Dreams Coming True

MORE than Wishes on the Wind


I love, I collect, pictures of dandelions. (I even have one of a tattoo on someone's leg, seeds blowing off around their calf!)


For me they symbolize a universal need: the desire to Wish. We blow their ripened seedheads into the wind with a whispered wish, a thought for a dream, in the hopes that this ritual will bring it closer and that wish will be realized. 
Dreams are a motivating force, something that drives you forward, keeps you looking forward, to push onward even thru a certain amount of angst and even pain. They allow us to stretch ourselves -perhaps toward discovering faith or gaining more faith, creating a stronger resolve, a more intense searching and honing of ourselves, to take pre-determined risks, proving our passion thru the courage to do so. Even if it is a foolish courage -and all we do is blow dandelion seeds- it's hard to NOT dream, to not consider that end result of our impassioned efforts.

Even if no one else can understand this one especially special dream of yours or how desperately you are hanging on to it... in the investment of JOY there is no better place to invest. Especially now when we are surrounded by less and less. Dreams give us something to hope for, and without Hope what is there?

From my 'Cherihuka Journal'- notes of progression on my Dream to own a horse again:
10-21-08 It just might happen!
Thoughts keep sneaking in that maybe we really aren't ready and I will lose out on this opportunity that seems so perfect otherwise. I feel sick inside, but I am refusing to cry- it ain't over til it's over!!
I know the whole country is in trouble, and I know how selfish this desire is, but I can't help thinking that God planted this desire into me- it's a part of me, the way HE made me. I know He wants me to be happy, but it’s more than that- it’s Him providing.
11-17-08 The waiting is over!
Today I look out our bedroom window to find that Cherihuka is real; no longer just a dream…my prayers have been answered and a dream has come true

Hubby had wanted to set up a greenhouse in the attic first, so that this house would be doing something to pay for itself.

But he relented.


He said it was: “for all the past birthdays”... 
I said: "it makes up for all the anniversaries too- most especially it makes up for the Top Ramen Anniversay dinner we had 2 years ago... and I will never want another thing.”

(I got Cherihuka just before winter came for good, and never even tried to get into the saddle until the next June...which is when I found out that he had ‘forgotten’ much of his early training. So, we are starting all over from scratch as soon as the snow melts again!) 

The vision of a Dream 
My Friend speaks of her yearning to reconnect with the sea:


"I would wish myself to this beach (picture not shown) precisely at sundown…surrounded by all the possible shades of blue; the color of storm clouds, swirling shapes of waves and wind beaded lovingly in blues and greens…a reflection of the surroundings. The beach is deserted, except for the sand crabs that scurry about as if they have somewhere to be, and the seabirds scavenging to the rhythm of the tide.
I walk barefooted; pant legs rolled up, wet and cool against my burning skin, bronzed shoulders draped in a soft silver Chennile shawl... searching the sand for perfect, unbroken shells and bleach-white sand dollars weathered from the sun, treasures worth more to me than diamonds or gold.
I will find a beautiful piece of sun-bleached driftwood large enough to lean against, there you will find me sitting quietly in reverent silence, watching the sunset with promises of a new day. If I stay longer the moon will follow me home and light my way like a lighthouse beacon calling for her lover to return to shore…..and I will sleep under her velvet moonbeams and dream of sailing away under blue, satin skies…”


What do you dream of?



Agenda 2010

Setting the Bar At Cloud Nine... 


I confess to being an organizing junkie - but where do you draw that 'line in the sand' anyway? I know it helps me to have lists and routines, schedules and flexibility, so I am always looking for a better way to simplify yet keep track of where I'm going, otherwise I tend to procrastinate.


This monthly agenda is more than a chore list and consists of flexible tracking a goal-oriented navigation of my personal journey to happiness, productivity, and an artful farmgirl life. 


