Friday, October 16, 2015

"There were Ninety and Nine... "

"The Ninety and Nine"


Music by Ira D. Sankey

from words of a poem written by 

Elizabeth C. Clephane, a resident of Melrose, Scotland

Gone are the summer birds:  the skylarks, the bluebirds and the hummingbirds.  Autumn, with its canvas filled with oranges, yellows and reds, also has many species and colors of birds this time of the year.  Geese and ducks outlined against the sky as they begin their long migrations, a host of robin red breasts devouring the cornucopia of plenty in the orchard while the meadowlarks sing their sweet, sweet songs in the fields and relieves their parched throats by drinking from the pond.  Gene and I peer outside as we drink our morning coffee, watching hundreds of robins in the orchard, drinking or taking a bath in the pond, their bodies dipping and their wings throwing the water with wild abandon. Gene and I laugh, we point, we gossip about the countless shapes and sizes of birds and the carefree lives they seem to live.  But there are dangers for the birds when they venture out "...on the mountains wild and bare" and  "...the hills away."

1 There were ninety and nine that safely lay 
In the shelter of the fold;
But one was out on the hills away,

Far off from the gates of gold.
Away on the mountains wild and bare;
Away from the tender Shepherd’s care. 

For some unknown reason,  we have had an inordinate amount of birds come down our chimney pipes this year.  We hear them fluttering about as they tumble down, down, down onto the floor of the stove, scratching and chirping, scaring Molly so that her head jerks up from her chew bone and, looking at the stove pipe and then at me, she gets up and makes her way to my side.  I reassure Molly that all is well and, making my way to the stove, I go through my routine of opening all outside doors and windows, tie back the curtains, close all the interior doors and then open the stove door.  I back away from the stove to give the little bird room to fly out and join his "ninety-and-nine"  (and then some) family members outside.  

2 "Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine;
Are they not enough for Thee?"
But the Shepherd made answer: "This of Mine
Has wandered away from Me.
And although the road be rough and steep,
I go to the desert to find My sheep."

My brother and I were talking to each other on the phone yesterday.  He had just said something funny and I was laughing as  I walked over and opened the stove door to put some paper in.  Whoosh, out rushed a little bird, scaring me half to death.  My scream gave fodder to my brother on the other end of the phone and he laughed.  While trying to retrieve my dignity, I opened the french doors, the kitchen window, the hall door and the utility doors so the little critter could fly out and taste freedom once again.  Toby, Gene's little bird-hating jack russell, scurried out the bedroom when he heard the little bird swoosh out of the stove.  Then, he returned to the bedroom and I didn't see or hear the little bird anymore.  I  breathed a sigh of relief, thinking the little critter had escaped the jaws of death (Toby).   Sadly, I did not hear a cry or a peep from this little bird nor did I see him again.

3 But none of the ransomed ever knew
How deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through
Ere He found His sheep that was lost.
Out in the desert He heard its cry—
Sick and helpless, and ready to die. 

In the morning I sat down to finish my coffee and do some reading.  I was about half-way through my last cup of coffee for the morning and the fire Gene had made to warm the house had burnt down just enough for there to be the glow of the embers and a lazy flame erupting every once in a while. My blanket was wrapped around me and all was right with my world until I heard the faint little fluttering noise coming  from the kitchen. I listened for a minute, no noises faint or loud, and I started reading again.  There!  I heard it again:  that flutter sound as if something was in the kitchen wall.  It was just for a second and if the house hadn't been quiet, I would not have heard the sound.  It stopped and for another minute or two, I heard nothing.  By now, I was anticipating a sound and I was not disappointed for, after waiting a few minutes, I heard the fluttering, faintly, again.  Clearing off the counter by the refrigerator, grabbing a chair and borrowing a flashlight from Gene, I climbed up on the counter and flashed the light down the narrow crack between the refrigerator and wall.  At first I saw nothing; then, movement; then, two little button eyes staring up at me and fluff.  Unbeknowingly, the little bird escaped the jaws of death yesterday but he hadn't escaped from the house.  He had somehow fallen and became lodged on the floor between the refrigerator back and the wall.  And there he stayed all night, quietly, in a dark, narrow opening with no food or water where he could not spread his wings and fly away to safety.  I saw no blood, I saw no wounds, I saw no broken wings or gathered-in foot; I saw a scared little bird hunched in the corner as far away from me as he could get.  

