Today’s Plan (Part I)
So it’s the last day for those of us doing the JFSC, and Mr. Husband and I will fast instead of eat, to think about those who run out of food stamps before the end of the month. I won’t put any restrictions on the kids — they can eat whatever (they’ve been good sports all along). At first I thought about the Catholic Church’s guidelines for fasting, which is half breakfast, half lunch, regular dinner. But that seems excessive/abundant, maybe, for the real FS participant. What we’re gonna go with is this:
- We can have yesterday’s leftover coffee (I saved it especially) or one teabag for the whole day.
- As much water as we want.
- Option to forage for free fruit or produce in the neighborhood (rose hips? berries?)
- Samples at the grocery store or from the break room at work, a jar of candy on a counter (whatever is free and openly offered to everyone)
- Do a survey for free sample if we come across one (in the city this happens sometimes)
- Go to a public event where coffee/cookies, etc. are served as part of the event
- Dinner for the adults will be Top Ramen (a 10 cent buy early in the month, but as you know, virtually no nutritional value)
- Free food offered with coupon
- Dumpster/curb shopping
- Handouts from friends would also be acceptable (nothing planned or asked for).
This is a lot of leeway for free food, but I work at home, so unless I go cruise our industrial area for food in the Dumpsters, it’s unlikely I’d run across any. There is an event for the library at 2:30 with free refreshments, so I think I’ll go to that. I would have gone anyway. It just fits, luckily. And I have coupons. This (below) is what I have on hand. Don’t laugh. It’s ripe for a rude joke, isn’t it? Hmm — sit on the couch watching a movie, swigging from the hot sauce bottle, until I run to the bathroom in agony….
I had a bunch of Taco Bell freebie coupons but looks like the teenagers have absconded with them. There’s another set of the TB freebies in Mr. Husband’s car, but it’s locked and he has the key, and is this just G*d laughing at me or what?
Patrick will probably have lunch offered at work in a meeting, and his green tea. We’ll see at the end of the day. As for me, I’ve got a busy day. First, coffee on an empty stomach — mmm! I’m going out to weed the garden and see if there’s anything ripe. I look forward to a couple of cherry tomatoes and some herbs. Later today is that library event, which bodes well for cookies and punch. Then Top Ramen for dinner — we’ll share the package.
It’s not fasting in a religious or spa-cleanse way, but it’s how I imagine the last day of the month, with no food money for a hungry person. What is free to everyone or freely given — I can be open to that and will see what happens.
Last note before I go about this blessed day — I fed the cats this morning and they turned up their little pink noses at the brand of canned food I gave them. This pissed me off inordinately. Being hungry hurts the stomach and makes one grumpy. The cats had better go catch a mouse, or two. I’m in no mood.
Til later —
Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of six books: three novels, one poetry collection, and two women's history. She was the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, in 2014-17. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. She has a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, and MA in Early 20th C. British Literature from Cal State Hayward. Julia's articles have appeared on Salon, Thrillist, Paste, Scary Mommy, Narratively, Yahoo News, Your Tango, and Sweatpants & Coffee. Her articles have also run in Redbook, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, Town & Country, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Quill, and MadeLocal. She was the founding editor of weekly Alameda Sun and literary zine Red Hills Review. Her poetry has been in The East Bay Literary review, Postcard Poems, Americus Review, Cicada, Tiferet Review, and many others. Julia has been recognized several times by the San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Press Clubs as well as the California Newspaper Association for her blogging since 2003.