Photo Meme (plus more)

Here I am, just in from working in the garden. I like that this meme is going around- it’s good to see people as they are. 

When you read this you’re tagged! Take a picture of you in your current state, no changing your clothes or quickly putting on makeup. NO PHOTOSHOP. Show your F-List the Real You!

And this is what I’ve been up to:

Jeff had a random day off today, and so we were planning to do serious food storage stuff today- it really needs doing. But of course our drains decided to back up and flood the basement and now we can’t use the kitchen sink or dishwasher or washer until the guys come to fix it. We attempted to fix it ourselves, but it didn’t work. Anyway, I hope it gets fixed soon because the diapers pile up pretty quickly around here…

Anyway, we can still roast peppers and eggplant and make baba ghanouj and that relish/cracker spread I wanted to try. Then I can cut up and freeze the rest of the peppers, and we can also can the last of the green beans, too. I will also put on a big pot of summer squash soup to can tonight. But I won’t even dare attempt canning tomatoes without a kitchen sink. Too much juice. We harvested many green tomatoes in an attempt to save them from the blight. I’ll make some green tomato salsa, but we’ll try to let most ripen inside to can later. I hope they make it! We also harvested cabbage, which I plan on dealing with this week. A new batch of sauerkraut, kimchi, and cabbage soup. 

This week I’ll also be digging up and curing our onions (which I probably should have already done, but oh well), and ordering corn to can this weekend. This stuff is definitely keeping us busy! I love it though. I mean, it’s so beautiful and I’m so glad to be able to do this work. It’s what I love. I’m reading this book called Radical Homemakers, at the suggestion of one of you (although I can’t remember who- remind me so I can thank you!). It’s a great book so far, so validating and it’s given me a lot to think about. Two quotes that stood out to me just reading it today:

"Eco-theologian Thomas Berry referred to the challenge we all now face as the "great work" whereby humans, nonhumans, and the whole of the Earth community must support one another. Radical Homemakers play a critical role in meeting this challenge. We do this by raising our children to understand their place in healing this world, reclaiming the skills our local communities require for sustainable self-reliance, and changing our economy from one that is extractive to one that is life- serving. The choice to become a homemaker can no longer be dismissed as a retreat from the "real" world. It is a full, head-on engagement with the major tasks our society is confronting."

"Columnist Ellen Goodman once remarked that "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to the job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car and the house that you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it." Life in America was not always like running on a hamster wheel. Ther was a time when the home was not just a place to sleep at night, nor a gilded cage for a marginalized stay-at-home woman. In fact, there was a time in our nation’s history when homemeakers wielded great power for reforming our socitey. As we embark on a new quest for social justice, for living harmoniously on this planet, and for uncovering deeper meaning in our lives, we must understand how our homes morphed from productive social units to isolated consumption units, and the impact this deterioration has had on our culture. With this understanding, the path to recovery will come to light."

It’s so fun to read. I still, even in the midst of the joy I feel day to day doing this job, struggle with the preconceived notion that valuable work results in monetary gains, that we must have an expensive degree in order to be respected, and that this job somehow means that that I’m unskilled or selling myself short or something. Well, I’m learning that I’m going to have to consciously renounce some of those old notions and reclaim the value of the work that I’m doing. Every day, I need to remind myself of its value and remember that I don’t believe that the dollars I would earn doing something that isn’t relevant to my life or family would be in any way a good substitute for what I’m trying to do here. I’m realizing that I’m going to have to remind myself of that, because this culture won’t. I am an activist. I am a woman who is working to reclaim a healthy space for her family to live. I want health and healing, prosperity, community, and love. That’s why I do this, and it’s totally worthwhile. Fun. πŸ™‚

Anyway, on that note, I’ve got to get to roasting those veggies!

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