Sunday, February 28, 2010

Food. F-O-O-D. Food.

I've been thinking about this all weekend....ALL weekend. Pretty much non-stop since Friday night. This happened to me once before, after I read the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and I ended up joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)...this time, well, I'm not sure. But I know things won't be the same!

Friday night I finally got around to viewing the documentary FOOD Inc. I've been wanting to see it for a while and I'm super happy that I finally got the chance.

click the pic above for a link to the official FOOD, Inc. Website.

Not that this documentary has much to be happy about. When I told my mom about it, she said, "I don't think I want to see that"...well, I pose, that is EXACTLY the reason that you should! Because so many Americans are in the dark about how food gets from the farm to our tables, we are basically fooled into believing that what is provided for us in the grocery stores is safe, even healthy! I'm learning that just because the FDA says it is so or a cleverly designed package says it, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is. Just take a minute to think about all the product recalls and food safety issues that we've seen in the media over the last few onions from Chi Chi's, Tomatoes from Taco Bell, Peanut Butter, Bagged lettuce and spinach, ground beef recalls...that's just a few that I can think of off the top of my head.

I've become accustomed to going into my local grocery store and being welcomed by shiny, colorful peppers (four different colors), tomatoes, pineapples, mangoes...fresh looking bananas, strawberries, apples. I have forgotten that these things aren't supposed to be ripe and ready to go in the middle of January (or that some of them grow no where near my north of the equator address)--until I get them home and slice or bite into one. Then somewhere in the back of my mind I think "is this how an apple is supposed to taste?" So many of the "off season" fruits and veggies that I MUST have from the grocery store are flavorless, and blah...but they sure do look pretty sitting on my counter.

I remember when I was a the not so long ago early eighties...going to the store with my mom and asking "why can't we get peaches?" and my mom saying, "well, they aren't in season" and basically that meant that the grocery store doesn't have any either. Now the grocery store has them...and off season, they are absolutely disgusting. I will vehemently argue with ANYONE who tries to claim otherwise. Still, the grocery store now has them at any time of the season and they look like their swollen, juicy predecessors...but...

Have you ever eaten a home grown or farm grown strawberry? Unbelievable right? How about a tomato from your own can't beat it for the flavor. I mean right off the vine, sun warmed, absolute run-down-your-chin deliciousness. Why don't we eat this way all the time?

Well, number one, I live in Pennsylvania where the growing season isn't that long...number two, it's expensive to eat healthy foods like this right? Number three, what do I do in the dead of winter (like right now) for produce?--I've nary canned a single thing, nor do I know HOW to do it. Number four, at 5:30pm that box of frozen pizza or chicken tenders looks like a great choice for dinner that night. I get it. It's hard.

BUT nothing great comes without price...and when I really get down to thinking about it what IS the price of good health? What is the price of feeling good about what I'm putting on the table, into my mouth, (forcing) into my children's mouths? What is the price of avoiding diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, cancer, salmonella, ecoli--what is the price of my LIFE, my family's LIFE??

I know there isn't much in this world that I can control, but what I put on the table can be one of them. Where's the extra money going to come from? Well...I just bought a new husband just purchase a few hundred dollar "game system"...the money is there, we just need to decide what we want to spend it on. I can tell you, it isn't heart medication, insulin, or hospital bills....

I'm really great at THINKING about eating sustainable, local, organic foods but what am I doing?...I mean really, there ARE frozen pizzas, extremely cheap cuts of meat, poultry and pork, sugary sweets, chips and pretzels, garbage breakfast cereals, pastries, and frosted this and that in my pantry, freezer, and refrigerator as I type this.

One thing I did last spring was join a CSA as I mentioned earlier. For those who aren't familiar, this is a local farm that runs because of farmer's market and CSA patrons. Basically I pay for a share in the farm and every week, or every other week (depending on how MUCH I pay) I get to out to the farm and fill a grocery bag or two with organic produce that they grow not 10 miles from my home. (I live in the suburbs). Last year, there was decent tomatoes because of blight, but they also had strawberries, organic eggs, chickens, and breads and baked goods to buy in addition. I really enjoyed driving up there with my girls on a summer morning and filling my bags. I felt really good about it.

