Etsy Mini

Monday, December 21, 2009


Saw Avatar in 3D today! Loved it! Want to go see it again. I hadn't really read up on it or heard anything about it before I went, but I'm all about giant blue people, so hey why not. I was really impressed.....perhaps I'll write more to better explain why I love it after I see it a second time and fully process the whole movie.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thankful: Better Late Than Never

I was on hiatus last week, hiding out from the world, but I'm back now...and almost better than ever. I managed to catch a cold over the weekend. Not so thankful for that.

I thought it would be good to put some good karma out into the universe and write a blog about what I'm thankful for. I'm aiming for good karma, not originality, obviously.

Well, let's start out with the most cliche item on the list, family. I've always loved my family, I think thats part of the contract they make you sign at birth, but have I always been thankful for my family? No. This had slowly been changing over the past few years, but it went into hyperspeed this spring. My life basically went up in smoke earlier this year and guess who bailed me out? Yep, my family. Not only did they go out of their way to help me start my life over again they never held any of it against me. I can honestly say, I've never been so thankful for my family in my entire life.

I am also thankful for my amazing friends (old & new), my car Mitzy, the moon, Chipotle, saltine crackers, Trader Joes tofu spring rolls, lavender, Shasta Lake & Ron's boat, antique keys, the healing powers of stones, my garden & plants, copper wire, trips to the coast, long lazy weekends, Agate Beach, Ukrainian wine, massages, road trips, stephanie cheesecake, boots, etsy, purple dresses, full moon parties, abalone, mermaids, my pendulum, having reasons to use my outisde laugh, forgiveness & compassion, clay, So You Think You Can Dance, bubble baths, long conversations on the phone with my girlfriends, yoga, red velvet cupcakes, painting, poetry, lemon drops, and waking up every morning with a smile on my face.

A very special thanks to: Agatha-for finding me, Abigail-for reminding me I'm never alone, Bunni & Ran- for being the big sisters when I couldn't be, V- for always reminding me about who I really am, N-for doing the thing I wasn't brave enough to do, Turkey Cat- for letting me spend so many years wrapped around your little grey paw, Redding-for being so much more than I gave you credit for, Portland-for being the city that forever changed me, Arizona-for persistently beckoning me, and of course all my parents who continue to believe in me even when I continue to confound them.

*This is not a complete list of everything that I thankful for. If I let myself truly write everything I was thankful for your name would also come up.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hello Sagittarius!

Sagittarius runs from November 22/23-December 20/21 and is a fire sign. It is represented by a Centaur/archer and its ruling planet is Jupiter and its day of the week is Thursday (jeudi for Jupiter in French).

  • Sagittarian Strengths: Generosity, honesty, broad-mindedness, and tremendous vision.
  • Weaknesses: Over-optimism, exaggeration, being too generous with other people's money.
Each sign also has a stone associted with it, often called an astral stone. This idea is based on the harmony that exists between all things. Your astral stone is more than a symbol of your astrology sign - it actually receives the vibrations of the constellation and can strengthen the planetary or zodiacal influence. There is no central authority as to which gemstones are connected to each sign of the zodiac, it varies according to tradition.

Sagittarius' soul stone is a Tourmaline, which comes in several colors including green, pink, champagne, and black. Each of the colors is credited with different properties and healing characteristics.

Sagittarius also has a connection with Amber, Jasper, Moonstone, and Turquoise. These are suggestions and you should always choose a stone you feel a deep connection with.

For more info on Sagittarius you can visit Emily Gems.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Joys of Copper

I love copper! This is pretty evident in the last dozen or so new pieces I've been working on. Today after spending the afternoon editing photos for ETSY....a question popped into my head. Why am I so drawn to copper lately? "Cause I like it," didn't really satisfy my curiosity. So I started researching the meaning behind copper, copper lore, healing energies, etc.

This is what I discovered:

Copper is considered a mineral of energy and mental agility. In legend, copper is said to be the metal of the God Hermes, who facilitates mental agility and quick wit. This mineral can combat lethargy, passivity, restlessness, excitability and non-acceptance of oneself. It stimulates initiative, optimism, diplomacy and independence.

