Sunday, June 29, 2014


A friend is coming over from the Willamette Valley and we are going to show people how to make these crochet lavender lady ornaments.  There is a cost which will include instructions, dried lavender, the dolls' parts and glue.  How much fun can we have!  We are excited to have you come and we'll just glue away, grin and giggle and the end result will be a fun time had by all!  Fun starts at 10 a.m.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

2014 Still Waters Lavender Grand Opening Festival Announcement

Still Waters Lavender









July 12-13, 2014

10 a.m. – 6 p.m.


  • View 30 different types of lavender in varying stages of development.


  • Visit the Mercantile Department where items may be purchased.


  • Learn the many uses for lavender.


  • Check out the website to learn more at








We have a secret, just we three,
The robin, and I, and the sweet cherry tree;
The bird told the tree, and the tree told me,
And nobody knows it but just us three.

But of course the robin knows it best,
Because he built the--I shan't tell the rest;
And laid the four little--something in it--
I'm afraid I shall tell it every minute.

But if the tree and the robin don't peep,
I'll try my best the secret to keep;
Though I know when the little birds fly about
Then the whole secret will be out.
--Author Unknown--

"Get on the bike and come with me," my husband said.  "I'm weeding," (as if that wasn't obvious), I replied.  Weeding has been my life's work for about two months and I am getting to know each weed by name--noxious and obnoxious!  "No, quick.  Don't argue with me; get on the bike."  I was tired of weeding's not like weeds don't wait--and I took off my gloves, used the handle of the digging claw to get up and climbed onto the back of the four-wheeler.  Away we went, down to Block B.  "Get off the bike and walk down the row."  I got off the bike and walked down the row.  "Stop!  Now".  I stopped... sorta now!  "Don't move!  What do you see?"  I saw two killdeers with broken wings, running towards me, then running away; squatting and hiding behind a lavender plant as if they were wounded just to start the dance all over again--running towards me, running away; then squatting down with broken wings--crying the whole time their lamenting song..  And, then... I saw... as if by magic they appeared at my feet:  four perfectly oval eggs, lying on the ground, quietly waiting for just the right time to fulfill the completeness of life.   Aahhh!  New life at my feet and parents doing all they could to protect that new life.  I was an intruder and, now that I knew why the killdeer were singing their lamentation, my husband and I quietly (as quiet as you can on a four-wheeler) and quickly left their home.  I debated whether to go back the next morning and take photos to share.  I decided to go and, again, the parents doing all they could to lure me away from those four precious lives they held so dear.  I took the photo, backed away and tried to take photos of the mom and dad while on the bike, away from the nest, but they were staying within a certain perimeter of that nest, always on vigil, never losing focus of the reason for their being.  I marvelled at how God thought to instill in these small creatures such an inate nurturing for their young.  The thought instantly flashed through my mind that He must care of us, too, the creatures He made in His own image.  If He thought enough during creation to provide clothing for the lilies of the field (Matthew 6) or food for the ravens and giving value to the sparrows (Luke 12), of  how much more value must we be to Him.

We have a secret, just we three... the killdeer, and I... well, come to think of it... we have a secret but it's more than just we three...  I'm sure that if none of you don't peep, I'll do my best, too, the secret to keep.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

2014 Rhubarb Festival

On June 13, 2014, Gene and I headed down to LaPine, Oregon for the 5th Annual Rhubarb Festival at L&S Nursery.  (If you have never been, check out their website as well as, next year, join us at the 6th Annual Rhubarb Festival.)  We loaded all our products, including our three "children"--Foxie, Molly and Toby--into the toy hauler and away we went...

We arrived on Friday the 13th with winds gusting and colder than everything to set up our booth.  My ears hurt from the wind, my nose was dried up from the wind, I was cold to the bone and I whined a lot!  We went to bed eventually, Toby hating Foxie and Foxie mad at Molly--Oh, I could see--this was not going to go well!

I was wrong!  We woke up to a beautiful day--not too hot, not too cold; in fact, it was just right!  People were busy finishing up setting up their booths.  A husband-and-wife from Sisters, Oregon had exquisite jewelry: there was a glass blower, woodcarvers, fancy vests and scarves, salsa, bird houses, books, raffles, jerky and, of course, rhubarb.  There were vendors from Arizona and California and, as can be expected, many from Oregon.  Gene and I took the dogs out for their morning constitutionals, we ate breakfast and headed over to the Festival (which started at 9a) around 7a.

We set up and people started arriving immediately.  People were brought over from the overload parking area on a wagon loaded with straw pulled by an old tractor.  We were right next to a band--Out of Hand Band--it was AWESOME!  So loud we couldn't hear people at our booth half the time and, after the show, our ears were ringing but the band was AWESOME!  They played for at least four hours and I remember seeing them taking only one break.  Some rock, some blues, some western--they had such a wide range of music: from the 40's to today.  Some I couldn't understand the words and some brought back wonderful memories!  There were line dancers--one little leather-skinned, crinkled lady line dancing right outside our booth--really energetic, having lots of fun!  One grandmother came by the booth who had been dancing with her granddaughter saying she was getting too old for this; the next thing you saw was she and her granddaughter going back to dance some more.  You saw couples dancing, dads with their babies--it was a time of great fun!  Beer contest (lots of breweries in Central Oregon), pie contest--59 pies tasted, said one judge who came by the booth!   There was even a rapper group--five ladies--rapping about rhubarb.

