When all the signs point to yes.

This week I went home. By home I mean that Ben and the girls and I drove back to the South Coast where Ben and I grew up and met, and where we left our home and our families and our jobs and our friends 3 years ago to embark on this adventure.

SO so much has happened in those 3 years. We’ve changed. The girls have grown. The places and people have changed.


It felt simultaneously like a spiritual homecoming, and also a spiritual cord-cutting.


Whilst staying at my mum’s, I walked the beaches I played on as a toddler, dug my toes into the sand, smelled the salty briny air, and connected. The ocean is so much apart of me. I was never a surfer like my parents, but whenever I go to the beach, people always comment that I look at home in the water. And I am home.


One day, while we sat over looking the harbour of my hometown eating lunch, I was relaying a story to Ben and pointed vaguely out to sea – and pointed right at a passing whale, announcing its presence with a glorious spray of water. I literally went “Oh-OH MY GOD! THERE’S A WHALE!” What a gift! A glorious all-knowing spirit animal, there just for me at the perfect moment.

humpback_whale_by_kaylalily

And I met with some old friends, that I hadn’t seen for a while, and we laughed and connected, and I realized that they’d all changed so much. And I was so different. But our friendship was the same. As with all true friends, distance and time cannot break bonds. We were still connected by our hearts.

But then some things, inevitably, were different. And I felt a kind of ‘letting go’. Like some of these childhood ways, comforts, habits: It was time for them to be put away. I dyed my hair, bought some new clothes, and forgot to check-in with all the usual ‘imaginary opinions’ that I used to check-in with as an insecure people pleaser. My step dad obviously hated my new hair. And I laughed and I truly didn’t care.


I saw an old friend clearly, for the first time in a long time, and realized I’ve changed so much, that it was time to let them go. They obviously did not see my worth anymore, and I felt uncomfortable, inconvenient and taken for granted. But I know my worth now. And I could choose to let go of what was no longer worthy of me. And I did. And it felt INCREDIBLE.

Then on the way home I listened to Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ “Woman Who Run With The Wolves” and had my mind absolutely blown open. I felt like she was summarizing the entire spiritual awakening I have had in the last few years!

Women_who_run_w-330

There were moments while listening where I audibly gasped, as I heard the author literally tell ‘my story’. If you haven’t read this, I highly recommend it!

It was as if she was writing the concluding paragraph to the ‘coming home, but letting go’ essay of the past week.

And I got home, and I threw open the windows of Hill Shadow House, and I scrubbed my kitchen floor, and I took out the garbage, and ripped all the unneccessary clothes from my wardrobe and bagged them up for charity. It was a purging. A throwing off of all that no longer serves me. a literal shedding of the skin; climbing out of my chrysalis to unfold my new wings. To welcome in this new era, and step into my power as the Wool Witch.

Here I was: Home at last. In my body, at my hearth, ready to use my intuition and the ancient knowledge of my sisters to create and to work the magic.

And then, the Universe threw me one final lightening bolt.


I had listed my last remaining skein of Activated Yarn onto an online Facebook yarn auction before I left. A roll of the dice. I reasoned that the person who needed it would find it. It was a golden bamboo-blended skein of Luck & Abundance. Infused with reiki energy, Zucchini flower, Aventurine and Citrine. A lady bid for it, saying she was going through a rough time, and could use some good luck. A second lady bid, and finally won the auction. She then contacted me by email saying that she had paid for the yarn, but could I contact the first lady for her address and send it there. She had bought as a gift for her.

Complete strangers. A completely random act of kindness brought about and manifested by threads, earth and energy. Ancestral medicine that made better three people.

That, my friends, is BIG MAGIC.

I felt overwhelmed and humbled by what had just occurred. The universe took me on this journey, showing me who I was before, and who I have now become. It showed me that I was rebirthing, shedding off all that no longer served me, while connecting to what is  deep, deep in my spirit. Then it finished up with a veritable “mic drop”.

BOOM!: THIS. THIS IS WHAT YOU DO.

The Volva has arrived.

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When life gives you…

Perspective is a wonderful thing isn’t it?

On Friday night, a fellow fibre artist and friend of mine opened a sale album on Facebook. Now I normally try not to be comparative (that way lies misery!) BUT she had 65+ items in this folder and sold MOST of them in 4 hours.

She made HUNDREDS of dollars.

Now lemme give you some background info to be fair:

She is an established personality in spinning/fibre circles.

She’s good – VERY GOOD – at what she does. I would never try to diminish her success – she spins beautifully, dyes amazing stuff, and there is EVERY reason why she is so successful.

