We experienced another earthquake!  This is the third one I've been through since I returned to The Land in 2000. My! And here I am, so worried about Jeff and Angela who live in earthquake-prone L.A.!

Although I didn't feel it like the Troy Grove (4.3) earthquake in 2004, it did wake me up around 4AM. I thought it was a snow plow on Steward Raod. Some snow plow!

Dear Reader, I am a little shook up (no pun intended) this morning. Please allow me to vent.

What really has me shook up is the interview I heard today on WTVO-WQRF (through the Internet) with Philip Carpenter, professor of Geology and Seismology at Northern Illinois University.

Professor Carpenter said there is not a mapped fault under the Virgil/Sycamore area where this quake occurred. Makes  one wonder how many more faults have not been mapped. But that isn't what really caught my attention. He went on to say that there are two other major faults in Northern Illinois - "neither of which is active right now." (author's italics)  The first major fault line is called the Sandwich Fault which runs from Sandwich to Oregon. The other major fault line is The Plum River Fault which runs from the Mississippi River to...Byron! Guess what sits in Byron? A huge nuclear power plant! One major fault line running to Oregon (next to Byron) and another major fault line running to Byron. And Professor Carpenter states, "Neither is active right now." Right now? I just have one question for those people who were in charge of deciding where to locate a nuclear power plant (in the 1960's and '70's): What were you thinking?

I was supposed to have lunch with a dear friend, Ralph Dahm, today. He lives in Wheaton. I emailed him yesterday that we may have to cancel because of the snowdrifts accumulating on my lane. Ralph hadn't responded by the time I went to bed last night.

The earthquake must have awakened him, because I received an email from him at 4:29AM: "The whole house just shook as if something large landed on the roof! No damage after inspecting inside and outside. Many neighbors have lights on so maybe a sonic boom or explosion somewhere...It is very weird!"

I received another email from him a while ago saying he turned on the televison after he sent the first email to me, and learned it was an earthquake. It was quite a surprise to him. It was the last thing he would ever have expected!

I realize this is just a theoretical question because I don't think they are THAT dedicated, but I am wondering...if Smitty and Chris had been out here ice fishing during the earthquake - would they have caught some large fish? Chris told me they actually catch more fish when my neighbor is flying his planes in and out! If the fish like the vibes from my neighbor's planes, maybe they would like the vibes from an earthquake!

Ralph also told me that the Coast Guard guards the power plant because the Byron Nuclear Power Plant is on the Rock River. I emailed him back and said that the military also have planes protecting it 24/7. "They fly around and around continuously (protecting it from terrorists, I guess) . I bet the pilots get pretty bored up there going around and around,  hour after hour, day after day. My neighbor calls them, "Sky voyeurs."  Don't ask me why, but I have this strong feeling the pilots were busy looking in some person's window when the earthquake happened.  Hope they didn't get caught with their pants down. (I don't mean literally.) I bet they're paying attention to that nuclear power plant right now!

"the shake came from the earth causing anxiety." In Chinese terms, this would mean it's time to correct ourselves - work harder on becoming better people. Also it's time to think of opening up the fields for planting in the spring, and turning our anxiety to joy.

Speaking of opening the fields for spring planting...I am still drooling over my seeds. And such a wonderful day to do so! Again, so much white around me, making the dark evergreens protecting the cottage on the west and northwest sides look even more vibrant. But it's really the sun - and that gorgeous bright blue sky - that lights up the Land, and my entire world.

Jeff called last night on this way to take a mid-term at his class. (He lights up my entire world, too!) We had a great, long conversation. Whenever a person gets on the freeway in L.A., you can just bet you'll have plenty of time for conversation  - through the BlueTooth, of course. I wished him well on his midterm. We talked of his visit here in June, too!

Alana has been really supportive of the build-a-house-on-the-hill project. I hope she doesn't mind my sharing her last email with you, Dear Reader.

"This is just a thought regarding you getting in touch with Ed Begley, Jr., and his doing a film series of you building your home, donating his time, suggestions,or...

I just looked up when the movie , A Thousand Acres, was made using the Compton Lutheran Church, here in Illinois (1997). Jessica Lange was the star. I think she grew up in this area. Margaret Carnahan, Jannine's second cousin, told us about the filming, because Margaret belonged to the church...

I am telling you all of this because you just never know what can happen ... Ed Begley, Jr. might want to film your home being built from scratch... using only recycled goods, etc., and Ed Begley, Jr. will probably love the wind turbines..."

She goes on to say:

"...and please, Jane, if you feel I am being too invasive about the building of your retreat home, please let me know...I am just giving you ideas...I am happy to make phone calls and do whatever I can to make your retreat home become a reality..."

Alana is NOT being too invasive. She has been such an inspiration to me. She pictures me at 90, with a beautiful home-on-the-hill, entertaining people from far and wide. How could that be invasive?  It's because of dear friends like her, and dear Readers such as you, that I know I will have the house of my dreams. I could not do this alone! So a big Thank You to Alana for her support.

And speaking of help (I realize I do a lot of  "and speaking of," but it's such a nice seque...)

I want to thank D.S. Vanderbilt again for all the hours he's worked on my video. He emailed me this morning to say it's almost done. I am so appreciative for all his expertise!

Yesterday I was reading a new issue of Country Living magazine which my sweet mother orders for me every year. Something moved me to write to Sarah Gray Miller, the Editor-in-chief, inviting her and staff to follow along on the progress of the house-on-the-hill. Country Living was really interested in covering my remodel of Eulalia Breese's house in Paw Paw in 2004, but the timing didn't work out well for their magazine. Too bad. That would have been a great article for them. But so will the house-on-the-hill project! And they will have lots of time to follow the progress!

The snow is deep,but soon it will melt away as the sun rises higher in the sky. As I end this, dear Reader, I leave you with my wish for you (from "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts).

"Your dreams stay big
Your worries stay small"

Enjoy the deep snow!


Michael Smith
02/10/2010 20:41

I hope this earthquake thing is not a problem. My father lives 2 miles from the nuclear plant in Byron! I wonder if he knew this when he decided to build there 5 years ago. I can remember going there as a kid when my grandparents had a summer cottage on the land my father built on. I miss my grandparents and wish everyday I could talk to them!



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