Full Crow Moon

Full Crow Moon.

From a wonderful friend…  Love it!

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Living a Sacred Life

I am reminded this morning of how important my gratitude practice is.  It keeps me grounded and sure of my place in the world.  In musing about that, I thought about one of my pages on the site and thought I would share some of it in a blog.  Here it is.

May you find Sacredness and Blessings today and always.

What does it mean to live a Sacred Life?

It can be as simple as giving thanks for a meal or being authentic and truthful with a friend.  It can be holding the hand of someone in pain or sharing a belly laugh with a child.  It can be anything; any moment in your day, any activity, any thought, any feeling.  Whatever it is, if you do it with the intent of holding it as a Sacred Gift from the Divine, then the mundane becomes sacred.

Living a sacred life is living life with intent.  It’s being mindful of your place –  your special and unique place in the universe.  It’s acknowledging that you have gifts to give.  Those gifts may be preparing a nutritious meal for your family, or making sure that they have clean clothes to wear.  They may be nursing people back to health or doing whatever your vocation is to the best of  your ability so that the company can remain an ongoing concern and you and all the other employees can remain employed.  It might be the care with which you tend the hearth-fires and hold the sacred center of your home; tending to the normal ‘mundane’ chores of the day.  When you do these things with the intent of making them sacred, your life becomes one beautiful sacred act.

This is the core of my spiritual practice.  This keeps me connected to my spiritual path through the regular activities of my day.  It gives me a sense of purpose and leads me to being more authentic in all things I do.  My sovereignty is nurtured by living a sacred life.

Where does one start?


Some of you who are on facebook may have done (once or several times) the 30 days of gratitude challenge.  If you don’t know what I’m referring to, each day, you are to name something you are grateful for.  The thought is that if you do something for 30 days, it becomes a habit.  That’s true, and it has worked for many people.  Facebook is a nice forum for this as people tend to join in as gratitude is contagious.  🙂

I have taken that a bit further and created a reusable Blessing Cairn.  Using sculpy clay, I fashioned 5 flattish stones, each with a symbol on one side.  Each morning, I pick up the pile of stones (the Blessing Cairn), shift them in my hands and then one by one name a blessing in my life as I set them down and begin to stack them on one another again.  When I get to the last stone, I find the symbol and meditate for 5 minutes on that subject (the symbols you choose can be any topic that works for you) before saying my last blessing and stacking the last stone.

I like creating these little blessing cairns on my property as well. (from natural stones – not carved sculpy stones. Ha!!)  Being mindful of your blessings is a wonderful place to start living a sacred life.  The more opportunities you take to be grateful, the better you’ll feel about… well, Everything!

To read a little more – or learn how to navigate towards a Sacred Life, visit the full page here.

Much Love and Many Blessings,


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Finding your Bliss

I am very excited to offer a new course in  Finding Your Bliss.

Follow the link below for more information!

E-course starts Oct 29, 2012.

Much Love and Many Blessings!

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Summer.. exit stage left.

Summer.. exit stage left..

Come on over to PatinaVerbena.com for my latest blog!

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A new venture and a new name

Things are a brewin’ over at the homestead.

I’ve been working a lot on content for the various workshops and classes I’m offering as well as a wee bit of time for spinning and weaving here and there.  The table construction is almost complete – only the finishes left to do.  I’m staining the framework of the table to match our trim/woodwork and using danish oil for the legs and top which matches the cherry doors.  It is looking gorgeous and I can’t wait to let you all see it very soon!!

But most importantly, I’ve been working hard on tying all of the things we do here together to find a *name* that seems to encompass it all.  I love the Shores of Avalon name, but it just doesn’t quite fit the whole.  I’ll keep it for my spiritual ventures (and continue to blog here), but for the rest, I’ve been wracking my brain for a name and a way to tie it all together.

In the meantime, another couple of facets to our ever-expanding repertoire have been birthed:  Antiques/Vintage and landscaping/garden design.

So given all the things we do – the perfect name presented itself and we’re running with it.

Patina Verbena

This name gathers together all the things we do pretty nicely.

Antiques/Vintage, Gardening, Permaculture, Landscape design, Historic/Herstoric Arts (fiber arts, woodworking, herbalism, etc), Hot Rods, Repurposing materials, etc.

We’ve got some other ideas brewing for the future which will all fit under that name too.  And finally, we have a name for reference of our homestead – Patina Verbena Farm

I’m working on the web site (and likely will be for a while), but if you’d like, you can surf on over and sign up to receive notifications of updates, posts and blogs for the areas listed above.  You’ll find us at PatinaVerbena.com so please come and check it out.

