Friday, September 30, 2011

Aloha Friday - Sleep

Hello!  I'm participating in Aloha Friday, where I ask a simple question for you to answer in the comments (if you want to).

Every now and then I have trouble sleeping.  Not for any reason I can pin-point.  Not for caffeine or worry or my husband's snooring...none of that.  Usually my mind is just full...won't shut down and be quiet.  Night before last was like that.  I couldn't sleep and couldn't sleep and finally it was  5:00 in the morning and I just gave up because the alarm would be going off in a couple hours anyways.

So, my question this week is...
Do you ever have trouble sleeping, for no particular reason?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Limeaides for Learning - Free Limeade for Voting!

Sonic’s Limeades for Learning is here again, and I almost missed it!  And it's such a cool program! Teachers submit projects--things they'd like to see happen in their schools and classrooms--and you can vote for your favorites to win money to turn their plans into a reality. In return you get a Free Cherry Limeade! How cool is THAT!

By the way, do they have Sonic's in California now, or just out here in Texas?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dear Rain...

Another fun conversation with facebook friends:

TEXALINAN FRIEND (Texas friend who moved to North Carlina):
Dear rain; I am breaking up with you, please go away. I hear Texas is pretty desperate for you. Skedaddle over there where you might be more appreciated.

TEXAFORNIAN FRIEND:  I will take some of that rain!!!

TEXALINAN FRIEND:  See rain!? Texas wants you. Texas thinks you are hawt.

TEXAS FRIEND:  Thanks for letting the rain know! LOL!

ME:  Dear East Coast, I've heard rain is getting on your nerves...hanging around, loitering, ect. Please feel free to send him down here to us. I think rain needs to attend Texas bootcamp!

By the way, if you'ld like to hear more of Texalinan's wit and opinions, she has a blog you can check out!


Monday, September 26, 2011

How My Garden Grows...

My garden...

I've got chives, basil, various peppers, a tomato plant, and one onion 
(it was a pearl onion that started sprouting in my pantry, so I stuck it in the
ground).  Though my tomato never got tomatoes, and the one bell pepper I got 
so far matured at about ping pong ball size, I still consider this a success...
especially considering this summer's heat!

I've read that bush beans shouldn't be planted by peppers or alliums,
so I had to find a new place for these.  I had a little plot cleared from 
an old garden, and stuck these in it.  The flowers are fake, put there
to protect the new plants from the hot Texas sun...and it worked!  This 
was taken earlier (the plants have now outgrown their faux flower shade
and I've moved the flowers over to protect the radishes and lettuce I
planted next to them.  Already got a few sprouting, too!!  Yeah!

Side Note: Didn't think I had enough material to do This is Whatever Wednessday, when I realized that this Garden post was perfect for it! I mean, THIS IS TEXAS GARDENING, isn't it? Trying to find shade so your plants will survive and being overjoyed when they do!


Monday Garden Club
The Monday Garden Club
Throwback Thursday

Friday, September 23, 2011

Green Spider

Found this in my yard.  It's a Green Lynx Spider.
If you're shuddering at these pictures, you're not the only one! 
This spider was about an inch long!  Pretty though, in it's own way. 

I'm now selling some fun gifts with this spider on it
at my Texifornia Zazzle shop here.

Aloha Friday - Disasters

Hello!  I'm participating in Aloha Friday, where I ask a simple question for you to answer in the comments (if you want to).  This weeks question:

Have any of the recent natural disasters affected you?
The only one that really affected us directly has been the drought/heat wave in Texas.  Our kids spent most of the summer indoors, and it contributed to the fire which spread from our neighbor's yard to ours (but only damage our fence) Wednessday.  Small potatoes compared to what some people have experienced.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 OUR yard!

I've been talking on this blog about the fires in Austin, and today I experienced one much closer to home.  Luckily no one was hurt and nothing was damaged except our fence.

One of my boys said, rather calmly,"Mom, why is there a fire in our backyard?"  I 
looked out the back window and could see flames coming under our fence from our  neighbor's yard.  I grabbed the boys and we headed out the front door, then ran back with a hose and started dousing the flames.

Almost immediately, Stella, our neighbor to the right showed up with her hose in hand (her 8 year old had told her...Way to go kids!)   I then took my kids and neighbor's younger girls across the street to another neighbor, who's husband joined us while she watched the kids.  When we got back to the yard Stella's teenage daughter was out there helping too...(and in our back neighbor's yard where the fire had started, a police officer who had seen the smoke was helping their kids hose it down).  The fire was out before the firefighters came.  They weren't able to determine what started it.

