Friday, June 27, 2008

Bob Talks BBQ

Do y'all remember Bob? He's our not-so-Longhorn. We love Bob. Or Bobbi - which is actually the case. But Bobbi is fine just being called Bob.

Bob's a little shy.

And even though he's shy and not a not-so-Longhorn of many words, he does have something to say. He wants to share some thoughts with you while you gear up for the 4th of July holiday.

There he is - it takes him a minute to not be shy in front of the camera. And yes, that is his Aunt Marsha's rear-end just behind him. It's quite normal around Hummingbird Farms for cows to be hanging around the yard.

They don't think they're any different from the dogs and cats.

Anyway, back to Bob's message. He just wants you to know that barbecue chicken tastes real good. He is also a big fan of grilled fish and vegetables. Bob REALLY loves grilled vegetables - especially summer squash.

That's all.

He just wanted to share that with you.

Have a great day! And a Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Girls just wanna float

I'm a very lucky girl for many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is because of my girlfriends. I'm blessed that I have many good friends, but what really warms my heart is that my closest girlfriends are the same ones I've had for over 30 years. Thirty years, can you believe it? What is also really great is that although we all grew up 6 hours away from where we currently live, we have somehow all settled within an hour of each other. It's amazing to me when I think about how little girls from a small west Texas town never lost contact with each, grew up and moved away, only to live near each other again! Wow!

So you know what's better than a girlfriend that you've known for 30+ years that knows all your silly quirks and crazy family stories and that can finish all your sentences and laugh at things with you that no one else would ever think are funny? Well, that would be a girlfriend with all those things I just mentioned PLUS a lake house!

My friend whom some of you know and refer to as Painted Groove Girl, has a lake house on beautiful Lake Placid in Seguin. And when you live in Texas in the summer during a drought, it sure is nice to go visit your friend on the lake!

This is her beautiful home. I should have taken pictures inside the house, but I just didn't have time because there was just too much gabbing going on to stop and take pictures. We both have the disease you know.

We had the most wonderful weekend, and I got to do my most favorite thing in the world next to taking a hot lavender bubble bath. We got to float. That is float on a floatie raft thing in the lake all afternoon. Heaven.

For about 2 seconds I thought about being all athletic and doing water sports stuff like this guy that whizzed by us and made me spill my drink, but then I remembered again who I am. Next to being like my Aunt Barb and stressing out with a donut in both hands, I am also my friends' friend, and we just like to float.

Now don't think for one second that I'm going to share a picture with you of me all splattered out in my bathing suit floating in the lake. That's about as likely to happen as me sharing one of my donuts with you! But, I will share this picture with you, and I really can't believe I'm doing it, but it simply represents how laid back and relaxing my weekend was with my girlies.

Painted Groove's groovy husband took us on a morning coffee cruise. It was delightful! Notice we still have bedheads and our pj's on! Life is good. It was the perfect weekend of no agendas, no plans, no makeup, and lots of laughing!

Paige just couldn't stand it. Originally she wasn't going to be able to join us for the weekend because she had all these plans and things she needed to get done. We knew it was killing her to not be with us. By 9:00 Sunday morning she was on the phone saying "I'm on my way!"

I spotted this house during our morning coffee cruise for sale. I love this house because it's yellow, my favorite color. As we cruised by it, Painted Groove Girl said, "That's a Debi house." She was right. It reminded us both of my yellow Thunderbird I had in high school. We have many good memories about that car; it unfortunately had a very untimely and tragic death. Of course it wasn't my fault you know...

There's rarely ever anything on sale at this lake, so it was unusual to see the yellow Debi house for sale. There's also very few lots without a home, but check this out! Right next to Painted Groove's house is this one looking for a buyer! Oh, how tempting.... It's not going to last long. This is prime real estate in an area with limited space for any new lakeside homes.

