December Morning Dawn

The lavender sky spreads and stretches over rolling pastures and forests of trees.

Along the railroad tracks the mist lightly rolls as dawn awakes

Golden sun rises and the air is ever cool in the December morning breeze

Deer move along the tracks with motions swift on crisp winter grass.

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Here at cozy home the dawn wakes me without clock as the lavender clouds drift by

Outside my window a new day begins of promise and light

No window coverings block my view of the large trees and the colored western sky

I mutter silent prayers of gratitude and breathe deeply.

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‘Tis too easy to get caught up in past affairs and travesties, harsh pain and mire

‘Tis too easy to become obsessed with what one still desires

But in this moment, my Dear ones out there, be the heart and smile that you would admire

Let not any negative word or thought escape to the world.

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Focus, Dears, on what is real and light and bright and sweet, upon blessings, and present here

See beauty in all things big and small, from children to birdsong,

Speak in tomes of love and forgiveness and inspire those that are near, for joy they hear

For your spirit’s light this Yule tide season can be very bright.

 

It is Enough

My mantra this year, for 2018, was, “Never make a decision based on fear.”  It was amazing how many times I caught myself making decisions (keep my struggling apothecary open, open another shop, apply to begin school) based on fear rather than faith.  This simple mantra helped me understand my motives and make better decisions (no more shops, no school).  And through that faith Doug got an amazing promotion and I am able to stay home and do what I do best, homestead and homemake.  I am available to help my children, feed my husband nutritious meals, keep a house, take care of a mini-farm, and grow our food.  That mantra led to a great outcome.

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Autumn always feels like a new beginning to me.  Like the pagans of old, I feel this is the New Year.  My mantra for the next year is, “It is enough.” I have enough things.  I have enough love. I have enough creativity.  I have enough space on this mini-farm right here, right now.  And most importantly, I am enough. 

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With so much time on my hands I have had way too much space to reminisce, regret, and be hard on myself.  Over the past four years we have built our dream farm, lost it, went homeless, lost our animals, lived with friends, lived in the city, rebuilt, bought an urban home, made a farm, closed our businesses, Doug went back into the IT field, our children have found the loves of their lives, and our second granddaughter will arrive any day.  A lot to take in.  A lot of gratitude.

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So I may have made some dreadful decisions over the years.  But I have made a lot of good ones too.  I am enough.  I don’t look like I did when I was modeling in my twenties.  I have faults.  But I have more wisdom and I have more love.  And everything around me echoes, It is Enough.

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…maybe one day we will have goats or the animal sanctuary I so dream of….or maybe we will stay here in this space…or maybe it will become legal to have farm animals beyond chickens in the city here…but in the meantime, I must leave the future where it belongs and be present.

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It is Enough.  We are enough.  You are enough.  This beautiful life is enough.  And when we realize that, gratitude comes rushing in with peace and great joy on its wings.

The Botanique (a beautiful weekend)

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A large neighborhood lake was on the left, children playing with intertubes, and the day was warm and sweet with autumn tinged air.  We turned right into the parking area of what once was a school in 1919.  But it certainly wasn’t your typical school of that era, it felt more like we entered Italy.  All marble and wood floors and magazine inspiration.

 

I am making the tinctures for my cousin’s new line of medicines that she is releasing along with her already well known body products.  H2a is the company she and her daughter, Sierra created years ago. Their products have been previewed in Vogue and can be found in spas and retail stores.  Heather’s new project is The Botanique in Fort Collins.  An event space, a class space, a retreat, an Air B&B, a respite, I was drawn in instantly to the serenity and sheer beauty.  A beauty that makes you feel beautiful just witnessing it all.

The chicken yard was built off of an old adobe outbuilding, its fresh wood and chicken wire a lovely contrast to the old structure.  We do love chickens so Doug and I immediately got out of our car and walked over to see what breeds she has.  As they pecked around in the sweet dirt, we admired the back of the property, that below the dirt lies quietly an asphalt playground of old.  Heather plans to build up with beds and create a lavender madala and rose arches.  Doug pointed to a spot perfect by the adobe wall and curved door for farm-to-table dinners.

Years ago, when all of our children were quite small, the grown cousins would all choose a name to buy a gift for at Hanukkah.  When Heather was still married to Doug’s cousin, I would always hope that she picked me, as our style is almost identical. Her sense of vintage and practical with elements of joy have always been drawn out perfectly through her design work, her homes, and now The Botanique.  I wanted to stay in our darling room with the large bath she created for days.  Walk in showers and bath spaces are being created throughout the resort for ancient bathing rituals and cleansing.  A space to heal.  A space to restore.  A space to feel beautiful.

The property is filled with raised beds that a friend of Heather’s runs a volunteer program with.  She teaches and works with youth to grow many varieties of produce and then sell them in CSAs.

