HOMEGROWN

Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

Harriet Fasenfest started this discussion over at the intro post, but I think it deserves it's very own thread.

Here's what she said,

"Oh but that I could call myself a punk housewife.  I'm more your crusty ex-pat N.Y. still-talking-about-woodstock householder with grown kids and a husband who can't figure out what I do all this stuff (interminally slow learner).  But I'm digging what's happening and I'd love to know more about how all this really works for you.

 

You know, I know, that you know, that there was the first book.**  Now I'm thinking about the workbook cause I know going backwards and taking on all the skills and trades to make this work is hard when added to all our other commitments and lures of modernity.

 

So past the vision and the narratives are the real tools of home-ec.  The budgets, the timelines, the storage, the meal planning.  In essence, the nuts and bolts of a functioning home economy.  So where do you get stuck.  I'm wondering.  I got some ideas."

 

(Harriet's first book, A Householder's Guide to the Universe, is a great read. I can't actually believe she joined my group. Lil ole Apron Stringz. How thrilling!)

Tags: DIY, ec, home, homemaker, householder, housewife

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Replies to This Discussion

So with you Pat.  Not in all my years in business did I do it for the business.  It was for the expression and then when, and if, the money came it was a welcomed addition.  Sometimes when working for others it was just a job but I generally hated it and left to start my own thing.  But the result of all that was that I was generally broke.  Even though I loved having my own businesses as an expression of my interests it was hard going.  

 

I wrote the book cause someone asked me to and all these thoughts were swarming in my head.  I did the dvd cause I wanted to give folks something to review when I didn't want to teach classes.  Now I feel I gotta think a little bit more about income cause the husband, well.....but I'm not sure what now.  I'm thinking there is something worth writing about taking the risk to stay home to be a radical homemaker or householder or punk housewife and than having to face off with the fact that your partner doesn't want to hang around anymore after you've spent the last ten years being all rad and shit and now your sorta fucked.  Which makes the story of this radical householding shot to shit in a way or at least a little fragile if you don't have a way to pay your way which is what the first, second wave of feminists were talking about (or part of what they were talking about) and why a certain sort of irony pervades my life these days.  But I'm a crafty monkey so I'm not entirely worried and, well, I'm not entirely without but I think a word must go out to all those sistahs and brothers out there about getting real about the risk.  Actually, I wrote about all this once before on www.culinate.com where I am a guest blogger.  I think that blog heading was "Paying your way".    

 

I'm hoping to get a few roommates and that the royalties from some of these projects help stem the tide but good news.....I got need now and it will certain motivate me differently.  Might even make this cranky monkey reach out to community.  So bad news good news the way I see it.

Gotcha.  Makes sense.  I'm super envious.  I'm 52 and hubby is 51.  We are not close to retiring (I say "we" loosely because I don't work for money per se.  I do work at home though--the mama, maid, chauffeur, personal assistant, chef, grocery shopper, blah blah blah.  You get it.  It's 24/7, no pay, but the benefits are tremendous.  :)  I get to garden for one thing. 

 

Guess Harriet's book will have to get me through.  :)  Next I'll have to inquire about the canning DVD.


Harriet:  I remember when my first son was born and I told everyone at work I was quitting to become a full-time mom and housewife (He was 2 by then).  Everyone at work tried to talk me out of it.  What will you do if your husband leaves you?  What if he dies?  Sigh.  Well, I decided if "what if" happened, I'd deal with it then.  Right then my son and I needed to be together. 

 

As it worked out, the division where all of us worked ended up closing and we all got a nice severance package--which for me was a direct lightening bolt saying "YES! You can quit!" The rest of them were left scrambling for jobs.  There "what if" had come early. 

 

So I've decided that disaster strikes as it may, haphazardly, and we all just have to do the best we can.  There are no guarantees.  Working or not working.  It is good to have skills--mine are way outdated (I used to be a typesetter in my "other" life), but sometimes other things take precedence. Like children. Or a homegrown kind of life.  Then change comes, and we adapt.  That's life right? Change?  Isn't that a Buddha quote: "Life is change?"

