Saturday, May 31, 2008

work, work, work

That's what I've been doing the last three days. Trying to get in a few more hours this week, so worked 32 hours the last 3 days. That ought to help with extra vacation money.
The garden is just amazing us, we will be busy tomorrow checking on everything and picking greenbeans I think. It makes me feel good that I have done something towards putting food on the table. Even if its just vegetables. We priced bean and squash the other day at $1.50 a pound. I guess I should start weighing what we pick.
Well I'm heading for bed early today, goodnight all, I'll have more pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Today's List...

  1. Wake up - go out and get the "Texarkana Gazette" newspaper, make coffee, settle in to read the paper, move Colby around so I can read the paper. He thinks he needs to be right on top of it.
  2. Reset the Pagoda, Amanda called it the leaning pagoda, now it doesn't lean anymore.
  3. Weed the flower bed around the Elephant ear plant. Get it ready to plant "hollyhocks." They are seeds I bought last year, we'll see how they do.
  4. Deadhead the petunias. This keeps them blooming.
  5. Check the garden. We have our 1st cucumber growing.
  6. Measure the sunflowers - 7' today.
  7. Check the strawberries - 3 today; only got to eat 1, something else is getting them before we are. I think its slugs.
  8. Spray the weeds along the fence - poison ivy. Kenneth sprayed it Monday, but I think we'll give it some more since we had rain yesterday.
  9. Sweep/vacuum, dishes...all the usual.
  10. Read "Chickens In the Road". She makes me smile.
  11. Have a good day!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wall of green

The watermelon are growing over into the onions, that doesn't bother me as much as....

the cantalope was starting to grow onto the okra, we had to put in a wall between the cantalope and okra.

our first zucchini squash

The sunflowers are now taller than the awning.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

Here is the gang hanging out

Dallas you really need to stop eating the dog food!

Dusty lounging in the pool.

We started the day doing some weeding and placed the pagoda under the pecan tree.

watched the "Memorial Day Movie Marathon"grilled out and...

We attended the first game of the "Texarkana Gunslingers". Top row, right hand corner, sitting, just left of the second blue balloon. Kenneth is wearing orange shirt and hat (OSU Cowboys), I'm on his right.

It was fun and the fireworks at the end were really good. It's a good way to spend an evening and well worth the $5.00 entrance fee for General Admission. Since you can't bring in food or drinks, the large soda with ice ($3.00) is the best deal.

Note to self... next time wear a hat and sunglasses.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Free Stuff

I watch two different Yahoo sites:
Texarkana Free Cycle
and Texarkana Trading Post

Free Cycle is for anyone who has something they are giving away for "free" and the Trading Post is if they are selling it for money.
I got my first free thing Wednesday, some flowers from a very nice couple in town. They are "Moon Flowers" a sister to morning glories, only instead of blooming in the morning they bloom at night.


Here is the finished product. You can see the Lemon and Lime trees next to it.

Don't eat that salad!

Lettuce, spinach (from Amanda and Charles) and our 1st baby carrots all from the garden. Just had to take a picture...OK now you can eat.
Kenneth "are you going to start doing this everytime we eat?"
Julia "Doing what?"

Carrots, beans, tomatoes, and squash...

Cantalope are blooming and WOW! look at all the cucumbers!

The Marigolds are blooming between the carrots and the tomatoes.
Little tomatoes.
Baby yellow zucchini squash are growing.
We have greenbeans, we'll start picking this weekend.

Its official, Kenneth has been measuring the sunflowers and they are now 6' 2" tall.

Texarkana Storm

We had a "micro-burst" in town last night, both Kenneth and I were at work.
Very high winds which lasted about 15-20 minutes. The weather man said we had winds of at least 100 mph. These are when warm air front merges with a cold air storm and the moisture in them dries very quickly, which causes the storm to basically drop the bottom out of the storm.
It uprooted trees or broke them in half, torn down electric lines, blew down huge billboards. About 15,000 people were without electricity in the beginning. I was worried what we might find when we got home, we had left Dusty outside and I had watched the path of the storm on,, from work and knew it had gone right over the house. Luckily everything was fine, the garden was still in tacked and Dusty was just a little damp.