Without children to attend to at this time in my life, I am able at any time to stop and start these agendas- this allows for impromptu visitors & outings, and time to indulge in artwork or writing when the mood hits, (or the Muse shows up -right?)
I also want to enjoy the life we are fortunate to live here.. so a year of planning with this format gives me space, time, and ease but helps me keep track of progression and see what areas have issues to deal with- that I might should either drop or delegate.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My Annual Goals & Projects List for 2010~
(list of intentions / aspirations)



In the Kitchen:
*Learn how to make 12 new recipes [1 each month] like hummus and tahini, ravioli, jalapeno cheese bread, Ranch salad dressing, Italian dressing, granola bars…
*Focus more on buying local or gently used items             
*Create healthier meal plans [use lentils, black beans, add flax, find simple new ways to serve vegetables, etc.]



Outside:
*Build chicken coop w/ area for compost (for chickens to mix and add to)



In the House:
*Re-finish the cement floor (1400 sq. ft: paint it myself & use an epoxy floor sealer )
*Refinish & recondition the wood front door
*Create my dream bedroom~ the “Chambre of Gold” (HERE)



Creative:


*Make large beads from salt-clay
*X Finish my own version of ‘The Kiss’ painting (for the bedroom) (HERE)



Office:
(we run a home-based business which I refer to as "MG")
*Re-do master chore list – 
add such things as: “Natural-gas and propane appliances should be calibrated & adjusted every 3 years for peak efficiency, cost $150. - $175.”
*Make budget for taxes so that we are in a better place at the end of the year than we were at the start. (Dropping this one!)
*X Continue to apply better organization & office management practices



Personal:
*Establish routines to take care of myself better 
*Plans for making side income thru art and cottage industry – so I can buy horsey things (like a black Australian stock saddle)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Annual Goal of Skills to Learn/Things to Research:

  • Sewing (small projects like aprons, my own clothes)
  • Culinary skills- try baking &making pasta, making salad dressings, condiments and flavored oils
  • Try drying/ dehydrating fruits and meats (slow oven, BBQ'd and possibly over firepit)
  • X paint something besides horses 
Whooo-hoo! I did it! I painted something else- a face on the moon:




    Annual Need to Buy/Get:

    • X sewing machine
    • butter-bell (keeps butter fresh yet soft) & honey pot thing w/ dipper 
    • hand pump for emergency (on water well)
    • X chickens
    • goats?
    • fencing
    • area rugs
    • tortilla press

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      *UPDATE: I no longer follow this template, having simplified the method.
      Please take a look at the 12 Folders, if you're interested in a method that helps you track your tasks and direction in a flexible but orderly fashion, HERE 
      I believe though that the following template is useful in determining your personal patterns and helps determine life priorities.
      It does take some discipline at first, but really helps with beginning motivation, tracking progress, and motivating follow-thru.


      To continue with this older version, read on:

      Month Agenda (insert name of the month)
      *Outside/ Garden/Landscape:
      *In the Kitchen/Pantry (foody topics):
      *In the Office (business related):
      *In the Studio (artistic endeavors/creative projects currently on the table):
      *Home Improvement Project (always in progress)


      *Horse Management [VOID Topic, no longer have the horse in 2011] Cherihuka Journal, (which was re-training goals & progress, while developing a relationship with my horse)


      *Current Writing Project/Topic:
      *Something Done For Others:
      *Cheap Thrill: (I'm easy to please)
      *Current Problem:
      *Plan to Deal-With-it:
      *Need to Get:
      *Envisioning (“what ifs” & daydreams):
      *Provoking Thought (situational or current events, etc.):
      *Cottage Industry (farmgirl aspirations):
      *Note to Self:
      *Picture/Photo of the Month (my own, or not- perhaps something that inspired me):
      *Focus Room of the Month (see "12 Folders" topic, link above):
      *Menu Plan for the Month: (I plan for a month but shop for ONE week at a time -it's an overall health plan but I’m free to choose dinners based on what sounds good to me that week.) 

