Saturday, November 21, 2015

Leaving the Farm


I want to let everyone know that I am planning to move to Clearwater in early January.  I'll let you all know when the move has occurred.  I thought I was in Illinois to stay, but various factors came together that caused me to change my mind.  Following are my reasons to move:

The next phase of creation to make Lockie Farm a demonstration site for restoration agriculture (ala what Mark Shepard, author of “Restoration Agriculture” is doing) is to add in livestock (cattle, pigs, chickens, etc.) grazing between rows of woody perennial polyculture (chestnut trees, fruit trees, hazelnut shrubs, grapes, and various kinds of berries). I do not have the resources for this next step, but, more importantly, I do not have the interest to do it myself. My basic purpose is more to bring sanity to government.

I recently attended, as did 320 others, an awards dinner for the Prairie Rivers organization where Mark Shepard was the keynote speaker.  During the cocktail hour before the dinner, I managed to speak with Mark for over five minutes.  When I told him I was Case Study #1 with the Savanna Institute, he shook my hand and gave me a great acknowledgement--and then acknowledged me publicly during his speech!  Cool to now personally know "The Man"! 

I have found a young couple who are passionate about restoration agriculture and interested in furthering the creation of Lockie Farm.  Therin and Abby (see photo) will rent the house and continue to nurture the 5 rows of Woody Perennial Polyculture and 323 hazelnut shrubs around the perimeter.  They will be growing lots of food on the 1/2 acre around the house, including planting into the hugelkultur beds.  They'll likely get chickens going in spring. 

I will be leasing the remaining 20 acres to Kevin, my mentor, who will plant more rows of trees/shrubs/berries leading to the creation of silvopasture, with livestock grazing between the rows. 

The next courses (many) I need to do in Scientology are only offered in Clearwater, Florida, so it makes sense to move there. 

I'd like to work more closely with the computer person for The Affinity Exchange, who lives in Clearwater; plus there are more chances for expanding that business by living there. 

When I was in Clearwater in 2011, I started the Scientology Choir there. I would probably pick up the directorship again, which would be enjoyable. 

The Libertarian Party is pretty strong in Florida, so I would volunteer with them to further my interest in bringing sanity to government. 

Hopefully, it will be easier for me to find a “mate” while in Clearwater. 

AND... it'll be easier to stay in touch with all my friends from everywhere since so many people go to Clearwater! 

To my Clearwater friends:  I'm looking to rent a room, or share a house, ideally in a house with a yard that has, or could have, a garden.  If you have any leads, let me know.
 
Love to all, Marcia Powell
(818) 552-2211   (cell)

Friday, October 16, 2015

Growing Season #2 on Lockie Farm


MARCIA POWELL -- Blog article (#18) – October 16, 2015 –
Growing Season #2 on Lockie Farm”

My last blog was April 12th—the beginning of spring. For those of you who remember reading about last year's battle with the superweeds, I am happy to inform you that my plan worked, i.e. cutting them at ground level if I couldn't pull them out by the roots and then dumping 3-4” of wood chips on the stumps. That did kill most of them. The ones I had to pull up this year were in the areas where some flooding had occurred, and some patches out in the adjoining alfalfa.

In May I purchased two beehives and packages of bees. Had to shout out a HELP! To the Central Illinois Beekeeper Club page on Facebook, resulting in an amazing beekeeper named Mike coming to my rescue. The bees are for the plants and the environment, so I'm happy for him to do the work and sell the honey for his exchange. He gives me my percentage of yummy honey for my personal use.

As food for the bees, in late March I scattered Dutch white clover seeds all over my yard and some into the WPP (Woody Perennial Polyculture) rows, praying they would make their way through the mulch, take root, and grow. Some made it; some didn't. But, as you can see from the photo, the green clover beautifies my front yard. (Remember, I chose not to have a grass lawn.) I've earmarked a section of my property to plant native/pollinator plants next spring. Doing my bit for the bees! :-)

The son of an L.A. friend, who visited me for 9 days in May, helped me plant strawberries on the septic lines, but they all died. :-( We also took down the four [ugly] raised beds, and use the dirt for some vegetable garden rows. Then we created a little patio of bricks on the west side of the house. Bought an antique red pump from my bro-in-law as a decoration, and added an arbor vitae tree and some shrubs as the “necklace” for that side of the house.

