Jun 14, 2012

Spotlight Heather Hansen

Hibiscus House is proud to present the Spotlight of the Week
Heather is such a sweet person full of life and excitement.  Her enthusiasm is very contagious.
She has shared some of the most beautiful pictures in this post and please don't forget to check out the left sidebar for more.  It is a history lesson for those of us whom have never been to Monterey.  A thoroughly enjoyable story.
Heather tells me her favorite music is Big Band, so we will all step back in time and listen with her. She has a very fun blog called Heather's Blog-O-Rama, be sure to check that out.

Hi everyone,
     My name is Heather.  I live on the Central Coast of California, in Monterey.  Monterey has to be one of the most beautiful and historically rich cities in the whole state if not the entire west coast of the United States, in my humble opinion, of course ;) :)
      When Dolly asked me to write for her blog, I was really happy and a bit nervous, because I've been following her spotlight series, and have thoroughly enjoyed meeting all these different people on-line. It's been really neat.  Everyone is so different and has a unique story to tell. 
     Let me try and tell you a little bit about my story.  I started blogging in May 2010. A friend encouraged me to start blogging as a way to keep the creative juices flowing.  I've been blogging ever since.  I share a little bit about everything from the crafts I make to my journey with eating a real food/gluten free diet.  It's a bit chaotic sometimes, but I"m working on getting it more streamlined.  However, in spite of all that, it's been a complete and utter joy, because blogging has allowed me to share with people I might otherwise never come into contact with.  I've also met some lovely people in the blogging world as well...(i.e...the lovely Dolly of Hibiscus House).
     I am a HUGE, and I mean HUGE fan of Mary Jane's Farm magazine. In fact, it's a funny story about how I happened upon this lovely, lovely farmgirl world.  Almost a year prior to starting my blog, I was in the local Barnes & Noble store in Oregon (where I used to live).  I was bored and just wanted any magazine to fill the time. So I went over to the agriculture section, and there was this lady with blonde hair smiling on the front cover. It was the August/September 2009 issue of Mary Jane's Farm magazine.  I loved that it was about organic living and wanted to give it a try.  As soon as I opened the cover I was in LOVE with magazine. What a total delight. I'd finally found something that really incorporated my entire style and personality and love of healthy living ; :) :)
     I finally had found someone that incorporated all of my decorating styles from country to romantic, too. So I knew that this was a winner.
     I promptly bought her three big books and then joined the Farmgirl Sisterhood. I'm Farmgirl Sisterhood Member #2176.  I've been a farmgirl sisterhood member for almost 2 years now. I'm finally going to work for my first merit badge in blogging. Eeek...I'm so excited.  Oh, yes, of course, I'm not missed  a single issue of the magazine since August/September 2009 :) :) :)
      Okay, so how did I land in California? My father and I had both been out of work since the end of 2010, due to lack of work. We were both laid off from our jobs.  It was getting too difficult to stay in our apartment and my aunt has a house in Monterey. She offered to let us move in with her, and so we did :) :) We packed up our things and moved from Oregon to California.
      My grandmother lived here for many years.  I'd had the chance to visit a few times as a teenager and absolutely fell in love with this beautiful area. Oh, and the ocean is practically in my backyard. LOVE IT.  In hindsight, it turned out to be a really good move.  When we arrived, I was really obese.  My aunt put me in contact with a lady who is a naturopath and I've been working with her to get my health back on track. Since September of 2011 I've lost almost 75 pounds :) :) So looking back, I'm totally grateful for this move. It has literally saved my life.
    Well, enough about that, Monterey and the entire central coast of California, is a really rich treasure trove of history.  It's unbelievable.
      Oh, you all should come visit this area. It's gorgeous. Many of the old 18th century adobes are still standing here, too. Okay, so sit back and enjoy the tour:
This is in Pacific Grove, which is right next door to Monterey.  The entire coastline looks this gorgeous. The plant with the orange blooms is an aloe vera plant. The other one with the purple flowers (hard to see here) is called "Pride of Madeira"
One of the older wharfs in Monterey. I took this photo during the Italian festival last year.
     Monterey was founded on June 3rd, 1770 by Don Gaspar de Portola and Father Junipero Serra.  In fact, you can still find the remnants of many of his missions all up and down the coast here. There's one not to far away in Carmel. Monterey was the capital of old California under Spanish and later Mexican rule.  Many firsts have happened right here in Monterey, including the State of California's first constitution being signed here. The first theatre in California. The first bank...etc.
This is a photo of the Monterey Canning Company building on Cannery Row. Cannery Row was made famous in the novel of the same name my John Steinbeck. This whole area was filled with canning factories. They canned everything from sardines to squid.  This area is a very popular tourist site.  Some of the old cannery ruins can still be seen here, too. This photo was taking last December while it was raining. This is my favorite building in the entire Cannery Row area ;)
A mama otter and her pup swimming in the water here in Monterey. That seagull is swimming nearby, because it's going to try and take the otters food.

