Wednesday, November 30, 2022


Recently, I was at the grocery store...ostensibly for groceries, as one usually does...

But when I walked in, I noticed all their plants on display outside were on clearance.  Some were $4.49 and the rest were $7.49.  Regular readers know, I will look for a deal.  So I did look around...and found...

A "Cherry of the Rio Grande" also called "Barbados cherry".  Not a true cherry but related and grows in a more tropical climate.  That's us.  We have our two Nanking cherries growing but I figured this would be fun to try and see what comes of it.  Then I scored an avocado!  We have wanted one for ages but they are always expensive.  Both trees were 5 gallon containers so I picked them up, finished my grocery shopping, put them in the car and headed back to work. 

After I got home, 2nd Man said "maybe we should get another avocado tree since we love them so much?"  I knew they had more like the one I bought so the next day, I went back.  I was just going to get one more, thinking they just had the same variety as I got the day before.

Then I saw another variety!
And yet another!

I grabbed both of them and put them in my cart.  I figured two for $15 ($7.49 each) was worth it.  As I was at the checkout, they rang them up and she goes "that will be $119.49".

What the what?

They rang up at full price of almost $60 EACH.

I said "uh no, these are supposed on clearance, I bought two others yesterday".  She called over the manager and he looks at them and goes "oh yeah, they are all on clearance.  They are $4.49 each".

I wasn't going to argue, $120 worth of trees for $9


I loaded them into the car and went back to work.  At the apartment I put them in our parking spaces until we could get them out to the farm.

Here they are at the apartment parking garage one morning when I left for work.  They had nice sun coming in and I kept them watered.

I took them all to the farm the following weekend.
We have three avocado trees;


They are all cold hardy (once established of course) down to low 20's and one, to the upper teens and are best suited to our climate/zone.  Sounds good to us!  They'll stay on the porch until Spring and we'll keep them protected if we have a freeze.

Sorry 2nd Man, you asked and now we have to figure out where to put our "avocado orchard"...

Monday, November 28, 2022




Well this caught the entire city off guard.  Things going along like normal, the end of a long weekend, getting ready to wrap things up and head to bed and then boom!  Don't drink the water!


But we are prepared, scroll further down for that.

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Houston Public Works Issues Boil Water NoticePUBLIC WORKS 11-27-2022

Houston Public Works Issues Boil Water Notice

Houston, Texas – A boil water notice has been issued for the City of Houston’s Main Water System (TX1010013). Earlier today, the water pressure dropped below the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s required minimum of 20 PSI during a power outage at the East Water Purification Plant on Sunday.

As a result of the Boil Water Notice, the public is advised:
*Do not drink the water without boiling it first.
*Bring all water to a boil for at least two minutes.
*Let it cool before using. 
*Individuals without power to boil water are advised to use bottled water for consumption. 

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes.
In lieu of boiling, individuals may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the public water system officials will notify customers that the water is safe for drinking water or human consumption purposes.  It could be Tuesday before the all clear is issued.

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand/mail.

This is not the first time, we had a random event a few years ago similar to this...and then during the epic freeze in 2021, we had the same issue.

We try to keep our "water cabinet" as we call it, fully stocked.  Jugs of water for our coffee/tea maker, some soft drinks for 2nd Man...

Flavored sparking water for variety and regular bottled water as a backup (usually for cooking).  This picture is from the last time we had this happen, we're a bit low now because I haven't been to the store since before Thanksgiving but...

...we have a water dispenser machine that we use for our main drinking.  We always have a max of 15 gallons on hand.  We have one in the machine, one beside it for when it runs out and another in the back of the closet for emergencies.  We have a delivery service and get two bottles every other week since that's about when we run low but last night, when the breaking news starting blowing up our phones and interrupting TV, I got the backup one out and when the one in the machine runs out, we are good.

No boiling for us.

Always be prepared!

