Sunday, December 21

Bean days, and a quick update

This photo of Bean was taken at the library's sing-along last week.

It's still snowing out and has been since the middle of the day Friday, when I left work early as did most of Boston. There's about two feet on the ground now and it's still falling. Bean's first blizzard. My mom calls and says, "What global warming?" and I groan and tell her for the millionth time that it's about macro weather patterns, not micro.

Good weekend to cozy it up and finish making homemade treats and designs for holiday gifts that are going to be a week late. I underestimated how much time it would take to make them all myself and I overestimated my energy to do so. Can't tell you what they are just yet. I'm very much looking forward to having shorter work weeks the next two weeks.

Hubby is applying to grad schools this winter break and making acorn squash with mashed potatoes as I type. Ruby, our cat, has lost a little weight since her diet began. One of the two dogs--we can't figure out which--keeps peeing in the house. Bean is scooting around and we plan to child-proof the house over the holidays. My life is work Bean chores work chores work Bean chores work Bean and little else. My goal is to get my photo portfolio and website up and running this year, because the more I look at how I want to spend my life and what I want to do, the more I come back to my old haunt--photographer. Unfortunately, I have little time to spare beyond poopy gDiapers, divine baby kisses, washing dishes, work work work and dog piss. I will get there.

My crazy boss offered me another promotion this month that would have pushed me into the middle of an editorial career track and brought us out of food stamp-qualifying income brackets. I turned it down. After much thought, I opted to stay away from the rat race. I do need more money if I'm going to continue to support my family, but I don't want to spend my life working for something I care little about five days a week. I don't want to come home too exhausted to play with my kid(s). I want a slower life, not a faster one. I want to be proud of my life when it's said and done. Still, it's hard to look at our checkbook balance knowing what I just passed up, knowing that Hubby's school loans are more than a normal house is worth. I hope I made the right decision.

Thursday, December 18


"My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants." -J. Brotherton

Saturday, December 13

Support sustainable agriculture

I'm worried. I had--and still have--great hope with Obama being elected to president. His grassroots campaign was effective and his dislike of lobbyists admirable. But he has Michael Taylor on his transition team for the USDA, and Taylor spent many a year working for Monsanto, king of all seeds GMO.

Tell Obama you want sustainable agriculture:

In November, a longitudinal study on the effects of GMOs was released and its news wasn't shocking--it was horrifying. According to Grist:

"On Nov. 11, Austria's Ministries for Agriculture and Health released the results of a long-term study of genetically modified organisms [GMOs]. A widely used strain of GM corn, they found, appears to decrease both birthrates and the size of offspring in mice -- and the problems seem to grow with each generation.

This is a troubling conclusion. U.S. farmers planted the first commercial GMO crops in 1996. Today, upwards of 90 percent of U.S. soy, and 60 percent of U.S. corn, come from GMO seeds. Those crops suffuse our food supply -- they provide the bulk of our cooking oil and sweetener, and feed the animals that feed us. By 2003, as much as 75 percent of processed food available in the United States contained GMO ingredients, according to an estimate cited by the USDA. GM corn and soy acreage have only expanded since then.

Of course, the reproductive function is complex and intimately linked to the body's other systems. If GMOs are affecting our ability to reproduce, then it seems likely they're affecting our health in other ways, too.

Yet the Austrian study dropped with a thud in the U.S. media. The New York Times didn't mention it; on The Washington Post website, it rated a few paragraphs in the midst of a daily health round up."

Tell Obama to support sustainable agriculture, not GMOs.

My thanks to Green Bean for pointing out this petition.