Listening to Intuition and Dreams

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In one of my favorite travel memoirs, “On Mexican Time” by Tony Cohan he notes that it takes about three weeks to completely relax and decompress.  It has been three weeks since we arrived at our temporary home with good friends.  And the longer we are here the more I begin to feel my tense muscles relax, the tears come less and less, and clarity is ever more present.

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I had a dream after we saw the homestead in Calhan the first time.  I dreamt that the landlords were chasing us and the feeling of dread I felt upon waking trying to escape that house made me decide that we should not move there.  But the low rent and my sweet intern’s prompting made me think I was being ridiculous.  I have a gift of discernment.  I can look in someone’s eyes and know if they are telling the truth or if they mean harm.  The last tenants left in the middle of the day leaving everything behind and never came back.  I knew there was something not right, but I dismissed my own intuition in the name of $700 rent and a possible forever homestead.  And as the tension grew and it got more and more unbearable, Shyanne had a dream that they had set the house on fire and that she saw the cats burning and since that child has the same gifts as I do, we hurried to get out of there a bit faster.  We would hear her screaming into the phone outside our house ranting about my blog.  I had to shut my phone off so I couldn’t receive more stalking texts from her demanding more money.  When we came the last time to clear the rest of our things, half of it was piled in a huge jumble outdoors and the rest had been picked over.  We left for good.  I should have listened to that original dream.  Turns out a friend of ours has a friend who was a dairy farmer in Calhan who had heard of that couple and their con.  They get people in for very low rent, make them feel sorry for them (he is in a wheelchair), the tenants improve the property, pay rent in advance, then get forced out with fake breaches in the contract.  Never, ever doubt your gut feelings.

So, when I had a dream that I should not go work at the restaurant, I listened.  Even though we are down to fifteen dollars, I must not second guess my intuition.  We need to listen.  We have food, and drink, and clothes, and shelter, and our two bills are paid.  We need to listen.

Last night I had a dream that our family were all in boats, canoes sort of, wading through crystal clear waters in a lagoon in the mountains.  The boats peacefully cut through the silent waters.  It was warm and sweet.  A time of respite.

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My work with medicines is a beautiful calling but one that can be draining and sometimes dangerous.  I have much work to do.  We have new places to be, our favorite communities to be a part of, and a future home and people to help.  This is my opportunity for respite.  Something I most definitely fight against.  But there are no mandatory chores to do right now.  No places to be necessarily and no deadlines.  Just time and space and thoughts.  Cups of tea and mountainsides, writing books and dreams to listen to.

Chickens (rock star babies, paper mache eggs, roosters, and enclosure needed)

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The lambs have taken over the job of farm dogs, the goats are having adorable kids, the ducklings have added a whole new level of freaking cute around here, and the cats are still their goofy selves.  There are three indoor kittens here, a madhouse.  A. Madhouse.  The chickens haven’t been getting a whole lot of attention lately except for praising them for their contribution of eggs each day and the untimely death of one.  But, now it is their turn.

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Meet Pat Benetar, Stevie Nicks, Cher, Chaka Khan, and Janice Joplin (names courtesy of Shyanne and Doug).  My dear friend, Jamie gave me five chicks that she hatched herself using a good looking Brahma dad and Araucana mamas.  They have the beautiful coloring as well as feathered feet!  Stevie Nicks enjoys standing on top of the waterer as we sing, “Just like a white winged dove…” for her.

The dream chicken enclosure!
The dream chicken enclosure!

The landlords have decided that they prefer that the chickens stay locked up.  So, they are going to have to stay in their coop and small yard.  I would like to build a bigger fenced in enclosure.  There is no money right now but maybe we can scavenge enough stuff or find donations.  That space is too small for them and with two roosters?  The hens will never find peace.  So, what do I do with the roosters?  I love hearing their singing.  They are beautiful and have done no wrong.  The girls haven’t gone broody with them there so there are no new chicks from our farm.  They are not needed for protection if they are in an enclosure.  And their singing voices aren’t enough to allow them to have their way (kind of violently) all day with penned up females and eating at the all day organic chicken feed buffet.  There is a locker plant down the way, or someone might like them as a pet.  Or…oh I don’t know.  They need a job.  And their job is about to be eliminated.  Sometimes I wonder if I am cut out for this.

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On a brighter note, look at this egg!  This is Peep’s egg.  She was our first chicken (also named by Shyanne) and continues to lay these outrageous paper mache eggs due to her age.  It’s a lucky egg!  Should you find it in your carton think of sweet Peep.

Emily, Shyanne, and Peep
Emily, Shyanne, and Peep 2012

Problem solving and dilemmas are always a part of the joys and memories of farms but at least we will be serenated by five rock star chickens while doing so!  No matter what comes up, this is still the good life!

