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BY Beatnik

05/01 Direct Link
Friends & Farms offers weekly food baskets containing fresh produce, meat, dairy and seafood from regional suppliers, all year round. Our suppliers have a commitment to good agricultural practices and sustainability, as well as a commitment to providing food to us. In essence, we bring the farm closer to you by sourcing directly from the farmers, makers and bakers in this region. Our job is to then take our finds, package them up, and ensure they end up on your table as soon as possible and with minimal storage and handling. We help plan your meals – all while supporting local businesses.
05/02 Direct Link
As you may have read on our "How it Works" page, we ask our customers to sign up for a quarter, or 13 weeks, worth of baskets. Not only does this help us plan with our farmers and producers for the next several months, but it also keeps the price of our baskets about as low as they can go. That being said, we understand that 13 weeks is a significant commitment. That's where the "Trial Basket" comes in. These are small, or two-person, baskets that you can purchase on a one-time basis. What a thrill! Can't Wait!
05/03 Direct Link
With each type of product we sell, we believe it is important to adhere to specific principles. We want you to know that we do everything responsibly and sustainably.

Dairy – The milks, yogurts and cheeses that we provide all come from hormone and antibiotic-free animals. Our animals always have access to the great outdoors and natural forage for their favorite foods.Poultry & Eggs – The chickens that lay our eggs are cage free, so they get to strut and peck until their hearts’ content. The fact that they roam free -- eat a natural diet, allows better tasting food!
05/04 Direct Link
Produce – From purple radishes to kale to ripe strawberries, all of our produce hails from farms that showcase the best of what this area has to offer. Although no two farms are alike, they all follow specific standards that make them best in class with: soil health, water management, biodiversity, conservation, and integrated pest management. What does all this mean? We want to reduce the need for chemical pesticides and fungicides, and ensure that we are doing the best we can to be kind to the land, while giving you the tastiest, healthiest fruit, vegetables, and herbs possible. Can't wait!
05/05 Direct Link
Meat - We believe in treating animals like animals. The cows and pigs that make up the beef and pork that we give you are allowed to roam in green pastures, and they certainly aren’t pumped up with synthetic growth hormones (which might be as bad for us as they are for them). We encourage limited use antibiotics, yet we believe that it is inhumane to leave an ill animal untreated should they require care. Ultimately, we are offering you the best pork and beef with as minimal interference as possible. Our lambs and goats get the same posh treatment.
05/06 Direct Link
Seafood – What comes from the sea and how we catch it is just as important as what comes from the land. We strongly believe in serving you the fish that is available from eco-friendly fish farms (the fancy word is aquaculture) or that is wild-caught from USA waters and always from biologically sustainable populations. We love our earth, and we want to ensure our ocean is treated with respect as well, and we are adamant about not further depleting the fish in the sea, or changing the sea’s ecosystem.

What a wonderful world we have.
05/07 Direct Link
Bakery – All of our delicious bread is made how bread should be made - with freshly ground, whole grains. We don’t use refined flour, and we certainly don’t add anything artificial. This means our breads are highly nutritious and made to be eaten, not stored.

People – We can give you all the jargon about the principles to which we adhere, but what really is important to us, is our friends – the farmers with which we work and the customers we serve. We believe in quality of life for everyone involved in our community. Friends and Farms. Hooray!
05/08 Direct Link
Book Speak says: "It started innocently enough. I was shopping at an upscale grocery chain that specializes in organic kumquats and high prices. Strolling through produce, I picked out some berries. Next, I selected a small wedge of cheese and then a container of the prepared mixed veggies that I so love. Breezing past the bakery, I almost made it to the checker without stopping. That’s when I smelled it.

Bread.

Not just any bread. This lofty, artisan loaf had its own name, 'Ancient Grain.' Made with twelve grains & seeds, very possibly by Trappist monks..."
05/09 Direct Link
Continues...

"With butter.

I buttered up and tasted. It. Was. Incredible. Inside my head, a bread symphony was playing and all I could hear was music and my accompanying chewing chorus.

Usually, I don’t buy bread. From experience, I know bread can lead to dangerous food decisions that often involve red wine and napping during the middle of the day. I never reach that “I’ve had enough” threshold with bread. I can just keep going and then I want even more. Great bread is like the crack of the carbohydrate food group."
05/10 Direct Link
Continuing onward..."There are simply no good outcomes when it comes to bread.

Even so, I wanted it.

With an innocent look on my face, I took a third sample.

It was beyond delicious. It was made with great ingredients. It was on sale.

Snatching up a loaf, I knew I had sealed my fate for the next few days. I was going on a bread binge and it wouldn’t be pretty.

As soon as I arrived home, I started slicing, buttering, eating." And eating, and eating and eating.
05/11 Direct Link
"Then, I sliced, toasted and topped. There were crumbs and seeds everywhere. It was glorious. Then, all too soon, it was gone. Of course, I want more and I shall have it.

