Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mom Schwencke

Mom has had a bad few weeks -- she really had me scared last week, not eating and not responding.  Talking with the Hospice nurse, we all agreed that she has taken a turn for the worst, but she seems to have rallied again, at least for now.  I was going in to see her every other day for a while, but will be back to my regular schedule now.  Sunday her aide told me she ate her entire breakfast and lunch, so I guess she is better.
Napping most of the time.

Colleen and Joss and I visiting with Mom last week. 
Mom is so ready to join Dad, Danny and her sisters, brothers and parents in Heaven -- her body is keeping her here with us for now, though.  I'm not sure how I feel about that, but her quality of life is not good --- aging is so painful to watch.  She needs our prayers

"Grant unto us,
Lord Jesus,
ever to follow the example of Thy holy Family,
that in the hour of our mother's death
Thy glorious Virgin Mother
together with blessed Joseph
may come to meet her
and she may be worthily received by Thee
into everlasting dwellings:
Who livest and reignest world without end."


Spring 2014 Garden Diary, Post 13 - End of April

Well, I've been depressed about the garden since this past weekend when the armadillo ruined some of my beds.  Today was the first day that I've finally drug myself out there to try and repair some of the damage and replant what was dug up.  John has put up some barriers trying to keep the critters out, and hopefully it will work.
I can't even make myself take pictures of it.  Depressing.

We did harvest some of the Golden Snow Peas - these plants are all okay (so far!)  Brought in 4.2 ounces. I'm trying to measure our outcomes in the garden again this year.
 Today I replanted some of the lemon squash and the zucchini in Bed #1 that were dug up.  This armadillo is not eating the plants, just pushing them up and out of the way, so I'm very sure it is an armadillo routing for grubs and worms.  Tomorrow I'll work on some more and replant some peppers that were pushed out. Between the late freeze and the critters, its been a rocky start to the spring garden! Arghhhhh!
These are my Egyptian walking onions - two years old.  They are starting to bulb.  I thought this one looked like a bag of snakes trying to burst out.  Anyone need some walking onion bulbs?

Around the homestead...

Finishing up the pump house by painting the trim.  I got one and 1/2 side done on Monday, and did another 1-1/2 sides done today -- only the front, including the door, to finish.  I'm so happy with it!

John started a new project (very exciting -- revealing as we go along!) on Monday -- and it started with stringing out an area, and then having to remove a cedar tree that would be in the way.  He used his tractor with the auger attachment to dig all around the stump after he cut the tree down.

The baby chicks have been moved out to the new chicken house and are locked in for now -- they LOVE all the space to run around in.  I need to take a photo of them in their new home.

Busy week around here!

Gorgeous girls!

These two are the delight of our lives! What beautiful little girls!
KT riding her bike on the pavilion on Saturday night. Fearless!
 I got to keep Joss last Friday for the entire day! She is such a good baby -- very easy to keep. Three months old now!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Garden Destroyer!!


We've been attacked by this monster....dug up three of our raised beds, including all of our cucumber plants, most of the squash, half of the lettuce and half of the spinach plants ---- digging for grubs...in the middle of the night.
Today John put up some more fencing to try to keep them out.  I'm replanting. Life goes on, but I'm not happy with these armored monsters.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring 2014 Garden Diary, Post 12

The golden sugar snow peas have been popping up all over the vines - so pretty!  I'm going to have a pretty good harvest of these in a few days. 
 I had to pick a few just to try them with our salad tonight -- delicious.  I really do love these.  The picture doesn't do the golden color justice -- they look green here, but they aren't.
 Wanted to show you the thorns covering these Litchi Tomato plants, but I can't get a good photo of them.  I need to dig out a better camera.  They are growing fast...can't wait to see what they look like as a mature plant.
The dog water pan sprung a leak, so we repurposed it as a succulent dish!  I just love these plants, and they so well here, as long as I don't overwater them.
Today I started a tray of three different types of gourds - I plan on putting them along the fences if they do well.  I have a dipper, a bottle gourd, and those dinosaur gourds started.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Movie Review --- Captain America: The Winter Soldier

