Thursday, February 12, 2009

This was the best apartment ever. We lived there until we discovered that Josephine was on her way. It has the most beautiful park outside, and it was close to everything: Peet's coffee and Park street (toy safari-- the greatest toy store in the world), and Trader Joe's was in the other direction.

We had the best neighbors, too. Our down stairs neighbors were musicians, and they would play the loveliest cello ever, and often she played with a trio. And you know how sound is amplified when it passs through walls? It was glorious, to look out the great bay windows during The Beautiful time, and the cello would seep up, rising through the floor.

And we had kids in the building, downstairs and next door--so we had building friends for the kids.

When the family that owned the building put it up for sale we mourned, and ached a bit, because we always stated that when they sold it someday we would buy it, because it was so perfect and lovely. Except it was too small; barely a 2 bedroom with the second bedroom basically fitting a bed for the boys and a dresser.

I miss Alameda now, and the whole beautiful bay. And the air, the way the sea would marry the air and make me want to run down to the sand on the bay, and sink my teeth into the rocks, crying out like the sea birds.

But I miss that apartment the most. It was the most 'home' of anyplace I've lived since, well, since my parent's home, I guess.

the mini farm

So here is a tale. A tale of desires, and plans, and hopes and dreams.

I'd like to grow something really tasty and vend it at the farmers' market. Originally we wanted to lease an acre and start a CSA, but that seemed a bit ambitious. But I can grow anything, and I could grow enough of a product (I must keep the exact product to myself, for now... this is a part of my business sense, which is highly backwards and superstitious. Please forgive me) in my front and backyard.

Food not lawns.

But there reality sets in: I need to incorporate, so that cost fifty bucks, then there is insurance, business license, a table and a canopy. All of this costs money. I have a loose confederation of ladies who want to band together and collectively get one spot at the FM (I think we would all fit) and we could create another structure to act as a single entity for the purposes of marketing, but keep our own books, sell our stuff; and enjoy each others' company.

If there was a day when someone couldn't make it, chances are another one of us can--so we won't miss out...

And the whole idea is that is will have zero carbon footprint, even negative footprint. The only time we would impact anything is driving the few miles to the market, or I thought eventually when the baby is big enough to pedal, we can bike there, puling the product in a trailer. I guess I could deliver the goods (if we do go CSA style, I think insurance is not required then, so the overhead is less) via bicycle. I think I can still take food stamps for payment that way, too. Because that is another goal, to take food stamps... and there is a market nearby that might buy the product. But the maximum returns are from the farmers' market me thinks... but then there is less overhead. That is when the teeter totter starts going back and forth in my mind...

But I need some money to start this up. And I'm not sure about how to get the money. And I don't know how to ask people for money. I have a business plan... but it just seems awkward to say "hi can I borrow some money ?"

Because who is going to give it to me?

And for some reason this makes me think of Dickens... who is such a weird author in my opionion when we consider all of English literature (not just British, but all in the English language). He is almost too simplistic in his plots and charactersrs... like a Victorian mother goose or brothers Grimm. But then there are these gems in there. ike the contrast between scrooge on and tom cratchet (sp?). Scrooge is such a good, miserly Calvanist. According to the time, he would be predestined for heaven, because being bloody rich was one way to find out if you were moral or not.

But then there is Lady Poverty... and Cratchet... so there is this religious tension. Except if the Calvanists were kicked out of Britian? I don't recall... I'll have to go look that one up.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

this is ground control to major tom...

Perhaps that is the wrong message, I haven't been strung out and floating in space. We moved to Portland, OR and are here. We have three chickens, baby chicks now, soon to be big hens. The kids love the hens....

We are now part of Holy Rosary Parish--a great place. The kids are so big. T is almost 8, and V will be 5 in two weeks. J had a lovely 2nd birthday right after Christmas. And she is totally out of diapers now. Yeah cloth! So I (kind of) sadly (kind of joyously) pack all her little diapers and woolies away. I guess I'll hold onto them for a bit here, for maybe #4?

I'm getting ready for Lent. I really need Lent this year--after moving and all the upheaveal,, I want to get refocused (sp?). Because we aren't eating dairy except for the occasional sheep cheese, I'm cutting out olive oil and wine as well. I'm basically following the Eastern Orthodox Great Lenten Fast--I don't think I can fast for a complete 3 days in a row because J is still occasionally nursing (for comfort). I hope to go to Mass at least 2 times per week. Daily would be great, but with 2 little ones and limited funds, that might not work.

Which brings me to my big part--Lady Poverty. lovely Lady Poverty. We are considered economically poor in this country. We live below the 200 per cent above the povery line ( I won't say exactly where, but it is down there ;) ). And I have mixed feelings about telling people this. I feel like it is show what shameful--but then don't the poor have a special place in the Heart of Jesus? Isn't poverty something to strive for?

So why do I feel so weird about it, in this land of the protestant work ethic and calvanistic predestination anxiety? When did capitalism invade my conscious and begin to inform my ethics?

I;d like to really give away what we don't need/use and be content with the bare minimum if stuff. So I'm perging the things. We gave away a lot of stuff before moving, but we are kind of nostalgic pack rats, and well--you know writers... it is hard to pry stuff out of their hands.

So that will be a task. To embrace Lady Poverty, and reconnect with Him.

So I plan to spend little time on line. I'm going to refocus on my place here, and live poor.

sorry this is kind of wacky and disjointed, but I just need to get it all out before my bread is done baking in the oven.

Yeah! Lent.