The Bee Hive

Sometimes it's honey; sometimes it's sting...

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I spread this black plastic on a rectangle of Burmuda grass sometime after Easter. My intention was to kill that next-to-impossible-to-get-rid-of grass and make that area ready to plant a garden.

I took a peek the other day, and it looks like it's done a pretty good job in the month to month and a half it's been on there. I still see some pale yellowish green Bermuda grass that is likely to revive if I plant the pumpkins and watermelons there like I intend to, this coming week. For all I know the 'dead' roots will revive too. But I think I'll give it a shot since pumpkins planted in June will be ready for Halloween. And this is the last month I can plant the watermelons too.


Friday, June 19, 2009


I got this recipe from It looked like a great way to get lots of different veggies into a meal. I made mine a little different than hers, since I substituted a couple of things. Frequently that gets me in trouble, but this time it was really, really good.

Here's my version: Cut up 1 yellow squash, 1 Mexican squash, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 bell pepper and 1 ring of smoked sausage. Saute them in olive oil until the veggies are 'al-dente'. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, file' and salt, then serve over rice. It sounds almost too simple, but we absolutely loved it.

Be sure to stop by Becca's blog and check out her version.


Thursday, June 18, 2009


I found where I had read about Malabar spinach. It was in this magazine - the March-April issue of Texas Gardener.

And it wasn't an article but a tiny submission to the Problem - Solution column on the last page of the magazine.

This sounds ideal for our South Texas climate, and I am hoping to get some Malabar spinach plants from Zimmer's Nursery in September, when they will have them again.

Here is a really good article in the same magazine about a gardener in Corpus Christi. If you can find this issue anywhere it is really worth getting. They also had an article on the Corpus Christi Botanical Gardens.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009


...On Coconut, that is. Yes, I am one of those strange people who likes to dress dogs in clothes. Coconut got a new outfit yesterday. I hope she doesn't look too much like a hoochy mama in it. Chuck dressed her in anticipation of her Post Office trip this morning.
I wish they sold more dog outfits in Patti-Jo's size too. But the dog clothing retailers cater to their smaller clientele. I may change these photos later if I get better ones.
I've been doing lots of gardening over the past couple of days and have much more to do for the rest of the week. My out of shape muscles are really hurting. So it'll probably be garden pictures and posts for the next day or two.
Keith, I had computer issues yesterday and now it's not letting me click on my comments to answer you about the Malabar spinach. But from something I read awhile back (Can't remember what or where.) it was my understanding that malabar spinach was ideal for our climate...that it would possibly grow in the off-season as well as the normal season. You know, it might have been in the article in the South Texas Catholic a while back about the Native American man in Corpus who grows a community garden as well as his own. If I find it, I'll let you know.

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Monday, June 15, 2009


Garrett and I ran errands today, and among other places, I wanted to stop at Zimmer's Nursery to look for Malabar spinach plants or seeds and pumpkin seeds. They weren't going to have more Malabar spinach until September, but I did get two six-packs of tall zinnias that I love, and then on the way out, I noticed this huge, gorgeous bush. I had Garrett get out and stand by it for a photo. We went back and I found out it was a ponciana or Mexican Bird of Paradise plant, and bought a small one to plant in the yard.
Besides a few groceries, here is what I ended up with today. Well, the Mexican Flame Plant (on the left side of the table) is from the Farmer's Market the other day. I still haven't planted it, because I got in a big weeding and flower bed cleaning project and now it'll have to wait until the spot I intend for it is cleaned. Apparently supporting slave labor and human rights abuses in China (sigh), I bought these three lawn chairs and the brown table at Walmart. I got the organic pumpkin seeds and some sunflower seeds there too.
It's still way too hot out in the yard now, but around sunset, I hope to get out there and finish most of the flower beds and get started on planting. Wish me luck!


Sunday, June 14, 2009


Exciting post today, right? Ha! Yes, I am running out of photo ideas. But I really do love this nail polish color and have kept my nails (finger and toe) polished with this for quite a while now. I was changing fairly often to match my clothes, but always went back to this. Now I just mostly wear clothes in colors that this will go okay with. Like this morning to Mass I wore dark green and beige with turquoise jewelry.

