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Okay, so this is simply pathetic. 
Great Warrior Princess, Fran LaVilla

 
Great Warrior Princess, Fran LaVilla

I would first and foremost like to extend an olive branch to my good friend and comrade, Fran LaVilla who has been doing a fRantastic job of representing the young and fabulous females of Northern Kentucky on her blog, Being Fran(k). Warrior woman, she is.

But this business of blogging thing has gotten tragically away from me. I have hope that I can still turn it around into something slightly more consistent and interesting than it has been, but promises cannot be made via such a presently feeble medium of communication.

Haunted House

But for an update, because one might be apparently necessary: The World has been kind to me recently and it has not gone unnoticed.  I have recently moved into a fantastic Covington apartment with Stephen. It’s the first floor of a giant renovated historic mansion home on tree-lined Greenup Street and is more space than either of us know what to do with. Everyday when we come home from work we both comment on how much we love our present locale and all the fun things we hope to do with our new space. There’s a porch perfect for conversation and consumption and the weather has been absolutely beautiful for such treats.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, either here or on other blogging endeavors, but I am in the process of making much more of an effort to be trendy like everyone else and Go Green. I’m kidding. Well, kidding about the trendy thing, but I truly feel that there is something to be said for doing this Green Thing and doing it Right. I am in the process of reading Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It’s phenomenal. I adore it and you MUST read it (go to your local Library!). It will end your dietary existence as your know it.  The realization for me comes on strong as in the past few years I have become very aware of my dietary trends and leaning towards what I thought was healthier. But healthier mainly translated to “fewer calories.” So I am drawn like a moth to a flame in the supermarket to anything marketed as “low fat” or “100 calorie pack” or “Sugar Free.” It’s worked out well for how I wanted to work, but at what cost? In reading so many of these labels I couldn’t even begin to describe what some of those ingredients may or may not be. Why would I want to eat that? Why would I want to subject my digestive system to something that it has no idea how to digest? I am convinced that these chemicals and substances that are in almost everything we eat, put there to preserve shelf life to turn a better profit, are what is leading to so many of the health crises we experience in this country. Not to mention, how much of our food (produce especially) is shipped from all over the world. This book pushes pretty hardcore the idea of Locavore and I love it. The idea of sitting down at your dinner plate and being able to say “I know where my food came from.”  Surely when we shop at Kroger and bring our veggies and meats home for dinner and sit down to eat, we aren’t aware that the majority of our produce is from California or Florida and our meat is from animals that are eating what they’re not meant to be eating on some big factory farm far, far away.  Aside from all the processing and chemical additives that are put into this food to make it last longer and reach our table before spoil, the massive amounts of gasoline and oil that is put into getting the food to us is staggering. And with the rising cost of fuel and energy, this is reflected in the price tag. At the beginning of A,V,M,(which is also written by Kingsolver’s daughter Camille and husband Stephen), it is pointed out that if every family in America at one meal a week that was grown locally, we would save around 1.1 million barrels of oil a week.

So why can’t we shop local? Why can’t we attend Farmer’s Markets or find a local bakery or better yet, bake our own bread? There is no reason. None. The arguments that I have heard against shopping at a Farmer’s Market make no sense to me at all.  In my experience, it’s cheaper, it’s easier, it tastes infinitely better and you get to meet your neighbors and engage in conversations with the people who have known the tomato you put on your plate from seedling to a big, beautiful, bustling red beauty. You appreciate the specialized art of farming as opposed to the speed of cross country produce travel.

I’m not really counting my calories these days and I feel better. Sure, I still have to venture to Kroger just like the rest of us, but it has been a while since I have bought stickered produce stacked in fluorescent light and armed with automatic misters that keep it looking brighter, greener and more attractive. I’ve been reading labels more and if I can’t derive the origin of the ingredients into something I am familiar with, back on the shelf it goes and onward to something natural and possibly organic. It might cost more, but don’t you think that some things, like the avoidance of childhood obesity, diabetes and heart disease are worth the pricetag it takes. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. As I said before, utilize your local resources and play in the kitchen. You never know what might surprise you most.

Okay, so that ended up carrying on way longer than expected, but I think it’s necessary. I apologize for the rant tone, but it’s my blog and I will bitch if I want to. I apologize for cursing.

