Thursday, December 20, 2007

Here's to your health....

Doctor's orders? I'll drink to that.
Red wine is supposed to be good for you too, but it sometimes leaves me with a headache. Now Guinness, well, there's an improvement as far as I'm concerned. Good and good for you.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Quit Complaining!

I shouldn't have whined so much. There were people that had it so much worse than we did. There are many that still don't have power. We were merely inconvenienced.

If you would like to see pics of the storm, here are 2 good links.

The Manhattan Mercury
Hale Library at KSU

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Just in time

Within hours of power returning to our home Friday night, the snow began and this is what we woke up to Saturday morning. A forecast low of 8 degrees tonight makes us feel even more fortunate.

Friday, December 14, 2007

After the Storm

I am such an idiot. When I wrote the last post I had no idea how bad it could be. I didn't really think it was possible for us to go four days, yes four days, without power. Our power went out Monday night about bedtime, came back on for a couple of hours Tuesday morning and stayed off until about an hour ago. Tuesday morning, the situation seemed quaint, "Oh we have such a snug little house, look, it only got down to 60 degrees!" Our neighbors invited us over for ribs we had cooked on the grill for dinner, then we we went to my parents to spend the night. Isaac had been fussy all day and had a little fever, but we didn't think that much of it. Then when I was getting him ready for bed, he felt really warm. He had a fever of 104.6. Mom put Joe to bed and Kirk and I rushed to the Emergency Room, Isaac screaming the entire way. It turned out he had an ear infection. We came home, got settled in for the night and my parents power went out. We all slept through the night bundled in tons of blankets and discovered in the morning that my brother's power was back on. So after my parents treated us to Wendy's, we went to my brothers and hung out until after supper. Then we went to another friends to spend the night and they informed us (yeah!!!) they had a generator we could use. So Joe & Isaac played with their son while Kirk and Chris set up the generator. We got home after nine to a warm and slightly lit home. The generator served us well Wednesday and Thursday. Sputtering out a couple of times, but still keeping our house warm enough.

First I have to say how kind our friends and family were. It was so great that we had places to be that were warm. People were so kind and welcoming. We had several offers for places to stay, laundry facilities, and meals. We were fortunate in so many ways.

Second, I have to say, Wow that sucked. By Wednesday night we were exhausted, after going from house to another, dragging along this poor sick baby and cranky 4 year old, forgetting medicine in the fridge, underwear in the dryer. It was so good to be finally at home in our own beds, even with no dishwasher, washing machine, stove, microwave, deep freezer, and few lights. Chris and Marcy are my heroes!

Now Kirk and I are actually planning what we need for when this happens again. All of our readers (all 3 of you) go now and read what you need in the case of an emergency. You may someday have need for such information.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Storm Brewing


Word is there's quite a storm coming. Bar the door, batten down the hatches! I never know how much to prepare for these things. There are some who say that I prepare a little too much (I've been called the Safety Patrol). But as I snuggle in the warmth of my pile of blankets eating my canned beans and corn, I will welcome even those who mock me. Their breath will keep things warmer! Wish us luck as we face THE STORM!

p.s. The pic is from the Bethel College Collegian.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Cheese success

With a little help from friends, the first trial run was successful and it really was quite an effortless task. The curd took a little longer to set than the recipe indicated, but a few more minutes of patience was all that was needed before we could cut the curd and remove it from the pot.After separating the curds & whey we heated the curds so they would be the right temperature for kneading into a nice ball of cheese. Taking turns kneading the 135+ degree curd, We finished in under an hour just like the Cheese Queen predicted. There will be another trial run, or two, before the holidays because we ate all the cheese already. I also want to make some herbed mozzarella. If I can just figure out what to do with the almost 1 gallon of whey I have in the refrigerator. I have many possibilities according to the enclosed directions: "Whey can be used in almost any recipe calling for sour milk or buttermilk.... It may also be turned into lemonade by adding sweetener." (?) "If you won't be using it in cooking, we are told it makes excellent plant food"

Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's heeeerrrre!

Makes 30 batches - up to 40 pounds of cheese. Fresh mozzarella in less than an hour! What's not to like about that?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Not your traditional storytime

Joe found our collection of Dr. Suess tonight and that made me recall another reading of Green Eggs & Ham. Not the best quality video, unfortunately. For further entertainment you can see Christopher Walken read the Three Little Pigs . Enjoy

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Paradise by the Grocery Store Lights


So, we were driving along in the minivan when I realized that it's Saturday night. Other people in the world were going to movies or dinner, getting ready to go out dancing, or having a party with friends. We, however, were on a family trip to the grocery store (Lucy stayed in the van). In honor of Saturday night we used the car cart. There are occasionally these moments where it becomes crystal clear that your life is completely different than it used to be.

I had another moment when a friend of mine resumed DJ-ing after being off the air for over 10 years. I remember when he was on the radio before and we would go out for a beer, talking for hours about our love lives. Back in the present, and once again in the minivan, I turn up the radio and yell to the back seat "Joe, that's Emma's daddy!"

The most striking moment, though, was the trip to Burger King. We were getting out of the minivan (are you noticing that the minivan really seems to emphasize my life as a parent?) when I look across the street to the porch where Kirk and I met. The porch where we spent many nights sitting for hours with a group of friends, drinking box o' wine and having what seemed at the time to be very, very deep discussions. I thought for a moment about what that 23 year old girl on that porch would think about this mommy with her kids going in to feed them high fat, industrial food. She would not have been kind about my conventional, boring life. Little would she know how happy I am.

Life is drastically different than it used to be. Thank God.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cheesy idea

I'm continuing on with Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and last night was reading about cheese. Apparently it's very easy to make - mozzarella in under an hour! Guess what my family's doing at my house this Christmas? I may try a test run in the coming weeks. I don't know how long it takes to receive an order of supplies, but anyone interested in a group cheese event? Could make a great gift.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Warning! This post contains political ranting.

