Thursday, November 30, 2023


 Our only kitty, Hobart, just had his birthday a few days ago.  We don't know the date for sure...but we celebrate it as November 27th.  We know he has a lot of fans here on the blog, and we understand, he's quite handsome.  We only have THREE kitten photos.  Sigh.  Smartphones weren't around and the phone pictures we did take were lost in upgrading phones.  The three we could find are posted here for the first time.

Here is his story (along with some pics then and now).

In January of 2006, we had go to visit my Mom who had just gotten home from the hospital.  We visited with her and then stopped for dinner on the way home.  We got up to leave when we finished but 2nd Man's cousin called to chat.  Since we were not yet in the car, we figured it was a good time to visit.  After spending about 30 minutes on the phone, we left the restaurant and decided to stop at a grocery store to pick up a few things.  As we were walking in, I passed a woman who I overheard asking someone else "how long has he been stuck in there? He's so cute".  

I stopped and asked and turned out, a little black kitten had been stuck inside a propane exchange rack outside the front of the store.  We went over and the guy said they were waiting on someone with a key but they weren't sure when they would get there.

We looked and there was a cute little face meowing and looking up at us.  I pulled on the door/gate thing and held it away from the bottom as best as I could and 2nd Man got down on the ground and stuck his arm in the space I created and he pulled out a little furry black kitten.

He held him up and said "now what?"

We already had two cats at home Sydney and Brisbane but of course we decided to bring him home and decide what to do later.  

I drove and 2nd Man held him on his lap and he sat there purring and looking around.  We got home and gave him a bath in the sink.  For a bit, we thought he might have been white since so much black was coming off, ha.  No telling how long he had been roaming the streets.  We got him all fluffy and kept him in the guest room with a small litter pan and some wet food to keep him separate from the other two.  

They were curious.  

It didn't take long...after spending most of the night playing with him, the next morning we decided he would be part of the family.  What's three if you already have two?  Right?  Ha!

This is the first picture ever taken after he got home.  I mean, come on, look at that face!  He was certainly comfortable on that blanket, making himself right at home the moment he got in.

We took him to the vet, he was healthy and got his shots.  We asked his age and they said he was about 7 weeks old so we counted backwards and that put him being born around Thanksgiving.  We chose the 27th since it was after the holiday.

With his clean bill of health, we introduced him to the other two.  It went well.

Sydney was like "another kitten?  Seriously?  I already went through this with Brisbane a few years back!"

It didn't take long before they were a band of brothers...especially when it was cold, ha!

Drinking water is something he's always enjoyed.  He LOVES his water.  Here's a funny picture, see the bowl above?  We have two of them the same style, same size, a yellow one and an orange one...above is the yellow one and below is the orange one.

He's definitely all grown up!

So that's how Hobart came to live with us.  We think about that phone call with 2nd Man's cousin.  If we had said we'd talk later, or didn't talk as long, we wouldn't have been walking in the store at the exact moment someone mentioned the kitten stuck in the machine and we would not have this wonderful kitty.

He is 18 now!

In human years, that's 88 to 90. He moves a little slower now, but really, he looks great for his age. The picture above was taken a few weeks ago. We think he's a pretty good looking 'old man', ha.

We have been asking Hobart, now that he's 18, where he wants to go to college, if he's going to move out on his own, has he registered to vote, etc, LOL!

We laugh but also understand that he has entered the twilight of his life.  As much as we all want them to live forever, we know that we must enjoy all the time we have with him and so we give him the best life we can.



Tuesday, November 28, 2023


It was a long weekend but a bit cool.  Better than the weekend before of course.  Cloudy but nice.  It was time to mow one last time.  

I probably could have skipped it but thankfully, it was an easy mow...

...and it looks so much neater and cleaner, just in time for Winter, ha. We also have someone coming by this weekend to check out some things and we want it to look a little neater.

It was a fairly normal mow, distance wise and was a bit quicker, mainly because the grass was not very tall. It was more those stray long blades of grass and Winter weeds.  Better to just be done with it for the year.

Since the weather was nice and I had a wild hair, I went ahead and cleaned up the orchard area.  One of those things you put off till you just finally need to to it.  So I edged, used the electric mower between the beds and then rode the Zen Machine through to blow/chop/clean up the clippings from the first part.  Nice and neat and ready to go to sleep for Winter.

This is probably a boring post but tomorrow will be a fun one for all you Hobart fans, ha.

Update: Had some connection problems so post will be tomorrow.

Sunday, November 26, 2023


Thanksgiving has come and gone and so have the leftovers, ha.

Turkey was roasted...

The dressing was made...

The Brussels sprouts were done...

Add cranberry sauce and serve!  (Brussels sprouts were on the side, not enough room on the plate, ha).

Oh, and of course 2nd Man made a pecan pie.