If you would also like to track storms at home - when you go to "Intellicast" type in your zip code. Once you see your daily temps (if your having a storm), click on the "Storms" label, from the drop box click on "Severe Weather" then "1K Storm Watch", It not only shows you the direction of the Storm, but if it could have hail (blue box) or tornado activity (red box).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Japanese Pagoda

I moved this cement Pagoda from Virginia, we had painted it red, but it had weathered very badly over the last 7 year. So in my effort to use what I have in projects, I repainted it using spray paint Kenneth had out in the shop. It is now "Chevrolet orange-red"! I think it turned out really pretty and will add allot of color to the garden. Now....where to put it. Photos to follow.

The other colors, yellow and green are going to be for the birdbath. Base of green and bowel of yellow, hopefully it will look like a flower. At least that's the plan.

Did you notice the "cling-ons" all over the ground, they are from the pecan tree. Can anyone explain to me what their for?

The view out my kitchen window...

Today Amanda had to call and burst my fantasy, a lady she works with was reading the blog and mentioned that "your Mom lives in the country?"
No she doesn't, Amanda informed her, she lives on a major highway.
No, I said, we live on the future "Trans-Texas-Corridor" which will run from Mexico to Canada when its completed, but that's only out the front door. Because as you can see from the view from my kitchen window, I so live in the country!

You can see our huge burn pile in the backyard, Kenneth's shop, the patio to the left and closeline to the right...windchimes and my birdfeeder. A pleasant view.

Here is my kitchen window sill. Every item holds a memorie.

"K" is for Kenneth,keys, knitting and kitten, the tulip is from my friend Martha, I like ladybugs, the "rose rock" is from Oklahoma and belonged to my Grandpa Griesel, the "J" is for Julia, jam, jack-o-lantern and jack-in-the-box, small pitcher and bowel were made by Amanda, "I have CHICKENS", the "F" is for Fleshman, fairy, flowers and frog, Daisey sugar bowel canister is from a trip to Dallas, a birdhouse timer and the Bluebird creamer was hand painted by my Mom.

Drying herbs

Cilantro is towards the top and catnip is at the bottom.
As you can see the herbs are way ahead of the tomatoes, and since the cilantro was supposed to be used for salsa I had to come up with someway of preserving it now so I can use it later.
"Drying Herbs in the Microwave"
Cut and clean the herbs.
Place on paper towels and roll loosely, let dry for 1 hour.
Get (2) more dry paper towels, place herbs between the paper towels.
1 on top and 1 on the bottom.
Microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
check for dryness.
turn over and microwave an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute, if needed.
Note: You might start with the lower time for the first drying, you don't want them to burn.
Place in a baggie for later use.

And there you have dried herbs. I only dried these for 1 1/2 minutes. This is just one handful, I have much more to do. Can't wait to make something for the cats with the catnip!

I hava a big clock

Finally, I have looked and pondered on various ones for over a year. I walked into WalGreens this week and voila! there it was! now I have my BIG clock.
And look the time is off ;-

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ahhh home...

A place for everyone and everyone in their place.
Colby, Tex, Dusty, Dallas

I so live in the country, the new neighbors have a horse in the backyard.
He's really pretty.

And, I have a clothesline!
Kenneth and I brought it back from my Mom's.
It was my Little Grandma's (my Dad's mother).
It's possible that my Dad may have welded it for her.
I think I like that story :-)
It makes me feel good that it's being used again.
I was fixing supper and I see the clothesline right outside my kitchen window, it makes me happy.
One note: Yes Charles, its a little too close to the pecan tree, some of the clothes had a few "cling-ons" on them, where's Capt. Kirk when you need him?
But, I don't care I like it there.

It's funny how things grow where you least expect them.
Here are sunflowers growing under the bird feeder, and a tomato next to the patio.

Updates on the fruit trees. The blueberry is growing nicely, the lemon has two limbs now and the lime has new growth.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Olive cheese bread

The Pioneer Woman Cooks is another website I go to. She has beautiful step-by-step photo recipes of good wholesome foods.
This one made me think of Courtney, because she loves olives.

All sorts of information...

This website has all kinds of helpful tips, recipes, free patterns, etc. Just take a look.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Good Morning,

I made the cornbread muffins with canned fruit cocktail this morning, just drain and mash up a bit. Very good. I think I got the original recipe from a Better Homes magazine.

