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My vision is to create a business from my garden, so that I can afford to leave my job, have the garden as income, and paint and write. I also want my customers to read the story of my garden, look at pictures, and get an idea of the process of the work of the garden.

Friday, April 30, 2004

My last post was kept short because I was teaching my novice computer class, and I wanted to expose them to webblogging, showed them my blog, and how I posted to it.

Still starvin' but getting used to it. I swear my clothes fit me better, I have more energy, and I can rouse myself out of bed in the morning--but that's because I am sooo hungry, and want to get some food in my stomach.

I have been looking at calorie restriction web sites, because of all the news about how people on the calorie restricted diets have found significant drops in all of their cholesterol stats, as well as other things.

The thing that interests me is that they mainly eat vegetables, fruit, a little meat and fish, and small amounts of dairy. This is what I have long thought to be true, and the reason for my having a garden in the first place. I mentioned once in a post that my younger sister's death of invasive cervical cancer was the first step to me looking at what I ate, and since then have been more and more involved in what kind of vegetables I comsume. At first buying them only at health food stores, where I could be sure they were organic, and later, after moving here, starting to grow my own food.

Not just the regular things, but also things I couldn't easily find without spending my weekends searching them out. Like Japanese vegetables, bok choi, tat tsoi, among others, beautiful lettuces, broccoli raab, good-tasting kale, squashes, tomatoes, things like that.

We have been eating watercress all week, because it is at its best right now. Our two small ponds are filled with it, and we are also giving it to the chickens, who gobble it right up.

We like to eat it raw, but it is also good sauteed in a tiny bit of olive oil, some soy sauce and some water, with garlic.

We are also expanding our rows of berries--raspberries, and red currants, and I plan to get some more blueberry bushes this year.

I just went on a search for Dr Roy Walford, who is one of the people studying calorie restriction, with longevity as a goal, and found that he died this week. An interesting person, he was one of the people who were involved with Biosphere, remember that greenhouse bubble in the Arizona desert--but apparently, he got a wasting disease from being cooped up in biosphere for the two years, and he just died from the disease. Interesting to note that many of the people I have long watched in the health food movement have died earlier than most people thought they would. Sort of like God laughing while we make our plans.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

I am now teachin' my class.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Got weighed-in and lost 2.25 pounds in one week! I thought that it would be at least 5, considering the starvation mentality I have been engaged in. But they said that it was a good start, and they don't want you to lose the weight too fast, because then your skin hangs on your body, which I thought was a nice image.

Went for a jog at lunchtime. We had a big hotel breakfast meeting this morning, and I am nervous now about my job, after just getting promoted. Won't go into details, now, but I am trying to let go of that.

I belong to a small meditation group, we only meet once a week, but it is a powerful thing. I hope to be able to do more on my own.

Plan to plant some seedlings tonight, and to do some direct seeding of beets, bok choi, tat soi, radishes, and a few other things. I looked with longing at my garden this morning, since we have had downpourings of rain in the last couple of days, and the weeds were begging to be pulled. Only a gardener know this, I am sure, but there are few things as satisfying as pulling weeds after heavy rain. It is such a pleasure to have them come out of the ground so easily! Now you know I am a nutcase.

I volunteered to do some charity work with some people in the company. We will be going into New York on Sunday to do this work. Stuffing gift bags for American Cancer Society before a big charity ball. I will meet my co-workers there, because, after I work for three hours stuffing bags, I am going to meet my friend who invited me to Mexico for dinner, and we are eating with a woman we met in Mexico, who lives in San Miguel and who is here for six weeks. We want to pick her brain about living in Mexico.

Monday, April 26, 2004

I am talking about food, lack of, I mean, while soldiers and Iraquis are dying moment by moment in a disastrous war that is spiraling out of control.

