keeping busy

[written 11/18/08]

so far in the last 24 hours:

  • licked and stamped 100+ invitations for thanksgiving open house
  • prepared and ate a handful (!) of grilled fontina cheese and apple sandwiches
  • (wo)manned the library reference desk
  • worked on website (here and here especially)
  • cleaned kitchen twice, realized rosemary plant died ;(
  • fed horses, including fresh water and hay
  • repaired disc permissions on computer (too much beachball time was driving me nuts)
  • backed up computer (love my external hard drive, it’s perfect. knock on wood.)
  • played around with picture-taking this morning
  • set up the humidifer in loft
  • typed up some notes on a good book (more below..)
  • played a lot of quinn (it’s a weakness, but kinda helps me think too)
  • worked on quilt (!)
  • catnapped off and on a bunch
  • researched a few projects online, including here and here and here
  • skimmed a handful of books and magazines, and listened to a bunch of news
  • packed away summer clothes, brought out winter stuff, and pulled out a bunch to take to bolivia to give away
  • & more, but that’s enough to start with ;)

it helps now and then to kinda sum up what’s been going on, because sometimes i feel like woah, nothing is happening in my life! where am i going? what is my life! existentialblahblah. and though that occasional freak-out is good in a way, to shake things up, when it starts becoming the norm, that’s no good. yesterday, for some reason, i started just zooming, one thing to another, half hour or hour of this or that, and then moving on, not worrying whether it was entirely done or perfect, but just spending a bit of time here and there and refusing to feel guilty for not doing it all.

in other news, i’m reading this interesting book called kitchen literacy by ann vileisis, “how we lost food knowledge of where food comes from and why we need to get it back” and though at first i thought, well i’m into local food, i know about barbara kingsolver and michael pollen, i had a garden this past summer, etc. so what can i really learn here? the answer is, so far at least, tons. here’s a bit that i’ve already very much enjoyed:

“as food were changed to meet the demands of america’s rapidly urbanizing society – often in ways that did not at first appeal to many people – the mental framework we consumers used to understand food was invariably stretched and fudged to accommodate those changes.” (p5)

“..as america’s food system industrialized with the logic of mass production, the very idea of knowing where foods came from and how they were made became less appealing. as food production became more abstruse, a newly emerging mass media cut its teeth by helping to ease upper- and middle-class americans into accepting new ways of shopping, cooking, and eating.” (p7)

“over the course of [five] decades [1880s to 1930s roughly], what had once constituted values knowledge passed on from mother to daughter was rejected and deemed irrelevant, while what had first been mocked as ignorance was eventually elevated to a desirable and respected status. for example, knowing about the lives of animals that became meat had been considered essential kitchen lore until the 1880s, but then the big chicago meatpacking plant with their tidy cuts and wrappers made this knowledge obsolete and memories of it repugnant. before long, as the barnyard was distanced from the kitchen, ignorance about all farm animals became typical and even a matter of prestige. through the same period, knowledge of bran names, which had seemed at first rather trivial, became the hall mark of a contemporary woman’s food savvy in the new industrial age.” (p7)

“as food production became more remote and complex, consumers’ fundamental literacy about foods shrunk and wizened even as a guise of new ‘knowledge’ based on brand names and ad-attached attributes were erected.” (p8)

“ultimately, the ignorance of shoppers became as integral to the modern food system as any technology or infrastructure. the new sense of ‘knowing’ that had been vigorously cultivated to encourage homemakers to trust experts and accept modern foods went on to shield an increasingly industrial style of food production from public scrutiny in the 1940s and 1950s.” (p8)

she’s making clear the consumer aspect of not eating locally and how it was manufactured by the advertising people and media world. i like that, it ties into a lot of my other interests politically, and makes it seem more serious and not just some richie smug fad for those that shop exclusively at whole foods and wear $100 organic tshirts or whatever, as sometimes it can seem. it’ll be interesting to see if the rest of the book is this good ~ i’ll let you know.

lastly, i finally got some pics of my sister at her wedding – just a couple of pics below, the rest are here. there’s more pics coming, but i wanted to post these for now, oh and yeah, show off that shawl i made. ;)

we had a few minutes of flurries today ~ winter is really almost here, wow. hope your tuesday has been going well ~ ~