A New Year

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I feel the earth beneath my feet

breathing

Breathing through cracks in the pavement

breaking the asphalt like a too tight corset

pulsating life

A breathing mother

I stand upon her breast amongst the prairie grasses

and through her gentle rise and fall

I breathe in a new year full of promise and life.

Blessings to you all for a bright, beautiful 2017. Happy New Year.

 

Food Fights; So What is the Perfect Diet?

 

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Eggs are bad!  Eggs are now good!  Meat is bad!  Only factory farmed meat is bad!  Meat is good!  Grains are bad!  Whole grains are good!  What?!

Let’s face it, with so many opinions out there and research proving whatever makes the most money, we can find pros or cons on any diet out there.  So let’s look at it practically.

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#1 Grains- The gluten free fad has gone way overboard in my opinion.  First it was fibromyalgia, now gluten free.  One gal told me she became gluten intolerant due to a car accident.  Ok, so let’s stop blaming our health on one sole ingredient.  I think we can all agree that donuts are not really a part of a good diet.  Super processed wheat is glue in the intestines.  I get it.  But grains have been around since Mesopotamia.  Everything is color coded in the antioxidant realm, and whole grains do their part to heal the digestive lining and is a valuable fiber and protein source for the body.  The antioxidants in brown plants are specific to killing cancer.  Don’t throw out the whole grains!

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#2 Meat- Not sure if I completely go for the idea that we are natural meat eaters.  Our canine teeth really wouldn’t help us sans weapons trying to catch and kill a rabbit.  Or eating it raw.  And let’s face it, without a weapon a deer could kick our ass.  Truth.  However, my ancestors are probably shaking their heads at me a bit whispering under their breath, “You are going to starve…”  I also know they didn’t eat meat every day.  Nor did their animals eat GMO grain before death or die a stressful, horrifying, horror movie ready death.  I don’t often crave meat but sometimes I do.  Learning to listen to the body is key.  I am not sure about all the processed ingredients in the meat substitutes, so a little farm fresh meat when I crave it is probably alright.

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#3 Vegetables- First choice, organic.  Think it’s a scam?  Grow your own, find a local farmer, go organic.  Even a little drift from other fields is not as bad as the full onslaught of chemicals on our food.  I have customers tell me they cannot eat vegetables with all seriousness.  Cruciferous vegetables really get people going.  If vegetables are causing gas and other discomfort that signals us that the body is extremely toxic.  Eat more!  Vegetables are the most essential part of a diet.  Especially greens.  Every cell repairing antioxidant comes in plant form.  Juice Plus supplements are not going to cover your bases.  Green smoothies, fresh juices, lots of color in our dishes, that is the magic elixir for health.

#4 Fruit- “Can’t have fruit, it has sugar.”  I have heard this a lot.  It contains a totally different type of sugar than processed sugar cane or the poisonous chemical fake sugar.  It does not cause a crash or mess with insulin levels.  Fruit contains many antioxidants that are specific to parts of the body to help repair and invigorate.  Fruit is good!

#5- Alcohol, caffeine, sugar- A gentleman in my shop told me that his new year’s goal is to eliminate all alcohol and caffeine from his diet.  I am no fortune teller but I could see a good binge in his future!  I said, “How about one or two cups of coffee in the morning and one drink at night?”  Moderation.  Sugar.  Hey, one teaspoon of sugar in your coffee is not going to kill you.  Raw sugar actually has quite a few minerals in it.  And that tiramisu?  Share it, enjoy it, savor it.  Just not every day.  Life is meant to enjoy.  A bit of common sense comes in handy.  What a shame that we forgot how to eat.  Forgot how to grow our food.  What happened to us?  Time to take back our human wisdom about food.

I guess the key here is trusting your own body over the “research” one can find online.  What does your body want?  Barley over Bisquick.  Organic chicken once a week over fast food.  Does it feel nourishing as you are buying it?  Does it feel nourishing as you prepare  it?  How does your body feel after you eat it?  Create your own research.  No more food fights!  Let’s just eat well, preferably with friends and family, and enjoy our year to come, nourished and well fed.

