Exploring the Human Condition: altered states of consciousness

Posts tagged ‘love’

Seeing 63

She asked me if I was scared.  I felt like screaming at her “DUH!  How insensitive and clueless could any one person possibly be?  This one directed statement has nagged at my soul endless hours already, and it must be dealt with.

Fairy tales are great here on Earth, but what about in the ethers?  What about that?  What about the spiritual realms we know little to nothing about.  Like a great garden, shamans the world over know it takes years to develop a strong spiritual practice.  In Christianity and smaller local places of worship, it is always easy for me to discern people who are very experienced in prayer, and those just there for the sermon.

The strangest addiction of western man, in my humble opinion, is the need for stimulation, and that covers all the lesser sub-addictions.  The absolute hardest thing I have ever in my life tried to do, is to strip away all the conditioning, all the pre-conceived notions of how this or that should be, and run past all the fears and the impossibilities like a champion to visualize and accomplish the preferred outcome.  When all the layers are peeled away, when all the masks and costumes, and makeup is removed, when you are finally able to simply turn off the endless dialogue or repeating tapes in your head, it can be an extremely shocking and in my case, actually frightening in itself, kind of experience.

So it is hard to imagine a person who never meditates, who has no spiritual practice, but just bounces through life like a pinball forever magnetized to seek that connection, for the points, for that stimulation that drowns out all the calm.  So when I think of Sagan, Carlin, Irwin, and so many others, and I wonder where they are, and what they are doing, I am pause to think better, and just know they are once again doing what they loved, what they did best, and for what they gave to us all.

What makes a man extraordinary?  What causes a living person to remember the likes of someone already passed?  Why do we grieve and mourn the loss of the people we loved?  What is it about this connection of the human heart we have all forgotten?  It is a pure pathway straight to the Divine, an open road, accessible to anyone who has a heart.  I used to have a little terrier, and in the early mornings when I would sit with her on the couch and wake up, I was convinced she was able to meditate, and dream, just like me.  Her face was so serene, eyes shut, smiling…  heart rate very slow…

Being so very intelligent and stimulating in life, I imagine the many aspects of Carlin are now fully integrated into every interesting nook and cranny of the universe.  We loved Carlin because he could stimulate our minds!  He could challenge our conditioned thinking and shock us into thinking for ourselves, as if that was something trained out of us.  Sure, he was getting older, but he didn’t appear ready to die, at least what I saw of him at the last.  But unless he turns out like Mandela, we were told that he’s gone.

So scared?  Come on.  Death is ALL things, the ultimate peak experience!  It surely must be home, or the way there…  For this place seems finite in every sense, every nano-second in flux.  Whatever was before, is no longer now.  And it would seem the only solace is to sit in silence and give over to this fear.  Listen to the birds, breathe, grieve, plead, and do whatever you must.  I think that is where the fear is born.  We fear total loss of connection.  We know the feelings, the constant stimulation of being in love, of having children around to look after, of running a business, or managing a house, or building a holistic farm, or how we feel when we do the things we love.  What we don’t know is how to listen, to be quiet and just breathe.  We simply cannot sit still and that is a shame.

This morning, the beautiful birds are my connection to you.  I miss you so greatly that I am willing to follow you, and go blindly where there is no going back.  Please be there waiting for me.  If angels still have arms, I want to hold you in mine.  Just be there.  All of you!  There can be no fear in that.


Missing the 1800’s

One hundred years is a long time.  But 200 years later, the ways in which people live would be unrecognizable to a person living in say…  1850.   And here’s what I miss…

I miss early mornings in 1850.  In small towns, and small farms all over the United States, people woke the fluck up at a decent hour, even early!  The homes and the grounds literally came alive with activity.  People had animals – livestock in barns and pastures to look after.  The women had smaller fare, up closer to the house, and children to raise.

In my neighborhood today, 2018, people wake up early, but then the men leave.  They turn on big trucks with lights, and after a quick breakfast, they head out.  You can hear them moving down the roads all around us each morning, and then it gets quiet again.  I think most of the women and babies go back to bed for a little bit.

