weekend in pictures

It all started with some vegetables.
We picked up our first week of CSA yummies: sorrel, chives, oregano, and baby greens mix.

The farm is in Victor, Idaho, which is near . . .

Teton National Park.

So, we camped

in Wyoming, and we hiked

to a lake

in the pouring rain.
Luckily, we each had a change of clothes in the car so we were able to enjoy the scenic ride home through Yellowstone. It was surely the best impromptu mini-vacation ever.


good times

On a short vacation from their vacation, the NV Gardner clan graced us with a visit. We had loads of fun making & eating pizza, playing games, shopping at the market, and eating more pizza. Thanks for making the trek to IF! We had a blast.

games galore

loot from the market

Favorite quotes from the weekend:

Sydney at lunch: "Mom, I'm having second thoughts about becoming a pop-star."

Clark: "Why do you like that food?" Jacob, in a serious tone: "because of its deliciousness."


flowers and freegans

Clark brought home a beautiful bouquet of flowers last night. I was surprised. As much as I like flowers, they undoubtedly fall under the category of stuff, and, as you know, we don't buy stuff. It was then that my Clark surprised me again. “I stopped by a floral shop on the way home and did a little back alley ‘shopping’.”

“Excuse me while I adjust my girlish notions of romance.”

Ever since the last DD ™, Clark has been doing a little research. Apparently, there is an entire subculture of Freegans dedicated to living the good life while cutting the man out of the equation. The hippie in me is captivated by the idea of non-participation in the traditional economy, but the other part of me - the obsessive-compulsive part - is completely horrified. The whole of me is fascinated by the simultaneous attraction/repulsion I feel on the subject.

Well, the past few Monday nights (see FHE) we have been reading portions of a conference talk and discussing its application in our lives. Elder Robert D Hales teaches that consumerism and debt squash spirituality and limit freedom in every respect. Families can help each other in their quest to be provident. He states:

“When faced with the choice to buy, consume, or engage in worldly things and activities, we all need to learn to say to one another, “We can’t afford it, even though we want it!” or “We can afford it, but we don't need it—and we really don’t even want it!

. . . as we counsel and work together in family councils, we can help each other become provident providers and teach our children to live providently as well.”

Clark, thanks for the garbage flowers. It was a thoughtful gesture, not because you dropped some cash but because the flowers are beautiful and you knew I would like them. Thanks for not buying stuff and working with me on our goals.

In case you wondered, this is love, and you can't buy it.



Since I quit eating most forms of meat last August, eggs have become a more important staple of my diet. They really are amazing; they are low calorie, versatile, dense in protein, and nutrient-rich (unsaturated fats, the ever-so-essential B12, and folate, with much higher concentrations of all vitamins if the laying hens are free-range).
Eggs have gotten some bad PR because of their high-cholesterol content. It's time to get real; eggs do have quite a bit of cholesterol, but not all dietary cholesterol ends up in the bloodstream. Check out the facts here.

So, what sparked this campaign for eggs? Well, I just found a new source for country-fresh eggs! We got two dozen local eggs from happy, artificial-hormone-free, non-irradiated chickens. For only three dollars! (see picture)

If you should choose to get fresh eggs from free-range hens, there are a few tips to follow in order to fully enjoy your delicious, nutritious ovum.

1. Wash eggs thoroughly; you should really do this with any egg as salmonella bacteria can spread from shell to egg when you crack it open.

2. Look for eggs with bright yellow to yellow-orange yolks. As with fruits and vegetables, brighter natural color equals higher vitamin content.

3. Be sure to break eggs into a bowl instead of right into whatever dish you are preparing. With fresh eggs, you run the risk of fertilization and you may run across one with a blood spot (gross, I know, but well worth it to have better eggs from happier, healthier chickens).


to boldly go

On a whim, we went to see Star Trek last night. I had free tickets from my birthday that I had been saving for . . . I don't know what. I really liked the movie. I do enjoy Star Trek, but I'm glad this one was more accessible and not too Star Trekkie, if you know what I mean. Our spontaneous date was great, but two things came up while at the movie that consistently bug me.

1. Being a target market. Do you ever sit through previews and wonder, "What market research concludes that I would be interested in (movie title with ridiculous preview) just because I am watching (feature presentation)?" I wonder this all the time.

2. Having grammar brain. I wish that sometimes I could turn of the part of my brain that recognizes every split infinitive, which, by the way, is fine if it serves a specific purpose; I just wish I didn't have to notice. I guess it's an occupational hazard.


the old-fashioned way

The last time I rode my bike as a mode of transportation, I was wearing a skirt and sweating grotesquely under the Albuquerque sun (see missionary). As of today, this is no longer true.

I like to exercise, and the truth is, I love going to the gym. I can sweat while I read or watch the news if I want to. However, on a list of things to accomplish, Clark puts exercising in a gym right under making skorts to wear and before reading Full House fan fiction. Weighing the options, I'd rather spend time with Clark. So, we're learning to exercise together the old-fashioned way. We got my bike spruced up, dusted off Clark's nearly-new bike, and were off.

Tonight we rode our bikes out to Reed's dairy for our weekly family night. This was our longest outing so far (5.5ish miles): a nice distance, but not long enough to compensate for the ice cream we ate at the dairy. Oh, well; that wasn't really the point, after all.

Me at the dairy. hi, sheep.

Clark sporting his safety-first helmet by the falls.

Other non-gym related efforts include walking, gardening, yard work, tennis, and occasionally, jogging. Any suggestions?


dumpster dive

I love things that have stories. That's why we have an old house and nearly all of our furniture is second-hand or hand-me-down (it still looks great). Our mantra for the last few months has been we don't buy stuff. I mean, does the world really need one more purse or pair of sunglasses or DVD player or . . . futon frame? Our little boycott has worked out pretty well: we have saved a bit and cut out some of life's unnecessary cluttery stuff.

We recently ran into a dilemma; the extra bedroom needs a feng shui makeover so that it will be a place we (and you, our honored, future guests) actually want to be. This feat could only be accomplished by a new bed. But, wait! We don't buy stuff (say it with me); herein lay the dilemma. We thought about going to "Fabulous Futons" (yes, it's a real store) to buy a new one; at least we would have been spending dollars at a local business. We hedged for a while to decide if it would really be worth it.

Last weekend, while riding our bikes home from a brief trip around the river trail, we happened upon a goldmine in the alley behind our house. That's right, it was a perfectly good futon frame lying next to (not in) the dumpster. (I'm not particularly proud, but I do have some misgivings about the hygiene implications of getting into a dumpster, so it was a relief that we wouldn't have to actually dive in to get it.) Clark took it upon himself to do the do the dirty work, and we are now the proud owners of a new-to-us futon frame (total cost: $8 for sandpaper and black paint).

This was my first Dumpster Dive. Do you DD (TM)? Do you think it's gross? Do you think it's gross, but do it anyway? What's your best find? Do tell.