Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Happy New Year, Dear Ones.
May 2011 be everything
we want and need for it to be
as we come into the fullest expression
of who we were meant to be.
That includes some serious time
and liberal doses of fun and play too.
May we find ourselves
wrapped in Love
and wrapping others in Love,
even those we least expect to receive it from
and even those we least expect to give it to.
Can you even imagine the World we could create?
It's time.
Blessings to all.
~~~~
Glinda Crawford, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mantel Installed

December 30:

On this beautiful day of our 44th Anniversary, Blacksmith Artist Matt Farrell arrives (with wife Sheri) for the installation of the Mantel for the Fireplace. Matt created the Mantel Support from themes I wanted to express as foundation for our Home. I have really enjoyed Matt's Blacksmith Art and am enchanted by his Ever Seeking Creative Spirit.

Plus, the fact that he is a Blacksmith was perfect too: Richard's Grandfather Jesse Sherman Crawford was a Blacksmith in an earlier time in this same County. There is much Family Lore and pride here.

So what about the Log which sits in the Mantel Support that Matt created? The Mantel piece is a hand hewn Log from the 1843 Homestead of Richard's Great Grandfather Abel Stukey. Abel would have been one of the early Homesteaders in Adair County. Jesse Sherman Crawford married Abel and Mandana Stukey's daughter Renatta, who was their youngest daughter. The Stukey Log Cabin was about 6 miles to the west of us in this very same County.

A few months ago, I asked Matt if he would undertake such a project, to which he responded with a characteristic Matt: "Sure!" And off he and the Log went to his Den of Creativity in the western part of this County.

Of course, on this Day, considerable effort went into the Installation. Where were those Wall Studs anyway? "Tap, tap, tap." "Where are those pictures of the Studs as they were marked?" The computer is humming away, and I find the pictures. Plus, having the piece look "just so" was right in the mix too. Oh, yes, level would be nice.

On this Day of installation, we are stunned at the Beauty of the Creation and Matt's Talents. Matt's Creation met and exceeded our expectations. We were so stunned, we didn't even take a picture of the finished Creation, or the Artist, or our Family. We were so in awe, that we just did a lot of looking at it over the remaining hours of the day. More pics will come later.

It is an honor and a privilege to be in the presence of someone so skilled. Such skill comes with years and years of experience and openness to the lessons along the path. Matt did our Family a great Honor in his Expression and Creation for our Little Home. Thank you, Matt.

During the installation, Richard's brother Hollis popped in with an anniversary card from he and Deleta. That was fitting. Hollis was responsible for saving Logs from the Stukey Cabin and later giving this Log to us. Hollis and Deleta both have a cherished sense of Family History through the Stories, Tools, Projects that the Ancestors have created. In a time of trashing just about everything, such an orientation is rare. We are deeply grateful. Without them, this little project could not have been completed. Thanks Hollis and Deleta!

After the installation, we had our own little Reception right here. Sheri had brought a yummy Cheese Ball and Crackers. I had made a Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread. Melanie made some Tea. We sat and enjoyed cherished time and space together. We are so grateful that Matt and Sheri have come into our lives here. In fact, it is hard to imagine a time when we didn't know them. The Creator has placed many special Beings along our Path.

More Frosty Pictures

On this little Farm, one Photographer is usually out moving about the Landscape before the other. On Frosty Mornings, the earlier one moves about, the denser the Frost and therefore the better the Pictures, assuming the Light is good. Plus, no 2 Photographers and no 2 Lenses see the same thing. These are photos from the earlier Photographer.

I think the pictures speak for themselves so I shall not say much, which is a departure for a Wordsmith. However, I shall make one exception.

I have to chuckle at the picture of Laddie. He always seems to have his Glorious Nose in the Snow. We Humans note 2 principal reasons and there are likely more. Our dull Human Senses and our over-rated Supposedly Superior Brains can't even come close to telling us the Whole Story.

Laddie does seem to tell us that Fresh Cold Snow/Frost makes the most refreshing Drink. "Try it, you'll like it." Plus, that Fresh Cold Snow/Frost seems to trap scents. Laddie seems to say: "Everywhere I go, I see the story of who has been here before. It's like reading a newspaper. You Humans just have no idea what you are missing. How can you not sense this? Pay attention, Everybody."

Meanwhile, in the absence of a Superior Sense of Smell, our Eyes wonder about.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Something to Chew On

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am sometimes stunned
by the synchronicity of happenings.
Some Folks would call that a "God Thing".
I would agree.
Richard's parents were wed March 26, 1932.
He was 25; she was 22.
They were married 45 years
until he passed in 1978.
(Richard and I mark our 44th year Thursday.
Did the years pass as quickly for them?)
Mother became a member
of her Church March 27, 1932.
That single event was a marker
throughout her Life.
She was 9.
That's 1 day apart.
To my knowledge,
neither Family knew the other at that time,
although Richard's parents worked at the Shoe Factory
and so did Mother's Dad.
Did either Family have an inkling
that their Families would one day be bound?
These were events well before my Time.
While we have known of these Dates for some Time,
for whatever reason,
I put them together yesterday.
Once again,
I have found something to chew on.
~~~~
Glinda Crawford, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Frosty Morn

The Frosty Morn invites a Walk. Richard quickly puts on his Outside Winter Wear. Dear Husband is ready in no time at all. As per usual, I take more time. With all that Warm Gear on inside, he is heating up so he starts out ahead. Ladd and I follow his tracks and catch up. It is easy to get distracted on these days with all the beauty everywhere. We wouldn't want to miss a thing.

Merry Christmas

December 25:

These days we are savoring the Christmas Branches which adorn our Family Room. Of course, we 3 C's don't cut down a Tree, because that would mean killing it.

Instead, we ask for permission from a Pine Tree to share 1 or more of its Branches. And this year, Hollis shared some Branches (with Pine Cones attached) from the Family Farm. The Boys' Family began planting Pines for Christmas Trees in 1947, the year Richard was born. The original Trees have now grown and produced their own Trees.

Richard fashioned 2 Branches together (1 from Hollis and 1 from the White Pines which grow on the Farm). He anchored them in a 2 Gallon Bucket. We used the Crazy Quilt Tree Skirt that I quilted and embroidered years ago. I never completed it, but it is still quite useful. The images show snapshots of things that were meaningful to the 3 C's.

This year, we have a potpourri of simple and sometimes worn ornaments on our spare little Branches. The lights were from my Mother and Dad. The ornaments include ones from our Family Histories. Some date back to my Family and Richard's. They aren't the fancy schmancy ones that you buy in the store and were made by who knows who under conditions I really would rather not think about. They are the simple ones that return us to our roots of story and place.

