Friday, July 31, 2009

Mom's Eco-Friendly Strollers

Let me introduce two of our favorite family members, Casper and Isante. These ponies found their home with us a couple of summers ago. Pake, our oldest son, got a very small,classy looking, sweet, gentle pony from is grandparents for Christmas when he was a year old. He and Lightening grew up together and we were fortunate enough that Parker also got to ride him. He suddenly left us after branding one weekend at my mom and dads. It was devastating to say the least; we still shed tears in his absence.

Life continues though. By the end of that summer, when our boys lost interest in riding, we knew it was time to move forward. We found two ponies, running free and wild in the pasture. With time, patience, lots of love and unde their father's tutelage, the boys now have working ponies. We’ve had many fun adventures in training them; learning what they will do, won’t do and what THEY want to do! Casper is a wiz with barrel racing, Isante…….not even close. Isante loves trailing cattle, Casper……….loves eating grass! Pryce has been asking for her pony all summer!

In conversation a couple of evenings ago, it was determined that instead of buying another pony, Pake would graduate to a big horse, Parker would ride Isante and Pryce would ride Casper. Today was a “changing of the guards”, so to speak. I had some tears in my eyes this morning when I realized that I would be breaking in a new "stroller". When Pake was little, rather than forge a stroller across our washboard road, I would put his saddle on Lightening and we’d head out walking. Everyone was happy and entertained, especially me because I wasn't cursing the road and trying to keep a child IN the stroller. I didn’t even have to hold the reins, Light would just follow me! He was so helpful, and looking back, I really took him for granted.

Memories flooded in as I put Pryce on her "new" pony. Casper is a good little guy but he doesn’t have the calm, nurturing disposition of Lightening. I will give him credit because he only trotted back to the barn with the screaming strawberry blond on his back! I know how fast he can run and he didn't. She wouldn’t pull up on the reins; both hands were holding Casper's mane for dear life! I shouldn’t have laughed but I have to admit that a giggle snuck out watching her crouched down, almost parallel with the pony, yelling her head off; that girl was not going to fall, she was glued!

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After a few tears, (from both of us) mamma grabbed Pryce off the fence, put her promptly back on Casper and we walked down the road........ again. This time I did hold on to the reins while coaching a little. I smiled with delight at this "green" stroller. He is, in every way, eco-friendly. He's all natural,100% organic, eats grass, which is then bio-degradable and used for compost in my garden! I don’t have to worry about getting thorns in the tires/changing a flat, or selling him at a garage sale at the end of the season. He doesn’t take up much room; he is “packable” and provides excellent back support since I am not carrying my kid! As far as strollers go, he’s a great choice though you may not find this style on ebay~ Lightening was truly the original though we think Casper the Cre8tive Cowgirl Stroller, kinda has a ring to it!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sewing Returns!

Aren’t these cool? My mother-in-law gets the Cre8tive Cowgirl award this week (if there were such a groovy award!) These cool pillows were crafted by her the night before seeing me! Is that amazing or what? I admire sewers. Judy is very talented in this field; she makes shirts for all of her sons and grandsons, chaps for the little cowboys (with their names on them) and even a little pair of jeans for Pryce. She now has a very cool machine that she’s used to embroider jackets with. Very cool~

In my very unqualified hands, those pillows wouldn’t have turned out that straight, nor would the final results have ended so perfectly. I know my limits and I know my stubbornness so yes, I could make pillows and eventually they would turn out ok but I have a feeling it would take a few tries!

Sewing is kind of a lost art, but from what I have seen this summer from the crafty people that I am connecting with, it is making a comeback in a huge way. I admit that I have had more than one opportunity to learn how but until this summer, it hasn’t appealed to me. Both my mother and my grandmother were avid sewers. In fact, instead buying me an expensive Cabbage Patch Kid, my Grandma Ruth made me one. She ordered a kit, complete with a head, and the body. We “birthed” this beautiful baby together. Of coarse grandma did ALL of the sewing, but I was right there with her. It was a joy to see her hands go to work. She made sure to stuff my doll full too, we didn’t want a skinny baby, no way! When the doll’s body was complete, grandma went to work making clothes for her; that was a treat! When it came time to name her, I wanted a traditional, colonial name (at the time I was reading about Pilgrims in grade school.) So this is how “Patience” was born. The name was pretty appropriate too. I had none! And it was clear that sewing was not my thing. I was not a natural and in no way intrigued by the idea of making things from scratch. I preferred to spend my time riding my horse and helping my dad outside. Freedom to me was not going to be found in a house with a sewing needle. YUCK.

