Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hummingbird Farms' Newest Baby...

This is one proud Mama!

And this is one sweet baby! We're calling her "Gran."

This picture was taken the day after she was born. Guess what? She was born right in the middle of the lavender field! Just before taking this picture, her Mama brought her up to our dining room windows to show her off. I wish I had my camera then.... Anyway, it was so obvious that she was proud and wanted us to see her new baby!

Friday, December 26, 2008

YEEHAW!!!! Santa Did Good!

This is my precious newphew. I don't think there's anything else I can say except - Is he not the cutest little thing???? My cup runneth over....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bob knows taxes...

This is the chaos on my dining room table as we prepare for that glorious time of year known as tax time. Anyway, as I sat here for an entire day last Saturday, I had a visitor the entire time.

It was Bob, our not so longhorn. If you haven't heard the story of Bob, I'll give you a quick update. Bob is the product of an Angus Bull that jumped the fence to Hummingbird Farms.... We apparently have the most beautiful longhorn girls in the county, as all bulls come from far and wide in an attempt to court one of our girls. Bob doesn't have a clue that he's not a longhorn... And of course we're raising him as a longhorn. Bob is also VERY curious and comes up to the house everyday to check out what we're doing.

This is why I can't keep my dining room window clean. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep cow snot off your windows???

Bob hung out with me all day; in fact, he spent so much time watching me work he could probably use a calculator by now.... I'm sure he could at least make file folders. Needless to say, Bob got a thorough tutorial on tax filing. I wonder if Bob is tax deductible?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My laptop is all hosed up....

So, I really haven't fallen off the face of the earth y'all, I'm simply having technical difficulties. I should be back up and running by Monday or Tuesday with new pics to show you as well as some stories about what's been going on around here for the last week or so.

Here are just a few things that happened in a week:
  1. Went to a beautiful wedding - I mean GORGEOUS; had a ball!
  2. Went to a funeral
  3. Birthed a new baby longhorn!!!
  4. Went to another funeral

So - as you can see, it's been quite a week... A roller-coaster week of emotions, that's for sure. Can you believe a wedding and two funerals in one week???

More about all that later - we're all a little exhausted right now. We're as happy as we can be for our friends that got married; but, our hearts are sure breaking for two special friends that have lost a parent.

I will be back real soon.... I miss checking in with all of you. I'm very behind in leaving comments and getting caught up, but hopefully some downtime will come available this weekend so I can see what all my blogging buddies have been up to.

I'm off to take a bubble bath....

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Me? For real? You think my Blog is fabulous???

Guess what? Kat from over in paradise at Justabeachkat has passed along this award to me! Wow! I’m honored… It’s also a fun award. What a nice surprise! Okay, I realize I should be at the gym burning off the 5 pies I’ve eaten, but hey – it’s officially the holiday season so I’m going to sit on my tuffet and be merry! And then take a bubble bath or four….

Here are the rules: Copy and paste the rules and instructions in your post. When posting on receiving the award, make sure you include who gave you the award and link it back to them. Post five winners and link it back to them as well. Post five of your addictions. Add the award image. Let your winners know you gave them an award by leaving them a comment on their blog.

(Just )Five of my MANY no particular order:

1. Animals – all animals! I love all creatures great and small. I’m the sucker that everyone knows about…. The person the vet calls first when someone has dumped off a stray animal; the local animal shelter has my number on speed dial. One of these days when I retire, I will dedicate my life to helping animals. I’ll also be that crazy old lady that lives down the lane with 50 cats, 50 dogs, and 40 birds, maybe even an elephant or ten… Oh – one last thing, I don’t kill spiders or bugs. I scoop them up with a dust pan and set them free outside...

2. Bathing – if you’ve read my blog for a while you’ve picked up on this. It is my hobby. Because I’m a professional bather, I was inspired to develop my own bath and body line.

3. Lip gloss – I have over 30 types. I’m trying to figure out why I’ve not developed a lip gloss line yet. Hmmmmm…..

4. Coffee – I drink way too much of it. I know for a fact that I feel better when I’m off the coffee, I just can’t kick it. My friend Sami helped me realize that it’s not actually the coffee I’m addicted to, but the ritual that goes with it. I love waking up to the smell of coffee, sitting in my chair early every morning sipping on a cup and watching the news before starting my hectic day. Of course there’s also nothing better than a cup of coffee and piece of pie in the middle of the day…. As Sami and I say, “let’s have a cuppa-coffee and piece-uh-pi.” It will put your entire life back into perspective. Okay – practice saying cuppacoffee and pieceapi. Cup of Coffee is one word: cuppacoffee; and piece of pie is one word: pieceuh-pi. And pie is not pronounced pye, but pi.

5. My privacy. I know y’all may think this sounds nuts since I have myself wide open and out there on the world wide web. I also have a lot of great friends and enjoy my time with them, as well as a pretty busy social calendar. Perhaps this is why I’m so addicted to my privacy – or perhaps my quiet time is a better way of saying it. Because my life is hectic with a very busy and demanding career , as well as building a body care business, managing a farm, and building a house, my time at home is precious and valuable. I am addicted to it, I just don’t get enough of it!

