Thursday, September 28, 2006

Intentions: Heartfelt Thoughts Requiring Action, or Pavingstones on the Road to Hell? Discuss!

Yesterday I talked about The Schedule. It sounds like an anal thing to have, and also like a burden. I wrote that I liked The Schedule, and I do, but I didn't know why. After going to yoga class this week, I know why I like The Schedule.

The instructor talked about intentions and actions. With regard to yoga practice, she was referring to how we move our bodies. Bodies naturally move in the easiest way possible which is not necessarily the correct way. The easiest way to move could mean that the lower back is overcompensating for a lack of flexibility in the legs because the back is more flexible and giving than the hips. For me, it is my shoulders that want to come forward. She has to come over to me and push them where they should go. To force ourselves to do a pose the correct way when our bodies aren't doing it naturally could cause injury. Whatever the reason why the body isn't moving the way it's intended to, the answer is to carefully correct the movement; feel it and practice it until it becomes natural.

This means you have to be aware; aware of what your body is doing and feeling. In yoga, you have to move consciously in order to move correctly.

That's when my jaw dropped open because I had the thought, and so it is in life!

I started thinking about it more and I noticed that when I do not pay attention to make sure my intentions match my actions, it caused disappointment and sometimes aggravation for my family and friends. Following through with action feels a lot better than saying, "Oh, I meant to do that." Those are empty words whereas actions are tangible and harder to miss.

I realized that when I matched my action with my intention I have found balance and satisfaction. I like feeling that way, and I like bringing those emotions forth in other people. It's very satisfying to know that I am having a positive effect on people that I care about.

I learned something new: this is the time to seek the truth. Remembering that truth is a muddy, murky place, yet it is vitally important. I learned to look at the situations in my life again and question them. Intentions might be present but that is not enough when the action is not. Is my intention unrealistic? Why put it out there if I don't have the energy to follow through? If my intention is reasonable, what immediate action can I take? It makes sense to me to ask these kinds of questions. I can see where there is imbalance in my life.

I have intentions galore; very, very good intentions that are heartfelt and evident when I write long To Do lists or when I tell a friend I want to do one thing or another. The intentions are feelings and they go unexpressed unless action is taken. This disconnect frustrates me and those around me when after listening to me they don't see me follow through. In this way they don't understand my feelings because I am not making the effort to convey them in a meaningful way. I get it now; I know that thinking about something is not good enough.

BIG realization.

What I understand now is that action is just as valuable as intention. I have to look at my intentions and see if they are unrealistic. Maybe there are too many. I am limited in my capacity to follow through with every intention I have, as I am human and there are 24 hours in a day. I realize I need to shift my focus and set clear goals, prioritize, and then set about to accomplish them thoroughly and deliberately. This is a new to me. I hadn't thought of modifying the intentions, which to me meant modifying my feelings. That seemed counterintuitive and more than a little impossible. When I initially thought about taking more actions, I felt overwhelmed and defeated from the start because I have so many intentions. It doesn't have to be this way, I see that now. This new way of thinking places more emphasis on the entire equation which serves the valuable goal of expressing myself to others, and can only forge closeness in my relationships. (Or, annoy people to the point of severing all ties with me. Either way, at least it's honest.)

How does this fit in with The Schedule? I know now that my attempt to schedule myself down to what time I wash the dishes was a way to match action with intention, albeit in a very basic way. It sounds ridiculous to write down simple tasks to do at certain times, but it actually does make sense for me. It makes sense, because it works for me. Some people can do this naturally. I cannot. That is my limitation. I will learn because it is important to me, and because I am paying attention. I hope that is enough.

By making this small change, I hope to learn a practice for the larger areas in my life, like with the people in my life. This feels like a very important shift in thinking.

This yoga instructor is pretty awesome. I'm getting my money's worth, thinking more deeply about life and the lessons therein. Not to mention stretching my shoulders to get them to be where they should be.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Schedule Doth Rule My Life...and I Love It

I'm supposed to be exercising right now according to The Schedule. Today however, The Calendar overrides The Schedule and so here I am waiting for the Sears repair man to come and look at my dryer which stopped working last week.

We bought it in April of this year, and so it's probably something dire like the computer inside has eaten itself alive and it will only cost $5,000 for a new one. Plus labor. Warranty, anyone?

