"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, October 28, 2009

Have a happy Halloween , everyone! As you can see, I have my black cat, Salem, ready, my pumpkins are ready, and my broom.........
is a little worn out.......it's been swept on more than rode on perhaps?
Don't go trickin' and treatin' too much!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ready To Grow In the Winter!

Well, all of my blogging friends, you had so many questions about the zinnias I grow and the seed, that I want to answer your questions. Thank you so much for your comments. In earlier years, I only planted a small bed of zinnias,.............then we moved to the country with lots and lots of ground! I usually buy 3 packs of zinnia seed of good quality each year, but last year, I had grown tired of spending so much $$ on so little amount of seed. I saved all of the seed from my small garden, which resulted in a large amount of seed for the garden I have previously posted about this year. And now...I have gotten 10 times that amount of seed, in which I am storing in jars. Do I sell the seed? Well, no, I share the seed with friends, but a lot of zinnia seed does not sprout unless a germination test has been done......I haven't gotten into that part of growing yet. I also have not sold the zinnias.......I grow them for the pure enjoyment. I have played around with the idea of a flower farm....... I have plenty of acres........we'll see later on down the road..I have a lot to learn and I need a lot of equipment......as well as $$$$$! {:
Sweetie worked a lot of hours overtime at his job and got the next half day off......and he spent his free time.....helping me out! Such a sweetie!
The nights have gotten much cooler, so Sweetie helped get my greenhouse ready. We purchased a 25 ft. x 20 ft of plastic sheeting, which draped completely over the greenhouse.

Of course we had quality supervision.
( Max is not snarling, by the way, he is very old and has lost his tooth on that side, and has had a snarl ever since..........poor old man.)

Back to the greenhouse.....we anchored down the sides all around the greenhouse with a double layer of brick.

Hopefully to keep the plastic from blowing and to keep the greenhouse sealed. If the brick prove to be too weak in the west Texas wind, we can tie a rope around the bottom if needed. Greenhouses need air to circulate, I sealed the windows and will leave the door open during the day for air if the weather permits.

Sweetie, supplied the greenhouse with an electrical outlet to plug the heater in............

(aren't husbands super smart in these kinds of things?)
I am always so impressed!

And here is my greenhouse, snug and warm. The plants inside are singing and blooming...they can't believe how cozy it is. And so far, this method is working. So if any of you have a greenhouse, you might try this method. The plastic and the heater are both around the $20 range at a local Wal-mart. So it's a good investment. The true test will come when Winter's winds and extreme cold hit. I will keep updating as time goes by. Thank you all again for your comments. I so love hearing from you!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just Call Me "Boo The Brave"

My name is Boo. My life here on the farm is quiet and simple. I go out in the early morning, explore the woods , and then head back to the comfort of the front porch. Today the wind blew......so hard that half of the cotton field is lying in our backyard, and a 1/4 is inside of the house.
So I retired to my favorite spot and settled down for my 7 hour nap. Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw him..........sneaking ever so quietly up to the front door. Down I jump to confront him and immediately, he and I are in a heated discussion, with his noise drowning out my warning growls.
Now in all of my 14 years, I have never seen Kathleen run and scream...at the same time...
except when.....

these come calling. Kathleen heard the buzzing, sees this slithery creature, coiled and ready.....tells me that she will be right back...and I hear her as she runs, shrieking, and then back in no time with a shovel. I hold my position while she is gone, keeping this fellow from getting any closer to the front door. As he and I are making noise, Kathleen tells me to step back and then in one whack, the debate is over.

I have just finished a bowl of fresh tuna, prepared in gratefulness by Kathleen, and I am now in the middle of her bed.......ready to continue my nap. Life is good, when you're the queen......
and brave!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Greenhouse Project

This is the second winter coming since my husband (sweetie) built my greenhouse.
This is how it has looked pretty much through all of the time I have had it. Which has caused me much frustration. In the hot west Texas summer, it is too hot for plants to be in....which is fine, since I place them all outside anyhow.....I have only been able to use it about 2 months in the spring. The past winter, I lost most of my plants to the extreme cold weather
because there are so many gaps where the house is put together. The plastic walls let in a lot of cold air. So I am only able to use it in the late fall for about 6 weeks.

