The birth of Ely

BabyGoatLOVE1In order to produce milk, a dairy goat must give birth. She will continue to produce milk after the kid is gone as long as she is still milked daily. I bought Nilah, my Nigerian Dwarf Goat at around 10 months old, and it would finally be her first time kidding. It was my first time, too.

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Learning to swim

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Ever curious what it is like to raise a baby duck without other ducks? Remember baby Ballard duck? Would you believe that little Ballard had to learn to swim? Because he was raised with chickens, humans and a dog, he had to figure out swimming all on his own. Luckily the sensation comes quite natural for ducks as they figure out what their clunky webbed feet are for and how wonderful the water feels on their toes. When baby ducklings grow up with their mama duck they pick up the oils from her feathers that keep them from taking on too much water. Ducklings without their mama don’t have the ability to wick out water.

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The circle of life

Bern Switzerland Produce

Now back to that nifty, sleek little compost bin on the counter. The tiny collector on the counter plays a huge role in our little sustainable circle of life around here. It is primarily fed banana peels (because I use a banana a day in my smoothies) but also regularly includes leftover salad scraps, onion peels, squash skin, apple cores, eggshells and the like.

My food scraps feed the worms, the worm castings feed the plants, the plants feed me, my goats and chickens, who in turn feed me milk and eggs.

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A tiny gift from the desert

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It all happened rather quickly. The first week we picked up the chicks and the next I was taking a quick trip over to my parent’s (three hours away) to pick up my horse, where she had stayed while I was in Seattle, and my goat who had also been at my parents, but had been in with a buck at a breeder’s house for the previous few weeks. On the drive home, I found myself with a baby desert tortoise in my lap.

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To the beat of the foghorn

I buried my toes in the sand and peered off into the foggy mist that hovered over the Kite Festival in Long Beach, Washington. It was cool, but not cold for an August afternoon. My hair whipped madly against the ocean air that was tickling the show kites every which way. Kite festivals draw an interesting crowd; enthusiasts of the sport who must spend most of their time practicing new moves and jumps. I learned that freestyle kite flying is a professional event as I looked on toward a kite jigging and jiving up and down and side to side in tantric movements to the beat of a remixed dubstep version of the Lion King’s “In the Jungle”.  There were thousands of kites in every direction, little fast trick kites and big hovering 145+feet long monsters that hovered in the sky, hidden behind the fog like ghosts tied to a string.
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Mindful lessons from buddhists

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“Without inner peace, outer peace is impossible. We all wish for world peace, but world peace will never be acheived unless we first establish peace within our own minds. We can send so-called ‘peacekeeping forces’ into areas of conflict, but peace cannot be oppossed from the outside with guns. Only by creating peace within our own mind and helping others to do the same can we hope to achieve peace in this world.” – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

The first buddhist I remember meeting went by the name of Rinzin. He wrapped himself in a red robe, had a shaved head and sparkling blue eyes. It’s hard to explain what captivated me so much in those eyes, except to say that it felt like I could see water flowing through them, a trickling stream. There had been flyers for “guided meditation” around the Language Arts building and campus where I regularly walked. One day a friend and I decided to see for ourselves the benefits of this meditation everyone spoke of.

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Our journey to the colorful Santa Fe

Georgia O'Keeffe's workspace

Our journey across the Southwest becomes a more powerful spiritual journey each day. Through the people we meet, and the stories that are shared with us, the more each of us see bits of ourselves in these women. They share stories of rebellion, of being headstrong, they tell us about how they broke the rules, or didn’t do what was expected of them, or how they followed their heart and their calling to create the things they knew had to be done. In the case of Georgia O’Keefe and Millicent Rogers, other people shared their stories for them. Each and every woman we’ve met (men too!) has, as expected, caused us to look back within ourselves and evaluate our own journeys. Have we found our passions like these women have? Have we found our own calling in life?

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Serindipitie Creations Christmas Cards

Its always been a struggle for me to find a packaged set of Christmas cards that I like. The style of card I prefer is anything but traditional. When a Christmas card has a black background or anything out of the norm, yet remains in a cool Christmas spirit, I’m hooked. So this year I thought to myself, why don’t I make my own, the sort of cards I would like to receive? Continue reading