A few people have asked for recent updates on all things permaculture, holidays, blue house, writing, gardening, and pixie dust, so here’s a post of joyful tidings. The shortest version: things continue to breathe in and expand outwards in magical and synchronous ways.
Permaculture Course Update:
I’m still really enjoying the Permaculture Design Course from Permaculture Education Center. So far I have turned in 10 homework modules and have 8 to go, including my final project. I took a few weeks off during our holiday travels, guests and events, so I’ve actually read even further ahead. I just have yet to complete the homework for those chapters. Dr. Alan Enzo provides extremely thorough feedback on the homework, and I keep learning more than I anticipated. I love how this course covers all of life, not just gardening and yard design. Lots of fodder for dreaming big!
If you’d like to take this course, you can contact Permaculture Education Center and mention the coupon code “LauraB” for $50 off. I receive no incentives to offer this code. Dr. Enzo reads my blog and wanted to extend the opportunity as a courtesy to my wonderful readers.
A whirlwind of guests, travels, office expansion and family responsibilities fueled the last five months of 2015 into hyper-drive. In addition to teaching several Reiki classes, I hosted Wheel of the Year celebrations on Autumn Equinox and Samhain, and I prepared and transported a Yule Feast for David and our friends in Madison. We had family in town for Thanksgiving and Christmas, plus a repeat of last year’s New Year’s Eve extravaganza at Goshen’s unique music venue, Ignition Music Garage.
On December 20, 2015, David’s daughter graduated from the business school of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The grand occasion meant we finally got to make a trip to Madison, where we stayed with dear friends we haven’t seen since 2012. We attended an early morning to midnight celebration with David’s former in-laws. We all thoroughly enjoyed each others’ company, cherishing a wonderful day celebrating Allie and her achievement. David’s sister’s family and his dad also joined us for part of the festivities.
David’s daughter’s boyfriend’s family hails from South Bend, so we’ve gotten to see them more regularly in recent years than we might otherwise have with our restricted travel. They’re moving to California in March 2016, though, so we hope to make another, less whirlwind trip to Madison before they leave. It felt so good to be back in Wisconsin!
The holidays left us both renewed and in need of naps, yet brimming with ideas for our future, especially in conjunction with my permaculture lessons. With David’s family enough out of crisis mode and his daughter graduated, we plan to travel to Pennsylvania in March and to spend next Christmas in PA with my family. We also anticipate a continued influx of welcome guests in the new office space/guesthouse.
Speaking of the Blue House:
We’ve got pictures hung, and my magical writing office is now 99% ready for action.
You can see how much Mr. Meyer Lemon Tree loves my office! He’s treated me to full, fragrant blooms for weeks now, and even has a half dozen lemons in progress. I ordered the mandala rug on a super deal from Overstock.com, but imagine my delight when it shipped from my hometown of Bethlehem, PA!
Tania gave me the gorgeous full wall “Summer Goddess” portal tapestry as a housewarming/early Christmas gift. The photo above still shows a few creases from when it was folded on the rocking chair in the other photo. It took three people, a vegan lasagna dinner, and some creative ladder yoga to secure this heavy woven image near the ceiling. All creases have since come out, but according to my phone it “feels like 1 degree” outside, so it was this photo or no photo!
The Blue House, aka, “Haus am See,” has been classroom and student guest functional since September; however, I took my time selecting just the right mix of paint colors, rugs, curtains, wall art and accents so that this space truly feels like an alternate universe. Whenever clients, students or friends walk into “Haus am See,” their eyes open wide, then they relax and sigh with relief. “Ohhhhh, this feels so nice!” “Ahhhh! Great vibe!” I call it “my own private coffee house” and “the antidote to the Midwest Cloud Belt.” You can see earlier photos of the house in progress and read about the how and why of the Blue House here and here.
I still need a bulletin board to go above the blue desk in my writing office, and the laundry room turned indoor garden center has quite a ways to go to become functional. I do have access to my filing cabinet again, and the friend we invited over for vegan lasagna also helped David move a giant door-turned-table into that room. The door, formerly crowding our windowless basement, will become the seed-starting table and winter greens center. It will eventually act as a demo room for some of the gardening and permaculture oriented classes I will begin teaching.
Writing (and painting, too!)
No, I have not yet started writing the words of another novel; however, everything you just read has led to the future writing of probably several more books. Most people know that I garden not just for food and Earth healing, but also to add much needed beauty to an area that used to wound my soul. I manifested the house next door when I realized we still had years to go here in Goshen, but I felt too constricted to expand my classes and permaculture in our current space. We didn’t want to move to another spot in Goshen. I just needed to expand, and I felt called to write fiction again.
In order to create alternate universes in books, I needed to begin from an alternate universe here. I can blog and write non-fiction without inspiring scenery, but in order to delve into the depths of challenged characters and to create full fictional worlds, I know I need to feel recharged by my surroundings. My gorgeously abundant full yard gardens help. I just knew I needed a deeper well of beauty, peace and magic from which to create the kinds of books wanting to come through me.
Since we cannot move to one of my more usual beautiful locations at this time without abandoning David’s parents, I summoned the ability to someway, somehow evoke the same feeling in our current location. I dug deep, added both Reiki and magick to the process, and everything synchronously began to fall into place. Step by step. Piece by piece. Loving intention by creative visualization and action, Haus am See and its yard transformed. No fiction writing would have occurred here without this full process.
At the end of 2015, I purchased a new laptop to replace my 6+ year old HP, and I’ve found a promising new (to me) writing program called Scrivener, which seems like it will ease all the trickiest editing and organization elements of novel writing I discovered with Schizandra and the Gates of Mu.
I decided to wait until Mercury Retrograde goes direct before setting up the new laptop, downloading software and beginning a massive new project. First things first. Merc Rx offers a perfect time for finishing old tasks, thus my push to complete permaculture training in this window. Someone also commissioned a mini-portal painting, “Door” Number 18, which I’ve already received in my head, but will also begin painting after January 25. Synchronously, I knew I’d paint at least one more portal door before beginning a new novel. I actually have two real doors awaiting their transformations; however, this little 8″ x 10″ potent piece will finish up much sooner than either of those doors would have!
Meanwhile, I’ve been brushing up on some novel writing techniques and ideas, honoring what feels like a sacred reclamation of creative writing since before I got divorced, left Northern California for the Midwest and started painting portal doors. Somehow things feel full spiral. Not full circle, since I’ve experienced amazing growth and deep roots. Full spiral feels like the right way to describe a long and windy path to different levels of creation.
Yes, I still harvest greens from our garden! They don’t grow fast in this cold weather, but row covers and cold frames keep kale, chard, spinach and collards alive. Since I have a lot of plants, the yard continues to provide at least a third of our very high greens intake.
It’s alllllllll pixie dust, Lovey’s! Come see for yourself in spring when those 1000 flowering bulbs pop, or take a class here, or join us for a Wheel of the Year Celebration. In one of the least likely spots on Earth, magic and pixie dust abound. The faeries are happy with Faery Hof and Haus am See. And, as David likes to say, “Most importantly, so is the Big Faery.” 😉