Keeping Lubbock Beautiful

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Bybee Sign

Artistry comes in many forms, and the next Cactus Alley Courtyard merchant, Marilee Echols Bybee, owner of Bybee Salon & Objet D’Art, is doing more than her  part to ensure visitors leave this eclectic enclave with some personal improvements or some original art to add flair to the spaces they inhabit.

Let’s face facts: many people blessed with artistic talent aren’t confined to a single medium. That premise is epitomized by Bybee Salon & Objet D’Art, located in Suite 10 in the Cactus Alley Courtyard.

Bridal Hair

Bridal Hair

Marilee began expressing creative talent more than 30 years ago as a hairdresser & colorist. The profession provided a steady income, while allowing her to experiment with her creative side. Today, Marilee operates from behind just one salon chair, & she has developed a reputation as a color specialist. In addition, she provides a full spectrum of hair services to her large clientele base.

Her decision to include art in her business seemed natural, as she dabbled in art herself. She also supported other artists over the years & had a strong appreciation for the quality of artists Lubbock had to offer. “I wanted to create a place where local artists could easily display their work on consignment, without it being a huge expense for them,” she said. Most pieces are one-of-a-kind.

Various Artists

Various Artists

“If someone wants to take a little piece of Lubbock home with them, this is the place to visit.” She cautions shoppers that pieces are constantly selling & being replaced by new works, so if they see something they like, they should make their purchases before they miss the opportunity.

The list of artists featured in the gallery includes Barbara Beller (jewelry), Pat Brown (clay), Andrew Carrazalez (clay), Tom Hicks (clay), Kendra McCartney (clay), Yvonne Mendoza (clay), Susan Nall (watercolor), Ed Spence (photography), Lyn Stoll (metal jewelry – featured in the July 2014 Journal of Jewelry Artists), Jerry Thompson (photography) & Veronica Young (clay)

More BeadsShe has a love of working with clay & creates hand-designed beads comprised of an amazing 160 smaller beads. Marilee also enjoys putting her personal, painted touch on small furniture pieces. On her website, www.marileedesign.com, she is very honest about her approach marketing her talent, “Some is available for sale, some sold, some given to special people & some I just can’t part with yet.”

Marilee moved to Cactus Alley Courtyard in May of 2013, & she has found a community of like-minded artists, merchants & friends. “It’s super cute & eclectic, encompassing a one-person salon & art gallery for me and my friends to show our art,” she noted in her blog at the end of that year.

“I’ve been extremely blessed here.” As a bonus, her grandchildren are frequent visitors to her place of business & to that of their maternal grandmother, Terri Arthur, owner of Fragrance of Heaven, who pours scrumptious candles just across the courtyard (I featured her shop in the last blog I posted).

McCartney Ceramics

Beller Jewelry

Beller Jewelry

If you need a new spring hairstyle or something stylish for your home or a gift, visit Bybee Salon & Objet D’Art at 2610 Salem Avenue, Suite 10. She is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to “whenever,” according to Marilee.  You can call her at 806-796-7150. Also, email her at marilee@marileedesign.com, follow her on  Twitter at @EcholsBybee or like her on Facebook.

“There is always something new – either a new look or new art,” Marilee proudly stated!

 

Styling & Profiling

Styling & Profiling

Cactus Alley Courtyard

2610 Salem Avenue

Lubbock, TX

 

NOTE: We will feature additional Cactus Alley Courtyard stores soon. Keep an eye out for future blogs with information about more great shopping and dining.

 

Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast

David& Dawn Fleming, Owners/Innkeepers

2629 19th Street

(At corner of Boston Avenue across from Texas Tech University)

Lubbock, Texas 79410

Phone: 806-793-3330

Toll Free: 800-687-5236

Click to E-mail Innkeeper

www.woodrowhouse.com

Follow us on Facebook & Pinterest

Keeping Company at Cactus Alley Courtyard

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Keeping Company at Cactus Alley Courtyard

Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year. Business has been good, but I’ve always imagined a guest’s stay should be more than just a place to rest at night. Each visitor’s trip to Lubbock should be an adventure full of good food, fun shopping & exciting excursions to discover art & history. Cactus Alley Courtyard, just off of the Marsha Sharp Freeway & Salem Avenue, manages to roll all of those items into one fantastic stop.

Cactus Alley Courtyard

Cactus Alley Courtyard

“Lubbock’s Best Kept Secret” has been touted as the unofficial Cactus Alley Courtyard Shopping Center slogan for years, but it is really inaccurate. Savvy shoppers in the Hub City are well aware this small, eclectic enclave is home to unique boutiques, shops & yummy food & beverage spots.

“There are a lot of rumors about Cactus Alley Courtyard’s past,” according to owner Vickie Glenn. “People will tell you it was a former army barracks, but that isn’t true.” Others will say it was a small apartment complex. Vickie’s understanding of the site’s history includes a story of a local craftsman cobbling together the courtyard one shop at a time for the original owner. The sporadic nature of his work had him making use of materials left over from other jobs, & this resulted in the different bricks that are now a hallmark of the unique structure that surrounds a serene courtyard.

Lisa Stafford &  Vickie Glenn

Lisa Stafford &
Vickie Glenn

Vickie began her career as a hair dresser, & over time she came to Cactus Alley Courtyard as a tenant when her daughter, Lisa Stafford, opened her own salon, Hello Gorgeous. Vickie hit upon the notion that she wanted to own rental property a couple of years later. When she approached Cactus Alley Courtyard’s previous owner about the idea of buying the property, their response was, “Do you have any clue what you’re getting into?”