What to do to help get rid of Bush? Don't know yet. I am interested in the Pennsylvania primary tomorrow. I was repulsed by Toomey, but now I see that the Bushies are hoping for a Spector victory, that Toomey will pull in too many Democrats and Independents in the election because they will try to get him defeated, along with Bush. So, while I was hoping that Spector would get reelected, thinking that he was a "good" republican, because he is a moderate, now I see that the polarizing Toomey is a better choice to galvanize those who sit on the fence to come out and vote against him, and more numbers out there means better chance to get Bush defeated.

Tonight I get weighed in at Weight Watchers for the first week of being on the program. I have been "cheating" and nibbling a bit yesterday, since we had some good-cooking guests in the house, and we also all went out to eat on Saturday at the Shad Fest.

Today I got a new boss, and we all met him and another new person with whom I will be working, at the breakfast we give new employees. So, changes are in the making.

Gardening has been slow. I planted some arugula and some broccoli raab yesterday, before hitailing it to the house as the downpour came. We all then watched "Heart of Glass," which was an interesting film. It had a lot of archetypical characters, one visionary shephard, one dwarf servant who would do anything for his master, a young brutal master obsessed with the lost secret of how to make the ruby glass, but the best of all was the fact that all the actors were hypnotized and played their parts in kind of a zombie-like affect, which helped to give the film its power, along with the beautiful photography. Now it makes me want to see all of Herzog's films. A perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon. Fire in the fireplace, rain beating down on the roof, good film.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Well, I am struggling with the food thing. This morning, as I struggled to get up to haul myself in for work this Friday morning, I instead fell back asleep and dreamt that I was a member of a large family, and we were about to sit down for dinner when someone came to the door. I opened the door, and they asked for money, and I turned them down, but someone else invited them in. I thought they were con artists. When we sat down to eat, we had so little on our plates, that I had to peer closer to the dish to even see what was there. And I said, "See, I knew there wasn't enough!"

Then I DID wake up, crease marks on my face, and was already late for work. Threw on my clothes, and ran out the door.

Will try to get stuff planted this weekend, and seed some trays. My stepdaughter and her husband are coming tomorrow and we are going to the Shad Fest.

I will get a free t-shirt, since I offered the festival a drawing for their poster contest. There is something going on tonight, a reception, but that means hanging around after work for a couple of hours, and I would rather go home on a Friday night, grab the dog and go up the hill to the nature preserve. Then, make sure the guest room is clean and tidy for the kids.

Me and another co-worker were taken out to lunch today to celebrate my promotion, and his passing an editor's test, which the HR department sent a notice out to us all for. I blew all my "free points," from weight watchers, I think, but it is fine. I was thinking, as I ate the delicious shrimp, that having one good meal a week might not be a bad thing, after all. The rest of the time I will count the damn points, and eat the tasteless low-fat dairy products, lots of veggies, and fruit.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Well, now that my brother Bob is commenting on my weblog, I guess I will have to keep on posting--I was actually thinking today of packing it in.

Went to the garden club meeting last night. I enjoy this group of women, and a couple of men, including my husband. I almost didn't go--my husband said when I got home from work, that Joan was going to talk on lavendar. I said that she was totally into aromatherapy, and would probably focus on that, when I knew that what he wanted was some information on the plants. Then I said, let's go. It's Turn Off the TV Week, after all, and I haven't seen these women in months, so we went. And Michel's eyes lit up when we walked into the parish hall, because she had a half-dozen lavendar plants up there on the table, along with jars, bottles, and food items. But a few minutes into her talk, I knew that she was doing it only on products, not the plants.

Still, it was fun to be there. My garden club is very laid back, and we just get together every month to either exchange plants, or to do some tour (those really peak my interest, because they are generally private home gardens, and sometimes we get to see some really amazing ones).

I spent most of the time talking with one woman who had lost a lot of weight on Weight Watchers, which I just joined. My target goal is 18 pounds. She lost 40, and had the best-looking figure in the room. I also watched my close friend Julia lose 30 pounds over the last six month, so I finally surrendered this weekend, after I couldn't stop eating a bag of caramels.

Here's the thing--I have a garden full of healthy, organic, wonderfully tasting food, and I am too exhausted to even garden, because at work I am overcome by my temptation to eat the Doritos, other chips, salted roasted cashews, and bowls of chocolate that they put out for us. So, I can't even drag myself out of bed in the morning to do a little gardening.

