Friday, January 30, 2009

Git 'er Done

This pic was taken some 4-5 years ago when we were in the process of adding many of our trees. Hey, what can I say... the ground was hard and more weight/leverage helped get it done (even with the tractor, the ground was so hard that one auger hole took about ten minutes).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What Kind of Shopper are You?

I am a "Reluctant Shopper"
(gees, anyone that knows me would say "yup!")

You really don't enjoy shopping. For you, it's just another chore. You approach shopping systematically. You research what you're going to buy and come prepared with a list. Of all the types, you are the most likely to not buy things you don't need. You try to de-emphasize stuff in your life. You find shopping and buying things to be a rather empty experience.

Found this short quiz via a blog I visit (Neas Nuttiness). She had the results of one of these little ditties posted with a link to the site. There are only 7 questions...

So, what kind of shopper are you? Find out HERE and let me know!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Face in the Fire

Had another cold front come through. So, my care-taking other half made a fire and noticed what looked like a face in the fire before it really started burning big. So, he snapped a pic. Said it kind of looked like a pumpkin face. Sure does...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Killdeer Babies

For two Springs now, we have had Killdeer birds nest in our driveway. We have a gravel drive that leads up to our house and these little birds have found it to be a nice place to nest. That goes to figure as Killdeer like gravel to "nest" in.

The first year, we noticed the nest after the eggs were laid... it was good for them that they laid them in the middle of the road/driveway. Otherwise, surely the nest would have been run over. We just watched where we drove once we noticed.

The second year... we were keen to things a little more. I noticed a "nest" (no eggs) first- a little divot/scooped out place in our drive RIGHT IN THE WHEEL-TRACK... showed my other half... and we watched... everyday, usually upon getting the mail, I would look at the scooped out area in the rocks. In fact, I got tired of looking at it on such a daily basis... thought I was being a little pedantic when ALAS(!)... EGGS. Thankfully, I kept checking. So I knew what day these little eggs arrived.

Researched online and found the typical gestation for Killdeer eggs... it's a l-o-n-g time because, unlike many birds, these guys need to be ready to gitNgo when they hatch. None of this momma or daddy feeding you- they do it all themselves from the get-go. Hence, their long gestation time of 24-28 days.

This nest below was from the first year I noticed eggs in the middle of our driveway- somewhat grassy since it doesn't get trodden over constantly. That is my husband's finger pointing at them.
Let me tell you, those speckled eggs really camouflage when on rocks.

Last year, since the nest was in the wheel track of the driveway, we had to drive a bit off to the side for a month... until the eggs hatched and the birds were on their way. Since I knew when the eggs were laid, I knew when to start watching for babies. Can you see the nest below?

There were four eggs and they all hatched within 6-8 hours of one another. Below you can see 3 that have just hatched and one just starting. If you click the pic and enlarge it, you can see the egg cracked.

This one below is better for a close up click...

Once hatched, these little guys were quickly on their feet and ready to go. Amazing. This pic below was taken the same day they hatched. You can see momma ...? or daddy and some babies.

Interesting little birds, they are. They're always around -even in winter, making their 'kil-dee'~kil-dee' call. Am curious to see if I can manage to find where they nest this spring.

If you want more information on the Killdeer or to see more pics, click here: http://www.birdwatching.com/stories/killdeer.html

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Playground

One of our favorite areas to play...

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Couple of Our Beauties

(In the background, you can see part of the tree and the bench I referred to in the previous post.)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Old Man of a Tree

We have an old Pecan tree. And, since we've owned our property, we have watched it change little... until more recently. Although looking at it, during any of the time we've known it, one can see the change it's endured over its life. Since we've known it, the center portion of it has been... gone. Yes, quite some number of years back, it was struck by lightening. Following, it healed itself and has flourished.

This tree was a grand stately tree. Right now, still, the trunk's circumference is 20 feet with a diameter of 6 1/2 feet. It is one huge tree... well not as much anymore... at least up top.

Below is a pic I took some years back, in the spring. I even titled the picture (which I don't always do) "Under the Pecan". The horses love this tree for the shade it can give.

I had a bench (that my creative other half made) sitting under it. It was my place to stop, sit, and ponder, cogitate, reflect, ruminate, speculate, acknowledge and laud (you get the picture) stuff in life.

