"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, May 17, 2022

New Visitors

 

The trees in the woods have all leafed out in their best dresses of green and they sway in the hot blowing wind that has come to us during this time in May. It is 102 today.  At this time, the air has a sweet fragrance of honey from the mesquite tree blossoms. 

 We have gone months with no rain........yet, we are used to this......we have lived in this climate all of our lives.  Through the dry and the heat ,  the trees, wild flowers , and prairie come to life, showing off their colors of green, pink, yellow, purple.
The wildlife have also started coming to the grounds in search of water more than for something to nibble on.  I give up my comfy cool spot where I sew in the late afternoon, and get brave enough to go outside to drag the heavy water hose around to my flower gardens and to fill water trays for the wild birds and wild creatures to drink. 
I startled a coachwhip snake the other afternoon and it slithered up a tree, eyeing me as I watered the ground beneath it.  It was patient enough for me to take photo after photo........
but just as anyone else would be of constant pestering .......it's patience ran out and as you can see from this photo........it was time to turn off the camera and to say goodbye.
Another visitor has started coming into the yard, just before sundown.  One that we really do not want to stay because of it's temperament.  Wild hogs are mean and destructive and usually run in large packs.
This hog however has been alone each time we see it.....only wanting to eat the remaining feed off of the ground and to enjoy a drink of water.  
My husband has already scared it away 2 times.........hopefully it will stay away.



I still work in my "dry garden" and many of the round devil's claw cactus I dug up and transplanted have done so well and the garden is slowly starting to take form.

. One side of the garden path has cactus, and
 on the other side of the path, I have cement pumpkins and leaves that I made one year from my pumpkin patch
My husband made a bottle tree to add color to the dry garden.  It is so pretty in the late afternoon when the sun shines through the bottles.
Since I am working on this space by myself and with my hands,
the work and the garden will take a long time to ever complete the way
I have it pictured in my head.  But most importantly,
I am enjoying the process no matter how long it takes.
The only type of cactus I enjoy growing is the round "pincushion"devil's claw.
It is easy to handle and blooms beautifully.
Many of the cacti are in large containers.  They grow better and are safe from rats.  
This one devil's claw I have grown for 6 years. I dug it up when it was only about 2 inches round, now it is 8 inches round and lovely.

I gathered seeds from this cactus last year and planted the seed in a garden container.  Many of the seeds have sprouted and are now growing into little cacti.  It takes a long time for them to grow big and round. They start out tall and skinny,
and then start forming a round ball.
At this time are you  enjoying working out in your gardens or watching the wildlife that come to visit you?  Perhaps you are just enjoying staying in the shade or the cool of your home?
I hope this finds that no matter where you are, that  you are having pleasant weather and pleasant days.


 









 











Friday, April 15, 2022

Spring time, Easter time

 

We, thankfully, did not get the snow this April from the old wives tale
I mentioned in a previous post. 
The mesquite trees have signaled that cold weather is gone by their putting on their leaves. 
A true sign here in Texas that winter days are over.
We are desperately dry and have not had rain in months. But the plants that
I have in containers are blooming .
All of the cactus in my collection are starting to bloom
and the little geranium on the porch is starting to look pretty.
In the greenhouse pumpkin, squash, watermelon, and cantaloupe
have sprouted and are growing strong, and hopefully 
will be able to transplant to the garden later.
Easter is here and I hope this finds that you are having lovely 
spring weather as you prepare for a happy Easter 
celebration with family and friends. 
Here's wishing you all a happy Easter weekend! 











Sunday, March 27, 2022

SPRING

 

It is spring! 
A spot of sun casts it's warmth on a portion of the bed and Taboo has
made this spot just right for a good nap, soaking in as much of the warm comfort as he can.
He opens his eyes just long enough, allowing me to take a photo, then closes them again for 
much of the remainder of the chilly morning. 
Outside the wind is already howling as it carries the dust and dirt from the 
neighboring fields across the prairie pastures.  As quiet as March arrived, it seems it
wants to roar as it leaves.
I have changed my mind about closing my embroidery blog, Yesteryear Embroideries
 and thank you to so many who emailed to encourage me to change my mind. 
I am delighted that you enjoy looking at the things I post there.  So if you
go back to visit, you will see a new post on some of the things I have been busy
creating. 

There have been a lot of deer showing up in the yard just before the sun
ends the day.  They come for a drink of water and to eat the remaining seed
that the wild birds have left in the feeder.
We finally managed to get a dumpster service at our house.
It has been great to have someone come to pick up the trash that
we no longer have to take to a dump. 
However, this has created another problem.
Two times now, we have discovered a raccoon has
gotten into the dumpster, but cannot get out.
We have had to tip the dumpster over, which is not 
an easy feat, and then have to encourage the raccoon to get out.
Each time, they are glad to run away. Now we have to strap down
the lids of the dumpster to prevent them from getting into there again.

Spring is showing up in the blossoms of plants here and there.
The Italian Jasmine usually blooms in January, but
because of the severe drought we are facing, it is just now 
blooming. It is such a cheery plant!
I made a chicken pie for our dinner and decided to take some extra
time to decorate the top.  Do you ever do this?
Has spring started springing up in your back yard?
I hope this finds you are having pretty days and 
warm spring weather!




