Posted in Colombia, country living, Dogo Argentino, Entreprenuer, expat life, family, farm life, freedom, friendship, Grief, happiness, life lessons, love, parents of deceased children, Perfection and Peace, Signs of the Universe, Spanish speaking, Spiritual Presence, Uncategorized, Villa Migelita Ecolodge

The Christmas Surprise

I have been telling everyone for the last year I need to find a new Dogo Argentino puppy. Orion is getting old, and unfortunately for all of us dog lovers we know life expectancy for large dogs is not a long time. Orion is our big boy here at Villa Migelita Ecolodge.

I never thought it would be possible to find another dog of my dreams here in Colombia. I wanted another Orion. I thought this would be impossible, how can one find perfection again? I was given him by a neighbor before I moved to Villa Migelita Ecolodge because he grew huge and ate so much. He was in a tiny house and needed space! Orion came with health problems, he has broken two bones since I have had him, is allergic to any collar he has ever worn. My veterinarian put this blue rope on him which they use for cattle, but he still gets small outbreaks of irritation.  I give Orion Kumis a pure yogurt without sugar every morning for help with his skin. He never waivers in his loyalty, nor his job of protection and love. My guests who visit adore him. He is a dog who is gentle but has a tail that can cause bruises from wagging. He is that strong, and I always have bananas around for everyone to give to him, they are his favorite treat. He is the main man in my life. Orion is intelligent, he listens, he is kind,  and he is gentle with my new baby Kira (Key Ra) whom we just adopted. He has the intelligence that some humans do not have. He is why I was determined to have a Dogo Argentino puppy when I was ready to adopt again. He is probably not pure (his color) but in every other way he is a Dogo Argentino. Maybe this is why he had so many homes, he wasn’t perfect, possibly the runt of the litter. I have always wondered about him as a puppy. I am finding out with Kira. She is strong of personality and determination.

Orion and me big head
He is not a perfect Dogo , but he is close. I don’t care because I always RESCUE my dogs!

Orion would be perfect a Dogo Argentino if he was white as snow. He was given to me after 4 different people gave him away. He was so scared that first day he came to me, right before I moved to my farm. He was so happy to be fed a good meal, he accepted all my animals, and he became my most loyal companion and protector. For me to make a decision to look for a puppy was difficult. I didn’t want him nor Marley to feel sad, insecure, or upset. Well, guess who accepted Kira (Noel) unconditionally? Orion. Marley can no longer hear and when Kira surprises him he acts out a little bit, Nayela is jealous, while Orion is being patient and kind. He even allows her to sleep with him in his bed. She follows him and copies him, which I want. He is her teacher for the future and as of now he is doing a perfect job.

Kira and birds Thurs Dec 13 011
Except for the color Orion is a perfect Dogo Argentino and Kira will soon be his size!
Kira and some birds 062
Orion came to me with those ears, and they took two years to heal. Kira will keep her floppy ears!

I first started talking to my friends here in Colombia about getting a puppy early this year. I wanted a little girl because Orion would accept her much easier than another male. I also wanted to find a rescue. I thought this would be impossible, but decided to start looking after the beginning of the New Year. Little did I know my sweet Jazmin, who is always doing kind acts and is a daughter to me, was secretly looking for months on rescue groups in Cali, Colombia for a baby Dogo Argentino for Christmas. She found Kira. Exactly what I wanted! She contacted the person who had Kira listed and was told come quickly, we have many who want her. But this lovely woman became friends with Jazmin when she told her about how beautiful Villa Migelita Ecolodge is and what a beautiful place for Kira to live. We arrived in Cali after two days and were handed this sweet little baby who is forever part of our lives now. She is not easy, but learns quickly. We refuse to crate her, our dogs are integrated and she is learning the schedule and adapting quite well. Nothing is perfect with a new baby, and Kira is a baby! She is a smart and cunning baby though, and we can’t take our eyes off of her, even though she already knows during the day to walk down the stairs to go out to the bathroom.

Now for the part I have been holding back about. It involves Misha my deceased daughter. I know I bring her into a lot of my blogs, but she is really part of my life still. This will give you the chills about the name for Kira.  Kira pronounced Key Ra is Kara in English. I didn’t pick her name the twins who are Jazmin’s girls did. Cara (spelled with a C) has the same pronunciation as Kara was my deceased daughter’s middle name. They told me the name they wanted and I was floored. I had no words except to say, I love it.

Kira is special, and like Orion I believe she was given to me with a lot of love from above. Whatever you believe in spiritually, you cannot deny when you see a real life miracle happen. Kira is that. She is difficult, she is headstrong, she is beautiful and she is my Misha in a way. I will never look at her without thinking of my daughter Mikel Cara Carson. Because no matter the difficulties of culture, language and more I experience here in Colombia, love always finds a way into my life.