So, which presidential candidate are you supporting? I'm really torn and would love to hear what others are thinking. Of course, as a democrat in Kansas, it doesn't really matter what I think. I'm somewhat resentful that I have absolutely no say in who represents my party in the election. Last time around I had to support this guy that other people thought was the most electable. You have got to be kidding me. I am already preparing myself to vote for the lesser of two evils. I think the problem is that those people who would really be a good president are too smart to run. I'm concerned about the field because I don't think any of them will really address the problems that exist in our country. I would like to believe that someone will actually do something about our health care system, address poverty, end the war, and truly help the country come together to end global warming. But that's not going to happen. I'm trying diligently to not worry about global warming, even as the news reports are getting worse and worse. I just ride my bike to work, hang the clothes on the line, and write to my representatives and the president. Worrying won't do anyone any good.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Flick Picks

I've been loving Net Flix! I have been eating up movies like crazy. It's even inspired me to take another look at what we have at the library. Here's a list of my recent favorites:
Mostly Martha - A German film about an uptight chef who ends up taking on a niece when her sister dies. There's also a guy, of course. Best screen kiss I have ever seen in my life.
Murderball - A documentary about quadriplegic rugby. This movie completely changed the way I look at disabled people. It's amazing.
Stranger than Fiction - Friends gave this mixed reviews but I loved it. Will Farrell plays a boring IRS worker who realizes one day that he is actually a character in a book. This sounds ridiculous, but with a stellar cast it turns out to be rather intense.
Sweet Land - This is an independent American film. Olaf is a Norwegian farmer in the upper Midwest in 1920. His parents tell him they have found him a bride in the old country and if he wants they will send her. They neglect to tell him that she's German, which doesn't go over too well in post-war America. This is a beautiful movie about love and acceptance.
Please let me know about others I must see!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Playing in the park


We played in the park and our friend Katherine took these pics. The beautiful baby that you don't see as often on our blog is her daughter, Ari.

A Truly Merry Christmas


I just finished Hundred Dollar Holiday: the case for a more joyful Christmas by Bill McKibben. What a great book! Kirk and I are constantly looking for ways to make life better while also staying within our means. We probably aren't going to get down to $100, but it gave us ideas for buying happier and better for the world. This has been a long time struggle of mine - to make life simpler, less expensive, and less wasteful while still making life good. I don't want to be cheap or selfish. I want to live my values AND have fun. McKibben has some great ideas for achieving this, talking about how all that commercialism really gets in the way of having a great Christmas.

We're celebrating Christmas with Kirk's family this year. These people have it together. For one thing, the main feature is the meal. Everyone likes to cook and everyone likes to eat so there is always new recipes and great food. The gift exchange is almost a side show after the meal. They also draw names among the adults so that really cuts down on spending. They also like playing games, are actually quite competitive about it.

We picked up some gifts today at our annual church fundraiser. Along with the wonderful German Mennonite meal, they also sell crafts from Ten Thousand Villages and Equal Exchange coffee, tea, and chocolate. I love this stuff. This is the one time of year that we let ourselves go a little crazy with the checkbook. I can't give away details because some of my recipients read this blog!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Can't make it to Howie's?

I’m rarely ever on campus so I’m sure this is old news (the link is to a post from May 2007), but I just found out today and thought I’d mention it. I saw an ad for Go Green Curbside Recycling. Best wishes to the entrepreneurs - it’s been at least, oh, about 10 years since the last private attempt at this. The history has been that the business lasts until the individual graduates and moves on. At least it’s an option again for residents who don’t have the time to make the trip to Howie’s.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Mission Accomplished

I finished my Jane Austen breakout session at the Celebrate the Book conference in Topeka! No one booed or threw anything at me. I had a very kind audience. They seemed to be as into Jane as I am, so it turned into a bit of a girl gab fest. Later in the day I saw laying on the bathroom counter one of the folders from the conference and two of the books I suggested, so someone liked what I had to say. AND I didn't start coughing until it was over. I've had a bad cold this last week, so I wasn't sure I'd make it through.

Now I'm excited to be reading something ANYTHING else. I'm reading The Worst Hard Time by Tim Egan. It's our One Book One Community choice for the year. It's depressing, but really well written. He has a lot of personal stories, so it doesn't get dry.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Isaac Walks

Sorry you have to tilt your head. I'm still learning.
video

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Email and more email

I read this article in the New York Times and it made me wonder how my emails are perceived. According to the article, a majority of positive email is read as neutral and a majority of neutral email is read as negative. Explains all those smiley faces and other emoticons that show up in email. I tend to use email probably more than I should with the excuse that I'd probably be bothering someone if I were to actually use the phone or stop by for a chat. My other excuse for email being that I'm not sure when I'd have time for anything other than email. On the other hand, as the article mentions, email can be very effective when the two parties have actually met face-to-face even just once. Considering how very infrequently I email someone I've not met (usually catalog orders and customer service has to respond positively no matter how my email is perceived) there's some hope that most of my email is read as either positive :-) or neutral. :-|

A bit about books....

I just finished Freakonomics and highly recommend it for anyone wanting a twist on what otherwise appears as obvious (it's not). Covering, among many other topics, crime, parenting, and grade-school achievement testing, I can't say anything more (pro or con) than what's already been said about the book so I won't try. Results from an internet search will soon give you more than enough background. It's non-fiction and I finished it within one three-week check-out from the library - not something I can say for most of what I read which means it's not only a quick read, but fascinating as well.

My friend Bruce recommended a cooking book, Home Cooking, and even thought it was published in 1988, it's still a fun book and the "Extremely Easy Old-Fashioned Beef Stew" recipe is quite delicious and it is really easy. The sequel, More Home Cooking, is on my list of books to read.

I'm also in the middle of Grassroots Gardening which Rhonna discovered for me. It's the newest book in a long list by author Donna Schaper. A quick tour of her website offers plenty of material for contemplation.

Currently fifth in line at the library for Animal, Vegetable, Miracle so when my turn comes again I'll finish it - hopefully in my allotted three weeks this time!

