Friday, January 02, 2015

Gross, yet fantastic food of my youth. How did I survive?

Tonight, I ate a bologna ( baloney!!!)  sandwich.

Right now, I am regretting it immensely, as my stomach is crying out "What the HELL?????"

I can't remember the last time I had a bologna sandwich on soft, crappy white bread (that you can roll into a ball) with mustard & mayonnaise. It was so good for a moment :). Bologna is one of those foods I lived on as a kid. I had phases where I only ate certain things. For a long while my bologna with mustard & mayo, then Alphabet Soup.

Strangely, coming from a mixed German/American household, these foods were like treasures to me as a child. So were Lucky Charms. My German family would not touch those foods with a 10ft pole, LOL. I ate them, and survived. I even grew up to be a healthy, happy, organic, crunchy, real food eating adult.

My husband, who I swear just does this to rile me up, will go shopping and buy $1 white bread, bologna, Fruit Loops (ew...never ate those), those strange little pie things you can buy at a gas station, $1 cookies, etc. His stomach will survive an acapolypse. He is one of those lucky humans that is trim, even though he violates all laws of food. He did gain 30 lbs this year after he quit smoking (yeah for him!!!), but he is still quite average and only snickers when I watch him eat to see if he will self-destruct.

My kids will not touch bologna :)....they will eat tongue sausage, blood wurst, and other adventurous meats, but not Oscar Meyer mystery meat.  They do, however, love to indulge in blue/red/multi-colored Slurpies from 7Eleven, and other questionable junk food that I raise my eyebrows to.

I have learned, over time, that our diet is helathy and "real" enough that our bodies will excuse an insanity moment every once in a while.  Quite frankly, our bodies also make us suffer a little (I won't go into details, but shouts of "blue POOP!!" have rung out in this house...) so that we don't indulge too often.

Now I am craving a bowl of Lucky Charms.


Monday, December 29, 2014

Releasing 2014 - Shit happens

In a few days, 2014 will be over. Not sure how it got here so fast, but alas, it is here.

2014 was going to be MY YEAR. The year everything got better, I realized all my dreams, lost weight, grew all the food for my family, canned all our excess, rode a unicorn, learned to fly....etc.

I had high hopes & fantastic resolutions.

I am sitting here with my 2015 Life & Biz workbook, celebrating & releasing 2014, and realize that I
did not make shit happen. Not only that, lots of shit happened.

Why am I telling you this instead of giving you an uplifting, goddess-like inspiration for the new year? Because I am honest, and I love you :)...Because life comes with unexpected shit, and how you deal with it is what makes all the difference.

So first, be real. Gosh, if you can, order this workbook (you can get it starting at $9.99...give yourself that gift) because it really gets down to the nitty gritty, or just start with a fresh piece of paper and do the express version. Write down, color, fingerpaint all the CHALLENGES from 2014 first. Now, do the same for all the SHIT THAT HAPPENED (no, not the same thing). Have a biz, think about what happened there, what needs to change, why didn't you make money? Be honest, this is not group therapy, no one but you is going to see this.

I have been siting here since 3am, and doing this exercise made me realize:
1. I have been lazy. Honestly, had I done half of what I said I would do in 2014, I would be further along. Maybe not all lazy, but definitely gave other things priority. Thought to ponder: Why are MY things not priority?
2. As much as I love my business/art, time to decide whether it still serves ME as a business.
3. WHY have I not started on the workshops/goals I wrote down last year?
4. Time management is crucial
5. It is ok not to fill out all the blank spaces someone else created (there is a metaphor there)
6. Clutter and un-organized living suck...literally. Both suck the energy out of your soul & house. Plus, I am spending more time looking for crucial things like receipts and other things I need than I am on working my biz....Now there is another metaphor.

So, I am writing down all my rants & challenges for 2014, and kissing them good-bye. Not without scrutiny though, since you should make every challenge a learning opportunity, and only make a mistake once.

Once your art piece is done, love it, hate it....if you want, send it in the fire with love. Remember, YOU are the creator of your destiny!

Much love to you!
Heike



Thursday, December 11, 2014

The BIG ONE has arrived, and my Spirit dances!

For the last 2 days, the local news has been announcing the BIGGEST STORM WE HAVE SEEN SINCE 2008.

Panic.

Today, I went to 3 stores to find batteries for our flashlights, and every one of them was sold out of D batteries and flashlights. Target sold out of water. My son and I filled sandbags for our back door. I secured out chicken coop.

We have lots of candles, firewood, food, & beer :).  Games are ready to be played in the candlelight.

One of my lawn decorations just hit the house.

It is 2 am, and the storm has arrived. I could feel the wind rising during the day, but now it is definitely here. My house is creaking & squeaking as the wind presses its way through the cracks and crevices of my old house.

