Monthly Archives: June 2021

When Manifestation Is Effortless

An Inauspicious Beginning

My days off are rare and very precious to me. So when I learned I had to give up a Thursday morning for some work-related computer training, I was less than pleased. However, my oldest son Mike offered to drive me out (work is an hour commute). He would drop me off, get the grocery shopping done, and we would hit some garage sales on the way home.

I always enjoy road trips with Mike. We are on the same page spiritually, and we have some really awesome conversations while we’re driving. So things were looking up; we had a plan to get some things done and have fun at the same time.

At 5:50 a.m., we left the homestead for the metropolis of West Plains. There is an intuitive Tarot card reader that I listen to on YouTube: Lotus Spirit Tarot. Shannon Colleen is incredibly gifted and a joy to listen to, and if you are so inclined, I encourage you to check her out. Anyway, she had a reading posted for Thursday, which explains the dominant energies of the day.

Setting The Tone For The Day

We started driving and decided to see what Shannon Colleen had to say. The entire reading kept bringing up the subject of abundance: Today would be a wonderfully abundant day, abundance will come to you in surprising and unexpected ways, etc. We were impressed and hopeful due to its positivity, but both of us wondered just how much abundance could come through a computer class, grocery shopping, and yard sales? She DID say surprising and unexpected though…

Abraham-Hicks teaches that manifestations occur more rapidly when there is less resistance to the thought of the manifestation. In this case, we really weren’t too concerned about whether or not we would actually see the abundance come. We were open to it, but not heavily invested in whether or not it happened. We were already anticipating a pleasant day, and we were content with that.

Perfect Timing

Mike dropped me off at my class and left to go grocery shopping. Class was painless, and over in 1.5 hours. I tried to get a hold of Mike, but he didn’t have WiFi. I enjoyed the warm sun on my skin for 10 minutes and Mike pulled up, all done with shopping and ready to hit a few yard sales (Family passion: Yard sales and auctions).

Away we go, lured by a neon green sign with clear writing, which led us to our first sale. It was several families in front of an empty school building. Promising.

Items Worthy of “The Look”

As Mike and I perused the tables, not overly impressed, we both suddenly stopped and gave each other “The Look.” It’s the look we give each other when we stumble across something awesome, but don’t want to give away our eagerness in anticipation of the haggling stage. Gotta be cool…! Mike and I have both determined that we need our own computers. Me for my blog and writing (borrowing the ex’s for now), and Mike for his future mushroom lab (edible and gourmet mushrooms/growing kits). Again, something we knew we needed, but simply left it up to the Universe to provide at the perfect time.

Cue the Angel Chorus and Golden Sunbeams

And did it ever provide! There before us, amongst baseball gloves and scattered books, was not one, but TWO Acer Aspire One notebooks, with the protective film still on them! No sticker. We find a lady to ask the price. She calls the owner. $15.00? We pretend to discuss whether or not to buy both, but we know damn well we aren’t leaving without the pair. Threw in a couple baseballs and a mitt for Gabe, and away we went, giggling like kids over our score.

We found a church sale next. Got a handful of fun things: Some movies, a dress, etc. Got to pet some adorable puppies, too.

Then suddenly, the sales dried up, and we hit a couple lousy ones. It happens. At this point, we decided to start heading towards home, figuring there would be a couple sales on the way. There were none. As we discussed the sudden disappearance of yard sales, we concluded that we had allowed ourselves to be led by the Universe with no expectations other than to enjoy each other’s company, and the path of least resistance led us to those notebooks.

Another amazing thing I realized was the money I made from attending that class paid for all our yard sale purchases, almost to the dollar.

The Fun Continues

We had the most awesome, deep, incredible conversation driving the back roads home. It was just so exciting and fun to see how the Universe worked to provide for what we had asked for. So many things had to come together and be timed perfectly for this to happen. I am amazed at how much Source cares about and provides for us.

So here I sit, feeling like John Boy Walton the day he got his typewriter. Mike, putting on his IT hat, tweaked up, reformatted, and did the magic he does to get me up and running. It’s an older, basic notebook, but it’s perfect for my needs: I can work on my blogs and my writing projects, take it anywhere, and it’s small with a nice keyboard. I am so grateful for the way it all worked out. I am also thankful that I was able to gift the other one to Mike for Father’s Day. Now he too has what he needs to keep moving forward with his lab plans.

I see the components of many long-held desires finally falling into place. This is an exciting time for me and my family, and we look forward to many more surprises and delights along the way.

Photo by Anete Lusina on

Abundance Everywhere!

This lovely Sunday morning, I am sitting outside the camper, sipping a hot coffee, and watching the hummingbirds feed as the sun rises. And chasing the nasty old hen out of my watermelons–again! Mike had taken their pen down a few weeks ago to move it, and it didn’t get set up again, so they are free-ranging. Which wasn’t a problem until my veggies started growing. EIGHT acres to roam, and they simply cannot stay out of my plants! We have one rooster and four hens now. They are 4 year-old, egg-pecking, useless eaters. But they have free-ranged most of this time, and outlived all our other chickens. So they’ve earned a reprieve, and will live out their days scratching and dust-bathing.