I just can't tell you what a great weekend it was, and what perfect timing, too. It took my mind off the sadness of my little Buckaroo and non-blooming lavender fields. There's seldom anything a little girlfriend time won't cure!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I feel like a melting ice cream cone

I wanted to thank everyone for your nice comments about our little Buckaroo. We're still in a real funk about it. I know we just need more time ... Time is a wonderful thing. That's what Lisa always says.

In the meantime, we're still a little drained from the lavender festival last weekend. It was so hot! We've still not had one tiny drop of rain out here.

It is so dry that the fish in our pond are getting ticks!

I got to meet some really nice people during the festival, and even got to meet someone outside of my family and friends that actually reads my blog! Hi Camille! Thanks again for driving out here all the way from Fort Worth. I told Jack that you came to the square and he said, "Camille? You mean MY Camille?" And I said, "No, MY Camille." Too make a long story short we had a little tug of war over you. Apparently y'all exchanged some emails a while back so now he thinks you love Hummingbird Farms because of him. I set him straight and told him you were mine first. Regardless, you and I know the REAL story! It was great meeting you and hope to see you and your cute hubby out here again someday!

Because I sat outside for 2 straight days during the festival in 210 degree Texas heat, I would like to say I dropped some pounds; or that I might have even lost a few due to the stress of losing little Buckaroo. But then I remembered who I am, and it seems I'm a lot more like my Aunt Barb than I thought. She always said she would get depressed with a donut in both hands...

I've discovered a new flavor of Blue Bell ice cream that does a real nice job of cooling me off in the evening. And that second serving tastes really good right before I go to bed. Funny how my lactose intolerance just doesn't seem to be an issue with Blue Bell.

Monday, June 16, 2008

All Dogs Go To Heaven

It was a busy, busy weekend. The 4th annual Blanco Lavender Festival actually went off without a hitch even though the lavender farmers are experiencing a really weird blooming season. Overall, everyone understood that you simply can’t predict Mother Nature’s timing or the devastating results of a dry winter and spring.

With that said, I’ll have more to talk about later regarding the festival. For now, I’m simply too sad to say much more. Today has been a rough day.

A really rough day.

But, I’m trying really hard to focus on 15 wonderful years with my baby Buckaroo. You can read more about Buck here.

For now, sweet dreams my little baby. We will see you again someday.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

See you at the square!

This weekend is the Blanco Lavender Festival. In years past we have always opened the farm so visitors can check out what we've got going on out here. It was also an opportunity for our customers to see our blooming fields and cut their own fresh bouquets.

The key word there is "in years past."

This year we have more grasshoppers than blooms.... So I've made the executive decision to let Jack be on his own - I don't want any part of dusty fields and grasshoppers. And of course I don't want to be associated with a non-blooming lavender farm. Yes, I'm a coward. When we're busting with blooms and butterflies, it is OUR farm. When Mother Nature doesn't cooperate and the lavender doesn't bloom, it is Jack's farm.

So instead of depressing myself by being at the farm and looking at flowerless plants, I will be spending all day Saturday & Sunday at our booth at the Blanco Square. Jack will be at his farm. At least at the square I have the luxury of sitting under a tent on groomed grass sans the grasshoppers. Hey - there's even going to be a Texas Wine tent there, too. This could be dangerous y'all.

If you're in the area I would love to see you! The Hummingbird Farms booth will be at the northeast corner of the square under a great big tree. Please stop by and introduce yourself. I would love to meet you!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Empty Nest

Bean has gone to camp! That is Bean, as in Jilly Bean, my niece. Other than staying at my house, this is the first time Bean has ever spent a night away from home without her parents. And she doesn't recall ever spending a night away without her sister... So, it's a big deal y'all. A real big deal.

Since Camp Hummingbird (that would be our house) is only about an hour from where she will be going to camp, she spent the night with us the night before. So of course asked her what she wanted for breakfast since it would be her last breakfast with family. She ordered Uncle Jack's pancakes and that is exactly what she got.

And a Dr. Pepper.

Uncle Jack believes all good meals taste better with a Dr. Pepper. Bean thinks so, too.

