A Springtime Update and Picture Post

Howdy all!  It’s been a while since my last post and I’ve saved up quite a few pictures, so I will be scheduling a future post for next Tuesday also.  Not to spoil it but…it involves hanging planters!  I will probably be journeying home this weekend so I will have even more pictures (hopefully of our beautiful bluebonnet fields) to share with you.  In College Station I’ve been pulling out an ill-placed Mustang Grape vine (Vitis Mustangensis) and watching my flower bed grow.  Normally I love Mustang Grapes when they grow on the cedar trees around the property at the farm.  However, when they are growing into the screens on our windows, that is not cool!  My boyfriend has some beautiful roses that are very bushy right now but I will be pruning them down once they start to die back in the fall/winter.  The roses are beautiful!  Also, for relaxing music, I recommend Jessita Reyes “Native American Flutes and Sounds of Nature“.  I am listening to it now and it is extremely lovely. Thank you to everyone who follows my little blog and I hope that I am able to entertain, brighten days, uplift spirits, and generally impart some good onto my readers.  In the near future I will be doing a post on a few of my favorite blogs that I have found so far.  For now, below, I have included a LOT of eye candy for you to tickle your visual sense with.   Please enjoy.

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Posted in 2012, Flowers, Gardening, House, iPhone 4, Photos | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Texas Clouds and Sunsets With a Few Life Lessons Too

Well, my previous little phone took some pretty decent photos back in the day. They were a little fuzzy but definitely captured the moment well.  This one was from back in 2010 but I can still remember driving with my dad as if it were last weekend.  I since retired that little phone to a box in my room at the farm and have been snapping photos with my iPhone 4 ever since.

One thing I learned about when home during 2010 was family. Or we can call it farmily — the family farm, the family on the farm, the family with a farm.  My farmily will always be there for me.  When you’re 24, are two classes short of graduating, and you run out of money for college, the only thing left to do is to come home and work.  While it would be a great fulltime job, we simply don’t have a fulltime farm. We have a family farm where I someday hope to bring my grandkids for weekend excursions.

(As you can see in my “About” page, however, I did graduate in Dec. of 2011 after saving up enough money from the fulltime job I acquired in January of 2011 to pay for my classes.  So, the story has a happy ending!)

But, while I was home, I also learned to slow down, to appreciate life, and to love the people around me even more.  From January to May of 2010, I took one college course at a community college in Houston. This introduced me to a lot of good friends who I am still in contact with.  Once they learned I lived on a farm, they would ask for fresh veggies every week, and I would happily oblige by bringing baggies full of cucumbers, green beans, and tomatoes.  I always had a wariness of community college, I am sad to admit, but after attending there, I have come to know this:

1)  Community colleges have some of the best, shiniest, jewels of professors.

They seek refuge in the community colleges where they can really TEACH.  They can counsel their students. They can tutor in peace.  They can give advice, explain concepts to the fullest, challenge their students, and not have to worry about taking care of research, annoying distractions, or other such things.  My professor was a retired Exxon physicist with a hilarious sense of humor.  I learned more in that one class than I ever did in physics at A&M.  I also made an A.  I will forever remember him as the best teacher ever.

Of course I took the same professor for part 2.  Again, same friends, same studying partners, same veggies, and another A.  I had never baked cupcakes for a class before, and you better believe I took cupcakes at least once a month to my class for exams.

2)  Working in a convenience store SUCKS.

I needed money to cover my few bills I had every month, and in the summer nothing really grows. Nobody was really buying my peppers.  So, in October I picked up the old on-campus job I had and a friend offered to let me have the office in his house on the weekends. So, I’d come in on Friday, go to work, then work Saturday also, Sunday, and Monday. Monday afternoon I would drive home and sleep, then go to class Tue, relax Wed, and go to class Thursday. It sucked a lot, but I had money.  On top of that, I drove 1.5 hours Friday, and 1.5 hours Monday to get back home.

I learned to love driving and appreciate how much my daddy did for his family by driving 1.5 hours to and from Houston every day, five days a week, for twenty years, to keep a cushy, salaried, benefited job for all of us.  He could have taken the easy route and raised us in the city but he didn’t, and for that I am thankful.

