Unmanifesting; Cleaning Up Our Garden of Life

plant

I write plenty about manifesting.  It completely astounds me every time how efficiently, and rather quickly, one can manifest an idea or dream.  In fact this time last year when I wrote in my resolutions that we would manifest a farm, I scarcely believed it.  Looking at the exorbitant jump in house prices in my state and our humble income, it just didn’t seem possible.  Yet, when one wishes for it, everything truly is possible.  And in less than three weeks we will move onto our very own homestead.  But what about unmanifesting?

There are some things we must unmanifest in order to move forward.  If simple words uttered to the universe can create whirlwinds of activity to create the outcome, one can imagine that words that create harm can also manifest.  It’s time we dug up poisonous seeds.

plant-3

In a bar some twenty years ago a young man holding a beer jokingly looked at my hand and “read my palm”, never mind that he was wrong about me having four children or that my first marriage would last forever, he said that I would have cancer in my early forties.  It was just a moment in a bar.  But, those words stuck with me.  My lymph nodes have been swollen for a good part of the year and I am tired.  I know with every fiber of my being that this is stress.  A year of tremendous loss followed by a year of working non-stop.  But, that seed…ugh, it’s gotta go.

It is time to dig up that seed and throw it in a river somewhere.  Same with all the times growing up I was told how big my nose was.  How my voice was irritating.  How my laugh was obnoxious.  The times as an adult that I was told Doug would never stay with me.  The times I felt worthless.  Any seed that was planted that has not born good fruit we must dig up, and do not even put them into the compost pile, but rather dispose of them once and for all.

plant-2

This season, I would encourage you to think of what seeds were planted in your garden of life that are harmful or deceitful and dig them up.  This year we only manifest good and prosperous and beautiful.  Because that is what you are.

Ten Yule Gifts To Give Yourself

The Yule-tide season oughtn’t be just about giving gifts to others.  Why, we might want to be a bit self indulgent.  Lord, I think we have all spent enough time learning from society that it isn’t about us, and that we should just give, give, give to others.  I don’t know about you, but I think I deserve a little treat now and then.  I work hard, love hard, and I should treat myself as I would treat a small child in my home.  With comforts and love abound.  Here are just a few ideas to make the holidays at home sweet.

tea

#1 If you have a queen sized bed, splurge on king sized sheets.  Even better, get those glorious plush, micro-fleece sheets.  Soft, comforting, and enough leeway to share with your partner.  Curled up under warm sheets pulled to your chin (a treat when you are as tall as I am) and still have your feet covered is indeed heaven.

Jpeg

#2 The Christmas tree is magical.  Treat it as such.  Twinkly lights, memories in ornament form, the smell of pine if it is a real tree, and the tall evergreen monument in the living room for but a month is a joy to have.  Pull up a rocking chair and opt to sit in it a few minutes with the lights on morning and evening.  A cup of coffee or tea, a magazine or book.  Perhaps a little music.  Magic.

fruits_and_vegetables_a_collection_of_picture_167168

#3 Treat yourself to smoothies whipped up with fresh vegetables and fruits in the morning and a glass of fresh pressed juice before dinner.  You will infuse your body with a great number of nutrients and fiber and perhaps won’t eat so much of the not-so-great foods.  Eat well.

lavender

#4 Use a vaporizer that has a little well for essential oils.  Lavender reminds me of my favorite places in New Mexico and lulls me to quiet sleep.  Pine invigorates and smells of holidays and forests.  Find your scent (and your moisture).

candles

#5 Stretch gently in the morning.  Or vigorously.  Yoga and meditation is beautiful.  Prayers said while lighting candles is healing.  Remembering our loved ones is essential.  For all those passed and those that are here helping us along, be grateful.

cinnamon

# 6 Add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to coffee before brewing.  Add a cinnamon stick to a cup of hot tea.  (It stabilizes blood sugar tastes great.)

ink-well-and-quill-pen_2558332

# 7 Write love letters to those near to you.  Then write a love letter to yourself.  I dare you.  You will feel awkward and giddy the entire time you write your missive to yourself.

fire

#8 Say no.  Stay in.  Watch silly Christmas shows and movies.  Drink hot cider and eat popcorn and a few cookies.  Snuggle on the couch.  Look at the stars for a moment before darting back into the warm house.  Start a fire.  (That has several meanings.)

