Saturday, January 29, 2011

Something funny from today...

This made us laugh today:

Chalcy heard our neighbors' dogs barking outside so she stood up and looked out the window. (Of course.) She didn't bark at them; just watched them. She'd never done that before.

Seeing her at the window, we realized (HOLY COW!) our puppy is getting big. Our bed is normal-height. Our window is normal-height. You can see J's nightstand on the right, and my dresser on the left. Standing up like that, our little puppy is taller than me (but not J yet)!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another order from the Community Food Co-op of Utah!

I used to order from the Co-op back in 2009, and then life was busy and I stopped ordering. Saturday mornings were a difficult pick-up time for me, and I was away from my house so much that I wasn't cooking all of the food that I got.

Life is less chaotic now. (Is that really true? It seems weird to type. I think it is true.)

I've been trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, so it seemed like a good idea to order from the Co-op again.

So I did.

And then I waited, and waited, because the Co-op is still a once-a-month sort of thing. This Saturday I picked up my order!

I ordered a Standard Share, so it included:
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (85/15)
  • 2 lbs. chicken thighs
  • 2 lbs. pork loin roast
  • 2 8oz. top sirloin steaks
  • 5 tangelos
  • 5 Fuji apples
  • 5 d'Anjou pears
  • 1 5 lb. bag of potatoes (5 lb. bag)
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 3 small zucchini (or I could have picked 2 bigger ones)
Plus, I bought two add-ons:
  • Artisan wheat bread
  • Sourdough bread

This time, our goal is to use all of it. So far we have eaten all of the sourdough bread (you can see I started it before I even got home!), most of the wheat bread, one apple, the cauliflower, and one tomato. Plus I cooked all of the chicken thighs, but we haven't eaten them yet.

We added up approximate values of each item, and we estimate that through the Co-op, it costs about 50% of the price we pay at our grocery stores.*

J and I are always impressed with the quality of the food--it is always excellent. The fruit is never bruised or cut, or damaged at all. Nothing is ever stale. It's just great food. (Look at the tomatoes, for instance-- they're not even Roma ones, although those are usually cheaper at the grocery store.) We like that they try to buy from local growers, so that's good too. (Of course, I don't know how many local growers there are in Utah in January, but during the summer I know they often buy local.)

If you're thinking about trying out the Community Food Co-op of Utah, I highly recommend it. It's not a poor people thing, it's a meet-your-neighbors, eat-fresh-food (and save money too!) thing. So, don't feel awkward about it like I did before I went. The more people who participate, the more food everyone is able to get, because they can get better deals when they purchase more.

They have about 50 pick-up location in Utah. Most are at churches (all different religions--lots of Methodist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian ones). Some are at other places, like Salt Lake Community College, or Wasatch Co. Parks & Recreation, or at senior centers. My pick-up location in Salt Lake was a church, and so is my location down here, and I don't even know if anybody from the church is actually there; they just have a big open room that the Co-op people use, and you walk in and you walk out. Kind of like voting. (Don't feel awkward about it not being your church. Nobody cares. They just seem to choose locations with enough space.)

I just ordered for February and the Standard Share is $24. Separately, a Meat Share is $15 and a Produce Share is $10. The tasty, tasty, fancy sourdough bread is available again in February, and it costs $2.10/loaf.*** The order deadline for February is Friday, February 4th. Distribution Day is Saturday, February 19th.

It really is such an awesome deal. I love the Co-op.

* Even if you estimate the zucchini has having a value of $0, which is what J thought we should do.**
** No, but actually, I like zucchini. It tastes great cooked in a pan and added to red pasta sauce. Or in soups. J and I decided that almost always, one of us likes each item that we get from the Co-op.
*** The other add-ons are: Nutty Guys' Snack Sampler (4lbs nuts) ($15.55), Colosimo's Hot Polish Sausage ($3.75), Daily's sliced bacon ($1.85), Miss Essie's Barbecued Pulled Pork, 2lbs ($7.55), Chaparros Pork Tamales ($5.60), Nutty Guys' Blueberry Flax Granola ($5.60), Jones Bees' local honey, 2lbs ($6.30), 6 Stone Ground Wheat Ciabatta Rolls 4x4 ($3.15), and Farnsworth's Fresh-pressed Apple Cider 1/2 gallon ($3).

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Just a couple thoughts...

I just trimmed our goats' hooves. I've known that it needed to be done, but I didn't know how, so I kept putting it off. Today I finally just Googled it and went out and did it.

It was really easy, actually. Nobody really liked having their hooves trimmed* but almost everyone cooperated enough. I had to hold Bucko down to do his, and I cornered Feta. It was all right though. I didn't make anyone bleed, and it was pretty obvious what needed to be trimmed. It only took five minutes. Not bad at all.

I had another similar experience last week, with sprouting. J and I have been wanting to try sprouting for a while. It just seemed like a good, wholesome idea. But we didn't know how to do it. J already had a Sproutmaster tray and we had some sprouting seeds, so I just tried it out. There really wasn't much to it. Not bad at all.

Sometimes there are things that I want to do that seem like they will be hard, and I don't feel like I have a clear understanding of what will be required. I tend to avoid these tasks, even if I actually want to do them. Often, if I just try, it turns out there was really not much to it.

I need to remember that.

The other thing that's been on my mind lately is Facebook.

