Friday, May 23, 2008

Local Farms

Some of you may be getting tired of my social/political entries... but its heavy on my mind lately... I can't help it.
This week Murv was able to do a workshop on our land for a high school economics class which may turn into a teaching position for him at an alternative high school doing a greenbuilding class next year-- very cool! It was really great to have enthusiastic kids come to our place and see what we are trying to do. One of the things he talked to the students about was that he does not want to encourage a "sky is falling" mentality or a critical attitude toward where we are today as a society, but that we would like to do all we can to give be more conscientious citizens of the planet and give future generations alternatives and solutions to some of the messes we are handing them. Hence the reason he is so passionate about using products generated from the waste stream in our own communities to put back into the community in useful ways that are healthy, as well as making less of a carbon footprint and harnessing energy sources that are limitless, etc...

I have seen three or four articles in the paper lately that are food for thought...
This morning I read in the paper that an 18 wheeler diesel truck currently costs $1300 to fill up and gets between 4.5-6.5 MPG. Are you wondering why food prices are going up? Then I saw this awesome article about a FARM charter school in Austin that is teaching kids math, science, art etc.. by growing preparing and selling food! They also have a strict policy about making healthy eating choices at school. The teachers say since they have implemented this vision in their school they have seen the students be able to pay attention, learn more, have more energy and stay focused! Imagine that... cut out cheetos and coke and you can actually pay attention and learn better... ? Really? And teach them those habits while they are still young so its not so hard to give all the crap up. Give kids hands on opportunities to learn and give them lifelong skills of being able to grow their own food. How intelligent is that?
Last week my friend Jamie and I went to Farmer's markets and talked to local farmers and producers about supplying our food buying group with their products. They were very excited (like hungry animals almost) about the prospects of being able to supply what they grow to larger groups without having to travel to 5-10 farmers markets every week and constantly losing profit because of rising fuel costs. I looked into their eyes. They are a dying breed. They work so hard and can barely stay alive. If they get too much rain, or not enough, or some pest that wipes them out they could literally lose their livelihood. If some dumb kids decide to set off fireworks in their orchards, it could take them three years to recover (true story told to me by a peach farmer). They live by the sweat of their brow, and are largely unknown and unthought about. I promised myself I will buy their food whenever I can instead of opting for the grocery store convenience of hormone and pesticide ridden food grown hundreds to thousands of miles away and shipped across the country. TRY TO BUY LOCAL if at all possible-- we all win! That's my spiel for the day... and with it a tribute to Arnosky Family Farms-- they are about 15 miles down the road from me and along with growing exquisite flowers, they provide goat cheese, herbs and fresh vegetables-- and they have an inspiringly beautiful happy barn which came to be through an old fashioned community barn raising!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Laughing is good

Ok- so Im' not sure if this will be as funny to you as it was to me but I laughed so hard I actually ALMOST peed my pants...

Yetserday Murv and i took a trip to see my midwife. As we were driving home he decided to stop by the Blanco River and wash his feet in the river and put on some new shoes-- He has been wearing his boots (with shorts) because he hasn't been able to find any shoes that are compatible with his very sensitive skin on his feet. Anyway he finally found a pair that he is going to try out and decided to get his feet nice and clean so he could put his new ones on. I happened to have some soap in my bag in the car (always ready if a shower opportunity presents itself) so I got it out for him. He was sitting on this steep incline washing his feet and all the sudden I heard a muffled "aaugh" sound and looked over just in time to see him slide all the way down the incline and up to his chest in water. I so wish I had before and during pictures of this moment. I have to say this is one thing I love about Murv too-- I would have been so mad-- he just started laughing and didn't mind that I was laughing too. Anyway the only dry clothing options in the car happened to be a pair of MY swimming shorts. They are like those soft felty board shorts and they happen to be pregnant size, and pretty girly colors. As he was putting them on he exclaimed, these are really nice! You might have to know Murv for this to be as funny as it was but, watching him wearing my shorts was on my top five funiest things this year...

A picture is worth a thousand words

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy/Sad again...

Wednesday was the day. Diesel hit its all time high jumping from $4.29 to $4.45 overnight in our town...

