"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Whether I like or not........... new visitosr have come to the farm

First this very sweet cat.  He was sitting on the back porch early one morning..........
I made the mistake of asking him if he was hungry..........he was.
I posted his picture on Facebook, 
no one has accepted him as their friend........as of yet.
I have named him..........Hobo

The next day, this young bird got trapped into our chimney and the next morning, it finally came out of the fireplace........tired and weak. I let it go outside.......and it flew away.

The next day after that,  a swarm of gigantic flying ants covered the whole grounds. This is their mating season. They have done this a few years ago and I do not like them being here. You cannot walk because they are all over the grounds. Thankfully in a couple of days, they left.
The cat........has not left
. He rolls all over the porch and makes it hard for me to resist rubbing his belly.......which he loves.  Although I don't really want another cat.......
the large rats that will not leave my car alone.......have suddenly disappeared and are no longer on my engine when I open the hood. 
My flowers have stopped being nibbled down...........
He follows right along side of Sophie and I on our walks.......
so incredibly sweet
He has proven himself to be a worthy " farm cat"
so..........I guess.........
 he will stay.

My greenhouse and my greenhouse gardens are looking pretty this time of year.

It's always full of rose moss, blooming in brilliant color

and budding in every container.

I love pincushion cactus and I have had this one for many years.

My Chrysanthemums are beautiful this year

and the roses are constantly blooming.
I had planted a large garden of zinnia, as you know, my favorite flower,
but we have had an explosion of rabbits this year. '
They mowed all of my sprouted Zinnia down.

Little Taboo is growing larger.......well........longer each day. He enjoys sitting with me during my stitching hours........sorting my thread.

Sophie.........sweet as always has welcomed all the cats into her domain.
As long as she is the only dog........she is happy.

I have a vintage recipe on my cooking blog by Ann Pillsbury 1950.
Just click onto link to visit

So tell me..........what visitors have you had lately??

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Narcissus is a flower I have not yet tried to grow

but I hope to do so by planting the bulbs during the fall.......
maybe October.
Narcissus are daffodils.......which I have grown......
but I really want to try the white ones this year.
Narcissus are hardy and easy to grow. They like full or half day sun but do just as well in shady spots. 

In the middle of a project I am embroidering,  one of the flowers is
the Narcissus
I love to embroider flowers and insects, because the world of nature is full of amazing color.

For the folklore of this flower..........
Greek mythology tells us how narcissus plants came to be.
Echo was a mountain nymph who fell madly in love with a beautiful young man, Narcissus.
Narcissus was a vain youth and cared for nothing but his own beauty. He spent all his time looking at his own reflection in a pool of water and spurned Echo's love until she finally faded away, leaving nothing but her voice. The gods, angry with Narcissus because of his vanity, changed him into a flower who was destined always to sit by a pool nodding at his own reflection.
Similar versions of this myth occur in Rome, Arabia, Egypt, Spain, and Portugal.
For medicinal purposes........
Though Narcissus bulbs are poisonous, they have been used medicinally for centuries. A doctor named Galen was a surgeon at the school of gladiators in Rome. His favorite salve to "glue great wounds, cuts, and gashes" was the juice from the Narcissus bulbs. 
The bulbs are said to have been a standard bit of medication in the first-aid bags of Roman soldiers. European peasants would mix the juice with honey and apply it to cuts or swollen joints.  
The word Narcissus is from the Greek word narkeo, meaning "to be stupified," and this alludes to the poisonous properties of the plant.
The bulbs contain lycorcine which paralyzes the heart and numbs the nervous system. Scientists are testing chemicals from Narcissus bulbs as a possible treatment fro multiple sclerosis.

Narcissus is the Chinese symbol of good fortune and the emblem of winter. In Japan, it is the symbol of mirth and joyousness and emblem of formality. 
The love of Narcissus is ancient. 
Mohammed is said to have said, "Let him who hath two loaves sell one, and buy the flower of Narcissus: for bread is but food for the body, whereas Narcissus is food for the soul."

*** The folklore of this flower is from the book: 
Garden Flower Folklore by Laura C. Martin"

Monday, June 29, 2015

From The Best Banana Bread..........To The Best Banana Peel Plant Fertilizer

It's almost the July 4th holiday.......a time for the gathering of family, friends
and the table full of wonderful foods.  Especially banana pudding and banana bread.
This is one of my most requested desserts and recipes You can find it here at this link to my cooking blog   Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread with Orange Pecan Topping
But what do you do with all of those banana peels and eggs shells??
Don't throw them away! 
They are full of wonderful things to make your garden blossom in brilliant colors.
Banana Peels contain
Potassium (Contains 42% when dried)
All the things that make your plants happy and healthy! 
By adding a few egg shells and Epsom Salt .......
you can make a cheap and chemical free fertilizer spray.
Here is the recipe:
Banana Peel Plant Fertilizer Spray
Spray Bottle
4 Banana Peels
1 tablespoon Epsom Salt
3 Egg Shells
Lay banana peels and egg shells on a tray and place them in a place where they will dry out completely.
After they are completely dry, place shells and peels into blender and pulse until they are a fine powder.
Add the shell/peel powder and the Epsom salts to a large spray bottle.
Add water to the bottle and stir or shake the contents until all is dissolved and mixed well.
because this is a fertilizer spray,  don't use too much at one time or you could burn your plants.
Do not spray directly onto plants that are in full sunlight, spray into the soil around the plants.
As in all things, test carefully with each different plant to adjust to each individual need.

I found this recipe a little while back and so far my plants have been happy with it.
Best of all it is non toxic to the environment..