Thanks, Kat! I enjoyed playing along and am passing along to these fabulous bloggers:

1. Sami at Painted Groove (we share many of the same addictions....)
2. Penny at Always Something by Penny (we're going to save all the animals someday....)
3. Buffie at Buffie’s World (She keeps me laughing; in fact, she cracks me up.....)
4. Connie at Connie's Turning 50! (The big day is only 2 days away!!!)
5. Bridget at My Silly Blog (world traveler, former fellow-Texan, and painter/artist extraordinaire!)

Friday, November 28, 2008

It's for the birds...

Thanksgiving was a good day at Hummingbird Farms. I spent most of the day cooking a big bird.

After several servings of big bird, we spent the rest of the day watching our little bird antagonize Birdie, one of our poodles.

Needless to say, living at Hummingbird Farms is for the birds!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all eat to your heart's (and stomach's) desire; and of course while you're eating, I hope you reflect back on all your many blessings. I have many blessings in which I'm thankful - one in particular involves these two people.

This is my Aunt Pat and cousin Travis. I have many wonderful memories of my Aunt Pat, most of which from when I was a little girl and she lived with us while her husband was in Viet Nam. She dressed me up everyday and taught me how fun it is to be girly. I realize now, almost 40 years later, that she is the definition of a 'Steel Magnolia'. She always perseveres.

My cousin Travis surprised us all when he announced he had joined the Marines. He is 19-years-old and will spend his Thanksgiving at boot camp. Family or not, I'm thankful to know these two.

I'm thankful for the time we had with Travis all summer, and look forward to getting him back home safely and soundly in four years so he can enjoy Hummingbird Farms and all the peacefulness that surrounds us. And of course - get back to fishing...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It was a "berry dood pie"(that's a family joke y'all)

Friday evening I bought this:

I choose to think of it as Thanksgiving spirit. I'm simply getting in the spirit of over-eating and over-indulging. It's how I give thanks...

It is now Sunday evening and the pie is gone. Jack had one piece of pie when it thawed out 48 hours ago. We didn't have any company this weekend. So... guess who was left to eat the rest of the pie? In the event you love banana cream pie but not in the mood to make a homemade one, Marie Callender does a darn good job. Marie knows pies.

Oh - and just so I can explain myself better on why I ate an entire pie (minus one slice), it's because I know I'm going to get sick of pumpkin pie later in the week. I had to eat an entire banana cream pie in order to be thankful for pumpkin pie. It's a perfectly normal thing to do.... You know, to give thanks on Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Chicken-Fry My Love

I came home from work earlier this week and Jack had dinner waiting! He made chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

Don't worry - he served some green stuff on the side.

He even washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen afterwards. It was heaven. So - it's confirmed. Jack is a far better catch that Mr. Madrid AND Donny Osmond combined!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Artful Days of the 70’s

I was cleaning out a drawer earlier and came across a few letters from Jack’s Aunt Evelyn. As I read through the letters and admired her impeccable handwriting, I realized how letter writing is a dying art. It’s rare these days to ever receive a hand written letter. Thank you notes, occasionally, but actual letters simply don’t show up in the mail box anymore. Even thank you notes and greeting cards have become electronic. Receiving a handwritten letter today is a real treasure; a real work of art.

Aunt Evelyn’s letters made me think of my own letter-writing abilities, and I realized that I have never been much of a letter writer. Even as a kid when unlimited long distance, instant messaging, and e-mail didn’t exist, I wasn’t good about writing letters. The more I thought about it, the more I became transfixed in 1970’s nostalgia.

It took me back to 1973 when Mr. Madrid (my first crush) taught my 3rd grade class how to write a letter. Part of this assignment included each student writing a letter to someone, of course in hopes that the student would be written back, and during this process learn how the U.S. mail system worked. Most of the kids in class decided to write Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Joe or Aunt Sue.

I decided to write President Nixon.

I have no idea why. I remember telling Mr. Madrid that I wanted to write a letter to President Nixon but I didn’t know his address. Mr. Madrid, who was the smartest man in the whole world, knew President Nixon’s address right off the top of his head! He was so brilliant. I remember him saying, “I know his address, it’s 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.” I’ve always had a thing for great minds…

I actually got a letter back from President Nixon, not hand-written, but hey – it was a real letter from the real president with pictures of his family, the white house, and everything! One of these days I’m going to dig around in the attic of the home I grew up in to see if I can find this letter. I used to look at the pictures all the time, thinking I had a personal relationship and direct link to the White House.

After writing the letter to President Nixon, I felt quite confident that if he would write me back, why wouldn’t Donny Osmond? So my next two letters, with the help of my sister, went to Donny Osmond.