It didn’t change when I was in high school either. One semester of Home-Ec was enough. I wobbled my way through a Hawaiian shirt pattern and shorts that my mom helped me finish. No thanks, still not interested. I signed up for shop class.

Even after I got married and had my first child, those “nesting” instincts never showed up. I was plenty happy to buy rather than make anytime. Oh there were signs of creativity that usually cropped up around Christmas time or a little before. I would spy a nifty craft or something in a magazine that would make a great gift. My mom helped me make fun signs out of our old wooden fence, \ Judy helped me make travel pillows (she did the sewing) Chad helping me make recipe card holders with forks and Jen helped me make a handy carrier out of placemats and sandwich bags, of coarse, she did the sewing! Usually after the holiday though all that inspiration would die down and with the layers of work, laundry and daily home keeping, crafts of any kind would only be a distant memory.
Somewhere along the line though something has shifted! I credit my friend Sheri with the opening. After revisiting scrapbooking, under her patient guidance, I slowly started reconnecting and expanding my creative abilities. My confidence has slowly grown with each layout. Scrapbooking has taught me to look at color combinations in new ways. It has motivated me to take chances, try new things and hone my unique style. I don’t do it as much as I used to and some of my ideas never make it to a page but a theme for each day pops into my head as I am getting ready to retire for the night. My personal style is a bit hard to explain; I think things off balance, mismatched and hodge-podged together. I like wild pages, unexpected layouts and fresh, fun ideas……. kinda like………… life!
This summer I am ready to return to something I had the opportunity to learn long ago. I inherited Grandma Ruth’ sewing machine. It has patiently waited at the ranch, until I was ready to claim it. I must say, I have no clue how to run it, I barely know how to thread a needle, but I trust that I am being guided by a very talented, cre8tive lady who spent a lot of time on that machine. It is funny how some things are meant to be, even if they take a long time to come back around. This time though, I am ready. I’ve had a lot of fun “playing outside”, discovering and learning. It feels to me that one of the most exciting frontiers for me to face is the one that lies within my own being. I am excited to see what lies ahead!

I celebrate and honor those who are so naturally gifted, those who embrace and exercise their crafts and talents. We all have them, in one form or another. I invite you to begin exploring with me. If you’ve wanted to learn how to play in instrument or return to a dusty old sewing machine, do it! Just jump right in. Perhaps you are a wiz in the kitchen but just haven’t taken the time to make bread or rolls from scratch? Let today be the day to unleash your potential, to experiment, play, craft, and try out something that you’ve always wanted to learn. And above all, welcome the mistakes for they are the gatekeepers of divine creativity!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Taking the Long Way Around

Though the pull of my cozy home is getting strong, sometimes I’ve just gotta hit the road! That is what we did this past Thursday. The kids and I loaded up and headed to Burwell. Chad was going to be in the slack on Friday morning so we thought we’d meander that a-way.

Truly enjoying summer means slowing down, which I am doing for the first time in well, maybe since grade school? I have a destination but I am no longer concerned with the pace of getting there. I’ve spend 15 years chasing rodeos with my husband, going from one to the next, sometimes as many as three per day. We’ve been known to leave at 11 pm and drive all night to get to another one at 7 am the next morning. Something inside me called an end to this madness and I vowed that I wouldn’t be going on anymore of these marathon hauls. I love being with my man and traveling as a family but at the age I am right now, I also value rest and a comfy bed that isn’t moving!

