Monday, October 29, 2012

Maple, Basil, and Birch

I think storms are good in the way they get people focused on what matters most: home, family, and survival. I don't mean that in a creepy doomsday way, I just mean that for once most people on the east coast up here aren't worried about much beyond staying safe and keeping those they love safe. Right now the wind is actually howling outside, you can hear it like an owl in a tunnel, but no rain has fallen. I'm as prepared as I am going to be, but still a little nervous. It's time like this you wish you had a big stone barn with a dozen stalls and places for every claw, paw, and hoof. But I have what I have and I am ready as I can be.

A homestead is always a safe bet. My farm isn't very high tech, save for the computers and long before Sandy was even a twinkle in the atmosphere's eye I had plenty of oil lamps, extra oil, extra wicks, flashlights, batteries, emergency charging for my cell phone, radios, and food. The farm is located halfway up a mountain so it is naturally living within a windbreak. There's a happy stream purring downhill, just another twenty feet from my well's overflow that I load up buckets with. If the power goes out at length there will be plenty of mountain water here to drink for human and animal alike. I have purification tablets as well as a couple big stockpots to bring it to a rolling boil over my wood stove.

One thing that isn't fun is riding out a storm as the only human. It's not loneliness but a feeling of isolation. I don't mind being without power for a few days and I'm not worried about my basic needs. It's just nice to ride out a storm with a partner. Someone to tell me "It's going to be okay". Which I know, is a luxury for any person in this world but trust me, there are times I would happily trade in my canned goods for a friend in a storm. It's just me and these animals here and whatever happens it's my job to solve it. And I will.

And I am doing my best. I am all about all forms of protection and security and so there is a sprig of basil, maple, and birch tied together on the front door. It's an old folk trio of plants said to protect farmhouses from weather danger. I used it for Irene, and some other big storms as well and it has always seen me and the animals through. But to really load up my protection arsenal I'd like it if any of you have room for all of us in the storm's path in your prayers to send some of that protective mojo our way. Deity of your choice, to me it is all the same. It's the love that matters. And I'll remember that tonight when the wind is rolling through the mountain.


Blogger Michelle said...

Praying for your safety as this storm bellows through. I have a dear friend in the process of adopting an eight day old baby girl hunkered down in a hotel room also in the storm's path. Lots and lots of prayer coming from these lips!

October 29, 2012 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger Northwest Girl said...

Prayers for you my dear! I am on the west coast and free from the hurricane - so I am sending you ALL of my good weather energy. Snuggle in with your 4 footed "partners" and wait it out. Turn up the radio and stay safe!

October 29, 2012 at 3:18 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

My prayers and thoughts are with you and yours.

October 29, 2012 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Special prayers headed your way. I've always believed CAF to be a special place in the universe therefore protected and safe during all seasons. That partner will come in good time Jenna. Meanwhile think of CAF bathed in the prayers and good thoughts of people around the globe - sort of like an invisible wall - keeping the bad out and letting the good in.


October 29, 2012 at 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll burn a little blessing mixture for you and others tonight. I'll be thinking about cousins, friends, and you (and the animals) today. Keep safe!

October 29, 2012 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Prayers for you and yourn! Think of the stories you will have. Live it and learn....then down the road when someone asks where were you during the October hurricane you can say on my farm protecting my animals. By myself!!!

October 29, 2012 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

Prayers for protection are coming at ya, as well as prayers for solace! I'll also be thinking of you as I watch coverage of the storm on TV. Hang on tight and ride out the storm with your four legged farmily!

October 29, 2012 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger barbsbirds13 said...

Count on my prayers for you and all your animals, along with all in Sandy's path, including my daughter in No. Virginia.

October 29, 2012 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

Prayers for protection are coming at ya as well as prayers for solace! Hang on tight and ride out the storm with you four-legged farmily. You'll be in my thoughts as I watch the coverage on TV. Please keep us posted as to how you are doing-weather permitting.

October 29, 2012 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger farmwifetwo said...

We've been raining since Fri. But it's mostly wind now.

Did you put up water to drink and flush the toilet??

Baby wipes, disinfecting wipes are a must have for a storm of any kind.