But yes, working in a convenience store, on a campus, nonetheless, is depressing. Students throw their purchases on the counter, oblivious to all manners.  They spill things and don’t clean them up. They think they’re entitled to the world and shouldn’t have to work for it.  They’re bratty. They’re learning nothing at home.  They are terrible, horrific little creatures!  Occasionally there would be a sweet student, but most of them aren’t worth the money their parents pay to send them to school.  I have much, MUCH respect for anyone who works in a convenience store, because people treat you like you’re there for their convenience and you aren’t worth shit.

I try to always buy a piece of candy for the person behind the counter.  Discount be damned, it is my kind gesture that I know what they have to deal with, day in and day out. You will never see me rush the cashier, and I will give dirty looks to anyone who does.

While I hated every single minute of it, I did make two more friends that I am still in contact with.

And finally, 2010 made me appreciate the details in the world around me.

In January of 2011, I had a lucky break, and through all the skills my parents taught me about manners, respect, patience, and Microsoft Office (thanks daddy) I managed to snag a cushy office job in sales and contracts with a great company. Salary and benefits, enough to cover an apartment, all my bills, food, a little entertainment, gas, Christmas presents, and the occasional vacation.  I am working on a portfolio thanks to the occasional marketing slick that I get to design.  Someday I will likely be somewhere else, but until then, I am more than happy right here in life with my friends, family, and handsome boyfriend.  I don’t want that “high-profile” job if it means leaving behind my sweetheart. I’m perfectly fine right here.

Thanks to 2010, I learned a lot of life lessons that could only be learned by being tossed out into the world and ousted from my comfort zone.

So, let me show you a few more pictures of all the detail that I recognized in 2010.

Check out these wackadoo cloud formations. There were rows and rows and rows of clouds stretching back as far as I could see.

A beautiful sunset.  When I took two college classes in 2010, I stayed at home on the farm. I rode in with my dad every Tuesday and Thursday to Houston and took my college physics course. On  the way there and the way back (but mostly the way home because I’d sleep every morning) I would take pictures to capture the pretty sunsets. The land is so flat around Houston and it makes for such colorful displays.

And no matter what, always remember to (Courtesy of Sweet Leaf Tea):

And appreciate the small things in life, because somewhere, someone has it worse than you.

Posted in 2010, Clouds, Photos, Sunsets | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

A Warm Saturday in March

As I sit here in my chair on the back porch (4:45 PM), my handsome boyfriend is mowing the lawn on his trusty Kubota mower. I did my two hours earlier, outside in my flower bed. The lawn is his area, and gardens and dirt are mine. That wonderful sound of a lawn mower making the rounds reminds me that Spring is coming! The sunshine is warm, the breeze is cool, and it feels delightful out here. Of course this is Texas, and things can get crazy, but I think this weekend is the last cool period we will have for a bit. If the darn grill were working, we could cook outside tonight. I am now adding a picnic table to my list of things I want to add to the back porch.

I am also on the iPad right now, which is usually mine until Fantasy Football begins again in the Fall (go Patriots!). Then it is commandeered by my sweet boyfriend for a period of time until after February. I am trying something new this time by writing my post by looking at the photos on my phone, since they are not on the ipad (it’s a 1). Then I will leave a note and insert the photo from my desktop later after doing a photo dump.

I think he is enjoying the sunshine on his mower. =). What a sweetie. I love him!

Today I dropped a fine fifty bucks at the Lowes Garden Center (that place was hoppin’ this mornin’) and brought my beautiful purchases back with me, but will be returning to purchase other things such as this fuzzy pink plant. I love anything fuzzy and anything pink.

Unfortunately, as I realized today, I have created a beautiful flower bed IN THE FRIGGIN SHADE!

Oops.

What made this even more disheartening is that the sunshine is about four feet away, on the lawn. If the house were a little shorter…

Hopefully my Irises won’t die on me. If the plants start looking pekid, I will probably dig their happy butts up and move them to the back side of the house, which, as of 5:30 PM, still has sunshine. The area near the trees is of course shaded.

I would also like to place some crocuses and lilies around the small tree on the lawn. I am not sure about placing them around the cedar because I thought they sucked up water.

