Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fun wonderful weekend.....

Sat. we woke up to rain. In W. Texas no matter what is planned you don't fuss about rain. You just praise God for each drop and enjoy. After a few hours and about an inch of rain it went away so we could start our day. The day was planned to be a morning of pouring a cement slap for the bay windows at the garage.

After they made the form the fun began. First they started mixing one bag at a time in the wheelbarrow. Then they had a brain storm....

The bucket on the skid loader! This allowed them to mix 3 sacks there and 1 in the wheelbarrow.

I got the fun job of driving the skid loader. I had to follow them directing me as we dumped it. Part of the time DH would be giving one direction and DS another.

I managed to do it without ever touching the stakes holding the forms in place!

Even MJ got into the act in helping back it and stir it down.

Time to level! Dh has that job! We were quite happy, it only had cat tracks and peafowl tracks once! He managed to work them out before it set up.

Then this morning we were woke with lots of lightening and thunder early, before 6. I got up to check radar. Dh followed to put saws and such he had left under the car port up. I let DIL know that we were going to get rain and could get some 50 mph winds. She elected to come over as soon as grandson woke up. We were still putting stuff up outside. Once we got it all battened down the rain came, and came and came. It was wonderful! We all set on the porch and watched it rain for over an hour. Even grandson loved it. He sat in one lap and another and talked about the rain. The lightening and thunder were up close and personal at times. We laughed at what a W. Texas boy he is. How many 2 yo's would just set and cuddle and watch it rain for over an hour? He could get down, but didn't want to. He would just trade laps along.

We ended up with about 2 inches of rain this morning.

This is our middle pond. The dam is about center of the picture with water going around and down to the next pond. This pond is deep, about 2o ft deep. It may have had some mud in the bottom, but was dry.

Same pond different angle.

Again same pond, this shows more the size. It filled today! We got LOTS of rain!
Water gap on the back side. It will need to be fixed when the water runs down where we can.

This is our "road" to the back corner where the water gap is. I didn't try to cross it. It looks sorta full of trash. I will take the skid loader and clean it once it dries out.

Since we had so much rain we decided to stay home today from church and let our road rest. Maybe it won't cut ruts to bad if we allow it to soak in before we drive on it. Son has to go out this afternoon, but maybe it will have soaked in. It rained so hard I'm not sure if it will have washed the silt off the road leaving it hard packed or washed it on and made it even more tough to navigate.
While all this was going on I managed to pull off an awesome cobbler with the girls help. I made the crust they washed the black berries and strawberries and added them to the pan. Then they rolled out the crust. It was awesome! I really think I have a new favorite flavor cobbler! Black berry/strawberry. I had made one for church. I will just stick it in the freezer maybe next week end we will take it.
I also made some crock pot chicken that I really wish I had the recipe for. I did the layer and put and mmmm it is good! I took chicken breast added red potatoes and tomatoes. Then more of each until the crock pot was running over. I took two cans of green chili enchilada sauce added tomatoes and blended. I pour it over the chicken, filling the crock pot to over full. I cooked it all night. I had more sauce than room. This morning I took the rest of the sauce added flour blended it and made a gravy out of it. It really had a nasty color, but oh well. I put the chicken stuff in a bigger pan an poured the gravy on it. I oven cooked it a while. Cut the oven off and left it a while since we weren't going to church. Wow! It is amazing! I hope I can re create it.
While that cooked in the oven I chopped a bunch of onions and peppers from the garden, added rice and fried it in palm oil. Then filled it with water and let it cook. I poured the chicken stuff over it for lunch. To bad church missed out it was so yummy! I hope I can fix it again even close to the same.

Monday, July 13, 2009

We're Home.............

First stop was the Sandhills State Park.

Sand! Lots of sand! BIG Sand box!
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the sandhills. This is sunset the evening we go there. It was 103 when we started setting up camp. Yet there was a breeze and as soon as camp was set up we went for a walk.

What I found amazing was the desert is so alive with flower

The desert was filled with tracks. Even the dropped flower left tracks in the sand as it blew. I had thought these marks were left by bugs until I watched the wind blow this flower across the sand leaving a trail in the sand.
Yes that really is an acorn! Might oak trees grow in the desert. They just get about 2 ft tall with root systems 70 feet across! They stabilize the sand and allow other things to grow.

The roots of this plant are exposed as the sand has blown and shifted away from it.

We left the sandhills about noon and headed for cooler climates. The highs were only about 90 in the mountains and everyone was fussing it was extremely hot there.

Views from the Mountains are amazing. At times you can see mountains 100 miles away and in a different country, (Mexico.) The white spot that looks like a lake is a HUGE hydroponic greenhouse complex. To give you an idea of how far away, there is a main hwy running beside it that you can't even see.
This view is from the McDonald's Observatory Mountain. It has the highest elevation state maintained road in TX. The dome you see isn't the main telescope, but one of the lesser ones. They have 3 BIG ones on two Mountains with several this size scattered around.

