Monday, February 28, 2022


 Saturday was rainy.  Not heavy but just gloomy and cold and generally miserable.  Wet cold is always the worst.  The original plan was to use the Zen Machine (mower) over the last few weekends to clear some new areas before they pick it up to have its annual maintenance.  Well, it's rained every weekend for the last month, juuuuust enough to make mowing difficult. 

So we made the decision for me to head to the farm by myself Sunday when the skies were a little more clear and get the mower outside and ready to be picked up.

This shows how wet the grass was (dormant as it may be).  These are the impressions that it made as I drove it from the shed to the spot where I left it.

I parked it and covered it up with a plastic tarp and some rocks to weigh it down and keep it from blowing off.  There is no rain in the forecast so it should be fine but this will keep the bird poop off of it too, ha.  They are scheduled to pick it up Wednesday morning.

Here's a good example of how cold it is inside the house without heat.  At about 10am, it was 41 inside.  It's pretty cold.  Or course, if everything goes according to plan, this will be the last Winter to worry about it.

Since I didn't have much I could do out there between the wet and the cold, I went to a new (well, new to us) hardware store in a nearby town.  I figured it would be nice to explore a new place so we don't have to rely on the bigger box stores in Houston.  

This was a great store with all sorts of good stuff.  Every kind of tool you might need, cleaning supplies, lumber, gardening supplies, fencing, paint, etc.  The only thing they were lacking was a garden center but thankfully, Houston has SO many wonderful small and large places to find our plants.

One thing they had that I was pleasantly surprised to see was a large canning section.  I took this quick picture, lots of jars of different sizes and plenty of lids and rings and other processing supplies.

That was nice to see and learn of another place to get them when we need them.  Overall, it was a great store and an easy drive from the farm.  We won't have to fight the crowds in Houston all the time.

So here sits the Zen Machine waiting for its closeup.  Blades sharpened, filters changed, belts checked, greased and tightened, etc, and they even told me they'd clean and detail it.

We'll probably get it back just in time for the Spring rainy season, LOL.

Sunday, February 27, 2022


 Last weekend, we had my oven baked bbq ribs (RECIPE HERE) and we couldn't post pics at the time because we hadn't eaten them yet.  We figured we'd post them today for your viewing pleasure, ha.

On Sunday we had the ribs with homemade coleslaw and 2nd Man's homemade bread.


Since I made two racks and a big batch of coleslaw, on Monday, I decided to use what we had...

...I pulled the rib bones out and topped with the rest of the slaw.  Eating ribs like this without the bones is so amazing.  It's like a "real" McRib, ha!

More deliciousness!  

After last weekend's evil eye from Hobart for waking him up for picture time, this time I let him sleep...and sleep he did.  Warm sunshine on a cold day, his own personal is good for Hobart!


Saturday, February 26, 2022


It's a gloomy and rainy day here today which kind of fits the world mood right now.  My plans for the farm will be to go out early tomorrow morning, it'll be too wet to mow, but they pick up the mower next week for annual service.  Oh well. 

In the meantime...

We recently learned that sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine.  I saw this online where someone put the Ukrainian flag colors above it.  Just beautiful.  It's surreal to see it all unfolding live on our TVs and mobile devices.  The first war documented in real time on all forms of social media.  Sigh. 

There's not much we can do from the other side of the world aside from donating where we can, but we're thinking of them all.


Friday, February 25, 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 of the latest!

We know you all like to see some of our finds so we'll post more about what we find.  We scored these a few weeks ago.  Outdoor hanging candle lanterns.  For these we're guessing the reason someone put them out was because they were indeed used...

...and were starting to get a bit weathered.  There is some rusting but in a way, it gives them character.  I mean, if they're going to be outside, they are going to weather.  We could put some black Rustoleum paint on the metal parts if we wanted to jazz them up.

The wood appears to be teak and each one opens and on the inside is a candle...

...a battery operated candle.

Since the top is open, we could put some real candles inside (no hanging for those) if we wanted to put them on an outdoor table.  Or, we could buy some new battery operated candles if we wanted to change it up a bit.  Overall a great score, we just need to clean them up a bit and then they'll be perfect sitting on a table somewhere on the porch.

Someone's trash became our treasure.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022


 Recently, a very special friend of ours gifted us an early birthday present.  She decided we needed a birdhouse for the farm but just not any birdhouse...

Red Barn

...she wanted something that matched our barn.  See above...and now, behold...