June was unusually wet. One day/night we got 6”! The irrigation ditch rose so high it reached the bridge I-beam, which stopped the corn husks, beer cans, whiskey bottles, styrofoam, and other junk. To prevent this stuff from ending up in the Gulf of Mexico dead zone, I recruited my friend Tracy and we pulled some up with rakes; then I braved the wicked current, waded in and got more. Felt so righteous! But the bad news was that the 6” rain took out the seeds I had just planted into my new square foot garden. :-(

Another downside of all the June rain was that my farmer was not able to do the first cutting of the alfalfa/grass. It grew so tall it both shaded the WPP and pulled nutrients away. Once he did cut it, I had to go out with my newly purchased weedwacker (you should/ve seen lil ol me trying handle that baby!) and take down the “fringe.”

Met a fellow, Brent, in August who was good enough to come out many evenings and lend a hand in exchange for some home-cooked organic dinners—plus my delicious blackberries. Together we rescued the poor struggling hazelnuts from the tall alfalfa/grass all around the property. Brent also dug up a lot of grass clumps which were close to the WPP plants, which we put over in the rows of poplar trees as some extra mulch. Plus we together managed to get the dried up paint (and big spiders!) out of the (ugly) 300-gallon bin in front of the garage; put it in the pickle buckets I've been getting for free from Burger King and used them to create a border on the SW side of my yard. We used lead pipes to roll the still heavy bin over to where the others are along the road. What a win to then be able to put a beautiful big pot of geraniums where the bin had been. It's been interesting to find out just how important aesthetics are to me.

In September I hosted my first Savanna Institute Field Day. Was misty-moisty, so glad that all 20 attendees were able to fit into chairs in my garage. Told them what all I was doing, especially about the Woody Perennial Polyculture and restoration agriculture, and then did a quick tour, followed by refreshments.

The Field Day motivated me (well, Pete Havranek) to create a website for the farm: http://www.LockieFarm.com

As I think you know, I have long been concerned that GMO food causes adverse health effects. There is a new book entitled “Altered Genes Twisted Truth” by Steven M. Druker that is probably the definitive work on the issue.

While we're on the subject of health, I have just watched the first four episodes (of 9) of “The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest” created by Ty Bollinger. I highly highly recommend watching the series. A couple of years ago I made the decision to NOT do chemo/radiation were I to be diagnosed with cancer. This data corroborates this decision.

Drove to the Outer Banks in North Carolina at the end of June to spend a week with family at a lovely beach house. Ashley and Ethan flew out from Portland. Ashley's leg was in a cast from an accident she had (walking down stone stairs in the dark!)--broke the tibia, fibula, and ankle—not good, especially since she is a massage therapist! She is finally now out of the boot and able to walk with a cane—and drive. Yea!

Sister Jane and I continue our lifetime Scrabble tournament (she's ahead), and we can play a ton of piano duets from half a dozen different books. Also enjoyed some family get-togethers at the pond.

Attended the Illinois Libertarian Convention in August—always informative and enjoyable. Had a booth at a couple of local festivals and garnered 50 new names. More and more people these days are turning to the Libertarian party.

Am still on a quest for a “mate.” There was a fellow in Lincoln, Nebraska... we needed to meet, so each drove halfway and had a long lunch in Williamsburg, Iowa. Not a match, but a new friend made.

And, of course, people continue to match up through the Affinity Exchange. See success stories on home page: www.affinity-exchange.com. Please refer your friends!

Hope you all are flourishing and prospering (thriving)!
Please write and give me an update on your adventures.

Love to all, Marcia (217) 582-2112 home (818) 552-2211 cell



Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Winter of Less Cold and Less Ugly


MARCIA POWELL -- Blog article (#17) – April 12, 2015 –
The Winter of Less Cold and Less Ugly”

A year ago I titled my blog “The Winter of Cold and Ugly.” Fortunately this winter was less severe, and, thanks to last summer's efforts to beautify the property, a little less ugly.

