Thursday, August 30, 2012
Friday, August 24, 2012
Under the small oak tree on the right sits a white bee hive box.
With the big ole Texas sky over head and majestic century old oak all around
and my friend, Charlene's organic garden to the right.
I think this would be heaven for my new bees.
Image via me.
Back in March, I attended an all day Bee School and took tons of notes. Since then, I think I've watched every YouTube video on beekeeping ever uploaded.
In the garage wall of my Great Aunt's house, is a hive of bees that has lived there for about 15 years.
With the help of Michael Keeling, the president of the Central Texas Beekeepers Association,
I removed this hive on Wednesday. Michael walked me through each step and took pictures along the way.
This is what we found when we removed the first sheet of Masonite board.
This is what we found when we removed the second sheet. WOW!!!
Luckily it wasn't 100 degrees that day, we were in the shade and on the ground and not a ladder.
This is me (I still can't believe I did this) cutting the parts of the hive that had the baby bees in it.
This part is called the brood. I cut it to fit in the frames and then slid large rubber bands across to keep it from falling out. I then slid the frames into the white hive box like a file cabinet.
All of the honey comb went into a large plastic box, the kind you use for Christmas storage, and all of the old wax comb that the bees didn't use anymore, went into trash bags and is now in my freezer for me to deal with another day. Most all of the bees and the queen are now in the hive box. We had to vacuum them up with the shop vac on the left that uses a specialized box that is a bee filter, so no bees go into the vac.
Image via Me.
Here is some of the golden honey I lovingly crushed by hand and strained through my pantyhose,
new package of course. I got about 2.5 gallons of raw honey from this hive.
Raw honey means it has pollen in it, and that is what cures you from seasonal allergies.
11 bee stings total and I survived, I guess I can officially say that I am now a beekeeper.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Seeing this makes me wish I were a tiny garden fairy, living among the crystals, seashells and air plants.
Artemisia is a shop in Portland, Oregon that specializes in terrariums. The mix of sands, mosses, crystals and shells has me swooning. Here are a few shots taken by Anja Louise Verdugo of their shop during a party they had to celebrate the launch of their new book, "Terrarium Craft". Enjoy, Heidi
Artemisia by Anja Louise Verdugo
Artemisia by Anja Louise Verdugo
Artemisia by Anja Louise Verdugo
Monday, August 20, 2012
For the past 8 years, our little family has gone to the Gulf of Mexico to vacation. Going to the beach and exploring a different landscape as well as creatures never gets old. But this year I decided that we needed to do something different and we needed to explore the other parts of our state as well as learn some Texas History.
We started out Friday by heading to San Marcos, one of my favorite towns in Texas.
We took a tour of the San Marcos Springs & River on an Aquarena glass bottom boat. It's the next best view to snorkeling. Glass bottom kayaks are available too, if you prefer.
Next, we went into town and had another adventure in "The Paper Bear", a store chalked full of fun stuff.
If you feel the need to do more shopping, San Marcos Premium Outlets has it ALL. Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and every brand of clothing and accessory you can imagine.
We then headed down Interstate 35 towards San Antonio when the traffic started to get congested. It was about 5:30 p.m. on Friday and that was normal, so instead of sitting in a slow moving parking lot, we hopped off and got a bit to eat at one of our favorite restaurants, "Chuy's".
Once we got back on the road, the traffic had gotten much better. We then checked into our hotel, dumped our stuff, grabbed our cameras and took of to explore the San Antonio River Walk.
It was the perfect time of day, about 7:00 p.m. and we were taken by the heavenly smells of amazing food, the sounds of Peruvian Musicians playing live and the sights of shops, hotels and restaurants 2 to 3 stories high, nestled along the banks of the San Antonio River. We bought some tickets and boarded a riverboat tour. So many fun and interesting facts we learned about this historical town. It also felt like everyone knew one another, people smiling and waving at each other, like we were all apart of a club, the tourist club.
The night fell during our tour and the lights came on the boats and the bridges and the shops. Around Christmas time all of the trees are wrapped with lights as well as lights hanging down from the branches, I bet it is a sight to see. I can see now why so many people come to San Antonio for a romantic get-a-way.
On Saturday, we did more exploring of the River Walk area, ate some really good food and toured the Alamo of course.
Image via, me.
Look at that sky!!! That is not photoshoped at all.
This war memorial is a sacred place, if it were not for the battle at the Alamo between the Texian Army and Santa Anna's Mexican army, there would be no Texas as we know it. Click HERE for the history. What is so intriguing to me and my family is that after Santa Anna defeated the Texians at the Alamo, he went after Sam Houston and the rest of the Texians who were not at the Alamo. Sam Houston went East and led Santa Anna deep into Texas, this is called the Texas Independence Trail and it goes right through Burton, the town where we live. The deeper Sam Houston went, the more Santa Anna's huge army splintered until it was worn thin and exhausted. It was near the banks of the Brazos River in Independence where Sam Houston decided to turn around and fight like hell, saying to his army, "Remember the ALAMO!!!". This was the fuel used to defeat Santa Anna in only 18 minutes. Once Sam Houston had Santa Anna in his custody, his army wanted to hang him up in a tree, Sam Houston said no, instead he wanted Texas. Santa Anna signed over Texas in exchange for his life and the rest is History. Cool, I know.