4 "Lord, whence are those blood-drops all the way,
That mark out the mountain’s track?"
"They were shed for one who had gone astray
Ere the Shepherd could bring him back."
"Lord, whence are Thy hands so rent and torn?"
"They are pierced tonight by many a thorn." 

I climbed off the counter and took the bottom off the refrigerator, shined my light to see if there was a way the little bird could go through the bottom of the refrigerator or I could retrieve it someway but, no such luck.  So I moved the chair over in front of the refrigerator, climbed onto the chair and moved all the stuff on top as well as the stuff attached by magnets to the sides and then I tried to move the refrigerator.  Not having very much luck there either, I called to Gene that I needed help.  While he came and moved the refrigerator, I ran outside and got my fishing net and a curtain rod and anything I could find that was long and skinny and that I could get down between that narrow gap between the refrigerator and wall.  

The curtain rod just scared the little bird but that net was worth its weight in gold, although not as I had first thought.  Climbing back onto the chair and then onto the counter, I flashed the light down towards the floor and saw the little bird had moved from the far side of the space over to just under me against the counter wall and the wall.  I took the net and slowly lowered it down the wall, trying to miss the cords and water line, thinking that perhaps I could put the little bird in the net and bring him up without squishing his little guts out.  The little bird seemed to know I was trying to help for he hopped on the net ; (he didn't seem to like the idea of going in the net).  Off he fell.  Again we tried:  me putting the net by him and he hopping up on the net only to fall off.  Gene pushed the refrigerator again away from the wall, just enough room for the little bird to once again hop on the net and this time, instead of falling down, he flew up and away.  Gene rushed to open the french doors and away the little bird flew to freedom.  "There arose a glad cry...Rejoice!"

5 And all through the mountains, thunder-riven,
And up from the rocky steep,
There arose a glad cry to the gate of heaven,
"Rejoice! I have found My sheep!"
And the angels echoed around the throne,
"Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!"

When I first flashed that light down and finally saw that little bird, this song "The Ninety-and-Nine" filled my mind.  "There were ninety-and-nine that safely lay, in the shelters of the fold..."  All those birds outside, enjoying their freedom, safe and secure, and this little one trapped in a foreboding place with no sustenance or means of escaping.  I started crying after the bird flew out the doors because I doubted we were going to free this little bird alive and rejoicing because we were successful!  Sweet, sweet success!  A day to rejoice!

I hate crying but Gene, knowing I can get cranky when anyone sees me crying, came over and put his arms around me anyway.  He didn't pat me on the back as if he was burping me; he just held me and let me blubber for a while.  I blamed the crying on getting stung by a bee on Friday and getting a flu shot on Monday.  But today was a good day!  Even if I blubbered all over like a wimp, we rescued a bird!  A day to rejoice, indeed!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Crafting Lavender Ready for Harvest Until July 18 (this coming Saturday), 2015

Still Waters Lavender will have crafting, long-stemmed u-pick lavender for sale at $5 /bundle (a bundle is 125-150 stems) until the close of day on July 18. The lavender is blooming and is ready in the field: Grosso, Empress Purple, Edelweiss (white), Super and Gros Bleu are the varieties shown in the photos. We also have Phenomenal, Tuscan Blue and (for the first time blooming) Fragrant Memories. These varieties of lavender are great for drying and making and beautiful long-stemmed lavender wands or to leave as a dried bouquet.

We are located at 3990 NE 33rd Street, Redmond, Oregon and are open for business 10a-6p, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July through August, 2015. Wear clothes and shoes you don't mind getting dirty as the soil is dusty and powdery. Please bring your scissors or pruners to cut the lavender.



Empress Purple

Edelweiss (white)

Gros Bleu

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Culinary Lavender Harvested and Ready for Purchase

Our English Lavender is harvested and ready for purchase.   Whether fresh or dried, this variety is wonderful for seasoning--add it to your butter, salt, sugar--and gives that special "what was put in this to make it taste so wonderful" to your dish. Grind it in a coffee grinder to add to eggs or fruit salad or roast it and put in your salsa or as a rub over your fish, fowl or meat dishes.  

Please contact us at for price and variety(ies) you would like to purchase.

Thank you.

