Category Archives: Love

The Chicken Chronicles book is About to Hatch!


(One mock-up of a cover design—not the final version!)

 

Big Announcement: I’ve nearly finished a project I started on two years ago!

It feels great to finally get to this place. And, as this project is a memoir of our family’s “country in the city” experiment over nearly two decades, I’m happy that these adventures are soon to be in book form.

For those of you who haven’t read stories from the collection that have appeared in Greenwoman Magazine  or on this blog, here’s the book description:

THE CHICKEN CHRONICLES is a collection of essays and stories written by an unapologetically quirky plant and animal lover who dives deep into creating a “country living in the city” experience for her family. Engaging, erudite, and often hilarious, THE CHICKEN CHRONICLES follows Colorado author Sandra Knauf as:

She and her young daughters meet neighbor Grandma Ruby, an 80-something-year-old cottage gardener/chicken raiser, who inspires Sandra to start her own backyard flock of exotic breed bantam chickens.

She confesses and explores her shocking and insatiable lust — for seed catalogs.

She becomes involved in a garden tour fundraiser for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and gets a close look at her city’s partisan politics — the good, the bad, and the ugly.

She examines 21st century lawns, “the biggest waste of water in suburbia,” and shares her experiences — from working as a teenager at a lawn care company in the 1980s to becoming an ecology-minded gardener hell-bent on getting rid of the bluegrass.

She introduces us to unforgettable animals: an ill-fated Neatherlands dwarf bunny, Puff; an out-of-control black Labrador puppy, Broonzy; a coop full of exotic breed bantams with the names of Greek goddesses, and more.

She gives the lowdown on her city’s green fringe through other adventures that include: capturing a swarm of bees, joining a garden club, and becoming a gardener-for-hire in her city’s richest neighborhood.

She ponders life and discovers that the most important lesson is to love it, participate in it, and live it exactly how you want to.


A picture taken during The Chicken Chronicles era: Daughters Zora (with chick “Kayley”) and Lily with “Jessica.” As we bought unsexed chicks, the girls were hoping for egg-laying hens and named them accordingly. Their two favorite “hens” turned out to be roosters.

 

While I’m writing today to announce this upcoming collection, I’m also here to ask: Would any of you be interested in being beta (test) readers? I have a PDF ready and I would LOVE to hear what you think of this book!

If you’re interested, just send me a note at maefayne(at)msn.com. I would need your comments by the end of the month and I’ll include a list of questions to guide your critique with the PDF.

I hope you can participate; I would love for you to be a part of this project!

Sandy

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Monthly Museletter – June 2018

Lunar_libration_with_phase2

“Lunar Libration” by Tomruen, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s getting very close to the longest day in the northern hemisphere. Can you believe it? The days are their longest, yet if you’re a gardener you’re probably still short on time, right? I still have things to plant!

Thank you, Karla, for sharing some of the interesting links and quotes you found last month.❤ —SK

P. S. If you’re from Colorado Springs and would like Karla’s full newsletter that includes local events, you can write her at karlaann45 @ gmail.com.

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“The planet Earth, view from the American side, View type, Satellite”. 2018 by Educator57, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
— Martin Luther King Jr.

 

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“Honey Bear Backlit”, 2015, by Eric Kilby from Somerville, MA, USA via Wikimedia Commons.

My fave ideas in “50 Ways to Save the Honey Bees (and change the world)”, a book by J. Scott Donahue, are:
1. Bee Bathfill a wide shallow dish or plate with water & a pile of gravel in the center for bees to land on.
2. Ban the Bear—those plastic bear-shaped honey containers likely contain non-local honey and mostly high-fructose corn syrup & cooked honey.

 

Biomimicry at work: 14 inventions inspired by Nature.  See the “Very Fish Wind Farm” and “Firefly Lightbulbs”.

Check this out (below). A real “green team”!

 

Put a house for non-stinging pollinators like mason bees in your backyard! The Giving Tree Montessori teachers found this one at Costco.

What looks like a toy train, swims like an eel, and gathers pollution information? Find the answer to this riddle here.

Today I dug out Bernie Krause’s 1988 audiotape GORILLAS IN THE MIX, on which ALL songs are mixed voices of NATURE, from Hippos, Fish, Sand Dunes etc., . . . then I bought a new CD of it!

 

Some Bad News (from The Years Project):

For every dollar the oil/gas/coal industry spends on campaign contributions and lobbying, they get back 83 dollars in handouts from our taxpayer pockets!

The Lullaby of Our Language:
“We will never, we cannot, leave animals alone, even the tiniest one, ever, because we know we are one with them. Their blood is our blood. Their breath is our breath, their beginning our beginning, their fate our fate. Thus we deny them. Thus we yearn for them. They are among us and within us and of us, inextricably woven with the form and manner of our being, with our understanding and our imaginations. They are the grit and the salt and the lullaby of our language.” —Pattiann Rogers

Visit aurorasaurus.org where the crowd-sourced data about the Northern Lights is compiled.

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“Aurora Borealis and Australis Poster”, posted February 9, 2012, assembled by 14jbella from images found at English Wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons

We are praying for Hawaii, even as we are lava-ing this song!

And . . .

 

“If you need sunshine to bring you happiness, you haven’t tried dancing in the rain!”
—Unknown

 

Until next month . . . have a beautiful June!

