Thursday, December 14, 2017

OUTDOOR CHALKBOARD 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!

Outdoor DIY chalkboard image via Pinterest.com
Here is another, perhaps, odd one. Yes, something I've always wanted just like that TeePee a few weeks back. Maybe it's the inner child in me but I've always wanted a large chalkboard!  Perhaps there is some childhood incident I can't remember involving going up to the chalkboard in front of class, ha. Of course having a large one inside the house would take up a lot of room, not to mention we literally have NO wall that would have space.  Plus where would you put it inside?  The bedroom?  The dining room?  Not a lot of obvious spaces.  So when we ran across these the other day we thought they were pretty cool. 

Outdoor chalkboards!  There are numerous online DIY projects like this, so you can find them in you need to.  Instead we just thought we'd share a couple of pictures.  Pretty cool huh?

Outdoor chalkboard image via Southernliving.com
We have plenty of spots for something like this.  It could go on the house somewhere (on the backside), or of course the most obvious spot, either the barn or mower shed.  Lots of large, blank walls there to hang something like this!  It would be fun to just randomly draw on, maybe make notes about something, or even put a menu or schedule of events someday when we have a party out there.  We'll see!  For now the post is up and saved and we can check back at a future date!

Be inspired!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

ROOM DIVIDING CURTAINS UP

When the weather is too extreme outside, it's a good time to do something inside.  There is ALWAYS something to do inside.  Recently, we decided to tackle this spot in the bedroom. 

 The dilemma was this.  We have the sitting area (hereafter referred to as the craft area) off the master bedroom.  First thing to do was find a rod that would fit from side to side of the opening.
It is a WIDE opening.  

RoomDividersNow.com tension rod
We found this one on Amazon.  Here is the Amazon link: RoomDividersNow Tension Curtain Rod 
*affiliate link*

It spans the space, has the tension to hold it up and best of all, there is no sagging in the middle. You pay more for them of course, but there's a reason, they are heavy duty and actually work!


Next, we went to Bed Bath and Beyond and found two panels.  The first set we got were not lined and the light came through after we put them up.  Even though it divided the spaces, we needed something that would still make it look and feel like two separate spaces.  We went back and found these on sale. They were lined and the perfect dark blue for the bedroom colors.  

Room dividing curtains open
Lastly, it was just as simple as putting up the rod with the curtains on it (grommeted so they slide easily) and that was it!  It took a bit of adjustment to make them just right (and since the tension is tight, it does take some effort to make it fit just right), but once it was done, it was perfect.  

We can slide them open...

Room dividing curtains closed

...or slide them closed.

Now we have a way to divide that area off and help keep the bedroom a bit warmer and/or cooler, depending on what season we are in.  

See those open areas on each side?  When we had the house remodeled inside, we had those half walls put in to separate the area and create an additional space.  We also decided that we didn't want them going all the way up to the ceiling so that more light could come into the room.  

Now we find that with the curtains up, the openings somehow seem empty. We were thinking of a vintage stained glass window on each side.  Not permanently mounted in the space but the kind that hangs from a chain.  Just to further divide it but still let light come through so the bedroom is not so dark.

Any suggestions for those spaces on each side?

Monday, December 11, 2017

WINTER SNOW HOUSTON 2017

OK, a warning, this is a picture heavy post but it's because we don't see this around here very often.  In fact, we could count on one hand the number of times we've had a snow like this in the past 20 years.  

So, as small as it was compared to what other parts of the country get, it was pretty exciting around these parts.  Be sure to at least see the last photo, our absolute favorite and a COMPLETE lucky shot...

(as always click on any picture to enlarge)


Pink is sleet/freezing rain and of course snow flurries mixed in. Light blue is snow.  At midnight here in town, we had just moved from rain to freezing rain (the dark blue is only rain). The farm however was about to experience snow.


This was at midnight, snow just mixed in lightly with the sleet and freezing rain.


So pretty.


By about 1:30am we were in full on snowfall at both places.  I got a text alert saying that heavy snow was falling and so we got up and I went outside on the balcony to take some pictures.  


Same picture angle as earlier, snow much heavier.


This is a parking lot we can see from our window and the light from a sign was shining up.  I tried to capture the heavy snow as it passed through the light beam (probably should have used video, ha).


Remember the first city picture I posted above?  Same angle, same direction, just a couple hours later.  For us, a blizzard!  

We went back to bed but it continued.  


4:15am.  Still coming down pretty heavy in Houston but getting lighter at the farm.  


7:30am it was wakeup and time for getting ready for work.  Still snowing in Houston, but it had stopped at the farm.  Of course now it was daylight and time to go out and see what it looked like.


Remember the view with the ray of light shining up through the snowfall?  It was from this parking lot. Normally by this time of morning, employees streaming into downtown have mostly filled up the parking lots.  Not this morning.  In town, it just barely got to freezing and because the day before had been above freezing, nothing stuck to the ground.  It just covered whatever horizontal surface it landed on.  


Like the pool furniture at the apartment.  


And the palm trees.  We always love seeing palm trees with snow.  Such a contrast in "seasons". It's like Winter crashed into Summer.


This was outside my office.  By 8:30am, it had begun melting and by noon, it was all gone.  

We know what you are wondering, what about the farm?  Well thankfully 2nd Family took some pictures for us.  We're always grateful for them to keep us up to date with photos of major events out there so we'll have them as part of our history. 


The driveway in.  


Mesquite trees aren't normally covered in snow, ha. 


One of the trails that I mow every week.  Normally green and lush, now definitely looking like Winter.


Pretty safe bet that the plants know that Winter has arrived by now.  We're sure the grass will be dormant in a week or so and the last of the leaves on the trees will drop off.  

So as we scanned the trail cam photos/videos, we were hoping we might capture something like snow coming down or at least the white yard.  Never could we have imagined we'd capture this:


Talk about absolutely PERFECT timing!!!

These two deer (could have been more we suppose) were galloping through the snowy front yard.  The video portion only captured the tail end of one, so we're pretty excited to have somehow captured this wonderful moment in time.  

After the nightmare of Hurricane Harvey, Houston needed this kind of rare event.  There were no icy roads or bridges (at least around here) and no frozen pipes or things like that.  First we win the World Series and now we have a snow for the record books!  We'd say that's a pretty good recovery so far...

The Great Snow of 2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

SUNDAY STILL COLD

Well after the "great blizzard of 2017" on Friday, we had to check things at the farm. Though the temperature only dipped down to about 31 for a couple of hours, it took a bit of a toll...


The Lantana has a bit of frostbite, hoping it bounces back.  Thought it was a more freeze tolerant but maybe it just needs to be bigger for that.  


The Penta's on the other hand, dead.  Didn't make it all.  Scratch Penta off the list of flowerbed plants.  


The garden though is doing well.  The garlic is doing what it does.


This is the cabbage, each planted a week apart and each growing nicely.  I think they like the cold weather. 


And these are the collards, also doing well and enjoying the cold.  

The Fall garden (as is the Spring garden) is just a test to see what varieties grow best so that in the future we can plan ahead for planting without being so hit and miss.  These collards and cabbage, so far anyway, appear to be hits.  

So at the farm I worked in the barn/workshop, got a lot done but not finished by any means (post on that coming up too).  We also cleaned out the dining room which is a relief too (it had become a holding station for stuff that never made it to the barn).  


Never could tell that just a couple days ago this was covered in snow.  But I'm guessing the grass and leaves are not long for the world now.  Should be interesting to see how much it all changes by this time next weekend.  

Tomorrow we'll have a post up with the snow pictures from in town and at the farm.  It's quite impressive, for these parts of the country anyway, ha. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

COLD BUT BEAUTIFUL SATURDAY

I'm sure some of you may have heard about our rare snowfall, yep it snowed in Houston. We have some pics to share in a later post, but here is a quick one (click to enlarge):

Snow in downtown Houston
This was Thursday night as the snow started to fall.  I wasn't going to take pictures because, well, it was night and we're in downtown, but I thought I'd try.  Turns out the flash reflected off the snowflakes and made for a really cool picture.  Anyway, that was just the beginning.  Will have a "snow post" later this weekend including pictures from in town and pictures from 2nd Family.



The weather for the next week is amazing. This is what we wait for around these parts.   

So today it's off to the farm to check on things and see what I can continue doing in the barn/workshop while it's cool and I'm not sweating my you know what off.  Hope you are warm and your weekend is off to a great start.  