Copper is an excellent conductor of energy, from electricity to the mystical subtle energies emanating from higher planes. Thus, it has been used successfully to amplify and transmit thought. Copper provides a harmonic connection between the physical and astral bodies and aligns the subtle bodies. It is said to be a bestower of good, bringing benefit to its wearer. It also allows one to recognize the barriers which are in the path of ones development. Lastly, it opens and activates the base or root chakra.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Arizona in December

So I bought my plane ticket to Arizona for the second week in December. Bunni & I are going to fly down and meet in Phoenix for 4 days. I have been really drawn to a natural healing school in Tempe and want to check it out before I make my final decision.

I've had so many signs in the last 6 months that keep pointing to Arizona, so I figure I should listen. If all goes well, I will be moving after the first of the year. I just have this feeling that everything is going to work itself out and align just as it should.

You can check out the school at South West Institute of Healing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Copper Swirling Epiphany Earrings

This is the newest design I've been working on. I have made four pairs and they have all been swooped up already. My copper finally arrived, so I'm going to be bending away all night to get some ready to take to Bellissima on Friday and get some posted to my Etsy site WillowLily Creations this weekend. Do you like them?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I was digging through the pantry this morning and found a jar full of tea that I brought from Portland with me. I forgot how much I love Good Earth tea. It's all sweet and spicy and delicious. It's perfect for warming you up in the fall. It made me so happy, I almost forgot how cold I was, almost.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pondering Portland

Originally written on Oct 18th and then forgotten about, but then rediscovered on accident and posted on Nov 2:

You know what I love about Portland? So many things, actually, I could write a book. Right now what I love the most is the people. The diversity, the polite NW demeanor, the open mindedness and acceptance of all things weird. How many places do you go and when you look even a little lost someone stops and asks if they can help find something? I mean, seriously, that is amazing. I am right now sitting in the park blocks writing this blog and in the last 15 minutes I had three strangers approach me and compliment me and start conversation. Why did I ever leave this place? People here love me and you know what, I LOVE them. I really truly love the people here.
Portland, is so alive. It hums with an energy that speaks to me and sitting here in the midst of downtown, with the leaves raining down around me, couples snuggling and walking their dogs, and the traffic buzzing by I have decided something. I’m not done with Portland. I will never be done with Portland. In all her green quirky yuppie beauty, Portland, will always be my home. I will find some way to always return to her, because she didn’t forget me while I was gone. She welcomed me home with open arms and never once asked why I would desert her without an explanation or barely a goodbye. She understands entirely and she’s just happy, may I dare say, even proud that I have returned to her in one piece, better actually.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Halloween was a two day event this year. The first night took place at Win River Casino. They hosted an Hallows Eve Bash. Although, I had been planning to go, I bought my tickets online a few hours before the event and my costume even later(which really shouldn't surprise anyone). I basically, took the last costume they had in my size. It actually being my size is debatable. They don't really make costumes for elongated folks like myself. I was Medusa, as you can so obviously tell from my picture (or maybe it's not that obvious). My beautiful friend Jen was tinkerbell. Being the faerie lover that I am, I jumped at the chance to trade my gold snake for her wings part way through the night. Hence the snake faerie was born.

The next night took quite a bit of planning, begging, and a little magic. I have somehow acquired the nickname Jessica Rabbit (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) amongst a handful of people in town. I'm not exactly sure why, but I decided to run with it. Trying to create this outfit was no easy feat, but I wanted it so bad, it kind of just fell together at the last minute. This seems to be a theme in my life. I got the dress from my step-mom, she had it hanging in her closet. She bought it several sizes too big for her so it was huge on me. After some desperate phone calls my step-dad's mom said she could alter it for me. I thought I was going to have get purple gloves online for $40, but a last chance phone call to a little bridal shop supplied them for $8. Score! Last, but not least was the hair. The only shade of red that would work was permanent, but there was no going back now, so I took the leap and decided to deal with the consequences later. This too seems to be a theme in my life. :) Luckily, it all worked out and voila! I'm Jessica Rabbit!
A big group of us went to the Exotic Ball, which by the way was not exotic at all and then all migrated to a bar down the street. The Joker in the picture above actually won a bunch of money for his costume. This last picture is of Lacey, me, my best friend Vito, Roman, and another lovely lady I can't remember the name of.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Heading Up to Portland