Gene is in his element talking to people.  I love watching the interaction as he answered questions and the person asking listened intently.
Gene talking to the people in the booth next door:
 they had books!
 LaPine is zone 3-4 so it is very difficult to find lavender that will grow there.  We took Lavandula angustifolia 'Munstead', which is suppose to be a zone 4 plant (in one book, it has it at zone 3 but I think that's if it's pretty well in a protected area).  We also took two Lavandula x intermedia 'Grosso' plants. We did that basically to show the difference between an angustifolia vs. intermedia.  Your angustifolias are generally hardier, smaller and their aroma is thought to be sweeter than the intermedias.  While the intermedias are showier, they usually don't take the cold as well as the angustifolias.  People were skeptical if lavender would grow and have had the disappointing experience with the difficult growing conditions in that area.  I believe that is why people have come to trust L&S Nursery:  they grow specifically for that zone (the owner said it wasn't so much the cold as it was the freezing winds they get).  Gene and I hope to build the same trust that L&S Nursery has with its customers:  that is one of the reasons we are leaning towards cold hardier varieties of lavender.  I cannot imagine everyone not having at least one lavender plant in their garden, no matter what the climate!

During the day, we would check on the three little ones in the toy hauler.  Toby couldn't stand Foxie to even look at him, Foxie picked on Molly--normal behavior of children on a vacation.  We took them on their walks, made sure there was plenty of water and food and told them to behave--normal parenting on a vacation with children.  About midday, I brought Molly to the booth with me.  She sat in the chair next to mine and listened to the band.  Only once did she leave her chair and that was when a couple brought their Cavalier English Spaniel--three months old--over to our booth.  I loved the people who came by the booth and talked to me about Molly and the cocker spaniels they had had as children.  "You don't see them very much any more."--I heard this quite frequently and that is true.  I don't know why because they are such a sweet-tempered, gentle little dog.

Going to these shows has enhanced our lives tremendously.  We meet such interesting people:  all walks of life stop by and we learn so very much from each one of them.  I love watching the children when they smell the lavender--most of them like its scent--but once in a while, you'll get that little one where the nose wrinkles up and they might as well be chucking down a bottle of castor oil.  Every once in a while, someone will walk by and immediately start sneezing because of allergies.  But everyone, to date, has been so positive in their response that, when Gene and I come home from these little forays tired to the bone, we feel encouraged and strengthened by those who stop by our booth.

The Festival ended at 4p and we packed up.  Coming home, we were signaled down by a pickup from Arizona:  we had a flat tire on the toy hauler.  In the long run, we think that's a good thing to know before Gene and Nick head out in August some time for the Steens Mountains before school starts.  At the time, it was a little nerve racking as we wondered if we'd make it the next five miles home.  We were grateful to the two young people in the pickup truck for letting us know:  Gene said he didn't feel anything in the steering wheel--no pull, nothing, from the flat tire.

All in all, learned a lot, met good people, got to eat out, came home tired and, according to Gene, successful trip!  What more could one ask for!


Weeding!  That is what Gene and I have been doing since April 12, 2014.  My journal reads "Test Block:  one row of 'Grosso" weeded.  My final entry thus far, May 26, reads "finished weeding"... Only, I'm not finished weeding.  The Test Block is being overrun again with weeds!  Noxious weeds, obnoxious weeds; long taproot, spreading, flowering, "growing like weeds" weeds.  Those weeds that take a hole three feet deep and five feet across to extricate the weed along with its roots and those weeds that, if you break off one little microcosm of a branch will spread like wildfire.   There are those weeds who, when you are removing it, spread thousands of little winged replicas of itself and those who, when you barely touch it, will shake loose its thousands of seeds.  God did say to go forth and multiply but.... weeds!  (God, we need to talk:  why all of them growing in my lavender!)

Gene and I get up between 5:30a.-6a; drink our coffee and plan our day--as if we don't know what we already know we are going to be doing--which is weeding!  We come in around 7p and look at what was accomplished.  We smile with what strength is left at each other, compliment each other for a job well done, take a shower, eat, take in the weather and "hit the hay" (go to bed)... and start all over in the morning.  Weeding did bring back wonderful memories, though, of when I was a little girl and my mom's family would bring in the hay from Grandpa McKenna's field.  Grandpa would rake the hay into rows when the time was right; then, his children and their children--family--would go up to the hayfield and help bring the hay into the barn.  I remember when I was finally old enough to rake the hay into shocks and dad giving me instructions:  go about 1/3 way down the raked row of fresh smelling hay, take the pitchfork and put it into a small pile of hay, then put another pile on top of that--careful not to leave any of the hay--until a nice, rounded shock of hay was created.  Then, finish each row and start on the next row until the work was done.  As the hay was being shocked, Grandpa and the men loaded the hay onto a trailer and hauled to the barn.  If we did a good job, we were allowed to sleep in the barn on the loose hay.  (I don't ever remember not being able--the whole family--to sleep in the hay.)  I loved sleeping in the hay when it was loose.  Nothing smelled as sweet as newly-mown hay.  We kids could play hide n' seek, make tunnels, slide down mounds.  It was the best place to be in the whole world.  (It was Gene raking the weeds from between the rows and me loading it with a pitchfork onto the bucket of the tractor that somehow reminded me of haying). Gene then piled the weeds into quite a stack and, hopefully, this winter we will be able to burn it; right now,the weather is too dry to burn.  The weeds have a sicky smell to them when you walk by them... not at all like the wonderful smell I remember inside Grandpa's barn.
"Test Block"after weeding the first time looking west towards "Block A" and "Block B"

"Test Block" with more weeds about 2-1/2 weeks after weeding.
While I was grumping and groaning about the weeds and having to start again in the Test Block, a beautiful doe came silently into the Test Block and started munching on the weeds.  O.K., God, I guess we don't have to have our talk after all.  A picture is worth a thousand words... and I just got the picture.
...and this is why God made weeds...