The early towns, especially as you went out west, were just stick buildings constructed out in the dust and the rocks, but each morning those towns came alive.  It was a big deal back in the 1800’s to “go to town.”  It usually meant a long trip down a bumpy road with a wagon, but no one minded.  Going to town was the ultimate fun.  It meant a break from farm chores and the normal grind.

People actually knew each other.  They actually looked at each other’s faces, and remarked, maybe smiled; they actually interacted.  Now, it’s so strange.  You can be in a room full of twenty people, and not one person will connect.   I live in a rural neighborhood, and it is almost 7 a.m. on a Friday in late March.  All you can hear now are the roosters, and they are everywhere.  I cannot imagine any people needing so many roosters, but they do.  It is a constant chorus of crowing, and the sound carries for a mile or so…

In the 1800’s, the people wore very amazing handmade clothing, and it was a true feat in itself if you could sew and make decent wearable clothing, all of which was done by hand.  They didn’t have sewing machines back then.  The clothing you wore protected you in all events, and women wore things in layers.  Now you grab a knit top of unknown content put together on a serger in China, and you’re ready to go!  Space clothes!

Most of all, I miss the horses.  I miss the countryside, the pretty things growing on the side of the road…  I miss the fact that children played in the fields and climbed in the trees and ran and ran for days…  free flowing streams that were clean to put your feet in…  Birds sang in profusion and bees buzzed at every flower.  And you could smell grandmother’s cooking all the way past the barn.  She looked real nice in that red calico apron she made last week.

And Grandpa was always around, working on something.  You could usually find him out in the old garage, tinkering around, or just standing there, looking out into space…  Or he would say “Let’s go, baby folks, let’s go into town!”  The old truck would rattle and roll, but we always made it somehow.  These new fangled mini-space rockets buzzing down the toll roads at high speeds just aren’t the same as Pa-Pa’s truck.  And they never will be.

On Losing Heart

Once my writing was criticized for the excessive use of the pronoun “I.”  And indeed, it was a solid and helpful observation.  But sometimes, you might feel compelled to make statements from the first person, for without that “I,” there is no you.

To leave something behind of significance certainly drives me.  And yet my logical mind tells me over and over again, that all things are impermanent, and my Buddhist training tells me that much suffering is born of my Earthly attachments.  And no truer statement has ever been made.  This is a magical, incredible place!  And we can “be” anything we want to be!

To live in pure self-acceptance is the most difficult thing I have ever sought to do.  Apparently, I am firmly attached to the outcome of my story, and the final chapters seem to be looming dangerously ahead.  Like any really good book, you dread those final hours, and you mourn the goodbyes you will ultimately have to make.

We are social creatures, born of attachments.  How ironic and cruel that we must train ourselves to be so austere, so stoic, and so detached from it all.  It literally breaks me apart to realize that I might be one of only a very small few people who would remember my family, my grandparents, my parents, my aunts and uncles, cousins, and my brother.  And me, of course.  No one will likely ever remember me.  Like my most admired friend has told me, nobody cares.

So yes, it might be easy to lose heart.  Is tragedy inevitable?  Is the most dire of circumstances always just right around the next corner?  Over the years, I have learned a great insight.  When you can see a middle ground, something between one side or the other, a place where stark realities and harsh decisions are left for another day, a place where you can be free to imagine beautiful things again…  you just might find your heart again!  Whatso!?…  if a few tears might stain your cheeks in the process!  Take it and know that you are alive and that you have worth and value, and YOU ARE HUMAN!

There are one thousand billion crows, maybe a few billion cats.  They come in and they go out at a fairly quick pace, and we are left to view these things, and to ponder our place in all of it.  There is always much talk of souls, and what is left of us when out ticket is called, and we have no choice but to venture forth into whatever it is that awaits us after this.  I do not want to go, I tell you.  If there is one thing that frightens me more than anything else, it is the leaving.  It is having to go away, into another place apart from this.

