Sunday, April 21, 2024

GOOD FOOD AND HOBART SUNDAY

 It's time for our usual Sunday posting of some food and some Hobart.

Nothing like a good breakfast (well, brunch) of homemade corn tortillas, scrambled egg whites and some great toppings for a Tex-Mex taco.

We dropped a dishtowel on the floor and it didn't take Hobart long to find it...we spread it out flat and it didn't take him long to pass out.  Of course, we allowed it.  Because...

#notspoiled

Friday, April 19, 2024

COOL BOTTLES FOR FUTURE USE

Found these the other day at a store...


These great bottles!  They are super clear glass and have nice, tight-fitting caps. They are also food grade which will be good because I'm already thinking of perhaps using one to make a LARGE bottle of homemade vanilla extract.  Then we can pour it out and create lots of little jars to use as gifts and/or sell at a farmers' market that is held near the farm.

I'm sure there are many other ideas for using them.  I bought two and then went back the next day and got a third one, three always seems a good number for some reason, ha.



Wednesday, April 17, 2024

SWEET ALMOND BUSH NEW PLANTS

Look at Bill the truck earning his keep, ha!


We picked these up recently, they are called Sweet Almond bush...scientific name Aloysia Virgata.  Another name is Almond Verbena and another is Incense bush.  There's a reason for that.  They have an incredible scent.  Very strong but wonderful.  They bloom for months on end throughout the heat of the Summer.


I bought three as they are going to be planted along the driveway, in-between the existing purple vitex (Texas Lilac) already there.  We have four of those so we figured one in between each will make the driveway have purple and white bushes from one end to the other.  The purple flowers of the Texas Lilac look very similar to these flowers.

And hey, look at the new wheelbarrow getting a workout, ha!


They are on the porch for now (not on the railing, this was for the picture, ha).  They won't be in the ground just yet, need to mow and use the weed whacker in the areas where they will be planted and then get the auger machine to create the holes.  That will happen in a couple of weeks.


They are already in bloom, and we wish we could describe the smell.  It's sweet and kind of like honey in a way.  I have heard it described as almonds and vanilla, and I guess it does remind some people of incense, that's probably why that name stuck.  Smelling the scent on the breeze will be wonderful and they'll add some color.  That's a win/win in our book!


Monday, April 15, 2024

NEW BLUEBERRY BUSH REPLACEMENT

 You may remember that one of our blueberry bushes died last Summer.


Here it was last September.  It was one of the two Tiff Blue varieties we have.We had hoped it would come back after Fall/Winter dormancy but, alas, it did not.  We're not sure why it died, but after it had gotten nibbled down to the ground by the great goat invasion, LOL, it always seemed to struggle when it came back.

Recently I went to the garden center to look for a replacement.  We have two "Austin" bushes and of course the two, now one, "Tiff" bushes.  We were thinking of getting another Tiff but figured we could try something else, there is not rule that says we have to only have two varieties.  The store had Tiff and Austin and some others.  I did a quick Google search for good varieties for our area and in addition to Tiff and Austin, they mentioned "Brightwell".  I looked around and they had that variety that I was just reading about!


I bought some of the raised bed soil we use but also some soil acidifier to amend it and some pine bark mulch to top it off.  Using the truck once again, nice to keep the mess out of my Jeep, ha.

 
So, here is the newest addition to the orchard area, the "Brightwell blueberry".  According the the description, it is very heat tolerant and drought tolerant.  That will work for our crazy climate!

We left it on the porch for a couple weeks until we were ready to plant it and it's COVERED in blooms.  We're sure we will lose some after it's planted but hey, it will obviously be good for next season.


I loaded it all up into the new (old) wheelbarrow and hauled it to the raised bed.  Removed the old one and dug out the soil a bit.  Added the raised bed soil and soil acidifier to it, put it in the ground and then surrounded it with the pine bark mulch...


...and here it is (the wind was blowing so it was hard to get a picture, ha), it looks great and hopefully is happy and off to a great start this season.


Sunday, April 14, 2024

GOOD FOOD AND HOBART SUNDAY

 It's been a good weekend.  Lots of little projects done and some resting.  Oh, and good food with Hobart doing his share of resting too.

First, the good food:

2nd Man pan seared salmon (you know we're all into fish now, ha).  This was so good.  He seared it and then served it over these wonderful "harvest grains" mix that we enjoy (a heart healthy blend of couscous, split baby garbanzo beans and red quinoa).  We drizzled it with coconut aminos (our new favorite substitute for soy sauce) and some broccoli microgreens.

DELICIOUS!

Hobart had no projects to do but he did a lot of resting for sure.  This is one of his favorite spots...in front of the refrigerator (warm air blowing out from it) and he rests his head on the mat in front of the stove.  Is he in the path of activity in the kitchen?  Yes.  Do we let him and step over and around him?  Of course!  Because...


#notspoiled

Saturday, April 13, 2024

BONUS DEER PHOTO

You probably saw our post yesterday with the deer coming back and forth for a few days but those were in the evening, no daylight pics.  But then I checked the other memory card and found this one.


