Have you ever heard of Pam Warhurst? She's an Englishwoman (I love English people! Hello Andrea!!) who started up an entire movement that is sweeping across the nation and the world that started at her kitchen table.
This amazing woman decided with her friends/family to make some gardens in her community that everyone could get on board with and help take care of (voluntarily) and eat from. They started off getting bits of land (one she refers to as "a [former] dog toilet") and doing some raised beds and planting fruits and veggies (she calls them "veg", I like that better). It has turned into a community movement where people are working with the schools, kids are getting on board, learning and truly "getting their hands dirty" in community work and in agriculture. They're learning how to be self-sufficient instead of trying to beat their old score on whatever the new video game thing is (FarmVille? Ha ha ha!). This stuff turned over into the business sector - they're getting their fruits and veg (Isn't it nicer that way? Say it in your best English accent! She is from northern England, so if you're used to perfecting your accent by listening to a lovely Londoner, you might have to rework it if you'd like to copy her, although she does say "car park", which brings me good memories.) and bringing them into their cafes and little shops and guess what? Business is skyrocketing! People want to eat locally. They put up chalkboards and showed what they were offering from Incredible Edible and in came the money. They've made a whole community project that is replicable, doable and helps your community build real community (!), fosters the local economy, educates the people, and in their case, they've even made a tourist attraction out of their city!
Wouldn't it be cool to have that going on in your community? Wouldn't you love to be self-sustaining, educated, self-reliant, working with neighbors for a common cause? This whole thing started at her kitchen table. Imagine what you could do! Bring your ideas out! You never know where it might take you!
If you want to hear this funny lady (and practice your northern English accent), she has a lecture that is 13 minutes long over on TED. I don't usually post videos because I know people will be like, eh, no, don't have 13 minutes, never mind... But if you do perchance have 13 minutes, it is worth your time. Even if you don't have a passion for food, bringing people together, or educating your community, you can be inspired by her ground-up approach and imagine for yourself what you might like to get going in your own neck of our little blue-green planet. JUST DO IT.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
My hubby had a birthday a coupleish weeks ago. We were traveling around and usually we have a shindig to invite the peeps of the fam over to partaaay, but this was not to be since we were gone and then the peeps were gone, and etc. So it did not happen. And probably that was the reason he got so few phone calls saying happy birthday (or cards, or presents).
I mean his parents and my parents (and our grandmas, the awesomesauces that they are) remembered, but that was pretty much it. Well, one of his siblings remembered. And that was it. Then his birthday was over, just as fast as it started, as nonchalant as that - just like it was a nothing day!
Now he was all patient and fine and whatevering it and he hasn't mentioned it since, but CAN I JUST TELL YOU somethin' up in HEREEEEE, if that were me, um no. I'd be calling my freakin' brother and saying, HEY IDIOT, YOU FORGOT TO SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME. YOU BETTER HAVE MY PRESENT HERE STAT OR ONE OF THOSE BILLY MADISON STYLE FLAMING BAGS IS GONNA END UP ON YOUR FRONT PORCH! (Can I get a witness up in HERE!) And then I would text everyone else I know and told them it was my birthday and ask them what kind of special pink and glittering present they got for me.
But perhaps that does not happen to me so much because I call and give everyone a countdown from like 3 weeks out and set beeping reminders on people's phones.
Yes. Well. And maybe also that when it comes to love languages he could care less about getting presents and I am more like a four year-old at Christmas. He's all chillaxed, whatevering it, and I'm all gonna freak out on peeps. We're kinda different.
But I suppose that's what makes relationships work, having different pieces and balance going on. Like, for example, he balances me out in that if I didn't have him, I would have painted every room in the house in bright pink paint and thrown glitter on it. And if it weren't for me, he would have no clean clothes ever. Ever. He doesn't even know what those two machines are down in the dungeon. And he has tempered my tendency to freak out when...anything/everything happens. (Ex: my dog eating my zucchini plant. The whole thing. And then pooping it out, looking exactly the same way it went in. Today. Or when a kid takes and "organizes" my things to random disappering places - WHERE IS MY USB DRIVE?! ANYONE? BUELER??)
