Friday, 22 April 2011

Happy Good Friday. Happy Earth Day.

The following is going to be a little out there for some of you.  It's a little out there for me.  I usually keep politics and religion off my blog.  Not today.  You have been warned.

Today is Good Friday.  And Earth Day.  As someone who cares deeply about the planet and conservation, but who is also a Christian, I am often conflicted.  It would seem that many of the Christians I know believe that conservationism is best left to the democrats.  And of course you can't be a Christian and a democrat.  (That was sarcasm, by the way.)  Most of the time I feel like I don't fit in anywhere, but that's a story for another day.  I find it interesting though that we need Earth Day for the very reason that we need Jesus and Good Friday.  Stick with me, here.

After the fall in the garden, God punished Adam and Eve
Genesis 3:16-19
16 To the woman he said,
   “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
   with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
   and he will rule over you.”
 17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
   “Cursed is the ground because of you;
   through painful toil you will eat food from it
   all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
   and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
   you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
   since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
   and to dust you will return.”

So what have we done?  Everything in our power to escape the consequences of being being kicked out of the garden.  Chemical fertilizers pollute our water supplies.  We've covered our crops in pesticides to make them easier to grow.  The suffix -icide means someone or something that kills a particular person or thing, or the act of killing.  I don't know about you, but I don't really want poison on my food.  We eat an awful lot of produce in our household, as I only cook vegetarian.  Even if you don't eat as much produce as we do, your meat does.  I have to think that all that poison is going to catch up with us eventually.  We buy organic as much as possible but there is a vast price difference.

And oh, how we've (literally) butchered childbirth!  What should be a lovely, natural experience has turned into an emotionally traumatic event for so many women.  All because we were trying to escape the pain.  I won't say more, because this one is still very raw for me.

So I think it's appropriate that we should remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on a day when we also consider the planet that He created for us.  Because really, if we were still living in the garden, Christ would never have needed to make that sacrifice.  If we were still living in the garden, caring for the Earth would be what we naturally did.  Today, when you're thanking God for the price that He paid for us, maybe you could take a moment to thank him for the beautiful Earth He made for us to live in.  Or maybe you could hug a tree and remember that lonely cross that the Lord hung on to save us.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Zachariah's first visit to the farmer's market

McKinney has the coolest farmer's market that's in a little historic village.

We went once before when I was pregnant with Z, but I didn't bring my camera, and regretted it.  This time I did not make that mistake.  They were having a Civil War history event and had people walking around in costumes and showing off some of their weapons.
These clothes were laid out on the bed in one of the houses.
It also looked like they might have been preparing for a wedding.

Don't worry though, we didn't get so distracted that we forgot what we came there for...  FOOD!
Zachariah helping me buy some tamales.
And other stuff.
I was just talking about buying some worms for my compost bins.  Guess I know where we'll be getting them!
We had a great morning, and will definitely be going back soon!

Random info

Zachariah's 6 month stats taken on 4/7/11:
Height 26.5 in. 53rd percentile
Weight 17.10 lbs. 52nd percentile
Head circumference 17 in. 33rd percentile

First food given on 4/5/11 was avocado and he loved it!
Second food given on 4/11/11 was carrots, and he was not impressed.  Two days later, he turned his nose up at them completely.
Third food given on 4/14/11 was apples.  Better than carrots, but not as good as avocado.
First food combination was apples and carrots given on 4/15/11, and it was a hit.

Recent facebook status, just because I never want to forget it: 
I love baby kisses! You know the kind I'm talking about - open mouth, tongue stuck out, I-know-this-is-how-I-show-you-that-I-love-you-but-I-don't-know-how-to-pucker-my-mouth-yet kisses. The kind that leave you covered in slobber (or milk!) and simultaneously reaching for a burp cloth yet wondering if you really want to wipe off where that sweet baby smooched!

Can she do it?

I don't exactly have a green thumb.  I am actually known in my household for killing plants.  Granted, those are plants that are kept indoors, but I don't have a great track record for outdoor plants either.  My flower garden I planted two years ago grows...
morning glories.  Last year, the morning glories tried to take over my entire front yard, which I'm kind of OK with, because on my list of flowers that I love, morning glories are probably in the top five.  The flower bed that I tried to plant around our tree which should have Lady-in-the-Boat Jew grows grass.  Despite the fact that Jew tends to take over everything, and we tried cleaning the grass out by hand, choking it out with gravel, and finally, tearing the entire thing out and lining it with material that was supposed to kill the grass, that is still the only thing that the silly bed grows, with the exception of the tree, which I suppose was the point, anyway.
So I'm really not sure what I was thinking when I told Jonathan in the winter of '09 that I wanted to plant a vegetable garden.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Clearly, we didn't get around to it last year because I was pregnant and working outside in the Texas heat while large with child did not sound amusing.  But this year...  This year, Jonathan was determined that I should get my vegetable garden.  He spend the only weekend that he's had home since February building me a little plot to plant things in.
The girls made cute little signs,

and we planted things in neat little rows... *
and the dogs promptly ran through it.
We should have put the fence up first, eh?
Arynson promptly charged right into the stake on the end.  It only took once.  lol
Several weeks later, we've had a couple of major storms, and there's a lot of tree parts in the garden which leaves me wondering...  Should I pick them all up and throw them out of the garden?  Should I leave them there and let them decompose, which should, in theory, provide more nutrients in the soil?  How am I going to be able to tell the little sprouting trees from the things that are supposed to be sprouting?  Aaaack!!!  What was I thinking???  I don't know how to grow things!!!

But there are these little sprouts...

Little green, growing things that are obviously not trees.

 Some rosemary, I think...

And maybe onions?...

And possibly cilantro...

And I think these might be zucchini...
I have a recipe for a natural pesticide that I need to spray on.

And I bought some actual tomato plants which should do OK if the storms will quit knocking the buds off.

Which makes me think that maybe, just maybe, I might be able to grow something after all.  It sure would be nice to be able to walk out to my back yard and pick some carrots to cook for my boy.  Or some mint to throw in my coffee.  And rosemary is tasty in just about anything.
So we'll see.  This may be more of an experiment than an actual vegetable garden, and if that's the case, I guess I'll try again next year.  You know what they say.  "If at first you don't succeed..."

*I was outside planting things in the garden, and Celestia did not wear Zachariah the entire time, lest you think I am forcing my children into slave labour.  I was dressed in my typical at-home attire which consists of a pair of shorts and a nursing tank.  Fine for the backyard, but not so hot in pictures!  lol

Monday, 11 April 2011

A break from school and more food!

Last week, we took a break from our regularly scheduled curriculum and had a documentary and field trip week.  It's nice to mix things up every once in a while.

This morning, I gave Zachariah his second solid food - carrots! 
They took considerably more milk than I expected.  For the avocado, I used about 3 ounces of milk and got six days worth of avocado, so that's about a one to one ratio.  For the carrots, it took six ounces of milk to get them to a passable consistency.  I have enough for nine days, so that's about a two to one ratio of milk to carrots.  It tasted like carrot flavoured ice cream, and I was sure he would love it.
Not so much.  The first attempt he actually broke down in tears.

We tried again in the afternoon, and he ate them, although reluctantly.
Guess he prefers to eat in the afternoon.  Ideally, I would like for food to take the place of one nursing a day.  My chunk-a-monk still eats like a newborn, which means that he nurses roughly every hour-and-a-half to two hours.  It can be exhausting.  Dropping one afternoon nursing session would be a welcome break.  We'll get there eventually, I'm sure.
I just had to throw in these last few pictures, because they're so darn cute!  My Zachariah is so loved, even the dog is a mother-hen!  :)