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Eating like a horse

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

We get our first basket from our CSA this Thursday. That means a lot more vegetables will be coming into my house, and will continue to come into my house throughout the winter. For those who don't know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a system that pays local farmers up front and spreads the gamble of farming over a larger group of people. If it's a poor year with flooding or drought, then as a member of the CSA you shoulder part of the burden. If it's a year of abundance, then you get to share in that abundance. If you are in favor of keeping small family farms in business--and I am--then a CSA is the most proactive way you can put your dollars toward that goal.

It also means that you get a share of whatever is harvested that week, whether it's something you would normally buy or not. I'm really excited about this. I am terrible about planning recipes, but I'm quite good at spontaneous cooking. Spontaneous cooking, however, means using the ingredients on hand, and the farm share means that I will have lots more veggies on hand when I wander into the kitchen and say, "Now what shall I make for dinner?"

And they will be different veggies than I buy when I'm auto-shopping my way through the grocery store. It's easy to fall into habits, and eat the same thing all the time. The CSA is great at presenting me with produce I have to say, "now what do I do with this?" Like beets. I don't really care that much for them, but Ferrett likes them. Left to my own devices, I won't buy them. But if they arrive in the farm share, then I'd better figure out something to do with them.

It's not cheap, but I think it's one of the best ways to support the local economy and get more variety into your diet. If you are interested in finding out about CSAs in your area, you can find a lot of information at this website:

www.localharvest.org/csa/

This is what I'm getting in this week's share:

1 Whole Chicken, approx 5 lbs
2# bag fingerling potatoes
1 bulb garlic
1 candy onion
1 bunch swiss chard
1 bag mixed baby lettuce, 0.5 lbs
1 bunch beets with tops
1 bunch celery
1 bag purple filet beans
1 head broccoli
1 quart baby sweet peppers
1 bunch carrots with tops
1 dozen eggs
1 quarter peck gala apples
4 oz pumpkin quark (a spreadable cream cheese)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETRIS 11/8/2013 9:08PM

    That sounds so wonderful and healthy! Enjoy emoticon

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MANDYLOVE_76 11/7/2013 10:10AM

    That's totally cool.

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MSANITAL 11/7/2013 7:53AM

    wow that sounds so good.. all that fresh food in your basket.. I am sure you will make some wonderful meals.. as for the beets. OMG I love beats.. I just boil them and when they are cool to the touch peel them slice them and drizzle ever so little EVO on them sprinkle a tsp of minced garlic and toss.. lets sit for a bit then enjoy.. and the left overs ok I am going to be bad.. I make a sandwhich between two pieces of Italian Bread.. that is bad skip that but it is so yummy..

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LUCKYDOGFARM 11/6/2013 10:11PM

    Nice! Enjoy the fresh food!


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TATTER3 11/6/2013 4:49PM

    Wow!!!

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KNYAGENYA 11/6/2013 9:31AM

    Sounds great!

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SOFTLYOPTIMIST 11/5/2013 9:51PM

    What a great scheme! It also makes a closer relationship between the farmer and consumer, and for families with children using it, it teaches about the seasons and the realities of the hard work that goes into producing the food we buy. Brilliant!

I plan to start buying a veg and fruit box each week, to ensure we get the five a day, I am excited about it for similar reasons to you - your enthusiasm for using this scheme really comes through!
emoticon

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MANDIETERRIER1 11/5/2013 9:25PM

    We don't have a CSA sounds interesting

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/5/2013 7:13PM

    Your CSA has quite an extensive offering! I've belonged to two different CSA's in two different states where I lived. Each one was quite different. It is so much fun to open the basket/box/bag each week and discover what is inside. It will be a lot of fun!

I had the same problem with beets. I've tried roasting them...which wasn't really enough to make me like them. Not I have beets every day in my homemade veggie juices, but I only put about a quarter beet in each glass of juice. Anymore than that, and the taste is overpowering to me.

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DOGLADY13 11/5/2013 5:45PM

    I did a CSA for a couple of years but I just could not keep up with the produce. It was too much.

