Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Queen of Make Do & A Giveaway, Too!!!

Hi ya'll! I'm back from a business trip and lots of other great little things that I've been up to. The most exciting thing is that we finally have - by customer demand - our No. 145 Lavender Body Lotion available in a tube! Yeehaw! (or Oh No! Depending on how you look at it... Which will make more sense as you read on....)

It took forever to get these tubes to market AND I'm glad to tell you, my best blogging buddies, that you are the first to see it! It's our same great No. 145 lotion, no changes there, but now also available in a tube so you can carry it around in your purse, car, etc.. Oh - and the good news is that it's 3 ounces and airline safe! You don't have to worry about getting your lotion hijacked at the security line anymore...

Now, 3 ounces is still a good size, which is why I'm showing you a picture of the tube next to the 8 ounce bottle. But - the tube is easier for mobility and there is no waste. You can squeeze out every last drop onto your whole entire dried up scaly body...

Now - ya'll know there's always a story behind every photo, so I have to share this one with you. The pictures you are seeing were made by me, the biggest non-photographer in the world. But - I am the Queen of Make Do, and well - I'm broke after having to buy 10,000 tubes, so I'm making do..... You see, when I happened to develop the best lotion in the universe, I had no idea that even I, a farm chick, would have to buy tubes in the same volume as Mr. Proctor & Mrs. Gamble.

Don't they know who I am?

I'm simply trying to heal everyone's dry skin without a bunch of cheap chemicals.... Heck - I'm not Mr. Colgate and I've never even met Mrs. Palmolive. Come on Mr. Tube Man - give me a break!
So now I'm forced to take my own pictures while I pay the Tube Man my life savings...

Okay - so back to the story behind the photos... As I said, I'm not a photographer. My first attempt was indoors with a black background.

The glare was bad and I couldn't get it right. That's when Jack walked in and shook his head at what I was doing. He said, "Why don't you just go outside and then you won't have to worry about the glare or the flash." And of course I said, "well, I just wanted to make it harder on myself." He then said as he pulled away the black background, "Honey, this isn't going to work - just try it outside."

He then got a big, BIG laugh out of my props.... hence, my "make do." You see, I was using my black pashmina draped over a lamp and a bottle of port in the kitchen. Hey - like I said, I'm the Queen of Make Do.

Look real close at this picture and you can see the lamp behind my scarf. Oh - and speaking of my scarf, if you don't have a pashmina, please get one. They serve so many purposes.

Okay - so as I looked at the pictures, I figured Jack was right. Every single picture was blurry and glare-y. So - what the heck, I'll go try it outside.

And to be honest with you, for a non-photographer, I don't think they're THAT bad...

So what is the tube and lotion bottle propped up on outside?

It's the old well in front of the original farmhouse.

The old red pump on the other side of the well still works! It's what we use to water the grounds.

Okay - so enough about the story behind the photography... Let's talk about my BLOGGY GIVEAWAY!!!!!

Since I have more tubes than S. E. Johnson has wax, I'm giving away TEN! Yep - that's right. Ten tubes to 10 random people that comment on this post. Here are the rules:

1. Comment that you would like a free tube of Hummingbird Farms Lavender Body Lotion No. 145.

2. I will compile all your names and let Jack randomly pull ten names out of a bag... or something.

3. I will notify you if you are a winner and your tube of the creamiest lotion ever will be on its way.

Oh - and one last thing. If you happen to be a winner and like the product, I would be very happy if you would send me an email on what you think about our lotion. Heck, even if you don't like the lotion let me know what you think. If you're okay with it, I would like to put your testimonial on our new website that should be up and running in about 5 to 6 more days. I'm going to have a testimonial page, and I will even include a link to your blog under your testimonial on our website... Again, this is only if you are okay with it.

AND - one last thing before this post ends up being the longest post in history. Let me tell you just a bit about the lotion:

1. It is aloe-based, not water based. We have added NO water, so only a little dab'll do ya'. Seriously, you won't need but about a pea-size for your hands.

