Monday, December 14, 2015

Solitary Snow Goose

Walking to work this morning (a brisk clear morning after a gray weekend), there was a single flashing flapping spot of bright white traveling south in the  brilliant blue sky.  My best guess it was a snow goose.  I didn't see any others.

I have no idea what that portends, symbolically or biologically, but since I am noticing migrations these days, and signs of love and peace, I thought I should mention it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

On Peace and Pumpkin Pancakes

On Sunday, before lighting the candle of Peace at my church, I made pumpkin pancakes.  Because I am a vegetable evangelist and because Dianthus and Aster love pumpkin pancakes, I thought I should blog about the recipe.

And then I hesitated.  Practically, the pumpkin pancake recipe is good, but I think it could be great with tweaking that I haven't done.  Thematically, it felt discordant: "Now we interrupt this series on bringing warmth to the world to give you a recipe."

I toyed with some big ideas to connect pancakes and peace-- that as someone living with abundance and peace, I have a near-obligation to appreciate it,-- or that peace is a concept different at different scales, and that large-scale peace depends on individuals with inner peace.  But neither idea really works. Certainly, NOT enjoying the minutia of my life is NOT going to help with people living with strife, and when my family eats tasty healthful foods, we are better able to share figurative warmth, but those aren't really the same idea. Beyond that, the more I think about it, the more clear it is that peace does not scale directly.  We must not wait until we our content with ourselves to work for a more just and peaceful world.  Conversely,* we cannot wait until the world is peaceful to appreciate our pancakes.

Which is probably about as far as I am going to get in thinking about peace.  I apologize if you thought I was going to have the answers.  My conclusion is to directly disregard the message of advent.  Don't wait.  Don't wait to make the world a better place.  Don't wait to enjoy your life.  And then rephrase the message of advent.  Do prepare.  Prepare now.  Let's prepare a better world.  Today.

Let's talk about how.

Today, for instance, I am leveraging my privilege as a wealthy, educated, Christian, parent, to encourage the public school not to have Easter Egg hunts at school.  The non-Christians in my town have enough to deal with without being asked to buy plastic junk in celebration of a religious holiday they don't observe.

I am going to smile at the students I meet, regardless of their race, religion, national origin or even class attendance.  It is the last that it the real challenge for me.

I am going to share an image of my friend Sunflower Spinner in her peace hat. She is also trying to make the world warmer and wanting to discuss how.   I remember being with her as she designed the peace hat in 2001.  It felt really good to help create a tangible, if small scale, manifestation of our large scale hopes.

Yesterday I wore my peace hat to work. It was a small and relatively insignificant gesture, but I needed to do something in face of the bigotry, hate, and vitriol in the world right now. Maybe we need a peace sign selfie day. Then a conversation about positive actions to take to show the human race isn't all about hate.

I made the hat not too long after 9/11. The reason it is my peace hat is not obvious. Here's the story. The hat is made from Peace Fleece. ( The blue was a special edition called Baghdad Blue, and the proceeds from the sale of this yarn went to a joint Jewish/Islamic organization promoting peace. The patterns on the brim of the hat all say peace in different languages, with the letters having been translated into binary and then mirrored (to get a pretty pattern). I no longer remember what all the languages are, but I do remember that I chose languages representing as large of a geographical area as possible.

I am going to share my imperfect, untweaked recipe for pumpkin pancakes because they are tasty and they re-heat well.  I felt better about breakfast this morning knowing that my sons, eating leftover pancakes, consumed far more vitamin A and fiber than they frequently do at breakfast.  They are a good idea now.  Why wait?   

What else should we do?

Untweaked Multigrain Pumpkin Pancakes
(based very loosely on my mother's oatmeal pancakes, and less loosely on the different versions of pumpkin, banana, sweet potato and carrot pancakes I've made this fall)
1 can pumpkin
2 C buttermilk
1 1/2 C oatmeal
1 C whole wheat flour
1 C cornmeal
2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
2 Tbs. oil or melted butter
1/4 C. molasses (or some brown sugar)
1/4 C. cottage cheese or Greek yogurt if you have it on hand
1/2 tsp. maple flavoring
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
pecans or raisins (optional)
cooked or grated sweet potato or carrot (optional)
mashed banana (optional)

Mix all ingredients.  Let the batter bubble for a while.  Form into pancakes and cook (I use a little electric fry pan set at 350).  Serve with maple pecan banana topping or syrup.

