Posted in Crafts and Skills

Purpose and Weaving

Above all, serving our heart’s deepest desires is the only true mission of our soul. And if we stay the course, we will realize our true purpose.

Julia Piatt

I was born highly intuitive and highly sensitive. A burdensome duo for a child in school but has created an ever changing and heightening purpose as an adult. My grandmother used her clairvoyance to read palms and was a medical intuitive. She also used it to bet on the horses. My husband laments that I won’t use it to gamble (I’m just certain that I will jinx it!). I have used it to know when the phone is about to ring, when someone is about to die. I have used it as an herbalist- knowing just what to give people- and as a reader- knowing just what is wrong and the path needed to take. I have had spirits talk to me, animals talk to me, and all sorts of unusual happenings that are hard to believe, and even harder to live with sometimes! But, in the end these gifts work their way through my life as the purpose itself.

I learned to weave this year and it is a lovely art form and wonderful for me to be able to sit still (not easy) and meditate as I beat in the rows, warping the loom with gorgeous colors, and creating shawls and scarves and such. A normal past time for me! But alas, that same intuitive gift has woven its way into my new work. I hear just what colors to use for the recipient. Stories are told to me as I weave. Nature comes through in the pattern. Whispers of what the new owner of this shawl needs for their spirit. I am inadvertently weaving prayer shawls. Ceremonial shawls. Healing shawls.

Oh, they are quite nice and warm to wrap around one’s face as they go about farm chores. And they look ever fine over a gown for a night on the town. Keep the chill off the shoulders on a midsummer eve. Or perhaps doll up a jean jacket for a day of shopping.

But their real purpose is that when the wearer wears their new shawl, what they need is given to them. Like medicine. The reds with stitches of green that spoke of healing to help a dear woman undergoing chemo. Starlight and solar system blues and greys speak of wonder. Gorgeous autumnal colors take me on a journey through the woods and gift the wearer with joy. The new one I am working on is a lovely stormy day. The kind suitable for cups of tea and writing books and tells me the recipient needs rest. Oh, it’s great fun listening as the loom tightens and weaves stories and healing to those that have asked me for a shawl.

The spirits do get ahead of themselves and I already know the color scheme of the next shawl I was asked to make! But slowly, slowly, I beat in each row with wishes for what the wearer needs at present.

Enchantment runs through everything I do; I grow medicinal and health giving plants, I take care of animals that shall forever remain friends, I see illnesses and make people medicine, I write, I make magical shawls. I gave up long ago the notion of my ever having a regular occupation. Over the years of wondering, What is my purpose?, I realize it is not what I do, but what comes through when I follow my interests and passions. Healing and inspiration is what I have to offer the world.

(If you are interested in having a shawl or scarf made for you, please email me at Katie@PumpkinHollowFarm.net)

Posted in Holidays

The Storytelling Tree

Ornaments are special.  They tell stories and relive memories on the glistening tree.

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This year when we went on our family vacation and visited the North Pole I picked up an ornament that held nine names.  It helped seal the moment.  We will look back at that ornament and relive the fun we had riding the train and petting the reindeer.

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A glass doll named Sarah that my grandmother gave me when I was very young.  Ornaments from my other grandmother’s tree.  Doug’s first ornament (he grew up Jewish) and our granddaughter’s first ornament mingle on evergreen limbs.  Decades of tales whisper among branches.

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From our trip to Las Vegas with the children in 2004.

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Ornaments that were given to me by my students in the dance company I had brighten my day. That was a special time.

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A gift from Rodney and Pat some years back. We all dream of getting our own adobes.

The tree is filled with memories of our trip to Las Vegas.  Of our honeymoon cruise.  It tells of Bronco fever and the children in elementary school.  Ornaments that were given as gifts.  Quite a few from New Mexico.  Next weekend we will pick up another.  Everywhere we go, we get an ornament.

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My Andrew at seven years old.

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Shyanne at seven years old and Maryjane’s hand print Santa.

