Fifty-Three Things

Hello Farmgirls! Whew—what a busy time of the year with gardens going in, kids finishing up school, and “dewinterizing” and “re-summerizing” our homes. I had a couple weeks there where I was juggling three jobs between teaching, nannying and farming (all part time, but still a lot for this “stay at home” mama). With my mind and body set in overdrive I’ve found it hard to find one thing to write about well. I could write about this! or how about that? Or there’s that other thing that I’ve been keeping in my back pocket in case of writer’s block!

Luckily, we just started our two week summer vacation in the lovely midwest. I’m sitting in my in-law’s living room eating delicious homemade treats, and I just woke up from a mid-morning nap. Life is good.

However, I still can’t focus on one thing. So I have a list of fifty-three things for you all. These are lingering writing ideas, miniscule musings and incomplete thoughts that could manifest into some bigger form of the written word some day… but probably not. Perhaps they will inspire the writer in you?

  1. A series of interviews with local female farmers. This one has been on my mind for a long time. I just have to do it!
  2. The bazillion and one things to do with rhubarb. There might actually be a bazillion and two.
  3. The intricacies of vacation with little one(s) in tow. Many of you are well practiced in this area, but it is new to us!
  4. The home grown spa experience. What kind of skin treats, foot scrubs and massage oils can we make from things grown in our gardens?
  5. Meditation and mindfulness.
  6. Tiny tots make pretty good farm helpers! While kids can make the easiest task take three times longer to complete, if we embrace their curiosity and willingness to learn, the results can be fun and effective!
  7. Life Lessons from children’s stories. Think The Lorax, Frederick, or Charlotte’s Web.
  8. How to start a market farm when you don’t have much land. I actually don’t have experience doing this, but I know people who do. Perhaps this would tie in with #1.
  9. Favorite movies for rainy days. We haven’t had many rainy days yet this year, but they will come, they will come.
  10. How to stop worrying what others think of you. I bet a lot of you figured this out a long time ago. It’s kind of new to me, but incredibly liberating.
  11. School gardens.
  12. Persistent pesticides in our bodies—scary stuff!
  13. A nursing mother’s 3 a.m. epiphanies. I’ve had too many of these.
  14. Community gardens.
  15. Jokes, jokes, jokes.
  16. Yurt update 2.0: We’ve lived in the yurt for nearly two years. How has it been during that time? It’s getting time to move on to bigger and more permanent dwellings, what will we miss and what will we gladly leave behind?
  17. The pros of social media (since we are often reminded of the cons).
  18. Yoga for farmers. Physical labor takes a toll on even the fittest of bodies. Many farmers who have been in the business for more than a few years have bad backs, neck spasms, tight hamstrings and wonky hips. What are some yoga sequences that can help with these maladies?
  19. The primal sexiness of perma-dirt on a farmer’s hands. I love seeing dirty, hard-working hands!
  20. Photographs of farmer’s hands accompanied by quotes from the farmer. It is a long running dream of mine to make this into a coffee table book.
  21. A peek into the (long) history of females in agriculture: from Africa to the New World, women have kept the farming world afloat for eons.
  22. North Dakota frost. Does ND know it’s almost June? It has experienced hard frosts for the last three nights. Brrrrr.
  23. Amazing husbands and partners.
  24. The elusive morel mushroom.
  25. Monsanto and GMOs. The conflict, the lack of transparency, and the piles and piles of money.
  26. Resources for environmentally conscious consumers.
  27. Water, water, everywhere. It makes the world go ‘round.
  28. “She sheds”: These seem like lovely creations that are right in line with glamping!
  29. The struggle between off-grid living and societal expectations. (The struggle is real!)
  30. Facing life as a millennial and accepting the confines of my generation. Why must I be a millennial?!?
  31. Challenging generational stereotypes.
  32. The importance of travel and how it influences our impressions of and interactions with our home communities.
  33. Ethical foraging: How can we hunt for what we want and leave enough for the plant to come back in plenty? Are there other people who will be foraging in the same area? What about surrounding flora and fauna?
  34. Sleep deprivation and mommyhood: Sometimes it’s easier than it sounds… but, in general, I’m pretty sure I lose a bunch of brain cells every day.
  35. The magic of technology in making family seem closer. This makes me think of historical immigrants (and many immigrants today) who never saw their family again after leaving their home countries.
  36. A pictorial documentation of Alaskan barns in the winter. The mountains. The snow. The blue skies. The red barns. Beauty.
  37. Chocolate. Enough said.
  38. Chickens! I miss owning these friendly little cluckers, but luckily I have a few feathered friends to take care of once in awhile.
  39. Amazing things. Every night our family shares something “amazing” that happened that day. it is a really nice dinnertime activity.
  40. (Wo)man’s best friend: The roles and history of dogs in farming and companionship.
  41. The best documentaries about food, agriculture and the environment.
  42. Baby swing sewing tutorial.
  43. The ever-changing rural landscape. With technology and communication, are any places truly rural anymore?
  44. Poetry. It’s about time I write some more poems for the blogosphere.
  45. Upcycled projects. I just have to actually do some of these so that I can write about them.
  46. My favorite freezer meals for busy times.
  47. Potato varieties and taste testing. Taters have long gotten a bad rap, but they are actually quite healthy (and delicious).
  48. The best root cellars.
  49. Thrifting—good finds and great items for repurposing.
  50. Dream homes.
  51. Bird flu and the end of factory farmed eggs? This harps on the importance of supporting local, ethical farmers.
  52. Soil conservation and soil science.image012
  53. Ayurveda: What is your dominant dosha? What can you do to tame the parts of it that can derail your goals and how does it help you succeed?


