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