Monday, October 23, 2017

SINGLE SOLDIER PROJECT WELCOME HOME BASKET

So here is something we really enjoyed doing, I mentioned it a couple of weekends ago as one reason we were out running errands. 

 

2nd Man's work was asking for donations for something called the "SINGLE SOLDIER PROJECT".  They were asking for either monetary donations or donations of actual items in order to create baskets for single soldiers coming back home after deployment.  

For those unfamiliar, before deployment, all of a soldiers belongings are put in storage. When they return home to the barracks, they often don't have access to their personal items for weeks.  That means they come home to an empty room, a bed with no sheets, no grooming items, no laundry soap, not even a pillow.  So this project creates baskets from donations and each soldier ends up getting a complete basket of items to welcome them home. 

Instead of just giving items or money, we decided to just make two complete baskets to donate.  

They gave us a list of all the items needed:


We started with a laundry basket, something they need for their laundry and we started filling it with other items from the list...  


Paper towels, toilet paper and hand soap...


A loofah sponge, a shower curtain and the rings, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste...


Bath towel, washcloth (I found army green!), 3 piece sheet set (I found a fun set in camo colors), a comfy pillow, razors, shaving cream, body wash/shampoo...


Paper plates, plastic utensils, laundry pods, and snacks (we got assorted crackers, Oreos, etc)...

Single Soldier Project Welcome Home Basket
We filled it all up (times two), tucked in "THANK YOU" cards, and then went to the craft store to buy a roll of basket wrapping plastic to wrap it all up. To finish them off, I got some red, white and blue striped ribbon and tied them off. 

We are happy that two soldiers returning home from active duty will feel a little more comfortable after all the time they have spent away. 


Sunday, October 22, 2017

RAINY DAY, POST WEDDING, NO FARM VISIT, CONGRATS ASTROS


Woke up to this heading our way.  And it rained until about noon.  Heavy rain too.  Since yesterday was a wedding, and today was rain, didn't make it to the farm.  But what I really needed to do was water everything and that's been taken care of naturally!


But the weather was perfect yesterday for 2nd Man's nephew's wedding.  It was outdoor at their house.  And yep, their yard backs up to this wonderful lake.  Makes us wish for the day when we can have something like this at the farm (there's a natural pond site that will be expanded).  It was a lovely ceremony and they both looked amazing, the sun was shining through the trees and the lace was billowing in the breeze...so pretty! 


Loved their vintage lace theme. This old Pepsi bottle was on our table. I need to find some on eBay, maybe an assortment of vintage soft drink bottles and have them at the farm.


The colors were pretty too...


And this was at the reception in the front yard.  The sound was so wonderful.  The sound of tricking water is so relaxing, it even feels cooling on a hot day.

So no farm this weekend, time to stay in town and do some more daydreaming...and eating good food, ha!

Houston Astros World Series
And oh yeah...our hometown team the HOUSTON ASTROS are World Series bound!!!!! 

Amazing final two games.  We live a few blocks from the stadium where there will be a World Series in a few days!  Alas, tickets start at $750 so...no games for us, but we'll go visit outside and the nearby park and celebrate with all the other fans, what hopefully will be a victory.  But either way, from a last place team a few years ago, to reaching the pinnacle of baseball, after the terrible events here just a few weeks ago, Houston needed this.  

  Hope you are having a good weekend, what's left of it of course. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

OFF TO A WEDDING

Today is a wedding!   

2nd Man's Nephew is getting married so the family expands yet again!


We'll be gone most of the day, but back tonight after the reception to root for our hometown Houston Astros to secure the other spot in the World Series! 

Tomorrow, regardless of the weather (rain in the forecast), I'll be off to the farm to check on things.  

CONGRATS D & B!

Thanks for letting us share in your special day!

Friday, October 20, 2017

MORE DISH TOWELS

Oops I did it again...

After I put up THIS POST last month, I found a few more dish towels at the store!  

Vegetable dish towels
Carrots and radishes...

Garden theme dish towels
Corn and tomatoes...

These are really neat, pretty good size too.  They remind me of old seed packets or ads in vintage magazines/billboards.  Naturally, these were on sale too.  Oh and we still have PLENTY of room in that kitchen storage bench!

2nd Man just smiled and said "those are nice".  

I'm sure on the inside he was all "more towels seriously?"  

He'll appreciate the plethora of towels someday.



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

OUTBUILDINGS AND DAYDREAMING

We haven't often showed views of the barn and shed from these angles.  


This is standing in front, looking toward the back.  Barn/workshop on the left, mower shed on the right. 


I walked to the back and turned around and took a picture back toward the other direction.  That fenced area waaaay across the front yard is the garden.  

As you can see, lots of space here. In our long term plans for the farm upon retirement, we thought about fencing this area in even perhaps having a chicken coop behind there...


We mocked this up just to see what a fence might look like and we think it would be pretty cool.  But if not chickens (we have plenty of space around for that, they might be nicer close to the house) what else would be good in this space?  

Here are some ideas that we've tossed around over the last couple of years:

Chicken coop and covered run? 
Another red building in a different size?
A greenhouse?
A pool or hot tub? 
Flower cutting garden?
Underground storm cellar? 

Any ideas on something maybe we haven't thought about?


Been getting home late the last couple of nights, will catch up on comments later tonight!



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

POISONOUS PLANT DO NOT EAT

A few weeks ago, I was mowing and saw this plant springing up in the underbrush on the property.  

Poisonous Jerusalem Cherry (NOT edible)
It was actually in several places around the farm.  We were hoping for something we could eat that's growing wild.  Maybe a wild pepper of some sort?  In fact, when you cut one open, it even looked like the inside of a tomato, seeds and all.  Of course, we're not going to take a chance without checking so I did some research online.  

