Category Archives: Commander Ben

Motherhood

Handsome Ben 1My Sweet Son, Ben

This is my wonderful, sweet, loving, smart, and handsome boy…and I love him with all my heart!

I remember the day the doctor told me I was pregnant…just a few weeks along but it was official. I had only been married about 6 weeks and I was in a state of shock. I couldn’t believe how blessed we were. It was the best thing that had ever happened to me and my husband (of course, aside from finding each other and getting married!). We were both thrilled…and when I gave birth at the “advancing” age of 40 (my OB/GYN called it a geriatric pregnancy!), we welcomed our son, Benjamin, into the world. He’s been a real joy to raise and has developed into quite the charming gentleman…just like his Dad!

Ben…always the adventurer

Ben at age 12

Love,
Mary

And So It Continues … Getting the Garden Ready for Spring

Ben planting onions

Good Morning Friends,

As I shared with you previously, my son, Ben, and I continue to work in our garden getting it ready for spring.

We planted some basil, lettuce, onions, and leeks.  Unfortunately, right after we got everything in, a cold snap came through central Texas dropping temperatures below freezing and even sending a bit of sleet!

We figured the onions would be fine, but we covered the basil, lettuce, and leeks with large pickle buckets.  Everything survived the night. :-)

Basil

We started placing our stepping stones in the garden to create a walking path

Our beloved, albeit cracked, “Welcome” sign

In a bad storm, St. Francis fell over and cracked the sign but he’s steady on his feet today! :-)

Overall, we’ve had a mild winter and one of the pepper plants survived and is still producing!

A gift from my parents

Flocked by Italian Flat Leaf Parsley

Obi enjoys lying in the fresh mulch and getting a good scratch behind the ears from her boy.

Next up, we’ll be putting in our tomatoes and also trying our hand at some potatoes that we’ve been sprouting in our kitchen.  We’ll keep you posted on our progress!

Love,
Mary

And So It Begins … Getting the Garden Ready for Spring

My herb garden as it looks today…needs lots of work.

Last week, I started the winter clean-up around our property to prepare for our early spring plantings.  Here in central Texas, the weather is fairly mild in the winter  – with a few cold snaps here and there (just enough to kill lots of plants) – and the summers are scorchers – topping over 100 degrees -  so our “spring” planting comes fairly early in the season.

The Italian Oregano which is along the “barn” garage wall has survived fairly well through our winter but everything else isn’t looking so great. The weather wasn’t the only factor…more about that later…

The flowering trees have been pruned back and the beds mulched.

St. Francis greets us along the garden path.

Obi investigates the yucca branches intruding upon her newly mulched “bed”!

As you can see from the pictures above, everything needs to be fenced or walled off if we have any hope of growing things to be harvested.  The reason?…We certainly must have more deer in our town than people!

I’ve also been saving egg shells to fill with dirt and use for seed plantings.  Once we get a sprout of a seedling, we can put the whole thing in the ground, shell and all.

I have hopes of planting some squash this year along with my usual cherry tomatoes and Italian plum tomatoes.  I’d also like to try a few other things, just haven’t decided on what yet – - – plus I need to do some research as to what will do well in our climate.  I’m thinking, too, of planting a peach tree.  They grow beautifully in the Hill Country.  The Fredericksburg area is famous for them.

In addition to my veggies, I’d like to grow lots of my usual herbs…oregano, basil, thyme, chives, sage, and more.  I love growing a wide variety of basils for making pesto, basil mayonnaise…and just using it in all sorts of dishes.  Yum!


Basil picked from our garden last year.

Basil we picked last year at Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls which was later turned into…

Basil Pesto Spread…I added a little less oil to make it thicker to use as a spread on slices of baguette. Out of this world delicious!

After a hard days work in our herb garden! ;-)

My son, Ben, and I have been working on making some garden stepping stones to add to others we’ve made in previous years.  We’re hoping to make enough to complete and entire path for the herb garden.

The stone in the middle was made when Ben was younger…the one to the left when he was older.  I just love seeing the changes.  So sweet!  (The one on the right was made by his obsessive-compulsive mother…who has an extreme need for symmetry! ;-) )

“Talk” with you again soon, my sweet friends.

Love,
Mary

Rainy Day in the Texas Hill Country


Hello to my sweet friends!

This cloudy Monday has found me reminiscing about the clouds and rain of last week…

Last week it was an absolute delight to be lulled to sleep by distant thunder and the patter of rain on our roof. We have been experiencing a terrible drought for so long here in central Texas, that when rain does come, it’s time to rejoice! Even the crashes of lightening that woke us around 1:00 AM were exciting to hear and not looked upon as a nuisance.

The “puddles” on our property with a view of our driveway and our home in the background

The rain came down so hard and lasted all through the night that in the morning our property – with the puddles and the tress boughs hanging down – all most looked like a bayou.  Well, maybe not exactly, but those puddles made us really happy. ;-)

More puddles

The patio wet and dappled with damp leaves

And a full birdbath…albeit a bit kattywompus

The following morning found the weather damp and cold.  So it was cause to light a fire in the kitchen fireplace and then enjoy some hot cocoa.

My son, Ben

Days like this are far and few between and will most likely continue to be so,  at least for the immediate future.  The weatherman tells us their is no end insight for the drought until late spring, at the earliest.

But there was more to this day than just being happy to see the rain.  It was a day when my son and I forgot about school books, homework, activities, and more and just set aside some time to chat about this and that.  Now that was something to be happy about!  Even though he’s a teen, he still likes to chat with his dear old mom.  I love you Ben!

Thanks so much for visiting with me today. :-)

See you soon.

Love,
Mary