Saturday, February 26, 2011

UND Pow-Wow

While we have not made a commitment yet, Melanie and I are considering coming to the annual UNDIA Pow-Wow and Wacipi at the University of North Dakota. The weekend Pow-Wow is April 8-10; we would probably take in the 1st 2 days (April 8 and 9). I cannot imagine beginning Spring without it. Of course, our own energy availability will be a factor, and weather (and flooding up North) too. As soon as we know, we will post here and send the word out.

Tortoise and the Hare

We 3 C's are pondering:
We have worked nearly continually
in the time since we moved.
It's no wonder we are tired.
In some ways,
we have behaved
like the Hare
rather than the Tortoise.
This is not a sprint.
This is a quest for the long haul.
We need better balance.
Now that's something
we intend to plant.
Glinda Crawford, 2011

Pick Up and Pass On

Among Old Ones
were Gardeners
and Gatherers of Food
They were
Gleaners of Knowledge
handed down
across more Generations
than we can ever know.
If they hadn't,
we would not be here.
Plain and simple.
Problem was:
We Modern Ones forgot
we were supposed to be
Receivers of Knowledge
and we were supposed
to pass it down.
We dropped the Baton.
Now we are trying to pick it up.
We cannot expect
we will know everything
right away
or ever.
But we can expect
Nature is a patient
and loving Teacher.
She has her limits though.
For now,
we need
to be present
and open
that hand to the Baton
we are intended
to pick up and pass on.
Glinda Crawford, 2011


By some fluke (and there are no flukes in the Universe), we heard yesterday from a friend in the Bemidji (Minnesota) area. While she called about an upcoming wedding, she had heard that a house had burned and 1 person was killed earlier that morning in what appeared to be our old neighborhood in Grand Forks. She gave Richard the address.

When Melanie and I returned home, we quickly figured it out: To our horror, we knew that's Jim and Teresa's house. Jim and Teresa (and their girls) were our neighbors for upwards of 20 years. That's a lot of growing time. That also included the Flood of 1997 where we mucked out basements and mutually helped neighbors and friends (especially of the older variety). Besides being neighbors, Jim was our loyal optician. He's even helped me out down here.

How could that be? The 3 C's headed straight to the Grand Forks Phone Book, checked out the Grand Forks Herald on line, saw video clips on KVLY and WDAZ. We could make no mistake about the firefighter's photo inside the once beautiful green window frame of their house. We called former neighbors Al and Mary next door to us and across the street from Jim and Teresa.

Details are not important. Jim made it out. Teresa didn't. Their 3 dogs also perished. Jim was initially hospitalized and in satisfactory condition. The house appeared totalled. Their dear daughters should be home by now.

We've been pretty somber around here these last 24 hours. The tears flow. We are so sad for them, for their family and for the transition that will be ahead for all of them. We can't do much at this end. But we can surround them with love and prayers.

Life is a gift. Media is reminding folks to make sure smoke detectors are in good working order. I am reminded that yes, we do feel another's pain. That is part of the human condition. We are all connected. That is the beauty and strength of our shared humanity. We are so grateful that Jim and Teresa have been our neighbors. To know them is to love them. We are richly blessed. Jim and their family and friends will be in our thoughts and prayers for some time to come.


February 13:

Sunrise on the Farm is always an inspiration. For some moments, those Sunrises stop us in our Tracks, especially as we come out of Winter.

Sunrise marks a New Day and a New Time. We Humans are privileged to begin yet again on the Paths of our Growing Journeys. We are surrounded by a Vast Creation of Fellow Journeyers, most of whom are not known to us. May we each come into the Fullness of Our Being of who we are meant to be on our Sacred Walks here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


(1) I have a pretty fair super sniffer, by Human standards. Artificial smells really get to me: scented hand cream, fragrances, dryer sheets, paints. Skunk smell, at least of the muted variety, doesn't seem to bother me.
(2) While we Humans are inside our house, the Skunk smell seems to have dissipated. When we are outside coming in, the Skunk smell in the house is, well yikes! still present.
(3) Laddie is better today. He even smells more like himself, after a bath of course.
(4) We are cleaning to tone down the Skunk smell. Is this a major incentive for spring house cleaning? The 1st priority is soft goods: rugs.
(5) I wonder how our next trip to town will fare? Will people cast us a wide berth?
(6) Melanie just came in from putting the Chickens to bed. It's really snowing out there. She musically noted: "It's smelling less like Skunk."

Early Morning Report

I am pleased to report that although Skunk Smell still lingers a bit, most of it has dissipated. Every day is a new day here on the Farm.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Not Expected

Things were going well, a lovely evening of winding down on the Farm. We have been under self imposed "rest" during the month of February. I am pleased to report that we have made significant progress on that initiative.

Felicia and Cassie came over earlier in the evening to take photos of our little operation to plant seeds for transplants. On this, a "flower day" according to the Biodynamic Calendar, we were planting Broccoli and Pansies. Plus, I was transplanting the 1st batch of Geraniums.

