Talk about Sharing!

Chain of  sharing

Chain of sharing

This is so exciting, I just had to share.

In one of the forums that I belong to, a chain of events is occurring that is so amazing to me.

So, I live in Chandler; which is east of Phoenix. A farmer in our group asked for black berry starts and pomegranate trimmings. I told him that he could have some of mine from my black berry bush. A lady in Glendale, which is North and east of me told him that he could have some of her Pomegranate trimmings. The problem is that he lives in Tucson.

Now, you have to pay  attention to follow this one. My daughter is having her baby shower in March. So, my mom (who lives in Tucson) is coming to spend the weekend at my house to go to the baby shower. My son (who lives in Glendale) is coming to bring his wife to the baby shower and to see my mom. So we worked it out. The lady in Glendale will bring her pomegranate trimmings to my son, he will deliver them to my house when he comes to see my mom. I will give my mom the blackberry starts and she will take this abundance to Tucson. When I mentioned this to the farmer in Tucson, he said that he will get with my mom before hand and give her some abundance from his farm to bring to us.

Who’s to say where this lovely chain of events will end? Me, I hope that it never does.

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Another Gem



Today was Steve’s birthday. So when he asked me to go yardsaling with him, I agreed. He goes e-v-e-r-y Saturday. I go sometimes, but most days lately with school and all, I just do not take the time.

Anyway, when you go yard saling-you follow the signs, you park in front of the yard sale host’s  home. You mumble hello, they mumble back. It is early and no body has drunk enough coffee yet.

But one lady was different. She seemed shy, but friendly; I liked her right away. I asked her a couple of questions to see if she was friend material. She was. As she slowly warmed up to me, she shared that she was planning on moving soon. I kept up the line of questioning, blowing on the kindling, until the she went from warm to glowing with a her shy passion. Once she realized that she had a friendly audience, she told me how her life’s dream to live on a lake was going to finally come true.

We chatted for a bit, but I noticed how happy she looked. She reminded me of a soft opal, calm on the outside, with a glow just under the surface.

We exchanged contact information, with the promise of keeping in touch, and that my friends, makes me happy.

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A Diamond in the Desert


Diamonds are many facetted

Diamonds are many facetted

You all know that I am a farm hopper. I like to meet people who are doing what I like to do. I usually find them in face book forums. I belong to over 30 forums that talk about chickens, goats, gardens, farms, organic food, etc.

Because of this, over the years, I have gathered friends who garden, friends who keep chickens, rabbits, and goats.

Most recently, I put the word out that I am looking for friends who know a thing or two about growing fruit trees and blue berries in the desert.

During that discussion I met (online) a woman who lives in the far, far west valley who grows fruit trees. I asked if I could come and visit her property. I am so glad that I did!

This lady invited me to come for lunch. It took me over an hour to get to her place. I was beginning to think that I should have brought a sleeping bag. But on the way, I had time to think how fortunate I was that I had a car, a tank full of gas and a husband who kept me on a very long leash. I am pretty spoiled I know.

When I pulled up to the lady’s home, I could see that I was in for a real treat. There were beautiful shade trees and flowering bushes, there were flower beds and winding pathways. One pathway lead to the east facing front porch that was complete with white chairs to relax in.

We chatted about how she bought and designed this place herself; as she gave me a tour of her property. I got to meet her pampered goats and chickens. I got to see her beautiful raised bed vegetable and flower gardens, and then I got to see her orchard.

Over lunch (and dessert) I asked about her vision for the place. She wants to bring people together somehow. I suggested that she teach a bread making class or bring someone in to teach a class and just see how it goes having people over. Then she could go from there. She said “But who would come to my class?” (She doesn’t know me very well; do she?) I said,” You put together a class and tell me when it is. I will bring a couple of car loads. We will get your people here.

I left full of excitement. I know she said that she felt our visit was an answer to prayer. But what she does not realize is that it was the shot in the arm that I needed too. Man, I love this stuff!

So what about the Diamond in the Desert? Yes, her place was truly an oasis. It is by far the prettiest little property that I have seen since coming to Arizona. But she showed me the before pictures. It was nothing more than a flat desert lot. SHE designed this beautiful place from the visions in her heart. This place is a reflection of her, her many talents and who she is; deep down inside. I guess that means that SHE is the diamond of whom I speak.

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Mommy Donna’s Tiger Story

Mommy would protect you.

Mommy would protect you.

It is Saturday, I am bored. I am studying my brains out for nursing school. My final is Wednesday, then I have 3 weeks off.

We have been prequalified and think that we might have found the right place for our little dream farm. This house is officially going on the market on Feb 2nd. So we are very busy.

My daughter is due to bless me with my first grandchild in May and our discussions bring back so many memories for me. My two were really easy for this single mom to raise. We had lots of precious moments. I have a very active imagination and made up lots of fun stories with them. Here is something that they both remember.

We were talking about mommies and what makes them love their babies so much.

I told them that the minute that the baby is born, God does something magical to her. He gives her magic powers. Those powers give her the ability to know stuff. She can wake from a sound sleep when the baby changes his/her breathing pattern. She knows before he does that he is going to cry. Her magical powers tell her if he is crying because he is hungry, hurting, needs changed or just needs the comfort of mommy’s snuggly arms. These magical powers help mommy know just what to do and when.

Something else that God gives mommies is a love for this baby that they have never felt for any other being. This baby quickly becomes the reason that she lives. As long as this mommy lives, that baby will be protected and cared for as much she can provide.

