Posted in Beauty/Health

Envision Your Future (Your Best Life, day 7 and recap)

A few years ago I organized a group of witchy, like-minded women. We post memes and prayer requests and encouragement and meet every few months over coffee or pottery or wine to catch up. Yesterday, my daughter, Shyanne hosted our second annual Vision Board event. Everyone came baring old magazines, scissors, markers, stickers, glue, and ideas for a good life.

This is my favorite event. We fall into the photos of magazines and laugh and yell out, “If you see a picture of _____, tell me!” We create words and promises and our future. We compare them to last year’s boards and talk about what all manifested (almost all of the ideas), and what has changed. How much a life can change in a year’s span.

Living in the present is important and breathing in memories of today will keep us focused and filled with gratitude. The past is bittersweet and the future is unknown and filled with equal parts fate and decision. The vision board is our decision part. It helps clarify where we are and where we want to be. Just like writing things down, the vision board takes ramblings of thought and places them into a road map for the year. And effective way to create one’s best life.

Today, create your own vision board. Or better yet, arrange a group of friends to come over and create as well. Riding lessons optional.

Recap:

  • Guard your mind.
  • Become your own doctor.
  • Adopt a plant based lifestyle.
  • Improve your relationships.
  • Change your perspective.
  • Honor your spirituality.
  • Envision your future.

It may seem like my series on How to Live Your Best Life is a bit extreme. Indeed, not everyone will be willing to follow all of these practices. I, myself, follow these practices and I can tell you that they work. Guarding my mind gives me peace of mind as I am not filling it with fear and negativity. Becoming my own doctor puts power back in my own hands because I know how to make medicine and how to treat many issues. Adopting a plant based diet has given me permission to love every animal I see without guilt, has greatly improved my health, and has eliminated depression. The phone calls I have been making have made me feel closer to those I love and have connected me to people beyond the screen. Changing my words has given me more gratitude for everything I have. Honoring my spirituality has connected me to the unseen world around me. And envisioning my future has secured my path towards an even better existence.

Thanks for following this week and I wish you an amazing 2020.

Posted in So You Want to Be a Homesteader Series

The Trusty Sewing Needle

I have a pretty specific style.  Oh, sometimes it changes depending on my mood, from Santa Fe diva to vintage rodeo queen, but I typically wear a mid to long skirt, top, and apron.  I have six Mennonite aprons that are my absolute favorite.  I have worn them nearly every day for so many years, I cannot believe how nice they still are.

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When I first starting writing this blog, a fellow blogger and I decided to make each other aprons and send them to each other.  It was a fun experiment and the one she sent me was from a pattern her Amish neighbor gave her.  Her neighbor then made me five more a few years later.  I adore their pinafore style and roomy pockets.  I still have a shy six year old hiding under my apron when we meet people.  I use my apron to wipe my hands on, carry in fresh produce, bring in eggs, and any number of other household tasks.  I get more compliments when I venture out in my flowy skirt and apron- most of the comments coming from young people.  I am bringing the apron back!

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My skirts are so worn that any day now they may just disintegrate off my hips while I am working in the garden.  Broomstick skirts and the like run $30-$100.  I would love some nice A line skirts.  I made a lovely, yellow print, long skirt before.  The elastic was a little weird, and I had to wear a shirt covering the top of the skirt at all times, but who cares?  I made it and wore it until it tore on a fence.  I really ought to get out my old Viking sewing machine and stitch some things together.  I am no sewing expert- my patience and lack of perfection just make everything “good enough.”  But who cares?  The chickens sure don’t!

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I have many aprons.  Some were precious gifts from friends.  Others belonged to my dear friend’s grandmother (both have passed away) and are close to a hundred years old.  I sewed quite a few myself.  But those Mennonite aprons, they are my favorite.  My blogger friend recently sent me the pattern to that apron.  Intimidating for sure!  But I can do it!  Right?

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Learning to sew is a wonderful homestead skill.

  1. You save money on clothes.
  2. You get exactly what you want.
  3. You help save the earth from cheap China clothes overload.
  4. Mending brings new life to clothes.

Sewing also leads to quilting, making cloth napkins, dresses for the chickens…

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Anyways, get yourself a sewing machine and a sewing kit and start on your creative journey!  Homesteading is incredibly satisfying, especially when you can create so much beauty.  We had a little fun with camera yesterday at my daughter’s house.  Here are a few pictures and a few other blogs I wrote over the years about this subject!

