Monday, April 25, 2011

Life Skills 101 and other ramblings...

Two of my children who were done with school got to do more school.  Life school!  I wanted stakes to hold up my wire off my beds that keep dogs from excavating them and removing all my flowers.   I had them get the stakes and screwdriver and drywall screws.  They knew what I wanted so I backed off and let them try.............and try...........and finally I did one to show them how.
They decided that it was harder then it looked.  
This is what they are making.

 After I took a picture of this I decided to share how my porch is looking.   See all the hanging baskets?  Each one has plants, many flowers and tomatoes. 
 Home for the last 4 tomato plants!  I try to remember to add a few marigolds to help keep tomato worms away.  
 More pictures of life skills.   They are working hard.  I was working hard too.... not helping!
 I don't think I ever shared our new fountain pictures.  Our last one never worked as well as we wanted.  So off we went in search of "ideas".   I found this fountain in town.  I revised it and it worked great.  
What I did was set the new fountain on a big rock inside the water trough that was our old fountain.  I used the pump from the water trough, only pumped the water into the bottom of the new fountain where it would have been if it was freestanding.  Once it filled up it overflowed into the water trough perfect!  The water in the base keeps it from blowing over in our strong winds. 
 I then added a few plants around it just because.   I like the results. 
 Here is our designated play area. It isn't to junky right now as I discovered one child was hogging a large area.  I had them clean all the toys, flatten all the mountains then start over today.  Told them they were erasing their designs and starting fresh.  This will be an every Monday morning thing.  Then I explained to play area hog that if he did it again he wouldn't be playing there, PERIOD! 

Potatoes!  More Potatoes!  At least I hope.  This is my potato bed.  Each time the leaves reach the top of the tire you add a tire and more dirt.  I am amazed at how fast they are growing.  Now I wonder if they are making 'tators or just leaves that I promptly have covered. 

Have you noticed EVERYTHING has wire over it in my yard?   This is the ONLY way I can have a yard!  Right now I even have a piece out in the middle of the yard where dogs/kids decided to dig the other day.   I filled it in added some grass I was pulling up from a flower bed and covered it with a 4x4.  Just to keep it in place I then parked a cart full of dirt on it for a couple of days :)  

Can you see my new table?  Kids are working on the other end of it.  I love it.  I do find the trail is crowded when large white dog sprawls in trail beside picnic table.  But, he can MOVE!

Garden!  About as weeded as you will ever see it.  We are wanting to put chat down which will sit up hard and keep a lot of the weeds out of the walk ways.  It will also look pretty with the white chat between the green plants of the beds.  

That is about all that is happening here.  I am blessed to get to keep grand kids today as son had a long feed trip to make today and since DIL had never been to that part of TX I suggested she grab her camera and go with him.  Maybe she will get pictures of the Marfa lights!  That would be SOOO cool!   If not she will see a totally different type of area of TX. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Feels of Spring..

Yesterday was a day of accomplishment.  We spent the day in the garden and yard doing spring like things.   We tilled the beds in the garden and planted, and planted and then planted some more.  I think this may the the first time we have ever had all the beds planted at one time.  

I may have bought a few to many tomato plants IF they produce.  We will be trying to find ways to use/freeze/can tomatoes.  I have a lot of bite size tomatoes in hanging baskets on the porch.  Then we have 4 beds of 6 each in the garden of larger tomatoes, like Roma, and beefsteak and some other kinds.   I still have about 4 more plants that need homes.  I am thinking a big pot or two on the porch. 

If my summer squash grow well I have decided to make chicken enchiladas out of them.  This is a great way to use a lot of squash that everyone likes.   My DIL even likes it and she isn't a squash person.  Since this is a casserole that freezes well I can make it and share it or use it all winter since I have the freezer space to store it. 

We also did two beds of green beans.  If they grow we will have enough green beans to enjoy.  A bed of cantaloupe and a bed of watermelon mmmmmmm!   Then I transplanted my black berry bushes to a bed there for a new permanent home for them.   Where they were they didn't do well.   I am hoping they will do much better there.   After working most of the day out there we broke for a bit. 

Kids swam and played and played some more in their new "Designated Play Area".  It is an area under trees that I have told them they can make roads, and move dirt.  They love it!  I love it!  No more holes or roads through out the yard.  The grass even loves it!  They have the toy kitchen in this area, and about a zillion cars and trucks of various sizes and quality.   They spend HOURS out there. It is really a place to spark creativity as they build their "towns" and "homes".   It is amazing some of the junk er stuff they have rounded up to make it fun.  

While the kids played I planted some more plants in a flower bed and pulled weeds out of the same bed.  I hate weeding :)  I am down to a small amount of plants that need to be re potted.  

