Wednesday, December 29, 2010

the gift of the present

it's amazing, this
when you wake up brightly
another twenty-four hours to experience
where you
worrying and wishing about
tomorrows yet to come
when all you have been
comes alive from your past
~and you are awake enough to see it~
'cause when you know where
you're going, where you've been
suddenly makes sense
it was all leading up
to just this, right now
breathe deep and wake up to
the gift of the present

Monday, December 27, 2010

Meatrix Mailing Mayhem

I have a fun idea and need everybody's help...

I want to spread the word about factory farming and the importance of building sustainable local food economies and share the Meatrix short films from Sustainable Table (which I think are pretty freakin' creative). So- I decided to combine some of my favorite things: my silly letterboxing hobby, getting mail (that isn't bills), writing, and making friends! I happen to have a DVD copy of the films and was thinking of launching a fun, Flat Stanley-esque mailing tour for the DVD so it can be shared with lots of folks. This is the result of all that pondering...

Here's how it would work:
  • You tell your friends about my mission and you or they decide to participate. You send me an email @ with a mailing address I can send the DVD to.
  • The DVD arrives in the mail with a little booklet. Happy day! You invite a couple of friends over and make popcorn, share it with your church group or neighbors or whomever will join you, then all hang out and watch it together and build a little community.
  • You add a picture, a drawing, a poem, a recipe, or something (anything really) to the little booklet~ maybe share what you've learned or plan to do differently in the future. Just a little something to show everyone who you are and why you feel sustainable food production is important.
  • You pass the package on, either back to me to send to the next person or to someone you know and send me a quick note about where it went (where the next adventure will be). Updates, photos, and what-have-you will be posted here on the blog for everyone to enjoy. Sometimes fun little tasteful treasures for you to keep might show up in the package~ just make sure the DVD and booklet stay together and make it to their next destination!
So- who's in?? My goal is to hit all 50 states at least. At the very least hopefully there would be a new recipe or two, maybe some neat pictures, and I'd make some more friends, all for the price of a few stamps. Sounds like a great deal!

I'd love to see just how far we can send this film and how many people we can reach, so pass this on to EVERYONE you think might want to play, post it on your Facebook page, tell your mailman, pin notes to your kids and shout it from the mountaintops! And, of course, send me some emails. :)

 Thanks so much for your help!

Images from here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

earth and becoming

it's amazing the little things we
come across each day when we
open our eyes to it
there in the light glows the
wisdom of someone else's years they
share out of love and
generosity- a common link, this
love of dirt and wool and
funny how all the things you
never knew you could be or
swore early on you'd never want are
the most precious gifts and
so blessed we are to hold in
our hands a ripe tomato or
padded paw or have a
baby's grasp wrapped round
a finger so tightly
as greenhorns all around this
land are snuggling under handmade
quilts in rural rooms i count myself
blessed to be among them

there is earth in my veins

the shortest day of the year

Maybe you were lucky enough to catch the lunar eclipse last night, amongst the frostiness and clouds. They say it is the first time in nearly 400 years that the winter solstice and a lunar eclipse have overlapped this way. Maybe that makes this year special, a time unlike any other for new beginnings.

For thousands of years and in many societies, the winter solstice marked the beginning of the new year, a time for rebirth and regeneration. Today's the day when time sort of stops and, after today, the days will start to get just a little bit longer. And when you are itching to grow things, the solstice means hope that spring is eventually coming. Today's a first-class shout out that, even in the bitter cold, cloudy bleakness that surrounds us, there is life and the potential for it. The earth is resting, taking stock, and preparing for another year.

Deep inside my bones, it feels like I should be doing the same. Every inch of me can't wait to get started with growing my own food. I have so many plans and so much to learn that I am perpetually in a tizzy and can't sit still. My mind drifts from vegetable varieties to one day having sheep to spinning wool to the roving in my closet to the knitting projects I need to finish to the socks I want to learn to make to the woods that need clearing and the fence that needs buying and the presents that still need wrapping (literally jumping from one to the next, just like that) and- it's MADNESS! Yesterday I spent nearly the entire day busy. I didn't have to go to work, but I think I sat still for all of twenty minutes before bed. (The holidays aren't helping this either, with the go-go-go of it all. Such a flurry of activity.)

This is killing me...the hustle and bustle creeps up my toes and the length of my legs, tensing and tightening along its route, before it arches over my back and settles in my shoulders as full-blown stress and brushes my creativity entirely away like blowing snowflakes from the palm of your hand.

What I really need to do is step back from the madness and chaos and follow that nesting instinct into a dark and quiet place and simplify my life a bit. I am thankful today is shorter~ there will be less time for hustling and work and more time for thought, reflection and planning, more time to sip tea with my dog's head in my lap and a book in my hand, more time to notice the beauty and stillness right outside my door. It's high time for some beauty for beauty's sake.

Today I will celebrate the solstice by dreaming and wandering, stopping and pausing. I will list out my worries and plans and my dreams and put the poetry back in my journal. Today, for me, is all about the pause before the movement.

How will you mark the shortest day of the year?

Photo from here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Church of the Almighty Dollar

Not sure how many more years in retail I can take...watching the freakish ways people treat each other this time of year turns my stomach and distorts the spirit of community and giving that the holidays really were meant to embody. I'm fighting off a bad attitude and it absolutely sucks. I need a hefty dose of good cheer right about now.
I love a good documentary and in my web lurking I found this random bit of happiness. This is absolutely hilarious... and it left me wondering, if it really WERE all about consumerism, What Would Jesus Buy? If salvation is out of stock, I'll take a set of those sweet shiny rims... LOL.

Amen, Reverend Billy... Amen!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's Snowing Sideways

It's blistery, blustery and blowing. I think every school within an hour's drive is closed today, and there is a drift of snow near my garage that's pushing 5 feet tall. This is my wake up call that winter has arrived in full force, in case I wasn't paying attention. I was, by the way, and the season doesn't officially begin until December 22. I'm all about getting a jump start on projects, but really wish this could have waited until January. Maybe she is getting it all out of her system and spring will come early this year. I would LOVE a longer growing season!

Since my mother is ill and can't watch my daughter today so I can work, we're spending the day snowed in. I wasn't really looking forward to 50 mile-per-hour winds anyways and haven't seen a snow plow go down the road all day. I've seen LOTS of propane trucks though. Hope that means my neighbors are staying warm too.

Days like today are good for only a few things, in my opinion: hot coffee, good books, needlework and housekeeping. Right now the dog and I are doing laundry and napping, enjoying the snow from inside where it is warm. (My daughter is enjoying her day off from school with a little Club Penguin and an all-day teleconference with her best friend.) We'll stay tucked in here all cozy until closer to time for hubs to come home, and then I will briefly bear the elements so he can locate the driveway when he arrives at home. If we have to be stuck here, it's a good time to finish all those half-completed knitting and crochet projects, put together food gifts for neighbors and co-workers and heat the house up with some baking. Who knows- maybe I will even try my hand at knitting some socks! (My tootsies are cold and crying for wool.)

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Dark Side of Factory Farming

I was hanging out at today just looking around when I came across this ingenious video about factory farming. Points for creativity on the spoof!
Check out the link list in the sidebar for more info on Sustainable Table and the Meatrix.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

snow and juxtaposition

How fitting that this, the first of December, we get our first real snow here. The dog is in the backyard eating it off of the porch. For some reason, he really enjoys the snow as it tumbles out of the air silent and fluffy. Rain, however, does not amuse him in the slightest. He detests it and won't go outside at all. For now, he is leaving little snail trails with his tongue, blending paw prints into an indiscernible line leading only in circles.

Inside in the warmth of my house, I get to watch for the first time the way the wind carries the flakes here: nearly horizontal now, with great white swirling masses blowing out of the roof ridges and across the stillness of the yard. I adore watching the snow so long as I am not looking at it through my windshield. It is the epitome of peacefulness this way: still, silent, and graceful, whether it stays or quickly melts away, all traces of its brief existence erased from history. When I am behind the wheel of my car, I perceive the same thing quite differently; it becomes a monster of sorts, swirling, torrential, nearly venomous in the driving conditions it creates. Most of the danger is a product of my overactive anxiety and tensing my muscles as I brace myself from the cold probably doesn't help either, but I hate driving in the snow. If all that fell on the road melted away or I could simply stay indoors the four months out of the year it decided to fall, I'd be perfectly content in my little illusion.

Funny how something so simple as water can morph itself into several different forms and take on so many attributes, from the placid calm of a woodland stream to a ranging hurricane. The gentle rolling of a river can carve out marvelous canyons given time, and can also just mosey along, gently nurturing the world around it, providing a life-giving source of refreshment. Water holds in its nature strength and power yet it is gentle and yielding. It just as easily will crash violently over rapids or flow calmly around a fallen branch.

I've always admired simple things but I especially admire water and it's unique ability to fill so many roles and change so easily and often. My goal is to learn from it today, as it swirls around my yard in a fury, and more willingly embrace change in my life.

How amazing it would be to be like water, flexible and supportive but strong enough to move mountains.

Image from here.