End of long story short--weight watchers. Of course, I hated it, hate thinking of how many points each food is worth, and hated going to bed hungry and waking up hungry. But, waking up hungry is better than waking up hungover from too much sugar.

But it was really funny how unsupportive some people have been. I told a co-worker that I had started to go, knowing that she had gone at one time, and she went into this long speech about how she hated to get weighed-in in public (which it really isn't like that), and she didn't like groups, blah, blah, blah.

Then I told another friend, who said, "well, how come you're not going to overeaters anonymous?" which did not sound very supportive to me. I started to defend my choice, and when I got home, told Michel that people are not really supportive. I thought they would say, "gee, that's great!" "good luck!" or some such.

Then he said, "Well, whose going to support me?" And I lost it--I mean, why does he have to turn this into about him, how, since he goes to the supermarket, he has to buy new items for his wife, and she isn't going to be bringing home any goodies for him, so this is now a burden for him? I knew he was joking, but I wasn't in the mood. It's bad enough I am hungry. And my AA sponsor said, when I told her I was hungry, "I will be happy to talk to you about my program, whenever." She does a strict program, weighs and measures everything, and has telephone meetings, and eats a strict regimen.

That may be where I finally end up, if I can't succeed at Weight Watchers, but we will see.

On the garden front, lettuce is almost ready to harvest, watercress is ready now, I planted red russian kale and white russian kale this weekend, along with some chinese cabbage seedlings that I bought. Also, planted swiss chard.

Today we are all having lunch with my boss who was fired a few weeks ago. My first experience at a restaurant since going on Weight Watchers. We will see how I do, trying to figure out what I can eat. Salad without dressing, is probably my best bet, along with a bun-less burger or a piece of steak.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Easter Sunday. Chilly and grey. Connected with people on the phone, made lentil soup and cornbread. Sat around reading the New York Times Sunday paper. Went to an AA meeting to meet someone. Came home, burned the soup on the stove, read some more.
My friend is sending me the book written by Susan Cheever called "My Name is Bill." It is about the founder of AA. I listened to her on NPR yesterday, being interviewed, and right away, I wanted to get the book. I was going to order it on Amazon tomorrow at work, but today my friend who got me to go to Mexico told me she had bought it, and she had bought a copy for me and is sending it out tomorrow. Such abundance.
I have to work tomorrow, but will get Friday off. I may ask for all the Fridays off in May, so that I can plant AND spend time in the studio. The garden is being scaled back this year, mainly because I just got a raise, and I don't HAVE to earn the money from the garden. I will still have one, and still have some regular customers, which will keep me in gas money, unless the pump charges go through the roof, but I don't need to expand the garden. That's good, because I wanted more energy for painting.

I am planting lettuce seedlings, and will continue to plant on Friday. We are clearing the herb garden, which became a big mess from two years of neglect. After I took this job two years ago, I had to neglect certain areas of the garden, due to so much time being swallowed up by the garden business, commuting to work, and just plain busyness. Then this "asian grass" took over the herb garden, and suffocated a lot of the plants. So we are clearing it, I will pull up the surviving plants and transplant them and put grass in the area to suffocate out the "asian" grass. Sorry, I hope it is not being politically incorrect to call it that, but that's what everyone calls it, and I don't know what it is. My ignorance.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Well, my boss who got canned this week, he was pushing for a raise for me, and I found out yesterday that I got a promotion and a nice raise. This is all thanks to him, but I have to say for the company, that they DID put it through. Now I am no longer under the radar at work, much more visible, so I guess I have to "grow up" and perform. Every day, every way I come face to face with my incredible immaturity. But this also is the result of choices made for safety, not for love. I don't really know how to get there, either. I am currently meeting with two other women to do meditation, and to talk about money issues. Both of them seem closer than I am to doing the work you love. But they are still complaining about their circumstances, and their desires, so maybe this is showing me that it is all illusion.

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