Have a safe and happy July 4th.

I know we are all very tired of this COVID 19 pandemic stuff.

Texas opened back up way to soon we all knew this at the time but some of us still stayed home while many went out to eat or to the bars.

If people had stayed home we would not be getting this 2nd phase as bad as we are. This week Pearland, Manvel, Alvin, and Houston all have put in face mask orders so if you are in these towns in public you must wear a facemask.

Thank goodness they closed the beaches because everyone loves the beach and people would be migrating there this weekend.

We have been blessed and have not been sick. We have only been around our daughter, son in law, and grandkids, and my mother n law. We are avoiding most people.

My husband and I have been isolating as much as possible since the end of March.

All of our groceries are picked up on curbside, I get a few Amazon deliveries a week and a chewy and a Walmart or 2 every month. If by chance we had to go into a store we wear a face mask and use hand sanitizer and the wipes.

I spray the house with Clorox disinfecting spray every few days.

All the groceries are wiped down before being put up all the bags are tossed in the garbage.

We have only picked up food 4 times in 98 days and I am so tired of my own cooking. That is why I have been making new stuff lots and lots of new stuff. I even made a cornbread zucchini dish that was amazing.

I am tired of staying home but I know this is what is best for everyone.

I feel like we have done as much as we possibly can do for the last 98 days I just wish everyone would listen and do the same.

We still have plenty of disposable masks, some mask my mother n law made me and lots and lots of hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap from my auction wins.

Now only if I could find rubbing alcohol.

If you must celebrate do it with ONLY your household do not bring anyone else into your house be smart about this.

At this point, everyone who has been in contact with 10 people is sharing germs with those who have not been in contact with others. This is how the virus spreads.

If you have been around other people at work or at the stores do not risk being around the elderly or those with compromised immune systems.

We have shared over 500 cucumbers but we have been very smart about this. We place them in clear bags( I also won at auction) on the tailgate to my truck people text me when they are on their way to pick up their cucumbers. This has allowed us to share with our community but not interact with the public.

If everyone does their part we can get through this but it has to be all of us doing this together.

Happy July 4th – Stay Safe and wear your face mask.

 

Recycle Patio Chairs

We have had these patio chairs for years I wanted to recycle them so I came up with a plan.

These chairs had the cushions that are attached for the back and the bottom

We bought some new spray paint for the black metal. We bought cedar fence boards and cut them in pieces for the slats and I ordered carriage bolts to attach it all.

Everything was stained with cedar stain and it worked like a charm.

We did the table which was glass underneath but did not account for the fact there were no holes in the glass so it warped from the rain so we are currently working on a new plan for the table. Jack says the glass will shatter if he drills it so we may just take it out and add slats from there.

We have been replacing deck boards x 9 on our side deck and this time we will be painting it. We had to replace the step down between the two decks.

We have power washed the deck in the past and put clear on it, stained it several times different colors so now its time for something new so we will paint it brown it is just a matter of finding the right brown so far 4 samples were all wrong.

This deck has an upper section and a lower section the upper is 10 x 10 sections x 3 so that part is 30′ x 10′  the lower is 12 x 10 sections x 2 so that part is 24 x 10.

We honestly use our screened-in back porch and deck more than this deck because we play with the dogs in the back yard. Our back yard is 80% shaded in the evening so it’s really nice back there with mature trees making our shade.

You have to replace rotten boards and repaint or stain decks every few years to maintain them. Even treated wood will eventually rot and that is what happened here but it has lasted really good.

The first part of this deck a 10′ x 10′ section was built 21 years ago and we just added on to it as time went on.

Medical Insurance vs Cash Pay

I needed to get an MRI and I have not met the deductible of my new insurance.

My cost was going to be $3300.00 needless to say I canceled the appointment.

Our daughter Jeanelle told me to call back and get the cash price.

It will be $394.00 for the MRI and Approx: $95.00 for the radiologist to read it. Less than $500.00 this is so crazy.

I called back and made a new appointment and it is one day before the other one was.      I will be paying cash and smiling that I saved a bunch of money in the process.

MRIs and I do not get along so this time we are trying Diazepam 30 minutes before and another at the time of the test if I need it, nighttime sleep mask, and earplugs. Hopefully, I can get through it.

I am normally not claustrophobic but there is something about the MRI that really bothers me. I think it is the combination of the tunnel and the noise.

 

 

 

The beauty of natural light

I love the early morning when the sun is rising and a new day is beginning.

The grass is still wet from the dew, the fog is lightly covering the pastures and the blooms of the morning glory bush on the fence line are glistening with the light shining through the purple petals.

There sits a wicker chair under the ash tree with the morning light cascading through her branches & across the grass.

The wire on the fence takes on a golden glow and the fence post is highlighted.

The birds are chirping because it is a new day and there is an occasional moo from the cows in the pasture.

I really love the simplicity of country life.

Morning light

 

 

 

Family Drama & Greed

I grew up with family drama all around as the years went on it seem to get worse.

On my mom’s side of the family, she had two brothers but she was the oldest. They all quit talking to each other many years ago after my grandparents had died.

My mom even held up the sale of my grandparent’s house to irritate one of them knowing they just wanted the money to gamble with. She talked to me about this several times. My parents spent years and years working and saving money so money was not an issue for them and neither one would have gambled away large sums of money.

The last time the 3 siblings saw each other in person before my mom’s death was 20 years before at my great aunt’s funeral. This was only because they all had to be there at the same time. My mom told me the tension was pretty bad at the time and things would never be the same again this was in 1999.

They all 3 lived 300 miles apart close enough they should have visited each other at least a few times a year. The 3 of them never even really knew each other as middle-aged adults much less during retirement.

