a Tiny description

a full time artist, stepmother, radio personality, and mom to an energetic Chug dog, tries to get through the days without committing a felonious act. My life is a rickety Zen circus.


Sunday, February 28, 2016

In the past year or two, when all my safety nets dry-rotted or burned or were swiped out from under me, it became more clear that there are hundreds of households in need.  secretly.  some you'd never think of.
in this election year, there are talks of "mandates" and unfunded mandates" - rules and laws that have been implemented on a state government level that locals MUST follow - but the state provides no help in funding for them.
Well, on a truly local level, (say, in a household), there are plenty of unfunded mandates…and depending on your socioeconomic strata, those can be anything from a new SubZero wine chiller to a hotdog for your kid's dinner.  no judgement.  truly.  we all have a different reality, and that's no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed.  neither is it an excuse not to help.  from either end of the spectrum.
In my mind, the answers are quite simple, and quite easily achieved.  inexpensively and without hootananny.  as long as everyone along the chain of helping is truly on board for the right reasons, and not for a public accolade or some sort of medal.

In Jeopardy format, the answer is this:  take a vacant building in an urban area that has a high density of underfunded household mandates (mandates such as feeding children healthy food).  Turn that vacant building into a teaching kitchen where mothers, daughters, men, women, whoevah can come and learn how to cook a healthy & nutritious & inexpensive recipe.  Then leave with those ingredients in a nice shopping bag.  Not a box. (do you leave your grocery store with a box? how easy is that to carry when you have a toddler and are really pregnant, for example?) The kitchen would be outfitted with typical household appliances…stoves and ovens and refrigerators that most households would have (except all burners would work).
I became inspired by the cookbook, and story behind the cookbook, Good And Cheap - how to eat well on $4 a day."   by Leeanne Brown. This hyperlink takes you to her website.  She is an amazing person.  I heard her interview on NPR and had to own the cookbook.  The average Food Stamp/SNAP recipient gets $29/week.  (Try that budget on if you want to scream unfunded mandates.  But it is what it is.)  For every cookbook purchased, if you contact her, she will donate a case of them to a local Food Pantry.  I had mine sent to the Salvation Army Emergency Services.

And this is where it gets so tasty.  I started wondering if people would read and use the cookbooks.  and i wondered if there were people who wanted to but couldn't learn by reading - they needed to be shown.
I want to have cooking workshops in that no longer vacant building.  the food workshops would use her cookbook as a basis for the recipes taught.

See, I came into some knowledge at a chance meeting at my hairdresser recently.  My original plan was for an indoor farm, if you will, a community-worked garden that would supply food for the workshops, and act as a co-op of sorts.  During this chance conversation, plus another random brain-dropping that came my way the day before, it is obvious that there isn't a problem of food shortage - it's a distribution issue.  there is at least one local farm that will load your car with whatever you need - but you need to get there to receive it.  The underfunded mandate homes usually travel by public transportation, making that unavailable.
So the vision shifts.  Not a failure of the vision - it is working perfectly and exactly the way it needs to in order to serve the people it was intended to in the way they need the service.  (it would be as ludicrous as giving canned goods to a homeless person - i mean how do you seriously think they will open the can and cook the contents?) so the underfunded mandate households may love fresh veggies, just like you and I, but the SNAP budget doesn't allow for much of it, and there is no transportation to the farm that's giving it away.  Problem easily solved if you step back and soften your eyes and not have an agenda to tick boxes off from.
I'm sorry of this sounds political.  it is absolutely not.  in fact, all of this is absolutely best done through private sector folks…through grants and good people…through the wallets of good people with great hearts and many funded mandates already in their households.
My vision is clear for this… the core principals, and the program offerings.  My head is finally in a place where i can allow for help and listen for great good suggestions and knowledge, and to work as a team.  my life is in a place where i have more of a depth of understanding.  i am crafting my day-to-day to allow for the time for the vision to explode into reality.
i don't have much time to make this happen.  and i feel like it will be my last Big Thing.  maybe not, but we'll see.  it will succeed, through me or through my original vision.  it absolutely has to. It is alive.
If it's got to be, then it's up to me.  I'm on a quest to do my best.
(That's a quote from Iannuzzo's Black Belt Academy.  I stole it here.)

