01 January 2010

Things I'd Like To See In My 2010

- A la carte cable television.  I only want Syfy (for Doctor Who), Food Network (for Alton Brown), Cartoon Network (for Adult Swim), and Discover (for most everything on the channel).  I'm never going pay $90+ per month to watch only 4 channels.

- An Italian or Jewish bakery in the presently empty storefront at the end of my street.  An erstwhile loan sharking establishment, it sits silently, uselessly empty.  I'd love some fresh bagels or cannolis.

- Easy Money.  That's right.  I'm tired of the lop-sided exchange that has been occurring for the past five years or so.  Let's restore the balance by another five years of easy money.

- 2009 was filled with some incredibly tender moments of grace.  Pure, unadulterated love and laughter despite our little world falling apart.  I'd like more of the same as we continue to rebuild.

- Our loved ones to finally quit smoking.  All of them!  It stinks.  We hate that we have to strip down immediately upon getting home and treat our clothes like toxic waste...then waste water taking another shower to get the stench out of our hair.  More importantly, we don't want to watch you die slowly and painfully from something so stupid that could, in all likelihood, be prevented.  Plus, we'd rather not endanger ourselves unnecessarily with second-hand smoke.  When we have children, they will not be allowed to be around you if you're smoking.  Please quit.

- To finally make a batch of homemade biodiesel.  I love all things that smack of self-sufficiency and you can't really beat the cost.

- Myself down at the Farmers' Market every Saturday.  Selling, this time.  Soaps, aprons, fresh-cut flowers, seedlings, jams and jellies, tomatoes, and whatever else I can manage.  All I need is a folding card table I can stuff in the back of my Golf.

- A serious pepper crop in the backyard.  Last year wasn't so great for peppers.  This year I want banana peppers, early jalepenos, king of the norths, anchos, and pimentos.

- A blushing profusion of roses.  The frost killed my rose buds in 2009.  This year, I want to see some rambling roses.

- Bigger Dreams.  Everything went so horribly wrong in 2009.  It really shook my faith in myself as the creator of my reality.  I became a hesitant dreamer...a reluctant optimist.  This year, I want to dream bigger without remembering how it didn't work last time. 

- On the whole, I'd like to see a greater number of Americans concerned about the quality of their food.  I'd like to see their taste buds come alive again so they can realize how bad big agribiz grocery store food tastes.  I know it's a lot to ask.  But I'd really love to see people become more connected to their food.

- More purity in the marketplace.  I know this depends on demand so it hinges on the precarious awareness and wallets of the American population.  I would love to see artificial flavors replaced with real flavor.  Pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotic feed, and gmo crops replaced with any number of the more successful, less harmful farming practices such as permaculture.  There's a lot of folks who don't buy into the "everyone can grow their own food" mentality.  They're realists and they understand that a population of our size is going to need mass-produced food.  Mark Shepard, CEO of Forest agricultural Enterprises is an advocate for large-scale permaculture...something not many have considered.  He says "we aren't going to convince farmers to climb off their combines and pick blueberries by hand; plus we need the caloric gain that mechanization and large-scale production gives us.  Pick food by hand and you may harvest 10 times the calories used.  Harvest by machine and can have 1,000 times the return."  Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms is a wonderful example of a wildly successful farmer who uses zero artificial or destructive farming methods.  One of the key concepts of his farm is allowing each chicken to fully express its "chicken-ness" and each pig to fully express its "pig-ness".  If you're interested in growing in your awareness of what you're putting on your plate, watching Food Inc. is a good place to start.  And Richard Manning, award-winning author and journalist, will convince even the most stubborn skeptic who takes the time to read his blockbuster article by the unassuming title, The Amazing Benefits of Grass-fed Meat.  (They truly are amazing.)

- More honesty and integrity in the world.  We could all use a little more of that.  There will always be a bunch of schmucks who don't even know the meaning of honesty and integrity.  But as for the rest of us, there's still hope in every moment one of those little, minute choices are made.

- I received an ancient dusty tripod from my mother last week.  This is the year I photograph the baby hummingbirds at the ever-blooming lilac.

- Walmart bankrupt.  Nuff said.

- Family, friends, and enjoyment of food culturally prioritized over and above the rat-race we call "a career".  Europeans have been doing this for how many years now?  I'd like to see us return to this mindset.

- Some hot process soap come out of my kitchen.  I think I'll start on that today, actually.  My Winterberry soap has to be rebatched.  It was a cold-process bust.

- Some new apron choices.  Skirts upcycled into aprons maybe?  Mens aprons? 

- Half of my book written.  I'm not telling what its about yet.

- More writing, but only for fun and extra (i.e. un-needed) money.  Writing out of financial necessity is a real drag.  Writing because I'm passionate is thrilling.

- Last but not least, more of that acceptance I've been feeling towards others lately.  I know, I know...I might not be feeling it so much for the smokers.  But I've been feeling just a little more mellow lately.  It's not patience, it's just acceptance of people in situations that would have ordinarily made me annoyed at them.  I suppose that's a sign of age.  Or maybe not.  Either way, I'd like more of it please.  It feels so much better than judgment.

- Oh, and one more thing.  More birds.  They make me so happy.  : )


Char said...

i love so many of these thoughts. i hope all your wishes come true.

julochka said...

i hope these come through in 2010, tho' i suspect some of them are longer term...especially the one about quality food. if the consumer demanded it, those corporate farms would have to change the way they do things.

i always love your thoughtful, deep thoughts perspective on the world.

and i'm loving birds too. this is the first winter i've been putting out food for them and i just love seeing them come to eat it. i can even hear more birds around now because of it. there is something about birds...

happy new year to you!!


Annie said...

Wonderful list! May they all come true. That is a darling photo!
Happy new Year! XOXO

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