Why is nothing built to last anymore? Don't worry, this isn't a rant on shoddy workmanship and a throwaway culture. I'll probably talk about that sometime - like right after I rehash the whole organic vs. non organic debate - but not today.

No, I was looking forward to a run this morning but was thwarted by The Calendar. Luckily, The Schedule has built-in flexibility for times like these. I will put in a yoga tape so me and Rodney Yee can get stretchy; I only hope the Sears repair guy won't catch me in Downward Facing Dog.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Organization is Next to Cleanliness. Or Something Else Not Redundant.

It has been said more than once that I am organized. However, it's also true that I've shown up for ice skating wihtout a jacket and extra socks.

Let's examine that dichotomy for a minute, shall we?

While it is true that I do enjoy organizing my house, my house is messy. For example, when I have dirty dishes, I rinse them and stack them according to what goes into the dishwasher and what will be handwashed. And then I leave them. It might be because the dishwasher is full of clean dishes and the towel on the counter is full of clean dishes as well, and I have to do something else to do at the moment. I usually get to them within a day. In the meantime, I like them rinsed off so they're not all nasty. It's weird, but I like doing it this way. I mean, I like them to at least be somewhat cleanish if they're going to sit there a little while. My comfort level dictates that less than one day is okay to leave them. Especially when something crusty needs to soak.

The same is true for clean clothes in my room. I organize it into stacks in my bedroom, where it sits. And sits and sits and sits. Organized piles, mostly all folded, wait patiently to be put away. I just have other things to do. If it looks relatively neat, I don't worry about it. But, I know it isn't the way it should be. It isn't the way I WANT it to be because the room doesn't look neat, it looks messy. I am determined to organize my house better.

One of the biggest challenges against organization we face right now is not having a proper closet. We remodeled the bedroom and bathroom last year, and we still haven't installed shelves, racks, or drawers in the new walk-in closet. Things are just.....piled in there. On the dressers we have stuck in there for now, and piled up on whatever else there is. Ick.

I was inspired by a recent episode of "Wife Swap" which featured uber-organized suburban housewife Lisa Fine. The woman had plastic boxes for E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Each was labeled. It wasn't enough that you could see through the boxes to what was inside. While I don't want plastic boxes everywhere, I do admire her thoroughness. That's what is lacking with me: thoroughness.

I prefer boxes that have a more natural look, made of materials like wood or wicker. It's just my preference. I like plastic for some things, especially items that will go in the attic to keep dust and water off. But for the house, give me natural materials. All of which costs money. After remodeling part of the house, there just aren't piles of cash lying about to go buy pretty baskets and nice shelves. There comes a time where the budget needs to be combed in order to get this place into shape. I don't need shelves made out of silver and gold, I just want some shelves.

This week I visited Storables, where I salivated over their custom closet design section. I went home and immediately measured my closet. Now I need to compare their prices with others. Let's see what Home Depot can do for me.

And yesterday, after inspiration delivered up by the Supernanny, I made a schedule for my daughter. It's great. Not only does it give her peace that comes from the knowledge of what will happen and when, I have an answer ready when she asks, "Can I watch a movie?" I don't have think about it or bargain with her while frantically trying to recall what is happening on another day I can tell her she can watch a movie and then have to further remember not to break my promise when that day arrives. I can simply turn to the trusty schedule say, "Yep! Today is Friday. It's movie day!"

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Lightness and Darkness, Red and White

Today in yoga class the instructor talked about yin and yang, and how the light parts and dark parts are in a constant cycle of change into one another. She was talking about how there is no way to not be a part of the violence in life. Let's say you stop eating meat as a way to not be a part of violence toward animals. Okay, you're a vegetarian. Then you decide to stop eating vegetables as a way to avoid taking part in ending ANY life. Okay, you're a nuts-and-berries-ian. After a while, you may get sick, and the doctor advises you to eat citrus for vitamin c and meat for protein, which goes against your beliefs. At the point you become sick, you're then hurting YOUR life, in an attempt to not harm other life. There is no way to not harm something in life. That's the way life is.


It was a way heavy thought that she kicked out there before moving on to something else less interesting. I wanted her to stay with it and talk about it more, but we were moving on to rotate our shoulders.

Then she talked about how, if we care about not partaking in or perpetuating violence, we cannot avoid it altogether but instead can choose the least violent approach, while being mindful of the balance. We each choose what works for us, with our belief systems and what goal we're working toward at this point in our lives.

