Monday, November 9, 2009

Independence Days Week #28

I went to two Church bazaars this weekend. I arrived early at the first one. Already a small line had formed up the stairs leading into the basement, so I took my place and waited with the others, on the landing. An elderly lady arrived with a walker. Someone held the door so she could come in, another person carried her walker to the bottom of the stairs. There was general agreement that she be allowed in early so she didn`t have to stand and wait. A gentleman offered his arm and with his support and the railing she navigated the stairs safely and entered the church basement. A few minutes later a volunteer opened the door and welcomed us with a warm smile. We slowly shuffled into the large room to check out the attic treasures, preserves, baked goods, silent auction and handcrafts. There was lots of friendly chatter and laughter. Children beelined excitedly to the toy area and secret, kids only shopping area. I spent just under $30, came away with 12 different gifts and a few items for me. On my way out, unlocking my bike with my baskets full, I stopped to chat with a man with Down`s Syndrome who proudly showed me the VHS movies he got.

Remember the Wal-mart worker who got trampled to death last year? That was such a sad and tragic story of a completely unnecessary death of another human being, caused by people desperate to go shopping.

I think a lot about the kind of world I want to live in, the kind of world that I have a part in creating. When I reflect on the death of that Wal-mart worker and my church bazaar experience, it is so clear to me that I want to do what I can to bring into being a world where a gentleman offers his arm to an elderly lady and helps her down the stairs, a world where someone opens the door with a welcoming smile and where the acquisition of a few second-hand movies is worth stopping and talking proudly about, with a stranger.

At the risk of getting up on my soapbox here I would ask that, this season, as you look for gifts for your loved ones, perhaps you can stop for a moment and ask yourself what kind of world are you bringing into being by getting and giving those gifts?

(The above text is cross-posted here.)

Plant something:

- started a new batch of mung bean sprouts
- the ADGMD planted a few garlic cloves our garden neighbour gave us

Harvest something:

- dandelion leaves and flowers!
- comfrey root (for sore muscle liniment)

Preserve something:
- froze the last of the plum butter, since there wasn't enough to make it worthwhile to set up the canner

Waste not:
- avoided a lot of packaging waste and resource use by buying gifts and other items at church bazaars

Want not:
- got many second hand and hand crafted gifts at the bazaars, plus a number of household items for myself! (15 gifts for others, 10 'gifts' for me, for just under $40.)
- scored an awesome, arc floor lamp put out to the curb, just down the street from my place (I meant to take and post a picture of it but forgot to, so please take a moment to visualise lighting awesomeness!)
- borrowed caulking gun from a friend in a nearby neighbourhood

Preparation and storage:

- caulked around 3 of my drafty basement windows
- exercise: yoga 4 times, took the long way to and from work a couple of times, biked to farmer's market and garden

Build community food systems:
- local food from farmer's market

Eat the food:
- plum butter on oats
- dandelion flowers in pancakes, with plum butter
- roasted Jerusalem artichokes
- stir fried chard
- dandelion leaves and flowers in soup

Take the medicine:

- sage and rosemary tea
- violet flower syrup
- wild carrot tincture
- plantain tincture
- elderberry syrup


Gina said...

Beautifully said...:)

Amber said...

Thank you Gina.
And I'm enjoying checking out your blog. Hope all is well on the farm and I'm jealous of your thrifted, treadle sewing machine!