Monday, May 21, 2018


Several of you asked about the fruit trees and how they are doing.  So here are some pictures of how they are progressing that I took this weekend. 

Some peaches, growing nicely...

A few pears...

Oh, another peach...

Some plums too.  There are actually about six in total on this one tree...

And this is an odd one.  It's supposed to be a peach, according to the tag on it when we bought it.  It does have peach type leaves, but the fruit (there are two more) are oddly shaped.  I guess we'll see, fingers crossed, when it's ripe and ready.  

And in veggie and herb news, here is the weekend harvest.  A big basket full of herbs and two cucumbers.  We're enjoying the cukes now as they come in slowly but we know in a few weeks it will be cuke-a-palooza.  In the meantime, we're gonna make some pesto with the basil.  

Hope you had a great weekend!

Saturday, May 19, 2018


Congratulations Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan,
may you have a wonderful and happy marriage.

We'll admit to it again (did it last time for William and Kate), we got up early, about 4am, and watched the Royal Wedding.  It was incredibly well done.  We loved the blending of her American roots with the British tradition.  The US Bishop was amazing in his sermon.  I'm sure some in the Royal family have never seen anything like that, ha!  And the choir singing Stand by Me, well, amazing.

It was so nice to see something happy and uplifting in these all too often dark news times.

One of these days, we hope to get to visit the UK.  It's on our bucket list.  Of course we don't have royalty here in the states so maybe that's why we find it all fascinating and fun to watch.  So much history and tradition and it's all so beautifully done.   

Off to the farm today...hope to get a lot done.  
Hope your weekend is off to a great start!

Friday, May 18, 2018


Was in the liquor store the other day at lunch (hey, don't judge, LOL!).  Actually, we needed some sherry for 2nd Man's cooking supplies.  I picked up a bottle and was roaming around killing time when I saw a man taking a picture of something in a case.  I thought, hmm, I wonder what it was that was so interesting to take a picture of?

So I wandered over there and found this: 

Black Pearl Cognac Louis XIII
A bottle of cognac. 

For $69,999.



I found this description online:

"Black Pearl is a new limited edition cognac from Remy Martin's stock of Louis XIII. As for taste, this Cognac boasts only the finest flavors. You are greeted by a noble deep amber color. On the nose there are aromas of delicate flowers, rich fruits and intense spices. On the palate, Louis XIII takes you on a world journey: to China with flavors of lychee and ginger, to Cuba with cigars and cigar box, and Central America with cinnamon. Only one tiercon (a type of oak barrel) will be used, meaning only 786 people will be able to buy this special bottle. The custom decanter, hand-crafted by artisans at Baccarat, is black crystal with platinum accents. The Louis XIII cognac inside contains a blend of more than 1,200 lots up to 100 years old."

We just can't possibly imagine how much money you'd have to have where this would be a "comfortable buy"?

And would you drink something that cost this much? I mean, even if you could afford it?  

It's just crazy how things like this have come up in our society and it seems to be no big deal.  The amazing thing is that this will be probably be sold and gone the next time I go in. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018


Every Thursday we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm. Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and someday, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!

In ground planter, image via
Last year we posted an idea for putting clay pots in the ground and being able to swap out plants with relative ease While searing for flower bed idea for us now, I stumbled across this one and we like it.  It's a galvanized tub buried halfway into the ground.  It works to contain whatever is planted in it. 

They are relatively inexpensive, especially if we could find some used ones and only require a few holes drilled in the bottom for draining.  We could also use a good quality potting soil and not have to worry about the clay in our ground.  Boom, a great way to put a variety of plants "in" the ground.

Be inspired!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


It was the last weekend for dewberry gathering...

Ripe dewberries
Look at all those berries just waiting for picking!

Dewberry bucket
This is a 2 gallon bucket, I filled it up once and then this is the second batch.  We gave some to 2nd Family and brought the rest home.

Wild dewberries
There are a few red ones left, in a sea of ripe black/purple, so we might be able to squeak in a small batch this weekend. We'll see.  

Freezing dewberries
I rinse them in a ceramic colander and then drain them on paper towels to get the water off. Once they are mostly dry, I put them in a single layer on a freezer paper covered sheet pan and freeze for a few hours, usually overnight.  Our freezer is small here at the apartment so I do one batch at a time.

Once they are frozen, I just take them off, measure, and seal them in a bag.  For now, they are in two large gallon ziplock bags.  I am waiting until we're done collecting them so I can divide them up evenly.

I swear, if it's a good season again next year, I'm going to take vacation time off work and just spend the entire day gathering dewberries so we can get as many as possible.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


After giving up Saturday (see yesterday's post), Sunday was a much better day.  And we were so excited to see progress in the garden.

Tomatoes are doing GREAT!  This is the Heatmaster variety and it's filled up with green tomatoes.  I checked closely for bugs and caterpillars and, knock on wood, so far so good. 

Squash is growing nicely as well.  It should be a couple more weeks and then we'll have our first ever harvest of yellow squash. 

Here are the pickling cucumbers. They have taken off.  And when I looked around, what did I find hiding under the leaves?  Two cukes!