It struck me then about how life is all about change. Experiencing both lightness and darkness, and having both in order to appreciate the other. Change is constant rather than sporadic. I remember hearing a sermon once that talked about death not as the end, but as change. To the womb, when a baby is born it is a death from the womb's perspective. That baby no longer exists inside of it. To that baby and the parents, it is the beginning of new life. When a person dies, everyone around sees it as an end. To the person who dies, it is a simply a change from existing in the physical world to existing in the metaphysical of heaven or hell, or the like, depending upon your beliefs.

I have a terrible time with change, especially when I arrive someplace and am happy. It is particularly hard to understand WHY THERE MUST BE MORE CHANGE. (No seriously, WHY???) Good grief! When are things going to be the way I want them to be? Why can't they stay that way? What's wrong with that???

I remember reading in Eat, Pray, Love that the author gets advice from a friend who says something like, "You know Liz, you're allowed to say what you want, too. You don't have to just be passive and be grateful for whatever comes your way."

Yes! That's true! I like that. Right now I am offering up my opinions to G-d and the Universe, while also trying my hardest to be open and accepting of change EVEN IF I DON'T LIKE HOW IT FEELS. Because G-d cares about me, what I think is important, too. It's a balance between what I know, what I think I know, and what is planned for me. That's what I believe, anyway.

Some days, I can be more accepting than other days. On the Other Days, a good bottle of wine helps me forget my shortcomings.

I've hit my peak with philosophical thinking for today, and it's too early to start drinking so here's a meme. I got if from Lady M, and it goes like this: reach for the nearest book to you and find page 123. Then write the 5th through 8th sentences:

"I want to walk."

The moon was just past full, bright in the indigo sky. Leaving through a side door, I made my way to a bench in a little paved V where two wings of the building came together. I'd left Mike compsed but so exhausted I knew sleep would come fast.

- from The Dive From Clausen's Pier, by Ann Packer. I am still reading Jane Eyre, but I got this out today and intend to reread it. It's fabulous. I remember reading it a couple of years ago and it really resonated with me, about life and choices and all that crazy good/bad stuff.

In other news, I did a slightly inverted pose at yoga today, and now my tummy hurts. You're not supposed to do those during you're period. Now I know why. There was a guy in the class and I was too embarrassed to call the teacher over and ask for a modification while the room was as silent as I imagine a tomb to be. I mean, what if somebody heard me? Then I might die! OMG!

Oh, brother. Next time, I'm asking. I know it was ridiculous to act that way, because guess what? Women have periods! Big deal.

Now the only question left for today is, will tonight's wine be red or white? This is one of my favorite questions, because there is no right or wrong answer. I'll be a part of the violence that ends the life of a bottle of wine. That's violence I can really get behind.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Dial Up Rage

One of the first things I learned since becoming a stay at home mom is that, much like small children, I need a daily routine I can count on.

Without a list of tasks which have been deliberately prioritized and written down in a schedule format, I can easily find other, more interesting but less important things to put my efforts toward so that by the end of the day I have to scramble to get the normal things accomplished.

One of my many distractions at home is the computer with its delicious internet access and tasty blogroll list. I have to limit the time I spend emailing, blogging, reading, and photo processing in order that I will, I don't know, can the tomatoes before the fruit flies eat them up or they rot into a gooey mess on my kitchen counter. Hypothetically speaking.

Since I am responsibly limiting my internet time, I think it's highly unfair that I continually receive the message "waiting for" which takes many, many minutes of waiting while I wait to access my email account. Or wait to view the next message. Or wait in order to compose a new message. Or wait to delete a message.

Just because Yahoo must have advertisments that pop up every time you do click within their site in order to keep it free, and because we (or, OH, but I'm not pointing fingers....point! point!) are too cheap to spring for broadband is no reason to punish ME, the responsible one! Is it? I. Don't. Have. Time. To. Wait. ARGHHHHHHHHH!!!!

This is all to say that if one day you come over and find me cold, slumped over my laptop, know that it was another message saying "waiting for" that made me have the pulmonary embolism.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

A Peaceful Day

Today has brought some much-needed peace.

We had a pancake breakfast at a decent hour before OH went to work. He typically works on Saturdays for six hours or so to put himself ahead, or catch up. Either way, it goes to help his week ahead.

