Saturday, February 27, 2016

Movie Review --- Risen

We enjoyed this movie - a truly different telling of the Easter story through the eyes of a Roman soldier, Clavius.

Clavius, played by Joseph Fiennes, was tasked with the job of finding the body of Jesus after his crucifixion, so that the Sanhedrin could prove that the resurrection prophesy was wrong.  The movie takes on the feel of a missing persons investigation, totally different from other religious movies before.

I'm not sure if the movie was totally true to the scriptures, and I'm sure they took some liberties with this story to make it more "Hollywood", but it was very interesting.  I was so afraid that we were going to end up having to watch another crucifixion like the one from the Passion of The Christ.  That movie totally traumatized me.  Thankfully, while the crucifixion is a part of the movie, it's not depicted in quite as traumatic a way.

During the investigation and questioning of many witnesses and followers of Christ, Clavius begins
to question his role in life.  Finally, after being confronted with undeniable proof that Christ has indeed risen, he has to make a life changing decision about what he will do about it, along with Christ's remaining apostles that he spends time with.

It got me to questioning and trying to remember what actually happened to the apostles after Christ's death. I'm sure most payed a heavy price to preach about what they knew.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

When we were kids....

I've found a few more photos - these are really a hoot!
 Me and Mike -- and yes, I think those are pails on our heads.  
 August 1962 - beach photo of Danny, Mike, Me, Mary Ann and Dad
I love this photo of Mike - probably from 1951.  It was framed pretty well.   It makes me wonder what kind of camera they used? What were people using in those days -- a Brownie, a Kodak?  I know we would have had to load a cannister of film in it, then take it in to a Kodak or Fox store and have it developed - then weeks later you could pick the photos up.  We've made a lot of progress in the way people take pictures now, haven't we.

Winter Garden Notes, February 25, 2016

It feels just wrong to call this a "winter" garden update, but technically it is still winter for another month, right? It just doesn't feel like winter here in Texas.
John's been busy finishing up the fence around the vegetable garden for me.  It's going to be so much easier to get around in there and to keep the rabbits out! Love it!  He also tilled Bed#1 for me.

 Side view
 Front view, gate
 Wiring the posts

I've been spending some time making my lettuce seed mats, those will go in pretty soon.  I use the cheapest napkins I can buy, touch of plain old school glue to a wooden skewer, pick up a seed and place it in a pattern on the napkins.  I get 9 plants on each 1/4 napkin, total of 36 per napkin.

 Place a second napkin over the seeds and press down.
 Don't forget to write what type seed you're using!  Such an easy way to plant these tiny seeds, I'll just rake back a bit of dirt, then place the napkins down in a pattern, then sprinkle 1/4 inch of soil over the top and water them in.  The glue will dissolve.  This method has worked very well for me the past couple of years.
 The types I'm growing this year (all from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange) are:

  • Jericho
  • Parris Island Cos
  • Buttercrunch
  • Sierra

I started a set of 18 Swiss Chard plants in the greenhouse to put out in the main garden in a few weeks.  This year I'm planting Ruby Red Swiss Chard.
 John helped me set up a support for the Snap Peas that I put in on Wednesday.

 This year I'm growing:

  • Oregon Sugar Pod
  • Oregon Giant

 And today we received the three bare root Nanking Cherry bushes that I ordered.  These will be planted sometime this weekend, meanwhile I put them loosely in soil to keep the roots moist.
Lots to do in the next few weeks!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Winter Garden Notes, February 22, 2016

It's definitely been a different year for my seed starting endeavors this year -- lots of disappointment, with a few successes.  I'm not sure why, as I'm doing all the same things I did last year, but who knows.  I'm beginning to just learn to accept that there are things I can't control and move on....
 The tomatoes have been a success, and they are picking up well after being transferred to the small pots. These are the 10 Fingers of Naples, and the Rapunzel tomatoes - I have managed to get three healthy plants of each.
 The peppers have been another story.  I've always read that peppers are persnickety, and it's been true for me.  Only 1 good plant of the gypsy peppers that I planted, and a few of the cayenne peppers came up, but then promptly died.  Sigh....  Oh well, I'll be buying my pepper plants this year again, it seems.

