Sunday, October 19, 2014


If you have been following Lavender Chick, please click over to her new site:

Thank you for checking in - don't forget to update your favorites with the new site.  

Happy trails!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Where did the name Julia 1933 come from?

Now that our Julia 1933 collection has hit the shelves, we have many folks asking us where the name came from.  Julia was my mother-in-law.  It wasn’t until the last decade of her life that she discovered solace here in the Texas Hill Country. You see, Julia grew up on a farm in Oklahoma, and she left that farm at 14 years of age in 1947, thinking she would never be back.  She was heading to the big city.  Alone. 

Headstrong and stubborn – and believe it or not, right most of the time - Julia wanted to make a better life for herself.  After all, what was there to lose? Julia was born during a tumultuous time in 1933, right in the middle of The Great Depression.  In 1947 it was a rough life in rural Oklahoma, still struggling from the depression and then World War II.  Farming was not for the weary.  Especially when your father, the farmer and breadwinner of the family, suffered from crippling rheumatoid arthritis at a time when there was little that could be done for the disease, except slowly wither away in dreadful daily pain. 

So I have to say I completely understand where Julia was coming from.  She would be one less mouth to feed and probably able to do more in the city than her father would have been able to do on that farm with his ailing health and crippled hands. 

And she did just that.  She headed to Fort Worth, Texas, a large financial trading center at the time.  She rented a room in a boarding house and got a job in the financial district as a “chalk girl”.  Her job was to climb up on a ladder to write stock quotes on the “big board,” a large chalkboard that wrapped around the trading floor.  She wore a suit, hat, and white gloves and spent her day on top of that ladder writing chalk quotes as they came in for the traders to see.  The idea of the electronic ticker tape was not even a thought that would have been comprehended at the time. 

Barely making ends meet initially, she always managed to send money home every week to help with the care of her beloved little sister.  She didn’t want her going without as she had.  I guess it was no surprise that Julia began to thrive in the financial industry; it became her home away from home, and it was a world away from the farm in Oklahoma.  With a piece of chalk in her hand, Julia became a sponge absorbing everything she could learn about trading.  I suppose she was only destined to become one of the first female stockbrokers in the state – and with no high school diploma, much less a college degree. 

Conquering all that she felt she could in Texas, Julia left for Florida in the 70’s where she lived in a high-rise condo on the 12th floor with floor to ceiling windows and white carpet and sparkling clean marble countertops.  Again, it was as far from the spectrum as possible from where she came.  She lived out the rest of her life half a continent away from Oklahoma overlooking Tampa Bay and shiny downtown St. Petersburg.  She maintained her brokerage license and traded stock until she died.   

You have all heard me say life really does come full circle.  It did for me and I suppose it did for Julia, too. Perhaps this is why we related so much to each other.  Although she never returned to Oklahoma, she did discover the Texas Hill Country during her twilight years, where she enjoyed spending much of her time.   

On mid-summer evenings we would find her sitting just outside the farmhouse at Hummingbird Farms beneath the ancient live oak, sipping local wine and watching the hummingbirds zip and flutter in the fragrant Hill Country air. During this cherished time on the farm, Julia recounted a lifetime of adventure and drew comfort from the simple pleasures enjoyed here.

Inspired by our very own Julia and our treasured memories of her and those beautiful summer evenings at Hummingbird Farms, we have blended what we believe portrays that glamorous bundle of energy we knew: quite spirited, sometimes misunderstood, impressively accomplished, always loving. We hope you come to love her collection as much as we loved her.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Texas Antique Week! It's big, really BIG, I mean BIIIIIGG!

If you are from Texas you have heard about Round Top, TX (population 91) and Antique Week.  It happens a couple of times a year and it it BIG! Real BIG.  TEXAS BIG.

You can read more about it here if you like.