 If you look really carefully to the right of the white boat with the red stripes, that's the same mama otter with her pup, just swimming in the water. The otters tend to look like floating logs on the water. That's the best way to try and spot them out in the water.
One of the things you absolutely MUST do while here is take the 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach. It does cost money, but it's totally worth it. There are quite a few scenic areas to stop and see. Lots of history here, too. Perhaps the most famous spot is The Lone Cypress tree. There's actually a wood staircase that will let you get closer, but no one is allowed to walk right up to that tree anymore.

     I'm hoping my story will be encouraging, too....because I'm not letting unemployment get me down, but using my time to pursue my passions (while still looking for a job of course)...
...but I think I want a non-traditional job doing something I love.  I'd much rather work 16 hour days doing something I am passionate about, than work a five hour job that makes me cry.
      Times are tough for everyone.  I think what's important is what you do in the situation you find yourself in. There's still much to take joy in.  There's always something new to learn and it's a great opportunity to try something you've never done before.
      Oh, and I promise to let you all know when I earn my first merit badge in blogging from the MaryJane's Farmgirl Sisterhood. There will be many squeals of delight from me, and maybe a photo, too :) :)
      Thanks for letting me share part of my life with  you :) :)  Dolly, thank you so much for featuring me on your blog. I feel really honored to walk in company with some of the really neat people you've featured here :) :)
That's the news from the ocean shores of California today :) :) Love and hugs, Heather :)

   Thank you Heather for a wonderful heartfelt and informational Spotlight Story of the Week.

The Skyway to the Monterey Canning Company
The skyway to Monterey Canning

Old Cannery Worker Housing
Old Cannery Worker Housing

Monterey fish company
Monterey Fish Co.

California's First Theatre
California's First theatre
Casa Del Ora~California's First Bank
California's First Bank

Thank you Heather for sharing your story with us!

Until next time,


  1. Dolly, I really enjoyed this spotlight because Heather and I have visited each other on our blogs! This was a great way to get to know her better.

  2. @Jane - Cottage at the Crossroads,

    Thank you :) :) :) I need to stop on by for another visit ;) :)

    Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :) :) :)

  3. Awesome! I have been friends with Heather on facebook and her blog for over a year now and never even knew she was a Mary Jane farmgirl!! I'm gonna have to get onto that girl, hehe.

    Thanks Dolly! Hope all is well with you~

  4. Hi Heather!!! My west-coast Beach sister! What a fun and lovely surprise to see you here in Dolly's Spotlight series... I loved getting to know more about you, your move, health and your passion for life and being positive...I think you're on the right track for sure... Oh, you and I discoverd MaryJanesFarm exactly the same way but I think the issue I discovered was the May/June 2009 issue... hit me like a lightening bolt too! Life has never been the same and now we all have eachother to share with! I LOVE that part the best!
    Thank you Dolly for another wonderful spotlight!
    Blessings to you both and farmgirl hugs!
    Deb ( MJF Beach farmgirl blogger )