Joy Blooms, follow my adventures in Lubbock as I garden here

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Last Updated on:  04/06/2016 05:29 AM


Merry Christmas Y’all 2012 -

Merry Christmas - Texas Style

This is our first full year in Lubbock.  All in all we have adjusted quite well.  As promised the weather is not too hot and certainly NOT TOO COLD.  We chuckle when we are out and about and see the natives dressed in puffy coats, hats & gloves while we are in short sleeve T’s.   Our winter coats hang un-worn in the front coat closet.

This has been a busy year – so much to do.  As we tackled tasks that seemed daunting, each is now complete!  

  • Growing Grass:  The year started with a yard of red dirt & weeds.  Now, thanks to the diligence of Dave, we have a lawn in the front & in the doggie back yards.  It is true that the secret to growing grass from seeds is to keep the seeded area wet during the early stages – at least that’s what worked here.  The grass grew so well that we bought a tractor (OK it’s a John Deere riding lawn mower).  Dave is truly a gentleman farmer.  Now mowing time was cut from 90 minutes (using the electric push-type lawn mower) to 20 minutes with the tractor.
  • Doggie Fence:  High on our list was finishing the installation of the backyard “doggie fence.”  The “doggie” yard is about 4000 sqft directly behind the house.  It is enclosed by a 3 ft high black metal fence from a Grand Empire.  We ordered the materials from Lowe’s and installed it ourselves, one panel at a time. 
  • Raised BedsThanks to the engineering skills of Dave, the 20 raised beds (4ft x 8ft) were completed.  Jan was able to plant a Victory Garden.  We added compost and composted cotton burrs to the red dirt.  Jan is an organic gardener so she did not add chemical fertilizers.  Well, long story short, the first garden was not very successful.  Everything that was planted sprouted and began to grow, then “poof” everything withered.   Jan concluded that the soil mix was wrong, the weather was too hot & dry, or she didn’t water deeply enough – probably a combination.  We had two new hydrants installed near the raised beds so that the task of watering would be easier.    Next year – an underground sprinkler system in the front yard and maybe a greenhouse are on the project list. 
  • Making progress with the “Iris River” and “Butterfly Garden.”  Both of these gardens are located outside of the Doggie Fence.   The “Iris River” runs north to south on the west side of the fence.  Jan planted iris in the middle to mimic a flowing river.  This is very much a work in progress.  The “Butterfly Garden” is a square shaped garden on the south side of the fence.  She seeded it with wildflowers, perennials and annuals which attract butterflies.   When Jan looks out her office window she can see both gardens.
  • Feathered Friends:  Attracting feathered friends with multiple birdseed feeders has been a joy.  We made a birdbath out of terra cotta pots & saucers for the bird garden (which is parallel to the Iris River).  Dave converted a “water wiggler” for the birdbath to solar.  The birds are attracted to the moving water.  We get mostly house finches, sparrows, & grackles at the feeders.   We have house martins that roost under the eaves of the porches.  We erected a purple martin birdhouse – hoping they will make a home in the “birdie condo.”
  • We ordered 10 Cubic Yards of gravel and moved it one garden wagon as a time to create a pathway from the doggie fence to the shop (or basement as we like to call it).  We also added gravel around the shop and created a pathway to the area where the trash bin is located and placed gravel next to the driveway.  We added the majority of the gravel around the raised beds – in the 3 ft span around the raised beds.
  • Indoor projects - Dave added shelves to his office and bought a new desk.  Jan bought a new desk, 4 bookcases, and 2 printer stands for her office.  The rest of the house looks like we are still moving in.  We did buy a bed for the guest bedroom – a cute iron twin bed - the room serves as storage for the stuff that hasn’t yet been placed in its permanent home.


Betty Sue & Billy Bob Beagle are right at home.  They enjoy their time outside in the doggie yard.  Roaming a full acre is quite fun for them.  Don’t know who was more startled when they encounter wildlife – the horned toads & rabbits or the beagles.  Thankfully the beagle just ran the other way.  The horned toads are still here but the rabbits vamoosed after a few encounters.  The beagles still have not mastered barking with a Texas accent – Woof Woof Y’all.

We are enjoying our new digs in Lubbock.  Now as we become settled in we plan to start taking advantage of the sights & events here.  We’ve already visited Prairie Dog Town, the Silent Wings museum, the Windmill museum, the Buddy Holly exhibit and some traveling art/craft exhibits.  In 2013 we want to take some extension classes.

What isn’t there to love about Lubbock?  The weather is wonderful.  It’s December and the garden still has plants with green leaves and colorful flowers.  The people are all so friendly.  The pace here is much slower than in Denver.   You can drive across town within 15 minutes – imagine that.  In Denver we’d still be in the neighborhood!   Oh yes the local streets are a bit of a hazard.  Lubbock has earned a #10 spot on the Nation’s Worse Drivers list.  It just keeps you on your toes while driving – never know when someone will change lanes, cut across lanes, slow down or stop – all without warning.

Dave hits the magic number of 65 this month so he signed up for Medicare.  Oh my, Jan is married to an old man.   Dave stays busy with his consulting and the websites.  He enjoys writing as his alter-ego “Wily Widget.”   Jan loves getting her hands dirty in her gardens.  She is the webmaster for our 5 websites.   Great joy comes from both activities.  She teaches one of the adult Bible classes at church.  Participants range in age from early 60’s to mid-90’s.  What a joy to be with them each Sunday morning.

The websites continue to be our main source of income. is the most popular and our biggest success.   Jan is still tweaking

Even though we put; and on the “back burner” they are still attracting new visitors.

We wish you y’all a Blessed Christmas and a Joyous New Year!

Dave & Jan     Billy & Betty Beagle too!  &



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