 

So I have utter faith in you.  You've got spunk! (An old Mary Tyler Moore show line where Lou Grant says "You've Got Spunk!" Mary smiles and nods her head and sheepishly says, "Yeah." To which Lou retorts "I HATE Spunk!" )  Sorry, I'm showing my age.

 

I think you have another book in you.  Perhaps it should be written about the radical householder who ends up single and remakes herself while maintaining her moral compass of what she wants out of this life?  Lots of people who can relate to that one, I'm sure.  Or at least maybe a section of the new book could be on that.  You write very well and have TONS of humor, which I love.  I'm THOROUGHLY enjoying your book.  So....who knows?  Maybe that will be your next step.

 

One things for sure, whenever I get too comfortable, I'm in the "zone" and everything is easy, I know change is coming.  Nothing in this world is permanent. The last time that happened for me, my son got arrested and the whole "alcohol and pot" thing came to light.  Talk about being jolted!  Not something I'd wish on anyone.  But, hey, it did wake me up.  I learned A LOT. I have a lot more empathy for my fellow sufferers.  I'm still a work in progress of trying to be a better mom.  A more aware mom.  So...while I didn't want it, change has worked out good.

 

Need and fear are my great motivators--hate to admit it, but its true.  Inspiration comes in a distant third. 

Much appreciation Terri.

 

The odd thing is that after waking up at 3:30 in the morning and reading for awhile I was lulled back to sleep by the notion that there was nothing on my plate for the next day and that I was gonna keep it that way.  I told myself not to worry and to just enjoy the summer of quiet and ease and sun (oh we of the Portland natives hope so).  

 

So I'm just going with the flow which will be perfect and what will be will be. But thanks so much.  Besides, I just have to coast to 62 before Social Security kicks in (if they don't totally mess with it) and if I am frugal and get a few roommates (other like minded householders) it could be a gas.  Old crone on the loose.  So I'm not getting worked up.  If the husband thinks a better life is out there I suggest he go for it.  But then he hasn't taken off yet and I wonder, I really wonder, but I don't ask.  I'm just watching him go through what might well be a mid life crises but I just don't ask.  His business.  Gotta admit he looks a tad confused.  But hey, life is complicated so I'll leave him be.  His life.

Me, I'm happy.  Found my rock a long time ago and damn near nothing knocks me off.  Oh, the kid tried and I got a mess of grey hair in the process but I retained my focus and joy.  How the hell is anyone's guess but I think it has something with finding your rock -- the deep subterranean meaning of your life that comes only after one serious deconstruction.  And that I went through years ago.  Knocked me for a loop but I resurrected stronger then ever.  These days its generally down hill for me. At least most the time.  But I do think I need to speak to the vulnerability of forgoing a career.  I'm older and close to retiring.  I worked most my life before getting married (this time) and selling the last business.  Who knows what it would feel like if I was 10 or 15 years out of the marketplace and many years before retirement age.  Could be risky.

 

Glad I know how to live close to the ground though.  Sure do.  Sure do.

 

Peace

OK, I know I was lucky in being able to retire early (no kids helped financially). But as I've told Harriet, we all have our crosses to bear. I moved out of my parents house at 17 and was a (very poor) rolling stone for nearly 10 years before setting down a bit and staying in one place and becoming a law-abiding citizen and aligning myself more closely with mainstream society. I was never part of the mainstream but had figured out that I would never beat them in a face to face fight so had better lay low and pick my battles. As a result I was able to move in and out amonst them and garnner enough money to retire while at the same time honing my Home-Grown skills while saving my pennies. Two failed marrages (probably mostly my fault) due to incompatable mainstream (non-working) wives who'd rather be at the mall than the garden put me a few years behind. My old boss used to tell me that I couldn't keep splitting my half too many more times if I was ever going to retire. But I now have Debbie and she's not a "mall-aholic" and I love her dearly.