Never has the arrival of spring meant so much to me. For the first time (this lifetime), I planted some bulbs in the fall, and now they are just starting to flower! So exciting! 
 

In my last blog of November 17, I had spent the summer pulling and mulching the dreaded “superweeds.” Throughout the winter, as I received more truckloads of wood chips, I would “suit up” and spread the mulch over the ½ acre around the house—my personal “playground.” Got inspired one day while mulching and wrote a 3-page humorous essay on the art and science of mulching relating to my B.A. and M.S. degrees. Let me know if you'd like to read it. I'm told it is funny...

One very cold day, a new horse-owning friend brought me a trailer load of horse manure. Had to wait a few weeks until the compost in my two big compost bins unfroze enough to add the manure. Manure is like gold to a farmer!

How's my WPP (Woody Perennial Polyculture)? Looks like most of the plants survived the winter. There are some berry rootstocks that are iffy—I'm waiting to see if some root suckers show up. Last Tuesday, I paid a professional to graft scions (a detached shoot or twig containing buds from a woody plant, used in grafting) onto the fruit trees so that they will bear edible fruit. He then instructed me to pull the mulch away from the rootstocks to prevent fire blight. Yikes! (The pic is of a grafted apple rootstock, with budding berry plants in the background.) 
 

I donated $15 to the Arbor Foundation and received 10 blue spruce seedlings. Sister Jane and grand-niece Katie helped me plant them down at the pond where they will be sheltered for a year or so; then I will transplant them to my property.

The friendship with Dave Christian did not evolve into a relationship, but we parted good friends. I posted a local ad and currently have a very nice married man renting the master bedroom for 4 nights a week to lessen his commute. I AM now looking for a more permanent companion—either gender—who would enjoy sharing a lifestyle such as mine. If you know anyone, please have them contact me.

Mid March I drove to Clearwater to receive a few days of counseling. Managed to arrive just in time to catch the end of the choir rehearsal. Good to connect with them again. Was able to attend an inspiring graduation event—heard Kelly Preston speak, no less! I'm now set up for the rundowns re survival, which I plan to do next January.

A friend had told me about the book “The Fight for Immortality” by Peter Arthur. I was able to read most of it while in Clearwater, and found it VERY good, especially the way he works truth into it. One of my on-going policies is to support our artists; so I highly recommend you buy it, read it, and then encourage others to as well. Similary with Neal Fox's new DVD and CD entitled “Conspiracy”--truth delivered on the aesthetic wavelength via his songs and art.

Politically, I was one of nine Libertarians in the state who ran for an office in the local elections held on April 7th. Living out in the country, my only option was to run for the Ogden grade school board. My campaigning was pretty low-key--made up my own flyers and delivered them to the houses in Ogden (850) and Royal (350). Introduced myself at the Ogden Village board meeting, and spoke to a dozen people at the seniors' luncheon. Didn't win (only got 9.44% of the votes), but it was a good learning experience and earned me some name recognition in the community. Will probably give it another shot two years from now.

Note that I consider the presidential elections to be pretty much a “dog and pony show,” with the outcome being determined ahead of time by the global elite. Thus I encourage people to concentrate on political matters in their state, county, and city. Strengthening the Libertarian party these days gives those disenchanted with the D's and R's an alternative. The party IS growing, which growth also can influence the platforms of the main parties. Blah-blah... soapbox... blah-blah... :-)

A few months ago I sent some messages to retirement homes about performing, but got no responses—until the end of Feb, when the Windsor of Savoy contacted me about doing an hour's show. I had finally connected with a very good singer only 3 miles away from me, and we worked up some songs. However, at the last moment her back went out. It's an older audience, so I gathered up a bunch of popular songs from earlier eras and played “Name that Tune”--including some back and forth communication between them and me. Fun all around, and the feedback was such that they plan to book me again. Yea!

And, of course, people continue to match up through the Affinity Exchange. See success stories (e.g. Holly and Mike below) on home page: www.affinity-exchange.com. Please refer your friends! 
 

Hope you all are flourishing and prospering (thriving)!
Please write and give me an update on your adventures.

