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The scorpions may scare me, the rattlesnakes have me choosing boots over flip flops. The critters have me screaming that I want to move to a more civilized place.

Thursday night we had just a little rain. Out at the lake, they got over 2″ and that’s great. Wish we had gotten more but am happy to have gotten the heavy drizzle that we did get. During the night, we had lots of lightning and it was a beautiful show.

Yesterday morning I walked outside after the rain .. things seemed clean after having been washed by Mother Nature.

Coops

Coops

I look over and see the chicken coops, the peace and quiet of no neighbors, no horns honking, no brakes squealing, no stereos booming. The only noise is the symphony of about a dozen roosters, all of which have different crows.

I sit in the recliner, facing the window and from inside the house I watch road runners chasing grasshoppers, I see a mama turkey with a few young poults following her around, there are plenty of deer to watch, squirrels are busy putting away food for the winter.

A few scorpions and rattlesnakes aren’t going to chase me away from here. This is the place that for so many years I’ve dreamed of having and I hope we’re here for a very long time.

Scorpions and Snakes

Last night Vince was sitting in his recliner, and unlike most of the time when he’s in his recliner, he was awake!  He jumped up and when Vince moves at a rapid rate of speed, something is dreadfully wrong! There was a scorpion walking along the arm of his recliner. Of course, he fell (the scorpion, not Vince) so I had to grab my black light and find him. He’s dead (the scorpion, not Vince) so we calmed down and things proceeded as normal for the rest of the evening til bed time. I almost always take Speck out and I know . . don’t fuss at me . . but I go out barefooted! I never get off the back porch. Speck is on a leash and he goes right off the edge of the porch. Since I’m a bit under the weather and I’m determined to make it last as long as I can string it out, I asked Vince to take Speck out before we went to bed.

Vince put on his flip flops so at least he wasn’t barefooted. He opened the back door . . said a bad word, shoved Speck back in the house. There was a rattlesnake right there at the back door.

Within one hour, we had a scorpion in the house and a rattlesnake at the back door. You can bet I went through every wrinkle in the sheets and every fold in the quilt on the bed with the black light looking for scorpions. Didn’t find any but I know there are more in the house. Rattlesnakes . . every time I walk outside, I wonder how many see me and I don’t see them. I guess there’s one less to see me now but unfortunately, there are probably way more than I want to think about that are still out there . . watching my toes!

This can be a hard place to live! I’m trying . . bloom where you’re planted . . I keep telling myself that. No rain . . it’s hard to bloom, you know?

Goodbye Summer Garden of 2014

This is always a sad time . . not as sad as some things in life, but I have to make a decision . . do I continue watering the garden in hopes of getting a few more veggies, or do I walk away and let Mother Nature have her way? We’ve been so long without significant rainfall that even watering morning and evening, it’s a struggle to keep things alive.  I worry that I’m overworking our well and I hope before next year’s garden, we’ve been able to hit water and put in a separate well for the garden.

This is what the ground in the garden looks like.

Dry Ground

Dry Ground

This is our third summer here and by far, this has been the best as far as heat and bugs go. The grasshoppers are here but they aren’t terrible . . not nearly as bad as they were last year. We’ve had just a few days with temps over 100, compared to the first summer we were here when there were 99 days straight with the temps over 100.

I will keep a few of the Porter tomato plants watered and they will make right up til frost. These are great for salads and some of them are big enough that we will slice them up for sandwiches. They’re not full size tomatoes but when it’s a Porter or a storebought tomato, a Porter is great!

Porter Tomatoes

Porter Tomatoes

The garden has produced an amazing amount of garlic, onions,  tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, strawberries, asparagus and squash this year. I am very pleased with what I’ve been able to put up. Not only have I put up whole tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato powder and used quite a few tomatoes in all the Sweet & Sour Sauce I’ve canned, but I’ve given away so many tomatoes that I think my friends and neighbors are afraid to come over here. Even the UPS guy and the mail lady have been getting more tomatoes than they can possibly use.

I didn’t plant peas of any kind but had quite a few come up volunteer and I got quite a few peas from those volunteer plants, though it was a strange mix and we never got enough to have a meal of just one kind so it was always a “mixed pea/bean” meal consisting of  purple hull peas, black beans, cream peas, pinto beans.

I’m still getting kale and okra and the Tabasco peppers are just getting ripe.

Tabasco Peppers

Tabasco Peppers

I will try to keep the artichokes going . . though I’m not sure they’re ever going to thrive in our hot and dry Texas summers.

Artichoke

Artichoke

It will be a month or so before we harvest sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

The Summer, 2014 garden was a success. On one hand, I’m ready to be done with it but on the other hand, I hate to see it go. Next year, I hope to have the whole fenced area (100′ x 100′) ready to plant and I hope to have the new irrigation system installed.

There will be a fall garden – brussels sprouts, cabbage, sweet peas, lettuce, beets, carrots, onions, the garlic for next year will get planted in the fall, but for at least the next month, there will be little to do in the garden and we will both enjoy the respite from the work out there.