If you're interested in another book along the same line as Buy, Buy Baby, look for the book Consuming Kids. Usually I link to the book, but I just discovered this website - which appears to be an outgrowth of the book.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sleepy Boys


This is what I came home to last night. Happy, snuggly goodness.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Environmental Etiquette

Today a nationally prominent environmentalist was in my library at a meeting. I was starstruck. I couldn't wait to go home and tell Kirk. That was, until the incident with the lights. I noticed that the lights were off in our Business Room which is used quite regularly. I went back and turned them on. He came out of the nearby meeting room and complained that no one had been in that room during his entire meeting and there was no reason for them to be on. I explained that when lights are off in a room, it looks like it is not available for public use. It isn't welcoming. He didn't let it go. He continued to argue with my co-worker who continued in the same line of reasoning. I walked away. I was angry. I biked to work in the rain today, so I wasn't really in the mood for criticism about the environment. I really believe that we should all do what we can to reduce the carbon emissions. I also really think that we should treat our library patrons as guests and make them feel as welcome as possible. I also think that, perhaps, he could have approached this in a more productive way. Maybe he could have asked to speak to the administration and asked our esteemed director what the library is doing to improve efficiency. Then he would have found out about the new system that was just put in that better regulates the temperature in the building, reducing our energy use. Instead he was rude to people who have no control over whether the lights are left on in the Business Room.

I really think it is time for environmentalists to reevaluate how we spread our message. Instead of berating people, I think we would get more results by living lives of example and by offering strategy in public forum. If I go to my friend's house and point out her lack of flourescent bulbs then she will come to my house and point out that a lot of the food in my kitchen was shipped there over thousands of miles. Then where are we, what have we accomplished? Anyway, my tirade for today is done.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Why not save the world?

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Global Warming: blah, blah, blah. It isn't real right? Well, I think it is, but what if it isn't? The things we do that could help slow down global warming are good for us anyway. When we insulate our homes, turn down the thermostat a couple of degrees, and hang our clothes out to dry, that saves us money on our energy bills. When we walk and bike around town, that makes us healthier. When we eat locally produced foods, they taste better and we support the local economy. It's all good stuff. So even if you think Global Warming is bogus, why not do stuff that makes your life better anyway? Then, if by some crazy miracle, most of the scientists in the world are proven to be correct, you'll know you've been doing the right stuff all along.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

West to California

A fast, fun trip to California where we visited my brother and sister-in-law. Planes, trains, automobiles and the ocean. Midwest Airlines is a carrier of choice in my book - business class seating throughout the cabin, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, and a FULL can of Coke (not just a bit poured over ice - in a small cup - like some airlines offer). On our flight to L.A. Joe received a "First Flight" certificate signed by the crew along with a BAG full of cookies. While waiting for Craig to come home from work the first day, Jackie and Joe played an amusing pretend game of Dorothy the Dinosaur (Jackie) meets Bob the Builder (Joe). Although our stay was brief, we enjoyed ourselves and Joe was an excellent traveler. The whirlwind, off-the-beaten-path tour included visits to Travel Town, Santa Monica Pier, and, for late afternoon relaxation, Roxbury Park (and to make sure Joe was good and tired). It wouldn't be a vacation for me without a "won't find it in Kansas" dining experience. In Santa Monica I feasted upon a Cornish Pastie, chips & peas (yum - thanks, Craig) at Ye Olde King's Head while Joe gulped his spaghetti. Unfortunately I was too full to partake of the Bread & Butter Pudding for dessert.









Friday, October 5, 2007

That's my boy

Joe fell asleep while eating his bed-time snack. Literally - he was chewing when I took this picture!
Posted by Picasa

Out with the old...

This is the old kitchen floor after removing the nasty, dirty carpet that we tolerated for about 8 years too many. That gray spot in the top-left picture is the actual pile of dust that remained after removing the carpet. We didn't pile it up like that - it was there on it's own! Farther back in the picture you can see where we'd already cleaned up. After the carpet the underlayment had to be taken out (the gold/brown colored part of the floor). This was just stapled down, fairly easy to remove and revealed (middle picture) the lovely vinyl tile circa 1940. I wouldn't have picked it, but it was definitely better than the nasty rug. Luckily, it made a great surface to install the incredibly cheap and easy peel-and-stick tile ($200 vs. $1400 estimate for professional floor installation). After several hours of work during the past week...


Now we actually have to clean up spills so we don't slip on the floor. Lucy is adjusting to the new floor and, as always, is willing to help with most any food/liquid cleanup.

Joe's thorn to bear....


This thorn is what remained after spending almost two weeks in the bottom of Joe's foot. I recall seeing about that much taken out soon after the original incident. However, how it got there isn't nearly as interesting as the time since then. After Joe hobbled back to our friend's house, we removed what we thought was all of it then cleaned up with rubbing alcohol and put a bandage on his foot. Well, next day it didn't look much better and looked a bit infected. Much to Joe's protests, we drained the wound, a small piece of the thorn came out, and we re-bandaged it. It still didn't look very good after another 24 hours so we called the doctor. He looked at it, prescribed some antibiotics and did a staph culture since this happened during the wave of staph infections sweeping through Manhattan. Joe and I were leaving for California (will post more soon) the next day and we wouldn't know the culture results for two days. Rhonna could tell that the doctor really wanted to say that we couldn't leave town. We left anyway with our antibiotics, bandages, and high-powered antibiotic soap to wash the wound three times a day. Saturday came and Rhonna called to say the culture was negative (big sigh of relief). We had fun in LA, but the foot still wasn't getting better. Joe had is annual checkup scheduled for early in the week so, in spite of his otherwise excellent health, he still had a sore foot. The doctor scheduled a sonogram to look at the wound in case there was more thorn in the foot. The sonogram was inconclusive which is hard to believe considering later that same day we returned once again to the doctor to have her remove the piece shown in the picture. Good grief, just how far was that in the foot to take nearly 2 weeks before it began to come out? Well, Joe's just fine now and the sore foot never did seem to slow him down much, amazingly enough. The only issue now is his allergic contact dermatitis from the bandages the nurse used to cover his four immunization shots he received during his annual check-up. It looks like a combination between poison ivy and chicken pox. Nothing serious, but enough already!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Buying off our guilt

On Thursday when I was driving back from the airport, I had the joy of hearing this piece on Talk of the Nation. Peter Schweizer talks about carbon off setting, exploring other ways we could offset our guilt, such as, maybe you could eat as much junk food as you want and get as fat as you want, but offset it by paying for someone else to go to the gym. In case you can't tell, I think offsetting is a crock. I remember when it came out that Al Gore uses a lot of energy and he responded that he offsets it. Ok, I love Al, but this made me angry. I live, with my husband and two kids, in a 1,000 square foot house. We've been debating for over a year about whether or not it would be appropriate to add 300 sq. feet to our house since that would contribute more carbon to the environment. So to hear about Al Gore and his huge house rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe instead of paying someone to plant trees in India, he could quit driving an SUV or maybe install some solar panels.