My point? Several times I've been knocked back a few steps but each time recovering was quicker due to the Home-Grown skills I had learned. Saving was quicker cause I already knew how to do it. Investing was the same. Living frugally was easy because I had always embraced it and did it out of choice and not nessessity. My canning, beer-making, boat-building and other renaissance-skills made me an interesting & productive character and I was almost always involved in social gatherings (mostly by invitation). Living the simple life kept my stress in check and my hairline intact. I had a group of like minded folks around me most of the time (support group?). So hang in there and keep at it. Perseverence is the key and without it is a life without hope or purpose.

Dear full head of hair,

 

Life is a gas.  Life is a challenge.   That we survive our own nuttiness and the slings and arrows of centuries of misinformation is a miracle.  It takes luck, fortitude and a functional noggin interested in deconstructing systems and values that do not serve us.  But as I have always said....it ain't for the faint of heart and there but for the grace of god go I.

 

I see so many people lost and broken by life and the system that I will never, ever, say life is simply a matter of making good choices (though the husband can sometimes take that odd position) or cleaning up the bad ones.  No, some people inherit a huge wheelbarrow of turd and simply do not have the skill sets or support to empty it.

 

But I am not one of them and I am ever grateful and humbled by that fact.  I do not complain but rather share in recognition that I am certainly not the only one to face off with folly.  Maybe I am just more willing to share my folly if only because I assume it cracks open a narrative that is often a tad too precious for folks to believe in.  Hell yes, I live a beautiful life with beautiful gardens, lovely canning kitchens and stocked pantries.  Hell, today a local Living magazine is coming to do a photo shoot of the "loveliness" and I laugh and think how, or if, they could show the other side of pretty if only because we all have it.  What faith would folks have in our worlds if we did not share the good with the bad I wonder?  Oh, I have lots of nice and easy stories, lots of privilege and lots of gumption.  I will never say otherwise.  But there but for fortune......

I do not know why I find it necessary to weave the narrative funk of into the beauty of existence.  I'm sure being a second generation holocaust survivor has a lot to do with it.  Who can forget such things?  Who can ever believe in the simple narrative of self determination?  No.  That is not the world we have inherited nor the world most of us live in.  But you are right that we are often the creator of our own messes and to the extent we can outrun them and, as you suggested, persevere, we can be delivered to a better or easier way of living.

 

But I say life will always have some element of funk to it.  I just like to make room for it at the table.  "Hello funk, how you hanging?"  As Ram Dass (aka Richard Albert) once said -- "You never outrun your demons, you just invite them in for tea." Amen.

 

Now get busy with that deck.  

well, I'm joining the conversation a week late, 9 pages in and probably a buck short, but I just wanted to say I feel like a gnome in the land of giants.  I am home, day in, day out, and doing the progress versus maintainance thing daily.  The struggle for me (ok, 'one' of the struggles, as their are many) is that I strive to balance the need to accomplish the daily shit with the spiritual enjoyment of the accomplishments.  My systems are wrapped up in that, and if I'm not wrapt in them, I find no joy, and only self-loathing and disgust at my way of life if it doesn't 'gel'.

 

I do have a chest freezer,I don't get all travelling and going to and froing all over the place.  I did that in my 20's, before kids, across my own country to teach me how to be alone.  And I'm not alone anymore.  I'm frikkin surrounded on all sides with two kiddo's and a fella who works away for 2 weeks at a time.  So it's now about finding the systems that work for not one, but four individuals who came together via some wierd cosmos shift and a love song or two.

 

Sorry, I digress.  I think what I'd like to do is supply the meade, get you lot talking and just lay on the floor and let all that knowledge wash over me.  I'm like the gypsymama, I don't have a hell of a lot of addition to my internal dialogue on being a good householder or mama, it's just me and the fella, bashing about in the dark like the blind leading the blind til we find what sits well with us.

 

So to find those systems I read, I practise and I talk, occassionally to folks who seem to be on the same level.  I pray for things like the manifestation of solar power on my roof, a budget that allows the fella to come home every night and an ability to sell my handiwork one day to well-meaning folks who don't know how to sew or knit (and thank god not every one knows how easy those skills are, cos I plan to sell that stuff one day).