*This just led to a fascinating conversation with my colleagues about formal logic terms.  I have great colleagues.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Where There is Warmth Out There

World news did not become "lighter" in the days since I posted about hope and candles. There's been pain and hurting at all sorts of levels, from the personal to geopolitical, and I can imagine some of my readers, reeling directly from these hurts or shriveling a little from just observing the pain, asking, "Where is this warmth of which you write?"

I'm directing you to a few very different places where I have found warmth abounding this week. Obviously, these are not "cures" but these are places where the light shines through.

Tear Jerkers

In some of the crazed discussions about refugees and safety, Brandon Stanton probably gets my vote for best use of media platform.  His voice of sanity and compassion shines through as he lets others speak for themselves.  If you are not one of the 16 million people following HONY (Humans Of New York), you may have missed his migrants in Europe series (re-compiled here earlier in November) and his on-going profiles of the Syrian refugees already cleared for the US have sent shivers down the spines of braver souls than me (I'm sitting here waiting for the next installments of the young brothers who want to start a dinosaur museum, despite interruptions like being in a second grade classroom when their school was bombed, but I'm afraid, like the family with the autistic son, crushed because he had been making such progress in therapy, that I will just be left hanging in uncertainty).  You can read about the future paleontologists and many others at Humans of New York (or follow it on many other platforms).

Somehow related in my mind is Rory Feek's blog, This Life I Live.  For several year, I've known of the existence of Joey and Rory, a couple of country singers with a cafe and a tv show, because of the Mister's Parents.  I'd never been all that impressed with what felt like their "cuter-  homier- and holier-than-thou" overly packaged television presence.  It was a friend of a friend who alerted me to Rory's blog a month or two ago, and it is raw and beautiful.  Joey has terminal cancer, and is home with hospice care. They have a daughter, less than two years old, with down syndrome.  I can't read the blog without crying, but I want to read more because of the great warmth and hope that radiates from it.

Practical Notes

It's warm in the Caribbean.  My Friend SalSis in Haiti is successfully teaching ecology to students both young and old.  Some of the stories are chronicled here.

Hope, fear, and action can be approached religiously, as Pastor Elizabeth does on her blog, both generally, and with a particularly personal set of devotions about advent and infertility (or lack of children despite wanting them).  Elizabeth recognizes that waiting is hard, sometimes unbearably so, but chooses to face the world with hope.

Taking a different approach, a different friend of a friend linked to this list of practical things to improve the world when it looks awful (written last week. I have no personal knowledge of Katherine, the author), and yet another suggested that we go our and recycle our unused bras (I lost the funny link.  Here's the practical one: Bra Recyclers.)

And the warmth all around

Following three days fully encased in ice, the roses on campus are blooming,  Geraniums are blooming by the PE building. The kale in our garden is ready for thinning.  The library native perennial planting along the south side of library is full of gold and purple blossoms.  My ecologist self might take this as evidence of the strength of microclimates.  My spiritual self also notes the signs of abundant life continuing.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Warmth and Light

When I began glow year, I anticipated studying the moon.  I figured I would make florescent jell-o. I thought about lightning bugs and glow rings and jellyfish and even women's athletics.  I planned on a facial.  I didn't think about candles, at least not at first, and I certainly didn't think "glowing goat" would take me in the realm of religion.

Yet here I am.

When my friend RR first posted about her campaign to "Fight Terrorism with Love and Fresh Produce", I was in before I realized it was a "New Roots" campaign, just because, like R, I wanted to do something more tangible than indulge in facebook bickering about the misconceptions of refugee resettlement (and because R does a good job of vetting information).  But "roots" is right there in the description of the program. "Roots"used both literally and figuratively, just the way I wrote about them all year last year.  And then R ended her initial facebook plea with this: "And for my many, many friends like K who are dismayed as I am by the hate and fear being directed at people who have already lost so much, well, let's light a candle in that darkness."

Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love in 2013 (no light for photo yesterday) 
I didn't think much about that line (I'd already been hooked by roots), but I didn't quite ignore it. Because I remembered it as I sat down to write this post.  After many figuratively dark days in the goings on of humanity.  After a day of warm thanks with family and abundance. After an ice storm during which we "took in" friends without power and baked cookies.  After church on the first Sunday of advent where, at one point, I was the only person in the pews* and I was told, over and over again, about hope and the light of the world.  After we lost power and lit our first advent candle, the hope candle, to glow in the icy gray darkness.

Sometimes messages are not subtle.  I am being reminded, over and over again, that darkness abounds, but that there is light.  Sometimes I need to sit still and embrace the darkness so that I can better see the stellar lights of the night.  Sometimes I need to wait for the sunrise. And sometimes, I am called to light a candle of hope.  That's happening now.
Classic Americana

I don't know what darkness you are facing.  I don't know the answers.  But if you can tell me how, I would like to offer you a glowing warm candle of hope, and when you can, I would love for you to pass it on,

I'd also love to offer you a piece of pie or tart.

Chocolate Caramel Pecan, Pumpkin, and Cranberry Walnut

The Mister's Winter Vegetable Garden: Hope Botanified
Our pecan  : (

Day 3 of Ice Storm

Monday, November 23, 2015

Vegetable Evangelism

I've become a vegetable evangelist.

If you are feeling snarky, you're probably wondering, "Oh, really, SpSq?  What was your first clue?  That not only do you feed everyone brussels sprouts, you blog about how much you love them?  That you go through 13 heads of cauliflower in a few weeks?  That you anonymously send people vegetable cookbooks?"

Well, actually, I didn't come up with this phrase on my own.  I didn't know I was a vegetable evangelist until someone told me I was.  We had friends in town, and as I was roasting brussels sprouts, turnips, sweet potatoes, and beets while discussing the apple fennel slaw I apparently made last time they were in town and mentioning best things to do with parsnips and rutabagas*, the phrase magically appeared.  And I love it.  "Vegetable Evangelist" makes me feel much cooler than "woman who inflicts root crops on unsuspecting guests."

I'm a vegetable evangelist and apparently I am becoming a poor writer.  Or rather I am becoming the writer I have always been: one who cannot quickly articulate the bits that are cleverly connected in her head. And because some of what I am wanting to write is time sensitive, I guess I will go ahead and list my points and (probably never) return to rewrite in a clever and witty fashion.

Intended Points of Post:
  1. I am a vegetable evangelist and proud of it.
  2. I want to discuss Thanksgiving side dishes. 
  3. The Mister and the boys made little "hoop houses" (or very low "poly-tunnels") over our winter garden on Saturday and it made me ridiculously happy.
  4. There was a "holiday" farmer's market in town on Saturday, at which we purchased fresh tomatoes (peppers, sweet potatoes, new potatoes, eggs, honey, pickles and turnips).  I harvested my basil before it froze (for the first time) on Saturday night, so we had pasta with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella last night, as is typical of late November in Oklahoma (or maybe not).
  5.  I want to teach people how to cook (and to not be afraid of vegetables).  I want suggestions for how to do this.
  6. I am excited to offer my readers an opportunity to help refugees by helping them grow food through a fund-raising project vetted by a friend I trust (I have lots and lots to say about this, but for now, a link to Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is),
 And, see, in my mind this all makes sense together-- love vegetables: here are some examples -- excited to be growing food: look at the picture of cute boys and hoop house -- thankful for friends and family and Thanksgiving (but no green bean casserole for me) -- let's help others grow vegetables -- thank you for being my friend -- now let's talk about food some more.

Please comment about side dishes and suggestions for spreading the good word o' veggies.

*Parsips: parsnips and carrots.  Rutabagas: rutabagas and apples, perhaps with some red cabbage.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November Glow

Wild Rose, Rocky Mountain National Park
October 17, 2015 
As I came to post photos of glowing trees (our November has been stunning that way), I realized that I haven't yet posted the carved glowing faces of a few weeks ago.  So, here, yes, evidence that Aster and Dianthus are getting older and bigger (compare to past Halloween's starting here), images of vegetation changing ever so slightly in the light, and the glowing faces carved into squash which I use to remind students that weird plant rituals are not confined to tribal people of another place or time.

