Dear Reader,
It's been over a month since I've written! Obviously a lot is going on!

Derek Barlow just left after working on the east side of Willow Creek (where it is SO narrow), pounding his way through a hopeless jungle of mostly box elder trees, and somehow managing to save the large black walnut trees. He said it was the worst area of The Land so far. He did a super job. Now we have lots of trees to cut up for firewood. We will also have to burn some of them as they are quite close to the creek, and yes, we will do some hugelkulturs with branches and leftovers. LOTS TO DO! But the area is now open to start a more dignified permaculture area. In fact, this area on the east side of the creek wasn't usable at all, until now. Derek even made a road between the creek and my fence line along the entire east side, so that I can access it any time of the year from Beemerville. First time in 40 years!

Speaking of 40 years, it is this very month 40 years ago that Jack and I bought The Land. Very much a wasteland at that time, but oh! look at it now! And so much more to come!

Derek also cleaned out the filled-in swamp making it look very much like it looked when we bought it. He uncovered (under many layers of gunk) a vein of gravel. The water started bubbling up almost immediately there, and since that time, it has completely filled in the swamp. It isn't really deep, but that's okay, because it's a swamp or wetland - performing many important functions that our big pond can not do. Soon it will be quite a place for the wildlife. I plan to plant hazelnuts and other trees, shrubs and plants around it. I am so thrilled with it!

Angela has been sending me some cute photos of the kids. Brenda, her mom (and Dad) sent some photos of the kids when Angela and Jeff were in Cancun (yes! their first vacation in 2 1/2 - 3 years!). I can't share them with you right now because I still don't know how to transfer the photos from my phone to the computer. Maybe next blog! Anyway, the kids are really starting to look SO much like little girls and boy, instead of babies. They are growing up 'way too fast! Notice how they have mastered the slide. Jack is The Slide King!

Dear Reader, I'll try to keep up more regularly, but with so much going on...my! it's hard to sit down and write! I am also planning all the trees I want to order for next year. Next spring is really going to be busy, too. In fact, it never stops!

Enjoy this unbelievable summer we've been having, dear Reader! It's going to be 70's in the day, and 50's at night for the rest of the week! We are so fortunate to have this happen in late July and half of August (so far).  Does this mean it will be an early winter?



 
 
Dear Reader,
Well! Now it's summer for sure. The humidity has reached uncomfortable levels. I do have a confession to make, however. In the screen house, I am enjoying the summer very much! It's always comfortable there!

I am adding some recent photos of the land, and also some photos from Sundai Hawbaker and Christine Eickler. Christine turned out to be the best fisher(wo)man with a good size crappie. It was great to have them celebrate the 4th at The Land!

I would be remiss if I didn't add in the more photos from my stay in Colorado. These photos are mostly from the big birthday party on June 15th. What a great time we had. Ryan's beard was a big hit - especially with Jack and Katie. Ryan is Jeff's best friend from elementary and junior high school (and still today), when we lived in outside of Denver. There are other pictures of Katie and Chloe giving their Daddy foot reflexology. Chloe goes on to give her Daddy a good backrub, then walks away saying "ALL DONE!" Hope you enjoy all the photos, dear family and friends! I am smitten with my grandchildren!

All in all, it is paradise here at the Land. Warm, humid, rainy at times, but hey! it IS July! I love it all! I hope, dear Reader, that you do, too!
 
 
Happy Fourth of July, dear Reader! What a glorious day it is here! Low 80's, sunny, slight breeze, plus some wonderful friends enjoying the 4th out here at the Land.

Also, Peter Bane was here this week, (see 3rd photo) and helped me SO much consulting on permaculture for my land. I am so enthused about the future and what all can be accomplished out here. I think the biggest help was his acknowledgement of the spirituality of the Land. It is a holy place, he said, and I quite agree. There have been many forces around the Land that are less than stellar, but the Land has retained its special quality. Peter had a vision of regional gatherings out here with people who respect what I am trying to do and who have great respect for the environment. All in all, it was a most worthwhile visit.

The visitors enjoying the 4th out here at the land are: the Hawbakers - Karl and Sundai, Floyd Seller's grandson, Logan and his very brand new bride, Holly    and Karl and Sundai's friends, Christine and Dale Kaiser 

The triplets are celebrating the 4th with their parents - and as you can see by the photo above, Chloe and Katie are dressed in their birthday presents from me (Grammie) - all ready for the 4th! The picture of Jack is an earlier photo, but a cute one!

Congratulations America on another year! Let us all come together and work together to make America even greater than it is right now. We can  do it!
 
 
Dear Reader,
I just returned from Denver where we celebrated the triplets' second birthday. Can it possibly be two years since there were born? Wow! They are SO big now.

Jeff and Angela had a pool party for them (the photos from that will have to wait until next time), and it was quite a success! I was fortunate to be there for their birthday celebration!

