Friday, December 31, 2010

Wrapping Up the Year with Family

Granpa @ Capote 4

Today was the best way to wrap up 2010 - spending it with family. I hope you also got to spend some time with those you love as we wind down this year and welcome 2011. We got an awesome visit with our Mark's uncle and cousin and his wife. We don't to see them very often and it had been too long. Granpa, as we affectionately call our uncle, started keeping bees with my honey bee about thirty years ago. I have loved listening to all their crazy, fun adventures and they never fail to make me wish I had been there for the entire ride.

Granpa is getting up there in age so we appreciate any time that we get with him. To see him out in his element with the bees was a truly amazing gift for which I cannot even begin to express my gratitude. It's moments like today that make life worth living. I hope you have many of those in 2011 and I hope we will also.

Thank you stopping by here and checking out my photos and my talk. I met some of you this year and it really always made me wish I had more time to devote to roaming the city and countryside in search of things to share with you here. And just when I think I should hang it up since I'm neglecting this too much for my taste, one of you tells me how much you enjoy the blog, even now that it's sporadic in posts...and then how can I bring myself to stop? It really means a lot to me and I just wanted to thank you for all your kind words this year. Happy new year, my friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

GBR at My Favorite Gift Shop

Our GBR honey @ Gift & Gourmet

If you are a fan of Gift & Gourmet (best gift shop in town, hands down), then check out our Gretchen Bee Ranch honey and bee skep candles! They are now available at the store. I'm tickled pink to have our stuff there since it's my favorite shop for gifts. I also am a lucky gal because my honey bee knows I love pretty much anything from that shop so I got a little something for Christmas from there that will come in handy when I hop over to Virginia in a few weeks. :-)

In the picture above, the shop owner has packaged the honey and candle together in cellophane and it is there in the center of the picture, middle of the middle shelf.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Very Merry Christmas


I hope you have enjoyed your Christmas weekend with those dear to you! It's been a fabulously restful weekend for us and I am thankful we have plenty of time to rest on top of enjoying time together - not just working but also having actual downtime. Nice, very nice.

Here's to a good and quiet week ahead as a lot of people are still celebrating the holiday break. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead as we prepare to ring in a new year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rusty Rooster

Rusty Rooster on Court Street

Last night we finally tried out Rusty Rooster, the newest little restaurant in Seguin. Love the name and the decor there! I was tickled pink by all the hens they had on display in one form or another. The fried chicken was awesome - moist and tasty, as were the biscuits and okra. It is always nice to have another new eating option in our little town. And I am such a HUGE fried chicken fan, I'm thrilled they opened.

Hope you are all doing well and that you're enjoying the Christmas week. I love this time of year despite this year flying by and dragging me along. :-)

Rusty Rooster inside

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Countdown to Christmas

Gift & Gourmet, Seguin, Texas

We are busy, busy, busy - making candles, wrapping gifts, prepping our honey house for Open House on Saturday, watching the Spurs, washing jars for more honey, etc., etc., etc. I bet you're busy, too! :)

Here's a shot of my favorite gift shop in Seguin - Gift & Gourmet. Went there this week to show the owner some of our honey and candle products. If you haven't checked out this shop, you should. It's a wonderful little gem in our community and I'm so glad they are here!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Great reminder to voters

Don't forget to get out and vote in our special election today! We received this reminder in the mail from one of the candidates and we thought it very clever. It was cute, funny and informative - loved that they provided the voting location for us as well. Nice! We've also received daily calls from candidates and various organizations reminding us to vote. It's awesome! And a gorgeous day for voting. :-)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fall Colors

Fall at Big Oaks

On beautiful days like those that we've had lately, we had to get out and enjoy it this weekend. I accompanied Mark out to a couple of bee yards so I could see what was happening in the countryside; it's been a while since I did that. I loved the cool air and the clear skies. Though we don't have the gorgeous fall colors I'm used to from growing up in North Carolina, there is still beauty to be seen and enjoyed. We do have Lost Maples Park a few hours north of here but we were too busy to make it out there so perhaps next year. Meanwhile, here are a couple of shots from this past weekend.

