…and what am I up to now?
Mostly I’ve been working. I’ve also been continuing the recovery from my broken foot, as well as from an attack of shingles back in late May. I got that under control fairly quickly, but was warned that I’d still be feeling the shingle tingles (my word for the tingling of the affected nerve as it regenerates with excruciating slowness) for six to nine months. I’m still feeling the tingles six months later, though they aren’t as bad as they were back in May.
I’ve also been reading and rereading various of my tales as well as those by others while I wait for it to be time to finish Shepherd of the Sea, and I’ve been struggling to keep up with all of my financial newsletters and other email.
Plus, we got two new kittens, Curiosity and Spirit, who are grandniece and nephew to our big black cat, Lydia. Curiosity is a pretty calico, while Spirit is a soft gray and white tom with the longest tail I’ve seen on a cat. We got them fixed a week ago, so there won’t be any more kittens out of Curiosity or caused by Spirit. Eventually I may get around to posting some photos of them.
While reading my email, particularly Laissez Faire Today, I ran across a series of articles about how to increase one’s personal and community resilience in the face of looming fiscal and sociological disaster. I’ve always been interested in this issue, otherwise I wouldn’t have written the Starfield Valley Tales. These articles pointed me to the work of Michael Shuman and Woody Tasch, with their focus on finding ways to invest locally in much the same way we currently invest on Wall Street. I decided that perhaps I’d do better to find my way into the network of people here in Colorado Springs who are already working on this problem, particularly in terms of locally sourced food. Since I’ve known Mike Callicrate, of Callicrate Cattle Co, as well as owner of Ranch Foods Direct, where we buy all of our meat and a fair amount of milk, eggs, and assorted fruits and veggies, for years, I figured he’d know who I should get in contact with.
He pointed me to Green Cities Coalition, and through the initial issue of Local Food Shift, a new magazine he helped fund, I also found out about Seeds Community Cafe. You do not know what good food is until you’ve eaten there for a donation of whatever you can afford–or an hour or two of your time! Howard and I have eaten there twice, and plan to volunteer at least once a week starting in the near future. Plus the magazine had articles about the Slow Money groups growing in Colorado. These are a form of investment club in which the members agree on local startups to provide zero interest loans to. These would be restaurants using locally grown foods, and a variety of farms growing organic produce and animal products (like goat milk and cheeses, among other things). There are groups in Boulder, Denver, and Carbondale, but not one here in the Springs. So, since I’m not much of a gardener, but I’ve always been interested in investing so as to grow wealth, I’m now looking into the possibility of starting such a group here. What helps is that Woody Tasch, author of Slow Money, now lives in Boulder and founded the slow money investment group there. You can find out more about what’s going on in the Slow Money arena at Slow Money. Among other things, every so often they sell what they call Beet Coins (a play on Bit Coins, of course), where for a donation of $25 and up, you can buy a Beet Coin and help choose a local food project to help fund. I bought a Beet Coin myself to help out, and voted for a community project in Denver’s Westwood neighborhood to help them build a local food grocery story so people don’t have to leave the neighborhood to shop at Walmart or wherever else the big chain stores are.
It remains to be seen what comes of my moves in the direction of slow money and local food encouragement, but the journey should be an interesting one. Meanwhile, I’ll try to keep up with this blog a little more often.