We found a wonderful website, FORAGING TEXAS, and the owner of the site replied right away when I sent him this picture.  We found out this is a poisonous member of the Nightshade family called "Jerusalem Cherry".  It makes a pretty plant with these big red fruit all over but as he warned, DO NOT EAT IT AND DON'T LET ANIMALS EAT IT EITHER.

So I went around everywhere I could find it and pulled it all up and safely disposed of the plants. 

Side note, it's a great website to visit and even though it's Texas specific, many of the plants listed are across other states as well.  It's fascinating how much is edible out there. Oh how we'd love to have him walk around our property for an afternoon.  There is no telling what we have growing that we could eat, ha. His tag line is "harvesting the past to feed the present and preserve the future".


We don't get anything for mentioning his website,
FORAGING TEXAS , we just wanted to give him a shout out as a thanks for the quick answer and the warning.  It's a resource if you're interested in wild foraging and it also makes for just plain old fascinating reading of the wonderful world of nature that is all around us. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

NEAT YARD, FLOWERS, AND GOOD FOOD

It was a good weekend at the farm.  We posted a bit of an update yesterday, but here is more.  It's still hot here, upper 80's/low 90's, BUT good news, there is a cold front coming this week!  Finally!

Front yard after mowing
I mowed, for what will probably be the last time this season. I didn't NEED to, but I WANTED to, if that makes sense. Here's an angle from the middle of the front yard toward the garden.  


And here is the same standing spot looking back toward the barn and shed.  Other than blooming flowers and healthy trees, there is nothing in the yard that makes me happier than seeing things all neat and tidy.


Even the recently cleared mini forest area looks great and again, this will probably be the last time this season. I'll miss my time on the Zen Machine but it will be a nice break. Last year it was March 8th for the first mowing. That will be here before we know it.  

Flowerbeds
Here's an angle from the porch looking down at some of the flower beds in front. They are growing nicely and staying, mostly, clear of weeds.
Still looking good so far.


Speaking of flowerbeds, here are two of the lantana. They are so pretty in their colors.  This was one of the original ones we had that came back after we thought it had died.  It's thriving now (and quite large) and we love the colors. We thought when we bought more, they were the same...


...but these are a wonderful different color.  It was an accidental but pleasant surprise.  Hoping they get huge and fill up the beds.  We're OK with that.  It's what we've wanted and will add the color we're looking for.  We'll take the whole spectrum, ha 

Banana bread
The weekend ended with 2nd Man making some wonderful banana bread from some overripe bananas we had.  It was so good!

Hope you had a great weekend!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

SUNDAY IS A LAZY DAY

It's a lazy day today.  Yesterday I got stuff done at the farm, today it's things to do in town.  It's still in the 90's here.  Well, upper 80's with brief periods at 90 or 91.  Ugh.  I can't plant some of what we wanted in the garden because it's still too warm.  

Breakfast casserole
2nd man made this wonderful breakfast casserole we've been eating on and off all weekend so far.  


It's eggs, biscuits, sausage and cheese.  Breakfast (and lunch and snack) of champions, right?  

Texas shaped cookie cutter
I found this cool Texas cookie cutter for 2nd Man.  He wants to make some shortbread cookies and I figured "why not Texas shaped?".  

Hobart sleeping
And the cats are lazy day napping too.  Here is Hobart, sleeping on one of the pillows they love. 

Brisbane sleeping
And here is Brisbane, much better now, and also sleeping on one the other pillows.  Side note, these used to be pillows in our window seat at the house, now they are cat beds, ha.  

Hope you all are having a good weekend!



Friday, October 13, 2017

GLASS JUGS STORE FIND

Was at Target recently and found these. I just couldn't pass them up.  They were in the "Dollar Spot" section of the store and were normally $5 each (which is a deal in itself) but on this day they were on sale for $3.00 each.  Now THAT'S a deal.  

Clear drink local jugs
They are large (hard to tell the size but about 1/2 gallon each) heavy glass jugs with etching on them.  These are "DRINK LOCAL".  We thought that someday when we make our own beverages on the farm, be it fizzy or not, alcoholic or non, it would be fun to serve it from these.

Hmm, wait a second, water from the well, isn't that "drinking local"?  HA!

Amber glass beer jugs
Then these of course are amber colored jugs for "BEER". It might be hard to read but under BEER it says "BREW. ENJOY. EMPTY. REPEAT".  Not sure we'll make our own beer but it would be fun to serve beer from them on the table at the farm.  

I went back and bought one more of both so that we'd have three of each style. Somehow that seemed like the right number to have.

Home Distilling Handbook
Then the other day at lunch, I was at a bookstore and found this book. It's "The Home Distilling & Infusing Handbook".  Lots of recipes for infused liquors, cordials, blends, etc.  I think it's a sign to experiment sometime with drink making like this.  Now we have a place to keep/serve the end result, of our efforts, ha.  



Thursday, October 12, 2017

HANGING FLOWERS, INSPIRATION THURSDAY

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!

Hanging flower baskets, image courtesy of Pinterest.com

We were looking at porch ideas recently as we prepare (if it EVER cools down) to clean up the porch (yet again, why is it always cluttered? sigh). Anyway, we ran across these two pictures.  Similar ideas, different flowers/colors, but still incredible.  

Hanging flowers, image courtesy of BHG.com
We know that this is most likely not something we can do when we aren't there full time. We're pretty sure hanging baskets full of beautiful flowers like these would not do as well part time of course.  Still, someday we'd love to recreate something like these. Of course, when they could be watered on a daily basis.  How beautiful must this be in person! 

Be inspired...