We also worked on the porch.  A friend blessed us with their old 11 ft picnic table as they got a larger one.   I am thrilled!   It takes up a lot of room but at the same time is a great place to eat, or do outside crafts stuff.   That meant I needed/wanted to find a home for our glass topped iron table that was a pass down from DH father.   It has never really been used because of fear of it being broke.   I found someone who is very excited to have a "fancy" patio table.   Face it I am just not into  "fancy"  I am much more thrilled to get a used wooden picnic table that could use a paint job.   I pulled the  glass top table out of where I had it stashed on the porch, moved the last of my lockers I had bought several months ago down there.  Promptly filled it with weed eater stuff, (most of which stayed piled on the glass top table) and am loving the new porch look.  Kids ate two meals on the porch yesterday.  

After a hard day of work I was ready to check out the pool.  As soon as kids went to bed I went to the pool.  Yes the water was coooool  but I have swam when it was MUCH colder getting in.   I so totally enjoyed it!  It had been hazy and cloudy all day.  Just before I went swimming the front moved through and left a sky full of stars to enjoy as I swam.   I tried to talk dh into swimming with me.  He wasn't interested.  So I tried to talk a dog into it.  Dog was willing to lay on the pool deck and watch me.  

May everyone have a blessed Easter an stay focused on Him not on the Easter bunny. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Feels like spring.......

After several days of 100+ temps, smoke so thick it looked like fog, scanner blaring away on the huge Wildcat fire that burned over 150,000 acres, (think from end to end over 25 miles long.)  Today we have a blessed calm day.  It is HUMID, what maybe 25-30%!  Hey after 5-10% humidity driven by 20-40 mph winds it IS humid today.  

I decided to spring up my porch.  Easter is this weekend, cold should be done.    I had carried out all my house plants last week or the week before.  I just had them sitting up next to the house to get use to the heat and wind.   Saturday I bought more plants at Abilene.  They have a nursery I like.  I bought a mix of tomato and pretty flowers.   I decided this year to hang cherry tomato type tomatoes on the porch.  I have several pots of sweet 100s, pear both red and yellow, grape and ???? not sure what else.   I stuck a couple of marigolds in each tomato pot.  I think a few I stuck other pretty plants too.   We will see how it works out.  My porch has a lot of shade.  Or defused sun.  I stuck some in more full sun and some more in "shade".  

I still have a few more plants to find pots/hangers for.  Once I do that then I need to find places to hang on the porch.  It is starting to look like a curtain of plants.   I do have tomato and herbs to find homes for in the garden.  I am again trying a stevia plant for one thing.  I have managed to kill a few of them already over the past few years.  Anyone grow them successfully? 

I have yet to buy peppers.  I can't find the kind I like.  I want New Mexico Green Chili's.  I would like some funky stuff too and some strange peppers.  I did that on the garden tomatoes.  I bought striped and other strange tomatoes just to see what happened.   I hope to get them in the garden this weekend.  Really I hope it is way to wet to plant.  We have a chance of rain for the first time in a long time.  I know it is because of all the people praying for rain to stop the wild fires. 

For those of you on facebook there are some amazing fire pictures there.   The coolest ones I found were on the Texas Forestry Service facebook page.!/media/set/fbx/?set=a.10150225432082176.358816.283145907175  These are of the Ft. Davis fire.  

I also found that the best way to stay updated on the fires was through facebook.  There were several pages that were good.  For the Wildcat fire the Wildcat Fire Page was awesome.  They were great about keeping everyone up to date.  I found the paper and the news media lacking to the point of wondering how they keep viewers.   Once the fire no longer threatened San Angelo the paper seemed to find more pressing news.   I found that sad.  Maybe we need to come up with a Face book news page for our area and post what we hear and share.  It would soon put the paper and other media out of business I think :) 

I added the second tire to my potato rings today.  I am trying growing them in tires and as they grow add a new tire and cover with dirt once the season is done and they start to bloom, just tear down the tires to gather them.   I will let you know if it really works.  

I sold two of my old milk cows last weekend.  A man at the flea market wanted them so we too them and 8 peafowl up there for him.  I was glad to get rid of them.  My DIL was even more glad to get rid of one of the cows.  She never assumed a gate was locked.  If she walked by a gate she checked to see if it was locked.   If it wasn't well she assumed it was unlocked just for her to come in and snack.   Dog food, corn, calf manna..... any and all that she found she ate.   She would also get in the barn worse than any other cow.    My Dh was glad to get rid of a few peafowl.  He seem to not like them as much as I do.   Don't understand :)

I will try to get some pictures of my porch to post some time soon.  I do have a few more plants to add.   I also have some winter clutter that needs to find a new home.  

