Friday, August 31, 2007

Hummingbird Farms Is The Place To Be, Faaarm Livin' Is the Life For Me!

I'm in one of those Labor Day moods to hole up at my place all weekend with Jack and do farmy stuff. Yes we have (or had) plans, but an awesome and timely thunderstorm came through which was just the perfect excuse to do what I wanted. Nothing.

I just want to be home with my husband. A slow and quiet weekend with no distractions.

Oh, wrong picture. I forgot - that's Lisa & Oliver, not Jack and me. I get us confused. A lot.

Here you go.

Yes, I just want to be home, get some long overdue chores done and get to feel organized once again. By the way - I know you're wondering what Jack is holding in the picture, being that it doesn't look a thing like Oliver's pitchfork. It's a Japanese sickle which is what is used to harvest the lavender. Which, by the way, needs harvesting AGAIN! What a strange bloom year. No complaints!
Have a great Labor Day weekend! I hope y'all get to do just exactly what you want!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

If ju-lep me borrow your vase, will ju-lep me make you a drink?

During my 2-week hiatus from blogging, I got to make some rounds to visit some of our customers. We’re always honored to partner with our fine retailers, and I love to stop by these unique establishments to see our product displays and browse good finds.

I have to tell y’all about Apples to Zinnias in Dallas. Now all you Dallas Chicks just have to check out this great place. Apples to Zinnias is located at The Plaza at Preston Center, one of my favorite shopping centers in Dallas – it’s the true shopper’s nirvana.

First of all, at Apples to Zinnias you will find the biggest darn hydrangeas I have ever seen… they must be the size of basketballs, or volleyballs at least, oh yes they are. Anyway, they’re real big and just gorgeous.

Now this is really unique - Apples to Zinnias has longhorn topiaries! If you’re a UT fan, you just have to have one of these. It would be the perfect tabletop centerpiece during those college football parties this fall. Just position all those pigs-in-a-blanket and buffalo wings around that longhorn topiary centerpiece and let the games begin …Bevo would be so proud!

Now my personal favorite thing in the store is these fantastic silver cups.

Okay, since Apples to Zinnias is the renowned gifted florist, I’m sure these are used most of the time for sophisticated little floral arrangements like this.

However, I bought mine for this.

Oh yes, the 200 year-old Mint Julep, and the forefather of the current, ever-popular Mojito. Being the non-conformist that I am however, I will just stick with my mint julep, thank you very much.

I must tell y'all that these silver cups keep your drink unusually chilled, it’s like magic. So, if you’re in the mood for a hands-down, best-ever slap somebody silly mint julep, here’s your answer. Oh, and when you’re not in the mood to crush mint, they’re great for your vodka tonic, too - which is actually one of those little discoveries I made that I kind of wish I never made, if you know what I mean...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Back to School & A New Customer, Too!

Howdy!! Yes, I'm back. I chuckle when I say or hear 'howdy' because that is how my Pappy always answered the phone, being the forever West Texan gentleman farmer that he was. If my grandparents were ever expecting an important phone call - you know, someone important and high-falutin' from some big city, my grandmother would always plead with him if she was worried the call would come in while she was gone, "Please Tom, I'm expecting an important call from so and so; just in case they call while I'm gone don't say howdy when you answer the phone. They're all gonna think we're a bunch of hicks".

She would leave. The phone would ring. And he'd answer, "Howdy?"

Only one time did I ever call when my Pappy answered the phone, "hello". I almost hung up, I thought I had dialed the wrong number. He told me he only answered that way because my grandmother was standing right next to him and giving him the look. They were expecting a call from a doctor in Lubbock about test results. You know, those high-falutin' people in Lubbock.

So again, Howdy! I'm back and rested, and even got to get some fresh mountain air in my lungs over the weekend. I hitched a ride with my friend Sam (yes, another one of those 30+ years girlfriends) to Alpine for the weekend. She has a retreat house in Marathon, 26 miles from Alpine. Get it? The town is called Marathon and it's 26 miles from Alpine. Of course if you're a local, you don't say Mara-Thon, it's Mara-Thun. It's a dead giveaway you're high-falutin' if you say Mara-Thon.

We had a great time. I got to visit with my parents, my sisters, and my grandmother.... but I can't divulge anymore than that. What goes on in Marathon, stays in Marathon.

