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

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Build muscle...........with cactus!!

if not muscle.........I promise your arms will be very sore if you use the
method I am using!
The house sits on 13 acres of wild , untouched prairie land.
Among the wild flowers, grasses, and crooked mesquite trees I love so well.........
is cactus.  Cactus is pretty.......in it's own way,
it blooms and attracts bees

and adds color and beauty to the prairie.

However, if left un-controlled, it is very invasive and takes
over and destroys natural prairie land. It harbors large numbers of rats and mice,
which attracts large rattlesnakes. 

And the cactus plant can grow 6 ft high and several feet around. 
We at first did not have a cactus problem , but when the wind blows, the cactus
seed scatters and takes roots. So for the past few months, I have been whacking down 
and picking up with a large fork this never ending cactus. 


Where does the muscle building come into??  After whacking the large paddles off,
they are full of water and very heavy. I use a heavy pickaxe to knock the cactus down,
which wears out my arms, 

then I load it all with the big pitch fork into a wheel barrel.....
"instant sore arms and one day muscles. "

The wheel barrel is very heavy to push and I carry all of this cactus
to the very edge of our property .......where the dirt from the cotton 
fields blow.  Cactus will not burn, and where ever it is left, it will resprout and 
take over that area. So I decided that since I have no other way to dispose of it.....
I would make a natural fence on our back property line.  It will be beautiful in bloom, will feed the bees, and hopefully will be easier to control .......no more cactus problems for me!

I am not destroying all of the cactus here on the grounds.........as I say, 
it does have it's place and it is pretty..........this is that large plant
I showed in the fourth and fifth  photo............after I whacked and pruned it .......a bit


It had a heart shaped paddle, which made me smile........
I hope this will stay and it will bloom.

The days here have been so pretty and fair........my daffodils have
awakened and are sprouting . I cant wait to see them bloom!
So tell me all..........what invasive plant do you have to deal 
with in your back yard? I would love to hear!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The morning begins


with a large, orange, ball lifting above a fog covered field

and a tiny.........but loud crow from a very small rooster..........Tex

joined by another tiny crow from ........Gus


 each ........making a morning wonderful with their ruckus 

meanwhile in the front yard tree........ the tap, tap, tap, of the small desert woodpecker can be heard

along with the chirps 

and morning songs of other wild birds who have come to eat.



 
This is the time of year that the Italian Jasmine has awoken

and is showing it's vibrant cheery flowers

The quiet country road leading to our home has the golden prairie grass swaying in the wind

it is golden and soft .........almost like angel hair......yet I can hear the rustle in it's blades
and much later...............
another large, pale yellow, ball rises


over the same field that was once covered in fog in the early morning..........
but announces the ending of the day.
And now...........
 quiet peacefulness falls upon the grounds.....




Friday, January 13, 2017

A little while back.......in July.........

I posted about this area where there is an archway.......
in a wonderful part of the grounds........
but very over grown

I spent a good part of last summer clearing the ground

and making decorative cement path stones

to create a floor for this space.  

Now the space if finished.......I also added a bench and a couple of chairs.........
great for a gathering to chat and to sip coffee. 

The floor is a mix match of cement path stones that I  decorated with rocks and pine cones gathered here on the grounds and a few decorative glass stones given to me by a friend. 
As fun as the path stones were to make.........they took a long time and a lot of work........and a lot of cement to make enough. 

I made several cement pumpkins......and used real pumpkin leaves from my patch as molds for the
large cement leaves in the photo above.

I also pressed real leaves into some of the cement stones.

I made a cement watering dish to encourage birds, lizards and any  wild creature to stop for  a drink

Since the  path stones are all different shapes.........there are gaps between them.......
which I filled with various rocks I picked up here and there on the grounds. 


It is a wonderful place with a wonderful view

and I often have company when I come to sit out in the early morning.....
where there is Sophie........there is usually always Homer. 


It is also a  wonderful place in the very late afternoon........


right before it gets dark and the moon is on the rise

Homer says it all in this photo doesn't he?  