This weekend was one of the slowest yet and it was truly magical. I was reintroduced to the slow lane and am filled this morning with the nostalgia that comes from old awakened memories. Maybe these are not personal memories that I’ve had, but those faint, familiar memories that live somewhere in my ancestral lines. Memories of a time when speed limits were well under 65 and there were no interstates. I have craved car trips where we drive for a spell and then find a nice little park to pull over and relax at. My fantasy came close to true this weekend. We spend the night in what I thought was a sleepy little town. Little did I know that two semis would roll into Taylor, waking me with rattling diesel engines and boldly announcing my sleep was OVER!

We promptly packed up camp and headed on down the road. The day was spent visiting with dear friends, watching the kids splash in the river and then bedding down in the ol ’65 camp trailer. The old girl is really rustic but she is everything that we could want. There is no shower, no water, no toilet but she does have great ac, a solid roof, comfy beds and a door that locks (that is another story!). This was my take on creative camping and I am so glad that I followed my heart rather than my head on this one. We’ve used this little camp trailer a lot. She’s been down the road many miles and it is my prayer that she’ll just keep on going. She’s looking a bit more rough this year with chipped paint and dings and dents, though each one just gives a little more character.

When I pull her, I am forced to slow down and always reminded that life doesn’t have to be lived at a 100 mph! I am instantly in the mood to go searching for treasures in antique stores and find a subtle groove that exists deeper than my surface thoughts.

It came to me that my idea of a weekend getaway doesn’t involve all that much money, or glitz, just good old fashioned fun. We didn’t frequent any department stores, fancy chain restraints, malls or movie theaters (although Sandstone Grill) was delicious. We didn’t go to a spa, fancy resort or a huge water park, we didn’t even get a shower until we came home (stinky, I know!)

We only saw interstate and traffic when we came through North Platte on the way home. Cities and noise seemed 1,000 miles away. My kids heard a screech owl for the first time. They spent an afternoon and the next morning trying to catch minnows and a 2 hour trip back home planning their Halloween costumes (can’t wait for you to see what comes from this brainstorm session!)

There were several stops on the way home, (Parker’s bladder is very small) and each time I took a deep breath in and offered thanks for the slower pace. I am grateful for being able to take the long way around. I have missed so much and now I am ready to take it all in. We all get to where we are going anyhow. I am committed to enjoying every moment.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Learning to Live Off Grid

Green living and living off grid has certainly become more vogue in the past couple of years. Thanks to the economy, many people are either waking up to or returning to their roots of self-sufficiency. Way back before Wal-Mart and fast food joints, life and living were very different from today. I am not complaining, without technology I wouldn’t be sharing in this way nor would I be connected to many of the wonderful people in my life. Technology has its place, however, my creative abilities feel compromised when buying an item that I know I could make or produce on my own. The pull for self-sufficiency within my being started long before I was aware of it; that urge has been building in intensity for years now and it becoming more and more of a realty for me. I find myself meeting up with others who have similar interests, values and visions, which is a breath of fresh air. I have many plans for the future and at this moment, I am not living exactly the way I want to but each day is a step closer.

My goals for this summer were to get a dairy goat, which would provide fresh milk, as well as substance for cheese, yogurt and soap, all of which I want to learn to make. In addition, I’ve wanted to dine on farm fresh eggs since I’ve moved to this location 8 years ago. I am determined this is going to be the year it happens. Still not sure how since I don’t have shelter (yet) for my laying hens but August is the deadline and I am confident it will happen. Long terms goals are buying wheat, and other grains, a grinder and making homemade bread, installing solar panels, reducing electricity, putting up a real clothesline (instead of using the deck railing) starting a compost pile, planting a fall garden, building a green house and learning to sew.

Whew. Lofty goals yes, and I get closer each day! Today was one of those treasures for me. I met a wonderful friend, Elizabeth and her sweet family. Liz and her family pretty much live “off grid. Goats provide their dairy needs, as well as butter, cheese, yogurt and soap. They grow an enormous garden, have beef cattle, chickens, and horses. I was truly in heaven here on this busy homestead and clearly reminded of my roots, deep ancestral knowledge that was being activated and reawakened. (It started with canning last year, and has only gotten stronger!!)

