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zen

Slo’ Mo

Usually, I write about how “chaotic” my life is. I seem to attract chaos, and when it gets too quiet, something happens to rattle our lives.
On SuperBowl Sunday, my husband and I embarked on a 4 hour drive to Yosemite. Even though I live in California, I have never been. Yosemite was on my bucket list (still is, you will see why), and so for Christmas my husband gave us a one romantic night stay at a beautiful resort in the heart of the park. Our first reservation was cancelled because a mammoth storm rolled in and they closed the park. We rebooked, and headed out early a few weeks later.

About an hour from our destination, on a remote road somewhere in the pastures of California with no phone signal, our car started acting up. We have had trouble with it over the last year, but kept getting it fixed. I was pissed, but we pushed on until we made it to a town and an auto store (because our oil warning light came on). We opened the hood, poured in oil, and it came right back out under the car.
To make a long story short, we were 20 miles from the hotel. We found a mobile mechanic, finally made it to the hotel, he patched up our car. We spent the day in the hotel lobby, venturing out on walks, etc. At 7pm on Monday, and $500 later, we got our car back and were on the freeway home, praying to the Universe all the way.
At home, our car got the death verdict.
Now it is sitting in our driveway with all its’ new and fancy parts, dead. I live in suburbia, I might as well be dead too without a car.
It is AMAZING how much rely on our car!
On the other hand, we are adjusting. I am beneftting the most, as I do not have to chauffeur anyone. Everyone has to become more self sufficient. Yesterday, I did not leave the house. I stayed home, took care of paperwork & animals, planted beans in the rain, cooked, trained with my dog. Today, I took my dog & my daughter for a walk in the rain, then I walked to the store in the rain, and now I am sitting here FINALLY writing a blog post after how many months???j
I was outside sitting on the patio doing absolultely nothing but watching the rain, when I realized that my Volvo breaking down once again gave me a freedom pass.
A pass to slow down and stay put, instead of driving someone somewhere. A pass to say “no” to at least three things that I never like to do, but feel obligated to do anyways (“sorry, I don’t have a car right now…..”). A pass to save money, because the only store that is really in walking distance is the .99 cent store, and the only thing I buy there is sponges & plastic gloves…how many of those does a girl need? I have finally started reading the mystery I have had for months, and can hardly put it down. I have been puttering around, collecting things to donate, filing paperwork, throwing things out that have been neglected way to long.
All in all, I am in a happy, slo’ mo state.
My favorite quote, adjusted with my own words:
Turn every shitty situation into a learning opportunity.
Much love,
Heike

Chicken Poop for the Soul

The sun was out, the breeze was blowing, and I was shoveling chicken poop.

A glorious afternoon!

I realized, while scooping poop, that I was happy & content. You might be wrinkling your nose, wondering if I have lost my mind.

I see this hour that it takes me to rake out, clean, de-spider, fill up with straw/food/fresh water as a Zen moment. It gives my brain time to think about all kinds of things that are pushed to the back when I am on the computer, phone, or in conversation.

The physical side, though it does not entail much heavy lifting, gets my heart rate up and makes my muscles stretch.

My chickens are scratch, peck, pooping around me to keep m compnay :).

I have often marveled at the happiness of farmers I know, who work HARD and early, and yet are happy doing this every day. Their morning routine sounds like a marathon to a suburbanite like me. Yet, I understand now how the physical labor, the brain space, and the result (a clean coop to go in, both for myself and the chickens, who just LOVE to play in the clean hay!) can be highly rewarding & balancing.

Suburbanites: Instand of getting up in the morning, having coffee, getting dressed, then hopping on the computer, becoming a commuter, or going to some form of inside, man-made space for a big chunk of the day, you can be outside (You could just be taking a nice long walk!). What would that do for your soul?
In and out of cars, wading through wafts of email (which, I have to say, only 5% is relevant in my case), going shopping, errand running…..blech!

I’d rather scoop chicken poop.

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!

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.

House Zen-Show me the Money, or keep me from going INSANE!

This is Part 2 of my big Feng Shui makeover. If you want to see how it all started, check out Part 1, and Part 1 Update .

I know I said that I would do this in weekly increments. Don’t hold me to my word, as that is not happening. My life is too chaotic, that is why I am Feng Shui’ing and Space Clearing…see? 🙂 If you are attempting this yourself, you can either go room by room in order starting at your front door, or you can do it like me. Priority. Whatever is screwed up the most in my life gets attention first. I would love to show my very tidy Health & Family area, unfortunately my children were creatively making a video with my camera and somehow changed the settings. Now, if I were more organized, I would know where to find my instruction book…..I did find some treasures out there!! A beautiful blue glass lantern, a beautiful blue glass water bottle from Italy that expired in 2003, several art supplies times two, etc…I also found some B&W poster of Rasta kids, I am passing these on, email me quick if you want them!