As far as some other news, I'm glad to announce our newest retailer to the Hummingbird Farms line of Aromatherapy Body Care. Wisteria Home & Garden is located in the historic downtown area of Marble Falls on Main Street. If you're ever in the area, or visiting Lake LBJ & Horseshoe Bay, you just have to stop by. Their building is in the 1891 Michel Drug Store where they still have the old-fashioned soda fountain in the store, serving none other than Blue-Bell ice cream of course; and they have some of the best one-of-a-kind furniture pieces you have ever seen. They have great art and accessories, too. You just have to check them out. Tom and Toni are great people and we're just thrilled to partner with them.

Last but not least, you have to see this picture of my nieces from Houston. Today was their first day of school, kindergarten & 2nd grade.

Yes, the kindergartner is striking a pose. She's already high-falutin' ....

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Lavender Chick Has Left The Farm ...

Hi everyone out there in Blogland. Just wanted to let y'all know that I'm going to be absent for a while. My computer is more or less hosed, I'm soon to be sending it in for an extreme makeover, and I'm going to be traveling for meetings for a while. In addition to that, I need some time to re-group and prioritize my life again.

I think I've bitten off more than I can chew ....

I do this every now and then, it's my nature. I'll be back with more stories soon.

Until then, lavender dreams ....

Saturday, August 11, 2007

There's light at the end of the tunnel

I'm feeling inspired! I have come across some great decorating blogs that have finally gotten me excited about the construction zone I've been living in for almost 3 years! I am very much a nester, and I have to tell y'all that this has been the most trying time of my life. Yes, I'm grateful for what we have, and I know the house will be just gorgeous, but it is so very difficult living with clutter, dust, and chaos.

However, since coming across some fantastic blogs like Cote de Texas, I'm once again inspired and not feeling quite so sorry for myself anymore. What can I say? My nest is one of the most important things in my life to me, and it has just been in such disarray for so long I haven't even been able to get excited about decorating, something I used to love to do. I guess it just all seems so overwhelming right now.

You see, when we moved out of our San Antonio house and to the farm, 90% of our stuff went into storage. There was absolutely no way all our stuff would fit into the old farmhouse we were moving into. Well, that was almost 5 years ago and pre-construction - Now I can't remember what all stuff I have! I guess it's been the true test that you really don't need all that stuff, being that I've been able to manage just fine without it all these years. However, now that the new part of the house will soon be ready to move into, I need to start going through all my old stuff and figure out where to place it in the new area or whether to even use it at all.

I get heart palpitations just thinking about it.

I wish some little fairies with pixie dust would just show up over here and with a few sprinkles my house will be clean and tidy, all the furnishings in place, paintings hung, etc...

Over time, I'm going to begin posting more pictures of the new construction and re-model and hope you can help me with ideas. It's funny, I'm finally living my dream - we're building the house I always wanted, and I don't know where to begin!

Our inspiration for the design of the house was from Louisiana architect A. Hays Town. My little sister turned me onto his style. Jack and I both loved it.

Our architect worked with the style of A. Hays Town in mind, but also focused on blending traditional Texas Hill Country architecture with his style.

The picture above is from one of Hays Town's homes. His style was commonly represented with Spanish courtyards, exterior french doors, plantation-style separate structures, and brick floors.

This picture below is of our courtyard, from a distance of course... I'm not quite ready to show the close ups, being that there's still a lot of work that needs to be done and construction junk sitting around everywhere.

So as you can see, we kept the courtyard theme of Hays Town, along with the concept of separate guest structures. You can't tell from the picture, but a guest bungalow to the left of the courtyard is actually a separate structure which will be tied to the house with landscaping. We also were able to get our hands on some old 1800's brick from an old Chicago firehouse which is what we used for the floor in the morning room just off the kitchen. To keep with traditional Hill Country style, we used a metal roof for the new addition - the original farmhouse also had a metal roof.
When I get the courage up, I will get some more pictures over to you that are a little more close up. I think my hesitance is that I'm one of those unfortunate perfectionist type people and want to have everything looking perfect before you see it.
But of course, I need ideas - SO PLEASE HELP ME!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Just Some Facts

It’s been a busy few days y’all! We’ve actually had some dry days on the farm so we (well, not me but you know what I mean) have finally been able to begin some long overdue mowing. We’re slowly trying to convert Hummingbird Jungle back to Hummingbird Farms. All the rain and strange weather is also causing another lavender bloom to occur! I have to tell ya’, Mother Nature is just full of herself this summer!

On another note, I wanted to share with y’all what Kat did for me.

