Friday, November 09, 2012


Friday. After breakfast (in the kitchen, because no sun pokes through this morning, not yet, not this early)

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... I work at home. When there is, for a second, a ray of pale sunshine - I'm on it!

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But very quickly, the clouds return. The farmed fields are gray and brown once more.

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Let's see what's new at the farmhouse: well now, not only does the cat, Isis, have a litter box for his bathroom pleasures but we caved and brought in (from the shed) a step-and-dine for him so that he can enjoy his favorite kitty crunchies. (Okay, he doesn't really have a favorite. Ed buys whatever is cheap. If I'm with him, I nudge him up a grade, but it all looks junky to me -- sort of like Cap'n Crunch for your kids' breakfast.) What's step-and-dine, you ask? Well, it's this bowl with a cover. To eat, the cat has to step his paw on a lever and keep it there to prop the lid open. One reviewer once wrote -- it's a Mensa test for cats and mine failed! It seems that most fail, because step-and-dine is no longer in production. (German cats appear to be better at mastering the step and dine directive  because it seems you can still buy the cat dish there. Ed bought a used one off of E-bay some years back)

Isis, once a feral cat, has street smarts. He can dance circles around step-and-dine.

(I'd contribute a photo, but after step-and-dining, he has retired to his favorite place in the farmhouse -- upstairs, on the bed, my side.)

But I have other photos of other eating situations. Tonight, Ed and I went to a fundraiser for Fitchburg Fields -- a "teaching and sharing garden..."

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...that right now uses a small plot of land halfway between our farmette and Paul's cafe for organic gardening, but has as a vision the creation of a far grander, larger sustainable farming community. Where? Well actually all around where we live at the farmette. (It's a very long term vision.)

In any case, Ed has always been supportive of their gardening efforts and so now here we are, at their Harvest Dinner (a vegetarian meal catered by the Underground Food Collective -- another group, near and dear to me, of dedicated food people).

(Oh, hold on, before we left, Isis came down and agreed to demonstrate his Mensa skills.)

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Back to the dinner.

Because Madison is actually a small town (not by numbers, but measured by the likelihood of you knowing someone at some random event), I wasn't surprised to see at the Harvest Dinner this talented musician…

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(Whose mother once taught my daughter viola.)

And even for this humble meal, I knew the Underground Food masters would do well by us.

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The squash, the polenta, the salads… mmmmm

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Ed and I snuck out before the presentations, the cajoling speeches, the movie clips. We know the plans, the people, we understand their sincerity, their vision.

Grand visions push you to do grand things. But it's the small things that set a tone for our everyday. We picked up a small thing: a jar of home made sauerkraut for the turkey brats we sometimes have for supper.