We had a good morning and all was going smooth, we were actually right on time and enjoying our terrific sugar high. Until....


A baby bird was found on the ground. It had literally been blown right out of its nest. The wind that morning was just out of control. For a while I had forgotten I lived in the Hill Country and thought I was still in West Texas...

The poor little baby had fire ants on him which we quickly brushed away. Other than that, he seemed to be okay. Uncle Jack got the binoculars and searched and searched up in the trees to see if he could spot a nest. We wanted to try to get that baby back with its mama. The tree in front of our house is at least 100 years old and very, very tall. We finally thought we could spot the nest, but it was almost at the very top of the tree. There was no way we could get it up that high. We also had the task of keeping it away from the cats.

And of course, all this is going on while the clock is ticking away and we needed to get Bean to camp. I mean come on - we had to get her there early so she could claim the best bunk....

So I grab a shoebox and give it to Bean and tell her to gather some hay as quickly as she can from one of the round bales behind the house. As she's collecting hay, I can feel the body temperature of the baby bird really dropping. We're just in a panic about saving its life.

As Bean gets the baby nestled in its new nest, I get the heating pad and lay the shoebox on top of it. We have got to get on the road, and decide the best thing to do is get the baby bird warm and let it sleep and de-stress for a bit.

I gently lay a washcloth over the bird to hopefully provide the sensation that it's his mama on top of him. With the heating pad warm and the baby covered, we tell it goodbye and say a little prayer and hope he survives.

And then the Bean is ready to go... Off to camp all by herself. She's ecstatic, and we're all a bundle of nerves. What if she doesn't like it? What if she get homesick? What if ....

We arrive! It's just beautiful. I decide I want to go to camp, too.... In fact, I told Bean that I thought I would have some free time later in the week and would come spend the night with her. You know - just sneak into the place, blend with the other kids... I told Bean we could easily fit into her bunk.
She said NO.

This is One happy little girl! She actually couldn't get rid of us quick enough... She kept saying, "I'm fine, you can go now."

This camp even has an aviary! Is there a mama in there that could use an extra baby?

I loved this sculpture of children on a park bench. Look at the camp guide book also on the bench.

Bean has her bed made and is ready for the week! But she didn't get to claim her own bunk. We had her all prepared to elbow her way in there and claim the best spot in the house - I mean cabin. These people actually have you draw for your bed... What kind of civilized camp is this? And speaking of cabins, they call the cabins at this camp tee pees. I thought to myself how the Natives would have loved this tee pee with a Stearns & Foster mattress, air conditioner, indoor plumbing, hot shower...

We kiss and say our goodbyes, and my sister has been a basket case ever since. She's never gone this long without seeing or talking to her daughter. I'm not at all worried about Bean, but I'm sure worried about her mother!

On the way home I called Lisa to ask her advice on how to take care of the baby bird. Lisa knows everything about wildlife - she does, after all, have Tink and his (I mean, her) siblings living in her house. She tells me how to feed baby bird when I get home - provided he's still alive. She asks me what kind of bird it is and I tell her he's probably a little songbird. I didn't exactly check out the baby that well, I was just happy we found him and were able to get the fire ants off of him. I mean, come on - I'm not the wikipedia of baby birds. The poor thing doesn't even have feathers, yet. I did notice he had some big feet, but I wasn't going to focus on that. I figured, well he's a songbird with big feet; I wasn't going to already start focusing on his flaws. Come on - he's just a baby. We were just happy that the stork brought us a baby. Big feet or small feet, we didn't care...

As soon as we got home I rushed into the house as quickly as I could, hesitating for just a second before I uncover the baby.
Is there any life?
Please let the baby be alive.....

He's alive! And he's hungry!!!

And now he's mad! Feed me something, WOMAN! Don't you know what a hungry bird looks like?

Well, he ate.... and ate.... and ate. We fed him soggy, mushed up cat chow with tweezers. You know, all infants really are the same. As long as their little needs are being met, they're perfectly happy. If they're being loved, kept warm, and fed - and of course clean, they're just as happy as pigs in mud.