Isn’t that sweet? Don’t ask me how she did it, but go check out some of the other fun things she was able to do. She’s just been the bestest blog friend! Have I ever told you how much we have in common?

I was also surprised when Theresa contacted me after she tagged me for this: 8 Random Facts/Habits. So here it goes:

1. Post the rules, before you post the facts.
2. Start with 8 random facts/habits.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own posts about their own 8 facts and post these rules.
4. At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and let them know they've been tagged.

Facts About Me:

1. I despise elevators. Yes, I’ve been known to climb up 16 flights of stairs to avoid an elevator.

2. I’ve been working for the same company for almost 18 years. I’m grateful for my career.

3. I adore my nieces and nephews (2 nieces & 2 nephews, and will have a new nephew on Sept. 7th!!!). They’re a very important part of my life.

4. I’m addicted to bathing! Just call me a bathing connoisseur – hence, my inspiration for developing a bath & body line.

5. I spent my 4th wedding anniversary recuperating from my final reconstructive surgery after having invasive breast cancer.

6. Hang on to your hats here, but I have actually had a paranormal experience.

7. I’m severely allergic to red dye #40.

8. Jack and I spent a month in Africa. It changed our lives and Africa will always have a piece of us.

Okay, I’m already breaking the rules. I’m supposed to tag 8 people, but I’m having a tough time finding 8 people that haven’t already done this, so here are 3 that I would LOVE to hear from: Bridget, T, and Taunalen.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Don't Come Knockin' On My Door!

I have something disgusting to report to you today. Are you ready??? It’s quite gross.

You know how some things in life you’re better off never knowing? Like what happens to raw sewage?

Well, this is one of those things that I wish I never knew. Most of y’all know about our precious little cockatiel that you can read about here. I sadly can no longer use her name in any of my posts, so for this reason I will now refer to her as L. Now let me tell you why I can no longer use her name - and the reason is exceptionally disturbing.

There apparently is a teenage star of ill repute that also goes by the same name. That’s right, she’s a teenage p *r n star named Little L *p e!

How did I discover this? Occasionally I like to go into statcounter to take a look at activity on my blog and see what kind of searches are being done to find Lavender Chick. You know – I have an inquiring mind. I have been noticing a plethora of google searches for Little L*p e. Out of shear curiosity (I get hit with that a lot), I decided to google the same thing to see why so many are searching this. At first I was so proud that so many people want to read about my little L! So I googled it….

WARNING!!! Do not google Little Lu_e! Please do not... If you do, the feds will bug your home and possibly arrest your husband. I repeat: DO NOT GOOGLE MY BIRD'S NAME!

I only wish I had had this same warning. When I was finally able to pick myself up off the floor after being entirely grossed out and disturbed, I went and gave my little L a great big hug and told her that I would always protect her and love her and never allow anything like this to become of her.

And now I’m worried that since all this Little L u* e activity has been linked back to me, Dateline NBC “Catch a Predator” is going to show up out here thinking that Hummingbird Farms is some kind of chicken ranch or something, if you know what I mean.

Hey Dateline – no chickens, just hummingbirds and lavender!

You know what’s worse? Someone from Dubai got on my blog after doing a search for Little L_ _e. My inquiring mind again got to thinking (danger!) and then I recalled that someone that used to live on a ranch in California, who happened to have a ferris wheel in his front yard, and who also recorded a whole lot of music, has moved to Dubai due to a little trouble he got into over here for – well, you know….


Ponder …..

So this is my message to anyone on my blog that finds me by searching Little L_ _ e:

GO AWAY! This is a G rated blog right here! SHOO, SHOO, GET OUT OF HERE!!! YOU DIRTY ROTTEN NASTY THING, GO AWAY!!! I’m calling Dateline on you!!

And guess what I do to people like you on my blog, even if you are the king of pop?

Well, first I channel my hero…. She always tells me what to do! And this is the advice she’s given me.

Are you ready?

Are you sure?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Summer Sugar Shack

I just have to share this with y’all. My friend sent me this link because she knew I would be fascinated by it. She was right! Please check it out here, you’ll be glad you did! It’s photos of baby hummingbird twins still in their nest. This is their very own family album from birth to college! The hummingparents should be so proud!

We get asked quite a bit why our farm is called Hummingbird Farms. In fact, people will pull up to the house every now and then and ask if we ‘farm’ hummingbirds. They will say, “What exactly is a hummingbird farm?” We always have to explain that this is actually a lavender farm, we just like hummingbirds. But, the reason we call this place Hummingbird Farms is due to all the hummingbirds that spend the summer with us every year. I think we must live right over a migration trail or something, the Hummingbird Expressway.

