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


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, 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.