Sunday, November 28, 2010

These Days

These days, visits to this Blog are increasing rapidly. My counter ( tells me that many of the "hits" result from searches for "Povitica". A recipe is included on this site. Plus, I have often talked of my memories of this wonderful Bread.

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

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,
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),
(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)

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 my Car today.
Were on our way out the door
headed toward the dealership.
Car was clean,
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.
Hugs all around.
Isn't this the way
it's supposed to work?
She sits
on a new drive
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
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.


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
in its place.


Years ago,
I began to feel
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.
I had questions
I had to pursue.
I began to walk away
from Boxes that constrained
my Thinking,
my Actions,
and my Walk.
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.


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."


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


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

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.
Good Stuff.
We have also stored
2 of our Cars there.
That's not a good mix.
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.
The Garage Hotel
just got downgraded.
We are keeping
our Fingers crossed on this one.
Mice, be gone.
Glinda Crawford, 2010