The buds of May are many moons away, but I have been appreciating the promise held in the buds I see on the trees and shrubs now. I am especially drawn to their little budding forms when they are encased in ice and/or dusted in snow.
Most of these were taken on various morning walks with the dog this month. (The combination of morning light and post-ice-storm sparkle can be totally mesmerizing. I’ve been caught in its particular snares before.)
Last night I went to one of hundreds of events that were held all across the US in support of the impeachment and removal from office of the current occupant of the White House. Most rallies were set for 5:30 p.m., as the one I attended. Being up quite far north, and it being almost at the solstice, the sun sets a little after 4:00 here. So by 5:30, it’s oh-so-dark. Preparing for this, I wanted my sign to be visible.
I stopped by a dollar store Monday night, and got myself a black poster board and a bunch of glow sticks. (The cashier commented “kids just love these.” “Right,” I thought. “For the kids.”)
Tuesday dawned dark and dreary and covered in ice. Schools were closed. Government offices closed. Meetings were cancelled. But I heard that the rally was still on.
Seeing as glow sticks only glow for so long, I didn’t want to get ahead of myself, and waited until after 4 to get cracking. I cracked open the packages, and cracked the sticks to start the glow.
Then I used packing tape to secure my glowstick letters. (This turned out to be a bit of a pain, just because I was trying to hurry. And packing tape will not be rushed. It will wrap itself back around the roll, and your fingers, and whatever else is around just to show its contempt for your hurry.) I’d planned out how I’d make the letters, and counted out how many glowsticks I’d need for each letter. I’d thought about “impeach and remove,” but the sign wasn’t really big enough.
I was quite pleased with the glowing results. My sign was bright and visible in the dark. And my heart was warmed by the enthusiastic turnout at the rally, in spite of the ongoing ice storm.
After the protest, I brought my sign back home to share its glow. And I made my Christmas wish. (Today I got at least part of my wish.)
(And know that my merriment is only a coping mechanism in these dark times. The next few months and the coming election next year are very uncertain. Meanwhile, I am thankful for my right to protest, and don’t take it for granted.)
I do love leaves, and shadows. So naturally I love shadows *of* leaves. Even if they aren’t real leaves.
These metal leaves are a decoration I recently got at a thrift store. (My daughter and I have discovered a mutual enthusiasm for going to thrift stores. Possibly too much enthusiasm.) Anyhow, the leaves cast some fun shadows in the low afternoon light. I enjoyed seeing how they changed (sharp above, doubled below) with the changing light.
It seems I’m still inclined to post daily. I think I need to settle on an approximate frequency for posting. For those of you who post regularly, what’s your strategy? Do you have goals for quantity or frequency of posts, or do you just post when moved to do so?
A little over a week ago, a single leaf caught my eye out on the deck. It was caught between the boards, and casting a long dramatic shadow in the morning light.
Yesterday, a similar-looking leaf caught my eye casting a shadow, this time in the afternoon light. Looking at the two photos, I’ve decided that it was actually the same leaf. It’s moved a bit, and flipped around, but it appears to have all the same markings. It seems to have blown out of the spot where it was trapped, only to get caught again.
It seems I’m not quite ready to leave November behind. Both the leaves, and the daily posting. I’m hoping to settle into some sort of moderate frequency for posting, perhaps something like once or twice a week. Somehow, though, if I’m not all in, I tend to be all out. Here’s hoping I can break that trend.
Amazingly, after last year’s November goals shortfall, I was able to get back up again and post daily this month. This is my 30th daily post in November, and so successfully wraps up my NaBloPoMo goals. Somehow, it wasn’t even particularly hard this time. Was it as easy as falling off a log? It was certainly less painful than falling off a log.
I’ve enjoyed regrouping (grouping again) and reflecting (flecting again?) and putting together photos and thoughts. I might even be able to keep on keeping on.
