Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Living...as Quiet as a Mouse

'Twas the night before Christmas...

and in the hotel kitchenette, my partner David was cleaning out the coffee maker. After removing the (disposable) filter full of used grounds, he looked around and said, "Hey--where's the compost bucket?"

CONTINUED HERE

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Hanukkah!

May your windows and your hearts glow with light during this season.


Blackboard art by 9yo Son


Monday, December 22, 2008

Here Comes the Sun

Inspired by JessTrev, David and our 9yo son made a lovely bread to help us celebrate the Winter Solstice:



(Click on the picture for a full view.)

JessTrev includes the delicious bread recipe in her post. Check it out!

Son enjoyed making butter from scratch as well. We half-filled a pint jar with heavy cream, added a marble, and shook for about fifteen minutes.



The sun bread and the fresh butter seem to have done the trick. We woke this morning to watch the sun rise--and we're eagerly awaiting more light and more warmth to grace the coming days.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ho, ho, ho!

Although our atheist-Jewish family does not celebrate Christmas, we have many friends who do--including this man, the farm manager at a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm:



I knit him the Santa hat from brilliant non-Christmas-oriented pattern for the Bearded Toque. (I think I am going to have to knit the regular one for a particular sometimes-bearded relative.)

I gave Bill the hat the day of a big dinner party. Many people tried it on that evening, and you can see some pictures of the various models here in a Flickr folder.

I'll include one shot of my favorite model (my 9yo son) showing off the hat here:



I hope all of you are having as much fun as I am preparing for upcoming holidays!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Season of Giving

A day or two ago, I heard someone on the radio talk about volunteering to hand out sacks of groceries at a food bank, only to have the food run out long before the needy people did. The volunteer was profoundly moved when she faced the next person in line and had to tell her she would have to go home empty-handed. There was no more food for her to take home to her family.

Charities have been struggling during the economic crisis as more and more people need their services.

Interestingly, at the same time that so many people are suffering, many people are giving more than ever before. CONTINUED HERE

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A New Me

Thursday, December 11, 2008

?

I'm so sorry it has been so long since I've written. Sometimes I wonder if I'm ready to let go of this blog: to just live life, to post once a week (when I'm on schedule) at Green Phone Booth. I could read blogs again! I could read period again--books and the like!

I feel overwhelmed by the minimal demands of my day-to-day. Back when I was writing academic book after academic book, I had an excuse for not getting anything done. Now I don't. I sit at home watching my child grow up, watching my houseplants freeze in our cold home, watching the world go by, dreaming up new projects that I barely start because just bathing is enough for one day...

I feel guilty for not getting more done. I feel guilty for throwing away my Ivy League education, yada yada. I feel guilty for presenting a model my child probably has no idea he should feel pressured about. I feel guilty for presenting very few models other than a mother who blogs intermittently, knits obsessively, reads about the end of the world while sitting on the couch, and drinks red wine.

So yes, I am on vacation for a little while. More eventually.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Famine



Last spring I got very interested in foraging. My family took a hike through a local forest with a knowledgeable acquaintance who pointed out edible foods along our route. Our interest and confidence were both stoked by books such as The Forager's Harvest as well as the classic Stalking The Wild Asparagus.

What could be easier or more local than food that naturally grew in a place, with no labor from us?

During the early spring, my family collected quarts of dandelions and canned pints of delicious jelly. We picked purslane and sorrel which graced our stir-fries. And we eagerly awaited fall when we could collect acorns--and try everything from sugar-coated acorns to acorn-flour bread.

Last year, my young son and I collected zillions of acorns for art projects and pretending. We filled my backpack one afternoon as we waited for the bus, we picked them up on every walk, we heard their falls on our roof. Before I threw in a load of laundry, I had to pick acorns out of pockets.

But when was that, exactly? This year I waited, and waited. Still no acorns. Did we miss the season somehow?

CONTINUED HERE

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