Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Will It Ever Rain?

Proof that it really does rain in south Texas!

South Texas has been in the worst drought in what some are saying the last 100 years.  A few days ago we awoke to overcast skies and the sounds of distant thunder.  Could it be?

I took Riley outside to listen to the thunder and teach him how to count how far away the lightening was striking.  When he heard the loud boom, he looked at me with wide open eyes and asked, "Do we be scared?"

"No honey, not yet.  We're too far away from it."  We all enjoyed the drink.

Our Garden

Herb Garden
In this area we've planted cilantro, basil, purple basil, Italian parsley, lemon thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, dill, and chamomile.

Our neighbor, Dave, came over with his little tractor and tiller to plow up our ground.  Our garden consists of three raised beds and this plot.  In the raised beds we've planted green beans, beets, carrots, ocra, cucumbers (for pickling), tomatoes (all varieties), anaheim peppers, sweet red peppers, eggplants, tomatillos, and radishes.  The plot has sweet corn, cantaloupe, watermelon, butternut squash, and yellow summer squash.

The green bean seeds in the ground. 

Riley is a great helper and loves to learn about how a tiny little, hard, dry, dead seed turns into food we eat.

Our little sower

Ten days later...the green beans have emerged from the soil, are uncurling and reaching for the sun.

“Then Jesus asked, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches.”  Luke 13:18-19

Baby Shower in a Box

An awesome package arrived in the mail a few days ago and I'm still reveling over the kindness and thoughtfulness.  It was full of sweet and necessary things for this baby.  First of all, anyone who has had the privilege of Deanna's magical hands at your birth knows all about the infamous Rosemary Mint massage oil that works wonders while in labor.  Also, some soothies, sitz bath magic, thank you cards, soothing soap...and the best handmade book ever.  

The card couldn't have been better for a woman preparing for the task of bringing a baby into this world (especially in water)...it said...

A woman is like a tea bag.  You never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.

Thank you Deanna!!!  I wish you could be here....

Purple Martins

Purple martins have arrived!!!  Grandpa and Gigi bought these innovative Purple Martin houses at a recent Home and garden Show in San Antonio.  Tom and his dad put it all together and the very next day we had birds!  Each bird supposedly eats approximately 2,000 bugs and flying insects a day!  The gourds hover above our garden...hoping these birds will be a natural insecticide! 

Texas Clips

Here are a few pictures of our day to day life on the farm.

A sunset outside our home

Riley "fishing" in the creek outside

Naya...still the same old happy dog to retrieve anything you'll throw

Riley and his best friend napping in the sun on our porch

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Homemaking Fun

Garden boxes in our front yard.  Were just about ready to start planting!  

Sourdough loaves from leftover "sponge" from Saturday morning's hotcake ritual.  Look out San Francisco,  these loaves were awesome.  Very simple and easy to make too... 

Rustic Sourdough Bread
1 c. sourdough starter (sponge) 1 Tbs. sugar
1 1/2 c. warm water 2 tsp. yeast
2 1/2 tsp. salt 5 c. unbleached flour

Combine all ingredients, kneading to form a smooth, soft dough, adding extra flour if needed.  Place is a greased bowl and let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.  Divide dough in half and shape into 2 oval loaves.  Place on a lightly greased baking sheet (I use stoneware).  Cover and let rise till very puffy, about 60 minutes.  Slash the tops, bake in a 425 oven for 30 minutes.

Flying High

Riley went with Grandpa to his chiropractor appointment a few weeks ago and they gave him this Spider Man kite.  He couldn't wait to get home and try it out.  

He did such a good job...got it into the air by himself by running against the wind and quickly learned how to keep it up in the sky.  It's the perfect afternoon activity in the hay field right outside our front porch.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Papa turns 32

Went to Blue Sky Brewery in San Antonio for dinner to celebrate Tom's birthday.  We polished off the night with a personal tour of San Antonio's train yard with Big Tom (his previous place of employment).  This was a real treat for Riley.   

my lovely cowboy...32 and handsome as handsome gets.

34 weeks...6 weeks to go 

New Ultrasound Pictures

Had our big (and final) ultrasound last week.  We went to a hospital downtown and it was done by a Doctor on the labor and delivery unit.  Upon meeting him, we went through the usual questions and got the usual response.

DR:  So, you're new here, where are you from?
Us:  We moved here a few months ago...we're from California.
DR:  (eyes rolling) Oooohhhhhh.  What took you so long to get out?
Us:  (puzzled...we like CA, thank you)  Oh yeah, well, we just moved out here to work on dad's hay farm for a little while.
DR:  Well, you'll get used to it here and you'll never leave

Most people here think people are running, literally running, out of California.  

Pictures are not great but you can see a fair amount.  The DR was very enthusiastic during the scan saying, "Oh wow...look at that spleen!  What beautiful adrenal glands...do you see that pancake thing?  That's the adrenal glands.  It's perfect.  And that heart.  Wow, perfect blood flow...isn't that just beautiful?"  Not sure if he was trying to make us feel better for being from California or not, but we left the room thinking he thought our baby was the coolest.

Mostly feet, face and hands.  We had to look away several times as he let us know the baby had it's legs wide open most of the scan.  In about 5 weeks we'll get to meet this little miracle.  It measured 4 1/2 lbs and 50th percentile.