I stared at a photo of a cross. A simple, handmade cross of sticks… naturally bent… tied securely with string… and sunk deep into sand… within the heart of Homesteading Ways’ homestead. It’s a homestead Paul and Sandra were building, yoked side-by-side; together.
Sandra wrote, “My husband (Paul) died in an accident on the homestead on Saturday. I am broken into a million pieces”.
Alas, homesteading hearts across the country are also breaking… for Sandra.
Seasons of Winter, Summer, Spring, and Fall.
Seasons of flood and seasons of drought.
Seasons of sowing and seasons of harvesting.
Seasons of plenty and seasons of want.
Seasons of health and seasons of illness.
Seasons of life and seasons of death.
Seasons of joy and seasons of pain.
Seasons of triumph and seasons of failure.
Seasons of chaos and seasons of order.
Seasons of destruction and seasons of construction.
Seasons of endless of work and seasons of rest, silence, and reflection.
Alas, we’ve discovered that blogs have seasons, too. Especially, if they’re organic. So, when our blog has been silent, take heart. It’s just a different season of real-life on the homestead.
Dallas, our juvenile bull, staged a walk out. Ironically, it was this week. And in all fairness, it was easy and looked like a good idea.
Of course, the grass often looks greener on the other side. And Dallas enjoyed every minute of his protest. However, he also lived to regret it.
Only a short-time later, Dallas became desperate. He longed for the basics of real security. The same security he’d taken for granted. And the same security that had been paid for, by the sacrifices of others.
Now that it was gone, Dallas would pay a price. He had to fight to get back what he’d walked away from. Alas, it was much harder, and far more painful, than a walk out.
Moose are majestic creatures! And we spotted a bull moose this morning at 8:27am. He was in no hurry, as he crossed the autumn fields. We had been on a tight schedule, but he stopped us in our tracks. Embracing such moments in our modern lives are endangered, just like our moose. We watched him until he disappeared into the surrounding woods. Our only regret was not having a high-quality, zoom lens. The picture does not do him justice; neither do written words.
This just in! Our reporter is live and on the scene. She’s captured the once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse. Fellow Americans, this is what we saw in Pitt, Minnesota…
(scroll down for more photos)
Yes, I was a little disappointed, too.
By the way, Daisy sends her regards.
Directions. I wondered where I should begin. This was an unplanned excursion. And it would be easy to get lost along the way. I had no idea what I’d run into. It might even be a dead end. But I jumped at the chance and went anyway. I followed familiar landmarks and memorized my routes. It was easy to find my way back. I even deviated from well, traveled paths. But frankly, I wasn’t fully prepared. So, I stopped a few times to ask Google. I was surprised by what I located on my internet journey. And you will be, too. Men, exit here and go South. Pass up the next two paragraphs. It’s a shortcut.
I started out at a familiar spot. I read that men don’t like to ask for directions. Why? Because science says they want to be strong and have a need to win. They also don’t like to be told what to do. They prefer learning to do things on their own. I turned a corner. Here I read that when men ask for help, they’re considered stupid. Others judge and punish them. From that point, I headed to the United Kingdom. Here I was told that women give the best directions. They take their time and are more accurate.
On the next block over, I learned about routes. Women are better at remembering them. Which means we are less likely to get lost along them than men. What if men aren’t lost? They’ll still spend 70 percent more energy than women looking for something. Think: Have you seen the remote? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Basic tasks, like Walmart shopping, are more complicated for men. Guys, if you didn’t follow the directions and read this anyway, don’t blame me. And don’t blame science. It’s how you’re wired.
I was delayed at my next stop. It required maps of the brain. They show that men have the better sense of direction. Men take shortcuts. They naturally use compass-like directions. And men get to where they are going faster. But… that changes once the men are inside a store. While men best find a grocery store, women best find the butter. Why is this so important? Alzheimer’s disease. One of the first signs is losing your sense of global direction. Scientists think sex hormones play a part. And women are twice as likely as men to have it.  It’s humbling. It was also time to backtrack.
I returned to the U.K. I found my bearings. Then I got orientated. First, I studied magnetic fields. Deer and cattle use them for grazing. Some rodents place their nests using them. And when dogs pee and poop, they point North or South. (Yes ladies, many guys already know this.) These animals all use magneto-receptors. Others include, frogs, worms, snails, birds, fish, lobsters, and newts. 
Next, I studied magnetite. It’s magnetic iron oxide. And it’s the most magnetic of all minerals. Humans have a tiny crystal of it. Where? Behind our nose, between our eyes. Birds, bats, fish, and honeybees have it. Bacteria have it, too. It’s a built-in compass. Trout have more than one. They have one for every 10,000 cells. If there were more, there’d be strong interference. They are forceful; one-hundred times more than predicted. The natural magnetite is crystal shaped. However, scientists have found another kind. It’s sphere shaped magnetite. It’s in our brains, too. But, it’s not natural. They’re nano-magnets of industrial waste. They’re bad for us. And they are a hundred-fold. Wow! That could really throw us off course.
I forged onward into new territory. It’s was exciting. Three more types of human brain cells have been discovered. “Place cells” map specific locations. “Grid cells” involve 3-D and GPS. And “direction cells” act like a compass. Look out, Garmin!
My final stop included a lesson on parking. Men, I hear you roaring with laughter. You’ve always said women don’t know how to park. And you’ve taken lots of pictures to prove it. Millions are all over the internet. Now, you’ve even got science on your side. Ladies, there’s no use arguing. It’s true. Besides, we knew it all along. It’s not the male drivers that we yell at in Walmart parking lots. Heterosexual men have better depth perception. By four years-old, these guys have four-times our spatial ability. They see 3-D earlier and better. Females see fine in 2-D, but that still leaves us vulnerable. 
Ladies, I know that doesn’t answer your next question. You know the one about parking on the toilet and peeing inside the space? Alas, even science and some males have limitations. Females do, too. And if you’re a female in the backwoods, it may help to have a guy with you. Even if he’s peeing all over, he’ll likely spot the bear or wolf long before you do. Hopefully, he’ll even tell you. Especially, if you’re peeing neatly inside the bushes. Regardless, we should all think twice when heading over to Wally World. Different animals can roam there. And only some folks know how to park.
Our blogging journey has now begun. I use a round-about method, but will eventually get to where I’m going. Whereas, Keith has a built-in compass. And he’s more direct. (He can even park a tractor-trailer in tight spaces.) Keith and I often do things differently. No, we don’t always agree with each other. We came from different places. But we joined each other at a fork on some icy roads. Likewise, we know you won’t always agree with us. You may not share our beliefs. And you’ll have different goals. However, you can hitchhike along to your next stop. Just buckle up. Keep your hands to yourself. The driver controls the music. You can sing, if you want.
 (Linda Sapadin, n.d.)
 (Peck, 2015)
 (Mouland, 2010)
 (Faulkner, 2010)
 (Men Have A Better Sense Of Direction Than Women, Study Suggests, 2015)
 (Hand, 2016)
 (Juan, 2006)
 (Wolchover, 2012)
 (Blakemore, 2016)
 (Price, 2016)
 (Makin, 2015)
 (H., 6 Absured Gender Stereotypes (That Science Says Are True), 2010)