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Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Eve

In my family, Christmas Eve was rarely nothing more than appetizers, heavy egg nog and if we whined long enough, the opening of one present. But today, Im excited for more.

Today will be a long run in the sunshine, local seafood from Mayport, a talent show and even the experience of a first Christmas for our new friends from China. All of this is beautiful. I cant believe how blessed I am. Its been a rough year for my family financially and often this season Ive been reminded of the line from the carol, "what can I bring you, poor as I am? I give to you my heart." We arent poor, we are eating crab legs today, for Christs sake (literally), but its been hard. But we arent poor. We have jobs, we have paid lunch breaks, we have unemployment, we have our freedom, we have. We have. Maybe for the first time Im getting it...
And most definitely, for the first time, I can look under the tree and offer gifts made by those who also have. Have paid holidays, have a chance to go to school, have respect from their employer. What a joy to celebrate the birth of Christ with them together. Because of fair trade, they have the privelege of talent shows and local seafood with their families too.

Wishing you a very, Merry Eve.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Time is Here...

It's the week before finals so while Ted is putting the finishing touches on his wind tunnel, I'm spending the night with Sarah McLaughlin (the best ever Christmas album) and minervois (a French variety. This particular winery Chateau Coupe- Roses uses eco-friendly and is family-based and fair.And. Damn. Good. Oak and raspberries. Ask your local wine shop for it. Pairs perfect with wild salmon)

I pounded out 5 miles on the treadmill after work today for sanity's sake. (Anyone who runs outside in this frigid state is a hero. Or maybe stupid. A stupid hero. Unless they are wearing those freakish looking toe shoes, then just awkward, which come on, really in this city? You best be watching for dog poo and cigarettes every other step. Put on some sneakers!) (New Balance is so close to being fair. They have had a few accounts of slave labor in China, but have resourced to other factories and audit often. Also check out Hersey shoes.
They are expensive, but custom made)

So MIT has nice treadmills, but an even nicer pool, am I right or am I right Sanaa/Elizabeth? (They don't use chlorine, but some type of magical natural stuff) The best part of the gym though is a full length glass window that overlooks the divers. 6 special treadmills face that window and today I got to be special. As I watched the young women
twist and flip their bodies in ways that my husband only wishes I could, I thought back to my commute home from work the other day. The secret part of me that has in some ways enjoyed becoming cynical, more critical and less compassionate surrendered itself that afternoon...

A brief story if I may: (written a few days ago)
My commute to and from work is 4.3 miles. That .3 is most definitely the longest, bumper to bumper part of my drive so it's very necessary to include. And during the .3 today, as I tried my best to speak prayers of blessings instead of prayers of death over the oh so many Massholes on the road, I saw this older man on the sidewalk, wearing a long, khaki trench coat and a hat that you've seen pictures of your grandpa wearing-- He was making his way through all of these hipster, Berklee kids- and just then on my radio station, "I'll Be Home for Christmas" began to play and I thought with an overwhelming sense of certainty, 'I bet that man is going home to decorate his Christmas tree.' And then I thought, 'I want to go home and decorate my Christmas tree.' Right there is when the cynicism came back and I remembered,
oh yeah, we aren't allowed to have Christmas trees in our apartment because they are fire hazards. Little does Westgate know that I burn candles and lots of them. It helps my husband get over the lack of twisting. You get the point.

ANYWAY, the point is: I thought about the Grandpa decorating his tree and wondered how he would do it. Was he a fan of tinsel? Colored or white lights? Would he decorate it with his family? Did he go all out and string cranberries and popcorn? And what does Grandpa put under the tree? Where does he shop?

Well Grandpa could start by buying new ornaments at Fair Indigo, Ten Thousand Villages or online from One World Projects who sell hand blown ornaments from Guatamela, lovely corn husk nativities from Colombia and intricate straw stars from Haiti . (And let's be real here, they aren't Pottery Barn quality, but they are lovely and so much more unique and interesting.)
They also sell rugs from Afghanistan. (Turkmen Women Actives Rights Association Afghanistan (TWARA) was established in 2005 to provide training and life skills to Turkmen minority groups living in the very remote areas of Afghanistan, mostly in the northern areas on the bank of the Amo River.) One World Projects are affordable and they are member of the Fair Trade Federation.

I am certain that Santa would bring all of Grandpa's little ones this awesome truck, which Santa will also bring to my nephew Memphis this year. (He doesn't read yet, so he's not reading this blog) I will most definitely post pics of this kid with his truck. They are recycled from milk jugs, made in San Fran and freakin awesome! Maybe it will be pics of me and this truck, I can't wait to take it out of the box. They also sell little foods and sand toys too. Which I want too.
Grandpa may also have a special box for his sugar lips under the tree. Maybe it's from Night Light. Never to be forgotten, Night Light should be at the top of your list for all the ladies in your life. Pearls, high fashion beads and simply lovely jewelry- all made by women rescued from sex trafficking in Bangkok. Get your orders in now for Christmas. (that means the black onyx and gold necklace and white pearl earrings, darling.)

Well, the second.5 glass of minervois is settling in and suddenly my apartment doesn't feel as cold. I think it's time for Jen Lancaster (Bitter is the New Black, Such a Pretty Fat and my current read, Bright Lights, Big Ass) to have a few moments together. She would be a perfect gift for all of the sexy, smart asses in your life this year.
Because there's no excuse for un-fair cookies!...Baking Basics coming soon..

And many thanks to all of my new followers. I love you too. This is about us together. For them. For Him.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What Are Your Overheads?

It was a hell of a day at work, so I thought I'd lighten it up a bit tonight and talk about the issues. And since this blog deals with issues, I think you will really appreciate the Flight of Conchords as they talk about the issues. Think about it, think, think about it.

This video is necessary to be in your life. I guarantee you will watch it at least 3 times.
Comments please.

It's December 1st folks. Does anyone else feel like they can't believe this year is almost over? What the heck, I swear I just started getting 'twenty-ten' down.

But December 1st means that Christmas time has already been here for almost a week.
Fair Trade Christmas coming Monday! (If you are going to decorate your tree this week, check out Fair Indigo first for their ornament selection. It rocks!)