Monday, November 23, 2009

Inspiration and Obsession

A meme for this quiet pre-holiday Wednesday...

Saying no to:

* Another cup of caffeinated coffee, what was I thinking!
* Too much chaos this weekend. Here's to home and hearth.
* Shopping of any kind in the next several days.

Saying yes to:

* A quiet day in the office for archiving and catching up.
* Knitting, crafting and puttering this weekend.
* Blessings all around.

Giddy about:

* Sleeping in tomorrow morning...and Friday...Saturday...Sunday!
* The carrots and beets still hiding under their fall covers, sweetening with everyday.
* The one-day-soon when I'll be smelling a little baby head.

Scared of:

* Being paralyzed by fear. Better to say "no" to fear all around.

Deeply inspired by:

* The Charter for Compassion (see link at the bottom of this page).
* My darlin's gentle and patient ways.
* Everything written by Wendell Berry.

Obsessed with:

* Beautiful yarn
* The colors of roasted pumpkin, butternut squash, cranberry cordial, kale...gorgous!

In love with:

* The man with the auburn ponytail and the beautiful hazel eyes

Haunted by:

* The thought of all of those who won't have a heaping table full of feasting tomorrow. And those that have never had the incredible luxuries that we enjoy everyday.

Saved by:

* Hope and determination.

What about you?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What the World Needs Now...

I came upon this Charter for Compassion in my few minutes of checking in with my cyber-neighbors today. I am inspired. Maybe you will be as well...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Some longies and the wait gets longer...

I find knitting calming. To me it is a moving meditation. Especially if I'm not working on something too intricate. And these days, I find myself reaching for my knitting frequently, as we've just reached our One Year mark of officially waiting for the Goober. For those not familiar with the adoption process, this significant time span necessitates the renewal of your home study. Which involved new physicals recorded and submitted to our agency, new background checks (to ensure that we are still not felons or abusers) and a renewal fee. We did not meet this date with any enthusiasm, never truly imagining that we would be waiting this long. Yes, we were told that the average wait for our program was about a year and that it could sometimes happen more quickly and sometimes take up to two years...but you tend to think of yourself on the positive side of those statistics. Well, we met a few couples the other night at an adoption lecture, one had their first placement in 5 months and had now been waiting over a year for their second, and another couple was now into their third year of waiting. Hmmm, statistics.

We also attended a local lecture given by physicians from the Floating Hospital for Children. The lecture was about medical issues in domestic adoption. And after two hours I thought my head would explode! More statistics! Some daunting, some encouraging, all sobering.

So, the latest piece off my needles is the above diaper soaker longies. These are not yet felted, but should felt up nicely like the short version below. The yarn is Fisherman's Wool by Lion Brand Yarns and the pattern is my riff on the Spare Rib Shoaker pattern at Ravelry.

We have made some progress in the Goober's future room, clearing off the changing area, and allocating some storage shelves for the room. We're still not planning to go crazy into the whole baby room thing, since the Goob will be cosleeping, we'll have time to create a well suited room before he/she will need it. So for now this is a bit of a baby stuff storage area, but the changing area will be critical, so here it is.

Michael is also finishing up the shelving in our second changing/bathing area in our first floor laundry room. Now if only I can find the time to finish the curtains we can check that area off our list.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Alternate titles: What to do with all of these lovely vegetables!

Farley and Zeke checking out the CSA boxes and bag.

Zeke is mostly interested in the box itself.

Carrots, acorn squash, and cabbages topping off this box.

It has been a few weeks now since we received this, our first distribution of the bounty from the Shared Harvest CSA Winter Share.

To give you some scale, my two feline helpers are big boys, so these boxes are huge!

Delicious apples!

To get my head straight and get myself organized about what we had, how and where to store it and how quickly we'd need to use it, I first had to explore the boxes and get everything out on the counters. It took up my whole little kitchen. But, casting my eyes over it all at once, pouring myself a cup of tea and getting out the notepad was exactly what was called for to integrate all of this into our kitchen and food storage.

Gretta Anderson, the mistress of ceremonies and organizer extraordinaire for the Shared Harvest CSA had kindly offered up references for how to store vegetables as well as some wonderful recipe links. Two incredibly useful services when faced with vegetables to last well into the winter including some new and unfamiliar items.

Brimming counter-tops. Let the games begin!

Once I had everything spread out, I began to list items on my notepad and indicate where it was stored with a hypothetical expiration date...(use by this Wednesday, use by first of November, etc.). I had my trusty instructions for how to store and got to work bagging in our reusable miraculous green bags, to stow in the fridge, laying out on trays for basement storage and planning our first few meals.

Since then, we've been enjoying lots of wonderful meals, including the delicious Three Sister's Soup, and Mexican Casserole from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair; Broiled Beet Slices with Maple Teryaki from the Shared Harvest Recipe Wiki, Kohlrabi stir-fry, sauted Kale and mushroom topped pizza, oven roasted potatoes and more. We have two more shares of the winter CSA coming our way, one this weekend and one in December and I am determined that with good planning, nothing will go to waste and we'll be well-nourished through the Winter.

We also picked up our share of delicious sustainably raised pork, our usual supply of organic eggs, and a Capon and stew birds from Pete and Jen's Backyard Birds, so we are really fully stocked with the chest freezer topped up.

This wonderful, locally grown and raised food, carefully organized and stored has been one of my greatest weapons against the continuing economic news, job stress and flu-season worries. All of this and a stocked pantry of healthy canned and drygoods (oatmeal, tomatoes, beans, honey, etc) are better to me than money in the bank. This is piece of mind, and a different kind of health insurance.

So, if you haven't joined a CSA, or grown food to put by for the Winter, or you don't feel like you have the space... give it some thought. Supporting local farmers, having good food tucked away in your own home, knowing where you food comes from... it's good medicine!