The drive to Portland went incredibly fast, in part to my ban on all liquids (Bunni has a pea-sized bladder) and also in part to my amazing time traveling skills. Time travel is relatively easy, you just have to have a lot of faith. Bunni thinks I’m such a good time traveler because I speed, but it is truly much more than that. There are rules to time travel. You can’t look at the clock, because your conscious mind will keep you from making the leap over the time continuum. You also have to set a time intention, mine was we will be to Bri’s apartment at 6:30. Then you just do your best to get there as fast as possible without doing anything terribly illegal. Driving 15 miles over the speed limit is not terribly illegal.

Even though there was a ban on bathroom stops, we did get out and take a few pictures of Mt Shasta. Apparently, Bunni and Mt Shasta are in the midst of long distance love affair. Although, I have a feeling it is terribly one sided.
Anyway, we had to get back on the road, because we were time traveling on a schedule and we had places to be and people to see.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Day in San Diego or The Beth Chronicles

I made my way down to San Diego to visit one of my funniest girlfriends ever, Bethy-Anne. I love every chance I get to spend with her, she's got a wicked sense of humor. Although, I could have lived without the fake dog poop she kept putting in my suitcase. We had a great afternoon together, shopping (minus the me getting stuck in a dress in the dressing room at H&M and nearly having a panic attack before I was able to free myself after 15 minutes of entrapment. My life flashed before my eyes!), going out to eat, and drinking mojitos.

We even got all bundled up and took a walk on the beach in the dark. It was Beth's idea to pretend we were walking in the snow and so we did. After that we sat and talked for a long time about what we want to do with our lives and how it was all so much easier when we were in junior high getting stalked by her creepy high school neighbor James. Life was good then, but I'm really glad I'm not in junior high anymore. Life is so much better now, harder at times, but so much better.

We went back to Beth's and made cranberry vodkas, finished the rest of the Stefanie cheesecake (it's even delicious as left-overs, see how excited I was), and stayed up late watching movies. I passed out until the trash truck in the alley woke me up and the maitenance people knocked on the door and told up they were shutting off the water. Good Morning to you too!

Day 2- Breakfast/The wonders of Cheesecake!

The next morning, Stephy and I had the daunting task of figuring out where to eat for breakfast. After much discussion I made the final decision. We were going to eat at the Cheese Cake Factory, for several important reasons. 1) It's traditon or we are attempting to make it so 2) You can order booze with breakfast 3) finally and most importantly I had to have a Stefanie Cheesecake. It is the Most Amazing cheesecake/red velvet cake in the world! Yes, the whole world! So it was settled. Steph's boyfriend Matt would meet us at the cheesecake factory and I would order dessert for breakfast. We had a lovely breakfast with mimosas and my usual, eggs benedict with no ham and avo instead...yum yum yum! Then the real moment of truth arrived the cheesecake was served. I was a little nervous to try it, just because...well, what if it wasn't as good as the last time? What if it didn't make me close my eyes, sigh with contentment, and do the happy dance? Well, I decided it didn't matter and I took the first bite and it perfect! I closed my eyes, sighed, and did the happy dance. Breakfast was a success!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Trip Begins!

I drove from Sacramento to Newport today. The trip was to describe that...long. Yes, that many hours in the car wasn't quite the way I remembered it. I used to make the trip from Redding to LA a lot about 5 years ago, when I was trying to be a model (insert eye roll here). Maybe I'm getting old or maybe I'm just out of practice, but driving through the barren desert that is central California wasn't exactly as exhilerating as I recalled.

On the good side, I got to listen a book on tape, sing on the top of my lungs, and have some very good conversations with myself. I also took myself out to lunch at Anderson's Split Pea Soup, whish was delicious. Old people and technology equals free entertainment. I've never heard the signal logo on a cell phone being described as a martini glass, but it seriously does resemble one.

