Cesar & The Goats

toddler goats farm

Cesar running to the new goaties with some leafy greens we picked up on our way to the fields. Unfortunately Cesar’s excitement gave them a bit of a fright and got them running away. Since we’ve been frequenting the chicken coop to drop of our organic waste, which the goaties get excited about just as much as the chickens – they’ve been less weary of us and greet us when we come into their sight.

It’s always a challenge to acclimatise Cesar to new animals. He gets overly excited, they’re skiddish – have to keep reminding myself to be patient and take it one moment, one day at a time. To not let one bad experience determine how all future experiences will go, to keep seeing every new moment and day as new.

#toddler #goats #farmlife #farmliving #animals #excitement #patience #child #nature #consciousparenting

A Moment of Connection

bird feeder seed rolls craft young old parenting leilazamoramoreno

When we were done with the seed rolls, Cesar excitedly ran to give them to Francois, who was just as excited to receive them – and placed them on the birdfeeder. It was such a cute moment – seeing Cesar the youngest on the farm – run to, and connect with Francois, the elder on the farm – over a shared passion, a common interest as the birds on the farm. We’ve been seeing a lot more bird activity around the main house garden, most noticed by the trampoline as it’s next to a big tree for shade, which is also the station for birds to gather and go to and fro the birdfeeder, with the result of quite a bit of birdpoo on the trampoline. On the otherhand, Cesar enjoys laying on the trampoline and seeing the birds fly around the tree and spotting them in-between the many leaves.

#birds #birdfeeder #toddler #nature #passion #connect #community #relationships #custodians #life

When Life Gives you Lemons…

toddler hugging tree parenting leilazamoramoreno

Our dog walk this morning took a bit of a rocky start as Cesar was getting a bit emotional when the dogs wanted to go faster to stay with the pack but Cesar couldn’t keep up. He calmed himself down and we finished the rest of the walk at his pace, spotting birds, talking to trees and giving them random hugs.

#toddler #parenthood #continuumconcept #consciousparenting #treehugger #walk #nature #trees

Sometimes you just have to Start – Anywhere

gardening weeding farmlife leilazamoramoreno

Two days ago, this little driveway garden was a complete mess. It was so overgrown, you could barely see that anything was planted there. Everyone was kind of standing around, looking at which section would be a good start. But it was so messy, there was really no one good spot to start, each section looked just as dreadful as the next. It was funny, cause it looked like everyone was kind of realising this at the same moment, where everyone just took a deep breath, moved to the little garden and put their hands in a random spot, and just got started. After spending 2 half hour sessions taking the excess overgrown grass out, we’re almost done and can plant new additions to the garden. This reminds me of when we go through our own mountains, where we face a personal crisis and it just seems ‘so big’, and it’s ‘so messy’ – you don’t know where to start. Looking at the problem, you feel disencouraged and you believe you’ll never get to the end of it. But just as with this garden, it doesn’t matter where you start, you just got to start somewhere. And just as with the garden, the amount of work and time something will take is mostly exaggerated in our minds. Once we get to it, it’s actually not that bad.

Also – who knew Sunette could weed so gracefully? Lol

#nature #gardening #weeding #reflection #introspection #selfimprovement #selfempowerment #landscaping #innerscaping #knowthyself


Who’s The Real Danger?

snake bush kwzazulu natal leilazamoramoreno

We met the spotted bush snake once more! I’ve been keeping my eyes open for him since I haven’t seen his kind before on the farm (or anywhere else really), and I’m quite curious about the little guy. Today while walking around with Cesar we found him by one of the raintanks. Cesar shouted “SNAAAKE!!!”. He likes playing pretend snake with rope like objects, making snakes from molding clay and flip through our snake book. So he was really happy to see a live one. We went ahead and admired him up close. Cesar stroke the little snake who didn’t budge, and then offered him some horsepoo to eat – which he politely declined! It’s funny how we tend to react in immense fear when seeing or meeting a potentially ‘dangerous’ animal. Take a lion, who on average kill 250 humans a year. Imagine if you see a lion, fear jolts through you at an intensity of ‘250 points’. Humans kill an average of 475 000 people on average a year. Technically, we should be scared shitless each time we spot a human. 1900 times more scared than what we are of a lion. We get so busy fearing nature and animals, we forget about the real dangers in life.

