It’s almost Christmas

Warning:  Picture Heavy Post!!!  Christmas is pretty low key for us.  With a first responder in the family, we don’t necessarily celebrate Christmas on the 25th.  Plus, we have very little family still living, so our celebration is quite small.  But it works for us.  I’ll share pictures of our tree with you.  We do have some other decorations out, but I don’t have pictures of them.

Tree

I love my dog

tree in bulb

bird cage

 

 

wreath

crown

angel wings

mica flakes

 

 

heart

 

 

presents

 

And posing in front of the Christmas tree is the world’s best Doberman ever, Bella Rose.

Bella

Robin’s Eggs

Last spring I was out cutting roses from my huge rosebush and spied a bird’s nest in the middle of all of the thorns.  I wondered how in the world a bird could navigate all of the thorns and still manage to build a nice, snug nest for her babies.  She had to be a pretty smart bird – after all, the thorns would definitely keep a bunch of predators away from them.  I went in and grabbed my camera and carefully worked in the bush to grab a picture.

eggsWhen I saw the eggs, I knew it was a robin.  She flew above the tree and chattered at me the entire time I was there.  We watched those eggs and were excited when the finally hatched.

baby birds 1There were 3 of them.  Usually one of them was asleep while the others had their little beaks open, waiting for food.

 

baby birds 2

 

We watched them as they grew.   Until one day I went to the rose bush and the nest was empty.  I hope they all managed to fly and live their lives.

It was such a lovely experience watching her care for them and watching them grow.

 

 

The Gift

My daughter-in-law’s father, Ray, is really great with wood.  He makes some of the most amazing thing.  She had a rack with hooks on it in her home that Ray had made for her, and I really admired it.  I got lucky – Ray made one for me and my daughter-in-law and son gave it to me.

shelf

 

Ray hand- carved the “H” and vine designs on it.  It hangs in my kitchen and is so very handy.

shelf detailsI love it!

 

Life on the Farm

Going to the farm isn’t all about relaxing.  There’s always work to be done.  But everyone knows the work is easier when you’ve got the right tools.  Farm Boy and our son bought a new mower for the 3 acre front yard.  You’ve never seen a man so happy to mow the yard as Farm Boy is, now that he’s got the Gravely.   It’s a monster of a mower and does a wonderful job.

a man and his mower

 

Before he begins mowing, Farm Boy goes out and surveys the area.  Last time we were there we had an unexpected visitor.

skunkAnd not the kind you welcome with open arms.  I grabbed the big camera and snapped a few shots of him/her but kept my distance.  We waited patiently for him/her to tire of us and make his/her way out into the pasture before we began working.

Pepe Le PeuHe/she left and as far as we know, hasn’t returned.

 

 

The Long Road

Herring Farm - 1905

Getting away to our farm house means leaving all the city noises behind, along with the conveniences of living in a big city.    In Houston, we’re so used to hearing sirens we don’t even go out to look and see if it’s ambulance, fire truck or police car.  We hear our neighbors – their music, their conversations, their movements.  The sky is never dark enough to really see the stars at night.  Something is almost always flying over us  – news helicopters, planes, LifeFlight.

Silence.  That’s what you hear out at the farm, with the occasional call of wild animals, and the moo of cows, but mostly peaceful, blissful silence.

Farm Boy and I both work hard and work long hours, so when the time comes to go out to the farm, we can’t wait.  Once we turn down the road that leads to our farm…

Herring Road…the stress relief begins.  The road is rough and somewhat crude, with all sorts of material patching up the holes in it.  If you encounter the rare vehicle coming towards you, both of you have to pull into the ditch to pass each other.  There’s fields and pastures on both sides of the road.  No traffic lights, no people suffering from road rage, no loud music.

Just more silence….

the drivewayWhat a blessing it is to pull into this driveway and know that we’re home for a little while.

 

 

Police Protection

We live in the unincorporated area between West Houston and Katy.  That means we do not have the protection of the Katy Police, as they operate only within city limits, nor do we have the Houston Police Dept.  Our dues to the homeowners association pay for us to have Harris County Precinct 5 constables in our neighborhood.  We have certain constables specifically assigned to our neighborhood, although the constables from other areas also answer calls there.  In Harris County, a constable is a deputy, with the same powers as a Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy.  Recently we had a neighborhood bike ride.  It was lots of fun and a beautiful day for it.

Sergeant Glover, who is our neighborhood sergeant as well as my best friend, organized it.  Deputy Esparza, our daytime deputy, provided a police escort, complete with flashing lights.

Deputy Esparza is the tall one in the photo below, and Sergeant Glover, in bike garb, is next to him.

Ruben and MirrianWhen we reached the half-way mark, we stopped and took a break.  Deputy Esparza was kind enough to provide a “tour” of the his police car, known as the “shop” to those on the force.

Ruben

 

Hopefully that’s as close as most of us will ever come to a police car.  We all then returned to the clubhouse and visited for awhile.  It was a fun day!

the groupThanks, Sgt. Glover for organizing it, and Deputy Esparza for the escort.  Thank you, too, for your dedicated, selfless service to our neighborhood.

 

 

Proud Parents

What’s a blog for if you can’t brag about your kids a little bit?  Farm Boy and I are so proud of our daughter, Kathryn.  She’ll always be Katy to us but to her friends she’s Kathryn.  She’s overcome so many things to get to where she is today.  Recently she was inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, an International Honor Society in Education.  It’s not the first honor society she’s been in since she began college but it’s the most important, as she is studying to be a teacher.

In the picture below, my daughter-in-law, Nikki, me, and Katy are posing.  Nikki is also a teacher and has been inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, so this was a special time for us.

Nikki Mom and Katy

 

A student Katy had mentored was also there, and very happy to reconnect with Katy.  The two of them really enjoyed each other.

Katy and her student

 

It was so nice to have our son – Charles and his wife, Nikki, there with us for this special celebration.  Below are my son, Charles, Katy, and Farm Boy.

Kaleb Katy DadCongratulations, Katy, and thank you for being the person you are!!!

 

The Kitchen

When we  moved in, our kitchen was the typical 70’s kitchen with Harvest Gold appliances and yellow counter tops.  We really couldn’t afford to gut the place and do a big remodel, so we used paint and ingenuity to update our kitchen.

We began by refacing the front of the cabinets.  I really like the cottage vibe, especially since this house is on the smaller side, so Farm Boy refaced the cabinets with beadboard and then built beadboard doors to go with them.  As you can see, we’ve still got the yellow counter tops and it seems dark and gloomy in here.

Kitchen Before

As time went on I patched the missing chunks in the counter tops and painted them with paint specially made for formica counter tops (purchased at Lowe’s).  That was several years ago, and they’ve held up fairly well.  I also painted the cabinets white, which to Farm Boy was pretty much a sin as he loves the natural wood and doesn’t understand why I have to paint it all.  But, I think it really brightened up the kitchen a lot.

Kitchen After

 

It’s amazing what a little paint can do….

One last look at the “Before and After”.

kitchen b& a