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Tres Lunas Resort Part 2

(This is the second part of an article on our experience at the Tres Lunas Resort.  For Part 1 please click here.)

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Morning time.  After an amazing meal and dining experience the evening before, we awoke to a beautiful morning full of promise.  I was already trying to push away the feeling of sadness at having to leave this day, I promised myself I would savor every last moment.  Oh what a morning awaited us and I had no idea that the experience there would flourish even more.

We were warned that breakfast would be hearty.  That the morning meal is indeed a true feast.  We were not disappointed!
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When we walked into the main room, the smell of fresh coffee greeted us and the the table was set and ready for us to be seated.  Craig came out with fresh squeezed orange juice and asked us if we could spare some time after eating so we could all chat.  I was looking forward to that!  Within moments he sat before us a beautiful bowl of fresh fruit, yogurt and homemade granola which was followed by eggs cooked to our taste, homemade hashbrowns, bacon and a small skillet of biscuits.  The condiments were just as beautiful as the meal!  We ate until we couldn’t take another bite and after freshening our coffee, Carol came and sat down with us.  This is honestly when the entire experience really began I realized later.

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Carol is a breath of fresh air.  She has this amazingly positive aura about her and her smile just lights up the room.  Craig is a gracious and generous host who makes you laugh and feel at ease immediately.  That is a gift!  We had dozens of questions about how they got started, the history of the property and the resort itself.  Both Carol and Craig have backgrounds in the hospitality business.   Craig has worked for a few gourmet food companies and Carol is an amazing chef having taken classes with some of the top chefs in the world.  When they met, they dreamed of running their own establishment.  They had a few other bed and breakfast establishments before finding this magical piece of property.   The story is that Craig found this and within 30 minutes made an offer.  He knew right away this was the place they had to have.   Both are Hill Country proud and appreciate the history of the area, especially this area.  The original house that was on the foundation the resort now resides upon was a 2 story ranch house that had been damaged in a tornado at one point.  It sat on 100’s of acres that had been divided up by the family over the years.  The moment they saw the views and felt the spirit of the land, they knew this was the place.  It was a stretch with all the renovations they needed to make, basically tearing down the structure to the foundation and starting over.  But their dream was to create a retreat.  A magical place where people could come and feel their spirit renewed.  They want people to experience what they do, to offer them the ultimate in care and are obviously so grateful to be where they are.  It shows on their faces and in their voices.  There is an amazing amount of warmth and love that come from this couple.  It took my breath away to be honest.  So much Peace and gratitude lives in this home.

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As I mentioned in the first article, the resort caters to weddings and retreats (I will be doing a feature on this for the last installment).  One area that I fell in love with is the yoga patio.  Carol has so much experience in spiritual practices, traveling around the globe to learn from the masters.  She is truly a student of the spirit and freely gives all that she has been taught.  She created a place where yoga enthusiasts can come and practice their craft surrounded by this spirit of peace.  Everything planned to help with the hot Texas sun, to create a sacred space,  all geared towards maximum comfort and serenity.  Listening to her share her stories, I got goosebumps and a bit teary eyed.   If you go visit her, ask her to share with you.  They are her stories to tell, but I promise they will affect you in a way that you won’t expect.   She wants to share her love for life and the spirit with those who come to Tres Lunas and to help them find a restful and healing place in their lives…even if just for a moment.   And she is doing just that.  I can only imagine the healing she has participated in just by providing such a space.

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Our tour continued into their private quarters where I was greeted by beautiful works of art created by friends and Carol herself.  Her mother was an incredible artist and she has a few of her pastels hanging.  One of which was drawn on a piece of brown paper bag while on a picnic in those very same hills decades before.  It was of a beautiful deer found in the Hill Country.  The pastels were so soft and soothing and it looked like you could reach out and feel the softness of that creature.  Carol didn’t know that she would end up finding her home in that same countryside.  What a special gift!