Jpeg

#9 Start planning your year to come.  Dream.  For dreams cannot possibly come true if we don’t dream and plan them first.

me-and-baby

#10 Love you.  Merry Christmas to you.  All the magic in the world is at your fingertips.  you can make anything occur.  You are made perfect, look perfect, are perfect.  Just love you.

Jpeg

Cheers, Friends.  Time to light the Christmas tree and candles.  The sun is sloping towards the west.  I hope you are enjoying your season so far.

 

New Year’s Part 4- Blessings

 

family picNow that we are geared up to release 2015 in a glass of champagne and have our 2016 hopes and dreams laid out we must take a moment to be grateful.  Goodness, I don’t know anyone that came away from 2015 unscathed.  Yikes, it was a doozy.  But there are reasons behind change, behind life.  We must take our lessons and see where they lead us all.  But we must always hang on to hope.  And hope comes in the form of 2016 today.  Take a moment and write down all the things you are grateful for while I jot down mine…

Mine filled a full page.  The opportunities, the love, the kids, marriage, health, family, friends, animals, shop, lessons learned, and memories made; riding in a small plane and communing with wild horses.  It was an interesting year.  Please share your dreams, ideas, and blessings in the comments if you wish.  See you next year!

What’s Next? (welcoming the new year)

maryjane tree

The sun is shining brightly on this lovely New Year’s morn as a feeling of hope and aspiration overcomes us.  We release the last year, accept its many lessons, rejoice that we are here this morning to breathe and revel in unstoppable dreams and goals.

What is in store for Farmgirl School this year?  My lists are brimming.

This year we will completely immerse ourselves in permaculture (Doug and I are already busy reading books and listening to lectures on the subject…such a foreign concept to us as we have been gardening the same way for so long but are excited to completely change for the better our way of farming.) and create an oasis here on our new  homestead with fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, perennials, annuals, container gardening, cold frames, green house?…lots of big ideas.  Join us as we grow mushrooms this year and more herbs too.  Let’s learn to hunt wild foods and eat weeds.

Let me show you how to make medicines with wild herbs and many ways to administer them.  There is lots of wacky information out there on herbal medicine, let me just teach you how easy and effective it is.  We’ll make our homesteading and herbalist school a great success and meet lots of folks from all over on the way.

Let’s get some more farm animals maybe, and learn many more skills.  I will teach you how to make hard cheeses.  Let’s eat our way around the world and learn more ethnic cooking.  Who knows what else we will learn in our journey this year!

I love the idea of the proverbial clean slate ahead of me.  Unwritten days and new attitudes, memories, and experiences at hand.  As always, thank you for following us on this journey.  Last year we found the homestead that we dreamed of and learned many valuable lessons that will be pivotal to our experiences this year.  I love receiving your letters.  Should you like to correspond please drop me a line via snail mail.  Mrs. Katie Sanders, 7080 Calhan Rd So, #2, Calhan, CO, 80808 or if you are in Elizabeth on Mondays, come by Grumpy’s coffee shop and sit a spell with me.  I love seeing who is reading my writings and learning from each other.

So, here we come 2015, we embrace you with open arms.  Who’s with me?

5 Ways to Make the New Year Better (write down yours!)

tea

I really enjoy my time with other homesteaders.  I find comfort in how much we have in common.  We don’t get to see our country friends too much because we are all so darn busy but now that things are settling down we’ll possibly have time for impromptu visits.  Yesterday our friend and neighbor from ten miles down the road came by to visit.  He didn’t call (country friends rarely do) and I was frazzled that the house was in such disarray.  We had the baby all day and I could either do dishes and clean or play with the baby.  I spent too many years cleaning and doing dishes while my children grew up without me playing with them so I opted to play.  She had just fallen asleep when Jim came by.  We had a nice chat in the sunny living room in front of the Christmas tree and talked about the snow coming, work slowing down for both of us, the holidays, he lost his dad and how sad he was, what medicines we were making (he was one of my students), and laundry.  Yes, laundry.  You can tell the weather out here by the clothes lines.  The day before a cold front comes in we all do our laundry so it will be dry by time the cold hits.  He had a load in the washer so couldn’t stay long.  I did too.  We had a pleasant chat and agreed to get together for cards soon.

