Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dad in the service...

I'm doing a little project for one of my niece's, and I ran across these two photos of my dad when he was in the service in European theater during the end of WWII.  These are probably about 67 or 68 years old, so excuse the wear and tear! Don't you love the little white photo holder tab marks on the edges?  The tabs are gone (they were black) but they left their mark through the years.
Wish I could read the caption on the bottom of the plane under the black crosses....

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Trying something new....

So I read on one of the gardening blogs that I read about propagating heirloom tomatoes from cuttings in the fall.  She says she takes cuttings and is able to have a whole new crop of tomatoes in her greenhouse during the winter, so I'm going to give it a try.
On day two the cuttings are starting to stand up straight - they look good!

I've taken 5 cuttings from my German Johnson plant (which hasn't done all that much this summer, I might add) and I'll see if it will do better this way.  I don't think my Juliette tomato is an heirloom or I'd try it with that one, its done so well all summer long.  

I might take a cutting or two from the Brandywine and Cherokee, too.  Once I pot them up in bigger pots I'll use this magic tomato food recipe that I used this spring - I think it really helped my garden potted tomato plants!  I'll let you know how it goes!

Chickens Contained!

Getting 2 - 4 tiny eggs a day now!
We (you know when I say we I really mean John, right?) are putting a chicken run around the chicken coop to keep them in and give them a little freedom during the day...John's idea.  He HATES them coming up and scratching up the flower beds and disturbing the plants, the porches, his peace of mind. Ha! So, he's been working on this the past two weekends.  It's almost done and then he'll be much happier! I actually do help some by offering ice water, unneeded questions and suggestions that are promptly ignored.  I do my part.

The first day we let them out in their brand new run, 6 of the critters promptly flew right over the fence.  Hmmmm.......

Something more was needed.

Yesterday every one of the chickens got a haircut.  I clipped their flying feathers so they can't get any "lift" to get over.  I'll have to let you know how that goes.  So far, so good.
Feathers were flying!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fall Garden, continued....

Today I finished up bed #2. Here's what I planted: 

  1. Golden Detroit Beets
  2. Detroit Red Beets
  3. Bull's Blood Beets
  4. Five Color Silverbeet Swiss Chard
  5. Golden HEalth Squash
  6. Purple of Sicily Heirloom Cauliflower

and there are two existing parsley plants from the spring garden in this bed, one flat leaf and one curly leaf.  They should be okay throughout the winter and regrow next spring. Tomorrow its on to bed #3!  John was working on a fence around the chicken house - he's tired of them coming up and disrupting all of our bedding plants and mulch around the house every day, so they are going to have their own little day run!
There was an occasional breeze coming through as we worked out there today, very nice.  Not saying it wasn't hot, but that breeze was great.  And the air smells different today - there's a touch of a fall smell in the air.  Not cool but just smells different.

Little Country Girl!

Look who we got to see this morning!  She's just growing like a weed.
When she's trying to look cute....
Flowers in her hair....

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fall Garden Underway!

I've been getting the beds ready to plant this week and starting to transplant some of the starts that I've been babying along the past month or so.  It's sweaty work out there right now, I'll tell you!  This first bed will include:

Red Russian Heirloom Kale Lacinato (Dinosaur) Kale
Short n' Sweet Carrots Kaleidoscope Mix Carrots
Cour di Be Cabbage Michihli Cabbage
All the kales and cabbages have been started in seed trays, so they are transplants.  I had some germination problems with the kale seeds that I got (the Red Russian Kale only had about a 25% germination success...terrible!) We'll see how this goes!  I hope they don't just shrivel up and die in the heat....

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Movie Review --- The Expendables 2

I haven't had as much fun at a movie in a long, long time! What a CAMPY good old fashioned 80s action movie romp!  These old guys did such a great job of mugging it up on film, nodding to each others old movies here and there - you had to be fast to catch them! Arnie said it best, "we belong in a museum." Ha ha! The gang from the first Expendables was back, along with a new young guy (Liam Hemsworth - spoiler alert!) who was only along for a while, saddly.  There's lots of blood and guts and stuff blowing up, big guns and flexing muscles. 

Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger - they were all along for the ride.  Jason Statham  is in it again (I think he's a bit younger then most of these guys, but I love him as an action guy) I'm missing a few of my favs from the 80s...Mel Gibson, Steven Segal, Wesley Snipes.  Where are they!!?  