One can fight and still be friends

November 14, Red Rock Canyon

Crazy disjunct Sugar Maple population

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Glowing Day and Night

Evening Glow: Smoky Hills of Kansas Sept. 6
One thing I love about the "glowing" theme is that so very many things glow: candles, Venus, boys playing with their grandparents, aspen leaves, Mars, the moon*.  I've started noting the difference in glows that light up the darkness and glows that dazzle in the bright sunlight.
I'm sure there is a profound metaphor there-- let me know if you find one.  For now, some photographic examples from this season:
Birthday cakes emit lovely candlelight 

Boys and eclipsing moon Sept. 27

Venus, Jupiter (and Mars) Before Sunrise Oct. 16

We tried to take a selfie with Longs Peak.  We don't practice.

Despite having seen some beautiful fall colors in many places, late every September for the last 15 years I have been sad about not being in the Colorado Rockies to see the aspen turn.  While we were well past peak aspens, we caught the very last trees on our trip two weeks ago.  They made me deliriously happy.  Aspenglow is a real thing.  People write songs about it.  They named a campground at Rocky Mountain National Park after it.  The trees really do light up with it.  It is like they are warmth botanified ("personified" applied to a plant.  Yes, I just made it up in an attempt to describe these trees).  It is wonderful to experience.

*Mars and Luna both deserve their own posts.  Maybe soon?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Basking in the reflected light

One distinction between luminosity and radiance (which, I just learned, is not the scientific difference) is that luminous objects glow with reflected light (i.e. the moon is luminous) and radiant objects (like the sun) create their own.  So it is completely in keeping with the theme of my year to glow with pride as I mention some of the amazing things my friends are doing, even though absolutely none of the credit is mine.

My college friend Witt, his wife J, and their "world-schooled" six-year-old Q, are wrapping up a two year adventure driving the length of the Americas in a van.  They are reporting from the Carreterra Austral in Chile at the moment, and the photographs of the blue waters and snow capped Andes, like most images on their blog, are stunning.   Have a look at "When Sparks Fly" before they settle down in Western Colorado.

Another college friend is just starting a year in Mexico with her husband and her three-and-a-half year-old.  While they will be living on the Pacific Coast, they are hunkering down in a safe place away from the coast at the moment.  You can read about their adventures not related to the current hurricane (like the wonders of the Baja wine region) on Debbie's blog.

Matt Cogar, a former student of mine (and defending US Champion), has advanced to the STIHL Timbersports US Championship Finals, which you can watch this Sunday on ABC (and since there is no Bronco game, and I happen to know the outcome of the competition, I am really looking forward to it).  I'm also particularly pleased that he married one of my other favorite students, and am immensely proud of her as she pursues her PhD.

SalSis, my great friend in Lawrence, KS, has tickets to go back to Haiti to teach ecology for another semester.  Want to help with the world but not pay for fundraising newsletters?  SalSis's work is low budget, local and direct.  She teaches college level ecology (to students without books or regular computer access) and also encourages collaborations between the college students and the local students so that people of all ages are starting to recognize good water quality, the importance of raptors, and that bats are not grown-up mice.  Should you ever want to take an ecotour in Haiti, she is the woman to talk to.  Check out some of the past adventures at her blog, Zwazo Yo.

And that's just the beginning of the glow of cool happenings in which I choose to bask.  Thanks for all all of you do to glow.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fears about next year being here

I have exactly 6 minutes to write before class, and, as you will see, this is time sensitive material, so the editing may be poor.

I woke up up in the middle of the night last week worried about the Cubs facing the Royals in the World Series.  The Mister laughed because Royals vs. Cubs is the World Series match-up he wants to see, and why in the world would this be a problem?  In the middle of the night it was a problem because I wouldn't know who to cheer for.