 

So here I am, as I said, a week late.  But geez, I hope I can tap in to this conversation and keep my dream alive.

KylieinOz:

 

I don't think you have to worry about people finding out how easy those skills are.  For some people--it just is not easy, but frustrating.  I can sew, simple basic stuff.  But I couldn't knit to save my life.  Not that I haven't tried--my mind and my fingers just won't connect.  I'm left-handed and I never met anyone who could show me how to do it without confusing the heck out of me.  And then there are those out there who simply do not have the time to knit--mostly the type of people who are heavily involved with working for the "man." The ones that go to the ready-marts that have meals planned out and ingredients measured, sliced and diced, so all you have to do is take it home and cook it with their "recipe." Course it cost twice as much (thereabouts) as doing it yourself but hey, they're too busy earning money to care. Like rats on a big rat wheel.  So don't worry--there will always be others to buy your handiwork.  The dream lives! Until the big Apocalypse happens, that is.  Ha!

 

I keep telling my hubby that someone should open an "organic" drive-thru offering sandwiches, hamburgers, whatever, using only healthy, organic, pasture-fed, free-range ingredients.  Can you imagine?  The poor souls on the Rat Wheel would cough up the extra money for sure.  Hey, if you can't live the "green" life, perhaps you can buy it?  This is not a rant against people earning money.  There's nothing wrong with that.  People gotta eat, they have to pay for their mortgages and provide for their families. But there's this whole American thing going on with "I gotta have it!" mentality--two cars in the garage, a 3,000 sq. ft. house in the "burbs", shopping at the mall at least once a week, while their house and closets are overflowing with "stuff."  That's what I'm having a problem with. 

 

I guess I'm just a simple home-body.  My husband does work--and very hard to provide for us.  To pay for the mortgage.  So were stuck in the system too.  But I am trying to "free" us somewhat with less "stuff" and homegrown food.  The more I can change my way of thinking to live a simpler life, the more we are able to enjoy the life we have.  I look forward to the day when he will no longer have to work.  Could I go to work too?  I could.  We could have "more."  But at $8 an hour for a job I'd be sure to hate--I don't think so.  I've done it before.  When things were too tight.  I got sick a lot.  Literally.  I worked at a dept. store and caught every bug imaginable--probably from handling the money of those lovely shoppers who let their kids run all over pulling clothes off the racks while simultaneously wiping the runny nose of a toddler and grabbing in their purse for money. Oy!  What is with that?  What can you possibly need so desperately at a department store that you need to drag three kids away from playing so they can scream and cry and run amok in a store?  I never got that.  I always waited until my husband was home to go.  Maybe I'm weird.  My kids hated going to the mall and I hated taking them.  It wasn't enjoyable for either one of us.  I know there are exceptions--husbands travel, you need to buy a gift, your sitter has mono--but I'm telling you most of those mother's with their kids running wild are NOT the exception.  Why don't they just take them to the park?  

 

OMG.  I'm ranting.  Raving. I'm one of those lunatics.  Sheesh.  Sorry everyone!  I'm slinking back into my dusty little corner of the world. 

Kylinie, It good to have an Aussie involved so we get the "down under" perspective. And there aren't any giants here as you can tell if you read all our ramblings.

 

Terri, great rant. People seem to be so entrenched in the making of money rat-race that they try to be green by buying it rather than living it. Like you I don't berate people for making money but rather poke fun at how they manage it when they get it. You point out the "I gotta have it" mentality. Seems like everyone wnats to slap leather (grab their wallets) everytime they see something desireable. They want instant gratification in all aspects of their lives. It's just like a bunch of kids. Give a kid a bunch of money and who knows what they will do. If they're in a candy store they'll likely buy candy, and lots of it. If they're in a toy store they'll likely buy tons of toys. Whatever presents itself first is likely to get the money. People are too busy to lead the simple life. They gotta work more hours to pay for the too-big house that they don't need. Then they gotta pay for the comes-withs like bigger insurance bills, bigger utilities, bigger taxes, bigger maintnance costs.....Then the nieghbor buys a better car, truck or boat and that results in a percieved need to buy one too. Gotta pay someone to do a grat job of landscaping in the off chance that they have enough time to invite someone over to entertain. Then the furnature has to be upgraded. The rooms are so big the TV has to be big enough to be seen from 50 feet away. Gotta eat out at all the right places. Gotta work more hours so I can pay for all this and don't have the time to do anything cause I'm working all these hours. Sounds like a hampster on a wheel huh?

