Living on a livestock farm was an interesting experience. I learned that I love the outdoors, but that raising animals for meat is just not something that I could do.
That being said, I love beautiful things, I really love the outdoors, and I still have the farming bug in my system. I think farming beauty is what I ought to do.
I happened to stop by at Central Market one weekend and stumbled upon the most delightful looking zinnia and marigold mixed bouquets that happened to be grown at a farm not too far from my parents home. I emailed the farmer requesting a visit and the next week, I was talking to her about cut flowers and gardens.
It was an inspiring trip, and I got lots of neat ideas for things to incorporate in my own flower garden someday!
I’ve been an urbanite most of my life and I assumed I preferred the lifestyle despite not having experienced the alternative. Rural life has a particular charm. People are friendly, life is slower paced, people have time for one another. People you don’t even know stop and wave and say hi.
In Houston, when one asks what there is to do, all I can say is ‘go out to eat, or go shopping’. I much prefer to cook with and for friends, and I hate spending money on non-durables. So, in Houston, I stay indoors, and run on a treadmill; running and expending energy and staying in the same place.
Now that I’m looking for jobs, and checking out cost of living calculators, I’m experiencing severe sticker shock. There are a ton of jobs in New England, but I’m already dreading the snow. Now that I’m in the south, I can’t tell you how much the sunny weather has improved my disposition. I have never been happier and I’ve never lived more simply. Lots of jobs exist in California, but I’d have to sell a kidney to afford to live there. And I hate driving. I don’t want a car. In fact, the more I think about it, I don’t want anything. I just want community. Friends, family, neighbors… the things I can’t buy are things I long for more than anything. I kind of want to sell everything and live on a commune. Honestly, living an Amish-type existence seems appealing (minus the uber protestant beliefs and aversion/hypocritical approach to technology)
So then, how much I get compensated is not as important as the lives I touch because, if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid. Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.
But it’s absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don’t like, in order to go on spending things you don’t like, doing things you don’t like and to teach our children to follow in the same track. We’re bringing up children and educating them to live the same sort of lives we are living. In order that they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children to bring up their children to do the same thing. It is a dirty cycle.
So now, I’m asking myself what do I truly want to do. And that is a hard thing for me to do because I like doing an awful lot and I’m decent at doing many things. I wish there was a career called ‘catch-all’ that would encompass the teacher, baker, potter, farmer, tailor, chemist, engineer, inventor, gardener. Oh wait, I forgot, it is called a person.xoxo -P
Yesterday morning I was in a mood to bake and happened to find some blueberry preserves so I decided to make scones!
In the afternoon, I decided to help herd the cows and milk them for the day.
I am really happy here.xoxo -P
I made my way up to Kentucky after spending a wonderful birthday weekend with friends in Nashville. I’d always kind of wondered what was in Kentucky, but there are tons of rolling hills, green and lush pastures, and a southern charm and simplicity that I’m really digging.
I’m spending the foreseeable future living in the quaint home and farm of the Apple family. When I arrived, Debbie welcomed me to the farm and we were immediately off chatting about farmer’s markets, business, potential goods, and life. After making myself at home, we headed out to the garden and I got a first glimpse of serenity. Laundry hanging out in the breeze, raised garden beds overflowing with produce, and rolling hills and greenery stared back at me in the distance. I even managed to befriend several barn cats lingering around the premises.
After staring around awe-struck by the beauty of the farm, I had Debbie show me around the vegetable garden. From there, I was off picking ingredients for the evening supper. I ended up practicing my tart-making skills (which should come in handy soon), by making a spring-vegetable tart that incorporated leftover asparagus, green beans, and Swiss chard. In addition, I was able to use eggs and cream that were acquired on the farm. The tart turned out to be delicious, I think I will experiment by making other savory tarts and sweet ones as well!
For my birthday weekend I headed down to Nashville to check out the city, and hang with the Greesons! The Greesons are quite possibly the easiest people to relate to and are incredibly hospitable, they also have the cutest little girl!
We ended up walking around the nearby parks and noshing at various restaurants around town Mexican and Brunch food, and also had delicious ice cream at Jeni’s (if you head to Nashville, you must try that place out!)
On Sunday, I met up with an old friend from my UT-Austin days who happens to now be a professor at the Vanderbilt medical school (I’m super proud of you Carlos!). It was surreal catching up with him, hearing his experiences as a professor post-everything (grad school, post-docs, divorce, motorcycle accident, applications, etc.). We discussed future life plans and concluded that life is too short to be doing stuff you aren’t passionate about.
Happy Father’s Day!xoxo -P
Being that today was my last full day spent in Bloomington, I had a lot of stuff to catch up on; cleaning the house, packing up things to take for the summer, and wrapping up projects around town. You may recall some of the pottery I had taken up earlier last month…I managed to finish up those projects and pick up my glazed pots before heading out of town. They turned out surprisingly well.
Prior to glazing the pots, I had the pots bisque fired. I actually quite appreciate the look of clean clay.
In the evening, some friends hosted a good-bye potluck. I ate for dessert.
And now, for some new adventures!xoxo -P
After being in Minnesota for the past several days, I am happy to return back to Indianapolis. I must say, leaving Indiana and going to the conference was good for my soul. I’m happy to have reconnected with old friends and it is interesting to see where everyone has ended up.
Reflecting a bit, it is odd to think that the things I once wanted so much; the fancy career, and the big science, are things I really don’t want. I want a steady life, a life that is simple and full of community. I want a family. I want familiarity. I want tradition. I want a break.
And on this break, I will experience the true ‘real world’. The real world that produces real things; the things that truly matter all the way from food that sustains the body to love that enriches the soul. So, this weekend, I am packing up and moving to the farm. Yay!
So long Minneapolis!
I’ve been in Minneapolis for the last few days attending a conference and having a few informal-style interviews. All-in-all, the conference has been fairly productive. I’ve gotten to catch up with old friends within the mass spec community who are at other institutions and I’ve gotten some promising leads on job options/opportunities. It is a good thing that tomorrow is the last day of the conference because I’m pretty zonked. The days are filled with poster sessions, lectures, interviews, and meetings and the evening is filled with trying to make connections at the hospitality suites.
Today, I decided to skip the general ASMS meeting and instead stopped by the local coop that a friend suggested, picked up a tempeh sandwich, and headed to Loring park to enjoy the cool summer breeze, the Minneapolis skyline, and the greenery around me.
After eating, I ended up crossing the bridge over to the Minneapolis sculpture garden and had to pause to look at the view. Minneapolis reminds me a bit of Austin.
And finally, I just had to take the requisite tourist photo in front of an iconic ‘thing.’ The ‘thing’ in the case of Minneapolis happens to be a statue of a 5,800 pound spoon and a 1,200 pound cherry.
There you go.
Weather permitting, I should be back in Indiana tomorrow night.xoxo -P