Today is sunny and supposed to get warmer.

Kenneth is harassing Dallas (the cat) she's out in the yard as long as you have the backdoor open a little, but as soon as you shut it she panics. So of course he has to close the door to watch her run. She is also the one that carries the laundry through the house. If its clean she carries it towards the bedroom, but if its dirty she carries it towards the washing machine. Kenneth says "If we can only train her to match the socks and put them away..."

Daisy is looking for a foot to rub against. She has a foot fetish. Ever since she was a puppy and Charles was still in college, he would pet her with his foot because he was usually on the laptop. Now that's all she knows. She very rarely allows you to pick her up, unless of course its her idea.

The family in California "Pathway to Freedom" was on "NightLine" last night, but if you were at work or asleep like many, here is the site. Take a look and see what the possibilities can be. And yes, they eat Granola for breakfast.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

More rain

I turned off the watering system last night because of all the rain. We got another 1/2" last night.


I put another string on the green bean/corn row and placed tomato cages around most of the tomatoes. Only broke one limb.
After cutting the lettuce, trimming off the stems and cleaning it, you spin it in a salad spinner to dry it. I got mine from Sam's Club for less than $20.00.
Place the cleaned lettuce in paper towels (2-3) and roll it up, not too tight, place in a gallon baggie. This will keep in the refrigerator for several days. Along with the spinach Amanda brought in from her garden I got two baggies of greens to eat over the next few days.


Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you... Sheri!

Kenneth took one of the string from the bottom of the sunflowers and moved it closer to the top. They are just growing so well.

We made "Cornmeal Muffins" for breakfast this morning, they turned out really good, this would be a good muffin for anytime. I made the powdered sugar glaze, but I think they would have been good with just a little butter. We made them with the apple butter Amanda and Charles made for Christmas. They were very moist.

"Cornmeal Muffins"

Takes about 10 minutes to mix. Makes 12.
  1. Preheat oven to 450*, Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  2. In large bowl combine all dry ingrediants. Cut in butter until flour resembles course crumbs.
1 1/3 C. all-purpose flour
2/3 C. yellow cornmeal
2 T. sugar
2 T. brown sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/3 C. cold butter

3. Combine liquid ingrediants and pour into well in flour. Stir with a fork just until moistened.

1/2 C. buttermilk
1 egg

1 C. fruit (your choice): fresh, canned and drained, fruit preserves, etc.

4. Add fruit (if using fresh toss with 1 t. cornstarch) stir gently 3-5 turns, do not overmix.
  1. Drop by spoonfuls into muffin tin, Bake 12-15 minutes.
  2. Drizzle with powdered sugar glaze, or just use butter and honey.

Powdered sugar glaze

1 C. powdered sugar

3 t. melted butter

1 t. vanilla

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

We're a real farm now...

We have a rain guage... from last nights rain, which ended here about noon,
we got about 2 1/2" of rain.

The better veiw of the squash, corn and sunflowers.

I need to cut the lettuce again.

Thank you Amanda and Charles for leaving the strawberries. They were really good for breakfast!

The puppies are growing

They take up a third of the bed now.

Tex (aka: Dad), being BIG DOG.

We have blooms


Tomatoes - slicing

Green Beans

Yellow Zucchini Squash

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

We're Back...

I am just sick... We'll my status as a computer genius has been tarnished. When I downloaded the pictures we took from our trip and all the things we did at my Mom's I didn't get them transferred correctly to the computer and I formatted the camera before I realized it, so there all just a memory. Sorry guys.

We have puppies. Two girls and one boy. They were born on Charles and Amanda's 2nd anniversary, May 6th. She had four but the first boy didn't make it. They are now 1 week old. They will be available about the first week of July.

Here's Mom, but we had the others looking in and she moved.

Dusty and Colby at the door, they know they can't come in.

I did take some pictures of the garden when we got home. The sunflowers are almost as tall as the patio cover.
Amanda wanted to know what we're feeding the squash.

Here is a picture of the watering set up, see the PVC pipes connecting all the beds, and the timer, which we got at WalMart, allows you multiple watering possibilities.

Also Happy Anniversary to Sam and Courtney... 1year May 12.