After many years of avoiding Christmas and all the festivities, I am embracing and holding them close. I have the perfect gift. Her name is Kira and she was sent from above.

Kira and birds Thurs Dec 13 052
My perfect Christmas Baby



Posted in child death, Colombia, Colombian life, family, Grief, hummingbirds, mother nature, nature, Nature Symbolism, parents of deceased children, Perfection and Peace, photo challenge, Signs of the Universe, Spiritual Presence, Uncategorized

A Little Sign from the Cosmos

hummingbird feather
Hummingbird Feather

The moment I spotted this little treasure I felt chills. It was early morning and I entered my kitchen and my eyes were drawn to this tiny feather on the tile. It is so minute I do not know what drew my eyes to it, except Misha, my deceased daughter. She left it for me. Just one white feather, like an angel wing. I stopped and inhaled slowly because a white feather that is from a hummingbird is a sign, a sacred encounter with the ethereal. How my eyes saw this beautiful little quill; so small it is about the size of a babies fingernail. I could easily have walked past it without notice and it would have blown away as I was opening the doors of my Villa for the morning.

Open doors define my life in Colombia. Not only actual open doors but the doors that have opened for me since I left the United States on this journey to a new country. Colombia, a country that many do not understand nor have an accurate account of how life really is here in the most bio-diverse country besides Brazil in the world. Colombia is full of happy people, beautiful mountains, birds, flowers, and moments. I need moments.

Happiness, unfortunately is elusive to me. I feel happiness, but rarely since Misha passed. Happiness is a gift that we need to strive to achieve, all of us. We need to grasp the split second that we feel any form of hopefulness, and keep it in our hearts. This little hummingbird feather made me smile this morning. It was like she was giving me reassurance of her love. Confirming to me that she is with me, even though not in a physical form. So now I am going to frame this jewel and keep it nearby for those days I feel down, when I have had a sleepless night which so often plaque me. I will have it to look at forever.

I wasn’t sure how to photograph this tiny plume so I put it on a crack. The cracks represent my heart since I lost her. I doubt my heart will ever be whole again, but the magnitude of these moments keep me going on with life. A life I appreciate more than I ever did before she left this world. I know what grief is, I know that I will always feel it, but I also know that I can make a life in her memory. This Villa is all for Misha. She shows me her appreciation in small ways. The little feather of a hummingbird.



Posted in Colombian life, hummingbirds, nature

An Imperfect World

My rescue hummingbird has passed. It happened suddenly and without warning. Just a couple of days ago he was escaping through the slats of his little cage. He was so active. I had to put a mesh net around his cage so he couldn’t breakout and be killed by a predator. I am not sure why he died, but I knew he wasn’t well anymore. It happened so fast and I wasn’t prepared for it.

I have a cage coming from the USA and some additional food supply that hummingbird rehabilitation experts use. The wonderful thing that has resulted from his care is I will have a nice cage and products  anytime I rescue any  bird at Villa Migelita from this day forward. All of these products sent from loving friends in the United States  and will be in remembrance of Grigio. When I put another bird in this new cage I will have his spirit guiding me. I know this with my heart and soul.

To say I am sad today is an understatement. I awoke to a table without his cage that I have looked at for over a month. The joy of removing the towels I put on his enclosure every night to find him moving and drinking his nectar of smashed insects and sugar in the morning is a wonderful and loving experience in my lifetime. The hope I felt that maybe, just maybe he would be my miracle.

I am sad, frustrated and of course I am blaming myself. If only I had added even more insects to his water. If only I had more resources available to me here in Colombia . If only, if only. I became very attached.

He was fighting to live to the end. His last breaths were in the palm of my hand. He was still charging his wings, which gave me unrealistic hope. I felt he could pull through this with my loving care. I watched as one eye closed but the other eye was wide open and staring at me. That eye kept contact with me until it closed with his final breath inside my palm. So tiny, so precious, so magical. I will never be able to describe adequately the joy he brought to me by being able to care for him.

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Sisterhood: Friendship and Fun in Colombia.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Today Was a Good Day.”

I just hosted two of my long time friends at my Villa in Colombia. We had not been together for over thirty years. The 1980’s were our prime, but we still feel young at heart, although many years have passed since those good old days of dancing and clubbing when we were young flight attendants. Our reunion was one that novels are written about, one where we recall all of our old adventures while living new ones. Our first day together was glorious. We spent the day in Buga, Colombia, hiking, swimming under a waterfall, enjoying a Colombian family dinner in an old hacienda, then visiting the famous church Basilica de los Milagros in one of the oldest cities in Colombia. This was a day of new memories, a day that made us feel young again, a day of delightful happiness with the sun shining and the beauty of Colombia surrounding us.

