Sunflower morning

We mix chicken scratch and black oiled sunflower seeds together to feed the birds in our area.

We have all kinds of birds, blue jays, bluebirds, red birds, mockingbirds, woodpeckers, dove, chickadees, wrens, house sparrows, brown head cowbirds, black birds,  black bellied whistling ducks, hawks, buzzards, grackles, crows, & ravens then we have quite a variety of seasonal birds that hibernate in our area for the winter.

This beautiful sunflower glistens in the morning light on the back fence line as it reaches for the morning sun.

There were two bird nest one wren and one house sparrow in my hanging baskets off the back porch. One had baby birds the other had eggs and I did not get pics of either one because birds fledge so fast 12 – 15 days from eggs to flight.

When the bird’s plant seeds for us I think it’s their way of saying thank you for feeding them.

sunflower1

 

Barbed wire fences

Barbed wire has quite a unique look with its spikes and twist of the wire.

It is used most often for cattle fencing but some people use it to keep others off their property.

When it starts to get loose it’s often twisted around another piece until it can be repaired.

The cedar fence post is aging its curves and textures accents the color and spikes of the barbed wire.

Fencepostnbarbedwire

Calf time

This baby calf is right next door and he was about 3 days old in this picture last Saturday.

Most of the new calves next door to us come up to me on my first attempt to call them to the fence. Gotta love it.

I was able to grab a few pictures and this one has the cutest eyes and a crazy hyper personality. He takes off running and kicking like he is a few months old.

Country Life at its best!

Calf3Calf2Calf1

Morning Glory Bush

About  10 – 12  years ago my mom was on the county library board in our local town.

She made some great friends and had a really good time with these ladies.

One lady had a beautiful yard well landscape and thought out and her yard had lots of pocket type gardens. She wanted to have a garden party so everyone could see her yard so all the library board ladies went over to her house for a garden party.

She had the morning glory bushes all over the place so when the garden party ended she gave everyone some cuttings from some of the plants. It was her way of sharing something from her beautiful yard.

My mom gave me a few stems to transplant and from that, we have had many many more. You can root them in water rather quickly and grow lots more plants.

They die back every winter but come back every spring and grow like crazy. We have some right now that are 8ft tall x 5ft wide and full of blooms. You can keep the cut back for a more compact bush of blooms.

We have several rooting in a 5-gallon bucket so we can transplant them in different areas.

The flowers grow in clusters like in the picture they are the size of a small saucer. The stalks are hollow and easy to trim.

They bloom in the morning and new blooms open up each day at sunrise. They do need some sun to produce these beautiful blooms but can get by in partial shade.

There is something special about the beauty of these lavender blooms and my memory of how much my mom loved these flowers.

 

Happy 2nd Birthday Zoee

Zoee is two years old today she is one of our two boxer dogs.

Happy Birthday Miss Zoee.

She is just as hyper as she was at 5 months old when we got her.

Of the 3 dogs, she is the one who is always running, jumping, and hopping all day long.

She lives to run like a greyhound across the yard making tight turns and leaving the other two in her dust in the 1/2 acre back yard.

You can not water your plants with her in the yard because she loves to get the spray of the hose and you spend all your time playing with her.

We love our Zoee she is the sweetest boxer dog shes a snuggler and a lightweight compared to the other two.

She was a great addition to our family as a companion for Daisy and she has been great playing with Cricket and teaching her tricks of the trade. All 3 dogs get along great probably because they are all 3 females.

She was not cooperating for her photo session so hopefully more pics soon.

Dogs will put a smile on your face and find a special place in your heart but most of all they will change your life forever.

Zoee2yrsold

 

 

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.

Tuscan Zuppa Toscana

I made some Tuscan Zuppa Toscana and I have to say it is easy to make and very good.

Zuppa Toscana means Tuscan Soup and this is an Italian soup that is is full of flavors.

This soup is a creamy tomato consistency.

Tuscan Zuppa Toscana

Ingredients:

2 tbsp butter

1 small onion chopped

2 cloves garlic or 2 tablespoons of minced garlic

4 cups chicken broth

8 oz cream cheese

1 lb Italian sausage (mild or hot)

2- 14 oz can diced tomatoes I left one chunky and mixed one in the bullet for  2-3  seconds.

1 zucchini medium-sized chopped small

4 cups chopped spinach

2 tsp dried basil

2 tsp dried oregano

3 bay leafs

parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)

Instructions

Melt the butter over medium-high heat and add the onion, garlic, and Italian sausage to cook for 4-5 minutes or until onion is soft and meat browned.

 

Pour in three cups of the chicken broth then add the zucchini, basil, oregano, bay leaf, cayenne pepper (if using), and diced tomatoes.
Bring to a boil then lower the heat to simmer.
Place the remaining cup of bone broth and cream cheese in a blender and blend until smooth.  I used my bullet for this. Pour into the rest of the soup and stir.
Mix in the chopped spinach and once wilted serve the soup or allow to simmer for another half hour or more for the flavors to combine.
Serve topped with shredded parmesan cheese.

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