and somewhere to share secrets
So the big trips that I mentioned....

One is to observe elections in macedonia.  My dad does this through the OSCE regularly and he highly recommends I apply.

On the way back, if help is still needed, I plan to spend a few weeks in Greece receving refugees and working in the camps.  I'm in touch with an organization... they are not official but ... how to explain...
I can't go with MSF (I'm not a nurse (yet) and I can't commit to a year) nor with UN (again, long-term commitment).  There are many citizen-led groups - not even NGOs(edit: on the first draft I wrote GMOs... hahahah)... supported entirely by the people but not really needing any financial support because they only provide orientations and connections to resources, run by volunteers.  I've been in touch with two such organizations.  I would get myself there,, get my own lodging, eat with the rest of the volunteers from all over with all kinds of organizations.  I come and go as I please.  All they do is show me where help is needed and orient me to the island.  (I'm looking at Lesvos and Leros right now.  Lesvos is very well organized).  Fabio has said he will go if he can, but he probably can't.  I would like to find a travel partner.

I'm choosing who I tell very carefully.  I don't know what I need.  My plane ticket will be covered by the Macedonia trip and that is why I am waiting til April.  If I don't have to seek funding, that's better.  I let a dog out for a lady who works third shift; she pays me $15 each time I do so, and I've saved this money for the last month - money usually spent on little unneeded luxuries.  The macedonia trip comes with a stipend which should leave me with enough to provide for food and part of lodging in Greece. I need to figure out childcare while I'm gone and I will eventually have to talk to my boss about how I can arrange my time off.  I do not really want my coworkers to know.  I hate doing controversial things unless by doing those things I can increase awareness.  I don't know that my going can change anyone's opinion.  On the other hand, if I can bring pictures back, some people who have no clue might be stirred by them.

I also don't know if I'll be needed in April.  Sure, I imagine the numbers of refugees will only increase but I also imagine we may get to a critical point at which refugees are being turned back due to the fear mongering/lack of conscious...

It's pretty easy to tell where people stand on the issue on Facebook.  I am torn between telling them (closer to time, of course, when I know more) and not.... I think their moral support may be important.  I will try to take some medical supplies. 

Maggie thinks she is always hungry. I fill their snack baskets up in the morning and they are at liberty to eat when they want, but when it's gone, it's gone. She will then ask for milk. I will give her one sippy of milk but then it's water only until the next meal. At which point, she sometimes refuses to eat. Which is ok I guess - when she is hungry enough, she will eat. But inevitably we have a daily tantrum, whether it's about getting another snack (believe me, she has had enough) or more milk (she is a calf, I swear), or she simply doesn't want what I'm serving for lunch. I know all of this is normal, and she is getting plenty of nutrition because our snacks are pretty wholesome, and she is certainly not losing weight, but these tantrums drive me crazy. I'm writing this from inside my locked bathroom. My bedroom door is also locked, so there are two doors between us, and I can hear her as if next to me.

All said, she has been an easy child. But in this moment I'm so over mommying.

Why make one of many tamed foxes think she is the rose, for any amount of time, ever?

Pope John XXIII's tips for living a better life, day to day, as ripped from The Happiness Project
1. Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.

2. Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.

3. Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.

4. Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.

5. Only for today, I will devote 10 minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.

6. Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.

7. Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices.

8. Only for today, I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.

9. Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good Providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.

10. Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for 12 hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life.

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1.   Had a fantastic 2 days with gopherbabe & family.  Was so happy to meet not only her hubbie, but her parents as well.  All are, not surprisingly knowing Jen, so friendly, kind, and funny, and the kind of people around whom I automatically felt comfortable.  I really enjoyed taking them around Black Mountain during the day and Asheville at night.  They didn't seem to care at all that I had nothing to feed them (except my homemade granola, which I have to say turned out well), and in fact carted in all sorts of fruit and yogurt for Friday breakfast - yummy.  My attempt to serve them a real southern breakfast this morning before their departure was a failure on the food side but still fun on the company side.  Hope you all are enjoying the wedding as I write this!

2.  Santi's uncle Carlos died this morning.  In Argentina, they don't embalm, so the funeral will be today at 3pm local time (just a few minutes from now).  This was a little unexpected - Luis (Santi's father) talked with him a good deal yesterday and he was feeling well.  But apparently, 25 years ago when Carlos had a heart attack, the doctor gave him 10 years to live.  I know from knowing my late uncle Dennis that when you outlive the doctors' expectations, all those close to you are thankful and happy, but they also have a heightened awareness that you could be gone at any moment.  Well, it was a massive stroke that took him, and it was very quick.  I'm thankful that I was privileged enough to meet Carlos and experience the love and hospitality in his house.

3.  grumple_soup , I'm seeing tornado warnings nearish to you.  Be careful! 

4.  littleravyn , I'll call you back later this weekend.  I was in a meeting during your first call and giving directions the second time.

Writer's Block: Back to the future
If you were 12 and could see yourself now, do you think you'd be happy or disappointed, and why?

I'd be thrilled.  I am my 12-year-old self's hero.

(no subject)
 Right at this moment I think I may leave LJ and never come back.  

I am so tired of being subjected to stupid ad videos from Gatlinburg, TN every time I scroll down the page and accidentally mouse-over it.  When I joined LJ, I didn't have to pay to avoid shit like that.

Plus, I have noticed (not among my friends, but in some communities) a complete lack of reading comprehension skills.  I could post something to the effect of, "while I know that eggs are high in cholesterol, I have read that they also contain a chemical that breaks down that cholesterol so that it does not stay in the arteries," and I would get responses as follows:

LJ user 1: Eggs are high in cholesterol!  [Cite article that says this.]
LJ user 2: How can you say that eggs are not high in cholesterol??  You're ignorant.
LJ user 3: Hi!  Love your icon!
LJ user 4: Oh, I love egg whites!  By the way, I have always heard that eggs are high in cholesterol -- where did you hear that they aren't?
LJ user 5: I like toast.

(no subject)
 I just made minestrone for the first time.  Nothing special about the recipe but oh, did it ever turn out right.  I guess I just haven't encountered this soup very often and was unaware of my love for it.  The third serving should have been enough but it may very well not be.  

Garden Babies


Planting my lettuce and other green leafy seeds.

The LED lights.  This was last Friday night.

A very X-Filesesque look at my homemade grow box.

This is the other box - for squash, eggplant, and peppers.  It's using regular Christmas lights because these guys need heat to germinate.  However, they aren't sprouting yet - I can't find a warm enough place in my house. 

Success with the greens box!  The only thing that you don't see here is the mascara lettuce, but it has a little bit of activity as well that just isn't picked up in the picture.

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