Friday, December 31, 2010
We generally stay in on New Year's Eve and with rain falling yesterday that has now turned to ice we will be following that tradition this year as well. Jayson has to work tonight too so we will have the 5 children to look after and Layton (our other Grandson) goes back home tomorrow so some time spent with him would be good.
Have a wonderful and safe New Year's Eve everyone!
Thursday, December 30, 2010
We will be releasing some Linda Ravenscroft's today and here is a sneak peek:
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Many moments of feeling like I am walking a tightrope and trying to keep things in balance with both mind, body and spirit. I am happy to say that I am still on the rope albeit a little teetering here and there but I am still aboard :-)
We do hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and we have heard from so many friends, family and customers with stories of Fathers/Husbands/Wives/Brothers/Sisters coming home from overseas and others where this is their first Christmas with an empty nest and the joyous and thankful times that abound in this time of uncertainty for many.
As we approach the New Year let's all hope that those that are struggling, struggle less, those without jobs, find employment, those with parted families, rejoin again or find their path to happiness, those with trials and tribulations find more balance but most of all we wish for peace for all as we take the steps into the New Year.
Here are some images of this morning's view of the hoarfrost, notice the one lone birch (that I am afraid is dying after the tornado has none on it).
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I love you very much, and I truly cherish your presence in my life. I would never wish to criticize you in any way. However, there are a few trivial details regarding our relationship that I think might bear your consideration.
First of all, I am already aware that horses can run faster than I can. I do not need you to demonstrate that fact each time I come to get you in the pasture. Please remember that I work long and hard to earn the money to keep you in the style to which you have become accustomed. In return, I think you should at least pretend to be glad to see me, even when I'm carrying a bridle instead of a bucket of oats.
It should be fairly obvious to you that I am a human being who walks on only two legs. I do not resemble a scratching post. Do not think that, when you rub your head against me with 1,000 pounds of force behind it, I believe that it wasn't your intention to send me flying. I am also aware that stomping on my toes while you are pushing me around is nothing but adding injury to insult.
I understand I cannot expect you to cover your nose when you sneeze, but it would be appreciated if you did not inhale large amounts of dirt and manure prior to aiming your sneezes at my face and shirt. Also, if you have recently filled your mouth with water you do not intend to drink, please let it all dribble from your mouth BEFORE you put your head on my shoulder. In addition, while I know you despise your deworming medication, my intentions in giving it to you are good, and I really do not think I should be rewarded by having you spit half of it back out onto my shirt.
Sometimes, I get the feeling that you are confused about the appropriate roles you should play in various situations. One small bit of advice: Your stone-wall imitation should be used when I am mounting and your speed-walker imitation when I suggest that we proceed on our way, not vice versa. Please also understand that jumping is meant to be a mutual endeavor. By "mutual", I m ean that we are supposed to go over the jump together. You were purchased to be a mount, not a catapult.
I know the world is a scary place when your eyes are on the sides of your head, but I did spend a significant amount of money to buy you, and I have every intention of protecting that investment. Therefore, please consider the following when you are choosing the appropriate behavior for a particular situation:
- When I put your halter on you, attach one end of a lead rope to the halter, and tie the other end of the lead rope to a post or rail or whatever, I am indicating a desire for you to remain in that locale. I would also like the halter, lead rope, post, etc., to remain intact. While I admit that things like sudden loud noises can be startling, I do not consider them to be acceptable excuses for repeatedly snapping expensive new lead ropes (or halters or posts) so that you can run madly around the barn area creating havoc in your wake. Such behavior is not conducive to achieving that important goal that I know we both share --- decreasing the number of times the veterinarian comes out to visit you.
- By the same token, the barn aisle was not designed for the running of the Kentucky Derby and is not meant to serve as a racetrack. Dragging me down the aisle in leaps and bounds is not how "leading" is supposed to work, even if someone happens to drop a saddle on the floor as we're passing. Pulling loose and running off is also discouraged (although I admit it does allow you to run faster).
- I assure you that blowing pieces of paper do not eat horses. While I realize you are very athletic, I do not need a demonstration of your ability to jump 25 feet sideways from a standing start while swapping ends in midair, nor am I interested in your ability to emulate both a racehorse and a bucking bronco while escaping said piece of paper. Also, if the paper were truly a danger, it would be the height of unkindness to dump me on the ground in front of it as a sacrificial offering to expedi te your escape.