Shyanne Turns 21

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For the first year of her life not a human on earth could take that baby off of my hip.  We were inextricably bonded, that little girl and I.  She entered the world with dark curly hair and big blue eyes.  She looked like one of grandma’s antique dolls, all porcelain skin and small.

Shyanne Mae and I never had a fight, she was a really, really good girl.  Always more mature than her age and always sweet and kind.  She brought home nearly dead (and sometimes dead) animals to rehabilitate. She loved her friends and her family with all of her heart.  She asked her third grade teacher out for lunch and shopping.  Fun and spunky, she loved gymnastics and dance and was great at both.  We would take her to bars to sing and she would blow people away.  She was a fun, light hearted girl.  I always called her Pumpkin.  Her dad always called her Cupcake.  Baking up a storm and creating amazing confections (she is starting her own bakery on the side this year) made her nicknames perfect.  Her Indian name is Little Deer which sums up her personality beautifully.

As she became a teenager with her two siblings she began to pull away.  Broke the apron strings, went into the world to become herself.  To find herself.  It broke my heart that she was no longer my little girl so attached to my hip.  But I knew she had to grow up sometime.

One of the most extraordinary things that happened to us this year was Shyanne deciding she wanted to pursue herbalism.  She is not attached to my hip any longer, but our bond is still there, and now we stand side by side working together to help animals and people.  She had grown up into a fine young woman.  One I am very proud of.

Happy 21st Birthday, Shyanne!  May all your wishes come true.

Unmanifesting; Cleaning Up Our Garden of Life

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I write plenty about manifesting.  It completely astounds me every time how efficiently, and rather quickly, one can manifest an idea or dream.  In fact this time last year when I wrote in my resolutions that we would manifest a farm, I scarcely believed it.  Looking at the exorbitant jump in house prices in my state and our humble income, it just didn’t seem possible.  Yet, when one wishes for it, everything truly is possible.  And in less than three weeks we will move onto our very own homestead.  But what about unmanifesting?

There are some things we must unmanifest in order to move forward.  If simple words uttered to the universe can create whirlwinds of activity to create the outcome, one can imagine that words that create harm can also manifest.  It’s time we dug up poisonous seeds.

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In a bar some twenty years ago a young man holding a beer jokingly looked at my hand and “read my palm”, never mind that he was wrong about me having four children or that my first marriage would last forever, he said that I would have cancer in my early forties.  It was just a moment in a bar.  But, those words stuck with me.  My lymph nodes have been swollen for a good part of the year and I am tired.  I know with every fiber of my being that this is stress.  A year of tremendous loss followed by a year of working non-stop.  But, that seed…ugh, it’s gotta go.

It is time to dig up that seed and throw it in a river somewhere.  Same with all the times growing up I was told how big my nose was.  How my voice was irritating.  How my laugh was obnoxious.  The times as an adult that I was told Doug would never stay with me.  The times I felt worthless.  Any seed that was planted that has not born good fruit we must dig up, and do not even put them into the compost pile, but rather dispose of them once and for all.

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This season, I would encourage you to think of what seeds were planted in your garden of life that are harmful or deceitful and dig them up.  This year we only manifest good and prosperous and beautiful.  Because that is what you are.

A New Year’s Resolution to Truly Live

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As we take the final footsteps of 2016 we look back on the year past.  It was a very good year for us, but a lot of folks have gone through similar circumstances as our dreadful 2015 of loss, and I know we are all looking towards 2017 with great anticipation and hope.  It seems the universe is sweeping so much from all of us, a cleansing of sorts, a realization of the reliance we had on items, jobs, people, and places, a new chapter of self discovery and path changes has occurred to most people I know.  This can be a very good thing.  Through the ashes and chaos comes a bright new path through the woods of adventure, inspiration, great views of beauty and joy that could only be experienced through darkness.  This is going to be a beautiful year, Friends.  (What are your resolutions?)