I had a bit of trouble getting back home, however, as Denver International Airport had a tornado land there just as I was supposed to be boarding the plane. I spent much time in the stairwells with many other travelers.  But we were all safe, and the tornado which did touch down at DIA, did not do any damage.

This week I will have a special visitor arriving who will help me with my permaculture plans. I will tell you all about it when he arrives. I am SO excited about it!

In the meantime, I am sharing many photos of the triplets when I arrived in Denver (and we visited Daddy downtown that afternoon), and then more photos from the triplets actual birthday on June 13th when they received a big toy kitchen, a shopping cart, lawn mower and so much more! As you can see from the it's a little crazy at the Heim Household in Denver!

The goslings are getting huge! They are flapping their wings, but have not taken their solo flights yet. I am looking forward to that! It's been a great summer all ready!
 
 
Dear Reader,
The last few days have been so perfect! It's at times like this when we realize how fortunate we are to live here.  And The Land is the most perfect place of all! (I realize I am a little prejudiced on this subject!)

Chris and Smitty and several members of Chris' family (and family-to-be) spent time out here fishing on Saturday. It seems there was a bridal shower going on, and the men decided to gracefully bow out. I'm glad they decided to fish here! Smitty tried out the new rubber inner tube - bless his little heart.

The wildlife abounds out here - so please enjoy the pictures of the goslings, rabbit, squirrel, chipmonk, fox, and the blue heron. As you can see, Gordon gets very nervy when he's hungry. He brings the whole family up to the cottage and he peers into the house because he can see that I am in there!

I only have one recent picture of the kids - this one is of Jack. As Angela said when she sent it, "Jack has already finished his puzzles, abc's, and now he's working on his numbers. It seems to me he's busy working on his lunch!

Enjoy these gorgeous summer days, dear Reader! It's already June 10th - summer is already flying by!
 
 
So much going on, dear Reader! A permaculture expert will be visiting the Land in July. I will tell you all about it in more detail later. In the meantime, my hazelnut, chestnut, apple and other saplings are growing nicely. They like the rain we've had.

Spring is slowing giving way to summer, even though the weather right now doesn't feel like summer! Yet the leaves are filling in and it looks so lush now. The days are so wonderfully long, and yes! today we even have sunshine!

The goslings are getting bigger. Enjoy the pictures! Gordon and Gordeeta are really protective. However, all the geese like me because I give them cracked corn. Sometimes they almost attack me when they are hungry! They are getting to be quite the demanding crew!

The great blue heron flew in this morning looking for breakfast at the edge of the lake. He may not look big in the pictures, but he IS! What a graceful bird!

The triplets went for haircuts. It was Chloe's very first haircut, so she was a little scared. She had to sit on Daddy's lap and play with his phone - that made her feel much better. Jack didn't like his haircut, either, but Katie really got into hers! She was quite the relaxed little doll! They are all enjoying Grammie's early birthday present - the WATER TABLE! They love playing with it as you can see by the last two photos. The triplets turn two years old in 10 more days! Unbelievable!

All in all, the weather is starting to warm up and I am enjoying the land in all its beauty! I hope you do, too, dear Reader, through these pictures!
 
 
Dear Reader,

Lot's happening! In early May I took a fun trip to see the grand-triplets in Denver and this past week I had a wonderful visit from my sister, Linda, and my niece, Britany. Here are lots of pictures!

The first 4 pictures are of Linda, Britney, and me in Chicago. Photos 5 & 6 are of Chloe in Grammie's shoes. Chloe calls shoes, "She-shoes." When she saw my large tennis shoes, she said, "BIG She-Shoes!" She had to walk in them, too.

Row 3: Jack
Row 4: Katie
Row 5: Chloe (and Angela)
Row 6: Katie/Chloe and Jack
Row 7: Kids with Daddy,  Whole family at the zoo
Row 8: Grammie helping out with kids at park; Jeff and Angela; Angela and me going out to the theatre for a live performance of the musical "Sense and Sensibility" which was our Mother's Day present from Jeff. We loved it!
Row 9: Looks like Jack and Chloe  think something is really funny on TV; 3 little darlings getting ready for bed; and Chloe helping Grammie rub Daddy's shoulders. Jeff really appreciated all the help!
Row 10: The new additions at the Land - 7 little goslings. 

Spring is such a beautiful time of the year! The lilacs are blooming and smell so heavenly, the apple and pear blossoms are sweet smelling, too. Most of the little saplings I planted are budding, and the grass is growing! I really think this year in June I will buy a steer or two! How they would love to munch on the grass at the Land! With all the rain, it is so green and thick!

 Enjoy the weather, dear Reader!


 
 
Dear Reader,
So much going on! So little time!

