Grackle & Sun


I love this time of year, when everything is turned to browns and greys; when the earth shows its bones, its humbling architecture. 20151220_103014The weather is changeable where we are. Christmas day was a balmy 60 degrees this year. Strange, but lovely. Then it was all thunderstorms and tornadoes. And flooding, lots and lots of flooding. Not what one would expect at the end of December, even in the Midwest.  Now it’s cold. Finally. And still flooding.

We took advantage of the winter reprieve to tend to the garden–something which got lost in the shuffle this fall. Husband did a rough turning over with the tractor, but before he did, I made sure to clear out any big stuff that was left–a missed tomato cage, dried okra stalks, pavers, and… Look what I found!

20151220_104242Yeah. That’s a radish bigger than my head! And you know what they say–never eat anything that’s bigger than your head and certainly not three that are bigger than your boots… Should I be a radish farmer or what?20151220_104333

Time to sweep out the old year and welcome in the new. I am so excited for this new year, I can hardly stand it. I’ve got a list of all the things I want to do:

  1. Become best friends with my body–maybe do some juicing, a little cleansey+detoxy sort of thing, and (ahem) start working out again. Easy, right?
  2. Take trumpet lessons.
  3. Grow a bunch of awesome seedlings for the garden.
  4. Establish proper dye, herb, and medicinal gardens.
  5. Do this fun Plant Ally Project Challenge.
  6. Two words: Dye. Yarn.
  7. Have the soil at the farm tested.
  8. De-fence the pastures. Re-fence the pastures.
  9. Begin management intensive grazing.  Of the sheep, not me.
  10. Start drawing again. Play with the inks (that I’ve had for 5 years).
  11. Fix my sewing machine. Sew.
  12. Learn how to make tinctures and more medicinal tea blends.
  13. Learn how to can, freeze, and dehydrate.
  14. Take more walks.
  15. Paddle the MR340.
  16. Prolly ought to practice paddling.
  17. Sprout broccoli. Eat the sprouted broccoli.
  18. Make water kefir. Drink the water kefir.
  19. Figure out what I want to do when I grow up.
  20. Send postcards to friends and family.
  21. Go on a silent retreat.
  22. Write down the stories in my head.
  23. Clean the basement. LOLOLOLOL.
  24. Welcome the magic in my life.
  25. PLAY MORE. And relax, everything is ok.

It all looks so simple in a list. Who knows how much of it will happen. Doesn’t matter. I used to care about checking things off the list, but then I realized that it’s much nicer to just let the list show me what categories of things I’m finding important and/or need to work on. Maybe I’ll chuck through it, maybe I’ll struggle. But I will remain resolute that however it goes, it goes in good cheer and thankfulness.

So, friends, what hopes do you have for the New Year? What fantastical feats do you wish to accomplish? What mad new skillz do you dream of acquiring? What do you secretly dream will happen in the upcoming months? Tell me, tell me!

Have a very happy New Year!  May it be filled with many blessings–good health, good company, and loads of good luck.







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13 thoughts on “Resolute

  1. Happy New Year! That is an awesome list you have put together, and I agree, don’t tick things off – it’s like a guide, not a check list… I hope you do many of those things, I would love to hear about them. My goal is to stay sane and be a bit more mindful. I don’t think I will have time for anything else… in other words: interesting things will eventuate if I only stay sane and mindful…

  2. Happy New Year to you and your family! I love your list of things to do this year :-)

    I only have one resolution this year but it’s a biggy – it’s going to be a year of healing and learning to listen to my soul. I’m hoping that if I read enough self-help and personal development books, I somehow manage to turn my life and health around ;-) Well, even if nothing as dramatic as that happens, I will surely learn something useful!

  3. A lovely post, Ms. Gracklebird – photos, too! Thank you for the year’s wrtings – i think you have quite a talent therein – was looking for ” write stuff” on that list of creative action…FYI, for your medicinal foraging: check out ” The Boreal Herbal”

    Happy happy new year


  4. I love your list. So sorry that nature is being so insistent upon being being acknowledged in your part of the world. El Nino has given us a huge reprieve this year – presumably trying to make up for last year’s plethora of polar vortexes. Please stay safe. Have a wonderful 2016 – I look forward to hearing about all those things on your list.

  5. Lovely and thoughtful post. Your list is very good and a nice starting point. This year I will resolve to continue, move forward with living a simple life, appreciating the simple things, being present.

  6. that is a cracker jack of a list………all doable!! No lists for me, just carry on and be a good person!! Happy New Year!

  7. That’s a long list but I bet you can do all of it. If you didn’t that’s fine too. Good luck in the new year. I need to make a list like that for myself. (I really like lists)

  8. Hah! Our lists overlap quite a bit – I bought many pounds of carrots last week but still haven’t dusted off the juicer… Finally got our garden soil tested and will be able to give it what it needs this year (but I still need to arrange the seed starting getup somewhere in the house).
    Happy trumpeting!

  9. I have not really commented on your blog before, but i have been following it for a while now because, like the person above, it seems we have the same lists!! :) I have a dye garden, and get ideas from various people, you are one of those! We have had our garden in for 2 years now, and it’s spring on the 3 year, lots are growing, the madder is BURSTING and so is the Inula, love the fact that with the dye garden, the herbal remedies are there as well!! Right now I am going I really would like to do a blog, but i work and then weekends play catch up with my hubby and garden, spin, dye and pick plants when the weather permits, which is pretty much all the time here in Calif atm. This year i have decided (since my father passed away in Nov) to bring myself back to center and practice Yoga where ever i am (i am reading a book called “Yoga wisdom at work” ) and it’s bring me back to where i want to be…as well as finding time in the morning to do actual yoga before i work. I am looking forward to the adventures, both from friends and myself and hope to see more of your posts soon! :)

    • I bet your dye garden is beautiful. I don’t know what inula is. Must look that one up. Sorry to hear about your father. Hope your yoga practice is bringing you some peace and centering. If you do get a blog up, let me know!

  10. Great lists and ambition but we all fail if we set ourself too big or too complex – or we achieve it and loose friends along the way – so I am now realistic and little and often – seems good 😃

    • Yeah, it’s more of my general to-do list combined with a bit of a wish list. If I do even a handful of the things on this list, I’ll be happy. It’s for fun, not for pressure. I tend to rebel against directives–even when I give them to myself.

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