October 29, 2012 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Prayers for your safety. I know that you are well prepared, and I am thankful for you.

October 29, 2012 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

In some sense you're less isolated than those of us dependent on gas and electricity. And if all else fails, you have plenty of neighborly support; you can hop on Merlin and find your way past treefall-blocked roads. Not the same as hold-me-close-when-the-wind-howls, I know. But I firmly believe it's all going to be ok by way of CAF. That old farmhouse knows how to get through a storm, and so do Fell ponies, sheep and collies.

October 29, 2012 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger Victoria Nidetch said...

You are in my prayers. Snuggle with Gibson and Bo. I think no electricity for a while can be a good thing.

October 29, 2012 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I know what you are saying.Jenna - I live alone and can do fine but at times like this - when the wind is howling, the trees are bending wildly and everyone is hunkered down in their own homes - it would be nice to be cozy with someone else to ride it through. We can do it, but it's not a comforting.
Sending good thoughts, prayers, and all best wishes for a safe night for you and all your critters and for sunshine in the morning.

October 29, 2012 at 5:03 PM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

We're all here thinking of you and wishing you well!

October 29, 2012 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Sending love your way, and that true love would find you in a season of life, soon.

October 29, 2012 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger Folkways Note Book said...

My thoughts have been with everyone on the east coast as I have gone about my day. You have all the emergency tools in place. I like the words of your friend Jon Katz -- embrace the storm. Stay safe. --- barbara

October 29, 2012 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

I've been thinking of you, along with all my family and friends in N.Y. (and all up and down the coast). Sending prayers and Reiki for safety for you all.

October 29, 2012 at 5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I definitely can relate Jenna. Riding out the beginnings of this (very windy) storm outside of Keene, NH with my dog. Hoping I prepared the chickens and the bees well enough to make it through the next 36 hours. What is an adventure for two or more people is slightly more nerve wrecking when you're on your own and the responsibility is soley yours. Good thoughts heading your way that we're able to ride out this storm stress free! :) - Kelly

October 29, 2012 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

Thinking of you Jenna whilst I am safe here in the UK. I did live in Bermuda for a while and witnessed two hurricanes so do know what it is like!

October 29, 2012 at 5:44 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Sending cozy & protective vibes your way Jenna! To you, all your animals and everyone else in the path- be safe, be warm, be cozy~

October 29, 2012 at 5:45 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

I'm with ya, chick! Just me, the dog, the cats and 9 chickens happily hunkered down for the night here in central Maine. The generator is full with 8 extra gallons of gas in reserve; 3 buckets of water sit in the tub waiting to be use as flush water; all the projectiles have been put away or secured...naturally my brain is reeling with all the "did I remember" and "should I" thoughts. But I am also clinging to the thought that "this, too, shall pass."

October 29, 2012 at 6:15 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Good energy to you on this stormy full moon a(and your beasts!) Your are thought of and prayed for my dear
more than you know!

October 29, 2012 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger candisrrt said...

The Scott family in Florida will be thinking of you!!!! Stay safe!!!!

October 29, 2012 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Tami said...

Amen and Amen again, Jenna. You are not alone although the wind will drown out our voices I'm sure. Hang tough Sister.

October 29, 2012 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

You got it kiddo...prayers and good mojo coming your way. Big hugs!!


October 29, 2012 at 7:13 PM  
Blogger ThiftedBliss said...

Sitting here in my kitchen in CT listening to the wind howl around my house. Saying prayers and sending love to you, and everyone in the path of this storm. Karen from CT

October 29, 2012 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

I love the Maple Basil and Birch trio....I hadn't heard that one!

We have lost power here in southern CT, but I still have internet? I'm typing by candlelight! We have a generator just in case, and will start it in the morning if power isn't back on yet. I have a feeling, we will be needing it! Sandy is the bad witch this year!

Best of luck up there in Veryork.

October 29, 2012 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger melody_cir said...

Am praying for you and yours, Jenna. I moved home from camp today- thought it the best move. We're prepared- usually lose power a couple times in the winter anyways here in Northern NY, so we're used to it. So glad it's not colder- that snow in VA looks pretty bad. Lake Ontario is going nuts. Be safe.