We agreed to give away handmade gifts this year. Among other things, I gave away Coupons for "Glinda's Carols" (Carol is my middle name). I promised to play Carols on the Piano at the request of the Coupon Holder. "Joy to the World" has come up. The question has come up as to whether there is a limit to the number of Carols one could select. I never thought about that one. Gotta go. Coupon Holders call.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Quote

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Love and compassion
are necessities,
not luxuries.
Without them
humanity
cannot survive.
Source: Dalai Lama
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hermitting

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hermitting
is
good.
Not easy.
But,
really
good.
~~~~
Glinda Crawford, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Taking Care of Us

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
These last few months
have presented challenges.
We are stretched and tired.
These next few months
will also present challenges.
Winter is the normal seasonal time
of rest and renewal.
We'll need energy stored up
for the next growing season.
For now,
we're taking care of us.
I may not be writing
as much on the Blog.
We hope
you're taking care
of yourself too.
~~~~
Glinda Crawford, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Stunned

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The telemarketer
was stunned.
He called to make sure
we have the best plan
for our TV.
To which I responded:
"We haven't had
television
since 1995."
Silence.
Confession:
"I've tried to give up TV.
The most I've done is 2 weeks.
My Pastor challenged me.
It's mostly garbage anyway."
Garbage in,
Garbage out.
We 3 C's don't miss it one bit.
And a final note
to the telemarketer
from me:
"I guess you just weren't ready."
~~~~
Glinda Crawford, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, December 2, 2010

On the Meaning of Stuff

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I rarely wonder
on the meaning of stuff
we gather around us.
Mostly, I just gather stuff
rather than wondering
about what purpose it serves in my life.
This is one of those rare times
when I even take a peek through the window
to consider what it all means.
Why do we gather these piles of stuff?
It's true, I am considerably better
at living more simply.
It's also true,
I still have a ways to go.
Living an agrarian life style
does take more stuff:
jars, canners, big pots, freezers.
The list goes on.
The Grandmas and Grandpas of the past did it,
and they lived in teeny houses
by today's standards,
nevermind larger family size.
They also had sheds and barns too.
While they had considerably less
by today's standards,
they kept things
because they never knew
when they might use them.
They may have had a greater sense
of what goes into the making of stuff.
Why would you throw away
those resources the Earth gave,
and the fruits
of Human efforts, skill and money besides?
Maybe their voices live inside of me.
I have a hard time letting go of things
that keep me connected to earlier ones.
I think I hold some of these treasures
because they somehow mean love.
Of course, material things do not mean love.
My rational voice firmly declares
while my hand reaches for more.
In troubled times or times of higher stress,
I hold onto things more,
almost as if I need something to lean on.
The boxes get so tall
they teeter as I lean.
The piles get so wide
they impede my path.
In my life, I practice
a dynamic dance
of accumulating and letting go.
These days, I feel
the struggle of those 2 things
and I see it in the settling
of this little Home.
Somehow I (and we) will find our way.
I am better,
but I have a ways to go.
~~~~
Glinda Crawford, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Electrician Is Coming

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We are
in the middle
of a serious look
at efficient use of space.
That includes downsizing and storage.
Yes, this little House
which looks like
a Minnesota Lake Cabin,
is becoming a Missouri Farm House.
The Electrician called
around the dinner hour
to let us know that
he and his crew are coming
at 7am tomorrow.
Among other "tweaks"
to the system,
they will put outlets
along the exterior wall
of the west side of the basement.
That portion of the basement
has featured growing piles
of boxes for storage.
What is in the boxes
next to those walls
has long become a mystery.
We remembered
their contents this evening
as we were moving everything
to the middle.
When we moved here 3 1/2 years ago,
we had downsized significantly.
We are being inspired
to downsize yet again
~~~~
Glinda Crawford, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Stuff

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We own our stuff,
but there comes a point
when our stuff owns us.
Why would we want to do that?
What purpose does that serve?
~~~~
Glinda Crawford, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sunday, November 28, 2010

These Days

These days, visits to this Blog are increasing rapidly. My counter (http://statcounter.com/) tells me that many of the "hits" result from searches for "Povitica". A recipe is included on this site. http://butterflyhillfarm.blogspot.com/2008/12/recipe-povitica.html Plus, I have often talked of my memories of this wonderful Bread. http://butterflyhillfarm.blogspot.com/search?q=Povitica

This Nut Bread was made by my Croatian Grandmother Dragica (Dora) especially around the holidays. Povitica is also called Potica and Pah-cah-TEET-sah, which is a name I cannot spell but can surely pronounce.

Making Povitica was no small commitment for the Grandmothers, taking about an 8 hour day to make, and resulting from complex skills learned from many times in the observation and making. Grandma Dora immigrated here with her husband Kazimir in 1908. They came from the region of the Austro-Hungarian empire known as Gorski Kotar. Her trunk of treasures included many foods of traditional fare, which were a part of the glue that defined them.

Perhaps the rising interest on the Blog comes from a gentle and persistent nudging of the Grandmothers for the memory of who we are and from whence we have come. Those of us in this modern frenzied world have left behind so many traditions. But some traditions just cannot seem to be denied. They surely must be encoded in our cells.

As we return to these traditional crafts in our slow and often fumbling ways, the Grandmothers would surely nod and smile. It's a coming home.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Better and Better

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
When I was younger,
I always wondered
what Folks thought about
when they got
some snow on their roofs.
That is:
gray/white hair.
Didn't think they thought about
much of anything
of consequence.
But, now
that my hair is graying,
I think
it just gets
better and better.
~~~~
Glinda Crawford, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On Gratitude

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Gratitude gets
all the Fanfare
on Thanksgiving Day.
But rather,
it should be a practice
every day,
all year long.
We try,
right here
down on the Farm.
~~~~
Glinda Crawford, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
...Gratitude...
Heirloom Breed Turkey
(raised by local Farmer John Arbuckle,
Singing Prairie Farm),
Wild Rice Dressing
(Wild Rice from Native Harvest
harvested in the traditional way
up there on those beautiful northern Minnesota Lakes,
with Celery, Parsley, and Garlic which we raised
and Onion which we did not,
Giblets from the Turkey, butter from the store)
Mashed Root Vegetables
(Rutabaga, Celeriac, Parsnips, Potato, Leeks, Garlic,
all from right here on the Farm;
Butter from the store,
Milk from Brad Whitaker's Cows)
Brussel Sprout Salad
(Brussel Sprouts, assorted Lettuce,
all of which we raised,
Walnuts,
Goat Cheese from Sarah Wilcox-Hughes's Goats
and made by her hands,
dressing was oil and vinegar,
and mustard from Sandhill Farm),
Indian Pudding
(Varieties of Indian Corn raised on our Farm,
Milk from Brad,
Molasses from the Crawford Family,
Butter from the store),
Gravy
(Rice Flour, Butter and Juices from the Turkey),
Cranberry Relish
(Cranberries handcarried
from Wisconsin last year
and relish made right here),
Sweet Potato Pie
(Sweet Potatoes from here,
Brad's Cows' Milk, Molasses from the Crawford Family,
Honey from Hollenbeck Farm,
Eggs from our Hennies,
and Assorted Spices,
Gluten Free crust
using Pamela's Pancake and Baking Mix)
....
Yum
....Gratitude....
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Friday, November 19, 2010