Hope you had a good aMonday and that the rest of the week will be a great one for you! I get my wisdom teeth pulled manana so we'll see if I feel like posting this week. You never know...there might be something interesting to share. There is always something interesting going on around us, right? :-)

Entering Big Oaks

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Sky Watch Friday - Downtown Decoration

Downtown building & wreath

Happy Friday everyone - less than 20 days until Christmas. Can you believe it? Can't we slow down time somehow? Isn't it funny that when you are young, you want the time to move along faster. And as you get older, it moves so fast that you have no idea sometimes when you'll get a breather. Someone once told me, when I was young, that time only goes by faster as you get older. REALLY??? Is it because we have so much more we are doing or want to do? Is it because we are distracted by things around us that take our attention away from what's in front of us at the moment? I don't know. The Buddhist way of thinking involves being aware of the moment we are in right now so that we can fully appreciate what we are experiencing. I try to do this but sometimes fail; I guess that's what life is about - trying.

Soooo...on a lighter note, here's a shot of one of the wreaths decorating our square downtown. I really liked the sky that day (couple of Saturdays ago) and snapped this as we were getting in the car. There are some really neat old buildings downtown and sometimes I wish we had the money to convert one of those old buildings into a store front for our bee business on the first floor and a personal living space up top. That'd be so fun!

I hope y'all have a wonderful Friday tomorrow and a glorious weekend ahead. It's suppose to be EIGHTY DEGREES Saturday. Can you believe that??? Then it'll drop back down to a more acceptable 50 or 60-something Sunday and so on. Yay! I love wearing my jackets, and scarves. This morning we had frost all over the windshield. It was nice!

Be sure to check out the Skywatch site if you would like to see some more cool sky shots for this week. :-)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Seguin Donuts Now Open

Seguin Donuts

My upper wisdom teeth need to come out and all I can think about is food so appropriately enough, I have these shots to share about a new bakery that recently opened here in our little town. We stopped by Seguin Donuts one Saturday afternoon as we went from one bee yard to another. I am in love! I love kolaches!!! Much more than any sweets, that's for sure. Don't get me wrong, a sweet, glazed donut now and then is ok but give me a kolache any ole day and you'll see a super happy girl. Look at them. Aren't they lovely?

Seguin Donuts - kolaches

The service was super as well so be sure you check them out. They're in the shopping center on Highway 123, next to Radio Shack and Little Ceasar's Pizza (around the corner from Beall's). And finally, here's a shot of the usual sweets that most of you like. :) I found the "hand" looking pastry on the bottom right rather interesting!

Sweets at Seguin Donuts

Monday, December 06, 2010

Yulefest 2010

Me & Mark 3

Looks like the three day sellathon really wore me out - sick today. Going to post this and then head to bed despite sleeping most of today. Gosh, I simply have no energy and just felt yucky.

We had lovely weather in Gonzales Friday and Saturday as we participated in their Winterfest and had a booth at Santa's Workshop. After the evening parade Friday night, we were inundated with parade-goers and business was hopping and fun. Love seeing repeat customer/friends and making new friends also. Then we went to the icebox Sunday - :-( a non-functioning heater meant a cold full day. I was so tempted to light more candles just to warm ourselves a bit. I think the sudden temperature drop and the lack of heat did me in. Anyhow, here are some of my favorite sights from this weekend (sorry we missed the Holiday Stroll since we were prepping for the shows):

Handcrafted decorations

My friend's dad made me a similar lighted post like above several years ago and I still have it. I love it. When we don't put our big tree up due to traveling or some other reason, we like to at least have the holiday post up because it nicely illuminates the living room. We'll probably do that this year.

Interesting pillowcases

This booth was very interesting with the man theme pillowcases. Reminded me of my buddy who sewed a quilt with a similar fabric for a friend of hers. lol

Nuluv Nubians - awesome!

This booth was next to ours and was one of our top two favorites! This is Nuluv Nubians and they feature goat milk products such as soaps, lotions and lip balm. Oh, and my favorite - body butters. LOVE IT! They smelled awesome thanks to all the samples they had open. It was nice to be placed next to each other since soaps and candles (and honey) seem to go hand-in-hand in peoples' minds. They were a very nice young family from the Kerrville area. Glad we met them.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Water Tower Makeover Part 2

Another facelift

Time for another facelift for our poor, neglected water tower on Kingsbury. I hope they do a good job this time and it looks awesome. There's something so cool about the old fashion, round water towers. I like them.

Hope y'all have a great Friday! Oh, if you're in the Gonzales area, come by the square Friday evening to say hi. We're going to be selling Gretchen Bee Ranch specialty honeys and bees wax candles! We'll be in Gonzales again Saturday and then at Yulefest in Seguin at the Coliseum on Sunday, 10a-5p. Hope to see some of you at the events!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Means Family & Good Eats

Cheyenne Pecans 1

Hope everyone's had a great day filled with love, happiness, laughter and good eats. We had a really nice visit with family and then made it back home safe and sound. And we didn't overeat which is good! Wanted to share with you some delicious treats we were sampling this past week.

