Monday, October 12, 2015

A Walk Around Town During Fall

I'm totally crazy about these trees. So when a sign went up indicating this lot is going to become student housing (now signing leases for June 2016!) and the fence went up around the trees, I panicked a little bit. I swear to the deity of all that is good and true, I will cry if they cut these trees down to build a fucking soulless apartment building. I'll keep you posted.
I'm pretty much crazy about maple trees, but a maple tree IN FRONT OF A CHURCH is just too picturesque to ignore, despite the annoyance of all the students who kept walking by while giving me the side-eye.  I guess, even in this world of the selfie and constant surveillance, a woman with an actual camera should not be taking your photograph.
There's this park downtown and these trees just line the lakefront. It's lovely. I feel grateful to live in a place where the public spaces are so beautiful and well tended.
This was the closest I came to a cornfield. I promise you an autumnal cornfield soon.  I bet you're on the edge of your seat.
It turns out that I have no creativity because it turns out I took this same photo last year.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

CSA: Week 18

This week brings us some new items! Woot!
Sweet potato fingerlings
Honey nut squash (2)
Lemon drop pepper
Sweet peppers

I am flat out of ideas for this. I'll eat the carrots and peppers raw. The squash will be roasted as sides for dinner, and the sweet potatoes will be a hash. I've never had romanesco and I'm curious to see if I like it (apparently it's kind of like cauliflower, but different). The garlic and onions will just go with our never ending forever growing collection.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

CSA: Week 17

This week's basket feels particularly bountiful! We got:
Napa cabbage
Honey nut squash (2)
Eggplant (2)
  • I'll make a slaw with the cabbage. I'm going to try to get a kohlrabi bulb at the Farmers' Market on Saturday to use with it.
  • The peppers have not been that good this year. I'll eat them with lunch, but if they're anything like the previous peppers, they'll be disappointing.
  • Some baba ganoush with the eggplant!  Maybe I'll get another one from the Farmers' Market, but if none is available, I'll just make a small batch.
  • The sage will go well with the honey nuts (they taste a bit like butternut, but they're one-size serving.
  • The leeks are mysterious, but I might make a potato leek soup. Maybe.
  • The lettuce smells gross. Dr. BB better deal with that.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Year of These Trees

Every time I take a photo of these trees, the drivers on the road also look to see what I'm taking a picture of and I can't tell you just how many times I almost caused an accident. These trees are my favorite things in Nowhere.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

CSA: Week 16

This week's basket brings us lots of goodies for my lunches. I am pretty pumped.
Green cabbage
Onions (2)
Red peppers (2)
  • The cabbage and kohlrabi will be used in a slaw that I'll take for my lunches. 
  • Carrots are snacks! The peppers are, too.
  • The tomatoes will be gone before tomorrow night. I already ate three.
  • The onions and garlic will continue to pile up on our counter.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Do You Lie to Them?

"Why don't you go to church with us, Aunt NGS?"

I deflect. "Oh, Uncle Dr. BB and I will take a nap and then meet you guys at Aunt Tricia's for dinner."

"But why don't you come with us?"

"Well," I am officially stalling. I glance to my left at my sister-in-law, the child's mother, and I know that what I'm about to say is going to create a stir.

"Well, buddy, I don't believe in God."

"You don't?" He is incredulous. Six years old, church every week since birth, Catholic school for kindergarten and first grade, and so totally brainwashed that this has never occurred to him.

"Yeah.  And that's okay. We all believe different things. You like macaroni and cheese and I don't. Elizabeth loves  Princess Sophia and you don't. We all have different beliefs."

I look at his mother, nervous. She doesn't say a word; she just keeps driving.

"Yeah," he replies, "but you're really wrong about the macaroni and cheese."

When they were little, it was so easy. You just held them, read them some Sandra Boyton, and all was good.

Now the questions are so hard and my vow to always tell them the truth gets harder and harder.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Watching from the Sidelines

I was at his second wedding. It was a casual event, held outside at a gazebo in a local park. It was lovely; I teared up at the "to have and to hold" like I always do.  The bride hiked up her wedding dress and rode away with the groom on a tandem bicycle.  We sat at a picnic table with Dr. BB's friends from the bike shop, laughed as they got consistently more and more wasted and more and more ridiculous, and then walked home hand in hand.

His wife's name was Lauren and I liked her so much. She was hilarious, worked hard at her job at a union, and we would always find ourselves huddled together at bike shop events as the "wives." He was playing in a band one weekend and when Dr. BB and I showed up, she scurried over to my side, told me that her future in-laws were here, and she was just meeting them for the first time and could I please, please, please go over there with her. This is when I found out it was his second marriage because the hushed whisper of "they hate me because they think we're rushing into this and we'll get divorced like he did before" was uttered just before I shook his father's hand.

I was waiting for Dr. BB to finish up his job at the bike shop once, filling my bike tires with air and generally goofing off when he came up to me and started telling me just how awesome Dr. BB was. Since I actually knew this information, I began quizzing him about his life (school? Lauren? upcoming gigs?), but when I got to questions about family he shut down. I watched his eyes dim, his smile become tight, and I heard his voice crack.

By the time we left Minneapolis, Dr. BB was worried about him. He had gotten divorced from Lauren, just as his parents had predicted. He was drinking a lot. The photos on Facebook showed him with bloodshot eyes, an ungroomed appearance, and nary an unhappy face.

The news that he had died hit Dr. BB hard.
We went to a lecture by a professor at the university where we teach that included a mini-battery of personality tests. Dr. BB and I were laughing (yes, I'm a Type A and he's not, he's a green and I'm a gold), but when we got to the paper about depression, Dr. BB's numbers were disturbing. We stopped laughing.

On the way home, I sort of went into crisis counseling mode.

"Do you have suicidal thoughts? Do you have a plan?"

The answers were encouraging, but the big helping of denial that went with it was not.

Treat others with kindness. Remind them that you love them. And definitely go on a bike ride with them in honor of Ben.
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