Friday, November 23, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving, from a couple of turkeys.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fall Behind

It's been an interesting past few weeks since the last blog entry.  Sorry for the long gap, there's just been so much going on here that writing got bumped to the bottom of the To-Do List.

The abundance of flowers continues, even though we haven't had any recent, significant rain.  The ocotillo left is one of the few we have spotted blooming, and since the photo was taken, almost all the ocotillo have changed to autumn colors or lost their leaves entirely.

We are still enjoying lots of fresh chicken from the harvest in August. Our two favorite ways to cook the birds are oven-roasted ("naked" roast chicken!) and tequila-lime marinated.

We have also started a container garden growing carrots, spinach, cabbage, cilantro, and basil. The community garden is also very active right now, with lots of edibles growing in the yard. We stopped by the Terlingua Farmers' Market last week and got to see all the wonderful vendors and farm-fresh food for sale.  It is still fairly early, though, and there will be even more vegetables available in a few weeks. We would love to have enough eggs to sell there (once the girls finally start laying!) and Casey's pater wants to buy drought-tolerant tree seedlings to re-sell.

We are really excited to see what we can harvest in two to three months! The growing season here in the desert is the opposite of what we are used to in the Northeast, and we have never done a container garden before. Containers have the benefit of reserving moisture better, but the disadvantage of being more sensitive to temperature fluctuations. We have already had some near-freezing temperatures this November, and we brought each container inside overnight to protect the seedlings from cold (only hope and prayer protects them from the cats & dogs!). Today seems to be the start of a warming trend, so we hope we can safely leave the containers outside overnight again! 

We also recently bought an annual pass for the Big Bend National Park (why did we wait this long?!) and have been attempting a new hike each week.  We completed the Grapevine Hills trail and the Lost Mine trail, just the two of us, and then this week we took Casey's parents Kathie and Bob (along with Gigabyte) down the Window trail and around the old Sam Nail Ranch. 

On the list for future hikes are the Ernst Tinaja, Santa Elena Canyon, and many more...

Another project that has been taking up a lot of time and effort is closing off the Workshop. As of tonight, the remainder of the back wall is all framed out and waiting for metal sheathing. We coated the wall with a special cement product called "Quikwall," which is a super-strong, fiberglass-reinforced surface bonding cement. The product is intended for dry stacked block walls with mostly hollow cores, but also has many other uses.  The Quikwall went on easily and finished nicely, with a smooth, stucco-y look. 

OK, it's not all-natural, traditional goat poo plaster ... but we don't have the goats yet and this was much easier and faster. 

Anyway, aside from these developments, there have been a lot of exciting things going on in the world.  For one, the Superstorm Sandy hit the Jersey Shore, where Sara's maternal family lives.  Everyone came through the storm OK, but there was a lot of damage and the electricity was out for several days.  Luckily, none of the many trees that fell landed on their homes or vehicles, but there was an obvious (and in some cases, desperate) need for portable solar systems. 

And Alpine threw a big, annual bash called ArtWalk, where people and artists came from all over to have a good time with food, friends, and art.  We made it just in time to catch the parade, which featured a multi-person rattlesnake skeleton cycle (with red-stocking tongue!) and spinning butterfly cycles.