 














Sunday, March 6, 2022

It is March

 


The last part of February I awoke in the wee morning hours  to the sound of pelting sleet against the window and bright flashes of lightning.  I have heard it said that when it sleets along with lightning in February, to be ready for snow in April........we shall see if this happens. Do you believe in "old wives tales"  or "folklore" ?



On that very frigid day, a covey of quail came running across the yard to eat the feed I had placed in the tray.  Such small birds, but on this day they were all puffed out and looked like a group of gray dust bunnies that had been blown out of someone's house and left to blow across the yard. They were such a whimsical sight.  
March did not arrive like the proverbial roaring lion , but in warm, gentle, breezy days.  I have been opening the doors and windows in the early morning to let in the fresh air.  I have also been placing the house plants on the porch for the day to soak up some early morning sun, and then move them back indoors as the nights are still very chilly.  The greenhouse door is also opened on such warm days to let the moist hot air out and fresh air in.  Such lovely springlike days, however, as soon as I trust the heat and think spring is just around the corner, it turns misty and cold, as it is here today.  
Thank you all for your words of comfort in the loss of our Sophie..........can it already be a month since she has been gone??  I still catch myself, looking over to where she used to like to sleep and I look back when I walk in the woods to make sure she is following me.  I miss her so.
We had run into town the other day on errands and no matter what day we choose to buy groceries, there is always an old acquaintance who happens to be shopping at the same time.  We park our carts side by side, in the middle of the aisle to catch up.......blocking the way(without meaning to) of the other shoppers who are not so chatty and in a rush to get their shopping done.  And sometimes, it is not only someone I know, but a total stranger that I can stop for a few moments and chat with.  Such as was this day when there was a young woman who was looking at the planting containers in the same aisle I was in.  We started talking about planting containers, soil, the harsh Texas environment.......and before we knew it, 30 minutes had passed.  We never exchanged names, but enjoyed chatting and then went our own separate way.  Do you enjoy catching up with acquaintances in the grocery store.........or do you get agitated at people who block the aisles in mindless chatter?  
I have piddled out in my garden spaces and everything is ready to either spout up on their own or is waiting for me to toss in some seeds.  I just read a wonderful post about a herbarium in western Carolina.  It was so interesting to read about the large collections of plants they have.  Do you have a herbarium near you?  I have long gathered different plants.........mostly flowers and attractive leaves and have pressed them in between pages of an old newspaper..........
This one was pressed in 2014. 
However, I have not been good at recording the scientific specimen name and such.......but it gave me inspiration to start gathering the many different leaves and plants that grow here, so wild and natural, and to keep a book with the information on them.  It is a good time to begin this kind of project as the grounds have not yet awoken from their winter sleep.  If you are interested in reading this wonderful post........here is the link.  A DAY AT THE HERBARIUM

My hands have been busy when the days are chilly and I finally finished the "Red Garden Sampler" that I had posted about in an earlier post on my embroidery blog.  I used different designs from a book by a French needlework designer , Marjorie Massey, combined with some of my favorite quotes and created my own sampler.  I wanted the butterfly to look as if it was leaving the border of the cross stitch as the quote states and thankfully, my count was not off and the border still worked well with the "butterfly interruption.  The quotes have tiny initials under them......for the person who authored the quote.  The butterfly quote is by Nathaniel Hawthorne.  The garden quote is by Francis Hogdson Burnett.  
One thing I would like to point out.  On the cross stitched lady, my book had an error.  When I had first finished the cross stitched lady, something did not look right on her,
I went back and forth with the stitched piece and the book........and then realized, the book did not finish the pattern for the flowers in her basket.  As you can see from the photo.  

I had to actually use a magnifying glass on the photo of the stitched piece in the book to complete it the right way.  Not sure if every book has this error.  So now it is finished and I need to find a frame for it.


I hope this finds you having lovely weather, whether it is filled with sun and birds singing, or a blanket of white with gentle snowflakes falling.   

 











Monday, February 7, 2022

Farewell Sweet Sophie

 

When you first decide to get a puppy, or a dog, you get yourself prepared for the big change that wonderful creature will bring into your home.  You are excited and anxious to begin this new adventure.
Then as the days slip into years, you are delighted at the joy and comfort this furry, big eyed, tail wagging, companion has brought to "what used to be"  just an ordinary day.  
It has always amazed me at how dogs are always happy to see you when you walk in the door, even when you have gone in and out that door 3 times for the past 30 minutes......each time you walk in, it's a great welcoming party......just for you.....because you are loved by them!
And when we are not so understanding of their mistakes, they love us anyhow and never remember ........and forgive us for our mistakes.......... All of this and so much more, we can learn from just having a loyal dog in our life.
But no matter how many times I have gone through the death of a beloved dog,  I am never prepared for when that day comes.  We go to the vet, I am told about how old and fragile our sweet dog is, .........and I can make a dreadful decision........at that moment.  But no, we take her back home  with a handful of magic pills and dog food, (that she really does not like), and I  think, in just a few days, she will be back to eating and playing........and we will still have a good bit of time with her in our life.
  And then, the day comes, when you realize, your happy dog is very ill and you have to sign this dreadful paper at the vet's office to allow such a sweet life........to be ended.
This happened today.........our sweet Sophie is gone.   I held and hugged her as the vet administered the shot........and that sweet brown eyed girl that was so full of life and love, within seconds, went down like a feather in my arms.......without a sound.
  And the happiness that we have known for the past 14 years floated away with her sweet spirit.  
Some day, when my time comes for me to leave this earth, I hope that wherever it is we go, that I will hear her bark and see her happy face and wagging tail .....
welcoming me as I open that door and walk in.



Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Contentment

 Here, in my world, without the noise and uncertainty of the news telling of the outside world's confusion, sadness, and  frustrations,


I lose myself into the quietness of the woods, still in dark silhouettes of the early morning and walk under the vibrant colors of an early morning sky, created without paint or brush.

 I share this moment with the wild birds whose songs echo through the woods and across the pastures.   Coyotes give their last call , as they vanish over the hills and a cow moos a long deep "moo '' from a neighboring ranch as the morning sun breaks the darkness of the night.


It's a peaceful blanket that envelopes this chilly barren land as far as the eye can see, and it's with contentment that  I start my morning and hope it stays with me throughout the day. 

Contentment is what I wish for you in these chilly days of February that lie ahead. 

 Keep warm on the inside and let your warmth shine on the outside! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Something To Ponder On

 

Blessed are they who see beautiful things
in humble places
where other people see nothing. 
Camille Pissarro
Beautiful things don't ask for attention




Elegance is not about being noticed.
It's about being remembered.
Georgio Armani



Like wildflowers;
You must allow yourself to grow
in all the places people thought you never would 
Be your own kind of beautiful


Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy.
They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom
Marcel Proust.







Sunday, January 2, 2022

A new year, A new January

 Happy New Year Everyone!

January arrived to us so different than just one year ago. The year's first day had 
a blue morning glory blooming on the fence and greeting Sophie and I on our
early morning walk. 
Last year found us knee deep in snow and in the middle of a snowball
fight with my grownup sons.  Snow has a magical way of bringing the kid
back to us all.........doesn't it? 
We have had such a wonderful long lasting 
fall.  Autumn and I have become such close friends and I am going to miss her dearly!
She left us with the most lovely sunset  before January made her arrival.
As much as I will miss fall, January is a good month to allow me to get much needed things done outside.
I was thrilled when I pulled my bulbs out of storage to find them healthy and
already sprouting....ready to be planted in their containers.
If you plant tulips, iris, daffodils, or other plants with bulbs, you can save the 
bulbs for the next fall planting. 
After your flowers have faded and the leaves turn brown and are ready to drop off, dig up your bulbs. 
Gently brush off any excess dirt.  I store my bulbs in Styrofoam egg cartons.
This keeps each bulb separated and allows them enough air.  You can choose what works best for you and you can research and find answers on the internet.
Store your bulbs in a cool, dry, dark, place.  I used a hallway top closet shelf.
When it is time to plant, your bulbs should be healthy and ready.
I plant my bulbs into galvanized pails and containers and place them into the greenhouse to ride the winter through.  I have to plant them this way to keep the bulbs safe from hungry bulb eating wildlife A shed is also a good place to store your bulbs if you choose containers over outside planting.  In getting my containers with the soil waiting and ready for planting,
I found a garden visitor who was thinking this would be a great winter home.  
I took it to the pond area where the other froggies stay.
 There is much more that needs to be done outside when the days are mild and warm, but for now, the chill of these January days finds me happier to stay inside with the comfort of a crackling fire, a comforting chair, and a sharp needle to stitch the hours away. Are there any outside
activities that you enjoy during January? What do you enjoy doing when you decide to stay inside? 
As I place a new calendar on the wall........I wonder.....who decided that this month  would be called........January??........and
if I really think about it.......too long.......January sounds like such an odd name.
Many of you already know where this name came from, but for those of you who do not, here is just a bit of history.
January was named for the Roman god Janus, known as the protector of gates and doorways who symbolize beginnings and endings with it's original Roman designation, Ianuarius, the Saxon term Wulf-monath (meaning "wolf month") and Charlemagne's designation Wintarmanoth ("winter / cold month").  Janus had two faces so he could see the future and the past. The Roman calendar originally began in March, and the months  of  January and February were added later, after a calendar reform.
The  birthstone for January is garnet. The word “garnet” comes from the 14th century Middle English word gernet, meaning “dark red.” The word is derived from Latin granatum, which means “seed,” and is called so because of the gemstone's resemblance to the red seeds of the pomegranate. As the birthstone for January, garnet is said to bring love, luck, health, loyalty and friendship to people who are born this month. It is also the gem that married people traditionally gift on their 2nd and 18th wedding anniversary.


 The January month birth flower is the Carnation & Snowdrop.  The reason and meanings of these flowers I have posted on my embroidery blog.  If you would like to visit .....here is the link
I hope this new year for you began with much goodness and peace and I hope it remains that way 
throughout the rest of the  year!