Okay, okay, anyway. We are clearly awesomesauce together. So be thankful for the peeps in your life and ponder the balance they give you. Tell them that you appreciate them. AND WISH THEM A HAPPY BIRTHDAY. You know, on their birthdays. And give them kombucha.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
This is about to be random. Yeah, you're like, +ahem+, you're always random. Yep, I know. It may be even random-er.
1. Essential oils are flammable. Very. And you'd think they were, you know, what - with that word "oil" in there and everything. So when you add them to let's say, a tea light candle, just for kicks...to see if it will smell up the place - the answer is yes, it will smell the place up like burnt smoking soot and on-fire oil. In case you wanted to experiment to see what would happen, let me recommend to you that you not do it. Stick them straight into the warmer thingy thing with the tea light underneath. Works way better - if that whole pleasant smell is what you're after.
2. I went to a large gathering today. I saw one of the best grammatical errors there in a long time. It was GREAT. Well meaning people were labeling (which I totally appreciate, by the way) containers to tell you what kind of drink was in there. This very sweet person wrote these two:
"Kool Aid" and "Lemon Aid"
Which I was really thankful for, I had a whole bunch of lemons in the car, all hurting and in need of special aid. I was wondering what was in there, perhaps bandages, little zesters in case of special operative emergency situations (like if a lemon surgeon needed to see what was going on below the pith), maybe some ice for bruises or whatever. I didn't look inside, though. I guess I like my suffering lemons too much to peek inside the special party kit for them.
3. Please do not tell me what is in Bon Ami (the powdery cleaner). I know it is vintage, it's probably some radioactive fallout or something, but it works GREAT. It does not contain bleach (so what IS it?! no, no, not really - DO NOT TELL ME) but I am serious, I think it is the magic ingredient in the Magic Erasers. I put some of that wild stuff on a wash cloth and that stuff whitened up my dirty, disgusting walls, the floor boards, the door, plenty of things. I was just telling my hubster how discouraged I was. You see, we used to have a clean house. I mean sparkling, eat off of the floors clean. Almost eat out of the toilet clean. Now we have a dog who believes it is her inherent right - nay! duty! - to proliferate herself in any possible way, mostly via shedding an amount of fur that would make any thinking person wonder if she believed in reincarnation and was trying to do that herself. I am pretty sure she sheds a ball of hair that could be shaped into another entire dog daily. Anyway, I was all sad, picking up hair, scrubbing floors, scrubbing walls, dusting, wistfully thinking back to the good-ole-days, asking why was it never so perfectly clean as it used to be? And then as I scrubbed the gray film off of the walls and floor boards, I knew why. BECAUSE IT WAS VERY VERY DIRTY IN HERE, mostly due to a nasty, pancreatic acid-lacking ratty dog. (Don't worry, I only wax disdainful toward said pet when I am cleaning the house or cleaning her and her cage due to a large amount of dog poo slathered all over herself and it, for example: today.)
4. Bentonite clay made into a facial mix for your zits, while fun, elicits many responses from family members. Stuff like, "What is that stuff on your head?", "Do you know you have weird stuff on your head?", "You have some weird junk on your head.", "When are you going to take that weird stuff off of your head?", "What in the world is that weird junk stuck to your head?" and finally, "Can I touch it?"
5. Last one. Back to the large gathering. The party was coming to a close. A thoughtful, well-educated, pensive man commented, "Is there anything sadder than a deflated bouncy house?" I answered, "Um, I dunno, maybe a dead clown?" I'm pretty sure they're going to take up some sort of collection for me to go to a professional psychotherapist.
See, told ya it was random. ;) And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming. (Don't you like it when people spell it "programme"? It's so fancy!)