Welcome to Hill Country Herbalist

Monday, January 1, 2018

Hello 2018! Nice To See You!

Some of you might have noticed a decrease in posts on social media in 2017.  That's because 2017 was a year of great change and challenges. I couldn't tell you how many times I began to upload a post on HCH page just to delete it and walk away.  I don't know why it was hard for me to share, I guess because it was less about herbs and plants and more about transition and change. In hindsight, I wish I would have posted them, but now I have this opportunity to share my year with you...all in one post. 

I have to be honest, I am not sad to see 2017 behind me. I am grateful for the blessings 2017 bestowed upon us; good health, family and friends, to name a few....and I find myself sincerely grateful to start a new year and chapter of our lives.  Here's a bit of a recap....

Our 2017 started with news of my uncle's passing in late January. He was the eldest out of all the siblings on my dad's side of the family. My dad is the second to the eldest. They grew up listening to Bob Dylan and driving and admiring classic cars. They were bro's before bro's was even a term. Needless to say, this was very hard on the family and was very hard for my dad.  Even though this was very hard on my dad, I just know it was even harder for his two sons, his wife and my grandmother. I love my family. At 88 years of age, my grandmother was going to have to find out of his passing.  This was not an easy time.  You see, she herself had fallen ill and was diagnosed with pneumonia in January.  She had fallen ill just a couple weeks before my uncle's passing.  Although she was making a solid, yet slow, recovery...the family feared the news would take a toll on her progress.  

When she learned of the news of her first born passing, we all held our breath and hoped she would remain strong in her recovery.  Words cannot describe the emotions and deep feelings a mother has when losing a child. She had lost her first child and son to the heavens above. Still recovering from pneumonia, she was unable to travel and attend his funeral and services. About one week later, she passed into the white light.  Her passing was peaceful.  She now joined my uncle and my grandfather in the heavens above, which I know makes her happy. 

My parents and Ryan and I traveled together and attended two funerals, in short order, at the beginning of 2017. Traveling out of town for both services was a bit surreal.  I have to tell you though, when it's time, you do what you need to do and that's what we did.  Hearts heavy yet full of beautiful memories, the four of us traveled and shared a residence inn bringing us closer together. I think we even had the same room both times.  It's all a blur.  Hugs, memories, plants, and pictures brought this dynamic and expansive family of aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, friends, and neighbors together. Cold truth and warm memories serve as a reminder we are lovingly alive and still have one another, yet acquiesce to the fact we are all immortal.  

Ryan and I decided after nearly 14 years of living in our hill country home, it was time to explore a new path. We decided it was time to place our beloved home on the market. With incredible love and pride we began sprucing up the 5 acre property to sell. At first, we completed certain projects halfway thinking we'd stay and enjoy the benefits of our labor. But, we knew we were slowly saying goodbye to our home in the most loving and honoring way we could. Making our home as beautiful as we could was our last gift to the land and trees we've loved since our late 20's. She deserved it after all. She was our sanctuary. A place we'd create into Hill Country Herbalist, IVITA botanicals, and where we gardened profusely and envisioned the future each and every day.  


In April, we casually met with a realtor to see what they thought about listing our house.  They were very excited about the property.  When we left the meeting, we felt pretty good about deciding to list it and Ryan and I were still in the consideration stage.  That same day, the realtor called and said they had a potential buyer and could they see the property.  It was not even 30 minutes since they had left that they wanted to return with a potential buyer.  Briar (dog), Basil (cat) and I headed to the garden so they could show the house and land.  We sat there quietly among the roses, fig trees, Echinacea, grapes, and herbs....I remember thinking the garden was heaven and anyone would be a fool not to just love these plants.  Plant energy is so beautiful and special.  That same week we had an offer and a contract to review.  This was all going too fast.  I hadn't even come to terms we were actually listing.  The house was not listed and we did not have a contract with a realtor.  It was word of mouth and just that fast.  Well, that offer fell through.  Even though it fell through, that one week was a week of incredible highs and lows and just a real heady whirlwind.  But, it was a wake up call.  We realized we were definitely ready to sell.  We just needed the perfect buyer.

The house went on the market in the beginning of May.  The house was shown several times a day and several times a week.  Each time there was a showing, all the fur kids and I would either camp at my neighbors house or I'd take them to my office at work.  It was an adventure and it was exciting.  The house had a contract in a couple weeks and we were asked to sell it before the end of June.  That gave us just a month and a half to pack our belongings of 14 years - that was not an easy thing to do.  Luckily, we had a little fixer upper we could move into while we explored our next journey.  For 5 weeks straight, all I did was pack.  Pack in the morning, the evening, the night and all weekend long until we were finished.  It was the hardest thing I had to do emotionally.  I was so connected to the land and trees and plants and my home.  But, I did it.  On the last day, I touched each tree that had given so much to me spiritually.  I honored each tree and felt the vibrations and blessed each tree with love.  I love those trees.

July and now
The fixer upper we moved into was already furnished.  All of our belongings are in storage and we are using the vintage dishes and furniture we had in the house.  I remember that last week of June, just before the final closing of the house we sold, we were moving into the fixer upper.  The only furniture we did bring was our bed and bedroom dresser.  The roof was being fixed at the fixer upper due to it leaking each time it rained.  The same day we moved the fur kids and the bed it rained several inches.  I got a call from Ryan and in a very stressful tone he told me it was raining in the house!  The roofers had left without placing the weather proof material on the house.  A huge mistake on their part.  We had every pot, pan, bowl and ice chest in the 1920's shiplap house catching streams of water.  Sometimes, things just get harder and then harder before they get easier.  I like to laugh about it now.

The home is very shaded and in the city. The house is on a quarter of an acre has mostly pecan trees and has one very large loquat tree.  We planted our Meyer lemon tree a year before and that was nice to have a bit of home at the new house.  Other than that, the plants are not edible, but I plan on doing what I can to plant more medicinal plants around the house.  I started planting daily household herbs in the front yard in October...sage, rosemary, sorrel, thyme and oregano.  This was the first time I exhaled a bit of normalcy.  The transition was harder on me than I realized.  I had closed my Etsy shop during the summer, but I couldn't hide long.  Orders were coming in whether the shop was temporarily closed or not.  Thank goodness for those orders.  I am grateful for them.  I made the first batch of Cell Rejuvenator in October and I felt so happy and the Etsy store is back up.  IVITA customers are now coming here to pick up orders and I live really close to the post office, so it's even easier to ship orders.  Things are getting back to normal, one could say.

With 2017 behind us, I enter 2018 with a bright spirit and positive intent.  Herbhusband and I are  inspired and determined to transform this city property into an herbal paradise.  Although the botanical pictures I'll be posting of the future transformation will look quite different than the hill country pictures, they will still be fun and exciting to share. We have an herbal adventure ahead of us :) We have a challenge with the shade, but there are many shade loving creatures we plan to meet and explore.  We are also near the Guadalupe River and the wildlife is breath taking.  Herons, ducks, fish, turtles and so much more.  I am eager to share all of it with you.  We are eventually moving back to the hill country, just taking our time to figure out exactly what we need in our next forever home.  In the meantime, it is nice to have a bit of the city life for just a while.  We enjoy walking downtown and we've even gotten used to the train that runs at all hours of the night.  I think it's a fun adventure.

To your health and happiness! Big hugs and blessings to you and yours....

Happy New Year and to a marvelous and loving 2018!

Warmth and cheers!