Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tomato Canning Feminists

Before I elaborate on the tomatoes, I just want to give a little update on my second detox attempt. It will be short, because I had no major symptoms. It went well. Don't go to Wine and Jazz festival and then up your detox efforts the next day and all should be well. :)

I'm currently reading "Radical Homemakers; Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture" - "Mother Nature has shown her hand. Faced with climate change, dwindling resources, and species extinctions, most Americans understand the fundamental steps necessary to solve our global crises-drive less, consume less, increase self-reliance, buy locally, eat locally, rebuild our local communities.In essence, the great work we face requires rekindling the home fires.Radical Homemakers is about men and women across the U.S. who focus on home and hearth as a political and ecological act, and who have centered their lives around family and community for personal fulfillment and cultural change. It explores what domesticity looks like in an era that has benefited from feminism, where domination and oppression are cast aside and where the choice to stay home is no longer equated with mind-numbing drudgery, economic insecurity, or relentless servitude.Radical Homemakers nationwide speak about empowerment, transformation, happiness, and casting aside the pressures of a consumer culture to live in a world where money loses its power to relationships, independent thought, and creativity. If you ever considered quitting a job to plant tomatoes, read to a child, pursue creative work, can green beans and heal the planet, this is your book."

This book has spoken to me in so many ways, and I'm barely into part 2. I've known for so long that "working for the man" didn't make much sense to me. You work and work and work and don't have time to clean your house, do the laundry or cook from scratch. You also don't have the energy to put into personal relationships or build community bonds. (Even though I've not worked for an employer [except for contracting with WVU for classes here and there], I still am feeling the demanding requirements of teaching weekly.)I'm more inspired than ever to:

1. Plant a garden

2. Sew clothes and toys for Angelo, re-usable shopping bags, baby wipes, cleaning cloths, napkins, and any decorative home items we might "need"

3. to dye/re-dye/tie-dye stained clothing to extend its life

4. Frequent thrift stores even more for art/craft supplies, clothing, dishes, books, etc.

5. cook more from scratch (including making all sauces, crusts, mac n' cheese, and any other "convenience items" we used)

6. make more of an effort to make the local farmer's markets. (Morgantown and Cheat Lake) Last year, we did a CSA, but the schedule was difficult to adhere to.

7. use cloth training pants for Angelo at least part of the time.

8. find a source for raw milk and make our own yogurt

9. find out how and make our own flower essences

12. Weave!!! I love yarn!!! (and have a ton of it)

11. Frequent libraries more(for free books to learn more skills, story hour to take advantage of social and enriching activities for Angelo and used book sales for cheap used books for more skills and art supplies)

12. Barter belly dance lessons, Reiki, Occupational Therapy evaluations for puppy sitting, baby sitting, photo developing/printing, ...

13. Build community by inviting friends for potlucks, attending WV Sprouts meetings, letting them know about library and other activities I'm already going to.

14. Learn to make wine.

15. Discontinue all magazine subscriptions and look at online articles.

My last few Face Book posts have highlighted a couple inspiring quotes from the book. To sum up, family is really important to me and spending more time at home, nourishing our family, acting as a cohesive unit is my ultimate goal. I told my brother-in-law, Mike a few years ago, before we had Angelo that I "just wanted a peaceful life". These goals will definitely help me get there. :)

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