And we have a different product and a different niche: She dyes commercial roving with commercial dyes, and I dye locally farmed ethical fleeces with plant-based/organic/fair trade dyes. And I add the spiritual side as well.

And I’m comparatively new to the market.

But despite all this I felt INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATED AND DISHEARTENED.

How can she sell all that in 4 hours, and I don’t even sell one item a week?! I pour my heart and soul into my art: I BELIEVE IN IT. I spin sometimes ’til my eyes hurt at night, lovingly tending each skein to completion, and severely underprice myself (often only paying myself $1 an hour and often end up giving lots of stuff away!). And for what?! Is it worth it?! Maybe I should just give it away and find ‘real job’.

I felt flattened. I felt heart broken.

So I went to a movie with my friend Lou, and we grabbed a hot chocolate afterwards, and we got to talking about our grandparents. My German Oma immigrated to Australia in the 50’s. She had no English, was DESPERATLEY poor, and lived in a converted asbestos chook shed with 7 children. My Opa worked on the Warragamba Dam Project and was away for weeks on end, and my Oma supplemented their income by growing tomatoes to sell and milking the family cow.

Perspective.

This isn’t a PROBLEM. It’s annoying. But it’s not a PROBLEM.

So this morning I picked some daffs before Jerry the Goat ate them, and Tara and I baked a Banana and Raspberry Loaf. We ate it warm from the oven. And the washing machine broke down (Grr. But I bet Oma didn’t have a washing machine; broken or otherwise. And she had SEVEN KIDS), so I made plans to go the laundromat until payday. And the vacuum cleaner broke, and I laughed at the irony and took the broken piece out.

Perspective.

It’s not about being mindlessly, irrationally, ridiculously optimistic. It’s just recognizing what is an actual HARDSHIP, and what is a TEMPORARY INCONVENIENCE.

We have everything we need. I’m lucky to be able to do what I’m passionate about, and if I follow my passion, I cant lose. Success will come. And, you know what? The vacuum cleaner works better without that piece anyway 🙂

A branch came down.

Meant to be cold this week! We’re prepared!

Any sun peeking through is a chance for us to get out and play outside! To throw off Will’s rugs and let Lennon & the ladies stretch their wings. 
The mud is taking over, but it’s only for a few more weeks. 
Meanwhile, Bluebell has settled right in to Hill Shadow Farm life.

Hard to imagine people try to have Collies in suburban blocks! They’re so full of energy and mischeif! Blue thrives on the space and activity here!
Off to eat an apple pie. It’s a tough life 😉

Mud Fest 2015

Argh – it’s a Hill Shadow Mud-Fest!

9 degrees c at the moment! Thank goodness this weather doesn’t last long!
Haven’t blogged for ages! Finding it hard to sit and compose lengthy posts at the desk, so expect more posts from my mobile phone on-the-hop! 
Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show tomorrow! I’ll be your On-The-Spot correspondent! 
Stay warm x

 

Ps Bluebell had her first night at Puppy Pre-school last night! Hasn’t she grown?!

Homespun, hay, and hungry hunters.

It’s getting colder and greyer at Hill Shadow. We still get blue skies, but colours are duller. The air is crisp. Morning frosts are a regular occurance now, and the report this morning said it was 3 degrees celcius.

I’d believe it.

I’ve been knitting lots of warm woolies! I’m about 3/4 through Ben’s woolley socks (he MIGHT get to wear the before the end of winter!). I discovered my friend Bec over at Peg and Jane spins the most amazing wool by hand (amazing skill!) so I’ve HAD to buy some and cast on a little cardi for Tara. Im in love with this wool! And knowing that it came from a small family farm in country Victoria, spun by Bec, and knitted by me, makes it all the more special.

And we bought a new little runabout car for Ben – FINALLY. We just couldnt do the too-ing and fro-ing in in the freezing pitch black early mornings and all hours of the night anymore! So this is Ben’s little work vehicle. And life has settle down CONSIDERABLY since!

It was great being a ‘one car family’ for all those years, but completely impractical now!

Last weekend we scored a few mouldy bales of hay from one of our agisters! Unsuitable as horse feed, but perfect for another bale garden! I’ve filled with layers of green clippings, cardboard, manure, straw, and compost, but so far I’ve just planted some peas and some bits and pieces from the garden. Not really sure what I’ll put in there yet.

And of course in true Hill Shadow Farm style, we’ve had some #accidentalfarming happening, with a butternut pumpkin popping up on its own in the garden and these… er… things.

There’s 2 of them. Pumpkins? Marrows?

Someone who has been loving all the wet weather is Katie!

MUDPIES!!! Perfect after-ballet activity!