The next week though I would find myself discarding much of the produce that came my way because I just didn't know how to cook it! I was very ashamed of myself. I want to do this again...the farmers were wonderful, the experience was lovely, the produce was EXCELLENT quality...I think I'm going to do a half share this year and it might be a little more manageable.

I would like to start a garden this year...but we are looking to also move I might not get to that this year.

And thanks to my viewing of FOOD, Inc. I checked around for some local farmers raising organic, grass fed beef...and I think I found a winner.

I'm also going to try to SEVERELY limit my family's consumption of fast food...sorry kids (really I think they like the toys that come with the meal better than they like the food anyway!)

I am going to try to be more aware and more respectful of myself, my family, my planet, my food, and the farmers and animals that produce it. I think this way of being is in harmony with what my God wants for our lives.

What I'm trying to say is if you haven't seen the documentary, you should...then you will know that I'm NOT a tree hugging hippie...I'm just a mom, trying to do the best for my husband, my kids, and myself...I think the message is worth passing along too!

I know it's going to be VERY tough...but any little change I make will be one for the better.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Blog Hopping

Friday Follow

Thought I would give this a try after seeing it on a friend's blog..I'm fairly new to blogging and my blog needs lots of work! Including more graphically pleasing content! But I will get there I'm sure in the little time I have to devote to this.

Anyway, I decided to Join this Friday Blog Hop to check out some other blogs and give my own some exposure...should be fun!

So here's what you do:
Link up your blog name and URL using the MckLinky below. Only need to add on one blog to be seen on all the blog hops.

–Follow the Friday Follow hostesses (One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families and Midday Escapades!) listed in the first 3 slots. They will follow you back.–Follow as many blogs as you’d like.

–Comment on the blogs telling them you’re from Friday Follow.

–Follow back when you get a new follower through Friday Follow. The Blog Hop is the same at each of our three hosts blogs so you do not have to add your blog at each site. Just one – but you can follow each!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spiritual High

I'm reading a book for a new Lenten Book Club sponsored by my parish. It is called The Gospel of Gabriel by Rev. Edward Hays. We had our first meeting over tea and coffee yesterday. I'm really excited about meeting with this group over the next few weeks and exploring this book.

It is a fictional account of Jesus' life...but it could be divinely inspired as well (I don't really know what the criteria for that happens to be.) It is based on the Gospels and other writings from biblical times. The author has done tons of research...A lifetime's you can bet the book is a real gem. In this novel, the Gospel is written by the Angel Gabriel and allows us to see the human side of God. It is so interesting to me that in all of the world's religions the Christian Religion is the only one who has had their God take on the human form and live a divine life in a human body. It is so wonderful to learn more about him. Anyway, I'm really enjoying it.

Which leads me to my next point, in my lifetime I can count a few times when I have felt a spiritual high: I had a few experiences in High School with a very close friend when we prayed in her backyard under a blanket of stars, Another time with this same friend at a Summer "church camp," After I made a Marriage Encounter Weekend with my wonderful Husband, While reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, and now again during this Lenten Season--learning more about my Lord and Savior. I've also had more fleeting moments--the births of my three children, a few parish retreats...but for some reason it is so difficult to hold on to these and make them last. How do you hold on to the Divine?

Every day is an absolute miracle, every breath we take is a true marvel. As a stay at home Mom I get to witness miracles every day: The unexpected hug, watching the kids drift off to sleep (and sometimes getting to hold them while it happens), the unconditional love our dog shows us etc. But somehow the world always wants to break in on these moments. They become mundane, routine, lackluster. The TV is blaring, there are e-mails to check. Let's turn the radio on, play the Wii, text, rush off to this event or that.

The moments of spiritual high are a recharge for me and while I'm plugged in I need to try harder to make it last. It starts with shutting down, shutting off the world and tuning in to the Creator. Enjoying life in all of its forms, and recapturing the innocence, awe, and wonder of youth. I am God's child and I want to stay wrapped in His arms for as long as I can.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Catching Up To Myself

5+ days without Face book has gone by quickly...and frankly I haven't missed it. It's amazing how easily those extra minutes get filled up by something else.

