Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day weekend

We had a good weekend in spite of windy weather this past weekend.  Andy returned  safely from a job in Omaha, Nebraska.  Vicki Williams and I manned the first Farm & Garden Market at the Armory in Watonga.  We didn't have any produce vendors on Saturday;  with the late freezes we've had the outdoor gardens are not yet producing much except greens.  I harvested some lettuces and took those to the market.  I also took some potted plants and sold a couple.  It was a very nice day and we had several customers come by the Armory.  We could only tell them to come back in following weeks and we hope Aubrey Drew will bring some of his produce and canned goods.  Otherwise it was quiet in the town of Watonga. There was no Pioneer Day celebration so the streets were dead.   

At the Retreat we had guests who came to town to be with family and visit loved ones' gravesites.  And we had a couple who came just to get away and relax.  Thanks, Tim, for telling the young couple about our place when the Lodge was full.   They sat on the back patio and Andy fired up the chiminea.  It smelled like a campfire.  We sat with them and visited for a while under the stars.  The weather was perfect.  I feel like we made new friends and hope they will come back to see us. 

One of our guests this weekend purchased one of Drew's paintings from our Liquid Art evening.  She liked several of the paintings we have on display at the house, but I was only willing to let go of one of them.   

In between Andy's work on the outdoor oven in our backyard, Andy and I are working on a friend's yard -- cleaning up and putting in some new landscaping.  We've gotten the "cleanup" part done and now I'm ready to buy some new shrubs and plants to fill in the empty beds. 

Last week I suffered an injury and have been recuperating all weekend.  I don't think anything was broken but I have some pretty ugly bruises and my right side hurts like hell.  I feel like I was kicked in the side by a horse.  The funny thing is, I don't know what happened or how it happened.  Andy wasn't home so it is certain that he didn't beat me (just kidding!!) The only explanation we can come up with is that I got out of bed in the middle of the night while still asleep, fell against something in the bedroom, and got back into bed.  I don't remember anything happening and I woke up in bed on Thursday morning with an ache in my side.  The bruise grew over the next couple of days and I could feel the soreness deep inside, especially when I coughed or laughed or took a deep breath.  I found a scratch on one of my arms but no other scrapes or bruises.  I definitely bruised my ribs but don't think I injured any organs or broke anything.  Today, Tuesday, I am feeling a little better, not as sore I have been over the past few days.  I really can't afford to go to the doctor so I'm just hopeful my body will heal itself. 

The irises blooms have just about played out for the year. We had a good show but there were also lots of irises that didn't put out blooms.  It was nice to see flowers blooming from the highway.  Andy and I like to walk around the property and figure out where we need to move plants and add color.  I have some white irises given to me by my friend Katie, and I'm hoping to get some multicolored plants from another lady in Watonga who is willing to let me "thin out" her iris bed.  Right now the mouse-ear coreopsis and tickseed are blooming bright yellow and gold, and the turk's cap is putting on some blooms.  The sedum is also putting up stalks where yellow flowers will open in the next week or so.The summer phlox is coming up along with the obedient plant so we'll have more color later in the summer.  My variegated vinca is growing like a weed and I am transplanting some of into pots to take to the Farm & Garden market.  SPRING is finally here in earnest!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday May 20

This afternoon a HUGE tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma.  The news reports are 24-7 on both TV and radio.  One of the major targets was an elementary school.  Initial death count was around 90, then the news reports were saying 54 dead.  The rescue personnel are still trying to clear the debris and hope to find more people alive.  The location of the tornado devastation was a good 90 miles from Watonga, so we are grateful the storms missed us.  But our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Moore and the rescue personnel that are helping down there.  This evening's weather reports are that the stormy weather and possible tornado activity have moved southeast, toward Arkansas and southeast Oklahoma.  The weather here today is actually very nice, with a high temperature of 85 degrees and a little bit of wind. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Yesterday's temperature got up to 89 degrees!  It was a gorgeous day.  I worked in the vegetable garden, spreading mulch, and did a little cleaning in the garage, organizing all of my gardening stuff. 

Today is overcast but warm.  I planted some of the seeds I found yesterday, watered the vegetable garden, and harvested some mesclun mix and lettuces for dinner this evening.  I also took photographs of the blooming irises so that I can have a record of where each color is, so that when I thin the beds I'll have some idea of what color I am thinning. 