#snake #spottedbushsnake #southafrica #animals #nature #fear #danger #poison #humans

Horse Antics

toddler horses farmlife leilazamoramoreno

Cesar filling up the water bath for the horses. First Quizzy the little Welsh pony came along to drink from the little water that Cesar had already filled in the bath. Then Sagon came along and decided to chase Quizzy away from the water so he could have the bath all for himself. Even though Quizzy already moved and was waiting his turn, Sagon would throw ugly faces at him and pull his ears back at him. Each time Sagon got snappy Cesar would lift the nozzle of the water hose and spray some water in Sagon’s face who would get all confuzzled and then mind his own business again. I find it fascinating to see him play with these animals several times there size and having no fear when it comes to pushing their buttons. Sometimes I wonder who’s parenting who

#toddler #baby #horses #bath #water #drinking #continuumconcept #consciousparenting #animals #nature @destenifarm #farmlife #herd #dominance

Itsy Bitsy Spider

spider hand toddler parenting leilazamoramoreno

Cesar found a spider on the wall and decided to play with him. He’d touch it and let it crawl all over him which he found very ticklish and funny. I had a bit of a reaction being scared that the spider would bite him and offered to take it off with a piece of paper. He immediately said ‘NO!’ and covered the spider with his other hand as to protect it. He then went off to show Maite what he found and then picked up some cars to play with while leaving the spider on his hand. He later placed his hand on the floor to let the spider walk off. Kudos to him – What seems normal and natural to him would take bravery from me!

#toddler #spider #bugs #fear #arachnophobia #parenting #nature #paranoia #playfulness #innocence

Nature’s Playground

toddler gardening pepper paprika leilazamoramoreno

Plucking some tiny red peppers with Cesar. It has been a while since we’ve had red pepper, as it costs at least double the price of the green peppers in the shops.
We now have a whole bunch of pepper plants on the nursery whose green peppers are starting to turn red. With some of the big rains lately we’ve been able to pluck a lot of figs, some of which we dried in the sun so they can keep longer.
Next we are awaiting the apples of the apple trees to ripen so we can make some home made apple cider vinegar.
Cesar’s been very happy to participate in plucking fruits, veg and herbs, watering plants, crafting (turns out toddler’s motoric skills are great to create a rustic look lol) and helping me make oil infusions and tinctures.
Next want to test if he is ready to assist me with making seedlings and taking care of them in trays.

#farmlife @destenifarm #herbs #vegetables #livingislearning #nature #play #toddler #parenting

The Art of Horsemanship, starts with Self-Mastery

horse woman leilazamoramoreno

When I first got into contact with horses on a daily basis, I was already walking a process of Self-Investigation – analysing who I am and where I can improve myself to my make daily life and living more effective and enjoyable. For me, spending time with horses was a ‘hobby’, something I would do for fun to ‘take my mind of things’. Yet, soon enough – it became very clear that working with horses and spending time with them was not the kind of ‘break’ I was looking for. Quite the opposite happened actually. My buttons were continuously being pushed, and no matter how much I just wanted to ‘relax’ and enjoy myself around the horses and specifically the horse I ended up having as my companion, I found myself in an almost constant state of inner conflict. I really wanted to get to know my horse and have a fun relationship, but he was bullying me around and I was anxious just being around him. When I had first met him at the farm he was staying before coming to live with us, he seemed like a sweet and grounded horse. But when it came to daily interaction, a whole new dynamic came to the surface. In the first few weeks, I’d need to keep his halter on in the stable while grooming because he was very pissy and all too happy to bite/nip to express his. With the assistance of others, I was able to set boundaries and stabilise myself through addressing my fear relationship with him.

When I was a child, I got my share of beatings – this left a very deep impression on me which affected my entire life (and is something I am still working through). Now, having this BIG animal with massive strength and power around me – it scared the living shit out of me. Just seeing him, seeing his grumpy expression and the intensity of him movements whether directed towards me or not – would trigger all sorts of memories bringing me back to my childhood, scared, insecure self. When I was a child, all I would do to cope with the situation is to draw back inside myself and wait the situation out while sitting in complete fear and petrification.

My experience of myself around my horse was absolutely awful. Either I would stop participating with horses, or I would change and empower myself – teach and give myself the tools I did not have as a child, to find a constructive way to work with another being who is angry and plays this out physically – without getting hurt and going into self-diminishment in the process.

