Monday, October 31, 2022

HALLOWEEN 2022 AND BONUS HOBART

We always like seeing pictures from the farm in black and white, it gives them a creepy vibe...


Of course, mesquite trees are naturally creepy all on their own, ha.


And the long driveway looks like it leads to an eerie place, instead of just the mailbox...


Even the barn and mower shed look lonely and desolate...


But Hobart is here to say HAPPY HALLOWEEN from both of us!  By the way, he doesn't have a mean bone in his body but we love this look when he gives it. 😂

Sunday, October 30, 2022

GOOD FOOD AND HOBART SUNDAY

October is almost over.  How is that even possible?  Well another week flies by and that's another week with some good food and Hobart.

Regular readers know that we usually post a few days after Thanksgiving that we pick up some discounted turkeys, roast them and then vacuum seal the meat (as pictured above from last year).  Well, this is why:

We thawed out a bag of turkey and 2nd Man made a big bowl of "chicken salad" using the turkey instead.  Full of apples, pecans and other good stuff.  It was so good.

Speaking of turkey, I think we have one bag left.  Thanksgiving is coming, so we'll have to be sure and get some more of the upcoming year.


And as usual, here is Hobart.  Every morning when I'm getting ready for work, we have a routine when I'm brushing my teeth, he comes in and lays down at my feet and I have to give him a back rub because...

#notspoiled 

Friday, October 28, 2022

CAST ACRYLIC TUBES TRASH TO TREASURE

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's one of the latest:


Saw these in the recycle bin.  At first I thought they were glass but they are actually lucite or acrylic.  One is 24 inches and the other is 12 inches high (long?)...


...and 8 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick.


They are clear and perfect, no scratches or breaks or cracks.  Of course we aren't sure what they were used for.  It actually looks like they were once together as a longer tube and then maybe cut.  I put them up and out of the way in the barn/shop.

2nd Man said "what are you going to do with those?"

"Um, I don't know yet don't pressure me" ha!

They seem like they could be some sort of fun future project.  Set them over the top of a planter?
Put on a bottom of some sort and make a terrarium?
A lamp with LED (no heat) bulb?
Seal it up as an aquarium for small fish?
A bottom and a lid and make a cool see through cookie jar?  Or do the same thing and use for storage of something?


Wednesday, October 26, 2022

MANGOS FOR A DEAL

Anyone like mangos?

Honestly it was one of those fruits that I never ate when growing up.  Of course, I also think they weren't as widely available back then either or maybe grocers felt it was more of a niche market.  2nd Man had them growing up, very popular in the Hispanic community.

Now they are much more prevalent.


They are also a beautiful fruit.

I took this picture at the store.  2nd Man said "that would make nice computer wallpaper", ha.  They had this huge bin of them and then I saw the price...


33 cents each?  Three for a dollar?  Plus, as you can see, they were huge!  I picked up three and went back later for three more.


We left them on the counter for a few days to get a bit riper.  We equate them to an avocado when checking for ripeness.  You don't want them to be mushy but they should't be hard as a rock either.


The "pit" in a mango is different.  It's wide and flat.  They actually call it a "bone".  You have to slice on each side of it (it runs pole to pole).

Then you can slice (carefully) into each half and then crosswise so they are segmented.


Push it inside out so the pieces fan out like this...


...and then they are easy to slice off.


Then we store them in a container in the fridge and take them out and eat as we desire.  For me to be late in life coming to them, I LOVE the taste.  If someone asked what it tastes like we'd have to say kind of like a pineapple mixed with banana and maybe peach.

Not sure how else they can be used, maybe ice cream or a smoothie.  Is there such a thing as a mango pie?  We'll have to check that out.

So for you all, LOVE them or HATE them?


 

Monday, October 24, 2022

ADD BOBCATS TO THE LIST

Coyotes and feral hogs and now...

We have yet to capture one (figuratively speaking of course, ha) on our trailcam but 2nd Family has confirmed that there are now at least two bobcats that have been on and around our property/theirs.

She went to their carport one morning to take out the trash and there was one curled up in the corner.  She carefully backed away to the safety of her porch and waited for it to leave.  Since it was startled by her, it had gotten nervous and left as well, heading toward the undeveloped front part of our property.

Then a few nights later, it was dusk and she was on her back deck and a larger one with darker colors, was walking through the back pasture that is between our front yard and their house, heading toward our general direction.  There are a hundred or so acres behind us that are just cattle grazing land with trees so it had plenty of places to go  once it passed through but still...

Bobcat, image via wikicommons.com

We did some research and also found this great PDF from Texas Wildlife Department: 


Females have a territory of about 5 square miles but males can have a territory range of 30 square miles.  They are beautiful animals for sure and we'd love to see one (from a distance) or capture it on the trailcam, but we know they are also very protective of their young.

We will need to be careful as we push into other areas of our property.  It will make future mowing of the trails an interesting experience every time I see movement out of the corner of my eye.


I read some articles where people "rescued" kittens that they found in their yards only to find out they were bobcat kittens.  I'll need to remember this so I don't tell 2nd Man, "look! I found a kitten at the farm!", ha!

Like everything at the farm, it's all part of us living in their habitat, so we will adapt.  Anyone have any good bobcat stories/advice?

Sunday, October 23, 2022

GOOD FOOD AND HOBART SUNDAY

Great weekend.  Weather has been good and of course, the Astros are one win away from the World Series!

But Sunday is always time for some good food and some Hobart.  First up the good food.

