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Dolce far Niente – or – the art of doing NOTHING. Replay.

img_4049I am sure I have used this title in the past. But you know how the saying goes: Do something for at least 10,000 hours and you will be an expert.

Only a few thousand hours in, I have mastered the art of doing nothing. Me: mother of two, wife of one, keeper of chickens & a dog, community leader, 4-H parent, chauffeur, family referee, business women crafter, housecleaner, cook……

All you need is a like-minded friend and place to go. Off grid is preferred, but not necessary.

I am writing you while sitting on the porch, overlooking the majestic Lake Tahoe. This is the third time my friend, and partner in crime, Marie (you will recognize her as the other half of TwoWitchesinSuburbia) and I have rented a car and made our way up here.

We pack clothes, paint stuff, witch stuff, books, computers, practical shoes…..

I pick her up, and our first stop is to buy food. We both love to eat, so our basket is filled with bread, cheese, prosciutto, fruit, COFFEE, wine, snacks, etc.  Some would call it indulgent, we call it getting back to our European roots.

The ride up the mountain is leisurely, with lots of stops for coffee, random historic site adventuring, etc.

When we arrive, we unpack the food, open a bottle of wine, and exhale.

That last sentence about describes our weekend: Dolce far Niente.

We have figured out why we are such good friends for 16 years. We can both just be. We do not need to be entertained, we do not talk all the time, we do not need to “do” things. We talk short walks to make space for more food, plus the high elevation just about takes our breathe away when we just venture to the beach. We decided “going hiking” was overrated the first time we came here.

We can sit up here, stare at the lake, and be completely content. As long as there is food, and wine.

Our everyday lives are CRAZY. We are both artist’s and life entrepreneurs. We live in suburbia, and between us, we have 5 children, 2 husbands, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and lots of chickens. The families revolve around us all the time, and we manage just about every aspect of them. We both sell art, we both manage businesses. When we are here, we are just Heike & Marie, basta.

With that said, my message to you today is short & sweet:

Take some time away for yourself and just enjoy LIFE. Sit quietly and realize all the things that are good in your world. Breathe.

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Last five images courtesy of Marie Delange-Carlson :).

You can follow our every day adventures at Goddess in the Groove and Marie Delage-Carlson



Weekend Warrior

The weekend is upon us!

We love the lazy days of the weekend. Sundays are “hang out and scour the Sunday paper with a huge cup of coffee”…then comes the rest of the day.

Here are some of the things we do, and they are under $20!!

1. Go to the Farmers’ Market at 11:40 am and get the best deals! Bags of delicious fruits and veggies, packed to go home with you instead of back to the farm… :)…It is like a treasure hunt for us. How much yummies can we buy for $20??

2. Take a long walk to the funky little waffle house that is filled with cute seniors on Sunday morning. Order 2 humongous breakfast entrees, and share. Lots of coffee comes with them anyways, what else does a girl need? Then take the long walk back home to get rid of all that healthy breakfast……

3. Take your $20 and go to the Thrift store! Give each child $2 to buy what they want, and go HUNT! Most of our local thrift stores have an email list where you get notices of sales. Really, a pair of new jeans for my son at $1.99, with an extra 50% off?? You can buy a new weekend outfit for the whole family for that price!

4. Take your kids for a night ride! Stop at Dairy Queen for a small ice-cream dipped in CHOCOLATE!! Ride as far as your expensive gas will take you…and back home. If you are lucky, they will be asleep when you get home and you can sit back and relax with your honey-bunny and…….

5. Take the family, including dog, to the river for a long walk, with the theme “rocks”. Find fabulous rocks to take home and decorate, paint, stack…or just leave around the house like in our casa. Give your dog a doggy backpack, he can help carry.

6. Rent a cool movie for the family, turn on the AC, make popcorn, cool a beer, and laugh, laugh, laugh! Some of latest adventures: The Witches/ Yours, Mine, and Ours/ Scooby Doo (various versions), The Haunted House.

7. Call your girlfriend and hang out in the bookstore with a huge Latte’, in your favorite section, and chatter (you will find me in the “Occult” section :)..LOL..with my big black hat on.).

I know what you were doing while I was away….

Now I can spill the beans, because it is all over.

I was alone for 5 whole days, with my dog, while my family went away on a mini vacation to ALABAMA!!! for a family reunion 🙂 While they were having a wonderful time with family & friends, I was home.