2. Please start looking at your favorite lotion. I promise that you will find that 90% of the time, the first ingredient is water. At Hummingbird Farms, all our products are aloe-based.

3. There is no synthetic fragrance in our products. The scent comes from the natural essential oils that are used (specifically lavender) and will subside after a while. So that means you can wear No. 145 Lavender Body Lotion and not worry about it interfering with your No. 5 Chanel Perfume.

4. We use vitamins for preservatives, no parabens.

And - that's all I have to say.... Good Luck & have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cheaper by the dozen...

Okay - just so that we can all be friends again, I have posted a picture of the cute little juice glasses that I picked up at Tuesday Morning. They are Noritake full lead crystal, and a complete steal at $5.99 each (original price $12 each). The cutest thing about these little juice glasses is that they're only about 3 inches tall. It's hard to tell from the picture just how petite they are. They're precious. They remind me of the old soda fountain glasses - except that these are crystal! Woohoo!

Okay - I posted a picture.... Can we now just all get along???

Oh yeah - I also think these precious little petite juice glasses will be cute for desserts. In fact, the lady at Tuesday Morning who told me about the 'always buy in 12' rule, was also full of other tidbits of information. I should consult with her more often... She told me a dessert that she thought would be perfect for these little glasses. Now I've not tried this dessert yet ya'll; in fact, it sounds a little weird to me - BUT, I truly believe the Tuesday Morning cashier to be very wise... She did, after all, save me from breaking the law of 12... So here is her recipe. I will call it the 'Tuesday Treat':

1. Green Grapes
2. Sour Cream
3. Brown sugar

This is exactly what the Tuesday Morning lady said: "Blend brown sugar into sour cream until it is a very light brown, more like beige. (These are her words, ya'll). Then mix the grapes into this mixture and place into your cute little glasses. Chill and serve. It's light and refreshing, and so, so good! Just trust me, it's good."

Sounds a little weird, huh? Has anyone ever had a dessert like this before? I'll let you know when I give it a try. Oh - she also said it has to be green grapes - not any other color. Again, she's a smart woman so I'm taking her word for it!

Next up, I want to introduce you to Abe. Abe is a boxer.

All right, so we have four dogs.... What does one more matter? Yep, we now have 5 dogs.

Because we really needed another dog.

Abe actually found us. I think news has traveled far and wide that the folks out at Hummingbird Farms are huge suckers and will take in anybody. Even humans. (yes, the cowboy is still living with us!)

Abe has taken to life at Hummingbird Farms quite nicely. As you can see from the picture and my super suede sofa, he has nestled right in and you would never know that he hasn't been a part of the family forever. We're actually quite smitten by Abe and are honored to have him in our home.

What's one more dog? Right?

Thank goodness dogs don't come in twelves. Do they???

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Oh Happy Day!


Lavender Chick (left) and Big Sis. Easter 1968.

All that was missing was my Easter Bonnet! I am quite sure we both had white gloves for church, though.... It was a happy day. It was a happy time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday Morning & My Spanx

On my last post I answered questions from one of those memes, one of which was asking what you can’t live without. I answered that I can’t live without my Spanx and my animals. It’s true, I can’t imagine life without those things – but, gosh… There are so many things I couldn’t live without. Maybe I need to have an entire link to my blog on things I can’t live without…

Anyway, I was in Tuesday Morning the day after my post when I mentioned not being able to live without my Spanx. I am a Tuesday Morning junkie and it’s another one of those things I can’t live without. As I was in the checkout line buying the most adorable crystal footed juice glasses, I struck up a conversation with the young lady behind me. I felt like I had to because I was being one of those people in the checkout line that drives those behind you absolutely nuts.

Something happens to me when I’m at Tuesday Morning. The prices are so good that I feel like I need one of everything because, who knows – you just might need it one day. And what if you needed it one day and didn’t have it and found yourself being forced to buy it somewhere else and paying FULL RETAIL? The horror!