Yes, this bread may indeed be the death of me. However, at least I’ll go with a smile on my lips, a butter knife in my hand and a bread symphony playing in my head. Oh, and I’ll be clutching the remnants of a loaf of Ancient Grain. I want to be buried with the bread."

It is the truth for me.
05/12 Direct Link
Another Boom Speak story about travel:

"Second Avenue in New York City may not have the same panache as Madison Avenue, or even Lexington or Third, but it now forever holds a spot in my francophile heart.

Striding down the sidewalk the other day, I caught a glimpse of something so totally French in a storefront window that I stopped in my tracks and entered. It was a hair salon, and they were selling Nuxe Huile Prodigeuse Or, a product I had never seen outside of France.

It had been a staple for me."
05/13 Direct Link
The Francophile continues...

"It had been a staple in my batterie de maquillage in France. Tested chez des copines, forever enamoured of the little bottle of gold. A little on the cheekbones. A little on the hair. A little mixed in with the body lotion for that overall glow. My French friends all knew the subtle beauty secret.

I had assumed that I'd have to wait until my next trip to France to re-stock. (Because, in a moment of extreme maternal generosity, I had offered the rest of my precious bottle to friend Miss Bee"
05/14 Direct Link
And she continues...

"Miss Bee, who loved the stuff SO much.)

But.... how could I have presumed that Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or was not available in the U.S.? Silly me! This is New York. New York has everything.

But the best part? I entered the salon, Marianne Vera, a beehive of activity, and headed straight for the Huile Prodigeuse in the window display. The owner approached me and didn't even attempt English. "Bonjour, je suis Marianne, je peux vous aider?"

We started jabbering away in French, and I was happy to..."
05/15 Direct Link
..."I was happy to have a new acquaintance in the neighborhood who understood French beauty products (and maybe, eventually, my hair?).

"But... but... how did you know to address me in French?" I asked, bewildered. "This never happened to me in France! Despite my efforts, I am always pegged as an American."

"Simple," she replied. "Only Parisiennes see it in the store window and stop to buy the product. Les Americaines don't know what it is."

The Magic Potion we are all looking for...when we discover it, we revel in it so joyfully!
05/16 Direct Link
There we all are, the women of a certain age, body types of certain kinds...where there are bulges, tucks and crannies all in the wrong places. We are looking at clothing that is made quickly, cheaply in countries around the world by people hunched over sewing machines that spin out of control and then shipped across thousands of miles. Labels attached with designer names and the cost of one garment is probably worth one months wages. How many tunics do we need? How many pairs of pants do we need?

I bought $2.00 worth of olives.
05/17 Direct Link
Beautiful women who find ways to be good in their hearts as well as their souls.

Ugly women with beautiful souls who find ways to increase their physical beauty through their spirit.Men with their inability to realize a soul and heart discover their inner selves...Ugly men who are working hard to find a way to break through to someone's soul.
br>We all work so very hard to figure it out, to make believe to make it believable to make it our own.

Can we continue in this way?
05/18 Direct Link
Says Holly:"We are at a crossroads as we close in on our final two years at Clipper Park, without a lease renewal option. While there are many possibilities, our challenge has been to find the best fit for Les Harris’ huge body of work that has had such a deep impact on so many. Since his passing over five years ago, we have been successful in photo documenting, transcribing artistic journals, creating a comprehensive website and publishing a book on his work. To this end, the family is ready, to release the work into a life of its own."
05/19 Direct Link
She continues: "Your thoughts are very helpful as we struggle to take these first steps into the future. While options are always plentiful, it’s movement that is the challenge! To reiterate some of the ideas we discussed:

Our ideal would be to sell the full collection of 200 pieces, keeping the totality together – All is One!

Seek collectors for specific series such as the seven pieces of the 20th c., the Romantic Period or perhaps even the 4 pieces of the Age of Reason!

Work with an auction house and splinter the collection –"
05/20 Direct Link
Holly continues: "Work with an auction house and splinter the collection ...although heartbreaking, certainly a possibility.

Find a subsidized long term home for the full body of work, but maintain family ownership.

Move the Museum with full funding and support.

Please let us know if I’ve left anything out here! And, again, thank you for your constant encouragement and support!"

Even in death the father and husband keeps the women bound to his legacy. The burden of being left with the task of caring for so many pieces of artwork. Whew!
05/21 Direct Link
Kim, my beautiful and very smart daughter-in-law happily said: It was a wonderful birthday!!! My coworker made me a huge cupcake. And then they took me out to lunch (where I had my first 30 year old cocktail!) Left work early to get ready for dinner. We went to The Bazaar which was AMAZING! Anna had her coworker Barbara make our reservation and she told them it was super VIP. And boy oh boy did we get the treatment!The chef came over and asked if he could just feed us rather than order off of the menu.
05/22 Direct Link
So, Kim continued: Which lead to FIFTEEN courses of the most delicious tapas/food/magic I've ever had. Caviar cones, Japanese Eel Tacos, Caprese salad with Liquid Mozarella..... We wrote everything down when we got home so we would never forget! SO delicious. And fun cocktails too! My fav was the margarita with SALT AIR... yum!