But I shouldn't be so hard on him. We all have our little environmental secrets. I hate to chop veggies. I love the idea of gardening and getting fresh produce from the Farmer's Market, and I love the flavor of fresh veggies, but Kirk has to chop them up or I'll let them rot in the refrigerator, in spite of my best intentions. Janisse Ray wrote this article about preaching to the choir. We environmentalists like to complain about the "others" who are doing horrible things to our world, but it probably wouldn't hurt for us to look in our own closets a little.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Flowers in Autumn















So summer's officially gone, but no one told my crapemyrtle. This one's just recently opened since it's a bit more shaded than the ones in the backyard. I forgot the variety because I relied on my memory instead of writing it down and who knows where the tag is - probably on a pile somewhere in the basement. The small blue flowers on the right are a variety of (perennial?) ageratum that I received at a plant exchange with my former coworkers. I haven't checked to see if it's spreading by roots or re-seeding itself, but either way it's prolific and the blooms last several weeks. I'll have plenty to give away next spring if anyone's interested. There might be other plants as well.

This used to be a strawberry patch that was delicious the first year, but has declined to just a handful of runners. I'm going to make this more of a perennial flower garden and let the strawberry plants intermingle should they continue to grow. In the backyard there are a handful of cherry tomatoes on one of my two tomato plants (that was the extent of my vegetable garden this year) and although my vegetable garden of yore is now grass I plan to makeover and expand an existing flower bed to make room for a few more vegetables next year. I just can't let well enough alone. I think Joe's got a bit of the gardening gene as he told me last week where his garden is and, pointing over there, told me that that's my garden. With my encouragement he's very aware of where and when I've planted seeds or moved plants and sometimes let's me know when the plants grow & change.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Flash from the Past


I was stunned when I looked in my mailbox to find a postcard from my high school classmate, Rick Uhlig. He had written a book, Last Dance at the Frosty Queen, about coming of age in a small town in Kansas in the 1980's. My first reaction, obviously, was hoping that he had written nothing incriminating about me. I got ahold of the book as quickly as possible and gobbled it down. There was nothing incriminating about me. This reminded me that my high school lifestyle really was not the stuff of novels.

It was an entertaining dark comedy about being different, figuring out the opposite sex, dealing with your family, and the realities of small town life. It was well written, if a little over-the-top.

What was fascinating to me was seeing glimpses of people I did know. None of them matched exactly and no real names were mentioned, so it was still in the realm of fiction, but some were clear and not always flattering. This made me wonder: how fictional is any fiction? There must be little nuggets of true stories everywhere. How do people feel when their story is written down and saved for the ages?

Best of luck to Rick. When I forgot about this being the town I spent my last years of high school in, it was a good story.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Speaking of baking...

In case you didn't already know, the New York Times has ended (yea!) it's fee-only access to archives and some articles. In case you didn't copy it down last November, now you can access this recipe - it's towards the end of the article. If you're a visual person, you can watch the video. It really is as easy as it sounds and the bread is delicious. Amaze your friends at your next potluck.

Movies


I have missed movies so much. Because of the ways the boys sleep we just haven't been able to watch them. I realized recently that I could watch for a 1/2 hour or so after the boys go to bed. (I know, I should have thought of that sooner.) So I subscribed to Netflix since it's also difficult to get to a video store and spend time browsing. I love it, love it, love it!!! I am so thrilled to watch films again. Please start sending good titles my way, I'm so out of touch. I used to be the person that people would ask, "What have you seen lately?" They stopped since I'm still recommending Waking Ned Devine. So let me know about titles and if you call around 9:00 and we don't answer, just leave a message. We'll call you back at the end our our alloted break from the world.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Indentured servant?

As Rhonna mentioned in an earlier post, I'm working part-time (about 3 hours a week) and we agreed that the money I earned would pay for a new oven. After saving a fair amount, I told her that I was only going to look and as I left the house I really meant it. Well, we found a deal that was really too good to pass up. After re-reading Consumer Reports, making several trips back to the store and a quick tour of Sears, we decided to go ahead and get the KitchenAid. See, it was last year's model and nearly 40% off and it has all the features I'd considered, but assumed would never actually be affordable (yes, convection). Before I continue I should mention what we had been using. It came with our house and was, quite literally, the basic of the basic - 4 burners, an oven, 5 dials (within easy reach of walking babies!), and two lights. That's it. Nothing else. To give it some credit, it did work, but after 8 years it was time for a change. Funny thing is, it's sort of inspired me to start baking - or at least make plans to. Rhonna brought home a great book from the library about sourdough breads. Now if I can just find the time, I'd love to try some of the recipes and I only have to work 20 more hours to pay the balance on the oven!

Want to read another blog?

So I was asked to contribute to a blog about living in Manhattan and offer the perspective of a long-term resident. So far it mostly discusses the oft heard frustrations encountered by folks moving from a more urban environment who then are amazed at how Manhattan can be a college town without the cultural/gastronomical/environmental amenities that they enjoyed in their previous residence. I've often wished for many of these same alternatives myself, but after visiting other places - Portland, Austin, Chicago, San Francisco, DC, to name a few - I return home thankful that I have all I really need right here. (Excluding, perhaps, my brief visits to England and Germany, but, as there's no chance of my moving there in this lifetime, they don't count for this discussion.) Sure I'd love a wider variety of restaurants, but there's no way I could eat out often enough to do my part to ensure their financial survival. All of the aforementioned cities are great places to visit but when I comes right down to it, I wouldn't want to live there. Here we have plenty of sunshine, plenty of rain, dynamic weather with 4 distinct seasons, no traffic congestion (really, no matter where you live here you can get across town in about 15 minutes or less), no smog/ozone alerts, good folk concerts, jazz concerts, McCain performances, numerous lectures, a fine library (ok 2, but I wouldn't know much about Hale as I haven't used it since it was called Farrell). If you really need a change of scenery then Lawrence, KC, St. Louis - wherever, even KCI - aren't that far of a drive and if you drive on a road other than I-70 you'll probably find something along the way to pique your interest. The point is, either you like it here and find ways to appease your whims, or you decide Manhattan will never be good enough and you start looking for a new job. Naturally, that could be said of anyone in any town, but some of us like it here and should aid those who are new to town in discovering that it's pretty good here once you really start to look around.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Picture Update




