Monday, February 27, 2023


How's this for cold and dreary?

Gray and gloomy day

This was Saturday.  Got there about 9:30am and it was overcast, gray, windy and in the 50's.  Not COLD per se, but definitely a bit cool to be outside in the wind.  The ground is also still a bit too wet for mowing but oh my, you can see the grass growing and these little white flowers on some kind of weed.

Last weekend, you may recall that we posted about going to look at some modular homes by a couple of different builders.  We went with a higher end dealer at first but wow, they are really high end.  The dealer said they run about $175/sq foot.  So a 2000 square foot modular/manufactured home would be $350,000.  Plus delivery, plus a permanent foundation, plus whatever else we needed to have done.  Probably a hard no, on that brand at least.  Another brand was a step down but still a lot. We have to acknowledge that if we are going to spend a lot, what do we get for it?

More gray and gloomy from another angle, ha

Now, we are leaning toward a new build but instead of a standard home, we're considering something a bit different.  More on that to come as we get more details...we've reached out to three companies and one is already working up some estimates for us.

We used to always joke, early on when we met and talked about the future, that if we ever built a house, we'd start with the kitchen and work our way outward, ha.  A new build may give us that chance to get something that is exactly "us" and that we have a hand in helping to design/create.  If we're going to spend money on something, we have to consider what we get in the end and how it will work for how we live.

As we mentioned with the remodel, we'd spend the lowest amount but end up with a pretty house that's still old with potential problems underneath.

If we go with the modular or manufactured, we spend a whole lot on the high end but can't modify it to be something that works for how we want to live.

If we spend somewhere in between the two for something a bit bigger than we have now but not over the top big and we get to help design it exactly the way we want it...

Maybe that will be just right!

We actually have a list with pros/cons for each option.  When all the decision making is done, we'll go with one of the choices!

There are some other things coming soon as we prepare for the house change.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 26, 2023


Last weekend we posted a picture of our favorite fried chicken from a local restaurant.  At the time, we hadn't finished cooking our homemade ribs. It's our tradition on Daytona 500 race day and Fourth of July weekend.

Here they are in all their glory.

Actually, I made everything on this tray so 2nd Man got the weekend off from cooking.  These ribs are so good and so easy.  The coleslaw is made without sugar because 2nd Man is not a fan of the really sweet versions that are usually out there.  It's also low-carb so that's a plus.  I made these pickled red onions a couple weeks ago for tacos and this (post coming up).

It was a wonderful meal.  When I took this picture, 2nd Man said it looked like something from a magazine, ha.

Here we are, I'm sitting on the couch with Hobart next to me and the race on the big screen.  I was trying to catch him watching the cars zoom by on the screen which he sometimes does, but it was a bit cold last weekend and he preferred to stay wrapped up in his warm red blanket.  Because...


Friday, February 24, 2023


 We know some of you are going, "happy WHAT?".

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo starts next week and every Friday before the rodeo starts is called "Go Texan Day".  It's the official kickoff of the three week long rodeo and everyone in Houston is encouraged to wear Western attire such as jeans, cowboy boots and hats, etc. There are trail riders that make their way into Memorial Park, a parade downtown and a World Championship BBQ cookoff tonight.

Then next week, the rodeo starts...

Every night, after the rodeo events of the day, there are huge concerts featuring mostly country artists but some others to draw in different crowds. You can buy a ticket to just the rodeo or just the concert or both.  It was cancelled for two years because of the pandemic but it was back last year limited and now full scale this year.

There are usually great displays of livestock, things to buy and food...LOTS OF GOOD FOOD. We'll probably go one day at least, probably not the concert but to roam around and see the sights.  Speaking of sights...

...a couple of weekends ago we were leaving the farm and happened upon this just down the road.  Always fun to see out in the country on our back roads.  These are trail riders...they come to Houston on horseback, covered wagon, etc, from all over Texas.  Some leave a few weeks before because it takes that long to get here.  They were stopped here taking a break.  Keep in mind, at this point on the ride, they are on horseback, still about 50 miles from where they will end up.

Quite the journey and not the longest by any means.

If we end up going this year (we're still a bit nervous to be around large crowds like this) we'll take lots of pictures to share.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023


Not sure what happened but one of our apple trees died over the Summer.  It wasn't the freeze, this picture was taken in October.  We've just been waiting, hoping it would come back with Spring coming.

It has not come back.  The one next to it has bloomed out but this one is dead.  We clipped a few branches and yep, dry and lifeless.  Not sure what happened.  It wasn't the drought and it wasn't the freeze. 

Well, time to plant a new tree.  We have two of each of our fruit trees, so we'll look for another apple.  Might have to splurge and get one a bit bigger so it catches up with the others more quickly.

We win some, we lose some...