Birds of a Feather

It started one morning while Gene and I were having coffee.  Gene, with full coffee cup in hand, gave a start and exclaimed, "What was that!"  We went to the french doors and looked out one of the window panes just in time to see an osprey hauling off one of my largest goldfish in its talons.  We watched several mornings after that and counted three osprey--two flying above the pond while the third one went into a dive and successfully caught a goldfish--visiting the pond for early morning breakfast.  Not too far from us is Highway 97 where there is a nest of ospreys.  Further to the north is another nest of ospreys.  Gene and I became watchers for the osprey:  there is nothing more thrilling than seeing them go into that dive and in a split second, before you can think "camera", have a fish on its talons, hauling it somewhere to eat.  My pond is almost empty of fish, especially the large, beautiful goldfish, but the osprey are a thrill to watch (no photos:  they are here and gone before the blink of an eye)!

As some of you may know, we had a dog wantonly kill my ducks.  Little Duck, found in the middle of a lavender field, was only 23 days old when he was killed.  I think of him often, especially when I see the little duck my son made me for Christmas and is hanging on the lamp by my chair.  This pond was created for grandsons (and one grandma) to discover together the life that water brings.  For me, ducks are a major contributor to the life of a pond.   The other morning, while Gene and I were having our morning coffee, I saw movement on the water.  Two wild ducks, a mallard and a hen, were nonchalantly swimming in the pond.  I watched them and cried.  It was one of those quiet intimate moments when God sweetly whispered in my ear, "I thought of you this morning and knew you would enjoy.  This is just for you."  

Another reason my fish vanished is because of this magnificent creature:  a blue heron.  They can stand  so perfectly still, blending in with their surroundings, that I cannot see them unless they move.  Cautiously coming closer to the pond, they stop and wait for a painstakingly long time before taking another majestically royal step.  Motionless on a power pole or the top of the tree, they watch and wait for their chance to come and have a fish filet or perhaps a frog or two.  I could learn a lot about patience from this beautiful bird.

This year, five of the six kildeer returned to our fields.  We welcomed their cries as they flew crisscross the fields of lavender, calling to one another.  Sadly, we now only count four kildeer coming into the orchard and scurrying across the rocks near the pond.  Two of them have nested, four little eggs diligently protected by mother and father.  Gene and I have not weeded in three of our rows in Block 3.  We believe there is a second nest in Block 1 but haven't found it yet but are searching to make sure they remain protected.  No photos!  We leave them alone.

And now another type of "bird":  a balloon visiting our neighborhood.  We see this balloon and a couple more quite often drifting off to view the sights from heights above.  What a view it must be!  These balloonists are wonderful to watch while they maneuver their crafts.

Gene and I watched one quiet morning as the balloonist circled over the fields, over a natural grassy area surrounded by juniper trees, and came up low in the southeast heading west.  Suddenly, we heard the "whoosh" as the flames were lit in the balloon and we watched as it quickly climbed into the sky.  Our neighbor had come out of her home to see why her horses were nervous and we watched as the balloonist climbed high above her horses and then descended once over her place.  We thank this balloonist for his courtesy!

I took this photo of one of the herons flying away.  Not too long after that, another heron flew away but, in addition to the photo of the escaping heron, I caught on camera the photo of a balloonist enjoying the morning sky as well.  Birds of a feather don't always come in the same shapes or sizes but they do seem to have in common the freedom to come and go as they wish.  Perhaps that is why I hold my breath and look to the sky when they come into view.   

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Still Waters Lavender June Event Dates

Please join Still Waters Lavender at the OSU Extension Office, June 6,  on the Deschutes Country Fairgrounds from 9a-4p.  We will be selling a variety of lavender as well as some of our most popular products.

On June 13, we will be participating for a second year at the 6th Annual Rhubarb Festival held on the L & S Gardens, 50808 S Huntington Road in LaPine, Oregon.  This festival is one of the most fun days with a homemade pie contest and brewery tasting contest.  There is food and drinks available on site as well as a beer and wine garden.  Music ranges from rock n' roll, hip hop, blue grass and country western.   Festival hours are from 9a-4p.  Come and expect a most unique experience!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Another Time, Another Place: Central Oregon Saturday Market, May 23-24, 2015


Saturday May 23


Sunday, May 24

for the Opening Day 

of the 

Central Oregon Saturday Market 

find us in the parking lot 

across from 

the Bend Downtown Library

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


May Flowers: Central Oregon Builders Association (COBA) Spring and Garden Show

This was our second COBA Spring and Garden Show.  We take this time to thank all of you who stopped by our store, visited with us and purchased products from us.  Please take time and enjoy the photos presented here today...

April 30, 2015--8:00 p.m. Set up.
Gene and I arrived at the Redmond Fairgrounds at approximately 6:30 p.m.  We thought set up was going to be Saturday morning so when Gene called and was told it was Friday evening, we scurried and packed everything into the car and pickup and away we went.  I kept telling Gene it keeps us young but he just mumbled something and kept loading things into the back of the pickup.