clothesline

I am very content.  Despite the cold (which we can handle and are hoping to put in another stove) we have just the life we want out here.  As the new year approaches though I find myself pondering what I could do better, what more I want in my life, and how I want to improve as a person.  Maybe you are too.  Instead of calling these things resolutions, let’s just call them new additions (or subtractions!) from our life and make a personalized plan for success!  I have started them now.  No reason to wait.  Write these five things down on a piece of paper and start pondering them now.  They can be easily implemented throughout the next year and help you become your best self.

1. Learn Something New

horsie

What would you like to learn in the new year?  Let’s not forget that learning goes on our whole lives and that learning new things is great for the brain, the body, and spirit.  I wanted to learn how to learn how to ride horses.  Now, I have rode dozens of horses on trails that the horse knew by heart and they were already saddled up and ready to go for fifty dollars an hour.  Or friend and family’s horses that were in a ring, and again, already to go.  I put out on social media that I would like to learn how to ride horses and was willing to barter for lessons.  I expected to learn western riding.  I would love to get a horse or two in the future (the sooner the better!) and expect to be riding western style.  But when one of my friends and past students offered me English riding lessons, I took it.  She already knows how to make medicines so I bartered for my husband.  His expertise anyway.  I let him know he was helping her design a facebook and website for her upcoming business.  He is a good sport.

You can find someone to teach you virtually anything and folks are happy to share what they know.  You will easily be able to barter or find inexpensive classes.  Or splurge and take up tap lessons or go to drawing school.  Just learn something new.

What skill would you like to learn?

2. Take Care of Your Body

vegetables

We can all do the things we love a lot easier if we feel good.  Identifying and implementing what we need to feel our best is very important and shouldn’t be put off!  We all have different needs and cannot just blindly follow the latest fad or phase.  For me, I need to change the way I eat.  A year ago, after twenty plus years of being a vegetarian, I decided to start eating meat again.  The prairie lifestyle and the organic farms around me, not to mention being out of things to cook, inspired me to try it.  It would be a more self sufficient way to eat as well since I could easily pack my freezers with friends’ harvests.  In one year, I became depressed, my face showed more wear and tear, my stomach always hurt, I had heartburn every night for the first time in my life, and I was lethargic and tired all the time.  My husband wasn’t faring much better.  His acid reflux came back, chronic congestion, and breathing issues ensued.  He gained weight and was also tired all the time.  Enough was enough.  I sold every bit of meat in the refrigerator.  We are starting our mornings with a quart of green smoothies filled with spinach, aloe vera, frozen berries and rhubarb packed away earlier in the season.  Apples, also from Aunt Donna’s, and bananas, pumpkin, spices, anything else I can find filled with antioxidants goes into the fabulous Vitamix and is already infusing our bodies with more nutrients than we have had for a long time.  The hole in my stomach is healing and I can sleep now.  All digestive ailments have gone away.  Doug is detoxing pretty harshly but will feel better soon.

Instead of buying veggie meats (I was trying to get away from them because they have so many GMO’s in them and are owned by the big companies) I am experimenting with more ethnic foods.  Dal, Curries, Mexican food, all different cuisines from other countries that don’t eat a lot of meat or have a wide variety of beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and spices.  We are still eating and enjoying fish.  Not only will be getting healthier again but I have opened up a whole other world of delicious recipes and foods.  I will start checking out a different cookbook each week from the library.  I can also grow most of these foods.  I will increase my bean and lentil crops this year and pack in as many vegetables into my new garden as possible!

How will you make your body work better?

3. Take Care of Emotions

IMG_0553

Our bodies are made up of emotions, spirit, and physical and they all need to be working well because they effect the rest of the systems.  I avoid the news like the plague.  No news is good news.  But social media bothers me as well.  I enjoy getting onto Facebook and seeing what my friends are up to or seeing pictures of my kids and granddaughter, but then there comes a point where I have to stop.  Folks posting pictures of abused and neglected animals out in the snow, and posts of what Monsanto is doing, and what our government is doing, or complaints about various ailments, and this and that, I just can’t take it all in and process it without feeling saddened.  Check it in the mornings while I am writing and returning emails then leave it.