Saturday, November 26, 2022


It has literally been raining every day since Wednesday, though we have a break right now.

Since we had pics every day of the turkey brining process, we figured we'd show you the end result:

This was it after we took it out of the fridge Thursday morning and then rubbed melted butter on it.

And here it is after 90 minutes.  Golden and beautiful, super moist and delicious.  We ate half for our meal and leftovers and then we took the meat off the other half and vacuum sealed two bags of meat for future use.

I'm not going to the farm today, will probably go tomorrow, unless it rains again.  I certainly don't need to water.  So today will be Christmas decorating day!

Here is our basement storage unit (the overhead lights were off, it's not normally this dark) full of Christmas and other stuff.  I will be getting all the decorations out (the tree we use is in that box) and, as this posts, we'll be in the midst of Christmas decorating!

Pictures to come later!

Hope you are having a good weekend!

Thursday, November 24, 2022


As we usually do, we like to post a vintage postcard image for holidays.  They are always fun to see.

On this Thanksgiving Day, we take this opportunity to thank all of you for coming along on the journey with us for another year.  We are blessed to know you, to share with you, to have you share things with us...we are truly thankful.

2nd Man had to work and didn't get off until late last night.  So as this posts, we have a turkey roasting and are busy prepping all the other things for our Thanksgiving dinner!  Hobart will get some turkey meat as a treat so dinner for him too!


Wednesday, November 23, 2022


Well, we are finally at the day before Thanksgiving, food prep should be in full swing.  Check out our turkey, 24 hours after starting the dry brine process:

You can click HERE to see yesterday's post with the picture right after it was put in the fridge.  Comparing them you can see that it is definitely changing.  The skin has tightened up as it dries.  But the skin seals the meat to keep it moist and seasoned. In the next post, we'll show you all the end result.

OK so here are a couple more vintage ads showing some weird food ideas.

OK, so we guess this is cute, in a way.  Maybe something for kids to do but not sure we'd want it as a centerpiece on the Thanksgiving table, ha.

Now we suppose this is a variation on candied sweet potatoes but it's not presented in a very appetizing way. Plus, it just seems to be so much sugar and sweetness.  Maybe just skip to the pie for dessert instead of this dinner side dish, ha. 



Tuesday, November 22, 2022


 Countdown to Thanksgiving is on.

My coworker gave us some more sweet potatoes and so last night I roasted them in the oven, mashed them and vacuum sealed for future use.

We had already used one from our last batch so we're back to what we had plus one, ha.  You can see how we did those HERE.

And then...

...we got our turkey ready for the dry brining process.  We do this every year now.  We love it.  Seasoning and duck fat, 48 hours in the fridge and then butter and roasting in the oven.  More on that when it happens, but you can read about the process HERE.

And now for something, um, odd, for Thanksgiving from an old ad or picture from a cookbook:

We like peas.  We like mushrooms.  We like fruit. We even like what ever "meat" is featured.  But all together in one dish?  This is just not even remotely appetizing.  Not sure whatever the ring of jellied meat is, but yeah, we'll stick with our traditional meal.


Monday, November 21, 2022


Well, it's cold for us, we understand the rest of the country has a lot colder weather (and crazy snowfall).

Scroll to the end for a weird food ad from he past, a sort of annual tradition we have here on the blog.

Saturday it rained ALL day.  Sunday we needed to check on things but 2nd Man had to work (big project coming up at work) so I headed out.

Got there about 10am it was cold and damp.

I watered the plants on the porch, restrung some fishing line around the fruit tree area, started the mower and let it run, took the truck for a spin a couple miles down the road and did some organizing the barn.

By the time I left at about 2:30, it was down into the 40's and dropping and I was getting a bit too chilly.  Definitely time to get back to someplace warm.  Not sure if a picture can "look cold" but I took this one when I left.  The grass is still green but not growing due to the cold weather.  It's just sort of stunted where it was in late Summer.