We are thrilled to be there this year, thru October 5th, with Skye & Henry's from Fredericksburg.  Skye & Henry's is a fabulous shop in Fredericksburg, TX with some of the most fantastic finds you will see anywhere.  This year you can find Skye & Henry's in Warrenton at Tree Park Antiques.  Please stop by and say hi to Margo, the store owner and designer extraordinaire.  You will love all her fabulous finds.

If y'all ever come visit me at my farmhouse at Hummingbird Farms you will see a bit of Margo everywhere, as practically every piece of furniture in my house is slip covered by fabric from Margo at Skye & Henry's.  She has gorgeous fabrics and textiles, among so many other one-of-a-kind finds.

Here are some photos from this year's Texas Antique Week at the Skye & Henry display in Warrenton at Treek Park Antiques:

Enjoy! #texasantiqueweek

Do you know the way to San Jose?

I had the most enjoyable weekend a couple of weeks ago with my very dear friend, Joan, in beautiful Carmel-By-The-Sea, California.  Both, Joan and Carmel, are two of my most favorite things on earth!

Joan and I were college roommates and remained roommates when we were both single girls trying to establish our careers.  It is really quite amazing to me how Joan and I have gotten this far in life….being almost 50 and everything.  You see, we are kind of air heads at times.

(Or “arrow heads” as Joan calls it; she’s such an air head she doesn’t even know the proper term….)

Somehow when we are together the air in our heads gets more dense and we just tend to do stupid stuff.  It is the strangest phenomenon….  It is as if we lose control of our own abilities and our bodies begin to channel Laverne & Shirley or Lucy & Ethel, if you will. 

I want to tell you about our great trip to Carmel-By-The-Sea, but before I do, I have to tell you about our last road trip together: 

On this particular trip several years ago we went to the wine country in Napa Valley (we have a thing for the west coast).  Because we would be flying out of different airports (Joan out of Dallas and me out of San Antonio), we planned very carefully to ensure we would arrive at our destination airport in California at approximately the same time.
Joan would arrive about an hour before me, so we planned that she would go ahead and pick up the rental car and then just drive around to baggage to pick me up when my plane arrived.

My plane lands and I call Joan to tell her I have arrived.  She says it is perfect, as she has the rental car and will circle around to get me.  I tell her exactly where I am standing on the curb and I wait.  And I wait…  And I wait some more. 

I call Joan again.  Where are you?

Joan:  "I am circling around for the fifth time.  Where are you?"

I carefully describe again where I am on the curb and at which baggage claim pick up area I am standing.  She says she can’t figure out how she missed me and will circle around again.  I have her describe the rental car to me again.  Perhaps I just didn’t see her…. 

And I wait.  And wait.

Joan calls again, frustrated - as she is now a good 20 minutes into circling around the airport:  "Okay, I have now circled another three times and NOW I am actually parked on the curb, I am looking at the sign ‘Baggage Claim A’.  Where are you????"

At this point we are both getting frustrated.  I tell her there is NO WAY – I, too, am looking at the same sign. 

Well – we finally figured it out.  I was at the San Jose Airport, she was at the Sacramento Airport….. 

So typical of two air (arrow) heads on a trip…. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Waking up to a soft rain makes me happy, happy….

May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and the rains fall soft upon your fields….

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Like a Porch….

I want to lay up like that, to float unstructured, without ambition or anxiety.  I want to inhabit my life like a porch.   - Rebecca Wells, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A photographic journey

We’ve been busy little bees, or hummingbirds, here at Hummingbird Farms the last few weeks.  First off – after 7 years, we decided it was time to update photography for our alleged new website.  I say “alleged” because for one full year we have been talking about overhauling our website, but as I type we are still “talking” about it…  Hopefully, our new photography from our fabulous new photography friend will kick us into new website gear. 

I couldn’t help but think about our photo shoot from 2007 while Anne of Anne Lorys Photography was out here doing our new photo shoot a couple of weeks ago.  Thank goodness for the world wide web thing and blogging, as I was able to really reflect back on that day with a blog I posted regarding the photo shoot from seven long years ago.  You can read it here.  

