Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I'm In The Garden Now

I've never been a gardener but with recalls on veggies, etc., and the doomsday scenarios concerning food, I decided it was time to learn.

Last year I started with this Backyard Garden set. Then later in the summer of 2009, I added a small 4 x 4 garden off to the left side. Today, I think this set is best used for herbs and a couple of tomato plants. The set is too small to produce much but it is a good starter set.

This year I've extended the little side garden to the Backyard Garden set by 8 1/2' x 12.' I'm ready to plant then will add a drip irrigation system. It is fenced with scrap fencing wire and old T-bar posts because Maggie loves to dig and this is too tempting for her to pass up. I even had to fence along side the Backyard set to keep her from jumping into the side garden. I may have to go higher than what is up because I saw a bend in the top of the fence which means she jumped into the Backyard Garden set and then jumped over the fencing into this extended garden and dug a few holes. Not only are deer a concern around here when gardening but it appears Maggie is also a concern. lol She jumps as high as a deer.

These are all the carrots I got from a packet of carrot seeds. I'll try to increase the carrot harvest next fall. Actually, I'm not known for a green thumb; however, I'm trying.

These herbs are in the Backyard Garden set. There is rosemary, lemon balm, lavender, curly and flat leaf parsley, yarrow, and cilantro.

At the moment, we have onions, one or two garlic pods, sage, and strawberries, I hope. Bought a strawberry planter last week with dormant strawberry plants. So far, the plants continue to look dormant, or dead. I have great hopes though that just a little more time is needed before green leaves appear.

Ugh: The Mantis tiller. When you can get the thing started, it works great for small tilling tasks, i.e., like the 8 1/2 x 12 garden extension.

We had to get a serious tiller for this one which is approximately 20' x 40'. The soil has never been tilled so we ordered 6 yards of compost to be delivered this afternoon. In addition we have to fence this thing to keep the cows out. I'll buy the fencing material tomorrow but we'll probably start spreading the compost this evening. We are planting at least 5-7 rows of corn in this garden, but the garden should hold 8 rows. I've negotiated for 1 row and hope to get 2 or 3 for something other than corn, like watermelon and cantaloupe. We also plan to do a drip irrigation system. There is a lot of work ahead but next year will go much easier. We may have so much corn that I'll sell some of it. :D

Until next time, God bless.

BTW, I still have 3 long finger nails; the other 7 have broken and look pretty ugly. Oh well, I keep thinking about the organic veggies we'll have.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Straight Out of the Camera Sunday

It is Straight Out of the Camera Sunday, a meme from Murrieta 365. There are two rules: 1) photo must have been taken by you, and 2) no tweaking (cropping allowed).

The climbing rose bush is beginning to bloom.

This is still a work-in-progress. The ground is too wet to use my little Mantis tiller -- it gets clogged. Hubby rented a big tiller for the corn "field" and will use it on this little 8' x 13' extension to my small yard garden before the tiller is returned.

This is the 20' x 40' corn field that we are tilling today. We should be able to put in 7 or 8 rows of corn. The well is close by which will make it easy to keep it watered. This tiller does the job!

You might say that in addition to trying to photograph just about every thing with which I come in contact I'm also busy tilling and/or digging. :D

For more SOOC Sunday photos, click here.

Until next time, God bless.

Texas Bluebonnets

The Texas bluebonnet is our state flower and is as much associated with Texas as cowboy boots and Stetsons. Seeds are raked into the soil in September and October so the flower will bloom in the Spring. Too much rainfall is a determent to lush fields of bluebonnets; the plant prefers moderate to a somewhat dry winter. The cold temperatures develop the root system.

This is one of my favorite pictures representative of the Texas Hill Country.

The bluebonnet is so vibrant and beautiful that a field full of the flower will literally take your breath away. While the bluebonnet grows in every part of the state the concentration of the flower grows in the Texas Hill Country. A town or county that receives a a bluebonnet trail designation is greatly prized and a great tourist attraction. Fredericksburg is one of those towns to have the trail designation. I've mentioned Fredericksburg, which is a little under 40 miles from my house, often in this blog. Fredericksburg and Wimberley are two of my most favorite places to go and most of the rest of the state feels the same. People flock to these two little town throughout the year and especially during bluebonnet season.

