So....During the weeks I have been 'away', here's a few observations I need to post.
1) Acadia National Park in Maine is breathtaking and awesome. If you ever have the chance to hike, bike, walk or wander there...GO! For the love of all that's amazing GO!
2) Maine...as far as I can tell, all of it, is unbelieveably eco. Recycling bins everywhere, tea and coffee houses that compost their tea bags and coffee grounds, travel cups and reusable bags as far as the eye can see,.....LOVE it! If it wasn't so riculously freaking COLD for so LONG every year I could see living there. But it is so....
3) There are states, and Maine is one, where local is assumed. If you ask "is your seafood local".....well they look at you like you just popped out an extra head. Of course it is. Even diners use cage free or local eggs. Weird. GREAT, but weird.
4) ..........I really hate the cold.
Now...as for more recent news....
I am an agent of chaos, as many of you are aware, but I recently got an UGLY wake up call. (No this really doesn't have to do with my normal blog at this point, but I think I need to get it out.) Normally I am a firm believer in the 'change is good' philosophy, but this past weekend I found that seriously tested.
I went back to some of my old stomping grounds in the DC Metro area.
Some (MD Renn Faire) were still as wonderful and as much home to me as ever. Others...well let's just say I am dealing with the shock.
Murphy's Tavern...my old home away from home, still has amazing food and real Irish music...but now it's become a VERY strange thing. A hangout for the frat set. It was packed, which of course is good, but it was a really different crowd. Took about an hour for me to adjust to that. But I suppose anything that packs the house and allows a great pub to prosper is positive. I suppose.
But what has happened to Crystal City Underground is appalling. Crushing. All uniqueness is utterly gone. Now it just looks like every other mall. It's just underground. Geppi's is gone. The cafe' is gone. There is now a Dunkin Doughnuts, a Hallmark Store, a Starbucks and a food court. A food court. I know, to most of you, this may sound like random rambling complaining...but to a few who remember...you get it. This was a huge chunk of my life. I worked at Geppi's, ate at the cafe' and bought papers and magazines at the little newsstand. It was a Morlock tunnel and all the people who worked there were odd and a bit crazy. It was special.
Now it's just another mall. I'm STILL processing this one. Change is still good. Even necessary...but now I understand how it can be painful. In ways I never imagined before.
Thank you universe. I guess I needed the lesson.
As for the usual fare of this challenge...I have to say I LOVE getting things at the MD Ren Faire. I picked up some badly needed items there and each thing was bought directly from the maker. Soaps and lotions from Blessed Scents, AWESOME pottery items from Dancing Pig Pottery and Tessem Stoneware and a TON of bulk herbs and spices from Her Majesty's Herbes (I THINK that's the shop name...I just always go to the same spot. :)). I'm slowly getting rid of all the mass produced herbs and spices in my cabinet. I just have to pick up a few more lockable bottles. That is something I highly recommend. Bulk herbs bought from a reputable source tend to be fresher and you can be more sure of organic content, GMOs and the like.
OK....now for the cool new site! Many of you already know I'm a barter freak. I have a FB Barter site and a Ning Site for open barter. I trade often on Etsy.com and after this year long experiment is done I plan on spending some quality blog time on the barter and trade 'industry' that is rising.
SO...trust me when I say this swap site is cool!
They also have a facebook thingy to like...
Aaaaand a twitter of course!
Seriously....I can't WAIT for all the trading!!! :)
So...next week(ish) I will be back with my research on Starbucks. Are they as eco / free trade as they say? Stay tuned!