answered prayer

Two weeks ago we met some new friends at church: Alex, Nelly, and their one-and-a-half year old son Noah. They're from Germany, and when we met them they had been in the US only one week. Alex chatted with an easy fluency that belied his foreign-fellow position at Harvard, and Nelly spoke to us in amazingly conversational English with enough vocabulary to follow along, but enough pauses to make me think she might have a headache on the way home. We missed them the following week on account of our trip to Maine, but I prayed for them off and on during the intervening two weeks. I prayed that they would start to feel settled in their new place, that Alex would feel welcomed in his job, and that Nelly would meet new friends, especially some Germans in her area. The last part I threw in figuring that it's stressful to always be talking in a foreign language; wouldn't it be nice if she met a nice German mom her age to chat with and explain the low-downs of where to buy the best German style diapers or whatever.

So we saw them all this morning at church, and as Dan chatted to Alex about buying a used car in the US, Nelly and I talked about parenting styles in the US versus Europe.

"I haven't really meet any American moms" Nelly complained suddenly. "I want to meet some Americans to be friends with, but every time I go to the park, it's all Germans! So many Germans I meet in the last two weeks! So far I meet 4 new German friends, but only 1 American!"

Eek, I said! This is obviously all my fault. I've been praying for you to meet German women. I'll change up my tactics, clearly.

Okay, so these days there's a lot of stuff we're asking God for. Dan's desperate for more work and I'm desperate for less. I could use a little more patience and we all could use a little more sleep. But it's nice to know that God still delivers abundantly in some things just because you ask. Even if it's not exactly the right thing.

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Harvey's first apple and tattoo

Harvey with an apple and a tattoo from the market

loves that market

Harvey came away from the farmers market this afternoon with both an apple and a lamb stamp on his arm. He was more interested in the former, but the tattoo is pretty cool too. And we didn't even have to buy any cheese to get it! You might think it would be hard for someone with only a hint of a single molar to eat an apple, but he got right into it with no trouble at all. It helps that the teeth he does have are very sharp indeed!

anarchist midwifery

Sometimes my interests combine on the internet for a brief shining moment and it's like penies from heaven. Today on the unnecesarean, Anarchist Midwifery. From the interview:

To be honest I don’t worry so much about midwifery becoming less available to the poor. What I really worry about how we are going to put an end to this miserable way of life that keeps us poor. Seriously, having children in a safe, comfortable, healthy and natural environment is great, but it isn’t all there is. All of us inhabit a massive environmental catastrophe, a shallow and meaningless social desert, a world of box stores and seven-elevens, a massive surveillance apparatus, chemical factories, mines, plantations and sweatshops, and a giant military that rains fire from the sky onto real people. I think that if I were to worry about midwifery suffering in quality because it’s being absorbed into medicine I would feel like an asshole.

You can always trust an anarchist midwife to put shit in perspective.

remember that 90210 where Brenda thinks she's pregnant but then at the gyno she gets her period and meanwhile her parents find the box for the pregnancy test while sorting the recycling? That was awesome writing there.

Thirty seconds before I was about to waste another seven dollar pregnancy test, I got my period. Thank God! On the basis of a negative pregnancy test on Saturday I drank half a beer and three cups of caffeine. Also fake sweetener in the tea. I don't want our next baby to be defective on my account.

Also, despite the pang of jealousy that runs through me every time I see a skinny woman with a big round belly, I'm a little ambivalent about getting started on our next big adventure. I mean, I know we want a big family, and that we've decided on 2-3 years as the most appropriate spacing, but still. I don't long for another child the way I longed for Harvey. I mean, Harvey is already here and so perfect! And people tell me that babies are a lot of work.

On the other hand, it could just be the stress (the same stress that annoyingly made my cycle 32 days long this month). My job over the past 6 months has made me all kinds of crazy. Between the communing, the mind-numbing futility, and the relentless accountability, I've felt that I can't handle taking on another knitting project let alone another child. The good news is that it's finally coming to an end. My last day of work is next friday. Perhaps by the end of August I'll finally uncleanch my jaw. In the next few months I may uncleanch other things and say, "Hey, I want another baby!"

Which is all to say, I'm open for another half a beer this weekend, and looking forward to it! But not more than that, because I'm still lactating like a Holstein. Just because I'm not pregnant, doesn't mean I can run the show over here.

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unpreparations

This summer I've spent every evening before a vacation (n=2) up late cooking. This is not optimal, whether the criteria is getting enough sleep or being able to come back to a beautiful clean house. Tonight it was bread and zucchini relish. I have good excuses, naturally: we need bread to eat on the trip, and the vegetables for the relish were not likely to survive until next week without the preservative properties of vinegar and sugar. But it means there are now some pans soaking in the sink. I'm too tired to clean them all the way up now: I'd much rather blog about it.

Really, we've barely gotten over our last vacation—my wallet, especially, has not fully recovered—but we are venturing out once again, to Cape Cod this time. As I am now the proud owner of a new internet-capable mobile telephone, I expect to do some internet-related activities while away. I have in the past, I find. I expect any updates I manage this year will be at least as thrilling, so stay tuned.

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Caped

We survived the trip, though the total transit time was rather longer than expected. We've already eaten clams, and sat on the beach, and watched a wedding on the beach... what's left to do?! Maybe eat ice cream? Ride bikes? Leah and Harvey should probably at least put their feet in the water before we go home; me and Rascal have done that too.

on vacation

Today saw breakfast buffet, swimming in the ocean, biking on trails around a salt marsh, and building sand castles. Pretty stereotypical for a Cape vacation, I know, but we can't be groundbreaking all the time. This trip differ rs from the last one in that, rather than camping, we're staying in a very nice beach house. Only problem with that is, it makes it much easier to stay up too late playing cards. Oh well, at least I almost won...

home again

low tide in Wellfleet

low tide in Wellfleet

Home again, all in the same week. We didn't leave the Cape until after dinner so as to get in the maximum amount of vacation. Now we need a few days off to recover.

sweet going down, bitter aftertaste

In celebration of my last week commuting dash last couple of months without a baby all up inside me I stopped at Starbucks this morning. I haven't been in Starbucks in maybe five months or so, so it was exciting to learn that they now serve make-it-your-way frappuccinos. Now you can choose your milk, your flavor, and your level of caffeine. I guess I gave them that idea, that time that I went into Starbucks at six months pregnant and grabbed the barista by the collar screaming "WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON'T MAKE A DECAF FRAPPUCCINO????!!!"

Just kidding, that only happened in my mind. Also, in my reverie they didn't cost no five dollars for a medium size.

Anyway, yeah for capitalism making things slightly better. That's its job after all. To give the wage slaves the illusion of improvement. The sweet lullaby of oppression tastes like delicious caramel.

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they're doing a play!

Harvey saw his first musical this evening: Metaphasia, written by the play-writing computers at Pioneer Drama and spiritedly staged by the Bedford Junior Summerstock Theatre. Our neighbor Samantha was fantastic as a neighbor, toy pig, and Sole Thrasher, and Harvey clapped in most of the right spots (he can clap now). I did have to distract him from time to time with a little My Neighbor Totoro on my phone, but only during the dialogue bits. And he managed to stay up for the whole thing, only to fall asleep on the three-minute car ride home. Perfect!

finally making himself useful

As usual, I'm having a tough time with the farming. I'm just not very good at it, I'm afraid. This year it's the drought that got me: I ought to have overcome my resistance to watering when faced with no rain for weeks at a time (well, not counting brief thunderstorms). The heavy rains of spring were also a factor. Oh well, it's all a learning experience.