First of all, Gordeeta is still on her nest. The water has risen quite high but not quite to her nest. The goslings should be born in the next week. Gordeeta has lasted through rain, sleet, snow and yes, even hail. What a gal! Gordon gets after her when she gets off the nest even for a short while, but you know what I say...why don't YOU sit on the nest, Gordon, and let your honey have a few moments of peace? But nature does not work that way...so Gordeeta protects her eggs as best she can (there are seven of them) and Gordon protects her by patrolling up and down the pond and banks.

We have had lots of rain and even more today after those two lovely 80 degree days! The drought is over! The pond has risen back to its usual level. Life is good. Enjoy the pictures!

Dave and I picked up 100 catfish and 50 bluegill on April 18th. They seemed happy to get into the pond. It was a crazy rainy day but we perservered!

Angela sent some pictures of the kids. I love the one where Jeff is playing soccer with the kids. Chloe seems to be chasing after the ball, but Katie and Jack enjoy just watching the ball. It's so amazing to see Jack walking/standing around. It's been a long haul for that little sweet heart from 1 1/2 pounds to this! They are getting big!

Dear Reader, Life really IS good. Spring is here and hope is reflected in the budding leaves on the trees, the tulips and crocuses. How we appreciate the sun and the warmth! Enjoy, Dear Reader, Enjoy!

(More pictures to be added later)
 
 
Dear Reader,
Hi, to all the new readers who may be joining us from Mother Earth News. I am presently writing a blog on spray drift issues, and welcome all of you who are reading that blog to follow along on this blog.

Spring is coming - although very slowly. Earlier we started to plant our first permaculture trees - 2 chestnuts, ,2 paw paws, 2 hazelnuts, 2 black berry bushes and 1 Arkasas Black apple tree, but couldn't because the frost was still in the ground. But last week we were able to do so...!! See the pictures of Dave doing all the work (I take the pictures...not a bad trade-off!)  No really, dear Reader, I do lots of work on the land - mostly pruning and cleaning out the invasive honeysuckle. I even picked up all the rocks on the trailer, although Dave helped me put them in the ruts along the Road-Between-The-Ponds. We had another fire, too. There is SO much to do to restore this land! It's fun!

I've had lots of animal visitors  - the blue heron is back, Gordon and Gordeeta, ducks or loons, and even some large hawks or buzzards. (I couldn't tell which!) If you look really closely, you will see Gordeeta sitting on her nest.

Bob Nolte came out to view the area where I am thinking of putting a root cellar. That's Bob on the right of Dave on top of the High Road. He will do the concrete for the root cellar. Make note that I am not building a bunker! Believe it or not, people around here are building bunkers. Amazing! No, this root cellar will be small and only used for fruits and vegetables and maybe as an occasional shelter from a tornado.

The snow is gone for good, we hope, although they say it may actually snow this Friday! Still, it IS spring and we're ready for it! I've ordered 40 more trees, so we'll be busy planting those.

Angela sent me some  Easter photos of the triplets. The girls must have received plaid dresses and Jack a new shirt. Daddy and Jack are hanging out together on Easter Sunday afternoon. So cute! But then, I am a proud Grammie, so of course I think they are cute!

Here's to Spring, dear Reader! May we have some warm weather soon!

P.S.  I just heard about the Boston Marathon bombing. My thoughts and prayers go out to those families who lost their loved ones and to the injured, with hopes for their recoveries. It's hard to find words to express my sorrow.
 
 
Dear Reader,
Well, the new website is not ready yet, so we'll be on this one for a while longer. And please don't fret that you will be left behind because I will give you plenty of warning before the big change. Everything will change over when that happens.

As you can see from the photos above, I had a little visitor a few days ago. This skunk decided to meander by the house, so I took a few pictures. He was very well behaved.

The pond is opening up! Gordon and Gordetta love the open water. The ice started leaving a few days ago even when it was cold. Now its really open!

Dear Reader, we all get along here at The Land. But then, what would you expect in Paradise? I feed the birds first thing in the morning. Then I sprinkle some cracked corn on the bank by the driveway. The juncos, cardinals and doves eat the corn first. After that, Gordon and Gordeeta make their way to the corn. When they have just about finished eating their fill of corn, the squirrel will run up. Gordon and Gordeeta gently stop back letting him have his own banquet of cracked corn. It so interesting - and cute! -  to watch.

Katie, Chloe and Jack have been enjoying the late season snow. They were all out in the park by their house in Denver frollicking in the snow. Also, Chloe has been wearing her new sunglasses (all day). See photo. Jack and Katie were helping Mommie with the laundry the other day. As you know, Jack has been the slowest to walk, but he is making up for it now.  Here he is walking with both hands full of the important things in life!

We are so ready for spring to really be here. This weather is very trying to us, especially after last year! Let's hope next week will warm up and we'll feel like it really IS spring! Dear Reader, here's to a lovely growing season!