October 29, 2012 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger marilyn said...

All my thoughts and prayers go out to all of you in the upstate NY blogland. You are not alone with so many watching your back.

October 29, 2012 at 8:14 PM  
Blogger SouthernHeart said...

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, Jenna! Stay safe and well...


October 29, 2012 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger Heather-Anne said...

Opened my Orvis catalog today and who do I see! What fun!!

October 29, 2012 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger Erika said...

Things are still ok over here. I know what you mean about a companion. My husband is overseas right now so it's just me, the kiddo and two dogs. As soon as it passes I need to check the bees.

October 29, 2012 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger Beacee said...

Holding you in prayer. x

October 29, 2012 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger futurefarmgirl said...

Praying for the safety of all of you in Sandy's eye. May you ride out this storm with a sense of peace in knowing that you are being prayed for from across the country and by people of many different faiths. You shall be covered with a great hedge of protection and wake to see your homesteads still standing strong, your animals still safe, and another day to go on doing what you love to do. Big Hugs, Jenna!

October 29, 2012 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger admin said...

CAF does have many advantages in the case of storms like this. Wishing you and it well and hoping things blow over and on quickly with out too much rain and wind damage.

October 29, 2012 at 10:32 PM  
Blogger Rosie said...

You are in my prayers tonight. I know how you feel about living alone, I live here on the ranch in Oklahoma and when severe weather hits it is me making sure the 2 dogs, 2 cats, rabbits in the "bunnery" and 65+ cows, calves and bulls are okay and make it through the storms.
Be safe. Think of the great stories you will have to tell.

October 29, 2012 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Keeping you and all the animals in our prayers. Good night to hunker down with a good book and some warm tea. Single too here 'tho just windy here in Illinois.

October 29, 2012 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Chautauqua said...

I talked to my Gods; they are going to talk to yours, and they promise me all will be well. Blessings on you and yours.

October 29, 2012 at 11:10 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Prayers rising for you and your charges that you have a peaceful night and a gentle rising.

October 29, 2012 at 11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been thinking of you and will send blessings and safety prayers to you(and all those affected) throughout this. Stay safe, hug a pony or a sheep when the lonely gets to be too much. They wouldn't make it without you.

October 29, 2012 at 11:20 PM  
Blogger Solitare said...

Sitting here at work thought I would check on how you are doing out there. Keeping you and your crew in my thoughts.

October 30, 2012 at 12:52 AM  
Blogger Greentwinsmummy said...

The morning news here shows New York to have taken quite a battering, I dont know where you are in relation to New York but I hope you are safe and snug. The weather here is set to turn even wetter and windier and there are alot of farmers at breaking point as the hope of getting the maize crops in(already weeks overdue) slips through the fingers again.Glum news.
Take care
GTM x x x

October 30, 2012 at 2:45 AM  
Blogger Bovey Belle said...

I hope you are keeping safe, and sorry you have to ride it out on your own. I'm sure your community will all rally round together in the storm's aftermath.

October 30, 2012 at 4:30 AM  
Blogger Marci said...

Hope all is well there. I am praying for you and your animals!!

October 30, 2012 at 6:31 AM  
Blogger Patrice Nelson said...

I love reaading your blog and I know you and your animals and farm will be safe and secure. You are an inspiration. I live outside of Chicago and we are getting some high winds and high waves on Lake Michigan. I hope I can visit your farm and would love to learn to play the dulcimer, but will stay outside since I am hugely allergic to cats. Some remote relative in my husband's family makes dulcimers somehwere in Iowa.
God Bless.

October 30, 2012 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Patrice Nelson said...

I know you and your animals and farm will be safe and secure. You are an inspriation and I hope someday to visit your farm. I would love to learn to play the dulcimer, but would stay outside since I am hugely allergic to cats. In fact, some remote relative in my husband's family makes dulcimers somehwere in Iowa. I live outside of Chicago and we are having some high winds and waves on Lake Michigan because of the storm.
Take care and God bless.

October 30, 2012 at 11:02 AM  

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