Saturday, October 30, 2010

Defending Halloween

" night a year the world seems to become re-enchanted. Halloween night feels different. That night is spooky and menacing. For one night a year we go back in time and become medieval again. That's what makes Halloween so interesting. It's the last vestige of the Dark Ages. Smack in the middle of our disenchanted modernity." --Richard Beck

This past week, Richard Beck has written a series of posts on the healthy aspects (candy aside!) of Halloween:

It’s October. And that means I face the yearly question from students: “How should Christians respond to Halloween?” There’s an interesting conversation to be had about Halloween. A place to explore the intersection of faith and culture. To add my voice to that conversation I’d like to offer some psychological observations in defense of Halloween.

Psychologically, I think Halloween performs two important functions. First, Halloween allows us to collectively process our eventual death and mortality. The graveyards, corpses, blood, skeletons, and coffins of Halloween allow us, on a yearly basis, to confront our physicality and work through our largely repressed fear of death. In this, Halloween serves an important existential function. Second, Halloween allows us to work through our fears of the uncanny, the things that go bump in the night. This is the second major theme of Halloween, which manifests itself in Halloween’s evening and monster motifs, the bats, owls, ghosts and goblins. The world is a scary place at times, a strange and mysterious place, and we tend to fill its dark corners with “monsters.”

Read the series here. And while you're there, check out his fascinating series on The Theology of Monsters (one of my favorites).

Our family's traditions: carving pumpkins, eating popcorn and drinking cider, and roasting pumpkin seeds.

     Jacque and Pierre

 Jack doing the popcorn on the nose trick

However you celebrate this time of year, I hope you enjoy time with family and friends!

Friday, October 22, 2010

at last

 rainy day.

fireplace day. studying and reading day. 
baking day.

Easy Banana Quinoa Muffins
3/4 cup Quinoa flour
3/4 cup Quinoa flakes
3 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
3-4 T. honey
3 eggs
3 ripe, mashed bananas
Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls. Add wet to dry until just moistened. Pour batter into muffin tins till half full. Bake 400 for 15-20 minutes. Makes 1 dozen.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

moments of grace

This "betwixt and between" season has always been a favorite of our family. Like Turner's "liminal moment," fall is the boundary season. It both reminds and anticipates. This last week some of us enjoyed a break from the busyness. Time with family, time with friends, time in nature. It was lovely...

The birthday girl below about 13 years ago (at The Happy Apple Farm)
The youngest turns 14!
celebrating in Denver
dad and oldest daughter--in her typical pose :-)
she's the girl amid the trees below

beautiful tea with good friends (pumpkin bars, scones, yummy grilled chicken salad, English tea)

our backyard this morning
perfect day for Farm and Art Market at The Margarita
and colorful purchases

Sunday, October 10, 2010

outside margarita

The first set of pictures are up from our night at The Margarita. You can view them on Lydia's blog or here, to see more beautiful shots.

Friday, October 8, 2010

the margarita and gezelligheid

 One of my daughters and I spent a beautiful evening recently at The Margarita at Pine Creek thanks to the generosity of a good friend.  She was playing harpsichord with a classical guitarist that evening, so we sat as her guests at the musician's table. The food was outstanding, the atmosphere magical, the music lovely. I especially enjoyed the conversation with my friend, my daughter, and new friends, the guitarist and his wife. The talk ranged from Ravel to the anthropic principle, from Liszt to free will and determinism (the guitarist happens to be a physicist and "armchair" philosopher). It was one of those unexpected perfect evenings, when everything fits....warm companionship, the intimate atmosphere, the music, the food and wine, the weather (a crisp, fall evening). Beauty and community...a definite sense of gezelligheid. My daughter captured the evening well--hope to link her pictures when she posts.

Friday, October 1, 2010


We've had such a fast paced week around here, from the oldest to the youngest...late nights and early mornings for all of us. Combine that with the unseasonably warm, dry weather and a prolonged fall allergy season and I awake too early (again) feeling fairly ragged. After a morning of  "catch up" errands, the hammock and warm weather beckon.  The house and neighborhood are quiet. Who knows when the hammock opportunity will come around again? It could be months...It's been too long and too busy, and I've been reading Thoreau with my American Lit. students. So I give in (despite all the grading and the lesson planning and the research writing that needs to be done...not to mention the cleaning and laundry!). Note to self--Friday is the perfect hammock day.