Every year I plot my course, a rigid syllabus filled with learn everything about…., master this language, do this, achieve that, be in perfect physical shape and eat only green smoothies for a year!  This year I sit with pen and paper and attempt to write out my desired life.  My beautiful new house awaits our family.  There is a garden to tend (an entire yard to garden, that is!).  My shop is busy.  We are planning a second shop down south.  I find myself battling questions like, “Should I still teach?”  “Should I start the homesteading school up again?”  Every cell of my body wants to sit with a cup of coffee and a good magazine.  I realize that I do not need to plot out the whole year.  I don’t want to teach…right now.  Perhaps I will later.  Perhaps I won’t.  I have spent so long coming up with every hair brained scheme to make enough money for us to survive that this year I want to just trust.  We are good.  I am taken care of.  I am blessed.  (What blessings did you have this year?)

This year I want to live.  I never put that on my resolutions.  I want to rest more.  Spend more time with friends.  Go dancing.  Go travel a bit.  Read more.  Eat well.  Be happy.  Laugh more.  I am far too serious.  I must learn to laugh. (What do you need to do more of?)

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In order to achieve this deep seeded peace and happiness I realize that I need to get rid of animosities and deep seeded irritations.  I have such a profound anger, I realize, towards the medical model.  The urgent cares popping up on every corner.  Friends in the hospital under care for things obviously caused by drugs they are on, only to be given more drugs that interact.  The brainwashing of society to believe that doctors know everything and that we have to take their advice, must take the pharmaceutical companies’ drugs, must run to urgent care for fever, sprained ankles, you must not make your own decisions towards health care….I fall in a heap of sadness that mothers have lost their power to heal.  I want to reteach everyone that plant medicines are every bit as effective, or more so, that they heal, that you can treat yourself, that you can….Another commercial comes on for another drug that won’t heal.  Marijuana also parading around pretending to be medicine.  I sigh and take another sip of tea.  I have to let this go.  I have to let this go.  (What do you need to let go of?)

People can do their research, they can read side effects, they can make their own decisions.  I am not responsible for the world.  I need to just do my work.  Make my medicines.  Help those that come.  Love them. Smile.  Help who I am sent.  Breathe.  I am not responsible for the world. We all just need to do what we are here to do.  Do your work with great love and passion.   (What is your work?  Hint: not necessarily what you do for a living.)

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Live.  That is my new year’s resolution.  I want to live.  Be in the moment.  Laugh.  Smile.  Love with all of my heart.  And all will be well with the world.  All the other resolutions will fall into place.  But peace is the best resolution we can have.  The dawn of 2017 looks wondrous.  (What are your hopes for the year?)

Merry Christmas from Our Family to Yours

 

This beautiful season allows us to think on the year past, hope for the year to come, and find time to be grateful for our many blessings as we gather with those we hold dear.  My wish for you all this Christmas season is that you will find inspiration and joy in your heart.  That you will find enchantment in lights, and food, family, and childlike wonder.

 

Farmgirl’s Eggnog Revisited

I wrote this post a few years ago to use up all the fresh milk and eggs from my farmer girlfriends.  Now with my own, I felt it was certainly worth repeating.  You can use store bought milk and eggs if you trust your eggs.  A nice addition to this recipe is 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of peppermint, orange, or almond extract.  Enjoy!

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Farmgirl’s Eggnog

In a blender combine:

3 eggs (We use farm fresh eggs from the coop.  They are raw in this recipe so use eggs you trust!)

2 1/2 cups of milk (You can use any milk but I sure love my goat’s milk.)

1/2 cup of organic raw sugar (Yup, half a cup, this is the holidays.)

2 Tablespoons of homemade vanilla extract (Or 2 teaspoons of store bought. Click here for homemade vanilla extract recipe.)

1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

Turn blender on and in a minute you will have a delicious way to start the holiday season.

Add spirits if desired but I like mine fresh and cold as is.  Cheers!

Yuletide Wishes

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My granddaughter spent the night.  This morning in the cool of the dark morning I pulled the soft covers up under our chins refusing the late dawn.  The smell of coffee wafted in the door.  The cats purred and stretched.  Bits of light cascaded past the window to announce the winter solstice.  Last night was the darkest and longest night of the year.

Maryjane and I went out last night with a small bow of pine from the Christmas (Yule) tree.  We lit the end of it and let the smoke rise up to the bright stars above (the only kind of bonfire allowed on an apartment balcony!).  We said hello to Kat as well as our animals, friends, and family that have passed on to the next dimension among the star people.  We said thank you for all the many blessings of the year and welcomed the new sun.

