Ever heard of WWOOF? I can't remember what it stands for (mainly because I've heard it said two different ways, so *shrug*), but it's an organization of farmers and volunteers. There's this huge, international network of organic farmers. And there's this HOARD of volunteers who want to learn about organic farming. So, the volunteers go and work on a farm and learn as much as they can while helping the farmers out with whatever the farm needs (planting, harvesting, construction, whatever). The farmers offer the volunteers room and board in exchange for this work. More interesting than the actual physical work being done is the exchange of information. Here you have two parties exchanging their knowledge about organic farming techniques!!! The volunteer almost seems like a bee, pollenating farms as it goes. What it learns on one farm, it shares with the next! The farmers learn information from ALL of the farms the volunteer has visited. I'm sorry but my mind is just BLOWN thinking about the possibilities.
I first heard about it on my mommies discussion board back in CLT. I did a little research and got butterflies and lightning in my belly. Then, later that night, Sam saw a report on it on TV... over HERE!!!!!!
So, get this... there are WWOOF farms around HERE. There are some around Sam's parents' house!!! There are some in Virginia!!! Can you hear my wheels turning from where you are? After our August vacation, I'm going to line up some farms for us to visit. I'm going to see if there are ones close enough to the city that I can commute affordably by train a couple of days per week and then whenever Sam gets more vaycay days, we're going to leave the kids with someone and go just the two of us. Remember how I said that I wanted to have an instructional farm? Finding this organization already in existence is like a dream come true. I can't WAIT to finally be able to HOST some of these volunteers. In the mean time, I think it'd be good for me to volunteer as much as I can so I can stock up on knowledge and experience. There are farms that are mainly dairy. There are others where the farmer grows his own grains, mills them, and bakes bread for the community... ALL ORGANIC... Sound like a certain hippie you all know? I actually CRIED reading some of the ads on this WWOOF site. How cheesy am I?
I'm not going to go on and on about it because, well, I'm not sure I could STOP once I got started. tee hee hee... I'll keep you posted, though.
No news yet on the manuscript. I'm trying not to think about it. Keep you posted on that, too.
Get this... I worked out this week. I'm still coughing pretty heavily, so I didn't do more cardio than what it takes to warm up, but I've worked on muscles. Lots of abwork, butt crunching, weights on the arms, squats and lunges and stuff. Yesterday, we loaded up the kids and rode our bikes for almost three hours, stopping once to let the kids play on the playground.
OH, AND... I don't know if I've ever told you about the Velov or not. It's this network of bike stations all over the city. And when I say "all over" I mean on almost every corner. You go up to the station, you get a bike, you ride it where you need to and you bank it at a station close to where you need to go. It's free for the first half hour and like 50 cents for every hour after that (or something cheap like that). You can either walk up to the vending machine and buy a day pass, or a week pass... OR you can get a sort of membership card linked to your bank account (you have a PIN just like if it were a debit card). It's SO fast. So, as long as it's not raining, I'll never wait for the bus again. Ever! Yesterday, I took the bike to the movies and back. It was awesome. I had missed the bus but I got there just like 30 after instead of having to wait for another bus! The only setbacks (and this I've heard from Sam) are that, even though they conduct regular maintenance on the bikes, sometimes, you'll have one that has been mistreated, stuff ripped off like the bell or whatnot, but for the most part, so far, I freakin' LOVE it. LOOOOOVE it! Though, it was a leeeeetle scary riding home from the movies last night because the lights were out on the path from Interpol to the stoplight just near my building. I was really glad I had verified that my bike had a bell on it because I had to use it three or four times. AND I was glad that the headlights on the bike worked (I had beers and dinner with Flavia and even AFTER my movie was a still a little tipsy... drinking and riding). *eyes bulge* BUT, the scariest thing was that, as I got to the end of the trail, I saw what I thought was someone squatting down to look at something in the grass, their bike parked next to them. But when I got close, I realized that this guy was taking a shit RIGHT NEXT TO THE TREE... and this tree is literally RIGHT NEXT to the bus stop/red light... IN PLAIN sight. The WORST part was that he seemed to be wiping his but with his hand and then wiping his hand on the tree. *retch* I got home and told Sam about it and he said, "Was he riding a Velov?"
I said, "I don't think so." But then I thought about it. The guys' bike WAS standing up pretty straight. And the Velovs have a sort of motorcycle kick stand instead of the kind that makes your bike lean to one side. "Wait, why do you ask?"
"Because, imagine if he rode that bike after he took a crap near that tree."
I got up, drunk and all, and ran to the bathroom to wash my hands. I think I might invest in a pair of gloves and start taking my Purel with me again. *grin* I mean, bus hand rails are just as grody and whatnot, but I haven't seen any bus passengers taking a crap next to a tree and wiping their butts with their hands... Not lately. LOL.
I was going to blog about my resto experience this week but the more I think about it the more I think it'll just sound like whining. So, suffice it to say that MOST French servers suck. There you go. Broad generalization. And this is after ten years of experience with them... You'd think I'd get used to it huh? Nope. All I asked is that they not put croutons on my salad. You'd have thought I asked him to go move my car or something. *eye roll* Okay, no, I said I wouldn't. I'm not gonna. Moving on.
Have I mentioned how much I love summer with all of it's fresh fruits and veggies? And I dehydrated all those cherries that I harvested last weekend... I'm snackin' on 'em between meals. *blush* I'm so BAD!!! LOL!
Okay, listen, I'm hung over, and I can feel like my writing is degenerating as I type, so I'm going to let you all off the hook. I'll just close by saying that since I'm not making much head way on the writing right now, I am reading my butt off. I'm reading about a book a day, give or take. I guess that's another summer tradition of mine.