How will you seek emotional health?

4. Take Care of Spirit

church

I love church, I really do.  I find myself making it way too difficult.  I do not like legalistic and superior feeling folks.  I love the Catholic church, but stupid as it sounds, I cannot get down the new prayers and sayings and need to get the new booklet on the changes.  I yell out the wrong thing.  I also would need to meet all new people.  I just want to go, sit in the back, and pray.  I don’t want to be a part of a community.  I am always disappointed in church communities when I do.  I know I am expecting too much.  I love the gathering every other Sunday downtown with my American Indian friends called Talking Circle.  It is two hours from my house though.  We pick up the baby at 11.  So I don’t have time (so I say) to go to any of them!  Excuses, excuses.  What do I want?  Go to Saturday evening mass, pick up the baby early and drive to Denver and go to Talking Circle and make a day in the city of it, or just go for a long walk and pray.  There are many ways to connect to the Creator.  Put it on my schedule and do it.

5. List What Makes You Happy

IMG_3091

IMG_2842

These are the things we need to do more of.  We so often say at the beginning of the year, no more of this!  No more of that!  Change this!  Change that!  How about add this and that?  It will make all the difference.  For me, I love being home more.  I do not like running errands and driving all over all the time.  We have one more week of craft shows.  I love just staying at home and working on my homestead.  I love taking walks and being in nature.  I love writing.  I love reading magazines on the porch.  I love being around my kids and around sweet Maryjane Rose.  These are the types of things I should do more of.

Now write down yours!

From our farm to yours…wishing you a beautiful and prosperous year to come filled with good health and joy and many, many great memories!  Feel free to respond with your goals for the new year.  Let’s not wait until the 1st to feel great!

 

 

Remember When….

‘Tis the beginning of the year and my eye for decorating seems to intensify.  The beginning of Autumn and the beginning of the year is when I start nesting.  I redecorate in the fall, but in January I have time to deep clean and paint.  My closet was cleaned out this week.  So many clothes were in the small farmhouse closet that I could not find my shoes.  Two large trash bags went to the thrift store of clothes I do not even wear (but might someday!).  The girls’ bathroom is on my radar this week.  A light cheery yellow, I think……

IMG_0393

You have seen my decorating style in my posts about home and design.  We don’t take ourselves too seriously.  Whimsical, a bit of humor, infusions of our love of New Mexico, and farming posters line the walls.  We have antique furniture from family or Craig’s list, and lots of cats to make everything cozy.

SAM_0058

I have begun pairing down which magazines I receive.  Magazines are my vice.  I need monthly shots of inspiration.  I have noticed that my magazines that are supposed to be country or cottage style are all becoming very modern.  That isn’t country.  There is not enough fun in that style of decorating to me.  Hard angular chairs and pristine blank surfaces make me nervous.

I picked up some old Country Living magazines from the library that someone dropped off.  I was a subscriber in the 80’s and early 90’s but I recycle magazines as soon as I read them.  I could easily keep two hundred magazines to look at later, but I would rather not.  So, coming across this old magazine was like rereading an old friend.  It gave me the giggles as well.  I think we begin to forget things like style and design, remembering select events and fuzzy faces only.  As I opened the pages of this magazine I was instantly transported back in time.

laura ashley

A time when my best friend, Susan, and I were drinking pots of raspberry coffee in front of foreign films, trying to be ever so sophisticated.  Curling our hair and listening to classical music.  Talking about boys, and school, and life as we knew it.  Going downtown on the bus and perusing the stores, loving the Laura Ashley designs that were so popular.  Watching romantic movies and wanting to be beautiful like Helena Bonham Carter in A Room With a View. 

helena

Gunny Sack dresses and books full of beautiful floral fabrics.  Of big curls, and romantic design.

gunny

I still love that look.  I do not think I will go with the flow into modern decorating and sleek outfits.  I am going to curl my hair big, put on a pretty dress, and decorate with soft florals, books, and roses.  And paint the bathroom yellow.