Saturday, May 16th, 2015 from 10-? on the farm we are having a work party day if anyone can help we would be ever so grateful!  Extra fencing, creative minds, helping hands, donations, anything welcome.  I will feed all helpers!  7080 Calhan Road South, Calhan, CO, 80808.

Journey To Our First Farm-A Love Story (Part 5)

Our landlord that owned the house was so sweet.  We were instantly drawn into long conversations every time we saw each other.  She wanted to come out and garden with me that first year.  She would come to the farmer’s market and visit with us that summer.  We loved so many of the same things.  Wine, food, farming, and she was interested in the herbal medicines.  I asked her jokingly one day when she was picking up some medicines if she needed a Love Potion Tincture.  She said matter-of-factly, “I am not sleeping with him, he’s an asshole.”  That was the first time we knew something might be amiss.  We had met her husband each time we met with her.  He was fairly quiet.  It had been his house until they got married and moved into hers in Parker.  When she announced that they were getting a divorce my first reaction was, “Uh oh.”  She got her house in Parker and he got to keep his house in Elizabeth.  The one we were living in.  He couldn’t afford the mortgage payments, so we were able to stay there.

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Meanwhile, Doug and I were busy patting ourselves on the back.  Congratulating ourselves on raising the most amazing children.  What was this teen thing everyone spoke of?  Geez, our kids were 17, 14, and 13.  Lovely children.  Polite, intelligent, gorgeous young people.  We were really something as parents.  We agreed we had such fantastic children because we homeschooled.  They had freedom.  We had interested them in the arts.  We filled the house with singing, musical instruments, and painting.  We drove them and all their neighborhood friends two to a seat to youth group every Wednesday in Parker.  We took them to church.  We raised them to be considerate and to be able to hold adult conversations and to be passionate and compassionate.  Pat. Pat.  Man, we were great.

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So one day we found ourselves standing in front of the house, arms linked, jaws open, contemplating whether it was proper to move out until the kids became themselves again.  We were shell shocked.  Never had we heard of anything like this before.  When folks have teenagers, they joke when they are past the stage.  They never really tell you what it feels like to be a parent to a teenager who has come into their own.  Not only did the kids start to rebel, but they all became rebellious at the same time, fueling each other.  An inferno within the walls of our supposed sanctuary.  It was terrifying.

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And they tried and did everything.  They knew all the police officers by name and not in a good way.  The court house was becoming a regular date on my calendar.  While we were doing markets every day, our house had become the neighborhood hangout.  Pot smoking, drinking, cussing, drag racing.  Our neighbors glared at us in the grocery store.  My mother called to tell me to take charge.  Short of tying them all up and keeping them in a closet for two years, I was unsure as to what I could possibly do.  I had already attempted bribing, begging, crying, ignoring, and every other reaction I could possibly come up with.

Emily disappeared for three days.  We thought she had been kidnapped and feared the worst.  Shyanne began to sneak out at night and go who knows where.  Andrew’s temper made a fierce appearance and he eventually moved in with his girlfriend for awhile.  We did not recognize these children.  Emily was helping herself to our money, a lot of it.  The kids had no desire to listen or be around us any longer.

One night Emily had a lot of food in her room.  Doug told her to take it out as we were beginning to see a mouse problem.  She squinted her eyes, gave him a glare, and did not remove it.  He threw it all away.  The next day we went to the farmer’s market.  When we returned (that is when we contemplated moving out) we were shocked and crushed by the result of three children’s tempers.  Eggs were broken in my shoes.  Antiques had been thrown off the second story deck.  Things were broken, thrown away, and I think I have blocked out the rest.  But the three little (used to be) angels looked at us with insidious smiles and said, “We didn’t do it.”

Oh, that was a time.  Even though we are past it now, it feels like a wound that will never fully heal.  A rejection and a stab that no one tells you about.  Five years off my life easy.  Doug’s beard half grey.

The landlord without his wife was becoming a problem.  He hated gardens. (He even sued us when we left for $15,000.  The garden a part of the damages listed.)  Turns out he hated cats.  He hated life.  And he certainly would not let us have chickens.  He was losing a battle to Hepatitis C.  He lost his job.  He needed us to pay him the rent two weeks early every month.  We did so for over a year which is probably what gave him the idea that we had money.  (The case was dropped by the way.)  We expected a foreclosure notice on the door any day.  We could not fathom how he could be paying his bills.

The house had bad vibes.  Haunted.  Whatever you want to call it.  We don’t usually mind the here and there spirit.  We live in exceptionally old towns.  It kind of comes with the territory.  But, this was evil.  I hated getting up in the middle of the night to use the restroom.  I flew there with my eyes closed.  I was terrified.

The house was quickly losing its charming and promise.  Bad memories, bad mojo, and a real possibility of being out on the street was staring us in the face.  The shop was doing great but at home, hell had broken loose.

Two years after we moved to the house, we needed to get out.  I could not find anywhere to rent though.  I was getting scared…but as fate would have it…