I'm The Only One Who'll Leave A Light On For You
Aloha Friday

On The Wrong Side Of The Food System

Whew.  It has been a busy coupla days. Let's recap:


Couldn't sleep, wasn't tired, so I stayed up all night. I was productive, though: I did the bills, worked the budget, started a new PR blog on Blogger (more details about that to come in the next couple of days) and crocheted. I'm nearly finished with that blanket. When I am, I'll show ya. It'll be tomorrow.

Chloë is still in school this week, so she was bummed later when she found out that the rest of us - Daddy included - went to the zoo without her. Like, in tears, bummed. We kept having to reassure her that now that we're zoo members, we can go whenever we want - and we WILL.


The original plan was to get there at 1100 for the zoo's weekly story time, but when we arrived at a quarter 'til, we saw that it was also elephant-feeding time at 1100. Which would they rather do? "Elephants!!" came the enthusiastic reply. When we arrived back in "Africa" to see the heffalumps, we first caught sight of two of the ol' girls getting baths. The kids were fascinated. Even more so when I informed them that at Jack's age or so, I had actually ridden an elephant. Twice. They were astounded by that. Have you?


I am OBSESSED with Sophia's tush. I mean, it's just plain awesome. I could look at that juicy thang all day long. It's not creepy, right? I mean, I'm her MOM. I'm supposed to love every inch of her! (And you gotta admit, it's a pretty great butt, as butts go.)


After milling about for a few minutes, a zoo volunteer came out and told us where the elephant feeding would take place. We strode en masse to the bottom of a long and windy ramp and claimed our places for ideal viewing. A man with a big bucket full of fruits and veggies was down there, waiting for us. He tweeted four long tweets on his whistle, a signal for the ellies to come lumbering over. Only this one, a 36yo female (they're all females at our zoo), decided to dine. She wasn't thrilled about having to swim for her supper, though!


I love this one, when she was flaring her ears and digging around in the water for a wayward orange. She ate it, peel and all. Well, you didn't expect an elephant to peel an orange, did you?

Just like with the baths, the kids were completely engrossed in the proceedings.


Even the little guy, even though no wheeled objects were involved, even though he was hot and hungry. When the feeding session was over, they ran around the area while Rob and I asked a bajillion questions of the volunteer. She was too happy to answer them as much as she could. I'd love to do that, if I had the time...


We stopped off at the giraffe habitat for a little while, before heading to have some lunch in Africa's restaurant. There are three adults and a wee baby, there in the back. I wish I could have attended that birth!


We decided to get a pizza. Non-organic, of course, but the kids were hungry and not at all interested in the box of organic Fruit-e-O's that I'd smuggled in.  When we got into the dining room, though, Sophia spied the container of pickles on the condiment bar and decided that's what she wanted to have. She ate two platefuls! That girl is a pickle nut.


After lunch, the kids were pretty much through with animals for the day and just wanted to go play in the sprinklers. I gave Rob the camera to take pics, while I went hunting around in the nearby gift shop for a couple more Bunco prizes. I found exactly what I was looking for there, plus a few little goodies for the kids. Goodness knows they don't need them, but you know. I like to spoil a little.


Jack's favorite thing to do is sit on top of the spouts and let the water shoot up his bathing suit!


When I finished my shopping, I shucked off my jumper and joined the kids in the sprinkler! Rob didn't have his suit, or he'd have gone, too. I would have gone in my everyday clothes. Who cares? If it's hot, and there's a fun way to cool off, I'm in - suit or not! As it is, I had to go in there in my workout clothes, since I don't have a suit right now. 'Twas brillig!


This guy was just wandering around, so I followed him. He didn't like that. He sped up. I sped up. He turned left. I turned left. Wasn't his favorite thing. He squawked at me.


When he was through with the slow-speed chase, he leapt on top of the chairs and was out of sight in a flash. Pretty guy, though, right? I bet he's sired a slew of peababies.


Jack asked a jillion times if we could go on the zoo train, but since it wasn't free, I decided that we should wait until Chloë could join us if we were going to do that. When she was crying about us going to the zoo without her, later, learning that is what dried up her salty tears. 


I was also going to wait until the whole family was together to show them what I picked up for them in the gift shop, but, you know, I can never, ever wait to give a present. Never! So after about 20 minutes, I gave up trying and called everyone 'round. I gave Sophia an ostrich, which she didn't recognize as an ostrich, so we'll have to look at those more the next time we go to the zoo. (There were two in the giraffe habitat, but she must've missed them.) She's a bird girl, though, so she loved it just the same.

 For Jack, of course, I bought wheeled items: this time, two safari jeeps that he just loved. His mind was already jumping to the next zoo visit: "Did they have other animals besides zebras and giraffes? What else did they have? Can I have one of those next time?" Never satisfied, that kid!

I gave Chloë a little jungle-themed art kit and a zipper pull with her name on it, and Rob got a zoo sticker for his truck. Or the motorcycle; I'm not sure which. I gave myself a zoo magnet for Vanna. You'll just have to wait and see what the Bunco prizes are...


Later, while Chloë was at Ballet, the rest of us did some heavy-duty shopping in the garden and lumber sections of the nearby Home Depot. I budgeted $5-600 for the backyard garden project, and we spent every penny of that and a little bit more. Well, almost. We would have, but then the nice lady handling our order (because we couldn't fit it all in the van, and Rob had to go back for the rest of our bags of dirt. Dirtbags? Hee) asked if we were military and gave us a hefty discount for that. I usually ask for a milly discount everywhere we go, but I didn't think to ask at the Depot. So, yay, we came in under - except that we only got about half the dirt that we needed for our two raised beds. Guess we'll have to go back after those are built. Here's Rob getting the cedar planks off the roof of Vanna. 