Janet and Elaine at VM 005
A Shared Embrace
Michele taking a photo
Taking photos in the old hacienda

We started the night before when the three of us reunited at the airport. What a moment the three of us shared when we hugged. Tears were close as we talked over each other. Who would think our reunion would be at Villa Migelita, my Bed and Breakfast in Colombia, South America?  We awoke the next day to a beautiful sunny day as we embarked on a drive to Buga and the 150 year old hacienda that is a private residence with history. A place most tourists will never see. The waterfall and natural pool is on this property. We are given a tour of the home and then we are off for a short hike to swim under the cascade. We can smell the aroma of the food cooking as we leave. The dining table set for a meal of Vegetarian dishes, a special request honored by the lady of the house. The fun is just starting! We leave through the old doors that look out to beauty words cannot describe. You have to see it in person. It is exactly as it was many years ago…and we hear children in the family laughing as we start our hike. A sound that never changes no matter the century.

Janet and Elaine at VM 031
Table is set with the Colombian flair
Janet and Elaine at VM 024
The doors open to Paradise
Janet and Elaine at VM 046
Pure happiness

The hike is short and not very strenuous. We pass sugarcane fields and little rivers. Butterflies are abundant, while they stop for a drink and flutter around us. We arrive and change into our swimwear right there by the natural pool. We laugh and laugh as we remember memories of our past times. We are delighted with ourselves and that we have actually reunited in Colombia of all places. My friend Janet has to coax me into the water. I am nervous as I have vertigo and everything is a challenge to me, she has to go in a few times to show me how I will enter and exit the water. I finally get in after I watch her go under the falls. I enter and am immediately refreshed. Life is good. Life is amazing. Life is what we make of it.

Janet and Elaine at VM 054
That is me floating next to Elaine
Janet and Elaine at VM 063
A Butterfly along the way

We spend a while relaxing and swimming and then it is time to venture back to the hacienda for lunch. More butterflies surround us. We have definitely worked up an appetite! We arrive back to this old home with only two bathrooms! We have to wait our turn to change into dry clothes. Part of the adventure! We sit down to an amazing meal! We share stories with everyone, and my dear friends experience a Colombian meal in a family situation. They talked about how they enjoyed this unique opportunity of sharing a meal with a Colombian family in their home. We left with a full stomach to venture into Buga and the church of the miracle Basilica de los Milagros.

This church is very special.  No matter your religion, or no religion it is a miracle that happened. I wrote of the miracle . I classify myself as spiritual. I believe this Jesus that is displayed behind the glass is the result of this miracle. I really do. It is like no other crucifix I have ever seen. It is a very sacred moment for anyone who stands before him. It is not important what you believe. It is a a moment to save for your memories. We leave quietly and with peace in our hearts. We wander the streets of Buga to shop and sight-see. We run into people I know and sit with them for a while. The day was perfect. It was a day made to remember for years to come. A day of friendship, laughter and fun.

Janet and Elaine at VM 068
Buga the city
Janet and Elaine at VM 074
Sitting with friends
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The Hummingbird Effect

The Yupik culture of Eskimos have a belief that the soul never dies; even those of animals. They believe that the soul continues on even though the body is no longer with us. Elaborate winter ceremonies emphasized the relationship among humans, animals, and the spirit world. Hummingbirds also have that spiritual effect; Native American birds, animal symbols and totems are believed to represent the physical form of a spirit helper and guide. The meaning of the Hummingbird symbol was to signify peace, love and happiness. I have plenty of hummingbirds all around me here at Villa Migelita. My video’s are many; the most viewed is here. If any creature on this Earth represents the eternal soul I believe it is the hummingbird, with butterflies being a close second.

So what is this hummingbird effect? I believe they are little jewels of nature. There are many of us hummingbird lovers out there. We find them fascinating and mystical, these warriors with the ability to capture our hearts when they buzz around us. They can fly backwards with tail feathers spread while fighting over their territory. They seem to have no fear, even of humans who stand right next to them at the feeders. They are better than any jewelry I have owned; their sparkle in the light of the sun is better than any diamond. They are here year round at Villa Migelita. I have many at once even when it gets a bit cool during rainy season. Wherever you sit at my farm, you will hear their clicking wings beating a thousand beats per minute and then you will see them. They will be in the flowers, or at one of my strategically placed feeders. They will pay you no attention as they go about their business of drinking the nectar they need to survive while also being a sentry at their particular spot which they guard with ferocity. Such fierceness. Such independence. Such delightful antics.

I recently opened my Bed and Breakfast here in the mountains of Colombia. I was not completely ready but my two visitor’s from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico wanted to come anyway and stayed in the room that I have used for personal guests. They had seen the Hummingbird video I posted above and it drew them to my farm. Claudia, who contacted me, insisted it was not a problem that we were not actually open yet. She had to come to Colombia; she had to see for herself what a wonderful country this is and meet the girl who had a hummingbird stay on her finger and not want to leave. My first guests were like these tiny miracles; they brought their wit, spirituality, and peaceful presence to Villa Migelita. The moment I met them in person at the airport I felt a common bond of friendship that only happens when you know a person shares many of the same similarities as yourself. It is the hummingbird effect! Those lovely little jewels opened up my heart when I first moved to my farm and now they have brought me the friendship of two wonderful guests whom I celebrate in this blog.