OC and I peeled and cored about 40 apples and I put them on the stove to cook into sauce, which I plan to freeze.

The cats are lazing about, their mid-morning naps out of the way. After a good stretch and food pit stop they've settled into an early-afternoon snooze.

OC has her room covered with paper plates, utensils, and cups. She is calling it a tea party, although she has for all practical purposes abandoned it to play something else. You should see her outfit. She's wearing a long sleeved blue shirt and pink tights, over which is an orange sundress and purple Dora the Explorer socks. She's a billboard ad for United Colors of Benetton clothing.

I've got dishes to wash, clothes to fold, but it all feels good instead of rushed like it is during the week. I'm home during the week, so why does it feel different on Saturday? I don't know, but it does.

Later, I'm going to cut out the Halloween costume pattern I bought to make for OC. She will be Princess Jasmine this year. Since I've decided to take on the sewing myself, the challenge will be to get it done in time. If that weren't enough, I said I'd make an Ariel costume for my little neice, too.

Let's recap what I've gotten myself into: a tight deadline to finish a project, my own child's hopes as well as my neice's hanging in the balance, disappointment the only outcome if I don't succeed.

I know some of you are thinking, "What is your problem? It's mid-September. You've got plenty of time!"

Those of you who know me are thinking, "Poor OC! Poor OC's cousin! She's never going to get the costumes done!"

Because I am the woman who is currently crocheting a blanket for a friend's June wedding. This PAST June.

I really want to change. In all fairness, I was working full time up until their wedding. Now that I have been home, I've made a lot of progress on their blanket. It's about 3/4 of the way finished. There is hope. The pressure that comes from not wanting to disappoint two sweet little girls who are now old enough to remember this kind of thing really has me motivated.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Two Posts in a Week is Better Than One

Good grief, talk about infrequent posting. Way to lose your two dozen hits per day, woman.

With trepidation about losing the few (but IMPORTANT - it's not about numbers) readers I have left, I would like to talk about what exercise I did today. Check it: I ran two miles. At first I felt my butt jiggling and thought I should stop and save the poor people behind me from having their eyes burst into flames, but then I thought that if my butt is jiggling I might as well keep going and maybe THEN it would get less jiggly and wouldn't that be better? Genius! However, to stop the jiggling will require a WHOLE LOT OF RUNNING, let me tell you. *sigh*

We are getting into the swing of things for the fall schedule with school and gymnastics for OC; knitting night, yoga class, and running for me; football for OH. I've been remembering to pack OC's lunch box with snacks and to fill her water bottle with actual water! I am a successful parent! For now!

I have also began to get together with my sister once per week. We've done this for two weeks now and so far we've made applesauce at my house and fruit rollups at hers. It's great because we live so close right now but hadn't yet taken advantage of that fact to get together regularly. It's nice. Our girls enjoy it, too. They are about a year apart in age, so they play well together and enjoy seeing each other. And, let's face it, OC has fun playing with another child instead of being with her boring mom every afternoon.

So yeah, I started a yoga class last week, too. It's great. It feels good to have this balance of doing more things I enjoy in addition to all the work there is to do at home. You have to get out sometimes. You just have to.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

First Class Parenting

Today was picture day. My Kindergarten-attending daughter's first school pictures ever. I thought, how momentous! How exciting!

So what did I do this morning? I overslept. We rushed out the door after I hastily fixed her hair, brushed her teeth, got her things together although I forgot to put water in her water bottle.

Later that morning, her teacher called. "Hello, is this the wildly inept mommy* of Occidental Child?" asks she.

"Why yes!" I exclaimed, "That's me!"

"This is her teacher," said she. " Today is school picture day and I didn't see an order form in her bag. Perhaps you forgot to send it?"

"Yes, I forgot completely." (shrinks to 2-inches tall with shame. How could I forget?)

"I don't know how long the photographers will be here, but could you run it down to the school? They will take her picture but if you want any, they need your order form TODAY." **

"Okay, yes, thank you, will do..." (continues shrinking to nothing but a puddle of shamey shamefulness.)

Good grief!


*an exaggeration. She didn't characterize me that way, or any way at all.

** this sounds catty. She wasn't catty at all. I am paraphrasing.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Love & Existential Crisis

I got to thinking about love today. It was this morning. I was at a coffee shop in town. When I could manage to block out the conversation from the girls at a nearby table who were talking too loudly and with too many "likes" in their speech, I found I really had a lot to say on the subject. Not a lot of answers, but a lot to say.