I also picked up a Columbine/tea flower that reminds me of a Japanese zen garde)

For 77 cents, these are so worth it. They are adorable and cute and will provide beauty all spring and summer. They are more of the French Marigolds that I have been posting. Very easy and pretty plant.


These beauties are Persian Buttercups.

This is a nice touch to one of the counters in the kitchen. I can’t wait to have fresh flowers more often.

It is so relaxing sitting out here in the soon to be evening sunshine. Can’t you tell, lol? My lines seem to be getting shorter and shorter. The brick columns holding up the back porch roof are warm on my feet. I really just want to let the pictures do all the talking.

Growing wild in the yard. Short enough to escape the mower.

Pretty white Texas wildflower that is everywhere.

Boyfriend zipping around on his little mower, trimming up the grass.

And to finish, here’s a photo of the impending sunset.  You can see my boyfriend’s lovely handiwork on the fluffy green backyard.

Posted in 2012, Flowers, Gardening, House, Photos | Tagged , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Flower Beds in Progress 2012

2012 Marigold

Well, the light was getting very dim earlier by the time I got home. I leave work at 5:05, drive 15 minutes, spend 20 in store, drive another 5 and by the time I get home, it’s almost 6 PM. Unfortunately it was also overcast. I snapped a few photos of the area I am working in (my boyfriend’s front garden). This is the progress so far.

One of the little basil plants I planted. Already looking delicious. I love the texture when I zoom in.

Marigolds

This is the partial progress on one side of the flower bed. I am three-quarters of the way de-weeding it.

Wine

Ahhh. So glad I discovered these in the grocery store. And since I’m working on number four…time for bed! This should pop up sometime Friday. =)

Posted in 2012, Gardening, House, Photos | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

A February Visit to the Farm

Roses

When I went home over the weekend, I took photos of my mother’s beautiful roses. They bloom every year for about three weeks in the springtime. Thanks to the warm weather and well-placed rains, they bloomed early.  I snapped a few photos of them close up and far away (they cover a whole side of our house in white and yellow blooms. They are beautiful.

Goat

Here’s one for the cute factor. That baby goat had been born Saturday morning before I arrived to the farm. Isn’t it so cuddly and adorable?  I want to snuggle it forever!  It is amazing how the baby goats are born and then shortly after are walking and bobbing around like they’ve been there for days. The one laying down was our Christmas goat and was born in December. So, we’ve had two goats for 2012 and it will be about another year before we have a new arrival.  That is good because we need time to expand.  The picture isn’t the greatest quality because I had to zoom in fairly far.

Roscoe the Jack Russel

Roscoe is our adopted Jack Russel/Chihuahua? cross that we took in from an older family friend who was placed in a supervised care home.  We took a few pictures of him running around in the grass and he frequently goes on hikes with us.  We’ve shown them to our friend who was delighted to see him so happy.  It pains me when older people have to live in care homes because I feel that you should strive to take care of your older family members for as long as you can.  There is this horrible “me me me” mentality…or “I have to be independent and my parents should be too” mentality that I despise so much. I very much value the Native American views that the elders come first.  They’ve earned their respect and should be cared for by younger family members.  When my parents reach that age that they need assistance, I will gladly add a cottage or another room to my home so they can be nearby.  Granted that is probably thirty to forty years into the future, but still. Ok, on to more pictures!

Creek

I love our creek. It’s got several sections that hold water, and when it rains a decent amount, it even flows.  When it really rains, it gets going fairly well.  I remember when I was little, it rained EXTREMELY badly and my dad had to put me on his shoulders while we walked out into the soaking wet field. The water was almost up onto the field, and when we got to the creek, it was a rushing, muddy, light brown mess that was roaring along in front of us.  He wouldn’t put me down because he was scared I would run right up to it to inspect it (and he was probably right). I definitely missed school for a day or two because our road flooded and we couldn’t get out. Flood day!

Clouds in the Sky

This was Tuesday night, right before the rainstorm that came through. It wasn’t very strong but the clouds were gorgeous.

Clouds

An alternate view of the sky from Tuesday.