Was I sad? After day one of feeling lost and painfully unscheduled, I settled into my role of bum and enjoyed the moment. I made piles of paper everywhere, and did not feel the need to move them in order to set the table, sleep in my bed, etc. I found long lost receipts and legos. I scrubbed my kids’ rooms, and made a mental note to lecture on “hygiene” when they get home. I went to a fancy dinner with a friend, and to the Greek Food Festival with another friend. I took my dog to the river and on long walks without looking at my phone to see what time it is…we went home whenever my legs cried or the hot dog treats ran out. I took long trips to the thrift store and left with nothing. I made blackberry jam….and it is highly edible this time!!! I was so excited, I bought more glasses and made Zwetschgen jam too. What are Zwetschgen?? That will be your riddle from me ….

I drank wine, and beer, all by myself. I finished two of the books I was reading for a very long time. I ripped out my dead garden, weeded, and planted a zillion bean and pea seeds…and put a curse on those damn rats that ate my tomatoes. I finally picked my sage before it wilted and made lavendar/sage smudge sticks.

Yesterday, I was so happy to have my family back. They were home for 30 minutes and it was loud, messy, and crazy again.

Home sweet home.

Gratitude List

Not only on Thanksgiving should you be thankful.

Wise Dr. Wayne Dyer once said something that stuck with me (don’t quote me, the thought is important here!):”Take every tragedy or disappointment in your life, and turn it into a learning opportunity.”.

Wow. What a shift of attitude! So, next time shit hits the fan, you get a huge unexpected bill, you go to fill up your gas tank, you buy organic food in California and loose your breathe from sticker shock….remember…..

Make it a learning opportunity.


Seriously, it made me think back to the some of the trials that happened in my life, and I must say that good things have come from them. 10 years later for some, but good. The car accident that broke my back, but slowed me down enough to retrack my life and bless me with a beautiful family and a crazy dog (who, BTW, passed his first OFF LEASH test in the park today!!! GOOD BOY!!). Event recent “kaka” happened for a reason, and opened my eyes both to truth, and opportunity.

I made a new “thank you” list. Things that I am thankful for right now. I pull this out whenever I feel like the world is against me and everyone is trying to piss me off personally.

I will share some of the things, but not all:

1. My husband (who drives me up the wall, but has patience for me being me.)
2. My kids (ditto, but I love them to death. They are amazing, creative, smart, and oh-so-much little ME!!).
3. My dog (yes, not only for dog lovers. We do love our dogs, but I swear, Rex was sent to me to teach me patience, and a little humility. And pride….)
4. My family (Mama, Oma, Erna, and all the people who raised me so well. I just love ’em to death too.)
5. My tribe (My women)
6. My brain. It is good. It searches, thinks, and works when I need it to.
7. My past. Both good and bad. It makes me wiser.
8. My passion. My drive to get what I need.
9. My creativity. I don’t know where I would be without it.
10. My roots. They run deep, and old, and they come through when I need them.
11. My iMac (yes, it is my line to the world. I love my computer to death too…and am eyeing a newer MacBook so senior can get a much deserved break.
12. food. I am happy that we can always have good food…….

Now go make your list. And do please share……

P.P.S. I love y’all with smooches! I want to send you my book and make you laugh. I would love for you to BUY one, but now you can WIN your very own copy! Just sign up for FeedBlitz updates in the little index to your right. You will automatically entered every month (yeah, I know.), drawings will be held on the 30th or 31st. And a special bonus: a 10% coupon for Goddess pendants!!

I am REX

Meet the newest member of our family, REX.
He is a 10 week old Shepard, and he is the BOMB! He is keeping us all busy, has made us clean up our shoes on a constant basis, and I run around with a long sleeved shirt in 90 degree weather because my arms look like I am a “bramble bush maid”. My neighbors have already commented on our constant shouts of “NO REX”. Yes, there is a new sheriff in town…We took him for his first stroll in the neighborhood yesterday, limited, as we are still awaiting the final puppy shots. But I thought I would share, and now those of you who do not hear back from me will understand :). I am training a puppy, alongside his human brother. They are making me nuts. My old dog has had enough of all this action too.

Here are some pictures I have taken in the last few days. I am holding his “little” paw at 9 weeks. He is a hunker. I love big dogs :). That is why he came to us (this is a whole ‘nother story!).