Love Facebook. It keeps me connected to family and friends all over the world. Tonight I logged on to find a comment posted by my sister-in-law (actually, a fellow Morris “outlaw” – defined as those of us who chose to marry in to this crazy and wonderful family) directing me to a brilliant piece of performance art at el  Mercado  Centrale in Valenica, Spain.

Shoppers were treated to professional opera singers, disguised as produce vendors, who coordinated a rendition of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, a story of love and betrayal set in Paris. I couldn’t help but appreciate the combination of so many things I love: fresh produce, a central market (aka: “Farmer’s Market” here in the U.S.) and opera.  I have such fond memories of daily shopping trips to Florence, Italy’s central market, just blocks away from my apartment on Via Guelfa (near Il Duomo). My roommate, Julie Angleos, and I would faithfully go to purchase fresh panini, wet mozzarella, and even chunks of chocolate, which we would chop into tiny chips, to make American chocolate chip cookies for our Italian friends. (They don’t sell Nestle chocolate chips in Florence.) Take a peek at the happiness that live music and good – local! – food brings: .


Dancing around one’s living room to Pandora Station “Gwen Stefani” counts as 30 minutes of exercise … highly recommended to release energy and tone muscles. (I’ll spare you the picture!)

January always brings about a feeling of rejuvenation for me. Once we haul the Christmas tree out and put away the lights, it’s time to start anew. This year, we embark upon a new decade as well. Like a lot of people, I am committing to healthy living – and I intend to keep my promise. To give myself breaks from the monotony, I have told myself that every day I will commit at least 30 minutes of physical or mental exercise. I have broad definitions for both (just to keep it interesting).  Living on a ranch enables me to run (along the paved road), hike in the hills, walk to a nearby retreat center, ride my bike, or even just do yoga on our little porch overlooking the San Juan Valley.  It’s not a bad setup.

On the days I’m not toning muscle, I’m going to strengthen the synapses in my brain by devoting the same amount of time (or more) to writing.  If not here  on localfood, on another project I’ve got in the wings. I like win-wins. I figure this little promise of mine will result in either toned muscles or a novel – and who knows? – maybe even both!

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