Friday, August 29, 2008

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

Am I kidding? Turns out I'm not, but I am a little late. Truck Driver Appreciation Week started on Monday, but you can bet those guys are working all weekend long, so there's still time to say thanks.

Okay, I know. Why does someone like me who cares about local food and clean air want to talk about truckers? A few reasons.

* You think you're depressed when you have to stop by the gas station?

* Tell me this isn't pretty cool:

* Apart from milk and tv's and dirt, which are hard to get excited about but necessary, a lot of these truckers move the military. Like my brother who's spending a lot of time away from his family, one day out from a really nasty oral surgery, making sure the armed forces have what they need when they need it. So yeah I like shopping at farmers markets and I spend a fair amount of time worrying if my dollars are better spent there or at one CSA farm, but there's no better way to do a lot of the stuff they do. There's not one single person I know who's life hasn't been made better by a truck driver or two. Did you buy a completely green pre-fab home? Done, truckers are how it got to your lot. Do you shop at Target? Done.

* Because truckers only make the news when they burn down giant overpasses. A lot of these guys are amazing drivers, with skills you've never heard of, who have an amazing work ethic. Let's take my brother, again, for an example. Apart from his sad mouth, he's been living with a bad back injury. Give me half of that pain and I'd be taking my prescribed pain medication, but he won't because he could be tested at any time - even if he doesn't intend to work for days.

* You know you love it.

So how do you show your appreciation? I'm guessing not a lot of you spend time at truck stops or have cb radios in your cars (although you'd love to say, "Breaker One Niner"). So here's my number one tip: Let them merge.

Ten Four.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Scare Short People

What do I get up to when my husband's working late? Mani-pedi? Another viewing of "Persuasion"? Cookies n' Cream ice cream and a silly magazine?

Well, not tonight. Tonight I'm dorking out, learning about Firefox Extensions and listening to the DNC on KPBS. Oh Yes. I hear Hillary Clinton just walked out in an orange pants-suit. Faboo, Hill. And what's that? My google analytics want checking? Well, sure. It's dork night, after all.

Hmm. I wonder what those five people who used search engines to find my blog typed in as keywords. Oh no! Nooooo! I'm so sorry, little middle-schooler! Braces are so cool and sexy and nothing bad like this will ever happen to you!!

Dork night's over. Where is the ice cream?
blog it

Plant Friend Update

It's definitely August, right? The weather feels like September and my late start in the garden has it looking like July. Split the difference.
Here's what's up on the patio.
Finally! Some Oregano. I planted, oh, 80 or so seeds this year and last. Here's what finally happened:

Of course now the bugs have found it. But I'm very stubborn, so it's an organic smackdown. I've been using Neem oil on these and the spider mites that are going after one of my rows of strawberries, with decent success. If I start to lose ground, though, I've got a dried jalepeno in the wings for some chili tea, veg oil, and safe soap spray. Hai-ya!

The tomaters are in! So far I've only got three in various stages of readiness. I don't think I have enough full sun for more. The red fellow in the photo there got me a little too excited and I picked it before it was ripe. Yeah, not so tasty. I'm resolved to be much more patient.

The strawberries, despite their intermittent infestations, are still producing sporadically. That's partly the mites but mostly this is their first year, so they're still learning. I think it makes the fruit more fun, though. Every few days we get just one surprise berry that forces us to savor it more while we're sharing our tiny bites.

The heirloom sprout is up! And ready to be transplanted. This guy popped up in less than a week, even after I dropped the seed packet over the balcony and then behind a pot and into a puddle. Great way to treat heirlooms, no? Well I climbed over some shrubbery and employed my husbands long arms and everybody's fine. Next time, no planting in high wind!

And the flowers. I've got more than ever now. Mixed wildflowers, poppies. The zebra aloe sent out three spikes this year as opposed to the usual one. My cilantro has also flowered and is beautiful and bee-happy. I like the flavor of the little whispy leaves, too. So it's still in the guacamole while it gets ready to give me it's coriander seeds.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

On Health

It's a wacky, mixed-up life when the part of your body that's been "impaired" for over 14 years suddenly becomes a source of delight and pride.

Yesterday I went to get the eye exam that I'd been putting off since January because of more, ahem, pressing matters. I wasn't dreading it, but it did give me that odd (new to me) Dr's office palm sweats. I felt compelled to mention my cancer on my little info sheet. It does fall under the "any other medical issues" heading, I think.

I sat for the preliminary tests (will someone please invent a new way to test for glaucoma? One that doesn't involve shooting air at eyeballs? Thanks). Then I got comfortable in the dimmed exam room. A flew minutes of "better or worse," a few very bright lights, and I was hearing some interesting murmurings. Words like "healthy," "strong," and "very little change."

You can't imagine how excited I as. I felt ten feet tall. I clapped my hands like a pony just showed up at my 6th birthday party. Wait, I already had a pony then (don't hate me). Like Seamore the Sea Lion showed up! So I'm thinking. If I go for an eye exam, say, every 6 months, will that positive medical reinforcement help me believe I'm healthy or automatically put me in a new crazy category?

Okay, I'll just keep it in the positive memory bank. Which will be easy once I download and print this free poster from Poppytalk.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


This year I've seen a lot of beautiful people suffer & struggle. A lot of people struggling while their support systems also carry heavy burdens makes life very hard. Somehow I tend to be optimistic about the big things, but I've had bad days where I felt like all the good people are doomed to get chewed up while the bad folks party.

Today I saw something I hope I'll remember for a long time.

We weren't huge fans of our last downstairs neighbors. Starting a massive re-model without a single word to the neighbors who's walls you share is rude. Plus, one of them parked like they couldn't wait for us to sever a limb getting out of our cars. On the way home from errands today, I saw Mr. neighbor, who's all done with the hammering & moved away, getting a ticket.

Thank you, universe, for just enough balance to keep me smiling.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fun With Recylables

I have three packages to get in the mail today, but I wanted to quickly post about one before it's shipped out and forgotten. The giant stack of "pretty" magazines that I keep not for recipes or really any other purpose for which they were produced got pulled out last weekend and stripped of their nicest photos. Hopefully, we will soon be getting a lot less junkmail, since I siged us up at I learned about this service at the Chula Vista Nature Center (still awesome) and liked what I read. I haven't received their package yet, so I can't really review them. But the main reason I haven't really launched a junkmail war before is that I couldn't imagine getting organized enough to send letters to all of the companies that send me crap. 41pounds does this for you, and then sends you the letters to just sign & post.

I used to get in a little bit of trouble with the post office for making my own envelopes in my teens. I still do it, but I respect my postal workers' need to read what I send, so I just embellish now. I didn't know everyone well enough to tart up all of the packages I'm sending today. But this one is my favorite.

Are you guys in Mexico yet? Happy Honeymoon, Rob & Tina!