Since this is a short week, work wise, and of course holiday for everyone (here in the states), we often like to post some funny food ads from the past.  I search the internet for some fun ones and post what I find.  There will be a few this week.

Here is the first:

Nothing says Thanksgiving and holidays like mayonnaise mixed with cranberry sauce and jello and then sticking a birthday candle in the top and lighting it.

Congrats, it's your dinner salad!


Saturday, November 19, 2022



It's been raining since last night.  Nothing heavy or flooding but just a steady, Winter rain...

We're under all that (here in town and the farm) and have been since last night.  And it's going to last all day.  Good rains for the farm trees and plants but will mean a mess of mud and everything is wet.

It's currently 46 degrees and "feels like" 40.  They say we're going to get to 52 but I don't think it will get out of the 40's.  Wet cold is the worst.  Tomorrow will be better, clear and slightly warmer but I'll still need to dress warmly.

So I'll go to the farm then.  The truck needs to be driven and even with all the rain, I'll need to water the plants on the porch.

We'll be grateful that we don't have 7 FEET of snow like parts of the country currently have.  We're not cut out for that.  Stay warm wherever you are!

Friday, November 18, 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's another of the latest:

This is a garment rack.  Now, we did look them up and the aren't that expensive to buy ($30 or so) but hey, someone discarded this one and it's in perfect shape.  Nothing wrong with it.  It's about 6' tall.

It has wheels to easily roll it around and it is adjustable up and down.

On each end, you can flip a latch and the poles will extend out further for extra hanging space.

We don't have a spot at the apartment for it since we don't have an actual laundry room, but we will at the farm and so it will be a great place for hanging our clothes as we move them from laundry to closet.

For now, it is in storage.

We can only speculate why someone discarded it.  Most of the time, we find it is just people moving in who don't have space in their new apartment or maybe they are moving out and just don't want to carry it with them to their new place.  Whatever reason, we'll give it use.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022


A few weekends ago, we posted about this wonderful chicken that we roasted.  Pollo Asado.

The seasoning we use is achiote paste/powder and that's what gives it this red color.  We cooked them and ate some for dinner but still had a few left over.

Later that evening, I took the meat off the bones and torn it into pieces and saved it for the next night. 

I added some of 2nd Man's homemade Pico de gallo and mixed it together.

Then I added 2 cups of shredded cheese blend (this was a "Mexican" blend) and mixed it all up.

All that was left to do was scoop it out and mound it onto some tostada shells.  We usually have just enough for six tostadas.  We usually eat two each and then have an extra for lunch the next day.

Since everything is fully cooked, it's really just getting some color on it.  We put it in the middle rack but turn on the broiler.  It takes less than 10 minutes.  Just until it gets the desired color and the cheese is melted and wonderfully gooey.

Here it is plated up.  It's SO good and now 2nd Man asks me to make it again whenever we have any leftover chicken.

It's in regular rotation.  Super easy and tasty!

Monday, November 14, 2022


It was cold at the farm.  And wet.  Friday when the front came through, we had some good rain.  Nothing was flooded of course but the damp and misty weather made it feel really cold.

Went only to check on things (all was fine) and came back.  Not much else to do, no watering needed of course (except the plants on the porch) and the vehicles were started and driven a bit and that was it.

While I was taking a break on the porch, I noticed the bushes were full of bees.  I got this great picture and we love it.  Two bees, a honeybee and a bumblebee, getting some of the last pollen and nectar of the season.  We imagine them hurrying back to their hive to get ready for the cold season.

Today as this posts, we're expecting another front with some potential for severe weather.

Sunday, November 13, 2022


It's been a good weekend.  Cold but the rain finally cleared out.  Last night, it almost got down to freezing at the farm.  The low was 34.

We had a really tasty dish that 2nd Man just sort of made up of things we had on hand.  Ground beef cooked with garlic, onion powder, other seasonings and then some zucchini and yellow squash.  It was hearty and satisfying.

