Archive for February, 2007

real food

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

I just had some eggs from a friend who has too many this time of year. I buy good quality free range eggs from the Co-op but there is just nothing like the fresh ones. I am constantly renewing my awe of real food – fresh, organic, unprocessed. My whole body is happy.

The eggs are different sizes and colors and the yolks are bright orange. Fluffy fluffy scrambled eggs with a pinch of flavorful salt from the seashores of France via Morgan and York.

With all the scheduling conflicts and snow days and vacations in the middle of s subject and kids out of school for Model UN and German Day my health class is out of wack and I know I’ve failed in imparting this enthusiasm and excitement to the kids. Can I still do it?

The best method – feed them. Do I have the time and energy to get something together before Friday at 8 AM? I’ll feel I’ve failed them if I don’t somehow change this.

Meanwhile, I planted 10 varieties of pepper plants (40 plants in all) and today I’ll do the tomatoes. I suspect an early spring and a great season next year. Real food.

Stepping Outside of the Ann Arbor Bubble

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

I wrote that having my op ed piece published is a little scary. Exposing. In some ways it isn’t – I’m safe within the bubble of Ann Arbor where my friends and family and clients and people who I hang out with agree wholeheartedly with what I wrote. Bubbles are nice, I like to come home to one. But a larger perspective and exposure is so valuable.

Sort of a theme for the week. Stepping outside of the bubble of right and wrong. Looking for other ways that the connection is important.

I’ve been floating ideas for the renegade ad hoc group of APTA members who are frustrating and concerned about the direction the organization has taken. We have basic core values – sharing info and transparency the primary one – but also some ways we diverge. But a great group to work with because it has been done so openly and with discussion sharing ideas and exploring the differences. Lovely change.

I’ve also been talking to some farmers, who tend to be more conservative. Also a few people who hold strong religious views. Also lovely. Our dairy farmer is pretty conservative – it was actually fun to do a bit of teasing back and forth, agree on a few perspectives politically, and then change the subject back to more comfortable ground. Yet the friendship and respect is growing both ways.

I think I’ve always felt this way, seeing the power of diversity and the inherent value of differing points of view. But this week the ideas and connections are a little different, a little deeper, maybe more personal? See what happens when you start putting more emphasis on community… it comes to you in all the many forms and dimensions and your brain has to work and expand and before you know it you start to change for the better.

My Editorial Printed

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

I have a guest column type editorial in today’s Ann Arbor News. Love the headline they chose “Denial of same-sex benefits weakens the entire social fabric”

My address isn’t listed in the phone book, so I won’t get hate mail. In the letters column just above my piece there is a weird letter about same sex marriage is like calling a strawberry rhubarb pie something else and damaging marriage as a result. Always helps your point when the opposition next door is incomprehensible.

When I do these things I feel proud, I feel exposed, I feel adrenaline rushes, I feel powerful, I feel the pain of any error I find after the fact, it is a mix of stuff. But important — if nothing else my gay and lesbian friends know I’m there for them and willing to say it in public out loud and as forcefully as I can while still having some hope of winning over someone on the fence.

We just all have to speak up more often!

Stop Junk Mail

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

You can register on line or send in a form, it costs $1 to be removed from the junk mails lists. It is one more way to help decrease greenhouse gases and help solve the climate crisis.

A little levity

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

One of my Rudolf Steiner students told me he thought the whole raw milk thing was similar to a cult. Then he showed me the cult sign. milk-cult.jpg

You may have to have milked a cow to apreciate the symbolism…

Indulge a dog lover…

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

zandld.jpeg

This is Zomba and I just about 8 years ago when she was still a puppy.

Zomba

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

And the best friend most deserving of a space on my blog –
zomba-curled-couch.JPG

photo of mustard

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

mustard.JPG
I figured out how to upload photos thanks to my nephew!
So I’ll start with this lovely mustard plant that grew into December this year.

Maybe It’s About Community

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

An addendum to my post on community, I wanted to mention a story I wrote in 2000 that was published by The Ann Arbor Observer. A true story, it is about a neighbor with mental illness who died alone. Three weeks after his death, I was involved in the strange experience of figuring out he was dead, contacting the police and then going through the experience of being there when they found his body. And then there was the aftermath.

I called the story “Maybe It’s About Community”. My crazy neighbor who was alternately friendly and helpful, then suddenly hostile and threatening, I ended up being deeply involved in his life and his life story. We could have literally left him to rot, yet a number of people came together to notice something was wrong and finally take action. I’m not saying we were quick to respond, and it was with a great deal of hesitation that I got as involved as I did, but it seemed the only choice as well. He was my neighbor for almost 20 years.

Part of the delay was he died just as I had a uterine artery embolization for a fibroid tumor, and was hanging out recovering and not paying as much attention to what was happening around me. But read the story – it is gruesome and sad and also pretty wonderful.

Real Milk and the FDA

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

I sent this note to the people who are part of our herdshare:

No word yet on the Family Farms Co-op status and the letter from the FDA. For more on what you can do
http://www.familyfarmscoop.com/newsletters/newsletter/3963989/37978.htm

The Amish farmer has to respond by next week, according to the letter.

As a kid I had a poster of the poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller that begins “First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist”

That poem has formed a lot of my political activism since high school. The larger issues in this case are of great concern to all of us who want access to healthy food and the right to choose where our food comes from. The government is specifically intimidating small farmers and clearing the way for big business agriculture. Whether it is cloning, the addition of antibiotics and rBGH, irradiation, and GMOs the push is for no labeling, and no choice. Not only is this food becoming invisible, without labeling there is no mechanism to report problems or reactions to it. Damaging evidence concerning GMOs (from good scientific studies) has been suppressed and researchers intimidated. (Watch the additional features of the DVD film by Deborah Garcia The Future of Food).

The case for Family Farms is small, it doesn’t apply to us directly, and with the main issue of concern the interstate commerce it may seem irrelevant. But the way the MDA and now the FDA conducted themselves, the ground they would gain against herd share farmers by winning this case, all are very relevant to us. If they succeed in shutting down this farmer, there is every reason to believe the MDA and possibly the FDA will start moving down the list. So if you haven’t spoken up yet, please do. The suggestions on what actions to take are on the family farms link above.

Another source for updates is David Gumpert’s blog. He has a new post now with additional calls for action.