Later in Girls Scouts, we were all instructed to pick a fellow Girl Scout from somewhere far away as our pen pal. I remember being matched up with a girl from Pennsylvania. We wrote back and forth several times, but I got bored with it after about 3 or 4 letters. I remember her writing me back once and telling me that I was a horrible pen pal and that she was going to find a new pen pal if I didn’t write her back. I never wrote back….

I was too busy stalking Mr. Madrid.

He lived in a garage apartment a block behind my house. I’m sure I logged 20 miles a weekend sitting on my banana seat bike riding up and down the street just hoping to get a glance of him and winning his love due to my fine form in bicycle riding. At the precise moment I would be in what I assumed was eye- view from his front window where he could see me, I would ride with one hand; then no hands; then legs propped up on the handle bars…. I was certain I was impressing him with my abilities. He was, after all, a far better catch than stinking Donny Osmond who never wrote me back. I bet Donny Osmond didn’t know President Nixon’s address…

But then I got older and traded in my banana seat for a yellow ten-speed in 1976.

Followed by a few more years when I got Farrah hair.

And then my Grandmother got orange shag carpet and I got a blue velour shirt for Christmas. My Grandmother, however, was ahead of her time and when someone would comment on her beautiful new shag carpet, she would quickly correct them that her carpet was sculpted, not shag - Shag was so 1975...

All the while never knowing the world of technology was approaching and the skill of letter writing would become a dying art.

And that orange shag carpet - I mean, sculpted carpet and Farrah Fawcett hair would go out of style...

So – how did we go from Aunt Evelyn’s letters to Farrah Fawcett hair? I don’t know…. But, I do know this – I’m going to dust off my stationery and start writing some letters; not to President Bush, but to my nieces and nephews. I don’t think they’ve ever received a hand-written letter….

Monday, November 10, 2008

No Mo Mojo

That's right y'all. No mo mojo - or in proper English, I have completely misplaced by creativity. It's gone. I'm just all dried up and boring right now.

Now I know how my ovaries must feel...

I can't bring myself to decorate for Thanksgiving because construction still surrounds us. Yep - we're still under construction, four years and going strong! Can you believe it? I think Loop 410 in San Antonio is making better progress than our house ....

That's just the way it is when you take on too much at one time. So, I'm going to just think about last Thanksgiving when I still had my mojo. Here's a picture of the one and only room that was not under construction, but not completely decorated yet to my liking.... Even with all the construction surrounding us last year, I still managed to have a nice Thanksgiving with all the traditional fare. However, not ONE BIT has changed since last year because I simply have lost my ambition.

I'm going to just look at pictures from last year and not do one thing this year.... Who knows, maybe Santa will leave a beautiful package of mojo under the tree for me. We'll see.

For those of you that are my new friends, you can read this post here on the beginnings of this house project that has become the great money pit. To imagine that I managed to get through high school faster than getting this house finished....

But hey - far be it from me to complain.... I really do love where we live and what we're building - not only in terms of the house we're building, but the life we're building. It's all good.

I'm just in need of some estrogen or something...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm Blogstipated

I've not blogged lately because I have been suffering blogstipation for quite some time now. I simply don't have anything creative or fun to post. I suppose I could talk about the election yesterday, but to be honest with you I'm just glad it's over! This has been the longest election ever... It seems like it's been going on for 2 years! I always wonder how these civil servants are able to spend all this time on the road campaigning and raising money while the taxpayers (that would be us) are paying them good salaries to govern or legislate. I don't know of any other jobs in which you can keep your salary and take a two year leave of absence. I'm perplexed.

Anyway, enough about the election - I could go on and on.... I am a bit of a political junkie, but have intentionally kept my blog politic-free. This allows me to sleep at night rather than ponder politics. I ponder enough as it is, and pondering politics would most likely turn my blogstipation into full-blown blogarrhea. You don't want that....

I will however, let you ponder this:

This is my precious nephew who turned one in September. Isn't he a cutie?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Am I coming or going?

Hi y’all. Yes, I know I’ve not checked in for a while, but it’s been kind of nuts around here. You know – when it rains it pours. But hey, I’m gainfully employed, healthy, the dogs are fed, and the lavender is growing, and the creek's not rising. I can’t complain.

While I was away two wonderful things happened! First, my fellow Texan new blogging buddy Buffie sent this award over to me! I have really enjoyed checking in with Buffie, she always makes me smile when I read her posts (most of the time she actually cracks me up and has me rolling in the floor). Thank you, Buffie!

Along with this award comes the following questions:

Do you have the same friends since childhood? I sure do! I mention these girlfriends all the time. In fact, you can click my ‘girlfriends’ label and read about them. Paige and I became friends when I was in 2nd grade and she was in 3rd grade – She’s A LOT older than me! Lisa and I sat next to each other in the 3rd grade and we haven’t shut up since… Sami and I became friends when she moved back to our home town in 6th grade. Kimberly now lives 20 minutes from me, and we’ve been friends since 7th grade. I also have a very special friend, Dara – she’s been my friend since 3rd grade. She is actually in my soul, difficult to explain, but I will someday.

