Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter Preparedness

We carefully build
on our stash of Winter Preparedness.
These are long term issues.
We are not completely there,
but this is what we have so far:
Wood Stove in the Family Room,
Wood Stacked there too
(that means it will be warm and dry),
Gas Stove whose Burners
work with Matches as starter
(Oven won't),
Candles and Matches,
Flashlights with Batteries,
Radio with Batteries,
Old Phone
which does not require Electricity,
Plenty of Food and Water
(for Humans, 4 Leggeds and Chickens),
Plenty of Bird Food for the Wild Ones
(we must not forget them),
Ability and Contentment
to stay put,
Sense of Adventure,
A couple of Good Movies
(if there is Electricity),
Blankets (Wool),
Warm Slippers,
People we love
and with whom
we work as a Team.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Places Everyone!

We Humans seem
more than a little Self Absorbed
in Human Doings.
We forget
we are imbedded
in a larger Natural System
which holds us.
Usually, She is relatively quiet.
Some days She roars.
Such days are coming.
Blizzard is forecast.
We 3 C's try to go
with the flow of such things.
We work on preparedness.
The North Dakota Experience
taught us to hunker down,
let Nature do Her Thing.
We 3 Humans try to sit quietly
in our Front Row Seats
for a Grand Play,
observing the Wonder and Awe
of Something Far Greater
than we can comprehend,
embracing the Smallness
of what it means to be Human.
And, Dear Melanie reminds
those of us who have been Adults a little too long
to remember to play.
"Places, Everyone!"
Glinda Crawford, 2011

24 Cardinals

Word has it we are in for and in the middle of a Winter Storm. That Storm will start out with sleet and ice, which we have already had. Then it will turn to Snow. Up to 10 inches are projected for tomorrow. And how do we know such things? We check into WeatherUnderground.

After checking out such things, Richard and I headed into town to make some quick purchases: Water, Onions and Green Peppers for Chili (which is now in the Crockpot). Richard stopped to top off the gas tank of his Car. We also stopped by a farm store to pick up Sunflower Seeds for the Little Birds and Chickens. We didn't tarry. And the other Humans didn't seem intent on tarrying either. We were doing what we needed to do and then we were out of there.

After lunch, Richard noted 24 Male Cardinals off the Deck. I think that is a record for us. Their brilliant Red makes them stand out against Winter's Subtlety, which includes Sleeping Plants and White Snow. A number of other Songbirds are there too.

Just before Storms, Songbirds, who have their own Weather Prediction systems, feed fast and furious in the backyard. Somehow they know. The Old Timers (of Human Persuasion) used to know. I think many of us yearn for that kind of knowing. Maybe, just maybe, it is coming back.

We're Not Alone

January 28:

Fog came in during the night. Under its soft Cloud, Fairies could be imagined to be touching almost everything with that beautiful and delicate Frost.

In the meantime, other Critters were busy doing their thing. On such amazing days, everything and everyone leaves tracks. The exception would be the Fairies making the Frost; at least, we Humans seem not to have the ability to see their Tracks. Or rather, is the Frost their method of Tracks?

Richard and I headed out on a walk on our Usual Path. These were some of the Tracks that greeted us. The 1st that we saw were our own.
Some Creatures seemed intent upon Whimsy. They are welcome here.Back near the House, impressions of Snow Angels were clearly visible. In fact, we caught one right there on the Ground. She requested the Camera so that she could show us the Snow Angel's View of the Sky. After she took the picture, she moved on to another Snow Angel Print.

We Humans may have our Name on the Human Title to this Land but we're surely not alone on this little Farm.

The Local Snow Report

January 23:

We have had Snow beginning last night and into the early afternoon today. At moments, when we have looked out, we have the feeling that we may be living inside a giant snow globe as the Snow swirls around us.

Many of our friends in Nature have been busy today. The Birds have been hanging close to the Feeders in the backyard. And are they ever busy feeding. I love it when they are all fluffed up and when they nestle down to cover those feet. These are sure signs that the weather outside is cold. When the Humans head outside, we should surely bundle up.

Deer have been feeding along the edge of the South Woods. It surely must be the "Twins" who are yet small but they are also growing too.