In Jeopardy format, the question is: What is my legacy to be? What is my passion to leave behind?  

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

it seems i come here for comfort, or to work things out, or to share an amazing moment…but never to say "Eh - life is rolling along in a typical & usual fashion."  and that's okay, because who would want to read about someone's ordinary day…day after day?
so the past weekend was Valentine's Day, and it got me thinking about the deep bonds we share…how you can know someone for 3 full days and 2 half days, and they become grafted to your very heart & soul, but there are others that never seem to find that slice to grab onto, no matter how long you've known them.  (NOTE: I write these thoughts as generalities).
I live alone, with Henry of course, but as a human - alone.  I work in a communication field, but sit alone in a studio.  so by the time the evening rolls around, i need deep human contact.  and by the weekend? all bets are off - i'll marry you just to have a backsplash for my words.  I know this about myself - i crave…i need…human companionship.  which is why i am The Gatherer.  and also knowing this about myself makes me cautious about giving my heart away too quickly, or too deeply…knowing that sometimes the need to not be alone will cloud the intention of the offerer.  Male & female.  i have been a member of a group of women who also need the companionship of people, but who weren't looking for a graft - just a pulse and a willingness to ski or dine or go to a movie.  which is fine, but (for me) just feels cheap after a while.  i've been in BFF friendships that soon encompass and drown a heart…i cannot be responsible enough to be your everything every moment.  no one can.  get a counselor.  and to be fair, the line is thin sometimes between "a friend in need" and " a friend in CONSTANT need."  I have 1 friend that seems to take comfort in her role as comforter, and no matter what the conversation, she will find a spot that's a little grey and pick at it till you find yourself drowning in your troubles.  no!  so this long ramble is about friendship, and boundaries, i suppose.  if you're reading this, we are probably friends on some level…maybe warm acquaintances, maybe besties that talk often and freely and equally footed.  but sunday, something clicked into place, and i realized that there are things i must do for myself, and living situations that are a good choice for me…and hearts that are best enjoyed from afar and only on occasion.  the effort was never equal the return, and that's my new yardstick…i mean, if i don't have your address (email or otherwise) after 6 months…perhaps neither one of us cares all that much.  let's stay friends, but i am not going to be pouring the effort out as i have in the past.  i can't.  my tank of effort is draining.  which brings me to some other news, and i hate to be a bitch, but i have to continue this another time - this weekend, i'm thinking.  i am filling in for someone on vacation, and we are in the midst of a snow/ice/snow event, so i am just too exhausted.  my body can't do the fulltime like it used to.  and even if it was running like a top, these days would be killer anyway.  so forgive me, but we'll talk soon….have a golden day!

Monday, February 01, 2016

some days you feel absolutely and irretrievably broken inside…your very Self is leaking out with the tears that stream down your face…there is little you can do but sit on the floor and let the Reel Of Horrors play through your head as you moan.  that's the best i can describe it without sending you to the floor.  yet.  yet.  yet. somewhere in the midst of all this mess, you realize that there will come a clarity…that whatever has caused this emotional and wet outburst needed to be heard…needed OUT.  and it was bursting it's way through the busy-ness and calendar events and dodges and weaves that would make a Harlem Globetrotter proud.  somewhere in the mess of prostrate grief, there would come a clarity about something(s) that needed a closer look…a single tear magnifier. after the dog has been walked an inch shorter, and the carpets vacuumed completely up and silver gleams like a laser and wood floors have taken themselves up and run back to the forest in fear - sometime just after that, when you pause for a moment to catch your breath in the post-cleansing cleaning, it sneaks up around to the corner of your eye…you see it - that Thing that needed to be heard…that monster that created the great heaving sobs…and you see it's just a wounded little fluffy thing that needed healing…a Realization of being wronged or of being wrong…or of facing a Big Scary that really isn't so bad, after all.
I welcome the clarity…and i promise to listen to my heart a bit better, so as to avoid the drama.