If you like pecans or want to give some as gifts, then you should really check out Charlie Willmann's orchard offerings this year. The Cheyenne 2010 crop is incredible! Light and with a slightly sweet flavor. It made a great pecan pie but it is also a great snack we much on during the day. Can't wait to share this treat with others.

Below is a shot that includes two other treats we enjoyed this week - other friends' honeys! The amber color honey is wildflower from California and the light color honey is clover from Montana. Both are yummy and I'm glad I get to try them. If Mark wasn't in business, then I would have missed out on these new honeys. I LOVE the clover - smooth and light, just the way I like it. Nice addition to our growing personal collection of honey jars. :-) Should get me through the winter.

If you're going shopping tomorrow (as we are for display stands for our shows next week), then GOOD LUCK! Stay patient and try and have some fun. That's what I'm telling myself already. :-)

Treats from friends

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ready Your Turkey

Prepackaged seasoning

As we all prepare for the big feast this week and the general feasting between now and January 2, I thought I'd post something I saw at our local grocery store recently. I don't often go down the spice aisle these days except when we need some sugar for bee feed. :-) Anyway, on this trip down that aisle, I spotted these interesting looking packets. Wow, did you know these existed?? I didn't. lol - I understand the appeal for people who don't cook, I guess. It's not hard to mix spices. I thought. Maybe it's a convenience thing. I don't know. But it's sort of a pricey way to go because you really only get enough for one dish it looks like. So, are YOU ready for the big meal? What are you making? Who's going to Black Friday festivities? I'm seriously on a mission this year for some display stands for our candles. Wish me luck as I fight the crowds!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Skywatch Friday

Sunset at Big Oaks

Happy, happy day, everyone! Not only is tomorrow Friday but it's also the day I get to fly home. :-) I haven't had to be a full week away from home for work in a while so it's been a little hard. I miss my honey bee and my home. So...I was looking through some picture when I was feeling homesick and I wanted to share this one with you. It's a sky shot of sunset just outside city limits at one of our bee yards. It's lovely out there in the Big Oaks area. I hope you all have had a great week and that the weekend is EVEN BETTER!

Check out other awesome sky shots this week over at
Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bailey's on Court Street

Bailey's on Court St. front 1

I am determined to get this posted! I have been wanting to tell you all about Bailey's since we went last week for the first time. In our town of about 26,000 people, we have a decent selection of food options, compared to other comparable towns. Average, I'd say. It's always nice when a local eatery opens rather than your typical chain places. And while I LOVE all our Mexican food restaurants, it is nice to have other options as well. We met a marketing items sales person at Bailey's for lunch - we want to get some snazzy bags for our honey sales. Anyway, the converted building looked great inside and the food was very good - we'll need to go back so I can try the chicken salad. Mark had it and said it was GOOD. My lemonade was very good (hard to find) and my Veggie Delight on shortbread was very light yet filling. You get a lot. I wish it had just a little more flavor but I'd still recommend it. I love veggie sandwiches sometimes.

Veggie Delight & Chicken Salad

The seating is limited and a bit on the tight side, but they do have two tables outside on the back porch, which is under some huge oaks - so go early and grab one of those great tables so you can enjoy your food outside since our weather's been so awesome lately. There's also a little gift shop inside so check it out. I saw several things that were reasonably priced that'd make nice little Christmas gifts. You know what that means - another trip back to Bailey's for sure.

Bailey's on Court St. inside front room

Friday, November 05, 2010

Happy Friday From the Llamas!

Neighbors for the bees

Have you seen a llama lately? Up close? I had not until last weekend when we went to visit our newest bee yard off Capote Road just outside the city limits a bit. It's so lovely out there that I can never turn down an opportunity to be out there now that my allergies are better. And I'm so glad I went because these two llamas were really making me laugh with their inquisitive nature. They were really fun and I'm glad they are the bees' new neighbors.

Hope everyone has a great weekend - enjoy the gorgeous weather if you're in the South Texas area. It's going to be another great weekend.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Election Day

Oct 2010 Vote

There's still some time left in case you haven't voted yet. We went to our usual polling location at Our Lady of Guadalupe and as usual - no wait, no fuss, friendly assistance. Voting rocks and I'm glad I live in a country where I can do it so easily and safely. :-)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Sweetness

Halloween cakes

Hope you all are enjoying your Halloween weekend so far. It's been a gorgeous day and tomorrow is suppose to be more of the same. It'll be good weather for trick or treaters so I hope we have plenty of visitors tomorrow evening.