Laddie, our Shetland Sheep Dog, loves this weather. Winter is his favorite season. While he is older now and does not get around like he did when he was a Pup, he loves sniffing in the Snow, following trails of Critters who have been visiting, and taking Snow Baths. I chuckle when I see the Snowflakes on his back. His coat gives him the best insulation. Those Snowflakes just don't melt until he comes inside. When he does come inside, we rub him down with a towel. He surely must wonder why we Humans do not have Coats like he does.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I am fascinated by Folks
whose orientation is toward "fixing things".
OK, something breaks.
These days,
Folks just throw it away.
It wasn't so long ago
that those who came before
would just scratch their heads
and figure out a way to fix it.
Their Creativity
was a source of their Genius.
These days,
my Kind can't fix much of anything.
Our inability to fix stuff
and our dependence on someone else
will surely be the stuff of legend.
These little scissors
don't work as well as they did,
but they do work.
They crafted a smile
on my face too.
Glinda Crawford, 2011

Floor Covering

January 20:
Today, the installers are here to put down the floor covering in the west half of the basement. We are using, Marmoleum, a natural linoleum product with jute backing.
Once again, we are on another adventure in choosing a less toxic alternative. We have chosen that alternative because we choose to create a less toxic home environment which has the path of least harm for the Earth, those who make and install the product, and those who may be on the other end at its disposal (which we hope will be many years down the road of course). And yes, once again, we have gone to Green Building Supply in Fairfield for the source of products.
And yes, once again, we find ourselves in a place of assisting craftsmen in the installation, since most products are the more toxic varieties these days. This is new for them and we are ever so grateful that they have said "Yes, we'll do it."
Some day and hopefully very soon, such choices will be commonplace. And we Humans in formerly what was called an advanced civilization will be left to ponder and scratch our heads: "What was that about? Why did we ever choose any other kind of product? Why didn't we take time to care?"
Melanie took the lead on this project. Richard chose the pattern which is called Caribbean. Folks at Green Building Supply are standing by to answer questions of the installers. Here we go.
Adventures, adventures, always adventures, inside and out, right here on our little Farm.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Precautionary Principle

The precautionary principle states that
if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm
to the public or to the environment,
in the absence of scientific consensus,
that the action or policy is harmful,
the burden of proof that it is not harmful
falls on those taking the action.
Source: Wikipedia, January 20, 2011


January 8:

I find some simple things to be quite enchanting, even mesmerizing. Melanie's Uncle Gerald gave her this old timey hand mixer. I get excited every time I get it out. On this day we had Apple Pancake for Breakfast. Gluten Free, of course. In this frame, I am delightfully mixing up the Eggs.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Permanent good
can never be
the outcome
of untruth and violence.
Mahatma Gandhi


Learn to do
common things
uncommonly well.
George Washington Carver

Saturday, January 15, 2011


The Bins of Seeds
and Seed Catalogs
are making their presence known
as they take space
in the Family Room.
Richard and Melanie
have already done their inventories.
They have checked Seed Catalogs.
They are poised to order.
I have 1 more little project
waiting in cue
before I too dive
into those Bins and Catalogs.
Our orders will be posted soon.
Gardening Season 2011
is making its presence known.
The Seeds smile.
The 3 C's do too.
Glinda Crawford, 2011


The events
of the last few months and years
have stretched us.
We are worn
and we are weary.
Hopefully we are a little wiser too.
We are looking ahead
to Gardening Season 2011.
How could it be that time once again?
Those 1st 4 Gardening Seasons
on this Little Farm,
we were set on expansion.
We had successes
and we wanted more.
So we overdid it.
It took the outside stresses
of this last year
to see that
we simply could not care
for it all.
We could not enjoy it
in the way that desire.
This year,
we ask:
What is essential?
And, what can be just set aside?
These days,
that is a kind
and nurturing balm.
Glinda Crawford, 2011

No Room

This evening,
I went through Holiday Cards and Letters.
It's a loving ritual of spending time with Loved Ones,
putting the Cards away,
and moving into the deep of Winter
and looking ahead to the Spring.
I checked addresses carefully
so we have all of the updates.
I posted pics on the Fridge,
which now is covered with smiles,
and full.
I noted
that the B's, C's, and S's
of my address book
are overflowing.
I whimsically announced to my Family
we are no longer accepting family and friends
who are either B's, C's, or S's.
There is no room.
Perhaps you would go
by another name,
I would alphabetize by your 1st name
or your middle initial?
Glinda Crawford, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Time of Rest

Winter is Nature's time of rest.
We Humans are just beginning
to relax into that space.
It is replenishment and renewal
inbetween the intensity of this last year
and gardening season 2011.
Unwinding is good.
Glinda Crawford, 2011

Book Friend

2011 Llewellyn's Moon Sign Book: Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.

We use this for a variety of functions: hair cuts, setting posts. It is an amazing resource. We have not even scratched the surface for its use.

Calendar Friend

Stella Natura: Working with Cosmic Rhythms: Inspiration & Practical Advice for Home Gardeners & Professional Growers. (2011). Kimberton Hills, PA: Camphill Village Kimberton Hills.

Detailed charts help in choosing best times to sow seeds, transplant, cultivate crops and harvest according to natural forces, mostly notably the influence of the moon. Calendar includes interesting reading as background for such approaches.