I walked out of our bedroom early, glorious in good sleep, and headed to the kitchen.  Through the wide double doors of my dream kitchen I could see my lovely cousin in a warm sweater, her blond hair messily put up and a cup of coffee steaming from her hands as she walked softly through the filtered light of morning rays streaming through the large windows.

The Botanique is a place to ignite one’s senses, restore one’s soul, and is incredibly accessible and not far from home. https://www.thebotaniquefortcollins.com/

 

Farmgirl Advice for a Happier Life

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1- Just because you are very good at something doesn’t mean you have to do it.  You can always reinvent what your life looks like.

2- Life is meant to be experienced.  There is no one purpose. You will have plenty of time to ponder the meaning of the universe, right now be human and experience life.

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3- Change is never easy.  Allow yourself to mourn.  But keep that glimmer of hope because the best is yet to come and closed doors lead to wide open opportunities.

4- Quiet your chattering mind.  Tune into the activity around you.  As I sit here on the porch on this lovely late summer day I watch a mouse quietly approach the bird seed and begin to nibble as dozens of finches take flight, their silhouettes artful in the filtered light.  I listen to the crickets’ songs of summer and feel the cooling breeze on my skin before the dog days of summer heat that is to set in later.  There is a much bigger world than what is going on in our minds.

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5- Listen to your passions and follow their road.  Do not try and figure out where they go, just follow their lead.

6- See people’s spirits.  See them as children.  Banish ignorance.  Don’t give into fear.

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7- Release the past.  Past relationships, events, hurts, happenings, eras.  Leave them behind with a blessing and move forward.  Cut the ribbons that keep you bound.  Fly.

8- Be enchanted.  Life is brief and blissful.  It is what we make it.  It is what we create.  A large black bird lands on a trellis next to me.  He is fascinating in his mottled browns and blacks and tussled feathers.  I wonder if he was born this very year.  The glorious blue jays screech their joyful song across treetops.

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9- Have faith.  Know that you were not just dropped on this earth without lifelines.  Fear is the lack of faith.

10- Treat yourself with care, my dears, and follow your heart.

Daring to Imagine a Different Life

“You are daring to imagine that you could have a different life!” Birdie says in that delightful movie, You’ve Got Mail.

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I have been a working herbalist for a decade now.  It is day in-day out phone calls, with my entire identity wrapped up in it.  I will still do it on a smaller scale, but it is exhausting full time.  I loved having my identity be a stay-at-home mom, and a dance teacher, and a professional model over my life.  It takes courage to seek out a different life as businesses falter, or the children move out, or new dreams move in.  It is very difficult to close doors on some aspects in life in order to explore new ideas and dreams.  Whispered inspirations nudging us forward.  Ends of eras, sleepless nights, courage that nudges you past the fear of failure and into the unknown where you can fly is all worth it.

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I have a great passion to help people simplify their lives, lessen their bills, get out of debt, live the life they dream of, put down the phones, pick up a child, be in nature, make your own, sit on the front porch and create a grow-your-own kind of life.  My new shop will create inspiration, a place to get supplies and know-how, a place where women can gather to knit and sip on tea, a place where children learn to make cheese and crochet, and young families can get tips on growing in this altitude.  A back to the land or an urban homestead mentality.  A peace of mind, deep satisfaction kind of grin.  This new shop with my daughters will be so fine.

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The key to being brave and changing your life is changing the “what if’s.”  What if we fail?  Then we fail.  I did not take out large commercial loans for this.  What if no one comes?  Then I will have time to catch up on quilting.  What if….what if we succeed?  What if we have this shop in our family for thirty years?  What if we help change the lives of hundreds? or thousands?  What if?

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What if one door isn’t closing, it’s just changing paths and what if it is even better?

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Oh my dear, imagine that you could have a different life!

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What is your dream?

 

 

Mama’s Makeover; Unfrumped (part 2)

Twenty pieces.  But, as is most cases in homesteading, we can make do.  I bought ten new pieces on the cheap at the mall because there are some great sales going on because everyone is still broke after Christmas.  I had  four more of the pieces.  And I will for sure be picking up some wrap around espadrilles for spring.

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My husband said that if he hadn’t seen me working on this page he would have thought it was a stock photo!  Sweet man…

Lesson 1: Don’t be afraid of color.  A pair of maroon jeans may seem like it won’t match anything but you will be surprised.

These two looks are comprised of the jean jacket, blouse, jeans, and ballet flats.  Then a comfy, silky v-neck, and long cardigan.

Lesson #2: Don’t be afraid of florals.  Florals are really versatile because of how many colors they contain to match.

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Lesson #3: Think outside the jean box.  Jeans are miserably uncomfortable on me.  I am 5’10” and they just don’t make comfy ones for tall girls.  These are super stretchy and soft and feel great against my skin.