I’ve told ya’ll before that I’m also a QVC and HSN nut, which I wrote about here. I’m realizing now that my addiction to Tuesday Morning is for the same reason… I get this “gotta buy now” buzz in my head because it’s on sale and available RIGHT NOW. It might not be available again if you wait…

Anyway, I’m in line purchasing my cute little 8 juice glasses and holding up the line because I need each one individually wrapped since I have an hour drive home. Then my heart started beating rapidly – just like when the HSN host announces, “We only have 600 left and they’re going fast…” So – I told the cashier just as she was wrapping the last glass, “TIMES! I gotta have more… Will you wait for me? I’m going to pick up two more just in case I happen to break one someday.” I turned around to the young lady waiting in line behind me and tell her I’m sorry and that it won’t take two seconds for me to go get a couple more. She was very nice and said no problem. So I rushed to the crystal aisle and picked up two more glasses.

I get back to the register huffing and puffing and hand her two more glasses. As the cashier is wrapping them up she says, “You know, I was always raised to buy everything in twelve’s; that’s just the way you’re supposed to do it.”

Oh Lord help me… Nobody ever told me this rule. I’m the queen of rules and I didn’t know this one. I mean, heck – I don’t wear linen before Easter or velvet after Valentine’s Day, or double-dip my chips, or tee-tee on the toilet seat… I don’t break rules.

So as my palpitations kicked back in I had to tell the nice lady behind me one more time – “Do you mind? I really have to go get two more glasses now. I had no idea I was supposed to buy 12.” She waved me on and off I went to abide by the rule that I never knew about. And of course I’m so glad to know this rule now and will be certain to never break it again…

When I got back to the checkout line with my last two of 12 glasses, I felt it my obligation to use my gift of gab with the young lady standing behind me because I knew I was irritating the heck out of her.

Nothing like being in the checkout line behind a blonde that can’t make up her mind. It just rubs people the wrong way….

So I start chatting with her and telling her how much I love Tuesday Morning and what great deals they have and if she shops here much. You know - the kill ‘em with kindness rule.

The young lady tells me that she’s recently married and never knew much about Tuesday Morning until recently. She said the she and her husband were still in an apartment, but hopes to shop at Tuesday Morning a lot more when they buy their house and have more room. So I tell her that it’s the best place to stock up on items for your house and that it can become an all out addiction. Then I said (because my post was still in my mind from the day before), that “I just couldn’t live without Tuesday Morning or my Spanx."

And then on my drive home I started thinking about all the other things I can’t live without…. And that’s a whole lot to think about.

For whatever reason I simply felt compelled to share with you today that I needed to add Tuesday Morning to my list of things I can’t live without…

I just couldn’t live without telling you that I can’t live without Tuesday Morning.

And yes, If I were a better blogger I would have taken pictures of my cute little juice glasses to share with you, but that would have meant getting out the camera, taking the picture, and uploading, all of which takes time… Until it becomes a blogger rule that I have to have a picture with every post, I’m going to refrain for now.

Ya’ll have a great week!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Good Year

I mentioned to ya'll a while back that our website crashed... Technology can be a real pain in the rear sometimes. Anyway, as we're in the rebuilding phase, our new web designer asked me to send her some pictures of the farm. As I went through old pictures I started realizing, WOW! We can grow lavender! Not only can we grow the stuff, but we can do something with the stuff! So - I wanted to share some of the pictures with you.

The beauty of a good farm year. This was taken two harvest years ago early in the morning. How we hope for one more good year...

