Monday, August 3, 2009

Oh teh horror.

So the little man is teething...again. In fact, I think he has been teething since the beginning of the month. He has two molars that have already erupted and is currently working on a third, plus his first I-tooth. He is cross and crabby and generally unhappy. Poor baby :(

Sadly for him, I seem to have been PMS-ing for over a week so mommy isn't as sympathetic as I probably should be. Poor baby again...

It is interesting watching him progress into toddlerhood, for he is my no means a baby any longer. He is speaking in full sentences, has very strong opinions about whether or not he is allowed to sleep with his shoes on, and has even asked to call his friend on the phone. He also had his first kiss! With a younger woman, no less. Some saucy 13 month old smooched my baby right on the mouth and he grinned like an idiot for 30!

All in all, however, the transition has been hard for me. He is my son and I love him but I feel like my adjustment to his growth spurts always takes a week or two and it usually results in about 14 days of discomfort, fights, and general malaise. I don't suppose it is supposed to be cake, but I sometimes wish that I were more flexible and could change my way of dealing with his behavior as soon as it became apparent his behavior had changed. I'm sure I'm not the only parent who has ever had this thought...

In either case, the heat is making all of us cranky, teething pains and PMS aside, and I just wish it would rain! So let's all do the rain dance, shall we?

Friday, July 17, 2009

New additions to the family!

So we have two new kittens in our household - they are so adorable I can barely stand it.

The whole process of watching my cat deliver and then take care of her young was both terrifying and reassuring - so much can go wrong, but yet she was completely in her element, her animal instincts guiding her actions and generally assuring the healthy delivery of two very tiny, very adorable, little cats.

I will post pictures as soon as possible - probably when their eyes open. They are still blind and mewling and trying desperately to find the nipples. It is stressful to watch - I keep wanting to help but they always manage to find it without assistance, as it should be.

Aside from the new kitties, things here on the homestead are pretty good. We are definitely getting our goats, which is great, but I don't know that we will be getting them from our friend. One of her goats kidded successfully, delivering a boy and a girl, but the other one lost her baby, which is so sad especially after having some successes here with our kitties. The down side of all this for us is that we wanted two nannies - we really have no use for a boy goat. We don't want them as pets, and there is no way the baby daddy would let us eat an animal we had lived with for nine months. So we may have to research some different sources.

On the up side, the goat milk we are now getting has got to be the best stuff on earth - it is so creamy and delicious I want to drink all of it. Sadly, it is for my little man :( Bummer!

So life is good! The weather is much too warm and I need to pay more attention to this blog - Real Food Mama has been taking up much of my time. As it should :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Book Club

It really is amazing how my book club karma is totally cursed. No matter what happens, I can't seem to get it together to make a book club work. Case(s) in point:

The only book club I ever actually started basically disintegrated after the first meeting because a) no one read the book and b) everyone wanted to drink wine and eat cheese instead.

The second book club I joined I forgot about and didn't attend - neither did anyone else. When it was rescheduled at my house I was the only person there.

This third and final attempt? I have made a glorious cake and have discovered after checking the organizer's web site that of the six people I thought were coming, there remain only two.

At least we will all have a lot of cake...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The caged bird sings..or just flies into the window.

I was sitting quietly on my sofa, watching Zoboomafoo with my son, when out of the corner of my eye I saw our cat Isis running frantically after something in the solarium. Which is rather amusing because she is pregnant and waddles something terrible.

Suddenly, a loud "thunk" startled me out of my television stupor and I realized, with some horror, that pregnant Isis had managed to chase a small house sparrow inside and was trying her best to kill the thing.

Not wanting to clean up that mess, I quickly got up off my lazy ass and carried the cat in while ascertaining that the poor bird was, in fact, still alive.

It was horribly stunned, however, and so I watched it hide in the corner for about an hour or so, until it recovered from it's head on collision with our door.

The funny part of all this is that after it had moved from it's hiding place, I went in to the solarium to look for it and try to shoo it outside. I looked under the coffee table, on top of the armoire, in all the corners...only to have the living daylights scared out of me when the bird flew out of the tree. Because that clearly wasn't the obvious place to look....

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rendered Lard and Rhubarb Pie

I am a Food RENEGADE!

So today is the day I get to use my lard! I am very excited about using it in all of its white, lardy goodness. The process of rendering it was a tad disgusting, I have to admit, but the results were well worth it.

