Getting Ready (Four More Days!)

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Well, there are four days left til the start of the August 2014 Local Eating Challenge, and I am feeling fairly confident.  This is my most recent haul from the farmer’s market (to give you an idea on the price, I spent $20 on vegetables and fruit, and $20 on meat).  My dad brought me some corn, peas, and onions out of his garden, and I have a few items from my own garden, including radish seed pods, which I just learned are edible (And delicious!). 

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Radish Seed Pods!

I’m just about ready to go, and I’m looking forward to sharing ideas, daily menus, and tips and tricks with you.  And don’t forget to join the August 2014 Local Eating Challenge on Facebook!

Get. Back. Up.

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“Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” ~Japanese Proverb

These words are a refuge to me, and they bring great joy each time I hear them.  Trying to be healthy, trying to be a good husband and father, trying to make a difference in this world, I fall.  I have fallen many more than seven times, but there is so much comfort in knowing all I need to do is get back up, and keep going.  No need to waste time fretting, or complaining, or wishing, I just need to know that I can learn from my mistakes, and press on.

As I was pondering this phrase yesterday, I found the numbers a bit odd.  If I fall seven times, I would only have to get up seven times, not eight, right?  Well, that is assuming that I started from standing.  But if my original position was on the ground, I would have to stand up first, before I even fell once.  We don’t come walking out of our mothers womb, but we begin in a position of helplessness, and remain that way until we are strong enough to pull ourselves up, and start taking those first steps.

It is the same with any other aspect of our lives.  We do not start out as masters, we do not start out on our feet.  Once we do stand up, we do not need to worry about falling, because we can’t fall any farther than to the ground, which was where we started, and we already know how to stand up.  Fall seven times, stand up eight.

Its Almost Here… (9 more days!)

Oh my!  Only 9 days left until the start of my August 2014 Local Eating Challenge!  I will be eating nothing that hasn’t been grown, raised, or caught within 100 Miles of my home.  I have a lot of changes to make, and a lot of planning to do in a short amount of time.

Procuring Produce:

I usually purchase my local produce at the farmer’s market.  Its quick, convenient, and all the vendors are in the same place.  The problem is that it is unpredictable, you never know which vendors will be there, and what kinds of items they will have left.  I will need something stable and predictable, so I plan on finding out exactly where these farms are, and going directly to them.  I know of a few places that grow fruits and vegetables, and one that raises animals for meat, but I still don’t know where I will be getting eggs and milk.  (Yes, I’m an omnivore, but if it makes you feel any better, the milk isn’t for me, its for the kids)

We also have a small garden in our front yard.  It has been producing a good number of green beans, peas, some kale, broccoli, and okra.  (The bugs ate the cabbage, and the pepper and squash plants are performing very poorly.

I’m not sure how much time I will have to forage, but I may step into the woods in search of some tasty treats.

Now were cooking with butter!

Lately I have been cooking with coconut oil and olive oil, and I am sorry to say that neither of those is local to my region.  It looks like my options are going to be bacon grease, or butter.

Seasoning is also going to be a trick.  I don’t know of any salt mines in my area, but I do have a few herbs growing in the garden.  Namely thyme, sage, and mint.

Oh, and I can’t forget about honey!  I’ll be sure to stock up at the beginning of the month.  It will go good in all the mint and sage tea I will be drinking.

Once the challenge starts  I will be posting recipes, daily menu’s, shopping lists and prices, and stories of my triumphs and failures.

 

Learning From Lichen

scan0009Lichens are perhaps one of the most amazing, and under-appreciated natural phenomenon.  They are found in arctic tundra, blazing deserts, rain forests, rocky coasts and toxic spoil heaps.  Growing on bare rock, tree bark, headstones, benches, and bridges.  They can survive drought and extreme temperatures (Although they are vulnerable to air pollution and acid rain).

The secret to their success:  Weakness.

Lichen is actually two organisms, working together, fungus, and algae.  The fungus is unable to supply its own nutrients, and the alga is easily destroyed by environmental extremes.  To remedy this, the algae feeds the fungus, and the fungus protects the algae.  Each of them, without the weakness of the other, would have no opportunity to use its own strength.

lichens can survive in some environmental conditions in which neither the algae nor the fungi could live alone

Can we learn from this?  Can we understand that our weaknesses are not something to be hidden, or to be ashamed of?  Can we stop belittling and berating others for their weaknesses, and appreciate the chance to utilize our strength?  What good do our strengths do in the absence of weakness?  What use is a cure in the absence of disease?  What use is forgiveness when nothing is done wrong?

Be grateful for your pitfalls, mistakes, and problems.  Be grateful for the shortcomings of those around you.  It is a precious thing to use your surplus to help one who is lacking, and a great gift.  We could even say that we are in debt to those who we serve, and that they deserve our gratitude as much as we deserve theirs.

Understanding this is the key to surviving extreme conditions.

“Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.”
~Lao Tzu

 

What’s This Blog For?

I wanted a place to keep track of my progress in the August 2014 Local Eating Challenge, so I have added another blog.

