Saturday, June 29, 2013

Why the Saturday Market and I are just friends...

Having the house to myself for the next nine days has afforded me the opportunity to DO WHAT I WANT!!!  And, apparently what I want is to...clean...and groceries.  Ah, yeah!  I embrace this practical side of myself, and as I am decisively procrastinastic, (that should be a word; even though it's not), about the cleaning, I went shopping instead. 

While most cities have a Saturday Market; my city has two.  Rumor has it one of the main organizers of the original Market, was let go, causing the split.  Consequently, downtown Boise sports two separate, but equally charming Markets, separated by a block and a half. 

I am pulled to the Saturday Market, as I am more and more pulled to organic and local products.  Organic eggs, milk, honey, and blueberries are becoming staples to my diet.  Of course I mean to expand on this trend; however, my budget is limited, and I can stretch my grocery dollars farther by avoiding organic, locally grown, meats and produce.  I know, I know- it's not very socially conscious, but I am trying- and I will continue to incorporate these options into my life. 

Besides financial restrictions, a big reason why I tend to limit my Market purchases to local honey, and a chocolate croissant, is the overwhelming abundance of choices.  I mean, how do I choose?  Pricing is consistent across the board; so, do I frequent this booth offering locally grown organic berries, or that booth...offering locally grown organic berries?  Or, how about that one- of which the funds go to local refugee families, or that one, over there- which no one else is shopping at, and really, how sad is that?  Do I buy from an Idaho farm, or from an Oregon farm which is still technically "local."  Where does the social consciousness end???  In response, I commit to none.  I buy my croissant from Guston's, and my coffee from Dawson's, and people watch. 

But, you say- weren't you going grocery shopping?   Why, yes; yes I was.  And, I did.  After.  At Winco.  For stretching dollars, Winco is probably as good as it gets in Boise.  I am even able to buy a few organic items there.  In fact, today I had an internal struggle over eggs.  Do I choose the organic, or the cage free eggs?  The cage free eggs are probably also organic, but the label doesn't say, and I'm not sure I trust it.  And, what does that imply, anyway?  That there are anti-biotic and pesticide munching chickens roaming wild and free, while the hormone free chickens are living in little chicken-ghettos with no porches and yards?  I'm starting to understand while some people go bat-crazy over sustainable living.

After the great egg crisis of 2013, I picked up some organic milk and chicken.  I bought panko bread crumbs to prepare the chicken with, as I remember hearing panko was all the rage five years ago.  I think that is another reason why I'm non-committal about the Saturday Market.  I never think about what I want to make before I go shopping.  When I see all the options: arugula, purple asparagus, different types of root vegetables, I have to wonder how long they will sit in my fridge forgotten before starting to rot.   

I have no reservations about what light this puts me in.  I can admit I'm no lion in the kitchen; however, just as I'm trying to be better about eating healthier foods, I am also open to improving my domestic skills.  Hence, the panko.  So, I may experiment in the kitchen a bit over the next several days.  Once I feel more comfortable there; perhaps, I will feel more confident at the Market.   


Monday, June 24, 2013

Lion House

A large mansion sits along an affluent Boulevard in my city.  The mansion is white with red steps leading up to the front door, and two somber stone lions guard the porch.   It is an old, eccentric, and beautiful home, done in the Spanish Mission style; all of which makes it prime real estate for a ghost story. 

And, behold- there is such a story surrounding the Lion House of Harrison Blvd.  Its origin belongs to a child that drowned decades ago in the basement pool.  The pool, having caused such lasting devastation to the family, was filled in and boarded up; but this was not enough to subdue the spirit of the small boy who perished.

Well, that is one version.

Other reports say there never was an indoor swimming pool, and the truth is that a child did drown in that neighborhood in the 1930's; but in an outdoor pool, one or two houses down from the Lion House.

The idea that the home is haunted perpetuated a few years back when a local historian received a tour, and was told by the owner that a ghost of a woman roamed the mansion searching for her lost child.  When asked how the ghost made herself known, the owner referred to electrical variances and noises in the she discovered the ghost's motivation, let alone gender- I do not know.  The only plausible witnesses; the two stone lions- weren't added to the home till the 1980's, and therefore, were not on guard to witness any truth in the myths surrounding the house.   

What we do know is that the construction of the Lion House dates back to 1911.  Its Spanish style was inspired by the builder's experience living in San Diego, CA.  The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 inspired him further to build the house with concrete walls, 12 inches thick.  It was an impenetrable safe house.  It was home to a former Governor and other influential residents. 

So why am I blogging about an improbable ghost story, seemingly unrelated to my own life?  I attended a lecture a few days ago regarding local myths and how they influence society; how they bring people together to form plausible explanations of the weird and strange.  How difficult they are to vanquish despite all our modern principles and research.  How necessary they are to our survival as a community, and how slowly, over time, for good or for bad, they become our history.  All this made me realize that the story of the Lion House is quite important.  Every vicious local legend, every family story I knew growing up- that we are distantly related to Marie Antoinette; that we bear some long lost connection to Andrew Carnegie- formed a framework for ideas, hope, pride, horror, and finally- the ability to embrace the unexplainable.  Together we share a unique history- verifiable or not, that we cannot shake.  How will our history evolve as we grow older; as time puts more distance between the story and the truth?   Will they be used to unite, or manipulated to cause division?   Or, are stories too strong to be wrangled, too wild to contain?  Each year spreading out further and further from their origin, until they can only exist as acceptable fact.   

For now, if you research the Lion House, you will come across conflicting reports- pool, no pool- ghost, no ghost.  Either way, it truly is a gorgeous building, a lovely landmark of this city, and that beauty in itself is sufficient to render it absolutely haunting.   

Take a tour inside the Lion House and decide for yourself:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Call out...

I am not consistent in my writing.  I ignore inspiration until it turns reluctantly away, leaving me to my own time-wasting devices.  By the time I'm ready to sit down and write, all my ideas have abandoned me- and rightfully so.  As inspiration has left me, and I'm vastly behind on my blogging; it's time to give credit where credit is due: Netflix, Pinterest, and Facebook.  Amazing time killers.  Creators of Writer's Block.  And, in moderation- great things.  Two hours of Kitchen Nightmares, and Supernatural, is entertaining, and a refreshing break from daily stresses.  Nine hours of Kitchen Nightmares, and Supernatural, well, that's an addiction.  And, with any addiction, there is the penalty of having all your natural human energy sucked away by heartless things that will never appreciate, never grow, or benefit from it. 

Truthfully, I could blame these havens of time-suckery for my lack of progress, but as I've said many times- it all comes down to a choice, and the choice is mine.  When I think about my story- the story that I both hate and love, enjoy and find excruciating, am most proud and most ashamed- I choose to not think about it.  I could choose to finish it, change it, throw it out the window, but instead I choose to ignore it.  How self defeating.  I'm making all these changes in my life to get better physically, improve my finances, and try new things, but I won't change the one thing that could make the biggest difference- how I approach my story.  I need to approach it as an ally, not an enemy.  A friend, not an adversary.  At the very least- a frenemy.

I am a very introspective person, and it is hard for me to ask for advice.  So, I am making a choice right now to ask for help.  Any advice out there on how to turn things around?  What gets you back on track?  It would be much appreciated.