Friday, October 30, 2009

Top Five Reasons Salem Sucks During Halloween

5. Traffic
I don't leave Salem because I would not be able to return.

4. Tour Buses
They let their billion people off right in the middle of the road. Where they stay.

3. Slutty Costumes
Please put some clothes on. I'm cold just looking at you.

2. People Disrespecting the Memorials
People wrongly died. Have some respect.

1. Effing Ferris Wheel

Angela's Adventures

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dear Mr. Senator,

Have you ever called your Congressman? Seriously. I know that I never mean it when someone complains about something dumb (like the weather) and I reply "Write your Senator," but it is super easy!

Confession: I had never called my Congressman until fairly recently. Maybe in the past 6 months. There was a bill in our state Senate to cut funding for Early Intervention. I could not attend the rally, so I called. I was wicked scared at first. What were they going to say? What was I going to say? But it was super easy.

First things first. Find out who your representatives in Congress are. Just enter your zip code under the "Get Involved" and TaDa! All the important people in your life. (Except your mom and dad and Grammy; you know what I mean.)

After you get the appropriate phone numbers prepare what you want to say. The last time I called I basically just told them that I wanted the Congressman to know that I support the President's health care plan. Then, depending on the office, they may ask your name, phone number and address. That is it. They are usually super nice and it's quick. Thirty seconds.

So, why should we bother? Lets be honest. Our lawmakers are not mind readers. Sure, they probably have an idea of what their constituents want, but maybe they are wrong. Maybe they only hear special interest groups. Or maybe you agree on their stance and just want to reinforce it. Basically, we voted for these people to represent us. We need to tell them what we support and what we don't.

Go call your Congressman. I am sure that you have an opinion on something. Then afterward, you can feel as though you did something. You made your opinion heard.

Even if it's different than mine ;-)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Adventures in Potty Training Part IV

This is what actually happened tonight.

He asked for his diaper to be changed. I asked if he needed to use the potty he said no.

I changed his diaper even though it didn't really seem wet.

He pooped in his new diaper.

I was about to put on a third diaper when he said he needed to use the potty.

He sat down and we read a book. He got up and nothing so he sat back down.

We read another book and he got up and nothing so he sat back down.

We read the first book again then he peed.

Then we had a potty party complete with Smokey the Bear stickers.

What is with the funky order?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dissecting All This H1N1 Information

Disclaimer: First off, I am by no means suggesting that H1N1 is not a serious virus that causes many people to become sick.

A coworker was explaining how he was definitely not getting the H1N1 vaccine because it causes paralysis. This got me to wondering. I am a scientist, therefore numbers are what make sense to me. Here we go.

The odds of contracting H1N1 is 5-30%. The odds of contracting the seasonal flu is 5-20%.

0.1% of H1N1 cases end in death. So, the odds of dying from H1N1 worldwide is 5 million to 1.

The odds of dying from the flu (any flu) during your lifetime is 1 in 62.8.
source: CDC

So what is the big deal? It seems comparable to the seasonal flu. The big deal is that severe seasonal flu reactions usually occur in people 65 and over. Not with the H1N1. They seem to be somewhat immune to the virus. So the severe reactions to H1N1 are occurring in younger people. Mostly from high risk groups still, though.

Here are some interesting facts in case you are still really scared of dying from H1N1.

The odds you will die from cancer is 1 in 6.8
The odds you will die from a vehicular collision with a deer is 1 in 28,831.3.
The odds you will die from lightning (this is a good point of reference) is 1 in 79,746.1.
The odds you will die from a dog attack is 1 in 208,225.9.
The odds you will die from a collapsing sand hole is 1 in 3,982,321.3.

source: Political Calculations

Those are all more likely than you dying from H1N1.

Okay the vaccine. You cannot get H1N1 from the vaccine. It needs cold to activate and your body is not cold.

Everyone seems to be worried about Guillain Barre Syndrome. Basically it "is a rare neurological illness with symptoms ranging from mild muscle weakness to complete paralysis." source: The Faster Times You can contract this syndrome from the virus itself. If the vaccine increases this risk, it is very slight bringing it up to 1 in 1 million. So basically if you are worried about contracting this then you should be worried about it whether you get the vaccine or not.

The big deal is that in 1976 the H1N1 vaccine was produced differently. The odds of getting Guillain Barre Syndrome in '76 was 1 in 100,000. That is indeed much higher. But now the vaccine is produced the same as all other flu vaccines.