As were are going by urgency, I am tackling “PROSPERITY” next, which happens to be in my purple (yeah…good prosperity color!) kitchen. I will show you pictures, and here my kitchen is in a pretty good state. Normally that little table is aching under STUFF, and so are the counters, as we do not have dishwasher (an electric one that is, this is why I have children :)….).

My goal is to clear off that table, as I like to sit here and have coffee, or use the table for baking, PlayDoh making, etc. As you can see, we don’t have alot of cabintet space. We have 3 cabinets and a very interesting “junky” drawer to clear out. Once it is all done, we were going to paint, but I am not ready to let go of my purple, so I will do some enhancements that I will post.

Simultaneously, I am going to clear my bedroom, my KNOWLEDGE & SELF HELP area (snort!! No wonder I am so damn air-headed!) as I go through the heaps of stuff to find not only my camera book, but also my beading tools. I cannot bead any Goddesses right now as my pliers and tools have VANISHED!! I think it is a sign to get my butt in gear, as my bedroom is supposed to be my ZEN place. This used to be my office. When we made the switch, I swore I would organize and declutter the big built in shelf that you don’t see, as that warrants a post all of its own as I tackle it. It will take me a weekend….

This is supposed to be my “altar” area, with my Goddesses, statues, oils, candles, etc. Instead, it is a catchall for pens, glasses, crap, crap, crap :(. Plus, this dresser has to go, all the drawers are messed up. I am on the prowl for a new dresser to paint…..and make my Goddesses happy again. Don’t want to have them be pissed at me…


Clutter, clutter, everywhere……


This is sad. I left this desk in the room so I can leave my Goddeses and beads out and work on them here. As always, any clear space is taken over by PAPER …ugh.

Send me a jingle if you are joining me. We could be Clutter Busters together :)…Or send each other our grossest finds? If you are feeling inspired, check out my favorite books.
Much love,
Heike

Amazon.com Widgetssne

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.

The time has come, the limits are overtaxed, it is time to ZEN this house!! Week One, Health & Family.

If you know me, you know that deep inside I really want to Feng Shui the world! I found Feng Shui many years ago, before it was hip, and secretly wish I could do this for living. I am very good at giving tips, feng shui’ing my friends’ house or business, etc. When it comes to my own house, I am obviously totally oblivious to the fact that is in deep shit. Literally, our house is busting out of the seam with crap. It is time to dust off my books, put on some gear, and tackle my house.

When you see these shocking pictures, don’t judge me. I am going to show you pictures that would make my Oma shriek! Thank the Goddess she does not have a computer…I am showing this so you can follow along. Join me if you like! Let me know if you are, and we can send each telepathic booster, or just chin-chin to a big glass of wine at the end of a hard working day.

I am going to tackle one section a week. I always recommend tackling your highest priority first. Mine is our Health & Family. That is because my body feels like shit, and my kids are getting alot of allergy symptons lately…we are not the sickly type. So my first challenge: Health & Family (this may make my husband nicer, my kids behave, and my dog listen too!!!). Here is a Bagua map. Virtually lay it over your house to find your sections, with the bottom row over your entrance. Your entrance is the starting point.

Click here for a printable Bagua map from www.wsfs.com

Just a note: I am not a professional feng shui consultant :). Yes, I think I know what I am doing, but there are several different practices of Feng Shui. This is how I do it. Please don’t send me criticism, only great messages or Feng Shui tips. If you see something you need, let me know before I get rid of it…I love to pass things on! I will share my favorite books below, and may add more as I go. These are the ones you can refer to if you wish to do this at home. This blog is not intended to teach Feng Shui (though I love to talk about it!!), but to show you my progression, and hopefully report all the great changes it invokes.

Ok, are you ready for the NOW pictures??

oh la la! This is what I look at when I open the door to my laundry room/pantry/catch-all-the-shit-that-has-no-place-elsewhere-in-the-house. My goddess! This is my Health & Family area. Is it any wonder I yucky, and we are sick all the time lately?

Yes, I lean over that junk to get to my washer…and way back there is the dog food canister and toilet paper :)..


One of my many stashes of yarn. Yes, one. I have at least 4 around the house, and several up in the attic…

The top of the dryer is the catch all for all things that the dryer catches, so you see several Legos, rocks, money, etc. Also dog snacks, duct tape, etc, since I can’t make it back to the pantry and tool box, which you see here:

Yes, this is where I stash my cans, tools, and art supplies for the kids. As well as many coffee canisters, bottles, glasses, ( I think I have a box/canister addiction??), and any other materials that can be turned into something, someday.

Ok, here are my favorite books. Some of them are a quicker read, such as the Western Guide to Feng Shui, since you can go right to your section and start making changes. Others, like Sacred Space, are deeper, and it is was my intro into Feng Shui :).

Amazon.com Widgets

As you will read anywhere, the first step is to get rid of clutter, broken, old, and just plain old nasty. I will post if I find any treasures as I purge, or any mysterious objects…ew…hopefully no black widows :(….