Thursday, March 15, 2012

This and that

In Arizona my dad was telling the story of a visit to southern Mexico for his work. His host had a meeting that did not involve him, so dad asked to visit the local ruins. While he was there exploring a lady started following him around trying to sell him some woven shawls. He was not too interested in that kind of stuff, so he declined, but the lady kept dropping the price, from $12 to $3, at which point he bought the shawl, with very mixed feelings. She must have been in quite a bit of need to drop the price so far, but did he take advantage of her? To this day he is not quite sure.

It would be wonderful to be able to put people with beautiful handwork into contact with people who want, appreciate, and can afford beautiful things. That is happening more and more with fair trade items around the world, but there is a long way to go yet.

After my dad told the story, we were getting ready to leave the house, and my mom came out of the bedroom with the shawl in question. The weaving is amazing! The yarn is a little bit coarse, but this is a very warm shawl. When I admired it, my mom gave it to me. Isn't it beautiful?


A few days ago I receive a package from my mom with something I had forgotten (my scissors earrings). She wrapped and padded them in this apron:


It is old and faded, and has a few holes, but my mom told me her sister, my aunt Marcia, made it for her when she was a child. I can just see my aunt making it, and my mom bustling around the kitchen helping out with her apron on. Thank you mom, for sharing it with me!

Weather-wise we have skipped right from early spring into mid-summer. The plants are all bursting out to catch up. Yesterday when I went outside there was one crocus:


Today they are all up:


I planted a dozen crocuses in this spot probably about 30 years ago, 4 yellow ones, 4 purple ones, and 4 white ones. The yellow ones were the first to disappear, and the purple ones lasted several more years. I don't know if you can see, but a couple of the white ones have some purple tinge to them. I don't know if these are a blend between the original white and purple ones, or if they are the purple ones that have lost their color. All I know is that I love it when they come up every year.

Have you ever heard of a vegetable called romanesco? I hadn't until last Friday. Our food pantry got a donation, and we were all amazed at how beautiful (and strange-looking) they were. This color is not accurate, they are a much brighter yellow-green. The pointy spirals are very interesting, and when I looked in wikipedia they did confirm that these heads demonstrate fractals and Fibonacci numbers. So cool!


We were a little nervous to eat it, but I went ahead and cooked it like cauliflower. The verdict is it tastes like cauliflower, but it feels like broccoli in your mouth. We would definitely eat it again, if we ever saw it again!

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