Monday, February 20, 2023


A few years back, I got this for 2nd Man's birthday.  We had seen similar containers on cooking shows and food documentaries and I decided he needed one for his own culinary adventures.  When using it the other day and then refilling it, I realized I never put up a post about it.

They are officially called "Masala Dabba".  An Indian "spice box".  They come in ceramic and wood but as those can have a tendency to absorb aromas so the more common ones are stainless steel.  There are many styles, square, round, boxes inside or bowls, etc.

I searched high and low and finally found this one.  I loved the design and style with the pattern on top, it was pretty enough to leave out on the counter.

Here are some different varieties, there are some really pretty ones out there for sure:

The design on top is unique and distinctive.  It's glass with this pattern printed on it.  This outer lid is tight to provide an airtight seal.

When you remove that, there is another inner lid with a knob handle that sits on top of the containers and because it's flush with the tops, it helps keep the aromas in each and the spices fresh.

Then you have access to your wonderful spices.

Not too long ago, you may remember that we went to Penzey's spice store and that's when we restocked the ones we were running low on.

I printed labels to put on each one.  While some might be identifiable by aroma and/or color, we like having labels so we know for sure.  From what we've read, each family's box is often unique to them with the special ingredients they use for their signature dishes.  There is certainly no reason you couldn't put any seasoning in one if you were so inclined.

Our box contains:


One thing for sure, it's gorgeous when filled!

Sunday, February 19, 2023


Yesterday was a good day.  More on those events in an upcoming post but it all went well.  Just figuring out next steps now.  Yesterday we skipped the BBQ because we realized today we are having my bbq ribs and the sides.  But since that's later today after this posts, we'll save those pics for next weekend.

But here is a bonus food photo (some of you may have seen on Instagram yesterday):

We stopped at a restaurant here in Houston called "Barbecue Inn".  It's been around since 1946 and while the name implies BBQ, which is delicious, they are nationally known for their fried chicken.  It's an old school restaurant where some of the people there have been working for decades and they call you "hun" and "sweetie", ha!  We haven't had it in 3 years now (pandemic) and as always, it was amazing.  We don't know what their secret is but, well, whatever it is, it's wonderful.  I get a plate of dark meat, 2nd Man gets a plate of white meat and we get fries and a salad.  

And for more photos, here is what we had last weekend for Super Bowl Sunday...fajita tacos.

Pickled red onions, shredded cabbage, queso fresco, pico de Gallo, Mexican crema and a squeeze of lime.

All together it made great tacos.  These look full but they are smaller flour tortillas.  2nd Man had corn tortillas for his.

Here's Hobart, laying on the table which he's not normally supposed to do but, I mean, look at that face?  So we allowed it.  Because...


Today is our traditional Daytona 500 Raceday meal (yay for the return of NASCAR), but more on that next Sunday since the pics will be taken later today.

Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Saturday, February 18, 2023


Today, as this posts, we are driving up North of Houston to visit a modular home dealer and look at some options from floorpans we saw.  Like everything these days, you read information online and can decide to never do anything if there are some bad reviews.  We saw a few bad ones but we have to go see in person and talk.  You never know, there can be issues with just about anything.

But it will be a fun adventure to get out of town for the day.  We'll eat BBQ somewhere along the way and then head back into Houston when we're done.

It's still so wet at the farm from the rain and with our cold weather, the grass still isn't growing much. 

Side note, we saw this on the news the other night and thought it would be interesting to share:

This was last week, on Wednesday, 2 years ago we were at 25 degrees, this year we were at 78 degrees.  That's what makes planting down here so crazy, we never know what the weather is going to be.

Today it's 39.  Go figure.

More update later or tomorrow of course for Good Food and Hobart Sunday.  Also Daytona 500 day!

Thursday, February 16, 2023


Was checking the fruit trees and area when we saw this little guy or gal headed through.

We think it's a Texas box turtle.

It was in a hurry (well, as much of a hurry as a turtle can muster, ha!).  I started to pick it up and help it on over to the shady area where it was headed, but I didn't want to do anything to stress it. 

I thought that it had an interesting looking face from this angle but wait until you see it from the front:

Look at this face!

I zoomed in on a closeup photo I took.  The markings make it look like it has an open, gaping mouth with fire inside and teeth, ha!  

We took a page from the Godzilla movies and named it Gamera! 😄

Tuesday, February 14, 2023


Going to leave this up another day.

OK, this isn't ours, I just found this picture online:

...but it will be next time, ha.  The funny thing is, we had tacos for the Super Bowl and had the leftovers of them again last night.  It was so good but this would have been next level.

To us, "Taco Tuesday" and "Valentines Day" could be better than a box of chocolates!

We hope you all have a great Valentines Day and your heart is happy, love of a partner, love of family, love of friends, love of's all good.

Oh and happy Taco Tuesday as well! 😃😃

Monday, February 13, 2023


We've been gathering up boxes so we'll have them when we start putting some stuff up and packing things up inside the house.  For now, they'll be stored in the barn until we need them.