You will love this movie if you were anywhere in the vicinity of the 1980s and loved those movies back then.  The guys are definitely showing their age, but they do it well.  Oh, and suspend your belief system while you're there - there's a lot about this movie that doesn't make sense in the world of countries borders, air space, diplomacy, you know....but it was a lot of fun.  And the music they used was fantastic!  You'll get a kick out of the score.

4 STARS!!!!

PS: I just read another person's wish list for the next movie and I'm adding it here.  What do you think? How could I have forgotten Kurt Russell? Love him too!

Expendables 3 Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Chuck Norris, Mel Gibson, Kurt Russell, Steven Seagal, Carl Weathers, Sigourney Weaver, Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen, Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun-fat, Peter Weller, Michael Biehn, Christopher Lambert, Roddy Pipper, Nick Nolte, Powers Boothe, Danny Trejo, Phillip Rhee, Michael Dudikoff, Rutger Hauer, Nicholas Cage, Wesley Snipes, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Eddie Murphy, Linda Hamilton, Bill Paxton, Lucy Lawless, Liam Neeson, Roger Moore, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, and Paul Hogan

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mimi's Summer Day Camp has Drawn to a Close

Friday was the last day of Mimi's Summer Day Camp.  We celebrated by going to a movie, Ice Age: Continental Drift.  Grumpy met us at noon and joined us for his lunch time.  We had such a good time, and KT stayed attentive to the story until almost the end, when she fell asleep for the last 10 minutes (she had crawled into Grumpy's lap and it was just too comfortable, I guess!)  After the movie we got McDonalds.

KT has grown so much this summer, she's gotten taller and stretched out - all legs and arms.  And she's talking so much now, lots of words and full sentences.  She's so much fun, interested in everything and learning about it all.  I'm going to miss taking her to the library.  We went every week on Thursday mornings.  She really loved library day.

I'm going to miss seeing her so much, but I hope we can have Mimi's Summer Day Camp every summer.  What a great way to get to know each other.  Next summer she's get the advantage of having Grumpy here every day too!

Calling Our Spring Garden Done!

With the full heat of the Texas summer frying most anything outside, we're closing down the spring garden and spending this week cleaning out the beds in preparation for the fall garden.  I've already done some of this as each vegetable browns and dies out, so it won't be that big a job.
We definitely need to add some sand and compost to each of the beds before planting again.  The soil that we got from our local supplier this year, while good, became somewhat packed as the summer wore on.  Too much clay.  So I'm working in some new soil, sand and compost as I clear each bed.

We had some fun this year and grew a few things out of the ordinary - peanuts, podding radish, and cotton. That was fun, and I plan to do the same with each garden - try something new! I'm considering growing a rhubarb plant or two next spring...wonder if they'll grow here in Texas?  My dad grew aspargus, and I'm wondering how they will do out here in the hill country.

We also put a lot of food away in the freezer and jars.  I kept track of the outcomes from the garden by weight.  Below is the result, along with the word "bust" for those that just didn't grow well.  There are some blanks for the pumpkins that I still haven't weighed.  They are still out in the potting shed and haven't been brought up to the house.  I'll update those sometime in the future.

I've bought some interesting seeds for the fall garden -some I picked up on our trip to California this year at our stop in the Baker Heirloom Seed store - some unusual fall squashes and things.  I'll do a post on what's going in there soon.  I'm excited about starting the new garden!
Bak Choi 2# 4.4 oz
Beans 14# 8.3oz
Cantalope Bust
Cayenne Pepper 0# 9.5oz
Cucumbers 2# 6.6oz
Finger Potato 1# 3.7oz
Green Pepper 6# 3.3oz
Jalapenos 4# 1.9oz
Leeks 1# 0.5oz
Lemon Pepper 0# 5.0oz
Okra 5# 2.2oz
Onions 2# 7.9oz
Patti Pan Sq Bust
Pumpkin, Amish  
Red Potato 2# 9.6oz
Tomatillos 4# 9.4oz
Tomatoes 35#14.8oz
Watermelon 55# 3.5oz
Watermelon,Gold  17# 1.1oz
Yellow Potato 2# 10.7oz
Yellow Sq 0# 7.5oz
Zuchinni 16# 0.6oz

WW progress for the week of August 12

I didn't do such a great job of planning meals this past week.  I meant to, but just got busy with other things and ended up throwing things together for our meals.  Despite that, I managed to lose another two pounds this week, grand total of 17 pounds so far!! I'm happy with my pace, and really haven't been hungry.  I really love the points system!

