Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Do what makes you happy.

Once upon a time, there was a wise man, who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had the habit of walking along the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore; as he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day, so he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead, he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?" The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing Starfish into the ocean."

"I guess I should have asked; why are you throwing Starfish into the ocean?"

"The sun is up and the tide is going out and if I don't throw them in they'll die."

"But young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and Starfish all along it, you can't possibly make a difference!"

The young man listened politely, then bent down, picked up another Starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves. "It made a difference for that one." - adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley 1979

You've probably heard this story a thousand times.  I still really like it.   It reminds me that just one person doing just one thing can make a difference.  Because trying to live a more sustainable existence won't save the world but it will still make a difference to you and your family.  Or choosing to become a vegetarian won't save all the animals from the horrid factory confinement system but it will save a few.  You also know that you are not a part of the problem. 

I've found that even though D and I have given up a lot of luxuries, I'm actually happier.  I'm more present in my life, I'm more grateful for what I do have and  I'm a lot less stressed out.  And, on top of everything else, I really don't miss those pedicures luxuries.  

So, if you are unsatisfied with your life, don't be afraid to make changes that set you apart from everyone else.  Don't tell yourself, "It won't make any difference."  You  probably can never change the system but you can change your own life and take satisfaction in doing what you know is right.  Don't get caught up in the idea that if you can't do/change everything, why bother.  Do what makes you happy and be happy with it.  As Joel Salatin says, "Good enough is just perfect."

Well, I do miss those pedicures a little bit but still.....

Thursday, September 2, 2010


My CSA pick up was yesterday.  The veggies arrive at our local pick up point at 2pm and I wanted to be there as close to 2pm as possible.  So, Little Bit and I got in the car, I turned the key and.....nothing.  Turns out the tailgate on the Subaru didn't latch properly.  With the tailgate unlatched, an overhead light stayed on that I didn't notice in the daylight.  You really have to slam that darn tailgate.  It doesn't have enough weight to close on it's own and it drives me crazy!  This is the second time we've had to jump the damn car in our driveway.  That's just plain embarrassing.  But I digress......

So, I didn't get the veggies when I wanted to.  D picked them up on the way home from work and here they are:

In the box.
(it looks like a lot more out of the box)

Out of the box.

All together we got:
  • okra 
  • eggs
  • eggplant
  • acorn squash
  • sweet potato greens (did you know you could eat those?)
  • sweet potatoes
  • arugula
  • red onion
  • yellow onion
  • garlic
  • two tiny tomatoes
  • a boat-load of basil
  • mint
  • lots of sweet peppers
  • some bell peppers
  • several hot peppers (on top of the paper bag)
It's not bad for this time of the season.  Had I thought about it, I probably should have waited to sign for the CSA.  The summer crops are over with and the fall crops haven't come in yet so the pickin' are pretty slim.

Here's what I've done so far with the bounty:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Trip of a Lifetime

So....D and I have been married 2 1/2 years and we have yet to take our honeymoon.  A few places topped our list; 1) Alaska 2) Colorado and 3) New Zealand.  The last one was a long shot since it's so expensive.  We talk about it every few months but never decide on anything.

Well, it came up again in June and we decided to bite the bullet.  And we decided that since it's been nearly 3 years, let's go all-in.  The three of us are going to New Zealand.

We talked about going in March of 2011 to make it before the Rugby World Cup.  The more we talked about it, the more we realized that we wanted to spend more than the standard 2 weeks.  In order to spend a month or more and do it right, we'll need to save quite a bit more money.

The plan now is to:

  • pay off all our student loans within a year and put that money towards our travel account
  • begin selling unnecessary possessions (Man vs Debt style) and  put that money towards our travel account
Why New Zealand?  A bunch of reasons (and not just because they filmed Lord of the Rings there).  It's:
  • exotic, far away (if we're going to go on a trip, we'd like to visit a far-off place)
  • relaxed, laid-back culture
  • several climates in a small area - beaches, hot springs, mountains, glaciers, plains, forests
  • beautiful scenery
  • emphasis on outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, rafting
  • oh, and they speak English (we don't speak any foreign languages)

And now for some pictures: