Monday, June 27, 2011

Circus stuff

One thing this blog has really never covered is my fitness shenanigans. It's mostly a food/garden blog and that's OK for me. I know a lot of people have more of a food/fitness blog, but there's one big reason I don't think I can do that.

You see, my main form of fitness is playing circus. Yes, I sometimes go to a normal gym to help build strength and from time to time I go out for a jog or do a yoga DVD. But for the past two years my main form of "exercise" has been climbing up and down 20' of fabric hanging from a warehouse ceiling. Lately I've been also learning hand balancing and partner balancing and I'm planning to get into wire walking. It's awesome. It cured my post-partum depression. I've lost a little weight and gotten a LOT stronger.

And I've met some truly amazing, truly inspiring people of all ages from all walks of life.

But it's not something I talk about much. You see, I find it really hard to talk about circus training. It's not something you talk, it's something you do. There are no rep schemes, no cute abbreviations... in fact the terminology for many of the tricks varies from performer to performer, depending on where they trained. I can sometimes explain it to myself out loud, but it really doesn't make sense to other people who aren't doing the same thing all the time. It's like trying to talk about meditation, only with more bruises and burns to explain.

Anyway... just thought I'd throw that out there. I may actually try the impossible and talk about it from time to time. But for now, here's a video from my school's showcase. Sorry for my dirty feet.

Friday, June 10, 2011


News item: I read this and my first thought was "Why on earth are the French growing corn?" Really, I'm trying to figure that out. It seems like a fundamentally bad idea, they're likely hurting not only the endangered hamsters (jeez, how do hamsters ever get endangered, they're little breeding factories), but also their own, highly respected, food culture.

North America may have an unfortunate addiction to corn farming, but at least corn has some fundamental connection to the earth and to food culture here. France? Really???

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Ah... the garden again. My leafy green love.

So this is what our grapes are looking like about now (well, a week ago), first the Concords:

And then the Flames:

Luscious aren't they? I'm so very much hoping we actually get a crop this year. Last year, by the time it came to harvest them, they looked like this:

Yup, they were DECIMATED by the birds and squirrels. Just gone. I think we ate a handful of individual grapes and that was it. The rest of it fed the urban wildlife. We were sad pandas about the whole thing. This year however, we have high hopes. We have a plastic hawk, we have mylar ribbons, we have plenty of hot pepper to dissuade the squirrels. Fingers crossed that some of those lovely baby grapes will actually become our food for once!

(Nevermind, the fact that we may also have a fungal disease of some sort. I'm trying to ignore that for now and stick with the power of hope. Hope and sulfur.)

And for a secondary harvest from these fruity beauties, we have grape leaves! I culled them from the trimmings this spring, and following the instructions at Mama’s Taverna blanched and froze them for later use. Now I just need to get up the energy to turn them into happy little dolmas.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Update and some changes

First... I have been brewing a LONG overdue garden update. Long, long overdue. Things are busy growing and I even have a cache of photos, but just haven't got around to writing things up.

Second, I'm slowly making some other changes to my eating habits to support the low sodium thing. In short, I'm moving towards a Paleo/Primal eating style. Basically, I've found that when I eat any substantial amount of grains (particularly higher salt processed food, like bread or crackers) I find myself really struggling to stick to an appropriate amount of food. When I have bread I want more bread... and "more bread" usually has too much sodium to fit into my day. As a result, I've been ending up with lunches & dinners that look a lot like a friend of mine who's eating Paleo. A moderate portion of unprocessed meat, chicken or fish with a fairly hefty side of veggies, all of it containing some fats to prevent me from being overly hungry. And a piece of fruit, because fruit is yummy.

I'm not terribly into the idea of being all dogmatic about it. If you google Paleo or Primal you'll get many people who are fairly extremist. I'm just working with the idea because it looks like it might be a good way to sort out the sodium thing without dealing with a lot of stress and cravings. As of right now, I'm just focusing on the grains issue, and doing some studying about vegetable oils. At the moment I don't picture a future where I'll be giving up beans or yogurt, just moving the bulk of my eating in that direction.

A couple of articles from bloggers I've found helpful and interesting:
Archevore: Get Started
Hunt Gather Love: Start Here and Paleo Priority Diet