Sunday, May 5, 2013

Spring (#2) in the Heartland

MARCIA POWELL -- Blog article (#11) – May 5, 2013

Picking up from my last blog of January 12th, (to read earlier blog articles, go to, I am enjoying my 2nd spring in the Heartland. Truly beautiful! 
Duke, my gardening consultant, rigged up a grow light in my little cellar and showed me how to plant seeds into trays. First I let them germinate in my house, then I put them under the grow light, then into the greenhouse where I transplanted them into bigger containers, and, finallh (once the weather was warm enough) transplanted them into the soil. Whew! Labor intensive, but worth it, as I already have a bunch of edible lettuce! Despite the unusual amount of rain here (a relief after last year's drought), I've managed to get some other veggies planted as well. I'm way ahead of where I was last year.

I've put up my “EAT YOUR YARD” sign. Now and then the little kids from the neighboring grade school walk past my place on their way to the nearby junior high. I was out gardening when I heard little voices saying “Eat your yard,” and realized that they will ask their teachers what it means, and (hopefully) share it with their parents.

The project of helping (mostly typing and sentence structure) Frank with his dissertation (soil science) is ongoing, but we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. The pay for this work is helping me pay for all the extra programming that was done for last year's Affinity Exchange merger with FreeSpirit Singles. We've been working together for a year now and it's going well—always more people getting hooked up!

Another big project is getting a house on my property. First I had to solve the problem of getting the mortgage from the house Stephen and I purchased in 1981 (!) off my credit report! Happy to report a done on this. Then I had to complete my taxes so the mortgage banker had official data about my financial scene. Without going into the gory details, I learned that because of the 2008 mortgage debacle, the regulations these days are very stiff (pendulum swing). Even though I had down money set aside, my income is such that they could only loan me a small-ish amount. I was hoping to do a straw bale house, or earth-berm, or something that would make an eco statement; but the banks won't loan money for a non-conventional house! I cried. But it is very important for me to live on my land as soon as possible so I can start creating the sustainable farm.

After a few sessions with the salesman at Riley Homes, we worked out how I can get a modular (manufactured) 3-bedroom home with a 2-car detached garage. I'm hoping things move along such that I can move in no later than October.

In addition to letting the Land Connection organization know I'm looking for a young farmer, I posted a listing on a website out of Iowa that matches landowners with wannabe farmers. If any of you know of a young man with a passion for organic farming, now is the time to connect me with him.

As for my “activist” activities, I attended a 2nd Amendment rally at the state capital in Springfield in January. Wore my “blizzard boots” and Tibetan cap (still a So Cal wuss!). Then again in March I boarded one of 2 buses and again went to Springfield—this time both marched AND lobbied the State legislators re gun rights. A week later, I was back at the capital, this time lobbying for Food and Water Watch—legislation calling for labeling of GMOs, as well as saner laws regarding composting. Right now if Sally across the street threw her produce scraps on my compost pile, we would be in trouble with the law!! That truly made my jaw drop!

Campaigned for a Republican for Mayor of Urbana, but he lost. Always a learning experience, no matter the outcome.

I continue my role as Secretary for the local Libertarian Party. Last night we hosted a showing of the documentary “Nullifcation—the Rightful Remedy” about the 10th amendment. Great film! Now that we know where and how to do this (local library), we can host more movie nights. Enlighten! Enlighten!

Meanwhile, during the cold winter, I noticed feeling lonely now and then. Therefore when someone in the neighborhood posted a notice about giving away their cat, I decided to help her out. Leo is 5 years old, orange and white, longhaired, and very handsome! He stayed under the bed for the first few days, but gradually came out and got oriented. His front paws have been declawed, which is good since he does bat at me now and then. He's gradually getting friendlier. Anyway, I can share the events of the day with him. I always say “Leo, guard the house,” as I leave, and “Hi, Honey, I'm home!” when I return.

What with my continually backlogged emails, my reading is still done in “dead time.” Nevertheless, I manage to get some books read. Amazingly, everything I've read for the last year is by someone I know! My sister Jane (Creason) finished co-authoring the last book my father wrote, entitled “Conspiracy,” which, like his other books, emphasizes the importance of a proper education system. She did a great job! Also highly recommended is “True Tails” by Jon Soeder, who writes about his ability to communicate telepathically with animals. After finishing it, I tracked him down and had a lovely phone conversation with him. And now I'm reading “I Hate to Say Goodbye” by Ruti Ydovich, a long-time friend. It's about her life growing up in Israel, and it is marvelous! All of these books are on

Saw a local production of “My Fair Lady” with my 11-year-old voice student and her mother, which made it even more fun. Saw “The Late Quartet” about a string quartet, and shortly thereafter “Quartet” about an operatic quartet at the local Art theater. So still getting some culture—there's more here than I have time for!

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