Although we loved this baby and wanted to keep him, we knew we couldn't handle feedings every 15 minutes which is what Lisa said they had to have. And this little guy was a big eater! So we drove him to the Wildlife Rescue, figuring they could provide better care - and who knows, maybe even some brothers and sisters.

As soon as we get there, the folks at Wildlife Rescue thank us tremendously for bringing him in; they said that most people would have not gone to the effort to save a baby bird. I just don't understand that...

Anyway - they tell us what kind of bird he is....

Take a guess....

A roadrunner! A roadrunner with very normal sized feet...

So, the way I look at it is that 2 babies have gone to camp - One to Camp Wildlife Rescue and the other to Summer Camp.

And two mamas are longing for their babies that aren't in the nest...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Herb knows flying, Jamaica knows luv.

Okay y'all. I promised I would let you know about my trip to Jamaica to Cute Cousin's wedding. Fortunately, we did make it to Jamaica in time for the wedding.... But barely. Now I refuse to get myself all worked up again by talking about mean American Airlines and how they delight in ruining people's vacations... And how they think they're doing you such a favor by letting you fly on their plane. And pay $5 for a bag of cheez its.

But - I will tell you this. We had to catch a connecting flight at DFW out of Austin. Our Austin flight was delayed, so when we landed at DFW we had to rush straight to our departing flight to Miami. Now I may not be Herb Kelleher or anything, but I know a bit about flying, being that I spent many, many years in and out of airports.... And I'm quite certain that when an inbound flight is running late, all connecting flights are alerted. Most airlines, within reason, will wait for those slightly delayed flights - just ask Herb. The airlines are, after all, in the business of moving passengers about the country... Okay, we get to the gate at DFW and we're completely out of breath - we have, for the most part, just run the length of 5 football fields. According to my watch (which is ALWAYS 3-4 minutes fast) it is 1:56. The plane was scheduled to depart at 1:55. They would NOT let us on the plane! There we stood with our $1400 boarding passes in our hands and in desperate need of a drink of water, and they would not let us on the plane! Why? Because they had already given up our seats to standby passengers although they KNEW we were in the airport and running as quickly as we could to the gate. Not only did we have 4 friends on that flight going with us to Jamaica, all of which let it be known that we were on our way, but the ticket agent even said, "I begged them to wait, we knew you were coming, I'm so sorry."

Okay I have to stop talking about it because my hiney is getting all tuckered.

It was a holiday weekend so we couldn't fly out of Dallas until the next day. We missed an entire day in Jamaica! There's even more I could say, but I just have to think good things right now. When I'm stressed I get zits, and I feel a big one popping up right now...

So -

good thoughts.....

good thoughts.....

Okay let's talk about Cute Cousin!

This is Cute Cousin. She asked all family and close friends to join her in Jamaica.

Cute Cousin said, "HE'S THE ONE!"

Cute Cousin is single in this picture, but not for long!

Cute Cousin says, "I DO!"

Cute Cousin says, "Now you can call me Mrs. Cute Cousin!"

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Fishing for Lavender Blooms

Have you ever wondered what goes on at a lavender farm during harvest season when there's nothing to harvest? Well, I'll tell you.

First of all, it's real hot right now, so I just stay inside my little farmhouse.

And everyone else fishes.

And fishes.

And fishes some more.
See the lavender in the background not blooming?

This is my cousin, Travis. He spends just about every weekend with us.
He's here to help us harvest.
I mean, fish.

Not a bad cast, Travis.

Just in case you're wondering - they're practicing their fly fishing.

Jack and Travis tied flies all weekend.

They're completely obsessed with it right now.

I told them they could probably be pretty good jewelry makers, too, being that all the tools they use to tie flies could be used to make necklaces.
They didn't pay any attention to me.

This is Lefty.

He says hi.

He stays in the air conditioned house with me.