We got lots of good stuff! A compost mixer, in the box on the bottom there, is causing me serious excitement. I can't wait to start filling 'er up! Lots of organic soil, and some organic topsoil, more cedar, some organic compost starter... and a few tomato cages. Hopefully Rob can start building the beds this weekend with the kids, for a Father's Day activity. Do you think that's what he had in mind??

As soon as we came home from that shopping trip, I crashed on the couch until my school alarm went off the following morning.



I was still tired. I slept a great deal. Sophia and Jack played down in the living room together, mostly very nicely, while I snoozed on and off. I weighed in: 155.9 lbs. I'm down over 185 lbs and looking forward to losing those last 5 lbs before I hit my doctor's goal. Maybe I can hit it before I see him again next month, which would be swell. Just swell.

After Chloë came in, I showered and got the Littles ready to go with me to take her to Jazz. And then I had a brainstorm: since it was Wednesday, parking for locals down at the beach would only be a buck. Why don't we go? Yes, let's go. I sent them to wake up their dad, who was game, and we all worked ourselves into a tizzy getting ready in the negative-five minutes we had before leaving to take Chlo to dance.

The kids were absolutely ravenous, and again, they had no interest in the Fruit-e-O's I'd brought along. So Rob and I briefly talked it over, and we decided to use some of the huge McDonald's gift card I'd gotten for the House Party, to feed them. It was a struggle; McD's is SO not what we want to be feeding them anymore, but the guilt burden was lifted slightly in knowing that it wasn't our money supporting the fast food industry. So we went back home to get the card, and then stopped for some victuals at the burger joint around the corner.

I only got a Coca Dieta, but everyone else had food and drink. Chicken nuggets for the kids, fries, and a free apple juice box. Holy cow, they devoured their food. They are not as completely sold on this organic thing as we are! It will take some time. Rob got a crispy chicken sandwich, but you know what? He really didn't care for it. It just didn't taste as good to him as he remembered. The organic food just tastes so much better, so much more... real. He's done. The fries, on the other hand, OMG. SO good. I had some. A bunch, actually. I think they were better than I remembered. Yum.  But still, not good enough for us to give up "the lifestyle," so after tomorrow, that will (hopefully) be our last time eating McDonald's in this lifetime!

 Look, Sophia's teeth grew back in!!  Doesn't she look great?!! Ha. As soon as we arrived down at the oceanfront after Jazz, we walked to the beach, which was being closed by the lifeguards and police. An electrical system had moved in; we couldn't swim. Or be on the sand. We started to look at the family bicycles instead, but then decided that wouldn't be safe either.  So, we decided to go find somewhere to sit and have a drink. Instead, we were walking on Atlantic Ave when the deluge hit, and we ran into the nearest store, a discount beach tienda.

I had forgotten that I'd already picked up my last two Bunco prizes, so I shopped around and picked up two more. Oops. Well, now I'm finished, and if there are extras, more for me! I told each of the kids they could pick a souvie under $2, and these hillbilly teeth were Sophie's choice. Nice, huh? Funny, though. Over margaritas and chips at Guadalajara's, we all passed them around:


Hillbilly Bob


Hillbilly Mel (taken by Sophia)


Hillbilly Chlo


Jack, the spoil-sport, decided not to participate. Instead, he gazed lovingly at his new little cement mixer.


Curls picked herself up a pack of Silly Bands (emphasis on "silly") to share and trade with her friends at school tomorrow, the penultimate day. She gave me one; I'm wearing it now. So far as we could tell, it's an ostrich. Another ostrich! No telling whether this one's a girl or a boy, though. ;)


And I got a nose ring or two. My hole's been empty (on my nose, pervs!) since, like, October, so it was time to fill it. Can you see the little blue stone?


And, Rob picked me out a toe ring. Well, at my request. I have ugly feet, I know. I've been told a time or two. (Also, time for a pedicure, eh, Melanie?)


Our gigantical margaritas were SO good! I had to ask Rob, though: what's the point of salting the rim if you're using a straw, hmmm? 


When it finally stopped raining, we tried to go down to the now-reopened beach again, but a policeman said it was still unsafe and he wouldn't do it. The kids were disappointed, and one or two of them cried, but we reminded them that we live here and can come back anytime we want. So they found a nearby fountain and begged pennies off me for wishing, instead. Rob and I made wishes, too. Aren't wishes the best?


On our walk back to the car, the kids found several puddles left by the storm. Never mind that they were full of mud; that's half the fun, isn't it? And so they jumped, and jumped some more.


When Sophia found another puddle and was there by herself, I told her to jump after I counted to three. Here's the result. Girl can jump, huh??


When we finally arrived home, there was a big ol' box from Drugstore.com waiting on the front porch. Woot! I just ordered it two days ago, so I was thrilled. We were completely out of TP (how did I let that happen?), so I found a BOGO deal for Seventh Generation and bought that. To get to $25 - the level needed for free shipping - I did a search for "organic" and found these snacks by Newman's Own on sale, too. Oh, and the organic multi-vitamins for the kids, too, which is good, since they cost about 4x as much at the organic shop where we get our food. The kids LOVE taking their multis...


Yeah. Rob took that pic. He said Iooked hot like that... maybe from another angel!! Haha.

Time to go get some zzzzzs, as Thursday is another busy day.