This has shown to be a very challenging task. Every fibre of my being has since childhood been set up to avoid conflict situations at any and all costs, especially situations where things could get physical. It was very difficult to give up my primary coping mechanism as the survival skill I developed in situations of conflict. I had to constantly remind myself that I was no longer a child and in a position of powerlessness. I was an adult now and I did not have to be a victim of the situation. I was very scared to change, because all I knew was that ‘avoidance’ would keep me safe. So every day, I would make the deliberate effort to change. To be present, here and work with my horse regardless of the anxiety inside myself. I was taught to take notice of my posture and body language, as any emotional instability would translate into a particular body posture, which would draw out a particular response from the horse. Horses are herd animals as well as prey animals. Their survival and well-being depends on effective leadership. Someone who knows what they are doing. If you are scared, fearful, and go into states of self-diminishment – it is logical to the horse to get rid of you or at least ‘know your place’ in the hierarchy with all the consequences that come with it.

Not only are horses very perceptive of the state of being of their fellow herd members, but they are perceptive of the state of being of any human or animal that gets into their environment. In the wild, a predator who’s just had a nice meal and is fully satisfied can stroll by a herd of horses and the horses will peacefully graze on – because they already picked up on this state of being from miles away. If that same animal however would have approached them in a state of hunting, they would have ran off the moment they picked up on the animal. Much of their behaviour is determined by ‘where everyone else is at’. This became very clear that, as I changed – my horse would change. And so my horse would become the mirror reflection of myself and my state of being. Challenging me, pushing me, checking where I am at and responding accordingly.

Unfortunately, many people do not consider this aspect when working with a horse or any other animal for that matter. If a horse is being unruly, then simply more control and force is used. Someone in my position, then easily moves from being a victim to being a perpetrator – doing unto the horse exactly that which had been done unto self. Horses, in their kind forgiving nature – will put up with this behaviour until they have either had enough (at which point they get sold or sent to the slaughter house) or until they collapse under physical strain and pressure.

To have a willing, trusting and cooperative relationship with your horse – Self-Mastery is absolutely essential. This means constant evaluation and assessment of yourself and your horse. Never assume that your horse is simply being an ‘irrational animal’. This great creatures are very advanced processing machines – to call them stupid would be a deflection of our own inability to see beyond our limited perspectives.

Bearing your own Mature, Ripe Fruit – Story from the Grapes

grapes growth process lesson nature leilazamoramoreno

I was wandering around by the Grapes with Cesar and got reminded of the very first grapes we planted. I had taken point on taking care of the Grapes and did research on how to grow them and take care of them. I got a bit of a shock when I realised it would take a minimum of 4 years before the grape vines would produce sweet tasting grapes. Even worse, I’d have to cut the vines way down, until only a stump remains. Then the plant would grow far and wide during summer – only to be cut down again for winter. I wondered what it would be like to go through all the effort to bear fruit every year, only to not have your grapes be enjoyed and be pruned down to start over – again, and again, and again! It reminded me of my own process, where I would be walking a point of limitation to expansion – where all you know is having ‘sour grapes’. And you walk and you walk and you try different things but still – you only have sour grapes. Sometimes someone would point out to me the correction and say ‘just do it’. Just ‘make sweet grapes’. This didn’t help me at all, because all I knew was limitation, all I knew was sour grapes. So when you only ever had sour grapes, it’s hard to even fathom ever having sweet grapes. Yet, somehow, someday after walking a process – suddenly you realise: but I have changed! But I have sweet grapes!
We can’t force a grapevine to produce sweet grapes, just like we cannot force ourselves to change. The grape vine had to walk the 4 year process to get to a point of sweetness. It could give up at any moment, as the end never seems in sight until has actually been reached. We often hold on to the end result we know we must achieve and forget about the process it takes to walk it, to actually create it as ourselves. Once you have sweet grapes, it seems so easy and the path walked quickly fades to memory and soon it seems like sweet grapes is all we ever had. Thanks nature for reminding me of the humbleness, patience and dedication it takes to walk ourselves from consciousness to awareness. And that despite the end of the tunnel always being dark and unknown, you never know when you hit that point of change and no return!

#nature #reflection #process #ripeness #maturity #growth #process #bearfruit #processoftransformation