Friday, December 8, 2017

DESKTOP SANDBOX TRASH TO TREASURE FIND

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 several cool items so far.


Last weekend I went down and someone had left this beside the trash bin with a note "FREE".  It's an indoor sandbox of sorts. Or maybe for building sand castles?  It had the sand in it, two sticks for smoothing and leveling and drawing designs and...


Wooden molds to make shapes! 


It's pretty cool and I will admit to spending about 30 minutes after this photo was taken just "playing in the sand".  Hey, someone got their use out of it and instead of consigning it to the landfill, they gave someone else the opportunity to have fun with it.  

I think the right person found it. 

I think, knock on wood, I've successfully fended off the cold/flu bug.  Lots of Vitamin C, Zinc, liquids and rest.  So the goal tonight is to get back to replying to all your wonderful comments.  

Oh, and guess what happened last night here in Houston?  IT SNOWED!

More on that later...




Thursday, December 7, 2017

FIRE PIT AREA 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!


We are in the planning stages of an area for a fire ring.  We've gone back and forth with just putting the ring in the spot and then chairs/seating around it.  Then we thought a small sort of raised bed around it and the chairs around that.  

Then we saw this and we kind of like the way this is done.  It sets aside a part of the yard and delineates it from everything else as the designated fire pit area.  We have access to those large timbers like that (delivered of course, ha) and we'd have to have a lot of gravel delivered (after putting our commercial woodblock fabric down of course) but it seems like a nice solution.  We're still planning but it's getting closer (hint, we just bought the fire ring!).  

Be inspired!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

PIMENTO CHEESE SPREAD

Pimento cheese spread is one of my guilty pleasures.  For 2nd Man though, not so much.  He said it tastes like the middle of an olive, which in a way makes sense since the red thing in middle of a green olive is usually a pimento, ha!

For those in other parts of the country (or world) who haven't heard of it, it's a Southern staple for sure, a mixture cheddar, mayo, pimentos and other goodies.

Pimento Cheese Spread
I bought some this Thanksgiving and put in a bowl.  I think I ate most of it, I even put some on a slice of bread and ate it like a sandwich. 

Price's Pimiento Cheese Spread
This is the brand I usually buy because it's good and is made with real cheese and all natural ingredients.  Honestly though, I've never made it from scratch, I just buy good tasting brands. That being said, maybe 2nd Man needs to have some homemade spread to realize how good it can be?    

I know I can Google it of course but I'd like to try something that someone we know has tried and can give firsthand reviews of how good it might be. 

Does anyone have a good recipe?


Monday, December 4, 2017

WE HAVE COYOTES

We're sure many of you are familiar with Coyotes.  They are in many places across the United States.  

The Texas variety is of course different. 

Coyote, image courtesy of Wikicommons

Since our video captures have been at night, we thought we'd post a picture of what they look like. 

Here is the video we captured:



This is through the wooded area that we cleared this Summer.  One quickly at the beginning, followed by a second and then wait for it...a third right at the end of the video.  It seems to be a path, from the front yard, diagonally across into this area and then I presume they hop the fence at the back and then have a few hundred acres of empty land to explore/hunt.  

Now, let's just hope we don't capture a video of a coyote chasing down a fawn...


Sunday, December 3, 2017

WEEKEND SO FAR

Since I'm feeling a little bit under the weather, I'm bulking up on Vitamin C and Zinc and so far, I'm staying ahead of it. 

Homemade chicken soup with butternut squash and carrots
While I was at the farm yesterday, 2nd Man made me some homemade chicken soup!  With parsley and garlic and carrots and butternut squash diced up.  

It was so good.  I've eaten several bowls. 


I still had to go to the farm just to check on things.  Speaking of checking on things, I found this!  Two scorpions (thankfully dead) in this clay wine chiller in the mudroom/pantry.  


Since I'm guessing we all want to see something cute after nasty scorpions, I found this online.  This is a young, Golden Snub-nosed monkey.  Quite possibly the cutest thing I've seen lately.  

A. DOR. ABLE.


It's a rainy weekend (so much for watering yesterday, ha) but we need it so it's OK.  Plus it's a good day to stay in and eat soup!

We hope you are having a good weekend...