Last week was spent nursing sickness, first the kids, then myself and then Jim...Everyone was finally better by the weekend, but Jim still wasn't 100% and we were all just a little crankier. Over 2 weeks of a well worn routine in upheaval will do that I guess, but today I breathe a sigh of relief--the first day back into beloved normalcy!

So I got Jordan ready for school (up, dressed, breakfast, a hair experiment that could have been disastrous but turned out cute in the end, and out the door). Had my tea, talked to my mom, caught up on a few e-mails and now blogging.

The T.V. is not on in the background...this is "No TV Monday" something we decided to give up as a family for Lent. Ava and Livi are in their room dancing in their P.J.'s., I've printed out my grocery list from The Grocery Game and now I'm blogging...Just trucking along and feeling good.

The only sore spot is that I have to miss book club tonight. We've got a few scheduling conflicts that I can't resolve without giving something up, so I miss this month...I'm already looking forward to the next one!

I'm all over the place today in this blog! I think I'm just trying to get back in touch with the old me: the peppermint tea sippin', take it as it comes mommy--instead of the frazzled, bug eyed, screaming, sighing, irritated "Momster" that I transformed into over the last couple of weeks.

I got a new phone this weekend--a Droid. It is really cool. I'm ashamed that it made me happy, but it did, not so much because the phone is awesome (it is!) but because we all went out together on Saturday to get it and I know it will really make my life easier (I still have to cancel my account with AT&T). The trip out was fun even though much of it was spent placating the kids--a trip to the pet store helped to do the trick and they ran off some energy in the play place. Jim took them over while I finished the phone deal and he was very happy that he did because he spotted ex-Penguin Mark Recchi in the same area and he got to exchange a little "fan banter" with him. Super cool!

Can't wait to see what this week brings, my friends...good things for all of you too, I hope!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Look Mom, I'm Famous!

I had to share because my girls get the first few seconds of their 15 minutes of fame. A pic of them in the snow has made it to grace the homepage of their school's website! And they look awfully cute, if I do say so myself!

Here's the link:

In other news: I was hit hard by the "bug" on Wednesday with Jim following behind yesterday morning. I had a doctors appointment Wednesday morning and somehow the thing didn't hit me until after I was at home...but unfortunately I'm sure I spread my germs rampantly through the office. Sorry, Dr. Hazel!

At the doctors' office I nervously giggled through my weigh in. I knew it would be bad, what with the winter house arrest. (All I did was eat.) I gained 9 pounds in 4 weeks. OUCH! I know some people who only gained 12 pounds during their entire pregnancy!!!! Well, the bug helped me to shed 5 pounds over night and my stomach still feels too little to really pig I'm just going to ease back into it...and maybe by my next appointment in three weeks things won't be so abysmal.

Also, I gave up Facebook for lent! So far so good...but then again, we've all been too sick for me to be concerned about every one's status updates! I can still get posts to my wall and messages through my e-mail, so it isn't a complete withdrawal, but it's better than nothing! And I'm sure I will have saved myself lots of time. Here's hoping that I can parlay that extra time into a few finished scrapbook pages, or a cleaner house! We'll see.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll be blogging more frequently this month which won't be a bad thing either. Maybe I'll even change up my layout...A friend has offered to help, so I will perhaps take her up on it. Thanks, Janene! And to show my appreciation I'll plug her blog too! You can visit her at:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fat Tuesday

I am usually a positive person. A glass-half-full kind of gal...but I've really had enough! Enough snow, enough missed school days, enough hibernating in a germ filled house, ENOUGH!

Last night, right after I had fallen into a nice deep sleep dreaming of a two-hour delay come true, Olivia came into the room at quarter to one with puke in her hair. Need I say more? I took it to the living room, figuring at least some of the noise would be subdued and Jim could get some sleep. Sure as snow flies, each girl was up doing her thing...Ava was next (she is the LOUDEST vomiter I have ever heard) and then came Jordan (the neediest and most worried sick child).

