pie are square (and other pumpkin tidbits)

This year, our Thanksgiving will be a smaller affair. While we’ve never had a particularly big gathering, we have traditionally shared the day with at least one other household. For years, we would always go down to my in-laws’ house. More recently, we started having Thanksgiving at home, and my mother-in-law would join us. Then we started having over a friend of mine and her two sons. There have also been years when my mother has visited, and one year (4 years ago), when my sister and nephews also visited in addition to my mother. That was our biggest gathering, with a total of 12 people.

This year, our number will just be the 4 humans who live in our house, plus our doggo. The plan is still to have most of our usual feast items, but maybe in slightly smaller quantities. (Although it is possible that we will still have copious quantities of potatoes. You know how I hate the thought of being short on potatoes.) One standard we have is a pumpkin custard that I make, which is basically a dairy-free pumpkin pie without the crust. I can’t remember when or why I started making it without the shell, but it works for us. And I typically bake it in a square pan. Which reminds me of the old “pie are round, son” joke. (You can find a version of the joke here, which was possibly my first Pi Day post, from 2008.)

On other pumpkin related topics, here Theo and I put together a fall display on our breakfast nook table. I have a growing collection of glass pumpkins, plus we have a few other decorative pumpkins of other materials. Then the CSA I’ve been participating in this year provided me with some rather pretty squashes. And then we joked about all the varieties of pumpkin in our display, so decided we should add the canned pumpkin, too. And then the goofy jack-o-lantern bucket.

And just because, here’s one more pumpkin photo.

Brodie, our doggo, sniffing one of our Halloween pumpkins. (Before the pumpkins collapsed and had to be sent off into the woods.)

a muddle and a puddle

Once again, I’m exceedingly tired, so can’t really think tonight, much less write. There are some days when I do so much switching of gears, going from parenting to professional to personal to political to community commitments that the day passes with me feeling somehow like I’ve done too much and not gotten much done at all.

I did take a few photos today, mostly while out walking the dog. It was a very wet morning. I liked the way this assortment of leaves had arranged itself in this puddle.

full home, full heart

I collected my daughter from boarding school this morning, where she’s been since September. So now our home is full again with all residents accounted for. I still miss my out-of-state family, and look forward to the day we can travel to see each other once more, but for now, my heart is full.

And because I like to post photos, here are several photos of leaves and ferns that made me see a heart shape. (For what I intended to be a quick post, it’s a little crazy how long it took me to decide on what photos to share.)

20 twenty things

The other day, when I was making my little jokes about 20/20 vision and losing my glasses (in a very 2020 way), I found myself pondering things about the number 20. And that pondering led to some enumerating, and that enumerating became a list. On this 20th day of the month, and in the tradition of my ThThTh lists (but breaking tradition since it’s not Thursday), I present a list of things around the theme of 20. And it seemed only right to have a list of 20 of them.

1) 20/20 vision: Normal vision. It is based on what row of an eye chart you can read from 20 feet. 

2) The 20-20-20 rule. To help with eyestrain. For every 20 minutes you find yourself staring at a screen, spend 20 seconds looking at something that is 20 feet away.

3) 20/20 hindsight. An expression meaning that things are clear in retrospect, typically after some misjudgment.

4) venti: size at Starbucks. It’s 20 ounces, and it means twenty in Italian. It’s sort of the “large” size, though there is also grande (which means “large” in Italian), but is smaller than the venti.

A 20-sided die. (image credit)

5) icosagon or 20-gon is a twenty-sided polygon

6) icosahedron: a polyhedron with 20 sides. The shape of a 20-sided die.

7) Twenty questions: a guessing game whereby one person thinks of a thing, and the second person tries to guess what it is by way of asking yes-no questions. The guesser wins if they name the correct thing before reaching the twentieth questions. (Experienced players know that it’s a good idea to narrow down the categories early on, rather than guessing one item in the universe of millions of things, i.e: Is it pants? This is the game for which “Is it bigger than a breadbox” and “is it smaller than a house” are frequent size-establishing questions.)

Mayan base 20 number system. (Credit: Bryan Derksen source)

8) Vigesimal: base 20 number system

9) a score: a term meaning the number twenty. Fairly infrequent, excepting in quotations of the Gettysburg Address. (“Four score and seven years ago…”)

10) XX: The Roman numeral for 20

11) 20th anniversary gift: china/porcelain

12) a dart board has 20 sections

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com
US 20 dollar bills. Photo by Shane on Pexels.com

13) The (current) US twenty dollar bill. A frequent denomination distributed in ATMs in the U.S. Currently bears the face of Andrew Jackson.

For those who can’t wait for the new bills to be minted, stamps are sold to make the adjustment manually. (source)

14) Harriet Tubman 20 dollar bill. 2020 was supposed to be the year when abolitionist and historical bad-ass Harriet Tubman was supposed to replace Jackson on the 20 dollar bill. This has been put off, but many have taken the transformation into their own hands and used a stamp. (See image above.)

15) 20 is the smallest primitive abundant number.

20: The atomic number for calcium. (Image source.)

16) 20 is the atomic number of calcium.

17) 20/20: a new-oriented US TV program.18) Twenty (2015): a South Korea film.

19) Twenty (2017-2018) a webseries.

20) The Roaring 20s. A nickname for the decade of 1920 to 1929. Now that we are in another decade of the 20s, we can only guess what it will be nicknamed.

Some ’20s fashion illustrations. (Source)

 

pumpkin reincarnation

Carving pumpkins is a favorite Halloween tradition in our household. For me, as well as the kids. I guess there have been some years when I haven’t carved my pumpkin, but I think I do most. And more often than not, I seem to do variations on the same expression. Here was this year’s pumpkin:

My 2020 pumpkin. Probably also a frequent expression that I wear myself this year.

And here is last year’s:

My 2019 pumpkin.

It’s a little like my pumpkin gets reincarnated each year. Except that as a vegetable, re-incarnation is probably not quite the right term. It’s not flesh, exactly. Reinvegetation, perhaps?

My 2018 pumpkin.

I do wonder how many similar pumpkins I’ve carved over the years. The earliest version I could find was this little guy from 2009. It even got its own blog post.

2009. The year we first met?

This year’s pumpkin has left for now–sent off into the woods to reconnect with nature, as it were. Until we meet again next year, little pumpkin.