Re beets. I love them! Trim off the tops, wash and roast in their skins. Once cooked through, let them cool. The skins will slip right off.

Dice and put in salads.
Heat and eat with butter, salt and pepper.
Heat and add some sugar and vinegar for sweet and sour.
Pickle with hard boiled eggs.
Dice and toss with cashews, goat cheese and a light vinaigrette.
Borscht. (I'm a Polish girl.)

OK. I'll stop now.

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LISASGONNADOIT 11/5/2013 1:03PM

    Sounds wonderful!!!

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HILLSLUG98239 11/5/2013 11:40AM

    We were part of a CSA for several years. Our farmer even set up a winter CSA. He described it as a disaster the first year, but also as a great learning experience. I really appreciated his weekly emails describing what was going on at the farm. We have extreme cold and extreme heat here, so farming is an adventure. (On the plus side, our irrigation comes out of the mighty Columbia River, thanks to the federal government. In a brush steppe with 8" of precipitation a year, that water makes the desert bloom.)

This summer, our farmer changed it up a bit: instead of getting a box of stuff, members ordered what they wanted from his on-line store and picked it up at the farmers' market. We didn't participate this year because our own garden produced a lot the last two years. I kind of miss the box, though. It got us to eat things we would have never purchased. For instance, thanks to Alan, I grow kohlrabi every spring. I never would have bought kohlrabi, so if he hadn't put it in the box I never would have known how much I liked it!

The CSA also weaned us off of buying whatever produce we wanted, regardless of season. We still buy out-of-season produce occasionally, but it's pretty rare. The Hubs has even foregone his beloved asparagus to await the first crop from the Inland Northwest. I only buy grapes in the fall now. (The one thing I won't give up is bananas.)

Enjoy!

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NATPLUMMER 11/5/2013 10:48AM

    Nice! I'll have to check it out.

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RICHILA 11/5/2013 10:38AM

    emoticon You will have lots of healthy food to cook!

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Insomnia makes us do weird things

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I can tell that I've been watching too much classic, black & white Doctor Who. I just got up to make myself some tea and babbled out, "This unit requires stimulation to continue functioning under sleep deprivation stress. Re-caffeinate! Re-caffeinate!"

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TATTER3 10/30/2013 10:46PM

    Happy happy happy!!!

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DOGLADY13 10/30/2013 10:19PM

    Too funny! Thanks for the laugh.

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TOPAZDRAGON 10/30/2013 1:15PM

    HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You made me squirt water out my nose. And now I want to go watch Dr. Who. emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/30/2013 12:12PM

    did the re-caffeination work?

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NATPLUMMER 10/30/2013 11:33AM

    emoticon

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Signs that I am getting back in balance

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Yesterday I had a lot of work to do, but not a screaming deadline. So I took an hour to make a dent in the mess that is my sewing space. I cleared off all the junk that had just kind of landed in that space, and put everything away. I'm going to try and do an hour of decluttering a day. I think that is easier than trying to do it all at once.

Then in the afternoon I had a meeting with clients not too far from here. Instead of working until the absolute drop-dead minute of having to leave to drive over, I put things aside and biked over. Even though it was a short ride, it felt SO GOOD to get outside and on my bike.

In the early evening, DH asked me to walk with him to Target, which is about half a mile away. Even though my head was completely immersed in work, I was able to pull myself out of it and enjoy walking with him and the puppy. And when I took Shasta for her final walk of the evening, I put on my running shoes and jogged a little bit of the mile walk--the first jogging I've done since my last triathlon, just before the whole world fell apart.

It was an AWFUL jog! I am way out of practice. And yet it made me feel really good. I am ready to start working my way back up to a 5k again, and that made me feel REALLY good.

I have a class downtown this afternoon, and I was thinking of biking to it, but it's pouring rain. 11 miles each way in pouring rain is not my idea of fun. But I do think I will jog with the puppy again tonight!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TATTER3 10/24/2013 12:54PM

    One day only...and that's today. Keep Sparkin'!! things will come together!

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MANDYLOVE_76 10/24/2013 11:24AM

    I try to incorporate some push up or jumping jacks in my work day.