“I put the decision into God’s hand & asked Him to help me move on if it wasn’t what He wanted for me,” she said. Her phone rang a few minutes later, & the purchase was a done deal. “It was overwhelming at first,” she admitted. “People were coming to me about broken toilets, & I just had to figure it out.” She will mark her fourth anniversary as owner in June.

Cactus Alley Courtyard now boasts 12 shops, including with Manna Bread & Wine & Gatsby’s Coffeehouse. I plan to introduce those shops to the followers of Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast over several blogs. The first two businesses I want to feature are The Swanky Nomad & Fragrance of Heaven.

The Swanky Nomad

Swanky NomadThe Swanky Nomad is a natural starting point, as it is a companion boutique that has grown to surround Hello Gorgeous. After focusing on hair for many years, Lisa came to Vickie with the idea of opening a clothing store. Vickie liked the idea & volunteered to manage the boutique, leaving Lisa free to focus on her clients. “I have always been a jeans & t-shirt type of girl, but I like getting out of my little box,” she noted.

This fun, trendy women’s clothing boutique is tucked away in the center of the Cactus Alley Courtyard. Shoppers know that if they want a signature look, they can find it among the cute tops, dresses, purses, & accessories at The Swanky Nomad. “The companies we deal with at market, or who have come into our store wanting us to carry their lines, are very protective of what we are trying to do for the women who shop with us,” she said. “You aren’t going to find these styles anywhere else in Lubbock.”

The Swanky Nomad & Hello Gorgeous, located in Suite 6, are open Tuesday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., & Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Shoppers can keep up with their latest events by following the boutique on Facebook & by visiting their website at www.boutiquelubbock.com; Twitter at @twistedsis6; & Instagram at swankynomad. The boutique’s phone number is 806-784-0084.

Fragrance of Heaven

Fragrance of Heaven Sign

Terri Arthur began Fragrance of Heaven to be a business & a ministry that combined her passion for pouring high-quality candles & for sharing her faith. The idea was born as a result of her dissatisfaction with candles that lost their fragrance after a very short time, & she decided to try her hand at creating a better product in 2009. Her “recipe” incorporates paraffin & Grade A, uncut oils that are mixed at a higher concentration & poured into a strong & pure candle that burns for a longer period of time. As a bonus to customers, she also makes a small candle in the lid of each candle.

It didn’t take long to outgrow her home-based operation, & she went in search of the perfect location. She visited Cactus Alley Courtyard, but the space she looked at was too small. Vickie offered her the opportunity to combine two shops into one – allowing for a showroom & a studio for pouring parties. “I decided to step out on faith, & I knew this was what God wanted me to do,” Terri commented. She signed the lease & settled into the Cactus Alley Courtyard family in April of 2013. Along with the candles, Terri offers a wide selection of crosses & books by Christian author, Rebecca Stevens Crownover.

The pouring parties have become a popular way to celebrate special events. One of her first & most memorable events resulted from a visit by former Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege & his then-fiancée, Abi. They were looking for a unique gift for wedding guests. The couple began playing with fragrance combinations & came up with Pigskin & Prada (leather & white flowers). The parties are priced at $75 per pour & can seat four or five people. Participants can select the fragrance combination, color, name & scripture. The actual pour takes about an hour, participants can then explore the other Cactus Alley Courtyard shops while their candles harden over the course of an additional hour, & then they can take them home. They must refrain from burning the new candles for 24 to 48 hours while they cure.

Popular Fragrance!

Popular Fragrance!

Approximately 80 standard scents are available, & candle sizes include a 2-N-1 Large ($16), Mason Jar ($11), Small ($8), Tarts ($6 – or 3 for $16 & receive a fourth free) & an Air Freshener Kit ($11). Terri’s most popular fragrances include Cactus Alley Cooler, Yaffa & leather blends. Terri also will fill a favorite container for customers for $1.25 per ounce.

Fragrance of Heaven is located in Suites 12 & 13 & is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., so stop in & visit with Terri. If you don’t find the perfect scent for your home, she will help you create your own signature fragrance. Also, follow the shop on Facebook, through Terri’s website, www.fragranceofheaven.com, or give her a call at 806-549-1679.

Plan your trip today

Vickie has a vision for Cactus Alley Courtyard’s future. “I want this space to thrive, & I want it to be a place people will come not just to shop, but to hang out, to eat, to listen to music.” She admits she is very selective about the tenants she brings into the Cactus Alley Courtyard. “I want the people here to feel like family & to feel comfortable.”

That management style also influenced the hours for Cactus Alley Courtyard. “I really feel that having a two-day weekend is very important, so we decided it would be best if many of the merchants could be off on Sunday & Monday each week,” Vickie noted. Many shops have exceptions to these days & times, or are willing to extend their hours, so she encourages shoppers to speak with each establishment if they have special requests.

Don’t get trapped in retail chain stores! Visit Cactus Alley Courtyard at 2610 Salem Avenue, where you’ll find everything from hand-crafted cheesecake & personalized t-shirts to trendy wigs & original nail art.

NOTE: We will feature additional Cactus Alley Courtyard stores soon. Keep an eye out for future blogs with information about more great shopping and dining.

Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast

David & Dawn Fleming, Owners/Innkeepers
2629 19th Street
(At corner of Boston Avenue across from
Texas Tech University)
Lubbock, Texas 79410
Phone: 806-793-3330
Toll Free: 800-687-5236
Click to E-mail Innkeeper

www.woodrowhouse.com

 

Love is in the Air!

