Friday, June 14, 2013

So, we joined a co-op!

Yep! That's right. We're what I would consider to be "deep" in that Kool-Aid...but we don't drink don't miss the irony in the expression...

I'll be honest, Brent has been "importing" odds and ends from various locations throughout Louisiana since, well, since we moved the Lake Charles. We've always been foodies really - but the obsession hobby has certainly intensified with children, dietary restrictions, motivating health issues and learning in general. I LOVE food. But what's more, I love to know exactly what's in the food I'm eating - where it comes from, how it was grown, how to use it best to maintain greatest nutrition. I love starting with raw ingredients and making something beautiful, boxless, delicious, and satisfying. If there is a processed food that I'm thinking I can't get around, I learn about it - the processing to achieve that finished product. After that, I think about making it myself, cutting it altogether or only using very sparingly. Learning about our food from start to finish - including how our bodies process it once eaten - has helped me to cut portion sizes, enjoy each bite, and to simply listen to what I'm craving in terms of nutrients over food products.

The kids do what they see. It's that simple here. So, we try our best to stay on the fresh whole foods train (and of course derail on occasion and as necessary).

Anyhow, the co-op. So, my immediate thought about food co-ops: bunch of granola hippies. (and I mean that in the most affectionate, playful non-negative way if you're sitting there all puffed up with the hair on your legs standing on end. Sniff some lavender and embrace the humor. I'm in this with you...minus the body hair...)

I'm not here to clear the stereotype. Stereotypes are typically earned over time. They don't apply to everyone in a group - usually the loudest - but they do apply...digress digress...stay on task...

There was an Azure Standard drop organized about 20 minutes away from us. I looked into it. Actually, you can too. Just go here and you can browse their offerings yourself. You can also order without a drop near you but you're limited to non-perishable items and you'll have to pay shipping without a co-op. Anyhow, I opted to try it out and see how it would go.

Our order was dropped today. I wish I would have had a camera...because I kind of got tickled at the scene.

So, most of the pick up people were, of course, mothers. Mothers with kids - lots of kids - some had 5 little ones following like ducklings in a row - each waiting for Mother's orders to help with a box. There were a few men picking up - but we'll leave those sweet boys out for now because the women totally dominated.

Large 18 wheeler truck - 1 young (man) driver hops out. Mass of women hover around with black sharpie names on white papers as if we're all waiting to pick up a mega famous super star. I picture us screaming and fainting for a minute and smile to myself. The fact that most of the group is so straight faced and serious only makes it more comical to me. Man gives out clear, concise order information. I'm rather dazed (still making up stories in my head) and ML and D are dancing around my legs begging to play on a nearby swing set. I don't hear a thing. I ask the lead Mom in Charge (that's her official title...not really - but it fits). She graciously reiterates and organizes me, my kids and my things. I think I should get my ***t together for next time maybe - or just continue to be *that*'s not so bad...I don't think I can be quite as zealous as the "unloader moms" so I might as well just stand and allow our order to fall at my feet. I think I might have adult ADD...I had this problem in school too...thank goodness for clinical focused.

I'm sad I forgot my coffee on the kitchen counter.

I grab a few of our boxes. Of course I try too many at first and ML and D are miffed because they are all too heavy for them to carry. They still want to play on the swings anyhow and begin a wind up I can see from about 2 miles out. I walk faster with the boxes toward our vehicle. They get louder. I fumble one box and leave it in the grass for a minute so I can get the kids tucked in and the other box put away. We make it just in time for them to crawl back into their seats with just a few whines and sighs. A man saw that I was having trouble and gracious brings the stray box to me. I thank him and haul what's left at the drop site to the car. It's 9am and 90 degrees with 100% humidity. I wore work out clothes and wet hair. Win.

Everett was sleeping when we left and I know he's waking now and probably yelling, "nuh nuh NUH!!!" Brent is probably trying to give him water and snacks. Everett is probably throwing them back in his face. Literally. Sure enough, they're waiting at the back door when I drive up.

I bring the boxes in as Brent and the kids watch. Brent is excited (for me- ha - he has no idea what's in said boxes. Sweet man is just excited because I am.) He helps me divide items and doesn't even ask what in the world I plan to do with 5 pounds of organic wheat germ. He does ask, however, how often "this truck" will be in town - ha.

I mention that I'll make some granola. Brent grins and says he's going to work unless I need something else. He likes my homemade granola. Everett yells, "NUH NUH!" while doing the sign for milk. It's the only sign he knows...and that makes me laugh.

The items are wonderful by the way- packaged and shipped at proper temps and delivered perfectly. The whole pick up took about an hour - and over half of that was driving to and from the drop site. Far easier than grocery shopping and I didn't have to bother Brent for anything.

That, my friends, is (us) participating in a co-op (in case you've ever wondered about such). I'm off to organize and make some granola with flax and chia...because, you know, I have stereo types to maintain.


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