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

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Damaged Meadow Update

Many of you have asked about how the situation over the damaged land
that I once called " my meadow" has been .......
I posted about this January 31st of this year (see link for the whole story)
 For the first few months........I got upset every time I went to look at the land.....
so I have not posted about it
It has been months of different occurring issues 
that has stalled the final negotiations and settlement 


but the company that has caused the damaged has stepped up
and patiently worked on resolving and repairing......as best they can. 
At last......the land is healing itself.

The company sowed the natural grass seeds early on.....
we had a lot of rain.........
but nothing sprouted.........
however.....a large patch of sunflowers found their way onto  
this barren land

who can complain about sunflowers?


if you look closer to the ground.......there are still bare
and barren places and traces of tire tracks.......

the company also placed a sturdy and long fence all the 
way down on our property.....
to prevent any more treading upon the grounds
and there is that one lone tree.....with a few more small ones around
I have hopes that this mesquite tree will grow and stand out on this land
as time goes by. I have been gathering all kinds of the wild flower seeds 
here on the grounds......and in late fall....I will scatter them ......
here.......reclaiming........
my meadow

looking out across from our land, the farmer's fields 
are tall and green in cotton

The issues have now been resolved......the negotiations agreed upon
and  once again........I take long walks with Sophie......and Homer
and I can resume  my usual cheery, butterflies floating.......
flowers blooming.......wild critters drinking..... posting...........
also.......you have asked about my spider bite..........
it is healing..........still slightly painful........
but healing.
Thank you , dear readers.........for always asking.......and 
always caring.
Here's wishing well for all of you
wherever your " meadows" lie

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I cant wait to rush outside

in the late afternoon
to see what the sky .........is wearing........for her night out.
Tonight.......her moon was a large pearl.........in a wrap of blue and pink

and her dress was lit in colors of pink, peach, purple, and light tones of gold

with a sway of  red and firey, wild hair

All of this............in one late afternoon.......
as quickly as she gave me this fashion show,
 she let it fade........... all away.........I turned around 

and saw her " goodnight" message.
Here's wishing you wonderful afternoon.........night 
as well!


Friday, August 12, 2016

I am recovering from a spider bite-----

a brown recluse spider bite...........
it has been painful.........but I am doing well
My best advice to you dear readers...........go to the doctor
the minute you have been bitten.
I was told this as well...........but I waited a few days to see 
if it would clear up on it's on...........then I really had to go to the doctor.
But I still love nature..........and all of the creatures that she consists of
and all of the elements of nature.
On long walks with Sophie, I often pick up pretty rocks. Some I toss into my 
gardens.......some I keep for projects like this.
I titled this piece.........."Moonlight Serenade"
One late afternoon.........a lone coyote was howling very loudly......

this inspired me to create a coyote/wolf sitting on a ledge

howling at the moon

I am always amazed at how beautiful rocks are. 
They are so worthy to be looked at and appreciated.
Do you collect rocks?.............shells?........buttons?
I would love to hear



Monday, August 1, 2016

Although it is not October........my small pumpkins are ready for harvesting

As I mentioned in earlier posts, I grow pumpkins for decorative purposes........
those pumpkins are still on the vine..........
but I also planted these " little Jacks" solely for baking.
I sprouted them in early spring in the greenhouse and planted them ahead of the usual pumpkin planting time.  
Now I have plenty to use for baking

In the past I have usually cooked my pumpkins in a pot of boiling water.....
but this year I wanted to try baking them in the oven..........
I am so glad I did. I am going to use this method from now on. 
If you would like to try fresh pumpkin ..................this is an easy way to prepare it for baking. 
Clean the outside of the pumpkins well.....making sure that all dirt is gone.
Then slice them down the middle........then remove all strings/pulp and seeds ......set aside......
don't throw away the seeds.........they are good for toasting or for next year's planting

Preheat oven to 350.F
Place aluminum foil over a baking sheet that is at least 1 inch deep.  This prevents the juice from the pumpkins from spilling out of the pan.  Place the pumpkins, cut side down onto the foil. 
**I rub a little vegetable oil on the inside cut of pumpkin halves so that they do not stick to the foil**


Place pumpkins into oven and bake about 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours or until the pumpkin can be easily pierced with a a fork.
When done,  remove the pumpkins from oven and let cool slightly. 