What do you value most about your friends? Well, if you’re referring to my childhood friends, it has to be the fact that it’s just so darn EASY to be their friend. They know and understand everything about me. Literally everything. We can tell stories without having to explain all the background, we can laugh at and with each other, and we all know where each of our quirks come from and why we are the way we are. After all, we've been together since we were babies. These girls mean the world to me; I can’t imagine life without them. They’re my sisters and I love them.

Are your friends sounding boards? Oh yes. Very much so....

What is your favorite activity to share with friends? Rock climbing, hiking, jogging…. I’m totally kidding y’all! If you know my friends and me, you know it’s the polar opposite. I love being with my friends at my house or their house where we can kick back, be comfortable, enjoy some great wine, good laughs, great food, and good stories.

My other new blogging friend, Connie sent me this award, the BFF (Blogging Friends Forever) gold card. How sweet was that? I guess I should be absent from blogging more often... See what all happens while you're away? Connie is living a great life - oh, and she's turning 50! Go check her out! Thank you , Connie – you make blogging great fun and it’s people like you that make me want to keep on doing it!

Now I’m supposed to tag some people for this award, so I’m sending both awards to:
1. Tina over at Am I Crazy, Really? I’ve known her a long, long time. She’s super sweet, funny, and has the best stories ever! Her boys are precious (even when throwing rocks) and are they ever some great producers of good stories for their mama.
2. I have to send this to Painted Groove Girl – she just happens to be one of those childhood friends of mine. I also know that she’s probably going to be mad that I’m sending this to her….. Let’s see if she responds!
3. Teresa over at Living the Life. She does have a wonderful life! She has a wonderful husband, a beautiful family, and just a sweet, sweet heart.
4. My World and Welcome To It Now Theresa isn’t a big fan of being tagged, so I’m going to award her the BFF Gold Card because she deserves it – but, if she wants to play along on the other one, she’s more than welcome to ….

Okay – I’m going to stop there because most of my blogging buddies have already received these awards. Regardless, I’m honored and thanks again Buffie and Connie!

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Dog's Life At Hummingbird Farms

Go outside every morning and play and play and play and...

..... find a mud hole. Come inside and get bathed and beg, and beg, and.....

.... beg for a treat. And then go outside and play, and play and.....

..... and play, and find a mud hole.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I Was in Red High Heels And Bullet Proof

I know I told y’all here that this was the first and last time I would talk about being a breast cancer survivor; but I have been lingering all day on thoughts I’ve had after a phone conversation this morning with Paige. She called to ask my advice about something - her sister was concerned about a friend who will be undergoing a double mastectomy next week. She wanted to know if I had any suggestions on what her sister could do for her friend. Since the call this morning, I can’t quit thinking about my own experience of having a double mastectomy.

There is so much irony in my phone call with Paige this morning. It dawned on me after I hung up the phone that my diagnosis came exactly 5 years ago to THE DAY. It was October 9th, 2003 when I got the phone call from my doctor with the dreaded news of the ‘C’ word. Interesting how Paige happened to call me on the anniversary of this day (and in fact at about the same exact time that my doctor called me with the diagnosis) to tell me about a young 35-year-old mom who will be having a double mastectomy. The other irony, of course, is that it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Perhaps that’s another reason I keep re-living 5 years ago.

As my mind wandered, literally all day, about my own experience and the experience this young woman will encounter next week, I suddenly remembered my red high heels. I have not even thought about those shoes in almost 5 years; and I probably never would have if Paige hadn’t called on this particular day which caused me to go way back in my memory bank. A bank that I’ve been trying to make myself believe is now closed. Anyway, here’s the story:

It was two months after my diagnosis when I had the double mastectomy. There were many, many trips back and forth to Dallas as Jack and I talked to doctor after doctor about my options and my future. When I finally decided the treatment option that was best for me, I braced myself for surgery, which would take place on December 7th, 2003. It was my Pearl Harbor Day.

Now I’m going to tell y’all the unspoken words about what happens after a mastectomy. Outside of support groups and private discussions with your doctor, no one really discusses this. So – brace yourself, it’s not a pretty picture. After a mastectomy drain tubes hang out of your new flat chest in order to drain all the fluid coming out of what was once a nicely packaged set of boobs in cute little lacey bras. I literally felt like an alien-being with tubes coming out of my body. And then, to make myself feel even more like a science project, my husband got to drain these tubes several times a day for almost 3 weeks. Jack really is my rock in so many ways. Looking back, it makes me smile to think about how much we actually laughed during this ordeal. Yes, draining fluid from tubes coming out of what should be a set of breasts can actually be humorous. Laughter really is a good thing, y’all. I’m just glad to be able to say that we could find some humor in a not so humorous situation. In hindsight, we were probably laughing to keep from crying. And yes, we did some crying during that time, too.

