Monthly Archives: July 2009

Wild Flowers

I walked around today looking for wild flowers.  I just took pictures and I am going to sit with a book and identify those that I don’t know.

Mountain Pinks- these grow in gravel on the side of the road and look like little bouquets

Mountain Pinks

Standing Cypress- there are a few of these and they are supposed to make seeds in the fall, so I will be watching them.

Standing Cypress

Blanket Flowers- lots of people know these flowers and we have some in front of the hay meadow.

Blanket Flower

Texas Thistle – These are supposed to be attractive to butterflies and I know that we had lots of butterflies last fall.

Texas Thistle

The fence

We needed to get a fence done so that we could get either goats or cows on the 20 acres in order to keep Ag taxes.  We could have done that quickly by getting a bulldozer to clear a path about 4 feet around the whole place and losing tons of trees, but we did not want to lose all those trees.  So we took a chainsaw and walked tree by tree to clean out for the fence.  My husband cut down trees that were in the way, or cut limbs off if we could save the tree.  I would pull the tree out of the way and make huge stacks of trees that we will burn someday.  It was slow, very tiring work.  We were able to clean up all the way across the front and down part of one side. One side already had a fence and the other side was too much of a hill to get the tractor on so we had to have a bulldozer.  But it was worth is because the fence is finally finished and we have trees that would not be there if we had not done the work by hand. 

While we were working on getting the trees cleared we found a really interesting tree, a Mexican Buckeye.  It has smooth bark with a purple kind of tint and small white flowers with purple accents.  They look like little orchids hanging off the tree in bunches.  We had to cut some of them down because they were in the way of the fence, but there is one growing next to the electric boxes and I am going to take really good care of it. 

Mexican Buckeye

 

Mexican Buckeye

The studio

What we will use as a house for a while at Crazy Oaks was originally built as a pottery studio. The outside is Austin stone and cedar with covered porches across the front and back.  It is about 1300 square feet with concrete floors.  The large, front room and the bathroom both have cedar paneling. The front room has windows from ceiling to about two and a half feet off the floor.  There is a room where they intended to put the kiln and will be my bedroom, a five-by-five closet that was to be the glazing room but will be my closet, a five-by-five office that I will use for a pantry.  Then there is a small kitchen.  Both the bedroom and the kitchen have an alcove.  The kitchen had a pantry built into the alcove, but I am tearing it out so I can put the range and refrigerator in the alcove and more counter and cabinets between them.  The bed will sit back into the one in the bedroom.

Front room

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Looking toward the kitchen

inside the studio

All the walls were white, but I am painting them Olympic Prairie Dust.  It is a neutral brown and I think the name fits.  I need someone to take the pantry wall out, but either they want a ridiculous amount of money to do a little job. This wall is four feet long and I have already taken it half out.  Or they take forever to get back to me and I just have to wonder if they will be dependable about getting the job done.  When I do get the wall out and finish the painting, then I will get the concrete stained and I will be ready to really start moving things in.  I have a few things moved in now, but they will have to move out for the concrete staining.

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painted walls

Three towns

Crazy Oaks is in Bosque County.  Bosque is Spanish for trees and came from a Spanish explorer Marques de San Miguel de Aguayo in 1721 who named the Bosque river and then it was used for the county name.  It is pronounced Boss-key.  The county was established in 1854 on July 4th.

The 98th Meridian runs through a tiny part of the county.  So one of the towns near Crazy Oaks is Meridian, the county seat, was incorporated as a town in 1874.  Close to the town is Meridian State Park, 505 acres with a 72-acre lake.  Cranfills Gap is another of the small towns close to us.  Named for an early settler, George Eaton Cranfill and a gap, or break in the mountains between Bosque and the next county, Hamilton, it officially became a town in 1879.  In Cranfills Gap there is The Old Rock Church, a Lutheran church built in 1886.  The third rural town close to Crazy Oaks is Iredell.  It was named for the son, Ira, of a settler Ward Keeler.

Information about any of the small towns or the county can be found at http://bosquecountycollection.org/ the website of The Bosque County Historical Commission

Looking out over the valley from the front porch

Looking out over the valley

What is Crazy Oaks ?

Crazy Oaks

At the top of a hill in Bosque County Texas sits a small Austin stone and cedar building built for use as a pottery studio. At one time there were oak trees growing all along the top ridge of the hill, but to build the studio the trees were bulldozed down all along the ridge and around it to the right of the studio. Now the trees have come back as oak bushes, crazy! However, that is not the only thing crazy at Crazy Oaks.

It sits right where a Farm-to-Market road turns into a County Road in between three different small communities. We had our choice of three rural addresses. Two miles down the road there is a small remnant of a community called Spring Creek. There is a one hundred year old church building, still in use, an old two-room school building, and a cemetery. My parents live on a small acreage right next door. My dad grew up and went to school in the community, my grandparents and great grandparents are buried in the cemetery, my grandmother even taught in the schoolhouse for a couple of years before she married. Had to quit after she married, not allowed to teach after she was married at that time.

There is always something going on at Crazy Oaks.

From the front gate