Archive for May, 2008

changes – my self indulgent side

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

It seems that every month has brought substantial upheaval in the last 7 months. I start it all when Zomba died, such and all consuming devastating loss, ending an era of love and opening that I just never thought possible for me. Next thing I know this challenging puppy love comes barreling into my life – Nala arrived mid November. Such a different dog, such a challenge and an adjustment in temp and temperament and activity. The next month I met Gary, and a long period of that special loneliness began to end. That was also the month when we learned the extent of my brother’s illness, and that devastating change for his life began more seriously.

I’m affected by the physical changes around me – most recently the ongoing painting of my house, the upheaval in and out to accommodate that, part of a a huge tree removed in my back yard Friday – the whole space transformed from that, trampled plants, as well as new light in the back. But every part of my house all the way around is just in transition. I just had to leave for the lake, but out there we’re still recovering from the roofing project and the upset from that, as well as repairs to the bath tub.

Babies, changes in friendships, yep, life is about change and the ride has been extra intense the last year. No more land line, every phone call is different. Major curriculum shift for my high school class. I’ve lost more weight nad gained more muscle, so even my body doesn’t feel the same. More bones, more muscle definition, on it goes.

Just too much sometimes. Can I retreat for a bit and have some integration time? Hold on to what is now in my life and keep it still? No. Especially not with the two newest key players, Nala and Gary, and with the oldest players, my family members who remain medically fragile. Can’t hold on, can’t stop what is next.

And that doesn’t even begin to take in the world around me, and the devastating events from around the world and nearby. And political bizarreness beyond the imaginable.

I’m just a lot overwhelmed but hanging in there living life as fully as I know how and working to expand that knowledge.

wild and in season

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Of course asparagus is all over the place, and I’ve grilled it steamed it broiled it baked it and eaten it raw.
While wild things have been on the table for a few weeks, Friday night was the first full picked fresh salad, to be repeated tonight for a larger group.

I’ll try and list the ingredients from the two nights – garlic mustard, lamb’s quarters, garlic greens, dandelion, grape tendrils, chickweed, chive blossoms, dame’s rocket flowers, violets, violet leaves, mustard flowers, mustard greens, baby kale, baby collards, baby black raspberry leaves, plantain, yellow dock. A simple dressing made from canola oil, balsamic vinegar, and crumbled blue cheese, walnut would have been nice but we were at the lake so not possible.

Oh yum yum yum. Friday we also had fresh nettles on the side, lightly boiled, still in season and wonderful.

There is something fabulous also about sitting outside, eating those greens and flowers within view of where they cam from.

Berries are ripening, greens are growing, the squash is up, the tomatoes are behind but still hanging in, we’re off and running. The rhubarb is over, Gary and I made a great crisp last weekend with some of his homemade granola. Time to check out the farmers market for other local and fresh stuff, and clear out the freezer downstairs ready to fill it up!

an even scarier bee hypothesis

Friday, May 30th, 2008

In this article, the question is raised if bees are dying off from the ever increasing amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere. Bees have a natural response to mitigate high CO2 levels, but if the amount is too high and can’t be brought down, the hive dies. Could this be another factor, in addition to the chemicals, the stress from being fed high fructose corn syrup, and the various mites?

Scary, and profoundly sad that these glorious creatures are certainly responding to our errors in safeguarding them and the planet.

a few other graphs worth noting

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

song chart memes
more graph humor and song chart memes

funny graphs
more graph humor and song chart memes

funny graphs
more graph humor and song chart memes

funny graphs
more graph humor and song chart memes

funny graphs
more graph humor and song chart memes

song chart memes
more graph humor and song chart memes

song chart memes
more graph humor and song chart memes

charting the chances

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

song chart memes
more graph humor and song chart memes

If you don’t get it, you’ve missed on of the best movies ever made.

teaching

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

I just wrapped up my last class teaching at the Steiner school. No more until next year.

9th graders, and I’m teaching them about safety and addictions. I feel good about the class and the changes I made this year to further improve the curriculum. But 1/3 of the class just wasn’t into it, and resisted the whole way. It really made teaching harder. And I never saw an entry point, a way around it, and the rest of the class didn’t like wasting time on these others.

9th grade boys. I knew they were smart, I knew they had talent, they just didn’t want to use it or be seen. Today I asked if they really wanted to act out when I was going to be writing their evaluations in just a couple days. Yep, they did. Later a couple of them they asked if they could have another chance. Bad timing. It really was too late. Work on the timing, guys. you’ll have me again next year for nutrition and sex ed.

It will be interesting.

writers block

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Since my canoe trip I’ve been writing. And liking it. Not only did I complete a short story that seems to have been pretty impactful, I also broke through a major stumbling point on the book I’ve been struggling with. I submitted the short story to a major publication, I’ll work down the list from there as rejection is the most likely outcome. But you never know. It feels like buying a lottery ticket.

I think it is a combination of the time away and also not being Co-op President anymore. Yeah.

Space to think and be creative. I love it.

On with the book….

solving the primary problem

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

AI heard this great idea at a pancake breakfast I attended this weekend, and was encouraged to pass it on. I hadn’t heard it before, and it sure makes sense to me.

Simple – to avoid the whole who gets to go first primary season four years from now just hold a raffle at the end of the democratic convention. All 50 states plus the other places (Puerto Rico and the other non-voting but primary participating places) would be entered, and draw out their names and that is the order for the primaries. It would be different every year. A committee would need to help fill in the dates for everyone, and work with state legislatures that might have additional rules and restrictions, a few states might have to move down the queue because of local requirements, but all of that could be taken into account and worked out.

Fair is fair, the system broke this year, we in Michigan are still pissed (mostly at out Democratic leadership for screwing up and then compounding the error by not admitting it….) This would be a sensible way to get back on track, and no reason Iowa and NH should continue to demand to be first. This year proved that many psotions are important.

And four years should be enough advance notice.
Pass it on. Maybe someone will listen to reason.

balloons

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

One of my match.com dates was with a guy who did balloons as a part time job. Needless to say, he was fun to hang out with – twisting balloons spontaneously as we sat at a coffee place, attracting kids to the table to enjoy, and he made me a “Pregnant” dog – a balloon dog with a small balloon puppy inside. The balloon dogs and heart and a few other things lasted longer than the relationship….
Oh well.

But I thought of him when I saw this short video, which does show the fun of the balloon world although it is apparently part of a longer movie exposing the rift between balloonists who use them for Christian purposes and those who don’t….

I’m not saying people into making balloon creations are a tad weird…

Celebrating Strength

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

The ongoing theme for me especially this month is pushing limits, continuing to find out how far my body can go, creating a new strength and stamina for myself, losing the excess weight I carry and raising the bar of what an “active lifestyle” means for me.

I’ve been learning to welcome sore muscles. I’ve had a number of encounters with “I can’t do this” and just doing it anyway. I’ve used exercise as a way to recover from exercise, rather than working too hard and then turning sluggish. Canoing after roofing all day, taking a walk to deal with tiredness or stress, figuring out ways to leave behind the truck and walk or bicycle instead, all becoming habits rather than things to be talked into or that I push myself to do.

I hope that I can continue, full speed ahead, with no injuries, no getting off track, just becoming this different person who learns and enjoys through motion, activity, and doing.