After missing an exit and pulling over to allow myself 5 minutes of guilt-free poor me frustration tears I got back on the road. It seemed I should have arrived hours earlier, but either way I wasn't that late and my darling cousin met me at the door with a glass of wine and a look of fear in her eyes. I probably shouldn't have answered the phone during my mini meltdown and let her hear me make death threats to anyone who got near me. Luckily, one of my best features is my recovery time. I can bounce back from almost anything with a hug, a glass of wine, and 10-15 minutes of guilt-free pouting. We finished our wine and got dressed and went out to sushi. It was delicious! Then we decided we were just too tired to go out partying. So we went home and facebooked and went to bed early.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The West Coast Road Trip Outline

Tonight, after an oil change and hopefully a sushi dinner with my best friend, V, I will get on the road. The trip is going to go something like this. Drive to Sacramento and stay with my grandparents for a night. Next morning wake up and drive to Newport and stay with my amazing cousin. We will most likely eat, talk, and drink wine...lots of wine. The next day I will complain until we get bloody marys and have breakfast and then feel a hell of a lot better and continue on to San Diego where I will spend the day with Bethy, my friend who's put up with me since junior high. Her and I will probably eat, talk, and drink martinis, but not too many, she's a responsible adult who works. I on the other hand will take myself out to mimosas and breakfast the next morning and wait for my sister, Bunni, to call. Somehow Bunni and I will plan to meet somewhere in a city neither of us have ever driven in and then we will waste the day together...drinking on the beach, I hope. That evening we will drive back up to Newport. The next day we will have lunch with our other grandparents and then make the long trip home.

Yes, you are right that is a lot to do in a short amount of time, but I know we can do it. Bunni and I will hang out in Redding for three days while I work and she spends time with the family.

Then the second leg of our journey begins. We will head out for Portland, hopefully stopping to have lunch with an old friend in Ashland. The day we get home we will go out dancing with friends to celebrate the ever radiant Becca's birthday! I'm not worried about being tired. I haven't been in Portland for 7 months, I'll have plenty of energy to spare. I have missed my city and she has missed me too (well, that's what I'm telling myself). The next day we will be hosting a Naked Ladies Clothing Exchange, which is always fun. Free clothes, drinks, and girlfriends...I couldn't ask for more. The next few days I will complete my list of things I've missed: acupuncture, Powell's Bookstore, Happy Hour at Portland City Grill, McMennamins, Saturday Market, and so much more. Then somehow I will drag myself away and make the long drive home to Redding, reminding myself that although Redding isn't my beloved Portland I do get massive amounts of vitamin D in California, which is important. Even more important I have amazing and supportive friends here.

We'll see if the actual trip follows this outline at all, I like to go where the wind takes me.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall Redeems Itself with Boots!

The wind woke me up last night, that was the first sign. I crawled out of bed to shut the window and instead of being met with a warm breeze I was chilled to the bone and actually thought about pulling out flannel pajama pants to put over my silk pj set. That was sign number two, but it was the middle of the night and I was half asleep so these signs didn't mean anything to me at the time. This morning when I opened the window to see how hot it was already it all clicked into place. The sky was grey, the wind was blowing, and I was cold. Fall was really here. As much as I've been dreading it, there is one splendid thing about Fall. Boots.

Let me explain. I am not one of those shoe girls. I don't have a lot of shoes and I feel a lot of dread when I know I'm going to have to go shoe shopping. I do have a completely insatiable desire for boots. I love boots! I love how powerful and sexy they make me feel. In high school I lived in big manhater boots. I don't think that's an actual term, but that's what people always used to describe them as when I wore them. I didn't own a pair without a three inch heel. Living in Portland helped me evolve my style and my boot preferences. I lived downtown and I walked everywhere, so three inch heels went out the window. I lived in boots in Portland, it's the perfect flat boot city. Now being back in a town where I drive everywhere, heels are back on the table.

Today as I'm wearing my bright purple boots, which my best friend says would pair perfectly with a super hero cape. I am choosing to ignore that comment.