Love to all, Marcia (217) 582-2112 home (818) 552-2211 cell


Monday, November 17, 2014

The Summer of Superweed Hell!


MARCIA POWELL -- Blog article (#16) – November 17, 2014 –
The Summer of Superweed Hell!”

My last blog was July 5th, two months after planting the WPP (Woody Perennial Polyculture). My mentor, Kevin, came to visit, checked the plants and informed me that they were being stunted by the weeds. Furthermore, the weeds happened to be “superweeds”--weeds that have become resistant to Roundup. Turns out these plants (the species I have is waterhemp) can grow 1-2 inches A DAY (!) and each plant has some 500,000 seeds per plant!! Eeeeeeek! Conventional farmers are indeed freaking out about them because Monsanto's herbicides do not kill them. 
 

The war started by my paying a couple of guys to come in with their weedwackers and fell the majority; but they could not get to the ones right in the rows of plants. These I had to pull up by hand, or, if they were too big to pull, sickle them off at ground level. Then I had to smother the ground with 4-5” of wood chips to (hopefully) smother the stalk root and kill it. Plus, I found that a few weeks after the weeds had been “wacked” (instead of pulled), they grew new sprouts and so needed to be sickled. Thus from the 2nd week in July up until yesterday when it snowed, I spent from 2 to 4 hours a day weeding and mulching! (One positive by-product: I've lost some 10 lbs and am really buff!) 
 

While I battled the superweeds, my garden did its thang, producing a bumper crop of cucumbers, squash, lettuce, kale, kohl rabi, carrots, beans. Somehow I went through life not realizing that pickles come from cucumbers. Duh. Anyway, I got a recipe for breaded pickles, which Bob made, along with some relish. Now I like eating pickles. Ended up giving away a fair amount of produce to some local food banks, as well as getting ideas on how to market next year's produce. 
 

Meanwhile, in September I attended the Illinois Libertarian Party convention in Chicago. Turns out I was #6 in the state in terms of collecting ballot access signatures (540) (deliver what is needed and wanted...). At the final meeting, going over some bylaw changes, I noted an error in grammar. So they voted me in as Deputy Secretary for the state party. Okay... why not?

We fought a major battle to get our seven candidates for state offices on the ballot. It was such a pleasure to be able to vote for them on Nov. 4th. The percentage of people in Illlinois who voted Libertarian was way up from previous years. I perceive a groundswell occurring towards Libertarian viewpoints and candidates. Will continue working with my county chapter to grow the party.

Readers of my earlier blogs know that Bob Lawrason, a permaculture designer, came to stay with me last December to help create Lockie Farm—rain bins, hugelkultur, compost tea, worm compost, biochar, bone salve, etc. I learned a lot! Both of us being single, we checked each other out, but in the end determined that we were not a match. So I checked out a great online dating service—the Affinity Exchange :-)-- and sent out a message to Dave Christian.

Although originally from St. Louis, he was at the time in the Philippines working with his son. Thus began an online courtship—challenging, as the normal sequence is to connect online, then meet asap to see if the “chemistry” is there enough to pursue a courtship. Anyway, we finally met on Oct 10th when he returned to St. Louis. That meeting went well enough that we decided he should move in with me so we could continue the courtship—again, backwards, as the norm is to pursue the courtship to the point that you determine that you should live together. Oh, well—I've always been an adventurous spirit. Meanwhile Bob moved to Michigan where he can continue his career as a permaculturist. Dave started learning how to weed and mulch waterhemp. 
 

One day, working at my computer, I noticed a black sedan slowly backing up down my road, which is a dead end … strange... FBI? CIA? Come to get me...?? So I dashed out and spoke with the driver. Turns out he's a local farmer who was really curious about what I was doing. I got his number so I can invite him to my open house next summer. Anyway, that prompted me to get a little sign made with my phone number so curious people can call me and stop by. Knowing that little sign would not survive the winter winds, Dave helped me attach it to a board and some posts. I transplanted a couple of ornamental grass plants my mortgage broker had given me and then purchased some fake red berries and “planted” them in pots to add a splash of color. I've come to realize how important it is to me to create beauty as well as a sustainable farm. 
 