Mainly, I found out that I don't know a damn thing.

I am bitter, but I am also not bitter. It's just the way things are. The way people are. How can I fight that? It's a losing battle. I am accepting; I am indignant. I find these two difficult to resolve and so they are not resolved but content to fight within my head and heart. This does not make ME content, however.

Complicated thing, Love.

I come from a long line of divorced women. That's not to say they were powerful, nor were they helpless. No. It was something like a combination of both, and neither, at the same time. Also, trailblazers. Which leaves me wondering, where am I now after all of that? I am once-divorced. What does that mean?

Someone you love can love you and yet say the most horrible things to you...out of fear. Does it matter that it's out of fear and not out of loathing? Both the Love and the Terrible can coexist, possibly. It doesn't mean the love doesn't exist. It also doesn't mean you have to listen and take in what terrible things they have to say. So...what does it mean?

It's a game, it's not a game. It's life. Who knows what the answers are? I don't. I don't know.

In the end, do you want to be the old couple who've survived years and years of love, or the old person who is not coupled who has survived years and years of love? Are there other possibilities? Your love may die. Your love may leave you. You may leave your love. What is it that you want? There are no guarantees.

How much can your heart handle? How many times can you open yourself to "love" only to have your heart smashed and handed back to you in a thousand fragments? How many times can the heart rebuild itself only to be smashed again? How long can you hold out hope? How much of That Which You Did Not Want, can you accept?

How much faith do you have? In the Universe; Life; God?

I ask these questions of myself but I don't expect to know the answers right now. Or ever. Life is a process of finding out, both what it is all about and what I am all about.

Direction, however, is a different matter entirely. Direction is something I could use in spades. I need a big, fat red arrow and the words You Are Here. And a road map. A road map would be nice.

You hear me, Universe?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hello, My Name is Occidental Girl and I Watch Public Television By Myself

My daughter is at school this morning and what am I doing? Watching Jakers. Have you seen this show? The sheep kill me. The smart one is voiced by Mel Brooks, the others never talk but perform hilariously. It's set in Ireland, and the main character is Piggley Winks. He's a grandparent who, through reminiscences to his grandpigs, we see the stories of he and his friends in their childhoods. They talk with Irish accents, it's so great. The focus of the show is on storytelling, and encouraging kids to ask about the stories in their own families. I love this. The show is entertaining enough for adults, in a Finding Nemo-ish, Shrek-adaisical kind of way.

Not only do I admit to watching this alone, but I talk it up to you. Great. My patheticness has reached new heights.

We are both adjusting to school and the new routine. OC is tired in the afternoons. I scramble to do everything I want to do in the 3 1/2 hours she is at school.

Besides watching public television shows by myself, I have gone for a run, a walk, and a cup of coffee (not on the same day). Yesterday, my sister came over and we made applesauce. Two hours later, I had three pints of applesauce. Three pints! Oh my god! I have never made applesauce before, but now that I know how to do it, I will do a bigger batch.

Great-grandma Squeezie is lauging at me. I'd like to think she is proud of me just a little while at the same time thankful that I am not in charge of keeping my family from starving during the winter because if they had to rely on me with the way things are going, we'd starve.

Three pints. Sheesh!


I want to thank you for your comments. I wish I could send each of you an email in response, but some of the commenters are "anonymous" so I can't respond. I will send an email if you leave an address, otherwise, consider yourself loved anyway.

What follows are my responses to your recent comments:

1) Thanks! Ha ha, no, we don't usually pay the kid to sleep. She is entrepreneurial, though, no?

2) We drew the butterfly ourselves after finding someone had drawn the cat in the sand before we got there. We weren't being very original that way, but the seashell embellishments were totally our idea.

3) Kids grow up so fast, don't they? I can't imagine my daughter at 10 years old. I know it will happen before I know it.

4) I loved the movie "Sliding Doors". What a great story about the choices we make and the repercussions of them, as well as the choices we don't make and how things could've turned out. Really well done. Another great movie about life choices is "Leaving Normal". So great, and funny.

5) I was disappointed by "Failure to Launch" but it wasn't terrible. Just not great.