- When I ask you to cross a small stream, you may safely assume that said stream does not contain crocodiles, sharks, or piranhas, nor will it be likely to drown you. (I have actually seen horses swimming, so I know it can be done.) I expect you to be prepared to comply with the occasional request to wade across some small body of water. Since I would like to be dry when we reach the other side of the stream, deciding to roll when we're halfway across is not encouraged behavior.
- I give you my solemn oath that the trailer is nothing but an alternate means of transportation for distances too long for walking. It is not a lion's den or a dragon's maw, nor will it magically transform into such. It is made for horses, and I promise you that you will indeed fit into your assigned space. Please also bear in mind that I generally operate on a schedule, and wherever we're going, I would really like to get there today.
For the last time, I do not intend to abandon you to a barren, friendless existence. If I put you in a turn-out pen, I promise that no predators will eat you, and I will come back in due time to return you to your stall. It is not necessary to run in circles, whinny pathetically, threaten to jump the fence, or paw at the gate. Neither your stall mates nor I will have left the premises. The other horses standing peacefully in adjacent pens amply demonstrate that it is possible to enjoy being turned out for exercise.
In order to reassure you, my dear horse, I have posted the following message on your stall door:
"Notice to People Who Complain About My Horse"
1. I like my horse a lot better than I like people who complain about her.
2. To you, she's an animal; to me, she's a big, hairy, four-legged daughter --- and you know what they say about coming between a mother and her children.
3. This stall is her castle, and you are expected to treat her as the queen she thinks she is.
4. If you don't want her to steal your carrots, don't walk by her with the carrots sticking out of your pockets.
5. Horses are better than husbands or kids. They eat grass, don't smoke or drink, don't expect an allowance, don't voluntarily get their body parts pierced, don't hog the remote, don't waste the whole weekend watching football with their friends, don't talk back to you, don't compare you unfavorably with their friends' owners, don't keep you awake with their snoring --- and no horse ever left the toilet seat up after going to the bathroom.
Finally, in closing, my strong and gentle companion, I would like to point out that, whatever might happen between horses and their people, we humans will always love you. In fact, our bonds with you help create new bonds among ourselves, even with total strangers. Wherever there are horses, there will be "horse people", and for the blessings you bestow upon us, we thank you.
Most sincerely yours,
Each year I try and share pictures of the formal living room with all the Christmas decorations etc and this year is no exception, here is a picture of the tree (notice the stitched Fairy Muse on the wall?):
Silly Bandz theme so that should be interesting.....
I am tired and have been fighting Bronchitis the past 2 weeks and am about at the point where I think I need to see a Doc for some antibiotics. We are not used to the little kid cold syndrome and have fallen victim. I love this time of year but I must admit that it is exhausting....
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I often feel this way myself, will I survive yet another Winter and of course I will but it makes me appreciate the warm sun and the first growth of shoots from the Crocus in Spring. For now though I am relegated to viewing the endless miles of white and endless stream of snow drifts and wonder where are we going to put it all this year? As of last night we have received 27 inches of snow and trying to get home last night after picking up children was a challenge and left me breathless on more than one occasion. I had to maneuver past cars and trucks in the ditch and then coming down the driveway in a narrow path left by the skid loader and I creeped along I watched the banks next to me slide past the window, now that is deep and the most snow I have seen in the 6 seasons that we have lived here.
Watching the horses play and romp and they themselves trying the navigate the 18 inches or so. We created a path for them in the field in which we took the skid loader and created a track around the field. All 7 of the horses followed behind the skid loader in anticipation of having a somewhat clear path to run and play.
Now we are off the get the 2nd Find Bob contest launched (1pm today) and get some charting done. I spent most of the day validating the Christmas entries and not enough time to get charts released so stay tuned today for new goodies :-)
Friday, December 17, 2010
Everyone is off to school as scheduled this morning and now I need to get caught up on releases and emails.
Before I do so, I must tend to this lovely face asking for her morning ear rubs :-)
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Here is a portrait of a very bored 10 year old waiting for school:
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Last night was rather joyous with the kitchen filled with the aroma of lasagna and garlic bread, Bob makes the best garlic bread. 9 bodies all hanging out talking, sitting on the counters and sharing what our week has produced so far. The kitchen is the center of our home (literally and figuratively) and seems to be preferred over any couch that might be available. The menu for tonight will be Gumbo which my Son is making and being a chef with classical training I am really enjoying having some varied recipes, but quite frankly my hips are starting to rebel. After making Marzipan bars and Baklava I am afraid I am resigned to just enjoying and will deal the results after the First of January :-)
My Step Son has been gone to visit his Son down South and came home last night and it was good to see him. The kids played with the girls and the house was a jumble of varied laughter and squeals of delight and giggles, it made my heart happy.