I bought some little "Aussie Bites" this past week from Costco that I've really been enjoying for breakfast.  They are only 3 points each, and full of whole grain and dried fruit.  I've been having one with some fruit and a yogurt for breakfast and I'm actually looking forward to breakfast!  Delicious!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Movie Review --- The Bourne Legacy

Off to the movies this afternoon to escape the heat and the soggy mud around our place - thank the Lord we got 3 inches of rain last night! Hooray!
We decided to go see The Bourne Legacy since it came out last week and we weren't able to see it then.  There are several good movies out right now that I'm dying to see - it was hard to decide, but we went with this one and will go see The Expendables II in the next week or so.
What can I say, I'm an easy to please movie fan, and I loved this newest installment in the Bourne story.  No Matt Damon, but Jeremy Renner was excellent in this story.  Very believable and hunky to boot! He's not what I'd call a handsome guy, but he's got that rugged thing down pat.  And he's going to be the next big action star, for sure.
Rachel Weisz is his "love" interest, and although I'm a fan of hers, the chemistry wasn't exactly right, although she pulled it off okay.  Don't get too attached to her, Alex, the Bourne girls don't last past the second movie. Ha!
The only downside is that there wasn't a lot of new catchy action sequences - climbing and jumping on roofs (check!), fast motorcycle race through crowded streets (check!), running through crowded apartments and alleyways (check!)  There was one quick "jumping  up on the stair railing with the motorcycle" that I hadn't seen before, so I guess that counts.
I give it a 3.5 stars! Go see it!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sad news....

I guess I have to report the bad, along with the good.  We had a guinea tragedy yesterday, we woke to find that a racoon had knocked over our guinea cage and killed and/or taken every single one of the chicks.  It was a horrible sight.
We had raised all of those chickens in the exact same cage with absolutely no trouble at all.  Very strange.  I wonder if guineas give off a different scent, or maybe they make more noise at night, or what?
No more until John can build me another critter proof cage and that won't be happening this year.
I'm heart sick....

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


One of the cotton plants is an imposter!!  Totally white!
One plant does not look like the others.  A seed  must have jumped bins at the seed company and took a ride to our house!

Look who visited us today!

Our beautiful God-Daughter....only about a month till we meet our new Grand God-Daughter!!! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Family Visit

Bobby & Andrea
We've had some company lately....John's brother Bobby and his family came to visit from Florida.  We had a great visit, catching up with family and settling their daughter, Adrienne, in with us.  She's staying with us for a while - starting a new job at Sea World.  It was so nice to see family!
Adrienne and Daniel
Bobby, Andrea and John
KT was so happy to have someone who would play with her! Daniel was a good sport! 
Aunt Andrea doing swing duty
The Koenigs at their farewell dinner

Chicken update!

Well, well, well....look what I found in the lay boxes this evening!! Four perfect little eggs - three were in one of the boxes and one in the second lay box.  How exciting!  And these bantams are only 4 months and 10 days old!
They're small, but all chicken eggs start out smaller then they will be normally, so they should get a bit bigger.  Not as big as a regular chicken egg, but larger then this.
With 7 hens, we should be getting some regular eggs soon!

Supper Club, Summer 2012

We had such a good time last night at supper, starting with a hurricane drink in a hurricane glass! But, whew! those are some strong drinks!!  I wish I had taken a picture of my drink - it was so pretty.
The theme was Cajun and we had some excellent food - gumbo and jambalaya, red beans, rice, corn & red pepper salad, crackling cornbread muffins, key lime pie and homemade pralines....and, yes...I went off my diet. Ha!
Great food and great company.  I appreciate that so much more now that I'm retired.  It's good to get out occasionally and just sit and talk.
We won some great swag, too...who knew that John would know so much about Cajun territory?!
Great fun!
Lots of Johns
Our little something extra!

How I'm Feeling.....

.....after Saturday!

WW Meals & Recipes for Week of August 5th

Again, no recipes or meals to report for this week.  That's all going to change beginning today.  I lost a whopping 1 pound this week, which I'm glad for, but it could have been better, considering that I ate pizza this week and a delicious cajun meal last night, without weighing or measuring a thing.  I'm back on the total band-wagon today....weight, you're going down!!!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

WW Meals & Recipes for week of July 29

Well, I have no recipes or meals to share this week.  We've had company all week, so my meals have been more regular "people food", although I've been very cautious and careful with choosing what I eat, and I've weighed and measured as much as I could.  Eating out has been okay, and I'm feeling much better about knowing that I can stay on program using Dottie's site for chosing what to order.  And, great news! I lost 2 more pounds this week!!!!
Total - 14 pounds!
Once things settle down, I promise I'll be back to my regularly scheduled program, including recipes.