Monday, July 28, 2008

Heat Wave

It has been well over 100º for several days and forecast for several more. 106º yesterday and already 105º today. Very hot. We had two cloudy days as a result of Hurricane Dolly, but only a trace of rain. Just made it hot and humid. We can not keep up with the grass so our goal will be to keep the shrubs and plants watered. A few boxwoods look bad, but everything else is OK so far. Deer have eaten some of the Mexican Heather on the patio and armadillos have dug holes in the front lawn. Very hard to keep ahead of the critters.

We had a new visitor last night, a baby skunk. I've never seen a baby before. They are very cute and they try to look big by keeping the tail raised and open. Very interesting and fortunately the dogs didn't see it in the courtyard. Only saw the one so there may be more.

I think after the big weekend last week we had hospitality withdrawal so we had the neighbors over for mojitos. I used the mint that had grown back from the original location saving the newly planted mint. It was fun. Mojitos are a great drink for the hot days.

Too hot even for summer hours so the goal will be to water were I can and keep training Tessie.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Big 'Clan' Weekend

We had "the Clan" visiting this weekend. On Friday we took a tour of the Norse Historic District visiting: Norway Mills, Bee Hill Farm, Ringness House, Norse Church and cemetery, Quested Farm, the Rock Church, and Gary Creek Ranch with a stop here for lemonade and a meeting. On Saturday we visited the Bosque Museum and the Conservatory. Saturday evening, after it cooled, we had the group over for refreshments and steaks. We grilled some good Bosque County ribeyes on a fire pit and it was very good. The weekend was a lot of work, but I think everyone really enjoyed it.

Here's a link to photos of the tour (click on photo): Image hosted by
by buoso

Some good friends stayed in the cabin and they brought their two Scottish Terriers. It was very interesting having the four Scottish dogs. Tessie really did well. She was familiar with Scotties as we adopted her from a Scotty rescue. The big excitement was when we got an armadillo trapped in the court yard on Friday night.

Lots of great stories & gossip and times like these I could use a more personal blog, but I better keep this in the JOURNAL format!

I'll be resting up this week after all the prep work we've done. I did get four more squirrel baffles so I've installed them. All the feeders now have them and I did get another new Droll Yankee bird feeder which I have placed next to the bedroom window. I've already seen painted buntings on it twice.

It continues to be very hot. Hurricane Dolly is supposed to hit far south Texas tomorrow so I hope we get some relief. We used 24,000 gallons of water this past month. I had banked several thousand gallons, but have used them up the past two months. We are current with the water meter now. (FYI-In the country we read our own water meters--some cooler months I over pay my actual usage in order to help reduce the large pmts. in the summer months)

Sunday, July 13, 2008


If I'm typing I hope it's about Caribbean music on my cruise blog. Unfortunately it's about the weather. It has been a high of 96º-98º-100º for a high all week. We are on summer hours and doing a lot of work though. We have a group visiting the Ranch next weekend so we've been cleaning, cutting, hauling, mowing, burning, trimming, planting, hauling, painting, & repairing for a few weeks now. I did get my new propane torch working this week. It will help control growth in some areas that can be burned. A little afraid to use it with it as dry as it is right now, but as I get used to it, it should be a good tool.

I did water the grass around the house this week. Will probably do so again this week, but that will be it for the year. The goats are still getting grass that is growing in the shade. It's not all dry yet, but it will be if we don't get a break in the weather soon. There's still a lot of grass on the house side growing in the cedar. I can let the goats over here later if needed.

I did get 100 lbs of sunflower seeds to mix with the bird seed. The birds are already enjoying it.

Tessie is adjusting well. She helps us get up early (summer hours) and really enjoys the outdoors. We think she has not had a lot of freedom in the past and the rescue group did well in getting her. She sure seems to likes it here.

The mint we planted is coming up behind the pavilion. I did water it several times and it will probably do well there. Sure hope so. We use it in iced tea and mojitos.

Monday, July 07, 2008

July is here

July is starting off with typical summer weather. Nice mornings, but hot days. We have been getting out very early working and cleaning mainly around the house. We have cut and cleared cedar back to the very large old original cedar trees. I call these red cedar. We have seven very large old cedar trees about 3-5 feet in circumference and 40+ feet tall. These were too large to cut in the 1930's when the mountain was cut for cedar posts by the CCC. Of course when we clear we also have to clean up the debris left in the 1930's as well. We again have a huge burn pile down at the 'gravel pit'. We have also burned some stumps and laid out a new fire pit on the western bluff. We are trying salt on the patio to keep grass from growing between the stones. We've spread fifty pounds and will see if that works. Nothing else has so far.

Tessie seems to be adjusting very well. We take a walk every morning and she now looks forward to them. She has taken the lead a few times and she almost chased a rabbit this morning. We don't always see deer, but this morning one ran/bounded along beside us and got well ahead and then jumped the fence in front of us. They look very graceful and jump so high. I'm still amazed at how well the squirrel baffles have worked. I've moved some bird feeders and will invest in some better quality seed now that we are not losing so much.

We cleaned all the mint from along the house and hopefully have replanted some behind the pavilion. It really took over the area it was originally planted and the new area should be much better for it. I do hope it will take in the new area we prepared for it. I took the excess mint and buried it in a draw on the mountain pasture. That area has good soil and gets run off when it rains. I'll be curious to see if it comes up on its own in that area.

The Mountain Pinks are starting to fade in the heat. Looks like we may have to water the grass some as well. We'll allow it to go dormant by the end of the month if we don't get rain.