Saturday, April 4, 2015

What's In It for You?

I recently had an idea to create a connection between organic farmers and beekeepers in Michigan. There are many beekeepers that want to expand the number of hives they manage but have no place to put them, and there are many farms that don't have bees. Turns out a few other folks had the same idea, so we worked together and created the Healthy Foods Healthy Bees Connection. Farmers and beekeepers can go online and register, and then I play matchmaker. How elegant!

I ran into a coworker in the hall at work and he told me that he shared this with his wife. Her response?  "What does she get out of it?".

I recently began roasting green coffee beans at home. I can't believe I didn't know about this sooner. Now, I am a coffee snob. The difference in taste between fresh roasted and store bought is unbelievable. In my office we have a coffee club, basically you bring in coffee or half and half (if you drink it) once a month or so, and that keeps up stocked up in the beverage. I started bringing in fresh roasted beans.

It was a hit.

I love to roast beans, so I offered to roast beans for the office. Folks would donate a certain amount of money every month and I would order and roast the beans, and keep us stocked up in delicious fresh roasted coffee. This worked for a couple months, then due to office politics it ended. One person said to me, "We so appreciated you bringing in that coffee, but really it was over the top don't you think?"

Over the top.

It dawned on me yesterday that hanging out so long with my Tribal friends has changed me in ways I didn't even notice.  You see, in the Tribal world, everything one does is for the family and the Tribe. It is not about the individual. That is one of the reasons Tribal/family identity and bonds are so strong.

I didn't know how to respond to those two folks mentioned earlier. I really didn't. I created the Healthy Food Healthy Bees Connection to help farmers and beekeepers, people in my community, create healthy good food for all of us to eat. I roasted coffee for my office mates to help make our dreary cubicle government offices a little more pleasant, to help lift our moral. They are my work family.

Mainstream America has a good deal to learn from our Native sisters and brothers. This is one example.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Ring Ring the Telephone Rings!

Yesterday I had my land line reinstalled. A nice technician from ATT, complete with very large rings in his ear lobes, did the job in record time AND rewired one of my old phones. He gave me a quick lesson in how to upgrade from multi-strand to single-strand wire should I wish to rewire other old phones. In exchange, I gave him a taste of black walnut syrup and a handout on how to tap trees, as he was intrigued by the blue bags hanging from the trees in my front yard. In fact, he didn't introduce himself when he arrived, just asked right off the bat what those blue bags were. It was a nice visit.

After supper, I sat down in my chair and a friend called me on my flip phone. We talked for a few minutes, then the rotary phone rang! Ring ring ring, ring ring ring. "Go answer it!" said my friend. It was so exciting to hear that familiar ring once again. I picked up the receiver and held it to my ear.

"Good evening, Barton's" I said in the best imitation of my Grandma I could muster.

I chatted with another friend for awhile who was calling to inaugurate the phone, then I hung up and began to "type" an email on my iPhone using voice recognition, while Survivor blared from my laptop. Why have Dish TV when I can watch my shows a week later on the computer for free? I know it won't last long, they will figure out a way to charge me. Anyway, I am almost finished with the email when my rotary phone rings again.  I pick up the receiver.

"Hello, hi," I said, a bit confused as I was trying to stop the email I was working on. I looked at the screen on the iPhone and "hello hi" appeared in the email, then whoosh, off it went! Nothing I could do about that.

When I hung up the phone, I looked around me. I had my rotary phone and flip phone on the table next to me, my computer on in front of me, the television playing Jack Ryan, and my iPhone resting on the arm of my chair. Five pieces of technology. And I am trying to downsize. No wonder I can't sleep at night.