The day finally came for my first public outing, which was actually several days earlier than what I was really prepared for… My sister’s father-in-law died very unexpectedly of a heart attack. We were all shocked and very, very sad about the news. There was no way I would even consider not going to the funeral to support my brother-in-law. I had to be there, drain tubes and all….

The funeral was in Dallas, so Jack and I drove up the day before and stayed in a hotel. I guess I had a bit of a pity-party on the drive to Dallas worrying about, of all things, what I had chosen to wear to the funeral and concerned that I wouldn’t be able to camouflage the alien tubes coming out of my lovely flat chest. Jack kept reminding me that I had the perfect outfit and no one would ever know that I had drain tubes safety-pinned up underneath my blouse, nor would they know that I didn’t have boobs under my loose-fitting top. After about 2 hours of my whining and Jack encouraging me that I really did look good, he finally said, “What can I do to make you happy? Do you want some new shoes?”

See y’all – I knew why I married this man. He knows that a new pair of shoes works every time! Although I would have rather had my old boobs back, I suppose a new pair of shoes is the next best thing. So, I guess my first real public outing was the shoe department at Saks 5th Avenue in Dallas. Anyway, I found the most beautiful pair of red high heels. The shoes literally sang to me… And to be honest with you, I think they were the first and only pair of red heels I had ever owned. I don’t even know what came over me, because red heels aren’t necessarily typical of my shoe repertoire. But on that particular day those shoes needed me, and I needed them.

The next morning at the funeral I wore those red high heels. I guess I somehow subconsciously thought that people would stare at my red heels and not at my chest. Just so you know, after you have a mastectomy, everyone stares at your boobs…. I know they can’t help it, it’s only natural (I’m sure I have done the same thing), but it is very uncomfortable, especially when you’re freaking out about drain tubes possibly peaking out under your blouse – or worse, your drain tubes leaking….

Anyway, after the service I will never forget this very nice and sweet young woman (a friend of my sister’s) that came up to me and said, “I am so impressed with the fact that you are here after all that you have been through. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is just throw on those red high heels and say - Here I am!”

You know what? She was right! I was actually glad that I was standing there in red high heels; and even though the circumstance of why I had to finally get dressed up was horrible (my poor brother-in-law), it felt good to feel like a female human-being again and wear high heels. It made me feel girl-y; it made me feel feminine, which was much better than feeling like Frankenstein.

I never wore those red shoes again. I didn’t need to – I only needed them for the courage and strength on that one particular day.

With that said, you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to send these red high heels to the young woman Paige told me about today who will be undergoing her mastectomy next week. I don’t know if the shoes are her size, or if she will ever wear them, but I just want her to have them for courage – And to hopefully pass them on to someone else someday that will get the dreaded news that they have breast cancer. Because you know what? Although I don’t know this young woman, and will probably never meet her, for a brief moment in time we will have walked in each other’s shoes…

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hummingbird Farms Gets Noticed!

Texas On The Plate by Chef Terry Thompson-Anderson, is hands down one of my favorite cookbooks! She has now joined forces with her photographer sister, Sandy Wilson, and compiled The Texas Hill Country: A Food & Wine Lover's Paradise.

While traveling many of the roads in this scenic area searching for food- and drink-related products, Terry and Sandy found a bounty of venues and met some wonderful proprietors along the way.

Guess who else they stumbled upon while cruising through the hill country gathering stories and taking beautiful photographs?

They found us, Hummingbird Farms! We're featured on page 87 of this beautiful collection of recipes, stories, and photographs.

And of course like any proud mother, I'm just THRILLED that two of our children, Poncho & Lefty, are included in the photo with us.

I have been a big fan of Terry Thompson-Anderson for years, and can't tell you how exciting it is for me to be included in one of her books. In The Texas Hill Country: A Food & Wine Lover's Paradise, you'll learn not only about what is produced in this region, but also about the people who produce the products.

Many of our friends are featured, including several of our neighboring lavender farms such as Darlene from Villas Texas Lavender Farm and proprietor of the Lavender Market in Fredericksburg.

Each page is filled with beautiful photographs, inspirational stories, and recipes. I just love this book, y'all!

People are becoming much more conscious about the food we eat and the products we buy, and where it all came from. Is it local or did it travel by truck or plane from thousands of miles away? This book makes it easy to make a trip to the Texas Hill Country and prepare and enjoy its bounty.

We are honored to be a part of it. Thank you, Terry and Sandy, for stumbling upon us last summer and including us in this beautiful story of the people and places in the Texas Hill Country.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lavender Chick Does Dallas

I would have used my real name in the title of this post, but I’m using code for obvious reasons… I don’t want to risk having anymore creepy crawlies visiting my blog like last summer. Remember that post? There are just some real pervs out there!