We surely did enjoy Felicia and Cassie's company. After they left, we 3 C's slowed down a bit. Slumberland was in reach.

I let Laddie out. Shortly thereafter, Richard discovered Laddie was engaged in an encounter with a Skunk out by the Brooder House. Pepe' Le Pew had made an appearance on the Farm. Poor Puppy. Nevermind, Laddie is an indoor Dog. Poor Humans. Poor House.

With the latest situation, we shifted gears and upgraded speed considerably. Laddie was now inside. The Skunk had sprayed him across the Face. His left eye was closed. We localized him in the Kitchen area. We were careful to be gentle but direct around him. The poor Dog was in some shock.

Melanie headed to the computer to check on remedies. I called Deleta and Hollis; they suggested I call Felicia, which I did. I guess Cassie even had had a 4-H Project on such matters. Talk about "teachable moment". The situation had our complete and undivided attention.

The remedy that we tried suggested mixing 1 quart Hydrogen Peroxide, 1 box Baking Soda (we used 1/2 cup to a cup), 2 Tablespoons of Dawn Dish Soap (we used 1 Tablespoon of our Natural Dish Soap). In the meantime, Richard now had Laddie in the Tub. He poured the mixture on Dear Ladd, who as an older dog was not doing very well. Then Richard soaped him down with Suave Shampoo. He used the wand to rinse.

Melanie opened windows. Summer fans came out. I moved indoor plants to protected areas as it is just above freezing outside. The house was getting cool. I put vinegar on the range and the wood stove to simmer. Melanie wiped down Floors with water and vinegar.

Skunk Scent is an oil. Acids neutralize the problem. We used Vinegar. Detergent helps too.

After the excitement, things are better around here. Laddie is better and much surer on his feet. We still smell the odor of Pepe' Le Pew, but it is not as rich as before; what remains lingers with a touch of vinegar.

Once again, we 3 C's are in slow down mode. It is just a little later than usual. Each day presents us with something we had not expected. This day was no exception.
Note: As per usual, we never prescribe for another. You get to decide what you choose and what works for you. Hopefully, you will not have the problem. But realistically, some will.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Farm Findings

I found among our Family Treasures from days of yore a book called Supreme Letter Writer (Cay Vernon, 1928). At 226 pages, it's long and covers any number of contingencies. I chuckle when I see some of them. Letters of marriage proposals are given, with a range of possible replies, including favorable, unfavorable and angry. Other possibilities include: invitation to a picnic, asking a friend for employment, a letter to a former servant and many more. Tips include salutations, such as how to address "important personages". I always liked the word "salutation". It was long, having 4 syllables, and seemed full of importance.

When growing up, Mother and her 2 sisters learned many things (like letter writing) which were in common practice; they surely are not so now. Over the course of her life, Mother wrote a lot of letters. In fact, her letter carrier commented a few years ago that Mother and her sister were the last regular weekly correspondence of those on his route. I find that sad.

Sure, I do email. And that is a great way to connect. However it is not the same as those tactile letters you walk to the mailbox to get, hold in your hand, sit in a quiet chair perhaps next to the window or a comforting lamp to read.

I remember writing letters as a child. I remember my glee when I would receive letters. In those early years, most were from my Mother's older Aunts who seemed to be more in tune to such things. They loved their connection with little ones.

I also remember being instructed in Palmer Penmanship when I was in the 2nd Grade. Miss McCully, my teacher, had samples of the alphabet and numbers displayed proudly over our slate blackboards. They seemed like works of art to me. Miss McCully's little charges learned to carefully hold our pens or pencils and scrawl our handwriting across those soft tan lined pages. I remember how proud we were. It seemed the 1st step toward writing letters.

With that background, I began to write letters with excitement. Mostly my correspondence included a few words or sentences and it was directed to family members. As my world grew, my correspondence extended to family and beyond.

My 5th grade teacher announced that we could have penpals from around the world. I really jumped on that one. After what seemed like a very long wait, I received the address of a girl about my age from New Zealand. I jumped for joy at the possibility of such a friend. I was thrilled when I received that 1st letter on the lightweight blue aerogramme paper with those colorful stamps. I continued finding penpals, bringing the number to 4. Those next 3 faded pretty quickly. I continued writing letters through young adulthood and then I just quit. Letter writing became quite a struggle. Life was too busy balancing work and family, so it seemed. While I quit writing letters, Mother just continued to write.

As we have moved to the Farm 4 years ago, I have come to love our Mailbox. Mostly it is stuffed with ads, bills, and yesterday's paper. I have once again returned to writing letters and once again returned to making homemade cards. My goal which has not yet been achieved is to write at least one letter a day.

Today, we got a wonderful letter from Emily. She hand painted a card with watercolors just perfectly for us and then wrote right on top. Her envelope was handmade from a beautiful photo in a magazine or a calendar. Such things just make me smile. Life is too short and too sweet not to take time to do such things.


