I’m Kelli Brew and in this space I share our family’s love of this place – Gainesville, Florida – and our attempt to live as locally as possible, enjoying the beauty, bounty, and peculiarities of this region while also contributing to its well-being. Have a look around. We hope that our experiences and experiments in sustainable family living will resonate with you – wherever you are. Thank you for visiting!
"My boots were so heavy that I was glad there was a column underneath us. How could such a lonely person have been living so close to me my whole life? If I had known, I would have gone up to keep him company. Or I would have made some jewelry for him. Or told him hilarious jokes. Or given him a private tambourine concert.
It made me start to wonder if there were other people so lonely so close. I thought about "Eleanor Rigby." It's true, where do they all come from? And where do they all belong?
What if the water that came out of the shower was treated with a chemical that responded to a combination of things, like your heartbeat, and our body temperature, and your brain waves, so that your skin changed color according to your mood? If you were extremely excited your skin would turn green, and if you were angry you'd turn red, obviously, and if you felt like shiitake you'd turn brown, and if you were blue you'd turn blue.
Everyone could know what everyone else felt, and we could be more careful with each other, because you'd never want to tell a person whose skin was purple that you're angry at her for being late, just like you would want to pat a pink person on the back and tell him, "Congratulations!"
Another reason it would be a good invention is that there are so many times when you're feeling a lot of something, but you don't know what that something is. Am I frustrated? Am I actually just panicky? And that confusion changes your mood, it becomes your mood, and you become a confused, gray person. But with the special water, you could look at your hands and think, I'm happy! That whole time I was actually happy! What a relief!"
WONDER: A feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.
The Birthday Project - Celebrating with one random act of kindness for each year you've been alive. You can read more here. I've got till August to think up ... a whole bunch of actions.
Friendly Sky Kit - What a great idea for parents traveling with children! A little gift to give to the passengers next to you to make up for the possible disappointment they feel when they see you and the baby (or, horrors! a two year-old) heading toward them. I've been on both sides - trying to comfort my distraught child while begging forgiveness and understanding from fellow passengers AND being the passenger with grown children who truly empathizes but really, really needs a nap. I think you could make these on your own.
English test - "If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world."
1. St. Francis Inn in St. Augustine, Florida - which is where I happen to be due to a fortuitous mix of gift certificates, Christmas gifts, and house guests willing to watch over things at home. I just woke up from an afternoon nap to write this.
2. Kindle - I got one for Mother's Day last year, and it makes packing up for a weekend away so much lighter.
3. Seasonally cool weather (finally!) and the need for fires in the fireplaces. Our old house is too big and drafty to heat efficiently with central gas, so we are heating in the most inefficient way possible - a wood fire in a fireplace. Somehow it works. We close off the dining room and living room, light fires in both rooms, and voila! It's toasty and ambient, and even the teenagers want to hang out and enjoy it.
4. A new recipe book - I haven't bought one for so many years; the internet, the slough of books on my kitchen shelf, and years of recipes in my head made me swear I would never buy another. But I got this one (on my kindle) and am really enjoying trying something quick and new this time of year when so many things are growing here and we've had so much company. So far we've tried Spicy Orange Greens, Shepherds Pie (with mashed sweet potatoes on top, instead of white), and black bean patties with lime creme. Very different than our usual favorites - and fun.
5. My broken computer. As horrified as I was when I first gazed upon the Rorschach blot staring back at me where my pretty screen saver used to be, its (temporary) demise has been an answer to a prayer: "Good god, where has the time gone?!" Having to borrow a laptop from my husband, or perching on an uncomfortable wooden chair in the cold hallway at the kids' desktop, has drastically cut my screen time - good practice for a new year's resolution to be more real, less virtual.