Day: December 13, 2008

Thoughts on the economic collapse, ice storms, sustainability, Grassley as ethical and the whole nitty gritty…

So, in the East there is the big ice storm and in the West there is one, too, a big windy cold front coming through this morning.  I hope RD has power, and is okay.  Funny you ancipate the blog posts of friends in the web, and then you think about them in weather.

I was in the forest collecting pine cones for those wreaths and I had a great  idea for how the forest service could do a fab project to teach kids about nature.  And also some fund raising, to boot.  Out here we have fires in the dry season.  They are devastating.  There used to be these forest rangers but I think their funds have been cut — and this is a terrible thing.  I looked at websites from the government and some other things and there are a lot of jobs open in that field.  They also wanted volunteers.  I had this fab thought about how wonderful it would be to ride through the forest on horseback, myself.

Anyway, the forest is a place to teach children about the land, and the landscape.  I was lucky to have a grandfather that taught me.  We have a generation of kids who only play video games and there is a big disconnect to “reality” in terms of the earth.  How can they be stewards of this place unless they understand it.  I came across a place in the Dakotas that is trying to recruit people to move there by possibly giving away the land.  It was sad because they seem to have a lot of ghost towns there — dating from 1900 or so.  I’ve never driven through there so I don’t know the prairie landscape — but I have seen the skies over the Southwestern states — and the vast empty quiet.

I read all the “Little House on the Prairie” series as a kid.  I loved those — probably because it just seemed like the ideal family and I wanted to be part of that — because mine was nothing like that at all.  There is this whole beachtown part of me that can probably never leave — but, it’s crowded here.

I’ve had this little book for a long time.  And other like it.  Out in California there is a movement afoot to “green up” peoples houses — even in cities like Los Angeles people are starting to have chickens running around and laying eggs.

I was a kid during the first wave of the communes and the “back to the land” movements of the 70’s.

Maybe it has always been a secret dream?

Dunno.  But, the new sustainability might have to do with small green farms?

What I love are barns.  Old barns.

I love the way that this looks, but I never have lived like that.  I’m one of those liberals who grows a tiny garden — but buys things in stores most of the time.

Last night I made another soup — a really nice Italian one.  And today I might make another pumpkin or an apple pie — it’s so cold out, and dark.  I do better during the warm season — I really do.  I guess our winters here are what many places call Spring?  Anyway, last night I was at the Vegetable man’s place and we had a really long talk about things here that have gotten too chi-chi looking.  And about how the town has changed over time.  We talked about the “soup kitchens” of the 30’s and how Julia  Child used to buy her produce from him.  I said, well, let me know if you want to open a soup kitchen and I’ll fix it.

There are certain parts of my life I feel like revisiting now — having to do with arts and craft.  As I go through this house I realize that there are these whole periods that I have lived circumscribed by outer rather inner events.  I will never go back to the corporate world.  Ever.  Besides, that is tanking anyway.  Whole ways that people have lived seem to be tanking this morning — belief in politics, corporations, ethics, even American banks.

Going off grid means that you change by going backwards in time to the 19th century in a way.

This is a totally fab book about gardening!  I have it, and you can learn almost all you need to know from this book.  He believes in the French method of intensive gardening — it works…

I’m not sure who has bankrupted America.

But this is the fallout from it.  Right here.

I do know that I have NO TRUST in any politician of late except Senator Grassley.  He is ethical — really ethical.  Politicians are supposed to lead because they are leaders — not because they can buy their way in or lie their way in.  I think that is what is wrong right now.  We are really seeing the whole nitty gritty in terms of the Chicago Machine — but I suppose there are other machines in other states too, right now.

I really appreciate somebody like Senator Grassley in these dark times for our country.  I really do.  He is going after the people who ghostwrote articles for big pharma.  He’s a good guy.

Wyeth’s Use of Medical Ghostwriters Questioned

I think a lot of us are wondering where are all the good guys right now.  Old fashioned politicians who are actually doing some thing RIGHT.

A good Christmas present this year might be one of these books — people may need them…

Soon.

Here is the recipe for the very WARM and COMFORTING soup I made last night:

TUSCAN VEGETABLE SOUP

You will need a large pot!  Pour a generous splash of  olive oil into the pan.  Chop two onions, Two carrots, 2 or 3 large cloves of garlic, one fennel bulb and the center portion of a celery bunch — saute until the vegetables soften.  Chop 4-5 assorted summer squashes — I used yellow patty pans and green zucchinis — add them to the mix — also one 28 oz can of tomatoes, one 15 oz can of cannellini beans or white kidney beans (you could also use white navy beans) — one box of chicken or vegetable stock–and three heaping tablespoons of pesto!  Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes.  In the meantime — saute a little head of fresh spinach in olive oil.  Serve by ladling the soup over the spinach — grating a little parmesan over the top and salt and pepper as well.

I love ciabatta bread — so I got a beautiful loaf.  Out here we have really great bakeries that do all the artisanal things with bread.  They are all in competition with each other too—-so, bread can be had for not much money at all…

So, given that HUGE melamine scare?  We are going to be cooking from SCRATCH-A-ROONI around here…yes we can, and yes we are!

Given that dried milk is in just about everything processed?

Yikes.  Make that yikes times kazillions……

You know, Grassley is the MAN to head up the FDA in my opinion.  He is a lot like Nader.

Maybe he is a secret green?  He sure thinks like we do….

xxoo!