Taking care not to burn yourself, peel the pumpkin skin away or use a knife or spoon to scoop pumpkin meat off of the skin.


Mash with potato masher or food processor until the pumpkin is pureed and smooth
Now it is ready for all of your "pumpkin" recipes.
You can also place processed pumpkin into freezer bags to store in freezer for later  use.


If you go to my cooking blog....
there is a wonderful pumpkin bread recipe using fresh pumpkin.
The pumpkin bread is so moist and delicious.

Now.............back to the seeds.  
Remove the pulp/strings from the seeds. Place seeds in a colander and rinse with cold water ......making sure to remove any remaining pulp. 

If  you wish to save the seeds for future planting........
Instructions often say to lay the pumpkin seed on paper towels until they dry.......
however, I do not like paper towels for this because the towels often stick to the seeds and is hard to remove afterwards.
Instead, I use cut a large square of clean cheese cloth........long enough to go over  and under a baking sheet.......and I tie the ends together on the back of the baking sheet to make the cheesecloth tight.
I then spread the seeds onto the cheese cloth for drying. 
After they have dried overnight..........I place them in a paper envelope where they will stay cool and dry until next planting season. 

If you want to eat the seeds
clean and rinse them as stated above and place them in a bowl 
and click onto my cooking blog for a simple and great recipe to toast the seeds.
Do you prefer fresh pumpkin over buying canned pumpkin?
I would love to hear!

Friday, July 29, 2016

It was a very hot and dry day.........the late afternoon was a good time

for me to drain and clean our pond. Cleaning the pond is not my favorite thing to do, but it 
is necessary every 3 to 4 weeks to keep the fish happy and healthy.  
As the pond water drained and spilled out onto the ground...........
I only stepped away for a few moments and when I returned.......
this young bobcat was standing in the drained water

I quietly moved from tree to tree to get closer so that it would not notice me

it kept looking in my direction, but soon the water would draw it's attention away from me

it even got comfortable enough to sit and relax for a few moments

For me........it was the most amazing few moments......ever

It then realized that I was not part of the natural scene

and it hurried on it's way........back into the hot and dry mesquite woods.
Visiting the pond gave it a little relief from the day's extreme heat......
cleaning the pond gave me a wonderful ending of another day in the wild.


Monday, July 25, 2016

An archway made of bent metal rods and wire

sits in the middle of our circle driveway.........constructed and placed there by my husband
when we first moved out to our country home. Cactus and wild grass has grown under it and all around it...........although one year I tried to raise grapes to grow up the arbor......
but something ate them down. 

For years it has just stayed wild and un manicured until recently.......I have begun to clear the cactus and grass 

and I have been making cement path stones 

and decorating them with the natural elements

that is available all around me. 

Slowly.......very slowly.............cement work is very time consuming ..........I am making a good size 
path/floor for the floor under the archway.

I am also making cement pumpkins.........because I love pumpkins.....

and their cement leaves


and I have placed a row of them along one side of the archway.

Slowly, day by day, week by week......the ground floor is filling in

I gather colorful rocks to place between the cement  stones

and I am filling in the side places with the smooth egg shaped stones

and Homer is trying to fill a space.......

The plastic sheeting along the sides look terrible I know, but it is protecting the plants I have planted in long wood boxes from the harsh wind and heat that blows strong in this area

I wanted a plant that would climb and make shade for the archway ......
so I planted Loofah sponge plant.

It has leaves much like a grape or pumpkin and grows the long thick loofah sponge that one can find in beauty baskets.  
I also have a trumpet vine..........it got chewed down by a varmint........
however, I kept watering it and surrounded it with chicken wire and now it is growing back.  

I also have a cactus garden  on the pathway up to the archway
I find these lovely round cactus( Copiapoa echinoides) growing all over the wooded grounds and I  dig up a few to place in the garden or in pots like this large beauty. 



I am also making cement quail.........I hope to have a long string of them going throughout the garden

With the exception of the plastic sheeting........the archway is beginning to look
pretty.....or at least that is what I am hoping for. 
After the harsh summer days have died down, I can remove the plastic and hopefully the vines will be filled out and over the archway.
I think however, if the trumpet vine recovers completely that next year 
it will be cascading over the archway with no loofah sponge. 
So tell me.........do you have an area in your garden or grounds that you are working on ?
What kind of plants do you like best for climbing?
I would love to hear