Being Present, Manifesting a Home, and the Pumpkin Lady

I am reading a fabulous, fabulous book.  “What I Know For Sure” by Oprah Winfrey is both compassionate, real, and thought provoking.  It is allowing me to read it while nodding, for those things I know for sure too, and then consider whether I really put those things in motion.

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I finished the first section last night about Joy.  The secret to a joyous life is to be present.  So true when one thinks about laughing hysterically in a moment with friends over something nonsensical, drying one’s eyes, and then embracing in the moment.  That is joy.  I ought to laugh more.  In the mornings as I enjoy my cup(s) of hot, dark coffee and write to you at sunrise, I look out the window and thank God for this little “vacation” I am on.  No deadlines, no to-do list, no….then I get antsy and want to-do list back!  I have been sitting and thinking for two months.  There is a real possibility of losing it!  Shh, be present…

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I love watching everything that Maryjane does.  Listening to her little words.  Spending so much time with Doug.  Taking walks and holding hands.  Tending to the greenhouse.  Watching the leaves turn.  Visiting friends.  Resting my body.  Resting my mind.  Ok, well, trying to rest my mind.

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But, there must be balance.  I cannot be present all the time or I would get nothing done.  I am presently manifesting with help (Divine and friends!) and dreaming (because that is what I do).  We have always known what house we want.  Out of the twenty-five places I have lived in my life there is only one that really felt like home.  It was our house in Kiowa.  The one we moved out of last year because they couldn’t keep up the mortgage payments and needed to sell it.  We thought Calhan was our forever farm.  It was a mere stepping stone.  What we really wanted was to own a home.  I guess the only way that we could own a home was by losing everything.  Our friends want to buy us a house and hold the note until we can get our finances in order.  A gift beyond measure.  We know which house we want.  It has been empty since we left it.  People around town wonder where the Pumpkin Lady went.  Not a bad nickname.  There are lots of hoops to go through.  But Friends, we are ready to go home.

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Plans, God’s Laughter, and Ghosts in Utah

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I really need to stop making plans.  For some reason the universe has something magnificent planned for us and apparently none of my plans are fitting into that scheme.  I must follow my gut feeling.  That I have learned.  I must listen to Doug’s too.  There aren’t really any details to share, just that at the end of next week we will officially be vagabonds (aka homeless).  I forgot what plan we were on…plan M or something?  I just know plan A, B, C, D and so on fell treacherously to fate.  Doug always says the old phrase, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”  My school will still be alive and well as it follows me.  But I hate to utter that for fear the universe hears I have a plan!

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We are grateful, for it could be much worse.  Neither of us are ill, no cancers, no injuries.  Our children are great and healthy and alive.  We will be able to keep our cats for the time being.  And we are blessed with many, many great friends.  We are just going to have to take this one day at a time.  There will be many delightful adventures to write about!

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It has been awhile since we have gone on a field trip!  And you readers are going with us!  Our dear, dear friends that you either know or have read about here, Rodney and Pat, offered us a nearly free vacation this weekend.  We are all hitting the road tomorrow for Salt Lake City and you are coming with us!  So pack your bags, we have eating, window shopping, ghost hunting, and sight seeing through northern Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah to do.

We’ll move on to the next great adventure when we get back but this weekend is just for rest, play, and celebration of life and friends!

Being Set Free (a thrilling week long adventure)

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We are strong believers in karma, whatever you put out will come back, usually ten fold, and we watch ourselves pretty closely.  We really try to put out only positive and happy vibes.  So this came as such a shock to us.  We were so friendly, put so much work and money here, why did we lose so much?  It’s laughably ironic that I write about and that we went from so close to self reliance to completely reliant.  Completely.  Reliant.

As each thing leaves the house I am saddened as it feels that the memory is lost with it too.  Our trip to California, that sweet Christmas gift, antique shopping in Evergreen, our friendships, all walking out the door for practically nothing.  Of course those memories and people are still with me, in the literal or spiritual sense and as we unburden our existence with so many material things, we feel lighter.

And I wonder if the karma coming to us is not bad, it’s a gift.  It’s good.  I have written about our day in the life of a homesteader, and our businesses, and our to-do lists.  They exhaust my friends just reading them.  We are being set free from ourselves!

I am daring to imagine an existence where my morning starts the same, with coffee on the porch with my cat, and writing, but then doesn’t turn into a frenzy of trying to keep up.  In this little cottage we do not need 500+ preserved food items to be put up.  We do not need to chop 4 cords of wood.  We do not have to milk twice a day.  We do not have to make enough money to feed all the hungry farm animals.  We do not have to make cheese and soap and lotion and try to find the strength to do yet another farmer’s market.  We are being set free.  So long have Doug and I worked sun up to sun down with businesses, committees, children, and homesteading.  We love it, but the idea of something different does intrigue us.  If I want to do those some of those things, I can.  If I don’t, then we can walk around town and find ourselves listening to live music in the park on Tuesday nights.  We are being set free.

