Friday, June 29, 2012

Lemon Drop Peppers

This year I transplanted a pepper plant called "Lemon Drop" thinking that it would be like the mild yellow peppers that you can pickle and put on sandwiches.  Well, I was wrong.  In doing some research on this plant, I find that these are fairly hot. This pepper originated in Peru.
I'm going to try to make a salsa with them to see how hot they really are.  I'm kind of a chicken when it comes to peppers, so I'll get John to try it first.
The plant is VERY prolific, I'll be getting a lot of these peppers from just the one plant.

Golf outing...

I went with John to the Bandit Golf Course in Comfort this I didn't golf, but I got to drive the golf cart from one shade tree to the next! It was actually a lot of fun, just nice to get away and be together for a few hours.  John is a really good golfer, and he loves that game.  I hope we can do a lot more of this once he retires.
I think this is the rough...or maybe the fairway? Not sure.
Fence at edge of the course
My carriage
This weed was in the rough at the edge of one of the looked lethal!

Our day at the zoo....

Last Friday Saturday we took KT to the San Antonio Zoo.  I'm late posting this due to my computer disaster...I'm finally getting the pictures off of my iPhone again, slowly.  Sigh.....
The day was fantastic, she really loves to look at those animals, but it got so hot! We stayed until after lunch, but were totally pooped by about 1pm.



No, not real....

Coming out of the petting zoo....

Brown ice cream!

She wanted the purple Grumpy bought it for her, of course!

The McElvy's

These are my Aunt Helen (dad's sister) and her husband, Walter, along with their children, Cathy (baby) and Steven.  The top picture was taken, obviously, at Christmas time - our Grandfather Bruno is sitting on the floor.  I'm not sure if that's Steven or Cathy in the picture, there was no date, etc. on the back of that photo. The second picture was Easter, April 18, 1954.  I wonder where in the world my two cousins are now...both Aunt Helen and Uncle Walter have passed.
We went to visit Aunt Helen several times as we were growing up.  I remember best the house they were living in by the golf course (so green and lush), which was like catnip to us golf balls if you could find them! ha!  Uncle Walter ran a printing company at that time and I remember going to see his work place and loving the smell of the ink and paper.  Reams and reams of paper.  I was such a nerdy little kid.
Once it rained so hard while we were there that the front street that they lived on completely filled with water and she let us go out and play in it.  I remember that being like a guilty pleasure, I'm was sure it was something we weren't supposed to be doing, so we took complete advantage of it!
Aunt Helen called us all "H o n e y" with that slow southern drawl.....I loved it, and mimic'd it all the time.  Wonder if I can still get the right inflection on that drawl....

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yoakum, Texas May 1954

I found a little pile of pictures, all taken at the same time in Yoakum.  Here's a sample.
This is Mike and I, probably on our Aunt Sabina and Uncle Henry's back sitting area, right off their back porch.  I would have been about 3-1/2, Mike about a year older.  We were blowing bubbles, obviously.  
Here we are again with our cousin, Mary.  She and I were about the same age.  We were wearing sand buckets on our heads, all the rage for 3-1/2 year olds at the time, I guess. Mike was not joining in on the bucket on the head thing, I can see.  He was always a lot more reserved. Ha ha ha!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bathing Beauties

Here's Mom and Dad from either when they were dating or early marriage.  There is no notation on the back of either of these photos.  The trees don't look like anything around the San Antonio area, do they?  I'm surprised Mom went out on the water, since she didn't know how to swim.  Must have been very shallow there.

Dad in Alabama?

Found this interesting little tidbit, a post card to Bruno (B.W. Schwencke) from "Son" mailed in Montgomery, Alabama.   Dad must have been on a visit to them after he came back from Europe with the Air Force.  Seems that Walter didn't enroll in some school since it was on strike, etc. (Don't you wonder what the etc was?)
Isn't it amazing that Bruno kept this card all that time, then Mom and Dad kept it too.  Now it's landed in my hands, all the way since being mailed on April 6th, 1945, at 7pm.  Notice that it took ONE WHOLE penny to mail a post card back then! ha!

Monday, June 25, 2012

We have green peppers!

Wow! We've never had green peppers this big and beautiful before.  I have to credit these raised beds that John built.  So nice!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Garden update....