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Romance Package

Romance Package

I’ve long been a believer that bed & breakfast inns are much more romantic that the traditional hotel, and that makes Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast the ideal spot to stage your Valentine’s Day surprise! Many of our rooms have already booked well in advance of this lovers’ holiday, so act fast to claim a spot. Also, if your favorite room isn’t available for Saturday, February 14th, book the night before and start the romance early on Friday or enjoy a leisurely Sunday and start your week with love!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

We have a wonderful Romance Package to surprise your sweetheart when you get to your room. Included is your choice of chilled beverage, candlelight and music – all for just $35. Select from a red, white or blush wine or a non-alcoholic sparkling white grape juice and be ready to toast your special someone. Of course, what is Valentine’s Day without chocolate? Add our hand-dipped chocolate-covered strawberries for $2 apiece.

Enjoy an in-room massage.

Enjoy an in-room massage.

If you want to pull out all the stops, but are short on time, we can order flowers for you (costs ranges from $75-$125, depending upon the arrangement), and we can even schedule an in-room masseuse for the ultimate luxury. Call us for details & make it a day to remember!

Dinner for Two

Lubbock is home to some of the state’s finest restaurants, so you’ll want to make reservations for a scrumptious dinner. I’ve listed some of my favorite spots below, and I’ve included any special Valentine information provided by these establishments:

Café J

Just a few doors down from Woodrow House, you can’t get any more convenient! Of course, the food is divine and the drink menu is even better.

2605 19th Street

http://www.cafejlubbock.com

806-743-5400

Cagle Steaks & BBQ

John Cagle says the restaurant will be taking reservations for the first time, which if you know anything about this wonderful place is a really big deal.

8732 4th Street

http://www.caglesteaks.com

806-795-3879

Italian Garden

Every dish is made from scratch, and I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve tried at Italian Garden. Feel free to bring along your favorite bottle of wine – staff will uncork it for you and supply the wine glasses.

1636 13th Street

806-771-2212

La Diosa Cellars

Las Diosa dinner reservations are scheduled for half hour intervals, beginning at 6 p.m. and continuing until 8:30 p.m., with the length of the meal set two hours. The five course dinner is $75 per person, and you can view the menu on their website. Community Lounge seating is available for guest to continue their evening after dinner. The back room is available for walk-ins for $10 per person, but only a select menu will be offered. Entertainment will be provided by the Alma Quartet.

901 17th Street

http://www.ladiosacellars.com

806-744-3600

Manna Bread & Wine

Manna is tucked away in a corner of artsy Cactus Alley, and will offer a prix fixe menu, featuring a five course meal featuring a red pepper-crusted rib eye, along with two optional wine pairings. Enjoy exceptional food and great art work.

2610 Salem Avenue

806-791-5600

Mean Woman Grill

If you’re looking for stick-to-your-ribs food, good music and spirited fun, this is the place for you and your sweetheart!

2103 4th Street

http://www.meanwomangrill.com

806-368-8472

Skyviews of Texas Tech University

It’s hard to think of this unique dining experience as a classroom laboratory, but essentially, that’s what it is. Almost entirely run by Texas Tech students enrolled in the Restaurant, Hotel and Institutional Management program, patrons will enjoy ambience and unique menus – all under the direction of Executive Chef Matt Tarantino.

6th Floor Texas Tech Plaza

19th Street & University

http://www.depts.ttu.edu/hs/hrm/skyviews

806-742-4762

My Gift to You

I love this lover’s holiday, so I want to share a special recipe with my readers so that you can create your own Valentine magic.

Chocolate Covered Cherries

Chocolate Covered Cherries

Ingredients:

40-60 Large Maraschino Cherries with Stems (drained, but not rinsed)

2 Boxes of Powdered Sugar (32 oz.)

1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

½ Cup Butter or Margarine

1 Pinch Salt

2 Packages Chocolate Chips (semi sweet or dark)

1 Stick Paraffin (a 16 oz. box has 4 bricks in it. Use 1 brick for 2 bags of chocolate chips – cut, break or shave the paraffin into smaller pieces for faster melting)

Melt the butter slowly and add the milk. Add the sugar and salt, and stir until well mixed – this results a dough, that should be chilled easy handling.

Remove only about a quarter of the dough from the refrigerator at a time (it will become soft and begin to stick to your hands). Mold a half dollar-sized amount of dough around each cherry, but leave the stem exposed. (Try to use only enough dough to just cover the cherry to ensure there is not too much candy and not enough cherry or juice. Also, make sure there are no holes in the dough or the juice will leak out. If you need to patch any areas, dip your fingers in water and smooth the area or add a small amount of dough if needed.) Place each dough-covered cherry on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. When the pan is full, place it in the refrigerator or freezer until cherries are very firm. (If you omit the parchment paper, the candies will stick to your cookie sheet – I’ve done it, and it is a mess! If you find you are working too slowly, and your candies are losing their shape, make a few and go ahead and put them in the fridge. I often take two days to make this candy, and when I don’t dip them until the next day, I cover them with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.)

Melt the chocolate chips and paraffin together in the top of a double boiler. Remove from heat. Take a small number of the cherries from the refrigerator at a time (so they don’t soften). Hold the candies by the cherry stem and dip them into the melted chocolate mixture and remove quickly. Place Chocolate Covered Cherries on waxed paper. (If your chocolate starts to firm up, place it back over hot water in your double boiler for a couple of seconds. I leave my pan of hot water on my stove, over a low heat, until I have finished – I guarantee the phone will ring or you will be interrupted by something else.) A small amount of juice may leak out around the stem, but that is okay.

Be sure you store your candies with the stem UP. Keep them tightly covered in the refrigerator (you can buy paper candy cups at hobby stores, along with divider layers for tins and boxes) and take out only a few at a time – if they last long enough….