Red Barn Birdhouse

How's THIS for a birdhouse?!?!

It's all handmade and painted and hinges at the roofline to open it for cleaning etc.  There's even a perch inside for the birds to sit.  We were amazed when we saw it.  It's a duplicate right down to the smaller door on the side and the clay pots in front!  Even the pitch of the roof is the same!  I guess this is a sign we need to put some "Knockout Roses" in the pots so it matches.  

We think it's almost too pretty to use as a birdhouse but hey, the birds need a great spot to call home too!

It was just too beautiful not to share with all of you.

Monday, February 21, 2022


It's been a while since we posted some trailcam pictures but we know they are always fun to see and so we found three of the most interesting...

(as always, you can click to enlarge)

Trailcam bird in flight

This was a great one from a few months ago...a bird captured in mid-flight.  Not sure what kind of bird it is but it was just lovely to see the wonder of flight up close and frozen in time.

Trailcam Deer

Recently, we captured these four FIVE (thanks Texas Rose) deer playing in the front yard.  "J" from Second Family said she saw them running and jumping back and forth over the fence from their back pasture into our front yard for about an hour.  She said it was a great way to sit on her porch and have a cup of coffee.

The battery was low on the trailcam, so it didn't capture the video of it, that would have been fun to see.

Trailcam Coyote

Lastly, this photo from just a couple weeks ago.  At first, we saw it and we were thinking "whose dog is that?" but upon further looking, we realized "oh wow, that's a coyote roaming through the front yard!"

We are thinking of buying a few more and putting them on further areas of the property.  No telling what we might capture then.

Sunday, February 20, 2022


It's Sunday and you know what that means, good food and Hobart.  But also...

...regular blog readers know that we are NASCAR fans and of course today is the Daytona 500...arguably THE big race and the start of the season.

I am cooking today, 2nd Man wanted me to make my (his words) famous BBQ ribs and coleslaw.  As this posts though, it's not ready so no picture of it yet.

Baked potato with steak

Yesterday, we had steaks and baked potatoes.  We haven't had a baked potato in a while and it was so good.  Of course, we load it with butter, cheese, sour cream, bacon bits and chives, because...DELICIOUS!


It's a bit on the cool side today and overcast, so Hobart is snuggled up in one of his blankets.  He was asleep and I called his name several times to make him wake up so I could get a picture of him.  This is his grumpy "you woke me up for what?" face.  Oops, so I covered him back up and he went to sleep.


Friday, February 18, 2022


Have scored a couple of these recently...

This is sort of a trash to treasure as I've found them downstairs, but they probably really are "trash", ha.  We've never used milk crates like these before, but we think they'll be useful for storage at the farm, in the workshop/barn.  They are sturdy and seem like they'll hold a lot of weight to carry things around...

...and they stack firmly together which makes them great for putting on the shelves and storing things.  If I find some more, I'll snag those as well.

Anyone have any ideas for other uses?

Thursday, February 17, 2022


This past weekend was bad one day and nice the next.  Fortunately, the nice day was a great time to get some stuff done that we haven't been able to do yet this year.

The grass is still dormant for the Winter but that didn't stop me from getting on the Zen Machine for the first time in a few months.  That's always a good thing.

One of the things I like to do this time of y ear is mow down some of the areas that are normally overgrown.  In the Winter, those areas are dormant and/or dead and easy to mow over.  That's what I did in this area.  The white line is where the weeds/grass were before I started.  I was able to clear quite a bit in this spot.

What this does is give me room to get in there and work on those trees later in the season without having to machete my way through a jungle, ha.  I was going to do more but it was a bit wet in some areas and we all know how that ended about this time last year, ha!

I did another project on the mower but I'l save that for another post since we'll have a question for you all.

Here is the surviving (?) pineapple.

The other one that several of you suggested we try to bring back to life, when I picked it up, it was all mushy in the center and it fell apart before I could even get it to the clay pot.  Definitely a goner.  This one looks a bit frostbitten but hopefully it will make it.  If it doesn't, well, we can start some new ones again.

It's all about the journey, not necessary the destination at this point.  We learn and we have fun, regardless of the outcome and we learn for the future.  In this case we learned that pineapples are definitely very sensitive and we need to do better to protect them.

A small greenhouse perhaps?

Tuesday, February 15, 2022


Yesterday was a good day...

Beautiful flowers at work...

Italian sausage with Alfredo and heart shaped pasta

Wonderful dinner at home...