I have been trying to get some reading done and I am currently working on the following titles:
I have a voracious appetite for books and have so many that I have thought about doing a book exchange of sorts. I will have to continue to think on that subject.
I hope that everyone is thriving and also finding time for peace during this blessed Season. Remember to slow down and enjoy each moment the day brings, hug a loved one, sip slowly and love with a full heart.
"Life is too short for drama & petty things, so kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly"
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I needed the bit of a smile with all the cold and snow, I tend to get house bound other than picking up the kids from school and day care which is often preceded by alot of moaning as groaning as I go out the door. You rarely will see me at the grocery store (they all know Bob by name) at any time of the year let alone Winter. I would be just fine to be inside for 5 months of the year surrounded by the things I love and the artwork that we convert for your needle. Although I say that now and probably couldn't ever do it. Makes me wish at times that I lived aboard the Enterprise and could beam myself elsewhere at a whim.
We have been thinking about moving more and more and also realizing that selling this very specialized house will be difficult in this market, so we sit and wait out another Winter. 6 of them have passed now and I wonder if it is just the thought of moving or the fear of change which has never really caused me fear but we are well rooted here and the roots run deep but yet we don't love it or dare I say even like it here. It is not the "here" but the place in which surrounds us. Flat lands, farm lands and a different way of life that is so foreign to us and so far away from the cool ocean breeze that is so much a part of our core beings. We tend to try and live as sustainably to the environment as we can and not only the environment but our bodies and there isn't even a place to really get good organic food here. We talk about the importance of nature and respecting it and people start talking about corn fertilizer and the benefits of using Anhydrous Ammonia in the fields for a better harvest - what??? You mean you put that in the soil and we eat the produce? I have learned alot about organic farming and well farming that is also not so organic and find it pretty scary.
Two people from very far away places, Bob from St. Thomas Virgin Islands and myself from Southern California, very warm climates and yet we end up here and I am so ready to leave. What brought us here was my position at the Mayo Clinic and while it was a wonderful job, we are now self employed and the realization that we can pretty much live anywhere we like as long as there are schools nearby and my recently moved in Grandchildren and Son are on their own of course.
Hmm, where would that be? Northern California on the coast in a tiny little home overlooking a cliff at the crashing sea? A little cabin atop a mountain top in Colorado? A little home with a thatched roof on the coast of Beliz? I don't know and all I do know is that I would prefer anywhere but here. We tend to live rather simply and our lives have become complicated since moving here and downsizing is one of the goals on the list. The maintenance of a land this large and a herd of 7 horses makes for alot of work despite the normal daily activities with HAED and as we move into our 50's this idea becomes more idyllic.
I will continue to wait and see what the road brings and continue to be a good student of the Universe and learn what I must.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
We are expecting more snow today and so far we have had the most snowfall since 1991 and the horses are absolutely loving it. I found some quiet time yesterday and just sat at the kitchen table watching the horses play in the field. Eva and Daphne have become true friends and it is beautiful to see the two of them at play.
Eva is growing up so fast and as I was grooming her last night she is almost the same height as Daphne who is 2.5 and Eva is 1.5 so she is indeed going to be around 17 hands and what a proud girl she is....
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
We have signed a new artist by the name of Dean Morrissey and his work is simply gorgeous! He has a storyteller feel to his work and his Santa's are simply stunning. We will be working on several of his pieces for release today :-)
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
We learned that our site was open to hackers to destroy code (no purchase information was available) and destroy they did. We found a fabulous company that worked through the night to bring us back and I cannot say enough good about them. We will be moving servers in the next several weeks which will provide for a much faster experience for our customers.
Hopefully things will become a bit more stable and we are through the rough patches. I have reflected on this and several other experiences that happened with moments of tears and terror. But I do know that each passing day is a gift and there are so many others that are in worse places in their lives and I must remember that.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
My oldest Son and the 3 grand babies have moved in, the Step Son has moved back in with a friend to boot and we have a total of 10 people in the house now.
Life offers so much change and I am know that things will be stressed but life is on a new thresh hold for those that I love the most.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I have to often take a step back and evaluate where I am in life and what my accomplishments and failures have been in the past, present and gauge my movement forward for the future.
This picture was taken heading into the winds of the South by my dear First born and it is so reflective of where he is going in life and how my guidance may or not have been enough for him. I can only hope as a Mother....