The Affinity Exchange continues to help people match up. (Please do refer your single friends.) And I'm up to four regular piano students (need more).

My advice: continue your spiritual growth; donate to the people who are fighting the chemtrails; eat organic/local and avoid GMOs; avoid flouride and vaccines; invest in hard assets; be politically active; know your neighbors and help build community.  I continue to recommend www.ThriveMovement.com as an excellent source of information and advice.

Hope you all are flourishing and thriving in these challenging times.
Please write and give me an update on your adventures.

Oh, and it would be great if you could subscribe to my blog so I could take you off the email list. http://messagesfrommarcia.blogspot.com/

Love to all, Marcia (217) 582-2112 home (818) 552-2211 cell


Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Winter of Cold and Ugly


MARCIA POWELL -- Blog article (#14) – April 6, 2014 –
The Winter of Cold and Ugly”

In my last blog of Dec. 5, I had just moved into my new house on my 20 acres of alfalfa. But first, regarding the title of this blog, it came from “The Winter of Our Discontent,” title of a novel by John Steinbeck, from a quote by Shakespeare. Anyway, my plan was to ride my bicycle from the house in Urbana to the new house, but from November to now, there has not been a day warm enough to do that! I'm sure you all heard the term “Artic Vortex” to describe the weather in the Midwest and Northeast. It was indeed non-stop cold and wind and snow. So that's the “cold” part. The “ugly” part
refers to not having been able to do any landscaping, so there's this poor little house surrounded by ugly dirt and mud—no trees, no flowers, no green. 
 
Bob Lawrason, a permaculture designer,
arrived on December 12—a cold (5 degrees!) snowy day. He spent the last 20 years in Florida, so probably the only thing that saved him was that he grew up in Michigan. The day he arrived he put together a cabinet for my bathroom, and then attended an orchestra concert with me in the evening! Immediate points. :-) We then got 6” of snow—I HAD to make a snowman!
Thus came about “Corky,” a poor drunk leaning against the “DEAD END” sign by the driveway.

Bob fit right in with the family at Christmas, playing Bananagrams and napping with the dogs.


Not being able to work outside, I/we spent many, many hours creating the inside of the house.  Here's a photo of the "island"--the piano and futon couch back to back with a drop-leaf table on the north and a wine-rack table on the south.
Spent many hours sorting 50 years of music and putting it in a kitchen pantry cabinet I bought and converted; also many hours spent gathering, framing, and putting up a Family Photo Wall.

Hosted our first dinner party—Tom, Sue and Jake Smith, the people who have been farming the alfalfa. Please remember that I'm not a cook. However, I had purchased a book of vegan desserts, so chose the brownie recipe. I swear EVERY ingredient was “exotic”! And I used a blender instead of a food processor. Miraculously, they turned out good. Bob roasted the pasture-fed chicken from our friend David who runs the Bane Family [organic] Farm nearby. It was so enjoyable to be able to sit, eat, talk (Jake even played the piano) in a lovely quiet ambiance with no feeling of being rushed.

A book I read recently advised eating organic liver twice a week (!). Bob has never liked liver, but I bought some from David, who also passed along a recipe which calls for soaking it in milk first. Result: Bob liked it! So did I. I'm at twice a month now.

Although one's tendency is to hibernate when it's artic cold, Bob and I braved the weather to attend seminars, forums, meetings and such in order to meet more people who are actually doing something to improve the environment. We are now official “River Rats,” having attended the Prairie Rivers Network's workshop on how to lobby.

I started the winter with a Californian's viewpoint that the weather would not stop me from doing what I wanted to do, but I had to “eat crow.” On Sunday nights I would drive 1-1/2 miles to my sister Jane's house to watch “Downton Abbey” (yes, I am addicted). But one Sunday there was a mighty blizzard. I called her up and told her I was going to make some snowshoes and walk over. She laughed and said “Don't you dare!” Hard to do, but I finally gave up. Another instance was an orchestra concert—Bob and I got dressed up, got in the car, drove the mile to the freeway entrance, and then Bob refused to go further. He has done racecar driving in the past, and I saw him handle the car weeks earlier when we did a full spin-and-a-half on an icy street in Urbana, so I capitulated and we went home. Sigh. Then there was the time I drove to town for a Lady Landowners meeting at the Farm Bureau. It started snowing heavily just as I arrived, plus there was lightning and thunder (in the middle of a blizzard??!!), so I bade them farewell and got my tushie home pronto.