Our children have not seen either great uncle in 26 years. They do not know me or my family and therefore have no say so in anything that happens.

They never talked on the phone or kept in touch until my dad was diagnosed with cancer in August 2014 then she and Brother B spoke a few times a week. She never spoke to the youngest Brother D until my dad passed away and they were never as close as she was with brother B.

Neither of my moms brothers (my uncles) came to either one of my parents funerals now that says A LOT! This is called FAMILY Love.

Most of the time family issues boil down to two words JEALOUSY or GREED and sometimes both.

Sometimes people get so jealous of the relationships of others they have to try and destroy those relationships.

Every family has its issues and I honestly thought my mom’s and her brother’s drama was bad enough but that was until my mom died.

My parents only had two children my sister and myself.

I can tell you this much this drama was neither one of us because we would have never done such a thing.

I have family members involved in this greed.

My dad warned my mom about this he said: ” Watch Your Back”.

I knew who he meant and those I am closest to know who would take advantage of my mom.

I am ashamed of some members of my own family and I have to wonder how you can justify your actions.

How do you sleep at night knowing what you have done?

The others involved with you are just as guilty as you are as of right now I know of 4 of you.

Bribery is a whole different issue but bribing with money that is not yours REALLY! 

Accepting a bribe is another issue for my other family member that is involved in this greed.

I hope you get the feeling you are being watched by big brother because you are.

Your time will come and all your lies will not help you this time.

Heifers at the fence

These heifers next door to our house seem to think that when I am outside they will get a treat sometimes they do but sometimes I am just taking pictures.

The good thing is, either way, they pose for me. If they are across the pasture they come running when they see me.

Country life is great but I love cows.

Purple and Orange

I thought this orange butterfly looked quite striking on the Golden Dewdrop Duranta blooms.

We have a lot of things that bloom in our yard and it has made a huge difference in the number of butterflies we see. Somedays we see at least a dozen or more different kinds.

Natures beauty putting on a show for all to see.

OrangeandPurple

Through the piney woods

Jeanelle our youngest daughter and I made a road trip through the piney woods of Louisiana very early Friday morning.

When you are 300 miles away from where you need to pick up paperwork you have to leave early we left at 5:00 a.m.

I love the drive through the woods the small hills and the changes in the landscape are really nice.

The roads are cut through the trees and that alone makes for a nice perspective picture.

This was a nice break from the pandemic stuff we just did not think about the bathroom issues. With all the fast food places being drive-through and curbside only you are left to stop at the little stores. Sometimes finding one of those that looks clean and not superpopulated can be an issue.

I took plenty of Clorox wipes to disinfect the things we touched and to keep our hands clean.

I would not advise a road trip for anyone right now due to the bathroom issues. It is the little things we take for granted.

We moved from Jonesboro Louisiana to Houston, Texas when I was 5 years old. My dad landed a good-paying job at Brown and Root and they wanted me in good schools in the fall. It was a better opportunity for our small family of 4.

We went back 4 – 5 times a year to visit my grandparents on my moms side and my grandmother on my dad’s side. We spent a lot of weeks in the summertime at my mom’s parents.

My dad spent a lot of time deer hunting there when it was deer season.

Years later my grandparents bought a weekend home on Toledo Bend outside of Many Louisiana and this meant we could do a weekend trip and meet just about 1/2 way for the both of us. There was some good bass fishing in Toledo Bend.

Louisiana has always had a special place in my heart but I think that was mostly the unconditional love we received from our grandparents.

Going back in time to the state I was born was very nostalgic for me especially since I have not been there in many years.

CountryRd1Countryrd2

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Armadillo

We have a baby armadillo that roams our yard and it is always by itself.

Zoee seems to think it is here for her entertainment and she takes off running like a fool in the backyard to find its trail. She has not tried to hurt it but she barks at it and that gets a bit annoying. The baby seems to ignore her and just goes on digging and eating lol.

I can get close enough to get some pics but they mostly have their heads down so it’s hard to get their face. This was my 3rd attempt.

This one is fairly small I would say its body is about 10″ long at the most.

Armadillos are omnivores they eat meat and plants but their diet is mostly made up of insects, larvae, beetles, termites, etc. that they dig up from the ground. They are known for eating baby snakes and snake eggs.

They love to dig so you will find holes in your yard from them digging. We live in the country so you have to take the good with the bad.

I appreciate the fact they help keep down the snake population because I am not a fan of snakes.

Getting to enjoy the wildlife is what country life is all about. Taking pictures of the wildlife is like the added bonus.

armadilla2armadilla1

 

Dill Pickle Relish

I wanted to try and make some dill pickle relish.

It is a pain in the butt to do because after you use the food processor to chop the cucumbers they have to soak in  canning salt for 5 hours. Then you have to drain them, rinse them, drain again, rinse and repeat.

When you are on the last time you have to get all the water out of them. This means using cheesecloth and the strainer and squeezing the water out of them. The water just keeps coming out of them. After that part is over the rest is pretty easy.

We made  10  – 1/2 pint jars and these jars are really the perfect size for relish.

We have been giving away cucumbers to family, friends and neighbors but we have had to branch out into the local community and share and have given away an additional 200 cucumbers. We have probably picked 500 cucumbers this summer.

Our plants are producing  30-35 a day so this will not end for a while. We have another 12 people on the waiting list to get some free cucumbers.

Sharing our home grown vegetables with the comminity is what life is all about. A little kindness can go along way and maybe inspire others to do the same.

We are canning away at the Lira house and putting up zucchini and yellow squash in the freezer. Soon it will be corn, okra and green beans.

The moment you realize  your freezer is full of vegetables from the garden you grew and now its time to buy a second freezer.

Now that’s a cool feeling!

Relish2Relish1Cucumbervine1

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