A close up of Lavendula Angustifolia, also know as "true lavender." Most of the lavender grown in the hill country is Intermedia, or a lavender cross/hybrid. All lavender has its place (we also grow Intermedia), but "true lavender" is the best of the best in terms of quality oil and what we primarily grow at Hummingbird Farms. It is the same oil you would find in very fine perfumes. It is also the oil that goes into our body care products. Look at those fine little fuzzy buds, filled full of sweet lavender oil.
You can see in the back of the field a little pointy copper thing sticking up. That is our steam distiller (the 'still'); it's how we distill the lavender for its oil. This picture also shows how the many different varieties bloom at different times. The first few rows you see are just beginning to bloom, and is our Provence variety which is an intermedia. We use it mainly for dried buds for making sachets and other crafts. The rows just in front of the still are actually in bloom and ready for distillation. Now look behind the still and to the right. That's another field of angustifolia for distillation; it's in full bloom.

Another picture of blooming fields early in the morning, and BEFORE the drought...

This is a close up of the still. It's also a good picture that shows all the different varieties and their varying blooming time.

This variety is about to pop and ready for the still!

A half a row of harvested lavender ready for the drying barn.

Another row of harvested lavender.... How we hope for another good bloom year. We have lost a number of plants due to the drought. It makes me so sad. But - hey, that's the life of a farmer, right? Good years and not so good years... We will have to do quite a bit of over-hauling of the fields this year due to the plants we've lost. It makes me sad...

Okay - on another note, and so that I can switch my thoughts away from the devastation of the drought, I want to send a big THANK YOU to The Pampered World, who tagged me a while back. Better late than never, I'm going to play along. You can play along, too, if you like....
The numbering was off when I got tagged. I suppose it's because so many people have been tagged it got all scrambled up over the various times it was forwarded. It doesn't even start with number one, but number two. And, then there were several numbers that just skipped. Is it because someone decided they didn't like the question so passed on it??? Who knows... I took the liberty of making up my own question for number one.

1. I could never live without (fill in the blank): My Spanx and my animals.

2. Where is your significant other? Outside visiting with his aunt and cousin. I'm being very un-sociable right now and should be out there with them....

3. Your hair color? Blonde. Although I have to help it out with highlights to cover the gray and keep me from looking all washed out, I am a natural blonde.... Be quiet! Yes, I am!

6. Your favorite thing? Gosh, how can I possibly list one favorite thing? I have MANY favorite things. Right now my favorite thing is my hummingbird feeder(s). The hummers are back for the summer and I get much, much pleasure from watching them.

7. Your dream last night? I am known to have some pretty wild dreams, but for some reason I cannot remember my dream last night....

8. Your goal? To continue to grow our body care business and develop more great products.

11. Your fear? Being locked up in a small space. AND not having enough Tabasco for my bloody mary.

12. Where do you want to be in six years? Living right here at Hummingbird Farms and watching our lavender grow....

13. Where were you last night? Home with Jack, his Aunt Evelyn, cousin David, and Denise and Brian. We had a wonderful dinner and GREAT bottle of Bordeaux. It was fabulous. Great family visit!

14. What you are not? Closed-minded.
15. What’s on your wish list? Well, my ten year anniversary is coming up. A gold Rolex would be nice....

16. Where you grew up? In the Big Bend of Texas and proud of it! I grew up in Alpine, Texas; a beautiful spot in Texas in the lovely Davis Mountains. It will ALWAYS be home to me.

18. What you are wearing? Pajamas... Yes, it's after lunch. Is that so wrong???

19. Your computer? Laptop, Gateway. Red.

22. Your mood? Relaxed and happy.

26. Favorite story? A story my mother-in-law told me about Jack when he was in 1st grade.

27. Your Summer? Hopefully harvesting lavender... Did you hear that Mother Nature????

28. Love someone? Okay - is this a real question? Would anyone ever answer that they don't love someone? Yes. I love someone - I love lots of someone's... The Lord, my husband, my family, my relatives, my friends...

29. Your favorite color? Yellow. It makes me smile.

30. When was the last time you laughed? Just a little bit ago. I was on Justine's blog over at Tiney's Froggy Bloggy. I laughed out loud. Real loud! She always makes me laugh out loud. Good thing I wasn't drinking coffee at the time. I would have spewed....