Where does the tiger fit in? So my little boy interrupted my story and asked “But what if a hungry tiger comes to eat the baby?” The answer is one that every mommy and daddy knows. Mommy or daddy would step in front of the child to protect him from the tiger.

That is the word picture that my son needed in order to understand the depth of a mommies love. His response was so sweet. “Wow, you really do love us, but I would fight the tiger for you mommy!” My little hero.

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Did I Mention Mentors?

Imparting wisdom

Imparting wisdom

Of coarse I did. It is in my daily vocabulary.

When I am asked how I got started in this lifestyle-the answer is mentors.

My grandpa was my gardening and rabbit mentor. He instilled in me the love of gardening. It has stayed with me as a strong compelling force (a passion) that has caused me to plant vegetables wherever I have lived. In an apartment complex, in a trailer park or house with a yard and  someday very soon a home on an acreage.

Also because of him, I have raised rabbits since I was 12.

My microbiology teacher  was my compost gardening mentor, although she did not realize it, my questions in class pushed her in that direction.  She went willingly because she was excited to have a student that was so eager to learn.

When I wanted to learn about chickens, I sought out several chicken owners. When I wanted to learn about goats, I sought out several goat owners.  You get the drift. I also  read everything that I could get my hands on regarding the desired subject matter. By doing this, I got several opinions. What works for one may not work for you. The goal is to find someone that is successful at achieving what it is that you want to achieve. Someone that you can relate to and that can put things in terms that you understand. A good mentor will help you skip a lot of wasted time and heartache.  Not everyone wants to mentor, or is capable of being a good mentor. Sometimes the best way to be mentored is to just hang around and offer to shovel goat poop and never mention the “M” word at all.

When I was a young mom, I helped to start a “Titus 2 Ministry” class at our church. You know the concept of “older women teaching the younger women how to —“. I knew that I wanted a mentor. There was an older lady there that seemed to have it all together.  I wanted to learn from her, but when I approached her with the “M” word; it made her nervous. Had I just invited her to coffee and shared some of my issues-it would have just happened naturally. As it turned out, I was chosen to be a mentor for a younger mommy. I enjoyed the experience, but I did not get what I was after.

Nowadays, I have naturally moved in to the mentoring role with many people. I mentor from my garden, my kitchen, my quilting room, and with my animals. Sometimes all someone wants to learn from me is just about living life, love and the ability to find their “happy” in the most unlikely places.

Most recently, as I struggle to understand this “blogging thing” I find myself in search of mentors once again.  I am realizing that life is a circle of mentors-mentees-mentors-mentees. As I look at myself I realize that I am always wanting to learn something new, while very capable of mentoring something to someone else.                                      .

Just as I hope to find  good mentors to enrich my life, I feel compelled to provide quality mentorship to the lives of others.

What is it that you are willing to share through mentoring?

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Mandy’s favorite garden

Fast growing  Snail Vines

Fast growing Snail Vines

When we went on that garden tour, my daughter Mandy had her favorite place. They focused more on beautiful setting and flowers.

Mandy said that she would love to have this setting in her backyard someday. The vine is called “Snail Vine” because the flowers look like a cross between a snap dragon and a snail shape. There is nothing snail like in the way that this vine grew. You could almost see it growing while we stood there. BTW Momma picked up a big fat seed pod that was on the ground. Maybe we will all have snail vines next year.

Pretty fall flower bed

Pretty fall flower bed

Here was another idea that Mandy liked.


Steve remembered the bougainvillea from the spring tour.

Rose Trellis

Rose Trellis

and the roses!


You know where I was spending my time. Please look closely at the upper right hand corner. Pretty bee boxes!



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Arcadia Edible Garden Tour

Twice a year, some residents in a Phoenix neighborhood that we call “Arcadia” put on a beautiful show for us. These residents are gardeners. Some of them focus on vegetables, some of them mix it up with vegetables and beautiful flower gardens. There are a few that even add fruit trees, chickens, ducks and goats to the mix.

They gather together and advertise ahead of time so that we can purchase a ticket. Then they send us a map, so that on tour day, we can drive the route and visit all of the gardens.

I have gone several times, I learn so much from each place. There is so much inspiration to learn from. I have been taking Steve the last few times. He is my Ferdinand, he loves the flowers, the trees and the beautiful places to sit and enjoy the view. This year my daughter Mandy came with us.

Steve really loved this particular garden last spring. So he was really excited to be able to chat with the owner “Hal” this time. I was off visiting with my friend “Lylah” who is the owner of “The Simple Farm” She was one of the vendors, so I got to buy some of her amazing goat milk caramels.

Tonight, when I went to download the pictures from the camera; I found no pictures from this lovely place. Though we both had a great time chatting, neither one of us took the time to take pictures.

But  guess what? I have pictures that Steve took in the Spring. Yay! So with an apology to Jill (Hal’s  wife), I will share the spring photos.

Steve adored this garden shed. He wanted to sit on the loveseat and pretend that this was our yard.

The garden shed at The  Sweet Life Garden

The garden shed at The Sweet Life Garden

Some of “The Sweet Life Garden” beds.

The Sweet life Garden  Beds

The Sweet life Garden Beds

“The Sweet Life Garden” strawberries growing in the shade.


Steve really liked the flower beds along the fence in front of the property.



News Flash! This just in. My daughter Mandy realized my dilemma and sent me this picture. Her favorite thing about this garden was the way they used the half barrels as planters and filled them with flowers and herbs.


You can bet that we will be going again next year. We want to bring more family members. After all, it is just one of the ways that we Share Our Life’s  Abundance!

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