I am going to back up to Portland in just over a week and I may have to splurge on some new boots. I'm thinking something black or grey and maybe even thigh high. We'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fresh Caprese Salad

Just got back from belly dancing and needed a snack, so I decided to go pick some fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden. I just bought some mozzarella balls from Trader Joes today so I put it all together and poured some balsamic over the top. It was delicious! I love eating out of the garden.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sad News on the Garden Front

The corn didn't make it. I can not even bare to show you a picture of the crispy brown stalks all lined up in a sad death march. They are a reminder of the reasons gardening in Northern Californian heat and rock like soil is so much different than the comfortable summers and lush fertile soil in Portland. I did my best this summer, but unfortunately I lost a large majority of my plants this year. I would love to say that next year I will be better equipped, but in all honestly I am truly hoping not to live here next summer. But I am sure I will probably live in another climate like this at one time or another since I love the heat so much. Trial and error until I get it right and have the garden of my dreams.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

WillowLily Creations Update!

My jewelry line WillowLily Creations is now being sold at Affinity Skin Clinic which is located at 1151 Hilltop Dr. Redding Ca 96003. This is just the first of many places I will be selling my jewelry in the future (I'm setting my intention).

My etsy site also just got a new banner. You can check it out at WillowLily Creations. It was purchased from another Etsy shop, Lisas Menagerie, she did a wonderful job and was very quick. It took me months to choose, so I'm thrilled to finally have a real banner up for my site.

I have been working on some new pieces and while I was down in southern California I was able to spend some time at the beach and have brought home some amazing treasures that I will be incorporating into my next pieces. There will be more info about this soon.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New Lavender Wands

These are a few of the new lavender wands that I just finished up. These were made from the lavender I got from Tuscan Heights Organic Lavender Farm during their Lavender Festival this year. I tried a new technique I saw some people doing at the festival where they split the stems into two bunches and weaving between them. I liked the way it turned out. I will be posting a couple on Etsy in the next few days.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Newest Earrings

I just finished these gold Fleur de Lis earrings with crystals. I upcycled the gold fleur de lis pieces from an another pair of clip-on earrings that I inherited from a very interesting older woman in Arizonia. The crystals were taken from a necklace I received on the same trip down to the border. I'll be posting these on WillowLily my jewelry site in the next few days.

This is a lousy picture, but you get the idea. These were constructed our of the band of an antique watch. They are very sparkly and pretty. I'm not sure they are completely finished yet. We'll see if they evolve into anything else.

Check out more of my creations at

Monday, August 3, 2009

Garden Fresh Dinner

Step One: Complain endlessly how useless it is to cook for one. You do all the cooking and cleaning up, it just isn't fair. Resentfully dig through the cupboard until you find the organic ecofarmed risotto or call me I seem to have mass amounts of health carbs.

Step Two: Saute rice in olive oil from the old country. A client at my mom's work actually has barrels of it flown in from Sicily. Apparently, she bathes in it or something. She's in her 70's and her skin looks amazing so I'm thinking this is something I might try. Anyway....

Step Three: Add water, boil, and then simmer. Quickly get bored waiting and go out and water the garden, talk to the cat, and pick basil. We have basil growing everywhere, not so much because of my amazing gardening skills, but because my mom forgets that we have basil and keeps buying more. I'm not complaining, there's no such thing as too much basil. Come back inside, stir rice, and cut up zucchini. Not just any zucchini, but the one and only zucchini my garden produced this year. My plants have definitely been under achievers this year. Which I totally understand, some years you just aren't feeling it. Slice up your one and only treasured zucchini and saute in amazing oil from the Sicilian lady.

Step Four: Decide you need a salad. Cut up red and yellow tomatoes and the fresh basil. Look everywhere in the fridge for mozzerella cheese and find nothing but string cheese. Decide its the same thing and cut it up. Top with Balsamic and voila you've got a garden salad.

Step Five: Everything is done. Throw it on a plate and marvel at the fact that you actually made a meal instead of just talking about it and eating saltines in bed.
Voila, you have a delicious vegetarian dinner!
Have a great day!
This has been cooking with Willow

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Corn Update

Finally, after countless begging and threats my little brother T dug me some holes for the corn. I'm not sure if the corn will actually produce this year since it got into the ground so late, but it's worth a try.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Etsy Finds: Garden Markers

A few weeks ago when my mom and I were up at the Lavender Festival we saw some really cute garden markers. They really caught our attention, obviously, because we even took a picture of one of them.

I decided to search for some markers on Etsy and the first ones I found were these cute little nickel ones by Nina Gibson Designs . They would be perfect for any little herb garden, be it on your deck or kitchen window. They sell for $28 for a set of four and can be printed with the herbs or plants of your choosing. This would be a great gift for a beginning gardener or anyone who enjoys cooking with fresh herbs.

