I love life!

Hi, I am Jo and this is my blog about my life. Here you will find entries on cooking, gardening, food safety and the interesting things happening in my search for an inexpensive and healthy way of living. My home is located in North Florida and I am relearning how to take care of myself at almost 50. This is the deep South so my garden and season may be a bit different than yours. I look forward to seeing what you have to say as time passes. Read on and have a beautiful day!

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Garden Giveth.....


The garden is rocking and rolling just as I am getting ready to leave again for yet another training class.

Today I picked a pound of cherries, a large lime and yet another squash.

Seriously, swimming in Italian Serpentine Squash.

They are an heirloom that does exceedingly well in this area. Mine are currently being ravaged by crazy winds from Hurricane Sandy but we have already picked roughly 18 lbs.

The hubby took one to work today that was almost 4 feet long!
Apparently, everyone was suitably impressed- goodness knows what the jokes were.

Year to date we have gardened our way to nearly 26 lbs. of produce with plenty more to come!

Dear friends in the neighborhood, should errant squash show up on your front stoop I know not where it came from!!!

Hope your day is as lovely as mine!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Breaking Bread

In case you may not have noticed all of the t.v. ads, mailers and radio interviews- it is election season.

We have two opposing parties covering a spectrum of beliefs and vastly different views of where our nation stands and what it stands for in the world.

I sit back, listen and am appalled. Before you get excited and say "I am too! Can you believe what they (meaning the other party) did?" Stop and think. How did we become a nation of people willing to blame the "other party"? Even if the "other party" holds a portion of the blame "our party" does as well.

It is easy to sit here and spout things I have read without investigating nor even researching the opposing viewpoints. We have closed ourselves into communities of like minded individuals uninterested in exploring diverse views or differing opinions. Look around you. With whom do you associate? With whom do you break bread? Most likely these people share the same value structure and there is nothing wrong with that and in fact it is healthy. Do you read journals geared to your interests and political leanings? Where do you get your news?

Now ask yourself, "Can I discuss politics with someone who holds an opposing view without arguing?" Be honest. Can you sit and listen while sharing a meal? Can you break bread with someone who holds views that you can not tolerate on say abortion or taxes? Can you remain calm if the other person becomes obnoxious? Can you still respect a person who holds differing views?

Recently, a coworker and I shared lunch at a local sandwich place and, of course,politics came up. we are, most definitely, not on the same end of the political spectrum. However, we managed in spite of opposing views, to have a civil conversation about why we believe what we do. Did we agree? No. Did we listen to each other and at least try to understand? Yes. Did we change each others minds? Probably not but at least we talked. Then we found out, surprisingly, that we agree on the necessity of taking responsibility for ourselves. And in that we found action and ways we can work to support each other in the future.

Currently, there are no real unscripted conversations. There are "zingers", blame, distortion, outright lies and candidates vying for a position of dominance, many times with little substance. People are not researching or thinking critically. the party line is good enough.

We blame the poor for losing jobs and shame them by drug testing prior to allowing them assistance. We blame the 1%, the 99% and the 47%. We blame the other party for the economy and for inaction in D.C.. We blame and shame women for wanting safe abortions. We blame liberals for gun control and war hawks for Iraq. We blame everyone but ourselves and those with our belief structure.

Wake up! If we do not start having conversations instead of accusations nothing will change. We as a nation need to break bread with those we do not agree. We need to listen. Strong decisions come from assessing all views, the positive and the negative.

We are a nation truly split into two camps. It humbles me that we have come to this level of petty behavior and division. So my suggestion is that we do what we can in our own small spheres. That we reach out to those who differ and listen before we talk. That we give of our time to make changes that impact the world in positive ways around us.

Worried about climate change plant a garden. Poverty, volunteer to mentor a child. Gun rights, teach an  NRA class. Education, volunteer in a school.  Stop blaming and start doing!

Or simply break bread with that wacky neighbor with the obnoxious political sign in his front yard.  You may be surprised at what you learn!      

And don't forget to vote!!!




Saturday, October 13, 2012

Quiet Days

Today was a quiet day. A lovely, blissful and calm day. Days like today are few and far between, but oh, so necessary for sanity and health.

Yesterday was chaotic and crazy. My work computer locked up and accidentally dumped a complete USDA audit. This forced me to retype the entire report. Sigh! Thus lengthening my day and getting me home over an hour after the planned time.

In contrast today began with a sleep in followed by a late breakfast and a lovely chat on the phone with Rob after his long training run. Laundry was done and hung out to dry. Seriously, out as in outside. Work shirts were ironed and bread was baked ( GF - new recipe and it was so so). GF sourdough starter is starting and the garden is going gangbusters. Most of all nothing was done that I did not want to do.

Everyone needs to recharge. Everyone does it differently. Some through hard work and others through peace and quiet in places that they love.

May everyone have a day to recharge full of peace and love!!!