Musings: No Shortcuts To Understanding (People)

Are you interested in understanding yourself better? As a naturally curious person, I am. While I believe that there can be value in some personality tests, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), there is also the potential for misuse – particularly in employment settings – because they can encourage “shortcuts” like labeling. When shortcuts are taken, we fail to see a complete picture of an individual…to our detriment.

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Home Hacks: Keeping The Heat Out

We may have lost a view temporarily, but at least it’s cool in here!

Summer is nearly upon us, and it’s already very hot here. The sun coming into our home’s older windows creates a greenhouse effect, which raises the temperature significantly in rooms and makes the heat pump work harder to cool them. And that means big power bills. But using an item you may already have around can keep that heat out and save money on cooling: emergency blankets.

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Farm Fowl: Weathering The Heat

We’ve been suffering the effects of a “heat dome” here for about the past week. Temperatures have been in the 90s during the day (reaching 105F+ with the heat index), and it doesn’t cool off much at night. This makes for dangerously hot weather, for people and animals. We’ve learned some tricks over the years that helps keep our flocks healthy and resilient, and are employing them now.

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Wildcrafted: Making Mugolio (Fermented Pine Cone Syrup)

As we near the official start of summer here in the northern hemisphere, baby birds are fledging, flowers are blooming, and the pine treees are putting forth beautiful cones. I’m always looking for ways to utilize the bounty of the land, so when I discovered a wildcrafted syrup called Mugolio, I knew I’d be making some!

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Haiku: Remnants

Robins, plentiful around here, are hatching. Finding the cast-off shells from the successful hatches (and this one showed the signs of just that: the shell broken in the upper third, the inner membranes and blood vessels dry) is like finding a small, incredibly gorgeous treasure. Yes, a well-known jewelry retailer uses that hue as their “signature” color, but it belongs to the robins…and that beauty belongs to all of us.

Wildcrafted: 2022’s Black Locust Flower Wine

That delighful fragrance wafting in the humid evening breeze is a telltale sign that flowers are blooming on the farm. When I smell that wonderful perfume, I take time to soak it in…and then I start making plans. Last year, I had planned to make Black Locust Flower wine, but missed the bloom. This year, we had a bumper crop of Black Locust blooms!

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Haiku: Turtle’s Tenacity

It’s turtle breeding season here, when the urge to find a mate and/or breeding grounds strikes, there’s no dissuading them. Even if it means that they must make a death-defying trek across a busy roadway to get to their destinations. We always try to give our wild turtle friends a helping hand when it’s possible to safely do so, even if that turtle has incredibly strong jaws and feet with sharp claws.

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In Print: My Newest Article In Mother Earth News

You may already know that I’ve previously written for Mother Earth News, and that I’ve done a podcast with Mother Earth News & Friends. Right, the links are in the “Publications and Podcasts” menu of our website. My latest piece, on raising roosters as a sustainable meat source and a practical means of managing unexpected cockerels, is in the June/July issue that just hit newsstands (and maybe your mailbox already).

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