Monday, January 13, 2014

I've Moved!

Dear Friends,

Thank you for following me on this journey through experimenting with being a locavore. As you can see from my more recent blog posts, my attention has now migrated to other topics and projects. So I have migrated my blog!

I felt I outgrew the URL desertlocavore as it only encompasses a piece of the journey I am on. However, the title of my blog, Tumbleweeds and a Handful of Seeds, still resonates with my life. I'm still up for the challenge of living here in the desert southwest in the best way I can - clearing the tumbleweeds and planting seeds.

In that spirit, I renamed and upgraded my blog! I hope you'll continue to follow (or start following) me at my new, better site:


Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Best New Eco-Practice of 2014 So Far....The Plastic Bag Ban

One particularly windy day on my way to drop off my son at kindergarten, I was forced to stop for several minutes in the road while an extra large dust devil, turned white plastic tornado from all the plastic bags it had caught up, passed through the residential area along South Meadows Road. The bag-nado choked a few birds on its way.

Plastic and birds do not mix as evidenced by this disturbing video about the life of Albatross way out at sea:

I live on the southwest end of town where the wind whips into a frenzy through the spring and into early summer and then again in the late fall and early winter. The result is ugly plastic bags stuck to every fence and cholla cactus within view throughout most of the year. My house borders a large empty County park so I spend a goodly amount of my outdoor time in those windy months collecting the ripped up, useless, discarded pieces of plastic bags from the edges of my yard.

The lifecycle of the plastic bag is a sorry one to be sure. Check out this 4 minute video about it - well worth the watch!

For these reasons and more I am thrilled for the best new ordinance of the new year (so far) to arrive! Have you heard? The plastic bag ban is coming to Santa Fe. I'm so excited! see how it all goes down really. I'm excited about the ban too of course as I believe it is good for the planet and people...any step away from our disposable culture is good in my worldview. (Paper bags will still be available as will plastic bags thicker than 2.25 mils, that's a change for another day.) But I am also excited to see how Santa Feans react to this forward thinking ordinance when it finally comes into effect in February.

Santa Fe is not the first city to ban the bag - Austin, Portland, Tuscon, even Los Angeles precede us. However, having read the comments to the SF New Mexican's online article it appears locally it may be a controversial ordinance in practice. One lady said no way to the ban in her post because she didn't want to use those dirty smelly canvas bags - how unsanitary! (Hopefully someone has since told her they that canvas is washable). Some feel that it will disproportionately affect people in the less affluent parts of town. The southside has been specifically mentioned as discount stores there claim they can't afford to upgrade their bags to thicker quality plastic as some of the downtown stores might do to skirt the ordinance and keep customers happy. Less affluent customers then will bear the burden because they can't afford to buy reusable bags. It may be a legitimate concern, but humanity is full of creative solutions when pressed. Here are a couple already in play:

Earth Care's Youth Allies are making reusable bags out of the free fabric they have collected and are distributing them to those that need them. (Kuddos to the Earth Care kids who helped pass the ban in the first place and had the foresight to do something about the potential disproportionate impact).

Natural Grocers on Cerrillos got rid of their plastic bags of their own volition years ago and employed their creativity to keep customers in food carrying containers. (Cheers to them for that BTW). They set up bins to hold different sized cardboard boxes that come in the back door as food packaging and offer those boxes to bag-less customers to take their purchases out the front door.  All stores could follow suit as there is no shortage of cardboard around town.

Since learning about the bag ban I have taken extra care to notice my bag intake. Although I carry a couple of those stuff-able reusable bags in my purse wherever I go, I still consume way more disposable plastic bags than I would like to admit. Sometimes I get a bag out of laziness or passivity. Sometimes I don't always get my reusables out in time before the cashier puts my items in the bag and hands it to me (they are so fast at it!). When I take my items out of the unwanted bag and hand it back to them they more often than not throw it in the trash rather than using it for the next customer, so I usually take the bag with me. At least I can recycle it. I still have eco-guilt every time I leave the store with one, whatever the reason.

Now I can rejoice in the knowledge that the plastic bag ban is coming. I LOVE it when the system works with me to live up to eco-habits rather than against me! It makes life so much more enjoyable and reduces my eco-anxiety (a concept for another blog post).

So SFeans, will you make "carry canvas bags with me at all times" number one on your New Year's Resolution list? Are you getting your camera ready to capture the beauty of a plastic bag-less desert landscape we haven't seen the likes of for over two decades? Leave a comment and tell me what you think about the upcoming bag ban.

