I must say, I am tickled and delighted about our President-Elect Barack Obama — though he has inherited a boatload of difficult tasks (um, war? economy? deficit?) from the past administration and it won’t be easy to turn the world around. But I’m guessing he’s the guy to do it. We cried and toasted with Champagne and lit fireworks Tuesday night, thrilled that we can turn the page and try something new. The old wasn’t working, and it has pushed us into scary waters. I feel grateful that we live in a nation where we all get to vote and that every vote counts. God bless America! (–>
And the chickens! Don’t forget the chickens
. Now veal and pigs and chicken will have more room to grow in their little cages. That is also good news — but we’ve cut way back on meat anyway and are leaning toward making meat a seasoning rather than a slab to be tossed onto every plate at every meal. I have been reading Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food
and also just finished the somewhat radical journal called Plenty
, in which two Canadians ate only local food for a year — and created the 100-mile diet
Reading both of these books has energized me to become something of a food warrior. No more sodas in the house. No more chips, junk food and HFCS, no more hydrogenated anything. No more bananas. No more imported peaches in January. (Not that I was doing that anyway…)Today I ordered a small farm box for Friday pickup every week, virtually guaranteeing a 100-mile bunch of produce all winter, from a local purveyor. I won’t do it in summer because we have so many vegetables that it makes no sense to pay for them. And we have lots of produce frozen and canned from our garden which is, hello, like the 20-foot diet rather than 100 miles. I would love to go to the Alameda farmers’ market but it takes place on my busiest workday, Tuesday mornings. Grr.
I’m really excited about it and looking forward to starting a new year of Compacting
(not buying new/little to no shopping) and conserving, using solar power for many things (preserving veggies and fruit, making tea, drying laundry), continuing to make our own (“fast food,” lunches and dinners, various breads, beverages, cookies, snack foods, etc.)
And…treading lightly on the earth. We have only one. Better treat it kindly. Payback is a mo-fu. And global warming backlash is just the beginning.
* * *
Last weekend I did not go to any events I had planned to attend: the Matt Nathanson concert with Moni at the Warfield, the last performance of Bat Boy: The Musical at the Altarena Playhouse, the Lincoln Brigade documentary premiere in SF. We had tickets ($$) and everything. But I stayed home, and Mr. Husband stayed with me. General exhaustion and constant drama have sapped my interest in going outside the homestead for much of anything. In my busy world, home keeps me happy and I just don’t have the juice to go out. Especially when you look at my evening schedule (after a full day of work at the newspaper 5 days a week):
Monday – women’s group, Albany or Pinole, 6:15-10:13 p.m.
Tuesday – every other week, school board – 6:30 p.m. til whenever it finishes. Or yoga, if I can make myself go.
Wednesday: Teaching writing or sustainability classes at the Alameda Adult School, 2-3 times a month, 7-9 p.m.
Thursday: Yoga, if I can make myself go; or therapy appointments if I can make myself go (by this day of the week I’m ready to drop).
Friday: evening softball continues, through end of November (since April); plus I have a weekly phone call at 6 p.m. with my leadership team (1 hour).
Add in the pick-ups and drop-offs for kids coming and going, meetings, events, appointments…and also home-cooked meals every night (see above: 100-mile diet and better living through eating actual food, not reheated chemical goo)…Can you see why I am not so keen to dash out to whatever it is on a weekend?
Can I please just stay home and play in the garden?
I like to stay home and do my laundry, and cook different soups on the stove, bake a loaf of bread or muffins for breakfast. I like to pull weeds in the garden and take walks or ride my bike. I like making desserts and casseroles and boiling up beans for the vegetarians to eat during the week. I make cat food in the Crock pot or a batch of tomato sauce from the last tomatoes. Sometimes I get to fix holes in knees or sew on buttons. I usually irons shirts on Sundays and listen to classical music, or Bob Marley and Jimmy Buffett, or nothing. Silence is golden.
If I can read a bit before bedtime, if I can scratch my cat’s belly in the sun, if I can sit in the hammock with one or two of the kids and laugh, if I can snap a green bean off the still-producing vines and eat it in the garden, hallelujah. That’s a moment to celebrate.
And if I get a minute to close my eyes and breathe deeply, that’s a moment to be grateful.
What are you doing to save the earth? What are you grateful for? Leave a comment or e-mail me. I’d like to know.