I've planted three rhubarb roots that I found as we were walking through the local Tractor Supply store the other day.  Well, why not? I might as well give them a try.  These are perennials, so they might make a good addition to the fruit on the property.

(Since this blog is also my garden journal, I'm including this care information card.)

 I placed them where our old fish pond used to be.  Hopefully they will come up soon! The wire cages are just to discourage the dog from digging them up during the night.  They will come off as soon as we see some growth.
Signs of life on the orient pear tree!

 The oldest pear tree has sprung into action.  This is the Rio Grande peach tree.  Praying we don't have a late freeze now!
John's been working on the vineyard.  He added three more half rows which will include another 15 grapes.  He's busy working on the automatic watering system there.

He's also fencing in the vegetable garden so that it will be rabbit proof (and chicken proof, and turkey proof, and dog proof!) Hopefully the final fence we'll have to build in that area.

It's been so warm here, and the winter was so mild. We're praying for rain right now, and it's teased us - but nothing worthwhile yet.  We keep hoping!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Final year of adding fruit trees....

Thursday we added two more fruit trees to our landscape.  We purchased an Orient Pear and a Warren pear tree, since both require an additional variety for pollination.  John put them right away when we got home.  He also got some more grape plants and is in the middle of adding additional vines to his vineyard.  More on that in a separate post soon!

We are almost done with our plan of adding permanent fruit to our property!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

My baby pictures are in black and white.....

That really ages me, right? I guess I should be glad there was such a thing as pictures when I was a baby!
Here's a few more pictures I've scanned this week.
 Me in December, 1951

 Mike, Summer 1951 - these would have been at our home on Marquette Drive.

Me and Mike, December 1953

Sydney Gets Snuked!

KT used to call skunks "snukes" when she was little, so we all call them snukes now! That explains the title of this post.

Sydney tangled with a skunk again the other night.  We're going to start bringing her feed bowl in every night for a while until this skunk gets the idea that there's nothing to eat here.
Yes, she thinks she's "all that and a bag of chips." She knows we love her anyway.

I did find a really effective skunk shampoo recipe online and it worked very well.  I added some to the water when I washed her bed cover, too, and it was perfect!  I hope we won't need it again for a very long while, though.  Peeewhyuuuuu!!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Going through some old photos again....

I'm trying to make another dent in the pile of photos that I have from Mom and Dad's collection.  I'm going to try to do a few each day to get them scanned. So many of these photos are in bad shape, but I still want to try to capture them if I can.

Mom as a teenager - no date on this one, but I'd say high school.  Look at those curls! She had pretty hair all the way to the end.
 Here's one that is probably from when she was in nursing school in San Antonio at Incarnate Word Nursing School.  Love that flower in her hair!  The original was smudged black on the bottom left corner and it was fairly unfocused, but I love this one.
 This is dad - the photo has "Russell at home on Taft Blvd." on the back.  No date, but I think he looks about 3 or 4 years old here. I remember going to this home many times when we were little.  My grandmother Schwencke was a teacher, and there was a room above their garage with a lot of books.  There was an open lot next to the house, if I remember, and we use to run out there when we were there.
This one says "Helen Schwencke McElvy" 1921 on the back.  My Aunt Helen when she was a baby.  I forgot that she was older then my dad.
The next one is my dad and aunt, playing on a trike of some kind.  Looks like Helen is trying to fix something, because on the back of the photo it says, "About this! Whose the mechanic in the family?"  Herbert and Helen Schwencke
Finally, for today, this is a photo of my Aunt Helen's kids, our cousins, Steve and Kathy McElvy.  On the back is "April 18, 1954  Easter"  They lived in Alabama. so I don't think we saw each other more than 5 or 6 times the whole time we were growing up.  We did go and stay at their home a couple of times, but we haven't stayed in touch. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Puzzle! Give it a try!

