Fountain Valley News - Your Hometown Community Newspaper

From "Food for Our Table" to "Up on the Green Side" - It's Good to Be Back


Last updated 4/26/2017 at 9:55pm

Several years ago, I wrote a food column for this paper, called Food for Our Table. Circumstance took me away, changed who I was and what I could write about. I am back and eager to share again. Up on the Green Side is an expanded version of my old column.

 It will cover the current dilemmas facing so many of us and choices for tackling them. There will be recipes and stories, like the old days,  and there will be much more. Every column will touch on my daily gratitude for yet another day, Up on the Green Side.

The day began with my new normal. My good dog, Brockle, stuck his nose in my ear and licked my nose two minutes before my 5 a.m. alarm went off. I staggered down the hall, all five dogs at my heels, and reheated the last cup of yesterday’s coffee before I started a fresh pot. We headed out to care for the livestock; horses, goats and a few chickens. I thought through my chores for the day ahead while I hauled water and feed to those in need.

A year or so ago, Jim, my S.O. of more than 20 years, our close friend Susie and I took a giant leap together. Jim and I sold his home of 40 years, we packed up and moved to nine acres just east of Fountain. We found a solid house, surrounded by peace, quiet and amazing views.

It was a perfect place to retire, or would have been if Jim and Susie had left me back in the Springs. The problem is, I am neither peaceful or quiet. I want to do stuff - every day, all the time. I had long held a dream of becoming self-sufficient, exploring growing and raising our own food, weaning ourselves off the grid and living a minimalist lifestyle that would leave us the energy to enjoy our lives.

There was a solarium, perfect to start an aquaponics system and raise a few citrus trees. The pasture was large and beautiful, I couldn’t wait to try out rotational grazing. We had room for a small orchard and a large vegetable garden. It had all the possibilities I had ever dreamed of.

In my wild imagination, these things were going to fall together in peace and harmony, like a 1970’s Coke commercial. I would become lean and tan from lots of healthy work outside. While I worked, I would have time to think about writing a new column, finishing my first novel and generally getting my life on track. Success and a hot bod were just around the corner and boy howdy, I couldn’t wait.

Eighteen months later, I’m still fat, my arms and face are brown and my legs are so white I look like a root beer popsicle. My brain is buzzing at 100 mph, yet the novel remains unfinished and the column has barely begun. Life is sweet. Welcome.


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