Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action on the Environment

Blog Action Day and many of us are writing about our contribution to the environment. But more than my contribution, I'm mostly reminded of how much I don't do.

Oh sure, I drive a small car that gets good mileage, but I've never given any thought to car pooling. And we recycle our glass and paper and plastic, and yet we still contribute far too much to the landfill. So sometimes I feel like our efforts won't really make a lot of difference.

But one of our choices has proven me wrong. I've written before about our membership in a local farm that engages in Community Supported Agriculture. We just completed our second year of membership. And it has been a fantastic experience. We consistently get far more produce for our money than we would ever get at the supermarket. Everything we get is fresh picked. It is all grown organically. And we are supporting a local farmer. I feel really good about this and the food is awesome! We eat fresh produce every day for the entire summer and our freezer is packed with frozen veggies and tomato sauce and salsa. We'll be eating food from the farm all winter.

And the support of the farm has been a good thing. The membership in the farm has grown every year. This farm had been a community supported farm for several years before we joined, but in our first year, there were 50 members. This year, it increased to 85...and he turned away close to 40 more. But the support of the local community has allowed him to purchase extra farmland and next year he'll be able to provide food to nearly 125 families in the area.

Local. No fuel or pollution to transport it. Organic. No fertilizers or pesticides in the earth. It tastes fantastic. And I actually get to meet and know the farmer that grows food for my family.

This is one contribution to the environment that I really do think makes a big difference.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Still in my corner...

I began blogging one year ago. In that time I've written 127 posts (this makes 128). I've had a lot of fun thinking about topics. I've become a little more tuned in to the little details of my day as I ponder whether or not something would make good blog material. I've had a chance to try to write creatively in both serious and humorous posts. And I've had a blast.

But that is not the best part of this experience. The totally unexpected aspect of this has been building a community with other bloggers.

See, I never expected anyone to really read this thing! I'm not writing about anything deep or thought-provoking. And there are certainly more creative folks out there. So I expected to write for my own fun and that would be it.

But people did read. Many of you read more than once, even! And you keep coming back. While I've only written 127 posts, I've had just over 12,000 visitors!!! And you've left several thousand comments. Some of you know quite a bit about me and my family by now. And that is awesome.

And I've come to read your blogs. I feel like I "know" many of you now and I look forward to each new item you share. And I still open up my browser and read your posts and leave my comments with a certain sense of awe that you are in Alaska, Canada, Tennessee, Australia, Texas, France, the Philippines, California, Minnesota, South Carolina, England, and yes, even here in Connecticut.

Your posts, your comments, our visits back and forth have connected me with people that I would never meet in real life. Some of those visits have been short. Some of us have traded comments and read about each other a whole bunch of times over the past year. And in some cases, the posts and comments have turned into conversations via e-mail, giving us time to share even more.

When I started this thing, I wondered if I would stick with it. Would I run out of things to say? Would I get bored talking about my own life - which frankly, isn't that fascinating. Would I just get distracted and forget. But none of those things happened. I'm still here in my corner and I'm looking forward to Post #129!

And I'm looking forward to more conversations with you.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

In honor of me? Aw, shucks.

I gotta give a shout out to the wonderful folks at Sam Adams Brewery. I mean, how often does a big corporation take time to recognize one individual customer? It simply does not happen.

And yet, they did it. They created a brew just for me.

It surprised me that they did it. Yes, I only drink Sam Adams. But no, I don't drink a lot. So the CEO isn't buying a new yacht based on what I spend.

And yet, they must have done this in my honor. They named it after this month. And my birthday is later this month. Coincidence? I think not. I'm taking full credit for the existence of this tasty seasonal beverage.

Oh I'm sure some of you will say...nay, nay is in honor of the Oktoberfest festival in Munich. Sure, Oktoberfest is the world's largest fair, drawing more than six million people every year. And yes, they serve a special beer at the festival which is brewed only by select Munich brewers specifically for the festival and served in their giant beer tents. And yes, the entire festival kicks off when the Mayor of Munich taps the first keg. But that is way over there in Germany. With their special beer. In the tents.

This is here...with a different special my house. In the month of my birthday.


Saturday, October 06, 2007

I'm not really complaining...but...

Almost 5:00 on Saturday afternoon, October 6. This just isn't typical!

I love warm weather. But I also love the fall. If this keeps up, we'll be Trick or Treating with sunscreen! I think I'm ready for a touch of New England fall.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Birthday time at our house!

It is official. Daughter13 is now Daughter14. Today is the big day. In fact, just about an hour ago would have been the official moment - 14 years since she entered the world.

We've opened the presents. We've been out to dinner. And in just a little while we'll have the cake (with blue frosting, her favorite color!). And throughout the evening she'll talk on the phone with various relatives near and far.

She is actually having her party with friends a couple of weeks from now. They are all going bowling...which really involves a little bowling and a lot of eating cheese fries from the snack bar.

By the way, for those of you who congratulated her on her smart move of sending her wish list to me via e-mail...the strategy was a big success. She scored everything on the list!

Happy birthday, cutie. We love you!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Work, Retreat, Breaking & Entering

Ten days since my last post! I've been around to visit just a few of you in that time, but not many. So what has kept me away?

Work. Things have just been crazy at work. Going in early. Staying late. Not even time to visit a couple of blogs on my lunch break. Why so busy? My assistant has been out for almost a week with some viral/plague/influenza/ebola thing. Apparently it is going around as numerous staff have been out. A few tried to show up to work, but quickly gave up and went back home to lie on their couch and die. For those who merely coughed up a lung but avoided the Grim Reaper, they are slowly returning to work. My assistant made it back today, but going up a flight of stairs nearly pushed him over into the great beyond.

Retreat. I've mentioned before that I'm on the Policy Board for our church. And this past weekend was our leadership retreat. A couple of days of workshops ranging from really good to "can I kill myself now?" What made it a retreat and not just a workshop? Cause we went somewhere else. We retreated. We retreated all the way to a neighboring town and had our meetings in their church. A long weekend, but not bad.

Breaking & Entering. Let me start by saying I didn't mean to break and enter. I just meant to enter. I was the poor sap in charge of breakfast on Saturday morning for our retreat. So on Friday night, the key was passed over to me so that I could arrive early and get the coffee going. Which is exactly what I did. I unlocked the door, picked up my bags of bagels and danish and coffee supplies, and got about ten steps inside the building when the loudest alarm I've ever heard started to blare. Needless to say, I was surprised! No one had told us there was an alarm!! As I stood frozen in place, wondering what to do, a recorded voice began screaming, even louder than the alarm. I didn't stand around long enough to commit the recording to memory, but it went something like...


You get the idea. Loud and intimidating.

I backed out of the building, locked the door, and waited for the police to arrive - wondering if the fact that I had a key to the building would protect me from incarceration. I had no phone number to contact anyone from that church. And no one else from my church had arrived yet.

But no cops ever showed up. And eventually the alarm stopped. And when confronted with the possibility of facing multiple indictments of breaking and entering versus facing church folk with no coffee to drink, I decided to try it again.

No problem. No alarm. Apparently it was on some sort of timer and the timer now viewed me as "friend" rather than "foe" because I was coming in the door at the right time. So the coffee got made. I got a couple of extra gray hairs. And a very long and tiring week came to an end.