Reduction Program

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We are intent
on reducing
our Car Inventory to 2.
That means
sharing more,
"ours" rather than "mine".
We'll reduce insurance costs,
reduce property tax costs,
reduce costs of care and upkeep,
have less to take care of,
create more space,
live more simply.
Richard's Runner
will take his place
in the Garage.
One vehicle is more
the sturdy country/farm type.
The other
is for saving on gas,
decreasing our contribution to global warming
and distance/highway travel.
All these things will happen
when they are supposed to.
One more to go.
~~~~
Glinda Crawford, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sold

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sold my Car today.
Were on our way out the door
headed toward the dealership.
Car was clean,
sparkly,
spiffy,
ready to go.
Title, keys, records
were in my hand.
Coat was on,
mittens too.
Phone rang.
Friend expressed interest.
We met 20 minutes later.
They fell in love,
just as I did.
We were neither
in the car selling business.
So, setting price
was strange all around.
They asked
what I would like.
I asked
what they would like.
We hummed, hawed,
looked down at the ground,
shuffled our feet,
looked back up again
and smiled.
I suggested a price.
They offered more.
We settled.
Sold.
Hugs all around.
Isn't this the way
it's supposed to work?
She sits
on a new drive
tonight.
Feels good.
She took good care of me .
She will take good care of them.
She has new adventures ahead.
So do we.
I gave her
a little pat on the way out,
said "Thanks",
wished her
and her new Family
well.
~~~~
Glinda Crawford, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Winter Preps

It's beginning to feel more and more like Winter. Shift in seasons is surely in the air. That means that final preparations for Winter are in order. In the last couple of days,
  • Garden statues migrated into the Garage.
  • Cornelia, the Scare Crow, took up winter quarters in the garage too.
  • We filled all available 5 gallon buckets with rain water and brought them inside for the inside plants.
  • The Rain Barrel was emptied, cleaned and put away.
  • Barbecue grills were stored.
  • Mums from the Bakers and the Kerbys, and Rachel found places in the west garden.
  • 14 gallons of Carrots were dug.
  • Bird baths were tucked away.
  • Containers from the West Porch are now stacked in the Garage.
  • That newly arrived compost was spread onto 7 raised Garden Beds.
Mostly, Richard did all of this. He worked slowly and deliberately. I'd look out and there he was in yet another place. Melanie and I had in town work to do today. Plus, I am pretty pooped out these days from all the intensity of the last few weeks and months.

Rest is good. We can almost feel a longer rest coming. Yesterday, we had 2 Garden Catalogs arrive in the Mailbox. After the intensity of these last few months, we aren't ready for that. So Melanie carefully tucked them away.

Grandma and Grandpa Say

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If a job is worth doing,
it's worth doing well.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Storage

Jonathan keeps working away at shelves in the Basement. We are very pleased. That's all local wood. His design is in keeping with our specific needs and functions to make this Little House into a Missouri Farm House. You will note the work station to the left.

This is the 2nd set of shelves Jonathan has built in the basement. Richard looked at the 1st set and commented that it is really good to see a finished product of someone who takes pride in their work.

I am not so sure why that sounds so unusual, but these days it seems like a lot of folks are just putting out the minimum. Seems like what you put out is also what comes back to you. Who are we fooling?

Over the next 4 days, we will be cleaning up the area of sawdust. Then we will put boxes and tubs on the shelves according to the functions we have in mind. We are already looking ahead to the next storage project. Hopefully, Jonathan will return soon for the next round to weave his magic yet again.

These storage projects surely are helping us feel like we are home here. That feeling seems like the product of time, experience, and bonding.

15 Tons

On this day which is Richard's Birthday, we had a delivery of Aged Cow Compost from the Cows of our friends Rolf and Ilse. That's 15 Tons. I can imagine that the Garden is just gleeful with delight.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Book Friend

Roth, Sally. (2003). The Gardener's Weather Bible: How to Predict and Prepare for Garden Success in Any Kind of Weather. Emmaus, PA: Rodale.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Grandma Says

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A place
for everything
and
everything
in its place.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Guidance

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Years ago,
I began to feel
uneasy
with popular means
of thought and action.
Some things simply
did not make sense.
It was
as if I was putting
on "Hand Me Down" Shoes
that did not fit
my Feet
and hampered
my Walk.
Plus,
I had questions
I had to pursue.
I began to walk away
from Boxes that constrained
my Thinking,
my Actions,
and my Walk.
Simultaneously,
I was drawn to studying
other Cultures' views of the World
and their place in it.
In that moment,
I began to honor
the Voice
inside of Me.
I was learning
to color outside the Lines.
Instead of a Black and White World,
I found Colors
hanging on the Rainbow.
I found Guidance
for my Earthly Walk.
~~~~
Glinda Crawford, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Place for Everything

The day seemed to be on that Edge between Fall and Winter. Skies had those striking Winter Colors. Clouds were gray and heavy. Glimpses of Brilliant Blue sometimes appeared. It was cool. Rain was predicted.

Enter Jonathan, who has been intent upon helping us make this little House into a Home and this design of a Minnesota Lake Cabin into a Missouri Farm House. His intention is helping us making Sacred Space in the place that we call Home. He brings his Gifts into our Lives and we are ever so grateful.

In the time that he has shared his talent with us, we have mostly focused on interior painting. This past week, he has been working on creating some storage in an upstairs Bedroom. Lately, he has turned his talents on the Basement.

While somewhat functional, our Basement has been largely without Shelves these past 3 1/2 years. That means, Storage is in stacks of boxes and piles. That sort of arrangement is hardly efficient or fun.

Jonathan is intent upon making Shelves in the Basement. He has watched and listened intently on what we need to have happen here to make the Basement and the Farmhouse fully functional. He disappeared into the Basement and came up with some new solutions that we had not even thought of. The 1st task is about making Shelves for the Canned Goods of which we have a lot.
Please note that the Shelves will be made out of Local Wood. I could not be more pleased.
Before he left today, he had largely gotten the shelves in place in the Basement. Do we ever like what we see. He has a bit of finishing work to do on them. Already, the boxes have been vying for their place on those wonderful shelves. And another wall wants a set of shelves there too. It's like the Basement is beginning to breathe. And the Humans are too. I remember the Old Timers saying: "A place for everything and everything in its place."

In the meantime, I am intent on packing away the last of the Seeds. The Flower Seeds have been patiently waiting: Zinnias, Marigolds, Coxcomb.

It's amazing to me how efficient Nature is. I pulled those Pretty Petals out, and Bingo, Nature produces Seeds for the Next Generation. The reaches of the Life Cycle sat there in my Hands.

The Following 2 Flowers are Benary's Giant Zinnias and my Mother's Marigolds, both of which I dearly love. I usually just keep small envelopes of Seeds. For these, I used large and small brown paper Bags. That's way more than I need and aplenty to share besides.We had Venison Roast with Veggies for our Evening Meal. The Roast cooked most of the Day and its aroma was wonderful. Great Niece Cassie got the Deer during the Young Hunting Time. The Deer was young, so it was really tender.

Richard headed to the Garden to gather some Veggies. Those Turnips are just terrific. There is a big difference between those that were grown in regular Rows and those that were grown on Raised Beds. Those grown in regular Rows are stressed and small; the texture and flavor are less than ideal. It's pretty obvious they have struggled this growing Season. The Gigantic One below was grown on a Raised Bed. That Plant was really happy. We Gardeners are too.

Patience

All of Nature is completing preparations for the coming Winter Months. The Praying Mantis has prepared a lovely Nest for her Eggs. That Nest sits almost at eye level in the Little Oak Tree beside the North Bench.

This Fall has brought some special challenges and gifts on and off the Farm for the Humans in completing their Preparations. We keep poking away at our Winter Preparations. We celebrate that which we have gotten done. More awaits. We wonder what we will actually get done.

Somehow the thought of incompletion before the Winter arrives is like writing a sentence without putting a period at the end. I try to be Patient but it is hard. Maybe Patience and Letting go are just the lessons I need to learn.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Peanut Memories

November 1:

On this day, we pulled some of the Peanuts from their dried Vines. As I sat there pulling Peanuts, I shared that I didn't think this was the customary process for that big name company which sells such things. On this day and on our Farm, the Peanuts are big and are they ever good.

When I was a Child, I loved to write stories. I would tell them to anyone who would listen. They always seemed like a kind of magic to me. One of my Memories of such Tellings is the warm smiling face of my Mother looking down on me.

One of the stories that I wrote was called "The Little Peanut". I was about 8 and in the 3rd Grade. I just couldn't quit writing and telling stories because the words seemed like they would never stop.

The story went something like this: "Once upon a time, there was a Little Peanut. He lived on a Farm in the Soil with his Family and his Friends. They laughed and played together. Life was good and they were very happy.

One day, they heard some loud noises and felt the ground shake. Pretty soon, a large machine came and dug them from the ground. They were placed in a large box under which the wheels turned. They were taken away from the place that was their home. It was dark in the box and they were sad, alone, and afraid. Where did their family go? Where was the place they called home? Would they ever return?

The wheels stopped. And they were thrown into something that moved. They were squashed and stirred all around. Somehow, the Little Peanut still knew who he was. Later they were placed in jars with the lids on. Once again the Little Peanut and all the other Peanuts were in boxes and under them the wheels turned. This time, those Wheels turned in a different direction. Things were all dark in there so they did not know what was going on.

Then the lid came off and the Little Peanut could see the light. To his surprise, he was back home and he was surrounded by his family and friends. No, it wasn't quite the same. They were now Peanut Butter, but they lived happily ever after on the Farm that was always their home.

"The End."

Winnowing

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
These days,
we are tidying up on more levels
than we can count.
I shelled the remainder
of the Dry Edible Beans.
Since they were mixed
going into the bucket
out in the Garden,
they were mixed as I shelled them.
After they were shelled,
there was a lot of "chaff".
I headed to the porch
to "winnow" them.
Richard taught me how to do this
and I just love doing it too.
Pouring them from Container to Container,
a soft Breeze takes away the Chaff,
leaving the Beans behind.
I then separated them
according to type and put them in
Jars in the Pantry
for Culinary Crafts ahead.
~~~~
Glinda Crawford, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Simple Formula

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You just can't have
Healthy People on a Sick Planet.
What we do to
the Air, Water, Soil, Fire,
we do to ourselves.
Physicians take
an Oath
to first do no harm.
Buddhists practice non-harm.
God gave us Creation.
Shouldn't we honor
and cherish
that Gift
in every step?
How did we
get so far off
that page?
~~~~
Glinda Crawford, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Quote

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To keep the body
in good health
is a duty
...
otherwise
we shall not be able
to keep
our mind
strong and clear.
~~~~
Buddha
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Problem on Its Way to Some Kind of Solution

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We have had Mice in the Garage.
Up to this day,
we stored Food for the Chickens
in the Garage.
Lots of Food.
Organic.
Good Stuff.
We have also stored
2 of our Cars there.
That's not a good mix.
Previously,
we have taken care
to make sure that the Garage
is sealed all around,
if you can completely know
about such things.
Mice can come in
through the smallest of Spaces.
And we have set traps.
Mice need 2 things:
Food and Shelter.
Under the previous circumstances
that makes our new Garage
a 5 star Hotel.
Those Mice are smart.
They are survivors.
These days, they are scurrying inside
anything that could be perceived as Shelter
because they know Winter is coming.
The urgency in them is survival energy.
On this day, Richard removed
all the Food from the Garage.
It now sits in the Rooster House.
Shhhhh...
The Garage Hotel
just got downgraded.
We are keeping
our Fingers crossed on this one.
Mice, be gone.
~~~~
Glinda Crawford, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hats Cycles

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Melanie suggested
we put
our Summer Straw Gardening Hats away.
They have been faithfully
hanging out on the Coat Rack,
ready for any Gardening Excursion
however big or small.
I suggested
we might have a Ceremony
marking the occasion.
In the meantime,
Winter Scarves, Mittens, and Hats
are now appearing
in their customary Basket
near the West Door.
Those soft Treasures
surely have marked
a Ceremony of their own.
~~~~
Glinda Crawford, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Help Is on the Way

These days, we are pretty worn out. The intensity has been "over the top". I feel like we are runners who have been on a long marathon. We 3 C's have little energy left. The finish line is close. Will we have enough energy to get there?

Five Urban Gardeners from the Kansas City area came to help on Friday afternoon: Les, Alicia and Evangeline, Bobby and Jennifer. We had known Les from before. These Urban Gardeners are touring Gardens in the area. Home Base for them is the Possibility Alliance down the Road. Ethan sent them right up to help us. Our Gardening Friends went right to work on our list of what we needed to do in the Garden: pulling the remaining Dry Edible Beans, taking out Tomato Cages and Tomato Supports, digging Glad Bulbs.
Probably one of the most significant things that they did was to go after the Weeds. They pulled what they could find and placed them in a burn pile. Those Weeds are loaded with Seeds, which is the way Nature intended. The problem is that those Seeds will become Plants and they will be vigorous in the Garden. Pulling them and disposing of them in a way that Seeds are destroyed is important.

It is amazing to see how Folks who are "fresh" with energy stores can plow through the garden. At the beginning we offered them a Tour and Orientation to the Farm. At the end, there was time for some exploration, play and conversation.

They were very interested in the Sorghum Molasses Operation. We headed straight to the Cane Field. Richard even found some Green Sorghum Canes for sampling. The Juice was down but the Sweetness was up. While I love the taste of the Juice, my Favorite Part surely is spitting out the pulp. My spitting techniques and distance seem some better.Evangeline spent some time with the Chickens. The Chickens were intrigued with her Company and especially enjoyed some of the Treats. Melanie followed up with Chicken Stories. That's Coobird below. She is named for her sound and my Childhood Nickname.

In the special time that Evangeline was here, she contributed some names to 3 of the Littles from the year: "Shy", "Curious", and "Orange Feet". We smiled. Some among us are surely the "Namers".As quickly as the Gardening Fairies had come, they were soon gone. But in their wake was a Garden which was very happy to be tended, and some very grateful Human Gardeners. Thanks so much, Friends! We are so very grateful. Good wishes ahead on your own Gardening Adventures.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Scurrying

Will and Beth came from the Possibility Alliance down the Lane to harvest Veggies from the Garden. Melanie and Richard took them around the Garden to point out produce that we have in abundance and would like to share. They picked Tomatoes (Green and Red), Tomatillos, Green Beans, Peppers (Hot and Sweet).

The Wind was blowing at a Gale. While the Weather seems over the top on the Plains, Change is in the air. The next 2 nights will likely see Temperatures dip. Word has it of Blizzards on the Northern Plains. Winter is coming. Gardeners scurry about, much like the Squirrels down in the Woods. Winter Sleep will soon be here.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Found Friends

October 13:
Richard and Melanie headed to West Orchard to pick Apples today. They came back with 2 1/2 Bushels. Most were Arkansas Black which are supposed to be good keepers.
While there, Dan West introduced these 2 C's to a grove of Persimmons. Some of those Persimmons wanted to come home with them, which they did. Those Persimmons are simply yummy. I do not ever remember having Persimmons before.
Richard and Melanie extracted the Pulp. Then Melanie froze some and also made Persimmon Cookies, modifying Jennifer Schutter's recipe so that it was Gluten Free. Those Cookies went right into the Cookie Jar and then came right out.
On this day, we celebrate New Found Friends.
~~~~

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nature Notes

Two days ago, I noticed a Northern Harrier on my way home from Town. We love that Hawk with its long tapering wings and graceful almost Butterfly-like Flight very close to the ground.

The Harrier nests in the Northern U.S. and Canada. We fondly remember watching it on the Prairies in summers when we lived in North Dakota. It is listed here as "year round". However, we do not see it much here on the Farm in Summer. For us, the Harrier's return is a sign of the return of a Winter Companion.

We hope you have had a good nesting season, Dear Friend. We are grateful for your return.
~~~~
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Harrier/id

Echinacea in the Fall

While some colors are fading as we have moved into Fall, others are intensifying. Yes, the Raiments of the Trees have shifted into their Fall Wardrobes, but they don't seem as Colorful as other years. Some just seemed to have dropped their leaves. I wonder if that has come from stress of the weather events over the Summer. Those events were surely out of normal range.

On this Day, I noticed that my Friend Echinacea (or Purple Coneflower) is blooming. I dearly love this plant. We seem to have a love affair that has been ongoing these past 15 years. She usually blooms in the middle of the Summer. But I find her flowers are the most intense in color in the Fall. They seem to take on a brighter pink.

We use Echinacea as Tea and Tincture for bolstering our immune Systems. Our research of the Plant and its effects on us makes it a very special companion. Melanie has already dried leaves for Tea. Richard will soon be digging Roots for Tincture.

Notes on Sugar

This surely could be a much longer entry, but this evening, it simply won't.

We 3 C's have cut down markedly on our use of Sugar and Sweeteners these past 10-15 years. It didn't happen all at once and rather happened gradually over time.

I suppose we should 1st set the scene. For 3 decades plus, we lived in a valley which produced huge amounts of Sugar made from Sugar Beets. We watched the ecological destruction of what was once a Natural Landscape. When I began teaching Environmental Studies classes in 1996, I noted with interest the health affects of people living in those areas. I was appalled. Plus, we watched the Plumes of the Sugar Beet Factories and smelled the Piles of Waste wafting over our town. For me, Bees became an inspiration. How could they do it so simply? And why were Humans intent upon such gargantuan enterprises and such ecological change? I began to watch our Sugar Consumption.

All 3 of us have faced blood sugar issues the last 12 years. Fortunately, that didn't happen at the same time. We each had time to face the realities of what we ate and the affect it has upon our Health. "We are what we eat." In the face of those realities, choosing to reduce the amount Sugar was and is very important. The Creator gave us this Body and this Lifetime; it seems like it is our responsibility to take care of it.

Simulataneously, we were switching to Organic Foods in the last 10-15 years. When we switched to eating Organic Foods, we discovered a remarkable difference in taste. At last, a Strawberry tasted like a Strawberry. An Apple was a sensory pleasure. We had forgotten what those Foods really tasted like. Since Organic Foods tasted just like they were supposed to, we didn't need to add Sugar or Spices to jazz them up. I do believe that Sugar and Flavorings used in Foods are masks to cover something that doesn't really taste like it is supposed to. Witness those labels.

Melanie also notes that we were increasingly eating "fresh" Foods grown by our very own Hands. Once again, Flavor was (and is) at premium. As we have moved to this Little Farm, we have experienced a marked increase in "fresh" Foods grown chemically free. An amazing amount is grown locally, most often by us. We do not know the actual percentage of the latter.

We steer clear of Artificial Sweeteners. Yuk. In fact, Melanie and I find them scary. If Nature didn't produce it or the Grandmothers wouldn't recognize it as Food, we avoid it. In the last 3 years, we have switched to almost exclusive use of Natural Sweeteners (only when needed). That includes mostly Honey and Sorghum Molasses, with some Rapadura (less refined Cane Sugar), Maple Syrup, Date Fines, and Agave. When we get the Good Stuff, we don't need as much. We use less of the Sweeteners and when we do, they become a Treat.

All along the path, we were doing careful research, reading all that we could find. Our antenna were up. The research was the underpinning for the change. And that change felt so right.

Should you eat at our House, you would find some differences in Taste. Hopefully, they would be Tastes that you would like. However, if you are hooked on the other stuff, the differences may be dramatic. Again, we looked at health issues and impacts on the Planet. The shift represents values important to us. They did not happen all at once. We are so glad we made the change.

A Fall Breakfast

October 12:

Melanie fixed a German Apple-Pear Pancake for breakfast this morning. This morning's rendition varies some from the original.

She originally got the German Apple Pancake recipe when she was in Gustavus, Alaska, on Summer Solstice 2003. Memories of it are reminders of that Beautiful Stay with Beautiful Friends in years past. Gustavus is out on the water in Southeastern Alaska near Glacier Bay National Park. It's amazing how Memories are stored in Food.

Seven years later, she makes it Gluten Free right here on our little Farm in Northeast Missouri. She included Pears and Apples from our Fall Harvest. The Apples were from the Golden Delicious Tree in our backyard and the Pears were from the Old Trees out in front of neighbors Shirley and Terry's house.

We put on Butter and drizzled Molasses made at the Crawford Family Farm on top. Those Pecans were bought in the store and they are not local nor are they organic. They are however a reminder that we need to check out the Fall Crop in places to the South of here.

When we sat down to the table this morning, more memories were being created. In the meantime, that German Apple-Pear Pancake just disappeared. Yum.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

German Apple-Pear Pancake (Gluten Free, No Sugar)

(This recipe serves 3 "lightly" with other additions. I sometimes double it. Earlier version was not Gluten and Sugar Free http://butterflyhillfarm.blogspot.com/2009/10/recipe-german-apple-pancake.html)
~~~~
1/4 c. Gluten Free Baking Mix (we used "Pamela's")
1/4 c. Sorghum Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
~~~~
2 Eggs
2/3 C. Raw Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla
~~~~
2 Tbsp. Butter
1 1/4 lb. Apples/Pears, sliced (she used half and half, she peeled them because the peels were not "appealing")
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Lemon Juice

1. Set oven at 425 degrees. Adjust rack so that Apple Pancake will sit in the middle with even air flow all around.
2. Mix dry ingredients: Flours, 1 Tbsp. Rapadura (optional), Salt until evenly distributed. Set aside.
3. For liquid ingredients, beat Eggs. Add Raw Milk and Vanilla. Set aside.
4. Heat Butter in 10 Inch Cast Iron Skillet until bubbling. Add Apples, Rapadura (optional), and Cinnamon. Stir occasionally. Cook until Apples become slightly golden and slightly cooked. Stir in Lemon Juice.
5. Mix together #2 and #3 (Dry and Liquid Ingredients for the Pancake). No lumps please. Pour over Apple Mixture.
6. Bake in the same Cast Iron Skillet until Pancake is golden brown, puffy and springs back at the touch. (About 18 minutes). It will "deflate" after it cools. No problem.
7. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings. We use Butter, Maple or Sorghum Molasses, Pecans.

Days Are Full


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you are a regular following this Blog,
you may be wondering
why I haven't been writing much
these past few days.
A snapshot of today might shed some light.
I did wash to start the Day.
I should not forget that
in the face of the busy-ness,
those Sheets
need to be put on our bed.
Harvest is in full swing.
Every container is maxed
with some kind of Garden Produce
waiting in cue to be eaten and preserved.
We watch carefully
so we do not lose anything.
Those Peppers and Tomatoes
went into Stuffed Peppers
which we made yesterday.
They were done last night.
We put them in the outside Refrigerator
to cool for the Night.
Today, I put them into Plastic Tubs
that Deleta gave us.
And they are now in the Freezer.
Melanie and Richard peeled
Apples for Apple Sauce.
And she canned it up
as soon as it was done.
The aroma wafted lovingly
into the corners of the House.
I tidied up to make sure no bills
were going unpaid.
It seems when we get as busy
and distracted as we are now,
those essentials can slip past.
Richard picked up needed Supplies in town.
He headed to Rolf's to pick up Liver, etc.
Rolf is a friend who Farms
about an hour to the west of us.
We really like his Beef.
They are pastured and very well cared for.
If you have been following this,
you know that is essential to us.
Rolf provides Beef for Consumers.
He called late last week to offer us the Liver
as a Cow was being butchered today.
When Richard arrived back here at the Farm,
Hollis Dale came over to help.
We split the Liver between us.
I watched Richard and Hollis Dale at work.
I am new to these things,
but figured out
where I could be the most help.
I went to Town
to visit my Elderly Mother.
She is not doing so well.
I am wondering if she is ready to head on.
Of course, we cannot know.
Once again, I am new at these things
and I keep trying to find my place.
She is less and less connected.
However, she loves to have me play the Piano.
She just lights up.
So I played a Recital just for her.
The pieces came right
out of my childhood and family history:
"Adagio" (the 1st movement of "Moonlight Sonata")
was played by my Grandmother Lottie
at her Graduation
from the Wagner Conservatory of Music
101 years ago, in 1909,
in Kirksville.
For as long as I have lived,
my Mother has loved this song
with abandon.
My version was neither as long
nor did it have as many notes
as my Grandmother's.
My sheet Music calls this version "simplified"
which suits me just fine.
I played "For Eloise" by Beethoven,
which I just love.
I played the "Blue Danube" by Strauss.
These days, my mind and prayers drift
to the tragedy on the beautiful Danube in Hungary.
While playing the "Blue Danube",
1 of the Custodians came along
with his Floor Polisher;
he was humming the tune
and I could swear
he was dancing with that Floor Polisher.
But I am not sure,
for mostly my thoughts were focused
on the Sheet Music and the Keys.
He gave me the Gift of a wide Smile.
I also played
the "Spinning Song" by Ellmenreich.
For this recital, we were joined
by a Childhood Friend Gaylene
(who was visiting from the East Coast)
and her youngest sister Kathy.
Our Dads were 1st generation
born to immigrant Croatian parents
and they grew up together.
Gaylene and Kathy had come to see Mother.
Their Mother is doing a Hospital stint
and I was not happy to hear about that.
She will be in our thoughts and prayers.
I'm playing the Piano at lot here at home.
And I am doing it "for Mom".
We pulled 7 Chickens out of the Freezer.
The Freezers are overflowing,
so we will be canning up Meat.
We have "Tides" here on the Farm.
They are actually Dishes
which rise and fall in mounds
to be cleaned or dried and put away.
With all the doin's,
I have not been sleeping well.
Something had to give
and it is not supposed to be me.
I slowed down on the writing,
but this indeed is a treasure trove time.
My writing is a record,
it is also a seeking of meaning too.
Plus, our Server seems
to have less access in the Evening
so Blogger is often out of reach.
For all these reasons of abundance,
I didn't post on the Blog for a bit.
That will likely happen again.
I asked my family
if I could take a bit of time
to Blog while they cooked supper.
Liver is on.
It smells really good.
Dinner will be up soon.
~~~~
Glinda Crawford, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plans for Sorghum Planting 2011

October 7:

We just finished making the last Batch of Sorghum Molasses for the year, and Bingo, we are getting ready for next year's. Hollis and Hollis Dale headed over to mow some of the Meadow for the next year's planting. Richard picked 2 spots, one farther to the east of the house and the other to the northwest. We looked at them closely. I think the Cane will be happy in either spot.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Nature Notes

Richard saw the 1st Junco today. They have been up into Canada in their Breeding Territories. What those little Wings have seen.

Juncos are our Winter Companions. Cycles and Seasons continue. We are ever so grateful.

Nature Notes

Harvesting of Soybeans on Farmland out here in the Countryside has begun. Asian Lady Beetles are beginning to show up, outside and inside. They are not our favorite.

Rest

October 3:
The moment finally came.

The Marathon Summer had been intense with all the Rain, Storms, Chiggers, Weeds. We could hardly take a break. We did not know what "break" was. Our antenna were up. We were ever vigilant for the next challenge.

Harvest season came. Yes, there were losses. Despite adversity, our Garden and the Earth produced Abundance at every Turn. We were deeply grateful.

Then, Frost was predicted with the arrival of October. That was well ahead of the 1st Frost Date of October 10th for these parts. We headed into overdrive to gather whatever we could.

And my Dear Elderly Mother came down with Pneumonia and had a stay in the Hospital. We (and especially me) focused on her with an ever watchful Eye.

Just when we thought we had not 1 particle of energy, we made that last Batch of Sorghum Molasses on Sunday. Pretense went out the Window. We moved in and out of the complexity of Tasks for the day; magically and seamlessly, Folks stepped up to the plate. What needed to be done was done. Cane was milled, Juice was strained, and boiling down began. We had a most welcome Lunch of Food which appeared out of nowhere on that wide Table under the Oak.

And then we found moments of delicious rest awaiting. We took it in quiet conversations in easy Chairs on the Lawn. Some of us laid down on the Earth and felt that Glorious Sun pouring down. Those are the Photographers Knees at right.

The circle of Adults in this spot were at 1 with the Ground. And Baby Alexis quietly and gently sat and played in the middle. Finally, that moment of Rest had arrived. And a sense that the deeper Rest of Winter would be at hand.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Molasses Making 2010: Batch 2 (October 2)


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wreaths

September 27:

Rhiannon made 2 beautiful Wreaths while she was here. Sorghum Cane Seedheads were the inspiration for this beautiful Artistic Adventure we were privileged to watch right here from our Home on this little Farm.

For the 1st Wreath, Rhiannon built the Wreath out of the Sorghum Cane Seedheads alone. For the 2nd, she used the Seedheads and added an assortment of Flowers and Grasses from the Garden and on the Meadow which she had dried. A wire coathanger was bent to become structure for the circle. She used Twine for tying.

Before she left, we hung this wreath beside the Grandfather Clock. The Wreath provides a proper welcome for the 3 C's and anyone who ventures here. Plus, we'll be able to watch how the Wreath retains color and holds together over time.

Since the Wreaths are biodegradable (except for the hanger), we will give them back to the Earth at some point in the future. The Seeds may even become Plants, which is what I imagine Seeds long to be.

Thank you, Rhiannon!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Orion Returns

We have a returning Friend in the Night Sky. The constellation Orion, the Hunter, has returned. Orion is our companion during the Winter Months. His return marks a shift in Season.

Other markers have appeared as well. Days are shorter. Nights are cooler. The Sun's Light is not as strong. The Sun's Path is further South on the great expanse of the Sky. Sometimes the Cloud Color appears to have more of a Winter look. That's not a color I can easily describe; it is more a color that I feel.

Leaves are just beginning to fall. Others are just beginning to color up. Some Trees are almost bare. With the Leaf drop of Trees and Shrubs, we are just beginning to see into the Woods after the lush Green of Summer.

Many of our Summer Companions have gone. Monarch Butterflies are largely absent. We see an occasional 1 or 2. We saw a lone Ruby Throated Hummingbird at the Feeder 2 days ago, but did not see one yesterday. The 2 Hummingbird Feeders will soon come down. Canada Geese have been observed practicing their flights in small strings. Hawks have returned. On the Meadow, the Goldenrod is fading while Asters are in full splendor. Asters mark the last of the Flowers of the Annual Show.

For the Humans who are not separate from any of this, we are focusing on Fall Harvest with a watchful eye toward predicted low temperatures in the 30s over the weekend. All of Nature seems to know of the coming doin's. While I think we Humans "feel it", we rely on reports from WeatherUnderground. The last of the Sorghum Cane is being harvested for our last batch this weekend. Warmer Clothes are migrating from their Summer Storage. My flannel shirt sure feels good. Blankets are just beginning their migration to accustomed places on Beds and in the Family Room. A few sticks of Wood have appeared beside the Wood Stove.

We Humans are deeply grateful for the Seasonal Shifts that mark the continuation of Life of this Great Creation of which we are 1 very small part. We are grateful to share these Shifts with a vast Host of Kin in Nature, some of whom we know and a great number we have yet to meet.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Molasses Making 2010: Batch 2

Hollis, Hollis Dale and Richard headed to the Cane Field to check the last of the Sorghum Cane. They decided we will be making Molasses on Sunday with the usual schedule (starting about 8, grinding, pot luck lunch, boiling down to Molasses all afternooon). The Crew will strip and cut Cane on Thursday and Friday after Lunch (about 12:30 or 1 pm).