And it just so happened to fall on the last day of our lease-- so with joy ( and a little sadness) we put a 5 dollar bill into the tank, which got us almost exactly enough fuel to drive it about twenty miles and drop the Jeep off at the nearest dealership. It was a little ironic to feel the liberation of letting "Liberty" go. We will miss her gutsy little diesel engine, her tow package and the AC-- she took us all over this country and without her we would not have been able to do all the things we have done on our cabin or our land

BUT We are downsizing to a 1971 Honda 600-- (40-50 MPG!) And she is cute to boot. Murv is in the process of now of getting her running.

Its a little scary and challenging to not be able to pull the trailer anymore and have all that space and power, but we are taking our stand. We are currently talking with neighbors and friends about some kind of "community truck" we all pitch in for and have access to-- to be able to get materials and supplies and haul stuff...(Murv says he is going to sue exxon for disrupting his quality of life-- he thinks he has a pretty good case-- the next erin brockovitch story).
I honestly don't know how our country can keep going this way...While diesel is horrible, gas is not much better...they say gas should hit $4.00 by next month! People, how are we going to be able to continue driving to work and school? How are all the trucks going to be able to continue to afford to drag all the crap we want to buy at walmart and target back and forth across the country? I mean seriously? Somethings gotta give.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

To Houston, to Houston...

Last weekend on the spur of the moment, Murv decided to take me to Houston as my first mothers day gift--to see my long time friend Merri Lyn. Merri Lyn is a golf coach and one of her players made it into the NCAA tournament. Since she lives in PA I don't get to see her much and since the two days preceeding the trip the temperature was 99 and then 100... I was pretty excited for a little escape! It was so fun to be spontaneous and "run away." We stayed in Merri Lyn's hotel room with her right in the middle of downtown Houston. We were very lucky because we arrived in Houston just after midnight on Saturday and it just so happens that the only time parking is free in Houston is on Sunday! So we got a good safe spot pretty close to the Hotel and ddin't have to pay $25.00 for hotel parking. Sunday we got to watch Merri Lyn's player (cute girl from Peru that was very confused about why Murv was wearing boots with shorts at the golf course :))practice for the tournament at a really pretty golf course. We had a lot of fun tooling around on Merri Lyn's official Cal U coach golf cart-- we saw beautiful wildflowers, ducks, turtles sunning themselves, all kinds of beautiful old trees, and free cold water at every hole. The course was so pretty and there was a nice breeze and we really had a great time messing around and laughing like kids again!
We also found an amazing art studio that we checked out. I took some pictures of this rusted sculpture of a man playing the upright bass-- he was padlocked to the back gate at this amazing studio. Its actually a studio and residence of the artist-- at the same time-- so cool.
Anyway I was definitley ready to get out of the big city but it was a great little weekend adventure.

Leaving Wimberley-- ahh so pretty...

Saturday, May 10, 2008


This is my tribute to moms...
i feel it in my whole being-- this joy of creating and nurturing life-- and awe and respect for so many amazing mothers that I look up to and hope I can become like in this journey I have begun...
Morning Song
Sylvia Plath
Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.
Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue. In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.
I'm no more your mother
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind's hand.
All night your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ear.
One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat's. The window square
Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you tryYour handful of notes;The clear vowels rise like balloons.

Friday, May 9, 2008

good things

i like to be inspired.
A few months ago my sister heather posted a movie called once on her blog. i watched it and i thought it was brilliant.

then i heard the two stars of the film hooked up in real life and are now called "the swell season"

I looked them up and found out they won an oscar, and now they are on tour making music all over the world. i have been listening to them online while I am at the library everyday. i have to admit i keep playing the song 'falling slowly'-- over and over and over again...don't know why but i love this song....can't get enough of it.

and this inspired me...
another thing that inspires me:

murv is following his dreams: he is brave and creative... i love watching him when he is in "the flow"...the other day i came outside and saw him out in the field in his overalls collecting wild flowers and pressing them into some of the leftover scrap from his padobe making venture-- beautiful...which by the way he made 75 padobes last weekend!
and the final inspiration shot:
my first bare belly shot--which is brave for me :)
that belly and that body are making a life...there is another person in there!
that is pretty amazing...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

About 34 weeks

I have about 6 more weeks to go...I seriously can't stop smiling
I am still loving being pregnant-- my face and my feet are starting to get swollen...but it's pretty cool to be in constant communion with this little kid. I can't wait till we get to meet! I am even feeling pretty cool about the whole labor and delivery thing... :)

ok-- this one made me laugh so hard I had to post it-- its freaking (and freakishly) hilarious to me

I love the little bean!