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

Monday, April 22, 2019

There are so many different wildflowers and native plants blooming here on the grounds

that if I show you all of the photos.....in one post....it would be a very lengthy post.
So I will share just a couple of lovely native shrubs, that often
at a glance, people  do not know that they bloom........or even exist.
There is so much natural landscape disappearing due to
the "oil bust" here in Texas. So many beautiful plants
are being destroyed........so many meadows and prairies are
being dozed over.......all of it lost, forever.  Look closely at the shrubs
beside the cactus in the above photo.  When the sun shines just right,
this plant has the loveliest lavender color..............

because it is blooming the prettiest ,purple, lavender ,and yellow, flowers
that have a "feathery" look.
That is why they are called
Feather Dalea 
(Dalea formosa)

It is a shrub that grows 2 to 3 feet high. 
It blooms in April, is deciduous, and grows in full Texas sun.
And it has a light flowery scent, which Sophie approves of.

Across the prairie grounds here, it springs up and is so pretty to see! 

Next, I have posted on this plant before........and a few months back, it
had tan color berries.........now that spring has come......
the berries have turned red.
This is the Joint Fir
(Ephedra antisyphilitica)

It grows about a 3 foot high shrub, is an evergreen ,and 
likes partial shade.
The deer love to eat this, and I love creating gardens around this.

At this time, the woods are filled with color from this
shrub that grows everywhere. 

It is such a beautiful and peaceful time .....here on the prairie
and I am hoping that this finds you under a blanket of natural beauty 
instead of snow!

I stood in the Maytime meadows
By roses circled round,
Where many a fragile blossom
Was bright upon the ground...
Volkslied (German folk song)

Friday, April 12, 2019

In between the weeding, planting, and gathering eggs............

I have a wonderful Easter salad/dessert recipe for you!
Easter is almost here and this is a time that I start trying different recipes;
especially for desserts and salads that I want to make for the holiday. 

Now that our children are grown and scattered, we do not have the
usual celebration that we did when they were small...........
how much I miss those sweet times!
However, I still make some kind of "special" dinner 
for this holiday time.  
I just made this wonderful fruit salad/dessert in the 
above photo, and it is so creamy and delicious, that I will fix it for
our Easter table this year.
It can also be made in a "sugar free" version if you wish.
Here is the link to my cooking blog and for the easy recipe
So tell me.........what are some of your favorite
Easter foods?
I would love to hear!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Advice from An Old Farmer

(an abandoned old farmstead down the road from our home)

(I have had this in a collection of poems and verses I have found and collected over the years.........not sure who wrote it or where it originated from, or who to give credit to,  but
thought is was just great to share here)

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.
Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.
Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
You cannot unsay a cruel word.
Every path has a few puddles.
When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
The best sermons are lived, not preached.
Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life… Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.
Don‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.
Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.
If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. 
Leave the rest to God.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Spring has made her arrival known here on the grounds!

Tiny yellow flowers cover all of the grounds

From a distance, they look like yellow carpet.

This year they have sprouted in every area.......even throughout
the woods.  Their light fragrance fills the air.

They are such a cheery flower! 

My greenhouse is overflowing,  full of different types of cactus,
lemon trees, mums,

and large potted rose bushes.........all healthy
and ready to get out into the spring air.

I collect succulents and cactus that look much like this.
The one in the above photo, I dug  up last year as I was walking
with Sophie here on the grounds.  I also do this to keep them
in large pots, saving them from my husband's mower. 
This one had a crown of red pods last week........

today........it has started blooming.

Such a pretty cactus.

Some cactus I purchase because of their shape, 

and design.

Some are just so pretty, I cannot resist them! 

I have posted about the devil's claw ...or pincushion that
grows here......I collect every one I come upon........some I place in my 
"dry garden "to grow naturally,  some I grow in large containers.
The one on the right in the photo above I have grown for the past 5 years.
It was once as tiny as the one on the left......which I found last year on 
on one of my walks. 

This peanut cactus blooms the most beautiful red blooms.
It is also a favorite of mine.

But out of all of the cactus......I love the devil' s claws the most
Their globe shapes and pretty blooms, captivate me.