For those of you who are still interested in Avalon, women’s spirituality and mystery traditions, finding your bliss, etc., please continue to follow this blog as those subjects will still be the focus here.

We’re excited about the expanding possibilities and about bringing them all to you.  May you have a blessed day and thanks again for stopping by!

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How to make a marriage last 25 years and counting…

I am so blessed to share my life with my best friend.  Today we celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary.  It doesn’t seem like anything amazing to us that we’ve ‘lasted’ 26 years.  (Sorry to all my husband’s buddies who told him it wouldn’t last on our WEDDING DAY…. not really sorry, actually, I’m sticking my tongue out and giving you the raspberries.)  But to many (like those buddies, I’m sure), it’s an anomaly.   People say to us often that we have a great relationship and ask us what our secret is.  I don’t think it’s a secret, but here are some tidbits from a woman who simply loves her man.

I believe in soul-mates.  Some do, some don’t but for us, we’ve known since our first date that we were meant for one another.  I can remember that first date like it was yesterday.  I had on cropped pants, a short shirt, flats that showed toe-cleavage and cheap enamel earrings (Don’t judge me, it was 1986!).  He was wearing a camp shirt, jeans, flip-flops… and drakkar noir cologne.  He was driving a pewter colored Camaro and I thought he amazing.

We went to see the movie Band of the Hand with his brother and his new wife.  All through the movie, I strategically placed my hand well within his reach.  He never took the bait.  He was making me suffer, being 3 years older… he knew what I was doing and ignored it… jerk.  Anyway, I digress.  So after the movie, he drove me home and walked me to the door.  I’m thinking “Crap.  What went wrong?  I thought we had a connection… a spark?  Was I too forward??”  (HA!)  I started to thank him for the date and he grabbed me and kissed me like he had permission.  Well, he did, but he didn’t know it.  I’m telling you right here and now that I was swept clear off my feet.  I was speechless.  I think I managed to mumble some form of Thanks! or something garbled like that and went inside and shut the door almost in a trance.  For the next 10 minutes, I jumped around the family room waving my hands like an idiot, whisper-screaming “I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love!!!!!!!”  My mom, who was still up – as always – (did I mention I was a senior in high school?)  in the other room waited patiently for me to come around the corner.  “How was your date?” she said with a smirk on her face.  How does she know EVERYTHING?  I said “It was nice…” smiled and strolled to my room.  She knew that night, just like I did, that it was the real deal.

From that night through the next 10 years, not one single 24 hour period went by where we didn’t see each other.  (the cycle was broken only by a work trip out of town)  From that first date in April of 1986, we were engaged 10 days later and married within 4 months.  When you know, you know.  That’s all I can say.

However, it’s not always been movie star kisses, rainbows and kittens.  Well, there’ve been lots of rainbows and even more kittens… and the kisses are still movie star quality, but there’s been some fighting and tempers and an occasional (or frequent) slammed door.

Here’s what I’ve learnt:

Don’t make fun of your partner when you are fighting – even if he’s so angry that snot bubbles are coming out his nose.

Don’t call your wife/partner the C word.  That ignites a s*it-storm that you will not be happy you’ve caused.

Jealousy is stupid.

Your kids are not the end-all-be-all of your existence.  Eventually (hopefully) they’ll go on to make lives of their own.  You better pay attention to the one you’ll be left staring at when that happens…. before it happens.

In-laws can be a real pain in the butt.  Deal with it.  If you have children, you may be them one day.

Here’s one that may get charged responses – our money is our money.  If you want your money, stay single.  If I want to buy a larger than normal purchase, I discuss it.  I’m not asking for permission, I’m weighing our responsibilities.  I don’t need my own bank account (that my partner doesn’t see/have input on/control) to purchase things that I want.  Neither does he.  We don’t abuse each other in any other way, why would we when it comes to discretionary income?  I know this isn’t natural for a lot of people, especially if you were a single adult paying your own way before you entered a marriage or partnership.  Also, some thoughts are ingrained from family experiences.  But minds can be changed and so can assumptions.

I’ll relate a little story.  When we were preparing to get married, my then fiance suggested to me that I needed to come up with a budget amount for groceries.  I told him I had no idea and I’d just write a check for whatever it was (instead of using cash – this was WAY before debit cards!).  He then informed me that I couldn’t do that because the checking account would be in his name only (a hold-over from an experience with his parents).  If you know me at all outside of this blog, you know what kind of reaction that got.  I let him know that we would have a joint checking account and we’d both have access to any and all of our money.  His response was “No, we won’t.  It’s my way or the highway.”  (We’re both fire signs – have I mentioned that yet??)  I took his keys to his camaro and drove away.  He never gave me an ultimatum again, nor have I ever given him one.  And we both have access to any and all of our money.  What’s the lesson?  No ultimatums and trust each other.

