Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday's Fences

When there was no way to ignore the dead tree in the background, I decided to embrace it.  Someone went to a great deal of time to collect, cut and size the small post to form this section of fencing.

Could this style of fencing be classified as twig fencing? Whatever the style, I think it is perfect for a ranch in Texas.

Meggie Mac
I'm joining in with Jan 'n Jer for another Friday Fences. Check out their blog to see other interesting fences.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Yipee!.....First Signs of Fall Foliage

At first glance, looking out my upstairs window, I thought it was a red bird. Usually, I see an all over effect of the leaves changing in color. As it gets cooler, the tree will become a spectacular display of red.

Chinese tallow tree shown in photo.
The Chinese Tallow Tree is listed in Texas, as an invasive plant. It is also illegal to sell in nurseries in my State. Everywhere the seeds fall, little trees will sprout up, reaching 10' in just a few years.

I'm just hoping this is a sign that cooler weather is on it's way......

Meggie Mac

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Unique Vintage Collectable

In packing up for the move to Das Kleine Haus, I'm uncovering all sorts of things tucked away.

I'm guessing this vintage pale yellow oval platter doesn't come with a high price tag. Many years ago, I picked up two identical platters at a flee-market, for just a few dollars.

There are no identifying marks to solve the mystery of the company who made the platter. It has a Pennsylvania Dutch look in the flower border.

click to enlarge
The very detailed scene is of a barn-raising. It appears, the neighbors are there for the day's activities.

Do you, by chance, recognize this design?

Meggie Mac

Monday, August 27, 2012

Extra Helpers for Project

Just what I needed this week end were some extra hands with assembling the storage bench.

May I introduce Eric. He has been coming with his father on Saturdays, to help me with the lawn care at the farm and Das Kleine Haus. He is 12 years old and eager to earn some extra money for school.

Since there is so little storage for gardening tools at the new home, I'm trying to maximize it with some outdoor containers.

His sister, Erica, also tagged along this past week end. She was ready to help her big brother.

I'm happy to see this label in the right place....

In all the years I have owned the farm, this is the first year to have help mowing and trimming the lawn. While the farm sale is pending, I definitely need the extra help with 2 lawns.

I'm so very lucky Eric's father agreed to help out. I think he is a little camera shy....

Even though, Mama works in the local bakery during the week, she also comes to be supportive of her family.

It is so nice to see a family working together....

Meggie Mac

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Indigo Blue was her Name

As I walked into the local Wal-Mart store, Saturday afternoon, I immediately saw the display of flowers.

You already know how much I love, it would not surprise you, when I say, I couldn't take my eyes off this beautiful orchid.

Do you recall seeing a deep blue orchid like this one?

I was ready to put one in my shopping cart, when I checked the price....yikes !!

It took real courage to resist, and remember why I was shopping in the first place. I'm currently trying to dress 25, very tall windows at Das Kleine Haus.

Oh well, at least I have my photos...

Meggie Mac

Added Note: Thanks to Susan's comment and research, there is much more to this beautiful indigo blue orchid. Here is a link that tells the whole story...Indigo Mystique


Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday's Fences

This photo is the epitome of Texas wide-open spaces. It is not the typical natural wood fencing, or the often white painted fencing you see along the country roads. The black stain, the owner chose, accents the beauty of the grassland and beautiful blue skies.

As I was driving down the road, this section of fencing with the white rocks, is what first caught my eye. I love the way the fencing dips down to follow the rolling hills. Apparently, the white rocks have been placed there to help prevent erosion of the soil.

Just another small peek at the land that I love......

Meggie Mac

Another Friday with Jan 'n Jer's Friday Fences. Please check out their blog for other wonderful and interesting fences.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

So, Who Eats Okra ?

Okra is a green vegetable that loves to grow in the hot sun of Texas. Much has been written about the phobia of eating this unusual vegetable.

For one thing, when you cut into it, you may experience the sticky feel of the vegetable on your paring knife. Also when cooking it, in a saucepan, a slime effect occurs. (yes, I did say slime). It makes for a great thickening agent for soups.

Crust removed on one piece to show how it looks when cut in slices.
In the southern part of the United States, is is more common to see it deep fried with a batter coating of cornmeal to form a light crust.  It is often served with Southern Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a side order of okra.

I also love it stewed with onions, diced fresh tomatoes, and a pinch of chili powder. This is one dish you either love or hate. I don't believe there is any room for middle ground.

Sometimes I make pickles out of whole okra. It is
a great addition served along with an outdoor picnic meal.

If you live in a warm climate, it is the perfect vegetable to grow in your garden. You can count on the okra plant to survive with small amounts of water. The key to success, is to cut the okra each grows so quickly, you can almost see it growing.

Has this post made you want to rush out and buy some okra, or, maybe, add it to your list of seeds for next year's garden......

Meggie Mac

A Special Note: I have been following a new blog called A Garden Newbie. Jennifer has a unique style of writing that you might have fun reading. She is a beginner (newbie) in the world of gardening. When reading her posts, you will smile, and remember when you first started gardening. Let's give her a welcome to the blogging world by checking out her blog!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Saying Goodbye....One Step at a Time

This past week end, I probably photographed the pond for the last time. It had rained on the previous night, which made the temperatures just right for being outside.

I recently had cut a path through the prairie grass, to show the pond to the young couple who plan on buying the farm.