Friday, June 19, 2015

Stepping out into the early morning , with Sophie at my side,

the sound of chattering came once again from the back property.
where, underneath the old retired RV sits, a mother raccoon has died,
leaving behind her babies. 

 A couple of days before I had found this little fellow and spent a good bit of time trying to locate a wildlife rehabilitator.  One person told me to just let it loose in the woods............
it is such a tiny baby.......and look at those eyes...........how could I do that?

Instead, I placed him in a carrier and finally found a veterinarians office about 80 miles away who takes in all kinds of orphaned animals......including raccoons.
The first day one of the assistants me me half way and picked this small fellow up

but this morning, the office was short handed and we opted to drive these two to the shelter. 
They had gone days without being fed
and were so desperate for a feeding that they chattered and sucked on my fingers , as they rode in my lap all the way to their new home. I can understand why people want to keep these little critters as pets. They are so lovable. But it takes 12 weeks of 4 hour around the clock feedings and a year of learning from their mother before they are ready to be on their own. .
It takes a rehabilitator  this much time to get them prepared for the wild.
  But I feel so lucky to have been able to hold and cuddle such wild creatures. 

Another strange visitor that is not supposed to even live here was this squirrel. He showed up a few days ago and I hope predators do not get him. 

The animal shelter that took in the baby coons had an amazing array of different animals.
All who had been abandoned by previous owners/
There were camels

a lonesome looking monkey

very friendly doves

a beautiful white turkey

and lots of horses........
this one I would have loved to take home!
There were also large lizards, crocodiles and snakes. 

Meanwhile, inside.......baby Taboo is growing......
and longs to be able to go outside........
but for now........it is way too wild for such a small kitty.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The rains have gone and the grounds are now ready

for tilling and the introduction of new plants. 
This year, I decided to go "frugal" and I also want to experiment ......
by planting several varieties of flower seed rather than spending
$$ on nursery plants.

So far, every thing has started to sprout and I can't wait to plant them in my gardens.

The flower beds around the house and on the grounds  are full of color
from the Larkspur I planted last fall.

The vibrant and soft colors mix together and can be seen from a distance

and do so well at filling a large bed.

They are blooming everywhere. 
Some of the trees along the grounds are also showing off their colors. 

I really love container gardening and this year these Snap Dragons are vibrant.
I  purchased these last spring as a 6 pack set from a nursery. They grew and bloomed through last summer and spent this past winter in the greenhouse. And this year they are even more pretty.

Moss Rose is always plentiful here

And once again...........Mother Nature has surprised me with this wonderful flower growing wild on the grounds. 

Research let me find out that it is a Basket Flower. It is very tall......
about 3 feet high and the flowers are large and soft. 

Also growing on the grounds is what is called a Wild Orchid

and who can resist a large Dandelion? 

To go with all of Mother Nature's  blossoms .....
are her whimsical creatures........

who capture my attention and then get placed out into the prairie .........
away from my flowers. 

In the late afternoon sunset,
 the peacefulness envelopes the woods, the prairie meadow, and the grounds of the house..........
and I sit still ..........observing it all........
.in solitude and quiet............
and in awe.

By this time I am hoping to find that mud and muck have left your grounds  and hopefully blue skies and flowers blooming. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

It has been a worrisome time in Texas

when rain has been prayed for , longed for, and so appreciated,........... 
it has now turned into a hope and a prayer for the rains to stop. 
Memorial Day morning a severe rain storm thundered its way into our area. The lightening danced all over the grounds Although we got buckets of rain,  our property did not get flooded like so many in central and south Texas, but our roads can't handle heavy unending rain.  My son was heading home from work and like so many times never worries about going through a patch of water........until that morning. Before he knew it, his car died and water surrounded him. I am on the phone with him during this and as he gets out of his car for safety, he falls into the water and all I can hear on the phone is wind and garbled noise...........I was so frightened as I yelled to him over the phone with no response. My husband was (thankfully) home that day so he heads out to find our son.  Which he did.  And they both returned home safely. Later that afternoon, we drove down to see if we could "fish" the car out and all of the water had drained, leaving the car in a mushy swamp ditch. 
Have you ever seen the show Michael.......when all 3 journalists are sitting by the side of a road with a flat tire?.......if you have, you will know what I am talking about. 
Here we 3 are, my husband, my son, and myself..........without a soul in sight........looking at this sunken car............
when out of nowhere..........a man in a jeep pulls up and says " need a hand? I have a wench!"  
And in 5 minutes, he had my son's car out onto the road. LOL
Even better............the car started.............blowing debris, water, and mud from the tail pipe and my son drove it home ........as it poured out water all of the way.
He has been driving back and forth to work in it since.............one tough car........one lucky guy!

The next day , as I sat waiting for my husband to fuel up his never ending hungry truck,
I watched a gigantic storm brewing.............

movement caught my attention to see this very elderly woman walk up and sit right down in the dirt by the busy street...............taking off her jacket
........my heart saddened at watching her ........I wondered........

what storms must be brewing in her life...........where is her door to hang a wreath on? 
I turned at a noise behind me...........seeing loud happy teens in a hurry........
when I looked back at where she was.........
she was gone.  I scanned up and down the street and could not spot her.
That night, I thought about her and said a little prayer for God to walk beside her........
wherever she may be.  

Although I have not tilled the gardens due to soggy soil..........
the wildflowers are still blooming, the paradise tree is brilliant in color

and the flower beds are full of colorful Larkspur that I planted last early fall. 

And then there is .......Taboo 
who is growing more and more every day and becoming more dear to my heart each moment. 
How about you?
Are you facing severe weather and storms in your area?
or are you facing even bigger storms in your life?
I hope this finds you..........wherever you are........
in peace and safe.