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Archive for May, 2009

Cheese!

I really love cheese. I especially love nice cheese. I have been known to eat cheese sprayed from a can (not qualifying as particularly nice cheese). What I would really love however, is to make my own cheese. Nothing too committed…I am thinking more along the lines of 30 minute mozzarella over 10 year aged gouda. (Where do people stash away their gouda for 10 years, anyway? If they move, do they pack it along in the U-Haul?) I mean, I think it would be super cool to make really great, aged hard cheese, but I just can’t visualize the process coming to any sort of completion. I would likely end up with really lame, aged for 10 days, sick cheese. I sometimes lack patience. Nor do I have a 10 year plan, so who knows where the cheese (and me!) would end up.

What is presently impeding my cheese making aspirations is the absence of not ultra pasturized milk in Homer. It’s on it’s way though, and for that, I am very excited. The Natural Food store is starting a raw milk co-op, so luckily for me, someone else has taken it upon themselves to provide the citizens of this town with access to fresh milk, with which I will make my cheese.

Just wait. Soon I’ll be ranting about the wonders of home made cheese!

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Exploitation

That is probably a stronger word than is necessary, but after perusing the Alaska Airlines website in search of a round trip ticket from Fairbanks to Homer…that is how I feel. Exploited. $479.00…how is that legitimate, I wonder, especially in light of the fact that I also discovered a round trip ticket from Anchorage to New York for the same price. Hmmm…but my friends don’t live in NY they live in Fairbanks and I want them to visit me!

I’m cringing at the thousands of dollars I must have spent flying in and out of Bethel when I lived there.

It appears that I should not be working in the field of domestic violence advocacy but instead, I should be a pilot and fly around for free. Alas.

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Horsies.

Judah’s Tuesday morning play group for babies went horseback riding yesterday. It was pretty silly. I don’t think Judah has ever seen a horse before, but she is familiar with tails…and once she realized that this giant animal was in possession of a great tail, she really just wanted to pull it. So very tempting. She got to sit on the horse for a few seconds…photo(28)Until she decided to bail.photo(29)She did like petting the horse a bit. It was all very sweet.

In other news, I and almost everyone I know has a dreadful cold or virus or something miserable. It’s so miserable. I could hardly drag my miserable self off of the couch yesterday. Judah was not feeling well either, but I think she has bounced back. Literally bounced back. With emphasis on bounce.

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Once, when Judah was much younger, (probably about five months old) we were grocery shopping together, (as we often do!) and a women stopped to comment to me on how sweet she found my baby to be. Only when she referred to Judah, she said, “he”, as in, “Oh! He is so cute, how old is he?” When I gently corrected her about the baby’s gender, she appeared very put off and uncomfortable, and told me that she was confused because she “saw denim”…on Judah…the girl. Alas and alak! Well, I was confused at that point, because the woman with whom I was speaking…the one with the gender issues, well, she was also wearing denim! I probably was as well. You know, it is a very common article of clothing on either gender (and those in between!) these days. It’s just…denim. I don’t think it typically points in any specific direction regarding gender.

We often dress Judah in clothes that are not directly gender specific. I think it’s better that way…it’s my preference anyway, and it is easier to take the baby more seriously when she is not dressed up in frills, for no occasion. Also, I can see how there may be some confusion from time to time when people hear Judah’s name, which is generally considered an exclusively boy’s name. (I personally think it sounds more feminine) What is odd to me however, is when people are visibly uncomfortable about having mistook her for a boy, when they assumed that “Judah” meant boy, or in the absence of garish pink garb…and how would they know any better? It really does not even matter. I relate to Judah as a girl somewhat, but I don’t think that she even identifies with her gender at this point, and is most certainly not insulted to have the opposite gender tossed around in reference to herself. I assure you, she does not even notice.

This is what I think – society has such stringent gender roles set aside for even the tiniest of humans, and when such humans break away from said roles in the slightest, it causes confusion, and a little too much questioning. What I admire, is when people like my friend Ashley are not afraid to defy these arbitrary gender roles, especially when it comes to their very own children. This is a picture of her sweetest son Thor, age four.