For more information, check out these past articles on the plastic bag ban:
The Good, the Bag, and the Ugly, Santa Fe Reporter
Council Passes Plastic Bag Ban, Santa Fe New Mexican

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Un-Stuffing the Mind

Lately, spurred on by the recent death of my older brother, I have been examining my life, reviewing the whole thing from start to the present like a movie. Trying to make sense of my experience here on earth thus far. There is nothing like staring the death of a loved one in the face that makes a person question the worth of their life. Or that has been my experience of it. It is as if when my brother took his own life, he knocked over the house of cards that is my life and it fell to the ground in a messy pile. I have been slowly picking up each card and examining it, trying to put the pieces back together in a way that makes sense, and in a way that tells me it has been a good life. While I do this, my brother  stands over me urgently saying - "now make sense of that! Make sure the life you are living is a life well lived. Make sure you are getting all you can from your life. I couldn't figure out how to do it, so now you must. And do it now, don't wait! Death awaits you too in your own time."

One quintessential moment in my life that recently I've been thinking a lot about happened in 2000. I was about a year and a half into my Peace Corps service in a remote village in Panama. I visited home during Christmas time to decide if I was going to extend my term or return home in accordance with the original plan.

During my visit, I found myself sitting on a bench in an affluent suburban mall. Around me people streamed in and out of clothing boutiques that extolled the virtues of clothes made in Honduras, designer hand bags made in China, and other assorted accessories from around the world. To my right, teenagers eagerly awaited a chance to try out a water massage machine - a contraption that looked much like a tanning bed gone haywire - meant to offer relaxation to harried holiday shoppers. And to my left, more teens handed over ten dollar bills at a kiosk selling gourmet doggy treats and chocolate covered espresso beans.

The remote subsistence village I had been living in just west of the Panama Canal had no economic infrastructure except my neighbor's tin-roofed, mud-floor hut out of which he sold essential food staples: sugar, rice, canned meat, and homemade popsicles. In Panama, I had been living deeply connected with what I would consider the "real world." My life was subject to the pounding rains of the wet season, sometimes flooding the village and stranding me in my little home for days at a time; and extreme drought during the dry season when water was so scarce I had to walk a half mile to a natural spring to find some for cooking and cleaning.

The feeling that overcame me as I sat on that bench in the mall was a void of aliveness and connection inherent in a life lived in the American mainstream. The mall is a place that shaped my generation and many that followed in the unending quest to find identity in the American landscape. Generation after generation in the United States is being told they will find their identity in the goods they consume; that the most important decision our lives require is to choose which corporate logo best expresses our personalities.

That message was in stark contrast to the life I had been living in Panama. Although the villagers lived a life labeled by the economic index as "extreme poverty" they seemed no more or less happy than the affluent people of the United States.

The little hut I lived in Panama had a bed with a mosquito net over it, a two burner propane stove, one pan, some food, some clothes (many of them hand sewn), some books on a shelf, some seeds, and a wall with my machete and a few other tools hung on it. And still that was more than some homes in the village had.

The home I am living in now is full of stuff, bursting at the seams with stuff. Furniture, toys, clothes, tools, dishes, stuff to cook with, stuff to play with, stuff to do hobbies with, stuff, stuff and more stuff. The realization that Americans have too much stuff is nothing new to be sure. People have been talking about over-consumption for years, decades, and longer. But the realization of what stuff has done to my life is new for me.

I did end up extending my time in Panama for a few months to finish a project in the village. After my Peace Corps service ended, I took a bus through Central America to get back to the United States. I journaled extensively during that time. As I reread those journals lately one sentence I wrote leaped out at me from the page - "I don't want to become part of the middle-class of the world!"

I tend to take the voice of that 26 year old seriously because I know she was in touch with the real world. Living in a mud-floor tin-roofed hut for three years was a life changing experience, it impacted me on a core level that I had never experienced before or since. I developed an entirely new worldview from that experience. I have been working to remember my life back then so I can understand again the sentiment and impetus for that feeling. In my journal I gave no explanation of it as I am sure my reasons were obvious to me at the time.