One thing I am managing nearly to my satisfaction, however, is the weeding. In the garden, that is; some of the more distant perennial beds have been left pretty much to their own devices. If no vegetables are going to grow, at least I can keep things tidy so I can admire my dusty gray dirt! This morning I was working in the little corner where the fence is still extant and Harvey wasn't happy with being on the other side of the fence and ignored. So, in true parental fashion, I gave him a job! Instead of tossing the weeds the three-four feet into the wheelbarrow I gave each bunch to him, and he toddled over to very carefully deposit them on the growing pile. He loves that wheelbarrow anyways, for some reason, so the job was right up his alley. I could have done without the whining cries he produced if no further weeds were immediately available when he got back to the fence, but hey! baby steps.

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holdin it down with another party

We hosted a baby shower at our house today, the preparations for which consumed all of our yesterday. It was very much worth it: a good party, and so fun to watch Harvey running around with other kids. All the youngsters enjoyed Harvey's two big birthday presents, the older kids in the pool from Grandma Beth and the little ones in the sandbox from Grandma Judy (the grandpas were probably involved in the presents as well, but you know). Plus we ate tons of food—lunch and dinner both!—opened presents, played some badminton, and just had an all-around good time. Just the thing for a Sunday afternoon when you don't have to work on Monday!

rainy day

Today was the first day in a while that could be remotely described as a rainy day. Good, because exhausted and under the weather I totally needed an excuse to waste hours in vegetating in front of the computer. Not that very much rain actually fell from the sky: that would be too much to expect in this desert summer. Seriously, the weather has been pretty terrifying this summer, at least from the point of view of someone like myself who considers 65°—70° tops—to be about optimal for summer temperatures. It is on this heat that I blame the poor state of the garden: not that it was bad for the plants, but that it kept me from wanting to be outside tending to them. There was the child to think of, too! I could hardly leave him out there under the sweltering sun while I worked at farming, as much as I wanted too.

I don't know if this is global-climate-change related, but when the first three stories on google news are heatwave fires in Russia, floods in China, and floods in Pakistan you start to worry. Our friends the Jehovah's Witnesses are paying close attention to it all, I'm sure. As for me, I don't know whether to pay close attention or cover my ears and shout "la-la-la". We ride bikes to the playground instead of driving, does that help?

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unemployment update

After a trip to the pond that included pic nic lunch, Dan took H-ster out in the bike to the farmers market while I showered and did some sewing. I managed to knock out a toddler t-shirt and do some light clean-up, and now I'm headed out to the hammock to read a book. When the boys get back we'll all walk the dog together. Life sure is easy when you're going about it with two unemployed parents.

Of course the days will get a bit more stacked once Dan goes back to work at the end of the month. But for know I'm enjoying a bit of rest... trying to calm down and re-learn how to be human and stop grinding my teeth. Oh my poor jaw. It smarts when I chew.

Friday my lay-off was finalized. That evening I also got an email from the start-up I'd been interviewing with for the past month. They're passing on me and going in a different direction, like, more towards hiring a different person. Which is okay, given the thin safety net provided by our commonwealth. I spent an hour on hold Monday waiting to open an unemployment claim. With the questions and the follow-up pin set up it was a two-hour process in all. I hope everything works out all right - the agent I spoke with had a very thick indian accent which made her kind of difficult to understand. I would spell something, my home address for example, and she would say "E as in EBOAH? A as in ANUTH?" And I would be like, "Um, yeah, okay" because I had already asked her to repeat half the questions and her tone was tightening to the point where I was sure she was flagging my application for fraud.

So I wonder. If they've outsourced the department of unemployment assistance call center to India, how come I had to hold on the phone for 57 minutes? Oh they haven't outsourced it? They just don't discriminate on the basis of ability to speak recognizable english? Well, that's good I guess.