How about you?  Do you have a special place in your garden......or porch.....
where  you like to spend the quiet of the day?
I would love to hear!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

If you have been reading my blog for the past few years...........

you all pretty much know........Sophie by now.  She is my sweetest constant companion.  A little while back, Debra of Monnie Bean Folk Art blog asked me if she might copy this photo of Sophie so that she could later on paint it.  Which was fine with me.......

in the mail .........arrived this sweet little painting.........of Sophie! Didn't Debra catch her personality perfectly? Now this painting is hanging by the fireplace where we can always enjoy looking at it.
So first of all Debra, thank  you..........what a wonderful painting!
Next, I would like to tell you all .........Debra not only paints, she also makes sculptures, dolls, and wonderful folk art.  She tells me that with this painting of Sophie, she is launching a whole area to her painting..................painting portraits of people's pets!
You can visit Debra's blog at this link
and you can view more of her work at her Etsy shop
at this link
Please stop by to tell her hello!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Winter Season Is Here!

Of winter’s lifeless world each tree
Now seems a perfect part;
Yet each one holds summer’s secret
Deep down within its heart.
Charles G. Stater

Monday, December 19, 2016

With this year quickly coming to an end

I find myself filled with  " hope" of what I can accomplish
in the new coming year. I always use the previous year as
a reference to what I did right..........or not so right.....
in just about every area of my life...........
especially when it comes to gardening and raising flowers.......or............
trying to tame a wild and ever growing area.
Some things I have learned to grow in the most uncommon places........
this large bed of zinnia flourished underneath and alongside
the crooked and bent mesquite trees that take over this land

Other areas I have cleared and enjoyed.......but am 
always struggling in just a few weeks to clear it all again........
it is very persistent in staying wild and un-manicured......
yet, I wear myself out trying to keep it the way I want
this area is a little into the mesquite woods........if it is clear where I can see where I am walking, 
I love to come out to this spot to just sit for a while

When we first moved out here so many years ago..........I was over joyed
with all of the acreage that I was going to cast flower seed on and let grow..........
I have learned that many things here.......although the ground is good for growing.......
fall victim to predators that dig up roots and eat the plants.......
and get destroyed by every kind of bug and flying insect there is........or get blown away by the wind
I have learned to make raised beds

blocked off from the wind.............and  I invest a small fortune for a lot of wire and fencing to 
keep these pests out. 

Some bulbs like daffodils, I can plant into the ground
and they come up each spring.......but other bulbs,
such as tulips, anemones, and freesias .........
I plant in raised beds or containers.
This fall I have planted over a 100 bulbs of the above mentioned
some in my flowerbed in front of my greenhouse

some in deep pots in an arrangement on the patio.
I am hoping that they all sprout and bloom at the same time......
but am pretty sure that they will sprout in their own separate time. 

My biggest project I am working for this coming spring........
is my new flower garden.  If you see the arrow in the photo........
that is where the antique archway was setting...........I placed it out there a couple of years ago.
But the lesson I learned.......I could not enjoy seeing it unless I was way out there.
Now I have dragged it up to a corner in the back yard (in the middle of the photo) where I can see it and walk through it
as I work in the country flower garden I am planning for it.
My Christmas present from my husband this year is a roll of antique fencing and the posts to place it 
around this new garden site.  I am still thinking on what kind of flowers to grow and where they will be placed.

 One more thing I am starting to work on.......are handmade items for my home.........
for every room.........but that is another story on my embroidery blog
if you would like to read it.......click onto this link

So tell me..........what have you learned in the years past???
What are your plans for the new year??


Thursday, December 8, 2016

The weather .........these past few days......seems that it cant make up it's mind


it blew hard winds

making homes disappear in the dirt from the cotton fields. 

On the same night..........the wind, itself disappeared ........
leaving a cold and crisp night to enjoy the Christmas lights in a 
neighboring city.

The next day was calm, sunny, but chilly........
with birds sunning on the iron horse fence poles
slightly puffed in the slight breeze..........


and the few lingering butterflies finding a sunny spot to rest

even Sophie was panting from the heat after one of our walks
and she and Homer found a warm spot to take a nap........


this morning we awoke to the season's first light snow..........
leaving the woods quiet .....as the birds huddled in shelter from the brisk cold

Taboo could not resist the comforting warmth of the fire as it crackled 

and the glow of a candle made the coffee table a perfect place for rest.
So........tell me.........are you under a blanket of snow...........
or are you still enjoying sunny days?
I would love to hear!