It’s been a busy weekend, between unpacking more of Joe’s books & housewares and beginning my first assignments of the semester. I’ve barely left the apartment. Hell, I’ve barely showered. I have, however, made a few fun discoveries. I’ve found a recipe for pain au chocolat in a cookbook, which I fully intend to try my hand at tomorrow. (Remember, part of this blog is supposed to be recipes.) I’ve found how I always, always want to wear my hair. I’ve found what I want to sip on all fall. I’ve discovered that taking family photos that you are also posing in is quite entertaining.
My break from school work came in the form of a family portrait session. Joe’s sisters & their fiancés–yay, Fall 2012 weddings!–came for a visit & a chance to get us together for a sibling photo, at the request of their dad. Hopefully, we’ll look this gorgeous when we’re printed out on a huge scale & are hanging in the living room…
It wasn’t until they arrived for picture-taking that I realized I have no actual equipment, other than the camera. We looked around the apartment & realized that our kitchen stool, topped of with notebooks to angle the camera properly, would serve as our tripod.
It wasn’t until they arrived that I walked behind our building for the first time (notebooks, camera & “tripod” in hand). The alley behind our building turned out to be a lovely spot for pictures: a nice, brick backdrop; greenery on the other side; a picket fence we didn’t utilize; good afternoon sun. For most of the pictures, we were sans flash. Braxton, the toddler, is clearly amazed by our set-up & mad photography skills in the above photo.
Here’s a sample from the “shoot”:
We clean up well.
Tonight, we’re heading to a showing of Farmageddon, a movie that dives into the issue that made me want to study public policy–the issue I plan on spending the rest of my life working for. Let’s take a look at “What’s at Stake” (courtesy of the film’s web site):
Farmageddon highlights the urgency of food freedom, encouraging farmers and consumers alike to take action to preserve individuals’ rights to access food of their choice and farmers’ rights to produce these foods safely and free from unreasonably burdensome regulations. The film serves to put policymakers and regulators on notice that there is a growing movement of people aware that their freedom to choose the foods they want is in danger, a movement that is taking action with its dollars and its voting power to protect and preserve the dwindling number of family farms that are struggling to survive.
I’m excited to compare the film to Food, Inc.–a film I’ve been evangelizing since its DVD release. While Food, Inc. addresses the consequences of industrial farming, Farmageddon explains how our ability to work against industrial farming–to find natural, whole, from-the-farm counterparts–is slowly being pulled out from under us at the direct expense of family farms across the country.
I’m from a farming family. Though by the time I was born, my mom’s family had moved into town, I grew up with a strong understanding of what farming means to a community. Many of my friends grew up on farms; many of my family members would slip into stories of pranks pulled & adventures had in the barn or surrounding lands when we had family get-togethers. There are remnants of this passion for living
from with the land throughout my family: an uncle that still works on farms; my grandma’s garden & her border collie, who spends the holidays herding the younger cousins.
The tradition of farming, tracing back through my family & many of the Midwest’s families, to our days in Germany & Ireland. Days when the fields weren’t just corn or soybeans planted to earn government subsidies. They were fields for the market, fields for the family, fields for the cold winter months. The percentage of farmers in the developed nations who grow enough food to feed their families is astonishing–astonishingly low. Large grain crops have replaced the vegetable gardens.
Luckily, these things are starting to come back, & films like Farmageddon are helping.
[Megan steps down from soap box.]
While my family went unscathed by the events of 9/11, I would like to take a second to call to mind those families forever changed ten years ago. I don’t think we fully understand how our world was shaped by those events, for better or worse, & I want to say that I feel humbled & gracious. A few days ago, Democracy Now brought “Understanding 9/11” to my attention.
The archive, Understanding 9/11, gathered videos from around the world to help enhance our understanding & the living history of 9/11. Take some time to look at how the rest of the world was affected, as well.