Variations:

You can replace the cherry with an almond and add 1 can of flaked coconut to the dough to make a Mounds-type candy.

If you omit a center and add chopped pecans to the dough, you’ll have Dreams-type candy.

If you make the dough balls with no center or extra goodies, you have bon-bons.

When making these variations, insert a toothpick deeply into the top of the candies when you form the balls. This aids in dipping the candy. Remove the toothpick after dipping, and drip some melted chocolate over the hole (it makes a cute little decoration on the top of the candy).

ENJOY!

Also, remember to enjoy the entire Valentine weekend – book Friday or Sunday if the room you want isn’t available for Saturday!

A warm reception & a chilled beverage!

A warm reception & a chilled beverage!

Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast

David & Dawn Fleming, Owners/Innkeepers
2629 19th Street
(At corner of Boston Avenue across from
Texas Tech University)
Lubbock, Texas 79410
Phone: 806-793-3330
Toll Free: 800-687-5236
Click to E-mail Innkeeper

Rolling Out the “Red” Carpet

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Now playing: YouTube’s latest sensation:

http://youtu.be/58ZcVWiKeww

Okay, now that you have seen “it,” you may still be asking, “What exactly is The Red Chair, & why did it get the royal treatment when it made its 90th nationwide stop in Lubbock at Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast?”

Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast

Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast

Very simply, The Red Chair blossomed from a plain piece of colorful furniture that was photographed on a pond in Cape Code to a social media darling that has taken on a life of its own. The Red Chair website states, “It is a symbol, a movement, a phenomenon, a happening. Not just a simple wooden chair, this bright red vintage object is moving from place to beautiful place… .”  During the winter of 2011, Beth Colt carted this chair out to a pond during a family ice skating outing to assist with getting skates on & off. Beth, who operates a Woods Hole, Massachusetts bed & breakfast, The Woods Hole Inn, & snapped a picture with her I Phone. She intended to use the photo in a project that called for her to post a new photograph every day of the year. She then uploaded the photo to Facebook, & the “likes” began pouring in. It wasn’t long until a nature photographer in California, Julie Cromer, saw the photo & made a trip to Cape Cod & asked to borrow the chair for a travel adventure.

In Beth’s own words, “The red chair became a symbol, a metaphor for connections made across invisible boundaries. For me, the red chair is an invitation to come explore yourself in a quiet & beautiful place. It is an open seat at the table of relaxation. It is the beckoning hand of civilization, marking the edge of the wildness of nature. It is the dialogue between artists & innkeepers, dreamers & shop-girls, lost travelers & those that welcome them into warm beds.”

In the spring of 2012, the burgeoning wooden celebrity could be found at the Cape’s most popular inns. It then headed to Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont & New Hampshire, before moving on to other parts of Massachusetts & Connecticut.

Soon the mania spread, & more than 500 inns & bed & breakfasts across the country were clamoring to play host to The Red Chair – Woodrow House was one of the 100 lucky establishments to be honored with a coveted selection. In all, the chair will visit a total of 20 additional states.

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A Four-Legged Celebrity comes to Town

Red arrived on Thursday, March 20th. He was shipped in a huge box from Brownwood, Texas, where he visited The Star of Texas B&B. We let him rest on Thursday, and then spent all day Friday showing him the highlights of Lubbock.

 

One of our first stops was the Buddy Holly Center. Lubbock is the hometown of world-famous musician Buddy Holly. There also is a Walk of Fame, replete with a statue of Buddy Holly, right next to the Center. Lots of talented musicians were homegrown right here in Lubbock & the surrounding areas, including Waylon Jennings, Mac Davis, Roy Orbison & Joe Ely, to name just a few.

 

The Buddy Holly Center

The Buddy Holly Center

 

The Buddy Holly Center is right next to the Depot District, which is the entertainment district of Lubbock. Lots of great, live entertainment! Red wanted to visit the historic Cactus Theater. Who knew he was such a music lover! He then had to get a shot under a famous 19th Street mural of the Crickets & Peggy Sue.

19th Street Mural

19th Street Mural

 

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We stopped at Lubbock High School, where Buddy Holly graduated. Then we headed to Texas Tech University, saw the Texas Tech University Museum & the Ranching Heritage Museum. Red also got to visit the American Wind Power Museum which has the largest collection of windmills in the world!

 

As we headed to Caprock Winery, we passed an oil pump jack, so of course we had to stop & take a picture! It wouldn’t be a true visit to Texas without a picture with a working oil pump jack!

 

Pump Jack

Pump Jack

 

When we left Caprock Winery, we got a call from a local television station, so we stopped by the station & they took pictures & video of Red & interviewed us. We definitely felt a bit like celebrities after ending up on the 6 p.m. & 10 p.m. news on Saturday night!

Caprock Winery

Caprock Winery

 

Red even got to hang out with some new friends & played scrabble by the pool at the Woodrow House. Red also loved the Santa Fe Caboose in the backyard!

 

Scrabble by the Woodrow House Pool

Scrabble by the Woodrow House Pool

Woodrow House Caboose

Woodrow House Caboose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Sunday, we loaded him up & traveled almost two hours to Matador, Texas, where he continued his travel adventure at the Matador Hotel. It was wonderful hosting Red, & we loved taking time to enjoy our great city.

 

To be inspired by the complete story of The Red Chair, you can read a compilation of blogs at:

http://www.redchairtravels.com/blog.html.

A photo history can be found at:

http://www.redchairtravels.com.

Finally, follow The Red Chair at:

https://www.facebook.com/RedChairTravels.

For more Red, follow him on Twitter & Pinterest too:

http://www.pinterest.com/redchairtravels/boards/.