To live
in the hearts of those
we leave behind,
is not to die.
Thomas Campbell

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

1st Plantings for Transplant

I began
the 1st plantings for transplants
for Gardening Season 2011
when I placed those Leek Seeds on the Soil
in their tall plastic box.
Leeks require the longest Season.
I noted that the time to plant Roots
in my Biodynamic Calendar
was on Sunday,
so plant I did.
This time,
I used Grandfather Fred's bench
to hold my Flat.
My Grandpa died before I was born
so much of what I know of him
resides in the stories I have been told.
Mother said he used that bench every year.
My Dad used it too.
In looking at the bench,
I noted something that looks like "1857"
scratched into its top.
While it likely is not that old,
the Bench is old.
My Grandfather would like
that I am using his bench.
Two days after I planted them, the little Leeks
began to emerge from the Soil.
There are a lot of smiles around here.
Glinda Crawford, 2011

On Time

We are not big into Clocks here on the Farm.
Every Clock of Human Construction
that we have
has a different time on it,
the 2 parked in the Garage.
I haven't worn a Watch in years.
Of course, we Humans
are on time for appointments.
We try our best to get to meetings on time.
I mean no disrespect.
But we get there when we are supposed to.
Western Culture's view of time is "linear".
Time is everything.
We become robots and widgets
on a lock step Factory Assembly Line.
More Traditional Cultures
have a more relaxed view.
Time follows more of a natural orientation.
We find ourselves
on more of this orientation on the Farm:
when the Sun comes up and goes down,
when the Rain comes and goes,
we just act accordingly.
Things happen when they are supposed.
If we miss something
and we are supposed to connect with it,
it will come around again.
Being more relaxed is good.
I like that.
I feel blessed to live in a time and space
where we can practice different rhythms.
Glinda Crawford, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dress for It

February 1:

It's a great day for a walk. This time we were heading to the Mailbox, Since we are blizzarding here, you just have to dress for it. The air is beautiful and cold. The drama of the Wind and Swirling Snow is wonderful. We pause in Awe at the Great Mystery of it all.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Blizzard in Northeast Missouri
brings fond North Dakota memories,
and memories of my childhood
when the Snows were frequent
and the Colds often intense.
We 3 C's were excited,
Melanie most of all.
Magic on the Farm included:
Fire in Wood Stove,
plenty of Wood,
Hot Meals,
Gratitude for Heat, Electricity, Partners,
can't go
(don't want to go)
call Family, Neighbors, Friends,
watch Amish neighbors
switch to Draft Horse
to pull Buggy down lane
(1st vehicle after big snow
and 1 of few during day),
see Amish Sleigh go by on "visiting day",
watch unknown Neighbor unplug drive,
find out 3 Neighbors divided up Neighborhood to plow Folks out,
find out last Blizzard was 4/9/73,
were sad,
smile at 2 calls from Nephew Hollis Dale
("Do you need any help over there?"
"Blacktops are plowed out",
enjoy being outside,
see Snow Swirls-Tracks-Burrows everywhere,
make Snow Angels,
Snow Ice Cream would be nice,
so would Molasses Taffy,
contemplate the smallness of the Human
(we are smaller than fleas on an Elephant's back),
order Snow Shoes.
Life is good.
Very good.
Glinda Crawford, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Arkansas Black Apples

February 1:

Melanie gathered Arkansas Black Apples from the Basement Refrigerator for a German Apple Pancake for our Breakfast. Yum. That German Apple Pancake will be great for a Winter Day.

This variety is the latest to harvest in the Fall. One of their esteemed characteristics is that they are great Winter Keepers. It's early February in these part and we still have these Arkansas Black Apples. They surely do look and feel like Keepers. They aren't "swiveled" as Richard's Mother used to say.

Downside? Their peel is thicker and it has a little stronger taste. For us, that is not a problem.

Arkansas Black Apples are new for us. Their skins are thick and have a bit of a strong flavor, which may not be desirable for some. But this sturdy Apple has surely made it onto our list for Trees in the Orchard.


Today is a Great Day
to meditate on:
Power of the Great Mother Earth,
delicate and robust Web of this Wondrous Creation,
how small we Humans are in it,
the Great Gift of Life we have been given.
Today is a Great Day
to bow down on my Knees
toward that which nurtures and sustains our Being.
Glinda Crawford, 2011

Curtain Is Dropping

We are ever intent
on watching the Weather Outside.
When we got up just after 5 a.m.,
Snow had not yet begun.
Soon the Flakes began coming down.
Since then, the visibility is much reduced.
Throughout, Wind has been visible
in the tippy tops of Trees
which means it's pretty wild out there.
Due to increasing Snow,
we can't see
our Neighbors' House to the West;
they are 1/2 mile away.
The Tree Line
on the Eastern Edge of the Farm
is starting to disappear.
The Curtain is dropping,
as Richard is bringing
more Wood into the House.
Glinda Crawford, 2011