May everyone have a blessed and safe week.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Yard Work

I really wanted to redo my flower bed.  It is held back with a telephone pole.  I like the rock flower beds I have done so we collected some medium size rocks.  Then motivation happened.  I got in the bobcat and started moving telephone poles.
Daughter in law was documenting the event with my camera.   She did a great job of documenting the fun.  Including the cheering section.
Moving the poles.

See the lizard?  It was under the pole.  I saw it run when I picked it up.  I pointed it out to DIL and she took a picture.

Once poles were moved then we started setting rocks.   We being guys.   They would scoop a rock in the bobcat and get it close and dump it in the ditch left by the telephone pole. 
Learning to work together is tough.   Two boys that do not communicate well setting a rock while older boy sets in bobcat laughing at them, under his breath..  Dad just supervising it all.

More pictures of the cheering section.  
Finished Product!!!  Isn't it pretty?   I like it better than a old telephone pole.

Friday, April 15, 2011

As The World Burns..........

Please keep our part of the world in prayer.  We have a major fire burning.  Major to the tune of close to 50,000 acres and still out of control.   I had the pleasure of taking a pallet of water to the Salvation Cantina.  I had taken my husband his war-bag.  Yes, he is hoping to get on a truck.   :)  He ask me if I 'minded' taking some water.   LOL talk about jumping for joy!  I was more than thrilled!   I have been setting home doing nothing but listening to the scanner and wanting to DO something all day!   I did remember to grab my camera.  Here are a few of the pictures I took.

It is a serious situation!   MANY homes have been evacuated.  To my knowledge they have saved all homes.  

My friend that was MUCH closer (her yard caught on fire from ashes) is spending the night out here.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Grand kids and their play toy.......

Bigger kids were all doing school.  Older grandson was in trouble for tattling and had to come sit in my lap to stay safe.   That caused two others to want my lap.   Instead they settled for rocking on the foot stool  DIL took this picture of us. 
From there it sorta evolved.  I had shown grandson how to "scratch" the dog by driving cars on him.  Both were in heaven.  

 Since I had the camera someone needed his picture taken.   I suggested sitting on the pillow, instead of IN the lens of the camera.
 Back to the picture prop.   Dog was in HEAVEN!  

 Boys decided to put the pillow under his head.  

 Chair maybe?   Seemed to work well.
 If one could do it then the other had to follow!  
Dog finally got up when I went outside and all the little munchkins were hot on my heels.  Until then he just thought they were petting him.  

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fire Pictures from a LONG ways off...........

As many of you know large portions of Texas are on fire.   From where I am earlier today I could see smoke from two fires.  One is a big one.  As a crow flies it is 50 or so miles from me.  It is much closer to some friends who posted pictures on her blog here:

Then tonight I was working on the bobcat grubbing mesquite and had to stop and take these pictures of the same fire.   I haven't heard any updates on it, but judging from the smoke it isn't contained yet.  Prayer for those in harms way would be appreciated.  

They are beautiful sunsets!  Wish it was rain clouds instead of smoke.  If you want to check out the fires nation wide check this out.  Once you click on this then click the radar and weather stations un-clicking them.  Clicking the fire box.   Zoom out as far as you want.  This will show the fires that are showing on satellites.   It is a sobering look at how many fires there are in the US right now.  

This and That in Pictures............

Last week I made bread dough and turn T loose with it.  She came up with snails among other creative er decorative designs.

 Tetherball lessons for the younger crowd?   T was "instructing" them. 

 Today I started moving my plants outside.  Over all they wintered the winter inside well.  We have a couple of cool days ahead so I thought maybe it would be a good day to start getting them use to the heat and WIND. 
The ones above have really overgrown this winter.  I managed to get most of the coleus out without breaking to many limbs.

 This is my main jungle.  It has one plant that DH will have to help me.  My bougainvillea is HUGE about 6 ft tall and has a trellis supporting it.  I moved it in trellis and all. I am hoping I can move it out the same way.   I can't decide if I should trim it back or not.  Right now it is in full bloom. 

I need to add some blooming plants to my porch.  I have two begonias that should be blooming again after the shock.  They are blooming now.  I have a geranium that isn't blooming. It needed more light.  I have it in full sun now so it should be happy.   My porch is so shady most of the summer days it is hard to find plants that are low light hanging baskets.  For the most part they have to be hanging baskets.  Peafowl like flowers along with cats like planters for beds.  I like rose moss but not sure if I have a sunny enough hanging spot.

This weekend is flea market. There is also my favorite nursery up there.  I will do some serious plant shopping for stuff like tomatoes and peppers along with some flowers.  I am thinking about doing cherry tomatoes or those sweet 100s in hanging baskets on the porch.   They may produce better there as it will be cooler.  

Back to life around here!  Everyone be blessed!