Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fall Garden Notes, September 30, 2015

We're starting the fall garden over again.  Before we left for our vacation, the rabbits had mowed down the green beans and most of the tiny plants that I had put in. Arghhh!!!  So, we just decided to wait until we got back to re-boot.
The pepper plants are all still going strong

First thing John did when we got back was to fence in the entire bed for me.  Hooray!!  I have a door and everything on it.  Over the next few days I'll be planting a few things!
Today the garlic went in.  Can't wait to taste that first roasted garlic.  I'll cover these with a layer of hay in a while, before it gets cold for sure.
 California White garlic
Five rows, in the ground!

Movie Review --- Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

This is uncharted territory for us since John and I only read the first book in this series - The Maze Runner.  We actually listened to the book on one of our road trips several years ago and hadn't picked up the 2nd book yet, so, it was interesting to see how they moved the story along after the boys (and one girl) had escaped the glade.
The Scorch Trials was action packed from start to finish, although I felt they slowed down just enough to introduce the new characters to help us know and care what happens to the new people in this movie.
I'm still in the dark as to what happened to the world to cause all the desert, the ruined cities, and the (zombies?) chasing the kids all over the place.  I'm hoping that the third movie will clear this all up for us, cause I'm in the dark.
I liked it, and will definitely go see the third movie based on The Death Cure when it comes out.

#Fall Photo Challenge - September 30

A pile of leaves - from the Burr Oak outside the back door.  There are sooooo many of these leaves. #Sigh  #FallPhotoChallenge

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The horrible, bad, no good, very bad evening....

that I discovered I had lost my phone.  Not just any phone, but my newish, cutting-edge, "I was so excited to get it" iPhone 6.
I don't remember doing it, but I must have put it on the hood of the car when we were visiting a historical site in Wyoming, and when we drove off it fell off the car.  I didn't miss it until later that evening, so it was dark already.  John and John H. even drove over there to see if I had left it on a rock while I was sitting there, but they didn't see anything.
My John drove back over in the morning when it was light, and he found it on the road right outside of there. Here's what it looked had been crushed, probably several times. Good grief!
Thankfully, when we drove to the Verizon store in Sheridan, I discovered that I had indeed purchased insurance on my phone (thank you, God!!) so by the time we got home, the new phone was waiting for me.  I'm back in business now, but I can tell you, cell phone addiction is a REAL thing.  I didn't realize how often I got that thing out to use if for photos, Instagram, or whatever.
I may need therapy.

#Fall Photo Challenge - September 29

Fall Fruits or Vegetables - I hope this qualifies! These are the garlic cloves that I'm planting tomorrow.  I've separated them to let them dry a bit today and they go in the ground tomorrow, and will be in until late spring next year. #FallPhotoChallenge

#Fall Photo Challenge - September 28

A pumpkin - isn't this guy just gnarly!? I love him.  No, I did not grow him - I found him at the HEB grocery store in Boerne, TX.  He's going to be gracing the front porch from now until the end of November. It's a big job, but I think he's up to it.  #FallPhotoChallenge

#Fall Photo Challenge - September 27

At Your Front Door - the yarn wrap wreath at our door.  I guess wreaths have really gone out of style, but I still like them. #FallPhotoChallenge

#Fall Photo Challenge - September 26

A tree full of colored leaves - the tree outside of our back door has been dropping leaves for a month now.  We're filling up the compost pile! #FallPhotoChallenge

Sunday, September 27, 2015

#Fall Photo Challenge - September 25

The view from your front door - although this is actually the view from the deck at the Hoyt's home in Story, Wyoming.  This young lady is almost tame and comes in for her treat of stale bread, crackers, fruit or whatever we have to hand over to her.  They've been calling her Doe Dee. The summer sun is getting weaker as we move into fall. Doe Dee is getting as much food as she can before the winter snows arrive.  #ViewFromYourFrontDoor  #FallPhotoChallenge #Wyoming

Friday, September 25, 2015

#Fall Photo Challenge - September 24

Signs that summer is over -- Many of the stores and road-side stands in Yellowstone National Park have already closed for the summer, and the park facilities will be mostly shut down by October 22.  I'm guessing there will be a nice coating of snow all over the park by then. You can see snow already on some of the mountain peaks.  #GoodByeSummer  #FallPhotoChallenge #Wyoming

#Fall Photo Challenge - September 23

The color red - iron oxide running through the mountain range in Shoshone National Park  #Red  #FallPhotoChallenge #Wyoming

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

#Fall Photo Challenge - September 22

My name in Cottonwood leaves. #YourNameInLeaves #FallPhotoChallenge #Wyoming

#Fall Photo Challenge - September 21

I started this photo challenge yesterday on Instagram, but can't continue because I've squashed my iPhone. I'll put up a picture soon of that poor thing. Sad story....

Anyway, here's yesterdays photo post, and the subject was "yellow":

Aspen trees. #Yellow#FallPhotoChallenge Starting a fall photo challenge today, first day of fall. Could not have found a better place then Big Horn National Forest above Buffalo, WY.#Wyoming

Poet Laureate, or the Time We Got Some Culture....