These two looks have the blue jeans, the off shoulder sweater (we noticed that tag on the sweater later.  This is real life, folks.), and flip flops (that the dog ate after the shoot) and then the other floral blouse with jeans and heels.

Lesson #4- Get you a “hot damn” dress.  There is a flattering style out there for everyone.  This one is stretchy and super comfortable.  It could be dressed up with a faux fur jacket and heels or perfect with ballet flats and a jean jacket.

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I love that feminine florals are making their way back from the time of Laura Ashley and original Waverly.

Lesson #5- The jean jacket is still king….I mean, queen!  It goes with everything, goes everywhere, lasts forever, keeps the chill off, keeps the cool on.

My daughter, Emily, is a great photographer.  I am thankful that she trekked all the way out here (an hour and a half from her home) to make her mama look fabulous.  This particular shot made me realize that yoga and veganism look pretty damn good on me and I am not sure why I cover myself with fifteen layers of clothes.

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You know, it didn’t take me but two minutes to throw some gel into my wet hair or to put on some cruelty-free makeup.  I don’t use foundation or powder, just some eye makeup and a slick of “lips” as Maryjane refers to lipstick.

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My work isn’t glamorous, I teach herbalism and make tinctures.  I feed chickens and write my blog in my pajamas.  I don’t want to get new clothes dirty.  I have a big, muddy dog.  But these clothes wash up just the same as my others.  I felt myself standing a little taller in soft jeans then I would in sweats.  A little lipstick makes all the difference in how old my smile looks.  I got lots of sweet messages about how I am beautiful on the inside.  It is amazing how we approach the world and our day when we look and mirror and see how beautiful we are on the outside too.

We were looking for frumpy pictures of me on my husband’s phone.  When he sent them to me he titled them, “Beautiful”.  He is a keeper for sure.  But for me, I think I can take on the world and achieve my goals a little better with some cute soft jeans and pink lipstick.

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Finding Your Passion and Current Purpose-part 2

20180130_164503We all have a purpose.  There is not just one purpose but many interwoven with each other through time.  You are not just a mom, a wife, a farmer, a nurse, or a teacher.  You are a spiritual and feeling being and a human with desires and passions.  Identifying those passions that you have right now (passions change as you complete your paths) will help you find what will bring you the most joy.

It may be a career, or learning a new skill, it may be a profound change in yourself or your family for the better, whatever it is, it will create ripple effects throughout the world and space because everything that you do that is positive and with passion will grow and inspire others and will help you do what you are here to learn and experience.  Your dreams are not coincidental or fanciful or elusive.  If you have that desire now, it is for a reason.

Quiz time!  Grab a piece of paper (or a journal because this may the beginning of your journey!) and let us begin to piece it all together.

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1. In your ideal life when you wake up in the morning where are you?  Hawaii?  South Dakota?  Italy?

On a farm?  In the city?  In a cozy home?  Be detailed.  Even if you think it is impossible.  Be exact.

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2. In your ideal life who is there with you?  Be honest.  Are you happy in your relationships?  Are there things that need to be addressed?  Who are the people that you love most and that make your life beautiful and fulfilling?

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3. In your ideal life, when you first wake up, what are you doing?  What is your role?  Are you a writer?  A farmer?  A traveler?  A doctor?  What do people come to you for?

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4. Picture yourself in your mind’s eye.  What do you look like?  What do you want to look like?

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5. Name all of the things you have interest in right now, no matter how small.  Gardening, running a bed and breakfast, starting a sanctuary, going back to school, opening a restaurant, learning yoga, getting rid of clutter, losing weight, writing a book, getting a dog….write down everything!  They may not seem related but upon further analysis you may see that they are all related!

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6. What are you best at?  What do people come to you for or say that you are the best at?  Does that thing bring you joy?

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7. Name twenty blessings in your life right now.  Name five things you would like to see morph into something better.

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Now go back and answer questions 1-3 in present tense. How things are now.  Compare them to your ideal life.

Really study what you do, where you want to be, who you want to be with, what your passions and interests are, how you want to be seen, what your life does and could look like.  You may love your life and that is great but we are always moving and morphing and our path keeps winding so to have a fresh perspective on what we want to do, where we want to be, and what we want to experience in this lifetime are important.  Keep learning, keep dreaming, be your best self, don’t become complacent or hopeless, move bravely down the path of your passion!

What did you discover?

Finding Your Passion and Current Purpose-part 1

20180128_141816-EFFECTSHave you ever wondered what is next?  Where your path is leading?  What you will become next?  Some people work a career their entire life and then retire.  Some raise children and become entrepreneurs, like myself.  I have reinvented what I do so many times because I have so many interests but they all really dance around each other.  They are all interconnected.

I breathe in the cool morning air as the sunrise reaches rose pink across the winter sky and crows hover about.