I feel I have many lessons to learn from these wonderful beings. They are smart, efficient, frugal, patient, hard working and genuine. My kind of folks for sure! I feel very blessed today because I know that I am headed in the right direction and I now have willing and supportive teachers living very close to me. It is amazing who we meet on this journey of life!

Today as I prepare to carry out my week’s plans, something is stirring deep within; a recognition for the vision that is carried within my being. This is a homecoming, a returning to the roots of previous generations. I open to this knowledge. I am a willing student~

Learning to Live Off Grid

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Simple Summer Pleasures

Since I have taken away all things electronic, the kids have had to come up with creative ideas to keep themselves entertained this summer. No tv, movies or wii, unless it is for a special occassion. So despite the complaints, begging and whining, we've endured. There are no video players in the car either so even road trips have seemed unusually long and boring according to the older two! I feel very strongly that while video games and movies are great forms of entertainment, like all things balance is needed. When I see kids playing on nintendos and the wii for hours on end, I am saddened because they are missing out on so much. When I was growing up, my best form of entertainment was playing in a little log house that my dad fashioned out of scrap wood, riding my horse and reading. The later two are still predominant forms of entertainment; I have a real house now that has to be cleaned so its not as fun! My point is to encourage creative movement, creative play and helping my kids discover the wellspring of entertainment within our own imaginations!

When they spontaneously asked to run through the sprinkler, I was delighted. Now this is some genuine summer fun. A simple way to cool off and pass the time. We're getting there~

Friday, July 17, 2009

Birthday Gifts & Summer Storms

So the Universe had different plans for me. I am not writing to you from fun and sunny Cheyenne, I am here at home. Not where I thought I would be and definitely where I am supposed to be. I have to say I was a bit disappointed until I realized that caring for sick children would be much easier in the comfort and spaciousness of our home versus a small (cozy) camp trailer.

I celebrated my 37 years of existence by doing what I do best, being a mom and taking care of others. I was deeply blessed with cuddles, smiles and lots of hug of appreciation birthday calls and messages throughout the day and the first produce from my garden! Parker and I feasted on fresh crispy cukes with ranch dressing, salt and pepper. YUMMY!

Though I was really ready to travel I deeply appreciate what being home does. I feel such a sense of peace and tranquility. This is the first year my corn crop has been taller than the weeds, I can see my bean plants and I actually have some decent onions. I will be writing about my wanna be "green thumb" soon; I have a post that I think you'll all enjoy. My creative vibrations are gaining in intensity since I haven't been focused on traveling. My sewing machine is ready for pick up, I have a market bag to make (with duct tape and staples) many pictures to place in scrapbooks and more food idea to play with. My favorite one this week is neapolitan-style pizza dough, from the book Kneadlessly Simple by Nancy Baggett (again YUM!)

For today though, we'll take a break from our work. We will celebrate my birthday with a trip to North Platte and an afternoon movie. I have fresh whole wheat bread and dipping oil all ready to go for supper and an angel food cake to sweeten up the night. The day is calm, quiet and deeply refreshing. We've had three rain showers already. I think I will just leave those sopping wet pants on the deck for one more day!

Monday, July 13, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

There’s No Place Like Home~

Home is where we hang our hats, where we nestle down in the comfort of familiar, safe, sweet and supportive vibrations. I love being home and the more I am home the more I like staying home. Yet there is a bit of gypsy blood in me and no matter how much I feel like I want to stay planted and become a hermit, the voice in the wind calls my name. Perhaps it awakens a dormant gene somewhere in my DNA that just can’t stand to be still for too long, perhaps it is just the act of searching for something new and exciting. Whatever it is, it is strong enough to get me up, get me going and motivate me to pack for 5 people and a wiener dog! Insane, I know and yet I do it!

The older I get the more I love having roots. I love the land that we are on, I love what Chad and I and our children have created. This is home. It has taken 15 years to fall in love with south western Nebraska; like an arranged marriage, I had to grow to love this place where the rain turns the cement like dirt into slick snot. But love it I do, for better or worse and now this is the place that I am happy to hang my hat at.