Sunday we went to see the newest museum here in Wyoming, over in Big Horn.
The art museum

It's a gorgeous facility made possible by one of their ranchers, Mr. Brinton and family, and Forrest Mars who helped bankroll the place.  It was a very pretty building spotlighting some of the art collection and native American lifestyle pieces that Mr. Brinton had collected through the years.  I'm guessing the museum has added to that, but the brochure I have here is lacking in facts.  There was also a really neat room displaying local artists called the 2015 Small Works.  Some of those pieces of art were fascinating, but you'll have to take my word for it since I couldn't use the camera in any of the buildings. Rats!!
View from their Observation Deck

(Also, on a side note, I did have some pictures on my phone camera of the ranch house and out buildings, but...errrr....uh.....I crushed my phone. Don't ask...I'm still getting over it.  Maybe I can talk about it in a few days...(*cry*)

But, back to the cultural event -- we got to listen to Wyoming's 7th Poet Laureate read her poem commemorating Wyoming's 125th Anniversary of Statehood, along with some of her published work.  Cute little lady, must have been close to 80, with some really nice work.  The one about her mother made me cry.  Her name is A. Rose Hill in case you want to look her up.
The grounds were beautiful -- because Mari's brother is the grounds caretaker there! They had all the original carriage houses, barns, hen house (with a flock of red hens!), bunk house, and some beautiful flowers all around.

That evening we had some delicious steaks and John H's sister, Christy, came to visit.  It was a very nice easy day.
On Monday we explore the fall foliage....more on that later!

Monday, September 21, 2015

We arrive!

We arrived about mid-day on Saturday, just in time for lunch.  It was SO GREAT seeing these two!

After lunch we took off to see some sites in the little town of Story.  The Fish Hatchery seems to be the main industry in Story, and it was very interesting. They spawn little fingerlings to ship all over the country -- lots of different types of trout -- beautiful golden, brown spotted, and rainbow trout.  We came when they were spawning so we were not able to feed the brood fish, but we did get to see a lot of the holding tanks and the different small fish (fry?)

 Can you see the little fish in these tanks?
 Some of the types of fish they raise here.
 You'd think was obvious.....

On the way home we stopped by to see Mari's Mom's house that they have spent the summer cleaning up and getting ready to sell.  It's listed now, so they can sit back and rest a bit, until they start on John's Dad's house. Whew....hard jobs....I have memories of doing the same for my parents. Not an easy task.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

On our way to Wyoming.....

Our last trip before fall and the holidays begin, we're off to see some old friends who have been spending half the year (spring and summer) at their home in Wyoming.

The first day was lots and lots of Texas (I always renew my appreciation for how big our state is when I travel.  It takes almost a whole day to get out of it!) which means cattle, cotton and wind farms.  We went through Amarillo this time, so we missed a lot of the desert.

Our first night stop was Raton, New Mexico.  What a nice little town.  New Mexico is just about my second favorite state, I love the mountains and the trees and the air.  So crisp and beautiful.

Next morning, up and on the road again through New Mexico, then Colorado and a stop in Denver for lunch with Katie! She suggested a really nice little place, Teller Tavern, which had a really different and unique menu.  But, of course, visiting with her was the highlight of our day!
I'm really bad at this selfie thing, but I think we captured the idea!

After lunch and catching up with her, we were on to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where we stopped again for the night.  I kind of like these shorter travel days, they give us a chance to stretch our legs and we stop before John's knee and hip start hurting.
But, just in case his knee and hip were hurting, we treated them with these:

The plains around Cheyenne had their own beauty -- just miles and miles of prairie as far as the eye could see.  Our country still has so much wide open spaces -- just beautiful.  I wish I could have caught a picture of all of the prong horn antelope -- they were everywhere.  I'm going to try to get a picture while we are in Wyoming, for sure.
Saturday morning we were up and on to Story!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Turkey Eggs!

Well, the indecision about Turk's sex is over.  She is a hen!  We found this surprise out in her pen the other day.
This first one was in the dirt behind the pen door.  So the next day, we made her a couple of nice nests with hay - one in the turkey house, and one outside her house in the pen under a lean-to.  She prefers the one outside, and she's layed us an egg every other days since!
 The one in the middle is the turkey egg

Labor Day Weekend 2015

We had a rocky start to the Labor Day weekend around here.  Thursday evening around 10:30pm, our water stopped running -- we knew right away it was the well pump.  Double damn!!!

Friday, John and Jeff spent the whole day pulling the well, replacing the pump, and dropping it back into place.  And it was HOT!  Poor guys.  But we were rewarded with water at about 5:30pm on Friday! We thought we were home free.....but the well stopped again at about 8:30pm Friday night. Sigh.... Saturday they guys were back out there bright and early, pulling the well again.  Thankfully, they found the problem quickly - one of the joints had busted - and they had it back in working order by around noon.

And just in time!

We had a wonderful afternoon with my brother's family enjoying the pool, some great food, and lots of laughs.
 Visiting on the pavilion
 Aunt Eileen even came!