Go to bed angry.  Well, maybe that’s not exactly what I want to say.  I’ve heard many times that you should “never go to bed angry”.  Hmmm.  Sorry, we’ve gone to bed angry many times.  It’s amazing the clarity you can have after a good night’s sleep.  Staying up half the night rehashing your stance on something for hours on end, getting no (or very little) sleep, having to go to work the next day exhausted doesn’t do anyone (or any relationship) any good.  How much will you be fighting when you’re unemployed for not showing up to work the next day??  When you’re getting no where, walk away.  If it’s bedtime, then go to bed!  In the morning, you may have the fresh perspective you need to derail the argument.  If nothing else, you may have renewed energy to win the argument!

You can never ever say I love you too often.  If you feel it, say it.  We all love hearing it.  No one ever laid on their deathbed thinking “I wish I’d expressed less love in this life.”

Never be divided as parents.  Kids are smart.  They sense division and go in for the kill.  They’re ruthless and you’ve got to be cohesive as a parenting unit if you want to survive their childhood unscathed.

Invest in a lock for the bedroom door – and use it.  Enough said.

Never stop being silly.  We laugh every single day… a lot!  We have a lot of fun with each other just kidding around and being goofy.  We can both be very serious and very passionate about lots of stuff, but you have to maintain that balance.  Goofy is good.

Hold hands.  We hold hands all the time.  Sitting on the couch watching TV, riding in the car, walking together… even in our sleep.  There’s something so comforting in that connection.

Remember, If the grass is greener on the other side, it’s because they’ve put more fertilizer on it.  You have to go through some shit to have a healthy and evolving relationship. Ours is pretty green.  And we’re loving it.  Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart!  I love you!


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Doing a rain dance

Seriously.  My kingdom for some freakin rain.

Here, in the height of summer, when life should be full, bountiful and lush – ready for the harvest, we’re staring at dried up, crusted over, barrenness in yards and farm fields.  Thankfully, my gardens have managed to survive this climate disaster, but they certainly aren’t thriving.  One of the things I love so much about the midwest is its lushness.  There is such a diversity here with deciduous and evergreen trees, shrubs and plants that there is Always something green.  You always feel like there is life happening – even in the dead of winter.  It’s not winter, but much of the landscape, I fear, is dead.  It’s a far cry from the bounty of summer.

It has become even more clear to me, the importance of the small community or village for risk sharing.

When many band together for the common good – each doing their part for the whole, the small community has a better chance to survive and thrive. 

When neighbors care for one another, we all have a better chance at a healthy and happy life.   This year, most of my neighbors have gardened.  It seems we all got the memo last year.  It truly is refreshing to see this happening and the community bonding that has occurred around it.  Some neighbors I hadn’t spoken to for years, but we managed several conversations over gardening this season.

Many of the things I learned through Permaculture have presented themselves this year.  I’m reminded of a quote from that course.  I can’t remember if it was Peter Bane or Keith Johnson who said it, but it stuck with me.  (Check out each of those links for awesome video clips!)

Your best defense is a well-fed neighbor.

I, for one, am glad to see that my neighbors are gardening – it gives me hope for the times to come.  If you are reading my blog, then you probably know that Gaia/Mother Earth is pissed – obviously.  It seems to me that She’s set about to eliminate the threat to Her existence.  Is She eliminating us?  Looks like She’s giving it a good go!  Or at the very least, trying to change our course through trial and tribulation.  We’ve just done too much damage to Her – and continue to do so.  She’s gonna purge the threat, one way or another.  She’s on a major detox and guess what?  It looks like we’re the toxins.

There are still people who continue to bury their heads in the sand so they can go on doing what they do with a ‘clear conscience’.  The worst are those who will say that the planet is just here for our use (read destruction).  I say to them “What, on this gorgeous planet, do you think is going to happen when you’ve used All of Her?”  What then?

But that’s a discussion for another day.  Today, I am thankful for whatever bounty is left in my garden and orchard, thankful that trucks still run and groceries still fill the shelves of the local markets, thankful that my well still has water (knocks on wood – for real) and thankful that I have great neighbors.

And tonight, under the light of the full moon,

you’ll find me doing a rain dance like a mo-fo.

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