Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fair Ribbons

To say our garden was pitiful this year would be an understatement. I'd show you a picture if it didn't make me cry to look at it. We still haven't figured out what we did, or what mother nature did, to our three garden plots. The last two summers we have had corn, peppers, squash, gourds, tomatoes, cantaloupes, watermelons and eggplant galore. This year we have barely had enough tomatoes for a salad, a couple of eggplants,and a few watermelons. The rest didn't produce at all.
A few accidental pumpkin vines managed to grow in our front flower beds. We nursed them all summer, allowing them to take over, in hopes of a few pumpkins. Our effort paid off with one, yes ONE, big pumpkin. Little One took very good care of the mini-pumpkin vine which has produced many little pumpkins.

So our visions of another year of taking lots of produce to the fair for more ribbons dwindled. But Em managed to enter one watermelon, Soph the lone pumpkin, and Little One her mini-pumpkins. Guess what? They all won ribbons. I was so proud of them.

Disclaimer: Soph's pumpkin is not the actual pumpkin she entered. Seems there are pumpkin snatchers at the fair who will take your pumpkin and ribbon even when your name is boldly written on it!

Em also entered a very yummy cake, which won in our books and a picture. Neither won ribbons, but I loved seeing her work hard. We're already looking forward to what we can enter next year!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Seeing A Diamond In The Rough

It was three years this July that I first laid eyes on our house. We had decided to move from the small town we were living in to be closer to the "city". We looked at houses in town and nothing even came close to appealing to my husband and I. Then I found this house online while browsing the local real estate. It seemed wonderful. The up close picture of the two story brick house looked promising. Plus it had 4 bedrooms and according to google map it looked to sit about 6 miles outside of town in the canyons. We sent it to our realtor and off we went.

This is what we found.

The weeds and native grasses had run of the place. There was no sidewalk up to the front door or any sort of walking paths around the yard. No people were living in this place, but there was no doubt that occupants of this property were lurking all around.

But I remember the hot sun beating down on me as I climbed the driveway thinking that this was home. Tears even came to my eyes at the thought of living in such a place. Later I would find out I was pregnant, which could have contributed to the emotions I was feeling, but no matter I loved the place just the same.

Ten years earlier my husband and I had found this little tucked away neighborhood as we were driving around killing time during a trip to the "big city". We both agreed we would love to live here some day and raise a family. It was a dream that we pushed aside as life got busy with the arrival of two little girls, jobs, and the paying of everyday expenses. Moving just wasn't a priority or a possibility for those ten years.

Moving into our dream house wasn't easy in many respects. Between a difficult pregnancy, stress filled jobs and living between homes an hour apart for 6 months I would be lying if I said all was a bed of roses. Even the fixing up of the place was crazy at times. I was for the most part out of commission, either because of my expanding middle or later because of the needs of my newborn. A newborn that was at one time labeled as a "failure to thrive".

We had our work cut out for us! The first project we would tackle would be making a sidewalk up to the front door. And of course if you own even a little bit of land we had to name the place...

I'll give you a hint as to what it was...
Any guesses? And tell me do you see the diamond in the rough or do you prefer your diamond already buffed and polished?

*This is a Blue Scaled quail also known as Cotton-Top Quail. When we moved in we had dozens of these guys running around the place. They would come with their fluffly little babies and at times I could look out my window and see dozens of these Cotton-Tops bobbing up and down the Canyon, filling the hills with white topped birds. So we named our place Cotton-Top Hills that spring and it has stuck.

Winner of Give Away

The winner of the wall graphic give away is Elizabeth!
Large Format posters will be in touch soon with your winning information.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Blog and Give Away

I'm so excited to have my new blog up and running. Actually I added three new blogs to my home site Eskimo Kisses and Air Hugs. Slowly, I will be getting each of my blogs up to speed and linking them all together on each one. For now my home site has buttons that can link you to them. This blog will be dedicated to home life here at Cotton-Top Hills. We are constantly making improvements, adding this and that, and learning to adjust to the rural life in the Texas Panhandle.

To help kick off this new blog I have a give away from Large Format Posters. I'm really excited about this new product. I will be giving away a 24 X 24 wall graphic. It is like a large sticker you can post on any flat service, check out what it looks like here.

I think I'd use this picture my husband took of our house recently while flying with a friend.
To enter this give-away just leave a comment telling what you would use your wall graphic for. If you would like to be entered more than once tweet about it, blog about it, or put a link to my blog on your facebook page. Then come back and let me know that you did in a separate comment.
**Winners and blogger must pay $5 Handling Fee to claim prize, shipping is free. Only open to US residents.

If you want another chance to when this wall graphic check out my other new blog about homeschooling here.

Good luck everyone!
**Forgot to mention the contest winners will be picked on Monday, Sept. 14th!.**