I have to tell y’all about my weekend in Dallas. It started out with all of my plans falling into place just perfectly. My dear friend was having a birthday party bash for her 3 year old precious twins, AND my sister was going to be in Dallas on business. What a perfect scenario! It was the perfect time for me to get to visit my friend and see her babies that aren’t going to be babies much longer, AND hang out with my sister and actually be real grown-ups and have dinner at an adult dining facility with wine and everything versus a kid friendly restaurant with clowns and slides. It was just a win-win weekend…. It was going to be a weekend well worth the 4 hour drive. But then again, you are talking about me:

1. I spent a total of 2 ½ hours driving around lost in Dallas. The ridiculous part of all of this is that I got lost not only going to the restaurant, but leaving the restaurant too! And it’s a restaurant I’ve been to dozens of times! My sister was with me in the car; I am obviously one that can’t talk and drive… The more lost and confused we got, the harder we laughed and the loster we got (I know loster isn’t a real word, but it’s a good word).

2. The good news about driving around lost in Dallas is that we drove up on Cheaters! Do you know what I’m talking about? Cheaters, the TV show about cheating spouses that gets all caught on film. We’re driving around completely lost in downtown Dallas when we come up on the film crew filming right there on a city street! I had to drive around the block 3 times real slow with the windows rolled down so I could hear. I wanted to park the car and just get out to hear the whole thing go down, but my sister said NO WAY and wouldn’t let me stop the car. I think she was embarrassed.

3. I locked my keys in the trunk of the car. I have not locked my keys in my car in at least 5 years. What I hate the most about this is that this means I will do it 2 more times in the very near future. Locking your keys in your car comes in three’s... I had to call a locksmith who was actually a very nice guy. I asked him how busy he stays getting keys out of locked cars for blondes. He assured me that there is absolutely no greater increase of blondes locking their keys in their cars than brunettes. So there! It took him all of 2 minutes to unlock the car and say, "$60, please." This means he makes $30 a minute! I’m in the wrong business, y’all…

4. Last, but not least, I went to the birthday party on Saturday with gifts in tow and ready to party-hearty with the twins. Except…..

Are you ready for this one?


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Working, Traveling, Researching, Shopping & Whining

It was a busy, busy week. I’m still a little tired and tomorrow starts a whole new work week... I got home late Friday night after spending the week on the east coast for a business meeting, and then got up fairly early Saturday morning and spent most of the day shopping. No, it wasn’t pleasure shopping, it was mission shopping. That is, shopping on a mission for facial sprays. You have probably noticed the new poll on the side bar. I’m still working on the antioxidant facial spray that I’ve mentioned several times. I took one of my prototypes with me on the plane and actually enjoyed it. However, it’s STILL not quite right. So, I’ve gone back to the drawing board (yet again) and have spent another fortune on other facial sprays trying to figure out what I like and don’t like about them. I’m finding that antioxidant facial sprays are not that easy to find; facial sprays, yes, but not ones that truly do have antioxidant ingredients. PLEASE, if you have a couple of spare seconds, I would much appreciate it if you would respond to my poll. I really want to be sure I’m on the right track. I’ve been using the sprays daily and really like them. Because of my oily T-Zone, I’ve been using the spray as my moisturizer in lieu of cream moisturizers; I’m actually quite impressed. I’ve also found the spray to be quite nice for setting my mineral makeup; it helps with that cakey look that mineral makeup can cause. As much as I’m enjoying the spray, it’s always nice to have a bit more confidence before coming to market with a new product. So thanks, in advance, for responding to the poll!

In addition to my mission shopping, I was able to take in a matinee, The Women. LOVED it! It’s a must see chick flick. It was also wonderful to have a couple of hours being entertained which kept my mind engaged in the movie rather than thinking about the ten millions things that I feel like I needed to be doing… I’m not complaining, just feeling a little over-whelmed lately. Hey – it’s life!

Y’all have a great week and I’ll try to get something fun and entertaining posted soon…

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Texas has Ike, my sister has spikes (stilletos, that is).

What a week! It's been a busy one, and of course all the excitement/anxiety about Ike has made it feel even more busy. My Uncle Dennis and his family, along with my Aunt Pat and her family decided to hunker down and ride the storm. A storm it was! My sister and her family, however, decided to come to our house and watch the storm via CNN versus checking it out in real life. My sister doesn't do well without electricity... Fortunately for my family, everyone is fine. Some damages, yes, but no one is complaining. It could have been MUCH worse...

Speaking of all my family in Houston, I'm realizing I probably never told y'all that we ended up getting a 3rd poodle from the litter our two little bundles of joy came from; Like us, our nieces (who live in Houston) fell in love with Big & Birdie and needed one, too!

Does that look like one happy little girl with her dog or what? This is Big & Birdie's sister, Tilly, with my niece J-Bean (Jillian). We had a litter reunion when they arrived at our house late Thursday night.

These are 3 very tired poodles after playing their little hearts out for several hours. Right after this picture was taken, my nieces had to start getting dressed for a wedding in San Antonio. Prior to Ike, my sister had been planning to spend the weekend with us anyway in order to go to the wedding. But, wedding or no wedding, I know my sister too well and she would not have risked 5 minutes without electricity. It's just not her nature ....