Like with vaccines such as Tetanus and MMR the odds of getting serious side effects are smaller than contracting the disease. This is why people get vaccinated in the first place.

I know that there are people who do not believe in vaccines and they will not get this one. I respect that. But to say that this vaccine is more dangerous than any others, I believe, is a fallacy.

So, yes, wash your hands, cough into a tissue, get your vaccines and stop worrying so much about dying. You are far more likely to be killed going home from work today than being killed by this virus.

I'm Sticky

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bestest Blog

Melissa gave me this fabulous award!

It's okay to be jealous.

I know you are busy (okay, I am actually the busy one) so I will make this short. I want to pass this on to some of the newer blogs that I have been reading (new to me, maybe not to you.)

Lemmy Caution @ Alphaville is wicked funny.

So is iNDefatigable mjenks but you probably already knew that.

JenJen @ Jen's Voices is one of my new besties.

And so is Jen @ Yours + Mine = Ours.

You all rock. For real.

And apparently so do I ;)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

An October Sunday in Salem

An October Sunday in Salem is exceedingly different than a September Sunday in Salem.

A friend invited us over for pancakes and even though she lives all the way across town we opted to walk. I knew that driving would be a nightmare. Even on a Sunday morning. Never mind finding parking. We grabbed hoodies, being optimistic about the weather, and the stroller and left.

There were people everywhere. The pedestrians and vehicles vied for the same piece of road. There was a line in front of the Witch Museum that circled the block. Cameras everywhere were taking pictures of the buildings, statues and each other. There were many languages, most of which I could not make out.

We ate our breakfast and ventured out again. Today we could not play on the fountain. There were so many people that we could not even get near it. There were vendors selling everything from devil's horns and mittens to jewelry and soap. There were boy scouts selling popcorn and firefighters selling t-shirts. The smell of sausages were everywhere. I plopped down a fiver for a root beer float that was completely worth it.

As the day wore on, the sun got hotter and more costumes came out. I was glad we opted for hoodies and not jackets. We saw Elmo, a lion, a jailbird, faeries, a mad hatter, and, of course, lots of witches. Lots of dogs were dressed to match their owners. There was a person holding snakes and another with ferrets.

The smell of sausages was too alluring. We grabbed a couple along with some chicken tenders for Ryder and found a nice sunny relatively quiet spot in the cemetery to have lunch. We rested a bit until we saw a walking tour and decided to listen. The guide was talking about the white oak tree in the cemetery and how it was the younger cousin of the tree that was used to hang the accused out on Gallow Hill. We questioned how he knew the tree's lineage and continued on our way.

We walked and walked and walked never seeing the same people twice. There were lines to get into museums, haunted houses, stores. I felt like telling everyone to come back in two weeks and they would not have to wait a minute. But of course I didn't, and even if I had they would have thought I was crazy.

Ryder played in the hay bale maze with all of the other little children. He had so much fun running amongst those bales of hay. It is amazing how such a simple thing can be so amazing to children. They don't need fancy costumes or wax museums. They don't need their palms read or their auras photographed. They don't need the bouncy houses or the Ferris wheel.

We grabbed some candy at Ye Olde Pepper Company and some coffee at Jaho and made our way back for nap time. We bid adieu to our friends and walked home. I sit here exhausted with aching feet bathed in the blue lights from the Ferris wheel and I am satisfied. It was a beautiful fall day in a city like no other.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Welcome visitors!

I am hosting an anyonymous post for
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I hope to see you again.

Grandparents wanted: Serious applicants only. Persons who do not like children, never want to babysit, can't be bothered with birthday parties, are easily annoyed and think only of themselves need not apply.

That's right. I'm letting all out. My parents suck as grandparents and I'm making a vow right now that I will never be like them. Let me give you a few examples. Recently, my son had a birthday party. My in-laws went out of there way to come to the party, even requesting the day off of work. Here's the conversation I had with my dad.

"Oh is that this coming weekend?"

"Yes. Birthday parties are usually held around the time of your birthday."

"It's opening day for hockey here and I have tickets to an NFL game on Sunday. I think we will have to come some other weekend. I'll send him a card."

F**k your card. He doesn't want a card. He wants you to come out and see him. He wants you to take him to the hockey game. Just him. He wants you to visit us and not just for "special" occasions. He wants you to see him play baseball. Something you managed to do once in a 15 game season. He wants you.

Now let's move on to the converstation I had with my mom (note: My parents are divorced and remarried)

"Are you coming to the party this weekend?"

"Is you dad?"

"I'm not sure. Why do you care?"