Father Sadji was our priest this morning. Amazingly, he is fully recovered from the 18 stab wounds he received in his attack inside his parish church on May 3. Today is the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, and he gave a really good sermon. We were honored to have him with us today. Father Sebastian is in San Antonio for a couple of days for an ordination.

When we got home from Mass, I moved Midnight and Goldilocks to their 'chicken kennel'. They are clearing the grass fairly well, but not as thoroughly or quickly as I hoped. I may go ahead and move it to a new spot anyway, and just dig up the rest of the grass they are leaving. I'll give them a couple more days in their present spot, though. Today I may weed the two flower beds in the front of the house. It's one of those jobs I hate getting started on, but once I do start, I find it strangely enjoyable. Last night I started on it, by the water faucet outside the laundry room and got all around the majestic sage before it got too dark.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Reagan was barbequing Thursday, so Chuck asked if we could bring some chicken over to cook on the pit. I seasoned some chicken quarters and took them across the way. Then I looked in my Old San Patricio cookbook for a Mexican Rice recipe. I found one and it called for 10 cloves of garlic, which seemed excessive, but I added all 8 of the ones I had, which still seemed excessive. I added fresh cilantro, too, in addition to the comino the recipe specified. Oh - and I didn't have any tomato sauce, so I added a part of a can of tomato soup. It turned out okay, but WAY too garlicky. I think 4 garlic cloves would have done it.
I sent 3/4 of the rice over to them and they sent us 4 of their pork loin 'steaks'. It was really, really good.


Friday, June 12, 2009


Amy, Mathieu and I left at the break of ....noonish today to go shopping at the farm stand north of Beeville. Then we took the FM bypass around Beeville looking for other stands. We only found one of those. So we drove south to Papalote to see what the pick-your-own stand had. That leg of the trip was a total waste of time and gas, since there was nothing at all there, and the field was empty.

At the first stop, I bought the three small squash ($1), the four small eggplant($1) and the large eggplant($1). They also had three kinds of tomatoes, red potatoes, eggs, cobblers, several kinds of squash, and probably a few more things I'm forgetting. Also, their produce is totally chemical free.

Then around the FM bypass, from the truck parked at the crossroads, I got the small watermelon, large honeydew, and the large gorgeous Mexican squash all for $11. Mat bought the cantalope for $1.50. The man also had other kinds of squash, three kinds of watermelons, a few kinds of onions, and more things I've forgotten. Mat and I were hoping for papayas, but he didn't have those.

After we got home, we cut up some of the melons, added some grapes, bananas and oranges that I already had, and made a huge fruit salad. There was a mishap with the watermelon, when Mat showed me how he could lift it with one hand over his head, and it fell and smashed all over the floor. However, we salvaged most of it. From that huge bowl, there is only a little bit left now. But there is enough of everything to make another one almost like it tomorrow, minus the bananas.

I like shopping from independent vendors, roadside stands and mom and pop places rather than the big corporations, when possible.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009


I noticed this huge mushroom ring behind the studio the other day, so got Mathieu to stand in it for a photo. Okay, it's a terrible photo, but how else would I get a picture of the whole ring. This reminds me of many of the photos taken forty or so years ago when 'Kodaks' were popular to take photos of the kids out in the yard - line the kids up 20 yards away and have them all squint into the sun. Anyway, it must have been a really big mushroom that was growing there at one time to have 'poofed' it's spores that far around it.

Here's a close-up of one of the mushrooms and some moss rose that is growing by it. Wouldn't it be great if these were edible. I've always been told that none of the fungi in our area are edible; that they are poisonous. I'm going to google South Texas edible mushrooms and see what I can find, though.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I painted these faces on coasters from Chili's not too long ago. I have no idea what I'll do with them.
Shabree came down from Austin to spend a couple of days with us and so we could get a family photo done for the parish family album. We sure do miss her, with her being so much farther away again.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009


This is just a photo of the back of the package I sent to Ashlyn and Alyson last week. I love Little Red Riding Hood and of course, twirly branched trees.
Happily, Shabree got dropped off here yesterday, so she could be in the family photo for the new parish directory. I have to take her to Corpus Christi this evening, though, so she can see other relatives there, before returning to Austin tomorrow.