Harvey is coping with me being home during the day by not wanting to let me out of his sight. Did momma go in the bathroom? MwwaaaAAAAAAAAA!!!! We have a new project this week - weaning him off of night-time feedings. I was hesitant to take this on while I was working, but now that there's no fear of not enough contact with my child it must be done. I said I would nurse him until one of us was tired of it, and all of a sudden I'm tired. Harvey's a big boy now. He doesn't need to be gnawing on a momma at 1 in the morning.

And that's all the update I can crank out before I collapse into a hammock. Jealous much?

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bugs and germs

At this point in the summer we find ourselves sharing our home with a variety of insects. There are fruit flies in the compost pail (and colonizing any other ripe fruit or vegetable we happen to leave on the counter), and the occasional swarm of ants that makes its way under the door when Rascal is less than scrupulous at cleaning up around Harvey's highchair. There are also flies, lately: we have some holes in our screen doors nor are we always good about keeping them closed. None of these crawlie beasties disturbs our equanimity much though, now that the drought has done away with all the mosquitoes. We're happy to live and let live, and never mind a few flies on the dinner leftovers.

I understand that we're not the only ones to be so easy-going, though. Yesterday at the library I was flipping though a book that purports to provide instruction on how to stay healthy and avoid germs, and I'm sure the author would be utterly appalled at the the thought of insects indoors, much less touching food. Like, ew! When you're dealing with someone who advises you to not to squeeze your produce at the supermarket because who knows who else has been touching it and the bacteria and all, you know that actual bugs have definitely got to be on the no-no list. But really, how many bacterias can really fit on those teeny little fly feet?!

In all seriousness, it's not only laziness or slovenliness that leads us to keep our house open to the world outside; rather, we have a philosophical belief that it isn't actually healthy to block all the windows and only breathe air that has been purified to remove 99% percent of airborne particles. You're going to have to go outside, you're going to be exposed to viruses and bacteria and bugs and who knows what, and you know, that's ok. Maybe you'll even get sick once and a while. But if people with sealed homes and air filtration systems are avoiding sickness entirely, I haven't heard anything about it. I doubt they are, because then who would be buying all that Emergen-C?!

In the end I think it's kind of like sacrificing virgins to the volcano. Most of the time we throw someone in there the volcano doesn't erupt! Are you saying we should risk not sacrificing?! I'll tell you a secret: I eat food that fell on the ground, I pet dogs and don't wash my hands, and I have bugs in my house. And I really don't get sick all that often. Really!

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my boys and their Ts

I needed a quick success for myself this week so I made another t-shirt for Harvey. I up-cycled the material from a box of Dan's old t-shirts that are too big or too worn to be fashionable, but too precious to be thrown away.

harvey in an upcycled t-shirt

modeling at the playground

While I was surging up the side seams I got a flash of remembrance... an image of a sixteen year old boy in a green baggy t-shirt and cut-off shorts nonchalantly practicing rollerblade cross-overs on the corner of where his street meets mine. He's looking at the ground in front of him so his bangs cover his face entirely, and I am so painfully in love with him.

To think that that was 15 years ago, and now I'm turning the same shirt into something for our child.... it makes me believe that life is magical. Life is crazy and dazzling and amazing in its breathtaking boringness.

Or maybe this shirt isn't that old. I just grabbed it from the pile.

I'm going to make a few alterations to the pattern to fit my growing boy. The next version will be bigger in the chest with more room for the neck. This one is sort of clingy so that if Harvey sticks out his belly it looks like the sun is setting. You can kind of see it in the photo below.

harvey in a shirt with a sun on it

big belly sunset

Sunrise, sunset, etc.

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oops.

So I just want to say it totally is not my fault, but both Leah and Harvey were a little under the weather today. Especially Leah. I don't know if she came in contact with any flies, specifically, but I hope and trust that she will be recovered tomorrow, as we plan to tour the historic sights of Lexington and Concord and enjoy a picnic lunch. Which we will wash our hands before eating.

a curious encounter

a sign by the bike path

looks innoffensive enough...