It is swooshing.

My Spirit is dancing.

I know I should really be anxious, as the last BIG ONE ripped the shingles right of my roof.

Instead, I just made myself a nice warm cup of turmeric milk with honey, and I am enjoying the sounds of Mother Nature, strong & wild!

Unfortunately, my husband has to drive in this, sent him & the Volvo off with a blessing today. Stay safe out there, Californians!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Things that go bump in the night

Good Morning!

It is 5:26am, and I am sitting there with a glass of wine and an array of cheeses.

I have been up since 3:30 am, cleansing my home. I woke up with the strong need to clean my kitchen floor, and that expanded into the rest of the house. I am preparing for the new year, my mission is to have my house cleared, cleansed, & blessed before Dec. 31st, so we can slide into 2015 open & ready for abundance.

It all started a few months ago with the emerging of Money Witches :). Instead of the regular Kitchen
Witches, they carry money magic. I have a money/kitchen witch in the prosperity area of my home, my kitchen (which is so absolutely fitting!). At about the same time, I was able to acquire the book HexCraft, a book about Braucherei, an old form of folk magic, healing, & home blessing by Silver RavenWolf.

Other things began to fall into place. A new job, Etsy sales, lost gift cards showed up again.......

Clearing brings peace, and abundance. Maybe not immediate monetary abundance, but the kind that makes the spirit happy. I still believe happy people are the richest ones! My goal is to get to the point that no matter where I look in my 900sq/ft house, it makes me happy. Of course, there are 3 other people living here, 4 right now as my mother is visiting for 2 months. I am asking them to pitch in by giving me things they do not love/need anymore, helping me with big jobs, etc. It is important to incorporate everyone living under one roof and respecting their wishes. 

BTW, you do not have to follow status quo of where & when it is s good time to start, or do your cleansing/cleaering/cleansing. I am satisfied with my work, replenishing my body, then I will go back to sleep for a while. If you have the luxury of setting your schedule, go with what your body/Spirit/instinct tells you. Never mind conventional times, these kinds of things call for wildness :).

Don't know where to start? You can check out Silver RavenWolf's blog, and follow along with the 2014 release program (yes, you can jump in now!). One of my favorite books to start with  is Denise Linn's Sacred Space  (this was my portal into Feng Shui!). You can follow with me via my Facebook page, but please sign up for my newsletter (you can do that in the margin to the left!) if you have not done so. Facebook is playing tricks, and I will begin to rely more on other ways to communicate as of January. Also, if you are a visual like me, you will certainly enjoy the 2015 Create Your Shining Year workbook, starting at only $9.95!!!, or $24.95 for the spiral bound version (which I have and will play with via Facebook & newsletter if you want to join me!)

Much love,
Heike

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Waste not - and visit Yosemite with your food budget!

I don't know about you, but whenever I try to do a "budget" for our household, FOOD is always the biggest category.

I spend most of our monthly budget on food. Granted, buying "real food" is more expensive than purchasing coupon support packaged food, but I know that part of my big price tag is mis-management.

I know this because my fridge is packed, as is my freezer, AND my pantry.....YET....the most common statement in my house from the kitchen: "We have NOTHING to eat!!!"

And, I throw a good amout of food away. It is a damn shame, really. It comes from stocking up, or buying things with a meal in mind that never happens.  Or, because I go purchase things while I am hungry. Sometimes, the food I grow comes in fast, and I don't have the time or space to preserve it. If I can't get it to friends or neighbors quick enough, it goes to waste.

Thankfully, I have chickens and a thriving compost, so at least the food does not go into the garbage.

I have decided to cut our food budget (with the saved money going into a vacation fund. I have never been to Yosemite, and will remedy that) and create
Fridge Challenge Meal
less food waste.

Steps:
  1. Use what is in the fridge/freezer/pantry NOW, only supplementing with fresh items that need to be replenished, like salads, milk, etc. Creativity, and the open mind of the family is important here :). 
  2. Every time I throw food away (aka, give it to the chickens or compost), I will write down the dollar amount on a piece of paper on my fridge. 
  3. Menu planning. It will kill me, but in the end, I think it will make things much easier. 
  4. Clear out freezer. I really need an upright freezer. I have chest freezer now, and I swear, I don't know what is at the bottom. I am going to explore. Mainly, I am going to make it my mission to use all the meat, veggies, and fruit stored before I get more. 
  5. Prepare pantry for more bulk foods.  Ok, I just ate jam this morning that I made in 2010. :)...yes, it was still good, but really, it is time to hit that stash. Also asking friends if they would like some, because a girl can only eat so many sweet & sour pickles.
I could get more vigilante about it, but realistically, I won't sick to it. These steps are doable right now, and will clear my freezer and pantry space in a about a month for a more organized food space.