I have a lot of plants inside of it now, and I am determined to be able to keep my plants in it this winter as well as sprout seeds. After much research and talking with a friend who once owned a professional greenhouse......I am armed and ready.

I have purchased plastic sheeting to put over and seal the greenhouse. I also have purchased a small utility heater. I am supposed to keep the heat to 55 degrees to keep the plants from going dormant. So I am also armed with a lot of hope and faith that this will work. Hopefully, I will be able to show you my progress as the winter comes along.

Even though it's almost November, the flowers along the grounds are all in full bloom. My chrysanthemums have flourished this year in beautiful fall colors.

And cheery colors as well.

My zinnia garden is still putting on blooms. I have gathered so much seed and I am already planning on the zinnia garden for next year! My question to you
do any of you have a greenhouse like mine? If so, are you able to use it more and do you heat it as well? I would love any information you have! This week, I have many flower beds to clean out and prepare for the cold season that will soon come. Do any of you mulch? Or do any of you dig up tubers or plants to protect them for the winter?Are you already planning on next year's planting? I would love to hear.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Texas Cotton Fields

The past few days, rain, fog, and chilly wind has swept through the prairie. Weather I actually love. Don't get me wrong....I love pleasant sunny days as well, but there is just something about cool foggy days that change the hostile West Texas weather and it's thorny plants and creatures...and I find myself lingering outside more. There are still some summer creatures hanging around the pond...even though the cold snap has slowed them down. This beautiful dragon fly was clinging to a branch in the early morning dampness......it's wings dressed in rain drop diamonds. Of course this photo is going into my embroidery files....such lovely design and colors to stitch.
This is a busy time for the farmers. If you ever get to drive the Texas back roads this time of year....the highways as well....you will look out and think you have just missed a snow storm. The cotton fields are white and full of fluff.

Rain is something the cotton farmers don't like to see this time of year. The cotton needs to be dry and opened up. Just look at that future embroidery floss laying out in the fields!!

Along with the field crops, come the thorny and sometimes (pretty) weeds. These weeds are full of stickery, prickery, pods. But my eye is immediately drawn to the striking red stalks and greens.
Now...how about you? What is lying out in your fields or woods this time of year? Is there a lot of color or is every thing under a blanket of white? I would love to hear!
I would like to thank Nancy over at Inside Nana's Head blog....http://insidenanashead.blogspot.com
I won some of her wonderful handmade soap in her giveaway!
Nancy is the sweetest and craftiest lady. Would you all stop by and say hello?'She would love to meet you!
Thank you again, Nancy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

I have decided to start posting my recipes here from time to time. For many reasons. I once made a "homemade" cookbook for family and friends. Filled with their favorite recipes and stories that they had shared. A friend typed up all of the pages (a time before computers were so popular) and I bound them all in folders and gave them to everyone. If I were to ever make a cookbook again, I would want it filled with stories and pictures along with great recipes.....much like the stories and pictures I am putting on this blog. And isn't that what country living is all about??? Great home recipes? I have a recipe blog.....but I don't pay as much attention to it as I do my embroidery blog and this blog. I am keeping "My Country Kitchen" blog and will store the recipes there for an easy way for everyone to find a certain one. But this gives everyone who visits here a chance to catch a recipe now and then. I have been in a "cranberry mood" lately....every thing with cranberries sounds so good. I made this recipe yesterday. It is in the Oct/Nov 2009 issue of Taste Of Home magazine on page 15. These cookies are so flavorful! So here is the recipe....
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 6oz package dried cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips
( I added 2/3 cup chopped walnuts)
Preheat oven to 375.F . Mix butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture, mixing well. Stir in cranberries, white chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.( I sprinkled the tops with granulated sugar.) Bake for 10 -12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The cool night air turns damp and frigid in the early morning hours and awakens me from the open bedroom window. The mesquite tree is getting tired of her green leaf dress and is ready to shake it off and to hide under her winter blanket for a long nap. Nature has also ushered her creatures along to warmer places or to their winter hideaways.
The nests that were once full of fluff from the cotton fields and feathers from Mother Wren, have gone barren and empty..............
The weathered old birdhouses that hang throughout the grounds have once again become weathered,....where once came the sound of cheeps.... only silence....as they hang motionless in the fall air.