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Battle In The Forest with Gisele Bündchen

Aerial_view_of_the_Amazon_Rainforest

“View from the top, from the airplane window, the Solimões River, looking like a large snake, as it is called by the natives. Rio Solimões – Amazonia.” Floresta Amazonica, Brasil, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

There is only one Earth and no “Plan C”. This film shows that Plan A is doing as we’ve been doing, using resources wantonly and polluting—which leads to mass extinction. Plan B is getting our act together and saving not only ourselves but the diversity and health on our planet, our home. —SK

 

“It’s like when you’re in the midst of unfolding disaster—what do you do? You panic? No. You MOVE it. MOVE MOVE MOVE MOVE MOVE. That’s what we need to do.”
—Antonio Nobre, Climate Scientist—Brazilian Institute for Space Research

 

The YEARS Project is a multimedia storytelling and education effort designed to inform, empower, and unite the world in the face of climate change. You can watch more of their videos here on YouTube and follow them here on Facebook.

 

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Happy Earth Day!

HappyEarthDay2018

Image from Allina Health Care website, posted April 22, 2015.

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The Highest Evolution: Working with our Hands

The values we need are of knowledge: of how to live with Nature, of how to care, of how to share.

I think you’ll agreethere’s no one like Vandana Shiva. I hope you’ll enjoy this short film and her wisdom!—SK

 

 

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Monthly Museletter—March 2018

Lunar_libration_with_phase2

“Lunar Libration” by Tomruen, via Wikimedia Commons

This month we’re all about saving the planet, so roll up your sleeves and join us! (Thank you, Karla, for sharing your wonderful newsletter! ❤) —SK

P. S. If you’re from Colorado Springs and would like Karla’s newsletter that includes local events, you can write her at karlaann45 @ gmail.com.

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Promise to Protect! nokxlpromise.org continues the work of Standing Rock and indigenous people all over the planet.

“Goals” for 350.org’s 2018 grassroots activism :
1. Fast & just transition to 100% renewables.
2. No new fossil fuel projects.
3. Not one penny more for dirty energy.

Encourage your candidates to sign the no fossil fuel money pledge: “I pledge to not take contributions from the oil, gas, and coal industry and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.”
sunrisemovement.org or nofossilfuelmoney.org

Give it away (or throw it away or sell it):
“Messing & stressing” are linked, so try the 21-a-day toss and see if you feel better!

Take the Chain off your Brain: Goddess statues and elegant animals come to life in Nina Paley’s animation that’s guaranteed to make you move.

 

Goodbye plastic, hello ETEE organic reusable food wrap (another gift from honeybees)

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Jane Goodall

SPC 3912-B Photographic views and portraits made 1867-74 in the

Arapaho camp, View of Camp —Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, In: Wilbur Sturtevant Nye, from Plains Indian raiders : the final phases of warfare from the Arkansas to the Red River, with original photographs by William S. Soule. University of Oklahoma Press, 1st edition, 1968

Two worldwide tech competitions for the XPRIZE, from NRG Cosia: Make drinking water out of thin air and transforming  CO2 power plant waste into biofuel, building materials, tires, etc.

“XPRIZE is an innovation engine. A facilitator of exponential change. A catalyst for the benefit of humanity.
We believe in the power of competition. That it’s part of our DNA. Of humanity itself. . .
We believe that you get what you incentivize. And that without a target, you will miss it every time. Rather than throw money at a problem, we incentivize the solution and challenge the world to solve it.”
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“You can create a lot of jobs drilling holes in a ship,” said one retiree against fracking in his state, “but the ship will still go down.”
a quote from the anthology Coming of Age at the End of Nature: A Generation Faces Living on a Changed Planet, edited by Julie Dunlap and Susan A. Cohen

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“The YEARS Project is a multimedia storytelling and education effort designed to inform, empower, and unite the world in the face of climate change.”

Here’s an example of what they’re putting out there. (I think you’ll be looking at ingredients labels for palm oil after watching this.):

Here’s the Playlist Page on YouTube.  (Please share, share, share!)

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Dr. Wendy Burroughs counsels us to:
1. SAUNTER THROUGH BEAUTY (rather than hike through Life).
2. TRAVEL LIGHT (release, forgive, flow, free yourSelf).
3. HONOR YOUR NATURAL RHYTHMS (don’t push the River).
4. RE-WILD YOURSELF (revive dormant Selves).

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Another wonderful innovation, the Go Sun solar oven!

“ . . . higher plant diversity in urban areas could be one reason that city [bee] hives are healthier and more productive than many rural ones.” Kelsey Nowakowski in February 2018 National Geographic

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Please send Rain.
Please send Snow.
Please send Mist.
Please don’t blow.

Flakes are Fine.
Drops Divine.
Please send Moisture here, below.”

—Song to the Sky Beings

Apple_blossoms_Gandhi copy

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Boys and Girls

Cute_child_boy_playing_with_frog_U.S._Fish_and_Wildlife

“Boy playing with frog”, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, via Wikimedia Commons

“I have a little friend. (I’m blessed with lots of little friends. ❤  This guy’s name is Ayden, and he is 7 years old. He was telling me about this mouse that his dad-type-guy killed. And he told me about the eyes popping out and so forth. OMG I hate mice. I said, ‘I’m a girl, Ayden. A plain ole girl. And I don’t like blood and guts and weapons and mice. None of it. I’m a girl.’ A few seconds passed….. ‘We could talk about butterflies,’ he said. So we did. OMG I love that kid. ❤
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I saw this perfect little story on my friend Cheri Colburn’s Facebook page this morning. I loved it and I thought you might too. Cheri’s probably one of the most fun people on the planet. She wrote an amazing mini-biography of George Washington Carver in Greenwoman #2 that was not only perfectly crafted and incredibly informative, but fun. That’s Cheri for you. Oh, and she also edited the book Fifty Shades of Green, a collection of garden stories that I like to call “the gardener/feminist’s answer to Fifty Shades of Grey”. . . Come to think of it, that book might be THE perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your favorite gardener! Take a peek at it here.
—S.K.

Cheri-headshot_for-Ashley-Ad

Cheri Colburn

 

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