How fast the week went; too fast as we shared adventures that I have longed to show others who enjoy nature, animals, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful solitude. Colombia is a wonderful jewel just like the hummingbird. A country of diversity, with many departments and two coasts; the Pacific and the Atlantic. A quick airline flight gets you from any of the beautiful departments in Colombia, all unique, all with much to offer. Before they visited Villa Migelita they went to Barranquilla and the coast to whale watch and actually snorkel with the whales! The first thing they did when they arrived here was wake up early from the song of a lovely bird that sings every morning to all of us at Villa Migelita. A lovely song to greet lovely people! They wandered the farm taking in the hummingbirds, but also the beauty and peacefulness that Villa Migelita offers. We have so many birds and butterflies your camera needs to be ready at any given moment! We wandered to the river and came back to have lunch and get ready for Parapente. You can see them taking off here (one of the guests Norma was already in the air) and meeting up in the sky with Claudia for a majestic journey over the beauty of the mountains. A thrilling experience, which started in the park of La Buitrera with the fun play of a baby horse and it’s mother which you can see here. I was enjoying every minute. What a wonderful first day!

The second day was a visit to El Paraiso and The Sugarcane Museum. Wonderful spots with lots of beauty and history. The hummingbirds that inhabit my adopted country are all around anywhere we go, where there are flowers there are hummingbirds in Colombia. We ended up having a really late lunch due to the time we took visiting both spots. It is difficult to leave Villa Migelita in the morning because sitting outside is so enjoyable! We would sit and watch the hummingbirds and of course Luci my rescued parrot would be outside with us also. Colombia closes early during the week and we had to see both spots, so lunch turned into an early dinner.!10479658_729687763763959_3669262712560888376_o The third day was one of spiritual unity with nature when we visited La Chorrera the waterfall famous for healing. The park was empty; it was as if we had rented it out for ourselves. I have never been with a more entertaining person than Claudia who was introducing me to new music, a lot of fun stories and a great singing voice. She actually talks more than me! We had a traffic stop which are common here and she had the police officer so entertained he did not even look at our papers and was just interested in listening to her tell him how she was enjoying Colombia! I was laughing so hard when we left; I really have never seen anyone work the police like she did that day! She just is one of these people who has this aura all around them that attracts and generates good attention. We even had a donkey horse approach our truck at the entrance into the park of La Chorrera, which was in itself delightful. You can see it here and watch to the end because you can not miss Claudia break out in song! All went under the waterfall except me because of my vertigo, it is a strong stream of water and I was afraid of losing my footing. I did swim in the natural pool and we all had a lovely lunch. This video shows everyone going under the waterfall which legend says will heal you of all problems and cleanse your soul. Once again I thought of hummingbirds and spirituality because of two butterflies which stayed with us during the time we swam and enjoyed the waterfall. One was the famous number 89 butterfly which has my daughter’s birth year on the wings. We went later to the famous San Antonio area, a very trendy area of Cali for dining and shopping. Day 3 Cali La Chorrea 062 The church which dates to the 16th century overlooks the park and town. We wandered the streets shopping and ended having tapas in a lovely restaurant that reminded me of many European towns I have visited as a flight attendant. This restaurant had butterflies on the walls everywhere, including the one I feel represents my deceased daughter with the number 89 on its wings, it was another spiritual connection. I was beginning to feel that Misha sent these two wonderful guests to be in my life! We really enjoyed this restaurant with the ambiance of another era, complete with a theater that showed old movies and had posters from long ago.Day 3 Cali La Chorrea 077 Day 4 was to be horseback riding and then Nirvana the Natural Reserve, but we changed it up to go to Nirvana first. We did not leave Nirvana until it was almost dark. Horseback riding will wait until they visit again; which I have no doubt they will. Everyone comes back to Colombia once they have experienced the magic. We hiked to the very top of Nirvana and stayed to look at the view for a long time. We ran into one of the owners and visited his beautiful home overlooking the valley. When you reach the top which is only about a one mile walk (but feels like it is 10 miles!) there is a little tienda with beverages waiting and a view of Palmira Valle that is incredible. Day 4 NIrvana 032 The walk back down goes quickly and Claudia hitched a ride on a motorcycle of one of the workers. I laughed out loud when she passed me by! The restaurant is outdoors and you can sit under the Jade Orchids where you will see more hummingbirds; I like to think of them as joining us while we dine. The wings of the hummers clicking along with the camera’s that are always nearby. That hummingbird effect goes everywhere with us!