This website is devoted to capturing this unique journey in words & photos so be sure to check in every few days as the Red Chair doesn’t stay in any one place too long!

Don’t we all need a little Red Chair in our lives? If so, there is no better place to start your trek than at Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast. Check us out on YouTube at:

http://youtu.be/ArbLbvLKEh8.
Or, learn more about the Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast visit ww.woodrowhouse.com or call 806-793-3330.

 

Comphy Sheets – Changing the World One Bed at a Time

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We are in the midst of that time of year – scrambling to decorate, bake & shop for the perfect gift for the people who are most important in our lives. So while my bed & breakfast elves are scurrying around wrapping stair banisters with garland & bows, I want to remind readers that Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast can make your gift shopping a great deal more pleasant. Among the items we offer in our small gift shop area, the item that gets the most “oohs & aahs” is a set of sheets from the Comphy Company.

 

Comphy Co. Sheets

Comphy Co. Sheets

 

 

Are you finding it difficult to get excited about sheets?  If you’ve stayed one night with us, you know what I am talking about – pure luxury! The best way I have found to describe these sheets is to liken them to slipping between two layers of velvety smooth chocolate butter, but without the mess. All it takes is one night to make you a life-long fan.

Comphy Company had its beginning in spa treatment rooms 20 years ago, but has expanded its business to include all areas of the hospitality industry – hotels, resorts, bed & breakfasts, day spas & medical spas. The popularity of their products has prompted them to respond to customer demands by offering Comphy at Home bedding products. Home products include pillow cases, shams, duvet covers & more. Crafted from microfiber, sets boast the feel of a luxurious cotton thread count of 600.

For a great stocking stuffer, give the eye pillow & case. The set includes one pillow made from Comphy’s signature microfiber & filled with flax seed. Detailed stitching on the pillow case flap creates pockets for aromatherapy patches.

Comphy Baby & Comphy Pet lines are currently in the works.

We offer sets in white, cream, silver, teal & chocolate. The high performance fabric makes care a snap, & they are long lasting (I’ve consistently used sets for more than two years on guest beds without significant wear).

  • Performance fabric assures breathability and comfort
  • Eco-friendly micro-fiber is 100% recyclable
  • Dries quickly
  • Does not require ironing
  • Treated for stain release
  • Highly recommended for people with sensitive skin
  • Extra fine weave protects against dust mite allergens
  • 18″ deep pockets fit newer pillow top mattresses
  • Each sheet is guaranteed for up to 2 years against product defect

 

This is your chance to win Santa of the Year, & I guarantee the person on the receiving end of your gift will want to unwrap your present on Christmas Eve. Contact me to discuss your gift-giving needs, & then sit back & enjoy the extra time you saved by giving Comphy Sheets. (Don’t forget the gift of an overnight stay at Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast is another fabulous gift!)

Christmas at Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast

Christmas at Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast

 

http://www.comphy.com

Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast

David & Dawn Fleming, Owners/Innkeepers
2629 19th Street
(At corner of Boston Avenue across from

Texas Tech University)
Lubbock, Texas 79410
Phone: 806-793-3330
Toll Free: 800-687-5236
Click to E-mail Innkeeper

Good Clean Fun

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On any given day, I’ll be the first one to say that I am truly blessed. Owning a bed & breakfast allowed me to be “home” as my four children were growing up, but it created a unique situation in that “home” was also “work.” Fortunately, each child developed their own unique personalities, & I feel being around such a wide variety of guests has introduced them to the world outside of Lubbock, Texas.

Today, I get to brag a little bit about my oldest daughter, Paige. While she has been away at college at Texas A&M University-Commerce, an entrepreneurial spirit has emerged, & it has turned out to be an unexpected boon to Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast. Paige decided she wanted to try her hand at direct sales when a friend introduced her to Norwex cleaning products.

She recently had a chance to share information about Norwex with other bed & breakfast professionals at the Texas Bed & Breakfast Association Conference & Trade Show in New Braunfels. It was her first time to step out in this type of role, & I was extremely proud of her!

Paige Fleming

Paige Fleming

A Page out of Paige’s Book

Before I tell you about Paige’s business, I want to tell you about Paige herself.

Paige was born in 1991, so she was still quite small when Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast opened in 1995. Growing up in an inn could be considered unconventional, but David & I worked really hard to keep life as normal as possible for all of our children.

When I asked her what her best memory was in relation to living her childhood in front of strangers, she said, “I guess it was growing up in a big house.” She was quick to add that she didn’t mean that statement to sound devoid of humility, but rather that she knew she was fortunate to have a home with so many interesting rooms. Paige stated that she loved being able to play hide & seek throughout the Inn with her friends & siblings.

Granny's Attic

Granny’s Attic

The only drawbacks she remembers were the lack of privacy & having to share a bedroom in our living quarters. Fortunately, she turned that lack of privacy into a talent for speaking with complete strangers at the breakfast table & discovering the world through their eyes while they spent a night or two with us. It is true that she did have to share a room, but the up side was being able to host the best sleepovers & being able to choose one of the unique guest rooms to share with her friends. Looking back, she said Granny’s Attic was her favorite. “I loved how big it was, especially the bathroom with its big, claw-foot tub. I loved the slanted roof angles in that room.”

Honeymoon Suite

Honeymoon Suite

Today, she also counts the Honeymoon Suite as one of the most beautiful spaces we have to offer to guests. Again, the bathroom, with its rainfall shower heads, is a favorite. She also noted how much she loves the luxury of the sheets in that room (I’ll tell you more about our Comfy Co. sheets at another time).