Interesting discovery: Our little Rat Terriers are awesome chicken dogs. If they hear us yelling at the chickens, they will come tearing over and chase the chickens out. They look and sound fearsome, but they never touch the birds! And as soon as the chickens are safely away from our plants, we call the dogs back and they stop chasing. It’s especially cool when you consider Rat Terriers are bred with a ridiculous prey drive.

Greenhouse Victories/Never-Ending Learning Curve

After last year’s tomato debacle in the greenhouse (WAY too hot: Huge green plants with minimal, tiny tomatoes), we did some brainstorming on how to avoid a repeat. The first thing was to get the shade cloth up BEFORE the oppressive Missouri heat began. The cloth I have is actually too small for our greenhouse, but it’s what we have and much better than nothing. It’s amazing how much heat that thing keeps out.

The next thing was to move our high-powered fan from inside the greenhouse, where it was simply blowing hot air around. I suggested installing the fan in the back wall. The back end of the greenhouse is shaded by a big maple tree nearly all day, and the air that the fan brings in is nice and cool. Success! Yesterday afternoon it was actually COOLER in the greenhouse than outside in the sun! We are going to install one more smaller fan in the front to suck out the hot air, and build a screen door for the front.

But my tomatoes! Even though they not being subjected to the inferno-like heat of last year, they just don’t seem happy in there. They are doing much better than last year: I have quite a few tomatoes and it looks like they are going to be decent sized. But the leaves are all thick and kind of misshapen, and they’re just growing kind of funky. Whereas the tomatoes we’re growing outside are thriving. So we’ve decided to grow all our tomatoes outside next year.

Vines LOVE the GH!

My vines, on the other hand, are going nuts! The pic is some of my cantaloupes twining around an old broken lawn chair. I have paracord hanging down from the cattle panels so I can grow somewhat vertically.

Last year I put too many vines in one bed (I have with this bed also-a bad habit of mine!) and was overrun with vegetation. This year I have one cucumber, one butternut, and one mystery vine, each in their own bed.

So the plan for next year (ALWAYS learning!) is to make a few inexpensive modifications to the cattle panel apparatus in order to fashion a trellis. By growing straight up, I will be able to maximize the number of plants I can accommodate. I will have incredible air circulation to prevent disease, and the plants will not be lying on the ground inviting disease and insects.


That first picture is a nest I found while walking yesterday. I believe one of our dogs dug it up. Two of the eggs were dented but unbroken, and the rest were torn up. Snakes? Turtles? I honestly don’t know

I am always amazed at how different this property is every time I walk it! The peach tree I discovered this Spring is loaded with fruit. We are not really doing anything with the tree, so I expect the insects will beat us to most of it. Hoping to get enough to do a batch of peach jam with Libby. Same with the ancient pear tree. One section of it is laden with little red pears, but the rest of the tree has nothing. I would love to make a batch of pear sauce or dehydrate them for snacks.

The amount of food this property provides us is incredible. The elderberries are in full flower. Day lilies are getting ready to pop. Plantain, violets, and clover all over. My blackberry patch is in full bloom. Last year, I got a ridiculous amount of blackberries. We haven’t done the work of digging, but there are several patches of Jerusalem Artichokes for the taking. There is Queen Anne’s Lace and cattails. And medicinal herbs all over the place. Last year I made a tincture from Prickly Lettuce. I harvested the top 12″ of the plant just before it flowered on a sunny day, chopped it up and put into a quart mason jar, and filled it with vodka. I kept it on the shelf for about six weeks, shaking the jar occasionally and then strained it.

We also have mimosa trees, which produce beautiful pink fluffy unusual flowers. Herman has made a tincture from the flowers and a tincture from the bark. In Chinese medicine, the mimosa is known as the “happy get-together flower.” It is also known as the “herb of happiness.”

Oh, and the honeysuckles! They are in full flower right now, and the aroma is simply intoxicating! Every time I happened upon a patch of it, I would stop, stick my face into the flowers and inhale deeply. I know they’re invasive, but I just don’t care. They are welcome here.

We have also harvested Hen of the Woods mushrooms. Simply incredible sautéed in butter.

What’s Next for the Homestead?

My career (dialysis nurse) requires call, and things are usually feast or famine as far as how many hours I get during any given pay period. This last one was definitely “feast.” I have done nothing but work and sleep for two weeks (120.45 hours!), but the resulting epic paycheck will allow us to get the disk harrow that we need to put food into the ground. Too late for the Spring planting, but there will be plenty of time to get a Fall crop in. The ground here is clay and rocks and pretty crappy, and we expect it will take a few years of vigorous soil amending before it will produce well, but something growing is better than nothing growing!