Then, as the Cubs won last night, some fan commented that "It is next year," to which my immediate response was, "You shut your mouth right now young man," and then I worried as a life-long Cubs fan, exactly what would happen if the Cubs win it all.  Shouldn't we always be hoping for next year?

But deaths, accidents, and illness around me are reminding me that life is short.  I'm heading to Colorado tonight to see autumn in the Rockies (which I have been promising myself I'll do next year for 15 years) and we're sticking in a winter garden this afternoon (see here or here for some explanation about how these are related to baseball in my mind).  Maybe it is time to live like there is no next year.  Maybe next year is here.  Maybe my two second-favorite teams can face each other in the World Series and I will cheer for every game and I will be happy either way.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

Dragons and Kings in Our Midst: On Other Migrants

Politics is making me grumby lately.  So I'm not going to write about immigration in the US or the migrant crisis in Europe or . . .  many other things.  That many people I care about are unwell is also making me very grumbly.  While we are at it I could grumble about some of my students, some of my colleagues and some of the young people living in my house.  But I won't.

The monarchs are flying through.  A few pairs of lost looking kites are hanging around, and for about ten minutes on Friday evening, Sept. 18 we were under a cloud of dragonflies heading south.

Anyone know anything about dragonfly migration?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

On Kites and Kites and Splurges

The Mississippi Kites are gone.  Their departure is not as dramatic as their arrival.  They were super-active and very loud Friday afternoon August 28 and I felt certain they were discussing their imminent departure (and perhaps they were discussing it), but at least a few were still around two weeks later, and then I saw none today at the park where they swarm.  (More about my tracking of Mississippi Kites can be found here).

August 19, 2015
3 1/2 weeks and ages and ages ago
Before school started (three and a half weeks and ages ago) the boys were flying a kite Dianthus received for his birthday and several Mississippi Kites circled by to investigate.  At $30, the kite, an, "Easy-Flier" from Into the Wind in Boulder, Colorado, cost many times what previous kites the boys have owned have.  And it is so worth it.  The Mississippi Kites came by because the dragon delta was calmly soaring.  It went up easily,  It stayed up.  It is pretty incredible (almost, but not quite, to the point of being boring to fly).

While flying the kite and marveling that such a wonder could be found for $30, complete with full service (annotated instruction book, long discussion about appropriate wind speeds, swivel), I started thinking about skimping and splurging, and listing luxuries worth the extra money and splurges I wouldn't do again.

Immediately it became clear that I am willing to splurge on condiments.  Mustard from the mustard museum is worth it.  Good jam is worth it.  Greek yogurt is worth it (but I can only justify plain in the 32 oz. size.  I can't feel good about expensive individual yogurts if I am not on vacation or at my parents' house).  Real maple syrup, real vanilla extract, and good dark chocolate are worth it.

I pay asking price for farmers' market eggs (which are a steal at $3.50 per dozen in my town), farmers' market produce and good peaches shipped in from Colorado.

As I am writing I am realizing that this list is not really revealing to anyone (Sparkling Squirrel is willing to pay $8 for mustard?  I'm shocked!)

I've been surprised at how much I have loved having new cars, considering how much I loved my used cars (for 13 and 11 years, respectively), but our new cars have hardly been marketed as luxury vehicles.  When my mother pointed out that other mini-vans have magically gliding doors, I had to add how many other uses I could find for the $10,000 difference.  Another friend commented on what a steal it was to upgrade the seats in hers, and I could only find myself musing at how much I would rather have another vacation than leather seats.

Speaking of vacations, I have found it well worth it to pay for location when dealing with lodging, but the few times we have paid extra for luxurious accommodations, I  have not thought it money particularly well spent.

I'm not sure how much I think "good seats" are worth it.  "Seats" at performances and sporting events are almost always worth it.  "Good seats"?  I don't know.

Back when I was thinking these things and flying a kite, I was partially trying to justify the amount I had spent on make-up while glowing at Nordstrom with my friend L, and having a hard time doing it.  I kept thinking about how much I was willing to spend for a facial (which I had not deemed worth it based on two in my life, but had been thinking of doing again as part of glow year) and adding it to the amount I was willing to blow on an afternoon of frivolity with L, plus the amount necessary for new foundation, and I kept falling short of the total on my new Nordstrom card.

