Friday, December 12, 2008

oh, pretty abecedarius....


the peaceful, albeit incongruous, menagerie of animals real and imagined romp through the pages of this book based on the shaker abecedarius.

i love the bits of pious wisdom speckled along the book in 3pt text. remember being 7 yrs old, writing 'if you can read this, i'm your best friend' in the tiniest handwriting you could muster? well, this book offers devout shaker wisdom to the parents who subliminally receive its message as the children are busy seeking out the declared animals illustrated in the most lovely seventies style...

a man of kindness to his beasts is kind
brutal actions show a brutal mind

this is an emblem of my love.
receive it from my little dove.

come gather under my wings of peace.

a peaceable kingdom, and you can get it for 0.50!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

in awe of all things grown















































































































































Most days I walk around feeling that, like all moms, I do quite a lot of things, and that I do them well. I look at my girls and I ask them if they are having a happy childhood. I ask them every day. I believe they are happy. I know they are; they still believe in fairies. I shelter them from media, from tv, from processed food, from plastic. I think I'm doing a good job caring for them, playing with them, teaching them social responsibility, honor, respect and self-confidence. Most days I feel proud that I'm nourishing their bodies with biodynamic, organic food that we purchase locally from our farming friends through our CSA. My business is thriving, I'm learning to find balance, I feel ok. Most days.

Every now and then, there is this little nagging reminder that I'm truly relying on the universe around me for EVERYTHING. The little tiny voice grows louder and louder and then screams in my head with an alarming pitch that "wait a minute"! I ACTUALLY LACK JUST ABOUT EVERY BASIC SKILL NEEDED TO CARE FOR MY FAMILY. What if? What if we run out of gas again for absolutely no reason like we did in TN just a few months ago? Sure, I can grow basil on the windowsill, but that's about it. My house plants die. I'm too busy to notice them when there are rabbits and stray cats to feed and kids that want a drink every 5 minutes. The plants are last on the priority list. They die.

And then I read one sentence in 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle' that resonates with me to the point of anxiety. "We are the most overfed society on the brink of starvation" I'm sure that's not an exact quote but I'm too busy to look it up. We all know about genetically-modified food, but I didn't really understand the terminator gene. This gene that has been deliberately placed, prevents the seed from reproducing the following year, forcing the farmer to purchase seeds from Monsanto every single year. This means we are potentially one season away from that crop's death.... one season from... I can't even go there.

So. My daughter comes home from school telling me her little friend's dad is quitting his job as a CPA to be a farmer. I'm so envious I can't stand it and I plot for months to get invited to the farm for a play date. I want to see the chickens, I want to see the greenhouse. He's actually doing it. I can't believe anyone can be so brave. Our family would truly starve to death within 4 days if we couldn't get to whole foods.

They invited us to dinner to celebrate his new career and every single item had been grown in their garden. Yes, we even ate their chickens that they slaughtered a few months ago. Sorry to all the vegans ( I was with you for 15 years. I *know*) but I've found peace relaxing in this imperfect world and just enjoying how someone else might do it. This chicken was grilled with a coke can shoved up his... well, it's interesting. Isn't it? It's ok that we don't drink coke, it was something new and oh, was it yummy. The sweet potatoes, the salad with black walnuts collected by the kids, the pumpkin pie... oh, the pumpkin pie... this is not from a can, you know... this was one of 3 pumpkins they harvested this year and they spent it on our pie. My husband is still talking about the pie. We had so much food that nobody could get off the sofa, away from the fire and back into the 25 degree night...next time we are spending the night....next time i'll take notes. like our lives depend on it.