Good news! Randy, the owner of Ekana Nurseries in Mendota, along with his landscape designer, Mike, will visit the house site next week, and give me their "take" on exactly where the house should be located on the hill.  We have a pretty good idea where it's going to be. Mom, who sited my present cottage, has given her opinion, as well as Dave Feltes (retired from Universityof Illnois-Extension, who occasionally comes over to help with the bees), Dave H.  and even Smitty and Chris! I  value all of their opinions. Now Randy and Mike from Ekana will add their opinions. I can't wait!

I'm running errands today. But before I go, I stand in front of the cottage looking out at the pond, still all white, with a hazy sun overhead. Even though it isn't full strength, I feel the sun's warmth. There is no wind. It's absolutely still. Paradise.

I smile. I look up at the hill.  ...Little by little, step by step, you, dear Reader, and I will develop this House-on-the-Hill. I know you will be just as thrilled as I will be.

I sigh a  good sigh  - a sigh of contentment. How fortunate am I!

Later Afternoon:
Returning to the Land, I check out the greenhouse. It's nearly 80 degrees in there! Only 24 degrees outside, yet the greenhouse is picking up the sun's warmth as it tilts higher in the sky. I hustle back to the cottage, quickly heat up water on the stove, pour it in my solar shower and whoosh! I'm out in the greenhouse taking a very comfortable shower! Who ever said one has to have running water to enjoy the comforts of home? And how I appreciate each shower I have! Taking baths in small containers is wearing thin about now. But then, you must keep in mind my famous saying" "Never underestimate a woman who can take a bath in a dishpan and come out smelling like a rose!""

Ah, but a shower in the greenhouse. How nice it is!

Enough of the practicality of living out in the wilds...

The Telegraph ran my letter to the editor in today's newspaper on page A6 (The Reader's Voice) with the title: "Shook up about quake, fault lines and nuke plant." I still can't imagine why any geologist or engineer would okay a nuclear power plant near, or over, an earthquake fault. Dear Reader, take a look at the two northern-most fault lines in the photo above, which came out of the Rockford Register Star yesterday. (The Star did an excellent job of reporting.) You can see where the lower of the two faults really does end at Oregon (if you know your maps well) and the uppermost fault (Plum River fault) really does end under or near Byron. Amazing! And may I say, quite scary, too.

I guess I'll do what everyone else does...I won't think about it -- until we're hit with another earthquake. (!)

Alana composed her letter to Ed Begley, Jr. What a sweet letter. She shared it with me, so I am sharing it with you.

"Dear Ed,

A dear friend of mine, Jane Heim, is planning and going to build a green home. The home and surrounding acreage which includes a beautiful pond and trees, will be used for retreats, teaching folks about sustainable living, etc. We live in northern Illiinois, Paw Paw area, where turbine farms are located.

We would enjoy you giving us any suggestions/ideas regarding obtaining recycled materials, solar panels, etc. Jane now lives in a small cottage, with no running water, heated by a wood stove. She is getting older and would like to have a new home with running water, solar heat, etc. that she would share with others. Jane is a very active, delightful individual, who helps people and her community in many ways.

Please visit her wonderful blog site at  www.buildthathouse.com

I chuckled over the "getting older and would like to have a house with running water..."  I truly have such wonderful, kind friends helping me.Which reminds me, thanks to Dave H., I now have five fishing poles ready for my family (and friends) when they visit. It's going to be a great summer!And thanks to many hours of work by D.S. Vanderbilt, I have a good video to share on YouTube.

The sun is setting - glowing modestly pink just above the white earth -everything soft and muted. Time to send out my seed orders.

Dear Reader, may you  enjoy the Olympics, and have an evening as still and beautiful as it is out here on the Land ...


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