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There is Carol’s office which is filled with prayer flags and a massage table, and yes, more beautiful art pieces.  Even their private quarters were designed for maximum serenity!  And I know with a resort you need a good size laundry room, but their’s made me completely envious!  So bright with windows everywhere….perfect place for Carol to paint as the laundry area only took up a portion of the huge room!

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Craig’s office is the ultimate of man caves!  Jason loved it!  Craig’s father and grandfather were both Texas lawmen and Craig was able to find an old jail cell that he restructured to fit inside his office as a guest quarters for family or friends!  It’s really awesome!  On the wall behind his desk hangs the head of a huge Longhorn.  Craig told us that someone had given the living animal to Carol as a gift at one time and they loved him!  He was their pet who they truly loved, and when he finally died of natural causes they donated 800 pounds of ground beef to the food bank in Mason, TX and mounted their beloved pet’s head on the wall of Craig’s office.  It is an impressive site!

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We talked for a good 2 hours about life, our backgrounds, our love for nature and art.  Carol and I especially found that we have so many similar feelings about our journeys in life.  I felt like I have always known her.  We all found we had so many things in common and I don’t think any of us wanted to conversation to end.  But as all good stories must wind down, so did our time there.

We left with our arms bearing gifts and our hearts filled with the brightness of new friendships.  I can honestly say we both felt renewed and so relaxed.  It was a true healing experience and one we hope to repeat in the future!  I am so grateful for the opportunity and for the compassion that Carol and Craig show to others.  It’s truly remarkable.  I promise if you make a reservation there, you will honestly be able to leave your cares and worries at the front gate.  Once you drive in, the magic begins and the spirit smiles down upon you.  It is a rarity in life to find a place like that.  I am grateful that we did.

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*All photos are credited to myself and Jason Locher.  Some of these were taken on my phone, hence the quality.  Look for Part 3 on weddings and products used at the resort!

Thieves!

Thieves

Thieves Essential Oil is an excellent blend of essential oils that is specifically designed to support the body’s natural defenses. This proprietary essential oil blend was universally tested for its cleansing abilities. It includes Eucalyptus radiata essential oil, which may help maintain a healthy respiratory system.

Did you know that Thieves oil was developed based on the ingredients found in the “Four Thieves Vinegar” or “Marseilles Vinegar”?  The vinegar was first prepared by thieves that worked in the spice industry and robbed the dead and dying to generate income in the 15th century.  Some nasty things going around then.  Crazy time of history!

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The oils in Thieves are Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus and Rosemary.  Remember last month talking about ORAC values?  If you need a refresher course, Lisa Greco Lopez wrote an excellent article about ORAC values and what they actually mean to us.  Check it out!

The ORAC value of these individual oils are as follows:

Clove – 1,078,700 µTE/100g (that is NOT a typo!  good stuff!)

Lemon – 660 µTE/100g

Cinnamon Bark – 10,340 µTE/100g

Eucalyptus – 2,400 µTE/100g

Rosemary – 330 µTE/100g

Also, Thieves is Kosher Certified.  Being kosher-certified means that a product is fit to use in any application in a manner that conforms to the kosher laws rooted in Biblical and Rabbinic traditions. These products and the facilities that produce them have been inspected and found to meet strict kosher requirements.

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Thieves essential oil is definitely one of my favorite essential oil blends and I will not leave home without it! A day doesn’t go by that I don’t use Thieves for something.  And it’s found in so many YL products!  Might want to try it….just saying…

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Peace!