Her daughter, however, is all about nature. This is J-Bean all dressed for the wedding... I guess she got dressed before anyone else and managed to have time to go climb a tree while waiting on everyone else. Isn't she a cutie? Something tells me she could probably handle a few hours without electricity ...

And here's the family all gussied up and ready to go party in San Antonio. Aren't they pretty?

I know y'all want a better shot of my sister's dress and shoes... She looked HOT if I do say so myself. You would never know she is an Ike evacuee...

In all seriousness, our thoughts and prayers to our neighbors in the Houston/Gulf Coast area. Godspeed.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Babies, babies everywhere!

Remember Bob? He got to be the only baby at Hummingbird Farms for an entire year. Of course, he thinks he's still the baby... His mama still treats him like a little baby; I don't think Bob minds it, though. I even caught Bob trying to nurse the other day - he's almost a year old! It's possible that he's regressing... You hear all the time that children can regress when mama comes home with a new baby. Should it be any different with cows? We just happen to have several new babies at Hummingbird Farms. We've got baby poodles AND baby cows!

I took this picture minutes after this baby was born. He and his mama are refugees at Hummingbird Farms. Due to the drought, we're housing a number of refugees - it's the least we can do...

Look closely, you can see that he still has his little umbilical cord. Isn't he a cutie!

This baby is growing horns! Do you see that little black thing sticking out? They grow up SO fast...

They will all enjoy their time at Hummingbird Farms, I know I sure do. I mean, come on - is this not gorgeous? How many pink sunsets do you think you have to have before you get tired of them?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm in the news!

Although I wasn’t expecting some sudden publicity, I got it. Kind of like the time several years ago when I wasn’t expecting to be brushed with fame at the St. Louis airport. I tee-teed next to Naomi Judd. You just never know when your chance will arrive...

First let me explain the Naomi Judd thing. We actually had the chance to become BFF’s, but I kind of blew it. I was at the St. Louis airport making a connecting flight. It was a tight connection and I was already taking a risk by making a pit stop before boarding – but, when you gotta go, you gotta go… I walked into the restroom behind another woman that entered the stall next to me. All I could see was the back of her high, red hair. Because I have a very inquiring mind, I was already kind of curious about the high-hair, red-headed lady because I noticed that the sky cap was waiting for her outside the restroom holding her carry-on’s (this was before 9/11). It struck me as odd because the carry-on’s didn’t look that heavy or large, but for some reason she was paying this guy to carry them for her. And they were expensive carry-on’s, too. Hmmmm….

So as I take care of business in my stall and exit, she is also exiting a couple of seconds ahead me. Again, all I could see was the back of her high, red hair. Then, as we were washing our hands I spotted her face in the mirror. Is it her? Could that possibly be Naomi Judd? Then I got REALLY curious when she went up to the cleaning lady in the restroom, handed her some cash (I couldn’t tell how much), and said to her as she placed the money in her hand, “You work hard for what you do, thank you.”

Well GAW-AW-LEE!!! Did that ever get my attention! Now I’m really intrigued. So we walk out of the restroom at about the same time and she looked dead center into my eyes and said “hello.” So of course I had to start gabbing right back. I’m sure she thought, “Why in the world, of all the people in this airport, did I have to say hello to chatty patty?” I said something to her like, “You are just one of my favorite people.” She responded with, “well, thank you – where are you headed?” So we start walking together down the terminal having conversation about where each of us is going (and of course I’m walking the opposite direction of where my flight is currently boarding), and the conversation starts flowing. Well, it’s flowing for me anyway, as in I can’t shut up. I mention to her that I had been in Nashville just a couple of weeks before and coincidentally met her publicist; she asked how I knew her publicist and I mentioned a mutual friend of ours (there really is 6 degrees of separation), and we just kept yakking. It was like a BFF reunion y’all – I’m serious! We could have just continued on our trip together, had dinner, and then gone to her house to chat it up with Ashley and Wynonna…

But then, all of a sudden I hear someone yell my name: “Debi…. DEBI… Is that you?” We both turn around and look and there is a man about 20 yards from us waving and smiling and saying, “It IS you, I thought that was you!”

How do I get myself in these situations??? I have my chance to become best friends with Naomi, and now I have this man prying me away from her. Imagine this y’all: I’m with Naomi Judd, and someone else is acting like they’re about to wet their pants because they just spotted ME. What is wrong with this picture? Not to mention that I REALLY need to be boarding my plane and I’m getting further and further away from the gate. Why is this man excited to see me and NOT Naomi? I wasn’t even Lavender Chick yet… I was just a Sales Chick.

Okay, Naomi and I are both standing there in mid-conversation and she’s actually waiting on me to see what we’re going to do. Are we going to keep walking and talking and finish our conversation? Am I going to ditch her for the man hollering my name? Am I going to totally ignore the man yelling my name and tell Naomi he's a weirdo and let's keep talking? What to do? What to do ….

