December 9, 2011 § 19 Comments
It’s the quality of the light at this time of year, more than just the quantity. There’s something about it. Do you know what I mean? It seeps into my pores, follows me around, tints my day in a very particular way that I can’t quite describe.
When there’s snow on the ground the sun is so amplified during its brief daily visit that you don’t necessarily notice. But, when the ground is brown, littered with twigs and oak leaves, you can feel that the light is almost timid. It sneaks up above the horizon, peaking about with a muted – sometimes pallid – glow. You can tell as soon as it comes up that it’s already contemplating its journey back down, leaving us in darkness again.
I feel as though I barely get my day going and then I’m looking up and it is rapidly becoming dark outside. And, try as I might, even though it may only be 3:30 or 4:00, I can’t really concentrate on getting any more work done.
If I’m working from home, when it gets dark it means it is immediately time to initiate that day’s Cozy Winter Evening, something I feel is essential if one wishes to keep from being overcome by dreariness. For me this involves turning on a couple of our lights that cast a very warm yellow glow, lighting candles is good too, turning on some cheesy music (this is key), and taking a moment to briefly contemplate the tiny Christmas tree that we decorated and now have perched on the dining room table. « Read the rest of this entry »
August 31, 2011 § 15 Comments
I know I’ve mentioned that I have a meat CSA (community supported agriculture) in addition to a vegetable CSA before, but I can’t remember if I’ve spoken about it at length. And it’s been a long day, and I’m too lazy to check the archives, so I’m going to go ahead and make the executive decision to speak about it at length. In particular, to say: I looooooooooove it! I love it! It’s the best! To be able to get your meat, in a wide assortment of cuts and types, once a month from a farm where you know the animals are being raised sustainably and humanely. Just thinking about it induces a little sigh of relief.
(Given that I can’t eat legumes, many nuts, or unsprouted whole grains, meat winds up being fairly important in my diet, and before I found my CSA it was quite a struggle.)
Kim, the farmer, is wonderful. So friendly, gregarious, and accommodating, and completely uncompromising of principles. They have an open barn once a month so you can come out and “meet your meat,” which is something one really ought to have a chance to do, if one is going to eat meat, and is also a signal, clear as a mountain brook, that they have nothing in their process to hide. And, did I mention the hen house? When the chickens aren’t running about in the fields, pecking and scratching for insects, they roost in an old bus, salvaged from a dump.
An old bus! How wonderful is that image?! And, even more fascinating, between the solar heat and the heat from the feathery little chicken’s bodies, the bus requires no extra energy inputs to make it a pleasant abode for the birds, even in the winter. A chicken Hilton, on wheels…with tires that have gone flat.
And everything we get from Kim just tastes so much better than most of the meat you encounter. When someone says, “tastes like chicken” about something, they mean it tastes chewy, bland, generally inoffensive and entirely uninteresting. But, that’s not what chicken should actually taste like, it turns out. It should taste like chicken! (I’m afraid there’s not really a good way to describe it, so you’re going to have to make some inferences from the bold italics. It’s juicy, nuanced, and I swear you can detect fragrant hints of grass and wildflowers in there – maybe they soak it in while they’re scritching and squabbling about.)
July 15, 2011 § 2 Comments
In spite of having a substantial dose of the type A in my personality, planning is not one of my strong suits. Particularly not the detailed kind. When I plan, checklists, and spreadsheets, and timelines usually fail to make an appearance. Instead, I make a broad sweep through the general idea of what’s going on, or what I’d like to have happen, and then I have a tendency to assume it will just fall into place.
I have been known to forget to order chairs for an event, or to reserve a room for a meeting, or assign tasks to people. Sometimes I think it’s because I don’t try hard enough. That if I were more patient and focused, I would be able to keep track of details.
But really, often it’s not for lack of trying that I don’t plan adequately, it’s because sometimes it simply doesn’t even occur to me to think about the things I miss. I try hard, but they never make even a cursory appearance in my brain. It has a bit of the same sticky mental feeling about it as the way, no matter how hard I think about it, I can never spell guarantee right on the first try.