All the Animals (the peaceful farm sanctuary)

1017127_839745779374220_1178065393_n

She was three days old.  Bouncy, adorable, and everything one would imagine a baby goat to be.  She nibbled on the geraniums, went to inner city schools with me when I went to speak, played the piano, and loved her bottles.  She stayed next to me as I read and thought herself a cat.  She rather enjoyed rides in the truck and loved everyone.

img_1831

We often have to learn things the hard way to realize what our true beliefs are.  I had been vegetarian for twenty-five years and then vegan for an additional two years when we entered the farming scene head on and fell into line with all the other small farms around us.  We started a small dairy.  We increased our chicken family.  We had many animals who all had to “earn their keep.”

Elsa got pregnant too early.  When she gave birth, we took the baby away. (That is how people get the milk and not the infant) (and we were so thankful it was a girl because boys get killed in the dairy industry.  Period.)  She got mastitis and scabs on her udders.  Instead of letting her heal and giving her another year, I quickly sold her to a family who ushered her into their minivan and were gone.  For $250.  It was only then that I realized in my farming fervor that I just sold our baby girl.  Roosters I couldn’t get myself to eat came home plucked and beheaded for little reason.  I have too many recipes out there that need to come down.

Many folks deter squirrels with cruel spinning feeders and squirrel proof this or that.  We had a squirrel years ago that would throw his food bowl if it was empty after getting our attention!  They are quite fascinating and sweet animals.  Our life is certainly richer watching them play.  They come quite near to receive their goodies.

IMG_20181008_150315_896

Birds of all sorts gather around our third of an acre in the middle of the city.  Scores of blackbirds, owls, hawks, eagles, sparrows, finches, and silly blue jays.  Hummingbirds drink the nectar from the geraniums on the porch.

20181127_100417

The chickens are named and are actually included in our holiday cards.  They all have very different personalities, just like cats and dogs.  My friend’s young turkey was killed.  A few weeks later, the mother of the turkey died.  She was depressed and had stopped eating.  There is no difference (and it is only humans that have determined who is more worthy, who is food, who is equal) between the dog, the cats, the chickens, the squirrels, the blue jays, even the mice that steal a nibble here and there from the birds’ food bowl. They all have a right to live and be and I have no more right to be here than they.  We are all walking upon mother earth.

At this time that we wish for peace on earth, let us remember these things.  Not only will your health drastically improve, but your emotional state will be happier,  anxiety disappears, your impact on the earth’s resources will lessen, and the very number of lives you will save and improve by not eating animals and by putting out some bird seed will be significant.  That is how we get peace on earth.  One life at a time.  This mini-farm is a sanctuary, for me as much as them.

 

Recommended Reading:

The Good, Good Pig by Sy Montgomery

Happily Ever Esther by Steve Jenkins

Living the Farm Sanctuary Life by Gene Baur

 

 

 

All the Small Kindnesses

IMG_2324

We have a very long driveway.  In the city it would be the length of one long block.  It had one to two feet of snow in any given place so our cars just couldn’t get up the dirt path the last few snowstorms.  Our car along with our housemate, David’s, stayed parked along the road until we could get back in.  Yesterday we came home late, ready to bundle up the baby and load all of our things on our backs to hike up the driveway.  But lo, there was an amazing sight.  The driveway had been plowed.  I could not believe my eyes.  There under the twinkling stars and icy air sat a perfectly plowed block long stretch.

No one knows where we live.  And David is very private so it wasn’t anyone any of us knew.  Just a random act of kindness.  It meant so much yet there is no one to thank.  The only way to show gratitude is to pass it on.

IMG_2325

I write about ways to spontaneously add joy to others’ lives.  I think it is so important that we stay strong in our support for others, even if we do not know them.  Perhaps today compliment five people.  Say a prayer for a family.  Buy the person’s coffee in front of you.  Don’t tailgate.  Smile and greet folks.

A few days ago we pulled into a parking space at a shopping center.  We got out at the same time as the girl next to us.  Her hair was lovely.  I always liked the pixie cut and lamented that I could never pull it off.  It was streaked red and grey in soft curls.  I told her that I LOVE her hair!  She sighed, then beamed a brilliant smile and said that I have no idea how much that means to her.  She is going through chemotherapy and just recently had to cut off all of her beautiful long hair.  She said again how much that meant to her and how we just don’t realize how much our words mean.

Use your heart out there today and don’t be afraid to say nice things to people that you meet.  The smallest kindness can mean so much.  Spread the love and cheer of this time of year!

 

Setting Yourself Free (Part 1- Release and Being a Keeper of Light)

A fellow told me that I am the happiest person he has ever met.  My husband is the happiest person I have ever met.  We are a veritable roaming comedy team.  But happiness and balance is something that we must work for every day.  In this world of negativity and news stations we must protect ourselves, seek balance, and constantly be keepers of the light.

candle

The first day’s lesson in the Setting Yourself Free series is Releasing.

Releasing Others:

Here is an exercise for you.  Walk through your life, view it like an old home video.  You will see some bad things happen but they will still move on to the next memory.  When you get to a particularly hurtful thought, stop.  Think of that person that you are still hurt from.  They may be still in your life or they may be long gone from it.  Now, step back from yourself and them.  Pretend like you are an onlooker viewing the situation unbiased eyes.  What do you see?  The person that hurt you (or is still hurting your heart), do they have past issues?  Can you look from a different, far off view and see them as a human and what they might be thinking (albeit not always sane or accurate?).  By understanding where people are coming from and why they act or do the things they do we can often find a tiny bit of compassion for them (not excusing them) and can see that it was not you they were trying to hurt, but they are hurt themselves.  Release that memory, that person, that hurt.

My friend, Dora, said to put them in a bubble and let them float away.  Every time you feel a hurt from them coming up just put them in a pink bubble and let Creator handle them and that memory.  My friend, Steve, used to tell me to put bad memories in a file cabinet.  Every time you see yourself looking at that memory (even if it was from yesterday!) put it back in the file and close the door!  Pull yourself back to the present.

I sometimes find myself thinking nonstop of what I would have said, what I want to say, but if you know that it will not change anything, then close that file drawer!  We must consciously work for happiness every day and by releasing negativity and people that are sources of such we find ourselves smiling more.

monkeys

Release Yourself:

Sometimes we are harder on ourselves than on others.  The dog I had to take to the shelter twenty years ago, the cat I had to put to sleep, the thing I said that hurt someone’s feelings, the mistake I made when I was raising the kids, the list will go on and on because we are human.  Now, if we do that same exercise and pull ourselves back from our physical self and look in, we can see why we did things, understand, learn, grow, and be a stronger person because we know now and we can be compassionate with ourselves.  We must be kind to ourselves.  We are just spirits inside these frames learning on this journey through life.  Embrace it, release others and yourself from judgment and forgive all.

Lifelong Release:

Now that you have done this exercise you will find it easier to walk out of the imaginary room of past and present hurts.  You can send people off in pink bubbles with love.  You can pat yourself on the back and be kind.  We are all on a fabulous journey here.  We need each other.  We need ourselves to be strong.  We need Creator.  We are more light and happier and connected no matter what the circumstances if we can master RELEASE.