Friday, August 28, 2009


August has turned out to be a busy month for us. We had a visit from Alma and Warren from Dallas, and then Wes Mays from Coppell came and spent a couple of days. The weather was beautiful. We didn't do much except sit around and relax and visit and walk around the property and relax. We ate way too much! And we got the Desoto out and on the road. It is fun to drive through the Park -- everyone looks and waves to us.

Andy is hard at work on the addition to the third bedroom, which was his dad's room at the south end of the house. He has taken the outside brick off the wall, had some cement brought in for wall foundations, and set some of the plumbing for that bathroom. He had to trim off several limbs of a big tree that overhung that end of the house, but we'll be able to keep the tree itself. Andy has also done other trimming of trees around the property to let more light in for the lawn and gardens. The weather right now is perfect -- it was 65 degrees this morning and the high will only be around 84-88 degrees. We are hoping for some rain on Sunday, but Saturday is supposed to be really nice. We've been invited to help harvest grapes for one of the local wineries, so if the weather is nice Andy and I will join in that activity this weekend.

We've done some canning of vegetables from our garden: bread & butter pickles w/jalapenos, and pickled okra. We've been living on fresh salsa from homegrown tomatoes and peppers and jalapenos. We made some pesto from the basil we're growing in the front herb garden. We have some eggplant coming on right now. I planted some castor bean seeds around the barn garden in the spring, which was supposed to keep the gophers away. I don't know if that worked, but the castor bean plants have grown up and are gorgeous, with large red and green leaves and exotic flowers on a six-foot tall stalk! They are annuals, so I can't wait to collect seeds and plant them all around the property for next year.

Friday, August 21, 2009


We finally got some rain over the past week and everything has greened up. The temperatures are in the low 90's for high, and 60-70 in the morning. Andy was able to burn a brush pile in the middle of the week, and then it rained that evening. We have some visitors from Dallas coming tonight, and we are planning on grilling salmon for dinner (that we got in Oklahoma City) with polenta, and probably make eggs with chorizo for breakfast.

The vegetable garden is producing lots of cucumbers and we've canned some bread and butter pickles, with jalapeno. We are just now starting to get some okra production and should be able to put up some pickled okra this coming weekend. We've had lots of tomatoes and jalapeno and banana peppers, so Andy has made fresh batches of salsa about every other day. It's been fun to sit on the front porch and eat chips with fresh salsa and drink mojitos!

Our double oven finally gave in and stopped working. It is only about 35 years old and we knew it wouldn't last forever, but we were hoping it would last another year . . . oh well. We aren't ready to remodel the kitchen yet, so Andy will have to be careful and not tear things up too much when he replaces the oven. Actually, he found a new oven unit that will almost fit in the existing space, and since the space is enclosed by brick wall, that is a good thing. He will only have to do a little bit of cutting cement and brick to get the new unit to fit into the same space.

We have been busy cleaning out the living room/dining room space, going through packed boxes and either unpacking or moving boxes to the garage, as we still don't have storage space for everything we brought from Dallas. We're making progress and my goal is to have the living room and dining room set up by the end of September. We aren't going to replace wallpaper or carpet in that room for the time being (money, money, money) and the existing decor is in good shape, so that will be a project for down the road. I do want to get the dining room chairs re-covered (they are currently an orange fabric) this next month. As with all things out here in the country, it will take some research to find someone to do the reupholstery, and to find the fabric. I will probably have to make a trip to the City -- not much is available here in Watonga.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


We are officially open for business. We have two bedrooms completed, with private deck off of each bedroom. We have printed a brochure and started mailing it out. We have two reservations for October, so we are off and running. Since we are still "under construction" - the third bedroom -- we are offering our rooms at a discount, $59.00 a night. Cash or check only at this time; an ATM machine is available in the town of Watonga, 5 miles down the road. Our phone number is 214-763-3823 or 580-623-4269. Our email is -- easy to remember! Andy and I are eager to share our little piece of paradise. September, October, and November are ideal weatherwise. I am still working on getting the website up and running.

We continue to work on the gardens, which is a long term project but coming alone. I have lots of things blooming -- crepe myrtles, rose of sharon, cosmos, hibiscus, phlox, calla lily, datura, , salvia, verbena, Turk's cap, and even cactus. Andy has trimmed more trees to let more sun on the yard so that the grass can fill in. We are looking forward to the time we can have a "concert on the lawn." We have only seen one snake this year, and it was in the mouth of a roadrunner! Skeeter, the estate dog, and Mel, the mouser, are really helpful at keeping the unwanted critters at bay, and sometimes even the wanted wildlife. Skeeter loves to chase the squirrels and quail.