I will be posting some of my "clear the fridge meals" on Instagram as I go.  Here are some things that I have noticed in the last days of putting together ingredients:
  1. Cut stale bread in cubes, keep airtight and add to soups. Makes them "meaty", according to my son :). 
  2. Keep fresh ginger. It can be added to soups, veggies, salad dressings, and gives anything zing!
  3. Turmeric, again, a great spice for veggie combos, soups, stews, or meat. 
  4. Use your crockpot!!! Mine is now slowing cooking bone broth, a good base. 
  5. Family can get grumpy. Especially meat eating husbands. Make sure to find ways to make "real food" (which is what I cook all the time, but if it does not have SOLID meat, so no stew, it is not real for husband) and keep him happy. I will also show mine the dollar list from my fridge and vacation jar full of money...that works.  Get kids involved by letting them make up a meal with available ingredients. 
  6. Cook big pots of rice. Rice can be fried, added to soups, or made into delicious rice pudding :)...great for fruit compot that you make with aged fruit!
We live in an abundant world, now we have to learn to live in it :).
Warmly,
Heike

P.S. Due to the high amount of comment spam, I have closed comments for now. I DO WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!  :) Please come comment on Facebook!


Saturday, August 09, 2014

Homelessnes & Vacancies, coming to a home near you.

This morning, I donned my big boots, a pair of industrial work gloves, grabbed a rake and some garbage bags, and walked up my street to a neighbor's house.

The neighbor is in jail, and the house has been empty for about 3 years.

When I say I am a "suburban" farmer/witch/gypsy, I mean it. I live in suburbia somewhere in a city near you. Small ranch house development, built in the 50's. I am farming a small plot of land, and live in a house that is not even 900sq/ft. I live very close to a city, actually, the freeway is about 3 miles from me.

When I moved to this neighborhood, very pregnant with my 16 year old, about 50% of the people living here were original owners. Yep, they bought their houses here when they were brand spankin' new. The houses were well kept, the neighborhood was quaint, and the nearby park was fantastic for me and my two big dogs.  It was great for history lessons, not so great for my kids :). When many of these older people either passed away or moved to care, the houses were either rented by their children that lived out of state, or they went into probate hell. Together with the housing bust, my neighborhood quickly became just a little "ghetto".  Sadly.

Empty houses began to fill with homeless people looking for shelter. Though I have compassion for the fact that they want to sleep under something, I do not have compassion for what they did to my neighborhood. Trash galore, feces in backyards & broken in homes. Lots of rats :(. Fires. Property & food stolen from our porches & backyards. It go really bad.

I began to get proactive, had the Sheriff on speed dial. When I walked Rex in the park and saw a drug deal or gang activity (seems like they follow the homeless), I was like a Super Spy. Walked on by, memorized license plates & physical attributes, and called the cops. I began attending park board meetings, and raising my voice.

Lastly, I became the lead in the online neighborhood program, Nextdoor.com. I printed flyers and went to all 200 homes in my little quadrant personally. Of those 200, 19 signed on.

It is sad to see the apathy of people in our suburban neighborhoods! People get out of their cars and go into their homes, and do not know anything about the world around their homes. Or they are afraid to do/say anything.

Neighborhoods like mine get lots and lots of business license permits for liquor stores, massage parlors, hookah bars, and check cashing. It is sad, and I do not live in a "bad" neighborhood at all. This was once the "posh" side of town outside of the city limits. The governance people in charge live elsewhere.

We have two empty problem houses down the street. After much discussion online about how the Code Enforcement & County offices aren't doing tiddly shit to take care of things, I sent out a message to my neighborhoods that I would go out there in the morning and pick up the trash myself.

When I got there, two of my neighbors, from other neighborhoods that are linked with ours, were there to help me. THAT is what change is about. PEOPLE make it happen. Not agencies, government, rule makers. Honestly, they get paid not matter what happens to you personally. PEOPLE who care, they are the ones that will make things better. And when PEOPLE become active and start working/talking/celebrating together, neighborhoods really become communities again.

One empty house at a time.......

Before. This is what I drove/walked by every day.

It gets worse around the corner.

This is the trash we collected from the front this morning.

The difference a little time & work make, eh? Still not beautiful, but cleaner.

P.S. Due to lots of spam messages trying to get published, I have closed the blog for comments. PLEASE DO COME COMMENT ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE at http://www.facebook.com/thegoddessinthegroove. I would LOVE to hear from you!!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Story of the Wolf Dog & the Human

The Story of the Wolf Dog & the Human
by Heike Boehnke-Sharp


You walk by the man with the box in the parking lot.

You hear a yelp, and turn around.

