Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Early Warning: Odds of Cooking the Grandkids

Early Warning: Odds of Cooking the Grandkids

This is why we really really need to change how we consume---we are possibly killing our grandchildren...by the way we currently live and think..

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sustainability, Pregnancy, and Compromises

I have not been writing so much lately (except in my private journal). This seems to have been a time of inner-reflections for me and coming to the realization that we are in the process of being participants in creating a new family member.  I am also in the midst of morning sickness..the most unrewarding, slow period of pregnancy (in my experience)... (the baby is sooo small at this point--the size of a large olive) All of the enjoyment I have found from cooking and gardening and trying new things is now dwarfed by this feeling of nausea...Right now, I am just trying to get through each day..I'm slowing down..falling back on old recipes (and even not cooking, but doing take-out, warming up frozen Trader Joes meals)---It feels icky to me to be regressing in my food goals, but right now I can't stand being in the kitchen or doing dishes.  I am eating much more sugar than usual...I get liquids down by drinking juice or carbonated juices/gingerale.  I'm not saying this to sound all dramatic--or to complain.. but to admit that I have been compromising in order to get through these few weeks.. I don't like it. I don't feel good about it, but not sure how else to do it. All I can say is that it is temporary...this will pass and I will be ravenous for good food again.  (I haven't been eating completly badly---I still make soup and salad still tastes pretty good, and some fruits..)  but I have bought a fair amount of "processed foods" lately...and it kind of feels icky..  I've mainly steered away from a good portion of processed foods for awhile.. not completely, but my dependence upon them has greatly decreased over the past couple of years (until now)-- 

I guess I say all this because I wish to be honest in the struggle towards sustainability..  It is not always straightforward--and the journey is not always upwards 100% of the time.  I do know that I can't wait for this part to be over and to be back to cooking from scratch, making bread, gardening more enthusiastically...  I love 2nd trimester (nesting)

This is one of those challenging periods...what does one do, when one can't cook?  A supportive community is good in this case.. (not that I expect anyone to be bringing food over)--but in a much more ideal community life--that might happen more..  and then fewer "processed food" compromises would need to be made.  I really really don't mean that to put anyone in my community down for not doing it at all! (I haven't done it for others enough to even come close to hoping for this)--and I do think one Baha'i in our community actually did offer to do this for me, which I haven't felt compelled to call her on yet..    But, it is a mind-set...that I'm not even fully a part of yet... 

And, if I was working, it would be even harder to make healthy food at this point..  All in all, I'm grateful.  I'm in my 9th week, my first doctor's appointment is Friday..So far so good..I'm not bed-ridden or dehydrated (knock on wood)..I'm functioning...but on a much slower, less productive pace..  and it seems to be a time of reflection...I think I'm paying attention to my kids more as I am less distracted by getting things done..  There have been some good moments with them lately.. 

This is also a good reminder of what it might feel like to have chronic health issues...this nausea doesn't really go away...it is always with me except when I sleep..  It waxes and wanes in its intensity, but I know it will be mostly over in a couple of weeks (I hope)..  I have to find a way to ignore it, but still not ignore it so much that I'm forgetting to keep snacking to keep it minimal..  to remember to drink..even though it makes it feel worse..  Mind over matter..so that I can keep going and not completely have it rule me.  Like an exercise in mediation..  How does one "ignore" nausea??  Well, some tricks I have found involved going outside...esp. when it is sunny..(that helps) ginger helps, snacks help, getting protein helps, talking to friends really helps, (and simply laying down) helps.  (Being on the computer does not help, however)  :-/

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

One Family Car


Ok, we bought a van.  It is not the best choice in terms of gas mileage, not the greenest vehicle, but I think we are doing this in a "green way"  First of all, we are expecting a third child which makes it nearly impossible to fit 3 childrens' car seats in the back seat of our smaller cars.  (but I confess that we were getting a van even before we found out our "news")  because there have been just too many times we have had other people we wanted to include with us on trips and the smallest of economy vehicles that we have owned since "BF"  (before family) are being "overgrown" with having a now larger family unit.  (even larger come January) and our camping trips...very tricky to pack the four(soon 5) of us and our camping gear into a an economy car (even with a car top carrier)

My husband has been talking about wanting to sell his economy car for years. He hates to commute and bikes whenever he can.  With our desire to get a van, he tested out his ability to bike more often and then also to use the public transportation system.  After a fair trial, he decided he much preferred this commute than the one behind the wheel..  He gets more exercise, and when he takes the bus, he can relax, read a book, enjoy the people around him, not to mention support the PT system of our city. 
So, I also decided to sell my car, so that with the combined sales of both our cars plus a little more, we could try to get the best van we could without adding a "car payment" which we currently cannot afford.  So, for about $3900 we got ourselves a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan. 

It is nothing fancy, but it should be a good van for a long time if we take care of it and we do not have the stress of a car payment.  Granted, we may have a little more maintenance to do on it..but we don't drive a whole lot..about 10-12,000 miles a year..  I think at that rate, we may do just fine. 

So, we are a one-car family now!  And we are going to make that work.  I like the idea that we are simplifying..  There are may ways to make it work--to have one car.  especially when you have bike trails and public transportation.  So, we "dodge" the upward mobility ticket--We are not buying an "impressive" vehicle.  I want to state here and now that I am unimpressed by the "impressive"  I would much rather be happy, and simple, than rich and "impressive"  I think this "used" and "simple" way of purchasing stuff could actually become the new "black"...and I think it needs to--because buying new..or the latest...is not going to help our planet one bit..and research shows, that the higher the income(over a modest income that provides basic needs)--the lower the life satifisfaction-happiness.  Money does not equal happiness!!  (I read this in both Radical Homemaking and The Story of Stuff

The true trick to happiness is the ability to not depend on stuff for happiness..to find satisfaction with "less"  I believe this whole heartedly and it is my goal to integrate this as much as I can.  bit by bit.. 

We are perfectly happy to have our "old van"--and I feel no need or desire to have a newer one (so long as this one works well and reliably with regular maintenance).  What else do we need, really?  the latest gadgets?  (not really, those gadgets simply create more things that will break and have to be fixed and cost more $$ in the long run) 

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