I've been informed that I should include more pictures of my beautiful children and less politics. I'll put in more pics, but the politics must stay. But for this one time, I'll just write happy newsy things. Both my boys just had their birthdays. Isaac is one and Joe is four. Joe just started preschool and he loves it. Isaac still isn't saying any words or walking on his own. He has taken his own sweet time with all developmental milestones since birth. Just when we start to worry he catches up. I've stopped worrying. I take him to his appointments and when his doctor or Parents as Teachers educator tells me to worry, then I will.
I am very excited that my brother and his family are moving to town! They bought a house just down the street, so the kids will go to school together and all that good stuff. My only cousins are much older and have always lived far away, so I'm very excited that my boys will have some so close by. I also really like my brother and his wife, so it's all good. Now if we could only get Kirk's brothers to move back. Don't worry guys, I'm not holding my breath.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Goodbye

Our fellow church member Elfrieda died this week. She was an amazing woman who loved music and travel. She was open, kind and welcoming. She will be missed.

You may have also heard that Pavarotti died this morning. In honor of 2 great voices I offer you this link. It's just beautiful music.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Proclaimers Fans, Enjoy

Here's a link to a live Proclaimers show. Listen soon as it's only available until Thursday.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Rhonna's Hang-ups about Global Warming



Wonderful news in this article from Christian Science Monitor. Apparently there is a movement advocating hanging clothes on the clothesline. They are even trying to pass a law in Vermont (of course it would be Vermont) that communities can not have rules against hanging up clothes. This is down-to-earth environmentalism. We can protest all we want, write letters, buy a Prius, but hanging clothes on the line is something simple and cheap that really lowers the amount of carbon we put into the atmosphere. Kirk is great about almost always hanging Isaac's diapers on the line. I'm much more inconsistent with the rest of the laundry. But this article has inspired me. Let's gather together and hang up those clothes!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Painting our house


Kirk's parents came up for the week to help us out. Kirk's dad painted the house while his mom and my mom watched the boys. The house looks a million times better. . . on two sides. He only had a week after all. At least it's a start.
I apologize for my rant in a previous post about housing. You shouldn't have to hear that. I love our little house and I know it has great potential. We're lucky to have a house at all. If we had waited a few years to buy, we wouldn't be able to afford the house we have.
Anyway, I love the new green paint. We're thinking navy accents. We're also almost done painting the cabinets in the kitchen and Kirk can put down a new floor in October. We're chipping away at the projects

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mommy Wars

I keep hearing about the stupid Mommy Wars! Why can't we all just get along? I am constantly annoyed at how us mothers judge each other and I complain about it constantly. And yet I do it, too. When a friend recently told me about her friend's 48 hour natural labor, I asked with a sneer "Was that a positive experience for her?" How rude!!!

I have been a victim of these wars myself. I tried to breastfeed and failed. . . twice. Don't tell me I didn't try hard enough. Unless you sat up with me as my baby nursed continuously from 9 to 5 two nights in a row and still managed to lose weight, I don't want to hear about it. I would get so mad when people would judge my bottles. Have you noticed that some mothers can say "bottle feeder" in such a way that it sounds like "bottom feeder"? We're all just doing the best we can. Let's support each other and cheer each other on. I won't judge you, so please don't judge me.

I think it's all about insecurity. What we do as parents is so important and we're constantly striving to do the best thing for our children. It's this huge, daunting task and the choices are never clear. Almost all the lines are fuzzy. It's easier to justify a decision when judge those who chose differently.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Enough?

What exactly is enough? This is my constant struggle. I do not envy others' cars, money, clothes, looks, but when it comes to houses I'm pathetic. Even though I have realized that we cannot afford to change our living situation for a few years, I constantly scan the real estate ads. I make plans for expanding our house. I envy friends when they buy new homes, refinish floors, remodeling of any kind. Sometimes.
A good portion of the time I can keep this in check. I look at our 1000 sq. foot 1920's bungalow and admire the coziness of it. I love the colors we have painted most of our rooms. I love the art created by family members on the walls. I love that our friends took pity on us (we actually had a bucket catching the water under the bathroom sink and duct tape holding our tub together) when I was pregnant with our first son and remodeled our bathroom. I love how little it costs to heat and cool. It is a very snug little house.
But. . . it is impossible to remove enough clutter to achieve the calm look I long for. I had a bad day today. I ended up barking at Kirk that I just don't have time to clean and organize. I'm too busy working, playing with my family, organizing birthday parties, and spending time with my friends. I obviously have my priorities completely screwed up. It also probably was not helpful to check out the book The Simple Home. A person has to have a lot of money and time to achieve that level of simplicity. I must go. The boys are in bed so I'm going to paint the cabinets a little. The house will still be a mess tomorrow, but of course it would be anyway.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

As long as it's educational, right?

Some recent developments as a post-script to my entry on Buy, Buy Baby regarding branding in advertising and videos for babies. Read this if you're interested in the latest on boyhood. Granted, they're all from Time magazine so bring your biases, take what you want and leave the rest.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

SCHIP

I am consistently amazed at our president. In the midst of a health care crisis we have one thing that works. SCHIP guarantees that millions of children receive the health care they need. Bush wants to veto the increase Congress has voted in for this because it goes against the wishes of private health insurance companies. That's just mean. All parents should be able to call up the doctor's office when their child is sick without any hesitation concerning whether or not they can afford it. I have to go. I need to write President Bush a letter. Here's the address comments@whitehouse.gov if you would like to do the same.

P.S. I am a librarian and I was not able to find this address on the white house web site. I don't think the President wants to hear from us.

Friday, August 3, 2007

A change of pace

Having had this book for a couple of years, I'm finally reading Bill McKibben's Wandering Home (thanks Dean) and it's a welcome bit of optimism after reading Buy, Buy Baby and Assault on Reason. Writing about his hike from western Vermont into the Adirondacks of eastern NY, he tells the story in such a way that it almost feels like you were with him. Most days, he is accompanied by a friend who happens to live near his route. He entertains us with the stories of these local folks and the discussions and random thoughts that they have while making their way from town to pond to mountain peak to cabin in the woods.

