Tag Archives: law of attraction

Abundance Mushrooms: A Dream Being Realized

My oldest son Mike is a fungiphile. Ten years ago, he built a very rudimentary mushroom-growing setup and was immediately hooked on all things mycologic. When we moved to Kentucky, a landlord dangled a carrot of grants available for starting a new mushroom business (using his alleged political clout to expedite the process), which never materialized. The letdown was devastating, but Mike’s dream never died.

Fast-forward to 2021: We are now settled on our Homestead. Money is not nearly as tight as it was back then. And most importantly, over the last 10 years we have been able to snipe nearly everything to outfit a full laboratory for pennies on the dollar. Hospital auctions, garage sales, and pawn shops have yielded incredible finds that we would have never been able to afford otherwise. Guy at the pawn shop had no idea what he had: We got a fully functional autoclave for $40.00! These types of things happened with amazing regularity. To us, it was a confirmation that at the right time, this dream would be manifested.

Mike is now literally weeks to months away from actually launching his business, and I couldn’t be more excited for him. He (with help from my brilliant grandkids–yay unschooling!) has done every bit of work himself: Wiring and plumbing, insulation, drywall and painting, installing cabinets and appliances, and even designing a built-in base for his hospital-grade flow hood. The flow hood needed a new filter ($400.00 and several months’ delivery!!!), but that was the biggest expense as far as equipment went. We still need to install flooring and trim, but that will be a larger expense, and we are waiting until we find a really good deal on some laminate flooring.

Starting off, his plans are to produce sterilized substrate and mycelium syringes for home mushroom growers. At first, he is going to concentrate on the basic edible mushrooms: Oyster, Bella, Shitake, etc. As production ramps up, he will start branching out into some more exotic gourmet and medicinal mushrooms. There are even ornamental mushrooms that glow in the dark!

We have some nebulous plans for simple growing kits for homeschoolers. Honestly, there are so many possible avenues here, we’re not sure where we’re going to end up with this!

Oak logs will be inoculated with Shitake mycelium, and in two years we will begin harvesting fresh Shitakes! Excess product will be dehydrated and powdered with spice blends for gourmet cooking.

The laboratory will not just be for mushrooms, however. Tiny house (camper!) living has put a big crimp in many of my hobbies: Lacto fermenting veggies and making kefir, kombucha, and yogurt. Once we are up and running, I hope to produce some YouTube how-to videos on these processes.

So excited to be able to make kefir again

We will now have room for our distiller, which will allow us to make our own essential oils and hydrosols. Looking forward to foraged honeysuckle and mint oil and the ability to produce our own salves, lotions, etc.

Wine and beer brewing are also on the drawing board. I’m really excited to make some wine with the blackberries and mulberries on the property next year. When we lived in Kentucky, Justin made a batch of blackberry wine. It was so incredible, Jenny and I could not keep out of it, and we ended up drinking most of his wine in a very short period of time. It’s about time I replaced it! And being a craft beer snob, I look forward to Justin experimenting with brewing some low-alcohol probiotic beers.

Our old well house was falling apart, and the new laboratory was placed directly behind it. Mike has fashioned a new sturdy well house, which will be painted and roofed to match. This spring Justin and I will work on landscaping around the lab, and there are future plans for a mud room.

I’m just so proud of Mike for working so hard to get things put together. I am also amazed that the less we fretted about it and tried to force things to happen, the easier the process became. By the time we got to the point where we actually had a building, the entirety of the lab was sitting in our huge garage, just waiting for a place to call home. A couple crazy call weeks at work provided the money needed to purchase the insulation, drywall, and paint. A stranger unexpectedly gifted us the exact kind of stove Mike wanted. The entire kitchen (upper and lower cabinets, countertop, pantry, and sink) was found locally for $100.00. Office desk and chair were 10.00. Filing cabinets were 10.00. We found a pristine leather loveseat at Habitat for Humanity for $50.00. Even the miniblinds were sniped at an auction for just a couple of dollars.

Shortly, it will be time to purchase the consumables for production. Costs for that should be fairly reasonable, so we should be able to get what he needs pretty quickly. In the meantime, I will be working on setting up an Etsy account for him and beefing up his social media presence.

All in all, it’s been a wild ride watching Mike’s dream fall into place. We have lugged a lot of equipment to many different houses, knowing that eventually it would all come together, but not knowing when. Can’t wait to see what’s next…

Natural Perfection

Dewdrops hanging from poke berries

The other morning I took an unplanned walk around the property. Didn’t even take the dogs like I usually do. Just me, and for no reason other than I felt like it. I was so glad I followed that gentle urging. I was richly rewarded with beauty everywhere I looked. Dew turning the most common patches of weeds into shimmering fields of diamonds. Spiderwebs (LOTS of spiderwebs!) looking like lace doilies strung up between branches, sagging under the added weight of the water. Tiny tree frogs and bumblebees.

Serenity

Each place I walked was unique and contained different beauty. The pond had cattails and frogs and Red Winged Blackbirds. The tree line had pokeweed and elderberries and some stubborn honeysuckle remnants. The pines were quiet and still, with soft pine needles and pinecones covering the path. All different, and all perfect.

I slowly made my way around the property, stopping frequently to appreciate the exquisite perfection that surrounded me. I thought about how each season causes the homestead to “change clothes.” The delicate violets, wild chives, plantain and clover we would add to our spring salads are gone for now, along with the daffodils and tulips. Daylilies, irises, and white elderberry blossoms have given way to purple elderberry umbrellas drooping with fruit and the lavender fireworks of milkweed. And far too soon, they will all sleep for a season, but they will awaken again at their perfect times.