The thyme marker is made by metal garden art . You can choose from a selection of 13 different herbs and plants. I like the simplicity of this design and plus as it rusts it gains more of that garden charm. The markers are priced at $9.95 each.

Last, but not least these markers by Art by Jack are pretty freaking cool. I love the way the letters have the look of being stacked precariously. You can get a set of ten for $64 (the stakes sell for $8 a piece, so essentially you get 2 free). These would look great in nearly any garden, I know they would look amazing in mine. I might need to start dropping some hints. It's not completely ridiculous to ask for random surprise gifts, right?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pumpkin in July

So I obviously jumped the gun with the pumpkin. It serves as our dinner table center piece, because we aren't quite sure what to do with it yet. I started the other pumpkins after this one, I think they will be ready closer to their normal date in the fall.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Creativity Strikes...Finally!

My creativity has been a little lacking, and by a little I mean I had none. Every time I sat down to work on my jewelry or art, I'd come up with a billion excuses why now was not a good time. My favorite excuse being 'I better get online and make sure the airline tickets to France I should have bought 3 weeks ago are the same price.' I obviously don't struggle with procrastination at all. By the way, the tickets to France are still the same and I think I'm almost ready to buy them. I figured you've been dying to know.

Anyway, so last week on a scorchingly hot day I drove past Joanne's fabric and decided it had to be cooler in there than inside my car. I don't use the air conditioning in the car unless I have an important date to go to, hence I don't use the air conditioning. Joanne's was delightfully cool inside and I took my sweet time going through the aisles filling a basket with beads and other items imperative to jewelry design. I also got some crafty stuff to start making prototypes for fascinators (pretty hair clips) for Cam's upcoming wedding. I finally got in line and waited behind the slowest woman on earth. She couldn't decide what she wanted, she thought everything she grabbed was on sale and argued with the cashier, then she couldn't find her debit card, and when she did she decided after swipping her card that she wanted to pay for part of it in cash. These kind of things annoy me to no end and I was doing some very loud and deliberate yoga/meditation breathing to calm myself down. I am pretty sure I was making everyone around me uncomfortable because 1) I could hardly contain my frustration (I don't hide my emotions well) and 2) I was breathing so loud it sounded like I was in labor. I finally made it out to my car, which felt more like an oven and went home.

The next day I sat down and spent some quality creative time in my artist studio aka my disaster of a room. I played around with some hair clip designs, what I came up with is nothing like what Cam wants for the bridesmaid in her wedding, but it gave me chance to play and get used to working with hairclips. I also tried my hand at making rings. It was fun and they came out a lot better than expected. I also created some wire and freshwater pearl earrings. These all turned out pretty well and gave me some hope that the well of my creativity hadn't run dry.

I am hoping to stay on a roll and set aside a little time for jewelry stuff daily. I think this would keep me better organized and help me retain some of my creative leanings. If creativity and art are a muscle you have to work it regularly, right? Then I have to go to the next step and list things on Etsy, that's a whole other battle I fight with myself.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuscan Heights Lavender Festival

Several months ago my mom and I saw an ad for the Lavender Festival in Whitmore and we made a date. Well, last Saturday we put on tons of sunscreen and hats and headed out into the Northern California heat to spend a day in the lavender fields.

Upon arrival I was nearly in tears. I was overcome with emotion seeing all the lavender and I had this overwhelming feeling that the faeries loved this little piece of lavender heaven and I was being welcomed to this special place. They had so many different types of lavender and the scenery surrounding the fields was beautiful.

So after taking in the beautiful views we did the next logical thing, head down to the wine tasting. We sampled a white lavender wine, which of course I loved. Next we sampled a petite shiraz that we both liked, it was very light and fruity, super easy to drink. We took our wine and wondered into the garden and nursery area. They had an amazing herb garden set up like a wheel spiraling out from a sundial. They had all different kinds of thyme, sage, and oregano. I have heard about herb gardens like this, but never actually seen it. I really liked the layout and would love to find a way to do this one day. There was a cute little bench under an oak tree so we enjoyed the rest of our wine in the shade.