6)Thank you for the book suggestions. I have yet to read anything by Isabel Allende (what is wrong with me?), but she is on my list. I've heard about Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing. Am intrigued. I've not heard of Angels and Demons, have heard of DaVinci Code and just may be the last person in the developed world not to have read it yet. Anita Shreve's Weight of Water handled well a difficult subject. I loved the mystery of the murder, those people living in isolation, the interpersonal relationships, the times, the good. I thought in her book The Pilot's Wifethe plot was so well-explored.

7) Every time I hear the word "obfuscation" I think of the Car Talk guys on NPR. Those two crack me up. Their willingness to make fun of themselves is charming.

8) Good grief, Melissa! Do you have some serious subjects for books and movies going on right now. The topics are all very important (depression, hurricane Katrina, and Vietnam). I applaud your fortitude for delving into such topics, especially all at once. I can only handle one serious topic at a time. I am such a wimp.

9) My sister is a First Degree Black Belt. Apparently there are five degrees. I can't imagine how she won't become a fifth degree blackbelt!

10) Finally, thank you for your heartfelt comments with regard to our Big Decision, whether or not to move to Central Oregon. I appreciate your perspective, and the support. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What We Did on Our Summer Vacation

What follows are a few of the things I haven't written about yet. That is to say, I have lots of photos so enough with the words, already.

On our summer vacation, we:

...checked the mail every day...

...and wore cute shoes to do it...

...covered owies with our favorite bandaids...

...played in a tent in the back yard...

...went to OC's first gymnastics class...

...had new friends over to watch a movie while the grownups blah blah blahed for like, ever...

...enjoyed the story that grandma read...

...let OC take pictures for awhile, which this was the result...

...played in the water with Polly Pockets when OC's cousins came to visit (and, what is up with these tiny Polly Pockets toys? I continuously find little parts and pieces all over the house!)...

...took trips to the beach...

...where we got water from the ocean... make the sand wet... order to make a sand castle...

...which was fun...

...and gave us time to contemplate things...

...and take in the scenery...

...we drew a butterfly and decorated it with shells...

...we got the idea because someone had drawn a cat in the sand...

On the way home, I bet OC five pennies that she would fall asleep in the car. When I looked back at her I saw this:

I asked her what she was doing. She said she was holding her hands like this so I could put the money in them if she fell asleep.

It was a good summer.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

First Day of School

As the title to this post suggests, today is OC's first day of Kindergarten.

She was excited to go this morning because last week we attended a picnic at the park with the other kids and parents. Her teacher had them line up, and we went to put away their school supplies in the classroom.

This was great because she got to meet some other kids and the teacher, and see her classroom. She was really nervous about meeting them all last week. When we got to the classroom, she headed straight for the bookshelf.

Today, she wasn't as nervous about going and instead could focus on how excited she was. I think sooner than later she will be coming home with notes saying, "OC talks too much." Like I did when I was her age.

I think she's so adorable in her uniform! Love the uniform.

She's going to be just fine.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Clarify the Obfuscation

I recently threw up all over a recent post with tangents and ideas which I neglected to relate or fully explore. The one about food.

I question the reasons behind what are considered normal farming practices; things like mass production, growing food in dead soil, and viewing all critters as the enemy. Is it better for us this way or is it about money? Money for whom? It isn't going to farmers.

Companies make products and the goal is to increase sales every quarter. Farmers try the products - like chemicals - and then become dependent on them and must keep buying more in order to grow their singular crops. This relationship based on business means that it's less about the health of the food and more about business. The goal of business is profit. When profit takes precedence over what is best, that's when I have a problem. I don't like that this is what is normal. Especially when it comes to something so important to human beings as food. We have to have it to survive, and the quality of food that we eat equates to the quality of health we will enjoy. I don't want to compromise our health in order that a company can make an extra buck without being responsible.

Our garden is big but it doesn't provide us with everything we need. I certainly do buy regular vegetables at the regular grocery store. I didn't mean to sound like a snob, what with my "we have a garden" and "I buy organic" blah blah blah. I'm in the same boat as everybody else, which is that I look for good prices when I go grocery shopping. It's exhausting to have to make a judgment call about everything I put in my cart. I want to pay a good price on tomatoes, take them home and enjoy tasty vegetables.

Farming is a give and take with the earth, which we all benefit from if it's done right. It's been done that way for thousands of years previous. I certainly feel better knowing that when I buy organic foods I support a type of agriculture I respect. It's a judgment call I make for myself, not something for which I judge others.