  • We watch too much TV instead of reading a how to book on cooking, canning, gadening...and that TV shows/tells us we need to spend more money to buy this or that.
  • We eat out even for maintnance meals. Most folks I talk to have eaten at nearly every resturant in town and seem to know them well enough to talk about each item on the menu.
  • We pay someone else to mow our yards so we can have time to make more money(to pay someone to mow our yard?). Then we pay to go excercise because we need it (instead of mowing our yard?).
  • We pay huge monthly fees for computers, TV channels, phones, IPADS, IPHONES....so we can be more productive and make more money (to pay for those services).
  • We  continually indenture ourselves into servatude by using credit to buy all the stuff that is supposed to make us happy but doesn't.
  • Go to the Healthfood store and buy a "green living fix" for the day. Or maybe go out to eat at a vegan resturant and pat ourselves on the back. Buy a solar reflector to install on the top of our 3000sq.ft. home so we can point at it and say how green we are. Maybe buy a brand new hybrid so we can save gas (how much gas would you have to save to pay for that?).

My point? If ya want to simplify your life ya gotta tune out the world and start from scratch. Truely thing about each thing and examine it to see if it fits into your masterplan. Don't spend your time dusting if your garden needs watering. Get rid of the TV and save the money spent on the cable bill to build yourself some raised bed gardens. Quit researching and start doing something. Don't grab your wallet unless someone else is trying to get it out of your pocket. If you do the right stuff first, the rest will somehow get done if it truely "needs" to be done.

 

Now there's a rant for you.



Terri Estey said:

KylieinOz:

 

I don't think you have to worry about people finding out how easy those skills are.  For some people--it just is not easy, but frustrating.  I can sew, simple basic stuff.  But I couldn't knit to save my life.  Not that I haven't tried--my mind and my fingers just won't connect.  I'm left-handed and I never met anyone who could show me how to do it without confusing the heck out of me.  And then there are those out there who simply do not have the time to knit--mostly the type of people who are heavily involved with working for the "man." The ones that go to the ready-marts that have meals planned out and ingredients measured, sliced and diced, so all you have to do is take it home and cook it with their "recipe." Course it cost twice as much (thereabouts) as doing it yourself but hey, they're too busy earning money to care. Like rats on a big rat wheel.  So don't worry--there will always be others to buy your handiwork.  The dream lives! Until the big Apocalypse happens, that is.  Ha!

 

I keep telling my hubby that someone should open an "organic" drive-thru offering sandwiches, hamburgers, whatever, using only healthy, organic, pasture-fed, free-range ingredients.  Can you imagine?  The poor souls on the Rat Wheel would cough up the extra money for sure.  Hey, if you can't live the "green" life, perhaps you can buy it?  This is not a rant against people earning money.  There's nothing wrong with that.  People gotta eat, they have to pay for their mortgages and provide for their families. But there's this whole American thing going on with "I gotta have it!" mentality--two cars in the garage, a 3,000 sq. ft. house in the "burbs", shopping at the mall at least once a week, while their house and closets are overflowing with "stuff."  That's what I'm having a problem with. 

