A Pen and a Pad

While spending most of today working outside-kicking off officially the Red Clay and Sand spring-summer-fall garden and yard season, I  noticed a lot of things that needed to be done that I hadn’t noticed before.  Or maybe I did, and I just forgot that those tasks existed.  It was then that I remembered a hint from one of the modern homesteading blogs.  The writer suggested that you always carry and a pen and a small pad with you so that you could note down things that needed to be done as you saw them. That is really good advice.  From now on, I will carry a pad and pen with me so that I don’t have to sit here scratching my brain trying to remember all the new tasks that need to be done.


Cooking Bubba Burgers on a Holland Grill

For the past few months I have experimented with cooking different flavors of Bubba Burgers on a Holland Grill and have always been disappointed. Either they were way too red or were as “moist as a piece of shoe leather” (sarcasm font). Finally, yesterday, I found a method for cooking the regular Bubba Burgers on the Holland Grill website that worked just fine except that the meat was a little too red for my taste. So I have updated the recipe. Remember that Bubba Burgers are designed to go from the freezer to the grill so preheating the grill is important. I carry the burgers from the freezer to the grill, pausing only to tell the dogs to get out of the way. Those dogs really love burgers.

1. Preheat the grill 20-30 minutes. I always err on the caution of the longer time since this insures that the temperature needle is in the middle of the red line on the temperature gauge.

2. Cook one side of the burgers for 20 minutes.

3. Flip the burgers.

4. Cook the other side for 15 minutes.

5. If adding cheese, add the cheese and cook for additional 5 minutes.

6. Place between halves of bun, add condiments, dill pickles, tomatoes, lettuce and enjoy.

The New Shop on Sumac

I am in the priocess of converting my backyard storage shed into an actual workshop.  I have called it a workshop for several years,  but actually, it was a storage shed with a work bench.  Since Kathy gave me a table saw for my birthday, I now have a reason to get rid of a lot of junk, which I have already accomplished, and converting the rest of the space into usable shop area.  Today, I installed a shop light in the ceiling (why haven’t I done that before?) which provided a lot of light to everywhere but under the storage loft overhang.  I will take care of that tomorrow with a flush mounted light of some kind.  I also bought a heater and several storage bins for screws, nails, and stuff.  It started to rain while I was working out there, and it is getting chillier.  I think that if the weather would just improve a little I could shake this darn cold which keeps hanging on.  I have been sick with this thing off and on for a month, and it is time for it to go.

A Birdwatching Confession

I have listed seeing a Bobolink in my Birdwatching diary several times.  This morning, for some reason, I decided to look up the Bobolink in my Smithsonian Birds of North American Eastern Region Handbook and discovered that I had been misidentifying the bird for several years.  What I had labelled a Bobolink was in fact an Eastern Towhee.  I hope all the towhees in the world accept my heartfelt apology at their perceived slight.  in penance, I have included a correctly identified picture of an Eastern Towhee so that I won’t make that mistake again.

Eastern Towhee

Additionally, we had a flyover of sixteen Canadian Geese earlier this morning.  The flyover was accompanied by a raucous display of honking and duly noted by an early morning barking episode from Annie the resident Guard Dog.  The barking continued long after the geese had departed and rivaled that of a hawk sighting.

1st Morning Walk of 2015

Added a morning walk to my routine this morning. It was damp, cloudy, cold, and the hills almost killed me. It is hard to believe I used to run 6 miles a day a long, long time ago. A great thing, the surgically repaired ankle gave me no problem, so I guess I will have to look for another excuse or not. By the way, I used the Runkeeper app on my phone. It is amazing. The map and GPS even showed when I changed sides of the street!

Happy New Year 2015

Today is the first day of January 2015 here in Hardiness Zone 8.  Outside the temperature has been hovering in the upper 50’s with a clear blue sky and sunshine.  Guard Dog Annie is not happy about being on patrol since is chilly and I won’t give her a raise; but she eats free and has a warm bed, so she had better quit barking and be happy.

I just downloaded the garden chores from the web that someone says have to be accomplished this month.  They are:

Order seeds
Sow seeds of warm-season annuals indoors
Sow seeds for hardy spring-blooming annuals
Plant fruit trees
Apply dormant spray to fruit trees
Cut back on feeding houseplants (do not feed dormant houseplants)
Move living Christmas trees outdoors
Plant or transplant frost-tolerant perennials
Plant bare-root roses
Apply dormant spray to bare-root roses
Plant bare-root trees, shrubs, and vines
Prune winter-blooming shrubs and vines just after bloom
Apply dormant spray to trees, shrubs, and vines
Plant bare-root perennial vegetables
Sow seeds for cool-season vegetables
Protect tender plants from frost

I don’t see anywhere on that list:  drink coffee, eat Doritoes, and watch football.  Who makes to-do anyway?

Happy New Year !!!

Annie’s Nemesis



This is one of the hawks that causes Annie, the defender of small animals and head security dog for Red Clay and Sand, to sound the alarm. As I reported in an earlier post, she and the hawk have inter-species arguments at the top of the hill here on Sumac. It is really fun to watch. Neither will back down until either the hawk flies away of Annie comes inside.