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      I keep a flexible 7~day routine in an effort toward staying balanced.

      I like to combine chores that complement each other so that I’m neither moving or sitting all day, (like bill-paying with baking, or laundry with blogging).


      I arrange my weekly routine according to trash pickup day (Friday). It’s logical to add related chores like clean out the refrigerator and shop to refill it with food... which leads to errands, since I have to drive to town to shop...  and that’s a good a day to check thrift stores, pick up hay… whatever is a logical sequence of the one thing that HAS to be done that day.


      If you want to attain goals, the first thing is to get your life in order so that you can get the time you need for goal actions. Sometimes it takes a bit of time (months) to figure out your priorities... and that's OK, you'll be ahead of the game in the end.


      So...what are YOUR priorities?



      Our Colorado Dream

      The current story to Keeping our Home


      Background: It took 10 years and a college degree to get here. 
      Here is the family home we left behind in Riverside, Calif. after we worked on it all those years, fixing it up how we liked it- just before we decided to sell:
      Yay! Here is what the kids did after they found out we were moving just before their senior year of high school:

      When we moved here 5 years ago- this place healed us from the scars of being out of place in that unwholesome “Megatropolis” for most of our lives.


      Today...(written in summer '09): the sky is blue and the ground is saturated with what rained down last night. I had to stay up late to comfort the dogs from constant rumbling and booms from lightening and it was fascinating- but a little too close for comfort or sleep. Even the horse wanted some companionship. I'm noticing that the manure piles don't smell very fresh today... but otherwise we're grateful for the water. That may be the one good thing I can say right now.


      I had an entire website devoted to the scenic views that surround us here- and I could always appreciate that before - suddenly since the economic downturn, sometimes it's more BITTERSWEET to look (I have since taken it down)... 




      It’s easy these days to feel overwhelmed with negativity; the uncertainty of so many things in our lives, the feeling of no control of our destiny. I often struggle to suppress and overcome those oppressives.
      Up until the end of ’09, we struggled to spread our jobs between 3 people working for us, when there was only enough for one – we have since returned to working alone, just me and hubby. (Our previous employees  struck out on their own as competitors and didn't last a year.)


      We're so extended, so tight, that IF we could get our house payments down by ½ (probably impossible, but the mortgage bank/servicer OFFERED help thru a modification- which has become a nightmare)... then we'd still be on the edge all the time, able to pay monthly bills but with emergency car repairs or extra snow plowing, we would never getting ahead and will struggle to stay on top of things.


      Of course, just “letting go” of our home is a tempting thought – we would be much better off without this house around our necks -but it’s not practical to just walk away, even if we will NEVER recoup our investment. And letting the banks 'win' - after what we poured into getting here, well, that's hubby's highest motivation to keep fighting.
      At first we thought that IF we could just hang on until the economy turns around and sell this house…even to break even, we would be satisfied. But that hope faded as home values declined and houses in the area are on the market for a year at those reduced prices… (and we have just discovered that this house was over-valued to begin with). Either way we lose.


      We don’t expect anyone to ride in on a white horse to save us, but our banks have all the power to change things, and we don’t have that power, we have only a small amount of hope for their willingness to extend a fair deal. Not that I expect fairness out of this mess, and it may be an exercise in futility, but hope does remain that they might consider that what's beneficial to us would be so for them (if one less loss to them even matters, since they’ll continue to get bailed out no matter what). 


      There is the well-known tendency of servicers to “lose” paperwork, where borrowers request (literally send in a letter to beg) for a mortgage modification, short-sale, or deed-in-lieu. The bank then uses delay tactics — rather than just answering “no” to a request --because they rarely say yes— makes sense to them in the context that leaving a house in foreclosure limbo, forever, is the only solution that delays their inevitable balance sheet busting write-off! 