We really liked the latest episode of the Avengers - this one starring Captain America and the Black Widow primarily, but introducing a new character, the Falcon!
This one picks up with Captain America finding his way in the 21st century, and acting with a team from SHIELD, and partnered with the Black Widow, who spends much of the film trying to "fix" him up with a date so that he will really start to enjoy his new life. Her witty banter is really the comedy needed to balance the action.
Not to give too much away, there's a snake in SHIELD and the Captain spends most of the movie trying to figure out who it is.  The Winter Soldier works for that person, and has a connection to Captain America.  You'll have to see the movie to figure that out.
I like that there's not TOO much action like so many movies have, so much that you really don't get to know the characters.  There's a cameo from Stan Lee, watch for that.  And don't leave right away during the credits - there's a preview in the middle!
I give it 4 Stars!

Baby chicks!

We have new baby chicks - 15 heavy breed brown egg layers.  I don't exactly know what breed they are yet, will probably have to wait until they feather out some to see their markings, but they are awfully cute!
The new chicken coop is about 3/4ths finished, just needs electricity before we can move them down there.  John should be getting back to that project soon, meanwhile they're quite happy in their tub and should be fine there for a couple more weeks.

Easter 2014

We had a wonderful Easter at my brother's home, with plenty of family and friends attending.  As usual, lots of good food and sweets!

 Time for the egg hunt!

 Yes, we had confetti eggs....

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter, wherever you were!

Spring 2014 Garden Diary, Post 11

Mother Nature threw us a nasty curve last week, with two nights of frost.  It got down to about 30 degrees for both nights.  John and I did our best to cover those plants that we could, and for the most part it worked well.  I made the mistake of using some landscape cloth to cover a few of the tomato cages, and lesson learned - it doesn't block the cold.  Plastic worked very well, and hay worked well too.  I lost 4 tomatoes -- but I've already replaced them, so on we go.  No use crying over it (as John keeps telling me.) Sigh.....

Here's how the garden looked for two days in a row.  The hay worked great over these squash, I didn't lose any of them.
Tarps over the herb gardens, and these worked great too.
Pots of every type over the pepper plants - most of them were fine, although a few leaves were frost burned.
The red pear tomato has a few little tomatoes on it!
This is the volunteer black cherry in the greenhouse - a few little tomatoes on it too! See the dark shoulders on these little guys? This plant is about 5 foot tall already.
The peas are about to burst out in bloom -- pretty little purple flowers coming.

The climbing Blaze rose is just bursting out everywhere!  So pretty.

The saddest thing is the sight of our beautiful Tangerine Cross-vine plants - they really got burned by the frost so bad.  The plants will come back but the dying flowers just look awful.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A lesson in fear....

I dare you to watch this and not laugh out loud and also cry a little....a real lesson in not letting fear keep you from trying new things. It's a little long, but definitely worth it.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Drat!!! Freeze expected tonight.

Well we just spent two hours in the late afternoon covering all the little tender sprouts out in the field and wrapping the tomato plants, covering the peppers and moving all of the things in pots back into the greenhouse.  I'm tired!  This is Texas, God....what are you thinking!!!?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring 2014 Garden Diary, Post 10

 John helped me get the Bean Haus going last week -- we planted just four types of pole beans (Kentucky Wonder, Blue Lake, Turkey Craw and King of the Garden Limas.)  There also a few Jack-Be-Little pumpkins in there.
Today you can see the beans have all started germinating and popping up!
Here are the Atomic Red carrots - they will need to be thinned out soon.  The chickens like it when I thin out the beds!

 The peas are about 2 foot tall now, they've grabbed the fencing now.  They usually get about 6 foot tall, so if we could just get some rain and lightning -- that would help.
 The walking onions are bulbing out at the top --- they will start walking pretty soon!
 Just starting to see the zucchini!
 All of the tomatoes have about tripled in size - I've had to prune them recently.
All of our rose bushes are starting to bloom - The top left picture and the middle picture are the Blaze climbing roses that I put in last year.  Pretty bright red fully open old fashioned roses.  The bottom left is the Lemoncella, and the right is the butterfly rose.  It's my favorite - one bush has at least four different colors of roses on it.

Tomorrow or Tuesday our baby chicks arrive!  Looking forward to seeing our new babies -- I'll post a picture as soon as they get here.