The Young Bordens

Earlier this year we had this amazing young couple come live in the little upstairs room of The Hatton House for a few months. As you will read farther down they are college friends of Pecos and Katie. Our first though when asked what about them coming through and staying a while on their way to Africa was of course, it would be so good for Pec and Katie to be with their friends who they miss dearly. The truth is, Bobby and I love young people, often being so inspired by there presence.  There might have been a bit of selfishness in wanting them to be here!
I thought I would share a little guest post from Karly and Trevor, you will understand why we were blessed to have them here!
Just before leaving for the Africa

The Honeymooners!

Honeymooning at The Hatton House

My husband and I are compelled to write a review of our time here, but how? Its like signing your friend’s yearbook at the end of the year, and you can’t think of a way to condense all your good times, so you just end up writing “H.A.G.S.” We’ll try, anyway:
My husband and I had a 3-month honeymoon at the Hatton House.
We married in January, and moved into the upper guest room from Santa Barbara, California in February. The option to move to Dripping Springs completely unfolded before us (Texas is fabulous, don’t get me wrong, we just never pictured our transient hearts settling so nicely into hill country). Our values for our first season of marriage included slowness, quietness, comfort, creativity, and in hindsight, I can’t picture a place to better honor these values than the Hatton House.
Most mornings, we woke up, opened the door that faced DorRae’s lavender patch, and climbed back into bed with cups of black tea. On the first morning at the Hatton House, I remember being amazed by the quietness– I could hear birds in the distance flap their wings. And I had the time and space to sit and listen to them move. I couldn’t believe it.
We often started the day with a bike ride or a run on Creek Road’s quiet loop, then found a shady place to read or write by the vegetable garden or at “Rolling in Thyme and Dough”, Dripping Springs’ coffee shop (another initial stunning moment: realizing that coffee shops can successfully operate on “Honor Systems”…)  Sometimes we’d drive into Austin, which is only about half an hour away. We’d bike, visit quirky shops, eat great pizza/fancy burgers/fresh ice cream, listen to live music, and each time we couldn’t wait to be back at our quiet, little house.
Still, in reviewing the Hatton House, I mostly want to rave about DorRae. We’ve been good friends with her son and daughter-in-law for years, so we expected to be treated well, but within the first four days of arriving, DorRae and her family included us in three birthday celebrations, a wedding anniversary, a high school basketball game, and gifted us with tickets to enjoy and play at the Hatton House Concert Series. I would often see DorRae–being the committed gardener that she is– working in her lavender patch with a glass of red wine. This scene lives perfectly in my mind: DorRae is teeming with peace, relaxation, and all-around loveliness. She is host, friend, gardener, photographer, and she simultaneously plays those roles so gracefully. The Hatton House’s atmosphere is a direct reflection of her warm, wise demeanor.
More things that awed us:
The most ideal, quiet roads to bike and run on
The amount of people in Dripping Springs who know and love the Stevens’ (you can’t go anywhere with them without meeting one of their fans.)
The wild flowers
The creek
The horses, chickens, lavender, and the food– oh my, the food. Drool over the pictures and find a way to have a bite of DorRae’s fresh beet salad, or Ribollita, or or basil lasagna or apple crisp one day.
The Hatton House is dreamy and comfortable and kindly asks you to be join its relaxing pace. I’m so grateful that we’– its been monumental for us as individuals and as newlyweds. Thank you again and again and again for your kindness, your warmth, your wisdom, and your friendship.
H.A.G.S,
The Young Bordens

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Photo credit: Karly and Trevor Borden
Can you see why we are the ones who were blessed?
You can keep up with Karly and Trevor as they do this life differently by following Karly’s blog and import business   Burnish Imports
Also find Trevor here   https://trevorborden.bandpage.com/
Pecos, Katie, Trevor and Karly. Until they meet in Tanzania!
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First Guest.

Life here at the Homestead has been non stop the last several weeks. Except for those days we were freezing and had ALL THAT ICE (ha).  Here in the Hill Country everything stops; the schools close, offices shut down, people don’t leave their homes. OK I admit I’m not big on getting out in the cold either! It kinda stops me in my tracks.

But, when we weren’t freezin, we were really busy! As you may have read in an earlier December post,  we opened our Bed and Breakfast. I spent a lot of my time scurrying around finishing details right up to our first guest checking in.

