Sunday, August 19, 2007

Old McRobin Had a Farm

Summer is in full swing and I've literally got cucumbers coming out my ears! Thankfully, it's not zucchini and so our neighbors don't mind taking a few here and there. My secret weapon on the cucumber front is Mackenzie, whose garden box is overflowing with produce. He's got the greenest thumb in the family, and is keeping us in cucumbers and swiss chard. But this week my hubby's tomatoes are coming on and they are so amazingly good that for the first time in my life I am enjoying eating raw tomatoes. I'd also like to try making sun-dried tomatoes this year, because we use them in pasta salad and Mackenzie really likes eggs whipped up with sun-dried-tomato pesto.
With the addition of the new kittens, we're up to eighteen animals now around here! We'll be giving away at least two of the kittens, but still....and we went to the fair last night and oohed and aaahed over the goats as usual. We would love to keep goats, but inside the city limits it's not allowed. Now we could have the biggest, meanest, barkingest dog in town - 125 pounds of snarling menace. That's allowed. But not a cute little floppy-eared harmless 90 pound goat. It makes me wonder how and why our laws get written. We keep joking that we're going to have to buy a real farm someday anyways, just so Asa can keep all of her animals on it. Then we can have a little cottage somewhere on the farm and split our time between town and country. Since we only live one mile from the city limits and 10 acre zoning areas, it could even be within walking or biking range.

On the biking front, my hubby is getting a Bike Friday Pocket Lama for his birthday. He's been limping along on a cruddy Trek around-town bike forever (11 years if I remember right) and it's about time he got a really nice ride. To some men that might mean a little red convertible, but thank heavens I married a guy to whom that means a cool folding bike! While we were over at Bike Friday, I checked out their new super-fast folding Tikit This thing literally folks up in about 5 seconds, and is a terrific solution for bike commuters who also have to maneuver their rides into busses, subways, or trains. If you don't believe me, check out the video!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Never Thought I'd Say This But....

...I'm going to recommend a Reality TV Show. Wow, this is really a first. However, ABC's reality show "Wife Swap" has a local environmentalist/unschooler/and just plain cool person on this week. She was Asa's violin teacher for years and if any environmentalist could walk into an overconsuming American's home (let alone one who thinks junk food is "more nutritious" and has 5 cars, all of them SUVs and big trucks) and handle it with grace and aplomb, it's Melanie. We watched it tonight and my kids were really jazzed to see the show and were cheering her on (as she installs a bidet and forbids them to use toilet paper and asks them to sell an SUV, LOL) and we were all happy that the producers seemed to play it pretty even-handedly and let the people speak for themselves. The other mom was, well, just not very nice. At all. And not very happy. And prefers her dogs to interacting with other people, including her husband and son. So their situations really did speak for themselves.

I thought Melanie and her partner Rob and son Skye did an excellent job of repeatedly bringing up the reasons for their lifestyle choices in a mostly respectful manner. On many stations it airs on Wednesday night, so heads up if you want to catch a little bit of environmentalism invading ABC's prime time!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Power of Change

The kids and I went on a walk next to a big park by the river here. Halfway up the trail we heard this screeching from the top of a tree. When we came out on top of the little butte, we saw this: an eagle's nest, and the screeching was from a baby eagle inside! There is a pair of nesting bald eagles, less than a mile from downtown in our city.

Sometimes as an environmentalist, it is easy to become hopeless, but when I was looking at that eagle's nest it got me thinking about how things can change. Many people worked together to protect the bald eagle and bring it back from the endangered brink of extinction. And now today we can hear baby bald eagles practically on our doorstep and see their parents soaring over the playground at a local park on their way to catching fish in the river.