Believe it or not, we have had never had these before.  They are called "pork riblets".  2nd Man just seasoned them and put them in the electric skillet and they came out really well.  Nice color on them too.  On the side, we had shaved Brussels sprouts with diced peppers.

We'll be buying some more riblets for sure in our regular rotation.

We've posted before about how Hobart likes to sleep in front of the refrigerator.  With the warm air blowing out, he realized early on that it was a great place to keep warm...and here he is again, completely blocking access to the refrigerator.  So we just work around him, until he gets up and moves.  Because...

#notspoiled


Friday, October 21, 2022

GO ASTROS COLD WEATHER AND PINEAPPLE HALLOWEEN

Houston has, rightfully so, Astros fever!

We're now two games in to the last series, hoping to make it to the World Series once again.

People everywhere are wearing Astros clothing or colors, it's always neat to see something that brings so many people from all walks of life together.


Every night, several buildings in downtown Houston are bathed in orange and blue lights.  Always fun to see from our balcony at the apartment.


And look at this!

The other morning we flirted with upper 30's, making it down to 41 degrees.  The coldest temperature since last March.  Fall is in the air, but uh, well, it's back into the 80's this weekend.  More cool weather coming next week but no rain, still dry.


We saw this online, apparently it's a new(ish?) trend and we love it.  Who knew that pineapples make really cool looking Jack-o'-lanterns?!?

Kind of like Tiki totem poles.


OK, time to say it:
Go Astros!

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

PUTTING UP SWEET POTATOES

 The coworker that gifted us with all the jalapeños last week also brought in some bags of sweet potatoes.  A few people took some and there were three bags left.

I said I'd take them if no one else wanted them.

So I scored these three bags.  About 9 lbs of sweet potatoes from North Carolina! What to do with them?

We decided to roast them, mash them and freeze them for future uses.

First we washed them and cleaned them.  We cut off any dried ends or bad spots.


Then we put them on a foiled lined sheet pan and roasted them for 1 hour at 425 degrees.


Here they are after they were done (soft to the touch) as we set them aside to cool.


Since we don't prick holes in them ahead of time, what we do after they bake is take a knife and cut a slit down each one.  This lets the steam out and helps them to dry a bit as they cool.  Once you do this, they start to wrinkle and you can see how loose the skin is.

We aren't saving the skins (though I did snack on a few pieces) so after they cooled, the skins just slipped right off.  The slit we cut right after they were out of the oven made it easy to just peel them off.

We put them in a bowl and mashed them up and since we are freezing for random future uses, there are no spices/seasonings needed.

We measured them into 2 cup amounts.

After they were portioned out, I used the rubber spatula to get all the goodness and put a small amount more into each bag so the 2 cups became about 2 1/4.

We didn't waste any that's for sure.

Turns out the three bags of medium sized sweet potatoes ended up giving us three bags mashed to put up in the freezer.  I vacuum sealed them and popped them in the freezer.

Seems about the right amount for a sweet potato pie or a savory mashed sweet potato side dish...and the holidays ARE coming soon!

We love sweet potatoes!

Monday, October 17, 2022

BLUE SKIES AND BUTTERFLIES WEEKEND

It was a beautiful weekend, albeit a bit warm.  I was wondering if I'd need to mow, but...


Here is the side yard...nope, still have the tracks from the last mowing a couple of weeks ago.


And here's a view of the front yard from the mower shed, same here as well.  No mowing this weekend.  But since we don't want a repeat of the mower issues with stale gas, I fired it up.


I rode around for 8 minutes, ha.  I did turn on the blades and drove up the driveway and back a few times just to make sure that stays well cut.  So at least the Zen Machine got to do some work.


There was, of course, time spent on the front porch. Beautiful skies, a breeze blowing, birds chirping...



...and butterflies everywhere.  It was a nice respite from the busy work week.  We came back about 5pm.


But cooler nights are coming...well at least for a couple of days, ha.  Low of 49 on Tuesday but of course, it is Texas, we'll be back to 80's for highs / 70's for lows later in the week.  New weekend looks beautiful again!

HOPE YOU ALL HAD A GREAT WEEKEND!

Sunday, October 16, 2022

GOOD FOOD AND HOBART SUNDAY

Hope you all are having a good weekend, it's been a little warm but cool is coming.  Last weekend, we posted about the marinated fajitas we bought at a market near the farm.  We said "wait until you see the chicken".  Well, here is the chicken.

It's definitely red!  You buy it already seasoned and marinated and it is SO good.  We roasted it in the oven along with some broccoli and cauliflower.  Good eats!


We don't need many words for this picture of Hobart sleeping on the couch.  We think it pretty much sums up what we always say...

#notspoiled

Friday, October 14, 2022

FERAL HOGS AT 2ND FAMILY

The hogs are back...at least at the front of the property.

"J" from 2nd Family sent this image to us.  She bought a trailcam after seeing our pictures and put it in her yard.  This is from her front yard porch looking toward the carport.

She captured images of these feral hogs roaming around in her front yard.

The next day, she found this part of her yard rooted up.  There were some large stones that they overturned, looking for grubs and stuff we presume.


A week or so later she moved the camera to the back of the house and captured these in the backyard.  

She said nothing was rooted around in the yard this time as the ground is pretty hard (we're drought-ish again) and so there isn't a lot for them to get to.

This part of the back of their house is about 2 acres from our front yard fence so we'll have to keep a close eye on things.  Again, it's been 10 days since this photo and they haven't seen them since.  Last weekend, we checked around thoroughly and we didn't have any issues either.  Hopefully the dry ground is making them move elsewhere.