There has been just enough rain to keep the grass growing all summer long.

Reaching the pond, I could see by the reflections, that it was going to be one of those rare moments when everything seems right. Just to make the picture complete, the water lilies, I planted many years ago, were blooming.

Adding to the beauty of it all, were the over cast skies from the rain the night before.

It was a perfect morning....not too hot, no sounds except the frogs and insects. It was a very peaceful moment.

Click on the photo
Just me, my camera, and my farm.

There is still a month before the sale is final.

Goodbyes are never easy for me. I'm thinking I prefer mine to be like taking off a band yank, a little pain for a while, and then it is all over....

Meggie Mac

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday's Fences

The top cut, on these rather large posts, are what first caught my eyes. It was already very late in the evening, about 7pm, when I was able to photograph. The temperature was still 98 degrees.

In my hurry, because of the heat and the lateness of the hour, I really wasn't happy with my photographs. So, I decided to add sepia tones with the Picasa program.

Just another unusual fence on the backroads of Texas.....

Meggie Mac

Another Friday, linking with Jan n Jer........check out their blog for other interesting Friday's Fences.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

End of Day Glass

Before I became the owner of this small, approximately 12" tall, green vase, I had never heard of the term "end of day glass".

The glassworker would traditionally use up the molten glass that was leftover from the day's work. All the specks that are seen in the finished object make a very unusual, one-of-a-kind, piece of art.

Here is the description quote from the Corning Glass dictionary:
End of Day
The English term for an object made by a glassworker on his own time. Most friggers were made from the molten glass that remained in the pot at the end of the day. Such glass was considered to be a worker's perquisite. American glassworkers referred to friggers as "end of day" objects. They are also known as whimsies.

All of the pieces I have collected, have an unfinished bottom. It's difficult to see this one because the bottom part is black.

Do you think the company's owner stipulated that the glassworker was not to finish out the bottom?

Unlike the rough cut of the bottom, the top of the vase has a delicately fluted opening.

I'm thinking, the glassblower never dreamed the pieces would become so collectible....

Meggie Mac

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Discovering a Photographer from the Past

For as long as I can remember, I've had an unquenchable desire to learn new things. In the last few years, the Internet has been a great source of information for my discoveries.

My mother gave me the wedding photo of my maternal grandmother's brother and sister-in-law. In a post I wrote, For the Love of Grandparents, I mentioned the close family relationship. The woman, in the photo, is also my maternal grandfather's sister.

Besides the obvious, when examining the old photo, there is a very interesting embossed name at the bottom.

My curiosity sent me to a google search of his name. Much to my surprise, there is a book written about him and his photography, titled "Equal before the Lens".

As a blogger or follower, you know how important the photography is to telling a story. The title alone, of this book, intrigued me.

That is how I discovered an entire life I had never heard of before. John Paul Trlica was a first-generation Czech-Texan. The book tells of how Eastman Kodak Company was instrumental in the training of a young photographer like Trlica.

This photo is for you, my dear friend, Elaine @ Pear Tree Log. I know you and your family are preparing a celebration for the christening of your sweet granddaughter. Hopefully, Francesca will not be wearing a similar bonnet.

What was so extraordinaire about him and his photography, was his openness to photograph not only the privilege, but also to the working class. Here is a photo of two girlfriends.

You must remember, this was in the early 1900's where, ordinarily, the studios only welcomed the upper class.

If you are interested in photography, you might want to consider ordering this outstanding book written by Barbara McCandless. Amazon has used copies for about $12.00.

One never knows where a little detective work and searching will lead them. History is all around us, just waiting to be discovered.

My natural curiosity brought a life from the Blacklands of Texas to this post today....

Meggie Mac

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday's Fence from Texas

Today's fence post, no pun intended, was taken last week on my trip to visit with my mother. I didn't fully realize all the details in the photos I had taken, until last night, when I began to select the ones for today's post.

The three crosses, representing the Crucifixion of Christ, probably were originally all straight. I'm guessing the very hot sun, we have in the summer, pulled the crosses in different directions.

The white rail fencing seems to go on forever across the Texas Ranch.

The metal gate, cut with accuracy, is of a Cowboy, his companion horse, and faithful dog.... kneeling before a grave with a cross.

When my eye caught the sight of the gorilla, I had to laugh. I'm sure the owner had his reasons for placing him so close to the front gate.

 Can you imagine what he must look like on a foggy night.....

Meggie Mac

Another Friday with Jan N Jer. Click on their name to see other wonderful posts for Friday's Fences.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Show and Tell from Belgium

This delightful small bowl has been stored away for quite some time. As with most things I have collected, I'm not sure of any history connected with it. But, one thing for sure, it is the only item I have from Belgium.

In fact, until today, I didn't remember that it was marked with these words. Have you seen this mark before? It appears to be hand written.

                                Do you think the large flowers are chrysanthemums?

Even with a small chip or two, it is still a bowl that can be admired for its beauty and age.

A personal note: Earlier this year, I wrote a post about My Mom, the Cowgirl. The last few weeks my Mom's health has been failing. With the selling of my farm and the moving to Das Kleine Haus, I am now faced with the selling of my mother's home.

Consequently, some days, there is no time left for posting or commenting. Hopefully, things will soon settle down to a more regular routine. Thank you for your continued support of my blog. I do, so much, appreciate you.....

Meggie Mac
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