The Land of Enchantment; Dreaming Big

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I have come to the Land of Enchantment.  I know that New Mexico is known for that,  I had been trying to get there for close to a decade, but I found this Land of Enchantment along the path.  As a Colorado native, I have no idea how this beautiful place so close to where I have lived has eluded me.  As I crest the hill past Fountain I know I am almost home because the entire landscape changes.  Cholla cactuses take over the fields and the colors mute and brighten, and the air always feels like spring.

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Many mornings I am met with a magical veil of fog.  This city is filled with lakes.  It is more humid here and my skin loves it.  This morning the sky was a shade of lavender at sunrise.  It is a very special place here.

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Because it is one of the warmest places in the state, the birds love it here.  Eagles, hawks, falcons, geese, ducks, sea gulls, and many birds I am yet to identify.  Many plants I am yet to identify.  I am still getting to know the land.  There are many things I do not know yet.

second-4Here’s what I do know; we were given a gift.  “Be very specific to the universe in your requests,” our friend told us when we first became homeless.  “Think big!”

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An adobe home with real wood floors throughout.  A woodstove, a large kitchen, a place to entertain, a guest room, a root cellar, a large area to garden and be self sufficient.  A fenced yard, a chicken coop, a front porch, somewhere between out in the middle of nowhere and inner city.  And please close to our kids and Maryjane.  Oh, and a warmer climate.

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That is the very thing we got.  The exact specifications.  Amazing, huh?  Just have faith in the process here.  What do you really desire?  Careful what you wish for!  Be specific.  Make sure it won’t harm anyone.  Then go…put it out there in exact detail and watch as it manifests into your life!

Fear and the Map to Your Destiny

The scariest emotion is fear.  Fear drives many religions, fear of loss keeps one trapped, fears can dominate and change our lives, can make us ugly or can keep us from doing what we dream of.  And that is a travesty.

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Dreams are put in our hearts by no accident.  Each thing we find passion for leads us to an outlet.  An outlet to live our life true and fulfilled.  The only thing really keeping us from those dreams and true life is fear.

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I stood before a great many people last year at the Sustainability Fair speaking about manifesting one’s dreams.  How to have no fear and jump ship.  I have written about how to manifest one’s dreams on this blog for years.  I, myself, have manifested many a vision.  I have also lost.

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So, I will admit that for a time I felt like everything I ever spoke about or wrote about or said was complete hog wash.  Indeed, I regret selling Garden Fairy Apothecary for $500 to my friend on a whim.  But I don’t miss the company, I needed a break to come up with better and different formulas, to spend some time learning from others, to spend some time developing, creating, figuring out my path and that allowed me to do so.  I am in love with White Wolf Medicine, and walking away from my last business allowed it to manifest.  But I do regret selling Garden Fairy to a friend.  Because even though she and her friend aren’t promoting it and haven’t done anything with it, they feel betrayed, and that makes me feel bad.  But, I don’t regret moving forward with my vision because it illuminated this new apothecary that I love.

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Every time one loses something, blessings and rebuilding ensue.  Losing so many possessions only served to lighten our load for the journey.  Taking away our farm dream only protected us from the obnoxious, larger than life, windmills that came up across the street and the fearful, unfriendly landlords.  All these experiences only narrow down exactly what we desire.  A light filled small home of our own.  A bit of land.  Towns to do farmers markets in and perhaps open another shop in the future.  A dream we had a long time ago and again and again.  We are busy painting our canvas what colors and whimsy we wish so that our dream will unfold as such.  The flip side of it is that we help and help heal and we have a great gift to offer no matter where we roam.  Our dreams are leading us somewhere where we are needed.  Perhaps right where we are, perhaps down the road a bit.

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Waiting until the “right time” only serves to delay the dream.  Jobs end, money is never guaranteed, paths change, people pass.  Grandma said you have to put a deadline on dreams.  Otherwise it might be too late.

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This life is so beautiful.  Do not let fear keep you from manifesting your dreams.  You are needed in this world and your dreams are your map to fulfilling your greatest endeavors and helping the world.

Ending an Era to Make Dreams Come True (full time farmer and The Homesteading School at Pumpkin Hollow Farm)

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I write a lot about following dreams, taking chances, and working to bring goals to fruition.  It never fails to amaze me how when you start walking toward your dream, the doors naturally open and some close.  The universe conspires to bring everything into alignment, or “Everything works together for the good of those who love Him.” Romans 8:28.  I am sure there are passages and sayings such as these in every culture and in many circles.  It is a fact that if you so desire something and start putting it out there that you want that goal, you will achieve it.  Passions are put in our hearts for a reason and I view them as a guide map of where my journey ought to go.