Of course, it's cold and that means Hobart needs some sunshine.  So we put his afghan over by the patio door where the sun was streaming in because...


Saturday, November 12, 2022


 As this posts, I'll be off to the farm, solo.  2nd Man is working and besides, it's cold and wet here.  Yesterday it was in the mid 80's during the day, last night it dropped close to the upper 30's.

This week it will be 50's and 40's.  Pretty sure no mowing and really nothing to water but today I need to check on things after the storms that went through yesterday and start up the truck and drive it around.

I think we're in the cycle now where this is the start of our "Winter".  Of course, we are often sweating at Christmas so it could be fleeting.  Just hoping for no freezes, we haven't prepped the house yet.

I've got my jeans on and my flannel shirt and an extra t-shirt just in case I need it.  That damp/wet cold is what goes through to our bones.

Or maybe we're just getting old...😁

Thursday, November 10, 2022


2nd Man recently did some volunteering at one of the Habitat for Humanity retail stores here in Houston.  I dropped him off and roamed about for a bit in the store.  That's when I saw these chairs:

They were two older chairs that someone had changed out the seat covering.  But instead of using fabric with a design as one might expect, they used burlap coffee sacks/bags.

They looked cool.  I wasn't shopping to buy them of course, just saw them and thought "that would be fun do with an old chair or two sometime" and took a couple of pictures.  We just so happen to have a couple of chairs in storage (waiting for space) that belonged to 2nd Man's parents.  They were part of their dining room set.  Somehow the chairs all got separated, or different family members took a few each.  Anyway, we ended p with two.  We always thought they would make nice chairs in an entryway/foyer and now, with something like this we could do with them, it would really make them stand out.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022


On a rainy weekend recently, we decided it was time to do something with the pears from our "wild" pear tree.  It's a Kieffer variety (and not really wild but it has been growing for ten years unassisted).  Instead of canning them without really knowing what we wanted to do with them, and they were a bit smaller than normal, we decided we should just freeze them for future use.  We did as we usually do when putting up other things, cleaning and chopping and freezing on a sheet pan first.  

After doing some research, we found that they can discolor quickly.  With so many to peel, we looked for a solution.  You can use sorbic acid or lemon juice, which we didn't have at the time and it was raining, so we did some research and discovered some old school methods where they put salt in the water while peeling.

Peeling Kieffer pears
I used a potato peeler to take all the skins off.  They were mottled to begin with and had something called russeting which is apparently ok to eat but after a few weeks in the fridge, yeah, no, we decided to peel them and keep them looking pretty.  Then we sliced/chopped.

We used our salad spinner (it's not just for salads!).

Pears in salted ice water to keep from browning
I filled the bowl with water and about a TBSP of salt dissolved in it.  Also some ice cubes to keep the water cold.  As I peeled, I dropped the pieces in.

Salad spinner for rinsing pears
After I was done, I lifted out the basket, poured off the water and rinsed thoroughly under cold water.  Still looking good, no browning.

Chopped/sliced Kieffer pears
I used the spinner feature a couple of times to get rid of as much moisture as possible.

Freezing Kieffer pears
I put them in single layers on two sheet pans and then popped them in the freezer overnight.  The next day, they were individually frozen and came off the sheet pans in individual pieces, ready for the last step in the putting up process.

Vacuum sealed Kieffer pears
Lastly, they were portioned into 3 cup amounts since that was about how many we ended up with that could be easily divided up.  We ended up with four bags vacuum sealed and in the freezer.

We're sure you are wondering...we each tasted a couple of slices and no saltiness at all.  They were rinsed well and it's not like they sat in the water for hours, it was just while peeling/chopping to keep them from discoloring.  They were also surprisingly sweet and "pear like".  Kieffer pears are best as cooking pears.

So they are in the freezer now, waiting for use.  Any simple pear ideas out there?