Basically I started off with about 2.5 pounds of leaf lard purchased at my local farmers market. (I use the word "purchase" was actually given to me in exchange for the delivery of a pie using the end product). After cutting it into one inch squares, we put it in a dutch oven, added approximately 3/4 cup of water and then let it cook on the stove-top on low heat for approximately one hour. By the end of the hour, we had approximately a quart of liquid and a lot of chicharrons - which frankly, I'm a little afraid of. It's one thing entirely to eat the lard, but I feel a tad squeamish about eating the by-product.

Don't ask me why, because I've eaten them before, but for some reasons the ones I made look funny.

Regardless, the lard itself is beautiful and should be fabulous in a pie crust.

In addition, my use of the lard today is my contribution to the "Fight Back Fridays" campaign, which you can read more about here.

Pictures of the finished pies will be posted as soon as I find my handy little USB transfer tool...


Here are a few pics of both the lardy goodness and the pie it produced. A bit messy, and I should probably use some pastry flour next time for the perfect texture, but not bad for a first go!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bike riding = rubber legs.

Apparently both the monkey and I were pooped out by our first real bike ride today. He fell asleep in the chair on the back of the bike about a block from the house, and I can't feel anything below the waist.

I appear to have underestimated the difficulty of climbing a 6% grade on a single speed bike with a 27 pound dead weight dragging my fat ass backward down the hill.

At least the ride between the house and the farmer's market is relatively flat...

Suffice it to say, jelly legs and 175 bpm heart rate aside, it feels pretty damn good to exercise! Having been dealing with the lingering effects of the c-section for more than a year now, I have decided the best way to address the issue is to ignore it and work through the pain. I am hoping that I will be pleasantly surprised and discover that this actually decreases the discomfort rather than exacerbating it.

On a more political note, the more I ride my bike, the more likely I will be to survive the post-fossil fuel apocalypse! Go me! (and my Huffy!)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Lard and Fruit and Raw Milk oh my!

So we had a very productive trip to the farmer's market this morning. Unfortunately there were no eggs, but I did find bunches of greens, some fabulous rhubarb and, to top if off I managed to score 2 whole pounds of free lard! Leaf lard none the less!

All I have to do is bake a succulent strawberry rhubarb pie and bring it to the Lard Man next weekend. I suspect I am getting the better end of the deal...

I have almost finished the book Real Food, which I have decided everyone on the planet needs to read. My obsession with lard and raw milk has become fairly entrenched and I am even considering driving over an hour in order to buy several $10 gallons of raw milk.

Yes I realize that is ridiculously expensive, but it comes with free butter! In that the cream rising to the top can be churned into butter in the privacy of my own home if I am so inclined. It is worth the experiment imo, and if I can convince the dairy owner to ship me milk, it will be totally worth it.

In the meantime, I have to take care of my sick little boy, who is suffering from a head cold. I don't imagine lard will be of much help in this situation, but according to the activists, I probably should be stuffing him full of raw milk!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Scary Meat

Once again I am reading a book that makes me wonder how people can be so stupid about their food.

In the book Real Food by Nina Planck, she goes through the differences between conventional (aka, industrial) beef and natural, happy cows. Who, for the record, do not come from California.

Reading it actually makes me physically ill, and when I think about the arrogance, stupidity, hostility, and general abuse with which conventional cows are treated, it makes me cry. And then want to throw up every single piece of beef I've ever eaten that was not raised on grass and allowed to roam free.

Just the information about E. Coli alone is enough to make me want to buy my own cow and name her and give her grass, not to mention the horrible stories about feed-lots, nitrogen waste, and open sores. And don't even get me started on the fact that all the corn being fed these poor abused animals is grown by Monsanto. And we know how I feel about them.

Aside from instilling in me a desire to own my own ranch and refuse point blank to buy anything from an animal to whom I haven't been introduced and have a personal relationship, it makes me really wonder what the hell people are thinking.

Is it not obvious, commonsensical, rational to think that if you eat something that is sick, you too will get sick? I mean, you wouldn't eat rotten potatoes or sour milk (unless you were starving or dared to) so why would you eat meat from a diseased cow? Do people really think humanity is so amazing that we can over-write the natural order without consequences?

The only conclusion I can draw is that indeed we do! Not only does this apply to our food, but also to our environment, our own physicality, our children, and even our pets.

Clearly, humanity has become full of itself. My solution? Abject humiliation on a regular basis.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Passage of Time

So, having re-entered Santa Fe society this spring, I am finding it very interesting to note how time has effected all those with which I was once so familiar.

