Saturday, May 30, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
This entails a lot of flora and fauna - which can be beautiful both right out my office window and on the drive over.
[Lilac tree right out the front door of my office - it smells divine walking into work!]
[One of my favorite views driving to work...]
Driving on backcountry roads took some getting used to. I share the road with tractors and birds...
[A turkey vulture! One of five that I actually caught on camera.]
...as well as the deer (my biggest fear is too much "sharing" with these creatures!) and having little room for two vehicles passing each other on opposite sides. However, what is peculiar about passing other vehicles on country roads is what my everlovin' informed me as being country friendly. Whether you know them, see them regularly, recognize them or not, the folks driving country roads almost always wave a friendly hello to each other. At first I thought this was just something farm or country folks did - until I tried it myself. I admit I had to practice. You have to get the 'wave' right or sometimes it won't work. But when it does -- I essentially feel that the world itself is wishing me a good day. I can't help but smile when everyone I pass appears genuinely happy to see me.
Another thing I have noticed about driving in small-town Indiana is that there are a ton of four-way stops. This does not bother me, but rather fascinates me due to the friendliness with which people approach the courtesy of allowing others to go first. I have been given the "go-ahead" nod or wave several times at a four-way stop. As a former city-dweller who has handled her share of traffic, this was bizarre behavior. But it is so nice! One of my 2009 resolutions was to try to be the first person to wave on another at a four-way stop. It's tough - because most everyone at least seems to be trying to be first as well. It is small, and maybe silly, but every time I get to let another person go first at the stop, I feel really pleased -- like I've let a little joy into the world.
On the agenda this upcoming Sunday is going to our undisclosed, secret morel hunting location. It has been both rainy and warm - perfect conditions for those fun guys. Pictures will be forthcoming.
P.S. - This blog has been brought to you by my new-to-me iBook G4. Oh my goodness how I enjoy it!
Friday, May 8, 2009
After the harshest, longest winter I have ever endured, I am so much more than happy to welcome spring. Having lived most of my life in New Mexico and Washington state, I never really had to *deal* with winter. However, the 2008-2009 season in Indiana has officially created a wise winter driver out of me. Having lived in mostly metropolitan areas, I used to bemoan driving a stick in traffic. Now that I have a rural commute, driving a stick is a true fortunate experience in the winter!
This will be my fourth spring in Indiana. What I am looking forward to most is the following:
(cross your fingers. Ryan -- a.k.a my everlovin'/the farmboy -- and I found three bags' worth last year, this year could be a bust...)
(strawberries, blueberries and raspberries)
(don't know what we're going to have yet - garlic, herbs and chiles have been mentioned)
This year will be even more fun because we were generously given canning equipment and we bought a food dehydrator. Last year, through the farms and gardens of our families, Ryan and I did not have to go to the grocery store for more than a few things here and there for about six months! This year, the plan is to freeze, can and dry even more and see how we can last. I am really excited to try all kinds of what we have dubbed suburban homesteading.
Spring also means that I don't have to wait very long for Farmer's Markets.
I have one within walking distance of my apartment and one on the way to work.
I am a big proponent of the idea that people should try to eat and support local agriculture. Check out American Farmland Trust above and the 100-mile diet.
One more thing I really want to share: I said in my last post that I might not talk about my time in St. Louis because it wasn't pretty. I have to admit that it was quite difficult at times, but after publishing my first blog, my first follower was a friend I made in St. Louis, and the second comment on my blog was from another friend I made in St. Louis. I am humbled that despite my harsh words, the goodness that was part of my St. Louis experience became clear to me. Thank you, my St. Louis posse, for reminding me that I had the amazing experience of learning about new cultures, laughing 'til I cried, and got through it with you being there for me!