Summer does something to me though. I have visions of staying put, enjoying lazy summer days under the rafters of my deck, watching birds fly and flies buzz. Spending time in the garden, petting the dogs, playing with the kids. I even bought a hammock in hopes that this would entice me to relax and unwind. I do make a conscious effort, I’ve used it twice and that’s HUGE for me! I however haven’t converted to such a laid back lifestyle…………..yet! There’s still time and lots of summers to go. Maybe just being aware of a slower pace means that it is in my awareness!

For now though, I answer the nomadic call. We’ll be preparing for a trip to Cheyenne to watch Chad and Jeff compete in the team roping. The kids and I will hang out there, play, ride bikes, relax and dream. I’ve got a lot of planning to do for the fall and a lot of catching up do with my spirit. Cheyenne should be a good place to get it done. I’ll be sharing posts soon of the garden and the power of green! Stay tuned!!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Honey Brownies

Summer makes me think of bees and bees make me think of honey!!!!! Sounds a little like something Winnie the Pooh would say doesn't it?

Just thinking about all that goes into the creation of honey is enough to make the head spin. We love honey, especially honey that is harvested right off the land that I grew up on. Though I have not added bee keeping to my list, I am blessed with a brother who does. I don't know if Carl thinks of himself as a bee keeper, but he and his friend, Paul, fit the description of "hive jocks"! Honey is a whole food and one of the most healthy delicious treats (and ingredient) to have on hand. Since Carl keeps us in supply of tasty Nebraska honey, we eat it on or in just about everything.

Tonight we celebrated house cleaning and lawn mowing with an evening snack. My children LOVE sweets and brownies are among their favorites. I am amazed this summer at how fast they seem to go through food. At times there isn't much to choose from in the cupboard, especially if we've been traveling about.

One of my goals for the summer was for my children to cook and create in the kitchen with me. Pryce, our 4 year old daughter is already a big fan. Sometimes we get a bit too much sugar and an occasional egg shell but she's finding her way around the mixer and measuring spoons quite well. Another goal was to purchase and eat less processed foods. Though pre-packaged foods have their place in a busy household, they are expensive and of coarse not as healthy. It does take a bit more organization on my part, but I am seeing that creating a dish, even as simple as brownies, brings through anticipation and an excitement that opening a wrapper and chowing down food doesn't offer. Instant gratification is outweighed by the sweet voices in the other room asking, "Mom are the brownies done yet?" Waiting for something, even brownies to be finished is good for the soul, especially in this day of instant messaging, lightening fast technology and swiping of cards!

Here's an invitation to slow down, relax and create~this recipe comes from Country Wisdom & Know-How. It’s been given a 5 star rating by the Johnston Kids and their Mama (it’s easy too!) Enjoy it with an ice cold glass of green tea!

Honey Chocolate Brownies
1 cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups honey
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. salt
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup chopped walnut

Beat the butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Slowly add the honey in a steady stream, mixing constantly. Add the eggs, vanilla, and salt. Add the melted chocolate alternating with the flour. Stir in the nuts, if using. Turn into a well-greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 f0r 20-25 minutes. Watch for burning. Turn down the oven if it browns too quickly.

Pake’s Version: just plain, nothing fancy but if you have ice cream……….that would be great!

Parker’s Version: with the white stuff (powdered sugar). It just isn’t a brownie the white stuff!

Pryce’s Version:
drizzled with caramel topping……..the sweeter the better!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Introducing...........Cre8tive Cowgirl!

Hello Everyone,

I am delighted to share some shifts and updates that have come through in the recent alignment. Last month, for those of you that are familiar with the nine star ki energies, my number found itself in the center. Anytime one of our numbers resides in the center, we never emerge the same on the other side of the month.

I sit here now, blissfully amazed at all that has come through. In this new month, we are being given many powerful downloads via the fire energy. We are in a nine fire month during a nine fire year. The focus here is uncovering what has remained hidden and dormant as much rises to the surface. Themes of relationships, finding our passion, aligning with our path and fully living our purpose take center stage.

