Saturday, October 29, 2011

Friday Five (on Saturday): Uplifted Edition

The days are getting shorter and darker. It is easy to get down this time of year. The RevGalBlogPal "Friday Five" is an invitation to think about what gives you a lift. RevGal Sally writes:

"Over the last few weeks I have been struggling with depression, I know that from reading other folks blogs that I am not alone in this, and from time to time if not suffering from depression that everyone feels down. With that in mind I wonder what lifts you?"

So I'd like you to share 5 things:

1. A Scripture- it might be a verse or a whole book!

Psalm 126 always lifts my Spirits, particularly verses 1 & 2:

1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.

I can't help but smile right along with them! The Lord has done great things for us. Amen!

2. A piece of music.

My general answer is anything Dar Williams. Dar's music is funny and touching and poignant. I love all her CDs. I hear my own life reflected in her songs. Sometimes, though, I need something with a little more kick to it and that is when I get out Sheryl Crow or Meredith Brooks or Alanis Morissette. Other times something quieter and (more) spiritual is called for so I turn to my Taize CDs. I guess it all depends on the circumstances!

3. A place.

Home. I am a homebody. I love puttering around the house. I love the quiet of being home alone. I love reading on the couch and playing ball with Bady in the backyard. I even enjoy doing the dishes, cleaning the kitchen and washing the floors. If I am stressed or having a bad day give me an afternoon at home alone to clean and putter and read and I will soon be in much better spirits.

4. A person/ group of people

Gary. He's the one who has walked with me through my darkest days. He's seen me at my worst and he's stuck with me. He knows what to do when I'm sick or sad or grumpy. He's the one I want to have around no matter what. (Thanks Honey!)

5. Something you do...

I could be having a difficult week at work or a challenging time at home, but when I get out on the Schutzhund field with Bady and my training friends I forget all about it. It is a place completely apart from the day to day stressors of my life. Schutzhund challenges me in a completely different way. After an afternoon or evening of training ~ in the rain, in the heat, in the snow, in the cold ~ I am rejuvenated and ready to face whatever challenges await back at home or in the office.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Eating Local

This year we signed up for our first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). We started receiving our weekly boxes of veggies in June and I'll pick up our last box next week. It has been an interesting experience. We definitely threw away more food than I would like to admit. (How many tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini can one eat in a week?) We also experienced some new vegetables and some new ways to cook familiar ones. I made mashed celeriac for the first time! We also ate a LOT of squash ~ acorn, butternut and delicata!

We wasted a lot of greens (kale and collard, for example) because we just didn't know what do with them and they wilted before we figured it out. Next year I would like to do better with preserving food so that it doesn't go to waste as well as figuring out how to eat the more perishable stuff in time.

All in all, we enjoyed it. We had fun pointing out all the "Vermont grown" food we were eating. It is nice to know that the food we enjoyed was not shipped across the country, but came from just up the road. It was also good to know that we were supporting a local farm through our share commitment, especially with all the flooding both in the spring and fall. And who knew that Vermont jalapenos would be so hot!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Five This Fall

I haven't been great about keeping up on things this fall! So here are five things that have happened so far this September and October.

1. At the end of September we participated in our second Walk to Defeat ALS. So far the walk has raised $50,000. Amazing! There seemed to be more walkers than last year. This, perhaps, means that there is more awareness of ALS in our community. It could also mean that more people are being diagnosed. Last year we walked in honor of my father. This year we walked in memory of him. It was a bittersweet day and I hope that the donations we raised can bring us closer to a cure so families no longer have to go through what we went through.

2. This week I've enjoyed a little vacation visiting with some of my favorite girls including this little cutie!

3. And this little cutie too! It was so much fun to be "Auntie Krista for a couple of days.

4. After my visit with the girls, Gary and I spent the night in Springfield with his landlord family. They treated us to a delicious dinner of chicken vegetable soup and tamales! It was my first time ever having a tamale. After I figured out how to unwrap them from the corn husk they were very good. The sauce was a little spicy for me, though. After dinner we snuck out for an ice-cream sundae. I had peanut butter ice-cream with peanut butter topping and peanut butter cups. Yum! On our way back to Burlington on Friday we stopped in Killington and watched some of the Dock Dogs National Championships. The jumps these dogs took were amazing!

5. Our most recent adventure this fall was running in the "Four Paws for Lacey's Cause" 5K. Lacey's Cause is a non-profit that supports the medical care of retired police dogs in Vermont. It was my first 5K and I was pleased not to come in last! At at 77 degrees it was very warm for a Vermont fall day. I was glad to support Bady's "brethren in blue." After the race we saw some K-9 demos from local and state police K-9s and their handlers.

So far it has been an eventful fall!