Saturday, December 21, 2019

Songs from our 2020 Calendar

Dear Family and Friends,

Our 2020 calendar has not only Forest Otter's new artwork, but some song lyrics written by Sherry, their spouse.

To hear the first two songs in our calendar, from the lyrics from the front cover and January, go to and search under "Sherry Zitter."

Later months' songs will be posted there soon!

Blessings to you on this Solstice, and may the return of the Light and the coming New Year bring you peace, health and joy!

Sherry and Forest Otter (formerly Sarah/Sami)

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Time. Such an elusive, vital concept!

                                                                                       by Sherry Jeppson Zitter

I never seem to have enough of it…  

I struggle to understand how to structure it, how to use it, how to flow with it and be at peace with it. 

Today is the last day of January.. I made a vow at the New Year to meditate 20 minutes a day this month. It was tough some days. And now what? 

I had a vision of continuing to meditate, maybe adding in yoga and/or exercise, then cleaning up my space(s) a bit each morning -- slowly progressing toward better, more consistent self-care and home organization. But where will this extra time come from?!! My days already feel too packed to squeeze in the “necessary" things.

And yet... Time as we experience it is really just a concept, right? A construct of our human mind? Non-human animals don’t think in days, hours  minutes - certainly not seconds and nano-seconds! They feel the cycles of Nature, Her periods of brightness and darkness, of winter and springtime, of heat and cold…and they know exactly how to respond, what to do in order to survive, to stay warm, to have enough to eat. We human animals are so sadly disconnected from all that!

Our elderly companion animals (Sophie, our almost-20 year old kitty and Jason, our 15 1/2 year old Australian Terrier) take time to care for. We give them several supplements and medicines, feed them, walk Jason — but they also give US time. They expand time in unexpected ways: Jason gives us time to take walks, to be out in Nature during all sorts of weather. Time is created for that walk when our energy or schedule wouldn’t appear to hold it. With Sophie, time appears in our days to hold this gently purring creature in a lap, during a day where down time seemed non-existent. There are profound reasons why these wise non-human companions are in our lives.

 I want to live by Nature’s cycles, feeling my animal clock rather than the human-made clock. I want to flow with Her and through Her, dancing in Her energies and channeling Her wisdom and grace. I want to slowly come back to the rhythms She intended, intends for us. I know this will be hard to do, a sometimes impossible-seeming goal in today’s hurried and plugged-in culture. And I understand that meditation, doggie walks, and kitty lap time — as well as my ahimsa yoga classes -- assist in this space and sense of unhurried timelessness I crave and cherish. And let’s not forget the importances of time and space for authentic heart connections with my wife, my family and friends.

I won’t make another vow to meditate daily — I don’t want to add stress and another “rule” to my existence. But I will create space to meditate every day I can, and to gradually increase yoga and other exercise — not as a pressure or a “should,” but from that joyous place of “Always-Enough” that Sarah’s oracle card teaches me. For that is where we can find enough Time, always.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Bobbie Hill Having Fun Working with Nature

                                            New Book Just Out!
We, at Gnomestead Press released the book Turtle olympics...when and where it took place two years ago, and are now releasing another one, Those Wonderful Antelopes - the Eglopes, both by Bobbie Hill.  I would say these books are "new", but we at Gnomestead Press feel their ageless wisdom which is still so prevalent - maybe even MORE prevalent today than when Bobbie (now over 85) helped create them into being some years ago.  This is what drew them to us here at the Gnomestead.

Their poetic lyrics, their agelessness, and their simplicity, with an earthy rootedness in Nature (Yes, Nature with a capital "N") had the gnomes and other Nature Spirits here telling us to get them out there in the world. And so we are.

Our message at the Gnomestead and also Bobbie's message share the love for Recycling - in a Fun, with a capital "F", way - in the Turtle Olympics...when and where it took place.  In this first book, Bobbie's turtles make a yearly trek to the dump to find all sorts of new uses for what others no longer have use for.  And, besides being ingeniously creative with that, the turtles make ready for and experience incredible athletic feats for any and all who wish to join in. It is another fantastic event to be remembered while hanging out on a log together shooting the breeze sometime.

And Bobbie's second book, Those Wonderful Antelopes - The Eglopes shares our thoughts about children still having strong empathy and compassion for all of Nature's creatures (both large and small) and how we could listen a little better when they point this out to our possibly less sensitive sides.  We feel everyone - including the animals and any other sentient beings - need a voice to share what is kind and also, very likely, an easier and more just way to live in harmony with Nature in the long run.

Bobbie's energy is boundless, and so is the understanding about boundaries she shares with Nature which encompasses and includes us all!

May we do less harm.  And may the thoughts, words, and actions of our lives contribute to more of this harmlessness, and more freedom for all.
                             - variation on a Sanskrit Quote by Nirmalananda

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Rush-Time is not Enough Time

There are many ways to express yourself in the world. Many ways to express and impress upon this magical fabric of time.  The cycles of the moon-time, sun-time, nighttime and daytime, work on our minds to hold us steady as we move about.  Balance...  We here in the finer ethers are wishing you would use these methodical natural forms to calm yourself and relax your routines into them.
Those greedy for more time-gluttons - those never-enough-time-gluttons are the ones impinging on that Just  and Natural reality for many of you.  Their growing addiction is creating a tidal wave of temptation dragging in the unsuspected until many are now caught up in a maelstrom of pressure and overstimulation.  It can be hard to keep afloat at times like these.

