Sunday, July 17, 2011

From Illinois to North Carolina...

MARCIA POWELL -- Blog article – July 17, 2011

Well, dear friends, I managed to handle most of the items on my “Do in Illinois” list.

The day I left, I got up at 6:30 and started packing. Took till 6:30 p.m. (!) as I had to decide what to leave in Illinois and what to take with me to North Carolina and Florida. For weeks I’d been worried about it all fitting into my little Mazda—but, by golly, it DID!

For years I’ve had a problem with leg pain when I drive over 45 minutes, so wasn’t sure what to expect driving 1000 (approx.) miles by myself! The M.O. was to stop at every rest stop, take off my shoes (grounding—heard of it?), lie on the ground and do a series of exercises. Might’ve looked funny to passersby, but it worked!

These rest stops are really quite beautiful. However, I realized how irritated I get when the toilet flushes on its own. It’s like, Hey! Who said I was ready to flush? Then it’s done before I get the paper thrown in, causing the next person to think it hadn’t flushed. So they flush again, which WASTES WATER! I just read the issue of “Yes!” magazine about the planetary water shortage, and we all need to stop wasting water.

Anyway, I asked myself if these AFT’s (Automatic Flushing Toilets) are run by electricity. If so, what happens if the electricity goes off? Eeeeooooou! Maybe I’m just becoming a reactionary conservative in my old age… or maybe it’s just that I want to be CAUSE OVER FLUSHING. So now I’m into the game of it. First I have to learn to recognize an AFT—like pay attention when I first walk in. Is it me against the robot, or not? Also I think it’s important not to lean forward, which can lean to premature flushing. And maybe wiping from the back will prevent it. I recall previously being irritated by this phenomena, but I think it was after a movie and I didn’t have attention units to put on the problem. That’s what driving alone across the country does—allows you to put attention units on previously unimportant matters. Oh well, it’s always good to have another game to play!

Anyway, Kentucky is beautiful, as is West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. It was hard to enjoy the corn and soybeans in Illinois, as I think soy is not that healthful, nor is corn and its products. I just went to and asked about the ethanol issue. Didn’t have time to research it properly, but intend to, as I think there’s downsides to it. Part of my work in Illinois was to figure out what to do with my 22 acres. For starters, I plan to grow alfalfa (hay) next growing season as a way to start the transition to sustainable farming.

As I got further and further east, I enjoyed seeing animals grazing on grass (as opposed to eating grain in huge cattle farms)--and other crops being grown, and BIG farmers markets.

You may or may not know I’m somewhat of an NPR (Natl Public Radio) junkie. But as I was driving across the sound to the Outer Banks, I realized I wanted to hear beautiful music to go along with the beautiful scenery. Realized again the beauty of small white fluffy clouds in a blue sky, over green foliage. I think it’s most beautiful in a ratio of 2/5th clouds to 3/5th blue sky. Isn’t it odd that I’d think that way… go figure… (tee hee) ?!

Miraculously, my sister and husband (one car), niece and family (another car), and I all managed to arrive (without caravanning) at our destination within an hour of each other. Stay tuned…

Love to all, Marcia (818) 552-2211 cell

Monday, July 4, 2011

Life in the Heartland

Thought I was going to leave for Florida on July 5th, but decided it was silly to drive to Florida and then, a few days later, drive to North Carolina. Thus, I am staying at my sister Jane’s until we all leave on July 14th for a family reunion at the beach. She and Don have been married for 50 years!! Then I’ll drive to Clearwater, arriving around July 25th.

My sister and her husband live in the house I grew up in—the remodeled schoolhouse—so I’m back home. Don has surrounded the house with many beautiful trees, and he and Jane spend hours each week mowing the grass for the ½ acre plot. Quite lovely. Nearly every morning I take a 2-mile walk, watching the birds and rabbits, and the corn growing by inches each day. Too bad it’s Monsanto GMO corn! (Read another article about Monsanto’s suppressive activities—really yucky—raises my activist hackles!)

Am continuing my research re what to do with my land. Met with a great lady who lives nearby. She has 20 acres, raises some livestock and sheep. Shears the sheep herself and spins yarn!! Chickens, organic garden, etc. She works with the Land Connection, training new farmers, and trying to match absentee landowners with aspiring farmers. Of course, I’m going to try to improve their “matchmaking” program.

Found out about an intentional community about 50 miles away, but will probably not have time to visit them until my return to the area. If you’re not knowledgeable about intentional or sustainable communities, Google it. I’m getting more and more into it.

Wanna make a plug here for a magazine entitled “Yes!” Google it.

Anyway, I’ve found the local health food store, and a different store that sells jicama, as well as some organic produce. (Was amazed at how difficult it’s been to find romaine lettuce!) So my rent this month is making salads for my sister—plus a few piano lessons and allowing her to beat me at Scrabble (if you believe THAT one…?!). She’s been wonderful about allowing me to stake out a corner of the living room for my “office,” and having a bunch of bankers boxes there as well. So I’m chipping away at my Inbox, which got pretty backlogged, as well as doing various projects.

Interstate route 74 went through our land back when I was 10 years old. When they dug the hole to build the bridge, it was in our land, so Jane and Don own the pond. Don has done a great job of landscaping it over the years, plus my Dad built a “pavilion.” Don created a roasting pit. There’s a couple of piers out into the water, and some fish in it. Yesterday we had a pond party with a bunch of relatives. Went off my diet and had a couple of hot dogs, baked beans, slaw, roasted marshmallows, cupcakes and rootbeer. It caught up with me at midnight. Had to read magazines until I stopped blowing my nose and could breathe again.

Went to the local 4th of July parade in the nearby town (1600 people) of Oakwood. Lots of fire trucks and tractors and local beauty queens and a few ex-Marines. Parades nearly always make me choke up—this one no exception. But in addition to the “normal” restimulation from soldiers marching, there’s an additional misemotion related to these lovely people who are pretty clueless about what’s REALLY going on.

Following the advice in “Crisis by Design,” I made an 80-mile trip to purchase silver coins from a dealer that my brother-in-law recommended. Then I buried them and drew a map (just kidding—sort of…)

Purchased the AquaRain water filter so if I had to, I/we could drink the water from the pond. (Please, my friends, take steps to prepare for any possible disasters.) Am glad Don is a good shot—he could keep the family alive eating rabbits, pheasants, etc—plus the fish in the pond. When I get back, I plan to have him teach me how to shoot—and fish.

Stay tuned…

Love, Marcia (818) 552-2211 cell