For a while now I’ve been feeling a churning, an excitement within my being, a knowingness of something coming through, yet not really knowing what it was. Like many of you, I’ve felt guided to go within, to connect or rather reconnect with my inner vibrations, explore the depths within my own being and really take inventory.

I’ve identified some of the core passions, ones that I am now ready to devote more time to. I realize I can play any role I choose and yet none of them are really me, or the who of who I am. I am learning the art of detachment and at the same time I am giving myself full permission to experience whatever shows up. I’ve stepped away from some of my obligations to find that they were not all that dependent upon me!

When much was stripped away, what remains are the bare bones of any foundation. What it is that I love to do and would do if I had a million dollars or nothing at all?~write. I love to share, to communication, to motivate, to learn, grow, experience and guide. I realize that this is such a core part of my vibrations that I do it without even trying to.

Of coarse this realization trickles out into the substance of my life, everything is being redefined and reshaping, the beauty is that it is being done through me, without effort and force. Though I will still be writing about energies and the awareness that comes through my focus is shifting into a different realm where I will be sharing from more of a personal experience. This will offer me 1. An outlet for all the information/energy to be shared more often 2. Allow others to experience and share in the vibrations, connecting on even deeper levels. 3. Create conscious community via the web. We are vibrating out of the old paradigms of separation/isolation. We are a global community and it is time to find our soul families.

I’ve heard back from so many of you and am encouraged by your words to share in this way. The focus will be slightly different, in addition to writing about energies and awareness, I'll be writing about inspiration, insights, motivation, creative ideas and passions of living life fully! It will be “unbridled musings” about life, my life, the lives of my family, friends and those I meet along the way, and more than likely, the many animals that seem to find me! If you are interested, check back often, follow the blog and comment as you are guided!

In the recent alignment with the full moon/lunar eclipse, it came to me in meditation that the same force that we connect with is also the same one that we un-create with. The merging of polarity, the weaving of duality invites us to see the truth that all creative/destructive forces are one and the same. This new blog highlights the different focus that I am moving into, the daily experiences that you may enjoy hearing about will allow me to share random thoughts that pop in.

The themes of self-sustainability, conscious community, and living creatively and passionately have been knocking on the door of my heart and I must answer this call!
The new blog, Cre8tive Cowgirl, is dedicated to the strong, indepdentant, resourceful,and fun beings of our planet. Women and men who live with passion and purpose, those who are powerful,yet willing to be vulnerable, pioneering spirits who have choosen to be here at this time.

You'll notice a very different flavor, and sense it as soon as your eyes “taste” the words. It is my prayer that that what comes through this blog will unleash the creative forces within your being and will guide you to throw out any rule books that you’ve been living under. I invite you to connect with the authentic soul vibrations that are here already here. You may not feel guided to bring in laying hens or dairy goats to your location, start hiking with huskies, grow a vegetable garden, learn to play a violin, restore an old camper, or chase children around at rodeos, but you may just feel a passion for life stirring within you. This my friends is the gift of nine fire, connecting us with our path and purpose (and it doesn’t have to make sense!)

In this month, year and beyond, find what you love to do and DO IT! Give yourself full permission to LIVE OUTRAGEOUSLY! I invite you to join me in this endeavor, share your insights, musings, awareness and revelations. My physical location hasn’t changed, though my spirit is certainly vibrating higher! I can be reached at my old address or my new one, listed in the profile section. I’d love to hear from you so be sure to leave your comments. If interested you can sign up to follow the blog. I will be posting often so do check back. I have some yummy things to share; summer drinks, fun books, my favorite new bag, updates on my homesteading adventures, dog stories, a creative sandal project and much more!

And of coarse, I am still offering Journey Processes, Nine Star Kid Readings and Updates, Space Clearing, Feng Shui Consultations, Energy Sessions. I am designing classes for MPCC this fall; Finding Your Bliss~(will feature the Chocolate Meditation by Julie Ditmar) and Extra-Ordinary Self Care. Sessions are by appointment only and can be in-person or via telephone for those of you living distantly.

Join me in living a cre8tive, authentic life. Do what you love, discover your passion, live your truth.