Going, Going, Gone

In my opinion, she grew up way too fast. She graduated from Lubbock High School in 2010. Her love of music, particularly percussion, lead her to audition & travel the nation with the Revolution Drum & Bugle Corps for two very intense summers. Paige then moved to Commerce, Texas, where she is pursuing a degree in music education at Texas A&M-Commerce. She chose Commerce because she was looking for a school that could offer more personal interaction & because of scholarship opportunities. A little bit of home eventually followed her, as she shares a house with our middle daughter, Courtney, & three additional roommates. Our grandpuppy, Maggie, also enjoys a very spoiled existence in Paige’s place.

She currently is preparing for her senior recital in November, student teaching & then graduation next May. Paige hopes to initially teach at the elementary level & then earn a master’s degree in music therapy.

Back to Business Where Green is Good

Texas B&B Association Trade Show

Texas B&B Association Trade Show

If you are like me, you may be scratching your head because you’ve never heard of Norwex. Paige discovered the company was better known in northern states, Canada & Europe. One of the main ideas that caught her attention was the fact that Norwex was dedicated to improving the quality of life of its consumers by “radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care & cleaning.”

I guess she was paying attention to my focus at the bed & breakfast as I attempted to incorporate “greener” approaches to running my business. I would like to say it was a sheer desire to reduce my “footprint” on ecology & keep guests free from exposure to chemicals, but I also understood that it would affect my bottom line & save me money over the long haul. These practices often are as simple as suggesting guests who are staying multiple nights consider the frequency of linen changes in their rooms. The decision to sleep several nights on the same set of sheets saves water & electricity & reduces the amount of detergent & fabric softener required for laundry. From a pragmatic approach, my staff saves time in cleaning a room that doesn’t need a complete linen change, & there is less laundry to deal with on a daily basis. All of these little steps eventually trickle down to the guest by allowing me to keep rates as low as possible.

Bjorn Nicolaisen, Norwex Chairman, founded the company after thinking back on his childhood in Norway & remembering the pristine beauty of his surroundings. Over the course of time, he realized chemicals were having a negative impact on the environment & on the health of people coming in contact with more than 80,000 new chemicals. Company research has shown that indoor air pollution is one of the five highest-ranking environmental issues affecting consumer health, with chemical levels reaching up to 70 times higher than outdoor levels. Most of these chemicals have not been thoroughly tested. The Norwex solution addresses:

Health – consumers don’t breath, touch or ingest harmful chemicals

Time – products decrease cleaning time by 75% or more

Money – an average household spends $600-$800 a year on chemical cleaning products & supplies, but Norwex products can result in up to 90% savings

Environment – safe, natural ingredients protect & sustain the world in which we live.

Where the Rubber (or Microfiber Towel) Meets the Road

I was a little skeptical at first, as we’ve all heard numerous “new & improved” pitches that preach a better way to clean (I’m having a bad flashback to a ShamWow® commercial). My parental instinct kicked in, & I realized my daughter wasn’t one to chase a hair-brained idea – she’s too much like David in that aspect. I agreed to try Norwex on a limited basis. After all, cleaning at an inn is a very serious business, & it is almost a science.

My staff proved to be troopers & accepted this experiment with an open mind. We began our trial period by using the Norwex Enviro Cloths in our bathrooms. This product is comprised of fibers that are 1/200th the size of strand of human hair. They require no chemicals & work by lifting dirt, grease & grime off surfaces & into the towel. When the cloth is dry, it is used to dust, & when it is wet it is a powerhouse cleaner. Antibac micro silver in a wet cloth employs a self-purification process that guards against mold, fungi & bacterial odor within 24 hours. In between laundering, cloths are simply rinsed & allowed to air dry. We maintain the cloths by boiling them in water or washing them in Norwex detergent. I want to stress that the best feature of the cloths is NO cleaning products are needed for them to accomplish their task. I kept a very close eye on the level of cleanliness during this trial period & was pleasantly surprised.

Paloma Herrera, my Innkeeper, & Tawana Hamilton, my Assistant Innkeeper, were instant fans. Tawana is quick to point out that the introduction of Norwex products into our housekeeping routine has cut her cleaning time in half. That simple fact allows the staff to spend more time on customer service & promoting Woodrow House. Paloma finds that the customer service aspect is directly affected by Norwex. “We don’t have to be as worried about guests’ allergies & sensitivities to fragrances when we are using Norwex. Plus, it’s convenient for us – we don’t have to carry as much with us when we go from room to room.”

Paloma has been with me five years, having participated a high school hospitality program that brought her to me. I knew a good thing when I saw it & asked her to stay on when the program was completed. Her boyfriend, Junior Perez, works for David as electrician, so I guess we keep it all in the family. Together, they are raising three adorable girls, including a set of twins.

Away from the Inn, Tawana also has a full plate. She & her husband, Rodney, have five children (four boys & one girl) who range in age from 16 to a four-year-old. She also has a hospitality background.

Since the trial period ended, we’ve added many more Norwex products & use them exclusively. I could write a dissertation about the unique & helpful items Norwex has available, but I know Paige would be better suited to introducing you to a simpler, faster way to clean. Also, if you are looking for a rewarding career option, she can share information about becoming a sales consultant. Her own words illustrate her passion for this new aspect of her life:

“Before I even had the Norwex products in my hand, I knew I wanted to become a consultant. I fell in love with their products instantly & I wanted everyone to know about these products. So far, I have loved every minute of it. Norwex is my way of saving up to get a Masters in Music Therapy. I can continue this business as long as I want & it is a career that can follow me to college & back. I can set up shop in any town, as long as I get to know someone there. I believe this will be a life-long career that will help me in my future, & I am so excited to be a part of the Norwex family!”