 

I guess I'm just a simple home-body.  My husband does work--and very hard to provide for us.  To pay for the mortgage.  So were stuck in the system too.  But I am trying to "free" us somewhat with less "stuff" and homegrown food.  The more I can change my way of thinking to live a simpler life, the more we are able to enjoy the life we have.  I look forward to the day when he will no longer have to work.  Could I go to work too?  I could.  We could have "more."  But at $8 an hour for a job I'd be sure to hate--I don't think so.  I've done it before.  When things were too tight.  I got sick a lot.  Literally.  I worked at a dept. store and caught every bug imaginable--probably from handling the money of those lovely shoppers who let their kids run all over pulling clothes off the racks while simultaneously wiping the runny nose of a toddler and grabbing in their purse for money. Oy!  What is with that?  What can you possibly need so desperately at a department store that you need to drag three kids away from playing so they can scream and cry and run amok in a store?  I never got that.  I always waited until my husband was home to go.  Maybe I'm weird.  My kids hated going to the mall and I hated taking them.  It wasn't enjoyable for either one of us.  I know there are exceptions--husbands travel, you need to buy a gift, your sitter has mono--but I'm telling you most of those mother's with their kids running wild are NOT the exception.  Why don't they just take them to the park?  

 

OMG.  I'm ranting.  Raving. I'm one of those lunatics.  Sheesh.  Sorry everyone!  I'm slinking back into my dusty little corner of the world. 

Well then.  Here is something else.

 

This going backwards is not just a think piece or rather, we must, must, must recognize that just wanting to change or even reaching for change is not simply about being eager, or willing, or being hard working or not.  Our entire way of seeing ourselves and the world around us is enmeshed in a narratives that has taken centuries to take root - centuries.  Oh yes, we may think we want to service all our needs - sew, mend, cook, can, chop wood, carry water, care for the soil, grow our food, shepherd and milk the animals, tend the chill'ns, bake the bread, tend the fires and on and on and on and on -- but the systems of our inheritance are sticky wickets that have many elements woven in it we both love and hate.   

 

I'm not saying which is which and what folks will love or hate but am saying that I find it hard, very hard, to unweave a narrative that has had so many centuries to take root and has defined me in ways I cannot even truly imagine. What to embrace and what to leave behind?  Is it really that easy?  Can we know all the places we have gotten stuck and/or restored? What in the narrative has come to our rescue?  What has brought the downfall?

We all move slowly and as we can.  I trip across the places of my attachments all the time.  Despite my grief about the world around me and the disparity I see, I understand I cannot just  think my way clear of the matrix of modernity.  It is too complex and vexing.  It has taken centuries, yes centuries, to take root.

And yet, on some level, it is about the same thing - our ability to love our neighbor as much as ourselves.  That one is ancient, biblical, and maybe, in the final hours, the most vexing one for us.  I never forget that.  Yes -- damn the things and people that have stolen our future and soiled our lands but what of that one simple prescription -- that which you do.....

 

There was a great Jewish philosopher who said - "That which is objectionable to you , do not do to others --- the rest, is commentary."   The rest is commentary.  My talk, fancy talk, all our talks - commentary.  

So there it is....I can be selfish. I can be dismissive.  I can be private.  My neighbor????  Generally, only when I'm in the mood.   So who is the "they" that has fu#ked it up?  What is the thing I must abandon?  So many questions.  

Modern science?  Health saving drugs?  Arts and Letters?  Technology? Indoor plumbing?  Heat when I want it?  Great meals by great chefs (on the occasion)?  Thin china cups on my lips with a great cup of tea?  Closing my door when I'm not in the mood to deal with the world and knowing, if I want, I can simply crawl into bed with a great book and enjoy the gift of privilege despite all those who are suffering out there?  Writing you all with the aid of technology?  What shall I eschew? What shall I keep?  

So yes, confusing.  So yes, hunkering down with our loved ones, dealing with the fact that we're all sorta, kinda, serfs if only a little big fancier, paying bills, staying afloat, making due with what we have, learning a few new skills and trying like heck to be good people.  Shit yeah, confusing and a whole lot of commentary.  

 

Much love fellow sojourners, much love. 

