October 13, 2010

more thoughts on bullying ...

Earlier this year, I was inspired by an encounter with a "mean girls clique" on my kids' schoolyard (adults! not kids!) to blog about the lingering affects of being bullied as a child.  In this modern-day event I managed to sidestep the worst of it and, by not asking others to take sides, I think I came away looking pretty classy and very strong.  What a difference from my former life as a victim ...

Since that time, the woman who bullied me when we were children read and commented on my blog.  For a long time, I don't think Christine was aware of my existence in the blogosphere (or on FB) as I use my married name exclusively.  Funny, though, of everybody from my younger life, Christine is the one person who had the exact right links with a mutual friends that led her to my musings.  What are the chances?

Although I didn't identify her by name, Christine recognised herself immediately and the post blew her away.  According to a(nother) mutual friend -- the one mentioned in the post -- she had no idea my experience had been as horrible as it had been.

You know, in retrospect my post seems mean.  When I found out that she'd read it (her comment was awaiting moderation), I immediately re-read my own muttering from a new perspective.  In the few months since I first blogged about her, I came to the conclusion that I was over her, and done with being bullied altogether. 

Now I feel embarrassed by my own lack of charity, by how judgmental I remain.  As an "evolved" adult, I get that we all come into our own by way of our experiences and our actions to heal our wounds.  I don't think that people who have rich sex lives are less moral than I, given my traditional choices.  I even envy people that seem more open to life's experiences.  And yet, for the purpose of a writing exercise, I went for the cheap kill.

Really, how is that kind of writing anything but bullying?  I regularly, daily even, question my own real life behaviours that look like bullying exactly because of my past.  The last thing I want to do to my children (or anyone) is to visit upon them the sins of others in my past.

And yet, in that simple post, I insulted the childhood of another.  Regardless of how I felt when she was bullying me, I always knew that Christine was as much if not more miserable than I.

I'm not sure where I am going with this, but I know it requires further action and discussion.  Stay tuned.

October 11, 2010

I am thankful for the following:

Seven year old Georgia taking on the task of stuffing our JD Farms specialty turkey with bread baked by my dear friend Christopher Brown of Rise Artisan Breads, mushrooms from Specialty Mushroom Growers Coop (Aldergrove) and herbs from our garden.  Georgia and 6 year old Korinne rubbed that turkey to perfection with butter derived (by me) from Avalon Dairy's fine organic whipping cream.  I'm so very grateful that Georgia is taking over the responsibility of rubbing and stuffing poultry, never a cherished activity of mine.

Pumpkins that came in one of our last CSA shares from Glen Valley Organic Farm were stuffed with a Gruyere-like cheese called Rathtrevor from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks, garlic from Sapo Bravo farm, more bread from Chris -- that market loaf is so divine -- and lovely shallots, again from Glen Valley.  I found this recipe in this month's Edible Vancouver; I'm thankful to them too.

Roasted root vegetables: rutabaga, carrots, fennel and parsnips, the most amazing parsnips, all from Glen Valley thanks to our dear friends and farmers, Chris and Jeremy.  I'm planning to make a lovely roast root vegetable soup for my lunch tomorrow, if there's any left by then.

The tiniest Brussel Sprouts we've ever enjoyed.  Mine came from a smaller-scale farmer named Albert, who I have known since Georgia was a baby.   Albert's Herbs and Nursery, believe it or not, is located in the nearby suburb of Burnaby.

Potatoes from Anna and Jennie at Helmer's Organic made perfect whipped mashed potatoes, and leaving the skins on only added to the delicious flavour.

Oooooh, and the cranberries sauces, three of them, using cranberries from Cranberry Meadows in Maple Ridge.  Korinne was most proud of an uncooked relish she made in the food processor mixing the berries, an organic orange and some cane sugar.  Georgia preferred the traditional sauce, which I discovered tonight was horribly tart (wonder who didn't say anything about it last night?!).  I guess I forgot to taste it when I put it into the bowl ... wow!

After dinner, along with the yummy pumpkin pies my mom made, we enjoyed a schiacciata that Chris bakes up in the fall, a selection of cheeses, some from Little Qualicum, and a lovely Goat's Pride Camenbert-like cheese called Chevrotina, that Korinne practically polished off.  The desserts seemed even better paired with a delicious Ice Apple Wine from The Fort Wine Co.

My guests brought a yummy carrot soup, cheesecake chocolates, a scrumptious apple salad and two flavours of ice cream, a regular vanilla and some mango gelato made by my old friend Mario.

Every time somebody asked about a food, I said, I gotta guy (even though some of my foods come from farms run by exceptional women, it just sounded funnier ... it is amazing how good food tastes, and the joy I feel as I prepare it for my family and beloved guests, when I know where most of it comes from and how it was grown.  I am really thankful for the people who've brought ideas like farmers' markets and community support agriculture into our cities.

But mostly, what I am thankful for Alec, Georgia, Korinne, Adam, Elaine, Anita, Jim, Carly, Graham, Bowing, Sue, Kenny, Alberto, Michelle and Oliver, my family and guests who joined in our harvest feast.  It was truly a Thanksgiving for which to give thanks.