Since we have no trees, there is NO windbreak for the house. We've had winds up to 55 mph, which have resulted in many shingles blowing off. Plus these high winds create all kinds of odd noises that make it hard to sleep.

I read somewhere recently that a weather expert said “There is no normal weather anymore.” See www.aircrap.org for some data. I missed a global protest day against chemtrails last January, but have vowed not to miss the next one.

Bob spent a lot of time doing a design for Lockie Farm.
(Lockie is a family name—my grandmother, sister, and niece are all Lockie's). I am Case Study #1 (see www.SavannaInstitute.org, Lockie Farm), for Woody Perennial Polyculture. I've paid for 2 acres ($5000 per acre, on credit cards, gulp!) of trees/shrubs/berries. Roundup was used last October to kill the alfalfa, as I was led to believe there was no other way to kill it. Bob freaked, so we're now remedying the situation by digging up the top 3” and then putting purchased compost in. Bob set up and is making “bio-char” which he will add to the soil to bring microbes and such to enrich it. The planting will be done at the end of April.

The other day he came in from many hours of moving dirt in 40-degree weather and said something about the “… alfalfa-treated Roundup...” Of course, he meant to say “Roundup-treated alfalfa” --anyway, the verbal typo tickled my funnybone; took me awhile to stop laughing.

There were a couple of days recently that were above 50 degrees, so I took the opportunity to start going door-to-door with my music teaching flyers. Have a new student starting tomorrow.

Ogden is a small town of 850. Between Ogden and Urbana is the town of St. Joseph, which is around 4000. A friend invited us to attend meetings of the new “Love Your Neighbor” group that has started up there. That's what we're all about, so we're enjoying interacting with this group.

We're also starting to meet some of the local farmers. “Restoration Agriculture” by Mark Shepard is an brilliant book published last year about how agriculture should be done. We're on a mission to get farmers enlightened and inspired to start transitioning to this method of farming. Thus I gambled and purchased a case (28 books) so that I could get them into people's hands at a lower price. Have sold 10 already!

We've found that the parcel of land just south of us is owned by the Sadler Family Trust, along with more parcels elsewhere in the area—290 acres in all. That trust terminates next March, and the beneficiaries (my relatives!!) want to sell. Well, guess what's percolatin' in Marcia's little head—yup! Put together a consortium of some kind that will result in that land being owned by people who will use restoration agriculture methods! Let me know if any of you are interested. And, let me add, if you know if any young people who are still trying to figure out what to do with their lives, please let them know about sustainable farming. It is sooooo needed and wanted!

Of course I continue to run The Affinity Exchange. There are now twenty success stories
on the home page, http://www.affinity-exchange.com. Anyone can go there and read them.

Overall, even though there are still numerous threats to our survival, I'm feeling more and more optimistic about the good things that are happening to bring down the “bad guys” and allow us to create a better world.

Hope you all are flourishing and prospering (thriving)!
Please write and give me an update on your adventures.

Oh, and it would be great if you could subscribe to my blog so I could take you off the email list. http://messagesfrommarcia.blogspot.com/

Love to all, Marcia (217) 582-2112 home (818) 552-2211 cell


Thursday, December 5, 2013

MOVING!


MARCIA POWELL -- Blog article – December 5, 2013 – Moving!

Picking up from my last blog of Sept. 15, a neighbor and I drove 60 miles to take a tour of a 20-acre organic farm. They had cows and pigs in addition to growing produce—even a small food forest and bee hives. Very inspiring! 

I was the first to sign up as a “case study participant” in the Savanna Institute program. Kevin and his team met me at my acreage and we laid out the 6 rows where next spring we will plant 2 acres of food forest. Exciting!

Of course I continue to run The Affinity Exchange. I recently uploaded another six success stories on the home page, http://www.affinity-exchange.com. Anyone can go there and read them. More to come!