There you go. Fifty-three partial thoughts. What is your spring looking like? I’m excited for the next week and a half of vacation with friends and family. I foresee more naps in my future.  Who could ask for anything more?

Until next time,
Sending Peace and Love from North Dakota!
Alex, the Rural Farmgirl

  1. WOW Alex! Those are awesome. I’m interested in all 53 but there are a few I want you to write about soon. Like in 2 weeks. The one I really want? #16. The Yurt update. I’m really curious about your thoughts on it! 🙂 But there are a lot of others I’d really love to read!

    Happy vacation and safe travels home.

    – Dori, the Ranch Farmgirl –

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thanks, Dori! Yeah, there are a few I’d like to write about, too. Yurt update will likely be in my next two posts!

  2. susana says:

    I see we have quite a few things in common….and heavy thinking. You forgot one of mine thoughts…..bugs and how do people deal with them…. I learned ants cone inside looking for water….as long as I don’t leave any water fir containers with water in them..,..I haven’t seen an ant on my counter. I still pt out ant traps, but I ate killing critters. Because they are all G*ds creations. But I still can’t stand bugs….. spiders I hate the worst. But flies seem to be an endless supply…how do people keep gutts outside?

    Another is relationships on a daily basis….I try and talk and connect with everyone in my path….the mail person, truck drivers who deliver packages to my house, people n the stores I frequent….reaks personnel, other customers. I feel we distance ourselves with too much internet. I’m a people person….I think its why I come to Mary Janes….to connect to real people. I think its how G*d created us… connect but on a personal way, because he’s a personal G*d….if people would connect, they see him in everyone…..even though he seems to distance himself from us, But I believe there’s a reason why…..because we stopped connecting to one another.its why we dont believe many times…because were seemingly ego centric beings….were too much like our creator….we want to be discovered for who we are ourselves…..its why we are as we are….disconnected. we want others to like us for who we are. But we dont want to dpend the time .G*d is the same way, or should I say its how we are a lot like him.we want others to know us, but we forget how to be able to connect in any relationship because were too afraid to get personally involved
    with anyone but ourselves. Were selfish beings….we like our own thoughts not thinking anyone else is our equal. Or like us. We like being unique . But the more you think, you know hour not different. Its one of my constant thoughts.
    I do want to know about the Yurt? Is it yogurt? Its easy to make, just time consuming….like any relationship….you have to invest your time! Susana from Niagara Falls.

  3. Deb Bosworth says:

    Hi Alex,
    It must be spring that causes us to be unable to focus on just one thing. Our brains are finally awake and running a muck! I really enjoyed your 53 things to write about. All wonderful topics to ponder!
    # 37 Chocolate sounds good right now! And # 28 She-sheds…My mom and I are designing two for our backyard now. One as an artist studio for her and an over sized greenhouse/potting shed for me! Write on, Alex!
    Deb, the Beach Farmgirl

  4. Joy Pascarella says:

    Fun to read your wondering mind. I like #35. I have often wondered how our past families had to say goodbye to everyone and never see them again. Even being alone without family. All we have to do is get on Face book and catch up with every detail and even send instant pictures for that very moment. We are so lucky. We saw it all come into place. I still think about the frontier woman by her self with her babies, figuring it all out for herself. Lots to think about. At least I now know, I am not the only one that thinks about these things. Love to escape with your writings. A mini vacation away from it all. I would love an update of your yurt also. Keep up the good work!

  5. Jean B says:

    This is the first time I have really looked at any of the Farm girl blogs and I believe I started with a treasure. My family and I just returned from out 3rd adventure to Alaska and as before I always come home wanted to go back permanently. 🙂 My heart seems to be so full when I am there. Maybe one day. So…..thrilled to see that this is where you live and I found your writing made me smile. So many intriguing thoughts at one time AND while being a young mother. I will defiantly look forward to your future thoughts.

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