked at the temps out there and thought "no heat at the farm, a cold wind blowing, let's just stay in town this weekend".  It's nice to have a break and just relax.  there is nothing to really do out there right now.  We can stay in town where it's warm and read, catch up on some TV/movies and have some good food.

Nothing wrong with that.  Hope you are having a good weekend and staying warm if you're where it's cold.  If you're where it's warm, send some this way.

Friday, January 14, 2022


 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 are some of the latest!

Over the course of the week or two after Christmas and New Year, I gathered up the following items:

So this box was down there.  It's a "Slim Virginia Pine" pre-lit tree.  The box had some old water staining on it and I was thinking it might be damaged but when I opened it to check, the tree was fine, just some old water staining on the box.  A nice tree, 6 feet tall.

Here it is plugged in.  I made sure to test it before I "rescued it" and it works fine.  You only see half the lights on because I didn't plug one strand into the other on the tree itself before I plugged the bottom in.  The way they put it in the box didn't make it all fluffed up and even but since we're just going to keep it in the box anyway for the next year, there was no need to do that now.  It's a nice tree, 6 feet tall.

A few days later I went downstairs and found this...

...a wicker basket (score for the free basket too, ha) with Christmas lights inside!  I had to find an outlet downstairs so I could test them and they worked.  Two strands with 50 multicolored ball type lights on each...

...and then another two strands of lights, one white and one multicolored.  We can always use any lights for future decorating.

And THEN a few days later, I found this artificial tree!  No box with this one but here it is at the farm, waiting to go into a bag for storage.  Not sure what you call this "variety" of tree but it's 4 feet tall, really full and pretty, kind of frosted looking.  Not pre-lit this time but hey, we have plenty lights as per above.

But wait, there's more!

This post would have stopped here but just last night:

I went downstairs and someone had thrown away their real tree.  Not unusual of course.  It was dry and crispy but that's when I noticed that it still had lights on it.  I pulled it aside and saw the cords at the bottom.  They had just thrown away the tree with the lights still on it!  I started unwrapping them and it took me a good fifteen minutes or so.  They were on a very fine wire and I could later understand why someone probably decided it was easier to just toss the whole thing...but I had patience and kept at it...

...and it paid off.  I got this huge strand of what we think are called "fairy lights"?  They are tiny, tiny things like little LED seeds.  The wire is very thin and has a light every few inches.  Then there are these big fountain type pieces that are on stiffer wires that you can bend to a position, also with the tiny lights.  You can adjust all of them to strobe, flash, chasing, blinking, and any other number of patterns.  They are really unusual.  We'll find something to decorate with them.

After Christmas discards will become our future decorations and we're OK with that!

Wednesday, January 12, 2022


 Here's a trick 2nd Man uses to get the perfect circular pie dough.  It's a variation on the tip of using a plate and a knife to cut around it to make a perfect circle.  Then for small circles, many people use drinking glasses to actually use the lip of the glass to cut the dough.  We were looking for something similar but really large.

Then we discovered this in our cabinet.  It's the lid to a wok we have.  We tried all sorts of pots and pan lids but needed the right size that would give him the right size dough disk to fit the pie dish.

This is a lid that has a 14" diameter and the inside lip that actually cuts through the dough is 13 1/2".

He just rolls out his dough to the thickness he needs and then pushes the lid down onto the dough.  Because it has a metal lip/edge, it almost acts like a blade and just cuts right through.  He uses the handle/knob to rotate it a bit and then when he pulls it up...

A perfect circle of dough...

...that fits the pan perfectly!

If you don't have a pan lid that will work, you could measure out what size circle you need and then find a replacement lid somewhere like eBay or Amazon or an store like Walmart or Target.  They even sell lids only.  Just thought we'd share a tip we use.

Monday, January 10, 2022


This weekend was a crazy one.  We had it all.  Heavy storms came through with rain, lightning, hail, some funnel clouds and even several tornadoes North of us.  Friday night it was in the 30's, yesterday it was near 80.  Tonight it's going to be back down to the 40's.

The farm showed the effects of the recent 29 degree temps, the grass has moved to it's "brown phase".  No mowing for a couple months.  Usually March is the first time I break out the mower.  All I really needed to do was beat the rain.  I checked on the plants on the porch.  The pineapples were fine but the bananas had some freeze damage.  They should bounce back.

It was slightly overcast and sunny when I got there but the dark clouds started rolling in and I could hear thunder.  Time to get a move on.  I drove through a monsoon rain on the way back.

After dinner (see yesterday's post), we started getting breaking weather alerts and so we turned to our local channel right as they were saying that "a radar indicated potential tornado" was approaching downtown Houston.  I went out on the balcony to check the skies.  The lightning flashing in the sky illuminated some dark clouds for sure.  Someone on another balcony came out and said "are you looking for the tornado too?".  Thankfully, it moved through here with no actual tornado touch down but about 20 miles North of downtown, FIVE touched down and caused damage.  All small, EF-0 or EF-1 on the scale, but scary indeed.

Friday it was in the 40's for a high.  Then Saturday it warmed up to the upper 70's (hence the storms) and Sunday it was 70's and rainy then it dropped to 50's and today it's sunny and clear and tonight it's back down into the 40's...

This is kind of the life we lead here in this part of the country. Don't like the weather? Just wait. It'll change.

Sunday, January 9, 2022


Here we are, almost ten days into the new year.  Wow.

While I was at the farm yesterday dodging rain and before we were later in the evening dodging tornado warnings, he made some buttered noodles with pork medallions in gravy.  It's almost like pork stroganoff, that's why we added some sour cream and chives.  It was delicious comfort food for sure...

We had to have some wine, a rosé from Shark Tank's Mr.'s really good.


...and while we were eating, Hobart was just "hanging around", ha.  Here he is relaxing on the back of the couch.  He loves doing this, we guess it's comfortable.

Hope you are having a good weekend.  It's been a mess here all weekend, more on that tomorrow.