Garden Happenings

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Getting back to the garden after an extended hiatus where we let things go wild.  Several pretty blooms, and I am excited about our tomato beds.  We got the idea from DIY wicking beds using pvc, gravel, container, etc..  Google it, there are so many variations that use supplies you probably already have!  Tomatoes prefer to be watered from the bottom up, so this should be a success…we will find out!  I also planted some bush beans in the container as the kids love fresh green beans!  We also have some cucumbers and I just picked up some peppers, another tomato (Cherokee Purple) and strawberries for a $1 each!  OH, and peppermint to put in a pot.  I am so happy to be back out in the dirt.  It’s been awhile I am ashamed to say…

And it looks like we will have lemons this year!!  So excited for this!  We have a dwarf Meyer’s lemon in our front yard and I wasn’t sure if it would really ever produce, but this is year 3 and it’s covered!  Happy dancing over this…;)

What are you growing this year?

Rain And Blossoms…Plus A New Skill To Learn!

It’s raining!  Can you tell I am excited?  We have been looking forward to the rain for a couple weeks now.  The temps are staying in the 80’s and I have windows and doors open to let the sound and smell of the fresh rain in.  Crockpot is bubbling with chicken soup and homemade biscuits are cooling on the rack.  It’s one of those days and I am so happy. 

 
 

Another thing making me happy this day is my Daturas!  They are blooming all over and smell like paradise everytime I walk past.  I just love them so much!  Definitely going to be planting more around the yard.  They just glow at night with their snow white blossoms reaching for the sky.  I have another bloom that will most likely go up there with the favorites and will be planted throughout the gardens as well, Texas Star Hibiscus.  Oh what a joy it was to see the blossom bud forming, and this morning was the surprise of a bright red Star Hibiscus blooming here only a few feet from the white Daturas.  With the temps lower, I’m so excited to get back out and start planting more again.  I am a week behind on my winter veggie beds, but that’s okay.  They will get done this Sunday. 

Another thing I am excited about is the new skill I’m trying to learn – the art of spinning wool.  I found a drop spindle at a yarn store near my mom’s place this weekend and so picked it up along with 8 oz. of locally produced roving.  The shop owner gave me a mini lesson on how to use the spindle and then pointed me to a couple websites.  I am so thrilled by this new adventure!  I know it’s going to take alot of practice, but that is just fine with me.  One day I dream of having a full on spinning wheel, but that will be awhile down the road.  For now, I will be satisfied with my drop spindle.  Lola is excited to try it out too.  Her knitting skills are moving forward with leaps and bounds.  She is really good at her knit and purl, and is almost ready for more complicated knitting.  She is finishing up a scarf for herself and has another skein of wool that she wants to knit up for me…I am so proud of her!

 And finally, I will leave you with our view at dinner last night….

Hope your day is full of good food, wonderful weather and happy hobbies!  Peace!

It’s Hot!

After being spoiled with kind temps so far, we are being reminded of what summer in Texas means at this time of year.  HOT!  I just am thankful it hasn’t been a summer like last year; dry lake bed, 100+ degrees for days on end, dead garden, wilted children and parents.  At least right now I know that we are already into August and these temps won’t last.  This seems to be the normal time it’s suppose to get this hot, and we’ve really enjoyed summertime this year with the lake being up, membership to the community pool thriving and lots of activities and friends.

I’d love a little rain sometime again soon though…Peace!

Do You Ever Feel Like It Never Ends?

The laundry…the dishes…the cleaning…the cooking…you get the picture.  Hah!  Today I have so much to do and it just seems like the days are way too short to get everything done.  Somedays, all I want to do is sit and knit.  In my defense for whining right now, I do take care of extra kids during the week…I love them all so much, but do get tired sometimes.   Haha!

There are many excellent things happening in my world too, it’s not all piled under laundry and dishes!  My dear dear sister is giving birth to her first children on Thursday.  Yes, I said children.  A boy and a girl!  She’s been a trouper through all she’s gone through to get pregnant and then carry twins to over 38 weeks.  I’m so proud of her and excited for her and my bro in law!  Can’t wait to see the pictures…Check her out at Happy High Heels.

