Saturday, January 28, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sky Watch - Grackles

On the street corner
Grackles perch on the phone lines
Hoards waiting to fly

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This is Texas State Pride

If you were blindfolded and flown from another state to Texas, it wouldn't take you long to realize where you were. There are reminders everywhere.

Like this plate I found over Christmas...

Yep, that's Santa in a cowboy hat holding Christmas lights like a 
lasso in front of the Alamo.  Where did I find this?  Some cutesy little souvenir shop next to a state monument?  NOPE!  I found this at the grocery store. 

Oh yeah, there's LOTS of state pride to be found at the 
grocery store!  Check out this "Lone Star Pasta" with little
macaronis in the shape of Texas, boots and stars.

 Browsing down the aisles of my local HEB I also
found chips and crakers in the shape of Texas.  Didn't get 
a picture of that, but Texas Type A Mom got one of the chips...
it took her TWO POSTS to share all the stuff she found.

Want more?  Here's some stuff I posted earlier here:

Found that stuff on Flickr.  I've also seen a Texas shaped jacuzzi 
and a whole sidewalk paved with Texas Shaped bricks.  And the number of 
Texas flags and Texas stars I've seen decorating people's houses
are countless.  

Never saw anyone put a California State flag outside their house.  When I lived three I'd occassionally I'd see something with California Poppies on it, and sure, you'ld see surfer and palm tree stuff.  But I've never been to a state where I've seen AS MUCH state pride as I've seen here.

What about you?  What symbols of "State Pride"  have you seen lately?  (Or City Pride, regional pride, etc.)  You can just let me know in a comment, but if you want to do a whole post on it, I'll share a link (and pics if its ok to share) on this blog next week. PLUS, it would make a great post to share over at Whatever Wednessday.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wikipedia Blacks Out in Protest of SOPA!

Guess what I found on wikipedia today....

Nothing! Well, ok, not nothing...but not what I was looking for (which was, ironically, a list of internationally banned books).

If you're reading this AFTER January 18th...wikipedia basically shut down its site in protest of the SOPA bill, which if passed has the ability to greatly undermine internet freedom of speech. You can read more about it here. The bill is meant to protect copyright...but can block websites which publish user content (like blogger, you tube, pinterest, Facebook, university websites which publish student work, flickr, etc..) if their users postup copyrighted material.

My husband accually just got a change to meet with a representative of John Cornyn along with some other geeks ( professionals) who were concerned about the implications of this bill.  Since he was a sponsor (or co-sponsor...can't remember) of this bill I'm not sure if it will help but we're hopeful!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Texas Gardening Tips: January Veggies, Herbs and Spring Frost Dates

January is a flighty month as far was weather is concerned...warm one day, freezing  the next.  On the nicer days you can enjoy getting back into your garden!  I know I have.  Its a great time to weed (and I'll get into that later this month if I have time.  It's also a great time for growing cool season vegetables!.  Here's some veggies you can plant this month.

Plant in Zone 7
English and Sweet Peas

Plant in Zones 8 and 9
Chinese cabbage
Peas (English and Snow)
Swiss chard

Potatoes, Irish (Tuber Pieces)*

*Irish potatoes are planted potato pieces, cut egg-sized, each containing at least one eye.


Now, as for herbs, my go to gardening book says "Although herbs have their seasons, planting times are not as critical as they are for vegetables" which explains why their herb planting chart is more vague than for vegetables.  One thing it does say for some herbs is "Plant after frost."   You'll see that on a lot of seed packets too.  Have no clue when that is?  I didn't either...but the internet is my friend!  You can find the first frost date for the Freeze / Frost Occurrence Data at the National Climatic Data Center.   It has the average last spring and first fall frost dates for most US cities.

But it's not exactly a simple chart to figure out.  The Spring section of the chart shows when the temperature is likely to fall to three different temperatures:  36 degrees Fahrenheit, 32 degrees and 28 degrees.   The 32 degree dates are the ones you should use for most crops.  The three columns in Spring show when the likelyhood of having frost at those temps are at 90%, 50%, and 10%...leaving you to decide how much risk you want to take. 

You can read more on frost dates at Mother Earth News and read more about how levels of frost affect plants at The Old Farmer's Almanac.

Oh, by the way, the plant pictured at the top is some heirloom oak-leaf lettuce I planted this fall...I think in November.  They're only a couple inches high and I'm not sure if that's how they normally grow (being an odd variety) or if they are supposed to grow taller.

Well, as you can tell, 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!


Monday, January 09, 2012

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Cowboy Hat Giveaway

My dad was a native California...but he would right in here in Texas with all the cowboy hats he always wore.  But then, Cowboys are part of California history too.

Found a giveaway to Adventure Hats, which has some nice cowboy hats, and thought I'd share it with you all. It ends January 15 :-).