The impact of reading that sentence today was that I looked around at my life and my world began to crumble a bit. What has happened was something that 26 year old feared most. At some point in the growing older and raising a family, the accumulation of stuff began to get in the way of my experience of the real world. Sure, most of our stuff is green, eco-conscious, and bought with social justice in mind. But it is still stuff. The spending time buying, ordering, making, using, finding a place for, picking up, cleaning, fixing or replacing and dealing with of, consumes much of my time as a person and especially now as a stay-at-home mom.

When life becomes about stuff, even if it is handmade, local, organic, sweatshop free stuff, it is still just stuff. I feel stuff gets in between me and connecting to the real world. It keeps me separate. I'm sure some would argue that stuff can also connect you to the real world, but overall my experience is of separation.

I went from working in environmental education in one of the most wild places in the U.S. - Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons - to spending three years living in Panama working as an agroforestry volunteer. When living in the shadow of the Grand Tetons I would look out at the landscape and see ecosystems, animal tracks, plant families, and habitats. In the understory of the Panamanian rainforest I would look out at the landscape and see hillsides for planting corn, marshy areas that would make good rice paddies, and patches of sun for growing tomatoes. And while I hate to admit it, but in my time living in Santa Fe, settling down and raising a family I now look our at my landscape (or yard) and see places for a new piece of furniture, a spot to hang a hammock, a kitchen pot that needs replacing, or a need for a new pair of pants to be bought. My lens on the world and the stuff of my mind went from wildplaces to agriculture to consumption. I've truly been domesticated.

Of the many questions I find myself grappling with in answer to Aaron's beckon call to live a life well lived three of them now pressing on my mind are - How did my life become about stuff? And what does an un-stuffed American family life look like anyway? What brings life deep meaning and worth and how can I have more of that instead of filling my life with things?

To answer these questions I began doing some internet searches to see what other people were saying about this topic. One idea that resonated with me most was minimalism as an answer to consumerism. Rather than talking about recycling, reusing, and making your own stuff (which does have its value, don't get me wrong), it is about reduction. Not letting stuff rule your life and your home and most importantly not letting it occupy so much space in your mind means just simply having less of it, dealing with it less, thinking about it less. Easier said than done of course. Especially in this moment of the Christmas season. High time when we are bombarded with the message to consume. I'm not immune to it either - as evidenced by the pile of Christmas presents in hidden in my closet waiting to be put out on Christmas eve after the kids go to bed.

But I am looking forward to starting a new in 2014. I am determined not to let my stuff own me or my life. So far I have managed to take about 5 grocery bags of stuff to Salvation army and give away a set of dishes and some furniture to a friends, things I was keeping around just in case we needed them someday. So that is a start.

Here are a few of the best tips I picked up in my research with a few of my own thrown in on how to un-stuff your mind:

1. Spend (more) time in nature - escpecially when you feel the urge to buy coming on.
2. Cultivate natural habitats - instead of landscaping your yard for your own enjoyment - create spaces for birds, bees, butterflies, rabbits, and even coyotes.
3. Spend low-stress time with friends. Invite people over but don't stress about it. Let them see your mess if need be. Make it a potluck or just for tea.
4. Clear your mind through meditation. Best way I've found to un-stuff my mind it is clear it out completely.
5. Take a nap in nature. Try it, you'll see what I mean.
6. Volunteer. Think about other people make your own wants seem less important.
7. Become and astute observer of your inner consumer. Check out Leo's blog for the great things they have to say about this:
8. Nurture your inner minimalist. Cultivate simplicity in your mind and it will eventually show up in your life.

What helps you to un-stuff your mind? Post in the comments section, I would love to hear your thoughts....

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

An Ode to Flow, Part I

I respect all forms of yoga and I like practicing many of them.  I enjoy learning from masters of different disciplines. In this way I build a breadth of experience in order to weave together universal truths that then inform my practice. After twelve years of practicing many forms, however, I have come to feel a loyalty and unshakable enduring love for Vinyasa. 

I say unshakeable because more than a few practitioners and teachers of other forms would have me believe that Vinyasa is a shallow, fast-paced yoga for “fitness” only. And that its lack of attention to alignment will result in injury. Thus it is not true yoga.

What is true yoga then? The Sanskrit term yoga translates as yoke or union. And those original Yogis were looking for union with one thing and one thing only…the divine.

