Monday, October 16, 2017

Eat well, eat local

Today is the first day of an "Eat Local" challenge. It runs through early November, perfectly in tune with the final harvest of autumn. It's all about eating well, and cooking with locally-produced food.

All the foods in the photo are ones that were locally grown. This particular batch of eggs, a product I usually buy at my local Farmer's Market, were a gift from a friend who raises chickens (and other critters) at her farm. I love the range of their colours, a mix from the different varieties of chickens she keeps.

The rainbow of tomatoes and sprigs of basil (even in a photo, they want to be near each other, just the way they do in a salad or sauce) are the most locally grown of all, as they're among the last survivors in the back yard garden.

Besides having an excellent market every week, I'm lucky enough to be able to choose among several excellent nearby produce shops, where local food is always identified, making it easy to decide what to buy.

More and more people are choosing to pay closer attention to the food they eat -- all part of staying healthier, eating food that tastes better, and also about using the land better. A number of my friends now proclaim themselves to be urban farmers. A great way to start making this goal a reality for next year is to get a copy of Digging the City. No snobbery here; it proclaims itself as a "manifesto for omnivores" -- a group I'm still proudly a member of.

While I doubt that I can make it through to November without wanting an avocado or banana or orange or lemon or... (Oh dear, I am still too reliant on too many foods from 'away'), I have joined the challenge, as I like its awareness factor.

If you'd like to try the challenge too, follow this link and click on the 'join' button. And even if you don't join, here's to good eating!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Winter wonderin'?

No, it isn't snow edging up to the blackberries -- it's just the result of crazy weather -- hail from a thunder-and-lightning storm we had this morning.

When I first moved to the west coast we didn't seem to have thunderstorms. In fact, they were one thing I missed, and I always loved it when I went back east and got to experience one. While they haven't become exactly common here, they do occur now and then, though usually on a hot day in summer, not on a cool October morning.

Oddly (the way my world so often seems to go), I heard a piece this morning that mentioned the passenger pigeon, a bird whose numbers were so great, its flocks numbered possibly as many as five billion (yes, with a b, billion). Yet by 1914, they were extinct.

Something I hadn't realized was the effect these birds had on forests. The weight of their landing in trees would knock off leaves and even branches, in effect, opening the canopy so light could make its way to the forest floor. This meant the forest environment a century ago was much different than today's. I can't help thinking that maybe the passenger pigeons' disappearance could have something to do with the disastrous fire situations our woodlands -- and even neighbourhoods -- are experiencing.

And really, if flocks of them were so massive they could take hours -- sometimes even days -- to pass across the sky, maybe those clouds of birds were large enough to have an effect on the weather.

The white stuff has melted, but still I wonder, if we hadn't killed off all those passenger pigeons, might our weather be less crazy than it is today?

Monday, October 09, 2017

Gorgeous "grassitude"

As the weather starts to change, the winds announce themselves, reminding us that colder temps will soon be here.

But that chill also serves to bring us together, to bask in the warmth of friends and family in this time for giving thanks. One of the things to be grateful for is the fact that our holiday has shifted from the narrow definition its origins bore.

A big meal with plenty of leftovers, along with a walk through the now-changing colours -- when it comes to celebrating, that's plenty for me.

Nonetheless, I'm still left wondering, Who paints these gorgeous leaves when I'm not looking?

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Nosing into a new month

Even the tomatoes from the garden are pointing the way to October.

In another week, Thanksgiving -- then Halloween, and yikes -- not long after that, Christmas.

And then we'll nose our way into yet another new year.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Time has a way of...

...disappearing, it seems. One minute, the National Research Council Time Signal is beeping ten o'clock (Pacific time), the next thing I know, it's turning into afternoon.

Salvador Dali knew a thing or two about time and created so many pieces exploring its flexible nature. I felt pretty lucky to have heard about an exhibit of a few of his works -- in of all places, a mall.

The piece at the top is his interpretation of Alice in Wonderland. I love the freedom of its fluidy, dancing lines.

One kind of crazy thing I couldn't ignore was the accidental (I am sure) juxtaposition of Dali's dancing clock, and its placement just outside a shop with a clock in its name. Even their times were somewhat in sync. Something I think that Dali might have liked, might have at least winked an eye at.

The show is on at Oakridge Centre until October 1st -- better hurry, before time runs out.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

from Oh to Why

It's a job that's taken longer than I'd hoped or dreamed it might, but the old four-drawer file cabinet is finally cleared out.

Part of the reason it took so long is that I seemed compelled to look at too many papers. It was as if I simply had to read what had once seemed so important.

As it turns out, some of those papers turned out to be keepers, including this little set from what once filled the bottom drawer. As you might guess, one of the strangest set of clippings captured all the wariness that accompanied Y2K. Lucky us, the world didn't end, didn't even seem to feel a bump in the road.

Even though the actual point of equinox doesn't happen until tomorrow, having that cabinet cleared out feels like a good way to begin the new season, the stepping-off point to who knows where.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

No $ale

All I wanted to do was buy some tape. Some good sturdy clear tape that would hold up, no matter the weather.

But it turned out, because there was no bar code on the roll, the worker behind the counter couldn't ring up the sale.

I asked him, "But it's clear, look at the display. The price of a roll is $2.99. Can't you just ring that in manually?"


It's true. My paranoia is justified. The machines are definitely keeping us in our place. I'd say this is yet another proof that they're winning.