We have some hummingbirds that stay the whole season, the summer hummers – we like to think of ourselves as the Hummingbird Hamptons. And then we have all the riffraff hummers that just come out for happy hour and to catch up on the latest gossip before they head back to their respective summer homes. Because, you know – The Hummingbird Hamptons is the place to be seen!

When Jack and I first moved out here we would sit outside almost every evening to watch the hummingbirds come up to the feeders. We still do this. We call it the hummingbird rodeo - and a rodeo it is! Well actually, since we’re the Hummingbird Hamptons, I guess they're actually playing Polo or Lacrosse or something. Anyway, whatever sport it is they're playing, we sure do enjoy watching them and it’s always a sad day when the last one leaves at the end of the season – we both get hit pretty hard with empty nest syndrome.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

It's a Right of Passage

Last night we went to Paige’s birthday party, planned by Paige. That’s right, Paige (my friend for 34 years!) planned her own birthday party. Last year she waited around for her husband to plan something for her… and you know what that can mean when you wait for your husband to do something that is detail oriented...

I’m not bashing men here – I love my men, I’m simply stating a biological fact that attention to details and multi-tasking is something that is best left for the ladies. Generally speaking of course. I do have a friend named B, and boy can he plan a party …. But B is not of the male persuasion, although he’s a man, but he’s not of the lady persuasion either because, you know – he’s a man, but he’s… Oh, just never mind, I think you know what I mean. I love B and all B’s just like him!

Since Paige’s husband more or less forgot her birthday last year, she decided that she has earned the right, being 40 something, to plan her own darn birthday parties for now on – it’s a right of passage. Paige is very wise and I have decided to learn from her wisdom. Moving forward, I am going to plan my own birthday parties, too. I have not had a birthday party since I turned 8. I will never forget that day because it was also the same day that our new washer and dryer from Sears was delivered to our house. Although my mother planned games for us to play (I’ll never forget my Raggedy Ann themed party, with cake and all that my mother made), we just wanted to play with the big boxes that the washer and dryer were delivered in. We cut out a door and window in each box and had a grand old time! That poor donkey never got one tail pinned on him …

Anyhow, Paige’s birthday party planned by Paige was quite fun! We yakked all night, didn’t have near enough time to gab on all that we needed to gab about, and can’t wait to get together again.

Do I have pictures? Of course not – the disease flared up right as the party was getting started!

Speaking of parties, I only have 2 questions left from my very own planned Ask Me Anything Par-tay:

Do you like to cook? Yes, I love to cook. Now baking is another story. I am lousy at baking and have given up even trying. I can sure whip up a great dinner, but a pie – I just get nervous thinking about it. Although I love to cook, I will say that it is something I haven’t been doing much of lately due to the construction. My kitchen has more or less become the construction office, and it’s just hard to feel like Paula Dean when you can’t find the kitchen sink…

What’s your favorite children’s book? Like asking my favorite song, this is difficult for me to narrow down because again, I love books! I love everything Dr. Seuss because I just think he’s so clever. My two favorite Dr. Seuss books are Wish I had Duck Feet and Horton Hears a Hoo. I like to laugh – this is why I love Dr. Seuss.

Now the first “big” children’s book that I remember was Heidi. One summer when I was probably 6 or 7 and staying with my Nanny (as in grandmother), she read Heidi to my sister and me. I can remember lying in bed every night with Nanny in the middle of us reading the story. I hung on every word. I actually couldn’t wait for bedtime every night so she could read to us.

My second favorite “big” book that I read all by myself when I was 9 or 10 was Where The Red Fern Grows. I LOVED this book. My Aunt Barb who was a junior high reading teacher (and my Nanny’s sister) sent me this book. In fact, I completely hold her responsible for my love of reading. She was the one who insisted that Nanny read us Heidi, and she is also who gave me Where The Red Fern Grows, as well as numerous other books over the years that she insisted I read.

Years later, I mean years later – like 20 years, I moved to Arkansas. I remember driving through the beautiful Ozarks around Fayetteville and falling in love again with another one of God’s beautifully painted portraits and thinking to myself, “this must be where the red fern grows”… Isn’t it fantastic how books stay with you? I remember driving and thinking about the book my Aunt Barb encouraged me to read two decades earlier, and thinking about her and how much I loved her – and how I wished she was sitting right next to me in the car getting to see where the red fern grows.