Monday, January 19, 2009

Confessions of a Terrible Mailer

So, since I mentioned in the last post that I'd cough up our New Year's Resolutions, I figured I had better follow through on that - maybe putting them on the blog will make us more likely to stick to them. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. (Kate) Become a better mailer. As in, take stuff to the post office and mail it.

John H. -- I have baby gifts for your twins that were born in, what, July? I hope they still fit.
Linda -- I had to bring your baby's gift home for Thanksgiving because I never got it in the mail.
Susan -- No joke, I bought you a candle for your birthday in 2007. I meant to mail it with the thank you note that I wrote for the gift you got for Georgia. I am embarrassed to admit that I don't think any of that stuff ever got mailed.
Rita -- Oh, Rita. Where would I even begin? So many times I have failed you.
Mel -- You're in Madagascar by yourself! What is wrong with me? I promised to mail you parmesan cheese, and I have a book for you, complete with a "Happy Birthday to Melanie in Madagascar!" inscription. [Note to others: Melanie's birthday is August 22nd.]
Cousin Sara -- I have gifts for your children that will likely be age-inappropriate by the time they ever receive them. I even bought something called "Sara Beth" brand jam from a specialty shop because it made me think of you, and then it took me so long to mail it that Joe accidentally opened it and started eating it, not remembering that it was meant to be shipped. [Note: Yum. Your loss was our gain -- I'll have to get you a new one.]
Everyone else -- have you ever received a thank you note from me that was either (a) worn around the envelope edges, or (b) so late that the contents did not make sense by the time you received it (i.e., a note reading, "and have a great Spring!" received in July)? This would be because after writing thank-you cards, they typically ride back and forth from home to work in my work bag about 75 times before getting addressed, stamped, and mailed. It's pathetic.

I have nothing else to say about this one except that we are walking distance from a post office both at home and at the office, so I've got no good excuse. I have GOT to do better.

2. (Joe) Make a new recipe once a week from each of the cookbooks in our collection until we've made at least 1 recipe from each book. We've really accumulated quite a library of cookbooks, some of which have gone remarkably unused, and this just needs to be rectified. We may need to weed a few out, too, and trying out more recipes should help with that process.

3. (Kate & Joe) The old standby: exercise more. I completely fell off of the exercise wagon after finishing that 10k in July. What the hell happened? Okay, so at first it was hip and leg pain, but still, I never even did the swimming that the doctor recommended. Suddenly I realized that my entire exercise regime had become "reading about the ungodly amounts of exercise that other people do." (Seriously, you should check out our friend Danni's blog for this type of entertainment. She ran 100 miles this year. Wait, let me clarify for those unversed in ultramarthon speak -- I mean that she ran that in one race - not over the whole year, which is how long it might take me. From Danni's blog, I found myself clicking on her friend Sea Legs Girl's blog, which is equally insane/impressive. Look at the side bar relating to her exercise regime during pregnancy, and you'll see what I mean -- not necessarily recommended for everyone, but still amazing.) Anyway, I've realized that those blogs can be inspiring or intimidating depending on how you let them affect you. Gotta start small. For my part, I've signed up for an 8k in March and have been running (indoors) more regularly since mid-December. For Joe's part, he's declared 2009 "the year of the leg" for his exercise goal.

4. (Kate & Joe) Okay - this is the biggie - the one where you're going to roll your eyes and think we're nuts if you didn't already: Drastically reduce our consumption of meat from CAFOs. I won't bore you with details except to explain a little bit for those who may be unfamiliar with that acronym or why we're doing this. CAFOs = Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. The reasons for doing this are several, but we were persuaded to do so after reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I say "drastically reduce" rather than "eliminate" because we are including an exception for meals prepared by friends or family or served to us in other people's homes. We are not vegetarians, so for now, we think that the value of graciously accepting food lovingly prepared by others for the sake of family harmony and keeping our friends trumps whatever it is we're trying to achieve from our personal choice of not eating meat from CAFOs. Also, we realize that this choice isn't something that everyone feels they can do right now, or wants to do right now, for money reasons, or whatever other reasons, and that's fine by us. We just think that we are in a position to do it, so we're going to try. For cost and availability reasons, it will mean that we eat less meat overall. So far, the hard part hasn't been following through on our newly self-imposed rule of no CAFO meat, and I haven't felt at all deprived. The hardest part has been figuring out what exactly it means to be non-CAFO, and how we can figure out where a lot of meat came from! Any tips on this would be appreciated. Incidentally, we have learned that the new Chipotle in our neighborhood is serving pork (and possibly chicken) that passes muster with us, so, um, there may be a lot of carnitas tacos in our future.

Well, I think that's it for this year. What are your resolutions? Ours are pretty concrete and not too philosophical (i.e., "be more positive") now that I'm looking back at the list, but I guess that's okay sometimes, right? Georgia's keeping hers close to the vest, but I think I overheard her mumbling something about getting over her fear of mama and daddy leaving the room....or maybe it was "exercise more," I'm not sure.


Mike&Maggie said...

Impressive goals! I'm interested to follow the CAFO initiative and see how your journey goes... Somewhere Michael Pollan is drinking organic free trade coffee and smiling :-)

Susan said...

I have the exact same problem with mailing things!! Right now, I've been hanging on to a baby gift for a baby that was born in Sept. Ugh....

RitaP said...

Kate!! Remove that comment immediately about me!!! You have never failed me, or anyone!

If it makes you feel any better, I had my mom buy Georgia a present in Italy in the summer of 2007 - before she was even born - that is still sitting in her bedroom, awaiting to be delivered to you. So, let us just say we are even! I will get it out to you soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Danni said...

You're funny. I feel like a slacker these days. No matter how much you do you always realize you can do more.

I should send you some local yak. This guy I know raises it, primarily *not* for meat but some of the defective unbeautious yaks or bad parents get eaten. Really lean and tasty and organic and I run by them often and they have a sweet life. (Well, until they've been chosen to become food).

Kate said...

Wow! An offer for defective yak - that is a first. I am so touched. ; )

Glad to hear I'm not the only terrible mailer.