It was a good meal, just the two of us, and in the end, that's all that matters.

Well, the THREE of us...

...because Hobart makes three!!  Here he is laying in the middle of the kitchen floor with heat coming out from under the fridge AND the oven.  He is warm and happy and we just step around him.  Because...



Friday, November 24, 2023


Oh the great debate every Thanksgiving:


Personally, we LOVE canned.  There is just something comforting and reminiscent of our childhoods and it's just darn good (Ocean Spray of course).  Perhaps it's simply nostalgic.  This year, there was something that went viral online and we just had to find one.  It took me some online shopping to find it and there are probably more available now or will be since Thanksgiving it over.  I ordered it a month ago hoping it would make it in time and it's SO fun.

I finally found it at an online store, since sold out, that had 25% off if you signed up as a new customer and they had free shipping.  Win/win!

It is this special dish JUST for canned cranberry sauce, or as they call it "can-berry".

It is white ceramic (which makes the deep color of the cranberry stand out), it's shaped like a large, open can and even comes with a nice serving utensil as well to slice it and serve it.

Here it is in our own kitchen.  It's our new favorite Thanksgiving tradition!

Thursday, November 23, 2023




It's a quiet day for us.  Just staying in and doing our own thing.  There will be some good food for sure.  2nd Man made a pecan pie, some fresh yeast rolls are baking in the oven, the cornbread dressing is ready, the turkey meat is ready and we're going to have a Thanksgiving casserole.  Oh and we're already snacking on sausage balls I made last night.

It's cold here (for us) 40's and gray and overcast, should be nicer by the weekend.  For now, we will enjoy the day with some warm fuzzy socks on and watch movies.

We are thankful for each and every one of you who visit every day!


Wednesday, November 22, 2023


Twas the day before Thanksgiving and all through the house...oh wait, that's for a different holiday.

We're staying in and having a Thanksgiving for two, and we're 100% OK with that.  We had thought about having it at the farm, but the weather has turned cold and without heat out there, it might not be that enjoyable 'post meal' to sit around in the cold, ha.

Today, I have to work but 2nd Man is off and he is doing some pre-cooking.  A pecan pie and yeast rolls and probably the cornbread for the dressing.  When I get home tonight, I'll make one of our favorites, sausage balls, for us to snack on over the coming days.

Saw this and it made us laugh:

Poor turkey.
But he sure is good!

We hope you all have gotten everything you need and are preparing to have a great holiday tomorrow.

Any big plans or others with quiet plans?

Tuesday, November 21, 2023


It was a weird weekend of weather.

Kind of cool, kind of warm, overcast, then sunny, then strangely cloudy and sprinkling rain.  Just one of those times when it's deciding if it should be Fall or Winter or heck, even Summer.  It made for a very "blah day".

There was something fun to see:

Our "Gogi berry" bush is covered in tiny berries, while it's growing in the original container on the porch.  They still have a way to go before they look like they should be ready for harvesting but hey, it'll be a fun one to plant once we figure where it should go.

With the recent rains, everything has greened up nicely.  I "could" have mowed the grass but that blah feeling was permeating everything I didn't feel like it, ha.  This weekend though is the nice long weekend and so I'll go out there and mow one last time this season.  I could probably skip it but we want to clean up the driveway etc because we have someone coming to check out some things for us and we'd like it looking neat and tidy.

Yesterday was fighting the grocery store crowds to get the things we need for the next week of eating, ha.  It was crowded but moving quickly at the H-E-B that I go to at lunch.  I got everything we needed so that was good.  Let the cooking begin, ha.

Sunday, November 19, 2023


Kind of a blah weekend.  It's the weather.  Sort of in between cold and warm and gray and overcast.  Rain expected today. Time for some food and some Hobart.

2nd Man made breakfast of migas (eggs and tortillas sautéed together in a skillet) with some pinto beans on the side.  Yummy breakfast!

And of course, here's Hobart.  No words needed for this photo.  Because...




Friday, November 17, 2023


 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.

I went downstairs to the loading dock and saw this in one of the bins.  I pulled it out and took it upstairs.  Now, those of you who might be offended by an obscene hand gesture, scroll really fast past the next picture, ha!

It's a garden gnome made of a ceramic type material in a glossy, crisp white color.  He's 18" tall and he's, um, telling us we're number one?

Or perhaps he's just upset about something in the garden? LOL!

Now sometimes we wonder why someone got rid of some of the things we find but this one is obvious; his hat is broken off at the top.

Hmm, maybe that's why he's upset?

Anyway, I was thinking there is bound to be some way to cover that up/fix it.  2nd Man suggested a poofy red pompom on the end to cover it up?  I was thinking maybe a colorful toddlers knit hat?  Anyone have any other suggestions?

