Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Homestead update...

John's stayed busy while I've been lazing it out in my chair this week.  I feel so guilty when he's out working and I'm not.
He refinished the front of our oldest barn....

he finished the chicken house (yes, there was one last little job to do in there) by covering the pressboard with cedar....

and he's been keeping an eye on our new hoop house.
It withstood the terrible wind we had on Monday very well, so I think that would be a big test for that plastic covering. Win!

Remember when we pruned the Brown Turkey fig last fall?  We took the trimmings and stuck them in dirt and put them in the potting shed for the winter, two in each pot.  All we did was water them occasionally, and I fertilized them about two weeks ago.  Well they just started sprouting, so I'm guessing they took! Yea!
I'll probably leave them in pots for another year and then we'll see where to put them.  Anybody want a young fig tree?

Supper Club, February 2012

I was so looking forward to this, I enjoy the company so much!  The Lawless's put on a beautiful Italian dinner, complete with some very expensive wine.
I couldn't enjoy it much, I had been sick all morning but was feeling somewhat better, so I thought I was on the mend, but the minute I starting putting food in my mouth, it was downhill from there. It was so disappointing!

I did manage to sit through some of it and enjoyed the company.  And thank goodness, John L sent home a "doggie bag" of his delicious food I froze so I can enjoy it later.
My photos are can see I was operating at about 20%. Ha!

One of the plants (Basil) 
Kathy L has some beautiful crystal..gorgeous!
Our place-setting came complete with some of the flora and fauna from their garden.

Alive, but still shaky....

Sorry for the lack of postings -- I've been so sick.  And when I say sick, I mean....Wow Sick!
I have not been sick for a long time, and I don't think I've ever been THIS sick!  I've been totally out of commission since last Saturday -- and I've isolated the culprit down to the Shrimp Tampico Tacos that I had last Friday for lunch.  It's the only thing that I've eaten that John didn't.

Well, I've learned my lesson, the hard way.  Never again. I was just trying to be a good little Catholic girl and not eat meat on Friday, but I should have stuck with the cheese enchiladas.

I'm still not quite well, my stomach is very, very slowly returning to a normal state.  I had to drag myself out of bed and to the Bandera court house yesterday, I had a jury summons at 9am.  Thank you God, they only needed 6 people for a DWI case, and I was juror #16, so I got let go at about 11am.  I sped home as fast as I could. (Do you know, the judge never asked for any of us to come up and speak to him if we had a reason we couldn't be there? I was waiting for that, anxiously, green faced, so that I could talk to him, but he never asked. Amazing.)

Here's hoping that I'll be 100% by the weekend. Whew!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hoop House all done!

I've moved some of the pots into it, the ones that don't need lights anymore.  This weekend I'll be moving a few more.
We have a door!!

So, I did this today....

Something new for me.  John's teaching me to be comfortable with the g. u. n.  I think I did okay, actually.
A "minimal overhead" type business!
All I could think of was, "why don't they clean up after themselves.." ha! That's me with the ear covers. 

More don't seem to care about this stuff. 
At the long range area

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hoop House Has Benches!

When I got home from town, John had completely finished the benches in the hoop house.  They are fantastic!  After the door in done, we'll be finished.  I still need electricity there, but that will take a while.  Probably sometime before the fall, since John will need to trench down there from the house.
My handyman!

Bonus photo! The peas are all coming up, finally!

Mom on February 20, 2013

Before she fell asleep, she ate a slice of lemon meringue pie, which was her favorite type of pie.  Then she fell asleep!
 A pretty good day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Continued Progress on the Hoop House!

From this in 2012.....
To this in 2013.....
At around noon today.....
And at about 5pm today.....front without the door yet.
The back - unfinished edges - we ran out of white duct tape.
Next, finish the door, and make the benches and stands inside. He's making an "L" shaped bench on one side and at the back.  One side will be open for large pots, etc. on the ground.
More tomorrow, I hope!

Litchi Tomato...

Yesterday I potted one of the experiments that I'm growing this year.  It's called "Garden Berry Litchi Tomato" and is considered a fruit berry.  According to the write up, the plant itself is supposed to be covered in thorns, even the leaves!  These sure look like their nightshade cousins.
As usual, I got the seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. According to the packet, the plants are about 5 foot tall.  I sure hope I have luck with the seeds, as the packet had EXACTLY 12 seeds in the packet, so I did 6 pots.  Here's hoping!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday fun with Mimi!

KT luvs chocolate milk!
We had a little tea party with Mulan and friend, but it was a little too gusty outside...note the rock on the table holding it down!

Starting seeds in pots...

This weekend I've been potting up some more plants for the garden and putting them under the make-shift warming lights. Looking forward to spring!