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I lead an enchanted life of miraculous happenings, unusual animal and bird sightings, healings, and things happen to us that just do not make sense in the cookie cutter mind of our world.  This thrills me.  But there must be a reason why I see these things.  Experience these things.

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I have an influential voice.  That comes with responsibility to make sure that I am speaking and teaching what is compassionate and what is beautiful and what is real.  Before bed I ask my ancestors and friends to help me see answers to what is next.  The pictures in my dreams are always of me leading a group.  Or of me being a type of Martha Stewart with a compassionate twist.  I love creating; whether it be gardens or art or words or great food or inspiration or encouragement or a new life.

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The Universe has seemingly freed up some time for me.  I have time to do something.  I teach herbalism courses and shaman courses and I write and help with the shop and answer the apothecary phone and help people.  I’ll be on a radio show next week talking about my herbalism and plants in homesteading and promoting my book, Homesteader Pharmacy (click to see on Amazon).

There is more though.  I am on the cusp of something.  I am not just an herbalist.  Our goal is to pay off debt this year.  I want to work towards getting a farm and animal sanctuary in the future, but in the here and now….ideas swirl overhead like dust devils but don’t quite land.

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I fill my time just fine and come summer I will be really busy with gardens and wildcrafting and markets but there is just something below the surface that ties in everything that I do.  Something to give me purpose.  I have been working on a book for the past year.  I put it aside in order to write a novel.  I wrote said novel but I can’t say I am a great fiction writer.  I am a non-fiction writer.  This book keeps bobbing to the surface.  It just needs some dedication.  Writing a few hours a day has to make the to-do list.

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I know I am more than just an herbalist.  It used to consume twenty-four hours a day for me but my daughter has taken on most of the work.  Finding my other passions and moments of inspiration are what I need to ponder.  Something to tie them all together…

Now, where are you on your journey?

The Third Step to Achieving Your Goals (and bring on 2018!)

20171226_192715How wonderful that we will have a full moon tomorrow night, a Super Moon at that.  Perfect for manifesting those deep seeded intentions!

By now you have looked at what you want to transpire in 2018.  You have examined fears that may hold you back.  Respected that dreams are imbedded into your path for a reason.  You see the reasons behind what you want.  You know it will make you a better person and make your life better, therefore making you a happier person and a person who has the ability to help others.  Now.  We make it happen.

Fire and full moon are a spectacular ways to use high frequency power to send your desires out to the universe.  You have many helpers beyond the screen.  Ancestors, friends, angels, the universal web of information and wisdom, plus all the information stored in your DNA, chakras, and in the spirits all around you.  You got this.

You should have your resolutions written down in a prominent place, like the first page of a journal or a daytimer so that you can see them often.  Now, write on slips of paper each desire, each intention, each dream.  Focus on them intently.

Write down the things that you wish to release on other pieces of paper.  Perhaps of a different color.

In a blazing fire, focus on the things to release first.  Then one by one throw them in the flame.  As the smoke rises it will take your notes to the skies.  Then repeat with the manifestations.  You just increased your success by 90%!  Now the rest is up to you.  If you want a new job, go apply.  If you want a strong body, start a yoga class.  Get out there and be the best person you can.  And know that your soul is perfect, therefore you are as well.  Be kind to yourself.  Speak lovingly to your body.  Love all that cross your path.

Happy New Year Everyone.

The Second Step to Achieving Your Goals

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Resolutions are meant to make us better people.  Goals and dreams are set into our hearts to guide us on this journey.  Listen to your spirit when setting your intentions for the new year.

Okay so you want to be size six, never eat donuts again, and travel to Malaysia…

Looking at your goals, why is that your resolution?  Why do you want to lose weight?  Get in shape?  Eat better?  Travel?  Be kinder?  Start a business?  Change your life?  Once you see those answers clearly you will find the passion that will drive them.  Your passion and your clarity will make it manifest.  Simple phrases and ideas will do nothing but flutter away in the new year’s wind.

Be clear.  “I want to pay off 5% of our debt this year.  I want to pay off debt because it is keeping us from living the life we want and causes undue stress on our relationship.  I will start a Dave Ramsey debt snowball (pay off one debt, then use that money to add to another debt, and keep it rolling!) and get the small loan and half of the car paid off.

Now I must make that designated money untouchable.  It cannot be used to buy donuts or go to Malaysia.

The key to this is one moment at a time.  I can get myself so worked up over food choices that by day three I am out at an all-you-can-eat buffet.  One meal.  Plan one day’s worth of healthy food.  Save a few bills at a time in an envelope for an emergency fund.  Plan a reasonable budget and stick with it.  Dedicate time to meditate and do yoga in the morning.  But don’t forget why those things are intentions.

Why do you want to set your resolutions?  What passion drives them?