It was so special and we were willing to pay the price with it being my 30th and all. Ya know really live it up!!! But at the end the server came over and said the chef and manager wanted us to...
05/23 Direct Link
...that everything was on the house. My jaw DROPPED. I felt almost guilty. There was no way that all of that deliciousness could be free. We left a good tip and were very gracious. It was INSANE.

And we left and asked for them to grab us a cab. But they offered to take us home in their private car. And the driver was amazing and played hip hop the whole way home as we danced. Such a bonus!!!!

Oh and in the middle of dinner Alex gave me my birthday present.

My son!
05/24 Direct Link
And, he gave her: "A set of diamond earrings!!! I cried.... it was very unexpected. It was the perfect beginning to this new stage of my life! If I could, I would turn 30 every day!!!! :-)"

This is a very happy marriage and I am so glad that they are together. Terrific people, both.

Kim said: This weekend we are going on a scavenger hunt and having a bbq so more festivities to come! I'm feeling realllllllly grateful for everything. And there's not an ounce of sadness about leaving my 20s behind. LOVE YOU both!!!! Amen!
05/25 Direct Link
Read 27 & 28 entries first...I screwed up..."to return home and deal with the shame of having absolutely no self-control (or for that matter, any regard for your heart health). What choice do you have? Of course you’re going to want to kill yourself – it’s the only way to stop the cycle of overeating.

Wait. There must be a better way. Oh, right. You can STOP eating out all the time and prepare some healthy meals at home. While you’re at it, you can have some quality time with your spouse and family."
05/26 Direct Link
Jay continues: "The folks at the CDC have a slightly more nuanced analysis of why boomers are committing suicide in greater numbers. They chalk it up to the stress of the economic downturn and the depressing outlook for boomers who had hoped to enjoy their golden years (albeit with a lot less gold than they thought). The other factor is that it’s a lot easier to kill yourself now then it was a decade ago. More drugs and poisonous substances have reduced the rate of difficulty. It’s progress, but not exactly the kind you want." What the hell?
05/27 Direct Link
Jay Harrison says: Baby boomers are frequenting restaurants in greater numbers than other population segments. At the same time, their suicide rate has also jumped (and I know that may not be the best choice of words in this instance). Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Let's look at the numbers. According to the NPD Group study, baby boomers have increased their share of restaurant traffic by six percentage points since 2008 and Millennials have decreased their share of traffic by six percentage points. Okay, big deal. We like to eat out and we’ve got the bucks.
05/28 Direct Link
Jay continues: But if you look at the CDC study of suicide rates in this country, from 1999 to 2010, it rose 30 percent for Americans ages 35 to 64. The sharpest rise was among men in their 50s – a 50 percent increase. For women ages 60 to 64, the rate increased 60 percent.

I’m no statistician (still have trouble with 8 x 9=72), but I see a clear correlation between eating and offing oneself. Face it. If you’re repeatedly going to Denny’s and eating something with Slam in the name, eventually you have...
05/29 Direct Link
New York Times says: The financial outlook for Medicare has improved because of a stronger economy and slower growth in health spending, and the financial condition of Social Security has not worsened but is still unsustainable, the Obama administration said Friday.

The projections in this year’s report for Social Security are essentially unchanged from last year, and those for Medicare have improved modestly,” the Treasury secretary, Jacob J. Lew, said.

The Medicare trustees — four federal officials and two public representatives — said in their annual report that the “modest improvement” in the outlook for Medicare’s..."
05/30 Direct Link
NYT continues:..."long-term finances reflected lower projected spending for skilled nursing homes and private Medicare Advantage plans.

The administration said the outlook for the Medicare trust fund was brighter because of the 2010 health care law. The law squeezed nearly $500 billion out of Medicare over 10 years, in part by trimming payments to many health care providers, including nursing homes and private health plans.

But the number of Medicare beneficiaries will grow rapidly, to 73 million in 2025 from 52 million today, so paying for the program remains a huge challenge, administration officials said."
05/31 Direct Link
New York Times newspaper continues..."Older Americans stand to benefit from the slower growth in health spending. The standard Medicare premium paid by most beneficiaries will probably stay at the current level, $104.90 a month, next year, the trustees said in their report.

Under current law, the administration said, Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund will be exhausted in 2026, and the Social Security Trust Fund will be depleted in 2033. The administration said in its 2012 report that the Medicare trust fund would run out of money in 2024, and the Social Security fund in 2033."