Dadosaurus Rex

scan0008This blog is a branch, an offshoot, if you will, of my wildly phenomenal blog “Do You Believe That?
This is a place where I can put lots of little extras, like recipes and daily diet logs for the August 2014 Local Eating Challenge.  I’m sure it will prove itself useful for many other future endeavors.

Enjoy!

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Exponentially Grow Your Ability to Change the World

I have devoted a lot of time and energy to telling people they are wrong, that I am right, and that they should live the way I live (more like how I would like to live) in order to be happy.  I have gone about trying to change people, and change the world, by talking.  I’ve shared the Gospel,  I’ve spoken the wisdom of Buddha.  I’ve quoted various philosophers.  I’ve explained the health benefits of various diets, and the ills of processed foods.  “If only they knew”  I would think to myself, “If only they knew what they were doing wrong,” “If only they could hear this nugget of precious wisdom that changed my life, then they would be enlightened, and the world would be a better place”

But, as you may be aware, I haven’t saved the world yet.  We don’t live in a Utopia, and we haven’t all linked arms in a giant circle, or came together for an earth-wide embrace.  What am I doing wrong?  What’s missing?

Action.

Words are good, and talking things through can be very helpful, but nothing compares with action.  A hug needs no interpretation, but speaks volumes in any language.  A hand up, a smile, sacrificial giving when its needed most.  These things are real.  They are tangible, and they make an immediate, clear, and tangible change in the world.  Action inspires in a way that quotable quotes could only dream of.  A man who has been helped out of a crisis by a kind stranger will be motivated to do the same for another,

“My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.”

 

August 2014 Local Eating Challenge

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For the month of August my goal is to eat only food that is grown, raised, or caught within a 100 mile radius of my home.  This will include food from my own small garden, vegetables, meat, and eggs from local farmers, and anything edible I can find in the woods.

You Don’t Have To Be A Purist

However, the August 2014 Local Eating Challenge need not be the same for everyone!  Perhaps you would like to start with a smaller goal, like using at least one local ingredient in each meal, visiting your local farmer’s market once per week, or buying all of your produce locally, but purchasing other items from the grocery store.  The idea is that you are moving closer to home, saving money on your grocery bill, and saving our planet’s resources (by the time our food is processed, packaged, and delivered, some of it has traveled over 10,000 miles!  That’s a long way, and a lot of fuel just for a bite to eat)

Joining the Challenge on Facebook:

Right now the event is public, and open for anyone to see or join.  After August 1st, it will become a private event.  If you would like to get recipe ideas, gardening tips, hot leads on local produce from myself and others taking the challenge, and a great bunch of accountability partners, join the “August 2014 Local Eating Challenge ” on Facebook.

This is a great way to not only support local farmers, but to improve your health, and have fun!

UPDATE:  I will be making daily posts about my progress here

Top Ten Quotes From “Anne Of Green Gables”

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The kids and I are reading Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery and I just can’t get enough of Anne’s little sayings.  She has a wonderfully marvelous perspective, and a very unique and often humorous way of expressing herself.  That being said, here are my top ten quotes from Anne of Green Gables.

10.  “It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”

9.  “Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive–it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there?

8.  “There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.”

7.  “Oh, it’s delightful to have ambitions. I’m so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be any end to them– that’s the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.”

6.  “Look at that sea, girls–all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn’t enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds.”

5.  “It’s so hard to get up again—although of course the harder it is the more satisfaction you have when you do get up, haven’t you?”

4.  “It is ever so much easier to be good if your clothes are fashionable.”

3.  “We pay a price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self denial, anxiety and discouragement.”

2.  “It has always seemed to me. ever since early childhood, amid all the commonplaces of life, i was very near to a kingdom of ideal beauty. Between it and me hung only a thin veil. I could never draw it quite aside, but sometimes a wind fluttered it and I caught a glimpse of the enchanting realms beyond-only a glimpse-but those glimpses have always made life worthwhile.”

1.  “Dear old world’, she murmured, ‘you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.”

Thanks For Adding Your Piece to the Puzzle

scan0002Whoever you are, whatever you are doing, thank you.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you.  For your successes, for your failures, for your imperfections.  For keeping your cool, for losing your temper, thank you.  Everything you have ever done has helped to bring the world to where it is today.  Everything so far has led up to this moment.  Your joy and your tears.  Your victories and defeats.  Your honesty, your deception, your cold silence, and your mindless chatter.

We all have regrets from the past.  We all have situations that we wish we would have handled differently.  Many of us have grievances we cannot forgive, hurts that will not heal, and events that we wish we could wipe from our memories.  Looking through the history books, we may not ever agree on who was right, and who was wrong, or which pages we would be better off without.  But can we agree that life is precious?  That existence is unspeakably astounding, and that this moment, this very moment, is beautiful?  All of those events and situations, no matter what we think of them, are a part of life.  They all had a hand in bringing about this beautiful moment, and I think they at least deserve our acceptance, if not our appreciation.  Thank you.