If you want your balance back, if you want your life back in what will feel like your own spacious time; it will open up for you when you guide yourself back to your calmer natural-time. Natural-time protects you as nature-spirits will protect a wild flower. It is the human-race which is exceeding your innate time, or, nature's time.  There are those who are deep in addictive behaviors who are pulling everyone into their personal tornados. They are burning themselves out as they create an undertow in their wake.  They are losing their awareness of their true-nature as they go under, at the meeting place where we are one with the Elementals of this world:  that place where we are connected to all those finer layers of Spirit - those parts of us which hold us dearly and gives us a place in true-time where we can belong.

Rush-time is tumultuous like the rushing of wind pushing about leaves and debris into the air, causing dust devils, storms, hurricanes, and other chaotic plumes of mayhem.
Rush-time leaves a mess of confusion in its wake - either physically, as we speak of here, or emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually.

There are those addictive types who may able to temporarily deceive you during these times. They will  say, "More is better."  "Time is of the essence."  "Get more Things, more Time, more Action, more Love."  But enough is all right here and now.  Some of your spiritual leaders throughout time are so right when they tell you to focus on now.  Because it is all here for you to feel warmly in your chest now, to understand what you can kindly move, now. And your awareness, right now, is the center of your balance.  The calm in the storm.  This is how we all live and are fed by Spirit in natural-time.

You are not alone on an island.  Your island is a paradise of all that you love and have held close to your center.  It is there that you will find sanity ...and enough time.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Elements Speak

I have been communing with the spirits for guidance these days and have found myself guided to forming a deck of cards to help me and others figure out more clearly what they may be telling us.  I have been working out of the Gnomestead, although I have another space to work among other artistic types where we all, once a year, open up our studios to the public - so they might get a better look at the whimsical and fantastical things we put together!

This Opening of Studios - much like the opening to the fairy mounds at the Solstices - is happening this Saturday and Sunday, October 26th and 27th from 12-5.  I will be there on Saturday.

Sunday I am called away with a family elder celebration for one of the matriarchs of my family. So, only one solar appearance this year before I am swept away by my clan. So, Saturday it may be worth a visit to the land of fey artists and other marginal folk who dream fantastic things into reality to share with open hearts to you and other members of our community at large. (Or Sunday - in my absence - you may visit others, as well as my space (without me in it.) My door will be open and there will be a wonderfully nice young man to show you around.

Blessings from the artistic and spirit world! (They are truly linked with inspiring glue!)  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Living is Slow and the "inbetween"* Times!....... *Gnometime like the present!

Us Gnomes have been working on these crazy mixed up humans who share space with us (as do an array of other creatures both big and little) at the Gnomestead. They have been adding new things to their already overfull lives, expecting - miraculously - to get MORE done without understanding the laws of this universe on this, to us, rather obvious point.  It's like expecting an overfull stomach to be able to digest WELL!  They have been overloading their LIFE DIGESTING SYSTEM.  And they didn't realize this until they decided to have a Stay-cation at the Gnomestead.

All that uncomfortable overload is taking some time to unburden, the poor things, but it's happening... and we are happy to help them with prioritizing in a new healthy manner.

Priority number one:  Talk to us everyday before you start that crazy-human-running-around thing.  We'll keep the next steps clear, brief, and happy.

Priority number two: Talk to us when you think about adding one more thing.  When you add, you must also see the wisdom of subtracting to keep your balance.

Priority number three:  We can help.  The world of Nature is here to help you as we know you understand that you can help Nature in turn.  Don't isolate yourselves.  You'll go crazy - you KNOW what we mean.

So, the official Gnomestead Press has published another book about Turtles and their amazingly created Sport Event:  Turtle Olympics! ...when and where it took place.  By Bobbie Hill  

This was a stroke ...of some kind for the Gnomestead!

And now there are new things in the works requiring one of these human's to enjoy herself at the drawing table - but she overcommitted to a couple other activities which she needs to address first. She was even trying to work on three books and a deck of cards, at the same time. Tsk, tsk... We said (we're just saying) a mental meltdown was imminent in oh so many other words.

But we are here now, in Gnometime, to keep things flowing at a better and happier pace.

Give yourself a break this summer if you are able.  And have a talk with your local friendly gnomes.  We know what we're talking about with all those internal Nature working gifts of the universe.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Already - whhaat haappened?

Crystal here.  What happened?  It was Thanksgiving and now its past my Birthday and about to be time to dance around the Maypole?  Where have I been?... I'll tell you!

I have been between worlds preparing for my next adventure.  Sarah went into shock after the HealthExpo at the end of last year and took practically this long to wake up to the JOYS OF CREATING with us in the between spaces which live in her (and your) heart and are seen with her image-a-nation up in that secret third eye in the middle of all that brain matter's electrical amaze-itronics.

PLUS, a friend of hers, Bobbie Hill, has Published with Gnomestead Press now, too.  The story is about a bunch of amazingly creative turtles who make all this fantastic stuff from things found at the town dump, and turn their Spring into an Olympic event worthy of the Greek Gods ("Olympics" - Greek origin, right?) Great entertainment! (for ages 6 to 12 - or anyone!) So, that will be out in a week or so and we will send the link when we get it.

So, Sarah's current activities?  Yet another book is in the works - secretly.  I'll just say that there are a bunch of Trolls, Tomten, Nordic Gods, and all things Swedish American, waiting to get into the story. A story which was written by a magical sister maybe 20 years ago, with some photographic images of this magical occasion from 1960's which lends an eerie truth to its reality. Of course, Sarah has to put us magical folk in because the camera didn't pick us up. So, she's working on her "amaze-itrontics" gear with a Spring fruit cleanse and some meditative deep thoughts.  (I'll urge her to keep you posted more often now that she's awake once again to us.)

So, we get to be stars once again...