For now, A Perfect Mess is also on a pile of books to read and I haven't decided whether or not I'll finish Al's book either. I've made it through 2/3 of it and am still only reading about the incompetence of Bush-Cheney and their crusade against any interference to their "mission" - as varied and vague as that may be. I think I'll skip to the end and then send it back to the library so someone else can be Assaulted.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Thoughts on food

Listen to an interview with Barbara Kingsolver about her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I'll read the book when I'm done with the ones I already have.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

My Mess and the Reason for it

So a few weeks ago I was all excited about messiness. Well, in my procrastinating and messy way, I put aside A Perfect Mess and spent my time with other books. The library has a way of demanding that of a person, lest you be put at the bottom of the list before it's your turn again for the book. First it was Buy Buy Baby (to be returned tomorrow, really) and now I'm back into The Assault on Reason. As long as no one puts a hold on A Perfect Mess, it may stay on the shelf for a while longer.

A Fair Evening



We went to the county fair last night and Joe enjoyed the rides. Isaac was a good sport but didn't get to have any hot dogs or funnel cake. Don't know the girl behind Joe in the red car and if you have a good look, you can see him on the roller coaster - second car from the end.

Shoppers and parents take note....

Having the pressure of "non-renewal" to make me actually read a book in (almost) the library-imposed three weeks, I plowed through the final chapters of the book Buy, Buy Baby which discusses in great depth the marketing of "baby genius" and "educational" materials to children (parents). The author spent 4 years researching children's toys and paraphernalia -- such as, but not at all limited to, Disney, Thomas, Care Bears & Baby Einstein. Additionally she covers parenting, No Child Left Behind, 1996 Welfare reform, day-care centers, as well as the schemes and aims of the marketers/companies behind the commercialization of parenting and the materials used in day-care centers. She has nearly 30 pages of end notes and almost 10 more as a bibliography. This is not someone who's crying wolf. There is a wealth of material and, hoping not to ramble on too much, I'll describe a bit here.

As a group, Gen-Xer's share primarily two traits: shopping and television. The Gen-X mom, this should come as no surprise, has been deconstructed in amazing and frightening clarity by marketing companies and they know how to classify you to suit their needs. As for children's television programs, research has documented that the only thing a child under 2 can "learn" from a t.v. show/video is the sight of a familiar face - which is exactly what the companies hope for. Here are some of the areas of cultural reform that she says are needed: more research (introduced in 2005 (!) by Senators Lieberman, Brownback, Clinton, & Santorum, but stalled in Congress) on the effects of children's television programs; at least partially PAID parental leave; allowing children to have open-ended play, or as she describes, doing Nothing. That is, not adhering to "standard's-compliant curriculum" which has come to day-care centers as a "trickling down of 'No Child Left Behind' rules.

But enough from me. Listen to an interview with the author or read the book.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Candidates

I'm really interested in John Edwards. I know he's not one of the front runners, but according to this article his main concerns are poverty, health care, ending the war, and the environment. Amen, Brother! I think, if nothing else, he's forcing the front runners to talk about some difficult issues. Of course, since I live in a red state, it doesn't matter who I support.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hibiscus




In response to Sara's comment I had Kirk go out and take a pic of the Hibiscus. Congratulations, Sara. This plant has made for many happy views out our front window. We get comments on it all the time. I can't take any credit for it. All plants are Kirk's responsibility and his joy, but that doesn't keep me from enjoying them. My walk from the house is filled everyday with something that looks like Black Eyed Susans, although Kirk insists they aren't. I complain a lot about our house, but at least Kirk has made our yard beautiful.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Summer

We haven't written much lately because nothing much has happened. Last week the sewer got clogged, so we had some extra expense, a mess to clean up, and a few days that our washer didn't work. Isaac started drinking from a cup without any help. Joe and I went walking in the rain today. We got wet and had a great time. This morning Kirk & our friend Matt put up the swing set in the backyard. We've been swimming a lot. That pretty much sums up life right now. We're hoping to start painting our kitchen cabinets soon, but I'm not sure when that will happen. Life is full of ordinary goodness.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Still a mess

A messy update..."The Benefits of Mess":
Flexibility - to adapt and change more quickly, more dramatically, in a wider variety of ways, and with less effort.
Completeness - more able to comfortably tolerate an exhaustive array of diverse entities
Resonance - an easier time falling into harmony with is environment and with otherwise elusive sources of information and change, deriving useful influence form them.
Invention - mess randomly juxtaposes and alters a system's elements and rotates them to the fore where they're more easily noticed, leading to new solutions
Efficiency - able to accomplish goals with a modest consumption of resources and can sometimes shift the burden of work to the outside world.
Robustness - because mess tends to loosely weave together disparate elements, messy systems are more resistant to destruction, failure and imitation.

The next chapter describes the types of messy people. I wonder what kind I am? I've been known to be obsessive with neatness and order, but I've always had it in my mind to try and get the most work done with the least amount of effort. Thus leaving more time for leisure activities. For example, if I'm going to the basement to get something, I try to take to the basement something that needs to go rather than go down empty handed and end up making two trips. This method can be practical some times, but entirely frustrating when trying to make several stops to different stores on a single outing while also traveling with children. Enter: Walmart and the boom of one-stop shopping. (another topic for another time) The other side of me sees the enormous benefits of the messiness and stability of organic gardening with regards to disease/pest resistance, soil moisture retention, etc... Then there's the orderliness required with babies learning to crawl and who, out of curiosity, like to empty shelves, bins, etc... I look about the house with its toy-covered floor I've accepted that the toys don't need to always be put away. As long as there's a pathway between the rooms/bathroom so as not to cause bodily injury during the night then what's to worry about. Speaking of night time.....

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The ol' spare tire

So I guess I have reason to be lucky I haven't actually gained any weight in the past three years. (read it now because the link only works as long as the Times offers free access otherwise you'll have to pay or, gasp, go to the library and look it up) Another option is to Google this: "Physical Activity Study" Hull Pittsburgh The first several hits are stories about the study.