It is also the leaving of the body that hurts my heart.  I love this person.  I have been with her since she can remember.  I look in the mirror now, and I see my mother, my grandmother, and traces of my families, both sides.  And with all the great qualities and talents I possess, the one true compass all along, has been my heart.  Sometimes I want to scream out – “She’s a GOOD heart!”  But people are too busy now, mostly…

If I die alone, and leave nothing behind that can’t be quickly erased, then maybe there are other things we might actually leave behind once we’re gone, that still have value, and make a difference.  That’s one reason I work so hard on my tiny patch of land in central Texas.  If I make it better, or more healthy and happy, more productive, more beautiful, for even a short time, that’s something.  If I feed animals, as much and as often as I humanly can, then that’s something.

The simple fact that I care so much, means something.  I think it leaves behind a kind of mark, an indelible effect, and even if people don’t remember my family, or my farm, or me, after so many years, I know in my heart, there are many crows, and many kittens, and there is every reason to believe we might come back.

One of the most horrifying and shocking movies I ever watched was Braveheart.  It’s about a Scottish warrior of some centuries ago, who lead his people against oppression.  In the final scenes, which I could not watch, Mel Gibson’s character is caught and finally killed, in a most unthinkable manner.  That character, and that movie, has bothered me an infinite number of times, somehow validating that indeed, tragedy is our destiny.

Well, then, if that’s the case, at least we know the ending, right?  With that in mind, it seems a good bet that one could also opt out for that middle of the road, unassuming, quiet and kind sort of life, and forego some of this intense struggle and suffering.  That’s my plan anyway.  It doesn’t mean we don’t see the problems, or want to help.  It only means that acceptance of things we cannot change opens up a little free time on the board to do things we might prefer to do, rather than have to.

And as for sharing, that’s always a good thing.  But when you feel private, and serene, and you have paid things forward plenty, and now is the time for small pleasures, make no apologies for it.  Take what is before you in like a feast, because it truly is.  Wherever you look, the bounty is given.  You bet I cry sometimes.  Just like a baby!  Like Mel Gibson when all was lost!  But today, things are calm.  Right now, this minute in time, is mine.  And the feast is abundant with every breath, with every blink of my eye!

Don’t lose heart!  Nourish your soul through the emotions that flow through your veins!  Be an incredible source of love and light, no matter what images or sounds you encounter.  It is true, although it may take a good deal of time and investment of effort, you can be a wonderful person and have a wonderful life.  Just don’t lose heart!  Look for that safe middle ground you can run to.