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Paige Fleming

Norwex Sales Consultant

www.paigefleming.norwex.biz

paigeyflem@gmail.com

Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast

David & Dawn Fleming, Owners/Innkeepers
2629 19th Street
(At corner of Boston Avenue across from Texas Tech University)
Lubbock, Texas 79410
Phone: 806-793-3330
Toll Free: 800-687-5236

Click to E-mail Innkeeper

Mount Up on Wings like Eagles

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Envision yourself aboard a glider, being towed by another airplane, & your goal is to float noiselessly down behind enemy lines with a cargo of weapons, supplies & troops needed to secure victory in World War II. This simple idea sounds a bit like brilliant science fiction or, at best, an ill-conceived notion that is sure to end badly.

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That notion was summed up on the National WWI Glider Pilots Association website, which quotes a former glider pilot:

Glider Interior: Looking Toward the Cockpit

Glider Interior: Looking Toward the Cockpit

“Imagine flying a motor-less, fabric-covered CG-4A glider, violently bouncing & jerking on a 11/16”-thick nylon rope 350 feet back of the C-47 tow plane. You see the nervous glider infantrymen behind you, some vomiting, many in prayer, as you hedge-hop along a tree-top level instinctively jumping up in your seat every time you hear bullets & flak tearing through the glider. You try not to think about the explosives aboard. It’s like flying a stick of dynamite through the gates of Hell.”

It’s not science fiction, & the proof of this program’s importance to WWII efforts is housed in the Silent Wings Museum, which stands on the outskirts of Lubbock, in one of the old Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport terminal buildings. I’ve driven past it too many times to count – never once giving it a second thought, but the beauty of our little corner of the world is it includes a wealth of history that has touched people throughout the world.

Early History

The U.S. Army & Navy toyed with gliders preceding WWII, but abandoned the idea before achieving any success. Once the U.S. became embroiled in the conflicts in Europe & the Pacific, broad-minded Army leaders turned to civilian sporting groups for guidance when resurrecting the glider issue. After buying up the entire stock of sailplanes in the country, their next hurdle was personnel. Thinking they could delve into the ranks of “power” pilots, leadership was disappointed to find those ranks sparse. Enlisted men with no flying experience & “washouts” from power aviation training became the target audience for training. They may have been considered the “D” list at the beginning, but by the close of hostilities, their bravery & expertise were unquestioned. Staying aloft was not the primary goal – it was piloting a soaring cargo trailer to the ground quickly & in one piece.

097The U.S. War Department took over what was then known as the Lubbock Municipal Airfield in 1942 & created the South Plains Army Airfield. The facility eventually was considered the largest glider training facility in the world.

According the Glider Pilots Association, more than 5,000 individuals volunteered & were trained as glider pilots & earned the right to wear silver wings emblazoned with the letter “G” – which they claim also stood for “guts.” They first saw action in 1943 with the invasion of Sicily, also known as Operation Husky, & their losses were heavy by any standard. Undeterred, their exploits saw them float into the center of warfare – from France to the Philippines.

One of the most famous glider pilots was actor Jackie Coogan, who enlisted in the Army following the attack on Pearl Harbor, but eventually transferred to the Army Air Force so that his flying skills could be put to use. He received his initial training in Lubbock. In his civilian life, Coogan began his acting career as a child &, later in life, earned fame as Uncle Fester in “The Addams Family” television series. Legislation protecting the earnings of child actors bears his name, the Coogan Act, after his parents squandered the majority of his acting proceeds – estimated between $3-4 million ($48-65 million in 2012 dollars).

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Resurrecting the Past

The Glider Pilot Association was formed in 1971 to ensure the exploits of this relatively small military group were not forgotten. One of their first goals was to find a glider & restore it to its original state. This was no easy task, as the gliders were considered expendable & were often destroyed or abandoned after landing. Trekking all the way to Fresno, California, a glider was located atop a business. The refurbished glider was unveiled at a 1979 reunion in Dallas.

Subsequently, the first Silent Wings Museum opened in Terrell, Texas in 1984. Almost 15 years passed before it became evident that a more permanent home was needed to adequately preserve this special niche in history. Lubbock seemed a logical successor, as most pilots were trained in the Hub City. The Terrell site closed at the beginning of 2001, ownership of the museum was transferred to the City of Lubbock & almost two years later the new museum opened, with the restored glider as the focal point of its exhibits. The museum encompasses 40,000 square feet of space, including three galleries, a theater, library, archive & office space. The building’s original air traffic control tower sports a pair of glider pilot wings.

090 (2)The exhibits are surprisingly accessible. Visitors can walk right up to & touch airplanes – even poke their heads inside. It was easy to imagine what it might have been like to step aboard a glider & what it was like in a training classroom. The thought that kept running through my mind was, “This was flying “old school” – Wright Brothers old school.” It must have taken extreme courage to trust fate like this.

The mission of the museum is:

The Silent Wings Museum, a public institution, preserves & promotes the history of the World War II military glider program by creating an environment for collecting, documenting, interpreting & exhibiting artifacts & information for public education & enjoyment.

Reflections on a Modern Tragedy

The heroes of World War II are sharing their exhibit space at the Silent Wings Museum for a very short time with heroes of a more recent era – NASA shuttle astronauts.

In mid-February, “Columbia: Honoring Heroes Rick Husband & Willie McCool” opened on the 10th anniversary of the tragic loss of the space shuttle Columbia as it broke up over Texas & Louisiana on February 1, 2003. It was a mere 16 minutes from its scheduled landing in Florida.

