Tag Archives: Texas

Sprouts

Many people associate the spring with new beginnings.

Not me.

I’ve always felt that life “refreshes” in the fall.

But I’m not here to talk about life.

Okay, I am. But I really want to talk about beans.

And pumpkins. And carrots. And arugula.

Because those are some of the things I planted in my back yard at the beginning of July.

That’s right, I planted a fall garden.

Gardening this past spring has been a hopeless disaster for the entire state of Texas and several neighboring states. We didn’t really have a spring this year. The climate quickly transitioned from a bitter, frozen winter to an oppressively hot convection oven in the blink of an eye. Pair that with less than 2 inches of rainfall on record for the past 12 months and you’ve got a rancher’s/farmer’s/backyard gardener’s absolute worst nightmare. The herbs and vegetables I planted in the early “spring” have been a lovely shade of crispy brown for the past month and a half, despite vigilant watering.

But then July came, and while the daily highs still hovered around the triple digits, the wind finally ceased, making spending time out of doors less akin to suicide.

Plus, I figured we would most likely have an unusually warm autumn, so I could take advantage of the fact that 100 degree weather doesn’t really keep foliage from growing, and by the time my plants would be ready to fruit, the temperature would more than likely remain under the 90 degree tolerable limit.

I hope to keep y’all updated with my fall garden! I wasn’t sure if I would write about it, because all my other gardening attempts have turned out to be complete flops, but this one seems to actually be working!

 

Black beans + purple beans…

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Carrots…

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Uhh… this is either arugula or kale. I really don’t remember what! Note to self… LABEL MY ROWS!

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San Marzano tomatoes…

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I’m growing three different types of pumpkins. This is the Early Sugar Pie variety. It’s growing so big!…

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In total, I’m growing black beans, purple beans, snow peas, two different types of carrots, spinach, kale, arugula, San Marzano tomatoes, multi-color bell peppers, brussels sprouts, and three different types of pumpkins (Big Max, Early Sugar Pie, and Musquee de Provence).

Have you ever planted a fall garden?

Barbecue vs. Cookout

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When in Texas, there is a marked difference between a barbecue and a cookout.

A barbecue will serve barbecue. And in Texas, barbecue means brisket. Maybe sausage, too, but something will be cooking low and slow over a great deal of smoke, and it ain’t burgers.

A cookout has free reign of everything else. Burgers, hot dogs, steaks, whatever.

Except chicken. Why on earth would you bring chicken to a cookout?!

Anyway, I’m visiting Edgar’s family in the Canadian-Higgins area (just barely on the right side of the Texas-Oklahoma border. And by right side I mean the left side) for the Easter weekend, and today we met up with some of their friends on their land for a cookout.

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There’s something endearing about seeing a lot full of pickup trucks.

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We brought Maggie!

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After about 30 minutes of dragging her around on the leash, we decided to let her roam free. And boy did she ever! She was like a fly on steroids buzzing around the area! She had a blast!

Though I don’t think she was too sure of the stream.

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My father-in-law supplied the fine hors d’oeuvres… (tortilla chips with onion, jalepeno slices, pimentos, and cheese)

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…while some of the other men started up the grill.

If you were wondering, cowboy hats in Texas really are fairly common. It’s not a myth.

 

Well, maybe it is if you’re from the city.

 

But most of Texas isn’t “city,” so there ya go.

 

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Cowboy coffee!

Well, almost.

It would be if I could see a sock.

Well, there could be a sock. I didn’t ask.

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The hostess of the evening showed us some sausage another guest brought up from Elgin (near Austin) for this cookout. Probably not something I’d purchase myself but I sure don’t turn it down when it’s served to me! It was mighty tasty!

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Ahh, the combined smell of mesquite, meat, and carcinogens. It can’t be beat.

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It’s one of Edgar’s favorite smells. That and fired gunpowder.

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Speaking of Edgar….

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A guest brought homemade cheese breadsticks! They were really good!

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There was also chips and dip, pinto beans, fruit, and some mayonnaise-y salad mixes, but yeah. You don’t go to cookout and expect to see anything green, except the lettuce.

After stuffing ourselves silly on burgers and sausage, they pulled out the dessert: buttermilk cake and cherry cobbler. The cobbler is hidden in that red container. I got a little shutter-happy and didn’t wait to photograph the cobbler because I was too excited about…

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…HOMEMADE ICE CREAM!

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My food baby and I are very happy. :]

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Oh, and apparently we’re coming back to Plainview with 6 lbs of free pastured beef from Edgar’s family friends’ ranch! Wooooot! That and two loves of Great Harvest bread (honey whole wheat and Dakota!) we picked up in Amarillo last night. Smile

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Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Amarillo, last night we ate dinner at Jason’s Deli. For me it was only the second time in my life to eat there. The other time was when I was in 7th grade.

I’d like to make this special public service announcement that the Wild Salmon-Wich is floggin’ awesome.

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“Grilled wild salmon marinated in balsamic vinaigrette, guacamole, roma tomatoes, leafy lettuce, smoked red pepper-cilantro aioli on toasted focaccia.”