Poppy Flower

Hello! I am a beautiful poppy flower and you will be mesmerized by my beauty…

There was one other yellow blossom but it broke off at the bottom during Tuesday nights winds so I put it in a glass of water on the counter where it shall greet me for a few more days until it droops. But, I have another bud ready to bloom and hopefully, if I trim the dead ends after the wispy seeds fall to the ground, it will bloom for the remainder of the spring/summer.

Marigold

I can’t tell which way is up for this picture. I’ve rotated it several times.  They are tiny, gorgeous little Marigolds, courtesy of Lowe’s Garden Center. For 75 cents, I’d say I am extremely pleased and will be returning to buy more this week or next week. I am trying to watch my budget so maybe I will try and sprout some from seed. I am also thinking of Zinnias when I trim back the shrubby bushes.  I really want to remove those pesky “cheap landscaping” bushes, but, before I do, I want to ensure that my own garden bed filling skills are up to par and that I’m not absolutely destroying the front view of my boyfriend’s house.

However, things seem to be progressing nicely and I will have a post set up for Friday morning with several more pictures to show you all of my undertaking for spring and summer 2012. I am almost done “weeding” and “setting up” one side of the house but it still needs work and love.

Another summer goal will be to set up two planters on the back porch — one for herbs and one for jalapenos. They will both be on wheels so that I can wheel them close to the edge of the porch during the day to catch the noon and afternoon sunshine and then back up against the house for safety from winds or those pesky fuzzies.

So far the fuzzies have not eaten my plants…but you never know. Those fuzzies are crafty.

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Garden Photos 2011

Tommy Toe Tomatoes

These are Tommy Toe tomatoes, little marble-sized tomatoes that pop in your mouth when you eat them. They’re like candy. They’re addicting. They’re SO MUCH FUN to grow!  These sold very well at our garden show and I also love raising them just for me too.

Zinnias

At the time I was experimenting with my new iPhone. I had just received it over the summer and still love it.  It takes good photos and I can actually get some pretty close-up shots of my favorite flowers.  This is a picture of my mother’s Zinnias with that trademark trusty pitchfork.

Blackberries in our large tin cans

One easy way to start and move plants (with gloves on) is to standardize their containers. We picked up hundreds of free (always good) tin cans from the recycling center and used them to start our blackberry roots.

Iris

This beauty was taken with my old phone, but is still breathtakingly beautiful.  I love Irises and other bulbs…they are so perfect. This one is unblemished and the dewdrops on it (or it could have been raindrops) are absolutely the perfect touch.

Marigold

One of my talented, green-fingered mother’s beautiful marigolds.  I love zooming in on her flowers — they are always so fresh and captivating.  AND, they smell divine!  This is an especially good one to click on and look at the original photo. The detail is so exquisite…you will stare at it for five minutes at least.

Back Field

This is a photo of our back field. So much green and so much area to run around on.  There is a little brown grass because 2011 was a pretty rough year in Texas.  We barely had any rain at all and those clouds in the background might have been one such scarce rainstorm.

White Zinnia

One of my mother’s beautiful white Zinnias. I was tasked with the important job of making sure they were watered!  (In actuality, I started working in College Station in January of 2011. This was one of the weekends I was able to escape the city and go relax on the farm.

Texas Lantana

How close have you ever wanted to be to a Lantana?  I love this flower…and it’s a wonderful perennial so it keeps coming back on the corner of our porch year after year.  I love it because each little flower is comprised of even more little flowers.  Those delicate pinks and reds fade into whites and yellows.  How intricate is this flower! To me, this is the Texas Orchid.  When you look closely, the detail in each cluster is so amazing!

Red Zinnia

Mother’s red Zinnia, and two of my favorite bugs.  There had been one bug on the flower when I took the first picture, and then the second landed and snuggled next to the first bug. One is also smaller than the other…so in my mind there is a male bug and a female bug and they live happily ever after!  This is my desktop photo at work, and everyone loves it.

And with that, I am off to bed.  I will keep posting my 2011 photos until I have a sufficient number of 2012 ones built up.

Have a great Wednesday!

Posted in 2011, Farm, Gardening, Photos | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

First Picture of the Week

I needed a test photo to upload to test out some of the themes until I settle on one that I like.  So, for now, please enjoy a photo from a Texas sunset in February 2012.

Posted in 2012, House, Photos | Tagged , , | 10 Comments