Otherwise, here's a summary from the Times. "Parents have long griped that having children sidetracks their best-laid exercise plans. Now they have evidence. A first-of-its-kind study released in May by the University of Pittsburgh concluded that parenthood demonstrably reduces physical activity, while marriage has only a negligible effect. Just how big a hit do active parents take? Roughly 525 participants were tracked for two years, as part of a 17-year study called the University of Pittsburgh Physical Activity Study. Those who remained childless lost only a half hour of physical activity per week, while those who had children lost about three and a half hours. Men, in particular, were affected. Women, who exercised on average four hours before children, lost about 90 minutes a week once they became mothers. New fathers, who used to log just under eight hours of activity weekly, cut back a whopping four and a half hours." Which begs question: what about dad's who stay home with the kids?!

Fortunately, there is this caveat to the study: "Only parents of newborns and toddlers took part, so the researchers don’t have data to suggest the same would be true of parents of teenagers."

So there's hope that if I start practicing soon, I'll still be able to outrun them in the future. Stay Tuned.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

What a mess....

Before you watch any more HGTV or Martha Stewart; before you buy that next issue of Real Simple; before spending (any more of) your money at the Container Store or Organized Living....Read this: A Perfect Mess, the book, or A Perfect Mess, the blog. They pull back the curtain on the organizational "industry" and look in-depth at the cost/benefit of putting forth the time and money to "get organized" when you might actually have less stress or increase profits if you just do what you know and quit worrying about if others think you're a mess. To put it very briefly, not to mention hitting a little close to home, "When people are anxious about their messy homes and offices or their disorganized schedules, it's often not because the messiness and disorder are causing problems, but because people simply assume (author's italics) they should be neater and more organized and feel bad that they aren't." The authors aren't talking about "chaos theory, complexity theory, networking, emergent behavior (?), self-organizing systems, distributed management, or any of the anti-centralized-control theories..." Rather, "mess for what it is -- a lack of order." This book is for everyone, whether or not you admit to being a neat-freak, because as they put it "Being messy and disordered and disorganized, as we mean it, is just what you probably think it is: scattering things, mixing things around, letting things pile up, doing things out of order, being inconsistent, winging it." In other words, everyone. Well, ok, everyone except you that is. I wouldn't dare presume otherwise.

"If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then, is an empty desk?" -- Albert Einstein

Friday, June 29, 2007

I'm going to regret this

I'm going out on a limb here, but I can't shut myself up anymore. I have to write about abortion. I know, I am bound to regret this, but the issue just bugs me. We have got to find a way to work together on this issue. I get the impression that pro-lifers think that us pro-choicers think that abortion is great. That is not the case. On the other hand, pro-choicers are in such a defensive stance that we make it seem like abortion isn't a problem. I really wish abortions didn't happen. The whole thing is kind of sad, but it would be more sad have women dying from illegal abortions. What if we worked together to reduce the number of abortions. I read that about 1/2 of all abortions are on women who got pregnant while using birth control. That is a lousy statistic. It seems like that would be a relatively easy place to make improvements. Although I recognize that some that are against abortion are also against birth control. It seems like there have to be other ways. There have got to be studies out there on why women have abortions and there have got to be other ways to help these women not get pregnant, so they don't have to make this choice. Whatever you know about it, I would love to hear it. I just know we have to move away from these polar opposites of "not legal under any circumstances" and "we won't even talk about the negative consequences" or this debate will never end.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Look! Out the window, it's.....

I had to reflect on our recent trips to Missouri & Arkansas after reading the column My Turn in the recent issue of Newsweek ("...we had daily 'tech checks' to make sure everything was charged. There were so many cords traversing the minivan, it looked like a fully equipped kidney-dialysis unit."). While our trek was quite a bit shorter than the 1200 miles undertaken by the author and her family, it was, nonetheless, uncharted territory for us. For most people (without children) a journey from here to Arkansas would be about a 6 hour drive. With children, especially when both are under 4 years-old, it could be 7 hours, it could be 10! The longest journey we'd taken with Joe, prior to Columbia a few weeks ago, was 4 hours - also to Columbia - and he slept the whole way there - and back if I recall! Isaac had never traveled more than 2 hours before going to Columbia and he did amazingly well too. We left at 7:15 am for Arkansas to allow plenty of time so we didn't arrive just before sunset and have to eat, set up our tent, and get the boys to sleep. Also, not wanting to press our luck, we had a DVD player as our backup plan. Fortunately we've been blessed with two wonderful young travelers as both were able to entertain themselves or were napping. Of course, there were also the requisite diaper changes and potty stops. Occasionally, Joe even helped entertain Isaac. I have to admit, though, traveling is easier since Joe is a bit infatuated with all things mechanical - trucks, trains, buses, planes, farm equipment, even irrigation systems. All of which were in ample supply the entire route. On the return trip we didn't rush quite as much (partially since found out that when our speedometer showed 74, we were actually doing closer to 80 - so that's why no one passed us!). However, we also spent 45 minutes for lunch at the county park in Butler MO. It turned out to be one of the most memorable parts of the whole, 9-hour trip. I'm happy to say that for the whole time we were gone we never even turned on the DVD player. Granted they're still quite young, but I'm going to encourage my boys to watch as much scenery as possible. When you're traveling scenery changes and it's gone once you're past it. We can watch a movie anytime, anywhere.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A trip to Eureka Springs



We just returned from a trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas with my family. I would rate it as neutral. Nothing bad happened and it was nice spending time with the family, but ES is not ideal for small children. We did find some neat things to do. We saw Onyx cave, went on a ride on an old fashioned train, saw lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) at a wild animal refuge and did a lot of swimming. It was just tiring keeping Isaac entertained while keeping him from choking on the billions of rocks filling our campsite. We were also interested to discover that Eureka Springs is like a Mecca for bikers. The KOA was filled with Harley's. I must say they were nice people, they just stayed up a bit later than I would have liked. My favorite moment was Joe explaining everything to us about the railroad. I don't think I've ever seen him that happy.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Weddings

I just read this great article in Alternet about weddings. I still can't talk about our wedding without getting in a huff. I have to say that there are so many days in our marriage that outshine that one. Maybe we could help make weddings more sane by giving more simple options, and by banning Martha Stewart. That woman was the root of all evil in our wedding, that and family pressures. I'm just thankful to have sons so I will, hopefully, never have to plan another shin-dig like ours! I should also say that if it hadn't been for our friends and family that helped that day, we may not have been able to pull it off.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Vacation





We just got back from a family gathering in Columbia, MO. We all got together at a farm outside of town. It was a great place. They have a passive solar house, pond, garden, 2 steers, chickens, ducks, and sheep. There were even 2 lambs born while we were there.
It was, as always, good to spend time with Kirk's side of the family. It has been made clear that I am the bossy one of the group. I had always thought that this was seen as a negative. I was told this weekend, though, that this is appreciated. I'm not sure I believe this yet, so I'll try to keep the power from going to my head.
Unfortunately I had a cold the entire weekend, so I was not able to participate in all activities. I got a spin around the pond in the canoe, a s'more, and lots of chats with the family, so it was good overall.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Need a good laugh....

