Thursday, May 31, 2012

hello summer

wow, almost a month since i've updated things around here. haven't had much to write, i guess. i have been figuring out how to transition to summer in the kitchen, this is the slow season for me where i generally don't bake or cook, just having a big bowl of cut-up fresh veggies to eat with various dips like salsa, yogurt dip, hummus (or chips). maybe making the occasional cold noodle or grain dish. we have been eating a lot of sandwiches and burgers, too. i'm trying to stick with a morning green smoothie and yogurt habit most days. this is the season when i do tend to eat the healthiest and lightest, i guess that is natural. drinking lots of iced tea, and there's a watermelon in the fridge, too.

things have changed -- after nearly six years of eating vegetarian (three of those involved fish), one of them pretty strictly vegan, i have been experimenting with eating pastured, grass-fed meat from local farms. so far i've had just bacon and beef (and some Applegate chicken lunch meat, which comes from sustainable family farms where the animals are raised "humanely" and eat a proper diet. also have had some wild king alaskan salmon that i paid out the neck for, and some locally-caught seafood from virginia). i like the meat i've had due to its quality. i'm not eating it every day, i wouldn't even say once a week, which, if i'm going to keep consuming it, will be the way i prefer it. it has not affected me negatively, and i feel physically satisfied after consuming it. i still think about everything i eat, and am a pretty sworn restaurant vegan, meaning i do not trust a damned thing from a restaurant supplier unless they advertise otherwise. i HATE factory farms. however, when it comes to the question of animal welfare, i've always struggled with that line between abuse and farmers who take the utmost care, as well as my guilt over eating another creature. i recently, though, engaged in a good friend's online whole foods workshop that really opened me to exploring why we might choose to still eat meat, and on a smaller, more thoughtful scale. overall, i love that my time eating vegetarian and vegan has made me love that way of eating and there is still a good amount of tofu, beans, nuts, seeds, and plant foods in my life, in fact that's 95 percent of things with me. i might not stay eating meat, but right now it's a decision i've made that i'm "fragile-y" okay with.

i spent most of the memorial day weekend driving to and from and all around the area of virginia where we'll be living in two months. it was like a week away. the country (lot of farmland) and ocean together are incredibly restorative. we'll likely be living about five miles (or less!) from the ocean (which is actually chesapeake bay in the areas we'll be frequenting, thus not touristy and there is no paying for anything beach-related). there is an adorable fair-trade coffee shop, and tons of antique and thrift shops in the area. also, i enjoyed the local health food market/organic farm shop. things are more spread out, so you trade convenience for a bit of driving. but the scenery is calm, unhurried, and the air smells always, it seems, either of salt water or trees. the air is so clean down there. I enjoyed Norfolk (more thrift shops and used bookshops, and cute ethic restaurants, even a vegan cafe), and found the Trader Joe's in Virginia Beach (there is soon to be a Whole Foods right across the street). These are about an hour away over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, which is a gorgeous 20-mile span over the ocean.

over the summer, i plan to take one or two sewing classes at a cute shop i found in philly, i'm hoping this will jumpstart me sewing on my own. in january, i decided this was finally the year i was going to learn how to sew. the first class will be two 2-hour sessions making a reversible tote bag. (I'm still struggling with knitting, though I did just complete an easy project for a friend; I think for me to knit I need to feel that I'm in a nice, calm space which definitely has NOT been the last year)...  i'm also going to NYC with one of my best friends/bridesmaids and hoping John and I can get to Newport to do the cliff walk. we'll go to virginia one more time, too, to scout out our new place to live.

my camera seems to be broken right now, and i have so much to share. until i figure out what's going on, i'll just use stock photos :-(

well, i'd better get my day started ... walking my dog calls. glad we had a chance to catch up a bit....

love and light,



  1. Hi Karen! Glad to hear you are doing well :) Virginia sounds lovely! Hope you enjoy the rest of your summer immensely :)