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DOGLADY13 10/23/2013 9:28PM

    I envy your fitting in some activity through the day. Good for you. I hope you get those opportunities again.

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MSANITAL 10/23/2013 8:36PM

    sounds like your getting back into the groove.. and I don't blame you hate biking in the rain which it has been doing here for the past two days..
Keep on moving forward you can do it

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EBRAINK 10/23/2013 8:11PM

    Good for you, Miss G! It sounds like you're "clearing space" both literally and figuratively!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/23/2013 2:11PM

    I'm glad things are getting back to normal for you. That's great!

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NICOLED40 10/23/2013 1:24PM

    It's amazing how changing things up every now and then can make you feel more alive! Congrats on the messy jog. LOL! Keep up the great work!

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NATPLUMMER 10/23/2013 11:02AM

    emoticon

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EWL978 10/23/2013 10:50AM

    good for you!!! Now just keep on keeping on..............

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4DOGNIGHT 10/23/2013 10:37AM

    Great day for you! I'm proud, especially for cleaning up your sewing room!

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Nostalgia for the kindest man I never met

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My husband sent me a link today to a gif on Boing Boing that he proclaimed to be "The Coolest GIF of the Day." I'm linking it here. Feel free to take a moment to peek at it. I'll wait.

boingboing.net/2013/10/21/a-machine-
making-a-chain-anim.html#more-263396


When I saw this, I was flooded with memories of watching Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood with my children when they were little. I learned how trikes and crayons were made, among other things, thanks to a humble minister and his low-budget children's show.

What I remember best about Mr. Rogers, though, was his kind acceptance of people "just the way you are." He liked everyone, no matter where they were on their path in life. If you were working to become a better person, that was a good thing, but that didn't mean you weren't valued for who you were right at that moment, before you had achieved your goals. You deserved kindness, and respect, and to like yourself. Even if you also wanted to become something better.

I have been struggling with liking myself just the way I am for a while. Life has been really chaotic, and filled with stress, and work has been so busy that I have not had time to get out and ride my bike or get to the gym or take care of myself in the way that makes me feel healthiest. That's frustrating, and it's made me feel impatient with myself and disappointed that I don't have the capacity to somehow find the time to do all I am doing *plus* the rest of everything.

In a way, it's a good sign that I'm noticing what I'm missing. For a while life was too crazy for me to even pay attention to that. It's a sign that, fingers crossed, things appear to be restabilizing.

But I have to be careful about my inner dialogue. It's easy to think that I should be now to just jump back on the bandwagon of everything I was doing before, and to ignore that changes in life may mean that the new "normal" doesn't look exactly like the old "normal" looked. And that is okay. If I don't accept that, I am likely to spend my time comparing and being disappointed in myself, which leads to a sense of defeat. I've been there before; I've given up in the past because I wasn't able to sustain a certain level of perfection. And the worry that I will do that again is one more worry on top of the heap of other worries.

But today a GIF of chain being made reminded me of Mr. Rogers, and Mr. Rogers reminded me that I am likable, just the way I am. I feel better about myself, and the self-defeating disappointment has been jettisoned before it could turn into loathing. I'm not perfect, but if I like myself I take care of myself better. I am special. I deserve to be loved.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MANDYLOVE_76 10/24/2013 11:32AM

    Won't you be my neighbor? Great blog!

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EBRAINK 10/23/2013 9:37PM

    I love the message of acceptance that Mr. Rogers promoted - you are you, and that's okay. And it's not only okay for other people to be different, but that makes everything more interesting. And isn't it great to be curious, and interested, about things like making chains and meeting new people...and about growing up and you know, you'll be a little different tomorrow than you were today...

I remember being absolutely fascinated by that idea. Imagine thinking to yourself at an early age, "I hope I'll always be interesting when I'm older".

Miss G, you are still growing and changing. Kudos to you for knowing that, and for being unafraid to meet yourself in the future. Mr. Rogers would be proud!

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TATTER3 10/23/2013 10:07AM

    Won't you be my neighbor!!