Every few weekends, we a load of boxes (from our downstairs recycling area) and store them.  I forgot to get pictures each time but before we put all of the last batch up, I got this one.

The truck worked great to carry stuff, as trucks are built to do, ha.  It was such a great decision to get it.

We figured it was time for something new for the truck so I picked up a sunshade for the front windshield.  Hoping it will benefit by keeping the heat off the dashboard and interior, at least maybe not as much.

Here it is in place.  Looking good.

We hope Bill is happy with his new sunglasses, ha!


Sunday, February 12, 2023


It's been a cold weekend.  Feels like temps in the 30's. Same as last weekend.  It was rainy then and thankfully, this weekend was dry. 

Last week when it was cold and rainy, 2nd Man made some of his creamy potato soup with ham.  We LOVE it, especially in cold weather.  Rich, hearty, full of flavor and the perfect meal on a cold day.

We posted the recipe HERE.
Today we are having fajita tacos with all the trimmings but of course that's later in the day closer to...

...the big game!  Chiefs vs the Eagles.  Not sure who we are rooting for but we hope it's a good game and can't wait to see some fun commercials.

Meanwhile, Hobart is in his cold weather spot...under the fuzzy blue blanket (that's much like our sheets we blogged about Friday).  He doesn't care about the big game, he'd rather stay warm and cozy and of course, we oblige him.  Because...


Friday, February 10, 2023


We love these sheets and with our deep freeze at the first of the year, it was time to break them out.

We bought these 'velvetsoft sheets' a few weeks before the freeze in anticipation of cold weather and boy, do they ever feel great.  We put them on the day the temperature dropped (67 at noon, 18 by 11pm).  They have been so good to have.  Soft, warm and cozy.  The odd but pleasant thing about them is that we slept very still, not moving around much at night. 

Hobart loves them as well.

We have talked about what sheets we want to have at the farm for cold weather and this was one kind.  We are also considering a set of flannel sheets, we've heard those are really nice.

We also have a king size electric blanket.  We used that at the house in town before we sold it and it was wonderful on those really cold nights.

Regular readers will also know that we have a LOT of quilts from various relatives.

Side note, I remember in the 1970's, my parents were into the satin sheets phase of decorating, ha. 

This is NOT now, ha.  Though we are getting down to low 30's tonight and tomorrow.  But the graphic above we saw on the news at the time of our big freeze and forgot to share.  From one Friday to the next, the temperatures were 15 degrees and 77 degrees.  Indeed earlier this week it was 70's and tonight it's going to be low 30's.  That's why here in this part of the country, we need to be prepared for hot/warm/cool/cold that could happen anytime.  Amazing.

So what kind of sheets do you all like?  Any particular brand/style you like most?

Wednesday, February 8, 2023


Before we get too far away from Christmas (OK it's already a bit far, ha) we wanted to share this because it's just too fun.  We received this as a gift at Christmas from a very sweet friend.

It's Bill the Farm Truck represented in candle lantern form!  We love it.  It's made of metal and the candle lantern is actually an LED candle.  It's so neat, we were actually thinking we could remove the berries and greenery after the holidays and use it in the house year round as a cute decorative item!

See?  Spitting image!!! 😂😂

Monday, February 6, 2023


 A very sweet friend sent a text a few weeks ago and told us she had entered a drawing for free trees that were being given away as part of an Arbor Day project.  You had to sign up to get on the list and there was a drawing to see who would get some. She rents and is unable to plant any trees so she asked if we wanted them if she won.  Of course we said yes.

Then a week ago, she let me know she got two in the drawing and they were delivered.

Two red maple trees!  They are in 7 gallon containers and probably 8 to 10 feet tall already.  I went by her house and picked them up...

...and took them to the farm. they are in their future home at the farm (albeit temporary until planted).

This is what they will look like when mature.  These are the Drummond Red Maple varieties, suited to our climate and soil types and are fast growing, reaching a height of 40 feet.  Not sure we'll be around then to see them THAT tall, LOL, but we'll definitely have to find just the right spot for them, away from future house plans and away from the power lines.  It will be a welcome change to our normal landscape view of mesquite and hackberry trees...

Sunday, February 5, 2023


After a rainy (VERY rainy) and cold week, the sun has returned and it's trying to dry out.  Another week has flown by and here we are.

Time for some good food and some Hobart.

Pork chops and veggies on the side.  One of our favorite meals.  On this one we used some Middle East spices to give it a twist.  Drizzled some lemon over the asparagus and it was delicious.

Here's a fun set of pictures of Hobart:

He was snuggled up in his blanket, staring at me and I thought it would be a great picture.  I always tend to take a few because he moves around and this time he looked at me and...


I guess I was boring him with my antics.  So I stopped bothering him and let him sleep.  Because...