Friday I started:

Today I potted:

Friday, February 15, 2013

Progress on the Hoop House

We're getting there!
John framed the front of the house....

Started putting on the plastic pipe....
Vent window at the top and also on the back frame at the top. I did the staining! 

What I'm Reading --- Monster Hunters International

I've read so many great reviews about this book for the past year, I just had to give it a try, so I bought it in audible form so that John and I could listen to it to and from New Mexico on our long drive.
It did NOT disappoint!  So funny, a wonderful premise (begins with an accountant, Owen Pitt, staying late at work, hears his boss rustling around in his office, and opens the door to find that his boss has turned into a werewolf!)  The battle ensues and Owen Pitt's life will never be the same.

It seems that monsters are real, and the government and this organization, Monster Hunters International, are trying to keep them in check so the naive humans don't find out and panic.  Owen does such a good job of killing the werewolf, he catches the eye of MHI and is recruited.
The author does a great job of creating characters that you will care about.  We laughed out loud several times as we listened to the book.  There are monsters of every style and type to fight or bring into the fold - vampires, orcs, creatures from other dimensions, all kinds!

If I had any criticism, I would say that the author goes into so so so so much detail about he various weapons his MHI team uses.  Some people may enjoy that, but it was a bit much for me.  You can tell that that Larry Correia really enjoys his guns.  And his poor hero, Owen, gets his ass beat to the extreme max in every battle.  But believe me, the entire book is so enjoyable, these small details can be ignored.  There are two more books in this series and I'm planning on listening to them, too.  The reader, Oliver Wyman, was perfect! He mastered the various voices, even the women, and played the humor and sarcasm very well.
I give it 4 stars!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

We had some fun today, starting with a drive to Comfort, Texas this morning.  John wanted to "shoot some golf balls" to practice for a March tournament that he is going to be in.  So I was content to watch from a nice folding chair! What a gorgeous day!! The sun felt so great....
Then we drove through the hill country some, sight-seeing, and landed in Fredericksburg for lunch at the Auslander Biergarten.  It was fantastic!  I had something called a Rouladen made of thin beef with pickle, onion and bacon rolled inside, baked (I think) and smothered in gravy. was so good!
Since it was Valentine's day, we had dessert - John had their coconut cream pie and I had the buttermilk pie.  We were stuffed!
On the way out of town we stopped at the Wildseed Farm and picked up a few seeds to this year.  I love that place and could have browsed for hours...but John was along, so no chance of that.  He's really not much of a shopper. ha! (understatement)
Then a quick drive by to see Colleen and KT for Valentine's day - we had flowers and KT's Valentine bag to deliver! A thoroughly enjoyable day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Gorgeous roses....

Look what my son sent me today!  Love, love, love them!

The hoop house, update!

The cement has almost dried we'll be framing the front and back.  More about that soon, I hope!
Yes, John drew a heart in the cement with our initials...he's such a romantic! 
Here's a better photo of the peach blossom! Gorgeous!
The old tires in the background will be the beginning of three more tomato towers I'm adding to the garden this year, I just have to paint them first.  I had such great luck with this method last year, I'm doing the same again!

Mom on Wednesday, Feb. 13

Very, very sleepy today...would respond to me but not much.  She had had a shower today and her hair was up in a cute little bun.  The chaplain came and prayed with her while I was there, but she didn't even respond to him, which he said is unusual.  Sigh....

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Amish Friendship Bread

I found this old recipe on line this week and it brought back such great memories of my time with the staff at Alkek Elementary School...the teachers and staff all passed around this starter several time while I was there, and we all took one home and kept it alive for some time.  I remember thinking how upset (anxiety!) I would be if I killed it! ha!  Who knew it would be so easy to make a new starter?
Anyway, Day One....starts now!  I'll be baking bread in only 10 days!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Early spring garden peas!

The spring garden officially kicked off today!  I'm actually a few weeks late on the peas, but I wanted to wait until we were back from vacation.
I planted three types of edible pod peas - Blue Podded Garden Pea (climbing), Mammoth Melting Sugar Snow Pea (climbing) and Desiree Dwarf Blauwschokkers Garden Pea (bush.)  All of these can be picked young and eaten as a snow pea.
One of my crooked little rows!
All of these seeds came from Baker Creek Heirloom FAVORITE place to order from.
Did I update about the Hoop House with the beginning of the cement floor? He ran out of cement, so we're off tomorrow to get the rest and finish it, then I'll take a pic. There's a corner of it showing in the next picture, but it's not finished.
The new peach tree is camera phone can't take closeups...maybe I'll try again tomorrow with the big camera.
Praying for no frost now that the trees are budding!