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It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.
Today was exactly like that quote from Charles Dickens.
Spring Break was a couple weeks ago. Quite suddenly the frenetic pace in which I have grown accustomed to functioning, came to a screeching halt. Then there was silence and time. I can’t remember when I had such a vast expanse of both.
Last year at this same time I was learning new ways to kneel and kiss the ground even as that ground was spinning away beneath my wheels and shifting beneath my feet. Prayers were being flung to the heavens. Finally, the ground gave way and I poured right through the hourglass into a completely different life. And here I am.
This year I am learning to operate at a slower pace. The curriculum is challenging, but the lessons are definitely worth the while….as well as delicious! El Diablo made these fluffy rolls this week the slow way.
They took *forever.*
Piping hot and drenched with melted butter and maple syrup as they were, I ate entirely too many of them.
Now, raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry bushes are ready to be planted. This season’s new seeds will be planted soon, along with the seeds collected from last year’s garden.
As we are making way for slow food, I’m remembering some of the things I read in Barbara Kingsolver’s memoir Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life about how to rely less on fossil fuels through the food choices we make. So I leave you today with food for thought.
- Americans put almost as much fossil fuel into our refrigerators as our cars.
- The average food item on a U.S. grocery shelf has traveled farther than most families go on their annual vacations…. an average of 1,500 miles….
- If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Today SoKaN joined a gang of 80 knittas and hookers to carry out a bombing assignment for the mafia.
That’s yarn bombing, of course, otherwise known as knit graffiti, a form of community street art. And the mafia is the Memphis Knit Mafia.
This means that as of today my work is officially on display at a museum. I’m pretty sure this makes me edgy and urban, yet sophisticated and classy, all at the same time (if only in my imagination).
I lead such an adventurous (fantasy) life, especially for someone who spends such a vast amount of leisure time reading, knitting, and putting on shadow puppet shows for her puppy.
People are so durn creative, so now I will present the work of the real artists…
Ladybugs and flowers and stripes and pink and pompoms! It’s so fluffy I could die.
Knitted hearts on a string! Be still my heart. I must learn to make these.
A super big THANK YOU to Christiana Leibovich for being the capo di tutti capi.
El Diablo has lost over 30 pounds in the last 10 months. He blames moving and farm life. I attribute it to the fabulous yoga classes he attends twice a week. He insists it’s because he’s making healthier decisions about what to eat and drink.
It’s the yoga I tell you!
And soon he will discover the latest turn in my sinister yoga plot…
The Devil builds three-year compost bins from pallets. (There is no rest for the wicked.)
The Devil confers with his minion.
This rascal creates mischief.
Leaves fall all around the “Greek Ruins” ensemble.
Tasty treats are harvested from the garden.
…and there is more still to ripen..
Duck tails waggle.
Sweet wildflowers bloom alongside the mean roses. (One of the mean ones bit me on the thumb several days ago. To quote Charlie’s brother, “…that really hurt…and it’s still hurting.”)
…and we celebrate six years of a little person’s life.
A year and nine months ago I made the switch from omnivore to herbivore. The transition was a grueling process. While I continued to eat milk-based products, I gave up eggs. I learned a lot about food along the way. For example, eggs and other animal byproducts lurk hidden in foods that one would think are entirely non-animal. A case in point: castoreum is an ingredient used in many raspberry and vanilla products. It is made from the oil that beavers produce in their nether regions (i.e., beaver butt juice). This additive may be cleverly disguised as “natural flavors” in the product’s list of ingredients. Not something I wanted to think about when drinking a vanilla crème soda….
It took several months to figure out what to eat and what to avoid. Eventually I managed to get the vegetarian thing on automatic.
Now I’m facing another vertical learning curve with food. A few weeks ago I went to the doctor because of a couple allergic reactions I was having. One reaction was to poison ivy and the other was to “God only knows what,” according to my allergist. He wasn’t too worried about the unidentified allergen because it responded well to Benadryl. However, I found out while I was at the doctor that I’m vitamin B12 and vitamin D deficient. And so the vegetarian saga continues. My doctor prescribed prescription-strength vitamin D and a weekly shot of B12. I’m not crazy about the idea of taking vitamins; I’d rather get my nutrients from the food I eat. And the thought of having to get a weekly shot of a vitamin didn’t work at all in my head.
“Can’t I just go sit in the sun and drink milk?” I whined.
As it turns out, I’d have to drink about four cups of milk a day to get my RDA of B-12. That’s way more milk drinking than I’m willing to do on a daily basis.
I reluctantly agreed to take the vitamin D on a short-term basis, but I said heck no to the weekly B-12 shots. Realistically vitamins, enriched soymilk, and fortified cereal aren’t viable options – I don’t like any of these things well enough to eat them on a regular basis. Red Star Nutritional Yeast – too complicated. I bought some three weeks ago and have yet to use it. I need something motivating that I’ll actually eat. So I’m back to doing food research. It turns out that shellfish are one the best food sources for B12. Three ounces of oysters provide over 1000% DV of B-12. I’ll be adding a smidgeon of oysters to my weekly diet until I can figure out a better solution.
Any vegetarian readers out there who can offer up some ideas? How are you getting your B-12?
Yesterday I met the Braveheart of wasps while deadheading the Black-eyed Susans. I must have cut down the house he built on a flower stem because he went all sorts of berserk on me. I have learned to wear the equivalent of a spacesuit to work in the garden because I’ve come to the conclusion that everything out there is trying to kill me. The rose bushes, the poison ivy, the spiders, the mosquitoes, the ants, the wasps and the hornets – they all want in on the action. Even the grasshoppers, who once had the good sense to jump away and hide when they saw me coming, have become so fat and entitled that they don’t even bother anymore. They stand their ground, ok well their leaf, and stare me down like they’re daring me to do something about it.
But back to Braveheart. His flower stem was dead and it was time to go. Really, if I didn’t take it down, it would have eventually fallen on its own, so the intensity of his anger was a bit out of proportion to the facts of the situation in my opinion. I could practically hear him screaming, “I KILL YOU!” every time he tried to attack me, which was repeatedly, over the course of half an hour, from one end of the backyard to the other. If anyone (like the neighbors or someone from Google Earth) was watching (s)he probably thinks I’m insane because with each attack I would panic, shriek, flail, jump up, and run, all the while slapping at myself and screaming “Get away from me!”
Did I mention I was running with scissors? And just like in horror movies there was the inevitable scene in which the heroine (that’s me) stumbles and falls at a critical moment. I barely managed to escape being impaled. I scrambled up and ran some more and just when I thought I’d lost him, there was a menacing buzzing about my head and he began flinging himself at me all over again. Obviously he needed a moment to cool off, so I went inside for water and shelter. Ten minutes later, I went back outside and there Braveheart was again hurling himself at my back and head repeatedly, turning me into a raving lunatic. How one little wasp with a sand speck brain containing less than half a million neurons can have such a long attention span is completely beyond me.
I guess I’d be pretty upset too if someone came and cut my house down off my flower. Fortunately, neither party was injured in the making of this story.
Several times since we’ve moved in to Peace.Love.Home I’ve spotted a trio of horses in the pasture next door. I’ve ridden a few times in my life, but I wouldn’t consider myself a horse person. Still, which each sighting of the trio, my heart quickens a bit. With their heads bowed to graze, tails swishing and skin twitching, they are mesmerizing. This week The Devil and I ventured to the fence for a closer look.
The Devil made fun of my attempt to call them over. “It’s not a dog,” he laughed.
A few kissy sounds, whistles, and tongue clicks later…
I love to get the last laugh, especially when it’s not alone.
The horse smelled fantastically horsey. He shook a dirt cloud on me, sniffed, sized me up with both sides of his head, and then waited expectantly for me to pet his soft, snorty nose. I was happy to oblige.
Little by little we’re completing projects.
As my belly dancer friends know, I’ve been trading in my sequins, glitter, rhinestones, and beads for this….
Yesterday I sold my bloomers and daggers. I’m not kidding.
Upon a moment’s reflection, I just realized that this makes the second time I’ve posted my underwear on my blog.
I guess technically, they’re not my undies anymore, they’re Beth’s. HaHa, Beth, I posted your undies!
In case you’re just joining the panty adventures and have missed these important highlights, here are links:
….and honestly, I have no idea how I’ve strayed so far from the original point. Now, where was I?
Oh, yes. Projects! I’m completing them.
I hung fish in the forest!
Now I have six fish swimming in the trees among the birdhouses. Oh, I know! Let’s play a game: How many fish can you spot in the picture below?
We also finished the herb garden. It was a joint effort. The Devil made the planters and A-frame stand out of pallets. I made the labels out of forks and tin-can lids. (That last sentence made me feel very ‘Adam Sandler’ in his Pedro skit, “I once made a hat out of a lobster and a stick.”)
Those planters hold basil, cilantro, parsley, mint, rosemary, thyme, carrots, and arugula. Yum!
There are many, MANY projects in the works. Not enough time to report on them all. Please tune in later for updates on the rennovations to the cottage.