I got a Black Prince Heirloom tomato plant this year from Lowe's to pot up on the pavilion.  We got our first tomato from this plant and it was just beautiful!  Look at this lovely garnet colored beauty!
The tomatoes from the garden continue to produce and I had to make up some salsa this past week to put them up.  We just can't eat this many tomatoes at the rate they are producing.  
We also ate our first really great watermelon -- this is the Osh Kirgizia seed that I got from Baker's Seeds.  Very sweet and so full of water.  This is probably the most juicy watermelon I've ever eaten.  So great and the 6 plants that we put out have really produced.  I can highly recommend this one.
I've really neglected the garden this past week, so this week I'll be spending more time out there...unless the weatherman is right and we get over 100 degrees this week.  Sigh....

Keeping KT....

We've been keeping our little KT Bug all week while her parents were in Jamaica, soaking up the sun.  It's been so much fun, although keeping up with an active 2 year old can be hard on these 60ish year old grandparents!
She is constantly amazing me with her active mind, soaking up everything she sees and watching your every action so that she can mimic it (must be careful with that!) Ha!  Here's a few pics of our fun week!
 This is her "cheese" face
 Helping Grumpy with his exercising?
 Helping Mimi put up veggies from the garden
 Eating out at the local Mexican restaurant, she loves rice and beans
 She pulled her own geranium flower and posed with it on her head
 Give her a puzzle and she'll master it in no time
 In the potting shed - love this one!
 In the Bean Haus...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pressure canning...

I canned green beans yesterday using my brand new pressure canner.  I was VERY cautious using this thing, since I have a vivid memory of my mom exploding a full pressure cooker of spaghetti sauce all over the kitchen when I was young.  I mean it was all over the ceiling, walls and floor. I wonder if she tried to open it too soon before letting the pressure release?
So I have a healthy fear of them.

But, I have to say it went so well.  Easy peasy.  Sure hope they taste good.  I'll be trying a jar of these soon to see if we like them.

Computer woes.....

Posting may be slow this week.  I've dropped my laptop and broken the electric charging thingy.  Sigh....
I'm using the laptop on battery only right now and I only have 20 minutes of power left on it, until I can get it fixed.  I thought it was just the cord that goes into the laptop, since the little circle thing was bent 45 degrees when I picked up the laptop off the floor, but Jeff gave me a new one and it still doesn't work, so obviously I did something more serious inside the machine.
I still have my little mini hp, so I'm not totally off the web, but it's so much slower, it's painful to post.
I hope I get this fixed soon!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Movie Review --- Prometheus

Fassbender did an excellent job as the android!
We went to see Prometheus yesterday afternoon.  I've been highly anticipating this movie, and the various clips they've been playing online and as advertising for the movie seemed great.  I'm not sure if I liked the movie itself, though.
The movie was absolutely beautifully filmed.  Gorgeous visuals, from the beginning to the end.  All of the cgi alien stuff was also so well done.  I think my only issue was in not quite seeing how this movie helps us understand anything about the back story to Alien.
Charlize Theron (John's favorite actress) 
The "engineer" at the beginning that dissolved into the water - I got that this was how they spread their dna to the world they were populating (well, I think that's what that was.)  What I didn't quite understand were the strange little worm creatures that were swimming around in the sludge, how those canisters were involved, and why they were destroying the populations that they had created.  What? Who? Why? Huh?
The creature at the end that pops from the "engineer's" chest didn't exactly look like the one we were familiar with.  Is that because they look a little different depending on what type of person or alien they come from?  I don't know.  It's all so confusing.....
Big GRIPE:  Guy Pearce as Weyland?  Really?  Ridley Scott...couldn't you find some old guy to play the old guy? I mean, this was the biggest jarring mis-step in the whole movie.  He was so obviously a young guy all made up as an old looked like someone's bad Halloween costume.  Bad, bad, bad.
Second Gripe: Tatoo'd up, shaven angry psycho biker guy as the geologist?  Really? I'm sure the professional geologist association is pretty amazed that this guy was the best the world had to offer to send on this trip. Geezzz.....