So who’s the man? I know you’re wondering. If this wasn’t all just the worst timing y’all. At the time I was working in outside sales. This man just happened to be a VERY important customer; in fact, he was my TOP customer at the time and I was really trying to close him on some business. I was actually shocked that he even recognized me because he hardly ever gave me the time of day when I made sales calls on him. Let me put this into perspective for you. Say you were trying to sell a widget to Microsoft and Bill Gates all of a sudden wanted to talk to you. This was kind of the equivalent. Sort of – you know what I mean. He was the key decision maker of the key decision maker; just the fact that he knew my name was a big deal. Kind of like tee-teeing next to Naomi is kind of a big deal….

Naomi is looking at me with this look of, so what are you going to do? She’s actually waiting on ME to make a decision. Simultaneously, my name is being announced over the intercom for final boarding!!! Can you believe it? I’ve got the airlines, Naomi Judd, and the equivalent of Bill Gates all wanting a piece of me at the same exact nano-second. And of all places, I'm in the St. Louis airport, hundreds of miles from home.

When it rains it pours.

I’m completely frantic – DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS… Do I miss my flight? Do I blow off Naomi? Do I ignore Bill Gates?

At this point I just act like a total goon (I’m never calm under pressure), and say to Naomi, “I’m sorry but I have to go – he’s a really big customer and my flight is leaving and I was late before I ever started talking to you, I’m not even going the right direction to board my plane, and you see I’m in sales and that guy is just a real big deal, and I can’t ever see him in his office…” When I’m nervous I talk really fast, so I’m sure she didn’t get one word of what I was saying. I just remember saying “SEE YA” as I turned and walked towards my Bill Gates customer, leaving Naomi with her jaw dropped to the floor.

And you know what? I got moved off that big account about a month later and never even got to reap the benefits of blowing off Naomi for pseudo-Bill Gates… And you know what else? I told my Bill Gates-type customer that I was talking to Naomi Judd and he said, "I don't believe I know her, do you work together?"

So why am I telling you all this? Sorry, but I kind of got off-course. Imagine that. I really just wanted to tell you about chance happenings and that a story ran in the Dallas Morning News earlier this week about farmers that blog. I was actually mentioned in the article, which then led to the Texas Ag Commissioner, Todd Staples, mentioning the article on his blog. Who knew? Even the Ag Commissioner blogs…

As a result, I have had some really interesting visitors on my blog for the past several days, and I just wanted to say THANKS for stopping by and hope you keep visiting. Yes, this is a farm blog, but I get diarrhea of the mouth (I mean fingers, since I’m typing) and sometimes go off on tangents that don’t have a thing to do with farming. Kind of like what I’m doing right now, so I’ll just end here and go take a nap (or maybe a bubble bath).

I’ve exhausted myself.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Big & Birdie Meet The Cows

They might be poodles, but we can already tell that they're going to be good cow dogs. Maybe I should have named one, Hank. I always liked Hank, The Cow Dog.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Will The Circle Be Unbroken?

For those of you that have been keeping up with my crazy life on the farm and in a small town, you will recall that I have mentioned a time or two that I believe life always comes full circle. I started out this life in a small town, spending a big part of my childhood on my grandparent’s cotton farm.

I spent the first twenty years of my life trying to figure out how to become a big city girl and ditch the small town I grew up in. All I wanted out of life was to live in the city and have a cool apartment like Mary Tyler Moore. Well, I got myself a great pad in the city - only to spend the next twenty years trying to figure out how to be a small town girl again. See what I mean? Life comes full circle.

You might also remember how I told y’all a few weeks ago that I was on a diet. It all started after my bad haircut made me look frumpy. Then I realized, I don’t look frumpy – I AM frumpy.

My frump has come full circle.

I started out life as a frump with a poochy tummy and robust thighs.

Forty years later, I have a poochy tummy and robust thighs. NO – I’m not going to post a picture of me today in an orange bikini so you can see the similarities of today and forty years ago. You will just have to take my word for it…

My life AND my body has come full circle.

As I got to thinking about the full circle stuff, I realized that I’m built just like my grandmother. I even told Lisa the other day that I really need to lose weight and get in shape because when I was getting out of the tub I saw myself in the mirror and realized I looked just like my grandmother naked. I was completely mortified. ME – looking like my grandmother naked!

But then I realized that it’s what I have left of her.

It’s who I am.

It’s who she was.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Two Is Better Than One

Did any of y'all really think we could pick out just one?

I mean, come on - everything is better in pairs. After all, we have two eyes, two arms, two legs, two kidneys.... It's always best to have two because, well - then you always have a spare.

And when it comes to puppies, two are easier than one because they keep each other very entertained. It's nice when they have each other to chew on instead of you.

Please meet Standard Poodles, Birdie & Big, they have already made Hummingbird Farms an even better place to live!