Helpers are welcome. I know some Folks who have been checking this Blog have wanted to come and be a part of the Doin's. Their Grandmas too! Feel welcome!

This will be Batch 2 and the last 1 of the Season.

Fried Eggs

This morning, we had Fried Eggs. Seven were Pullet Eggs. They are the smaller ones in the Skillet. In this photo, they also seem more "orange". (I will have to check that out with the next ones we crack open.)

Anyway, I can imagine those Little Girls who are now just about all grown up just smiled when they laid those Eggs. We surely smiled when we ate them. Each Pullet Egg was about 3 Bites.

Freeze and "To Do List"

Some Weather forecasts say we may have Temperatures as low as 33 degrees on Sunday. Yikes. The 3 C's shift into high gear. Low Temperatures mark an end to many Plants in the Garden and a need to Harvest as much as we can ahead of that date.

The 1st order of the Day was to come up with a list. Actually we came up with multiple lists:

Dry: Basil (purple/green/lime/lemon), Apples, Thyme, Parsley, Marjoram, Celery/Celeriac, Oregano (?), Echinacea, Stevia, Dandelion Root, Dandelion Leaf, Holy Basil, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Spearmint, Catnip, Valerian, Horehound, Apple Mint, Balsam Mint, Dill Weed, Calendula, Sage.

Make: Hot Pepper Relish, Veggies in Oil, Lemon Balm, Echinacea, Elecampane, Autmn Olive Jam, Apple Sauce.

Pick: Okra, Peppers, Job's Tears, Coriander, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Red Rice Beans, Mung Beans, Dry Edible Beans.

Freeze: Peppers, Chives.

Pick Seeds: Cosmos, Peppers, Dragon Tongue Beans, Chinese Red Noodle Beans, Petunias, Marigolds, Coxcomb, Hyacinth Beans, 4 O'clocks.

Before Frost: Cut Sweet Potatoes, dig Peanuts, bring in some of the Lettuce, dig Geraniums, dig Glads, pick Beans. (We are unsure what to do about the White Potatoes; I need to do some research here. We know they are more "cool season", which means they are likely not as vulnerable as other crops. But we are not for sure.)

Richard reminds us that we do all of this 1 at a time. We get done what we get done. The House is going to smell great. Get those Horizontal Surfaces ready. The place is soon to be filled.

Some Things Work, Some Things Don't

We have many grand and glorious, small and humble experiments going on the Farm. We don't always know if they will work out. Some times we have mixed results. Overall, we just keep trying.

We took the 3 Hybiscus Plants outside this Summer. They loved their spot on the Northwest Corner of the House with its moderated Sun. I kept them watered and they just thrived. Inside, they were tall, gangly, and spindly. Outside they became sturdy and robust, like Shrubs.

But the Season has arrived when they need to come inside. With the Allspice Plant (which also thrived in the same spot), they form a bank of Plants in the East Window of the Family Room. Every day, we have 3-8 Blooms. Of course, Hybiscus Blossoms only last for 1 day.

Melanie has been wanting to dry Blossoms for Tea. So September 28, she began her little Experiment. She picked the Blossoms and placed them on the Dehydrator Screens. I took pictures. The picture taking was determined to be successful. The drying attempt was determined to be unsuccessful. The Blossoms completely lost their color and they did not taste right.

We still are intent on learning how to dry Hybiscus Blossoms. Perhaps they come from another variety. In the meantime, we are grateful for these beautiful pictures and the fact that the Plants continue to bloom on a daily basis in our Family Room.

Melanie gave us this plant for Valentine's almost 20 years ago. It has been divided into 4 Plants. We gave 1 to Joni and the remaining 3 are here.

Life is an amazing Experiment after all

Rich, Beautiful, Full Fall Day

September 27:

What a busy, busy day. Melanie and I got Rhiannon and Mike off to the Train Station in LaPlata, after a lovely breakfast which they prepared for all of us. We are so grateful for their stay. They planted Seeds here and nourished many that were already planted. We wish them well on their Journeys ahead.

Spending some time at the Train Station was pretty magical. I remember many trips there as a Child in the 1950s and 60s. Dad would drive our over sized Car there and park it perpendicular to the Tracks. Mother, Dad, my Brother and I would take up our usual places in the Car and wait eagerly for the Trains which would show up. Pretty soon the Crossing Bell would sound and we'd watch the Trains go swirling past.

This is the same Train Station where I would take off and return from my trips to visit Aunt Mary and Uncle Wayne in Kansas City in the 1950s and 60s. Mother would have packed my bag ever so carefully with special things to wear in the City.

And I can't forget to mention that Aunt Ruthie, Uncle Al, my beloved Cousin Susan and Jeff would also arrive and take off for Magical Visits. Their visits were always extraordinary, like Christmas plunked right down in the middle of the Summer. Yes, I knew their home was out on the West Coast and that was a very long way away from northeast Missouri.

Just thinking of their travel by Train has alway made me smile. Even the Sound of that Whistle blowing across the Landscape has always brought on smiles to my face.

Mother was released from the Hospital today so we had some things to attend to there. She continues to amaze me at how strong and robust she is. I am also amazed at the Mother Hen and She Bear energy these things bring up in me.

I came home to a much needed Nap. And Richard and Melanie headed over to Neighbor Shirley's to pick Pears. Those Pears are now carefully housed in Fruit Boxes that we have saved over the years. They are only 1-2 deep for air flow and to keep them from bruising. In about 3 weeks, we will process them. Drying and canning are on the "to do" list but we are also looking for other possibilities too.

I asked Richard and Melanie if they thanked the Pear Tree. We try to do such things. Such an approach is more Indigenous. I find it satisfying and right. I find it sad to say that the "advanced" Culture that I come from just seems to take and take and take. I thank the Creator for the Blessings and Magic of this very rich, beautiful and full Fall Day.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

World Clock

http://www.poodwaddle.com/worldclock.swf

Comfort

Richard has found just the right place to rub this little Henny, who is a Delaware Pullet named "Anna". While he rubs that little spot under her wattles and above her crop, Anna relaxes in his arms and appears almost to go to sleep. She knows she is safe, loved and protected. Life is good.

I continue to observe and learn from the teachings in Nature that we receive from experiences on our Little Farm. This one is more than about finding a specific physical spot on the neck of a Delaware Henny.

We each have the potential to spread Good Energy into the World. Other Beings (including the Humans) relax all around us. We relax more deeply inside ourselves. These are ideas about living and being in the World that I seek to create.