Dear Reader,
We look for signs of spring and see them everywhere. The seed in the bird feeder stays longer, as the birds have more access to food now that the snow has departed (once again).  The days are longer. The geese are flying over the pond more often and are quite perturbed the ice hasn't melted yet. And even when there's a cold northwest wind like yesterday, the sunny day just seemed so much more springlike. I even found pictures from early spring last year to give you hope.  Hold on, folks, spring really is coming!

I have been thinking of the triplets constantly. (See Jeff and Angela's picture after they told us about a baby coming at Christmastime.) I saw their 12 week ultrasound video and it' still amazes me.  Dear Reader, you must know how conflicted I feel about being here, when my new little family will be out west. Should I put the Land on the market and try to sell this piece of paradise? The value of it has increased with all the improvements, but that's what makes it so much fun to stay here.  The second floor of the carriage house is just perfect for organic meetings or even finished out to be an apartment for a full-time helper.I have been doing a lot of soul searching about this. I want to be close to the triplets and help Jeff and Angela out as much as I can. On the other hand, I have dear Michael here, who has been in the hospital (I visit him almost every day) and now is in rehabilitation. I want to be here for Michael.

I've also been working hard on the spray drift pamphlet, which I feel is part of  my life's work.  The pamphlet is really turning out well. That is entirely due to Anita Poeppel of Broad Branch Farm, who has done a lot of reseaching and designing.  We have worked well together with the same goal in mind.  Thank you, Anita!  Thanks, too, to Jack Erisman of Goldmine Farm (a 2000 acre organic farm in central Illinois) and Ellen Phillips of University of Illinois Extension (she gives classes to pesticide sprayers), and many more people who looked it over and gave their suggestions.  A copy of the pamphlet has been sent to Warren Goetsch and Scott Frank of Illinois Dept of Ag for their perusal. Anita sent a copy to Pesticide Action Network in California and received their approval. And last, but not least, I sent a copy to Rich Schell, our attorney in Des Plaines  who deals with pesticide issues.  We're doing our best to include all the parties involved and make sure they all know about this, and can raise any questions or suggestions. It's been a lot of fun, actually!

And speaking of fun, University of Illinois Extension is sponsoring a sustainable/organic regional meeting on The Land this June! I am in the process of writing a press release for them. I look forward to having like-minded people out here for some deep discussions about what is needed by sustainable farmers in this region. So...lots going on! I sense things will get busier and more involved in the organic/sustainable area for me. And that is how it should be.

Not to mention my seedlings are still trying to grow. They will be taking a trip to Wisconsin probably next week to be seen by the Univ of WI soil lab.  I love the little darlings!

So you can see how conflicted all this makes me. But when the babies are born healthy, they are going to be a handful. Make that THREE handfuls! And I, along with Angela's parents and sister, will need to be there - at least some of the time. Jeff and Angela are actually thinking of getting a live-in nannie, which isn't a bad idea. But nothing replaces grandparents! I talked with Angela's parents in Grants Pass, Oregon the other night - and Brenda and Dave are as stunned and excited as I am. "We don't have a big enough car!" they said! Everyone is saying that!

Lots of contemplating and soul searching, dear Reader.  But for now, staying here to be close to Michael and doing my life's work  in organics is where I am.

 


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