Having moved around a ridiculous amount as a young adult, it has been quite a while since I have really seen how time passing effects people. When you only stay somewhere for a year or two, you don't really see the impact the passage of time has on people's lives. You leave, and if you return briefly or if you hear from one of the people you left behind, you don't really delve into the depth and breadth with which their lives have been altered.

Now that I am back in the land of Entrapment, it is with crystal clarity that I see how the last 5 years have really effected the lives and daily routines of a community that, at one time, I was so intimately familiar with. Re-entering the city I have chosen to make my own, I see now that the years have taken their toll on those things which I once held so dear.

Not that all the changes have been bad, by any stretch of the imagination. However it fills me with wonder all the same. Everything from hair cuts to businesses closing somehow affects me at a personal level here. I feel intimately intertwined with the community in Santa Fe and so as I re-enter and my existence here re-gains the depths of my previous stay, I find all this change affecting me on a visceral level.

It is all quite bittersweet. Like parenting, you are excited for the growth, but miss those things that must be left behind in order to allow said growth to occur.

Every day now is an adventure, for who knows which person I will run into next who has changed dramatically?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oh teh noes!

After an absence of approximately 25 months, my monthly "friend" has decided to reappear. It explains so much! The homicidal tendencies, the freakishly ill-timed crying - such as, at this song:

I mean, it is kind of depressing, but for Pete's sake!

Suffice it to say, it is a relief that I have a biological explanation for my recent insanity. I thought it was entirely circumstantial...and if that had been the case, I would have to seriously reconsider almost everything about my life. Frankly, I have neither the energy or the resources to reevaluate at that level.

Aside from the sense of relief I feel currently, I also find it fascinating how something that was once so familiar seems so incredibly novel. It's almost like the first time all over again!

I mean, I've spent the whole week convinced that there was an entirely different explanation for my junk food cravings, my emotional outbursts, and my general hatred of the human race. In the past I would have stopped and considered..."ah, perhaps it is that time of the month!"

But not this time! Oh no, I was completely blindsided. Yay me....

So here I am, back to the monthly moodiness, pain, and general ick that is menstruation. Fabulous!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Rain rain go away!

Omg it's so wet!

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Our yard sale was rained out and the whole family is stuck inside. The only positive is that the garden is truly happy.

The barometric pressure makes me want to kill myself, however, so a happy garden is little consolation for a miserably depressed housewife. Now, if it were a happy garden, that would be different...

Sadly the large plants we are growing out back will produce only corn. And while I suppose you could smoke it, I wouldn't be willing to guarantee it would make you feel all woogy.

In addition to it being wet and cold and dreary, it is also Memorial Day weekend and I feel like I should be camping, or at least planning a picnic and drinking beer while getting a sunburn. Surely that sounds more festive than staring at the wall and wishing I could be asleep!

I will be blaming my hormones for the time being, although I suspect a short period of introspection would illuminate the true cause. Chances are I will still blame hormones.

It is my prerogative as a woman!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Meat? Really?

I don't really buy into the assertion that vegetarianism is good for you. Humans evolved to eat meat. And while we can survive without animal protein in our diet, we are generally healthier if we consume the occasional egg or steak.

Which is why I find it really hard to believe that the biggest impact we, as a species, can make on the environment is to stop eating animals.

Give me a break. You're telling me that eating meat is more polluting to our environment than driving around, flying an airplane, dumping pharmaceuticals in our water, power washing the driveway, and Monsanto? Why do I have such a hard time believing this is anything more than crazy vegan propaganda, designed to instill me with the same self-loathing that those poor, anemic, animal loving, tofu-eaters seem to be consumed by?

And I quote:

On of the most meaningful things we can do to arrest climate change is to change the way we eat. As discussed previously, and as hammered home by the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in recent lectures in London and Paris, the meat industry is one of the most devastating causes of global warming. And this is not just factory farming--some analysis indicates that smaller farms cause more warming. They're generally better for animal welfare, water pollution, and desertification, but they actually require more resources, and thus cause more greenhouse gas emissions.

We need government change: We need a shift away from the billions in annual subsidies for the meat industry, as discussed in a Union of Concerned Scientists report. We need more healthy vegetarian foods in schools and other government programs. We need education of the public about this very real cause for alarm and potential solutions. We need leaders who understand the issues and take them seriously. But we also need all of us to take personal charge of our lives, and to do what we can personally to decrease our support for climate change.

This implies that not only does my desire for chicken cause untold suffering, but also that even if I were to buy my hens from local farmers using free-range practices, I'd still be ruining the planet!

The author lumps in my craving for fowl with the destructive effects of large scale, South American cattle ranching!