The bustling family of woodpeckers , who survived harsh, strong winds and peering cats, have grown up and flown away....leaving the old tree hollow and quiet.

The wasp's nest have fallen to the ground, light and empty...blowing along with the wind.

Only a few creatures hang on to the remaining sunny days and to the flowers that still bloom here on the farm...... they are such curious creatures........their backs shining like jewels in the late afternoon sun. I too, have grabbed a soft blanket from my closet, and have lowered the window. Yet, I enjoy the cool voice of fall, speaking of harvest time to yet come and of her cold sister Winter, on her way to visit.
Have you pulled out sweaters and blankets already? Have you enjoyed a crackling fire yet?
I send you warm wishes on this chilly afternoon!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I Am A Ailurophile!

That's right... I just discovered that I am a ailurophile...pronounced uh-lur-uh-fail.
While visiting other wonderful blogs, I ran upon an interesting book/dictionary...of 100 Most Beautiful Words In English by Dr. Goodword (Robert Beard). He offers the description of 100 different wonderful words and the first 4 have free, more of a description to click on....... and he has this wonderful book for sale.....which I want!
Just what is an ailurophile?? Well, I am sure you will soon guess.
I love their eyes, their face, their sweet nose and whiskers....
I love their long slinky tails......

I love they way they stretch out in the longest ways in their sleep.....

and how they can make any spot look so comfortable for a nap....

and how they claim a certain spot.....theirs...till eternity.....

Just look.....how can I not be an ailurophile???

I think I will always be!
Ailurophile.... A cat lover.
Now, let's all have some fun....go to Dr. Goodword's site...here's the link...
and find one of the words he has listed that best describes you.Come back and let me know what you are!! You will certainly find many out of the 100......... I can't wait to hear!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thank You!

I want to say, thank you, all dear blogging friends for your words of comfort in losing my pet Hercules. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!! One good thing about farm living....... one doesn't have much time to stay in sadness too long.........there is so much to do.
There is always something to design and embroider...............
come visit my embroidery blog...http://yesteryearembroideries.blogspot.com
The pumpkins are getting ready to harvest............

The zinnia garden is full of blossoms..........

and the sun flowers beckon me to cheer up.

The garden is producing and my hands are busy in the kitchen.

And as you all know by now......there is always something interesting popping up for me to discover. I came upon this unique mushroom in the thick of the woods. It is rather large.

Of course...................there is always someone who needs my attention.

It's official.......I counted the baby goldfish, rescued from the pond before the adults discovered them...........there are 67! Well......there were....I have been losing a few here and there. Taking care of baby goldfish is not as easy as I anticipated. The larger they grow, the more oxygen they take up.............I researched that one goldfish needs 10 gallons of water.....which is now making me find more containers to separate and place them all in. I have a very dear friend who has been finding a lot of folks who are glad to take some off of my hands......so, if they make it long enough, the little fish will soon have good homes to go to.

This time of year, the trees on the grounds are covered in migrating butterflies. They are everywhere! Such a wonderful thing to see.In no time...they will be gone.

And as I sit and watch them flutter from the porch........I reflect on Hercules....and how fragile and precious life is. It has made me enjoy every moment I am having..........
what life gives...........and quickly takes away.