      Their decision will determine OUR decision, therefore we are at their mercy
      At the mercy of the wolves…
      IF ONLY the postcard views of the sky, mountains, deer, eagles, and snowfall outside was enough. But you can see, it's not really quite enough.


      It too often seems our plans to build up this place, to sustain ourselves on it and create it so that it helps to pay for itself by producing things, are all scribbled out. 


      This place was meant to heal us, but not to sustain us. 
      So yes, I do want out of it, but it is only a question of “at what price will it be”?
      IF the bank will grant us decent ‘re-mortgage’ terms, we could hang on until we could sell...shall we guess, in five or even 10 years?


      We’ve already been here that long, fighting to stay afloat almost the entire time. But it would save the trouble of moving and starting over, of paying someone else’s mortgage, saving our option to reinvest somewhere else... of being saved from loss, just like they(the banks) were.
      We are much wiser now in many ways- and more informed. It would be hard to pull the wool over our eyes with any predatory lending practices (as we were ignorant of therefore fell victim to). 
      But that doesn’t help anything right now. It all depends on what the bank ends up offering us before we go belly-up. It’s about getting a 2nd chance - without having to start over (at 50) from scratch. That is not an easy thing, especially if you are striving for self-sufficiency.
      In a way, we are STUCK in this house … and at this point it looks hopeless, with no other options open -- except what will cost us everything, somehow.


      But whatever happens, this experience will show me my own colors- what I’m made of.

      Taking the Reins (determined in 2010)...
      We’ll be OK wherever we end up, and make it work for us, whatever it is that happens.
      That is the next logical step. Doing something with the knowledge that everything will work out in the right way for us- what does that mean?
      It means living in the moment, relying on what hope I possess - and with practicality- preparing for the worst that can happen (worst in the sense of the biggest change- needing to move).


      In other words, it means continue living life as if we were only renting here.


      Not investing time or money in the house (repairs or upgrades), or in building anything (like a chicken coop), or even on property improvements (fencing, gravel, finishing the attic…)
      It means taking care of the basics (food, car repairs, utility bills).
      That’s taking the reins loosely in hand; we have the power to change course and decide the next direction and not wait until Fate decides for us. It may not be the only solution, but it is a measure of control for now.


      I'm coming to terms with that; we’re in it for the duration of the ride - or we'll be letting the 'horse' loose back into the wild, stepping out of the saddle and taking off on foot. 


      I may not be able to see what’s ahead beyond the next bend, but the view is nice from up here, and the companion by my side is one worthy to cross the river with – when the time comes. Even if the river is raging, we won’t fall in and drown- because of each others’ support.
      Whatever ends up, I can only make it as comfortable as possible. 


      Meantime, it’s only right to reap whatever are the benefits of our long hard labor –whether or not it means we keep this house. To live in the moment given, to take in these awesome views, to savor every last sign, and change and challenge of the seasons -
       A baby bear on the fence (we've had 2 different cubs in 2 years walk that fence)


      - all of the good things about being here, while we can. It is true that you will begin to notice more the beauty that you are about to lose…..everything suddenly becomes more meaningful as you memorize it for the last times and your heart feels wretched.
      (How tired can you ever get of seeing double rainbows that stretch across the front of the house when the sun sets during monsoon season)?




      It has been such a heartfelt battle, and I had leaned on the hope that it was time for some good in our lives; something we could celebrate; something that would keep reminding us to fight. Where do we keep finding the energy to fight at all; asking when…WHEN….will things ever fall into place and ever get back to good?
      We are simply stuck here at the Starting Gate, now next to so many others in their own gates, waiting… and learning to live with/deal with/get over: the desperation, the fear, the anger, the sense of hopelessness.


      So I will still Dream in Color, because that’s all I can do- it will be good in some ways, it is good in some ways, and that is because of what I make of it. 
      Isn’t that what I’ve been aspiring to all along?


      I'd be pleased to hear what you dream of and aspire to!