I had to zoom in and crop it so you could see it well, but here's one having a good time running through the front yard.   Too cool.


Heading to the farm as this posts, we're taking some stuff out there and need to take some measurements for some planning. 😊

Hope your weekend is off to a good start!

Thursday, April 11, 2024

DEER ARE CREATURES OF HABIT TRAIL CAM

We haven't posted any trail cam photos because honestly, we hadn't had much happening for a few months.  Maybe it was Winter and now that Spring is here, there is more activity.

Pulled the card last weekend and, well, these three were pretty interesting...


This was taken on 3/25 at 7:26pm.
Four deer strolling through the front yard...


This was taken on 3/26 at 7:27pm.
More deer (or the same), strolling through the front yard again...


This was taken on 3/27 at 7:29pm.
Deer again strolling through the front yard...

All of these on three consecutive nights at almost the exact same time, within minutes of each other!  7:26, 7:27, and 7:29!  That's crazy!  Interesting to see how much of a routine they have.

There were no others before and no others after.  Not sure where they went or what they were doing but they were apparently on a schedule!  Ha!

Fascinating creatures for sure!

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

SO THIS HAPPENED WHILE MOWING AND ECLIPSE UPDATE

Saturday was a perfect day for mowing.  I thought about skipping, but with heavy rain in the forecast, I figured if I waited, it would be even worse this weekend and maybe too wet to mow then.

So, it was a great day of mowing, cool breeze and just perfect weather.  I was having a great time until a glitch happened that hadn't ever happened before.

I was mowing a trail and I went through an area where the branches were hanging across the path.  I did as I always do, ducked down and drove slowly through them.  However, on one of the branches (mesquite), a thorn caught my hat and pulled it off.  I stopped the mower and got off and looked around to see where it landed and thought, "why are things so blurry?"

My glasses were gone as well.  Oops!

I looked around, but let's be honest, if you need glasses to see clearly, looking for your glasses without said glasses, well, it just doesn't work, ha.  I went over to 2nd Family (she was out mowing as well) and asked her to come help me look.  

On the ground?  No.

Under the mower?  No.

In the brush?  No.

Not sure if you can see in the photo above but they are there.  In plain site.

Here is a closeup:

They were hanging in the branch!

Ha!  I think we both spotted them about the same time.  Hey, I kept my heart rate under control so that was good, LOL!  I thanked her and we each went about the rest of our mowing adventures.



It was about average.  A few spots I skipped but overall, a great day to mow.


And get things looking ship shape for another couple of weeks (hopefully).  I did a little edging but remembered what the doctor said and took my time and didn't overdo.  I can finish next weekend, no hurry.

OK, so it was cloudy, overcast and sprinkling most of the day yesterday.  Not very conducive to seeing the eclipse, even if at 95%.  When you wake up and it's dark skies and then it gets darker for a few minutes and goes back to just still dark, it's not very noticeable, ha.

2nd Family took this pic...


...using a phone camera through the glasses.  It didn't get this dark, ha, but still pretty cool.  She said the same thing, it was dark and gray but with a few breaks in the clouds and she was able to get this one.


And I wish I could take credit for this one, I just found it on social media with no credit to who came up with it.  It was too cute not to share.  But now, you can say you have seen the full (Oreo) eclipse!  😀

Monday, April 8, 2024

TOTAL ECLIPSE 2024

Texas, indeed all the states along the path of totality, is in full blown eclipse-mania!


Here is the path, for those of you in the line, please comment after it happens and let us know your experience.  It should be fun.  We've had a few partial eclipses and while neither Houston nor the farm, will be in the path of totality, the farm will be at 95.7%.


Here is what it would look like at the exact location of the farm and below are our particulars:


In Houston, both of us will be at work when it happens, it will be at 94.06% of totality.  So, not much difference between here and 45 miles closer to the path.

CLICK HERE to put in your zip code and find out what you'll get to see (or not see, ha).

We were driving last week and saw these freeway signs.  Normally they tell about accidents or drive times but they changed them for today:


SOLAR ECLIPSE MONDAY DELAYS POSSIBLE

Yep, I think that's a given.


NO STOPPING ON HIGHWAY TO VIEW ECLIPSE

Seems kind of obvious but you know there will be cars lined up along the shoulder anyway.


But we have our glasses ready, I'll try from work, 2nd Man will try from the apartment.  2nd Family is going to try to get some outdoor pics when it happens, would be cool to see how dark it gets out there at the farm, though the weather may not cooperate for those of us around the area.


And remember,

DON'T LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN!

Sunday, April 7, 2024

GOOD FOOD AND HOBART SUNDAY

 Another week and time for some good food and some sleepy Hobart.

We posted Monday about our Easter dinner, you may have seen one pic.  2nd Man made some lean pork loin with Herbs de Provence, mashed garlic sweet potatoes and garden peas.  It was so good, but since we're all about portion control (this was all we had, one plate each), there were some leftovers.

So the next day, he diced up the remaining pork and mixed it with the peas with and some greek yogurt, kefir and seasonings (to make a sort of "cream of soup"), put it in a pan, topped it with the leftover mashed sweet potatoes and baked it until bubbly...