The people of the world for centuries upon centuries have held bonfires and feasts to celebrate Yule.  Using precious food from their dwindling larders as a way of letting Mother Earth know that the people trusted her to provide for them in the fields of Spring.  Bonfires on the darkest night, perhaps a bit of spirits, food, and festivity sang through the cold night air.

Today starts the sun’s presence growing stronger over the next six months.  Each day it will be light a bit longer.  Yule is a celebration of light and renewal.  The 12 days of Christmas was actually the 12 days of Yule, beginning on the winter solstice and lasting until New Year’s.  Greenery was thought to protect the home from illness and bad luck and as much Fir as one could put in their humble abode was good.  Boughs of greenery were decorated with ribbons and candles.  From the Yule log, to the 12 days of Yule, to the birth of the new sun god by the virgin goddess all seem to ring of coincidental familiarity.  This is the time of year to be close to the hearth, family, and loved ones, and to celebrate the light growing each day.

This is the time of the year to review our lives, our habits, and decide what will make us better, happier, and more peaceful people.  May your day be filled with light!

yuletide_card_by_lds_jedi

 

“I Trust You”-Learning to Live Peacefully and Happily

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We all have had less than positive things happen to us and it can fuel worrying even further.  How do we release worry and fear in our day to day to life so that we can enjoy more moments?

I can sure get myself worked up over nothing.  What if he gets in a car accident on the way to work?  What if she died?  What if…  I have to stop myself pretty quickly before a full blown, out of proportion, fearful scenario transpires in my mind.  I simply whisper, “I trust you,” and oddly, I am calmed.

We were never meant to know the news of the world.  Our minds and hearts are not prepared to handle so many things that we cannot control.  We have nearly zero control over anything, if we must be honest.  I have to believe that when we were placed on this earth we were not left alone to our own devices.  Just looking at the millions of medicinal and food plants made synergistically to us.  Miracles upon miracles (coincidences?  I have had too many crazy things happen, several healings, unexplainable escapes from certain death…) and people showing up in our lives at the right time and for the right season with the right lessons and the doors opening for us at each turn.  And sometimes the doors closing.  Which we can only understand in hind sight.  Because we have no power over much, I believe that is why we feel so much worry.

I look up and whisper, “I trust you.” Maybe that is to ancestors, friends that passed, my Creator, Mother Earth… I blend together plant extracts for ailments I have no power to heal myself and just whisper, “I trust you,” to the plants.  The medicines always work to my great relief and joy.  Things really do work out.  We are given fight or flight to deal with stress and worry at that very moment, not light years before anything happens, if it ever even does.

We must learn to live happily, peacefully, and fully on our journey here, knowing there are plant and animals spirits, ancestors, loved ones here and passed, and of course, our Source looking out for us.  Just relax and whisper, “I trust you.”

Winter Night Beans

 

JpegThe winter wind blows as the flurries of icy snow cover walkways and rooftops.  There is nothing quite like walking in the front door, clicking on the Christmas lights, and being met with the smell of dinner already cooked for you.  A crockpot and beans do just that.  Creating an enticing aroma and healthy, nourishing delight.  So simple too.

In a crockpot pour in 2 cups of pinto beans.

Add (or be imaginative and adjust flavors) 2 teaspoons of ground New Mexican chili and 1 teaspoon of ground green chili.  1 Tablespoon of dried, minced onion, a teaspoon of minced garlic.  1/4 teaspoon of pepper.  1 teaspoon of paprika.  A few shakes of liquid smoke.  Don’t add salt until the last ten minutes or so.

Cut up 3 strips of bacon and add.  Pour in 5 cups of broth.  Set to low and go out shopping (or working).  8 hours later…

When you arrive home add 1-2 teaspoons of smoked salt (or sea salt) and a couple of handfuls of greens.  Let cook for 5-10 more minutes.  Serve with bread or cornbread and honey butter.  (Melt a stick of butter with a good amount of honey.  Pour into container and set in fridge.  Let sit on counter for a little bit before spreading.)

Homestead food at its most delightful.  Happy Winter!