"I don't. In fact, I have all week off of work."

"You could come out Friday and help me with the cake and go to this big school event we are having."

"Well, I told your grandmother that I would take her to Buffalo."


"Yeah, she wants to visit her brother. So by the time I get back and get home it will be Friday."


"Are you mad? I'll call you on my way home and let you know if we can come."

"Sure. Okay."

How many of you think she came? That's right, she didn't. How many of you think she called? That's right, she didn't. Not till Sunday when she knew we would be in church and then she left a message. A message that said, "sorry I couldn't make it to your party. I'll put a package in the mail for you this week."

F**k your package. Your grandson wants to see you. He wants to feel like he is important to you. He wants you to bring him a present, not mail him a present. He wants you to spend time with him, not send him to the basement with his new toy. He wants you.

And even though I'm 37, I want you both too.

I want to be more important than hockey.

I want to be more important that Buffalo.

I want you to want to visit.
Not feel like you have too.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009


This week I have chosen Mama Kat's prompt:

Describe how motherhood has changed you.

Gosh, how hasn't motherhood changed me? It has changed me physically, emotionally, psychologically, and any other -lys that you can think of.

My whole concept of parenting has changed. I realize that you do not need a billion books and every item at Babies R Us to raise a child. I never realized before that one good parent is better than two shitty parents. Maybe this sounds obvious, but it wasn't. I realize now that all single moms are not just slutty teenagers. Getting divorced is not going to ruin a child's life forever.

I never understood how my mom could have missed all the iconic movies and bands from the '80s. She always told me that she didn't watch movies, she raised children. I understand that now. I've been to the theater three times in the last three years. I used to go every week.

A girl at work told me once that she doesn't go anywhere without her children. She said she didn't want to go anywhere without them. That sounded like crazy talk, but not any more.

I never understood why people were so crazy about drive-thrus and full serves. Really? Can they not walk the few feet into the store? Nope, sometimes you can't. I thank God for drive-thrus and full serves now.

I thought that once I had children going places was over. Traveling was out of the question. You simply could not travel with children. Now, I am planning trips that I never dreamed of before.

I now know that I am self-sufficient. I am able to provide for my child. I am able to parent alone. I am able to care for someone other than myself. I am able to stand up for myself and him.

I now understand how lionesses feel when they are protecting their cubs. When we were bringing him home from the hospital, I felt like every other car on the road was a potential enemy. I silently dared one of them to hit the car. I would kill them.

I am more patient and more forgetful. My mom says it is because I have different priorities now. Where I left the car keys isn't as important as where the diapers are. I always know where the diapers are.

Before I was a mother I wanted to move all over the place. I lived in Denver and for a while was planning on moving to London. I applied for jobs all over the country. Now I want to stay here. I want my son near his family. I want him to be able to go to Grandma's house on the weekends. Although I do not want to move any closer than I already am. Ninety minutes is close enough.

I never knew how strong love was. I never knew that I could love someone as deeply and as completely as I love Ryder. I never knew that children loved their parents so much. I do love my parents, but, well, I don't know. Somehow it is different. I never really knew someone could love me so unconditionally. Again, I know my family does, but I guess it is different coming from a child.

What makes me cry is different now. Before it was cheesy romances. The Notebook killed me. Now sick little kids on Grey's Anatomy cause me to positively weep.

I don't get to sleep in anymore and I try to stay up later. I try not to watch horror movies while he is awake. Although, sometimes I do. I have stretch marks that will remain my battle scars. Most of all what has changed is knowing how much motherhood will change a person. I never imagined that my life would be so different. I never imagined that one little tiny person would cause me so much joy and change my life in so many ways.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Proverbial Straw

Post #100: It is gonna be depressing. But you probably expected no less. Anyways, I could have sworn that I had told this story before, but I can't find it. So, if I cannot read it I will retell it. Or tell it for the first time. Whatever.

Have you ever been unsure of what to do? Where to go? How to move forward? Then one small thing happens. Something that on any other day would not have been given a second thought and everything changes. All of a sudden you know exactly what to do. You know exactly where to go and how to get there. There were two such moments for me in my relationship with my ex that I cannot seem to shake. They are my proverbial straws.

We were living in Denver, far far away from our family and friends, when he left me. I was crushed. I did not know what had happened. Why things had turned out the way that they did. I was lost. I wanted so desperately for him to come back. I didn't know about the meth.