Until next time, God bless.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Old Cameras, the Funky and Blasts from the Past

In the same Johnson City shop where the world's ugliest Christmas tree was found last Saturday, these old cameras were found too.
I had an old Brownie camera just like the one in the center left. And, I'm not sure that I did not have one like the one on the right in the bottom photo. We've come a long, long way in cameras.
There were more blast from the past items. Check out the wrought iron wash basin with a mirror and tiny drawers on each side. There is an old refrigerator, wheel chair, Persian rug, some kind of huge tongs, and a straw/reed fishing basket. Had to add the little red truck and trailer picture frames to balance out the collage layout.
Then there is the funky. How about those decorated deer heads with antlers? Don't you just love the black and white checked mirror as well as those 1930-40's aprons? I well remember my mother and aunts wearing them.

BTW, in case you noticed I upgraded the Corel PaintShop Pro X2 to the X3. It is a really neat program which included Corel PaintShop Project Creator with the package which makes it super easy to do collages. Expect at lot of collages on this blog in the future. Collages of all kinds fascinate me.

Until next time, God bless.

Monday, March 22, 2010

300th Post - Pansies

This is my 300th post and, frankly, never would have believed that I would find 300 things to write about in a little over 17 months.

I'm learning my new camera and am trying to get a macro to my satisfaction with the camera kit lens, 18mm - 55mm. By sun time, it was 9 AM and these flowers were not as perky as they might be later in the day. The photos were taken outside the doctor's office -- hubby had a 9:15 AM daylight savings time appointment.

I like this one best. Now if I can just recreate what how it was done. No tweaking on this one other than cropping.

This one is a great color. I couldn't find one that did not have some dirt/trash on it but took it anyway. Hubby was waiting and he is not the most patient so did not take the time to pretty it up.

I had to do some tweaking to get this one, i.e., cut out and resize 150 percent to get the illusion that it is a macro.

BTW, I love my new camera but want a zoom telephoto lens with an image stabilizer.

Until next time, God bless.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Straight Out of the Camera Sunday

Time flies when you are having fun and here it is Sunday already which means doing Straight Out of the Camera Sunday, a meme from Murrieta 365. There are two rules: 1) photo must be taken by you, and 2) no tweaking. Cropping is not considered "tweaking."

This the third weekend of the month or the Fredericksburg Trade Days are in session. When I first called my friend this Thursday about going, the sun was shining and it was deliciously warm but not too warm! Old Man Winter did not want us to get too excited because a huge rain storm came in Friday night along with high winds and a much cooler temperature. We almost cancelled but decided to go to Johnson City, 14 miles down the road, for lunch with the hope that the winds would die down and the sun come out. It was not to be.

We had fun anyway because we went to our favorite cafe in Johnson City, The Silver K. The food is great. I had Caesar salad with grilled chicken, the house Caesar dressing on the side, and a cup of baked potato soup. My friend had one-half of a sandwich of sliced turkey with avocado on toasted fococcia bread as well as a cup of the potato soup. Gad, it was delicious.

Since it was too cold to walk around the booths at Trade Days, we went to an antique store where I found the ugliest Christmas tree I've ever seen. Isn't it dreadful?

Now if you want to see pink on a tree, the red bud trees are "budding." lol Spring is here; the weather just doesn't know it yet.

Pop over here to see more SOOC photos.

Until next time, God bless.

PS: I'm on dial-up since the broadband is down for some reason. Even with optimizing the photos it took forever to upload. I had to do one at a time because when I tried to upload the three photos and the logo, my computer froze. It still took forever. Nothing like getting totally spoiled with speed. :D

Friday, March 19, 2010

Brenda's Photo Challenge

The Brenda's Photo Challenge theme for this week is Fruit/Macro.

