Fat Girl Wearing Thin

Life beyond the loss.

   Jul 03

Lavender Fields Forever. A post-surgery field trip.

Nothing could keep me away from the lavender farm on Saturday.  


Not the record breaking heat.  Not the bumpy car ride.  Not even venom-injecting insects could keep me from gazing upon, touching and smelling this:

Mmm…..smell that?  That’s the scent of sheer bliss. 

I was so happy to be outside.  Walking around. Looking at pretty things.  Talking to other people!

Me: (sounding like a kid eating his way through a life-sized chocolate bar): ‘I’m so excited to be here!  This is so great! Where are the chickens??’

Lavender Farm Worker: (first glancing at Craig, then certain he must be supervising me on my field trip from the local psych ward) ‘Um…Okay. Thanks.  Um, they’re right outside in the henhouse.’

Knowing that there were indeed chickens on the property I decided to spread out my excitement a bit and head for the lavender field first.  Craig gathered the bucket and I picked up our pairs of scissors and twisty ties and we picked our spot to hunker down among the lavender.  Being the exceptional photographer that he is, Craig was on his game.

Craig:  ‘How about I take a photo of you first?’ 

(translation):  We have about 20 minutes before this heat, walking, and bending plasters itself all over your face.  How about a couple of decent photos before you start complaining of swelly belly?

Me:  ‘I feel great!  Let’s do it!’

How can you not feel like the luckiest gal on the planet when sitting among lavender? 

Time to get to work!

While working on my bundle, Craig set off down the hill for a better look at the beehives he spotted when we first arrived. 

Ever-helpful, fearless husband:  ‘I’m going to get some really good pictures of the honey bees for your blog, okay?’ 

Me: (mesmerized with my current task) ‘You’re right. It is getting hot out here. Would you bring me a bottled water, too?’ 

Less than ten minutes later I heard an ‘aaAAAUUUUGGGHHhh’ sound and turned to see that it was coming from Craig.  I stood up and watched as he tried to contain that high pitched scream for a second time, flapping his arms around and running back and forth in the field.  His sunglasses went flying God-only-knows where.  Suddenly it dawned on me that he didn’t go after something to drink. 

We met somewhere in the middle of a row and while rubbing his head, he swore that he was at least 10 feet away from the hive.  Apparently the bees didn’t think that was far enough.  Thankfully he’s not allergic to bee stings.    From what I can gather, one of these photos provoked the attack:


See how devoted we are to this blog?  Craig is willing to march off into venomous stinger territory for a good photo, and I am unknowingly more than willing to let him!  That’s dedication, folks!


After the excitement wore off (I wish I could say the same about the two throbbing knots behind his ear – yes, he was stung twice!) Craig took over the cutting while the camera and I nestled in among the bees.  They were literally everywhere and didn’t mind sharing the lavender blooms with any of the harvesters.  (personally, I think it’s just when someone tries to get all up in their business that they become aggressive, but don’t tell my husband that).


Have I mentioned how much I LOVE digital cameras?  I must have taken close to a hundred photos.  Here’s just a few which also gives you a sneak peek of what to expect in my notecard shop on Etsy once it opens :



Once satisfied with my snapshots I gathered my husband, who’d by then found his sunglasses and we took our lavender inside to pay.  Since I’ve been unemployed for 2 months I’ve been extremely careful about unnecessary spending, but I simply had to add another purchase – a total impulse buy, right next to the cash register:  a lavender brownie. Mmm……

After we paid for our goodies I went in search of the chickens.  It was so hot outside by that point, they weren’t too eager to entertain me with their presence.  However, one must have felt sorry for me (or got tired of listening to my bellyaching about how miserably deserted the chicken run looked) and came out for a swift strut before heading back inside.

Figuring that was a smart idea, we decided it was time to get out of the heat and head for home.  Remember last week when I mentioned that I didn’t have much of a sweet tooth after my hysterectomy surgery, which left me wondering what the surgeon ‘did’ to me in the operating room?  Well, let’s just say that the lavender brownie never made it past the car ride home.  And I didn’t have to share it, either.  Craig tried lavender infused chocolate once and though I loved the unique taste, he never quite got over it so he didn’t even ask for a bite. 

I’m not yet sure what I’m going to do with my two bunches.  They sure look pretty, and they smell fantastic. 

Even my serenity frog thinks so!


Did you know that you can use lavender in lots of edible goodies?  If you like the smell of lavender, it tastes much the same way.  Try substituting the leaves and stems in recipes that call for rosemary. Ask to be sure that the lavender you use has not been treated for pesticides and remember, a little goes a long way.  Lavender iced tea, anyone? 


Have a great Tuesday and for all of my US readers,  Happy Independence Day tomorrow!