We turned it over and saw the sticker on the's from Z-Gallerie and sells for SIXTY DOLLARS!!  We guess someone broke it and decided it wasn't worth keeping.  Even broken, we think he's got potential and personality...maybe he can give his one finger salute to the birds in the orchard.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023


Several of you asked how we made the rojo chicken that you often see in some of our food posts.  We use this product the most:

We find it at our local HEB and Kroger grocery stores. Of course, it is sold on Amazon HERE along with some other brands.

It's a great blend of seasonings, the main ingredient being Annatto, and then garlic, spices, salt, chilies, vinegar, etc.  Since it's in a paste form, you don't need to use all of it at once.

I pinch off a chunk and mix it into some olive oil (or our new favorite cooking oil, avocado) and then I just massage it into the chicken and for sure leave it overnight, usually about 24 hours or so.

Then we just roast it at about 400 degrees until the chicken is done.  It really flavors the chicken and even penetrates into the meat if you let it marinate.  Would be great on the grill of course!

It's very good and makes for a good looking chicken, ha.  Here, we had it with some homemade corn tortillas and salad and veggies on the side.  We love pulling the chicken off with pieces of tortillas and eating it.  So good.  We read a review once that said if you are trying to pinpoint that missing "Mexican flavor" this could be it.  That's a pretty good description.

Monday, November 13, 2023


You all may have seen our post yesterday about the meatloaf 2nd Man made.  When we go through the time and effort of cooking something like this (or roasting chicken as well), we figure if we have to mix it all up, why not make several?

If we have to heat up the oven to make one meatloaf, why not two?  Or three as we did Saturday!  This is when we took them out of the oven.  Meatloaf covered in bacon and ketchup-y goodness, ha.

We used one for dinner Saturday and lunch Sunday and the other two we sliced up to put in the freezer for future use.  I sliced the ends off and them sliced the rest of each into four good sized, thick slices.

I put them all into vacuum sealer bags and ended up with three packages:

Two each with four slices (enough for a couple of nice future meals when you add the sides) and then one package with the "butt ends" as we call them, ha.  Not enough for a full meal on that package but nice for a weekend lunch or light snack. In the end, that one time of making a batch of meatloaf and cooking them all at the same time will give us three future meals.  If you count Saturday dinner and Sunday lunch, they will have fed us five times.  We'll take it!

Sunday, November 12, 2023


Today are a couple more errands, including a Costco run (that's always fun!).  If you saw the post yesterday, we were out running other errands and came home to make dinner.

When we got back, I helped 2nd Man make one of our favorite meals; meatloaf, mashed potatoes and roasted broccolini.  It was so good.  This was my plate, 2nd Man always lets me have the first end piece.

With the time change last weekend, Hobart is still not used to the feeding schedule.  Every afternoon, about 4pm, when he "feels" like it's really 5pm, he sits somewhere that he can see us to remind us that he needs to be fed.  We push it as long as we can but usually just split the difference.  Because...


Saturday, November 11, 2023


Rainy, gray day here today.  No farm visit.  Plenty of rain out there so no need to water and too wet to do anything on the mower, though I might actually have to mow next weekend!

Today we are running a few errands and then coming back to make some meatloaf for dinner and some for the freezer, ha.  

Today of course, we also honor, remember and thank all who serve now or have ever served.

Tomorrow it'll be some good food and some Hobart!

Thursday, November 9, 2023


You all know I love a bargain.  I usually try to hit the stores in the days after a holiday to see if there is anything we can't live without, LOL!

With Dia de los Muertos last week, I stopped by HEB where they always have great decorations every season (and for every holiday, ha) to look for the usual "after the holiday" sale.

Got these three wooden picture frames and since pictures of loved ones who have passed are an important part of the tradition, I had to get these for us.  We'll use one for his parents, one for mine, and one for the kitties who have crossed over.

These awesome melamine type plastic platters, each about 16" on the max width. They will go well with one we got last year from a sweet friend of the farm.

Some light up LED skull lights (made of thick lucite type plastic) on a strand.  Too fun!

You know me...
Dish towels...
'nuff said.

Sink drying mats.  Because, who wouldn't want an awesome sink drying mat on the counter that matches your kitchen towels?!

Last year, we got the one on the right with the yellow.  We use it year round when 2nd Man makes tortillas.  When I saw the purple one, at first I thought, well, we already have one, we don't really need another one.  Then I realized, since we often have both flour AND corn tortillas for the same meal, one for each!


I had to make sure 2nd Man got something else fun too.  The baking liners are great for some cupcakes and muffins and then a favorite find, these non-stick, embossed cookie pans.  They are designed to make large cookies, like sugar cookies perhaps, and when you turn them out, they have the imprinted details for decorating.  I flipped one over so you could see.  I got two since they were so inexpensive and cooking two at once would make more sense.  Very cool.

Got all of this for $16.75!