Wow.  I thought for sure you guys were gonna think I'd lost it.  And now I see we're all in the same boat together.  Trying to cope with the endless circle of the catch-22's of modern life.  Yep...yep...yep.  You betcha.  I can look at what Pat has pointed out and think it's hopeless.  There is no way out.  It's a huge tangled web we're in.  But...all I know is: 

  • Whenever I freecycle something I've been hanging onto for 10 years that I may have used a handful of times
  • Whenever I check my worm composter and watch those little critters eating all my prep-scraps and turning it into black gold
  • Whenever I plant a few seeds and then watch in amazement as they send green shoots up through the soil

I find myself filled with joy, optimism and hope.  I guess that is a start.

 

As for the love your neighbor stuff:  some people are easier to love than others. 

 

I live in an HOA where some neighbors find it offensive to see children riding bikes, skateboarding, roller-blading, or playing ball in the neighborhood streets (or worse on that water-hogging grass they plant). Fruit trees in the front yards?  Say what??? Too messy. Vegetable beds?  Fuh-get-about-it.  I do hope someday to move away from the whole HOA thing and perhaps live more rurally--but whether that happens or not time will tell.  So for now, I make do with what I have and do my best to "get along."  I tried fighting these rules in the beginning, raising what I thought were valid points at board meetings but I was quickly dismissed.  I could do the whole petition thing, rouse up a neighborhood protest--but honestly?  I barely have enough energy to handle my little backyard and my baby-step changes--I just don't have it in me to take on the man too.  

 

So I do my best.  I am mostly cheerful and kind.  But on occasion...I have been known to have a full blown-rant attack.  And you all are witnesses.

 

Harriet:  I especially love the point about paying to go to a gym rather than mow our own lawn.  That one really gets me.  What happened to bike riding?  Our city has built beautiful bike paths but the gyms are still full. Or walking?  I live about a block away from the grocery store and I have to admit I usually drive there.  Because I hate grocery shopping (loved that in your book too Harriet) so when I do go, I buy enough to pretty much keep us through two weeks or more.  Way too much to fit into one of those little pull along bag holders.  I keep telling myself, walk, get the bag holder, shop every day.  But God...the thought is enough to send me to bed.  Not the walking, the shopping.  I HATE,  I LOATH shopping.

 

The farmer's market is my new joy:  unfortunately it's a 20 minute drive across town.  Sigh.  Compromise.  That is what I seem to have to do to stay on this green path.  I could go on and on and on. 

 

Somebody slap me.

Ah, y'see...this is what I mean about being around giants.  The conversation level here kinda has my mind in a twirl.  So many retorical questions, which could be answered on a personal level but all boil down to one thing...

 

I follow my path, and rarely, very, very, rarely I meet a woman like me who not only thinks that walking your own path is great, but what's even greater is she doesn't need me to validate my walk or her own.  And that's what this conversation feels like.

 

I also, am a great head scratcher when it comes to meeting other at-home-mums that pay exorbitant fees at a gym but don't garden, or take their kids to walk to the park or ride past the river.  I actually know people who have paid THOUSANDS for organic garden beds to be build in their yards and then hire the builder/gardener to come and tend to them every week with maintaining AND harvesting their bounty.  I really have no answer for them when they ask me "how great is this?", cos I think it's fucking insane.  But that's my anger building up in their stupidity (or maybe my jealousy?  Buddhism, anyone?).

 

But Terri, I totally agree with the grocery thing, and Oh My Bob do I hate, loathe and detest going in to any store that breeds the "I Wanna" in to my kids like it's their god-given right to bear plastic shit made by some poor bastard in some dark continent I'll probably never visit.  And then when the neighbours (helpful MarthaFarkers they are) ask me why my boy doesn't know who Ben10 is or why I prefer he doesn't eat certain things or why my kids wear 2nd, 3rd or 4th hand clothes with that look of 'why, can't you afford it like we do?' I could just drag them in front of documentaries like Food Inc, or Blood, Sweat and Tshirts and pin their eyelids open to make them watch.  But then, what's the point, right?  It's like you're all saying, we find our own paths, and some are better at wielding the machete through the concrete jungles we live in to see clearly their way forward.  Others stick to the pavements, keeping the man on the wheel working at what he or she knows best.  And both are comfortable, aren't they?

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