Here's a little time waster!

What I'm Reading -- Black Sheep

Several months ago I broke down and got an Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription.  It made good sense to pay that low monthly fee and get to read as many books as I want each month.  There was plenty of titles listed in their unlimited area for me, and I'm enjoying it very much.

I just finished a book by Georgette Heyer from 1966, Black Sheep.  Yes, it's an older one, but still so much fun to read.  Reading a regency romance, I think we all know how its going to end, but it is absolutely amusing to get there.  I love the true formality of how people used to live -- no first names for these people! Sometimes its a real puzzle to try to understand exactly what they are saying! Here's an example:
"So she was able to greet him, when he descended upon her in the Pump Room, with calm friendliness; and when he presently detached her from her circle, inviting her with his customary lack of finesse, to take a stroll about the Room, in the accepted manner of those who made the Promenade their daily business, she was perfectly willing to walk off with him."
All of that (in one sentence!) to say they were taking a walk.  Ha!

Twenty eight year old Abigail Wendover is past her prime (?!!) and considered an old maid, meets Miles Calverleigh, who has just returned after many years of banishment to India.  Her 17 year old niece is planning to marry his philandering nephew, so they put their heads together to break up this totally inappropriate plan.  Much confusion ensues, and it's all tied up at the end in a nice little bow.  Very satisfying!

I highly recommend -- and I'm going to be looking for another Georgette Heyer to read in the future.

What are you reading? I need recommendations!

Friday, February 5, 2016

New Stairs!

I've been meaning to post a picture of our newly finished stairs!  KT was here with us one day this week and the first thing she noticed when she walked in were the stairs!

"Mimi, did you get new steps?" she asked.

"Yes, Uncle JR and Aunt Ashley surprised us with these when we got back from our trip to Florida!" I replied.

So much better, don't you think?! Thanks so much, JR & Ashley!

Movie Review --- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies!

I know zombies are not for everyone, so I was totally prepared to go to this movie by myself.  I offered to do that, but John said he'd go with me.  So if he starts complaining to you in the near future that I "dragged" him to this movie, you'll know the truth.

He actually thought it "had its moments." I thought it was pretty good! I listened to this book years ago on audio book, so I remembered most of the story.  They did try to follow the bones of the
original story (the Jane Austen one) but with the added adventure of dealing with a zombie invasion of England.

Whatever you do, don't walk into this movie late.  The narrator, Mr. Bennett, played by Charles Dance (yes!! Tywin Lannister!!!) tells us all the background story of what has happened to their country with "pop up" cardboard illustrations.  Well done!  Really....well done!  And of course, the French get all the blame. ha ha ha!!!

Then the action begins, following the original book. There's the uptight, prideful Mr. Darcy, his easily led friend, Mr. Bingley, and his nemesis, Mr. Wickham. I really do love the original story, and zombies just makes it that much better.
Stay until the credits run, at least for a couple of minutes....there's a "tease" for a follow up.  It probably won't be made, but a girl can hope, right?!

Winter Garden Notes, February 4, 2016

We have little sprouts! Here are the ruby red onions.....
and a few of the tomatoes have sprouted.

Meanwhile the greenhouse tomatoes continue to ripen.  I took this photo the other day and these have all turned red now.
I've been busy starting more trays of seedlings.  So far I've planted:

And despite promising John that I wouldn't over-do it this year on the tomatoes, I wanted to try these free seeds that I got from Totally Tomatoes with my order this year.  Gialio de Summer.  We'll see how they do.

All of the fruit trees have been pruned and we are planning to spray them early next week.  I'll be pruning the few rose bushes then, too.  We had some really nice warm days last week, so I'm hoping these trees don't get confused and start budding too soon!

Thankfully the groundhog has predicted an early spring for us this year, right?!!