Introducing myself, Potpourri Publishing, and Springhaven Croft all at the same time!

traveling again, looking for good ideas…

In searching for a name for our farm, we walked the land and then looked for characteristics that stood out. The first one was the artesian spring that gives water to three households and has a constant overflow. We knew it had to be part of our name. From our Scottish ancestors, we knew that a croft was a small tenant farm, generally under five acres, that had a few animals and supported a single family. We believe that God is the owner of everything on this old earth, and we look to Him as owner of our farm, so croft fits as well. Finally, we want this land to be a haven, a refuge from the rush and haste and anger of the world, not just for us but for our family and friends and neighbors. As a Native American, we knew that we needed to care for each other and the land, to do what we could to pass onto the seventh generation the things we knew to be true and good. Springhaven Croft is a small, one family operation operated as a sole proprietorship.
It was conceived in our minds a long time ago when we still worked the normal rat race world of Social Work (for Jeanette) and the electronics industry (for Dan). For years we’d talked about getting a small place out in the boonies somewhere and show our kids what a farm was like. We’d lived on small farms ourselves as kids, but although we had bought an acre and a half we were never able to have enough time to make it all work. We yearned and we dreamed and we kept busy with daily life, raising four kids, then two more, doing what we could. Jeanette is interested in writing, spinning and fibers. Dan likes bees and inventing. We both decided that once Dan was retired we’d see what we could do. Dan started a piano tuning business on the side; Jeanette had started a counseling business and taken early retirement from the child protection field to go more or less full time as a family counselor. In rapid fire order, Jeanette’s sister, mom and dad died of natural causes. In settling the will, Jeanette paid $25,000 she had saved up to settle her dad’s estate and in return, got the deed to his 3.5 acre homestead. Combined with the 1.5 acres we already had, it provided a platform for us to start working on our dream.

Dan had plans for building rocket stoves. Jeanette had plans for having a fiber farm. Both had dreams of making it, if not self sustaining, close to it. Our land butts up against the town line and it’s very odd to have five acres next to town, let alone five acres with animals on it. In all things, we remember the verse Micah “6:8 He has showed thee, oh man, what is good; and what does the Lord desire of Thee? But to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God.” And it took two years to just clean up and repair all the outbuildings and get the little apartment up and rented. And who did all this work? Well…
Let me introduce the players in our little farm drama . . . I (Jeanette) am retired as the Nation’s Mother in our tribe – that basically means I needed to intervene for the other women when needed, and lead out in some ceremony, and help remember tradition, and break ties in council meetings. Yes, I do keep in touch with my Native origins, and maintain the culture and values therein. I am also the tribal social worker, meaning I try to intervene to stop tribal children from being removed unnecessarily from their families and helping agencies properly enforce the Indian Child Welfare Act law. We cannot as a people allow the government to take any of our children anymore. No child should have to go through the pain of separation from their family and people.
I am also a cancer survivor. Twelve ago I heard the diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and found I would have to fight very hard for 11 months to live to see my grandchildren grow up. I would not wish that on my worst enemy if I had one. If you are a cancer survivor, or if you are going through chemo right now, please contact me; we can help each other to be strong and live. I have lost several family members to this disease, and I am so tired of death. If you have cancer, or someone you know has it, you are in my prayers already…

And I am a writer. I’ve had over 400 stories published in different magazines about my family’s antics. People seem to feel stories in children’s magazines are all fiction, especially if there’s a moral or lesson to be drawn from them. Many people are shocked to find we do indeed exist, the folks in my children’s books at least. In my adult novels, they are totally amalgams of people I have known. I write fiction books about what might happen if we don’t wake up and stop it. Sometimes I think my imagination is large enough for two people, but I’m almost big enough for two so it probably balances out… in order to get my books out, I started a publishing company called Potpourri Publishing about the time we started Springhaven Croft Farm.

My husband Dan, we nicknamed him Burning Wires, is a local lay pastor. After over forty years of marriage, I still don’t always understand what he is talking about when he tries to explain a new invention to me, but then he doesn’t understand why anyone would carry crawdads in their pockets, like my grandsons. He worked for years in research and development building prototypes and loves robots. He is now officially retired, except he works harder than all of us rehabbing the farm.

My oldest daughter, Fawn is also a writer. She has very long dark brown hair – albeit now with some grey hairs – and brown eyes. She is married to Scott and works in my office with me, mostly with troubled children. She is also a trained minister with two master’s degrees. She knits wonderful things with our fibers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alana, from my second family (same husband, raising grandchildren) works as one of the fiber mavens of Springhaven Croft.

Even the flowers would like these jokes!

 

Tristain has written his first book and is starting his next one. He loves music, animals and karate. He thinks he would like to have a dojo one day. Or be a detective. Or go into computer media. Or something. He has Asperger’s, is quite intelligent but a little disjointed sometimes. He makes us laugh.

and our books

Tbear, at his first book signing