Betrayal by a Stranger

I guess every one you know has lost someone. That journey started for me when I was a teenager and my Pa-Pa died. By the time you get to be my age, you tend to lose count. The worst was losing my mom. Not long after followed my dad. Never had any kids, and I was divorced nineteen years sgo. Just found out that he died too, this April. In between all of this, more than a few animals I loved did leave me. It’s a stark, scary feeling, this being so alone. People want to give me drugs, all kinds of advice on what I should do. It’s all good, only this is my journey now. My time to remember. One technique I use when I hit that wall, when you can’t breathe, and the knot in your throat feels like a baseball. I imagine a beautiful white Craftsman Bungalow, with red pillars on the front porch, nandenas large and bushy on every side, same old porch swing my Pa-Pa swung me in right after I was born. Of course, now, it’s hardly the same. My dad painted over all of it with some God-awful brown paint, and my pathetic alcoholic brother keeps the doors locked and hardly seems to care. All the beautiful plants and flowers my grandmother planted and loved are gone. Sycamores gone, no sign of the Mimosa tree we all climbed in as kids. Even my grandmother’s red spider lillies disappeared. But in my mind, there is another place. As much Heaven to me as it gets. The amazing white frame house my Pa-Pa built sits high on top of the hill, and the two old rock driveways that go up beside the house are still there. I see my mama’s ferns all green and bushy all over the front porch. I can even smell the frothy bubbles of Palmolive dish soap in the kitchen sink. But no longer do my grandparents live there alone. It’s a busy place again, just like when they were young. Only new people are welcome and happy there, like my friend Brenda, who died in a car crash years sgo, and little Lori, who had scoliosis, and ended her life before surgery one bright morning. All the old folks, family and friends they loved are hanging around again. My mom is there, with one of her pretty dresses on, and her curly hair all soft and nice. My Daddy likes to sit out on the big concrete steps up front, and play his guitar. And even my husband Charlie is there now. He fixes everything. And works on cars again. He rebuilt my Pa-Pa’s old garage out back, under the huge black walnut tree, and never loses his tools anymore. But the best part are the animals that live here. From the littliest kitten I had to say goodbye to at such an early age, the beautiful pair of Siamese cats I loved so much, Pepe the skunk, Lucy, the dachshund, Barney, the border collie, Mew-Mew, Elmo, Beau, Mirabelle, so many other kitties i loved, all there, on the front porch, playing in the yard. The Mimosa tree is there again, all green with magenta blooms, and the tall sycamores grace the side yard once again like giant soldiers. When I am tired or sad, I can go sit in Pa-Pa’s sleeping porch, and play with Petey, the parakeet, and smell my grandfather’s cherry tobacco. Even my old dog Lizzie is there, and she hangs out with Mama now. Paleface, Tigger One and Tigger Two, Cleo too, all play in the soft green grass. And my Guardian protector, old Bruno, lays beside my grandma’s spider lillies. Everyone’s there, and the front door, even the back door, they are always open. And I don’t have to be so sad, or miss them all so much. I can invite anyone I want to come over, and they do. What helps me most, is to think that one day, however it comes, I will have angel escort right back to this blessed house, on the hill, where everyone waits for me. And at Christmas, the lights go up, and they make pecan pies, and hang the stockings again for Santa. My life was full once, and one day it will be again. And nobody will ever tell me different. However hard or challenging life seems now, whenever it just gets to be too much, I have a place I can go. I don’t need drugs, or counseling, or a room in some cement building. I just need trees, and squirrels, red birds and chickens. And I have all that. Abigale, my little rat terrier, raised as a pup since 2000, is still right here beside me. And I tell her about this place all the time. We have a good place to go, no matter what happens here. Anyone can do this, have a happy place to go. The sun shines there, every day. The old truck starts right up, and nobody has to drink or act ugly. Only goodness and mercy live here. In my heart. And nobody can take that away from me. 💜💚💛💚💜💙💜💙

The Flower in the Junkyard

Most times, the thing you think you really want, is elusive.  Sometimes, what you have, doesn’t seem enough, or even exactly right.  Life is a succession of opportunities, challenges, and choices.  It is also hardship, and struggle.  Just when you feel a little comfortable, something, or someone, can come along and blow all that right out of the water.  All the hope, even all of the planning in the world, will only take you so far. Seems like people always want guarantees.  And as I have viewed this world, there are no guarantees.

One time when my little car was limping along on three used tires, and one losing air real fast, I drove it 10 miles on a wing and a prayer, to the only junkyard in the county, in hopes they might have a tire for me, better than I had.  One I might afford.

I pulled in, over to the yard area, where piles of metal junk covered the landscape.  And in between all this rusty twisted metal, were cars, all abandoned, being parted out, in different stages of deconstruction, just like any junkyard.  But something happened in that moment, as I looked out over the strange image before me, like the sun suddenly shined brighter, and everything else was obscured.  Somehow diminished.

A young man came running toward my car.  As he approached, I could see the sweat pouring off his arms.  Summer in Texas is brutal, and this day was no exception.  He came up to my side and and looked in my window, and said, “Hi!  What can I do for you?”  And I said, “Uh….  uh….  Oh!  I just need a tire.  I have a front tire on the other side going flat.”

In life, there are certain defining moments.  And sometimes, there are just moments in time, that happen randomly.  Unexpectedly.  Moments that you will always remember. That change your life.  Beautiful moments, that years later, you never forget.  This moment, was the moment I saw Charlie.