The other day I was walking the babies in the morning and we saw an odd sight. For some reason someone association the American Lung Association has put up a number of signs around the beginning of the bike path that read "Breathe. Cycle with us", and apparently they are not universally admired. As we came around a bend in the path I couldn't help but notice an older gentleman wearing day-glo yellow cycling attire pull one of the signs out of the ground and slide it underneath a handy train car. Was he an ALA member removing out-of-date advertisements? Was he a smoker who hated being reminded of the toll his addiction was taking on his ability to cycle comfortably? I don't know. I do know that after I gave him a ostentatiously curious look he hesitated at the next sign, and then passed by leaving it unmolested.

Me, I pulled the sign he'd taken down right out from under that train and put it back up. What can I say, I'm a contrarian!

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not fair-weather farmers

view down a grape-covered alley

delicious shade

Harvey and I are not generally into networking, but when there's a networking event taking place at a farm, well... that's a different story. Perhaps someone in the Cornell Entrepreneurial Network was eager to contact us, because their latest event took place at Belkin Family Lookout Farm in rural Natick, MA. When Grandma Judy alerted us and invited us along, we said "yes" in a flash!

Harvey on a pile of hay bales

climb to the top of the hay-bale-est mountain

Not only was there lunch and fruit-picking, the farm also features a considerable playground. Harvey climbed up the hay bale part of it almost all by himself. He also enjoyed watching the goats—the presence of goats is apparently de riguer at pick-your-own establishments. He would have liked to play on the slides too, but it was a little damp: the rains have finally arrived. Rain and cold may have reduced the crowds at the event a little bit (and certainly kept everyone else away from the orchard) but we thought it was about perfect weather for picking. If only there had been a little more ripe fruit. Still, a couple plums for the monster and nectarines for mama, courtesy of the Cornell Entrepreneurs: no complaints from me!

overcast skies at Lookout Farm

beautiful weather for an outing!

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fair-weather farmers marketers

I walked to the farmers market in the rain this afternoon. Three observations:

1. It's been forever since I walked anywhere by myself. Rascal needs his walks, obviously; Harvey is always happy to be outside, and when it's just us boys I can hardly leave him behind anyways; and I'll take a walk with my lovely wife whenever I can get it! So it was interesting to be solo: I put in a lot of miles that way back in the day. It's pretty boring, actually.

2. Boring, and also slow. My goodness, bikes are a wonderful invention!

3. I thought farmers were supposed to be tough! A little bit of light rain and more than half of them don't even show up for the market. Though perhaps it's more their assessment of the people of Bedford, in which case they made the right call: there weren't many customers there either. It just goes to show how thin is the commitment to local food around here: we'll show up if the sun is out, but if not... eh, there's always Stop & Shop. Except, of course, for the few of us with a violent overwrought dislike for Stop & Shop. Thank goodness for the Lexington Market tomorrow!

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staying home update

I have been thoroughly enjoying my "extended vacation" at home with Dan and Harvey, marred only by my body's recent inability to process food. First I got waylaid by some sort of stomach illness which kept me on toast from Thursday night through Monday, then this evening I developed some sort of lymph infection or toothache that makes it hurt when I open my jaw. Look, I know I'm lazy about losing weight, but I already dropped 3 pounds this week. I'm back down to my pre-pregnancy, pre-cubicle weight. Can't we call it a day already, body?

The other theory is that I'm rapid cycling through all the illnesses I was supposed to have over the past year but put off because I was too stressed. Since Dan's still home for another week before school starts, it's like my immune system wants to squeeze in every possible minute of lying on the couch moaning while someone else watches the baby.

The baby, actually, is no longer a baby but a toddler who has suddenly developed the ability to be annoying on purpose. Today he asked for OJ and then spilled it all over the floor. Then he threw a tantrum for a milkshake only to spill that all over the floor. "No" I said. "NO!" Harvey screamed. "Bad boy." I said. "Da Bo!" He screamed in delight.