Next we wondered over to the craft area and watched them make lavender wands and sachets. I saw a new way to tie off the bottom of the wands and I'm going to try it soon. We braved the swarms of bees and took some pictures in the fields. Mom liked the really dark lavender even though it didn't smell as strong as the provencial (my favorite) which is used for the wands and sachets. Just near the craft booth they were doing massages, mom was up in there in a flash finding out how to get one. I turned around for one minute and next thing I know she's on the table telling them how tight her shoulders are. The moment was very typical of her, so I found a chair in the shade and camped out. Right behind the massage area one of the owners of the farm was giving a talk about how they make lavender oil. Perfect timing, I have always been curious about this. He had the machine all set up and he even passed around some lavender oil that had just been distilled. It smelled amazing. Some lady near me said it smelled too strong and another lady said it burned her hand when she rubbed it into her skin. I did my best not to roll my eyes under my sunglasses. If you aren't into lavender in all it's strong earthy glory, go home crazy ladies and leave more for me. The speaker also said that we shouldn't be afraid of all the bees, because they were all intoxicated by the lavender. This is just helps prove my theory that lavender can solve any problem. At some point mom's massage finished and she looked so loopy and relaxed I thought I better jump on the table next.

What followed was an amazing lavender massage by two lovely new age ladies who worked on all my countless knots. I think heaven is something like this. An outdoor massage in a lavender field while live Celtic music fills the air and two sets of hands convince all your muscles to relax. I was in such a daze when I was done that I ran right into the top edge of the tent and thwacked my head really hard and I didn't even care. See how relaxed I was?
After we finally pulled ourselves together we wondered back down to the wine tasting and sampled a sangria wine cooler. It was really cool, sweet and delicious. We found a little grassy garden next to a pond and kicked back in the shade. The heat was unbearable, just the way mom and I like it. We hung out here for a long while listening to the music and talking. So many times during the day I kept being reminded of Europe, something about the whole experience felt like a vacation to somewhere beautiful and provencial. When we finally got the energy we went and got lavender ice cream to help us cool down. I bought myself some lavender oil and a grosso lavender plant for Mercury's garden. The last thing we did that day was pick ourselves some big bunches of lavender. I picked it for lavender wands and mom picked hers to dry and display in the house.
As we left the farm I felt so grateful to have spent such an amazing day with my mom in such a beautiful place. It really is a hidden northern California gem and I would recommend it to anyone who has any love or appreciation for lavender.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Evening in the Garden

Tonight after a delicious dinner by Chef Judy and amazing lemondrops courtesy of bartender Willow, my mama and I decided to take a trek down to the garden to survey everything after last night's storm.

I realize that marigolds are not that exciting to most people. They were the first thing I ever grew from seed so they have a special place in my heart. Not to mention the way they protect everything around them by attracting good bugs. What's not to like? All the marigolds I grew from seed this year were collected from last years crop. I have done this now for two years. See how well my marigols in the pot are doing. They look happy to me.

We headed down to the first plot. This is my third year of growing squash, but it never fails to amaze me the way they grow so quickly. I think they secretly want to take over the world. This year I am growing cinderella pumpkins, butternut squash, cucumbers, and spaghetti squash. I took a picture of the beginning of a little pumpkin, atleast that's what I think it is. There are a few on there. I have only grown pumpkins once and only one tiny little pumpkin showed up, so it was only a partial success. I'm hoping for more this year. Plus cinderella pumpkins are supposed to be awesome, they are flatter and have big lobes. We shall see if they are the fairytale pumpkin they are cracked up to be.

Lastly, we went down to the second and final plot to check on the rest of the tomatoes and snap peas and carrots. The tomatoes are getting huge and they are even beginning to flower. I also showed mom how to remove the sucker limbs between the branches which of course left us both smelling like tomato plants. That smell is so particular. I was telling her how I dream about in the winter, not that I like it, but it reminds me of summer. Everything looks good, in fact there might even be enoughroom to plant my last cucumber plant down there. He wants a home desperately and he could climb the fence down there.
As we headed back up to the house my mom's dog Zoe wanted to know why the snap pea plants don't have any snap peas and to be honest I would like to know too!