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Five years ago when Doug left his city job with the comfy pay and benefits and I closed my dance company so that we could go peddle Echinacea at markets with three children at home, it was scary.  How many bottles of medicine would we have to sell to survive?  But we took that leap of faith.  A shop came available.  The money appeared.  The customers came.  The shop closed.  The customers doubled.  For six total years we have had the great pleasure of meeting and helping literally thousands of people.  We have learned and dreamed and succeeded.  And now the few we have whispered to our crazy idea wonder why we would close a perfectly good business that brings in a good amount of income.

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I teach.  It’s what I do.  I stayed in at recess in second grade to teach younger kids how to read.  I taught modeling while I was a model.  I taught acting classes.  I taught dance classes.  I teach herbal classes.  I teach homesteading classes.  I want to teach and farm full time.  Well, with this lifestyle when I say full time I mean enough to get the bills paid and then spend some time in a hammock or writing!

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I have a strong passion for teaching people how to empower themselves with plant medicines.  To not be fearful of diseases in the news.  To not be afraid of broken wrists or high fevers.  Knowledge that was lost must be found and redistributed!  I want to teach all about herbalism.  If there is an underlying worry that the student will become my competition then I cannot be a proper teacher.  If I have to keep all of my tried and true recipes top secret then what good am I doing?  By closing my Apothecary I will be a far more effective teacher.  I also lowered the price of my classes.  I combined the additional Master’s class into the Certified Class for the price of the latter.  A much more comprehensive course at a reasonable price.  Our school is superior to many of the others.  I know this because I have had interns from other schools who knew nothing about practical uses of herbalism.  But I lowered my price to make it more accessible.

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I have a strong passion for homesteading.  I love the freedom of it.  I love having the option to go watch the sunset, then come in and make supper, after I play with the goats, and plant a few more kale seeds.  I love that we can live on a small enough number that it is somewhat easy to get the bills paid and still have plenty of time to be together and play and enjoy our farm.  I love teaching homesteading classes.  Because the second you teach someone how to can, you open up a whole new world of affordable, healthy eating.  If someone can make their own soap, they eliminate the need to purchase expensive soaps and do not need to worry about skin conditions and irritation.  Teach someone how to farm, and they don’t need to depend on the grocery store so much.  Teach someone how to do any of the skills I offer classes for and they save money and are more easily able to attain their goals.

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I have a strong passion for farming.  The soil on my fingers, caterpillars slinking by, birds singing, bees on the flowers near, providing food for myself and others.  I love the animals.  I love this life.

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In the summer I am often too busy to really enjoy any of it.  We do farmer’s markets all week, we make a year’s worth of medicines, we answer phone calls and emails, we fill product, we ship, we wild craft and harvest enough for the year, we preserve all of our own food.  Now we will be getting most of our own wood.  We have a larger space to farm.  We have more animals.  When do I have time to really pursue farming and teaching when I am so busy with the Apothecary and basic homesteading?

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Something had to go and it wasn’t the chickens!  So, June 1st I am closing my Apothecary.  I’ll still be around to help people in a pinch.  I can still work on a sprained ankle or have some salve on hand.  But the retail side will be gone.  I am going to really promote my classes, which will be the make or break of this crazy idea, and I will farm with all my heart and spirit and physical ability.  Doug by my side.

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And when you put something out there, listen.  As the wheels of the goal start turning and coming into being you will be able to feel if you are on the right path by how much resistance comes your way.  Yesterday, a gal that runs a market in Elizabeth asked me to come each week and teach a small class or demonstration and promote my school.  For free.  I had the best talk with my intern from last year who resides in New York.  He’s coming out for two months this summer to help us get this thing in full swing.  I’m on fire, folks!  I am so excited.

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One always thinks of the worst case scenarios which hardly ever come up.  What if we need to make more money? (get a part time job or sell something else)  What if a storm wipes out the gardens?  After any storm in life we get up and start over knowing that only good can come out of difficulty.  But life is short and dreams are big, so we may as well start following them now.  I have no doubt that come summer this blog will be reflecting that dream come true.

Now, it’s your turn, dear reader.  Write out that dream or goal, no matter how big or small.  Details, people!  Get it all out.  Now, are you really ready for it to come true?  You wouldn’t want to block your own goal!  Now, place it in the responses so that the wheel can start turning.  It’s going to be an exciting year!