August 24, 2015
Prairie Turnips in Background
Then my school started.  I didn't have any new outfits,  I felt I had limited, less-than-flattering wardrobe options (limited by my current size, by teaching labs all the time, and by walking to work in the heat), but I had my make-up.  With the magic of foundation that cost more than my mother-in-law has spent on a pair of shoes*, tips from the wonderful full-service beauty stylist at Nordstrom and the four brushes that I only pretended I would use a few weeks before, I popped the middle of my eye lids, I contour chiseled my cheeks with bronzer, and I glowed radiantly.  Wearing the red shoes that, three years later still make me immensely happy, so must be worth it, I rocked the first day of school.  And, horrible allergy days aside, I have been pulling out the brushes every morning since, combining $2 eye shadow with $30 bronzer, and feeling great.  Definitely worth it.

What's "worth it" for you?  What's not?

*For the record, my mother-in-law is just a great shoe shopper, the foundation didn't cost that much.  I mean, it cost far more than the $13 I budget for foundation, but much less than the red shoes that I have never felt particularly guilty about, for instance

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Pasque Flower, Pulsatilla, Rocky Mountain National Park
West Side, June 1
Not all of my hairy plant photography was focused on leaves this summer.  I also photographed some pubescent* flowers-- both hairy and on the verge of sexual maturity.

Thimbleweed? Anemone, Yellowstone, June
Anemone, Banff or Jasper, June

Calochortus (Mariposa or Sego Lily),
 Rocky Mountain National Park Fall River Valley, July

Monday, August 24, 2015

Fuzzy Margins

Plant science is full of great words. This summer I expanded from fruit and flowers to photographically examine (and record for future classes) the surfaces of leaves.
Among my favorite words are the plant words for hairiness.  Plant surfaces can be hirsute, or pubescent or canescent.  They can be pilose, strigose, tomentose, or villous, or they velutinous when they are velvety.
How would you describe these?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

4 and 6: Growing and Glowing

Aster and Dianthus turned 4 and 6 recently.

They were lucky enough to celebrate with both sets of grandparents. Dianthus helped bake Aster's chocolate strawberry cake in Colorado, Aster helped with Dianthus's baked Alaska and then on Dianthus's birthday we drove to Kansas and ate more cake.   Here's some of the glowing and its aftermath.  Temperamentally, four is the new three, by the way.

That's a big baked Alaska.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Glowing Update

Glowing year hasn't quite sparked friends to action the way that other themes have.  Perhaps that is the nature of "glow".  I do, however, have some glowing things to report at this midpoint.

Glowing Creatures (resolution #2): The luminous jellyfish at the Vancouver Aquarium didn't transfix Dianthus quite the way the jellyfish at the National Aquarium in Baltimore had five years prior, but they were still pretty cool.

Rings of Saturn: We were camping in Rocky Mountain National Park (one of three visits planned during the park's centennial festivities) during the Night Sky Festival taking place the weekend of the new moon.  We tromped out into a field at the end of a dead-end road, watched the slowly fade, and impatiently waited for darkness to arrive.  While convincing the boys that it was too dark to work on their Junior Rangers Night Explorer patches but not yet dark enough to see stars, we looked through telescopes at Saturn.  Members of the Defenders of Darkness had all brought out their giant personal telescopes, several requiring step ladders, and during the late twilight, every one of them looked toward Saturn.  It was amazing.  It was the first time I'd seen the rings of  Saturn and they looked exactly like they were supposed to, except more glow-y.  It look like someone had a Saturn-shaped cut-out and shined a light through it, poking little holes for Titan and four other moons of Saturn.  Later we looked at several double stars and weird star systems, but Saturn was my favorite of the night.
Saturn looked just like this, (but smaller and with five moons).
(Image from Risa Horowitz's "Imaging Saturn" webpage.)

Books:  I've read a lot that I would like to write about.  Hopefully within the next week.

Women who glow (resolution #12): Flush with the excitement of watching the games and the US win at the Women's World Cup, my mother is starting to talk about excitedly about France 2019.  Join us?