Not all forms of Vinyasa are equal. The Vinyasa I know however is steeped in Bhakti (devotion) and offered like a prayer by masters of the breath, flow, word, and yes, the playlist. When practiced in the clarifying light of Bhakti, it embodies the very definition of yoga as “yoking” to the divine. It is a yoke on a very short rope. Vinyasa for me is a rocket ship to God. But it is not just any old Vinyasa that will take me on that rocket ship. It is the unique combination of a full Bhakti-heart, mastery of connecting breath to the flow and the flow of asana to the Rta (divine order) of the universe.

Tapped in to that cosmic order, I unite with the divine. It is from flowing on this devotional mat that I have looked into Shiva’s third eye and been burned to ash, taken up the loyal heart of Hanuman, was reborn like Ganesh with an elephant head, rose up from the churning sea of milk like Lakshmi to sit on the knee of Lord Vishnu, and basked in the dance and maternal love of Shakti in all her forms.

Those who would say that Vinyasa is not yoga because it doesn’t focus on alignment would be missing the whole point. Flow is the point of vinyasa. Union is the point. However you get there.

Out beyond the ideas of wrong-yoga and right-yoga there is a mat. I’ll meet you there.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Chickens

Spring bulbs are up!
The first signs of spring have arrived in Santa Fe.
 Yesterday we got a nice layer of snow to soak the ground a bit and today the sun is shinning, a light breeze is blowing, and the world is beckoning us gardeners to get started.

My family and I are coming upon six years on this land and it's funny how the list of projects never gets shorter. It's like your skin cells, the skin is always there, but the cells change every seven years. In this case, the list is always there but the projects change every year.

This year I have an extra incentive to take the yard work up a notch. Our house is going to be on the Santa Fe Kitchen Garden Tour, along with two of my neighbors in this wonderful little neighborhood La Resolana. This is now an annual event that HomeGrown NM and Edible Santa Fe co-sponsor. Last year was the first year and I gather that 350 people went on the tour. I'm glad the tour is not until July as I have a lot of work to do before they come to inspect my yard for kitchen garden goodness.

Luckily the rest of my family is out of town this weekend so I could actually put together the year's garden plan. This year I am going to focus on only the foods that we regularly eat and that are low-maintenance to grow in this climate. Last year I expanded the garden by about 700 square feet. 150 of that was for Clayton - my then 3 year old son - who chose to plant sunflowers, corn, and pumpkins. His garden is right out my bedroom window so I had a splendid view of sunflowers and lots of birds snapping up the seeds through the growing season. The rest ended up being too much space for me to grow into in one year, a lot of the food went to seed...or actually to the chickens.

Three years ago we decided to start raising chickens and I have to say it has been the best addition to our backyard homestead we have made. I'm pleased to live in Agua Fria Village with Santa Fe County zoning codes in a neighborhood with lax covenants, so almost anything here goes. Chickens, horses, dogs, llamas, donkeys, all a-okay. It's worth the extra 10 minutes to town to have the semi-rural experience and semi-rural rules.

I call the chickens my "ladies." And quite the ladies they are, all 17 of them. They happily live in our front yard in their chicken palace under two juniper trees, an apple tree, and a pear tree. They have a chicken coop which they use almost exclusively for egg-laying as they prefer to roost in the juniper trees outside which provide them plenty of branches and protection. We set up a viewing bench in front of the coop and spend warm summer afternoons watching their antics and trying to remember what we names them.
Chicken entrance
The chicken palace

Under the juniper tree.
My favorite lady is the Barred Dominique. She is smart and sassy, true to her french name. She was the first chicken to figure out how to fly over the fence to get the juicy grubs in the garden on the other side and has successfully fended off two coyote attacks. Plus her sassy french name harkens back to my own french heritage on my mother's side.
Dominique. Isn't she lovely? And smart too.
And of course, I can't leave out a picture of the polish bantams. They make most humans laugh. This one is named Elvis, for his later years' hairdo of course. Not the smartest breed in the coop though.
Polish bantam
All our chickens are heritage varieties: Brahma, Cochins, Wyandotte, Araucanas, Columbians, Mille Fleurs (with the feathers on their feet), and mystery chickens I am still trying to identify. 

And wow can these chickens lay! The best layers are the Brahma hens which we bought as young adults from a farmer in Espanola. They laid their large brown eggs all winter long. We haven't bought eggs for ourselves in over a year. 