We will be working on building a tiny house.  We will be co-creating beautiful, practically maintenance-free gardens, we will be teaching, but we will be doing it slowly and methodically in the middle of a town where we can find new teachers and friends and find each other in our honeymoon cottage.  What a gift.

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This week on this blog I would like to write about various ways to set ourselves free.  How to find a closer connection to Creator, mental and emotional releases, herbal teas for spiritual use, easy ways to strengthen the body, to bring back health, to bring on inspiration and to make some dreams start coming true, and just setting ourselves free from anything that weighs us down.  I hope you’ll join me!  It’s going to be a freeing week!

Co-Homesteading and Urban Farms

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I am a writer. Beyond being a gardener, mom, grandma, wife, teacher, or anything else, I am a writer.  This means that all of my business and my family’s business is generally open for all to read.  If I had to keep it to myself, I would fall into the depths of despair or be too giddy with unspoken news.  Sometimes I may give too much information.  Sometimes the information changes daily as I know it.  Sometimes the reader may feel that they are on a rollercoaster if they don’t read the posts in order.  But I don’t mind sharing my life with you.  It is an extraordinary, ordinary life that most people can identify with.  Readers can identify with our losses, heartaches, successes, passions, and emotions.  We have so many cheerleaders out there.  I have been touched by all the letters, messages, and calls to help.  My friends send me Craigslist ads for rentals, folks have offered for us to stay with them, people are buying our things to help us out.  Thank you.

Our income was wrapped up in this farm.  The goats are gone.  I watched the sheep leave.  The chickens left yesterday and I cried and cried.  Our income right now is from selling off everything.  We needed a miracle.  I don’t want to jinx it, but it seems we may have gotten just such a miracle.

Kindred friends buying a piece of property.  A place longing to be an expansive urban farm created through Permaculture.  We see a chicken coop and duck coop rising up near a greenhouse, raised beds filled with delicious foods.  Outlines of perennials and herbs, of fruit trees, and bushes.  Wildlife is abundant in this little town.  We were surprised to see a raccoon walking by and noted to make a stronger coop after we heard of bears.  It is interesting to me that over the years I have written about co-homesteading, sharing the load, creating an oasis that benefits a group and a community.  The urban farming posts are numerous on my blog.  It is almost like I manifested where I am right now and that this was just a lovely, scenic stop on the way.  A way to make us appreciate a much smaller space, a way to make us handle cold better, and help make us appreciate little comforts.

We are long past being able to find a place that allows our animals, finding the money for a deposit, first month’s rent, transfer the cable and internet, hire a moving van, and hope we can stay there for awhile.  We are stepping out of the status quo and the norm and entering a community ideal that is quite different but that I have envisioned for a long time.  It is not a new idea though.  A place where expenses are shared and knowledge is shared and each person brings an important skill set to create such oasis.  A place where no one has to do it on their own anymore.  Where the chores are shared and the gardens are shared and building sustenance for all is shared.  This place is surrounded by really eclectic and talented urban homesteaders and farmers, Permaculture experts, and vibrant people.  Well, from the outside they are called hippies.  Sign me up.

So, here we go.  We are standing on a cliff, armed with my favorite cast iron frying pans, some clothes, and our cats, and are ready to jump off.  Are you with me?

Don’t Find Fault, Find a Remedy

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A tremendous amount of folks I know are on the cusp of a huge life change.  New jobs, health problems, moving, life changes, relationship changes.  It’s like the universe tilted us on our side and is watching us all fall back into place.  It is easy to blame our circumstances on others.  Even if they have a role in it, our choices are ultimately what will design our path.  Sometimes there are bigger things at work and the universe needs a little help getting us to the train station for the next part of our journey here on earth.  People, circumstances, and even tragedies help shape us, help us grow, strengthen, learn, and move through this life with intention and wisdom.

There were many factors that went into us losing our farm dream.  We really thought that we would be here for a very long time.  We spend thousands….and thousands of dollars from our final product sales from the Apothecary, the Herbal class tuition, and income tax return on promoting and building this farm so the real tragedy for us was that we are broke and lost all our money on a dead end venture.  Not the end of the world.

We really love this lifestyle.  We like roughing it, working hard for everything we need, from wood to cheese.  We love the endless prairie and the sound of owls.  Sometimes when we can’t see a new path things have to happen to force us into that new journey.  And for us, it was to lose everything.  Well, not everything, we have our family.  And each other.  And great friends.  And hope.  And our next step in our journey that I am getting really excited about and will tell you about tomorrow.