Starting a Homesteading School

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Several times this year I had us (meaning myself and you readers) all write down dreams, goals, things we want to change in our lives, things that we are holding onto, things that we need to start in order to get our dreams to unfold before us.  For anything you desire or wish for will come to fruition.  Once you put it out there and start planning, it is a done deal.  For us, we longed for a place with more land.  We had truly run out of space at our adorable rental house in town on two-thirds of an acre.  We even dug up the driveway last year to plant more corn and herbs!  Our goats yelling at people walking by and the veritable farm right there in the middle of town was definitely a show-stopper and amazingly fun but we were ready for the next step of our journey.  We prayed and planned though we had no idea how it would even be possible.  We had no money and no credit but we needed a bigger farm and a smaller, quaint homestead with more off grid possibility, and a place where we could use the homesteading skills we had acquired over the years on our practice farms.

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A brief, out of nowhere call from our landlords telling us they needed to sell the house (it looks to be going into foreclosure though) and a trip down Craigslist way and bam we were staring at our dream home.  A tiny hundred-plus year old homestead filled with memories and history on ten acres for rent complete with goat pens and chicken coop, fenced garden, clothes line, wood cook stove, and views for miles.  Nothing is impossible with God indeed!  All for half the price we were paying in bills at the old place.

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There is one more piece to this dream we have concocted.  A school.  I have taught Certified Herbalist Courses for about five years now.  For two years I have taught sporadic homesteading classes in our cramped kitchen.  Soap making, cheese making, fun skills like that.  I enjoy making medicines, but the retail side of it needs to stay small and intimate, helping people directly, so it’s not enough to get us through financially.  That, and teachers must teach.  We go crazy if we don’t!

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Before now I have just offered homesteading classes here and there and have not really promoted them properly but I am now in my place where I can really make this dream come true.  So, I looked at the coming year’s calendar and made a  schedule.  I had already written down sometime this year all of the classes and event we could offer.  I proceeded to take a leap of faith and make this dream come to life.  I guess you will see along with me what transpires!

There is a tab on the menu above that reads “Homesteading School”, all classes and events are posted there.  They are also posted on my website http://gardenfairyapothecary.com and there is a place to pay for and sign up for classes.  I am really excited about this!  Perhaps I will be able to meet some of my readers at a farm event or class.

What dreams are you working on this year?

We Manifested a Farm (how to make your dreams come true)

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I have lots of stories about how when you dream up something, write it down, share it with the world, you will manifest it.  You will get it.  Guaranteed.  Isn’t that amazing?!  But a lot of times when I am inspiring folks to do this, to let the universe collide to bring forth your greatest desires, I am avidly dreaming and praying and begging, and waiting for the proper time to see our dreams come to fruition.  It never ceases to amaze me when it all happens…again!  Be careful what you wish for, but if you dream it, it will come true and I find great comfort in that.  I also like to look back and see how things aligned, how things peaked our interest (sharing a home with friends…interns…) then taken back out of the equation, tweaked, changed, but still have a place in the future plan, in a different way.  How we found our way to this homestead, which seemed impossible to get, is just fascinating.  How could the homestead I dreamed up ever actually come true when we have zero credit, little money, and crazy requests like a wood cook stove?  Who the heck has a wood cook stove in a rental?

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You can read just a few of these posts by clicking on the title, Preparing for Dreams to Come True and Self Fulfilled Prophesies just to get a gist of how amazing this dream-come-true homestead is!

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Our landlords at the last house called out of the blue (remember, we hadn’t heard from these folks in a looong time) to see if we wanted to buy the house.  We can’t buy a house.  I liked the house there and was really going back and forth whether we should renew our lease.  The bills were pretty high for us, but we loved the neighbors and the house.  When Maryjane started running out into the busy street, I knew I better get out of town.  But where?  The landlords wanted to sell the house so we had our choice made for us.  We thought we had until spring.

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In our price range were run down trailers out in the middle of nowhere.  Potential?  Always.  Something we felt compelled to jump on?…uh, no.  Now, this will sound a bit hocus pocusy and I, myself, am a bit of skeptic but a friend of mine and past student is a respected palm reader.  She took one look at my hand and said that I was preventing the homestead to manifest because I was sure I wouldn’t have enough money.  Let the money in!  I am not a material girl and I hate even charging for my medicines.  Little did I know that that meant that the bills would be so cheap, I could afford it.  She said we’d be moved by October 1st.  By the skin of our knuckles, by golly, we were moved in by that prophesized date.  Hallelujah.