Monday, June 08, 2009


Here is a project I had wanted to get done for awhile. It's like the upside down hanging tomato plant kits that have been advertized on tv for awhile. Only this is the homestyle version - Tractor Supply buckets (heavy-duty, sturdy plastic) with about an inch and a half hole drilled in the bottom, hung from heavy duty bungee cords (on sale: 4 for $5)into loops of chain threaded around the iron beams on the edge of the roof. I had bought two bell pepper plants, a squash plant and a cucumber plant in anticipation of this project, but by the time it actually got done, they were a little puny. But I threaded them through the buckets and filled about half full with soil. More soil and compost will be added later. Then I watered them and hoped for the best. If this works out well, I'd like to add more, and hang them all along the back of the house, too.

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Sunday, June 07, 2009


This is a small (aprox.5"x7") mixed media painting, 'Family Tree', I did recently. I am in love with curly branched trees and use them whenever I can. The althea bush - or rose of sharon, as some people call them - made a nice holder for it.

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Saturday, June 06, 2009


Beeville has a farmer's market on the first Saturday of each month. It just started last month. Last month I got two plants and some squash. This month there were fewer craft sellers and a good deal more vegetable, farm produce, plant and herb sellers. There were a few more baked goods stands too. I forgot my camera in the car, so took this photo on the way out, from behind the whole thing.
Here is what I got this time: squash at 3/$1.00, onions at 3/$1.00, bell peppers at 2/$1.00, a baggie of cilantro for $1.00, and a Mexican Fire Plant for $6.00. The veggie lady gave me her card. Her family sells veggies, plants and baked goods north of town on the highway. Oh - and all of her vegetables were marked as grown naturally without chemicals, which is a definate bonus! The three books I got for $1.70-something at the Goodwill Store. I had plastic store bags to drop off for them to reuse, and didn't even intend to look, but...


Friday, June 05, 2009


I received this piece of mail art out of the blue yesterday. I had kind of gotten away from mail art, so hadn't received any in a long time. This came from someone who got my mailing address from The paper leaves will find their way into a collage or mixed media piece, probably. I love the handmade brown paper bag envelope, too. That kind of brown paper is one of my favorite things to work with. I love the color, texture, weight and heft of it. So it will be reused too. Thanks, Carla!


Thursday, June 04, 2009


I painted this postcard sized piece on heavy box cardboard recently. The fortune from a Chinese fortune cookie says, "If you wait too long for the perfect moment, the perfect moment will pass you by."
The bush with the abundance of bright yellow clusters of bell shaped flowers is an esperanza, which means 'hope' in Spanish. It's very prolific here in South Texas.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009


They sleep in a 'chicken hutch' and spend their days in a movable 'chicken kennel'.

Stewart built this really heavy duty rabbit hutch for Shabree's rabbit, Sunny. After Sunny died of old age, it stayed empty until we got into chickens. Andrew bought her these two chickens for her birthday one year. She named them Goldilocks and Midnight. We keep them in this overnight, since it is 100% safe and secure. Some people around the corner and down the road have recently lost several of their chickens and apparently cats, too, to the huge coyotes that we have this spring.

This is what we're using for a chicken tractor now. The old one that looked more like a chicken tractor was done in by the weather and they were without until we bought this dog kennel from Tractor Supply recently. It works great, although it is a little heavy to be moving on a whim. Before a big rainstorm a week or so ago, we moved the extra dog house in there just in case they needed more shelter from the blowing rain. Now they usually lay their eggs in there.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009


It's been a long time. My computer had been working poorly for quite a while, and finally it just died. So we were without one for awhile, and then Stewart ordered another one sent to us. It is taking some getting used to. I wish I could say I have been super-productive in real life without the computer, but actually, I just changed to spending more time with video games. Ha! I found out I like my Wii a lot better with a classic controller. Out of lack of something fun and relaxing to do, I bought Harvest Moon Tree of Tranquility for it and have been working that game. Of course I am *d y i n g* waiting for The Sims 3 to come out for a video game console - ANY video game console. It should be released for PC this week, I think, so I am hoping it won't be long before it is released for the PlayStation 3 or the Wii.

Meanwhile, with a computer again, I have gone back to Swap-Bot and joined a Brooch Swap. The hostess gave a link to some kinds of hand-crafted artsy, boho types that she had in mind, so I did my version below - one brooch each for four partners.

The swap is open to all kinds of brooches, including store-bought ones. I already received one from a partner. I'll post a photo of all four I receive when I get them all.