And on another note:

...if the Earth is warmed by a mere 4 degrees Celsius, by the year 2099 the planet will become unrecognizable. We will have warm, acidic seas that will probably not sustain fish; many of the areas where food is grown and populations flourish will no longer be able to provide for either because of vast flooding or desertification...

Imagine what it might be like if 9 billion (the projected population by then) people are all scrambling to stake claim to a few select and prime habitable areas on the planet.

Really? 9 billion people?

So, apparently 3 billion more people will be living on the planet by 2099? Given all the current environmental pollution problems, potential pandemics, economic concerns and potential food shortages, what makes the mis-informed author of this piece think that there might actually be 9 billion human beings on the planet in 90 years?

I read the book Beyond Beef many years ago and am well aware of how grotesque the whole cattle industry is.

But come on! If I want a piece of fried chicken and have a nice plump hen in my backyard, you can hardly accuse me of destroying the planet.

Maybe the poor authors blood sugar was low. Vegetarianism does that.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The World According to Monsanto

While the monkey was taking a nap this morning, I decided to rot my brain by watching some television. Given that I am quite the intellectual...I decided to watch the Sundance channel.

And to my surprise and enjoyment, there was a very interesting documentary on Monsanto that was created by a french woman. So given my recent rant about the French, I feel a retraction is in order.

I now only despise french men.

I've included a link to entire film below in the event any of you have a spare hour and 45 minutes to kill and are curious about how one of the largest BioTech companies in the world is slowing taking over the food supply.

Linky link!

Suffice it to say, I was very, very, very glad to discover today that my garden holds multiple sprouts of an heirloom corn variety. It is very nice to know that I am doing my part to undermine Monsanto and their ilk!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rude people

So I met my neighbor this weekend and discovered that he was the owner of a French pastry shop! How excited was I? Turns out that he is the proprietor of a place called Le Zodiac here in town, a place I have wanted to try for a very long time.

Excited about going, my mother, son and I bundled ourselves into the car and headed over to what we hoped would be a lovely French cafe with fabulous coffee and delicious pastries.

What we found reminded me of why I hate France. The proprietor (NOT my neighbor thankfully) was the biggest fucking dick of a French fuck I have every had the displeasure of interacting with.

The web site I linked above stated that the hours for the place where from 7 to 3:30. When we arrived at 2 and saw that the place was in the process of being shut down, I mentioned to the frog fucker that the web site said the place was open until 3:30.

His response was "And I am saying 2:30." But it wasn't just what he said, it was how he said it. As though I was not only beneath his notice, but also disgusting and repugnant at the same time. And I will absolutely discuss his horrible attitude with my neighbor the next chance I get. I'm all for supporting local businesses, but not if they treat me like something they wiped off their shoe.

Gives me half a mind to sick Gordon Ramsey on the place.

While the pastry was fabulous, I'd rather have sex with a dog than go back while that arrogant ass is working the counter. Just who the hell does he think he is, anyway?

I mean really, what the hell have the french invented aside from choux pastry that is really worth talking about?

(As it turns out, quite a lot.)

Monday, May 11, 2009

PMD - Post Mother's Day

So here it is, the Monday after Mother's Day, and I am enjoying my tea and preparing to finish planting the garden.

I have actually been a little thoughtful this mother's day, thinking about the concepts of nurturing and nourishment. As I planted my garden yesterday morning, my plan for mother's day for some time now, I realized that motherhood is about so much more than just parenting.

My whole attitude has shifted since I became a mother. And while I certainly spend much of my time parenting, the concepts of mother as a nurturing, loving, warm, protector have really moved into the forefront of my thinking recently.

The garden is just one expression of this energy in my life. The desire to grow my own food, protect and nurture plant life, and generally put my energy into helping something grow is a very new thing for me. I am enjoying it very much.

As I look at my son and realize that he is quickly moving out of the baby stage and into full blown toddler-hood, I think it is important for me to focus on the larger picture of motherhood. Rather than thinking about the specifics of parenting and the daily slog of diapers, baths, and food preparation, I find myself really taking a look at how I can provide my son with the same kind of support and nourishment that I will provide my garden. Both need constant attention to grow, and both need a certain level of independence in order to fulfill their potential.

My son is mine to protect and care for, nurture and nourish, love and hold, and someday, let go. It's a sobering thought, and makes much of my day bittersweet. But oh, how good it is now when the little man gives me a hug and sits on my lap!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bad Day

Every fucking thing is fucking fucked.

So fuck!