I photographed these at Central Market along with the photos below. I was just getting started when a little guy came over to me to inform that NO photos were allowed. :D I guess that is prevent competitors from duplicating displays or prices. No matter, I told him the purpose but also asked if he wanted me to delete the ones I already had taken. Fortunately, he said, "No."

These are Maradol papayas from Mexico. Aren't they unusual? I've had papaya but it has always been sliced. Maybe all papaya look like these when cut. Anyone know?

Central Market has these large replicas of fruit and veggies as a barrier between the walkway and parking area. Central Market is H.E.B.'s answer to Whole Foods. Did you know that Whole Foods got its start in Austin?

Central Market is much more accessible for me than Whole Foods. The star Whole Foods store in Austin is a horror to get in and out of the parking area. I do not know how the customer service is at Whole Foods but Central Market's is top notch. When I was at a disadvantage with a cracked ankle before Christmas, one of the CM employees offered to do my shopping list. I was using a riding cart. The aisles were packed and next to impossible to shop while walking much less in a riding cart. I was very, very appreciative for the offer. In addition, hubby was with me and he would rather crawl over broken glass than shop. Note to self, do not ever break or hurt one's feet, ankles, or legs before Christmas.

Hop over to Brenda's to see more photos in the challenge.

Until next time, God bless.

SkyWatch Friday

Today's sunrise in the Texas Hill Country. This is the best I have to offer because . . .

Yesterday was incredibly beautiful. We worked on enlarging the garden, i.e., we finally got the rototiller started. Pull rope starters and I do not get along, but that is another story. Actually, I don't think I really get along with much of anything mechanical. The sky was so beautiful and we were so thrilled with getting the garden tilled (much better than digging with a fork thingie (shovel). I rushed into the house get the camera. Turned the camera on, the screen gave the message "replace battery pack." I plugged the battery into the charger; I anxiously waited for the afternoon was waning; the light changed from red to green; I placed the battery in the camera; a message came up to "replace battery pack."

To see skies from around the world, go here or click on the SkyWatch logo above.

Until next time, God bless.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Straight Out Of The Camera Sunday

It is Straight Out of the Camera Sunday again. Murrieta 365 invites everyone to join in the meme. There are two rules: 1) you must have taken the photo, and 2) no tweaking. Cropping is allowed but is not considered tweaking.

In my part of Texas, we were in a drought for years until September/October 2009. We've had a lot of rain the last 6 months. This creek has been dry for at least two years 2 years, probably longer. I'm standing on a low-water bridge; the above photo is to my left.

The same creek but is on my right as I stand on the bridge.

Oh yes, the sun is out and I've been able to do that one thing that Luc obsesses about besides food. I think he would drop dead first before calling off chasing the ball if I did not do it. It helps to keep him trim in addition to a 2-3 mile daily walk as well as wear him out enough to bring him in for the night. After a walk, 2-3 sessions with the ball throughout the day, and then eating, Luc is ready to settle down for the night. Frankly, I don't know if we could stand him if Luc did not get a lot of exercise every day.

Go here for more SOOC Sunday.

Until next time, God bless.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Skywatch Friday

Today's Central Texas sky is background to a flowering peach tree. Peaches from this part of Texas are some of the best tasting ever put in your mouth. We commonly refer to them as Fredericksburg peaches. Since we've had so much rain these past 6 months, the ground is soaked, and we should get a bumper peach crop.

For more skies around the world, go here.

Until next time, God bless.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Straight Out of the Camera Sunday

Murrieta 365 has a wonderful meme, Straight Out of the Camera Sunday. Everyone is invited to join in. There are two rules: 1) photo must have been taken by you, and 2) no tweaking. Cropping is not considered tweaking and is allowed.

Found this wildflower in the yard today and think it is in the Evening Primrose family.

Spring is just around the corner! Hooray! Spotting color in and around the house is stirring up a desire to get the garden in shape.

For more SOOC Sunday, click here.

Until next time, God bless.