24 April 2014


So, these little guys seem to be doing well right now.


As are these little ladies.

Coop Bed

We are looking forward to harvesting LOTS of good things this summer.  

But I am a little concerned about my almond tree. While I have pruned the tree every year, I have not pruned as directed. Two years ago I should have lopped off the smaller branches from the bottom. 

This Spring I started with this....

Almond (Before)

And when I got the loppers out and started getting rid of unproductive branches and suckers, I ended up with this:

Almond (After)

While I think it looks nice, it doesn't look like the hardy ones I see being shaken at harvest time. Maybe this Fall I should be more aggressive. I got rid of a bunch of branches, but I couldn't bring myself to cut any that are currently bearing fruit.

22 April 2014

How It Panned Out for Me

Well, I thought the cake turned out nice. And while I liked the chocolate fudge frosting paired with the lemony cake, I think I'd prefer a lighter frosting next time, maybe a lemony buttercream? The family ate it up so it was definitely a hit.

Lemon Fudge Cake

18 April 2014


Looking ahead to next spring, I sooooo want to do this. And I need to get going on this ASAP. I may arrange my flowers in a peace sign...we'll see.

And while I still have some flowers blooming in my yard, I will attempt to do something similar to this this weekend. Wish me luck.

And this, this cake!  Whoa! My mom loves lemon flavor/scented things so I was inspired to try to make this yummy sounding Lemon Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting for our Easter gathering. That and Deviled Eggs!

I plan to cheat a little because I don't have all of the nice ingredients that Kate calls for and I just happened to come across some Duff's Lemon Cake & Cupcake Filling and and Fudge Frosting at Target when I was looking for food coloring for the eggs. I am super excited about tasting lemon and fudge together. 

I plan to make the cake from scratch and pump up the lemony goodness with layers of the filling in between the cakes. I am not a great baker so I will need all of your good cake vibes, folks!

And recently I got my copy of Oh She Glows cookbook and have only gotten to try out two recipes, both baked chick peas and that got the thumbs up by the whole family. I want to return to the book to try out more recipes but I keep getting distracted with other recipes like the following 

Tomorrow will be a long day of baking, dying eggs, soccer games and yard work so I'm glad we have some pernil in the crockpot to save the day (or scent the house so yummily). I promise to post pics of the "actuals" to go with the inspirations above later this weekend...

Happy Good Friday friends!

14 April 2014

Postage Stamp

So the yard I have neglected is what might be considered a "postage stamp" sized yard. It's not very interesting. Except for the old (needing to be restored again) laundry line, the air conditioner and our beloved almond tree, the yard hasn't really offered or kept much over the years except for its use as a bathroom for the doggies.

East Yard

And some promise...

Work in Progress

I am once again exterminating Monkey Grass from our place. That and involuntary trees. I am about 60 percent done with the digging in that bed up there. It took me a good chunk of Saturday afternoon to get that much done. I am planning to plant some watermelon, cantaloupe, herbs, etc in there once I am done. And in the bed across the path I'd like to plant an evergreen plant if I can locate the right one.

Work in Progress

I was thinking of moving a Yaupon Holly that is too close to my bedroom window, but that may go elsewhere (back drive). Actually, maybe I should transplant the Monkey Grass to the back drive along with that holly and some English Ivy. All for "free" folks...

All I need to do now is focus and dig, focus and dig, focus and dig...

07 April 2014

Yardening Goals

We keep having these busy weekends with just enough time to pack in sports and baths and haircuts and laundry and if I'm lucky, some yard work.

I am very pleased to see many things coming back from previous year's efforts. Some peonies that petered out last year or year before are coming back in a few locations in my yard. The ones below (in the background) were from my dividing efforts 2 years ago.

Lamb's Ears

The Lamb's Ears were from last year. Both plants made it. I haven't had luck with Lamb's Ear in many, many years so this is cause for celebration!

And the hosta is from a few years back? I can't even remember now but I am happy, happy, happy to see the shoots coming up under my magnolia tree!

Hosta Coming Back

Back here by the big old Cottonwood behind the swing set is the site of my future berry grove. I have long neglected this area for the past couple of years. My mom and I transferred a ton of lilies and irises here a few years ago and I also planted a Chinese Pistache tree and Ginkgo tree back there, but I've wanted to do more.

West Side

Turns out the birds "helped" me plant some Mulberry trees back there so I started the process of turning the soil and extracting those lovely voluntaries out of my yard and into the Fire Bowl.

Speaking of the Fire Bowl, we got a new camera with some fun features like super slow-mo..check it out.

We picked up two of each of the following bushes to help us in our effort to grow more food in the yard: blueberry, blackberry and raspberry. I am so stoked but I have a little more digging to do before I can plant those plants. I wanted to post a before picture to add to the suspense/anticipation.

And in the East yard I also have my work cut out for me. I have a few Asparagus plants back there and some Monkey Grass that needs to go. I would like to plant my cauliflower, quinoa, chick peas and herbs in this bed so I can monitor progress from the kitchen window. I may plant some veggies in pots on this hardly used porch too. I am trying to get things more established so I can have more stuff come back year after year like the figs and pecans....maybe some ALMONDS this year?

East Yard

I am trying to be reasonable in my goals, but you know how that can go...