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A very sweet five year old Emily.

When we look at our tree, it clears its throat and begins its sweet reminisce and dreams up ideas for the future.  Future names written on the tree, travels yet to be, but the comfort of home and hearth will always be the theme of our humble Yule tree.

What are your favorite ornaments?

Posted in Farming

Four Years Being a Farmgirl…and our new home

November 25, 2012- I had just learned what a blog was and was excited to try it.  Pages that would normally fill journals filled spaces on this web sized book.  To write stories that teach and inspire and make folks laugh while learning to farm and homestead was my idea.  A compilation of tales that I wish I could have found at the beginning of my journey.  I could have never imagined the amazing pieces of life we would be recording.

Indeed over the past year and a half you have put up with me pouting when we lost all that, started two more blogs, always return to this one.  I use my own blog so often to find recipes that I might be one of my best followers!  Over 110,000 times Farmgirl School has been read over the last four years.  I am honored.

When I found out that we were actually buying a house, my inspiration came flooding back.  Months of blog posts already half written in my mind.  Home.

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Our new abode come December 30th.

November 25, 2016- I can now use the skills I have learned about chickens and ducks, gardening, and decorating, cooking, and preserving, cooking on a wood stove, and intertwine them with new memories with my beautiful family, and all the things I want to learn, like Hugelkulter beds, and canning cranberry sauce to create many more years of Farmgirl School.  And all the things along the way that I will learn and share and our world-wide community continues.  We all share so may beautiful desires and wishes.  To return to homesteading life was certainly ours.  So here we go…

Posted in Poetry

Breaking Writing Rules (and a poetry contest)

e.e. cummings changed the way I write. You are allowed to do that? I thought.  It was my first time seeing a rule breaking writer.  He wrote everything in lower case letters.  Being a bit of a rule breaker myself, I loved him instantly.

“let’s live suddenly without thinking…” e e cummings

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I started writing when I was nine years old as I described to you before (click here to read) and had steadily been taking in the knowledge of my teachers.  Paragraphs, spelling, diagraming sentences, proper pronouns and tense.  I spent my time at the park on the weekends feeding the squirrels and writing poetry.  I never had a tremendous amount of friends so I had plenty of time to write and dream and befriend the squirrels.  I was able to take the ABAC format of a poem and discard it.  Some poems all rhymed, some not at all.  Wisps of thoughts and dreams, and especially symbolism, which is my favorite literary tool, came to life on paper.  I used symbolism heavily in the poem I wrote for yesterday’s blog post.  A direct parallel.

Later in high school I learned I could get away with making up words and no one was the wiser.  Written just right, it appeared to be a proper word and the meaning was evident so it was overlooked.  Still today, in this blog you may find made up words that really ought to be real words.

Then college came later.  An English major with too much imagination doesn’t do as well as one would think.  You must wright like THIS.  No emotional connection to one’s writing.  No clichés.  No….I dropped out and became a writing, teaching herbalist.  After twenty years of writing, I didn’t need a professor to tell me that I was writing all wrong.

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There is no wrong way to write.  It is art.  A few people have told me they wish they could write a blog.  It is free.  Do it!  Writing helps to clarify our thoughts, helps us learn, helps us see things in new lights, helps us reach out to other people.  Not just squirrels.  Write about things you know.  That is one of the best pieces of advice I received from a teacher.  Mrs. Ling was ever patient with us freshmen.  We learned sign language and passed notes and talked in class the entire time.  But even with all the distractions, I learned a great deal on how to write successfully from her.

Don’t want to use capital letters?  Fine.  Don’t want to speak in proper tense, want to make up words, want to use clichés?  Fine.  Just write.  It is one of the freest activities for the mind and spirit one can find.

In honor of this, I invite you to write a poem in the comments.  We’ll call it a contest, but it is an expression.  And everyone is a winner.  I will create a basket of goodies from my farm as the prize for the one that speaks to me personally the most.  Write away!