I worry about my daughters finding a place to live, I worry about….well, I can’t worry.  We all know that everything works out beautifully in the end.  Every path has its tripping stones and beautiful rainbows.  Everything will work together to put us all on the perfect path.

If you are on an unknown path in this time of transition, keep your chin up and see the rainbow!  This life is a beautiful place of wonder with Creator’s fingerprints everywhere.  Don’t find fault, don’t place blame, don’t cry too long, find a remedy.  It’s right around the corner!  By the way, that fortune came out of my fortune cookie this past week!

Option 6 (the good and the bad)

Watching owls take flight.

We just had dinner with two of our dear friends.  I met one at the coffee shop in Elizabeth some years ago and she and I connected immediately.  The other one of them is a shaman, a well respected man in the Native community, and a man I greatly respect.  He leads a Talking Circle.  We had them in our home for Thanksgiving.  We enjoy each other’s company.  We help people in different ways.  I am speaking to the kids at his summer program about herbs, the physical and emotional uses.  I have been working with herbs much more lately for myself for spiritual uses.  I am working on a devotional that focuses on words to meditate on and the spiritual blend of herbs to drink as tea and what they do.  My whole identity as an herbalist has been changing.  I have been growing stronger.  And life around me is changing.  It has been changing.  I saw the signs.

I lamented that we are moving back to the city.  “Maybe the Creator wants you closer to the community to help.”  There are many, many more people that I could help that cannot get to the middle of nowhere south of Calhan.

We still need to sell most everything we own.  And we are still going out on the road, albeit a shorter trip.  We have no one that can watch all of our cats while we are gone.  And the girls cannot afford an apartment on their own right now.  I am Maryjane’s babysitter.  We are still needed here.  So we will travel a bit in the next few months then move back to the city where Doug will get a computer job.  The dreaded option #4.  I will still work with herbs and teach and write and see where this journey is taking us.

A lot of people I know, actually, are going through tremendous changes right now.  As if the universe fell sideways and back up for a second!  So, this could change tomorrow.  San Diego or Illinois to New York?  For how long?  To visit whom?  To write.  To rest.  We won’t have goats to milk, chickens to feed, a dog to let out, or for the first time in a long time, no garden to tend.  Then we start over.  Is there anything even out there for rent?

What will this blog become if I am not a farmgirl?  Only time will tell, and in the meantime, I am still writing.  Thanks for following.

Freedom or Fear? (what to do when everything changes)

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There are no laws saying that one can’t lose their farm in June.  It seems that one should be able to move in winter so to avoid missing even one precious day of the growing season, but that is not always the case.  Our plans, goals, and dreams could be coming together in one incredibly synchronized song only to have the universe shake things up a bit.  Nothing is permanent.  Death, job loss, or home loss could change everything.  Or a letter.  We lost our home and our job in one swift typing of words.  One couple had the power to crush what we were building.

We took a risk and spent almost all of our money on the wood stove so we wouldn’t freeze again this winter, and in advertising to build this farm and homestead.  We have school groups scheduled, classes filling up, events that folks are excited about.  I felt like this was really going to work.  But I should know that even if you manifest something it doesn’t mean that it is a given to stay.  Nothing is permanent.

I knew something was coming.  There have been many signs that a farm and family here is not what they had envisioned after all.  By simply doubling the rent, they made a fine statement.  It is their property and they have the right to do so.  We could get desperate or angry.  We could panic.  We could feel like martyrs in the great world of small farmers trying to make it.  But, then we wouldn’t see the opportunities that the universe is obviously bringing forth.  Nature provides everything we need.  I am not afraid.

These are the possible scenarios and choices that we have:

1. If anyone could change someone’s mind, it’s Doug.  He is the most well-liked person I know.  Everyone loves Doug.  He wrote a letter back.  I, personally, cannot see it changing their minds, but you never know.  Well, I kind of know.

2. We miraculously (which is our middle names sometimes) find a farm this very week and get the gardens moved, get moved, and classes just get moved.

3. We find that piece of property someone will let us homestead, finance a shed and move on in.

4. We update our resumes, give up on all this simple living, and head back to suburbia and jobs.  Or jail.  You may as well send us to jail.

5. We sell everything we own.  Head out driving across the country.  Travel like we always wanted to do.  Go visit friends, family, fellow bloggers, and farms along the way.  We will document life on small farms across this beautiful country on our blog.  See how other people live.  Meet new friends, get inspired, find out what our next move is, write, be a couple, see the stars.

If the universe sent in a strong ripple that upset your entire life, lifestyle, plans, goals, and dreams, what would be your next move?  Would you be brave and pursue something that could really impact your life?  Or would you play it safe?  What would you do?