From top left to bottom right:  moth repellents, linen pillows, travellers bags, brochures 
We use "The Lavender Lover's Handbook" at every show.  We also demonstrate how we cut our lavender stems--away from the body.  These sickles are sharp.  The book helped customers to identify the plants we are selling.

Plants, plants and more plants.  People loved the plants, lots of questions--good questions that made us stop and think.  Lavender is being very well received in Central Oregon:  likes our soil, likes our climate, deer don't like it and takes very little water (once established).  It goes with anything and just about all parts of it are usable for something.  Lavender!  Culinary, landscaping, crafting!  The only part of the lavender I'm not sure about are the roots:  does anyone do anything with the roots of this versatile plant?
Soap, lavender hydrosol, traditional lavender wands and our daughter's handcrafted lipbalm. which flew out of the basket ($3 nontinted, $4 tinted)
Aprons--three pocketed adjustable and harvest--handcrafted by me and the culinary products we purchase through the Oregon Lavender Association:  lavender-infused organic honey, marionberry with lavender, three chocolate sauces--lavender, orange and peppermint.
Ashdene "I Love Lavender" china and the two different styles of wynesacs we carry.

Chicken doorstops filled with lavender and rice...
Never in my wildest dreams did I  believe when Gene asked me to do something about the bathroom door that kept hitting him in the back of the head did I believe these little chicken doorstops would be such a hit.  But each one does take on its own identity and they do serve a function.

COBA Spring and Garden Show ended Sunday afternoon at 5:00 p.m.  We packed up everything and came home.  What a show!  Thanks to you, we had a wonderful time.  We hope to see you again next year.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Yesterday is but a Memory but May 1, 2 and 3 are Tomorrow's Promises of More Good Things To Come

Central Oregon Master Gardeners Association... Gene and I thank COMGA for the excellent Spring Seminar they sponsored at the Deschutes Country Fairgrounds on April 18, 2015.   We were met at the door with several smiling and welcoming helpers who carried our products with gusto (I might add) to the ample space provided for our business as well as helped us in the set up.  We were constantly met with encouragement and assistance at every turn of the set-up and participation in the Spring Seminar.  The luncheon was delicious!  So much food; I ate more than I should (seems to be something I say too often).  Following are some of the photos taken at our booth.
Seminar classes are in session and Gene is talking with a lady he worked with years ago.  They were talking "old times". This photo is taken from the right of our booth looking left.  This is the front of the spacious area provided for us.  Plants, purses, wynesacs, pillows, moth repellents, sachets, lavender wands, lavender buds and lip balm are on the tables in front of Gene.  In the background is the rack holding (our son) Mike's beautiful scarves and the two styles--three pocket adjustable and harvest--aprons.  
Photo taken from the right of our booth looking to the left.  The green beer bucket holds lavender.  We provided a bucket and dark lavender organza bags for people who wanted to scoop their own lavender.  The shelf holds foodstuffs:  chocolate sauce (lavender, orange and peppermint), lavender syrup, marionberry preserves with lavender and organic honey infused with lavender.  

Underneath the bucket of 'Grosso' lavender were bags (4 ounces) of 'Grosso' lavender for people to purchase.  There are very few of these bags left as many were sold to customers making their own sachets.    A lady at the last Oregon Lavender Association meeting gave me this suggestion.  I learn so much from so many people and (if I have not thanked you before) thank you for all your suggestions and advice.
A couple of the printed linen (lined with muslin) pillows I made especially for sale at the Central Oregon Master Gardener Association Spring Seminar.

This is one of my favorite sayings.  William Morris was an English textile and wallcovering designer.  He is best known as the founder of the Arts and Crafts movement which began in England in the late 1800s.

I am working on this saying of only
having useful and/or beautiful things in my home.  I think it is one of those lifelong works-in-progress as far as it relates to me.  Also what my husband considers beautiful and what I consider beautiful are sometimes at odds with one another.  For instance, when he asked if he could put a dead elk head on my wall...

Kristi, my daughter, makes this wonderful lip balm.  (I have some of it on my lips right now.)  It is wonderfully soothing and quite reasonably priced.

