Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Unfinished Business

I'm not that interested, usually, in basketball, but when it starts to affect me then I sit up and pay attention. We've also come to realize that anything that happens in a small town school get lots of attention, especially sports.

The big news around town is the high school girls basketball team made it to the state finals for the first time in history!  School was cancelled the day the team played in the first playoff game. It was a big deal. The school provided a "fan bus" to take about 30 students to the playoff game. It was about a three hour bus ride one way, but Daughter wanted to go. The downside was that it meant leaving the school at 4:15 - in the morning. I offered to take her up to school that morning since Guv'nor needed his beauty sleep.

It wasn't the first time the school had made it to the state playoffs. A few years ago they lost in the playoffs. They felt like they had "unfinished business" as they returned this year with high hopes to make it to the finals. And they did. They won their playoff game (56-36) and returned a few days later for the final.

The final game was on a Saturday and we watched it on a TV local sports channel. It was a contest of East vs. West as the two small Texas towns battled it out on the court. Our girls, sadly, were not able to make as many three point shots as the other team. They played a good defensive game but were outmatched in the end. Final score was 44-57. I guess we still have unfinished business.

Well done Ladycats!

Supportive signs were posted around town.
Playoff game final score.

The school notice board announced the game time.

We watched the final game on TV.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


We love asparagus at our house. So I thought I'd have a go at growing it.

I planted some asparagus "crowns" the other day. I didn't know anything about planting it until I bought them from the garden center and the manager told me what to do. I was disappointed to hear, though, that I will have to wait a year to eat anything even though spears will appear this year. Apparently you need to allow the root system to get established first. The good news is that asparagus is a perennial plant and these crowns could last for 10 years.

After I made two trenches, I made mounds inside each trench. I spread out the roots on top of the mound. Then I covered the roots with the dirt. I placed markers (old ice cream sticks) at each place so I will know where I've planted them. Lastly, I added mulch on top to discourage weeds.

So now I water and wait.

The raised bed before planting. This bed had tomatoes and squash last year.

The first trench only took up about half of the raised bed area.

The asparagus crowns came in a bundle of 10.

One crown has lots of roots.

Within the trench I made mounds for each crown.

I spread the roots out over the mound.

Both trenches had five crowns.

The trenches were covered up with mulch.

This mulch was fairly coarse with larger pieces of wood chips.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Local Events

We like to support local events when we can and have been to a couple in recent weeks.

The local Chamber of Commerce had a dinner recently to recognize outstanding achievements in the area. An award was given for Student of the Year and another for Citizen of the Year. We didn't know either of them, but it was nice to be involved.

On another occasion, we went to a local play in town called Midnight and Magnolias. The theatre was more in the style of a black box with close to the stage seating. It was a small cast of four. The play was about how the screenplay was written for Gone With The Wind. It was good, in the small town kind of way. We saw a few people in the audience we knew.

The third event was a fundraising dinner and auction for the local school children involved in 4H, FFA (Future Farmers of America), and FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America). The proceeds will go toward their entries in the county Youth Expo at the end of the month. Since Daughter has a FCCLA entry this year, I donated a couple of my hand knitted pieces for the auction.

The dinner was very good but the auction was the big surprise. The previous fundraising auctions we have attended mostly had items from businesses and restaurants and themed baskets of goods. This auction had a few of those but the big bidding items were the homemade cakes from the local ladies. There were about 10 and each was sold in the region of $200. That was amazing to me. The highest bid of the evening was $1000 for homemade taffy.

We're still amazed that events like these are so well attended and supported by the local community. We're beginning to see the same people and learn a few names.

The Chamber of Commerce meal was not my favorite.

I snapped this photo just before the play began and they announced 'no photos.'

The fundraiser meal was a simple and tasty comfort food meal.

The live auction had about 50 items - from home decor to bags of feed.

The most popular auction items were the homemade cakes. Spot the scarf and gloves I donated.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Crepe Myrtles

I must admit I've delayed writing about this until I was convinced in my own mind how to spell crepe myrtle. I saw it spelled 'crape' somewhere and this unsettled me, thinking I'd been spelling it wrong my whole life. Then I saw it spelled both ways so I felt better.

I have a dream that one day our driveway will be lined with them. It's a long term dream.

Around Christmas time we had a visit from one of my cousins and he showed me how to make cuttings from an existing tree we have. I think it has light pink blossoms. I've always had a love for crepe myrtles because my grandfather and my uncles had a nursery business in East Texas selling crepe myrtle cuttings. I wish they were around so I could learn more about their process.

Here's what I've learned and done so far. Cuttings are made in the winter after the leaves have fallen. Cut off a branch of new growth from the previous year. (This is found at the end of a branch.) Trim off the little branches and cut sections from the branch that are about 1/2 inch in diameter into 6 inch sticks. I made 50. Bundle these sticks together and plant them in the ground somewhere for the winter. Make sure they are planted root side into the ground.

After the last frost (still waiting), replant each stick into the ground, giving space between each one. Water them and wait. After a year or two they will root and sprout and can be dug up and planted where you want them.

Our crepe myrtle is growing alongside an oak tree.

It has been neglected over the years so it has several trunks.

I cut off lower branches that I could reach.

I bundled five together and tied twine around them.

I planted them with about two inches exposed. I put a section of old fencing over them to deter the goats from nibbling.