Thursday, May 28, 2009

Compostess with the Mostess

So, we’ve been in the house almost a year (June 4) and I finally got around to building a compost pile! Let me just explain, I come from a long line of composters. Gran and Granpa have had one for decades…they use only compost for fertilizer- nothing chemical- and they still get fireflies in the summertime. That might also be why they grew 80+ lbs of sweet potatoes a couple years ago (and called the news, and were ON the local news in Dallas for this.) We Deilys had two large piles at my childhood home on Woodcroft Court, so it was only a matter of time…

Here’s the beauty of a compost pile. It’s cheap to build, easy to maintain, free fertilizer and good for your yard/environment.

Benefits:
Soil conditioner
- with compost, you are creating rich humus for lawn and garden. This adds nutrients to your plants and helps retain moisture in the soil
Recycles kitchen and yard waste- composting can divert as much as 30% of household waste away from the garbage can.
Introduces beneficial organisms to the soil- microscopic organisms in compost help aerate the soil, break down organic material for plant use and ward off plant disease.
Good for the environment- composting offers a natural alternative to chemical fertilizers.
Reduces landfill waste- most landfills in North America are quickly filling up; many have already closed down. One-third of landfill waste is made up of compostable materials. (From eartheasy.com)

You can compost table scraps, fruit and veggie scraps, eggshells, leaves, grass clippings, dead plants, weeds, shrub prunings, pine needles, flowers, coffee grounds/filters, tea leaves, newspaper (not too much color ink or glossy paper,) cardboard, corn cobs, dryer lint, sawdust and wood chips!

Our compost pile cost only $16- I bought chicken wire that was 4’x10’ and four pieces of rebar that were 4’x3/8”. Our previous owner left this cute fence piece that I’ve been dying to use. I still have to attach the fence pieces together.

And, while I was in no-man’s-land behind our garage, I found this vine that makes these very cool Dr. Seussish flowers. I had no clue that was there.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

An Ode to El Ranchero

So Cason and I have been in our house for almost a year (OMG!) and we've continued to fall in love with our neighborhood/location. There's a Mexican restaurant just across the bayou that we'd been meaning to try and never got around to it- El Ranchero. On Friday night, we went to Lifeway after work to look at some books for our class's next small group, and Cason said, "Hey, why don't we try El Ranchero?" We came home and changed, and walked to dinner- yes, walked! We got to Braeswood through the neighborhood, crossed the bayou, and there it was, in all it's splendor.

Cason's first test of a good Mexican restaurant is the chips and salsa "it's a very important first impression," he says. Ha. The chips and salsa were great- just like Mercado Juarez, where he used to go to in high school, "warm, but not too hot, and runny on the top but you can get chunks of veggies in the bottom if you want." I just really liked the cilantro. We continued the meal with fajitas for two and jumbo margaritas for $5.25 each (their Fri/Sat. special.) The staff were really nice/hardworking, and the food was delicious. Even the mariachis were good- i.e. talented and not too loud, just pleasant for the ambiance. Then, we walked home (still can't get over that) and watched Waiting for Guffman.

So then, Saturday rolls around and we're hanging out with the Housers...Cason and Kuy went to the Astros/Rangers game and Jamie and I went to the antique shops on lower Westheimer. As luck would have it, after our raving about El Ranchero, Kuy said "well if you don't mind going twice in a row, we'd love to try it too." So we went...again...last night.
Have you ever liked a restaurant so much that you went twice in one weekend? I don't really mean fast food out of necessity, but RESTAURANT. Well, now we have, and we're happy to have found our new "neighborhood spot."
If you ever want to try El Ranchero, don't forget to call us. :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Meet our new friend, Everett

The DuBrocs had their baby on Tuesday! Everett Stewart DuBroc- a strong, manly name taken from good men. Cason and I went to visit Matt, Erin and Everett at the hospital today at lunch. It was so neat to hear the story of their labor and delivery experience (all natural) and the special time that it was. Cason was really cute and got the New York Times, Houston Chronicle, Wall Street Journal and USA today from Everett's birthday. Can't wait to watch this little boy grow up! Love y'all!
Happy family just 20 hours after birth!

He loved laying on his side- oh the coveted secrets from The Happiest Baby on the Block...

See Chocolate and Tatertots for more pics!