I’m sorry to say I don’t have a photograph of our first guest. And you may ask, what kind of a photographer doesn’t photograph a big event like her first guest at her B&B? The answer; one who is learning to be a “inn keeper.”

I assume some guests will want to visit and get to know their host, maybe even share a glass of wine around the fire pit. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

Then there are others who might be looking for some quite and solitude, basically to be left alone. Being a new “inn keeper,” I have yet to figure the balance, hence, no pictures!

I did however, photograph a few of the breakfast I prepared for them!

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We started off with those lovely Ginger Cranberry Scones, from my friend Denise at Chez Us, served with last year’s Peach Bourbon Jam from our tree, Greek Yogurt parfait with granola and, of course, OJ.

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Day two, Skillet Baked Eggs with winter greens and a yogurt chile sauce.

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There was also more Jam with wheat toast and French Press coffee!

So far, I rather enjoy the mornings serving our guest. We stock the house with coffee, cream, sugar and juice so I don’t have to rush down at first light. And one simply can’t complain about a guest who sends a text like this:

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Not a bad why to ease into the serving breakfast thing!

Re-Invent or Re-Store, sometimes they look alike

We’ve all heard the saying about life being a journey, going through different seasons, taking different paths., reaching different crossroads. At this stage in my life the seasons seem to change quickly and the crossroads are many. As many of my friends are taking the “ I have to re-invent myself” road, I think I am taking more the “It’s time to Re-Store an old self” road.

Years ago (too many to count, but let’s say a long time) I would buy and read books on growing and using herbs, and gardening. Lavender was and still is one of my favorites. Years before I heard anyone talk about lavender farms in Texas, I was dreaming of walking through those amazing purple fields in France. I scoured magazines such as  “Country Living”, Southern Living, Food and Wine. Reading and keeping articles and pictures of old farm houses, Bed & Breakfast sites, and recipes of homegrown and beautiful food. At the time I really didn’t think about photogenic these all were. I didn’t think of creating these images, I just wanted to live in them.

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Photography is still my profession and will always be one of my passions but it is looking a bit different these days. As I approached one of those crossroads in life I decided to restore an old dream instead of re-inventing a new one.

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My husband and I own a wonderful old rock house built somewhere around 1857. We have always dreamed of restoring it for a guest house or B&B. My other dream was to walk through lavender fields but have never made it to France. Life has always taken us down other paths. Oh, they have been wonderful paths just different than these dreams.  But time has come to follow those dreams.

We haven’t made it to France, instead I planted my own lavender field.IMG_3584 I spent the last year loving over that small field, fighting to keep the horses from pulling up the tiny plants. Worried about the drought and then about too much rain,  the Sweet lavender was the only variety to bloom the first year and with that we had lavender ice-cream and gallons of Lavender Lemonade all through the summer.IMG_3585

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At the same time we began work on our little rock house, slowly restoring and working it into shape to welcome guest. Although there is more we want to do we are excited to say we have officially opened The Hatton House B&B at the Creek Road Homestead, and ready for you to come stay!

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WOW, that is a little scary to say out load.

When you have dreamed of something and then the reality is here, and what if it’s not what you think is going to be? Oh well, here we go!

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As of now, we have the downstairs open and plan to open the upstairs room in May or June. You can get more information and book a stay here www.creekroadhomestead.com or you can just email me! If you want to come just walk through the lavender that is fine to.

So you may have noticed I changed the name of my blog to Lavender Lemonade.

When I started my blog, I shared stories about my life, I wrote and shared stories about my clients and a few stories from the streets. At first it was a lot about my photography business, a bit of self-promotion! There will still be a touch of that since I often get my stories and images from my clients but my hope is for it to be more. As I find and share these stories I want them go deeper. I hope they will be inspirational. I hope they tell a story of following ones dreams and stories of hope. I also plan to write, photograph and share more stories about food, about culture and travel. (more later on why I think food is so important)  Lavender Lemonade represents that to me, it reminds me of dreaming, of hard work, of hope, of cultivating a life , of the beauty of a sweet  and sometimes sour life. So I plan and hope to write more in this new year to come, along this new adventure of adding an inn-keeper hat to my collection. I also hope you will join me on occasion, laugh, dream and share the ride, I would love to hear about your dreams as well.

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