Tuesday, May 31, 2022


 We love saying that.

OK, so it's not an orchard like you might find on a sprawling piece of property...just some raised beds behind the house but it's our little orchard & we love it!

I have spent several weekends pulling weeds and grass from the beds and then adding soil and finally mulch to get them cleaned up and looking good.

  Here is one of the pear trees, all topped off with fresh soil and a hardwood mulch.

The berry bushes like a more acidic soil so I put pine bark mulch on them.  This is one of the cherry bushes...all nice and cleaned up (and hopefully happy).

Here's the pomegranate that looked a bit parched when I planted it, but now it has perked up and is doing well.

This is one of the "Austin" variety blueberry bushes.  Again, fresh pine bark mulch for it.

Here is the mayhaw tree, it's been topped off and seems to be doing very well.

The fig tree that was recently planted is also doing great, and is even putting on new leaves.

After I finished with all that over the course of a few weekends, I mowed and edged and trimmed it all when I was done.  Here is the end result:

This coming weekend, I'll get the fishing line around it all to get it deer proof.  For now though, it's neat and tidy once again and will someday be filled with peaches, pears, apples, nectarines, plums, pomegranates, figs, mayhaws, blueberries and cherries.

Our little piece of dessert heaven, ha.

Monday, May 30, 2022


No words, other than we say thank you to those who currently serve, have served and of course those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom...

This was Saturday at the farm when we left.
97 degrees.

The weather app had a new icon, a sun with a cactus.  We don't know if that means "desert hot" or what, haha, but it was indeed "very hot".  More of an update in upcoming posts.  I didn't have to mow and this week shows no rain so I might not have to mow this coming weekend either.

I DID get stung by a wasp/wasps.

Three times.

On the back of my leg behind my knee.

I was opening the garden gate as I always do, it has to be pulled a bit because it sticks and I didn't think twice about it until I felt the stings.  A wasp nest was on the back of the gate that I couldn't see.  Ugh.

But hell hath no fury like a gardener stung...the wasps no longer exist. 

It was late in the afternoon and I had done what I needed and with it so hot and my leg sore, it was a good time to call it a day.

Hope you all have had a good weekend.

Sunday, May 29, 2022


 Here we are, the middle of a long weekend.  It's been so hot here, ugh.  Yesterday I did as much as I could.  Today is a day of rest inside where it's cool (with some good food of course, ha).

Bacon, eggs and cornbread
Breakfast pic for a change of pace.  Bacon and eggs and cornbread.  We had some leftover that 2nd Man made from the night before and we figured, why not put it with bacon and eggs?  Great change of pace from toast or biscuits.  It was good.  This plate was mine, I like them over easy.  2nd Man likes scrambled.

We have two big races today, the Indy 500 up first and then when that is over, the longest NASCAR race of the year, the Coca-Cola 600 is on.

We're in full on race mode today.

Comfortable Hobart
And here is Hobart, not at all interested in racing, looking at all of you from the comfort of his blankets, that we always have to make sure are on one end of the couch so he can have access to them.  Because...


Friday, May 27, 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 are the latest!


A palm of some sort




Hedgehog Aloe

And a small bonus fourth! 

Someone had moved out and we guess they decided they didn't want to take these plants with them and so they just put them next to the dumpster.  I came back upstairs and got the cart and went back down and brought them back in two trips.

We'll be honest, not sure what they all are for sure except the last small one.  We knew it was an aloe and a little research found it's a "hedgehog aloe vera".  I know the first one is a palm of some sort.  Other than the aloe which is small and table sized, the others are large, about 5 feet tall.  We feel like we should know what they are and when you all tell us in the comments, I'm sure we're going to read and go "Oh yeah!!!"

For now, they (the three large ones) are on the balcony getting sun and water.  The plan is to take them to the farm to live on the porch (shaded, unless they like the balcony?) but we need to figure out what they are so we'll know how to properly care for them.

Comment away!

Wednesday, May 25, 2022


Baked Tortellini

Here's a new recipe we have done a couple of times.  We found it online (Pinterest) and modified it a bit to our preferences.  Wow, it's SO good.


1 onion, chopped

3 to 4 cloves of garlic minced

20 oz pkg fresh cheese tortellini (we used Buitoni)

1 24 oz jar of marinara (we like Rao's brand) 

8 oz cream cheese

2 lbs ground Italian sausage (or beef or combo)

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup of grated parmesan

Sautéed onion and garlic

In a pan, saute the chopped onion and garlic in a few TBSP olive oil until translucent.

Browned sausage
Add the ground meat (sausage or beef) to the onion/garlic mixture and cook until browned.
Drain any excess grease/fat, reduce to simmer.

Side note:  We used all ground beef the first time, very good.  We used all Italian sausage this time, wonderful. Next time we're going to try a combo of 1 lb each.

*The Italian sausage adds so much seasoning and flavor so if you use all beef, add a TBSP or so of Italian seasonings to the browning step for some of that flavor.