In the meantime, it just so happens that our new fancy shmancy photographer friend also blogs under the name Fiona and Twig.  I really hope you take a look at her blog– it is precious and really portrays her photography personality.  Did I mention that Anne is a published, noted photographer with work seen in magazines such as Romantic Home and Cottages & Bungalows?  I just think she is so talented, fun, and creative.  Please click here to read about her day spent with us. 

I hope you enjoyed a trip down memory lane with us back in 2007, as well as gaining insight as to what we have planned for our future.  Back in 2007 we were very much focused on being a lavender farm, but today find ourselves very much committed to being a bath & body company – all inspired by those lovely little purple flowers that bloomed so beautifully in 2007.  You just never know where life will take you…. 

We hope you continue to follow us on our journey. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

What I have learned from old dogs and old ladies

I saw a posting on Facebook today from a friend who mentioned a shelter that was full of old dogs that had been “turned over” by their owners.  I'm not sure of all the various reasons why these old dogs are turned over, but I have a feeling that the common denominator was most likely due to the hassle factor that can come with managing an older dog. 

We have a 10-year-old Great Pyrenees mix (one of our five dogs) that we rescued last year from a family that didn’t want her anymore.  All I can say is that she has been nothing but joy and we are more than happy to have her living out her twilight years here at Hummingbird Farms. 

Although she can sometimes be a bit cranky, it is almost always associated with any type of a change in her daily routine.  But often times, on her terms and while in her daily routine, she will become somewhat puppy-like where she wants to play with the other dogs.  Just yesterday I watched as she pranced and lunged on her front legs in front of our other dog doing her best to engage him in some sort of puppy-dog game. 

As I watched her it made me think of some cultures that celebrate old age and revere their oldest members.  There is a Japanese culture that celebrates eight special birthdays between the ages of 60 and 100 as a return to the beginning of the cycle, and then at the 100th year, a celebration every year. 

I find it interesting that these celebrations are for a “return of the beginning.” It is this return to the beginning that I see in our elderly dog when she periodically becomes puppy-like, just as I saw in my own grandmother when she would sometimes “return” as childlike.   

Just as I have learned from our aging dog that thrives in her regimented life, I saw the same with my grandmother.  It was only in her regular routine that she would have bouts of jovial fun and laughter, but taken out of her routine she became obstinate and stubborn.  In hindsight I wish that we had just let her be.  She liked her routine in her small house with her little dog.  But with each holiday or family event we would upset her routine by filling up her day with things outside of her routine and telling her things like, “it will be good for you to go, you need to get out of the house.”  The truth was, it wasn’t good for her.  She didn’t want to leave her routine, and when she did the price to pay was really on us.  She was miserable, which we couldn't understand, and in turn we found ourselves irritable.   
Our old dog Duchess in her happy spot, just being.  
Conversely, with our old dog we just let her be.  Because we don’t know what all had occurred in her nine years of life before coming to be with us, we are much more patient with her.  What we do know is that she has a terrible fear of hairbrushes, baths, and collars around her neck.  And with that, we just deal with other ways to keep her groomed or – as truth be known, we just deal with her not being perfectly groomed and her nails needing to be clipped and her teeth needing to be cleaned.  It doesn’t bother her, so it doesn’t bother us.  It is not worth the disruption in her now very regimented life. 

How I wish that with my grandmother we had focused more on inserting ourselves into her routine versus disrupting her life by insisting that she insert her life into our routine.  She just wanted to be….  And when we would go visit her, thus inserting ourselves into her life and routine, she laughed and told stories and would  “return” to the fun-loving grandmother I had always known. 

So with that, I have learned that the wisdom of old age is far beyond my assumption of what is best for them.  

What I do know is that patience and kindness is good for the soul.  

All souls.