According to NASA, Columbia launched on January 16, 2003, & the crew worked in two alternating shifts, 24 hours a day, to conduct approximately 80 experiments. In addition to Crew Commander Rick Husband & Pilot  Willie McCool, the seven-member crew was composed of Michael P. Anderson, David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark & Ilan Ramon.

This event scarred the American psyche, & that point is well documented in the exhibit. More important, though, is recognizing Husband & McCool, their ties to West Texas & how two seemingly ordinary young men went about becoming legends. (I somehow hope this exhibit sets a young person on the road to achieving more than they ever dream possible.)

Evelyn Husband-Thompson, Husband’s widow, donated approximately 100 boxes of memorabilia to the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech University. This academic research archive meticulously combed through the material to select items that would strike a chord with visitors. According the Amarillo Globe News, poignant objects include a photograph from an unprocessed roll of film that caught the Columbia crew in a floating formation. Also, it is mind-boggling that forces that ripped a spacecraft apart had little or no effect on a tiny, packaged contact lens or only slight damage to a signed CD of James Taylor’s “Greatest Hits,” both carried into orbit by Husband.

Also contributing to the Collection’s efforts were McCool’s parents, Barry & Audrey, who reside in Lubbock. Their son was a 1979 graduate of Coronado High, who went on to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in applied science in 1983. He received a Master of Science degree in computer science from the University of Maryland two years later & a Master of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1992. McCool was selected to join NASA in 1996, & he made one shuttle flight – STS-107 Columbia. He logged 15 days, 22 hours & 20 minutes in space.

Husband was born & raised in Amarillo, where he graduated from Amarillo High in 1975. He traveled south the Lubbock, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 1980. He rounded out his education with a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from California State University, Fresno, in 1990. He was selected as a NASA astronaut candidate in 1994. He eventually flew in two shuttle missions. The first was STS-96 Discovery, May 27-June 6, 1999. The second was the ill-fated Columbia mission. He totaled 24 days, 51 hours & 33 minutes in space.

The Texas Tech association I find most intriguing happened on January 28, 1977. This marked Husband’s first date with his future wife, Evelyn, who also graduated from Tech. She chose that anniversary to grant media interviews regarding the anniversary of her husband’s death. The Amarillo Globe News again captured the essence of her sentiments – it “bookended” her relationship with her husband. I can’t even begin to imagine the gut-wrenching grief of recognizing the beginning & ending of a life with the most important person in your life falling within a scant few days of each other.

“We work really hard to live in the present & look forward to the future. And I have to find that place in my gut to be able to talk about it without the devastation….But Rick was worth it,” Husband-Thompson said.

When asked if she had reached a milestone, she said, “I’ve learned to not be afraid of the grief.”

She remarried in 2008, & both of her children, Laura & Matthew, are pursuing their education & making their own on mark on the world.

Sharing the Grief

As a person on the sideline of history, there are moments that are so completely riveting, that witnesses of that history will always remember where they were & what they were doing at that particular instance in time – Columbia is definitely one of those moments.

One close friend remembers that Saturday morning at home & having to call her husband, who was at the site where he was building a home in Lubbock, & having to tell him what had happened.

Another friend was preparing to bowl in a city tournament in Amarillo. Her sister & a friend spent the night at her house, & she remembers sitting stunned in her living room, in her pajamas, unable to move. “I kept thinking this couldn’t be happening again,” she said. She was with her sister years before when Challenger exploded. “I decided then that I didn’t want to be near my sister when a shuttle was preparing to launch, in flight or landing.”

Oddly, her sister ended up having a unique experience regarding the Columbia disaster. She was the head police dispatcher in the small town where my husband grew up. Someone had phoned in possible shuttle debris in the days following the shuttle’s disintegration over Texas. The government representative on the other end of the phone found it challenging to locate the small Texas Panhandle town. He couldn’t even locate Amarillo or Clovis, New Mexico, leading her to believe there was not much of a chance he was going to find Friona easily.

The one thing I hope guests of Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast & visitors to the Lubbock area realize is the opportunity to view this material related to Columbia is finite, & it may never be made available to the general public again. Scholars will have access &, from that point, their interpretation of the collection will paint the picture of Evelyn Husband-Thompson’s donation & that of Willie McCool’s parents.

Treat yourself to a glimpse of World War II history &, through March 17, honor the memory of the brave men & women who dared to explore space & were willing to give their lives in the process.

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Silent Wings Museum

http://www.silentwingsmuseum.com

Hours

Monday: Closed

Tuesday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sunday: 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

General Admission: $5

Senior Citizens (60+): $3

Children (7-17): $2

Students (with ID): $2

Children 6 & Under, Museum Members & Active Duty Military Members (in uniform): Free

To reserve a tour, contact the Education Coordinator at (806)-775-3059 or info@silentwingsmuseum.com.

Two weeks notice required for guided tours.

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National Glider Pilots Association, Inc.

http://www.ww2gp.org

Other West Texas WWII Museums

CAF Airpower Museum

Midland, Texas

http://www.airpowermuseum.org

Hangar 25 Air Museum

Big Spring, Texas

http://www.hangar25airmuseum.com

Texas Air Museum

Slaton, Texas

http://www.thetexasairmuseum.org

National WWII WASP Museum

Sweetwater, Texas

http://www.waspmuseum.org

12th Armored Division Museum

Abilene, Texas

http://www.12tharmoredmuseum.com

Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast

David & Dawn Fleming, Owners/Innkeepers

2629 19th Street

(At corner of Boston Avenue across from Texas Tech University)

Lubbock, Texas 79410

Phone: 806-793-3330

Toll Free: 800-687-5236

Click to E-mail Innkeeper