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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.

img_1223 img_1217 img_1211 20160924_095423 20160923_170502 20160923_164047 img_20160923_173715 img_20160924_102519 img_20160924_160528

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

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

 

 

Deviating from the Original Plan

I am closer to 50 than ever, and I feel like I am trying to climb the mountain of destiny. You know, that feeling that there is something I should be doing right now that will let the big breakthrough emerge.

I don’t know if it is an inflated ego, or if the Universe really has the Big Bang in store for me.

I can still remember this moment like it happened yesterday: I woke up in the emergency room after my accident. I was not operated on yet, but was in the holding loop.  I had the craziest dream where I was talking to my Opa (who passed over many years before) about how I had majorly screwed up with this one, and that I was in big trouble. He did not answer me, just patted my hand. When I woke up to the stark light of the emergency room, I was crying. The nurse,  a short and feisty Romanian nurse that spoke little German (they had just hired her, one of the many foreign nurses that were filling the gap), came and told me to try to calm down, that I was going into shock. I became slightly hsyterical, tellling her that I could not feel my legs. No one had told me at this time how serious my injuries were, I had broken my back. Again, I knew something was very wrong.

 

This fantastic nurse creature, whose name I do not know, but whose face is in front of me as I type today, said in her halting German/English “All I can tell you is that you had better get your shit together and find your strentgh. You can get through this, I can see that. Right now, you can’t even walk yourself to the edge of a cliff.”

There you go.

I have had some major setbacks in the last year or so, and felt my path getting mucky. Health, independence, future, money….all these things seemed to get challenging at the same time. One day, I stormed out of the house, walked to the park, and sat under a tree. Quietly. Turned of my phone. I sat there and watched people, stared at the creek, leaned against the tree.

Heike, get your shit together.

I realized again that I am the creator of my own destiny. I did not get through the challenges I did to sit back now and wither. I remembered what Dr. Wayne Dyer said once: “Whenever major setbacks happen, I see them as a learning opportunity.” I also remembered how I layed in a hospital bed for 8 months patiently and not so patiently, waiting for someone to give the thumbs up to let me get up. I remembered learning to walk again, and all the wonderful things that happened since then. I remembered how grateful I am to have received the chance to live my life, even if it deviated from my original plan.

There lies the secret! “Even if it deviated from my original plan”.

You see, there are times in life when we have to step back and look at the whole picture from the outside in. If you are spiraling, it is time to stop the swirl and take a breather. Analyze all choices, and reflect on why you are making them. Are they good for you? Will they be good for you next week, next month?  ARE YOU HAPPY??? I meet so many people who are successful, who have lots of money, who have an impressive resume; but they are not HAPPY.

Happiness is primal. Make your happiness the #1 priority and go from there.

 

 

It’s been real

On Thursday morning, my dog, my spirit animal, died in my arms.

I have spent the last 48 hours grieving, I am heartbroken. I am angry.

His death was sudden, and we are still trying to figure out what happened. We believe it may have been a reaction to a vaccine. As I do more research, I will post. For today, if I can get one thing out there, PLEASE be as diligent about vaccines for your pets as you are with your children. Research, and only let them administer one at a time.

Rex was my companion, and he came to teach me a lesson. Patience.

My daughter wrote a beautiful piece about how he came into our lives. 
We were actually just going to “look” at the dogs. When we walked up to the junky yard, he came straight up to us. I picked him up, my husband paid $20 for him, and we drove home with him in my lap. No plan. When we got home, my then 16 year old dog Caesar looked at us like were crazy.

So the adventure began. We had ourselves a puppy covered in fleas, unsocialized, and already showing neurotic behavior. He whined & bit us. My older dog wanted nothing to do with him. I started reading books by Ceasar Milan, and the Monks of New Skete. We bought him a crate, and I wondered why “crate training” was not in my life before.

He grew right before my eyes, and slowly began to trust us. We were told he was aggressive, neurotic, etc…….We already claimed him, and there was no going back.

I had to learn how to be an Alpha Dog. I had to learn patience.

For 9 years, I had the most fantastic dog. He was a big bear, loving & sweet. Protective. Gorgeous. People would stop us all the time, little children were fascinated by his size & fluffy fur.

He was my spirit animal. 
I will miss him dearly.
We love you, Rex

Let’s take it outside and duke it out

I love my kids more than everything.

I homeschool them both.

We are together 24/7.

Have I mentioned I love them?