Homemade apple pie

And amazing dessert afterward...

Like I said, it was a good day. 
Hope you all had a wonderful day as well.

Monday, February 14, 2022


Hope you all had a good weekend!  Check out yesterday's "Good Food and Hobart" Sunday post.  Today is Valentine's Day!

We remind each other all the time how lucky we are to have found each other and the great life we have created.  Sure today is more of a commercially created holiday but it's still great to remember those loved ones in our lives.

And we are both so grateful to all of you and send our love to you all!

I picked this up a few weeks ago at Trader Joe's, a limited edition heart shaped pasta.  It looked like it would be fun and they were almost completely sold out already.  When 2nd Man asked what I wanted for dinner, I asked him to make something using this!

I guess I'll find out what he created when I get home tonight.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 13, 2022


Well here we are, another week gone by.  It's colder here, though no freeze.  Close, 33 degrees, but nothing to worry too much about.

As this posts, we're not sure what we're having today but yesterday we had a wonderful dish... was the broccoli cheese rice casserole we make and this time we added cooked chicken to it.  Mixed it all up, topped it with some cheese and then baked it in the oven for about 30 minutes.

It was so good.  A casserole is ALWAYS a comfort food on a cold day.  Oh, who are we kidding, casseroles are just good comfort food period, ha. 

Not sure who we're rooting for but we hope your team wins!  We don't have a horse in this race and it's not here in Houston like it was a few years ago, so maybe we'll root for good commercials?  Ha! 

Hobart is the least interested of course.  He'd rather sleep.  He has changed sleeping locations this weekend and now he's on these round cushions.  They used to be in our window seat at the house we sold and the cats enjoyed sleeping on them so we moved them here with them.  Hobart is the only one we have left and he still sleeps there and we can't take them away from him.


Friday, February 11, 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 of the latest!

Went downstairs for my usual reconnaissance mission and found this.  It looks practically new.  A "Simple Human" branded stainless trashcan.  There are no dents or dings or scratches and it works perfectly...

...the foot pedal opens the top and then it has a soft close mechanism.  You can see inside, if it was used (which of course we assume it was) it's perfectly clean.  This inner container lifts out to empty it or put the bag on.  Since we often find things downstairs that we'll end up using later on down the road, in this case... was taken to the farm and put in the workshop/barn next to the vintage drafting table right away.  We already have two similar trashcans in the house so we didn't need it there so the workshop/barn was the perfect spot.

Ironically, in this picture you can see the bottom of one of the barstools we found a couple of years ago as well.  I use that to sit at the workbench or table when working on something.  Now I have a more "stylish" place to throw away trash and after all, shouldn't a workshop have some style, ha!  We need to buy a box of trash bags for it so it can be kept clean, though being in the workshop, there won't really be messy trash like might be in the kitchen, ha.

It really became a "trashcan to treasure", see what we did there?  LOL!

Wednesday, February 9, 2022


A few weeks back, we posted some pics of the bedroom and several of you asked about a quilt on the end of the bed.  We took some more pictures to share.

Here they are:

It's a patchwork quilt that's big enough for a queen sized bed (it's folded in half here).  It was made by my Grandmother using mostly scraps of fabric from my Grandfathers overalls because that's pretty much all he ever wore or at least what I remember him in.

One side has other types of fabric scraps.  It also has the little tied-off green "tails" or whatever they are called.  I'm not sure if that means it's the top or the bottom?  I kind of feel like its supposed to be the top.

Not sure where this fabric all came from, probably scraps she had on hand when she made them.

But the other side is neat because it is made up entirely of pieces of my Grandfather's jeans and overalls.  The light blue color ones and the blue ticking stripes...

...actual denim from jeans and beige overalls...

...and to be sure that nothing went to waste, even the ones with holes were used and the holes "repaired" as best as they good be to make them usable.  

When I was little and we went to visit, I always got to sleep on their "rollaway" bed (that thing had a wicked dip in the middle, ha).  I always wanted one of these quilts to sleep under.  There are two and I have both of them.  It's funny though, they don't don't have a light and fluffy feel like a regular quilt might, because of what they are made from, they are more heavy and dense and best of all, warm.  That's why I liked them.  Looking back on it now, I think these were sort of an original version of a "weighted blanket" that's all the rage now...I guess Grandma was ahead of her time!

We have other quilts stored (carefully) away and when we have a place we can put them out to display/use, we'll get photos of them.

Quilts are wonderful!