Friday, March 28, 2014


I went to Boggy Creek Farms this morning to get some inspiration and satisfy my sensory cravings for the smells and sights of a farm. They just started to get strawberries (limit 1 pint per customer!) so I bought some for the boys. I stocked up on gorgeous Romaine lettuce, spinach and multi-colored carrots as well as sugar snap peas, and got some chevre from WaterOak farms. The fresh eggs looked gorgeous (including a couple of mint green Americauna eggs), but I controlled myself (since I already had a dozen from Vital farms)..

When I got home I opened the fridge and faced the other veggies I'd gotten earlier in the week (and ignored every evening, eating pizza at soccer practice and having dinner at my mother's house instead). I am far more likely to cook foods that are already prepped, so I cleared counter space and spent the next hour or two cleaning, chopping and prepping the veggies above as well as kale, broccoli, potatoes, grapefruit and celery. Then I cooked up a mess of
 treats to leave for Carl and the boys for when I went to work...

Spinach, romaine salad with Ruby red grapefruit, carrots and chevre.. Surprisingly still in the fridge when I got home! I get to eat it tomorrow which makes me happy enough.

Beef and mushroom stew, with kale snuck in as well as a couple of errant tomatoes and more carrots. This was in the middle of the cooking, it simmered down further thru the day..

Kale chips (half a bunch of kale cooks down to nothing!). I ate it all before dinner since none of the boys like them.

They might not have eaten the salad, but the blueberry muffins were a hit apparently..

As for the garden and chickens, all seems well. I have a blue iris blooming up front and daffodils in the back, and Ruby and Red are hanging in there, cold and all.

Nature is more impressive- the bluebonnets are out in force, and I need to get out to the Wildflower Center (or the Hill Country) in the next few weeks to enjoy them!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A day off is a beautiful thing..

Misty in the morning. Warmed up later. Everything is greening up all of a sudden..

Redbud and elm tree in the front yard.

Flowers in the yard include a strawberry from last year that somehow made it thru the drought..

Below it is a fat pumpkin from the compost I used in the bed.. guess it wasn't quite ready for the garden.

I have an arugula salad waiting for me soon, must remember to eat it before it gets warm

The wisteria is flowering, which is beautiful..

The borage is getting ready....

I bought a blueberry plant since Alex asked me for one this morning. It is a ridiculous plant to grow (even in a pot as pictured), since it needs acidic soil and lots of water. I'll try to keep it going, but am aware it is a folly..

On the other hand, these poppy volunteers stranded in the arid crushed granite driveway astound me with their stubborn hardiness. Tiny as they are they still put out flowers which are beautiful in their miniscule way..

As for my "cheap and quick" projects, here is how the air conditioner screen looks..

Noah's school birdhouse..

And the broken birdfeeder filled with yarn scraps for the birds (half gone since I put it put two weeks ago!)

The chickens are convalescing with humidified.. something or other shared with us my a friend with more chicken experience. They have a cold, which might be nothing, or could be the end of them..  The smaller one had her worst day yesterday and was eating and fiestier today. The older one was sickest today..  So glad my human and feline children are thriving and well..

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Do you use your backyard?

I vacillate between wanting the back sleek and uncluttered and wanting the kids to use it to their heart's content. While we can walk to Stacy Park together and they can roam the (sometimes littered sometimes creepy) creek there, they don't really have a "wild" spot near home they can explore without an adult except the back yard. Since our house was built in 1950, there not much wilderness left in the yard. I try to attract bees/butterflies/beneficial insects, and the local cardinals, doves and other birds like the bird feeder. But I've found myself having to build/create activity spaces for the kids.. The sandbox is shown above, usually covered by a bright oilcloth to keep it from turning into a litterbox. It was a hit with Noah the last few days as we buried treasure (hardware and glitter bracelets) again and again. I'd like to enlist his help in making a water run with old bottles, or hanging the scrap metal he and his brother pick up on walks to make a music area.. but that would create clutter, so I am conflicted..

The boys have enjoyed balancing on logs we "rescued" from Johnny's yard last fall (after he sold the house next door and the construction people cleared some trees). Unfortunately they've also enjoyed climbing the mountain laurel, which is still too spindly for their weight. It lost a small branch or two over the weekend.  We only have two climbable trees, really- the front yard Red oak and the hackberry in the back. The sycamore is far too immense, and all the other peripheral trees are tiny and thin, or have straight featureless trunks.

Alex has surprised me by wanting to play baseball in the back recently. I used to worry he couldn't throw (he can now). Catching is still a work in progress. 

That will be me for a few hours this week and I get gaps and breaks in my work schedule. Lolling, sniffing the dirt, arranging some rocks...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Windy, grey and cool...

The damp in the air reminded me that it was only March this morning. I changed out of capris back into long comfy jeans and spent the morning at the grocery store instead of pulling weeds. It warmed up a touch by the time I got back, and Carl and the kids played out back for a while. The chickens got to wander freely for the last two days, but surprised me by spending half the day in their chicken tractor by choice. Funny birds.. They've become pretty tame, and when some family friends came over, they let the youngest daughter mother them incessantly all afternoon.

I finally got around to planting the remaining mexican feathergrass and silver ponyfoot this afternoon, then spread some Native American Seed buffalo grass seeds along the paver pathway in the back. I raked them in as best I could, but it may be patchy, especially since I'm not sure exactly how much sun the area will get. Que sera, sera. If the weeds can try to pop up, some of the buffalo grass should make it!