And speaking of hay, we picked up this load for $4 a bale from an ad on Gumtree! BARGAIN! We got 20 bales, but I’m so getting another 20 when I can! What a steal!!! It’s so nice to have the barn full for winter. Its a comforting feeling; abundance.

Some of the old hay we were given went out to the chooks as a nice warm bed in their chookhouse. And Ben up-cycled this old coffee table into new nesting boxes for the girls – aren’t they brilliant!?

Unfortunately: Disaster. A few nights ago, we made a fatal communication error. I thought Ben had shut the chooks in for the night, he thought I had. We hadn’t. I woke in the night to frantic clucking and I knew. I bolted out in my pjs and gumboots and in my torchlight I saw the flashing eyes of 2 cunning foxes in the dark, licking their lips having helped themselves to our henhouse like theives in the night.

I felt so horribly guilty. We lost 5 girls through stupid forgetfulness, and we both felt absolutely horrible. I now have a very loud piercing alarm set to go off each evening to remind us to SHUT THE CHOOKS IN!!!



You know what IS good about winter though? Baking. Specifically, my husband’s baking.


Just LOOK at this apple pie!!! Tonight he’s making lemon meringue. God help my waistline! I shall have to chop wood for hours to work it all off!

The other thing I cant wait for about winter…

3 more weeks!

What do you look forward to about winter?

Keep warm
xxx

Who needs the gym?

We are certainly well and truly into farm-mode now!

Although it is officially spring, it’s still been pretty cold at night here. Which means keeping the fire lit. Which means firewood. LOTS of firewood. We seem to burn it faster than we can collect it, chop it, stack it, and bring it in. It’s a constant chore: The fire is hungry and constantly must be fed. Hubby just bought his first log splitter and tomahawk, and BOY have they been getting a work out! And so has he: Working out ‘Lumber Jack-style’!

 
Since we just moved in, we’ve had no time to stockpile any firewood. And the former tenants didn’t leave any. There’s plenty about in the paddocks, but it all requires collecting, chopping, stacking, and drying. So: Job for next winter! STOCKPILE WOOD. 
 


I, too, am developing big callouses from shovelling clay aside in the garden, and carrying firewood to and fro. And splinters. Lots of splinters. Under my nails.

Note to self: Acquire some work gloves.

The other reason gloves maaaayyyy also be a good idea is that I am constantly wheezing and sneezing, and my arms are coming out in constant hives from carrying armloads of hay around the farm to the horses.

Yep: I’m allergic.

(Nope: I’m not joking.)

So has the novelty worn off yet?

…what do you think? 😉

 
I hope you’re keeping warm through these first days of spring, and that the blossoms are starting to come out at your place! I’ll be planting my first Hill Shadow harvest soon! So much to choose from!
 
What should I plant?
Have you planted yours?

Hollow.

Empty houses are so hollow. It’s cold and echoey, and it’s a weird impersonal feeling. It’s someone’s ‘former home’, not yet made someone else’s. A strange purgatory. 

Hill Shadow House was cold today. The icy winter wind blew the eddies of dead leaves and dog fur around the cold wooden floor. The doors rattled. It smelled… alien. Unfamiliar. The girls and I stood blinking in the dim cave. Could  this ever feel like ‘home’?

Immediately I defaulted to ‘get busy’ mode! I ran to every room and threw open every window, curtain and door! Let the weird unfamiliar out! Let the icy fresh mountain air in! 

Everything needs cleaning. Everything needs repairs. It’s all tired and dinged, and worn and yellowed. Dust coats every surface. The mud. The detritus. 
Dear god. What have we done?

Ok. So there’s nothing I can do about all that right now. It’s work to be done after a cleaner has been. It’s so, so much work to be done.
So with the baby on my back, and Katie in her gumboots. We leaned against the wind with our jackets and buckets of feed to tend to our two horses. They dug appreciatively into their food, hunched against the blasting wind. 
Finally we blew on our frozen fingers and tended the chickens – bequithed to us with the house from the former tennants. Five ageing ISAbrowns and a very handsome rooster. They haven’t been laying for weeks. Maybe it’s the cold.
But, today… 

Maybe it’s a good omen?  

What do you do to cleanse a new place? How do you make it yours? What things can you do to make it feel more like your home?

The Jonquils are out – Winter is here.

I always know it’s winter here when the Jonquils push through the soil. At the moment little clusters of dark green spears are poking through the mud everywhere at the Mountain House, and you can’t help but be cheered from the icy gloom of winter when you smell their sweet scent and see their little delicate white faces.

I cant believe we’ll be living here in a little over a month! SO MUCH TO DO!