That was the lid to a sandbox.  I was trying to kill
some grass in that corner to put a bush there.  Guess
that won't be a problem now.

You can see how far along the fence it burned.   You can see how far along the fence it burned.  That big green spot it missed?  That's where my strawberries were.  To keep them alive this hot summer I watered them more than the rest of the yard, and the little green circle where the sprinkler reached was exactly the area the fire missed.  That shows the difference  a healthy well watered lawn makes during a fire (and what a hazard a dry one is).  But we've been on watering restrictions this summer, so you do what you can do.

This is Texas...

PhotobucketIt's time again for This is Whatever Wednessday...a fun lil meme hosted by Budget Blond where you share the quirky lil' things about where you live. So, here's my "This is Texas" observations for the week...
  • The Texas newscaster last week said "There's a cool front heading in today, so we expect the high today will only be 95 degrees."
  • My friend got together for a pool-side get together.  Much of the time was spent fishing black grasshoppers of the pool.  Those critters take over Texas this time of year.
  • We received more rain Sunday night than we had in all of the past 120 days combined.  And we are so grateful for it!
  • Which maybe helped lessen the damage of the fire that started in our neigbors and blazed its way under our fence today...that and that our kids accidently left the hose on last night.  Don't know what started it.  Maybe the grass just self-combusted!  (THIS WAS JUST ADDED). Read more about that here.
Oh, and I talked with a half-Texifornian this morning (she was married to a Texifornian).  Her husbands relatives from Calfiornia visited them in Texas during the coolest week we've had all summer, and complained about the heat.  NOW THATS TEXIFORNIA!

      Monday, September 19, 2011

      Rain Makes Me Happy!

      It rained last nigh! Not just a drizzel. It POURED! Today it is cool and breezy and beautiful with whisps of puffy clouds wafting through the blue sky. My soul is SINGING!

      Friday, September 16, 2011

      Sky Watch Friday

      Those first two are beautiful, aren't they?  Love Texas sunsets!  That last one I just through was funny...the single pink fluffy cloud just perched between the towers.

      Welcome everyone visiting from Sky Watch (and welcome to my other visitors too).  If you haven't heard, here in Texas we've suffered some terrible wildfires lately.  Over 1500 homes were lost, and 4 people were killed.  If you pray, I hope you'll join me in praying for those affected by this.   If you want to learn about more ways to help, click here.

      Friday, September 09, 2011

      How to Help Texas Fire Victims

      By now you've most likely heard about the devastating wildfires here in Texas. The American Red Cross of Central Texas is accepting monetary donations, and has a listing of places in Texas you can donate in-kind gifts like canned food, clothing and toiletries.  Scroll down to the bottom of this post for links to other places collecting donations or holding fund-raisers.

      If you're near the fires and are looking for info what's happening with them now, where to take livestock, shelters, evacuation routes etc, the TX Storm Chasers Facebook page is a great place to get informed, (Thanks Mom for sharing that!) as is the Texas Wildfires Updates Page.

      • Through Ebay Givingworks This list shows all the auctions benifiting the Red Cross of Central Texas.  Auctions may donate all or a portion of proceeds. 
      • On Etsy  Some of those listed are donating all of the proceeds, and some only donating a portion, and some may not be donating any longer so check the individual listings for details. 
      • Here on Texifornia I'm auctioning off some spots in my next "Souvenir Spotlight" here on Texifornia to help with relief efforts.  Also, I'd be happy to provide other advertising here in exchange for a donation, so please feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at ecarian at yahoo dot com if you are interested.

      If you know of a listing of places in your area accepting in-kind gifts or raising funds, please leave a link in the comments below and I'll add a link to it.

      Also, several Etsians have stepped up to help by donating a portion of their sales. Some of these are featured on Shop4Charity.

      Thursday, September 08, 2011

      Advertise on Texifornia to Help Austin Fire Victims

       Do you sell Texas themed products?  You can advertise them in my upcoming Souvenir Spotlight where I will be featuring Texas products.  Plus you get an additional promotional post all your own.  ALL the proceeds from these ads will be donated to the Red Cross of Central Texas!  You can bid on these ads through Ebay Giving Works.  Click here check them out and start bidding!

      The project wonderful ads on the sidebar are NOT going to support this effort (simply because my earnings from that are automatically applied to my own advertising efforts and is hard to split up)...but if you're interested in a larger side-bar ad or other types of advertising you would like on this site,, or any of my other websites,  I'm open to providing advertising in exchange for a donation.  You can  at contact me at ecarian at yahoo dot com. 

      If you have a family friendly item being sold to benifit Texas wildfire victims, I am happy to promote it for free.  Contact me at ecarian at yahoo dot com or leave a link to the item in the comments.  Thanks!