As quickly as the COMGA Spring Seminar began, it ended.  COMGA members came up to us, helped us load the products into the car and pickup, dismantled the tables and waved good-bye as we drove off.  We made many good memories of this Seminar and look forward to next year.  But... in just a few weeks, 

Still Waters Lavender will be attending the 2015 Central Oregon Builders Association Spring Home and Garden Show, May 1, 2, and 3, 2015 also being held at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center in Redmond, Oregon.  

We attended this show last year and, it was such a good show, we signed up for another three-day event.  We hope to see you there and, should you come, please come by our booth and let us know you saw this on our web site.

We make you kindly welcome.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

"A Gift For You" (Women's Expo in Bend April 11, 2015)

On April 11, 2015, 7 a.m., Gene and I loaded our truck and our car and drove into the Riverhouse Convention Center in Bend, Oregon.  We were helped at the door to unload our products, we were provided sustenance and our spot was ready for our arrival.  The ladies who put on this event were made sure we were happy with our location and asked many times during the day if there was any way they could help or anything we needed.  Our next door neighbors were some energetic exercise ladies and a t-shirt vendor.  The exercise ladies had way too much energy but helped in making for a fun day.  The t-shirt vendor had quality merchandise and it was nice to be placed between these two vendors.  I think we complimented one another quite well.

It was suggest we have either a raffle or some kind of gift to give to people who visited our booth.  We printed instructions on how to make a lavender sachet and included a packet with a square piece of muslin, lavender buds and a ribbon.  Moms would come with their children and we would give one to the mom and one to the child, hoping that this would be a great project for them to work on together.  We suggested they buy lavender buds and wrap lavender in something that belonged to a loved one and give as a remembrance.  One woman said she had her father's hankies and tears came to our eyes as she talked about making a keepsake for her children and grandchildren.   We had friends who were excited about making a sachet together.  We have a lot of quilters in the area and we suggested that they could make sachets from scraps of material.  Everyone liked that the "no sewing" involved. 

The "stress reliever" idea came from Tracy Ketts, Blue Willow Lavender Farm in Gig Harbor, Washington.  She said that people love  to come and run their fingers through her "stress reliever" on her lavender farm.  The instructions were:  "Run your fingers through the lavender bud and leave your worries in the tub."  I was going to add "Please no feet" but thought that might be a bit too much.  If you ever get to Gig Harbor, you might want to look up Tracy and visit her lavender farm.  She has a website and you will want to visit it and see what her hours are.

The middle table with Ashdene "I Love Lavender" bone china, wine bags, moth repellents, lavender hydrosol, lavender essential oil, and sachets.

Aprons on side (harvest aprons designed after a 1947 pattern and adjustable aprons with three big pockets),  and sample bar with marionberry preserves with lavender, Monin lavender syrup, organic honey with lavender, and three chocolate sauces (lavender, orange and peppermint).  
We did not have any of the chocolate sauces to sell; however, we wanted people to try them and give us feedback on what they thought of them... thank you for stopping by our booth and giving such great feedback!  Our products are made by farmers in the Willamette Valley who contract with the Oregon Lavender Association.  We picked up several cases of chocolate sauce during the Oregon Lavender Association meeting the next day.

A wedding in your future?  --lavender is an excellent idea to use in decorating as well as food.

People ask "What can you do with lavender?"  This list is a few of the ways lavender can be used in your everyday life..  Wonderful recipes are available on the internet.  I have one for lavender fudge  and one for bbq chicken--YUM!  

Hardanger (Norwegian embroidery).  It  delights the heart when people recognize what this is.  Gene and I have heard so many wonderful stories from people who have had an aunt or a grandma who did hardanger.  I also shared with two young ladies what hardanger was/is, both were Norwegian and both started telling their history.  I love lavender and the bond it creates with people!  Without the lavender farm, I would not be making these pillows and meeting such wonderful people.

These are the hand dyed 100% silk scarves Mike (our son) makes.  Each one is beautiful and each one is different.  I want them all but am told that's being greedy. Not everything Mike makes is for me, his mom, who gave him birth.  He has to make some money in order to afford the scarves he makes for me.
 All in all, we had a pretty exciting and rewarding day.  Gene already told the lady to save us a spot for next year.

On Sunday (the next day), we were off to the Oregon Lavender Association meeting.  I hate the travel over the hill--this time we went over Government Pass--but wouldn't miss visiting and learning from the knowledgeable--dare I say wise--members.  What an extraordinary group of people.  We were home around 9 p.m.  I thought we would be dead tired but both days were so different and downright exhilarating!  Next Saturday, April 18, is the Central Oregon Master Gardeners show.  They are such a good group:  I can hardly wait!