In late September the chairman of our county chapter of the Libertarian Party and I drove to Chicago for the state convention. I learned a lot and got to meet the “players.” One of the speakers was Thomas Woods, a main contributor to the documentary “Nullification.” He is currently working with Ron Paul making videos for Ron's home schooling program. Our chapter continues to show films once a month. We've shown G. Edward Griffin's talk about the REAL war on terror, and, most recently “Take Back Your Power” about the adverse effects of smart meters. Also, my Letter to the Editor about the party got published!

Finally attended a County Board meeting, just to get some reality on them. Met the fellow who will be my representative after I move. You can be sure I'll be getting to know him.

In October, my daughter Ashley and her boyfriend, Ethan, paid us a short visit on their way to Toronto. A neighbor generously loaned me her guitar so Ethan could play for us (he's very good)—which inspired grand-niece Maddie to take up guitar! 


While at sister Jane's, we discovered that they have 3 pear trees loaded with delicious pears, inspiring a pear-picking party. Took what family and friends couldn't use to the local food bank (hate to see good food go to waste!).

Found myself “shucking” some dried green bean pods one evening so that I would have the seeds to plant next spring--felt very “primordial.”

After showing my Urbana house to numerous people (I have to sublet it till August), I finally found a young man who seems like a “perfect match” for the house. Since it was taking longer than I anticipated to finish my Ogden house, I leaned on the interested parties and managed to pull off signing an “Early Occupancy” agreement which allowed me to move on November 12th.  


My wonderful sister Jane came with my grand-niece Katie and helped me pack. There was snow on the ground on moving day, temperature in the 20's! And the new house did not yet have power and heat! I had to sleep at my sister's house (1-1/2 miles away). 

The next day I had to unpack just enough to pack for my next day's trip to Florida. I was prepared with a bread pan, tea candles, and 2 clay pots to heat the house enough to work; but—miracle of miracles—the power company arrived 2 days early and turned on the power, giving me both heat and light. Whew!

Early the next morning I drove to Indianapolis and took a flight to Tampa. Spent the next few days in Clearwater attending the big events for the grand opening of the new building. Was great to be able to take the tour and truly grasp the magnificence of the building—not to mention what will take place in it! 


Enjoyed seeing old friends, making new friends, and meeting with some of the choir members there. Got to stay with my friend, Koreen Brennan, who is a leader in Permaculture (Google it). Also met Bob Lawrason, another permaculture expert, who is going to relocate to Illinois, become my roommate, and help me create my sustainable farm.

Arrived in Indianapolis at midnight and couldn't find my car. I cried. A nice young Latino fellow took pity on me and drove me around till we found it. I tried to be very quiet entering my sister's house at 1:30 a.m., but they forgot and thought I was a burglar. Lucky I didn't get shot!

Up early the next morning to be at my new house when the guy came to hook up my internet. Plumbing still wasn't hooked up, so had to make a trip to Jane's house when nature called. Finally got a message that the guy had come and I wasn't there. I cried. Called the company and told them to tell him to come back. He never arrived. Finally found out he went to the wrong house 3 times. Then I realized I have not yet put up my mailbox, so there was nothing showing the house number. Duh. So the next day I waited all day for him to come, only to find out at the end of the day that all the tech guys were in Gifford repairing the lines that were downed by the killer tornado on the 17th!! (Gifford's only 8 miles north of my place!) Finally on Friday I got hooked up! My laptop allows me to do the irreducible minimum, but only on my desktop can I do everything I need to do.

Plumbing finally got hooked up (yea!); appliances got installed; bought food, and finally started to feel at home. The “a place for everything and everything in its place” project took over a week, particle by particle. Hanging pictures on the wall, and placing my “objets d' art” around added the finishing touches.  


A local public radio station interviewed me (45 min) as the person in charge of the Thrive Movement in Central Illinois. Of course, afterwards I figured out how it could have been better. Overall, even though there are still numerous threats to our survival, I'm feeling more optimistic about the good things that are happening to bring down the “bad guys” and allow us to create a better world.

Hope you all are flourishing and prospering (thriving)!
Please write and give me an update on your adventures.