Farmgirl Swap

Love Wrapped Up in Stitches

Posted in Our Family

A Novel Breathes Life and the Wisdom of the Elders

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My friends, you must read Big Magic by Liz Gilbert.  I keep referring to it.  I loved how it stated that genius lands on people, not people become geniuses.  An idea has its own entity, its own life and “lands” on willing recipients.  Sometimes a recipient isn’t ready for it and it goes to another person.  That is the reason we see books, movies, songs that we were going to write.  With this in mind, I asked for an idea to land on me.  I wrote snippets in California.  I asked every day for an idea.  And one landed on me last week.

I then sat in front of my computer, a first time novelist, trying to construct a “proper” novel setting.  Where do I insert dialogue?  How many adjectives should I use?  How do I set the pace?  I have been reading novels this month trying to see the map of it all.

When I do my work in herbalism, I just kind of zone out, so to speak, and do the work.  My hands move deftly to the right plants and combinations, and I can “see” easily.  If I were to overthink it, I wouldn’t get much done.  I went into that same zone and just started writing.  It was as if I were meeting the characters myself as they hopped from fingertips to screen.  “Oh, well, hello, nice to meet you!”  “Are you coming back at the end of the book?  How nice.”  The prose and which person I used to speak changes and surprises me.  I am not writing this book, it seems, I am just privy to how it is creating itself, much like my paintings, much like my recipes, much like my work as an herbalist, I am merely the middleman…woman.

The book starts in the nineteen thirties.  As I was visiting my grandparents yesterday I asked a few basic questions, like did they drink tea or coffee more?  Did many folks have cars?  I told them I was trying to research the Cherokee land disputes that took place in the 30’s due to land rushes and oil companies.  Turns out Grandpa remembers all about it.  Grandma and Grandpa took turns illustrating in real life the dust bowl, the depression, the locusts, the farming, history unveiling itself.  Many, many things we never learned in public schools.  I was fascinated, humbled, grateful.

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These beautiful old dolls are among my grandmother’s.  As if my day couldn’t get any better, they were gifted to me.

Sometimes I fall into an irreconcilable sadness, wondering if we will ever get our own place, our own homestead, the city life here…I try to make the most of it.  I visit other’s farms, I try to save money (try being the key word), I cry.  It all seems so impossible.  But I can, at this moment, write….

Posted in Homestead, Non-Electric

A Shed of One’s Own

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This has been the year of inspiration for me.  I am passionately fired up and fueled by inspiration and sheer joy right now.  This beautiful homestead and all its capabilities, a new place to call home, meeting new people, closing one side of our business and building the other, I am dreaming, and notebooks are filling up with ideas to incorporate this year.  I am writing two books, my classes are filling up, and my seeds are arriving in the mail.  And I am looking at sheds.

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In the book I told you about called “Off on our Own,” by Ted Carns, he had built several sheds over the years on his property to hold tools, one that acted as a library, even a chapel.

The tiny house craze has certainly been an inspiration as well.

On one of our trips to New Mexico we toured a very old hacienda that was the blueprint of our dream home.  Each room stood side by side in a square all facing an inner courtyard.  Each room led outside to the courtyard.  The rooms consisted of bedrooms, a rough kitchen, a fiber room, and a chapel.

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Doug came up with the idea.  We could use sheds to create our little hacienda.  We will have one that is a bedroom, either for ourselves or as a guest room for friends, children, or interns.  We will have one that is an art studio so that I have a place to stretch out and not worry about kitties running across wet paint.  We will have one that is a sitting room, maybe complete with a small wood stove for sitting and dreaming quietly, with a wall of books nearby.  We will have one with a chapel.  A place to pray, reflect, light a candle, a place where visitors can say their graces and feel healed upon this magical land that we have encountered.  We could even put up a shed with a composting toilet.  These sheds would be in a U shape with the courtyard in front complete with a high enough fence that an owl won’t take off with the kitties should they want to take a field trip to the hacienda.  The view would look out across the mountain range.  The combination of city lights and stellar stars would be a magical place in the summer.  We could be close to the chickens, goats, and lambs to ward off predators, and we would have a place for visitors or give the visitors the house and we’ll stay in our shed hacienda seasonally.

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There are no zoning laws or permits required for a shed.  A shed could be built with found materials with friends for little money or one could purchase one of the darling ready made sheds complete with windows and a front porch.  We will probably seek assistance and build our own, unless we come into a bit of money, then we’ll go shopping!  We will face our shed hacienda to the west so we have this view.

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What are you inspired to do this year?