weeks 06-08: time marches on

It’s hard to believe it’s essentially been a month since I last did a proper weekly update. In some ways, I see that little changes from week to week, but over a number of weeks there’s a bit more to say. I tend to try and write my weekly updates on weekends, but these last few have been so busy between work, school, and other obligations that I’d be midway through the next week before getting to it, and then would skip altogether.

But that’s okay.

As much as I’d like to try and stick to a routine of writing updates, it’s not imperative that I do so. So I’ll keep up where I can, after all, it is nice to be able to reflect on the week and extract a theme or defining feeling of the past seven days. Seeing that it’s been three weeks, however, means that such a uniform feeling is harder to come by so I’ll just hit the highlights.

Not to dwell on the weather, but wow. Raleigh had 3 days above 80 degrees in February for the first time in history. (This comic sums up my feelings about that quite well). It also means that I’m even further behind in starting veggie garden seeds than I ought to be, and will get those planted this weekend: for real this time. I’ve got seeds and some egg cartons, so I’ll tuck the seeds in and anxiously await the day the little green sprouts poke through the soil.

Despite my guilty & hesitant enjoyment of the weather, I can say that it’s been a great help in the biking department. In summary: biking in an urban area equipped with bike lanes is fantastic. So much more convenient that driving and parking. Saturday I was coming back from prepping some stuff at church and stopped in to visit Anne at work at Runologie, and then, a little bit further down the road, saw a new bakery opened up so circled back and bought the greatest croissant T’ve ever tasted. Thank you, bike, for facilitating these two happy, ordinary things.

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I have to say, a point of pride amid this busyness is that I have yet to cave in to any major consumerist conveniences. (Not trying to bash conveniences or those who utilize them, simply something that currently would be a break from my personal objective here). To summarize:

Plus:

  • Proud moment at Whole Foods this week when everything I bought was new-container free! I returned my milk bottles and swapped for full containers, and my other purchases came from the bulk bin. Happy about the containers, and happy about the contents being simple (beans & peanuts)
  • Working on trying my hand at making other food staples. This week it was hummus and peanut butter, both of which are incredibly easy. I’ve made hummus on numerous prior occasions, but this was the first attempt and peanut butter and it was way quicker than I’d expected. I’ll post about that soon.
  • Thanks to the weather I’m biking more and really enjoying it. Maybe the next step is to purchase a Bicycle Benefits sticker for my helmet. Free Videri Chocolate? I’m in.
  • Thought I was going to need to find a new (to me) shirt for an event last weekend, but a shortage of time helped me realize that what I had would suffice. “It will suffice” seems to be a good phrase to have on hand. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect, and there’s usually some solution on hand that will do in a pinch.

Delta:

  • Due to lack of a thermometer, I haven’t made any more yogurt lately. Not quite confident enough to heat it based on time, but I’ll find one soon.
  • Still trying to work on breaking the disposable item habits (ie. bags, plates & cups). I’m usually pretty good about the bags & have gotten better at carrying my water bottle, but it’s a simple thing that I’m finding to be a not-so-simple change.
  • Also, trying not to associate guilt with each disposable usage or usage of convenience. Guilt: not the best thing, but also a motivating factor in remembering for next time. If I’m being completely honest, some kind of feeling that triggers “Hey, maybe I shouldn’t be doing/using this” isn’t entirely bad.

Now that wasn’t too hard… I imagine March won’t be much less busy but here’s to finding a few minutes each week to sit down and compile that week’s happenings. Hard to believe we’re already entering month three of 2017!

 

to home, with love

Happy Valentine’s Day.  While my thoughts on the holiday are a little convoluted and conflicted, I hope y’all are feeling the love today (and everyday), whether through a relationship, friendship – or place.

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This weekend’s unseasonably warm weather, a community race through the local mental hospital turned public park, and an evening spent outside with friends was reminiscent of the atmosphere in which I was first prompted to write about how much I’d come to desire to take ownership of this place in which I was planted.

Though Raleigh, and my place in it, have changed a bit in the last year and a half since I wrote this piece, this sentiment remains. Originally titled “Home Ownership”, I was trying to capture the feeling of pride and belonging in place one has come to love:

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whence it came

Thursday is Produce Day. It’s the day on which our Produce Project shares are ready for pickup from the local shipping container turned “Produce Cave”, a name coined by a child of a shareholder. This week, as I loaded the share into my box to take home, a man and his elementary age daughter came in behind me. Immediately after crossing the threshold into the container, the man stopped, took a deep breath, smiled, and asked “Doesn’t it smell good in here?” before prompting his daughter to try and pick out their box among the alphabetized containers of fruits and veggies. The question seemed to be directed partially to her, partially for his own acknowledgement. Though I didn’t answer him, I silently concurred. The distinct smell of fresh produce laced with a bit of cardboard is oddly refreshing, a reminder of the earth from which the bounty was cultivated.

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I think there is great value in knowing where something comes from, and knowing where it’s going. I think there’s even greater value in turning that knowledge to action & trying it for myself. While picking up a share of produce on a weekly basis is not the same as growing it, or speaking with a farmer, it’s one step closer to the source – and the smell is a reminder of this.

As evidenced by today’s politics, we fear what we do not know. Similarly, we may often take for granted that which we have not witnessed.

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