Also, J’s sisters are visiting!  His oldest sister and her two wonderful children are here all the way from Australia!  We have been having the best time.  I swear I could just keep them all.  I wonder if they’d be mad if I sabotaged their trip home in a few weeks…hmmm.  The kids, Chai and Lilee are so much fun to be around.  They and the girls clicked from the moment they saw each other.  This is our first meeting of them as S and her husband (an Aussie) moved to Oz while J and I were still in Hawaii.  Then they adopted their two lovelies the same years we had the girls.  So it’s been close to 11 years since we last saw them, and of course only had pictures and videos of the kids.  We are in-love to say the least.  They go to Steiner schools in Australia, so we are all on the same page with how we are as parents.  It’s so easy!!!

 Hunting Easter Eggs as the sun came up.

J’s other sister is flying in this afternoon with her partner and the girls are so excited to see their aunties they can’t stand it!  Xi corresponds with their dog, Wink and keeps saying that maybe Wink will sneak on the plane..haha!  Seriously, she sends letters and L sends emails from Wink back to Xi.  It’s very cute!  I can’t wait to see them though…L writes Lelo in Nopo, and is an extremely talented writer, artist and all around person.  She’s also a gardener extroidenaire!  Her and my in-laws are my true gardening inspirations.

Which brings us to the garden.  It’s growing by leaps and bounds!  Here are a few photos to share, most of them were taken last week and there has been a ton of growth since!  I do need to get back to the piles around here and then get ready to go to the eye doctor.

Hope you all find some amazing bright lights in your times of overwhelming chaos!  Peace!

A Catch-Up Post in Pictures

Just a few things we’ve been doing and how our life is going over here at the farm.

Xi’s first Waldorf doll – Baby Xiola – made my moi!  I was so nervous about making this and it turned out to be so much fun!
 

Me and Xi at Grandma’s on Christmas Night.
 

J’s birthday cake and gifts the girls and I made for him.
 

Me modeling the homemade apron I did for J’s mom’s birthday.  It’s made from a vintage pillow case.
 

The gift bag I made for my dear friend Romy’s birthday present.
 

The girls and their friend Zack at the Trail of Lights right before Christmas.
 

Farmgirl on Chirstmas morning opening her gifts.

My Mother of Millions bloomed indoors.  The blossoms are so delicate looking.  Really pretty.
The garden looks like a graveyard at the moment.  Nothing really growing except the violets and a couple salvias.  Everything else is covered in leaf mulch and hopefully staying warm enough to come back with a vengence in Spring.  I do have poppy sprouts and larkspur that are doing great.  And the Brugmansia’s Tom sent me are doing great inside in pots.  We have had some pretty hard freezes, so things are indoors right now even though this week is a balmy 70 degrees…wierd weather.  I suspect we will be getting more freezes soon, so am not jumping on the “Spring is coming” kick..haha!  I do need to get my tomatoes started indoors this weekend…
Hope your week is good!  Peace!

Sorry For The Delay

To all those out there who are so gracious about reading my blog, I apologize for the sketchy updates this month.  It’s been busy around here but all is well!  I have been finding my knitting zone once again, as well as enjoying our cooler weather!  The garden is still going strong, although I’m pretty sure the window for tomatoes is over so the plants will be pulled this weekend..*sob*  However it only means there will be room for more cooler weather veggies, including winter squash…Yum! 

The girls are thriving.  Growing and changing everyday.  Lola is thrilled with school, new friends and experiences.  Xi is loving being a big 4 year old and reveling in some new found independence within our household.  J is well and so am I.  We are looking forward to the holidays and magic that this time of year ushers in. 

I will have garden picture updates as well and crafting experiences up in the next few days and promise to squeeze in some time in between our new/old routines to at least just say hello. 

Much love and Peace to everyone!