Friday came way too fast and my guests did not want to do anything but sit outside at Villa Migelita and watch the hummingbirds. I had told Claudia she would see the exotic long-tailed hummingbird with the white tip on its tail. She saw it several times and even got a good video of it while it drank from the nectar of the Heliconia. This particular hummingbird is not a regular at my feeders; it comes to the flowering plants only. She was able to get a video in the light of the sun showing the exquisite iridescence of its feathers. All of my hummingbirds look dark but when in sunlight they sparkle like jewels when the sun catches them just right because their feathers are like little prisms reflecting the light . They can have spots on their necks with emerald on the bodies, they can have red beaks or black beaks, they can have red tails, or long green tails with white tips, they have brown with a touch of green, and some have no color until the sun hits them. There are many species at Villa Migelita, this is the long curved beak hummingbird here. This hummingbird is different and exotic, and does not fight nor mingle with the others. It is a lone breed that is all over my farm. I have seen many other long-tailed species in Colombia; but not at Villa Migelita. It is quite cool in the evenings and some breeds need a warmer climate and can be seen at many places around Colombia. I have visited a lovely restaurant on the other side of Cali that has feeders hanging while you eat and the kinds of hummingbirds they attract are much more colorful than mine here at the farm. I do have one species called the White-necked Jacobin which is always around my feeders and quite different from my darker green hummers. They are bright blue with a white neck. 738408_575209955878408_954705281_o

The hummingbird effect is a real thing that many of you share with me. We know they represent spirituality. We know they bring peace. We know they represent all that is good in the world. I believe my daughter uses them all the time to send me signs. I think the hummingbird that would not leave was her; and that video has brought me my first guests to Villa Migelita. I also believe she is following me on my journey here in Colombia and wants my Bed and Breakfast to be a success. How can I fail with these little spiritual totems that surround me? I know I will have many more of you come visit Villa Migelita, because you want to see the hummingbirds while discovering the magical realism of Colombia. Colombia a little country with so much to do and see awaits your visit. We will welcome you with warmth and friendship. Come and see for yourself this beauty that is all around me. All you need to do is sit anywhere at Villa Migelita and hummingbirds will surround you. I have found what I want to do with the rest of my life; I want to share my lifestyle with others. I want to show everyone that there is still untouched beauty in this world, and I live it every day. 464863_4195992704093_2091212189_o

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Connections From the Past; Do they Shape Our Destiny?

“The Universe wants to be noticed” I love this quote from a book I just read. No matter how hard we try to control our lives something always steps in and changes the outcome. I believe it is the Universe and we should take notice. We often have fleeting messages in our minds that we should pay attention to. We also have instances where situations are similar to our past which bring memories back to us; again the Universe. I was not aware during all those years long gone in my younger days that my thoughts and my life connections would determine my future. We all have this ability to see the unfolding of our lives if we pay attention to those moments in our minds or in our relationships that can convey to us to change a path we are on. Think to yourself how many times you look back on a period of time and wonder ‘if only’ or ‘I should have seen that coming.’ Is it really possible that we can shape our own destiny or does our life unfold according to a pre-determined plan the day we enter this world?

When my children were born I knew they would have the best and brightest futures. I devoted myself to caring for them with all my heart. The future I envisioned was one of greatness for them both. I knew they would grow to be well-educated productive members of society. I spent many nights worrying about the schools they would attend and who they would be influenced by; I was financially able to put them in the best schools thinking this would keep them safe from the kids that could shape them negatively. Little did I know that in every school, church, synagogue, work place, summer camps, summer vacations, there are bad influences. I even know my own daughter was a bad influence to my son before she passed. So where does this leave us? As my life unfolded, so did the people who entered my life, whether through the schools, neighborhood, friendships from work, friendships through my children’s friends,the families of my ex-husbands and on and on. The list is endless.

I now believe there is nothing we can do to change the trajectory of our future, unless we listen to our inner voice and follow its direction. When we feel unease around someone we should not make that person a friend, when we feel uncomfortable with a decision we should look for an alternative, when we are unhappy in our lives we should change the situation even when it is difficult or next to impossible. I know it is not easy to make changes when you are firmly entrenched in your life, your job, your family and you do not want to hurt those loved ones around you. I know this because I chose to stay in a bad marriage, which is one of those ‘if only’ thoughts I have often. If only I had left when my kids were young, I could have avoided the tragedy that unfolded as they grew into teenagers with a husband that was not united with me on anything. If only I had not married him when I left him during our courtship, but let my father influence me to go back to him because of his profession. If only I had not stood idly by when his sister’s kid bullied Misha every chance he could and no one said or did anything except me. If only I had not let my daughter influence me to put her in another school when she was in 7th grade, she would not have met the friend that changed her in a way that made the following years so difficult for me and my relationship with Misha. If only I had more time with my children, and did not have to care for my elderly mother who had dementia and also work as a flight attendant. If only, if only, if only!