I took it in stride, watching the episode of the Bachelor that I had DVRed and catching up on Olympic glory through the night. At 5am Jim appeared dressed for work. While I could most definitely sleep through the hacking mayhem with no trouble if given the chance, Jim had a restless night too, because he is a very light sleeper...

So both of us will be in top form today! The kids are already feeling better though, begging for lunch...things like pizza rolls, milk products, and candy. All of which I must refuse!

Happy FAT TUESDAY...on the menu: toast and chicken broth! Yippee! :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pictures, Pictures Everywhere!

In the midst of the arctic blast we are currently experiencing in the Pittsburgh area an idea has blown in, most unexpectedly (much like this snow!!). I was sitting on the couch the other day with my digital picture frame in hand watching as some of the pictures that I downloaded recently (from Christmas and above mentioned winter weather) played out for me on a slide show. I started to smile and then I started to think, this is so great to be able to look at my pictures. Then I began to get a nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach...

All of my pictures are digital now and the ones that I actually have a hard copy of are unorganized and spread into various unfinished albums/boxes/envelopes/drawers throughout the house. and GASP! I don't have any backup for my computer, so if it should go down, with it will go at least 6 years of photographic memories...This is a very scary thought.

I blame it on my "Mommy Group." at our last get together there was some talk about scrap booking and my friend Amy (an avid scrapper) brought out one of her albums. I oohed and aaahed over that thing like nobody's business, but I said to myself and out loud that I am just not into this...I've tried several times to get started on an album and have met up with complete and utter failure. But oh, how I long to have books of pictures beautifully bound to flip through with my kids.

Problem one: I'm unorganized.
Problem two: I'm a perfectionist.
Problem three: I have to be in the mood in order to create. (In more ways than one! ;) )
Problem four: I hate to spend money. (Even though I know if I ever came out of it with a finished product I would have the money back 10-fold with all of the happiness that I would gain each time I flip through the book.)
Problem five: I need validation. (Someone tell me that this is THE most amazing scrapbook you have ever seen...asking for too much? I thought so.)

I'm on the way to tackling some of these problems...well, okay, ONE of these problems. Getting organized! I finally backed up my photos today. And the next step is to try to dig out all of my mislaid photos. I'm going to start with My life with Jim and the girls first: to be clearer, photos from the wedding on... Then I will try to categorize them.

I might make a mess of things again, but I think if I stay on top of the "organized" part it might not be too bad.

So I am going to start up my on-again, off-again, love-hate relationship with Scrapbooking. With 10 years of memories piling up I guess I can't expect it to be easy...but no relationship worth salt ever is!

Wish me luck!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

On Hold

Oh geez. As if I needed another reminder of my lazy, procrastinating ways....I was told today by paperback swap that my account has been put on hold.

A few months ago at book club, I heard about this great site where you could list your old books and trade them away with other members to get new "gently used" books for your collection. Finally a few days ago, I decided to dig out a bunch of old books and get myself set up on this site. Signing up and posting my books was easy enough...

I guess I wasn't expecting the quick response! I posted the books and within hours there were three requests waiting in my in-box. Wonderful! This will work out well. That was my first thought. But my second thought was: When am I going to get to the post office? and I have to drag my children with me...and suddenly this idea of swapping books through the mail became less appealing. And as the e-mails from Paperback Swap kept coming requesting the books that I no longer wanted (I think all 24 that I posted received a request!), the great idea became a ticking time bomb...soon and very soon the bomb would go off and I would be reminded of how useless I am when it comes to organizing, being timely, and adding things to my life that involve me buckling and unbuckling three children into car seats four times (or more) in the course of one car trip.

I never go to the post office anymore. I pay my bills online, I buy stamps at the grocery store for the random mailing I need to do, I even e-file my taxes ...and I usually get my books from the library. Adding a post office trip to my list of "running around errands" just does not sound in any way convenient.

I don't know why I decided to mess with a good thing anyway. I'll loan or give my books away to friends or family and I will continue to use the public library, which is a lovely neighborhood resource.

Three days later, because I failed to say that I would mail out my books, Paperback Swap has put a hold on my account. I don't like how that sounds, but I like it better than multiple trips to the post office!


Related Posts with Thumbnails