Busy Times

It’s been a whirlwind 2 weeks to say the least. With the party last week and then commitments this week, I don’t know if I’ve even had time to breath! Hah! The girls are doing great though and have been enjoying alot of fun with cousins (my sister was in town), friends and summertime fun. They got to go horseback riding on Weds. and I swear Xiola is obsessed now. She was such a natural on the horse too, no fear at all! My friend said she can come out anytime and ride. T will take care of her and teach her all the proper ways to do it. Lola really loved it too but was more interested in exploring the property with her friend..hah. Xi just didn’t want to leave the horse.

After the morning of riding, I took the girls and their other friend to the Hoppin’ House, which is an indoor jumpy house playground. They jumped for over 2 hours and were exhausted by the time it was all said and done. Both crashed right after dinner and didn’t move until the next morning. It was hard to capture pictures of them there as they were running all over. Lola immediately found friends of course and was buried so deep in the jumpy houses that all I got were a few of her back..haha!

My nephew has been hanging out with us this weekend. He’s 15 and so very sweet. He just moved here to live with my brother full time. His mom is in New Orleans. We are so excited to have him close again. He’s been helping J do maintenance on the skate ramp and will help him resurface it as well. He’s also great with the girls and helps me around here. I might just keep him..shhh! And J decided to cut his hair! It was past his shoulder blades when wet, now it’s up to his neck. He looks good!

The chickens decided it was time to thin the pumpkins…you can insert a growl from me here. I had to clean up the bed and then work on the stronger ones that are still hanging on. I am battling borers and am hoping they don’t win. I was able to get alot of the stems covered with good dirt and then fertilized with Rocket Fuel. The cantaloupe vine is doing well as are the pepper plants, nothing is setting though as the temps are just too high. I’m trying to keep everything alive until the Fall in hopes that they start pumping out fruit..so we’ll see. My tomatoes are doing just okay. The plants themselves are healthy and I’ve been pruning for Fall. My bush tomato is pumping out fruit but it’s so hot that it’s taking forever to ripen. We did manage to get 3 good size tomatoes that we just finished eating today however..yum! Jalapenos are growing beautifully, but no flowers. The plants are very pretty however.

I planted more Zinnia, Cosmos and Mexican Sunflowers from seed in the veggie bed yesterday. That bed will turn over into a new flower bed and then the veggies will be grown in the raised beds and the Back 40. I did manage to get the second raised bed built by myself. Let’s just say I’m not a carpenter and have never built anything from scratch alone, so it’s not the prettiest bed but will work just fine. I hesitate to put pictures up just yet though. Hah!

The front yard is looking great and so far the drip is working like a charm. We are going to tweak a couple things but nothing major. Everything is looking happy so far, better than when I was hand watering and I know we are using alot less water.

So that’s a bit of the news. This afternoon we are going to my brother’s and swimming with the kids. Making it an early night. I have one more week off from my child care work and so am going to find things for the kids to do this week. Then starting on the 10th it’s back with my extra kids and then the 24th its full time again. The summer is actually going by fast and I’m really looking forward to cooler Fall weather.

Hope you all are well! I want to send a huge hug to my sister Carol at Happy High Heels. Just letting her know I’m thinking of her today!

Peace!

Xi going down a HUGE slide at the Hoppin’ House. This one was her favorite. Notice her scared face, she loves to be scared. Hah!:


After Xi’s ride was over she didn’t want to get off the horse, so she stayed on her while the horse refreshed himself with food and water:


Xi and her new-found love. She eventually wanted the reins and actually rode with T just walking alongside and Xi controlling the horse:




Climbing up for the big ride alone:


At first she wanted T riding with her:


Lola and T’s daughter, R riding together:


Xi up on the horse for the first time:


Lola having fun:



Waiting her turn:



What do you do with all the leftover cups from a party? Make a tower of course! The girls spent one afternoon for hours just playing with these cups…makes you think about all the money that can be saved from buying toys..hah!:


My girls being happy:


And finally, J with his new shorter hair…he isn’t one for pictures so I don’t have any good ones of his face and him smiling..gotta love the man though!: