Friday, February 16, 2018

GLASS BOTTLES TRASH TO TREASURE

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.
Here is the latest!

Four dozen glass bottles
Downstairs, I found these two cases of empty bottles. Topo Chico is a bottled sparking water. When I saw them I immediately imagined them as drinking bottles, with some cool striped straws in them, at some future event at the farm.

Most bottles like these you can't remove the labels... 

Topo Chico glass bottles
...but these peel off!  

And that will leave us with beautiful, blue green glass bottles. Forty eight bottles. It'll be some work getting all the labels off (great rainy day activity) and then washing them (well, the dishwasher in town will help that part, ha) but it'll be worth it in the end. We'll get a plastic storage box to keep them in and put them away until needed.  




Thursday, February 15, 2018

FLOWERBED SIGH, 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!

Flowerbed photo via Pinterest.com
Is this ever going to happen? We wish but realistically, probably not. Still, a picture like this can inspire us to do more. Even if it doesn't come out like this.  Even if we can't grow THESE plants here, it's still nice to see and give us a goal. Flowers with colors and textures and shapes and heights. 

Like I said, we won't duplicate this and won't pretend we will, but at least we can see something that reminds us how to create beauty.  And plus, seeing this in the middle of this dreary, wet, cold Winter is like, well, a breath of Spring!

Be inspired!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

HOW DO YOU DO VALENTINES DAY

They don't make 'em like this anymore...


"Whip up some love!"


"I'll ketchup with you!"


"You're a honey, bee my valentine!"

What kind of tradition, if any, do you all follow on Valentine's Day?

Cards?
Candy?
Flowers?
Special dinner?

HAPPY Valentine's Day TO ALL of you!

  

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS

So when I was out in the garden at the farm, I saw these black birds all over the ground behind our property.  Click any picture to enlarge:


There were dozens and at first I just saw them as regular black birds we see all the time.  

Red-winged Blackbirds in flight
But then as they took flight, I saw these beautiful red spots on their wings.  A quick Google search found this entry about them:


They are RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS.

Red-winged Blackbirds
They were very pretty and I watched them for quite a while.  It makes us realize the diversity of wildlife at the farm and how much we have to learn.  I can say I've lived in Houston most of my life and never saw these types of birds.  It's not like they are rare, but they just aren't always around.  We got lucky to have a flock stop by and visit.  

We need to do more to attract and take care of birds in the area.  It's really fun to discover new things!

Monday, February 12, 2018

BAD AND GOOD WEEKEND

First the bad...

It was wet this weekend.  How wet?
We got almost 4" of rain over the weekend.   


This is where we normally park.
Not this weekend!


This was out near the barn and shed.  


The water runs this direction naturally, down this depression and on down the driveway toward 2nd Family's house.  We are at the high end of the property.  It goes on through their yard and toward the road and then down the hill.  So we are safe from flooding, like flooding the house type of flooding, but that doesn't mean that the yard doesn't get water standing in it in places.  

Standing water
This is me in my rubber boots.  And yes, I was wearing shorts, it was 74 on Saturday.  Sunday it dipped down into the 40's.  If all this froze, we could host the Olympics, ha. 

So that might be the bad you ask but alas, it wasn't.  Sure it's a mess but the bad stuff was yet to come.

"R" came up to help us get the water back on.  I was in the house when he turned it back on, all the faucets came on because they were left open.  We went around and shut them off.  When the last was closed I yelled out "Everything looks good!"

Then I heard water running.  

Did I leave the outside faucet on?  I went outside and checked.  Broken pipe under the house.  Water spraying everywhere.  "Shut it off!" I yelled.  We turned the valve to the house and it broke off.  

Lovely. 

Gushing water (NOT ours)
OK, so it wasn't this bad but it felt like it.  

We shut off the main valve at the well so no water is going to the house at all. "R" said it was a pipe that had a dip in it and we didn't get all the water out when we blew it out with the air compressor.  We'll have to figure out something for next Winter but we'll worry about that next Summer, ha.  

His first job was as a plumber so he said he would fix it for us, when things dry out and the weather warms up of course.  I like to help him so I can learn some of these things myself.  He's a great way to learn!

So no water in the house until then.  We filled up some buckets so I can water the porch plants next weekend.  The rains are taking care of the in-ground plants, that's for sure. 

Storm clouds
Speaking of, it started getting dark and sprinkling so we had to wrap the day up.  More rain.

Now the good stuff...veggies! 

Raised bed garlic
Garlic is doing GREAT!  I've watered when it hasn't rained and the rest of the time we've had plenty of rain (and snow ha).  It seems very happy and is much further along that at this time last year.

Raised bed cabbage
Look!  We have cabbage (almost).  They are all developing nice tight heads.  

Cabbage head
Here is a closeup.

Probably another couple of weeks and we'll have some nice heads of cabbage to harvest and eat.  We think it will end up being a success even though we started a bit late in the season and our screwy weather confused it.  We are looking forward to it! 

Collard green harvest
And lastly, we harvested another nice basket full of collard greens.  We LOVE this stuff.  I think this is the fourth harvest.  Next Fall more will be planted.  It's so satisfying to go out and snip off the big leaves around the outside of the plants and bring back a big basket like this.  Was in the elevator carrying this and someone said "oh my, what lovely collard greens!"

That made us feel good!

Hope your weekend was better!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

SPRING FEVER THIS WEEKEND



Woke up to this.  Ugh.  Pouring rain.  I mean, water is good, but not on the weekend!  So the farm will be hit and miss this weekend.  
It's supposed to rain all day.  


It's going to be an interesting weekend.  At least the temps are OK.  They are kind of Springlike, ha.

Will go to the farm just to check on things, water the plants on the porch and drop off some things but then back into town.


But it will come soon enough.  Until then I will stay inside where it's dry and sit back with a glass of wine and dream of Spring...

Friday, February 9, 2018

HURRY UP SPRING

I have decided that I dislike this time of year.  Even though it seems like there is less work, really, I find I have stuff to do, just different stuff, but there are still things to get done and none of it is fun.  


Everything is bleak and desolate.  Nothing to plant.  Nothing to mow.  Nothing to harvest.  

Above is an angle from the porch this Winter...


And the same angle from the porch last Spring.. 


We like the trees with leaves on them and the grass green and things growing. Maybe it's Spring fever? 

It'll be here soon enough. 

What about you all?  Ready for Spring?  Or can Winter stay a bit longer?




Thursday, February 8, 2018

SPILLED FLOWERBED, 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!

Spilled flowers, image courtesy of Southernliving.com
We've posted something similar to this in the past.  We always liked the idea and this year, we are finally going to get a half whiskey barrel.  2nd Family has three and they don't need one and asked if we wanted it.  You know me, I couldn't say no!

So now I just have to find the right spot for it.  Tip it over on the side, fill it with soil, create a "spill" of soil outside the barrel and put in some flowers (later this Spring!).  We think it will be a pretty addition.
Hopefully anyway!

Be inspired!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

PESTO CHICKEN WRAPS ON LAVASH

This is something we've been having more often lately.  We love it because it's so flavorful.

We start with Lavash wraps. 

Lavash wraps
We get them at a local store, they are a thin, bread of sorts, almost like a flour tortilla but thinner.  They are very low carb too.  One large sheet is only 5 carbs.  Can't beat that if you are trying to cut back on breads and sugars.  You don't have to cook it or heat it up.  It's soft and flexible but because it's so thin, it dries out within a couple of days.  

Chicken with pesto
2nd Man started with some cubes of chicken.  This time he used boneless skinless chicken breast that had already been diced into cubes.  He cooked them in a skillet with some olive oil, salt and pepper until browned and fully cooked.  Then he took some of our homemade basil pesto (yay!) about 7 ounces or so, added it to the cooked chicken and stirred it up.

Baby spinach leaves
Then we got some baby spinach leaves and washed and dried them. 

Diced tomatoes and onions
Lastly he diced up two tomatoes (a red and an orange heirloom) along with a small purple onion diced up.  He put them in a colander to drain over a bowl.  You don't want all the liquid to make your wrap soggy. 


We spread some mayo on the lavash wrap.



We topped that with some spinach leaves.  

Lavash with spinach and pesto chicken
Then just put on the pesto chicken and top with the tomato onion mixture.  No set amount just depends on how full you want your wrap.

Roll it all up and that's it! 

Spinach and chicken pesto wraps
Serve and enjoy.  

We like to cut each in half to make it a bit easier to eat.  It's such a great combination of flavors and using our own homemade pesto is wonderful.  Maybe this year it will be our own spinach and tomatoes too.  




Monday, February 5, 2018

BABY GOAT LOVE

Is it possible to spend almost two hours, doing nothing except watching a baby goat bounce around?  YEP IT SURE IS!

Geraldine the baby goat
We're in love with Geraldine, the baby goat that 2nd Family recently rescued and then adopted.

Look at that face!!!!

Bottle feeding a baby goat
Bottle feeding time!

I got a text from "J" and she said they were about to bottle feed her, did I want to come do it.  I about fell off the porch to get there, ha!


She is just so sassy!

Bouncing goat
And filled with bursts of bouncing energy...


...ears flying about as she hops around.  


She was sampling some grass, working on her grazing skills, and I swear from the back, with her hooves in the grass, she looks like a dog.  


This is one of their dogs, Alice.
Related?  

Little goat
Nope, she's a goat for sure.  A really cute goat.  
Her fur was softer than I figured it would be.  And her ears are like bunny ears.  Soft and velvety.  She makes the cutest little noise too.  


"R" brought some logs for her and stacked them up. She checked them out a bit and... 


...was up on them in no time. 

Baby goat on logs
"Queen" of the hill, that's for sure.

Hey baby goat
Look at that face.  I mean seriously.  We literally stood around for almost two hours just talking and catching up while watching a baby goat run around.  We can't think of a better way to spend the time.