That evening we went on a tour of downtown on Segways, very cool and fun, I recommend it to everyone.
Image via me.
My guys REALLY liked it. The tour we went on gave us time to have fun and ride around in this open area.
The Segways know what you want to do by detecting your bodies balance. If you lean a bit forward, it goes forward, if you pull the handle bar a bit right, it turns to the right. After a few minutes of being on it, it feels like the machine can read your mind and it comes very natural to ride it. Very fun, sure beats walking, especially if your are tired from the day.
As the night was closing in, we waited for our Ghost Tour to start. The sky was looking a bit scary, since there was a storm brewing nearby. We were given real ghost hunter equipment and took off though the town. Our guide told us all sorts of scary stories of deaths throughout the town, but my favorite story was not about death, instead, the movie "Ghost Busters". Built in 1927 for 3 million dollars, the Smith-Young building, now known as the Tower Life building has a 30 story, eight sided Neo-Gothic tower complete with gargoyles to ward off evil spirits. The building was completed in the year 1929, the year the stock market crashed. It sat vacant for years and finally sold for $21,000, that is CRAZY!!! These gargoyles were the ones used in the filming of the movie "Ghost busters", since the building they used in the film did not have gargoyles. They did there movie magic and super imposed them onto the building or something. Anyway, when I looked up at that building to see the gargoyles and then to see the sky swirling around dark gray clouds, it was like being in the actual movie.
Then the sky opened up and it poured. We ran from one end of the downtown to the other through the rain and finally got to the hotel completely soaked, what a night.
Sunday, we slept in and had a late breakfast. Then we checked out of our hotel, forgot our laptop's power cord in the room, and took off to Wimberly, Texas.
Image via Me.
One of Texas's most charming little towns, filled with art shops, cafes and Bed & Breakfasts.
We ate at the Wimberly Cafe, it was very good and they let us change into our swimsuits since we were going to go for a dip at Jacob's Well.
Image found on Pinterest.
"Jacob's Well is one of the most significant natural geologic treasures in the Texas Hill Country. It is one of the longest underwater caves in Texas and an artesian spring. Jacob’s Well surges up thousands of gallons of water per minute and acts as headwaters to the beautiful Cypress Creek that flows through Wimberley, sustaining Blue Hole and the Blanco River, recharging the Edwards Aquifer, and finally replenishing estuaries in the Gulf of Mexico." Quoted from HERE
These are not my guys, this is a picture I found on the net. The water is cold and crystal clear. This is a very magical place. My son jumped off the lowest rock and dove down in the well with his goggles, they say it is 20 to 30 feet deep, there is a gate in place to close off the cave. He had a blast. I liked the fact that I didn't smell like chlorine or stinky/fishy salt water afterwards.
Our adventure came to a close and two hours later we arrived home to our 3 love starved cats.
What a great Texas Weekend Adventure. Heidi
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Friday, August 10, 2012
One day, I would like to say that it's what I do best, Making Magic Happen.
It's time again for our small town's big day.
"Texas Ranger Day and a Big Star Texas Night"
I have been making posters, signs and a mini Wild West Town out of cardboard for our event. Click here to see last years. It's so much fun for me to make something out of nothing.
This year there will be cactuses (cacti ?) out of cardboard too.
See ya tomorrow if you pass through Burton. Lets dance all night under a big star Texas Night.
Click Here for More details.
Image via Me
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
OK, I am so in love with this house that Reese Witherspoon bought and thrilled to death that Elle Decor covered it in their magazine. My goal one day is to re-create it, but a bit smaller as my dream house. Every little detail I study and pour over. I bet in this shot they had big lights outside the windows to get loads of light in. That is magazine magic. I do have to confess, I like the way Kathy Ireland had it decorated when she owned it, but different strokes for different folks. Enjoy, Heidi
I could so put my computer her and gaze out of this window at my future back yard with pool and kitchen garden.
Here, I would have a long dining room table and at the far right, would be the kitchen.
Upstairs would be the master bedroom and bath.
This is not in that great room, but somewhere else on the grounds, the floors and ceiling is different.
I still love it. I love the curtains and French doors, the floors and the exposed beams. I'm sure that painting them white has added more light to the space and seems less gloomy. I bet there is a big set set of lights on the other side of that door too. One more key to making a space feel good to look at is a big fiddle leaf fig tree in the corner. It adds a lush greenness that gives the room a big dose of LIFE.
I love the window seat and the rounded out detail in the walls. This is a great way to add a closet next to it, since there is depth and there could be drawers under the window seat as well for much needed storage in kids rooms.
I bet that behind the little double doors is the closet. How cute!!!
The outside is just as enchanting as the inside. I love the rose bushes and the climbing vines against the white walls. Another thing that has me thinking is the gravel on the grounds. Since this house is going to be built in Australia, I am gearing myself up to the fact that grass may be scarce, so gravel is a beautiful alternative. It seems to have a Tuscan feel about it.
Notice the plants around her? Lavender, that is the other part of my dreams and schemes.
It looks so good with the contrast of the gravel. The little girls are her nieces.
You know how I feel about dining alfresco. I don't do it in real life that much (mostly because it's so blazing hot in Texas) but I do love being outside surrounded by all of nature's beauty. This looks like a wisteria vine overhead, not 100% sure. There are so many awesome things that grow in California that don't in Texas.