Now as spring is beginning and the days are longer (most chickens stop laying eggs when there is less than 13 hours of daylight) we are overwhelmed with eggs. I've started to sell eggs for $4/dozen to help cover the cost of their expensive but nutrient-rich organic feed from the local Feed Bin to neighbors, colleagues, and friends. I know this may seem pricey to some, but it doesn't even cover our costs. My "consumer base" is still less than the amount of eggs we have, but marketing and building consumer loyalty is a bit out of my capacity at the moment. I'll just keep putting the word out there and maybe a sign on my fence "eggs for sale" in hopes that they sell themselves. I'll continue to donate the surplus as hard boiled breakfast to the day-laborers in Guadalupe Park until then.
About a days worth of blue, white, green, brown, and pink eggs. Each variety of chicken lays a different colored egg.
As we don't need any more layers this year, we are investing in the Cochin Frizzle ornamental variety instead. I'm sure you can see why! Purely for fun and because our four year old loves these.

How could a chicken be cuter than that?!

We are ordering twelve baby chicks as last year more than half turned out to be roosters. We are told we can expect the same ratio this year. I hope so, or we'll have to raise the cost of our eggs just to pay for these pretty ladies. Their specialty is being pretty, they don't lay many eggs to earn their keep.

I personally enjoy hearing roosters crowing at dawn (and sometimes at all hours of the day) as it reminds me of the three years I lived in Panama in the campo. However, if you want to maintain good relationships with your neighbors, in a backyard coop, roosters are good for only one thing:
Cock-a-doodle-doo! Rooster Stew!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Rolling on a River of Love

The first Sunday in February 2012. A new year, a new day.

It's been over a year since I've been in this blogging world. As you can see from my last entry, I got a little discouraged by the locavore life attempt. This morning I am reflecting on how my locavore experiment exploded in my face. The experience was like jumping into the icy waters of Lake Michigan where I grew up in the middle of February. The stinging reality of that cold water was just a little more than I could handle. (I'm not a big fan of cold plunges by the way.)

Growing food to meet our needs in the southwest is just REALLY difficult. Way more difficult than doing it in the bread belt of the Midwest where my formative years were spent. Sure, Native peoples feed themselves successfully for hundreds or thousands of years in the southwest on a diet of squash, beans, corn, wild edibles and bison. But the other piece of that puzzle is they didn't do it for very long -- they had a life span of 30-40 years on average. As I am 37, I would be dead or well on my way there with that diet. A fact I could handle if I hadn't already been expecting to live until I am 80.

So what did I learn from my locavore experiment and where am I now with all of this you ask? Let me fill you in...


My advice for you all is not to start the desert locavore life in Februrary. Get your feet and your pallet wet by starting at the height of the growing season when the successes are many and the research not so hard. Having said that, whatever time of year you start, do the research before you begin being a locavore at all, otherwise it is just an experiment in frustration. Trying to find a source  of local wheat may take you a few weeks, so if you don't want to give it up, or do not yet have the cooking skills and knowledge to work with the limited alternatives, you'll want to know where you can get it before you engage being a locavore. Otherwise you'll get discouraged at how many trips to the grocery store for wheat shipped in from Egypt you'll have to make.

Luckily, I work at an organization where researching being a locavore is part of the work that we do, so I put my staff on creating a locavore guide. Unfortunately, as none of them had themselves dived deeply into bring a locavore, the end product wasn't super useful to me. But we are working on improving it. So, you may want to wait to enter the locavore world in Santa Fe until we publish that guide if you don't want to spend months doing that research yourself. Otherwise, give yourself a couple months to do the research before you jump in. Start by going through your cupboards and deciding what you can and can't live without. Then make a list of those things you need or want. Then start by educating yourself on seasonal availability of foods. Visit the local co-op, see what they have available at any given time of year, talk to the produce and the bulk departments to see what else they might be able to get you on a seasonal basis. Visit the farmer's market and talk with the farmers - especially those that have fresh produce in the dead of winter. Research the farmer's market website for clues on which farmers are part of their network and what they offer. Ask your friends, call local food-related organizations. Keep in mind that condiments and grains tend to be the hardest to source. Learn how to make your own ketchup.

