Wednesday, July 9, 2008

the people in your neighborhood

I want to start off this post with some praise. One of the really great things about blogging during the cross-country road trip was that part of the day when we would get to the hotel and, upon starting up the computer after another tiring day, find comments and cheers from the day before. It really did add to the feeling of being on a grand adventure, and soften the blow of moving so far from everything I had known.

Well, some of those comments came from the intrepid Ms. Sensible Shoes who, by the way, I've never actually met in person. She traveled back in time to my Devil's Tower post just recently and sent me a link to her own travel blog. So cool to see the trip through the eyes of her and her family, to see those mountains again and that wide inspiring sky. Stop by for a look and cheer her along, too! You can find her blog here. :)

If you can pull your drooling eyes away from that delicious photo of homemade jam for a moment, I want to tell you all about this crazy-good delicious homemade jam. :) Celeste's sister-in-spirit Korin recently let me bring home a jar of her oh so good strawberry rhubarb jam she made in those first early weeks of our arrival on this coast. That's right, mom, I said "rhubarb"! This stuff is serious business.

Ms K says it is no big deal, but you know- I'm still new here and these things still stand out to me as remarkable, as well as generous. (Have I told you yet that we have a "worm bin" at work? Seriously- it came up in the interview. My apartment-mate also composts, everyone I know here does but I thought it was because they're home owners. I think the word for that back east is "trash compactor".) It is just such a shift from the mentality from living in, say, Pennsylvania- where I was reading books like Michael Pollen's In Defense of Food... but somehow making a change still felt removed, factual, daunting.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the emerging sense only I could take responsibility for my food choices really hit home in a big way last year, and that those choices absolutely effect a staggering system of people I can't even begin to account for. Seeing our friends not stress about it, not complain about any expense or not eating something because it's out of season is a great comfort. There is proof you can get used to living this way so beautifully. That strawberry rhubarb jam is damn good, but it also goes to show what the precious results can be of making those choices... plus food can (and should!) make people really, delightfully happy. Thank you, Korin!

This past Sunday I by chance caught a re-broadcast of Krista Tippett talking with Barbara Kingsolver in an interview they call "The Ethics of Eating". I highly recommend it, it comes without all those scary facts and statistics that talk about eating local vs. processed foods often shocks with. Last year when it aired I remember thinking "wow, if only...". Somehow now it sounds less daunting to me- perhaps because I've actually had a taste of such lovingly made, simple food and realize "wholesome" is a very special word indeed. For someone who has had such trouble with food for so long, I think I can't even begin to express my relief that I'm beginning to enjoy eating.

Other than that, did you all know it is like 300,000 degrees here? Hot enough for me to look at my paycheck and opt for summer clothes over a bed this month. Hot enough that I'll do something wacky like stop by the DQ for a vanilla cone with sprinkles and actually convince myself it is the very best of ideas.

Looks good, right?
Well, just a little rant from me tonight: I am getting really tired of migraines.
I think everyone that has seen this trend with me over the last many years would agree that the headaches are coming from either exhaustion or sugar depending- and I mean the sugar I should have enough self restraint in my ripe old age to avoid. Tonight I came home from work and spent the last 3 hours "sleeping" off my incredible headache, and I just know this sick-head came from the offending soft serve from the other day. Funny, because I stayed home from my Museum adventure yesterday in hopes to keep the migraine at bay- it struck this afternoon anyway. I am so through with canceling plans or leaving work or not being able to look at a page because of this hurt.

It may be because in the last year or so migraines became more rare for a while, and then returned with such overwhelming nausea as a new addition. So, I hope you don't mind as I openly just complain all out here but they just leave me feeling so frustrated and depleted. I am going to put in the effort for the rest of July to live without processed sugar and see where it leaves me. Hopefully (considering everything I said up top) the "sacrifice" won't seem so bad... just give me several weeks before mentioning chocolate.


Celeste said...

i really like how you've processed all we've been learning about food and eating in this post! portland's community is definitely a place to inspire one to greater heights of responsibility, all the while feeling happier and better about life in general. and yeah, Korin's quite the inspiration, herself!

so sorry you had another migraine last night. i think your idea about cutting out sugar is a sound one. ((hug))

korin said...

Aw, I'm glad you love my (LOW SUGAR) jam :)It makes me happy to make you happy!

I think my worms are dead, i hope yours are doing well!

mushroommeadows said...

Yum yum...that jam looks so very tasty!

the heat makes people go crazy. :) the ice cream with sprinkles looks like it would help. :)

always young at heart said...

i so empathize with the migraine trauma. it stops us in our tracks weather we like it or not. your post about food is wonderful so enjoy the food discovery your grandmother makes wonderful strawberry rhubarb jam that Ryan lives for, too.

jfk said...

I've done way too much reading and thinking about food over the past couple of years, but it's become the small way in which I've decided to respond to our unsustainable culture. I think it's wonderful that you're in such a supportive community, it can make all the difference.

Mssensibleshoes said...

Thank you so much for mentioning our blog! We are having such a wonderful trip and thank you again for your inspiration!

Vicki said...

Reading your blog posts and the comments, I can't help but be wowed. Dearest, you are touching people's lives (in your precious way). I love your blog and reading about your blossoming new life in Portland.

laurie said...

Vicki- that's one of the sweetest things anyone has ever said to me. Thanks for coming to stand by a friend in need. You really are an amazing friend.