One Last Reflective Post For 2018

‘The way we experience the world around us is a direct reflection of the world within us.’ ~ Gabrielle Bernstein

Turning The Page

Seeing December 31st come and go is like taking a breath of fresh air. I love ‘New Year’s’ because it marks the end of a two-month long consumption period which goes against my grain. We nature types prefer to be outdoors rather than at the mall or shopping center.

Curious Bun-Buns

It’s not been the best year. It’s also not been the worst. As far as 365 days go, 2018 was relatively normal. There were no hurricanes to wait through. Outside of spring break week and Big Bend in December, there wasn’t a whole lot of traveling. What stands out for the year were all the non-human animals on our property.

The Carolina Wrens raised yet another family — five babies — on our back porch, third successive year. (Not to Daddy Wren: Thank you for not doing it in the garage again!).

Daddy Wren, with lunch

We watched several White-tailed Deer fawns come up on our property again; some lived, some died. The herd’s leader — our ‘Siobahn’ that we’ve known since an orphaned fawn in 2011 — perished as well.

Unnamed Fawn 2018
(He didn’t make it to summer.)

RIP, Sweet Mama

We took in a giant lost traveler, finding him a good home the best way we could. His is a story worth telling .. if I could just get to it already.

Rescued giant Sulcata Tortoise

What began as a temporary shuffle in a friend’s move, their Budgerigar wound up becoming another permanent member of our family. Welcome, Little Budgie!

Pericles – Cage-free and Loved

[Email Readers:  Above is an embedded video. You’ll have to view it at the blog.]

Backward .. and Forward

It was a crazy year for politics; needless to say I steered clear of much of the ‘regular news.’ Outside that, there were other external articles that didn’t make into any blog posts. Being notable to the year, I want to remember them here.

It is always refreshing when people outside my own family recognize methane for what it is as compared with CO2: a far greater contributor to an alarmingly warming climate. (Deniers: WAKE UP.) But attempting to reduce these emissions by scouring the oceans for seaweed — instead of corn and soy which have their own issues — entirely misses the point.

Aren’t we smarter than that? Wouldn’t it be simpler to just eliminate the cause which is raising animals for food .. something entirely unnecessary for us to survive?

Home-grown Lunch: Mustard greens
and Oyster Mushrooms

Moving forward into the future, it’s good to have goals, particularly attainable ones. It’s what we all like to do at the beginning of each year, right?

Though I’m doing most of these handy and easy DIY habits already, I definitely plan on tackling the fine art of fermenting foods — sauerkraut, sourdough bread, kimchi and beer — with my family. It’s always good to know what to do when the garden provides a glut of leaf veggies, or to save money at the grocery when the budget gets tight. Exploiting microbes and stewarding soil to feed my family rather than enslaving another keeps us on a compassionate path forward.

Then there is this business of looking way, way forward into the future. So how exactly does one plan for her future self? It’s relatively easy, it seems, once you let go of that which is inconsistent with an older you. With DirtNKids Blog to keep me on target, I’m able to bloom right where it is I’m planted .. and grow and morph into the person I’m becoming.

Look out mycology, entomology, soil ecology. Here I come!

Me with the 40-year tree I planted

Top Posts of 2018

It has been a great year of blogging, notwithstanding the fits and starts in getting all 23 posts out of the drafts folder. It’s only half of the once-per-week target I strive for, but it’s better than the previous year.

Perhaps I’ll hit all 52 weeks in 2019. Let’s call it a resolution, shall we?

In typical hyper-organized fashion, these Top 5 posts also appear in the Blog Posts page that is always a couple clicks away from the Home Page. They, along with other top posts from the previous six years, is like a sample platter from which newcomers can taste. In looking back, I’m still keeping it right on track.

This blog ain’t dead yet!

#1 Gratitude and the Simple Act of Camping, July 6, 2018

#2 Big Bend Birding: Off the Grid, December 8, 2018

#3 Cold (Finally) Arrives in Houston! November 13, 2018

#4 Once in a Lifetime: Super Blue Blood Moon, January 31, 2018

#5 Birding Here, Birding There, Birds and Babies Everywhere, May 5, 2018

I am happy (relieved?) to bring DirtNKids firmly into the eighth year of existence.  Apparently, I still have a lot left to say. With four young adults (still) watching and listening, I plan on saying more of it next year.

Thank you all for sticking with us.

~ Shannon @ DirtNKids Blog

Future Soil Stewards

Happy New Year, everyone!

17 thoughts on “One Last Reflective Post For 2018

  1. So much drama in your family’s yard! Sorry to hear about the deer you lost. I can’t think too much about animal mortality without getting depressed. But how lovely that you had baby wrens, and I am sure Pericles and the turtle are happy to have found a new home.
    I hope 2019 will be a good year for you, Scott, and the “kids.”
    All the best,


    1. Losing Siobhan hit me the hardest. Her company was part of my daily routine; my best friend had just moved away too, a double-whammy. Siobhan was one of a kind, definitely knew the individual members of our household. Even away from my home, out for a walk, she would come over to me, when I called to her. Truly special!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am smiling, Shannon. This was a happy and hopeful new year post that I thoroughly enjoyed. Loved your ponderings, words, and photos so much. Warm wishes to you and your smiling family for a terrific new year.


  3. Hey there! I enjoyed this year-end posting so much. Maybe it was the picture of y’all turning over (new?) leaves 🙂 or the one of you hugging the tree. Maybe it was just that I really liked all that you had to share! Wishing you the best in 2019!


    1. What a lovely surprise to see you here, Steve! As one of DirtNKids’ earliest followers, you’ve seen first hand the soil chick I truly am. It’s high time we caught up by phone so I can learn what you’re doing with retirement. Happy New Year to you and Kathy!


    1. I have just a bit of tweaking for the tortoise story before I release it on you bloggers. It’s a fun one.

      The one on Siobahn, that I’ve been working on since late July — when she returned to our property to die — is a harder one. Her life deserves just the right words.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Stacey. The subjects deserve all the credit. I’m curious if your thoughts on the NPR article about feeding seaweed to dairy cows.

      Happy New Year!


Say something. You know ya wanna.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s