Sunday night we had "visitors" come through the camp ground. I missed the picture of the baby. There were 8-10 of them.

There were also other critters around camp.

Each morning I would go for a hike. This is my turn around point on Monday. If you look close you can see campers in the bottom, near the back mountain. Ours was around the bend and out of site. It was a great walk/climb.

I enjoyed taking pictures of mainly flowers as I hiked.

We made a drive and found these "sheep" on the drive.

This Spanish Dagger is HUGE!

This was at the fort in Fort Davis.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Busy Week

This week is busy. I have 6 cases of peaches that all have to be canned when they get ripe, and they better get that way before Thursday. We canned 19 quarts today, but one didn't seal. I did the only thing you can when you have a jar not seal. I made biscutes and had fresh canned peaches, butter and biscutes! Memories! My mom always did that. It is the treat of canning getting to have fresh peach perserves that aren't even really perserves, just didn't can, or to much for the jar, but not enough for another jar.

We are leaving on Friday to go on a long weekend. First night is Sandhills State Park, . We are going to get there late, set up camp and crash. Then in the cool of the morning play a while. Check out time isn't until 2 pm. After collecting lots of sand we will shower and head out for Ft. Davis State Park, .

One of the fun things we want to do there is go to the McDonald's Observatory Star Party Sat. night. We did this years ago with the big boys. It was a LOT of fun. That time it was after Thanksgiving and SOOOOO cold doing it, but well worth it to look through the different telescopes they had set up. One was on Saturn, and you could COUNT the rings. One was on the moon.

We are staying 2 nights at Ft. Davis. I also want to do the fort. I think we can hike from the park to the fort, not sure. Not sure I am up to the hike either. I know dh would be more than happy to pick us up at the Fort though.

Back to this week. We have 3 more cases of peaches to can, packing to do, groceries to buy, and therapy on Thursday. I had thought about doing town today and Thursday, but peaches needed doing and then I did not want to go to town after lunch. I really have to do what I want before lunch or I turn into a pumpkin. Today I was pumpkin bread before I could leave for town. I just revised my list and decided I can pack groceries for camping Friday morning. I will get my clothes packed and the part of the list I can done before then. Put the slides in and over all be ready to go Friday when dh says he is ready. I think I will pull the camper to town and let him take over. SURELY I can do that! I seldom pull the camper so I don't like to. I need to learn.

It does help I have a camper list of stuff we need to put in for a trip. I just print it off. Each trip I tweak it a bit. It is more a pull the list, but it still has to be done. Each child is responsible for their on clothes. IF they leave stuff out oh well. It WAS on the list. That applies to me too.

I did get the automatic waterer fixed for the chicks this morning. Well dh got the bucket fixed I just plugged it in to the waterer. All DIL or son will need to do is feed them and maybe fill the bucket with water once. They can milk if they want. I know my son knows how. I try to make it as easy as possible for who ever does our zoo.

Guess I better get back to accomplishing stuff around here.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Our 4th!

Dh had the 3rd off. Yea! Since he isn't suppose to be on the skid loader for 6 months after his back surgery I get to do that playing. Dh rented a grubber for the skid loader this weekend to attack the over growth of mesquite that we are dealing with.

I started at about 6:30 Friday morning on the skid loader, taking time out to milk I worked until about 11 am. Then worked around here and napped even. About 7 pm I started again and worked until 9:30. Today I wasn't that good. I didn't get started until about 7, and worked to 11 with milking then off and on until about 2. I do not have the energy to go back at attack it again.

This is the skid loader with the grubber attached.

Notice the V shape, you have to catch EACH tree in that V below ground level. Mesquite has a knot a few inches below the surface. You have to cut the root below that or it will grow back.
I'm not even trying to take out big ones, I like my big trees. I do try to take out the ones smaller than my arm.

Each dirt mound you see is at least one and usually several mesquites I uprooted.

Just to give you an idea of what a HUGE job this is. Remember each tree has to be caught in the V and uprooted.

You can see done in the foreground and to do further back.

Dh started framing out the door and window in the educational center (garage). Then after that he started working on the electric drops. Today he worked on cooling his sea container. Ds helped him yesterday with some of these projects off and on. Today he helped him with this sorta major project. When you consider it was over 100 today working in the sea container was HOT before they got the hole cut it was just hot after.
The windows on our house are "almond" colored, he hasn't found one yet so no window. Where as I think window! Who cares what color. It will be nice when done.

The sea container runs North and South. This window is in the north end. Our wind blows from the south, so it should cool the sea container a lot when we are trying to work/organize it. DH has plans of putting an AC in this window later.

This is what I am proud of! Notice the electrical plugs and computers all set up and ready for school Monday.
We still have a LOT of work, and the electric is only run on the North wall, for this stuff. DH needed some things he "forgot" the other day. He also got the overhead lights done. I can't wait to get the windows and doors done. :) Then it will start to feel more like a room.