Peanut Butter, Apples, and the FDA

As a gluten-free individual I struggle with getting enough carbs and protein to maintain a healthy diet, so like any health conscious individual I eat about a jar of peanut butter a week…

Peanut butter and rice cakes

Peanut butter and banana

Peanut butter and hummus…maybe not

But when apple season comes around I have the best combo of the year. Apples and peanut butter for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The only problem  is the recall on peanut butter which is threatening to ruin the staple of my existence.

Now, every bite puts me at risk of salmonella. Dad had me tracking the lot numbers and checking every batch and jar with FDA lists.

– W

Disinformation and American Propoganda

I read a lot. Currently this involves Animal, Vegetable, MiracleThe Complete Idiot’s Guide to String Theory, The Brothers Karamazov, and Michael Crichton’s State of Fear. The first three teach me things easily: how messed up society is, how Einstein’s theory of relativity actually does make sense of my childhood notions of age relativity, and how to kill your father… not that I would ever want too.

The last one I was reading for stress relief. Good old fashioned fun. That is, until I came across this line,

“Like it or not, we’re in the middle of a war – a global war of information versus disinformation. The war is fought on many battlegrounds. Newspaper op-eds. Television reports. Scientific journals. Websites, conferences, classrooms – and courtrooms, too, if it comes to that. We have truth on our side, but we are outnumbered and out-funded. Today, the environmental movement is David battling Goliath. And Goliath is Aventis and Alcatel, Humana and GE, BP and Bayer, Shell and Glaxo Well-come – huge, global, and corporate. these people are implacable enemies of our planet and it is irresponsible to pretend it isn’t happening.” – Michael Crichton

While I am not an environmental activist, I understand the idea about fighting a war of information.

Today people either are numbed into tolerance of a warped society or they find information carefully released so it seems like a bigger issue than the one they are covering up. In every subject, food, science, philosophy, literature, there is always a bigger issue no one is dealing with. Whether this is because they are busy taking apart the meaningless dribble or scared of asking the hard questions, people don’t dig for the truth. They accept spoon fed knowledge or just go as far as the baby food jar. The food is all the same, it just comes from different sources.

We need to go back to the pantry, literally in some cases. I am not a conspiracy theorist, activist, or anything considered a threat. I am an ardent passionate pursuer of truth. If that’s a threat, label me.

People need to know the truth.

– W

I Just Need A Moment

When I was sixteen, I had an awful doctor’s appointment in LA. Just bad in general: running back and forth between buildings, basement complexes, and labs, waiting hours for a doctor to follow up on his interns work. Dashed hopes, bad coffee, and sixteen different tones of white. I felt like a patient in a medical tellanovela.

Instead of taking  me straight to the hotel and crashing on fast food and an in-room movie, Mom took me out, knowing exactly what I needed.

First came dinner at a tiny corner Italian place – the best Chicken Diablo and gelato in LA.

This was followed by a walk across the street to my own version of retail therapy – Borders – complete with Seattle’s Best and their fall specials

I spent two hours meandering through three stories of literature, history, philosophy, and poetry while  drinking apple cider.

I left with a stack of books.

Today, I was leaning over rotting squash plants covered in the mosquitos from the nest I just crashed when I had the insatiable urge to drink apple cider.

Nostalgia is its own type of drug.

After work, where I wasn’t my typical self, I caved and went straight to our local used book store. As soon as I walked in Chris Botti’s trumpet and Maddy Matilda, the store cat, greeted me.

I realized the best place to be truly alone is in public. Everyone else pretends no one else exists.

My poor mother. Her eldest daughter enjoys cats, jazz, dead writers, and cider… She is never going be able to marry me off even if she gives me two goats and ten chickens as a dowry.

– W

An American’s Weed; An European’s Vegetable

My fellow field hand and I were lamenting the waste of time and money in weeding the most horrendously prolific weed in the world, purslane. The funny thing is purslane is actually a vegetable superfood found in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Mexico. We decided to try to make some of the weeding money back for our wonderful boss by marketing and selling the darn thing. It goes onto the shelves today and I can’t wait to show off the flyer I came up with.

 

I am thinking about turning my sketchbook into a sort of plant journal. I am learning to recognize many weeds, edible plants, root vegetables, and other plants. I think it is time to start chronicling that with a sketch, all the facts I know, and how to make it if it is good or the remedy if it is poisonous.

– W

What Makes A Good Day

I used to have reams of bad days. It seemed like they came in a package deal. I was stressed, pushed, and trying to squeeze every bit of purpose out of every second. I think I was going about it all the wrong way.

This week has been good, full of hard work, friends, family, school, and many of the same stresses that used to ruin my days, but I think I have found the secret to having a good day every day.

Contentment.

Knowing that whatever I am faced with that day is in God’s plan, for His glory, for my growth, and for my joy. I am learning that instead of forcing every minute into a schedule and stressing about not getting to every thing on my to-do list, I can relax and enjoy everything around me, work hard and play hard.

Monday, Memorial Day, I was excited to work even though it was a holiday. I was left to myself as the sun rose over the fields and the birds started singing. Have you ever stopped long enough to listen to the first bird call out in the morning? It is like the first violin in an orchestra.

That night we were able to eat on a table dad built a meal I had made out of the food mom had grown (and some I had harvested).

I have been relaxing more, but strangely enough I have improved at work and finished more school more efficiently. I have even had time to pick up some new hobbies. God is so good and I find even more pleasure in  every moment. Instead of wringing it out of the day like you wring out a rag, I am learning to see the beauty, uniqueness, and singularity of each moment and gently coax it out.

Some call it optimism, I think it is practicing contentment.

– W

First Day at a New Job

I am sitting in my tower enjoying slightly undercooked carrots and parsnips and slightly over cooked meatloaf waiting for the cool breeze from this wonderful evening to come drift through my window.

Today was very good.

I have a sunburn that rivals my hair color, tiger stripes on my feet, random thorn splinters, and a happy heart. This morning I enjoyed getting ready for work unsure if I was really what the wonderful lady who runs the farm wanted. By the time I was ready to leave I had eaten scrambled eggs and bean dip and redone my hair twice to make my hat fit better finally leaving with a bag of protein balls, a water bottle, and a grocery list.

On the farm I raked, weeded, and hoed to my hearts content. I know I wasn’t as fast as I could have been because I was trying to get into the swing of things and be perfect. There is always the thought that maybe it was all a mistake or maybe I am not what they want and after they see me work they won’t want me anymore. I cleaned two rows of olloliberries (big juicy beautiful and delicious purpley-black berries) and weeded spinach. I felt like I couldn’t weed fast enough and that still was too slow, but in the end the wonderful lady told me that I would find my rhythm and become more efficient as I learned the best ways do each task.

I know I can still improcve, but I can work each day at being a little better and a little faster.

I will post another blog soon about introducing the bees to their hives which my mom, a friend, and I also did today. It is fun to have things to do with my mom.

I have to hit the books, but I think in light of the dirt clinging to every inch of me I should at least wash my feet first.

Thank you, God, for good days….

-W