Flash forward to now. I do that ‘if only’ thing way too much. I have always had a 6th sense; my mother had it too. However, I have never acted on those random thoughts that are actually the Universe telling us to be prepared. I know this because before Misha’s death I had two very strong thoughts about her death. One was so clear that I called my best friend, and I did not act on this thought. I wish I had. I wish, I wish, I wish! Oh so many things could be different, but then again “the Universe wants to be noticed.” I have to stop all of this because I would not have my son, I would not have Amaya my beloved grandchild, I would not have Villa Migelita my wonderful new home and Bed and Breakfast in Colombia, I would not have the life I have lived and the lessons I have learned. I actually do not think that any of us can change our trajectory; I believe we have a life that is given to us at birth and how we deal with the lessons that unfold is what shapes our futures. However, I do believe our past connections are involved in our future life but even if we listen to that annoying thought that tells us we should not do something, or befriend someone, or marry someone, or act on an impulse about something, we will still have an outcome that was destined to be our life and only our life. I heard an interview recently with a clothing designer who said women are all very strong, but it takes a tragedy for them to show the strength they have laying dormant inside them. That line spoke to me. I have had tragedies before my daughter’s death, and I have shown my strength many times in my life. Now my strength is who I am, not something I show in crisis. I am strong, self reliant and a good example. I always have been; but it took my daughter’s death for me to show others who might not have thought this of me.

I recently was in Florida and spent time with my grandchild. We went to The Chesapeake Resort in Islamorada to see a friend I met through my FB page Villa Migelita. I would not have met her without a friendship I had with someone else. I am no longer friends with this person as I have learned to listen to my thoughts and feelings. However, she passed through my life to bring me to this wonderful new friend. I wrote about the connection to the mermaid painting in this blog. When I visited once again after a lovely invite from Ilona to please come down and bring Amaya, I felt that spiritual connection again. This time through Ilona’s mother who she takes care of just like I did my mother. We arrived on a Friday evening after a quick 2 hour drive and were greeted with such warmth and love. I met her mother when I was there in October of 2013 and loved her spunk, her wonderful intellect and her ability to project her thoughts and her 6th sense. Yes, Nana has a very spiritual side with a presence of love in her aura. What I found fascinating is the way Amaya wanted to spend time with Nana who is usually sitting in a recliner in a lovely room looking out at the beautiful nature of the Keys. My own mother spent her final days in a beautiful room looking out at nature also. My daughter Misha was very close with my mother, to the point that she would do her homework in the room my mother lived in, help me with my mother before it became to difficult for us to care for her by ourselves. Amaya and I had dinner with Ilona and her partner, and Amaya got up and left on her own to sit with Nana, not near Nana on the couch but with Nana in her chair. They had serious conversations, they watched a Disney movie together, Nana talked to Amaya like she was her own grandchild. I was surprised as little kids usually do not go to older people on their own, but Amaya wanted to be with her. Amaya loves Nana. I think they have a connection that I can not explain, but I had Déjà vu from my time with my own daughter and her connection to my mother. The next day as soon as Amaya woke up she asked to go to the mermaid painting. We went and she sat and contemplated that painting a long time; she is only 6 so believe me when I say she sat still for a long time! We stayed two nights at The Chesapeake Resort and the next evening had dinner again at Ilona’s personal home with her family and Nana. Again, Amaya ate and then went to be with Nana. It was extraordinary, it was delightful. I snuck near them to hear their conversation and it was all about how special Amaya was, how she was a wonderful girl, how lovely she was, what a good person she would grow to be. I was teary eyed. When we left the next morning we stopped by the house to say goodbye. Amaya ran up the stairs and went to find Nana, and Ilona told me a beautiful Finch had been circling the house for a few days, but today it was hitting the window. I saw the Finch. It was gorgeous; it rested when it saw Amaya and I in the house on the hammock situated outside on her balcony. It looked at me for a long while then it started flying around the house in circles again stopping to peer in at Amaya and Nana. I know it was Misha; she always sends birds.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green is the book I took the quote from “the Universe wants to be noticed”
The Chesapeake Resort in Islamorada is owned by my friend Ilona and I highly recommend it to anyone who visits the Keys.10421609_728019933930742_7812431481361452190_n

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It has taken me some time to write my latest blog because it is about my daughter’s final resting place and not a topic I thought I would write about, nor one you might want to read about. I have never given much thought about where I will be placed after I die, as I really loathe the thought of a graveyard, or an urn in my house that is displayed on a shelf. I prefer beloved photos set around my home that remind me of good times. I have had my daughter’s ashes for a long time, even shipping them to Colombia along with all my beloved possessions. I did throw some of her ashes in the Intracoastal waterway before I moved, along a path where we would sit and talk while taking my granddaughter for a stroll.46319_10201682425288406_520618800_n

One day my partner started becoming a little upset that I still had her ashes,reminding me that they could no longer stay in a suitcase in the basement. I know! Please understand I was avoiding the reality and permanence of doing something, anything with them. My partner reminded me of the legend that goes along with Villa Migelita, a legend repeated often by the natives of El Meson. I am the third owner of this Hacienda,the first owner is said to be still roaming around the grounds. This is an often repeated tale around my area, one that is fascinating because of the history and the folklore that are combined.