Here is our official harvest:
Two cucumbers and two jalapeƱos, ha!

Should be more coming (especially those cucumbers, last year was cucumber-palooza).

Monday, May 14, 2018



Ever have one of those days where nothing seems to go right?  That was Saturday at the farm...

Overslept.  Was going to be on the road by 8am, slept until 10am.  Oops.  

Went down to the car, realized I forgot my wallet.  Went back to the apartment for that.  

Finally started out of the parking garage, realized I forgot my cell phone.  Parked and went back for that.

Then there was a festival going on in Houston and roads were closed all around the apartment.  Took me 20 minutes just to get out of downtown.

Needless to say, I got to the farm much later than I had originally planned for.

Got there and got all ready to mow and...flat tire on the mower!

So I drove back into the nearby town, went to the feed store and got a bottle of "Slime".  This stuff works miracles on flat tires (we have mesquite thorns, every tire on the mower has had slime in it at one point or another).  I poured it all in, screwed the valve stem back on, got out the portable air compressor didn't work!  Wouldn't put out air.  I carried it to the house and plugged it in.  Waited for it to charge.  It wouldn't take a charge.  Dead (it was over 10 years old anyway).  I had to drive back into town again to try and buy a new one.  

Over the last few years, we have driven to the farm on pretty much every day of the week and at all different times of the day and night. There is a train track that we cross that has never had a train on it. Never once.  We even kind of figured it was an old track that wasn't in use anymore.  Nope.  Saturday there was a train.

A long train.

Going about 3mph.

I sat in a line of traffic for about 20 minutes without moving a single inch.  

I know when to fold 'em.  I made a u-turn, drove back to the farm, closed/locked things up and headed back into Houston.  

On the way back in, I stopped at the local big box store and bought this.  We don't have electricity in the barn or shed so for now, it's all rechargeable and cordless items.  The nice thing about this one is that it is not only a 180psi rechargeable air compressor, it's also a jump starter in case the mower (or one of our cars) doesn't start and I can plug in a drill or saw if I needed to quickly use something "corded" in the barn.  Oh and we can plug in our cell phones and bluetooth speakers to charge them away from the house.  Win/win/win!

Came back to the apartment and took a nap.  Later we had a great dinner...2nd Man made turmeric chicken with peppers and garbanzo beans.  Yum.


Got up EARLY for a change.  7:30am.  Was on the road by 8:00am. Got to the farm, aired up the tire with the new compressor and it worked like a charm.

While mowing, I had an audience on one side of the property...

And on the other side...

And even on the property that is behind the farm, though I think this bull was more interested in the grass clippings than me.

When I was finally done, it all looked good once again.  This is the driveway, looking toward 2nd Family's house.

Here's an angle we haven't always shown, this is, for all practical purposes, the front yard.  You can see the corner of the house on the right, the cleared tree shaded area in the middle, and the mower shed.  The barn is just out of range of the camera on the right.  

Dinner Sunday night was simple, red beans and rice with sausage.  One of my favorites.

So after starting out on the wrong foot, it was a good weekend in the end.  Garden update tomorrow!

Sunday, May 13, 2018


Happy Mother's Day weekend!

Didn't want people to wonder where we were since I haven't posted since Friday morning.  All is good.  Internet issues at the new apartment and trying to post from a phone is just too much trouble, ha. 

The weekend has been hit and miss.  Update tomorrow.  This was the view today from the porch after I finished mowing.  The Vitex (Texas Lilac) is blooming and is so pretty.

We'll leave you today with this one random flower that popped up in the shade of a mesquite tree.  It's a weed of some sort but so bright and cheerful.  

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

Friday, May 11, 2018


A friend of ours has a wife who is a teacher. Her school ordered seeds for a class project and then, sadly, cancelled the project.  

All the seeds were given to the students that wanted to take them home.   

These are what were left over, from the Seeds of Change company.  They had them stored in a closet for a couple of years and then decided to move.  She asked if we wanted them for the farm.

Free seeds?  Sure!

There are seeds of all types of veggies, melons, herbs, even a few flowers.  The packets are a kind of vinyl that is heat sealed so we're guessing they are sealed up well.  However, they are about 2 years old now, maybe going on 3.  What do y'all think?  Do you think they are still viable?  Not sure what lifespan seeds like this have.  It probably wouldn't make sense to open every single packet to test each variety.  Maybe we should just leave them sealed in their packages until planting season for whatever variety it is and test them then?  

Thursday, May 10, 2018


Every Thursday we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm. Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and someday, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!

Flower cauldron, image via
I like this.  2nd Man is kind of "meh" about it.  Maybe it is a bit too "cutesy" but hey, in the right spot somewhere on the property, it might be neat.  

Of course it could be that it reminds me a little of something my Grandmother had. She had one of these huge cast iron cauldrons hanging from a large round iron circle.  She didn't do the faux fire thing but she did fill the bowl with flowers and I always thought it was the neatest thing. I was sad that after they had both passed, we didn't have a way to get it home. The house stayed with my Uncle and when he sold it a few years later, it went with the house.

Be inspired!