**sighhh**

But, things change. Life changes. I usually am kicking and screaming the whole way when it comes to change... has pretty much always been like that. Am getting better due a life-long effort to be more cognizant of my sentiment. But... I digress.

So, the bench had to be moved because the horses started chewing it apart. My dear other half fixed it, but it sits elsewhere now.


Then more change. Hurricane Ike happened to our Old Man of a Tree. The left half of the Pecan fork was twisted around and broke. If you look at the pic above, you can see that the tree forks. Well, that whole huge left half broke.

These two pics (above and below) were taken from opposite sides of the tree. The Old Man broke... **sighh** ...and can you hear me kicking and screaming? I'm not so much doing that now. But, a few days ago, we had a tree service come out. Though normally this is something we would take care of ourselves... it was kind of like having your car's oil changed, with some things it's just easier to pay someone else to do it.

Anyway, all has been cut, cleared, and cleaned. And the Old Man's frailty is showing.
We left what we could of him, as shade is valuable here and his right side is tall/wide enough that he's good to go... just smaller and less impressive looking.


But, with change can comes positives too...

In the summer, when the limbs fill with leaves, the horses will stand underneath during ritualistic times of the day and take a break in the shade. We have plenty of other trees for shade, but the horses prefer the Old Man for his location. He is located near the fence that separates the mare's pasture from our stallion's pasture... and everyone likes to visit one another throughout the day and this is a perfect meeting place for them.

And... Ohhh boy, the firewood. It is not clear below, but there are two rows of stacked firewood-with the smaller diameter pieces being in front ...and we do like a good fire in the winter.

Our Little Someone had a bit of fun crawling around and atop these huge pieces of Pecan below- and sitting high up with her Daddy.

What a cutie in pink sitting next to tired Momma (I was not planning to be in a pic).

The dog's "grazed" on Pecans since all the limbs/brush had been cleared. Smidgen, the black Dane's mouth foamed because she was eating and swallowing as fast as she could crunch.

I'm sure the dog's enjoyed the change this brought. I will just look forward to spring so I can watch the leaves fill in and see the Old Man take shape again. Boy, if he could talk... the stories he could tell.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So Call Me a "Comfy Dork"

Here I am sporting the latest jammie's fashion... well at least in this house... well, at least in this house, by me. The pants are tucked in the socks so there's no bare spot on my leg while I sleep. Yeah, yeah... call me goofy, weird... or a dork. But, I'm a comfy dork.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January Sunset

So, the days are getting longer and I'm loving that. Spring is my favorite time of year and with the sun staying out even a tad longer, it's great. Here's our back yard, which I love. It's the juncture for so many daily happenings around our place. We left room in case we ever decide to... "bite the bullet"? ...more like "bite a cannon ball" and put a pool in or ?? who knows what... I like just have it open for playing.


























I didn't have a tripod, so focus is not the best. But I saw the sky behind our windmill and had to click the camera.







We had some sand/dirt brought in to fill in some some ruts left by a big tree spade truck (we bit the bullet and had some bigger trees brought in and put around our house). Anyway, the dirt... it's like sliced bread for a 2 1/2 year old. Only thing is, our Little Someone cannot play in the dirt before her nap, but after nap she can. Otherwise, I'd be changing and laundering double what I already do -no thank you. There's plenty of other outdoor things to do that don't involve heavy orange stains on cloths.
The other evening was SO nice, we even played in the dirt just a little past dinner time (which, right now, is at dusk). Daddy and dogs love the dirt too! This pic was taken when Daddy was making a track like the one that the "Polar Express (movie) Train" has on the mountain (swirls around and down/up). Click on pic and you can make it out better.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Caught Playing

'Someone' got Play-Dough for Christmas. Wonder which one it was? ...seeing as I heard Grandpa made a fabulous play-dough dragonfly.

Pic factoids:

  • partially seen table made by my creative other-half.
  • horse painting on wall was my paternal Grandmother's. If you click and enlarge pic, you can see that the painting is created from the postal stamp beneath it.
  • spectacular barn in background built by my industrious other-half and my brainy dad (although they each share both of those traits in their own way).
  • Those window valences went up a few months after our house was completed (late 2001)- they're from Wal-mart. :-)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Baby, it's Beautiful Outside!

OMGosh! ...the weather! It is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous outside. Lots of ancillary things to do out there... and enjoy doing! Hence, the short post.
:-)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Whoo-hoo! Music!