Inside the box, you see three majestic puppies. They are not small, and have air about them.

They look you straight in the eye.

“Timberwolf & Shepard” says the man. “They make fine, big watchdogs”.

Hopefully you are not a dog fighter, a drug dealer, a macho man, a deranged soul.

Their cuteness overtakes you, you make a spontaneous decision. You pick the smallest puppy, because “WOLF” sounds so big.

It’s a boy.

You are in love. He stole your heart. He licks you, and you think it is love & devotion.

He is marking you as his Alpha. For now.

Your puppy grows & thrives. It seems that he does not want to grow into his feet. You wait with training, because he is just so cute & cuddly, all you want to do is play.  Plus, he enjoys running from you so much, taking your shoes and chewing on them, nipping you in the ankles are you walk, or biting your arm as you “play” wrestle. He is getting sturdier, you notice as he brushes by your legs with his body more and more. It must be love, like with a cat.

He follows you. He watches your eyes before he leaps on your, or steals something and runs. His body rubs become a little annoying, as he almost pushes you over.

One day, while you are playing tug of war, his lips pull back and he nips at you.

HEY! You are not bleeding, but he watches as you retreat.

He is almost 6 months now, an adolescent in the making.

He is beautiful. Regal, large, furry, with magical brown eyes.

His eyes look at you openly & clear, and the next second they change and he barks/snarls at you.

You notice the bark is not one of warning, but it is directed at you.

Hopefully, you are a strong woman, or a gentle & strong male human.

Your wolf, because that is what he is, needs his Alpha now.

“He loves me!” you  say. “He would never attack me!”

A wise soul once told me that dogs do not “love” like we humans do. We interpret their affection as such. Dogs respect the Alpha, and they are survivalist. You give them food, they are happy to see you. You give them freedom, they are happy to see you. You rub their butt where they can’t reach, they are happy to see you!

DOG:” Are you sick? Are you weak? Why are you letting me challenge you? Do I need to take over to ensure the safety of our pack? Let me just get these small humans over here where I can watch over them. Push. Push. Nip. Pull. I am sorry, I did not mean to draw blood. Why are looking at me scared? Did I challenge you too. Are backing down?

WTF??? AM I THE ALPHA???? “

Hopefully, human, you have done some research on dog & pack behavior, because you do not have a Chihuahua. You have a wolf. A hunter. A herder. A pack animal. A majestic, instinctive, canine.

Hopefully, by now someone has taught you how to safely throw your wolf down when he challenges you as  Alpha, just like his wolf mother or Alpha would. They would not take that shit, not for a minute. Never seen a wolf throwdown? Google it and learn. You will have to learn to hold his jaws so he cannot bite you, as you say NO in a growling voice and look him in the eye. When he stays down, you will have done your job to ensure his & your safety, because you love this dog.

And when stupid people ask you why you are “hurting” your dog, you send them to the right place so they can figure it out themselves. Hopefully, THEY will never find a wolf dog.

And now you will show your kids how to handle him when he throws his big body at them. He is always establishing where he sits in the Alpha ladder, and small humans and other animals are all just rungs up that ladder to you, the Alpha.

Now teach him that you are in charge of food, that when you say “WAIT!” or look at him with that look he stops.  You must run with him in the wind, challenge his brain, let him chase squirrels. You must warn your neighbors to make sure their animals stay out of your yard, because even though your wolf is friendly & lovable, when that cat runs through your yard, it is prey, and that wolf instinct is STRONG.

Your wolf is one year old. Look at him. He is HUGE.  He is watching you. He will protect you, and his pack, with his life, because that is what wolves do. If you have trained him good behavior with a gentle, but firm hand, he will be the perfect family dog. He will be fantastic. He will be loyal.  But NEVER let your guard down, because even when your wolf/dog is older, even if your routine is set in stone, he is always watching you to see if you REALLY are still the Alpha.  He can turn on you and test you periodically, you better be ready.

Welcome to the pack life, human.

Heike & Rex

Heike: I wrote this piece to get the attention of everyone who sees a "cute" wolf dog and takes it home. These majestic dogs are a commitment. Sadly, many wolf dogs end up in shelters, or if they are lucky, with a wolf rescue when they are teenagers and their owners cannot handle the "wolf".  I was working with a wolf rescue and learning more about them when we got Rex. We are not sure of Rex's ancestory (and do not necessarily think he has wolf), but you can see he is huge & wild :). I rescued him when he was an unsocialized, wild, and anxiety aggressive puppy. I walked around for a long time looking like I was in cat fights, as I became his teacher on how to use his teeth & claws. He came to me to teach me many lessons, and even after almost 8 years, he is still teaching me.  Learning pack behavior kept us together :), and now we are bound.