Things I hate today:

vegan parents - Idiots...
poor communication skills
feral cats
general stupidity
cell phones
not being pampered
apricot scones

I need some fucking coffee, but I can't fucking have any because I'll get fucking mastitis.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Horse Shit!

I say horse shit!

All over my yard and in my shoes!

Well, okay, it isn't actually in my shoes but for some reason I like the way that sounds...

An entire load of horse manure was dropped in my garden space today by the father of my child and tomorrow it will be tilled into the soil and planting will begin! I already have a lovely pair of gardening shoes in which to work. I would show you all a picture, but apparently there aren't any. I bought shoes that no longer exist.

So my mother's day will be spent shoveling shit and planting seeds and generally getting so sunburned I won't be able to move the next day. Very exciting stuff, if I do say so myself. I am really excited about having a garden this year, as it is the first time I have ever undertaken such a venture.

We will be planting corn and beans and carrots and turnips and potatoes and chilis and tomatoes..the list goes on ad nauseum. We also purchased several fruit trees and while they will not yield any fruit this year, the established trees will and already are showing signs of delicious-ness.

There is something very satisfying about growing your own food, and I have been looking at our seeds and our plots and literally deducting the food costs in my head. Now all I need is a canner and we can be set for the whole year! Oh, and I need some goats and a place to grow oats...

Aside from that we're almost totally self sufficient! Er, well except for the electricity and the city water... >.>


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Stupid phone bill *shakes fist*

So here I am again in a situation where the damn cell phone bill is overdue, they want to turn off my service, and I have no money.

One might ask why I actually have a cell phone if I can't afford to pay the bill and never use it. I frequently ask myself the same question!

Luckily, however, AT&T is quite understanding and has yet to disconnect me.

The key it seems to is to call them, explain that you are dirt poor, and then tell them that you want to set up a payment plan and work on getting them their money.

I don't know if it is the economic situation that currently exists, or if it is just that I am suddenly acting and sounding more responsible, but the folks on the other end of the phone seem to be much more willing to work with me these days when it comes to money issues.

As a result I will continue to be a happy costumer of AT&T and will continue to use my silly little cell phone to call...well no one.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cat House

No, I am not referring to a place to find loose women.

While perusing the interwebs this morning, I came across a rather interesting site. My 15 m/o little boy loves his "maos" (i.e., cats) and frequently request that we look at pictures of them on line. So, while we were doing that, I discovered a video documentary of a place called "The Cat House on the Kings".

This is a no-kill rescue ranch for cats - I think they house something like 700. The woman who runs the place has 6 acres and a serious love for all things feline. Apparently she has feeding stations placed around the property and cat doors in every room, so the animals are allowed to come and go as they please. All of her cats are up for adoption and in the event that one doesn't get adopted, it is allowed a permanent home at her ranch.

Apparently not all crazy cat ladies are actually nuts! It give me hope for myself.

Here is a link to her facility, and the video documentary I found.

The Cat House on the Kings

Monday, May 4, 2009

Welcome to my country!

So here we are again, blogging.

Rather than setting up a blog for a specific event or activity in my life, I thought it was about time I set up a blog. Where-in I can rant and rave about any ole' thing rather than feeling obligated to stick to a particular "topic" - we all know how hard that is when you have ADD! Especially when your ADD manifests as a 15 month old, toe-headed little boy who requires a remarkable amount of attention.

Crazy kid.

Speaking of, I've become a bit of a parenting nazi and as a result, may alienate all my nice, new friends. Why don't parents pay more attention? What is it about a large park and a "playdate" that makes pregnant women think they can let their two and three year olds run amok and push other, smaller, MY children, over? I realize that being nine months pregnant takes it out of you, but whatever happened to paying attention to your children?

Apparently it has totally gone out of fashion.

Suffice it to say, I scared the bejesus out of a little boy who felt it necessary to exert his superiority over my little angel. The poor kid spent the rest of the playdate circling the soccer field and hiding from me. Which, frankly, was my intention. The little shit is lucky I didn't slap him upside the head.

Child abuse is totally wrong unless they hit your kid first.

Luckily for me, the baby daddy is in total agreement so I won't be the only one alienating all the nice stay at home moms (SAHM's for those of you out of the loop) who are clearly more interested in discussing fashion and home renovation projects than actually watching their kids. In fact, the baby daddy was disappointed that the little bully's father wasn't around so they could play a grown up version of the playground antics that got us here in the first place.

I love men!

At least if I'm the only one watching my kid, none of the other moms will see my pop their little devils one.