Love to all, Marcia (217) 582-2112 home (818) 552-2211 cell

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Summer 2013


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MARCIA POWELL -- Blog article (#12) – September 15, 2013


First, the news: The world actually DID end. The government covered it up.

My concern about the world situation continues, but some recent inflow leads me to hope that the “White Hat” coalition may indeed be succeeding in taking down the “Black Hats.” It's still wise to have some food and water stored, just in case.

It was when I first looked at the “TAKE ACTION” part of the www.ThriveMovement.com website that I noticed that Monsanto headquarters is in St. Louis. Then and there I postulated that if there was ever a protest held there, I would drive down. The opportunity came on May 25th, the worldwide March Against Monsanto day. Six of us drove down and marched with 600 others in the cold drizzle. It was a photo of me with my sign that got picked up on Reuters! Deep breath... 




Also marched in the local July 4th parade with the Moms Against Monsanto group. 
The University is doing a research project on the relation of nutrition and memory. I was chosen because I'm in such good health. After one memory test, the guy looked up and said, “No one has ever gotten it right the first time!” And yet, when I filled out the big long computer questionnaire about what I eat, there was no way to note that I eat ORGANIC! Needless to say, I wrote to the head of the project about this outpoint.

In June a friend and I drove 50 miles north to tour Stelle (www.Midwest Permaculture.com) and see firsthand a rain garden, aquaponics, and other aspects of sustainable living. So much to learn!


My friend, Lee Kessler, recently published her third book in the White King trilogy, “White King and the Battle of America: The Endgame.” In her well-crafted novel, she presents a solution to the threat of global economic meltdown that is nothing short of brilliant. Please go to Amazon, get it, read it, and promote it to your friends.

In addition to the Affinity Exchange and my 3 music students, I continued to have the part-time job of helping Frank complete his dissertation in soil science. He called me today to say his diploma arrived. Well done, Dr. Hagen! Now just a little more work to create a couple of articles to get published in journals (what every university wants).

My 70th (yikes!) birthday was September 10th. My present to me arrived on September 12th... my new (modular) house! Hope to move in by November 1st. 
 

Now my next challenge is working out how to get the funds to purchase trees and plants for my food forest. Www.savannainstitute.org tells about the Woody Perennial Polyculture that is being researched at the University of Illinois. Kevin, who is doing his PhD on this, founded the institute. By signing up as an active participant, he and his team will help design my food forest, will purchase and plant the trees/shrubs/berries, and then do followup consulting. Feels like a good match!

Meanwhile my 2013 yard garden was waaaay better than last year's. I harvested and ate quite a bit of produce, and gave some away. And, most important, learned a lot. 
 

Finally broke down and purchased my first bike helmet as I'm biking more. Maybe by the time it comes to move (18 miles away), I'll ride my bike out rather than risk it being damaged in a moving van. 
 

I continue my role as Secretary for the local Libertarian Party. At my urging, we put up a booth at the local Sweet Corn Festival and pulled in 43 new names! I'll be attending the Illinois State Libertarian Party convention next week in Chicago. Meanwhile, I continue to encourage everyone to subscribe to and follow the lead of www.DownsizeDC.org.

In July, Ashley (my daughter) flew to Indianapolis, where I picked her up and we drove to the Outer Banks (Kitty Hawk, NC). Every other summer we join my niece and her family, plus a couple of old family friends, at a big beach house and enjoy a week of beach, sun, swimming, ping-pong, cards, Scrabble, Bananagrams, and lots of visiting. Of course my 16-yr-old nephew beat me at ping-pong, but I made him sweat a couple of times. Thanks to my laptop, I was able to stay current with the business. 
 

It was great having a lot of time to visit with Ashley. She is a successful licensed massage therapist in Portland, is now living with her boyfriend, and just became the lead singer in a new 3-person band!

Saw Kenneth Branagh's production of Mozart's “Magic Flute” at the local Art theater—quite a work of art! For those of you familiar with the rock group REO Speedwagon, did you know they came from Champaign-Urbana?!

Hope you all are flourishing and prospering (thriving)!
Please write and give me an update on your adventures.

Love to all, Marcia (217) 607-0632 home (818) 552-2211 cell