There are days when I would gladly put them in school, any school, just to give them the opportunity to live on someone elses schedule, and to get them out of each others’ hair. Yes, and to get them out of my bubble.

Have I mentioned our house is only about 850sq/ft?

We have an interesting dynamic. My kids are 5 years apart, girl & boy, and are CONSTANTLY at each other. But take them apart, and they immediately miss each other. They fight like cats & dogs, and the next moment they are huddled together under the blanket watching some horrendous show together, cackling like wild dogs.

I am mama, warden (yes, warden), fairy, teacher, tutor, coach, witch, cook, chauffeur, secretary, technician, nurse, and cuddler, all before noon.

There are days, like today. Discontentment, yelling, roaring.  I feel like taking my two sweet children, and the dog.  opening the door, pushing them out, and locking it behind them. They make me CRAZY!!

That’s when I know it is time to pack them all in the car, and drive somewhere by the river.

Nature is like magic. My teen has miraculously removed the permanently attached iPod from her hand. My son is no longer bouncing around like a tennis ball, cool as a button, enchanted by nature…rocks, flowers, holes, bugs, water……my dog is like a happy puppy (as long as none of stray too far :)…the herding instinct never goes away), splashing around in the river, running in and out until he hides his stick because he happily DONE. My son kicks off his shoes and and runs in the water, happy as can be, even though the water is still freezing cold.

Me? As soon as I step out of my car onto the river rock, I am ZEN. My gaze goes down and I automatically start searching for that perfect rock. My house and property are filled with river rock, I love them so :). I breathe deeply, and am glad I am no longer stuck in my little house with 3 other swirling spirits that need to get out and TWIRL. The rushing water mesmerizes me, and though I am not supposed to step in the water now due to a wound, my dog tricked me in. My first thought was “FEAR! Open wound!”. Then spirit kicked in and let me know it was ok, it was time to go back to the river.

We played, took pictures, sorted rocks, splashed, walked……LAUGHED.

Yes, we laughed.

Nature did it again. Magic spells :).

calm…..

These rocks say it all.

Funny ducks…they kept following me.

Happy Dog

Harlem Shake 🙂

Kisses for MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Can’t live up to the simplicity with all my junk….

This weekend was dedicated to the attic.

I sent out a flag to all my friends to send out a search party in case they did not hear from me by the evening…who knew what was up there?? The dog keeps looking up and barking, I was afraid we might run into critters :). Then I would have to jump down the ladder and seal up the entrance.

We found wonderful memories. Photos from our travels, wedding, births of my two kids. Wonderful photos from my two other dogs, Caesar & Napoleon with my daughter when she was a baby. You an see the devotion in their eyes…. :). We found my stereo with turntable, and all our records. Zillions of yards of tull from my wedding, lol! Lots, and lots of things we have been missing, and bought double or triple because we thought we had lost it.

The house does not loose anything.

With a heavy heart, I let go of things. My husband is much more radical than, throwing stuff in giveaway bins. Geesh. He is right, hard to declutter when you don’t let go. I have lived without these things for 5+ years, but still.

Today I am feeling much better about letting go. Emotional detachment is prime. I dropped of nice clothes and games at our local homeless shelter. Even the suit my husband wore to his papa’s funeral. They were so appreciative, it makes me want to declutter even more. The emotional bond is much easier to break when you know someone else can, and will, use your belongings.

The goal: Getting out half of what we have by next week, moving around 3 rooms, painting them in the wonderful colors we each chose, and creating sanctuaries for all of us. I will have a HUGE table where I can create, and leave my creations when I need to take a break. I see days of Kitchen Witches, Goddesses, and sewing these awesome clothes I have in my head.

Hopefully, all of this will inspire me to live a simpler live, with out accumulating so much JUNK. Really, if I could have the money magically appear in my wallet of the all the stuff I never wore, used, lost and bought again….I would be a RICH woman.

Am putting a sign in my wallet, taped to my ATM card. It says:
LIVE SIMPLE

Are you decluttering? Share with me, inspire me :).
Off to dig in the trenches!
Much love,
Heike

It’s official…there are new hormones in the house.

It is here: The Tweens.

Adolescence is kicking me in the butt. My sweet baby is suffering from dual personalities. My sweet little Goddess, every once in a while her alter ego surfaces and turns her into a mainstream TWEEN. All my goddessy, green witchy, natural sweet mama upbringing just VANISHES, and the Tween takes over. Ugh. I knew it was coming….

