Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
We used to have Thanksgiving with my folks and Christmas dinner with Lyn's folks. After my Mom contracted cancer, Thanksgiving was scheduled as normal, even though she was getting sicker by the day. She just insisted that she could still do it. The day before Thanksgiving she called and said she couldn't do it. Lyn and my sister volunteered to pull something together but she said no. Lyn and I had Thanksgiving dinner at some restaurant in Round Rock and it wasn't all that good.
Lyn told me this wouldn't happen again. Like I've said before, I am a lucky guy. I married a woman that loves to cook and is very good at it. She said next Thanksgiving would be at our house, no ifs, ands or buts about it. My Mom passed away the next February, and my Dad passed away five weeks later. About a month before the big day, Lyn told me I had better start rounding up some people for Thanksgiving as she was blowing it out. She was cooking it all and it was going to be a big meal for just the two of us.
I came up with nine the first year. The second it jumped to thirteen. The third it was fifteen. The next it was twenty two. This year it was back down to fifteen. My sister always comes but Lyn's siblings go to their in-laws. However the last two years Lyns sister, her husband and their two daughters have come. The couple that owns the local feed store are always here as well as several customers of mine. A couple of neighbors come and a couple people that are just regulars at the feed store as well as a couple of friends. Some can't make it some years but make it others. This year we had two newbies. A young fella that works at the place that I buy pipe and his wife came. She is expecting on Christmas day and her doctor had told her not to travel as they had some problems with the pregnancy and should stay close. You can't have an expectant mother to be missing Thanksgiving. Katina of Gardening in Austin and her husband were supposed to come but something came up and they couldn't make it.
The turkey was deep fried.[that's my job] Lyn cooked two pies and a pumpkin cake as well as candied pecans for snacking. My sister brought peanut brittle and Fran at the feed store always brings a vegetable snack tray that is to die for. It's huge. Lyn's sister, Chickie, brought a big pasta salad that is always a big hit. Lyn made fresh green beans right out of the garden and mashed potatoes from ones I had dug in the summer. You can always tell the corn was our corn as it is so dark yellow. Lyn made a new dish this year that was absolutely wonderful. It was sweet potaoes in a hollowed out orange. There has never been any store bought bread in our house so of course there was home made bread and home made rolls.
Like I said, I'm a lucky guy. I have so many great friends, a wonderful wife and great holidays. I hope all your Thanksgivings were as good as mine.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
She has built what must be the king of bottle trees. I like hers better than any I've seen. Mr. Cole just thinks it is hard to trim around.
She also has more bird feeders than any one I know. The tin around the trees is to keep the local coon population out of the feeders. You might notice a deer in the back ground. They have to feed the deer early in the evening so the wild hogs don't get it all.
They moved here from up north to retire where it is warmer. They have always let me have access to the river to fish since the first time I met them. I had to drag my kayak off a dirt bluff to get to the water. I kept telling Mrs. Cole about all the beautiful plants I would see down in the riparian zone that didn't grow on the higher ground. Early this summer I went up to fish and she had hired someone with a dozer to build a road down to the water so she could see them as well.
Ground Cherry was thick in places with their Chinese lantern looking fruit.
Across the river was huge thickets of Inland Sea Oats but I couldn't get close enough for a picture. I did spy a Cardinal Flower on the other side of the river. You can barely see the crimson red of it in this picture.
On a little higher ground was clumps of Marsh Fleabane. It really looks good in clumps of several plants but kind of plain by itself.
Along with the Pigeon Berry was this beautiful sage with vibrant blue flowers. The plants were over four feet tall. I believe it is Bog Sage but I'm not sure.
This is such a beautiful place owned by beautiful people that like other people to enjoy it. They moved to Texas for all the reasons others do. They have had to resort to signs to keep people out as the trash left by trespassers has gotten to be too much.
Now their mail box is being vandalized so they had to get me to build them a smash proof one.
If your ever on the road between Oakalla and Kempner and see an older couple out picking up trash along the road stop and ask if you can check out the river for plants. They are small in stature but rather large in spirit. Tell them you know me, it can't hurt. I just wish they were being treated a little better here in Texas.