I was going through my list of Facebook friends, and it kind of made me sad. So many of my "friends" used to be friends, but they just really aren't anymore. I haven't talked to my best friend from elementary school pretty much since middle school (she wanted to be popular). We've been Facebook friends for a couple years now, and we still never interact. So, what is the point of that? In elementary school we had sleepovers, and played at each others' houses, and we told people we were actually sisters, and one time I told her we should jump in a mud puddle during recess and we did and I got us both in trouble. That we were best friends for several years is meaningful to me. But if it isn't to her, is there any point in being "friends" on Facebook? Since we're "friends" I can see the pictures she posts, and once in a while I do. It's kind of fun to know where old friends ended up and what they're doing...but seeing pictures and simultaneously knowing that despite the ease of staying in touch with old friends she chooses not to kind of makes me sad. Is there any value to that?

The other people that confuse me are people that were friends, but briefly. For instance, old classmates. Just because we have one class together (or ten classes together), should we stay friends? Were we even ever really friends? Sometimes I feel like I should keep them on my list for "networking" purposes. But what does that even mean? And is a "friend" that is not really much of a friend even worth having in your network anyway? Because suppose one of my "friends" works for XYZ company and someday I want to (which is unlikely anyway), are they going to help me out? I haven't decided. If one of them wanted my help with something, I would be happy to help them, but I would be happy to help strangers, too, so I don't know where that leaves things.

What about old church friends? Or old neighbors? Mission friends? Missionaries that were in my mission but I only knew them and wasn't actually great friends/companions/whatever with them? People that I knew while I was on my mission?

I think some of my "friends" decided not to be friends with me after I got married. Especially male friends. Well, that's fair enough. Do I de-friend them now? Do we stay "friends" so we can see pictures of each others kids?

What is a friend, anyway, I guess?

I'm thinking about going through and really cleaning out my friends list on Facebook. (What is the standard for deciding who stays and who goes, though?) I think it may be kind of like housekeeping--get rid of the old to make room for new experiences and new friendships?

Maybe the standard is that I should keep people that I actually interact with, who make me feel happy. And then I should focus on improving those friendships instead of thinking about old friendships that just are not really friendships anymore.

Thoughts, anyone?

*Except Feta maybe did because she started licking my hand while I was trimming her front hooves.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

I Made a Felt Name Book!

Last spring I found some blog posts by a girl who made her kids name books out of felt.

I thought it looked like fun, so since I don't have any kids, I decided to make one for my nephew*. I originally thought I would make it as a first birthday present, but it wasn't done it time (November), so instead it became a Random Day in January present. Fun!

Here are some pictures of the finished book, which was opened today.

I tried to give each page different textures where I could. I felt especially clever about using beads for ants, a screen on the house, and fur for a rabbit. It was a fun craft.

Now J wants one too. We joked about keeping the book and someday when we have a kid we can name our baby Nathan Andrew (whether it is a boy or girl) so that we could keep the book and enjoy it.

* Here is a funny story: When I first started making the book, I showed J. He was very polite about it and thought it was neat, but at one point we were talking about it and I realized he thought I was making it for our nephew Nathan on his side. Who is eight years old. We enjoyed a good laugh over that one.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Our silly dog.

Chalcy is eight months old now, and we've had her for about six and a half months.

We still like her.

During November and December she went through a naughty, uncooperative phase (where she just plain ignored us when we would ask her to do things). It was also a very, very slobbery phase. I started calling her "Madame Slobber-Face," which makes J laugh every time.

This month, just like magic, it seems we have our sweet old puppy back--Chalce is starting to slow down (just a tiny bit), she is back to being more obedient, and she is learning to lick her lips* when she is drooly, instead of swinging pendulous slobber all over everything.

Here are some things Chalcy enjoys doing:

Chalcy loves to play fetch. She nudges her slobbery toys into our hands and laps because she wants us to throw them for her. Again! Again! Again!

Chalcy likes chasing her tail. Sometimes she cheats by leaning her bum on the couch so that her tail can't escape! And then she just chews on her tail. Other times, after she's caught her tail enough she'll go after her back left paw. And she'll chew on that while she hops in circles.

Chalcy likes to defend us against unusual objects. This morning we have a drill out on the floor and Chalcy is barking at it. She's not a barker, but she knows when she needs to protect us. Dogs have instincts for that sort of thing, of course. We got a new (to us) washer like a month ago and Chalcy bark-bark-barked at the dolly J used to move the washer into our house.

We have chicks** again, and Chalcy loves them. They are in our office, because they don't have all of their feathers yet and it's too cold to put them outside. Every day, Chalcy spends most of her time laying in front of the chicks, just watching them. Sometimes she tries to get a little too friendly (by putting her mouth all over a chick), and then Chalcy has to kennel up as a punishment, so she's learning not to do that. Usually she takes one of her toys into the office and lays down to chew on her toy while she watches the birds. [Please ignore the pre-organized state of my office in this picture.]

Chalcy also likes to be with us. She is such cuddly dog. We stopped allowing Chalcy on the couch*** but she is so tall that she can sit on the couch without being on it. Her paws are all on the floor, so how can I complain? Clearly, she's already "off." It makes me laugh.

Last night, we had a trial run of letting Chalcy sleep outside her kennel. We put a couple towels down on our bedroom floor. We don't have a dog bed yet and we wanted her to know that it was her spot to be. We're not worried about her having accidents inside; she's totally housebroken. We just worry about her bothering stuff: getting into the trash, stealing things, getting too friendly with the chickens, etc. We closed the door to our room and picked up our phone chargers so that they weren't tempting her. Success! She came to the side of the bed to say hello a couple times last night, but she didn't bother anything at all. Way to go, Big Dog!

* Do dogs have lips? Well, she licks the edge of her mouth. (Best. Trick. Ever!)
** We have one black chick (half Australorp, half White Leghorn) and one yellow chick (supposedly Araucana, but I don't think it actually is) and we got them when we got chickens for J's mom.
*** Most of the time, which means we're breaking the Big Important Rule of having dogs, which is: "Be Consistent About Enforcing The Rules."