I will be starting some more cruciferous veggie seeds (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi) to place into the new garden patch. I have some nice row covers, which will help protect the plants as the temps drop, and I look forward to harvesting some Brussels sprouts for our 3rd annual “Thanksgiving in the Greenhouse” in November!

A Few Hard-Won Victories

We have had many successes and a few frustrations these past few weeks here at the Homestead.

Burning Daylight

Frustration #1: It’s been something like 13 weeks and my kids STILL haven’t received their tax refund. This is delaying the start of our home-building adventure, and we are quickly running out of time to be at least partially under a roof by winter.  We are watching the cost of our construction rise weekly due to the increases in raw materials prices.

Still, the lesson in patience hasn’t been all negative. During the wait, Mike was inspired to redesign our house. His changes will save us 25% on our concrete costs, which was the largest part of our budget. We have also been tackling some long-delayed outdoor projects, and have been doing some awesome work making the greenhouse cooler for the brutal summer months to come. My goal is to actually get some tomatoes this year instead of the 15-foot, barren, green monstrosities I produced last summer.

Frustration #2: Mike has had a few issues with our tractor recently, and has had to spend a lot of time tinkering with it. Of course, every day spent fixing the tractor is another day of not being able to do the work we need to do. Yesterday, he spent a long time working on the broken ignition switch, and was quite frustrated. But he brainstormed a workaround last night, and hopefully we will be up and running in short order. We’ve got some rain in the forecast, though, so an operational tractor may be a moot point for the next several days.

Frustration #3: I’m not sure if we will be able to get much of an outside garden put in this summer, and I am really disappointed. Mike had plowed a lovely patch up on the hill. Justin brought out the new tiller so I could start planting my veggies over the weekend. He got 3 feet and the wheel fell off!! An easy enough fix, but even after Mike plowed, Justin couldn’t till the ground due to the rocks and huge clumps of glorious Missouri clay. Mike is going to try running the plow over the ground again, but apparently what we really need is a disk harrow (See Frustration #1: The tax refund).

Never a Lack of Projects

But even with all the bumps in the road, I manage to fill my time here with a ton of productive work. This past weekend, I was able to almost complete the final transition from winter to summer greenhouse. Back in March, I foolishly thought it would just take a couple of weekends. Been working on it for a couple months now! I have a few of my winter plants (mostly lettuce) currently going to seed still in their beds. I have brown bags filled with seed pods from radishes, kale, yellow winter choy, tat soi, and spinach. Most of them have dried out and I will be harvesting the seeds for next year soon.

I weeded and prepared all the beds for more summer plantings. I have a fair number of green peppers and sweet banana peppers going, 8 tomatoes starting to set some fruit, and a few vines that seem really happy.

I still have some room, and will probably fill in with some purchased starts (This feels like defeat-I really wanted ALL my food to be started here with my seeds. But it is what it is). 

An Interesting Experiment

We have a couple of empty beds in the greenhouse. Obtaining suitable garden soil in bulk where we live is a prohibitively expensive venture. So I tried something. Last fall, as I was pulling out my summer veggies to prepare for winter, I took ALL the vegetation and started piling it into one of the empty garden boxes. Entire tomato vines. I should have chopped everything up, but that sounded like way too much work. I added plant material to the point where the box was overflowing. Over the winter, I would occasionally turn and water it, and also add any trimmings I pulled out of the other boxes. Old pots full of used potting soil, etc. It is slowly breaking down and making some lovely soil now, with a healthy little ecosystem of worms and pill bugs. I would say I have another year of this before I will be able to start planting, but it will be one box filled for free.

Libby’s Fairy Tea Garden

I repurposed our old culinary herb garden right outside of the kitchen, and planted some new herbs so my granddaughter can blend her own teas. We have chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, chocolate mint, spearmint, and peppermint growing. She has improved it by turning it into a magical little fairy garden, with shiny trinkets, gnomes, fairies, and even a tiny swimming pool! She is currently drying a huge crop of chamomile flowers and will soon have a lovely tea collection for us all to enjoy!

My little 11-year-old Mini-Me!

Next Steps

We were able to get the shade cloth up this year BEFORE the tomatoes were damaged. I have a really nice big fan, and we are relocating it soon so that it actually brings cooler air IN, rather than just blow around hot air, as it is doing now. We will also be adding some screening to the sides of the greenhouse soon, and then hopefully we will have a true four-season greenhouse.

Pics: The shade cloth doing its thing, me in my happy place, snapdragons blooming, horseradish that won’t stop, an accidental chamomile patch, my new Mason bee house, a recently-discovered peach tree, and blackberries starting, baybee!!!!

Count It All Joy

After a frantic season of forward motion, big improvements, and inspired planning, we seem to be in a bit of a holding pattern right now. Even though we are a bit frustrated with the delays, we are still amazed at how much we are accomplishing. I am absolutely in love with my Homesteading life and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

I could do without the ticks, though. Pestilence level: Biblical/apocalyptic. And squash bugs. Miserable, miserable little creatures.