For the rest of the day he screamed periodically - high pitched at the top of his lungs whenever he felt like it - just to hear the sound of his own voice. In retrospect, maybe that's why my jaw hurts. I've done a lot of clenching it lately.

Still. It beats scrubbing spreadsheets in a cubicle.

In Harvey's defense, he's still dealing with the tail-end of the stomach thing, and the tail end looks like green snotty poop. Also he's adjusting to so much upheaval in the child-care situation. Because I left him so much over the past 6 months he developed the dramatic habit of shrieking in pain every time I leave the room. I don't think he's quite convinced yet that I'm not going to leave again for 9 hours at a time. Still, when you go in and out of the room several times for laundry and things, it gets annoying.

Which is okay after all. It's okay and fair to get annoyed with your family. That just means you're hanging out with them enough.

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All grandmas great and small

Today was my grandmother's 90th birthday, so Harvey my mom and me headed into Brookline to meet my brother and Grandma for a birthday lunch.

I have never been so exhausted by a 90th birthday party.

My mother is like crack cocaine to babies. She is engaging ramped up to eleven: every moment offering a new game or a fresh toy or a snack of one kind or another. If she's in a room with multiple adults Harvey will scream bloody murder if he's being held by anyone but her. Wonderful for him I guess, but how long can a one year old stay on a coke binge? When he's with her for an afternoon he comes home completely wasted. He sleeps for two hours straight and then moans for the rest of the evening. Either his brain can't take the overstimulation, or he goes into withdrawl. Either way, it's a difficult situation for his parents, and for grandma-parental relations. Like, "Yeah mom, Harvey LOVES you. Listen, do you think you can watch him for LESS time next week?

When I went back to work after Harvey was born, many people comforted me with sentiments like, "At least your close to family and you have so many people around who love him." And I'm thinking, "yeah, I hope he can survive it."

Tomorrow we're planning a whole day out in celebration of our upcoming anniversary. We've organized several switch-offs between Harvey's two grandmothers so that my mom can play the shit out of him in the middle of the afternoon and Dan's mom can make sure he actually naps. Either way he'll be a wrecktastic disaster by the time we get him home tomorrow evening, but I'm reasonably sure he'll be alive and breathing. And when he recovers a few days later we'll forget about the screaming and remember the time we spent going down all those water-slides.

Yes, we're headed to Water Country. It's not your 5th anniversary every day, after all! Have some fun!

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outing update

Water Country is expensive! We just spent like a hundred bucks to feel and be young!

Dan is sick now from too many waterslides or maybe a fever. To let him sleep, Harvey and I are bunking downstairs.

When it's one sickness after another in your house, you know it's back-to-school time. Happy fall!

We've been busy

A few weeks ago we embarked on project sleep through the night. I don't think the title is too enigmatic. As we've mentioned before, Harvey is crap at sleeping. If he had his druthers he'd wake up every 3 hours for a milkshake. I say milkshake because I'm so generally sleep deprived that my body goes into convulsions at 3 in the morning if I'm woken up by screaming in the middle of my REM. Yeah, it's been bad.

We tried rocking him back to sleep, petting him, cuddling him, and all manners of non-milk soothing for a few nights. It was and wasn't working. He was going back to sleep but he slept fitfully, rolling and crying and back to full-on screaming two hours later. The problem is that the little butter ball is hungry. He can't sleep because he need the calories from milk. But he's not eating enough at dinner time because he expected all the nursings. So project sleep through the night quickly became project ween our clild and then sleep through the night. Like I said, we've been busy.

We cut out all nursings during the day first. That wasn't so hard on him, since he was only getting one bottle when I was at work, but when I get him up from his nap sometimes he remembers how much he used to like to nurse after napping and throws a little tantrum until something else sweet gets into his mouth.