I’m sure many people drive by and see a wild, unkempt, unmanageable yard. And I will admit, things got away from us this summer with COVID and all. We are finally feeling a bit more like ourselves again. It has been a struggle to keep up. Yet I am so thankful that even in the midst this neglected mess of a yard I can choose to find perfection, beauty, and satisfaction.

Selfie in the woods. I had to carry a long stick and wave it in front of me to knock down the spiderwebs in the path–they were everywhere!!

Instant Manifestation Made to Order!

–Law of Attraction and Miska’s Perfectly Timed Arrival
Miska, the constantly moving puppy!

I know it may not make sense to most people to bring a new puppy into the fold so soon after unexpectedly losing our sweet Luna (See “The Rainbow Bridge” for Luna’s story).

But sometimes the Universe arranges things just so, and you know they are simply meant to be. This was one of those times.

We lost Luna 4th of July weekend. That next week was rough for all of us. We felt heavy and sad, missing our loving friend, and I kept replaying the discovery of her broken, lifeless body over and over in my mind.

A Little History

When I started travel nursing almost five years ago, one of the first things I did was gift myself a dog. This dog was going to be MY dog. I anticipated my new role as “dog mom” with great excitement. I made decisions about the size of dog I wanted, it’s temperament, and intelligence (I often referred to Dobby as my “empty nest” dog!). After a great deal of reading and researching, I decided on the Rat Terrier breed (Side note here: I have since become more aware of the number of incredible “mutts” that are overrunning shelters. And of puppy mills. Had I understood back then, I would not have looked for a purebred. But I did, and I am head over heels in love with my Dobby. So here we are…).

“Just Putting It Out There”

In the past we had discussed adding another dog to the homestead, but the consensus was that it wouldn’t be until our old, sweet, tired Mama dog, Babycakes, passed. We never thought that a healthy two-year-old dog would be the one leaving an empty space in our family.

Mike and I were driving back roads, talking about Luna about a week after she died. We discussed the idea of getting another dog, but neither one of us was completely invested in that thought. I had casually looked at some Rat Terrier breeders the day before and immediately determined that I was not shelling out hundreds of dollars for another purebred. We all love the Rat Terrier breed, though: Smart as a whip, comical, small enough to easily handle, and loyal to a fault. Yet we also know that we understand dog behavior and training very well, especially after seeing the beautiful healing we helped Luna achieve. And we certainly don’t need a pedigree for a dog to be “acceptable” to us.

We then decided that while we WANTED another Rat Terrier, we would leave it to the Universe to bring our next companion to us at the perfect time in the perfect way, leaving no doubt that it was destined to be ours all along. No resistant thought. No painful, aching, longing to find our next pet. No hours-long Google searches for breeders. We expressed our desires with no thought as to when or how this would occur; We simply stated what we wanted and left it at that, confident that it would all work out.

Easy As Pie

After that conversation, the subject of getting another dog never came up again. A couple nights later, I was up at 3:00 a.m., getting ready for work. Mike texted me to see if coffee was done; he wanted to stop over before I left.

I figured he had worked on some house plans and wanted to show me. Wrong. In strolls Mike with the cutest little brown and white puppy and the biggest smile on his face. On the way to fireworks the night before, they saw a stray Border Collie walking along the road. Mike’s wife and kids went gaga over it. Mike simply said, “No.”

From the back seat, the kids’ little friend pipes up: “Are you guys looking for a puppy? We have one left and my dad says she has to go. It’s a small dog.” So after fireworks Mike grudgingly takes the family to the girl’s house to see the puppy, dreading having to be the bad guy who says no. Puppy’s parents are both on the premises, and of course, they are both Rat Terriers! Mike is now frantically trying to think of a reason why this just isn’t a good idea. It’s so sudden. Both mom and dad are sociable and well-adjusted. Puppy is 12 weeks old, old enough to go to a new home. She is healthy. She is lovable. She is smart. And……she is ours. For free! And this is how Mike and I manifested the dog we wanted. It is so amazing to realize that we wanted a Rat Terrier, and we didn’t have to do a single thing to get her. Mike was going to drop this little girl off at her home whether or not there was a dog there.

The Little Healer

We all love our Miska. Tending to the needs of a new little one has helped us all work through some of our grief over losing Luna. This is especially true for Luna’s Person, Herm. Having a new puppy to fuss over has given him an outlet for the love he used to shower on Luna. Before Miska came, it was hard for any of us to talk about Luna. But Miska is making it easier to talk about old fond memories, and it doesn’t hurt as much to mention Luna’s name anymore.

Another blessing is enjoying the way Miska is exhibiting many of the same quirky behaviors Dobby had when he was a puppy: The way she zips around, tunneling under blankets, how she loves being wrapped up and snuggling with her people, and her adoration and veneration of the squeaky mini tennis ball Herm gave her is fun to observe. It is such a joy to see her doing the same things that endeared Dobby to us when he was a puppy.

Finding Her Place

The past couple weeks have been a difficult time for both the human and dog population on the Homestead. Our canine friends have had their stability ripped from them-a once cohesive pack has both lost and gained a new member nearly overnight. The dogs are doing well, and we haven’t had any major issues, but we also understand that it will take some time for all of them to find balance and security again. We figure we are looking at a few weeks to a few months until everyone settles in.

We joyfully welcome our newest family member, Miska, and we will always remember and appreciate the incredible way the Universe arranged everything for us to come together.

****Update****

Miska has been with us for a couple weeks now, and has totally settled in. Dobby still grumbles about her occasionally, but he often acts like a cranky old man anyway, so no surprise there. Housebreaking was nearly effortless. She is smart, happy, confident, and loves everybody. We are so glad she made her way to us.