Well, got the music widget going where one can choose their song. Hey, remember, it's the Little Things!
There is all sorts of songs listed... well, most sorts. For, there is no cRAP listed... but, hey, that's not 'music' anyway. Hmmm... wonder how many I offended there!
Oh well... happy listening.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Aaarrgh

Yes, I know the previous post references a song that is/was contained in a gadget that was on the sidebar... HOWEVER, temporary coding problems are occurring... Sooo, will hopefully have it back up soon.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

There is No Other Love Like a Mother's Love for Her Child

So call me emotional ...which is funny, because I have always tended to not be. But, it seems, the older I get, the more ...?? ... emotional I get... I am 'moved' more easily. This is not always a good thing. But, then again, it is at times (am I getting more indecisive too?!?) :-)

A big jump in my "emotionality" has occurred since my husband's and my daughter entered the world. One does see things... oh, I don't know that "differently" is the right word... perhaps it is for some... for me, I see things more clearly... sharper.

Okay, so back to the emotional part~ on the sidebar here, there is a list of songs. There is one by Celine Dion. It's called "Goodbye's the Saddest Word". Every time I hear it and listen to the words, I just about bawl at the line "There is no other love like a mother's love for her child". It is so true beyond words... and I don't think it would have 'triggered' me before my child like it does since her arrival.

If you haven't heard the song and you're a momma, listen to it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sweet Spotted One

This video was taken two months ago, but still captures the general patience that ambles around here~unless you're on the other side of the fence. Maybe this video is also instructional in nature... that is, "How to Take 165 lbs. of Teeth & Snarl (at the fence) and Turn Them to Mush".

Danes are Great.

video

Friday, January 9, 2009

Hooome, Home on the Range... Er, uh.. Address Lables

So, I mailed out the annual Christmas letter... actually, this year it was a New Year letter and it went out late. Better late than never, right? Anyway, I used up all my address labels, so I had to peruse the Internet for more. A company called Colorful Images is where I always get my address labels. They have tons. Anyway, despite 'tons', I couldn't find any I liked... that is, until I found that they did photo address labels. Cool! That personal touch!

So, I ordered some labels that have the below pic on it. I cropped it into a rectangular panoramic dimension using their online label-maker ~ very neat. Am excited to get them~ hey remember, it the 'Little Things' in Life!

I liked the sky in this pic, as the clouds were a nice mix of colors. Plus, the angle of the sun really seemed to set off the house.

Can't wait until spring for a pic from this angle. We bit the bullet and had some big trees brought in and moved around on our property using a big tree spade truck. So, the same pic should show quite different this spring.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Winter's Full Splendor in SE Texas

We have several fruit trees- a dozen, to be exact. These pics were taken about 2 weeks ago of just three of our trees.
This first pic is of our Seto Satsuma Orange tree. It puts on LOTS of oranges that mature late in the season- allowing us to have fresh from the tree oranges all through winter.

Below is our 'Improved Meyer Lemon' tree. Again, late maturing. Made a homemade 'Lemon-Whip' pie from it for Christmas. The lemons are sweet as a lemon can be... and big too.

This Meyer Lemon puts buds on and blooms... well, gees, seems like year round. Here, you can see new blooms (that are fabulous smelling!) right next to a half grown lemon... and there are lemons of all sizes on this puppy. Guess, I'll have to come up with more lemon desserts!
Our daughter loves to have us get her one of these flowers so she can carry it around and repeatedly sniff on it as she goes about her play outside.

This, below, is our 'Florida Prince Peach' tree. It bloomed out last winter and set fruit, but we picked many off thinking that the tree was young and confused -hey, a tree can go through that phase too, right??... nooo, it knew what it was doing. We had left a few buds on and they turned into wonderful fruit. So, this winter, we are leaving all on. There are a bunch of blooms and fruit buds all over this thing. I have put a pink star next to the ones I could count- though there are many more on the rest of the tree.

There's something about being able to walk out your back door and pick your own tasty treat from your own tree from your own land.

...well, the land you 'lease' from the government- after all, that's what property taxes amount to... even if you own it, you have to pay your "lease" to the government.... okay, okay, that's a whole different rant, I mean, 'post'.

Anyway, it is neat to be able to pick your own treat.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Thank you to the Funny One...


...one of the ones that makes things easier when things get hectic.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Too Much .... Not Enough ~ Going On

Too much of this...
and not enough of this...

...going on.