When he was high, he loathed me. When he was not, I was the fucking best. During these times we hung out. We went to dinner, we hung out at his bachelor pad, we hung out at my place. This was all very confusing for me, as you could imagine.

One of these days we were hanging out at my place. It started out as tickling and ended in sex. I was blissful. Finally we can put this all behind us. I don't remember what I said but I sure remember what he said.

"This doesn't change anything."

That was it. Those four words were my proverbial straw. I drove him home and I packed my shit and came back to Maine.

We eventually got back together, had some great times, and had a baby. Money started going missing, he stopped coming home, I started catching him in lies. I thought it was just the stress and shock of having an infant. I thought, well, I really don't know what I thought. I thought about taking care of my newborn. I didn't know about the oxy.

He ended up in the hospital. He told me some lies about why he was in there and I believed it. I did not want to raise this baby alone. How the hell was I supposed to do that? He ended up in some kind of hospital/rehab place. DSS visited me and set me straight about what was going on and what had gone on. I told him he couldn't come home.

He had bounced some checks in my name. My name was on the check but it was a joint account that I had taken myself off of. Follow? I was being charged with larceny. I had to go to court. I was so scared. On top of everything I was somehow in legal trouble and it was all his fault. I called him before I was supposed to go in. I cried. I was scared.

He said "I don't care what happens to you."

Fuck him. Done. I was fucking done. No one who loved my son and me could ever say that. I will never forgive or forget that. Again, the proverbial straw. I stopped taking his calls, contacted a lawyer, got a restraining order.

Stuck to Me

And speaking of Supah - She is hosting bLerApy this week. Got something to anonymously blog about? Check it out:

Monday, October 19, 2009

I Made Hats

I took JenJen's suggestion and slowed down this weekend. I only did things that I wanted to do, not things that I felt guilty about not doing. It was very relaxing. I...
  • knit hats for Ryder, my BIL, and myself
  • drank a bottle of mead
  • cleaned
  • got tons of kisses and hugs
  • read some books
  • watched a couple movies and a few shows
  • watched some
  • had Sonic!
  • did some shopping
  • chatted with some friends
  • did the laundry
  • made delish PB&Js

So, I am feeling much more relaxed today (although it seems to be wearing off) and someone even commented about it during a meeting.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

In Which I Share Too Much

A 1987 tranquilizer advert with an indirect re...Image via Wikipedia

I hope you do not expect insight every time you click on my link. I don't feel very insightful. Actually, I feel downright shitty.

I am overwhelmed with blogger. Every time I refresh there are a gazillion new posts. I think I need to weed some out. I like them and want to read them, but it makes me terribly anxious looking at them. This was supposed to be stress-relieving, not stress-inducing. It is ridiculous.

Like Facebook. I have now limited myself to farming and checking email once-ish a day. I was getting so frustrated seeing all of these people (some of whom I care nothing about) posting all of this shit that I care nothing about. I do not care what you are eating. That you are going food shopping. That you are watching America's Got Talent. I do not care that your spirit animal is a squirrel or if you were a drug, you would be acid. It is just too much for me.

I know that I need some adult time for myself. I know I need a babysitter. I know I need to meet people. Just typing that, though, makes me want to cry. It causes me sooo much anxiety. I take meds for panic disorder, agoraphobia, depression, and generalized anxiety disorder. Cool, huh? So, I equate taking meds to being sick. The healthy thing to do would be to have some me time. But that causes anxiety so my doc told me to take more meds. Which makes me feel as if I am sicker. Which makes me need to go out even more. Which causes me anxiety. Which causes me to take more meds.....

I finally worked up the courage to ask my daycare lady if she knew any babysitters and she said that she would babysit. I was dangerously close to crying. She is so nice. I don't even think she thought I was a bad mother.

Somehow things I enjoy doing become chores somewhere along the way. Books are like that. So are movies. There are so many to read and watch. How can I just sit around not doing anything when there are so many books and movies to get through? How can I sit down and write if there are so many blogs to read and comment on? Then emails to read and respond to.

I am terribly lonely. It was fairly depressing that my psychiatrist was giving me dating advice. I suppose that is not outside his realm, but I have always felt dating was so embarrassing. Hmm.. Why is that?

Look what they erected outside of my house.

An eff-ing Ferris wheel. This is the view from my porch. I can see it from my bedroom, but its a crappy picture. You'll have to take my word for it.
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Think You've Got Some Corporate Greed on Your Shoe

This summer one of the largest Walmarts opened in my little hometown of Sanford, Maine. It was the talk of the town. Literally. I had refused to go. But I went yesterday.

