Half-Acre Challenge Update: Armadillogeddon

This morning I went outside and found a massive array of holes around the base of my biggest oak tree. The last time I saw such a mess was a few years ago in which case the perpetrators were a bunch of wild hogs. Now I have a chainlink fence, far too high for hogs to scale, and all the gates were closed. So, the only logical conclusion was that it was a massive party held by armadillos rooting for whatever it is they eat. There must be a couple dozen holes with several a foot deep! In some cases, rocks the size of baseballs had been removed! Needless to say, I’ll need to fill them in before the next time I mow.

It’s still unimaginable that dillos made such a mess, compared to the usual holes I find that are about an inch or two in diameter and about that deep.  Maybe this was courtesy of ET.  Wish I had the event on video. Either way, it would have been tremendously entertaining!

1/2 Acre Challenge Week 2: Operation Iris Rescue

My poor iris took a beating during the drought the past few years while the cactus survived, then got entirely out of control with this year’s welcome rain. The iris perked up, too, and deserved a new home, which they now have next to my shed.  I also have a garbage can full of cactus ears that probably weighs 300 lbs. ratsass

I’m sure that most of you out there can relate to the picture to the right as far as my efforts to tame my little piece of Texas are concerned. That’s okay. There’s something satisfying about sharing my progress in cyberspace. Somehow it provides a certain level of accountability, too. Just in case ANYONE actually does care, my intent is documented and it will be harder for me to give up and quit, though it’s pretty likely that will happen as the mercury rises into the usual triple digits of a Texas Hill Country summer. Until then, I can at least get as much done as I can, whether or not anyone notices, much less gives a rat’s ass.

Day 7 of the 1/2-Acre Challenge


I’m happy to report that so far for an entire week I have spent at least two hours a day working in my yard. The progress so far is not that dramatic, but I hope the cumulative effect will be. Yesterday I went to Home Depot and picked up some plants, one of which is pictured above on the far right.  Can you guess what it is?  Gizmo, my feral cat, provides a hint with her disgruntled expression.

Right, it’s cat mint and the plant closest to her is catnip. If I didn’t have the protection around it, by tomorrow it would be gone with numerous very happy cats lazing around the yard in an inebriated state. Gizmo, of course, does not agree with my decision, much as children protest when their parents ration Easter or Halloween candy.

Don’t worry, she’ll get her share, as will my indoor cats, who are regular “nipheads”, a term coined by fellow blogger, Jeanne Foguth, in her series, “The Sea Purr-tector Files”, which stars my favorite feline 007, Xander de Hunter. If you’re a cat fancier looking for a fun read, check out volume one here on Amazon! You can start the series for free with the prequel, “Latitudes and Cattitudes.”

Tomorrow I’ll continue my quest and provide another update when I do something interesting enough to report.


Eating an Elephant One Bite at a Time


I live in a rural area on a half acre that I’m trying to tame. I must say that during the nasty drought that Texas experienced that past seven-plus years it was a lot easier to sit in my air-conditioned house and go outside as little as possible, like to the mailbox and back. Period.  Now that the drought appears to be over, everything is green again and our lake is back up where it should be, I’ve decided it’s time to make my place look the way I’ve always dreamed it could on the outside.

Usually I get totally overwhelmed looking at it, but have finally adopted a common sense approach of taking it on one thing at a time, about an hour a day. It usually takes me three separate days to mow the yard with a walk-behind mower, so today I finished what I started Friday. I cut back the cactus by my front door that was taking over the porch, and have a list of manageable chores on my list for the coming days, like cutting down several volunteer hackberry trees and saving the irises from that unruly cactus.

So often when a task is utterly overwhelming, it’s easy to ignore or dismiss it entirely. How many things are you putting off because you don’t know where to start? Here’s the secret: Just start.  The satisfaction feeds your resolve and before you know it you’ve gained enough momentum to keep at it. I just hope I can get enough done before serious heat sets in, but until then I’ll tackle taming my little patch of land one bite at a time.