This cake picture is one of my favorites and has about 3,700 views to date on my photostream in Flickr. People must find it as fun to look at as I have. It's fun to see how creativity people can be with their baking and decorating!

Friday, October 29, 2010

October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month

New face of GRMC

Check out how great our new hospital makeover is looking these days! I had a 7:30a appointment so the lighting is a bit on the dark side. I’ll try and go back on a beautiful afternoon to show some panned views of the completed front – it looks so great and really adds a classy look to Court Street in that area.

My appointment was for my annual mammogram. We all know how important early detection is so I hope all you ladies out there are taking care of yourselves! This was my third year and every time I visit the Imaging Department at the Guadalupe Regional Medical Center, they are so wonderful to me. And while I have heard not-so-great stories about mammograms, my checkups have been just fine – no horror stories, no pain, no drama. The machine below is what is used and I can’t remember what that white plastic piece is called that’s above the plate but it is was purchased about 1.5 years ago as a trial to see if it would help with the discomfort of the exam for some women. Seems to work for me. I hope you go. :-) Please visit the Susan G. Komen site for more information about breast cancer.

Mammogram machine

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sky Watch over Texas Agricultural Education & Heritage Center

Tx Agricultural Education & Heritage Center

Recently Mark participated in Ag Week at the Red Barn here in town. We call it the Red Barn but officially, it is the Texas Agricultural Education and Heritage Center, founded in order to educate the public about the importance of agriculture as part of our heritage and how it impacts our lives today. Mark was out there speaking about the importance of bees so I was glad I had a chance to visit during lunch one day because I had not been to the center – it is really neat out there! I still need to go back sometime and check out all the buildings since I only had about twenty minutes there during that visit. Here are a few shots of my brief visit.

Speaking with 4th graders from Floresville

Above, Mark is speaking to one of the many groups of fourth graders from surrounding area schools that have been scheduled to visit during Ag Week. They asked questions if there was time and shared stories about getting stung and interesting things they know about bees. When asked if they knew what food bees make, he said one of the kids told him bees make cereal (as in the Honey Nut Cheerios from the commercial that many kids like to tell us about when we go to fairs and shows). Too cute.

Below is a shot of another group I passed by out in the garden area. I think it’s great that the kids are learning about gardening and the benefits of growing your own in addition to having produce from the farmers in the area. There are so many other things to see out there, I will be sure to visit again and highlight other things for you.


The skies have been gorgeous lately as we move from summer to fall. Be sure to check out other skies on the Sky Watch page. Have a great Friday, everyone!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Busy as a Bee

Video of bee activity

Here's where I spent most of this beautiful weekend so I thought I'd share it with you so you'd know why there aren't other photographs to share right now. We are super focused on our bee biz and that means getting lots of photos and some videos for a new website we are building. We are so excited about it but it does take a lot of our time getting all this going so for a while, that's what will consuming us. :) If you'd like to see the video I was shooting in this photograph, you can visit our
GBR YouTube page.

Check out the bees below. They are carrying pollen into the hive like there's no tomorrow. Do people still say that? LOL, I do! Anyway, I LOVE to watch them doing this - the way they land, the little steps they take to get into the box, the way they sometimes flop over clumsily. So cute.

Bees & Pollen

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Evening Out

bird nest at Big Oaks

Things are settling down just a tad now that the Fair is over. Our bees are back home in their hive at the bee yard and Mark and I go back to work. Me at the mill and Mark at the Heritage Farm, educating hundreds of fourth graders. Tomorrow I'll go visit him during lunch and take some pictures of that place and event. I've been wanting to go check it out!

Here's a lovely little nest I spotted as we departed the Big Oaks bee yard this evening. It was a perfect Texas evening - I love this time of year. The weather is gorgeous and the air was perfumed by the numerous flowers still in bloom. Seriously, this year has been an incredible flower year. AND my allergies are in good shape - maybe because I've been downing quite a bit of our honey the past two years. No severe headaches after an hour or two outside. I couldn't have done this before so thanks little bees!

And thank you to those of you who stopped by our GBR booth during the Fair. We enjoyed meeting you and we're glad you stopped by and talked with us. Always fun to meet folks. :) Y'all have a GREAT week!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Grand Champion Honey!

There's our Grand Champion

Hooray for us - our comb honey entry won Grand Champion in the Home Products category. We are very happy and proud as can be. :) Here's where we'll be spending all our time through Sunday.