In the midst of all that nasty junk, out in the hottest of suns, with sweat in pools all over his forehead, on his neck, and in his eyes, I was struck.  Like a lightning bolt from above, I was surely struck.  I will never forget his eyes, as long as I live, and probably beyond. He was grinning from ear to ear, just like he won the lottery, and the water from his eyebrows was dripping all down into his eyes, eyes as green as irisdescent emeralds, so green and sparkling, it caught my breath.  And his eyelashes were thick and long, and all completely spiked around those beautiful green eyes, like nothing I had ever seen before, or likely ever will again.  Those spiked lashes, formed from the sweat of his own brow, captured the beauty and intensity of these eyes, and frankly, I have a hard time remembering what happened next, or how I even got back home.

Life is funny like that.  Absolutely no guarantees will you find.  And if you do, they are false.  But it seems that when you least expect it, beauty, simplicity and grace, will show itself, if only you have the eyes to see.  Life is difficult for most of us, if not all.  It can throw you down, and stomp on your heart.  You can feel lost, forgotten, even broken.  But in those unexpected moments, a light from above comes down and strikes your old heart.  Like a jumpstart.  And suddenly you see that flower in the junkyard. You don’t have to have any one set of beliefs, or adhere to a strict guideline of behavior for this to happen.  It is a direct and unshakeable knowing.  A place without fear or doubts.  And like all things, it may be fleeting.  You might wake up one morning with green eyes sleeping beside you, and the next, reading a stark and unembellished obituary.  The beautiful light from those green eyes has been removed, taken away, lost from the view of earthly concerns.  And it will tear you up inside.  It will rock your very being.  And you will walk alone through a world that does not care.  No guarantees.

Maybe we all look for a ray of hope in this crazy world.  We all come from nothing, and that is surely where we return.  But once, maybe even twice, in a lifetime, you see a flower growing in a junkyard.  Amidst all the sharp edges and harsh realities of life, you find an exquisite and perfect blossom, growing each minute, each second, just for the sheer opportunity to reach for the sun.  In this world we find ourselves in today, it’s important to look for flowers, and when we find them, admire and remember all that they give us.  It’s important when we feel broken and so sad, to remember these flowers, and how they had no regrets, not for their struggle, and not for their eventual death. Their life was made for the one tiny instant they brought beauty and joy into this world, and nothing more.  Life is simple like that.

And if you can’t find such a flower, be the flower.  If everything around you seems in ruins, and your health is failing you, and you have more loss than love, you be the flower.  You be the gorgeous delicate blossom, unique and forever innocent.  You be that flower in the junkyard.  And if God does shine down on you, maybe the right person will happen along and notice you, and be forever changed in that moment.

Be a flower in the junkyard.  Just be that!

For Lauren ~

Proceed with Caution:  Strong Feminine Influence Ahead!  I must admit there have been more than a few times when I’ve stopped mid-flight, like some poised stage actor, at that one final instant before you accidentally step off that enormous cliff. And in this moment, I have wondered so innocently, “What do I do?”

There are many situations that can present in our modern world.  I believe that the modern woman is stretched so far beyond what has been our traditional roles, that even in this great year of 2014, I feel like a cave-woman, washing out my skins in the river.  It’s important to remember that even though we are highly equipped these days to zoom in and out, it might be prudent to take time out of your week, every week, to touch back down.  Literally put your bare feet onto Mother Earth, in her dirt, her dampness, her sometimes stickery greens…

It all feels like a test to me.  So if we are being asked to stretch, a lot, then okay.  I can do that.  The best moment in my morning is that first long enjoyable stretch standing in the wet grass that is my tiny front yard.  It is so cute and so poignant, that Mother Nature herself is right at the very edge, at the ready on the entire periphery that is my domain, such as she be. Whatever their test was or is, I’ve managed to fit in my agenda as well, and I like to think that it is a compliment and well worth the enduring effort.