Glow myself into shape (resolution #13): An utter failure so far.  I am re-prioritizing this, and did start out the day with a sweaty turn around the neighborhood this morning.

Glowing with beauty (resolution #6): I have had assistance in this realm.  My Brother and MSiL sent me "luminous lavender" products for my birthday.  If I haven't exfoliated enough cells to reveal my inner glow, then at least I smell great.
Two weeks ago (although it feels like much longer) I sought professional assistance (with my dear friend L) in the form of a consultation with the beauty stylist at Nordstrom's.  It was a pleasant and slightly surreal experience, as I pretended to be someone who might use multiple make-up brushes in the morning.  I purchased some new foundation and L is helping me to up my glow is the form of bronzer and concealer (I hope it is the "luminizer"), or would be if only I could convince myself to use them (I am not wearing Trish McEvoy products to do laundry and plan lessons!)

Blue Moon: Once in a blue moon, I go out for fancy drinks with my friend SalSis in Lawrence for our birthdays. Our birthdays are in March and May, but that didn't stop us from trying a (sadly disappointing) watermelon cilantro margarita during the blue moon last Friday.  It was a great way to recognize our lunar friend glowing big twice in July. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Whale of Seven Years

As of July 15, Mister Splashy Pants has been part of our family for seven years.  Seven years!  and I have rarely posted since her kittenhood.

We are far away and miss her right now, but she is certainly guarding the in our absence, and likely protecting us from unprotected upholstery*.

Happy joining our family day, Mister Splashy Pants.

*Protected upholstery has a nice layer of short white hairs upon it.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

3,652 Days Down: Bring on the Next 3,653**

As of today, The Mister and I have been married for ten years.

July 2005
To my knowledge, there are no household cleaning appliances coming my way, and he doesn't yet know about all of the fantastic canned seafood coming his way once we reach Colorado (Ten, is, after all, the "tin anniversary" and Zingerman's was sadly sold out of the tins of tinned fish I planned to buy him).

Any reader of this blog already knows I think we make great partners, so I am not going to over-sweeten you with tales of how great he is.  Ask, or check out the stories or our travels and images of him and his sons if you need to know.

I'm also not going to sentimentally recall our wedding (although it was pretty great, and ended successfully with the Mister and I married).

Instead, today I am going to post a list of things that I haven't done and places I haven't been with the Mister.

The Mister and the Setting Sun, Many Glacier, Montana
June 2015
This was prompted by 1) The Mister's immediate longing to return to Yellowstone (while we were still there) as it is one of his favorite places in the world and we hadn't been in eleven years, 2) my ache at being in Many Glacier in Glacier National Park for a night. A little piece of my heart is there so why haven't we been back in eleven years?  and 3) my accompanying realization that not only have I not been back to the South San Juans since 1995 (?), I have not been there with the Mister at all.  American Basin and Uncompahgre Peak hold a huge chunk of my heart (23 days without shower or toilet paper in a beautiful part of the world will do that to you) and I want the Mister to understand why.

Ten* Little Parts of My Heart I Have Not Yet Shared with the Mister

American Basin in the San Juan Mountains; Colorado
Threave Gardens and Inverewe Gardens; Scotland
A Grove of Coastal Redwoods; California
The Alps; Switzerland, France and Austria
Tea at The Isabelle Stuart Gardener Museum; Boston
The Rugged Pacific Coast of Northern California and Oregon
Raclette and Bagna Caulda
The Mountains Around Gothic, Colorado
"Flying" through powder on downhill skis
The Great Sand Dunes; Colorado
The Georgia O'Keefe Museum; Santa Fe

I'm looking forward to hitting them all, along with many places I've never been and places I haven't imagined going, with The Mister in the next 3,653 days.  Happy anniversary Mister!  I'm glad we're married to each other.

*11 included because the food items and downhill skiing only half count.  I think the Mister has eaten these items, and we did go skiing in West Virginia, but I don't think that they occasions fairly represented the emotional attachment.

**Yes, I am nerdy enough to work out that the first ten years of our marriage include two leap years and the next ten years will include three.