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DOGLADY13 10/22/2013 8:18PM

    It's you I like
Just the way you are...

http://www.youtube.co
m/watch?v=3-DsZMKYXzI



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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/22/2013 1:08PM

    I like that the GIF reminded you to like yourself just the way you are!

Hugs,
Kay

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NATPLUMMER 10/22/2013 11:07AM

    Mr. Rogers....that does bring back fabulous childhood memories.
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Just a nice weekend

Monday, October 21, 2013

So, DH's dad was here to visit this weekend, and we spent Saturday at Stan Hywet Hall. We love this place, because in addition to the house they have beautiful gardens, and it's just fun to walk around in them. But not Saturday, because it was POURING rain. Instead, we'd arrived in time to take the "Nooks and Crannies" tour, which tours the service portions of the hall. I love best seeing the "behind the scenes" portion of such places, and we'd never managed to get to that part before. It was an awesome tour. We renewed our membership again this year, and I am determined to get down there more. On Sundays they allow people to walk their dogs in the gardens, so I hope to take Shasta down there and enjoy the gardens with her.

Yesterday DD came over with a sewing project, so I dug out my sewing machine. When I say that, I really mean it; even though I have that nice sewing area set up in my basement, because I haven't been sewing lately it had become the repository of everything that we wanted out of our living space but didn't have the time to address what to actually do with it. My sewing table was a convenient flat surface on which to dump all that stuff. Now it's all dumped on the cutting table, and I really have to do something about it. I want to get back to quilting soon, and I'm also sick of all the junk in my house. I hate clutter. I don't know how it is that so much accumulates. My basement family room was nice and neat, but it's now a no-man's-land until Erin finally gets that last of her stuff out of there. There isn't even a point in trying to clean it up until her numerous boxes are removed.

All that aside, we had a nice day. I haven't seen much of Erin since she moved, so it was fun to be able to hang out with her. We sewed a cushion slipcover for one of the ottomans she was lent by a friend, and gave the puppy a much needed bath. Then we took the puppy on a long walk and played fetch with her in a big field until we wore her out--not an easy feat with a young dog. She has a lot of energy.

We went to the hibachi steakhouse for dinner last night, at my father-in-law's request, and had a really terrific chef who was a real showman. In addition, the food was amazing--probably the best scallops I've ever eaten. They were tender and sweet and perfectly cooked. After a couple mediocre experience with scallops lately, it really brought home to me why I love them so much.

Now I have a week of ceaseless projects ahead of me. But it's good because I'm making money!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NATPLUMMER 10/22/2013 9:51AM

    emoticon

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TATTER3 10/22/2013 6:40AM

    And we just keep Sparkin'!!!

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JANETRIS 10/21/2013 8:05PM

    Glad your weekend was great! We can relate to the extra clutter. Kids are at college and we need to haul out stuff that has accumulated over the years. We will have to come up with a plan to MIH! Have a great week!

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LAWANDMUSIC 10/21/2013 2:52PM

    Boy, do I understand about the basement being a "no-man's land". Our DD2 is living down there, with her cats, while she is finishing her degree. I dare not go down there, because the whole space (about 1300 square feet) has become "hers".

Notwithstanding the fact that my husband's computer things are down there, and all the Christmas ornaments are (until this last year) stored down there, and of course, my little pantry of extra food is down there.

I cannot wait until DD2 graduates and moves to her own place. I am sure she will move out as she did that before.

And then, of course, DD1s things are still in the basement - she moved out five years ago.

Is there hope?

ONWARD!!

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HILLSLUG98239 10/21/2013 1:13PM

    I'm glad you had a relaxing weekend. You deserve it!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/21/2013 12:41PM

    I'm glad you had such a nice weekend!

I love scallops too. They are awesome when they are cooked right.

Getting rid of clutter is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. I try to do one drawer or shelf at a time. I love the ones that i've cleaned out recently, but it's a never ending project.

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RANANAM 10/21/2013 10:27AM

    I need to do a clutter purge at my house, too! I moved in over a year ago when I got married, and I'm at the point where if it doesn't have a 'home' at this point it just needs to go!!

Mmmm....scallops....

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