i’m happy that i was able to settle on this name for this post. this past weekend, i went to the mother earth news fair once again, and once again it was awesome!

it was only $15 for a weekend pass (bought in advance), so it was pretty affordable, and for the amount of information and access to people on the cutting edge, it was fantastic!

once again, i did not get alpacas (yes, i do value peace in my home- but i did find out that you don’t even need to compost alpaca manure before you put it in your garden and that the manure smells much less than other livestock. who knew, right? almost irresistible…). i did, however, spend almost every spare minute with alpacas and llamas, which was not only gratifying but interesting given that at the end of the day joel salatin said that if you feel strongly drawn to something you should follow that passion. so, no dice, joel, but you owe me a big one, *h… ๐Ÿ˜‰

i went to a cheese-making workshop, and an advanced yeast bread workshop, and met some folks who asked me if i knew about the ballot initiative to label GMO foods in washington state.

and i was like, “ah, yes. let me tell you about that initiative!” no, just kidding- hahahahaha- but really i told them that i wrote all about it on my blog and signed their petitions and was super impressed that they managed to get it on the ballot. and then i gave them a donation and wore one of their doofy pins all day, because why not publicize a good cause??? (if you are in washington state, vote yes on 522!!!!!)

i lovey love that the fair provided a venue for all kinds of groovy-ish people to be in one place… i also got to give props to the washington homeschool group that was such a great resource to me when i first moved here and couldn’t figure out how to navigate the bureaucracy around homeschooling in this state. i stopped by a speaker i heard last year who was looking a bit lonely and told her that she really energized me last year and gave me some great ideas and that i really loved hearing her. i went to a booth with some organic produce to buy a treat (cherry tomatoes) for the kids at home and entered a raffle to win an apron or an oven mitt or a cutting board. i told them that i really really wanted the apron (does anyone in america besides my family even wear aprons anymore???) and they should send me good apron karma- and when i got home i had an email telling me that i had won the apron! so, i don’t know if i won/won, or if they just gave something to everyone who entered, but as my oldest daughter said- who cares? i still got a new apron! yay!!!

i saw pat foreman again (author of city chicks, as well as several other great books on raising chickens…), and she was as good as ever. she was looking for a home for an 8-week-old chicken, so i almost came home with a new addition, but she was able to find a different home. i was also able to resist the pull of free chicks, a free dough scraper ( i figured if i’ve lived without one this long i could continue to live without one…), free lotion samples that made my hand burn (although they tried to convince me it didn’t really burn…), and several other odds and ends. go, anti-clutter me!

in addition to not buying the alpacas, i didn’t buy a knife set (very cool), a roasting pan (could have used it, but i’m just too cheap), a tabletop water filtration system (it would take too long to explain why not), a yummy-lookng bottle of soda with some funky-sounding sweetener i’ve never heard of (just because it’s groovy doesn’t mean it’s good for you…), lots of pretty bags (of course all fair trade and blah blah blah), and the cutest measuring tape ever in these little crocheted animal thingy covers so that the tail of the animal was actually the end of the measuring tape. only $10 for yet more detritus in my house! so i literally said, “this is perhaps the most adorable thing i have seen all day, so i need to walk away now. but good luck to you- i hope you sell them all!”

but the best thing was that i was actually a nice person all day long.

this may not sound so remarkable to you, but in light of recent events, this was a seismic shift.

the last few weeks have been building toward a state of unsustainable awfulness on my part.

saturday i met someone for the first time who asked me if i homeschool because i am “intellectually combative”.

friday as i drove down the street someone coming toward me was speeding and blasting music in the center of the road and i pictured myself throwing the car into park and getting out and just firing an entire magazine of bullets into his windshield.

thursday i almost punched a hole in the wall.

i can’t remember what happened on wednesday but i’m sure it was more of the same.

my self-esteem lately would fit on the head of a pin.

i told *h that i needed an entire day to turn off my cell phone and be off the radar and just disappear. i left early in the morning, and quite frankly the only reason i came home is because the ‘check engine’ light came on in my car.

but a whole day of relating to a completely new set of people who i had no connection to was exactly what i needed. i was warm and friendly and calm and centered and i saw that i really was who i thought i was.

and that was so reaffirming that it allowed me to come up for air.

so, rock on mother earth news fair- in more ways than one!

and now i’m back ๐Ÿ™‚

do you hear the angels singing???