Monday I was at my parent's house printing some pictures for a future scrapbook when the ink ran out. Damn. What was a girl to do? Where could I find an ink cartridge? Surely Walmart, but since I refuse to support that mammoth I had to find another option, without driving 45 minutes.

Ryder and I hopped into the car and drove to the shopping center. Sure enough there was a computer store. We walked in and a cute guy came over to help us. No, he didn't have the one we needed, had we tried Walmart? I told him how I didn't want to go there. He agreed but figured it was my only option within 15 miles. *sigh*

Okay, in and out. We go in, put on our blinders, get the ink and get the hell out.

This Walmart sits on 30 acres of land. The Walmart itself is 198,000 square feet. It has a full sized Dunkin Donuts, hair salon, nail salon, and grocery store. It is disgustingly huge. You know those directories in malls that tell you where the stores are? Yeah. They have one of those at each of their three entrances.

We went straight to the electronics department and looked and looked and looked and wouldn't you know, they didn't have the cartridge that I needed. I was annoyed and relieved at the same time. At least I didn't have to buy anything at that monstrosity.

All I kept thinking about was how one guy (well, not any more) owned the whole thing. One guy (family, whatever) built a store where you could get anything that you needed. You never needed to go to another store again. Batteries? Check. Lettuce? Check. Toilet bowl? Check. Wii? Check. Fish bowl? Check. Bras? Check. It makes me unbelievably sad. And the worst part? This giant has already taken such a hold on my little town that it is the only option. So many smaller stores went out of business when Walmart first opened back in '92 and it is only getting worse.

And don't you let anyone tell you that working at Walmart isn't that bad. It is. I worked at the original Walmart in Sanford. It sucked. They were assholes. I got paid shit. Ugg, it was terrible.

So Ryder and I left and walked around the parking lot for a bit because I had lost my car. When we did eventually find it, I made sure that Ryder wiped the corporate greed off of his shoes before he got in.

Note To Self

Monday, October 12, 2009

Overpopulation - Not a Myth

I watched this video over at My Latest Adventure and it really got me thinking and doing some good ol' math.

I wouldn't bother you all with my argument, but, honestly, it was too much work not to share with someone!

My biggest problem (although certainly not my only) with this video is when it claims that every family in the world could have a house and a yard and fit in Texas. Let us explore this.

The population of the world is 6.79 billion people. The average household size in the US in 2007 was 2.6 people. So, assuming that 2.6 is the average household size in the whole world, there are 2.6 billion households in the world.

Texas is 268,820 square miles. This comes out to 172,044,800 acres in Texas. If we squished all of the people in the world into Texas, there would be 0.066 acres per household. This is roughly 3,000 square feet. This is not enough room for a house and a yard for 2.6 people. Unless it was a really small house and a really small yard.

Oh, and there would be no room for garages, roads, parks, stores, schools, sidewalks, or anything else.

If I were to give each household a quarter acre then only 688 million of them would fit. Sans roads, etc. If we gave each household a quarter acre, then we would need a land mass just under twice the size of Alaska.

In conclusion, if the one fact that that video states is false, then the whole message can be discredited. I just wonder how people like this can just spread blatant lies. They just assume, perhaps correctly, that people will not check their facts. Well, I check facts, fuckers.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Five Bloggy Annoyances

I know, 92 posts and I already have annoyances? I am getting all self-righteous before even the 100 mark?

Oh well.

Angela's Adventures

1. Blogs with music Normally I read blogs when either a) I am at work or b) the baby is sleeping. In either instance unexpected blaring music makes me very unhappy.

2. Lack of paragraphs Now, I am no English teacher and I do not claim to know anything much about grammar, but paragraphs are your friends. They are just easier on the eyes.

3. Caps Lock This goes for anything: blogs, email, fb, twitter, anything. Caps = Yelling. I don't like people yelling IRL either.

4. Commenters who have nothing nice to say Seriously, if you don't like the blog you can click away from it. Try it. See that ity-bity 'x' in the top corner of the screen? Click it. Good. Now you don't have to read blogs that make you so unhappy! Amazing! And I am not talking about followers that read the blog and just disagree sometimes. I am all up for discussions, but it the person that comes back week after week to say how much the blog sucks.

5. Commenters who you can't reply back to I didn't even know about this until Angela mentioned it on her blog. I cannot find the blog that ultimately helped me, but I know it is out there. I really like replying to my commenters, but without an email address I can't. And that makes me a Sad Panda.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ryder's Cider

There once was a boy named Ryder

He loved his apple cider.