He used to get two feedings in the evening, one when I got home from work and one before bed, and these were really messing up his ability to eat dinner. So we cut out the 5pm nursing and kept the 7:30, which seems to work although sometimes he starts to breakdown and claw at me around 6:30 and I'll give in if he's already eaten dinner.

All this has upped his appetite for solid foods, but it hasn't translated into sleeping success yet. He was doing well skipping his first wake-up for a while and going until 3am, but a few nights of family sickness set us back to a 11pm, 3am, 6am schedule. Dan was sick this weekend and while Harvey and I were sleeping on the mattress downstairs I admit to nursing him twice before the morning. No way was I walking through the cold house to go upstairs to the rocking chair.

So that's where we are now, with a morning and evening nursing and a toddler who'd like to get in two more feedings on the back end. I never had a clear plan for weaning, only that I would nurse him as long as we both wanted to. Well, I think the moment is rapidly approaching. I no longer want to. Not at 3am, anyways.

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before summer ends...

Before Dan gets home from work today and declares it officially fall, I want to post the video montage of our Bar Harbor vacation. Not the most gripping documentary ever created, but it does show some great hiking, some stellar hanging out, and Harvey acting like the cute little summer bug that he is.

bad eggs

So there has apparently been some sort of egg recall in recent days, thanks to an "outbreak of salmonella". My first response, of course, was: "what? Isn't salmonella always in eggs, and that's why we can't eat cookie dough anymore?!" When it had become clear to me that the current situation is even above and beyond what has become acceptable for the contamination of eggs in our factory farming situation, I began to wonder if there was some way that the big-agriculture lobby would turn this situation to their advantage. Why, naturally!

Various parties are now advocating for tighter food safety laws: on eggs specifically, and across the board. There is even a push make farmers vaccinate their chickens against salmonella. Now, I'm not against either of those ideas in principal, if they're applied reasonably based on scientific evidence; but I also see a pattern in legislation that is introduced in response to food-safety scares making business more difficult for small farms—while containing loopholes that let giant operations continue business as usual. After all, it's not like the farms whose eggs were recalled were even complying with existing law.

In general, we in the United States want things to be safe and regular. That means that there is a prejudice in favor of big farms: we imagine that, once effective legislation is in place, we'll be better served by a handful of humongous egg-factories—no doubt gleaming white and staffed by professionals in scrubs and hair-nets—which are watched over carefully by government overseers. Far better that then to let any roadside farm sell its own eggs, from hens kept in a yard with dirt on the ground! Never fear, because Florida food safety officials want to assure you that "basic protections must apply to everyone regardless of size." As spokeswoman Lisa Lochridge tells us, a salmonella bacterium "not going to choose a 150-acre farm over a 5-acre farm." Even "fourth generation farmer" John W. Boyd Jr., blogging at Huffington Post in favor of small and mid-sized farms, agrees: "If there is one advantage of consolidation, it is that it makes the job of inspectors easier. Since there are only a few hundred facilities producing the bulk of our eggs, making regular visits to each of them should not be too difficult."

How about, instead of making the government keep dishonest factory farmers from poisoning us, we only buy produce from farmers we trust?! It doesn't seem that complicated to me, and it doesn't require millions of dollars to be spent in regulation by the government and in compliance by farmers. Paul and Neil wouldn't want my family to get sick, (a fact that has been recognized by Boston's news media!) and if we should happen to have trouble with the salmonella... we know where they live!

The argument about the bacterium not caring about the size of the farm also misses another important point. Just a small handful of farms have been so far affected by this recall (note as well that it will not be related in each case: they all messed up individually) and yet millions of eggs nationwide have needed to be recalled. If something goes wrong at Chip-In, you're only going to sicken a little bit of eastern Middlesex County.

It seems to me that there ought to be a saying about allowing just a handful of producers to supply all the nation's eggs... something about putting all of your eggs in one... naw, too obvious.

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