Make good decisions my Dear Son, I love you with all my heart.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
It has been about 4 weeks since Tasha's death and I have not been able to go pick up her ashes. Yesterday I asked my Step Son to do it for me and so off to the vet he went.
He returned with a beautiful rose laden tin with her ashes inside. After a good cry and I went about my business of the day.
Last night the girls wanted to play Scrabble and we doled out the tiles and I set my 7 tiles up and absent mindedly arranged the word "TREATS". Read my previous post and this will give you the shivers. Was my darling dog with us????
Friday, July 9, 2010
Ears perked for your daily treats no matter if I said the word "treat" or even spelled it you always knew what I meant.
You were my best friend, you went everywhere with me. How am I going to get along with you?
I see your toys in the halls, I can't bear to go near your crate, my heart is breaking my little girl. You will be so very missed.
What am I going to do tonight without you when I do horse chores, that was your favorite time....
My heart hurts and I will forever miss you Tasha....
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
A woman named Rachel came to retreat and learn with us in the spring of her twentieth year. In her capacity to feel deeply the pain and wonder of the earth she was way ahead of her peers, and yet her lack of confidence made it hard for her to share her beautiful heart with others. She wrote to us before her arrival, expressing a desire for us to help her “find my voice”. “How can I ever begin to find my purpose and place in this world, if I can’t share what’s inside me? I feel so much every day that I don’t know how to release, I feel like I’m being smothered.”
Soon after her arrival, we spoke about how hard it is to express our truest selves when we’ve been hurt or rejected in the past for showing vulnerability or depth. How essential it still is to continue to seek out ways to express ourselves wholly. And ideally, to find the means to share our undiluted expressions with others. We spoke about keeping journals and writing poetry, using paint and clay, dancing… and when we spoke about singing, tears flooded her golden brown eyes. She’d always wanted to learn how to sing “well”, but was told that she was “tone deaf” by a teacher in school. “There’s just some people that can sing, and some who’ll never be able to”. More tears.
We sat at the base of the medicine cliffs, on a large flat rock at the edge of the Healing Pool. We were at least a half a mile away from any other humans. I asked her if she wanted to try something that might help, and when she agreed, I told her to come sit cross-legged across from me, with her knees touching mine. First I encouraged her to take some slow deep breaths. “Now open yourself to all the feeling in your heart, and see if you can sing it out, in one note. It can be as loud as you want”.
She sat for a while, quietly breathing, hugging herself, and rocking back and forth with her eyes closed, making small sounds. Finally she found a note that expressed herself, her pain and bliss and hunger. It was like a baby’s cry, and a victim’s cry of rage, but also as pure and ecstatic as an eagle’s screech or the calls of the elk on the river where I live. I matched the note and volume for a moment, and then I shifted down in the scale, leaning forward so that our foreheads were nearly touching. All of a sudden our tones were different but in synch and harmony. It was like a vibration that just suddenly got ten times more powerful than what either one of us had been able to create alone, and we could feel it clear down to our toes, and in our bones. We were each expressing our truest selves without fudging or hiding anything, but the way we fit together is what made us something more.
Harmony is the opposite of the army where the drill sergeant chants one line, and then the troops all follow. And it’s more like African polyrhythms than it is like African call and response. All the world is singing at once, the mountains and rivers, the birds and bees, wind and waves, and the spirit of every person. Each of these songs, and every note and detail in them, are overlapping with others. No sound or expression or spirit ever really stands alone, and so it’s a matter of how they go together. If we don’t care about or pay attention to the expressions of the other singers, the forests or our friends, we’ll very likely end up with a disharmonious song, and a discordant world. But if we really care, and we pay close enough attention, we can find ways to express our personal songs that resonate with the songs and needs of the rest of the singing world.
A large part of my life is now consciously dedicated to bringing all the parts together in a way that contributes to the harmony and wholeness of all. Sometimes that means one part has to shift and be just a tad bit higher, another may need to drop down lower than usual. I help stretch the women I work with emotionally and in their lives, assisting them past what they are used to or comfortable with, just like I help someone stretch a note until it resonates with all the notes around them.
I have to really work at bringing my many diverse parts together harmoniously. Like most everyone, I suppose I’m a complex stew of energies, kind of a little girl/wise woman, introverted extrovert, wounded healer, wild woman-fairy princess! No small wonder that I spend too much time sorting things out, trying to figure out priorities and what my realest deepest feelings really are. Feeling things out with my heart and body, and not so much with my easily confused head. Bringing myself out of fairy princess land and back to Earth is a constant effort as well. It really helps to let go of the harsh judgments my wounded self has about many of the different parts, and to allow for their expression in healthy ways. Chopping wood, harvesting and cooking wild foods, playing in the river, letting myself cry when I need to, leading sweat lodge ceremonies, allowing myself to imagine that I really can make miracles happen, are all ways that I give these parts of me expression… and live the song of all I am meant to be!