I see so many amazing women now, thanks to the internet.  We still visit, and we share.  Some ladies might not know it, but when they share their family celebrations on social media, like pictures of relatives, great spreads on the table, and their own emotional words to garnish, people like me who miss that so very much, can once again remember and relish those times.  It is a truly amazing gift.

There’s always a bigger stick.  We just have to get over that.  As I try to re-arrange my mind and my environment, and my life to include another new person, unexpected and yet completely not…  it feels like this game we are in is actually much more than just a test.  It is an inter-active learning field that is the high-tech version of a “scratch-n-sniff…”  🙂  They say everything we perceive as matter is just an energy field that vibrates.  Understanding that my emotions and energy, what I give forth also create such fields, ripples into the universe, it feels like second nature, like moving through a landscape and waving my arms and voila’ — there before me appears something else new and wonderful and exciting!

Truth is, I am working harder at 59 than I ever thought I could.  I thought by now, I could just kick back and coast for a while.  Oh, no!  🙂  That tendency is evidently not in me, thank goodness.  Things are speeding up and you would do well to keep up, if you can.  How do you do that?  By not becoming overwhelmed by anything.  Do not let Anything Completely break you down to the catatonic state we all know.  Oh sure, you can have a little mini-meltdown on the back porch, punch a pillow in the laundry room, or if you are truly at your wit’s end, run, run, run…  just put on your shoes and take off!

Someone in my family used to tell me, “Just buy some time.”  That is very good advice if you are feeling confused and a bit disorganized, not knowing where to start.  You have been dealt a great blow, and you must heal and shore up your reserves again.  The goal could be to envision something even better.  A new Lauren that is more flexible, more wise, more giving, more patient, and much much more beautiful!  ❤

Here’s what I learned in the experience of standing alone.  You aren’t going to die!  Whatever problem or obstacle, whether it is real or merely a worry, can be healed, changed, de-railed or avoided altogether.  Nothing is ever written in stone.  It is okay to change your mind a hundred times or more!  That’s how you get it right!  All you have to do is to look into the faces of your children to know if you are on the right track.  The innocence and the wonder is all still there.  You can ignite their curiosities and their interests, and in so doing, find your own bliss in these moments.

Remember this too!  Things can change in a New York minute!  So best be ready for the time when you will Want To Be More!  When you meet someone who somehow makes you better than you really are!  But until then, you are good just like you are.  In fact, you are surrounded in a great sphere of energy built of love and protection and pride and joy from all of your soul-family that has come before you.  They sing and laugh and cry with you all the way.  They hold you up when you don’t think you can breathe.

And if mistakes happen, tragedy strikes, sadness grabs you, that’s okay too.  I am the most accident-prone person on the planet.  If there is a mess to be made, I will make it.  But I have to try.  We have to try.  At least when they call our ticket, we can stand up and go, “Okay, I did my best.”  And if that is the end of this test, well, I used to feel a great deal of melancholy at the end of the year when I closed that little booklet and set down my pencil.  I knew that this year was done, my time in this class was over.  But we did not die.  We kept going.  I think that is the lesson to learn.  And it’s okay to reach for that bliss, if you can, whenever you can!

Lauren, follow your bliss!

Wayside Oaks Organic Farm Update:

H E L L O and G O O D M O R N I N G!

Here are the latest updates from the new start-up organic farm down in Tejas!

Our main security/herding dog Biscuit has developed a nasty raspy cough, and he’s trying to spit out phlem. I suspect this is a case of Kennel Cough, or to be more exact, stress combined with poor diet, surrounded by so many other souls of equal or greater auras of fear… He also has diahrrea, most likely from jumping back into nutrient rich meal schedule and regular exercise. And stress.

Yesterday I was wiped out! haha So tired, and so was Biscuit. We did not even try to do the big walk, as we were quite late in even attempting it. So instead, before he was coughing, I just threw his heavy KONG ball only three times down the driveway. It was plenty for a rest day after so much drama. haha We hates the drama.