I met with one of the youth from The Spot yesterday about maintaining some of the garden beds on Main Street.  He is excited about working the beds and really making them pop!  Today we will go to the local nursery, June's Plant Place, and choose some hardy plants for the beds. I'm going to give him some groundcover and some irises for him to put into the beds. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Beautiful Spring Day

Monday, May 13, 2013.  Andy is busy at work on the Oven. 
He continues to make steady progess.  The cement forms he is pouring today will have to dry and cure for several days.  Drew is planning on being here this coming weekend so he can help with the project. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday May 10

The circus was in town last night, but I didn't get any photos.  I hear it was a resounding success. It was very nice to have something for families to do in Watonga!

We have guests from Ponca City (David and Mary Lou) on Wednesday, who golfed at Roman Nose State Park on Thursday.  They stayed in the New Mexico room and David and I had a good visit about New Mexico in general.  Thankfully, the weather was perfect on Thursday after a stormy Wednesday night.  We didn't get any hail like other nearby areas did (OKC), but we got a good thunderstorm and lightening show. David and Mary Lou said they sat out on the covered patio of their room and watched some of the show.

For breakfast I made sage sausage, applesauce with sliced apples on the side, and our standard "hole-in-one", an egg grilled in a hole of a piece of bread that is buttered and toasted; and sliced tomatoes with a drizzle of an apple dressing garnished with fresh rosemary.  I didn't take any photos but it really was a pretty breakfast setting.  Mary Lou, who had recently had hip surgery, suggested we put a chair in the NM room that has arms.  Right now there is a leather high-backed chair with no arms in that room, but we have an armchair in another room that we will switch out.  I really do like getting suggestions from visitors on what we can do to make their stay even just that little bit more comfortable.

Andy and I went out to the "back forty" to hunt for mushrooms again yesterday, since the weather warmed up after a good rain.  Didn't find any more after the crop we gathered on Tuesday. 
Andy, Dale, and John - hunting mushrooms in May.

Today if work day in the yard -- pulling weeds, raking up leaves, cleaning out flower beds, trimming dead off of the trees and bushes.  the irises are starting to bloom.  Everything is turning green. 

And here's the latest progress on The Oven -- it's coming together nicely: 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Perfect Saturday

WOW!  what a great day I had today.  We welcomed our good friends Teri and John from Broken Arrow and they brought friends Phyllis and Dale.  We took our time getting up this morning, drank coffee and ate coffee cake and home-made granola made by Teri.  A light breakfast of egg and spinach muffin topped with sauteed morel mushrooms and onion, with fresh fruit on the side got us ready for a busy day.
After breakfast, we walked through the back woods to hunt for more mushrooms.  It was quite the adventure for all of us.  We were successful and brought home more than a dozen, which we sliced and fried up at dinner time. 
We were out in the woods for almost two hours!  Skeeter and Itzel stuck with us the entire time. We were all tired when we got back to the house.  After showers and a short nap, we went to town, gave a quick driving tour of Watonga, and ended up at the winery.  We had packed a "picnic" lunch of sandwiches and cheetos and shared it with Brad, the owner, while he gave our guests a tour of his operation. We didn't solve any of the world's problems, but just had a relaxing visit. 

At around 5:00 pm we headed to Okeene to see the Rattlesnake Roundup.  We knew Katie Ballew would be playing on stage so we wanted to be there to hear her and the band she is playing with, called "Yesterday's Wine".  It suddenly turned cold and windy and it was pretty miserable out on the grounds.  But inside the Rattlesnake tent it was cozy.  We listened to the stories of some old timers and watched the snake handlers in a big enclosed pen.  I even learned a thing or two about rattlesnakes! 

Andy had smoked a brisket yesterday, so we had it slow-cooking in the oven all day while we ran around. We then had brisket tacos with home-made guacamole, pico de gallo, and a sharp smoky dip, along with black beans.  We were all stuffed.  Andy had made a new dessert (thanks, DeeAnn for the recipe!) with chocolate graham crackers and ice cream -- too good to pass up.

We didn't have time to go to Roman Nose Park today but will definitely do that tomorrow!


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Progress on The Oven

Andy worked all day yesterday on laying the foundation for the outdoor Oven. 

The cement has to dry for three days and then "cure" for another couple of days.  In the meantime, he'll build the forms for the table top that will sit on top of the brick base (on the right of the picture).
The end result will be something like (not exactly -- Andy has his own design ideas): 
The weather is supposed to get cold tonight - down to mid-30's.  Thank goodness I haven't put my plants outside yet!