Thor!

Thor!

He is such a lovely kid, and he really enjoys dress up. In fact, I think his costume of choice is his little sisters dresses. How cute is that?

Anyway, I think it is so freeing that Ashley allows Thor to wear what he wants. He is not embarrassed by his optimal clothing, so not allowing him to make that choice would really be about her potential feelings and not necessarily what is in his best interest. Fortunately, she is not so shallow as to be this tainted by expectations touted willy nilly in society.

The thing that is so important is to allow one’s child to embrace their likes and dislikes. Why would someone want to stifle another person as they are developing their interests in the world…simply because “pink is not for boys” Clearly, these people have not met Thor.

If Judah wants to be a princess, I’ll be so happy to have a little princess. Likewise, if she decides that she would love to be a cowboy…well, I’ll be equally thrilled to have a cowboy. Mostly, I’ll be pleased to have a child who will hopefully be learning about the world, somewhat free from silly gender stereotypes and will thus be able to form independent views about her own self and how she fits in with others.

Furthermore, if Judah had been a boy, we probably would have named her Jane.

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Sleepy…

Judah spent practically all of Monday snuggling in my lap, until I went to work and Zach brought her home. Then she snuggled in his lap for the rest of the evening. She had a pretty high temperature and seemed very good natured, but extra cuddly and sleepy.  I think she is teething. This is how she spent her day:photo(27)Amesa was apparently feeling some sympathy for the baby.

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Zach Brown made delicious sourdough pancakes with blueberries for breakfast. He has a great sourdough starter from his parents who received it from some friends in Bethel. (he has also been making all of our bread from this sourdough) He made Judah a special pancake in the shape of a bear’s head, with blueberries for a face. She sampled the plate first…photo(16)And then proceeded to pick the berries out and eat them one by one; finishing her pancake after the berries were smeared all over her face. Judah is a very big fan of blueberry pancakes for breakfast. photo(17)After that we cleaned up and went outside to tackle some gardening projects.

Note the pretty hat and sweater my mom knit

Note the pretty hat and sweater my mom knit

Judah and I had some work to do with the wheelbarrow while Zach was building the frame for our mini greenhouse. photo(20)But then Judah was called away to eat dirt.photo(21)By the mouthful. photo(22)Fortunately Zach did all of the work because neither of us girls got much accomplished. Judah has become quite proficient at peeing outside however, which has proved to be a useful trick and will continue to be a nice convenience as we commence our summer camping.

Tonight Zach got his new truck running and took it for a short drive.

toyota diesel

toyota diesel

And it was nicer, sunnier and warmer out than it had been all day, so we hung out for awhile in the great sunshine!photo(24)Zach decided to grill some moose meat…and also to cook Pad Thai on the grill. photo(25)Which all turned out so delicious!! Such a nice day…

This week we are anticipating the arrival of my parents and hopefully some fun friends visiting as well.

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Made in China

Why do we, as Americans, buy so much stuff that is made in China? For sure, many things end up less expensive for us because they are made in a place where people make less wages than they potentially should…or what is potentially fair, but you know, still cheaper for us on this end. Is that our number one priority though? I mean, I buy things that are made in China. It is sometimes hard to avoid. It IS avoidable, but sometimes requires a bit of effort and foresight. My priority however, is to help maintain a strong economy in my town…or if not in my town, then in my region…my state…and at very least, my country. Even if it costs more. In the long run, it benefits me, and those around me.

Especially in this era where so many things made in China are recalled for toxicity…lead…poison…particularly in items marketed to children. Regardless, much of what is available to buy for children is made in China. Why are we not more discerning? More selective? Perhaps we should do without if we can’t afford to buy quality and possibly locally crafted items.

It seems as though our number one priority is not quality however, but quantity. QUANTITY at any cost…not a cash value cost, but health hazard cost, ethical cost, etc.

Thats upsetting.

It’s unfortunate that more people do not consider the effect that their own consuming has on others. Those in their own communities and those working for unfair wages in China.

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