The cider was bad

But it's all he had.

Mom searched but he was a good hider.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My First Arrest

Lamprey River -  New HampshireImage by comprehension via Flickr

I have been handing you, my loyal readers, some heavy shit. I feel like you need to hear a funny story, so I present to you: My First Arrest.

It was mid-afternoon and time to smoke a bowl. There is a really nice park along the river just off of campus, so that is where we went. It was me and my friends Matt and Tom. We parked along the river in my car in such a way that we could watch the birds and such. Then we pulled out the pipe.

We got stoned and marvelled over the birds. "Man, where do you think that bird is going?" "Do you think it is gonna fly south?" "Could you imagine flying south?" "That would be hard work, man." "Maybe we should follow it."

That reminded me that a girl had told me that as soon as it got dark, the police patrolled the park.

"Guys, we really need to leave before it gets dark; before the cops come." "Sure." "Yeah, we'll just follow that bird."

And we sat. And smoked some more.

"We really ought to be going." "Yeah."

And we sat. And smoked some more. It got darker and darker.

"It's getting dark now, we should go." "uh huh." "Yup." But we didn't go. We just sat.

Then the blues. Shit. The bowl was sitting in the center console. Matt told Tom to grab the bowl, but due to confusion and being stoned he did not and the cop came over to my window.

"License and registration. What are you guys doing here?"

"Just hanging out."

"What is that?" The cop shined the flashlight right onto the bowl.

"What is what?"

"That. Please hand it to me."

"Oh, do you mean this?" I handed him the bowl. He asked me to step out of the car.

"What is in this pipe?"


"We need your permission to search your car."

"And if I say no?"

"I will arrest you." Okay, search the car it is! He asked if there was anything in the car that he should know about. So I told him about the rest of the paraphernalia in the car.

My friends were talking to the officers. I think Tom was saying something about the cops having no idea what they were talking about. The officer showed him his D.A.R.E. pin. He was qualified. Matt was pleading with Tom to "Shut the fuck up."

Next I know, I am being cuffed and shoved into the back of the cop car. Unbeknownst to me at the time, they cuffed Tom, as well, because he was underage and Matt was just stuck there. Without a phone.

The cops were real nice to me at the station. They had me fill out a statement and kept asking me if I wanted to write anything else. Like what was in the pipe. Nope, I was all set. I was stoned but not an idiot. Well, a complete idiot.

I called my friend on campus and she came and bailed me out. I cried when I saw her. But then we went to some frats and all was well.

Wanna hear what happened when my parents found out? Click here.
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Five Reasons Halloween in Salem Rocks

1. The Grand Parade

2. The Bizarre Bazaar

3. Mayor's Night Out

4. Free hot chocolate

5. Costumes!

Angela's Adventures

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food LifeImage via Wikipedia

I grabbed this book at the last minute because I noticed it was our book club selection. Up until now we had only read fiction. There was a request for some nonfiction - and, boy, am I glad there was!

This book is based around a family who lives off of local foods for an entire year. They have a small farm and are surrounded by farming neighbors. This book is really about making informed food choices and realizing the effects of those choices.

I found this book incredibly inspiring. As I have mentioned before, I have been very interested in conscientious consumerism. This very much includes buying local. This book is full of facts that amazed me, such as the U.S. loses 300 farms per week and each food item travels an average of 1500 miles.

Now, obviously, this book is slanted (aren't they all?) The one fact that annoyed me was: "Family farms sold $236,000 worth of organic produce to regional retailers and supermarkets which those markets, in turn, sold to consumers for nearly $0.3 million." Now, really, that is only a difference of $64,000. I realize that when making a point you have to carefully construct your words, but this felt like a jab at my intelligence.

I think this book is a healthy balance between preaching and informing (like me?) Ideally, yes, it would be best if we could all only buy locally but that is impossible, even for this family; they still bought coffee. They did buy fair trade coffee. I think the take-home message is to do what you can, try to buy foods only when they are in season, eat at home more, go visit farmer's markets, and maybe plant some tomatoes of your own.

One thing that really struck me was that these people did not miss the food that was out of season because they were fully enjoying the ones that were. Everyone kinda does that already. We do not miss watermelon at Thanksgiving because we are enjoying cranberries. We eat strawberries in the spring and apples in the fall. Thee apples that you find in April just don't taste as good. If you are in Boston, like me, and it is February and there are oranges at the market, you have to wonder where they are from and how much oil it took to get them there.
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