To join a CSA or not to join a CSA? That is the question


Every Spring, I think about joining a CSA.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a program that involves buying a number of shares at a local farm. These shares help farmers stay in business and connect with customers interested in their wares. On the consumer side, the shares provide weekly access to fresh, seasonal and often organic foods and help preserve New England’s rural character.

The CSA I’ve been thinking about joining is connected to a 35-acre farm that’s been in business since 1780 and uses sustainable farming practices. For $400, I can purchase a half-share (enough to feed two people) that provides 17 weeks of certified organic fruit and veg such as asian greens, beans, beets, broccoli, broccoli rabe, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, chard, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, garlic, scallions, soybeans, herbs, leeks, lettuce, onions, parsnips, peaches, peas, peppers, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, shallots, spinach, squash, tomatoes, turnips and watermelon. U-pick ’em blueberries, strawberries and pumpkins are also available.

For a couple hundred dollars more, I can buy a meat share of grass-fed beef, lamb, chicken and/or turkey. The animals at this farm feed naturally at pasture, and are raised without hormones, antibiotics or steroids.

Since the farm is close by, the weekly pick-up won’t take much time or effort. Customers who are unable to afford a share may still sign up in exchange for a few hours spent working on the farm. And, there’s no need to worry about unfamiliar fruit and veg; this CSA includes recipes in the weekly box.

So with all of these advantages, why do I hesitate? Timing. We’ve been saving to buy a house for a while now, and our goal is to do so by the end of the year. We also hope to move to another part of the state or country (unless Nova Scotia or Scotland will have us, then we’re more than willing to become expats).

Due to our uncertain circumstances, we could end up moving in a month or not until the Fall. As such, I’d hate to buy a share for the next 17 weeks and leave without completing it. There’s also a side of me that senses if I do buy the share, it will guarantee a quicker move, which, of course, makes me want to do it all the more.

The deadline to join is looming. Should I live in the moment and go for it? Or be cautious and hope doing so will be more cost-effective? I’m open to your thoughts.

I am grateful for cool, dark rooms

Hand opening black curtain

I’m of the firm belief that one of the greatest inventions of all time is the air conditioner. You may disagree with me, but come July, you’ll know your wrongness.

Another wonderful invention for the working vampire? Blackout shades.

I have these sun blockers on no less than eight windows in my house: three in my office, one in the downstairs bathroom, two in the hallway and two in the master bedroom. In my home, light shall not penetrate any area where I may be present during daytime hours.

Over the weekend, I picked up another blackout shade. The front door has an east-facing window so when dawn breaks, I get blinded by the sun’s wretched rays.

No more.

Ra’s efforts to burn my brain shall be thwarted again. Take that, you evil star!

5 true confessions of a jaded mind


* There’s a Calvin-esque part of me that emerges after rain storms. I see a big puddle and I just feel the need to jump.

* There’s another part of me that hopes for some sort of time or place travel to occur when I splash into dark puddles.

* I can’t kill bugs that crunch. Doing so just creeps me out.

* I like hot tea and iced tea, but I don’t like when hot tea goes cold.

* Two years ago, my eye doctor said I needed bifocals. Despite my reservations (which foolishly involved me feeling old), I took her advice and bought a pair. When it was time to renew my prescription, I explained that my eyes had never really adapted to the bifocals and that I wanted straight specs instead. Turns out, she was right and I was wrong, and that’s why I’ve spent the past year squinting and removing my glasses to read anything.

“She was the final word on so many lives.”

Granary Burying Ground in Boston header

alana baranickHeartbroken to report that award-winning obituary writer Alana Baranick died on April 10 from cancer. She was 65.

For those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Alana, she was a talented journalist who spent 16 years working at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. During that time, she penned nearly 2,000 obituaries. She was also the founder of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers, the co-author of “Life on the Death Beat” and a dear friend.

Here is the lovely obituary that appeared on the front page of The Plain Dealer’s website. Read it and you’ll know exactly why I adored Alana.

I will miss her so much.

Free Money, Finders Keepers?


A Brinks armored truck was traveling on Interstate 20 in Weatherford, Texas, on Friday afternoon when other commuters noticed something odd: flying money.

Apparently, one of the truck’s side doors opened and loose cash flew out, scattering along the highway’s runway and median. As you can probably imagine, people in nearby cars immediately pulled over and started gathering the greenbacks.

“There was a lot of money flowing around there. Some people had hand fulls and it was all crumpled up,” Joel Aldridge, who shot video of the scene, told CBSDFW. “It looked like an Easter egg hunt. They were bent over picking up stuff.”

It is unknown just how much money blew out of the truck between mile markers 410 and 413, but a statement released by authorities described it as a “substantial amount.” Police are now urging drivers to return the funds. Which begs the question…