I feel so incredibly blessed to have so much support in living this life that is such a strange and wondrous expression of harmony– something of a hermitage that still reaches out to the world every day with its song of wildness. That I wake each morning miles away from any power lines, television and phones, and rest my eyes on sun-streaked cliffs, listening to the undiluted harmonics of wildest nature, the bugling elks and cawing ravens, whistling hawks and singing frogs. And yet there is the little satellite dish on our cabin roof that connects us to the internet. It seems a bit incongruous, but it helps so much in our efforts to share the blessings and teachings of this place with the many students and guests that make their pilgrimages here, as well as the wonderful women that read this amazing publication. As much as I cherish the times of quiet between the busy spells, it wouldn’t feel very harmonious or right if we neglected to share the power of the energy here in whatever ways possible.
It seems to me that all of nature, even the smallest dandelion thrusting itself sunward from between the cracks of the sidewalks, is trying to teach us how to achieve truest harmony, how to be all we are, with no apologies, insistently and joyfully. How to sing out with every cell of our beings the miracle of life, and the wonder of getting to live each day. Instead of trying to teach everyone who comes here how to live in the wilderness, our goal is more about empowering each person to discover for themselves what harmony with nature, including their own nature, feels like. To give them the opportunity to know themselves as one with Earth and Spirit, to open to her song, and to let the song of Gaia sing them back into wholeness. To know and feel themselves as a part of the song of the natural universe, so that when they leave here, they may commit to being truer to their selves than they may have ever been before, no matter how difficult or disharmonious things may have to be for a while until the necessary changes are made. And giving them whatever guidance they can make use of, to achieve that feeling of resonance in their daily lives.
I feel in harmony bringing tea to those I love when they’re busy writing, picking up pieces of kindling from the ground, knowing that I’m reducing fire danger near our structures. I feel in harmony harvesting the tops of the nettle plants, knowing that they’ll grow back, and wandering the river to harvest watercress, so I don’t take too much from any one of the small patches that are still growing back from the last flood. I feel in harmony every time I coerce a bee that’s trapped in the kitchen to sit on my finger, and watching it fly away once I take it outside. I feel in harmony giving prayers, time and energy to honoring the wild animals whose lives we take and eat occasionally. I feel in harmony baking extra muffins to give to the man who sells us eggs from his chickens, to the postmistress who spends extra energy dealing with our mountains of mail, and to the town grocer who gives us credit at the store when our finances are low. I feel in harmony whenever I remember to sing while I’m hauling water, or notice the light dribbling through the grape leaves by the mulberry tree. Whenever I remember to see all the beauty of the earth as a reflection of myself in the mirror of creation. When I look to the cliffs above me to recall who I am, and why I am here. To be a part of this place, to feel the changing sun and seasons and moons upon my face, and from the joy of that, to sing.
Rachel and I continue singing together for a what seems like a very long time, our voices weaving and cascading, dancing through the canyon. Every time the song pauses, we hear our voices ringing back to us, many times over, bouncing off the canyon walls like a pair of far away flutes. Finally there is a long note that feels like the end, and we stop and look at each other. Her face is streaked with tears, and she beams at me with the most joyous smile. “Wow,” she says, “that was really something. I’ll never forget this moment. I sure needed that.”
Looking up at the cliffs, feeling Gaia herself vibrating with the pleasure of the gift of her daughter’s long suppressed song, I add, “And the Earth needs you, and your song too.”
Thursday, March 4, 2010
This time of year always brings to mind the hope of Spring and the days ahead of feeling the warm sun on shoulders while on the back of my trusty steed. Her movement is slow and languid and I can feel the gentle breaths as she strides forward ever so carefully carrying her companion.
My burden basket has been mostly empty these past days of cold and chill and now is the time to fill it will all the hope and intention of emptying it in yet another year of growth and movement forward into knowing who I am.
This day my burden basket carries the hopes of others that are written on gifts of the Earth and then slowly emptied into another container as I complete my small steps to enriching the lives of others and taking back in return with grace and gratitude.
I shall fill it with stones that are marked with meaningful words "give", "reward", "strong", "forgive" and "movement". it is filled with sage, crystals and all the things that are most important to me that I have found in my travels across this land.
What do you have in your burden basket?