I have posted this wonderful fluffy and cheery spring time
cake recipe on my cooking blog.
I make this when I get an abundance of eggs from the hen house.
The recipe is from a 1963 McCall's cookbook and you 
can get the recipe on my blog at this link:

Gentle Spring's around the corner,
      Waiting just to show her face
      And to bring us flowers and sunshine;
      Winter's almost run his race!
Be not, then, my friends, discouraged
      That there's cold and ice and sleet;
      For Springtime soon will be with us,
      And the flowers we will greet:
Daffodils, so bright and yellow,
      Hyacinths of varied hues,
      As they nod their heads, in gladness,
      Telling us they bring good news...
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Springtime" (1940s)

Wishing you pretty spring weather!

Monday, March 18, 2019

This year, I have decided to do a "smaller version" of gardening............a lot smaller version...........

For the longest time, I have loved looking at the small " fairy or gnome" gardens
that people create...........and I have longed to make one of my own.
however, I am not a big fan of fairies or gnomes and I did not know of a good spot
to place even the smallest of gardens.............
This little bird house is so whimsical and has been sitting on my porch for a few years, 
with nothing more than wasps trying to make a home in it.

I love the rock chimney on it........don't you?

So I decided to make my miniature garden.........starting with this 
I glued a heart shape over the birdhouse hole.

I also had this small figurine of a farmer girl nibbling a carrot......
and the little figurine dog looked like a perfect companion.

I also had plenty tiny chicken, swan, and duck figurines,
to make myself..........not  a fairy garden..............instead, 
I decided to make a "folk garden" with a farmhouse theme!
I glued the small chickens and ducks onto slate tiles that I 
had stored away.  This will keep them from getting buried over the years in
dirt or carried off by rats.

I repainted the bird house ..........(I need to make a tiny wreath for the door)
don't you think?

I like the grey"cottage country" look.

and I chose a spot in my garden that I have been planning
and working on in the backyard.  This one corner had weeds and 
not much wants to grow there. 
So I felt it would be a perfect spot to set up a tiny garden

I made this stone slab a few years ago when I started making 
concrete garden things.  It has the same slate tiles
and broken pieces of my favorite vintage dishware.

Now it is perfect to set the farmhouse on and it  looks like a 
patio garden/yard! 

I made a chicken coop out of another weathered 
birdhouse, by adding a chicken run up to the opening.

I painted a cement dish I had made a while back to 
create a pond for the ducks.
The green plants are wild prairie asters. They look like perfect miniature shrubs at the moment.

I made a tile patio............
will think about making a fireplace and furniture later on.........

and a garden with raised beds............
it needs a scarecrow.........

two little owls look over it all from the old
dead tree stump.
I am planning on adding limbs with other birds and greenery later

There is plenty room to add more, in any direction.    I need to add a chicken yard fence and a
garden fence with arbor entries .
 I will add more landscape and 
 other farmhouse things as I go along. 

Now, I have my small " folk garden".  
I will piddle on it here and there........from time to time.
Changing it with the seasons and adding more things as time goes by.
So tell me..............
Do you have a small fairy garden or something similar that you have created?
I would love to hear!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Too many times I have allowed things into my life that really stress me..........now it is time for me to say

no trying to explain, no excuses..........just " NO"
Every day, the world will grab you by the hand,
yelling  "This is important! And this important! 
You need to worry about this! And this! And this!"
And each day it's up to you 
to yank your hand back, 
put it on your heart and say,
"No. This is what's important."
                                                                                                    Ian Thomas
How about you?
Ever felt this way?

Thursday, March 7, 2019

March has come............

usually, by this time of year, we are in full sunshine and
a bit of heat filled days.  This year, it has been chilly,
foggy, with overcast days.  Sometimes very cold........
but not as cold as some of you have been experiencing.
The weather seems to be angry........at everyone.......everywhere .....
this year.  
So many people have suffered through some of the most 
extreme weather conditions.
So I hope this finds you in peaceful and pleasant days.

Dear March - Come in -
How glad I am -
I hoped for you before -
Put down your Hat -
You must have walked -
How out of Breath you are -
Dear March, how are you, and the Rest -
Did you leave Nature well -
Oh March, Come right upstairs with me -
I have so much to tell -

I got your Letter, and the Birds -
The Maples never knew that you were coming -
I declare - how Red their Faces grew -         
But March, forgive me -
And all those Hills you left for me to Hue -
There was no Purple suitable -
You took it all with you -
Emily Dickinson