Admittedly we 3 C's are mostly novices on these things and have not used the calendar to its fullest. It is our trusty resource for planting and we do our best to follow it. During really busy times, we are not quite as rigorous. We do make exceptions for weather. "The rain's comin' and we gotta get those seeds in the ground." We do think that "planting in the sign" makes a huge difference and try to be respectful of that energy.

The calendar has a great space for keeping notes on what to plant and when. It is a guide for a time that really gets pretty busy and needs a bit of structure to help things flow.

Yikes. We better gets those seeds ordered. I need to begin planting Leeks and Pansies (among others) by the end of January. Gotta go.

Calendar Friend

We'Moon 2011: Gaia Rhythms for Womyn: Groundswell.

Book Friend

Shafer, Jay. (2009). The Small House Book. Boyes Hot Springs, California: Tumbleweed Tiny House Company.

Since 1997, Jay Shafer has been living in "houses smaller than some people’s closets". His decision to inhabit 89 square feet arose from desires to live more simply, live closer to needs, reduce environmental impacts, reduce unused or unusable space, among others. His 1st house was called "Tumbleweed"; it was tiny and built on wheels.

His initiatives have resulted in many other such houses and a movement with others seeking to live small in a time when some folks seem to favor gargantuan. This book includes reasons why, living within city codes (which, not surprisingly, favor big houses), pictures and drawings of houses and plans.

I find the tiny houses to be quite pleasing aesthetically. They bear resemblance to other historical houses on the landscape. They are based on what he calls sacred geometry. Visually, the structures just seem to flow. The use of natural materials is beautiful and calming too.

Part of me would like to live in a such a house, but the other part says that is not for me now. We would like to have a guest cabin or residence for interns/apprentices. Just maybe a tiny house will be in our future.

I also chuckle that such structures are probably not too far removed from the homesteads of our forebearers. I think about my Great Grandparents house, which still stands on W. Burton. Built around the 1870s, the house has surely had add-ons, especially in the last few deades. For me as a 3rd grader in the 1950s, that house was teeny. I remember sitting on that little love seat across from Aunt Della's chair and the coal stove. That house was surely no tiny tumbleweed. And at one time it housed 6 people.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Book Friend

Hamilton, Carl. (1974). In No Time at All. Ames, Iowa: The Iowa Sate University Press.

Carl Hamilton recalls memories of growing up in the Midwest from 1910 to 1940. I bought this for Mother's birthday in 1975 when we were leaving Iowa State for the North Dakota Chapter of 32 years.

We 3 C's had a copy too. I was always drawn to it but never read it. The book just kept beckoning me from its place on the shelf over the years. I guess I needed to have some other life experiences before I chose to open it. I wonder if I bought one for Richard's Mother. I also wonder if Richard's brothers and their wives have seen it. It is a treasure.

Richard and I began reading it aloud last night. It awakened many sleeping memories and stories. You could call it tender connections to rural and farm living in bygone times. While neither Richard or I were "on the scene" during that time period, he could relate similar stories from his childhood growing up on the farm. Plus, those stories were frequently shared by our families when we were both growing up. The book also poses some questions and answers about earlier times in the histories of our families. I just love books like that.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


December 27:

I woke in the Night and stared outside into a Blanket of White. "Good," the Little Voice inside of Me said. Frost will touch every little thing outside in the Morning. We will be greeted by a Winter Wonderland that will cause the Fairies and even the Humans who too often seem bent on seriousness to dance.

Stretching and Growing

Sometimes Life seems too full.
Maybe we are simply being stretched,
we are being asked to grow.
Circumstances beyond our control
enter, intrude, erode,
demand space.
Stress increases.
Certain usual and customary foundations of Life
are overlooked,
Balance has changed.
Essential elements
are missing.
Over the last months,
we had not spent as much time
preparing Food.
Meals were quick,
an afterthought.
Meal times
lost their usual rhythm.
Blessings at Meals faded,
sometimes forgotten.
I missed our daily walks.
My usual focus and balance
in Nature
had softly faded.
In the swirl of the moments demands,
I had not even noticed changes.
In the noting,
a subtle shift is happening.
I am making a conscious effort
to reclaim
those foundations of our Lives.
I am saying "no" to some things
that can be set aside for now.
I am letting go
of the extensive and exhaustive list
of "to do's"
and my usual high expectations of myself.
That's hard,
but I am doing it.
I began fixing
our most favorite, nurturing meals,
those meals that wrap us in love.
I have been looking out into Nature a little,
which is more than I was doing before.
The Squirrels dance in the Trees
and tease me to come outside.
I am open to the growing.
I am grateful for all that is.
Glinda Crawford, 2011