      Sky Watch Friday - Cloudy Beach Skies

      It's odd coming from Texas, where it's been over 100 degrees all summer, to get to the beach in San Diego, California and find it cloudy and a tad chilly at 3:00 in the AUGUST.   What a switch!  (Ironically when we went in October three years ago it was warm and sunny!)

      Cloudy or not it was fun.  It was my 3 year old's first time seeing the ocean, and he LOVED it (even after a wave dunked him...we didn't go very deep but at his height it doesn't take too much).   All three of my boys had a blast.

      Pelicans kept flying by in a V, and though I grew up living on a boat out there, I never remember seeing anything like it.  They would fly by every 5 to 10 minutes.  It was beautiful.

      Wednesday, September 07, 2011

      This is Texas (Laws)

      These laws in Texas took affect last Thursday.  Whatever you think of them, they tell a lot about Texas culture.
      • Drivers can now go 70 at night, and soon will be able to go 75 on some roads, without being ticketed.
      • Private property holders have been given extra protections against having their land seized by eminent domain.
      • And those landholders can now hold commercial airborne hog hunts on their land.
      • Plus "Noodlers" can now catch fish with their bare hands legally.
      • Drunk drivers who severely injure someone in a traffic accident may receive harsher penalties (I absolutely support that one!).
      • "It will be more difficult to present eyewitness testimony as key evidence in a trial." (OK...anyone who knows more about this want to explain that one?  The article didn't say what bill this was for, and I couldn't find other articles about it.). 
      • Pets can now be covered under the same protective orders as victims of domestic abuse.
      • Daycare workers now are required to get parents' permission before giving children medication.
      • Doctors will be required to perform a sonogram before giving a woman an abortion; but may not necessarily have to show the sonogram to the patient...according to a federal judge's ruling. (My first thought was "What's the point then?", but then it hit me that sonograms are used to determine how far along the pregnancy is...and would probably be necessary both to determine if an abortion is legal and and the method used).   


        Thursday, September 01, 2011

        Question Thursday/Friday

        dried sunflower

        Every now and then I participate in Aloha Friday, where I ask a simple question for you to answer (nothing that requires a lengthy response) and Two Question Thursday (same idea...only TWO questions).

        Last week for Aloha Friday Pinay in the States asked readers if the weather was "normal...or something else?" in their area.  Not ONE person answered normal!   Abnormal has been the norm this past week:   while New England got pummelled by Irene, here in Texas we only got a few raindrops of relief  from the long, horrid, heat wave we've been in.

        In the midst of this I published my monthly planting tips...something I write a long time in advance.  After reading a comment from my reader I realized how ridiculous the idea of planting ANYTHING sounds right now in this heat.   I went back and amended it...adding some heat appropriate suggestions.

        Though I'm still going to attempt planting a few things this september,  I'll be using trick I've tried before and put some fake flowers around them to add shade...or maybe I'll take FlipFlopGardener suggestion and use umbrellas!  Making a mesh "tent' might work too.  That, and pray for rain!

        • So, what gardening challenges are you facing right now, and what tricks are you trying to keep your garden alive?

        Texas Planting Tips - September

        Onions in our garden

        Wow is it hot!  With the heat like it is I think planting indoors would be suggested on everything but root plants (carrots, onions, etc.). That's just a guess.  Also, it may help to give your plants some shade.  Dorris at FlipFlopGardener suggests plant umbrellas (and gives some nifty instructions on how to set them up.   I've used plastic flowers to shade my read seedlings until they were strong enough to grow without shade.   If you decide to venture into the garden now, here's whats usually is grown this month...
        • This is the month to transplant iris and calla lily.  There's a great video on how to divide and transplant iris here.
        • In Zones 8b and 9 plant bush snap beans early in September.  In Zones 7 and 8a they should be planted by September 1st.
        • Plant carrots and mustard by the first week of September, and kale before October 1.
        • Plant broccoli and cauliflower seeds now (in north Texas use transplants).  Since we're expecting more heat you might want to start these indoors.
        • Plant bulbing onions, bunching onions,  leeks, and shallots this month (cut off date for these is October 1).   Shallots sets are planted, not seeds.  The rest  should always be direct seeded into the garden.  
        • Find out what other vegetables and herbs you can plant this month HERE.  But I would hold off a little longer on any plant that can be planted next month or later, with this heat wave still continuing.
        I'm no gardening expert...just an amature trying to figure things out.  I find most of my info about when to plant in the book Month to Month Gardening in Texas, which I highly recommend, especially if you are new to Texas!  I also suggest reading the fall newsletter at Signature Gardens.