In addition to the food project, I am making a serious effort to utilize public transportation. Again, this is another excellent resource that I find little excuse acceptable for ignoring its presence. If it goes near or around your place of employment and/or residence, “I don’t want to wake up that early” isn’t good enough.  This morning Stephen and I had to catch the bus at around the same time to get to work and it truly was a fantastic morning. We woke up, got dressed and I made our lunches while he cooked us breakfast. We sat and ate, had a cup of coffee and then walked the near mile to the Covington Transit Center to catch our respective charters to work. It was nice. I loved this morning. Walking in the cool morning and admiring our new neighborhood and taking mental notes of local haunts that we should soon explore. He calms me yet leaves me terribly excited and energetic all the time. It’s an addicting combination and a phenomenal way to start the weekend.

Tonight we are having our beautiful friend Taylor over for eggplant parmesan and perhaps a game of Scrabble or even a movie. I’m not quite sure.

This is an adventure, Kids. Go with the flow, but hold on tight. And don’t forget to write.

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I feel like when I lived in California, being environmentally sound seemed to come easier than it does here in Northern Kentucky. Even being a Wee Chelsea of only 8 years-old I was involved in a group at my elementary school called Earth Savers where we would encourage compost programs and school-wide recycling. Remember The Big Help on Nickelodeon? I was the kid that pledged X amount of hours and was held to it by my mother. So, once a week, Iain and I would walk around Round Meadow and pick up cans and pieces of paper. My dad was always a huge proponent of not leaving lights on, or letting water run or running the A/C and heat unless absolutely necessary. Though on some summer days it was absolutely miserable, in retrospect I am glad he did it.  It felt right to do these things and that feeling by doing good kind of carried through for years to come.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my environmental decisions recently. Mainly how badly I’ve slacked off since living here because it isn’t as convenient for me as it used to be. Recycling means *taking* my items to be recycled, not just putting them in a bin at the curb and having them taken away. And where I was previously living, Public Transit would equal about two hours less of sleep after working a 14 hour day. It just didn’t seem probable for me at the time. You may call me lazy or irresponsible or that I am just making excuses, but do know that it has become this massive chunk of guilt that eats away at the back of my mind. Until yesterday, when I decided it’s time to go Green, or go Home.

Yesterday Stephen and I decided to make a trip to St. Bernards to attend Latin Mass. Instead of driving all the way there, we drove about a mile to the bus stop (not a safe road for walking at all) and caught the bus down into Newport and then on to Dayton, Kentucky. After Mass, we decided to try our luck at walking back to Newport for some lunch. It was absolutely wonderful. We were able to *talk* about it and discuss without one of us having to worry about other drivers or directions. After lunch at the Levee and a brief discussion with Chris and Kris Mooney, we decided to head over to their abode in beautiful Covington for some lazy afternoon conversation and a beer or two.

The Mooneys do a really great job at being that brand of environmentally friendly that I admire so much. Very innovative and very active in making efforts to ensure theirs and their neighbors negative impact on the environment is minimal.

After our visit, we walked back to the Transit Center and caught our bus back to our car to drive to Stephen’s family’s house for an excellent pizza dinner and movie.

When I got in the car, I felt bad about driving. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t mind the bus. It was nice to not have to worry about other drivers, or missing my exit, or being distracted by radios and cell phones. Both Stephen and I realized that we want to start making a much more conscious effort to be more environmentally friendly.  And I think, with one to hold the other to it, we can probably make it happen.

In addition to riding the bus more, creating less waste and recycling more, my desire to go organic has really been eating (no pun intended) away at me.

I can’t stand picking up a package of “cheese” and having the first ingredient be cheese followed by chemicals and artificial colors and flavors that I cannot pronounce nor care to know anything about its impact on my body and how the heck my body is going to figure out how to digest half the things that are being put in it. There’s no need for cheese to be anything except milk and cultures, but because of the need to ensure shelf life and minimize profit loss, the most basic of foods are pumped full of chemicals and sugars to prolong its shelf life. High Fructose Corn Syrup is in nearly everything and it shouldn’t be. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve come to believe that one of the the main causes of obesity, diabetes and myriad other diseases that plague our society comes from the chemicals and hormones that are in the food that we eat every day and our inability and unwillingness to read labels. People are so concerned with going on sugar free or carb free diets, when I am almost positive that just reading labels and knowing exactly what you’re putting in your body and asking it to digest will be the biggest aides in becoming healthier, however you decide to define that.

And so it begins, Friends. I’m not going to creep around it anymore, or try and create an excuse as to why I cannot do so.  It’s time to take my concerns and considerations to heart and making a bigger and bolder effort to go Green, Organic, Granola, or whatever you want to call me.

(This is going to birth a subsection of this blog as to be edited by both Stephen and myself, but for the moment, that’s a work in progress. Thanks for the patience in advance.)