In trying to mix him a potion, something to coat his throat at least, I mixed up about 4 TBSP’s of organic agave syrup, into his clean stainless steel water bowl, with about 2 cups of clean and cold spring water. If we weren’t out of green tea, I would have brewed some for both of us of course! But surprisingly since I have never seen Buscuit refuse any food or drink, he turned up his nose to the cold water with agave. Hmmmm…

So I went to the pantry, and some kind love has sent us some gourmet chicken in water, so I took that and removing just a bit of the water for kitty Arnie, poured the entire can into Biscuit’s throat remedy. You can imagine that this time we had no trouble whatsoever. He looked at me after he finished with the sweetest eyes… Like he loves me…

I was also quite tired yesterday because the night before I had to totally brainstorm to come up with some reasonable solutions to different less-than-perfect situations here at the farm. I find that if you concentrate too much on what is not working for you, you tend to lose sight of what is. So without too much pre-judgment of the critical sort, I jumped in with all four feet and came up with WOOF! Yep, that’s it. Wayside Oaks Organic Farm. A sanctuary for unwanted or older farm animals. We do accept the occasional pup from time to time. haha But at this Cruelty-Free Oasis of Heaven, CATS RULE! haha We show the highest respect at all times for the smaller ones of us.

Since yesterday’s adventure seeing the baby goat with Biscuit, I am really excited, as if I don’t have enough to take care of at the moment… hahaha (Building an organic farm, farmhouse and Barn from nothing is not as easy as you might think.) An Aqua-Ponics Farm no less! Right this very second, these two pups, Biscuit and Summer, who are now both internationally known American Dog Representatives of the best sort… 🙂 are both spooning at the very foot of my little bed, so I will not notice them. So cute. They get away with a lot. So while they are quiet, I am about to research once again the feasibility of getting three does, female goats of one kind or another, I am not particular. We also like sheep very much! Whatever nice little flock we accumulate, it will be up to me, unless God sends me a shepherd angel manifest… to learn how to control Biscuit and Summer with the flock. I have seen videos of the men of Basque, the men of Scotland, the men of New Zealand with their herds and their dogs. But I cannot make a whistle loud enough to get their attention. So I am trying to imagine how I can signal them as they herd and protect our baby goats. Wow. I know. I just wanted to paint and to sew. To cook and to grow. I am now also Shepherd! We are so blessed.

Here is another amazing revelation. I knew it from watching Cesar Millan but it is truly one of the hardest lessons to comprehend correctly. I am projecting a great percentage of the behavior of my dog Biscuit, right into him whenever any particular situation might arise. His reaction is simply that, his re-action. I never thought of myself as nervous or anxious when visitors come unexpectedly, but I am. So he cannot differentiate like I do, all he knows is to show fear. He is getting that from me.

Today in the quiet of the morning, a UPS truck, BIG brown truck comes roaring down into our quiet circle. Biscuit barks once and stands at attention, as we were in the yard at the time. I stand straight also but facing him, and say, “Biscuit, NO! Biscuit, sit? with the end of the voice inflection going up in tone at the end, and it gets his attention, and he sits. He is learning, and so am I. He didn’t go running out to the front gate like a mad dog bent on blood. He just sat down and then looked back at the truck with his tongue hanging out, just watching. I have never seen him this chill before ever! haha The truck just cranked up and took off, the neighbor’s yellow lab sounding the alarm. Biscuit here at my feet, woke up, looked up, I said No, and he stopped. Just listened, with a relaxed look in his eyes, like, okay, she’s still on duty. Cool!

The main Farm Designer Cody has taken employment at a very famous and expensive subdivision/Ranch situation in west Austin, I think. I haven’t researched it yet. He’s making more at 23 years of age than I ever made per hour in my whole career in the legal field. The world is changing my friends, much for the better and not a moment too soon! Yes!

I’ve got the word out now that I am open to the idea of having women farmers/artisans/gardeners inquire about positions as work exchange for shelter and food. I prefer to think of it as family. But that remains to be seen. I do background checks.