Native Indians that lived in El Meson long before the colonization buried their loved ones in the best, flattest spots they could find. El Meson is so named because it is a beautiful flat area in the mountains. La Mesa translates to the table in English. So this explains the name, we are the table in the mountains. The first owner of Villa Migelita owned all the land of El Meson, but his home was called La Casa Blanca (The White House). He started this pueblo, and was a humble man who loved his privacy. He also was innovative, as he built a basement in his home that was unheard of at the time and the main house was high to keep out insects and predators, but to also bring in the cool breeze that floats through the house like air conditioning. It is said he spent most of his time digging for gold left behind from the ancestral native Indians. They buried gold and valuable artifacts with their loved ones, in flat spots of utmost beauty. It is also repeated in the folklore that he did find some gold and used it to better his home and help the community. So, because he wanted privacy to dig and hunt for gold, he gave an area where the people of the town congregated and parked their horses and wagons a space of land to build a church. The church they used before was located on his land near the house La Casa Blanca. It was an outdoor church, very simple with an overhead structure that included chairs and an alter for the priest. The locals of El Meson gladly accepted his kind offer and he supplied money for them to build the church.

As time went on he got old and still continued his lifelong quest of the search for treasure. He dug a huge lake while looking, he made stables while looking, he continued to work on his home. It is said he died always hoping for that buried treasure, and still roams the grounds as a spirit looking for bounty.

I am sure you are wondering how this ties into my daughter’s final resting place. My partner had a suggestion, he said take the urn and bury it in a place of your choice on the property, then fill it with flowers and trees. I remember thinking “why did it take so long for me to do this, what a perfect idea!” He did not direct me to a specific spot, but it was so easy for me to find the perfect place. I have a beautiful office that looks out onto my front balcony and the mountains. I also can see the area I buried her almost anywhere from the house that looks out towards the Valle del Cauca. I see the mountains and the Valle below. It is a place of supreme beauty. I have bought all kinds of plants, flowers, and even a tree that will grow over time. I placed an angel beside the tree, and have hung a hummingbird feeder on a branch. I find a lot of comfort watering her place of rest. It brings peace to my soul. The really interesting part of this story is it is the place of the original church of El Meson, and I did not know this until after she was buried. Misha is buried in holy ground. I also know if there are any spirits at Villa Migelita, they are good, kind souls.

I recently found out I still own the church of El Meson and I am in the process of giving the church back to the community. I have donated paintings and a cross in the memory of my daughter Mikel Cara Carson. She has still not had justice in her death, and a trial is scheduled for this March with a disclaimer that it could change. It will be 4 years on Jan 31st. church 014

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Stretching My Mind and My Life

What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, we need to stretch our minds.”

― Wayne Dyer

I love this quote by Wayne Dyer because before my daughter died I was not really stretching my mind like I do now. I did not believe in a lot of spiritual things, nor give the right amount of importance to what can only be referred to as our passing thoughts that occur to us on a daily basis. It is up to us to listen and be still long enough to actually hear them and to respect what these inner thoughts can actually mean to us and our daily lives. I had a premonition two weeks before my daughter passed away that she was not going to live much longer. It was a momentary thought that came to me while walking home from the beach, a path we walked together many times with my granddaughter in the stroller. I did give the thought credence because I was worried about her, she was living in another state and I was not in touch with her at the time of her death. I called my best friend and discussed the flitting of this horrible thought through my mind. We talked and came to the conclusion that I was a mother worrying about my child who had made choices that I really did not approve of. I also awoke at the exact time that her body was thrown by the car that hit her the night she died, the exact time of her death. I never went back to sleep after I was startled awake until I was called late that night about her death. I know it was her saying goodbye to me. I believe wholeheartedly in our spiritual connections to loved ones now. I have had too many other occurrences happen in the last 3 years that make me certain that we are always surrounded by our loved ones even if they are no longer on this earth. I believe my move to Colombia and the subsequent events are all in someway inter-connected with her death, and she is with me on this journey I have taken.