Me & GBR Prez, aka Honey Bee

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Guadalupe County Fair - 2010

County Fair Royalty

Time to hit the Fair again, folks. Come out and enjoy the beautiful fall weather for us since we'll be inside the entire time! :) If you come to the fair, be sure to stop by our booth in the Coliseum and sample some Guadalupe County honey - mesquite and wildflower. AND meet about 20,000 of our sweet little bees and their queen. Mark's got the observation hive ready to go. We had a lot of fun in Gonzales and we look forward to seeing how this year's Fair goes for everyone. Check out the
Fair's website for more information.

Here's when we'll be there:
Thursday, October 7, 3-8:30pm (Free until 6p)
Friday, October 8, 11am-9pm (Students Free until 6pm, Military Free All Day)
Saturday, October 9, 9am-9pm ($5.00 per person – Children 12 & Under Free)
Sunday, October 10, 11am-6pm (Free for everyone!)

Ag entries for judging

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Come See Us in Gonzales!

Observation hive

Sorry but it's been a super busy week between work and prepping for the Gonzales Come & Take It Festival. Gonzales is a quaint town about 30 miles from Seguin on 90 - come and visit our Gretchen Bee Ranch booth if you are in that area. We're on the square on the side closest to the theatre (can't recall the name right now). We're there through Sunday and so are about 20,000 of our little bees in their snazzy observation hive. You know you want to see them up close! :-) Have a great one, everyone!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mushroom Beauty

Mushroom profile

I have noticed some really interesting looking mushrooms around lately and wanted to share two of my favorite shots. The top one is one that Mark noticed out in the countryside along a fence line as we excited one of our bee yards just outside town on Highway 123. The one below is a tiny little one (of many) that I saw hidden under all the overgrown grasses at the same Big Oaks bee yard. Both times were evening lighting and I changed the lighting just a touch on the shot below. The shot above I changed lighting a color just a little also.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Seguin Trade Day Fun

Hi Hope!

Today was tiring but a LOT of fun - thank you to those who stopped by to visit with us. :-) Always great to see friends (like you fellow blogger, Hope!) and meet some blog followers (hi Lisa T. - sorry we didn't make it over to visit your booth before you left! Next time.) We sold a good amount of honey but what was even better was getting to give customers some face-to-face times with the bees thanks to the observation hive. Very nice and everyone seem amazed by their activities. Pretty neat that we can watch the queen lay eggs about six inches from us. Cool stuff for sure.

Below is one of my favorites during the day's event - this is Dino, is he cool or what? Loved it and had to get a shot. :) Hope you all have a great Sunday! I'm going to crash now. Talk about tired.

One cool canine

Friday, September 24, 2010

Seguin Trade Day - Sept. 25

Observation hive

Would you like to see what's behind that wooden cover? :) I think if you have checked out our bee blog before, then you might already know. But if you'd like to meet us and some of our bees, we're going to be downtown on the square tomorrow all day (8-5p) at Seguin Trade Day. Our lovely booth will be directly behind the Court House and we'd love to meet you if you are in the area.

This event happens about every other month though with the holidays coming soon, we will be at the October one as well. Hope to sell all our honey by the end of that event!

Here's a peek inside:

Bees in observation hive

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sheep, Sheep, Sheep

Cute sheep

Recently I got to visit a dear friend of mine and her kids breed show sheep. I have often wanted to stop by and snap shots of the little, little ones but haven't managed to do that yet. At least we have some grown ones to oh and ah over. The babies are even more adorable! I love these black face sheep. Something about them that appeals to me more than the pale face ones.

Fun fact: You can "rent" male sheep for breeding. TRUE! :) Just like breeding other animals to maintain a high caliber stock. Interesting. I just never thought of it until they told me that during my visit.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

US Postal Service

Box of Zia queens

This shout out is for our friend Jim, who works for the US Postal Service here in town. He was so kind and kept an eye out for our special delivery of queen bees that came shipped through the mail. Did you know you can do that? Before I learned these beekeeping things from Mark, I never even thought about how beekeepers get their supplies. And then I learned that you can order and receive equipment AND live bees in your mailbox! Or sometimes they may call you to come and pick up your package. :-) Must be something to process livestock in the mailroom. Can you imagine the buzzing?? lol

This is our box of twenty queen bees from Zia out of New Mexico. The free-flying bees are attendant bees who are tasked with tending to the queens' needs. Beekeeping is so cool!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Rain & Clouds

Behind our house

We've been having some wonderful rainy days this week - we sure needed the showers. Since Saturday, we've had between 6 and 8 inches! Woo hoo! Plus all the weather has created an amazing number of interesting looking clouds much like these though this was snapped prior to this week's weather. Hope you're having a great week so far!