Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Turkey Story

A couple of weeks ago, Sharon suggested a new challenge. She based it on her friend's (Pat Meadows) Theory of Anyway, which states, basically, that if we hope to survive the changing world in which we live, we will need to revise how we do things, and adopt a lifestyle that models the way we should be living "anyway."

I loved the idea, and really, we all know I'm a jump on the challenge wagon kind of person. I find these challenges to be very helpful, because I respond well to deadlines and to having to answer to other people. It keeps me on track, and even though, we're already living, pretty much, the Anyway life, I wanted to sign-up. So, I told Deus Ex Machina about the challenge and ask, "Do you want to join?", and he said, without hesitation, "No."

Deus Ex Machina has this particular way of saying "no" to certain propositions that I just think is hilarious, and sometimes I'll ask him a question, which I know will elicit that particular "no" response just so I can hear in his voice and see in his face the "no" punctuated by his expression with an unspoken "obviously".

Anyone who studies body language would find Deus Ex Machina fascinating, as he can say volumes with a simple gesture or facial expression.

Ahh! I love that man.

So, *we* decided not to "officially" joined the challenge, but when I was reading over the suggested inclusions for each category, I realized that I had a great story for the household economy section.


Once upon a time there was this highly consumeristic couple who lived in the suburbs of southern Maine. They were always looking for the best way to do a thing, and usually, their idea of the best way entailed buying something that had been designed specifically for that task.

For years, they were happy with their compost pile that was in the corner of the yard against the fence, but the woman often lamented that it wasn't pretty, and she was all about making things look pretty. Give her a break, okay? She was a suburban housewife. But for all her wanting to make things pretty, she was more practical than skilled, and often things were utilitarian, and not terribly attractive, much to her chagrin.

After a few failed attempts at repurposing things like pallets to make the compost pile look, if not pretty, at least neat (and to her credit she never, once, considered doing away with the compost pile), the couple finally broke down and bought a very expensive, super-duper, fancy-smancy tumble composter.

Unfortunately, it never worked very well for them, and after a couple of seasons, they realized that it was actually more trouble than it was worth ... and really, it wasn't all that pretty either.

Fast forward a couple of years. Their lives are changing and they're moving away from a highly consumer mind-set to one of simplicity. They start clearing their house and yard of the too many "toys" they'd accumulated over the years (except for books, and there's always room for more books!), and they decided that the composter was just taking up space. They decided to give it away.

A friend of the family ended up being the happy recipient of the piece of equipment. He came over one day and hauled it away, and everyone was happy.

Then, he called, and told them, "Hey, I want to give you something for that composter", and the couple replied, "Not necessary. We were going to give it away anyway." But he insisted, telling them that he was raising turkeys and would like to give them one ... for Thanksgiving.

Oh, they thought. Sounds like a good deal. "Okay," they told him. "We'd love a turkey."

Through the growing season, they heard sporadic reports of the turkey's growth. They were told the turkeys were getting pretty big.

On the day of the harvest, the friend calls and states that the butcher was asking if it was okay to cut the turkey in half. It was too big to fit in a regular residential oven, they were told.

A few hours later, the friend drops off the freshly butchered turkey halves. One half of the turkey weighed 18 lbs. The other half weighed 20 ... pounds. All total the couple ended up with a 38 lb turkey ... for a composter they were giving away.

In the end, everyone was very happy.

And the couple has turkey ... for turkey pie, turkey stew, turkey stir-fry, turkey jerky, smoked turkey, turkey hash, turkey broth ....


If we were participating in the Anyway Project (which we're not *wink* *wink*), the goals for December would be:

Household Economy - home made gifts for everyone on the list.

Resource Consumption - reduce the electric bill by another 40 kWh (and find a new home for all of that video viewing equipment that is collecting dust).

Cottage Industry/Subsistence - patch the several pairs of Deus Ex Machina's jeans that are torn and no longer suitable for work, but with a patch or two would be great for working in the yard ... and darn all of those wool socks I have that just need a repair or two to be wearable (of course if I manage the first goal, I may not have time to concentrate on this one ;).

In the area of Family/Community for November, my adult daughter and I have reconciled, I have a new granddaughter, who is beautiful, and Deus Ex Machina, Precious and I have all been cast in a Christmas play at our local, community theatre.


  1. Oh, yea for reconciliation! And double yea for a new granddaughter! :)

  2. Love the turkey story! And great *non* goals.

    Congratulations on the new grandbaby :)

  3. I'm happy for your reconciliation and your new granddaughter......and that was a great turkey story!!!

  4. Turkey - my favorite vegetable. Gotta raise two this spring. I love the "Anyway" Idea. Just do it 'cuz we ought to be doing it anyway. Look how well you guys have done! Your a real inspiration for a lot of folks who are waking up to the post-consumerism challenge. I just became a brand new Grandfather - what a sweet thing! Let's give our granddaughters a real chance, via Anyway education to live happy and fruitful lives!