The Hatfields and McCoys

Kevin Costner and the real Devil Anse Hatfield
Bill Paxton as Randall McCoy
We've finally watched the Hatfields & McCoys that played on The History Channel in May.  We were in San Francisco when it came on, and since JR & Ashley don't have television, darling daughter taped it for us!  It's taken us a while to get to it, since it was three episodes worth, but we finally had some time for it.
I have to say, it was so very well done...I think the casting was absolutely perfect, from Kevin Costner as Devil Anse Hatfield, to Bill Paxton as Randall McCoy, and the best - Tom Berenger as Uncle Jim, and Mare Winningham as Ran'l McCoy's wife.  PERFECT casting!  I could absolutely believe that each and every one of them were the characters they portrayed.
Tom Berenger as Uncle Jim
This is the type of programming that I wish every network would create.  Beautifully done, and if the history was told correctly, I blame the whole feud on Uncle Jim.  He was an unforgiving, nasty snarly bastard who could whip those young boys into a killing furor.  Glad he got was coming to him, but sorry his dog was killed at the same time (oops! is that considered a spoiler?!)
I really don't think you can have a spoiler on a historical program, since we've all heard this tale before.  Or maybe not, are they still teaching American history in the schools?
Amazing that it wasn't until 2003 that these families finally called a truce.

Friday, June 15, 2012

We have cotton bolls!!

I'm kinda geeky excited about this!  Our cotton bolls have shown up!  These plants just all of a sudden started shooting up.  Can't wait to see how these progress.

The Cotton Song (1957)

When I was a little bitty baby
My mommie would rock me in the craddle
In them old cotton fields at home
It was down in Louisiana
Not a mile from Texarkana
In them old cotton fields back home
Now, when them cotton balls get rotten
We don't pick very much cotton
In them old cotton fields at home
It was down in Louisiana
Not a mile from Texarkana
In them old cotton fields at home

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Spudtastik (Not)...

Well, we've emptied all of the potato buckets now, and with just about the same results as the first one.  Pitiful.
The red potatoes came in at 2#9.6 oz. and the fingerlings were only 1#3.7 oz.  Not the best results, but we are going to put them in full sun next year and see if the shade was the problem.  Also, the dirt seemed to be so heavy at the bottom of the    buckets, clay like.  I'm going to add some sand and try to lighten up the soil some.  Anyway -- we have a few meals here.  Verdict on bucket planting = undetermined.  Will try again with some changes.
We live and learn!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ghostly White Pumpkins...

Total freebies!  This was a volunteer plant that started in the compost pile, I guess from the white pumpkin that I bought at the Medina Pumpkin Patch last October.  I'm a sucker for a wild plant that starts on its own, I have a hard time pulling them up, so we let this one go.  At first it was out of the way and trailed along the fence, so I thought it would be okay.
Well....the past month it has grown into the biggest, hugest plant and spread all over the end of the garden around the potato buckets.  I couldn't get to anything down there without stepping on the plant.
Today I had all I could take of it, I had to get to the cucumber plants that I had down there to see how they were doing, so this pumpkin plant had to go!
Here are the three gorgeous pumpkins that were on the plant!  Pretty good for some free produce, huh?
I've read up that I should leave these out to "harden" for a week or so, so they are spending that time in the potting shed (maybe even longer!)

Catching up....

Trying to catch up with the garden!  I put up some tomatoes yesterday since we haven't been eating them as fast as they are ripening.
Juliette tomatoes
Water bath...
The chickens are down to 10 now, I sold 8 of them this weekend.  They went to a very nice home as the lady that bought them seemed like she was going to treat them as pets! I think they will love their new home.  I'm relieved, as I wanted a small flock that I could get to know.  I have 7 little hens, and currently 3 little roosters. The roosters will be culled to one lucky guy soon.
I just brought in another 2 pounds of beans.  Whew!  Of course, this is all my own fault....I planted them in the garden, and then when I brought up the idea of the Bean Haus to John, fully expecting him to say no, he said "let's do it." I never expected that!  So we're getting double the beans needed for the two of us.  Colleen has taken some, but I think she's had enough, so I'm going to try canning some now.  I put up several bags in the freezer, but it will be nice to have garden beans in the winter, I think.
This is what I'm seeing on one of my heirloom tomato plants, a Cherokee purple. What is causing this?  I didn't find it on any of the other plants, and even not on every tomato on this plant, so I'm going to have to do some research.  Arghhh!