...and voila!  Shepherd's Pie, our way!  It was SO good!  We had a nice salad on the side and were able to eat on this for two more days!

Shh!  Hobart is sleeping today.

Because...

#notspoiled


Saturday, April 6, 2024

A GIFT AND A REMINDER

2nd Man bought me a gift after my cardiologist visit.  We both agreed not to exchange birthday presents since we were heading to the Le Creuset Factory to Table event and knew we would spend some money.  We're sure you saw THAT post, ha.

But he wanted me to have a little something as a surprise after my doctor visit the other day...

...and he found this great watering hose sprayer.  It's designed to be like a firehose nozzle (and of course we had to have green to match our hoses, ha).

It's adjustable from a soft cascade to a super jet for power washing.  We figured that could come in handy at some point down the road for cleaning something on the house, washing cars or even watering a tree from a distance, ha.

And always remember...


Some lovely words of wisdom that we now try to live by each day!

Friday, April 5, 2024

HEART HEALTH UPDATE

Well...for those wondering, here it is: cardiologist appointment was yesterday and...

...it was good news all around!

No blood draw, he likes to do that at either 6 months or the year anniversary (unless I say I’m having issues or they see something).

They took my blood pressure, 105/78 which they said was spot on perfect.

Then they did an EKG to see damage and said he could see where I had the heart attack (it changes the rhythm), but added that it also showed there was very minimal damage, and my heart did an excellent job of healing.  He drew on a piece of paper to show me how mine was and what a severely damaged heart would show and yeah, huge difference.  When I went in that morning, they said they had a limited amount of time to save my heart from major damage and they succeeded!

According to the notes on my file, with everything he could see and my interview questions asking if and me saying I have had zero problems or concerns, I was doing 100% perfectly.  

He said my stents are the 18th generation, I found out he was actually one of the first surgeons in Houston to ever put in a stent and that they have improved so much.  I have the latest and it is infused with a drug that prevents scar tissue from forming.  According to him, there is no reason I can’t go ten or fifteen years without having to think about them.  He just wants me to get through the first year and then he’ll decide which medications to stay on.

I asked what my max heartrate should be when doing physical activity or yardwork, he said 140ish was fine.  I’ve been getting it around 135 if I’m doing a lot of work outside, so that’s good.  He said if it gets higher, just take a break on the porch and relax for a bit.  No problem there!

I’ve lost 16 lbs since December 7th (when it happened).  He said our change in diet and lifestyle has helped and I was a model patient and wished all his patients could be like this, ha.  He said some just refuse to change anything and some don't want to take medications.  I have things to do in this life, there is no time to mess around with my health! 

Next appointment in three more months...

Now, onward to more important things, stay tuned! 😉

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY

Well, sometimes it's a mixed bag...

THE GOOD:

Finally seeing some wildflowers this season, this is across the street from the farm.  2nd Man said he wants us to designate some wildflower areas in the future because it's just SO pretty!

THE BAD:

'Tis the season for a snakeskin in the middle of the bedroom floor.  Sigh.  I looked around and didn't see anything but honestly, I didn't look TOO hard because, well, who wants to come face to face with a snake in their house?  Not this heart patient!


THE UGLY:

More wild/feral hog damage!  They are staying more toward the front of the property, so it's a few acres away from the house and orchard/front yard.  2nd Family's dogs bark when they see something in our front yard so hopefully that is keeping the hogs elsewhere.  However, I do have to admit, I was a little nervous mowing the trails because I wasn't sure if I'd round a bend and come face to face with a family of them...they can be very aggressive.

Monday, April 1, 2024

EASTER FUN FINDS AND GOOD FOOD

Here is our Easter basket for two!

With our new dietary life, we limit chocolate but the cardiac nutritionist said really dark chocolate does have health benefits, and of course, moderation is key.  So, we allow ourselves one small piece on occasion.  This will keep us for a while.  The golden eggs I found a few weeks ago, one has dark chocolate bars (varying flavors) and the other has a bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans for me (along with those gummy bunnies).

2nd Man got this for me...it's a silicone mold for either chocolates or small cakes...you could even fill it with water to make fun ice cubes.


I saw these plastic eggs at the store and normally, I might pass them by since most are just generic, solid color plastic eggs, but these were different.  Some lovely colors (different than the standard, yellow, dark green, etc) but the colors weren't the only thing that caught my eye...the beautiful decorations on them did as well.  Almost a Middle Eastern or maybe Spanish influence to them.  Too cool to pass up.


And sure enough, when put in one of our apothecary jars, they look amazing for Easter decor!


And lastly, these are some Easter themed (more or less, ha) dish towels we found and they are fun.  The chicken one is a set of two, then there are carrots, of course for the Easter Bunny, right?


Here was our Easter dinner.  One of my favorites and it's healthy.  A lean cut of pork loin, roasted with Herbs de Provence, baked mashed sweet potatoes with garlic and a side of peas.  Oh, and a glass of pinot grigio.

It was a great weekend and we hope you all had a great Easter weekend as well!