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  1. Poor Craig…I stay away from bees and I hate when they fly around me, even though I know I shouldn’t be scared. Anyway, it sounds like it was an otherwise wonderful outing…glad you’re on the mend and able to enjoy!

  2. Goodnuff says:

    Beautiful pics! You look so full of joy, put a smile on my face. For Craig’s gallant effort I made sure to really examine his bee pictures. I think I figured out who the two culprits were!

    • Ellen says:

      I read your comment to Craig – he was very touched that his efforts did not go unnoticed, and appreciates you fingering the culprits for him 😉
      I paid for that day, literally. Was down the whole next day, but it was SO worth it.

  3. Sharon says:

    You already know how I feel about the lavender farm….after seeing your pics, I may have to plan to road trip over the one near me in western NC. They have lavender ICE CREAM!!!

    • Ellen says:

      Lavender ice cream? Yum!! That would have been more refreshing than that brownie (though a tough choice if I had to choose between the two!) Oh, I can’t wait to see YOUR photos, Sharon. You must take a day and go; it will feed your soul!

  4. Jan says:

    Your trip sounds wonderful (minus the bee stings…poor Craig). :) I love the picture of you. You look so happy (who couldn’t be when you’re surrounded by such beauty). The lavender fields look amazing! What a fun thing to take part in and enjoy. So glad Craig had that idea and that you enjoyed it.

    • Ellen says:

      It was a really good day. It’s funny how much I appreciate things now. If I’d done this last year it would have just been a Saturday outing but it was so liberating just to be outside and doing something! Thanks for stopping by, Jan. You’re always in my thoughts.

  5. Val says:

    Geez, that reminds me Ellen – to take some pictures of our new peepers before they are all grown up! (They are almost a month old now, mostly all fledged out)

    I didn’t have such great luck w/our incubator: hatched 4/6 eggs but only 2 of those chicks lived. I suspect humidity issues :-(
    I bought some bantam chicks at the feed store so they wouldn’t be lonely! Peepers are big fun, Hubby has taught ’em to run up the ramp & “go to bed” each evening.

    • Ellen says:

      Yes, Val. you really, really SHOULD take some pictures! 😉
      Oh, I love the bantams. They are some of my favorites. We’ve had a broad-winged hawk in our yard for the last couple of weeks and I just know I’d cry if we got chickens and they ended up being his lunch. I get SO attached. One day, though. I think I’m the only person I know that has chickens on her bucket list!

  6. Hanlie says:

    The pictures are beautiful! Sounds like a fun outing, despite the bee stings. I must try some lavender infused tea…

    • Ellen says:

      I have had this kind of tea before and it is incredibly refreshing. Such a unique flavor. I wish restaurants would serve unusual teas like that.

  7. teresa says:

    oh my gosh!! The photos are amazing and the ones of you are so beautiful. I’m so happy to actually *see* you and see for myself that you’re well.
    Craig is a rock star! I could not have handled the bee stings. No way.

    • Ellen says:

      Thank you, tree. Yes, that photo was of the ‘refreshed and ready to go’ me. The later version would have shown me on my couch, grimacing for most of the evening. But it was totally worth it!!
      ps – thank for boosting Craig’s ego. He needed it!

  8. Brenda says:

    There is an organic acreage about 60 miles from here, and she has gardens with herbs, sheep, angora bunnies, llamas, and chickens. The farmer loves to show the chickens to you, so she will pick one up, and let you look very closely at them. I had never realized how beautiful all the colors in their feathers are. Her chickens also lay colored eggs, so they are aqua, brown, or orange. The last time I was there, she was pushing squash/pumpkins, so she had free brownies with squash in them. I love to visit there.

    • Ellen says:

      I wish we had farmers like that here. If there are, I don’t know about them. They really are beautiful animals and their feathers are so intricately designed. People don’t give enough credit to chickens (and there are those who probably think I’m nuts for syaing such a weird thing!) lol
      Free brownies? I’d buy a squash if it came with a brownie in it, too!!

  9. Kyra says:

    I had NO idea you could cook with lavender! Huh… might have to look into that.

    LOVE the pictures of you!

    • Ellen says:

      Thank you, Kyra. It’s easy to smile when you feel like I did at that moment. My fake smiles are almost funny looking…like I’m straining to go to the bathroom or something – lol!! My husband says that my mood is always written all over my face. I’ll never be a good poker player, I guess.

  10. You never said there would be brownies, too! *swoon*

    Love all your pictures and am very much looking forward to your Etsy shop!

  11. didi says:

    Love the pictures. You look all happy and cute sitting in with the lavender. Bad luck for your hubby though. I guess a camera that close might get them stirred up. (Some day I want to have a couple of bee boxes. I have a deep love of bees)

    Great pictures- I especially love the last pic of the bee perched on lavender. I am really looking forward to seeing your shop.

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