I'm a bit out of the loop, or web, in this case. I just (re)discovered The Onion - the videos are a new feature. If you like The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, you'll want to check out the onion.

Featured Article

Ellen Goodman is the best! She has a great article this week. Check it out.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I blog therefore I am

I was just reading Al Gore's new book, "The Assault on Reason". One thing he was talking about was how people are receiving input all the time, but don't feel heard. I wonder if that is why blogs have become so popular. It's a forum to say what you think, to put it out into the world. I don't really even care if anybody is reading this. I feel the need to express myself in some manner regardless of the audience. I write to my representatives and receive back a computer generated response. No one has the time to sit and debate politics anymore. But here I can spout what I feel. I would like a response. I would like for a chance to hear and be heard by others in an open and reasoned environment. Until then, I blog.

Memorial Day


We had a great time with my brother and his family today.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Kirk escapes the house

Kirk has a job! Through very meandering channels we found out about a job helping at an organic orchard/garden east of Manhattan just a few hours a week. Coincidentally, the owner is the wife of my former boss. I don't know her well, but my impressions of her have been entirely positive. This is the perfect fit for Kirk, a chance to get out of the house a little, doing something he loves, and make a little money at the same time.
The strange thing is, it all goes back to Deep Economy and Bill McKibben. I went on his website and found a link for Local Harvest which led me to Lala's which, at closer examination was owned by someone I know. So I signed up for their e-mailing list and 2 e-mails later, my husband has a new job. Destiny takes a hand. I'll try to get some pics to post.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Quotes of the Day

"We know how to do many things, but do we know what to do?"

"It's not what you can afford, it's what you choose to spend your money on."

-E.F. Schumacher from Small is Beautiful

Death & Taxes (ok, just taxes)

My fine city is in the process of reviewing next year's budget and, of course, the city staff are proposing an increase in the mill levy. While a lesser increase will probably pass, it got me thinking. The other day a fairly large branch fell from a tree in front of my house. Fortunately, it fell in the street and not on my son who was playing on just the other side of the tree. My neighbors also got off lucky because they often park where the limb fell. So this happened in the late afternoon and in the process of looking online for the phone number so I could call the appropriate city department I saw a form that anyone can use to report tree "issues" directly from the city's website. So I did. Within the next two hours the limbs were cleaned up and then by 9:30 the next morning a city employee was in front of my house preparing his truck so that he could go up in the bucket and remove any other "dangerous" branches. My first thought was "Wow! that was fast!" My second thought was "I certainly don't have a problem with paying my property taxes." Anyone who lives in this town and has ever benefited from or used a city service should be impressed with the quality of the city's staff and administration. I'm not positive of all the entities that are supported by property taxes, but we have a fine library, police & fire departments not to mention the water quality and many pleasant parks. Basically, any resident who lives within the city limits is getting a good deal for the money. The latest figures from the city are that if you paid $739 in taxes for 2007, you'll pay $879 in 2008. Let's break this down. That comes to $2.02 per day this year and, possibly, $2.41 per day next year. That's less than a small decaf latte (at least the one I bought today - and quite good I must say) or about twice as much as a 20-ounce bottle of soda. I don't smoke, but I'm guessing a pack costs more. Think about it. You're getting clean streets, parks, water, a wonderful library, and police/fire departments - sorry if I left out anyone. We all have our vices so let's really put this in perspective before we pass judgment! Lastly, for those of you concerned about property tax increases and the effects on homeowners who live on a fixed income, then if you are truly concerned about increases in property taxes why don't you consider replacing them with an municipal income tax??!
I know, I know, we need more posts. And yet, what to write. Life is very much the same, day after day. It sounds so boring, but it is so good. This morning Joe & I laid on the floor under his quilt tent and admired the way the light brought the colors of both sides through. Total bliss.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

BBC

Expanding on the link I posted to Radio Scotland, the shows I highly recommend are Tom Morton , Iain Anderson, and Global Gathering. The BBC radio player has a plethora of shows and their video file - Video Nation - is quite entertaining as well. I found, by chance, a clip of a farmer who runs a chicken rescue - yes, he rescues and houses unwanted chickens. If it weren't amazingly humane, it'd be quite hilarious.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Quote of the day

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
Virginia Woolf

Friday, May 11, 2007

Deep Economy

I need to write more about this book. He also emphasizes the importance of community. I just don't feel enough can be said about how we need to work on re-establishing community networks. We don't know how to relate to each other anymore. I don't know what global warming will bring, but it seems clear that in order for us to adapt, we will need to depend on one another.
And we can't just build community with those who think just like us. We have to relate with those who disagree in order to move beyond the current polarization.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What I'm reading

I'm reading a great book by Bill McKibben called "Deep Economy". Kirk forced me to read it (I hate economics), but I'm loving it. McKibben says that one way to have a huge impact on global warming is for us to make our economies more local - less shipping food, more on-site energy. It makes a lot of sense. We have been buying our milk and beef locally for a while now. We'd like to do more produce and chickens. We found a web site, www.localharvest.org that shows local suppliers for most things. It takes more time to shop, so we'll have to ease into it, but I think in the long run it will be worth it.
Of course, we also need to get Kirk back in the garden and in the kitchen. Once the boys are a little bigger. . . We seem to say that a lot.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

In the beginning

Ok, I feel the need to do this blog for work. As a librarian, I have to catch up on technology. I just can't imagine what I would have to say that others could possibly want to read! I'm at the library today and things are slow, but I've gotten a pathfinder about Jane Austen done. I'll admit it. I'm an addict. I could pretty much read anything about Austen. I'm working on a festival for next January. My husband laughs at me, but in a loving way. OK, that's all for today. I'll try to come up with something more interesting for next time.