First photo I took of Villa Migelita, you can see the light that is an orb in this picture
First photo I took of Villa Migelita, you can see the light that is an orb in this picture

It takes a lot of courage and honesty to follow your own feelings about things. If you think of your feelings as a road map, they can guide you on this journey called life.
~James Van Praagh

When I first arrived in Colombia our friend brought his truck over to go look at the farm I was going to buy, I really was excited about this farm and moving forward in my life . That day we were to bring a few things to leave there and were almost there but a huge tree and mudslide blocked our path. Buying this farm was the reason I was able to move to Colombia quickly because I would have a place to live without a lot of work or renovation, and my house in the USA was being sold. I craved a life of tranquility. I wanted to have peace. I was sure I could find all of the above in the mountains of Colombia. It was a darling little farm. It was NOT Villa Migelita. It had very little land if you compare it with the amount I have now. It did have amazing views. However, it was super high in the mountains, and would not have been convenient to get into the main city quickly. I say all the time now “What a blessing that the mudslide happened and I did not end up at this sweet farm that was not in a practical location and without any real business opportunities for the future.” Life is always re-directing us, but we need to take notice.

1st farm I was going to buy
1st farm I was going to buy

That day I was surprised, as I had not really done the research on what could happen in mountainous regions. A valuable lesson was learned, and now I knew wherever I moved needed to have public transportation and be in a place that I would not be so isolated. Wanting peace is one thing, but to be without a real community would not have been wise nor practical. My partner’s family stepped in to find us a place to live while looking at new real estate options and we found a delightful little home in the small town of Santa Elena. It was built at the bottom of the mountains in the flat plains, and the views on my street looked up at the mountains. I was particularly sure this was the right place as the mountain that faced my area had a distinct shape of an angel. I loved going for walks with my dogs and having that angel follow along with us. I felt it was my daughter and parents sending a sign they were protecting me on my bold new adventure in a foreign country. The search for a new farm began in earnest soon after we got settled in our rental home. I looked at several farms, many around St.Elena, and even made an offer on one. However, once again something happened, this time with the paperwork and that the deal fell through. I still think Villa Migelita was waiting for me, and the first time I saw this farm I fell in love. I took photos of all the farms I looked at and the photo pictured on this blog of Villa Migelita’s property had an orb of light that can only be described as other worldly. I feel that was my daughter’s presence and love .

The Angel on the Mountain
The Angel on the Mountain

As we got settled into our new rental home, we also started doing the things that were needed for me to stay in the country. I found out quickly that I needed a Visa. I should have done this in Florida at the Colombian Embassy in Miami before I left the States. I did get my Visa but it was a lot harder than just dealing with the people in the USA, and where I now obtain my Visa every year. I discovered what it is like for anyone who moves to a new country to get the correct paperwork and what they go through to stay in a country legally. It is just as strict here in Colombia as it is in the USA. I can have dual citizenship in five years. The other thing that was important was to get my health insurance in Colombia. It is a process that also took a long time, but I did get it and have the best they offer. I learned to be persistent. I learned that Colombia is not like the USA and is very backward with things like paperwork and computers, and that the simplest things require many steps. You can not just call a place and get questions answered, you have to show up and deal with a real person who then tells you what you need. Then you have to return with those items, and sometimes it is still not right, so you have to go through the process again. I have only been living here 2 and 1/2 years and I have all I need, so it really was not a long process, but at the time it felt like it was!

The house I rented in St Eleana
The house I rented in St Eleana

During all of this time I also needed transportation. We had a small motorcycle and started looking at vehicles. The motorcycle was fun, and we enjoyed touring all the areas with farms for sale and seeing the beauty of the mountains surrounding us in the process. We did upgrade the motorcycle to a stronger one fairly fast, but finding the right car was a challenge which took months to find. Like I said the paperwork for anything in Colombia is quite complicated and needs to be done right. However, riding on the motorcycle became second nature to me and I had fun even when I did get rained on sometimes. It was all part of the adventure! I also took public transportation, something I really never did while living in the States. Everyone in Colombia takes public transportation, even the most wealthy. It is accessible, inexpensive and comfortable for the most part. I started to stretch my mind and way of thinking about a lot of my habits I had from a lifetime of living in the USA. I would see a family of three, child in the middle on motorcycles, or someone with their dog riding with them. I would see babies breastfeeding, or a child being held while sleeping. I know it sounds shocking to us from the United States, but a motorcycle here is the way people get around. They do not have the money to go out and buy a car. I learned about my new culture just by observing the new sights around me. I saw horses pulling carriages full of construction materials on the same road as the taxis, cars, trucks, public transportation and bicycles. Everyone got where they needed to go and it looks chaotic to me still. However, it is part of the charm of life in a new country.

Riding a motorcycle is fun, and it is always an adventure
Riding a motorcycle is fun, and it is always an adventure

My first months living in my small Colombian town were very busy, very fun and very enlightening. I believe that the farm that I did not buy sent me on a journey to discover the real Colombia. The Colombia I needed to live in to understand the culture. I needed the experiences I was having to make the right decision to buy a forever home. I saw all of this as the days unfolded, each one had a new discovery in store for me. I would wake up and look outside my door and see cows walking down the street or a horse grazing by my door. It was an awakening that would never have happened if I had just moved into the first farm I wanted. I was living an adventure out of a novel and I loved it!

In front of my house in St. Elena
In front of my house in St. Elena