We were home late on Sunday from Massachusetts and I was back on the road by Tuesday heading to Texas. It’s shower time y’all!
I arrived Wednesday at the little house and unpacked before heading up to my sister’s. My car was loaded with wedding decorations including the bouquet. Talk about a nervous drive trying to make sure nothing got screwed up. But I was glad I was able to bring it out and now we can focus on the shower.
We hit the ground running when I arrived. Reviewing through the menu and getting our lists together of what we still needed to buy. Decorations have been accumulated and it was time to start getting them up. Marie’s house is looking amazing and all the work being done for the wedding is really paying off. I can’t wait to show you all the work when it is done.
Thursday is a day of decorating, getting our nails done (mine look horrid after all the crafting), grocery shopping and of course the liquor store. I have things to do! Ashley comes in to try on her dress so that I can get an idea of what needs to be adjusted. Oh my, her dress is beautiful and all lace! And it needs to be taken in quite a bit. Holy cow!!!
Friday I am deep into my cooking mode so all worries about alternations will have to wait. I make my Sangria using a Llano red wine and a berry brandy. Llano is one of my favorite Texas wine companies. They also have an amazing port I highly recommend. So here was the menu for the shower. I had to make up the chocolate bread pudding for the dessert tamales and prep the rest of the menu. Luckily the beans, rice and tortillas came from Rosa’s and would be picked up before the shower along with a few other things. We had a few last-minute decorations to make and were so glad Beth and Carla came over to help. Chairs are delivered from Borrowed Treasures. I love the assortment they brought and can’t wait to see what they do for the wedding. Our brother Chip and his wife Noemi arrive with our niece Anita. Woo hoo!
Saturday as Marie is rushing around running last minute errands (our brother too) I have Anita working those arm muscles helping me with the two sauces for the tamales. The cookies as gifts were so adorable from Back Home Bakery. Long story short, it was great! Everything went well for the shower. We had over 50 people show up and Ashley was happy. We took care of the food and venue so that Havalah and the rest of the bridal party could concentrate on the bride. Noemi and Beth worked hard helping me with the food and clean up. My brother cooked the meats and jalapenos and Clarinda was the photographer. Michelle made the red sauce, yummy! I am so grateful and thankful for everyone’s help!
Sunday was a day spent finishing the headdress for the flower girls, taking in the wedding dress and chatting with my sister. Ashley will be a beautiful bride and I know that when I go back before the wedding, more alterations may be needed. The wedding is just a month away…
I was worried about how my potted garden was going to make out. I have tried to grow things in the ground here before to no luck. I had roses bushes that were over 6 feet tall that had very little branching and maybe one or two flowers a year. My rosemary I planted a few years ago never took root and died. I had potted Indonesian peppers from my sister-in-law that did great for a while and then got a bug that just demolished them. My yard is primarily Bahia grass because of the heat and sandy soil.
To my surprise my tomato plants are about 5 feet high with lots of incredible blooms on them. I have a beef steak tomato and I forgot the other one that I planted. Can’t wait to see how they produce. My okra has done amazingly well. I will be cutting a few of those tasty treats today to put on the grill for my dinner tonight. How exciting is that!
My lemon trees are growing well, and I have 2 lemons on each tree already. One tree came with a lemon but to see new ones growing already is surprising.
I have been clipping my herbs and using them for cooking. They did great and I have new basil already growing after it has gone to seed. My lavender and mint got a little beaten up the past few storms we have had but they are hanging in there.
It is a sauna here most days and with the fierce rain storms we have been having I am just happy everything is still alive. While my sister struggles with lack of rain for weeks at a time, I am here hoping not to drown the roots of my little garden. We are expecting very little rain for the next few days, so I will be having to water. All in all, just the few months I have had my garden we are doing pretty good. I will be prepping for fall planting in a few weeks. I am excited to see if we can keep this thing going.
Part of me would like to have a green house so that I can protect my garden. My sister is going to have one built since they freeze for long periods of time. She has A LOT of plants in pots too! I can’t wait to see when she gets that built. Oh and the changes to the ranch, I will take lots of pictures for you when I visit so you can see what she has been up to. She is so busy she hasn’t had a chance to share anything. Don’t worry, she will be back soon to show you what is happening!
I missed the spring planting season. I have everything ready to have an above ground garden but was too busy to get anything planted. (I went to Antique Week in Texas instead of planting). Marie taught me about the cattle feeding buckets and how well they work for growing plants. So, we picked some up a couple years ago from a project my husband has designed. With my little pineapple growing in the yard it has given me a little hope that maybe I can get fall planting going this year.
Above Ground Gardening
My deck was missing some color too. When I picked furniture for the deck I went with a bring red (one of my favorite colors). And we got the outdoor kitchen all set up and our hot tub up and running a while ago. It still needed that touch of softness and color that comes from plants. I picked up some hanging plants from Home Depot as well as couple house plants. I already had five pineapple plants growing in tiny pots and picked up two lemon trees while we were in Texas. My aloe had bloomed several times and out grew its tiny pot so that had to be divided and replanted. I picked up a few herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, mint, rosemary, lavender and sage. My succulents are doing amazing in this Florida humidity and rain so no need to change them. I added a couple blueberry plants to my front yard too. After losing trees with the hurricane my yard is more open and needs a few more plants.
Deck In Progress
Back Yard in progress
My Wicker Chairs
I went to At Home to pick up some new planters for my trees. I also need a few umbrellas for my patio area. Luckily our deck helps with the hot Florida sun, but you do need the cover of shade in the middle of the day. I had already purchased a couple chaise and chairs and cushions early this year from At Home to go with my deck furniture. Our deck was finished last year, and I am still slowly working on it. We got an amazing outdoor kitchen from Lowes. Now I need color, or more color and décor to be exact. It is hard to find things that go with our taste. At Home has great products but not exactly what I am looking for. We have a love for the Spanish décor. My house is full of Mexican furniture and our entry area with the rocks and my metal cactus go well with it.
Relaxing in Red
I broke down and picked up a couple tomato and okra plants for the red tubs to begin our garden area. Better late than never and in Florida it is still good for an early fall harvest. I have four of the eight tubs planted and ready to go. Eventually where my veggie garden is located will have fencing around it to protect from the deer. Hopefully they leave my lemon trees and berries alone, but we will see. I am going to keep my other pineapple plants in pots this time. Add a few more plants for the deck and patio. I take my time and little by little I will get it feeling more welcoming out there. I want it to be an oasis for my husband and me. We enjoy our hot tub and grilling out together.
Even though this is only the first part of June, North Texas started off summer with a bang. The heat has been a scorcher with temps already into the 100’s. Last Saturday we topped of the day with a temp of 102. The pool was calling my name all day.
God has a way of reminding us of his glorious beauty. In the midst of the heat, we are given beauty all around. The birds flying through the water sprinkler to cool off, the cattle grazing in the pasture, fresh hay bales that lie in the field, and even the flowers are still putting on a little show of color for us.
Wild flowers in the field
So as summer begins and the heat beats down on us, I will praise God for the beauty of summer. Thank you Lord for the blessings of summer. Let us all enjoy the lazy days of summer, swimming, canoeing, fishing, a nap in the hammock under a nice oak tree, and a big ole glass of sweet tea.