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I was wandering by the computer and checked Craigslist for the umpteenth time.  There was a brief notice.  Not many details.  The sound of the prose sounded like they were a bit fed up of renters.  I called anyway.  In fifteen minutes we were on our way to a town 43 minutes from where we were presiding to see said house.  The wood cook stove, the pantry, the size (850 square feet, just what I requested), the land (10 acres surrounded by prairie), the cohabitants of the land to make it possible but with our own space, the price including utilities exactly what my absurd number was.  Goat pens, chicken pens, large fenced garden.  Twenty five minutes from my very favorite city, Colorado Springs.  My head is swimming with gratitude and awe.

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Get those dreams written down now, people!  Everything is coming together!  I’d love to hear what your dreams entail.  It helps to share them with the world.  Enjoy the photo tour of our new Pumpkin Hollow Farm and look for all the Homesteading and Herbalist classes that will be offered here in the next year.

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Henry Higgin's replacement.  Meet Christopher Robin.  Let's hope he's nicer than Henry!

Henry Higgin’s replacement. Meet Christopher Robin. Let’s hope he’s nicer than Henry!

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Our new cold frame, bartered for with a class.  Veggies in January?  I do hope so!

Our new cold frame, bartered for with a class. Veggies in January? I do hope so!

Potential, potential, potential...

Potential, potential, potential…

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40 Days (renew, reinspire, recalculate)

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I am truly an optimist.  I love new beginnings and always believe in them.  Comparing photos from our time with friends in November to recent ones (above and below), I see that a tremendous sadness and weight descended on us and was evident through the camera lens.  Downturned faces and hunched shoulders reveal a burdening time.  On March 31st we spent all our money on a lemon of a car off of Craigslist that is still in the shop.  That was the last of our bad luck and April 1st was the beginning of a time of renewal, inspiration, and strength.

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40 Days.  Forty days would be more apt to have started at Lent, but I am a bit behind.  40 days of renewal, a sense of wonder, doing nice things for myself, not caring about rules, and noticing the beautiful things in my life that subtly whisper through the winds of each day.  Why 40 days?  One could pick any number, really.  The beginning of April to Mother’s Day, which represents my most honored description seemed right.  I turn forty on Monday.  New things are surely on the horizon for us.  The last forty years I grew up, raised children, came to this place.  The next forty years will be so delightful, I am sure.  Our own homestead surely awaits us, more grandchildren are surely in our future, our children are getting married, our marriage is getting stronger, we have so much to look forward to.

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Choose a number.  I chose 40.  In a book at night, record what you did or what happened that day, what you see your life as.  It is never too late to make small or big life changes.

April 1st- Bought an expensive (for me) bottle of Borolo and opened it for lunch.  Instead of complaining at the bar while Doug played pool, I tried to be present, even played, and had a good time.

April 2nd- Spent time with Maryjane, rocked her to sleep.  Painted two letters at the coffee shop at the spur of the moment.

April 3rd- Played Andrea Bocceli and served lunch while teaching a class.  Prayed for a long time before bed.

Because life is so blaringly short, I want to enjoy people more.  Spend more time with friends and celebrating.  My four day birthday weekend starts today.  A night out with Monte and Erik.  Tomorrow Doug is throwing me a birthday barbeque.  Tomorrow night the Melting Pot with Steve, Nancy’s husband who’s brain tumor may not allow him many more dinners out with us.  Sunday, a bee keeping class, Tapas lunch, and an outing with two new homesteading couples we met.  Monday, my actual birthday, a national newspaper is interviewing me thanks to this blog.  My life is beautiful, and complicated, and full of mystery and joy.  I am blessed beyond belief.

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My mother mentioned that I lead a charmed life.  Any of us can have a charmed life.  All you have to do is put out there what you want and you will get it, like it or not.  Work for it, desire it, pray for it, do everything you can to get it.  Our life looks like what we wanted it to.  We now dream of our own homestead that we can stay at.  We dream of so many things.  Though they feel like a desperation now, they will come to being.  They have to.

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The key to our life is instead of making more money, make less.  Every time we think we need more money, we try to sell something, or get rid of a bill, or make do.  My ultimate goal in the next 40 years, or 40 months, or 40 weeks would be better, is to find a place that is even cheaper than what we are paying now so that we can lower the prices of our medicines and our classes so that other folks can make less money and enjoy their lives more too.  When you don’t have to work so hard for what you have, you can enjoy each day more.  You have more freedom.

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Break rules.  My own rules.  I can only eat this and that.  I cannot buy a lotion that smells SO good that my daughters bought because I make my own lotion, and it is fantastic, one of my best sellers.  I went and bought the other lotion.  Gasp.  I eat what I want, and drink when I want, and go to the coffee shop when I want, and still get all my work done.  The only thing that was keeping me imprisoned was myself.

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Today is a new day, y’all.  Be inspired today.

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