Today was a largely mellow day involving continued cleaning up from yesterday’s dinner. I spent some time putting together some ingredients for rather elaborate (and decidedly silly) blog post that is still only half-baked. Since I don’t want to stay up too much later, I foraged through my photo collections for a few morsels I’d been saving. I came across this set. Well, that’s not exactly true. I came across a similar set of photos: 1) the three little tomatoes in a blue bowl, 2) the 6 red potatoes in a colander and 3) 2 photos of cranberries in a little white bowl. One had 3 cranberries, which went nicely with the 3 tomatoes. But since I took the potato picture last December, I couldn’t go back and only put in 3 potatoes. (And I didn’t think to take any new photos of potatoes as I was prepping them yesterday.) The other photo of cranberries in the bowl had 7 cranberries. And it bothered me that it gave me a set of 3, 6 and 7. So then I realized that I still had half a bag of fresh cranberries in the fridge, and a little while bowl sitting empty on the table. So, yes, I staged the 3rd photo to have the bowl contain 9 cranberries so I could have the photos contain 3, 6 and 9 oval-shaped red produce objects. A much more satisfying number sequence.
We had Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year, which has become a tradition in recent years. In addition to my family of four, plus my mother-in-law (who is in assisted living in a neighboring town), it has also become a tradition to invite a friend of mine and her two boys. This year, we were happy to have my mother join us from California, bringing our grand total to 9.
I know that many people host big gatherings of 20 or even 40 people, which honestly sounds totally exhausting to this quiet introvert. (I’ll stick to my table for 9, thank you very much.)
While this relatively small and very comfortable gathering tends to be pretty low-key, I do go a bit crazy with the side dishes. For me, the “side” dishes are actually the main event of the meal. (My immediate family doesn’t eat turkey, and I’m not able to eat the Tofurkey that the rest of my family eats.) So we tend to have lots of different things: various roasted vegetables, stuffing (my famous “stuffed pan”), mashed potatoes, veggie gravy, cranberry sauce(s), as well as simple vegetables like corn and green beans. My mother and I spent much of yesterday chopping and prepping veggies. I went to bed feeling like we were in pretty good shape.
However, going through my mental list as I lay in bed, I got stuck on the potatoes. I intentionally hadn’t prepped the potatoes, as I didn’t want them to brown. But I also hadn’t really counted them.
Doing my mental calculations of person-to-potato ratios, I suddenly became convinced that I didn’t have nearly enough potatoes. It was almost midnight, and I knew that stores would be closed in the morning. (This didn’t stop me from searching online for various grocery stores and checking their hours). I mentally reconfigured the quantities of potatoes in the roasted root vegetables (in which they traditionally play a key role) and considered what remaining potatoes could be left to mash. I imagined rationing out the paltry portions of potatoes to family and guests.
I agonized over the potatoes. I seriously lost sleep. It was not so much a potato panic as a ponderous potato pessimism.
In the morning, I counted the potatoes. The situation was less dire than I’d imagined in my late-night ravings. But still, I apparently could not let it drop. While walking the dog, I persisted in pondering about potatoes. I texted my friend who would be joining us for dinner: “Do you have any potatoes?”
This is, of course, a totally normal question to ask a friend out of the blue.
The story has a happy ending. My friend brought along her potatoes, and I added a few of them to my boiling pot of potatoes. The resulting mashed potatoes were of respectable quantities. No garments were rent over tiny potato allowances.
In the end, the meal and the day were successful and fulfilling. I am feeling full of both gratitude and potatoes.
And I have to laugh at myself for getting so worked up about such small potatoes.
As the leaves have mostly faded, I’ve found my eyes pulled to other splashes of color. I’m not sure whether the moss is particularly bright this time of year, or whether it’s bright by contrast with the largely gray and brown landscape. In any case, I’ve appreciated the many little mossy installations I’ve encountered on my morning walks.
This scene is on a neighbor’s retaining wall. It looks to me rather like a garden wall in miniature. Or perhaps a distant cliff overgrown and overhung with lush greenery.
I couldn’t quite capture the striking colors of the rock in the photo below. The rock surface itself is almost completely covered in pale minty green lichen. And the floofs of bright green moss practically glow.
I find the little fuzzy shapes to be just *cute*. A friend suggested that this one looks a bit like a duckling.
Then there’s this lush pillow of moss, also on the neighbor’s retaining wall. I took the photo just to capture the comfy softness of it, but then when I looked at it, I saw a sleeping dragon. (In case you don’t see it, I’ve added some visual aids here.)
Having taken a number of moss photos in the last few days, I was reminded that some of the very first photos I took with my new phone (in February of last year) were of some moss on my street. I think this one looks rather like an aerial view of a scrubby landscape.