There is no substitute for growing your own food as that is really the only way to know where your food is coming from and how it was grown. But, Steve Warshawer of Beneficial Farms now has me convinced that backyard gardeners and local farmers each have a role to play in a local food system -- and we can't, and shouldn't do it without the other. Gardeners can focus on the specialty items they can grow more easily in the microclimates they are able to create in their yards like tomatoes and herbs. Farmers than can be freed up to grow those items that need a lot of space - like grains, protein, etc. Together we might be able to come up with a complete diet a la MyPlate -- the new and much simplified nutritional guide recently released by the USDA. That said, join a CSA that specializes in local food. I joined Beneficial Farms CSA a few months ago. It is a co-op CSA utilizing farmers within 300 miles -- meeting my desert locavore standards for food miles. This has provided me with a supply of organic wheat and quinoa that I had no idea where to get on my own. It has taken the pressure off of me a bit in terms of sourcing local food as they are doing a bunch of it for me and 50 other families at the same time. I highly recommend joining a CSA as part of your locavore package.


George Strait is singing to my heart this morning from the playlist on the iPod my husband left in my car for me to listen to. I'm in a very different place this morning...rolling on a river of love really. Although there is still no water in the river near our house this year, I have been blessed with a growing connection to my community (specifically my neighbors), lots of learning, and patience. Find a few like-minded home/land owners and plan with them on what crops you can each grow and share with each other. Share bulk buying and split up the consumer research. Enjoy meals together and plan impromptu potlucks from whatever is available in the garden. You'll grow more food and grow life-long friendships in the process.


A friend of mine who is an ecology professor at UWC here in Las Vegas, NM believes that the carrying capacity of this desert region won't even provide for the number of people that currently live here. So there is that when considering building a local, sustainable food system. Our two big limiting factors are soil and water. We don't have much of either of those, and without them growing food for a state of even 2 million is challenging. The reality of soil building in Santa Fe at the moment, is that it is entirely dependent upon the input of materials from the industrial agriculture system. Not to mention when you lay it down in the spring, the wind blows it away almost immediately (be sure to cover your compost with heavy mulch immediately). Readily available sources for compost in Santa Fe include horse manure and kitchen waste. Most kitchen waste originates from imported food sources, and horses are fed a steady diet of alfalfa shipped in from Texas or even farther away locations. Part of being a locavore requires going against the grain and being limited by the status quo food system. Get comfortable with compromise and do the best you can.

At this point in time, I am not working exclusively on being a locavore. I'm am attacking the whole sustainable lifestyle one piece at a time. Last month my husband and I had a successful buy nothing month. When practicing buy-nothing, you really have to watch yourself with online shopping. I somehow blanked out that I am actually shopping when doing it online as I am in the comfort of my living room rather than in a store with beeping of the cash register to awaken my senses as to what I am doing.

Working on living sustainably in the United States is a life-time endeavor. My main focus now if to make sure I am enjoying the ride!

I hope you will share the tips and wisdom have you learned on this journey in the comments.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dark Night

Obviously, if you haven't already guessed, this little eat-everything-local experiment has been put on hold. What ridiculous expectations I have of this world thinking that one person working full time and raising children can figure out how to eat everything locally. This is definitely where the road hits the wall in terms of individual action. I salute all you radical homemakers out there that have time to sew your own canvas bags for produce, make pizza from scratch on friday nights, and bargain shop at the farmer's market. You know what I want to spend my time doing these days? Sleeping! I'm frickin' exhausted trying to keep up with this silly American lifestyle of career woman, working mom, supportive wife, friend to all. Just getting a moment to weed the garden is a luxury these days. When I decided to expand my garden to grow all my own food - even enough to can for the whole winter - I guess I forgot that the last time I could garden all day was when I was on full-time maternity leave. Although on a positive note my tomatoes are doing smashing. Someone will have to come over and can them all when they are ripe - I won't have time.

Not to mention the cost. We are already living beyond our means - and buying local currently means expensive! Farmer's just hiked their prices a the market. It's almost unbearably expensive. I started looking at Sunflower and Smith's for deals. I will start working part time next month. It'll likely be bye-bye organic, not to mention local then.

It's 11:30 and my toddler just woke up crying for mommy and is now taking every book and toy off his shelf and piling them on the floor. Next he'll pace the floor talking about "grasshoppers coming!" My husband thinks I shouldn't go in there. I say tought doodie hubby. 2 minutes of cuddling and he'll be back to sleep rather than an hour of toddler silliness and crying.

I'm not impressed with the green food movement. We can do better. Makes me want to move back to the subsistence village in Panama where growing your own food actually is a viable option - as long as you like eating only rice for days at a time.

See ya'll later when we all stop trying to lead these crazy lifestyles - I certainly can't do it alone.

P.S. This doesn't mean I am giving up, just lowering my personal expectations - ALOT!