Marinara and sausage
Add one jar of marinara sauce and stir to combine.

Mariana meat sauce with cream cheese
Add the cream cheese and stir until melted.

Boiling tortellini
In a separate pot, boil the tortellini according to package directions and drain well.  We always go a minute or two under since it will cook more in the oven.

Tortellini and marinara
 Add the drained tortellini to the meat sauce mixture.

Tortellini ready for oven
Stir all to combine and melt the cream cheese.
Remove from heat.

Baked tortellini 
Pour into a 9x13 greased casserole dish. 

Tortellini bake in the oven
Spread shredded mozzarella on top and sprinkle the grated parmesan over that.  

Pop into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes.

When the timer goes off, turn on the broiler and broil for about 5 minutes or until top is browned and bubbly. 

Baked tortellini casserole fresh from the oven
Take it out and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes to cool and let it thicken up.

Oven baked tortellini lasagna
Dish it up and enjoy.  We had it with some delicious garlic bread and a side salad.  

We made a similar recipe a few times but wow, this one is so much easier and better.  It really gives you everything you want in a lasagna but in an easier and quicker form.  And cold the next day...well let's just say, I bet you wouldn't know that it's not lasagna.


Monday, May 23, 2022


What a week of weather.  We've been tying or breaking record high temperatures almost daily.  Saturday was hot and then Sunday morning we woke up to heavy rain, wind, thunder and lightning.

Hot or not, I had to mow on Saturday.  I skipped last weekend because we've been in a drought period and there hasn't been a lot of growing.  However, heavy rain is coming this week.  Next weekend would have been crazy thick if I had waited any longer.  It's not as green as normal and the ground has small cracks.

So here is the mow time from the app.  A little less than normal because there wasn't heavy grass to slow me down, but pretty close to average.

I mowed and edged early in the morning and then it was time to work a bit on the fruit trees.  I got a few projects done (more on that in an upcoming post) but it just got SO hot:

It was 95 with high humidity resulting in a "feels like" of 107!  Nope, not healthy to be doing too much in that.  Time to call it a day and get back to cool.

I took this picture before I left (you can see "Bill" in the background, ha), because the Vitex (also known as Texas lilac) is now in full bloom.  It is always so pretty and the bees absolutely love it.  We love these at the farm and they do so well, once they were established, we never water them and they are doing great.

Today is warm and mostly clear but tomorrow and Wednesday...

...we are supposed to have some fairly heavy rain, then sunny and clear and lows in the 60's (!).

Should be a great three day weekend though.
We'll take it!

Sunday, May 22, 2022


Here we are, Sunday again.  Where DOES the week go?  Today is a gray and rainy day (woke up to some heavy storms rolling through).  As usual time for some good food and some Hobart.  First up, the good food.

Baked tortellini

This is a recipe we've made twice now and we LOVE it.  The recipe along with step by step photos will be coming this week in a post.  It's a baked tortellini casserole but we call it "easy lasagna" because it has all the flavors and texture of lasagna without all the work.  SO GOOD.  Plus, I made it so 2nd Man now has another dish I make that he can request, ha.

Hobart on the towels

I was doing laundry and put the towels on the floor next to the laundry basket while waiting to put them into the washer.  Hobart found them.  I folded them into a nice neat pallet so that he could take a nap.  Because...


Friday, May 20, 2022


 OK…after the blog post about these jars Wednesday, you all gave some great suggestions.  That night, I Googled them and I found these pictures online for different ideas for uses...

Special editions of jams or salsa...

After dinner dessert or early morning breakfast…

Drinks with a farmhouse flair...

Or even gathering wildflowers and having a fun vase.
Needless to say, I couldn't get to the store fast enough.

I bought two boxes!

Well, that’s all they had left, ha.  I might buy one more set if I run across them so we'll have a dozen but at least eight gives us a good number for desserts or drinking glasses if we wanted to use them for that.

They DO sell them on Amazon HERE 

We decided we never know when we might be doing something and think back to these different jars.  I guess the rule should be, “get whatever they come out with so no regrets in the future”, LOL.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022


Saw these at the store yesterday.

It's a new "shape" of Ball jars.

They are called "Flute" jars.  The package says they are a refined design for decor and drinkware.  To me that would indicate they are decorative only.  Nope, they are also sealable for up to 18 months.

It's hard to describe the shape so since the package was not shrink wrapped, I asked the clerk if I could take one out of the package and she said yes.

This is the shape.

Sort of a rounder/bulbous bottom that tapers up to a narrower top.  They are different that any other shaped jar we've seen.  Being pint size, we wonder if someone would still use them for canning (maybe gift giving canned goods?) or if they would stay more in the "decor/drinkware" category?  I didn't buy any, haven't decided if I should.  Since Ball does discontinue editions, maybe I should get some just to have for a future set so I don't look back and go "wished I had bought those jars I saw that time", ha.