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.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

You are snarky, over-authoritative, and too influential.

"You are snarky, over-authorative, and too influential."

As a woman, would you take this as a compliment, or a reprimand?

How about as a 16 year old girl?

How about if you are that 16 year old's mama?

:)

My daughter, who many of you know about through my blog since she was born, or recently, as she represented both on Huffington Post, the Today Show, etc., was given a "behavior notice" recently.  I was a bit stumped. When she told me why, I was proud. Take away the snarkiness.  Teenager eye-rolling needs to stay out of the picture, and like I told her, learning to keep your poker face no matter what your inner emotions are right then is a talent that we learn as we age.

I have literally spent the last 16 years raising this girl to be confident, have an opinion, be able to speak, be aware, and become a young woman who is authentic. That takes some energy in today's society here in the U.S. There are campaigns and groups out there that are trying to do what I did at home. I have surrounded her with strong women who love her and celebrate her, both in the family and my circle of friends.  Hell yes she is influential! I would rather her influence other young girls than the media. Does influential make her bossy? Maybe? If she were a boy, would she get a behavior notice too?

Ah....and the AUTHORITATIVE.  Do you have to be authoritative to be a leader and make a change? Yes.

au·thor·i·ta·tive

adjective \ə-ˈthär-ə-ˌtā-tiv, -, -ˈthr-\
: having or showing impressive knowledge about a subject
: having the confident quality of someone who is respected or obeyed by other people

That kind of sums up my daughter.  She speaks about it in front of CEO's, community leaders, donors, television, schoolchildren, etc, about the things she loves and is passionate about.  Because she lives it and has "impressive knowledge about the subject".
Shouldn't all our girls be authoritative? Isn't that what we are striving for?

Instead, I am finding that adults are often intimidated by confident youth. Both girls & boys. More than once, I suspect that is because of personal issues, maybe issues from that adult's youth? I wonder if they had been raised in a more confident manner, being praised for their own individuality instead of trying to conform to the norm, would they embrace the confidence of today's youth?

I believe that young girls, and boys, definitely need good role models in our society. At this point, they are being raised by Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.  Their role models are celebrities, that don't always make the greatest choices, or their "popular" peers. Should we not celebrate youth that come from all walks of life and settings, and have accomplished great things in their young lives? Who are well spoken, well mannered, and shown responsibility and drive?

There is certainly more to this story, but from what I see, I have raised my child to have an opinion, and to respect others. 

I feel very strongly about this. I am proud of my daughter, and by the way, everyone in our "family" who has heard about this is applauding her (minus the snarkiness, again). This leads right up to the subject of women being called "bitchy" when they are really confident, assertive, the boss? There is of course a fine line between being a leader and a steamroller, but that is a different subject.

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The end of a Challenge, and the Goddesses it created

I just posted the last of the 30 28 Day Goddess Challenge Goddesses :).

It was interesting. First of all, I don't know what the hell I was thinking to do this in May. May is the craziest month of my life. Maybe that was part of the challenge?

My thought was to make a Goddess a day. Well, I ended up with 19. It is just not physically possible to make a Goddess a day, they are all hand made from scratch, paint has to dry, heads need to butt. Quite frankly, making Goddesses sometimes means that a pink Goddess ends up being silver with a wolf on it. They have a mind of their own. Then we had to wait for full moon :).

The idea was to see what happens when there is "pressure to perform". In performing, I mean to make myself sit with the goddess until something happens. This was a challenge for me. I am impatient, my life is crazy, I get distracted. This meant I had to sit, and tell my kids, dog, husband, phone, computer, and mother that I was "busy" until I was done painting. It meant I had to go outside and take pictures BEFORE I chauffeured anyone or did laundry.  It meant putting my Goddesses first, my art, and the rest of my life second.

:)

It also gave me time to remember why I started this in the first place. Why I make bold, strong Goddesses for women to wear. Because they are magic, and the stories that come back to me are uplifting, heart-breaking, and fantastic at the same time. Wearing a Goddess is a message to the world, and I am the one who brings the Goddesses to the women. It is an honor. 

The really neat thing is the I LOVE each  one of the challenge Goddesses! They are quite different. One has to stay with me, she is my "chosen one" :). It happens. We bonded.

I can't wait to see where they go.
Much love,
Heike