This time it is all business. I want this venture to succeed as a model that can be used over and over anywhere in the world under any circumstance starting from scratch with what you have. But not an old timey farm like one might think. Not even like the Beekkman Boys farm. Nope, no way. This farm is called WOOF. We are Cruelty-Free, Free-Ranging for all species, to live together in sanctuary, unwanted farm animals primarily elders, or disabled, to live out their days in peace and contentment, free from worry of any sort. On Saturdays when I get the right staff in place, we will schedule particular groups of kiddos to come out to the farm and help us feed that morning, and also to tend the gardens. We can have a big picnic lunch at noon and the afternoon is free-time, do as you like. We will have lots of fun activities and parents can relax, have a massage, or take a pony and go for a ride down the old sandy carriage road behind the farm. I also plan to build an Earthship home, well, actually just help Cody build his. And small off-the-grid type cabins, spaced out for privacy, only one or two, so that we can rent them or use them for people to use that come here to heal. I love the idea that I am novice Curandera, and I must say, the beginning of such a venture is amazing, overwhelming at times, but so very much fun, it’s hard to put into words. Helping others is what I was always meant to facilitate, and this is my chance. And we’ll save the farm in the deal.

All farms need an old beat-up truck. Since Jim has been away, we have no farm truck. That is not good. Things must be moved and transported. I also want a small boat. But that will have to wait, unless some water sprite appears and shares her boat…

So I must go now, as we have a quiet sleeping house. It is about half-hour before noon. I can hear all the chimes and little bells ringing softly in the trees outside my front window. Today I build the studio. I’m about to wake people up and start moving things about as I have to get my desk in here. Setting it up in front of the big windows, for jewelry-making, sewing, and other wonderful things. I sell on ebay sometimes, but I want to be good enough to use Etsy.

I guess before I start going at this room, I’ll go back outside and work the front garden again. I can hear a bird of prey screaming high over the trees. WOW, he just got a LOT closer!

Gotta go, we got white kitties running amouk out there… PEACE!

False alarm, all is well. They (the two brother kittens, Arnie and Max) will have to learn about big birds, as we are going to be having some come to live here at the farm some day soon.

Today at Chez Cissy’s, we are cooking White Northern Beans. My first time actually. If I remember correctly, my grandmother would have cooked them with a ham bone. Since this farm is a Sanctuary, a Cruelty Free Place for the safety and happiness of all beings, I must devise another way to give them flavor. We already have some beautiful Genovese Basil that I could steal a few leaves from, a beautiful whole onion Cody brought in, which I intend to use in its entirety! And I ran across more garlic, just a bit left, yesterday hidden in the pantry, so that will help as well. It’s not Vegan, but I have some Hoison Sauce, so I will most likely use that, just a little, as well. I’m thinking black pepper. Some Spanish Olive Oil. Small shot of turmeric. Then we are going to explore making some “cornbread” and I use that term EXTREMELY loosely, because in fact, I will be replacing cornmeal in the recipe I choose with Amaranth Flour and Spelt Flour. My first on this too. I have no idea how this will go. Will be using eggs in this recipe, but Almond milk, not dairy. And just so you know, this is way more information than most chefs will share… So don’t pick on me if it doesn’t come out just perfect! haha

At least when Cody get’s in tonight late, he will have something good left waiting on the stove for him. I know he’s working hard. Probably harder than he ever has in his life. But he’ll have good equipment and experienced people around him. I gave him an old beat-up straw cowboy hat. He’s gonna need it.

Off to the front garden again. Trying to make a kitchen garden here, with herbs, tomatoes, potatoes, and such… We have lots of onions growing. The shade cloth purchased last month was meant to cover this kitchen garden as it is located right up next to the bright white house and the sandy soil gets far too hot for proper flowering of the plants. Yesterday I placed this shade cloth over my front studio windows because we have no AC unit at this time and this room heats up like a sauna in the summer! Happy Gardening People!

Mid-day siesta time...in Tejas

Mid-day siesta time…in Tejas

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