That is all.

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What do you like to eat at a cookout? What about a barbecue?

Accent Vlog! Plus, my faith.

 

Hey everyone! Peeps just left and I’ve finally got my accent video done!

I don’t really have a lisp, so I don’t know what that was about. But now that I hear myself, I do kinda have a Southern accent. I blame Plainview. I sound like a hick every time I visit my family in Fort Worth.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQeidM8gRJQ]


Background:
I am from Fort Worth, Texas, and my parents are from Missouri/North Carolina and Texas. I was raised in Texas all my life.

Edgar is from a small country town (Canadian, TX) barely on this side of the Texas line. His dad grew up in El Paso and his mom is from Oklahoma. He has also lived in Texas all his life.

Kris was born in Fort Worth, lived his first few years there, moved to Florida for a few years in grade school, then came back to the Promised Land Texas. He has spent most his life since then in a small town just outside Houston. His parents are both Texans.

Justin’s dad is a pastor and he has traveled all over the country, including New Mexico and Oregon, and has family in Missouri. He doesn’t claim a state.

Aubrey has lived in California and Wyoming. She also doesn’t claim a state.

By the way, I looked it up and the other word for roly poly I was trying to think of was pill bug!

Kris says we should start a morning talk show.

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30 Day Challenge 
Day 4-
My views on religion.

Well, I certainly don’t try to hide my faith.

I grew up in a Christian home. I’ve been going to Baptist churches all my life. When I was homeschooled I was a part of several different Christian homeschool groups. I graduated from a Baptist University and now work there.

But none of this makes me a Christian.

While I’ve believed in God for as long as I can remember, I didn’t make my faith my own until I was 14. I didn’t experience an actual relationship with God until 2003 when I participated in my first mission trip and saw God’s hand working so perfectly and obviously. I had spent the year prior in darkness as I struggled with interpersonal issues with a depressed/self-mutilating friend with whom I was toxically codependent. I boarded the bus numb to the world, but just a few days later found myself standing the middle of a dirty street in Mexico in awesome realization that God had always been there through all my struggles, and He was so much bigger than any burden I carried. I realized the incredible feeling of being small, and it was beautiful. His greater plan for me was so much better than anything I could dream up in my shortsighted, feeble mind.

I look back at my perspective of life the day I left for that trip. It was dark and gray. Just 8 days later, the days permanently switched to light. It’s been almost eight years and even thought I’ve struggled with heartbreak and uncertainty, I have never felt as hopeless as I did before meeting God face to face on that mission trip.

I know it’s not typical for people to change overnight. But I’m living proof that it’s possible. Letting go of my plans and allowing God to move them was was set the entire rest of my life into motion. It was easily the most pivotal week of my entire life.

If I hadn’t gone on that mission trip, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this blog post today.

On that trip, I met someone who would be my very best friend for the next three years. Through him I learned what it meant to know God, to delight in Him, to be in communion with Him, and to see others the way that God saw them. I learned what it meant to love, which is what God is all about. I learned what it meant to trust God, which is something I’ve always struggled with. I still do, but I do have a hope that I cling to:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NIV)

That verse is the hope on which I have gripped for the past 8 years. That hope has led me to Wayland, to Edgar, to this job which has led me to get healthy, this confidence, the love and friendship I have in my life. I know peace because I’ve actively trusted God. I know hope because I’ve seen my life fall to ruin and be resurrected so much better than before, on every occasion. I know love because I’ve hurt and been hurt. I’ve opened up my flaws and accepted them in others. I’ve given up my own good and have others sacrifice for me.

God delivered me from more than my sin. He delivered me from more than an eternity of hell. He gave me my earthly life back in spades. He never promised me I wouldn’t struggle, but He promised that I would have a way through it. He never promised I would get everything I wanted, but He promised I would get everything I needed. Where there is darkness, there is now light. Where there was uncertainty, there is now trust. Where there was fear, there is now peace. Where there was dread, there is now hope. Where there was heartbreak, there is now fullness of heart. Where there was brokenness, there is now healing. Where there was selfishness, I now know, see, and experience love on every good and perfect level.

I didn’t get there by going to church, or by reading the Bible, or believing in a “higher power.” I got there because He who is so much bigger than me brought Himself down to my level so that He and I could see face to face. He took me in His arms and I opened my eyes for the first time. I saw His face and wept tears of joy. I gave Him all I had and He gave me riches, and I’ve done nothing to deserve it. 

My religion is hardly about religion at all.
It’s about relationship.
It’s about love.
It’s about hope, peace, and faith.
It’s about forgiveness.
It’s seeing how small we are compared to how big He is.
Wanting what He wants and seeing as He sees.
Choosing to live in His world instead of the trivial one we’ve created for ourselves.
It’s about sacrifice. “He died for me, so I will live for Him.”
It’s about realizing how depraved we are, how we’ve spit in His face, but He still forgives us when we ask, loves us even when we don’t, and offers us a role in his magnificent plan if we choose. He doesn’t need us, but He wants us.
It’s about wanting, seeking, and loving Him back.

 

So, do I have a funny accent???

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