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Showing posts from January, 2011

Sinful Lettuce?

Can lettuce be sinful?  What if you eat it at a Quaker retreat? I was at Woolman Hill this past weekend, a beautiful antique farmhouse and outbuildings operated by local Quakers for various retreats.  They're quite eco-conscious, with many reminders about conserving heat and electricity, and carefully planned low-waste meals with vegetarian options on everything. It was a wonderful retreat.  (In between spiritual challenges, I even got in a bit of snowshoeing with friends in the sub-zero cold.)  And as usual, the food was amazing. And... sinful.  I felt downright odd about the daily offerings of salad, grapefruit, and oranges!  I did eat them, however, and they were delicious!  Particularly since Peter and I have been slipping gently ever-deeper into a locally and seasonally-based diet. Oh, we eat salads--of shredded cabbage, cold-stored carrots , and sprouts from the windowsill.  (Our indoor lettuce in the window-boxes, after a long hiatus, seems to be growing again, too.)  And

Put Some Woods On It

I'm starting to feel like the character of the Greek father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding --the one who recommends Windex as a miracle cure.  " Put some Windex on it! " he recommends, for everything from warts to blemishes. My drug of choice, however, is the woods. It has snowed here recently--a lot.  I'm not sure how much is on the ground at the moment... something between 12" and 24" at a guess.  And I've been grateful for my mom's gift of a pair of snowshoes. U.S. Forestry Service photograph They are so much lighter and easier to use than the pair I once owned--can it really be twenty-five years ago?--that I was initially really surprised at how much I hurt after I had been snowshoeing for a few minutes.  Not an all-over, out of shape kind of a hurt, but a very specific, hard pain, in my hip muscles, with a little answering pain in my knee tendons. Now, I have been somewhat duck-footed all my life, but it has seemed to me that, in the

Bad Quaker Bible Blog: Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters

I am an occasional contributor at the Bad Quaker Bible Blog , a site for the exploration of how Biblical passages can speak to us individually.  For me, that book sometimes can speak with the voice of poetry, or through the lives of faithfulness it has inspired. This set of reflections is on how the famous lines from Amos, alluded to by Dr. Martin Luther King in his Letter From a Birmingham Jail, echoes through my struggles to uphold the rights of gays and lesbians, while also honoring a world where courage, justice, and prophetic understandings are needed in many places.

And In My Other Life, I Am a Tree-Hugging Dirt Worshipper...

Over the past few years, I've become more and more concerned about the way I am part of a huge problem: the disrespect with which we humans treat the only home we'll ever have: the earth. Starting this past June , first alone, and then very soon after joined by Peter , I've been attempting to live a life as free from plastic waste as I can .  Plastic is not my only concern, but it was the initial spark--along with buying a house in the woods that I love better than chocolate itself--to make some increasingly important changes in my life. I've written about that a bit here at Quaker Pagan Reflections, but for the most part, that story has been told elsewhere, at Chestnut House , a blog which is dedicated to following those changes specifically. When I began the "plastic fast," I did blog about it here .  But I've been keeping the two blogs separate, partly because not every post at Chestnut House is in keeping with what I've taken the mission

Ugly Carrots

I posted recently about some of our efforts to continue to eat locally over the winter.  We bought shares in a local organic winter CSA in the fall, and I made one last stop at a farmstand, and brought home: eight pounds of beets two or three pounds of turnips, leeks, and rutabagas sixty pounds of potatoes  twenty pounds of onions fifteen or so pounds of butternut squash, and thirty pounds of carrots. We had to work hard and think fast to store all that food.  Peter built us a keeping bin for the potatoes, and we found a cool place for the onions.  But the carrots were a puzzler. We eventually opted to store them in a box in the garage, laid between layers of damp sawdust .  Here they are, about six weeks later.  Hideous, aren't they? The blackening is not dirt.  The discoloration seems to be of the carrot itself.  And yet, they are still firm and crisp, and there is no sign of mildew in the sawdust itself.  And, in fact, when peeled, these ugly carrots clean up real nice: We'

Our 1 lb, 3 oz Holiday for Six

The New Year's Eve festivities are over, the last of the apple and pumpkin pies have been eaten, and the in-laws have headed home to Ohio again.  My daughter and her fiance will depart tomorrow morning, and on the next day, Peter and I will head back to work. Over the last nine days, six people have feasted, laughed, given and received gifts, and generally enjoyed ourselves in a pretty typical American holiday.  (Though technically, Peter and I are Pagan , and only my mother-in-law is Christian, we all enjoy merry-making together.)  I'm not sure how much weight I've put on, but it's likely some; in addition to the pies and turkey, there were mounds of Christmas cookies, platters and boxes of chocolates, truffles, and fudge, and a big double-chocolate birthday cake for Peter. Our holiday waste, posing by the tree. So my waistline may be showing the effects of over-consumption for a while.  How about our plastic tally? The answer is, we weigh in today at a somewhat portly

Chestnut House: Our 1 lb, 3 oz. Holiday for Six

In which we explore the anti-plastic greening of our family Yule week.