 There was lots of college football to watch....
 Sarah made the girls some special crocheted items -- Joss got a Gummy Bear hat!! Have you heard the techno gummy bear song?  I guess its all the rage with the younger set -- Joss just rocks out to that song!
 And KT got a super special shark "snuggy" - you put your feet in the bottom and pull the head up over your body.  KT could flap the fins with her feet.  So so so creative.  I'm amazed by Sarah's talent.
 KT loved loved loved it!
 These country girls -- they are the loves of my life!

Time to relax and chill out with a few cartoons after everyone left!

Summer Garden Notes, September 8, 2015

The fall garden is starting to take shape -- I've started putting out the seedlings that I've been starting in the greenhouse.  So far this week I've planted out:
  1. Swiss Chards (a few of several types: 5 Color Silverbeet, Fordhook Giant, and Luculus)
  2. Kales (again, a few of several types: Premier, Blue Curled Scotch, Scarlet, and Dwarf Siberian)

On Sunday, we direct seeded the green beans, a few rows of Blue Lake and Calima.  They should have plenty of time to produce before we get a frost around these parts.

Tomorrow I'm putting out the collard and bak choy seedlings.  A few more days and everything else should be out in the soil.  We're doing only a few rows each day, and John is setting up the auto-water for me as I go.  Early morning is still the only time to be out in the heat.

I have a real hard time getting germination with my spinach seeds.  I've started germinating the seeds before planting them between paper towels in the house, and then carefully planting them in flats once they've started showing some root.  It seems to work best for me.  These will probably be the last things I put out since they are just now getting started.

Kind of excited about these tiny celery plants -- this will be a new plant for me and there are six of these little babies.  Here's hoping they survive!

I finally am starting to see a few blooms on the morning glories!! Yea!  I did feed the plants with a bloom feed as a reader suggested and it seems to be working.  Hope to see more of these beauties soon as we are expecting some more temperate weather in the next week or so.  They are even teasing us with some rain later this week...we won't hold our breath.

The spring and summer garden is done, and we had a wonderful and productive year.  John's additions to the garden (the shade cloth, the automatic water systems and all of his muscle with preparing the beds) have really kicked our garden into high gear.  I'm hoping that the fall garden will be as successful.  Here is the final tally for Spring/Summer 2015:

Spring/Summer 2015 Garden     Pounds              Ounces
All Type  Beans, Green 11 8 4
DeCicco Broccoli 4 4 6
Early Flat Dutch Cabbage 3 2 8
Red Acre Cabbage 1 13 9
All Orange Carrots 3 0 7
Cosmic Purple Carrots 2 2 9
Green Macerata Cauliflower 0 13 8
Holstein Cowpeas 0 9 2
Blue Goose Cowpeas 1 9 1
Shanty Pea Cowpeas 0 9 4
Gray Speckled Palapye Cowpeas 0 14 7
Holland White Cucumber 3 5 4
Ashley Cucumber 32 11 7
Salad Blend Siamese Dragon Stir Fry Mix Greens 0 2 3
Scarlet Kale 0 10 7
Dwarf Siberian Kale 1 15 9
Lacinato Kale 0 0 8
Batavian Crisphead Lettuce 2 7 4
Red Romaine (3) Lettuce 0 13 4
Beck's Big Buck Okra 3 1 5
Silver Queen Okra 4 8 9
Stewart's Zeebest Okra 3 14 8
Extra Dwarf (2) Pak Choy 3 14 5
Jalapeno Pepper 7 15 0
Ancho Pepper 2 5 5
Green Pepper 2 15 8
Pumpkin (volunteer) Pumpkin 4 0 3
Mammoth Melting Sugar Snowpeas 2 8 3
Giant Noble Spinach 0 13 2
Amsterdam Prickly Seeded Spinach 0 2 3
Malabar Green Spinach 0 0 7
Golden Zucchini Squash, Summer 1 8 0
Fordhook Zucchini Squash, Summer 4 3 6
Tromboncino Squash, Summer 1 2 8
Yellow Butter Dish Squash, Summer 9 7 7
Lebanese White Bush Marrow Squash, Summer 5 0 2
Kikuza Squash, Winter 0 14 4
Butternut Rogosa Violina Gioia Squash, Winter 3 11 2
Table Dainty Squash,  Summer 21 2 9
Table Dainty Squash, Winter 16 3 7
Spaghetti Squash Squash, Winter 8 15 7
Honey Boat Delicata Squash, Winter 3 0 8
Hot Pink Swiss Chard 1 7 3
Green Husk Tomatillo 7 7 1
Beefsteak Tomato 12 4 9
Black Cherry (volunteer) Tomato 0 5 2
Cherry, Yellow Tomato 6 14 1
Cherokee Purple Tomato 9 1 5
Snow White Tomato 8 4 7
Homestead Tomato 14 15 6
Great White Tomato 5 5 9
Juane Flammee' Tomato 6 4 3
Red Star Tomato 10 5 3
Sleeping Lady (2) Tomato 15 12 2
  Grand Total 282 6 4