🙂

She is still perfect, though every once in a while I have to bring her back down to earth. It is truly amazing what happens when your child, a baby, begins to find her own identity. They are formed by you, but are definitely beginning to pave their own journey.

I watch her with fascination, frustration, and pride.

I thank the Goddess for this blessing, and thank my baby for choosing me to be her mama :).

Now, to get my big girl panties on and jump right in……

Live, Love, Laugh

For some reason the past days have been filled with ideas, and myself being thankful for the things I have.

Take today: I went to the river with my kids. It was 100 degrees, yet sitting by the shore of the water, under the shade of the beautiful tree canopies, with good friends was PERFECT. Or bobbing around on the tube with my daughter, letting the river current takes us away……

Every once in a while, I have what we can call a “Shit Day”. As the name implies, everything that day sucks. The laundry, the yapping dog, the bickering kids, the husband who gets on my nerves, the computers that don’t work, the constant whining of people around me……those the are same days I burn myself while cooking, the giant bag of rice pops open while I try to pour, the dog food bowl gets sprawled all over kitchen so the ants come for the kibble that does not get swept up, my hair does not work…

LOL!

The other day, while giving my husband a Heike Lecture about being grateful for what he has (I like to give those sometimes…), it clicked. You know, when I told him that the sucky stuff will go away if he changes his thought pattern. Instead of telling himself over and over again how terrible this and that is, he says: “Wow, I have a FABULOUS wife, great kids, a roof over my head, I still have my jobs, and even the dog loves me.” Sound familiar? It is what they tell us in “The Secret”. And I realized that that is our fundamental difference. I can’t wake up and think doom. Yes, it may make me seem a bit Airy Fairy, but that is ok. He is the Serious One, and we must find our middle.

Or just keep watching “The Secret” over and over and over.

Much love,
Heike

What I am reading: Drums in Autumn!! Yahoo! Love it. Now all I want to do is drink whiskey and say “arse” :).

What I am grateful for: My life.

What I am manifesting: Sales :). Check out my new Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Goddess-in-the-Groove/123470391528?ref=ts

Blasting the SpiritZappers, Day 15 & 16

Don’t give up on me yet!

🙂

I am not falling behind, but cleaning up behind myself. I have spent the last two days one miscellaneous zapping. Funny, once things are a bit in order, others seem so much more URGENT.

Yesterday, I went into my daughter’s room to drop off some clothes. I almost killed myself tripping over something. I will not embarrass her SHAMELESSLY (because she reads my blog daily) by posting a picture of what I saw when I opened her closet….but…between the rubbish on the floor and the closet crime scene, her room was deemed a SpiritZapper.

Yessiree. First of all, she has the best and biggest room in the house, she better damn well respect that I took the TINY room with no decent closet so she can stretch her wings. She couldn’t stretch her wings in there, even she were a flea!

I love her :)….and vacuumed. No worries, I am not one of those moms that tears through her child’s room in a rampage.

I am one of those moms that will put everything in one little convenient pile and give you a day to deal with it before I make a big bonfire…..

Love, Me

Blasting the SpiritZappers, Day 9


I am on DAY 9!!!!

If you are wondering, yesterday was a challenge! Not only was I itching to turn on the computer, I had to field off complaints all day about “If we could only use the computer, we could look that up!”. I must admit, keeping all computers off showed us how much time we spend on there. Instead, we cooked, did puzzles, read our new books, and just enjoyed each other :). Another bonus: I talked to friends on the phone that I would have played email tag with.

My SpiritZapper challenge today?

My refrigerator. It is full of ????. Something stinks, and it is not the dog’s tripe, as the children want to make me believe (If you have never smelled Green Tripe, you are in for treat. It smells like cow poop. My dog loves it. Because of him, my kitchen and fridge smell like cow poop periodically…).

I am putting on my iPod, getting a glass of wine, and tackling the fridge….

What I am reading: Dragonfly in Amber
What I am grateful for: my kids
What I am manifesting: Sales

Help a Heart, and if you’re lucky, “my” quilt will be yours :)….

Today, I hopped over to Pieceful Afternoon’s blog, and this beautiful quilt caught my eye:

Then I read the story behind it, and must share with you. Joanne and her friends are donating this quilt and many other great items for “donations”, to raise funds for her husband’s heart surgery in September.

Read more here.

And please, even though it lowers my odds on winning “MY” quilt, send her some love and enter the raffle.

Smooches!

What I am grateful for: My cyber friends.j

What I am manifesting: Health