Did Christ O’er Sinners Weep?
I found this ancient old psalmody in the attic of my parent’s home, and thought I’d share some beautiful nuggets from this Boston-area relic that are almost two centuries old. . . 1831 being the publishing date.
Delicata squash is basically God’s gift to squash. I know what you’re thinking . . . it looks so meek and unassuming. It’s a squash, for crying out loud. One run-in with a solid butternut and it’d be, well, squashed. But, no. I’m here to tell you that Delicata might be a little . . . delicata, but that soft exterior and sweet inner goodness only serve to make it the BEST SQUASH EVER.
Preparing delicata squash is also one of the simplest of tasks. You start by cutting it in half and scooping out the seeds (which you can save, but I always feel like this is more effort than it’s worth). Once scooped clean, trim off the stemmy bits.
Sans stems, all that remains of the is to slice these babies up into ruffly little slivers of golden ambrosia. . .
Spread them on a pan, and then place them in an oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F. After 10ish minutes, flip these over and set the timer for another ten. When it goes off, prepare yourself for the magical delight that will soon meet your tastebuds.
You can eat this delicious treat hot or cold, whole, or in bites, alone or as a side dish. Basically, Delicata is a most miraculous of treats! Enjoy it!!!
It’s an interesting question, really. I mean, people go to places like ratemyteacher.com or even just Facebook, where everybody vents, but sometimes you have to take a step back from those kinds of information sites and look from an even wider lens. SO, according to Google. . .
Maybe searching for teachers in general is jut a little vague. . . I mean, there are all sorts of teachers, right? What do people think about these teachers in general???
Well, a few negative things, but at least they’re important, special and hot, right?
Pirates. Well, okay.
So, evil, but hot. LIke Loki or something. So far, at least apparently, EVERY teacher group is good looking.
And then there’s my profession. . .
Okay, no hotness in sight. But crazy? Hateful? MURDEROUS???
You know the one I mean. He’s short, portly, loud, and has a tendency to take out the garbage wearing nothing but his boxers. Everybody’s got one, but mine is named Mikey, and some days, I just don’t know what to do with him. Think I’m exaggerating? Let me just paint this picture for you so you can really get a sense of what living across the street is like. . . First off, Mikey bears a striking resemblance to Danny Devito. I think he should probably enter Lookalike Contests.
He plays the drums . . . well, a drum kit, a fact which is he is very proud of. Plus, he has been known to holler interesting conversations across the street. In fact, Mikey has this incredible tendency to yell confessions of his affection for me across the street, as he sits on his stoop in the heart-stopping sleeveless t-shirt he so enjoys sporting. (And I mean heart-stopping in the I’m-having-an-episode kind of way. ) “Gee, I wish you were my girlfriend.”,“I’ve got a crush on you, Abby.”, “Thanks for bringing the sunshine out today, sweetheart.”, “I’d have paid attention in school if you were my teacher.”, “You girls are angels.”, and “Don’t you look nice!” have all been hollered at me in conversational response to the blatantly provocative things I am wont to say, like: “Good morning.” They echo through the neighborhood as I try to make non-committal and inoffensive responses while simultaneously unlocking my front door/car door as quickly as possible. I used to try to keep my head down and not say good morning, in hopes of avoiding these little exchanges, but I think it’s just as bad when he yells, “Are you mad at me?” across the street, you know?
1.) He has been in possession of a gigantic loudly-squawking parrot. (No joke.)
2.) Hitting on my roommate AND her mom at the same time.
3.) Giving me 3 CDs of his drumming to listen to.
4.) Flashing his nether-regions at one of my roommates. (. . . unintentionally? maybe? hopefully?!)
5.) Offering to shovel snow/carry groceries after said activity was already completed.
6.) Asking nearly all of my roommates and myself out to dinner on different occasions.
7.) Falling asleep on his front porch with his mouth open.
Now, ultimately, I think this man is probably harmless, but lets just say, he brings a little raucous neighborhood color into my life on a regular basis, and I’m not always quite sure how to respond.
I have never written to an author before. Nor have I written any kind of “dear John” letter, for that matter. My name is, however, Abigail Adams, so it seems only fitting that I write my first actual fan mail to someone named John, now that I think about it. I want to let you know that your writing has officially done what I never thought possible. That’s right. Your book An Abundance of Katherines made my mother pull an all-nighter.
I should probably explain. For starters, I’m a total nerd. I mean, typically I’m socially well adjusted and everything, but I love books of all kinds, and I’ve officially been a high school French teacher for 5 years now. It doesn’t get that much nerdier, right? Anyhow, I always try to beef up my reading list over summer vacation. Since I’m a long-time Vlogbrothers fan, your work was at the top of my list! I even brought two of your books back home to Ithaca, New York with me when I went to visit my parents last weekend. Then, after I sobbed my way through The Fault in Our Stars and stayed up all night reading Looking For Alaska, I went to the library and was the lucky patron to get the last copy of An Abundance of Katherines.
At this point, I have to digress just a little, because it turned out to be a signed copy. Now, I know, it’s your signature, so that’s probably not a big deal to you, but I actually contemplated stealing from a public library, so I guess that makes me a big fan of your work. (I didn’t steal it, just in case you are worried. Ithaca, New York can still publically access your work!)
I had to go back to Boston before I had a chance to finish the book, sadly leaving the book behind for my Mom to return. Which brings us to the Big Deal Moment. This morning my phone rang at 8am, and it was my Mom. She was calling to tell me that she stayed up all night reading your book. My mom is pretty picky about books. She loves literature of all kinds, but she’s pretty old school, and she sometimes gives up on reading books that use “crass language” or discuss anything “racy”. (To this day, if I say something like “damn” or “screwed” in her presence, she furrows her eyebrows at me and says: “Abigail Adams, you are a maiden!”) So, I wasn’t sure what she would think about your work. (Not that you’re in the business of writing dirty books or anything. But, you know, teenaged protagonists swear and occasionally talk about premarital sex and such . . .) And what did my Mother say?
She raved about it, saying that she was completely absorbed in the story, that sometimes there would be a line so perfect, or so witty, or so thought provoking, that she had to share it with my Dad. He didn’t appreciate the all-nighter phenomenon quite as much, which is why she had to call me as early as she dared in order to fully give in to waxing complimentary about the book. Suffice it to say, you officially received The Lynn Adams Stamp of Approval, which is a big deal. A few of my siblings are still holding out for that one.
It bears mentioning that, despite her lack of appreciation for even the most well-placed expletives, my mother is one of the finest women breathing. Aside from birthing five gigantor babies (who she continues to care about well beyond a time when she could’ve stopped), she is also an incredible teacher, a shockingly talented perennial gardener, and a somewhat-closeted poet. Plus, growing up, she read aloud to the five of us kids all the time, and probably deserves some kind of a medal, not only for creating lovers of the written word, but also for sobbing her way to the end of Where the Red Fern Grows so that we could know the tragic fates of Old Dan and Little Anne. Essentially, she’s like the Mother Theresa of mothers (not the nun kind). Thus, getting her sincere appreciation is a pretty significant achievement, and I just thought you should know.
Also, if it matters, I really appreciated your books as well. Your work is beautifully insightful and truly a gift to the reader.
p.s. I know you don’t respond to snail mail, even from your Mom, but regardless, I hope you read it and that your publisher isn’t just laughing maniacally as this goes through the shredder and Bad to the Bone plays loudly in the background.
p.p.s. I am going to post this on the Internet, too, just in case your publisher really is a fan of George Thorogood and the Destroyers.
Not long ago, in a fit of nostalgic insomnia, I was searching through some books tucked away in my childhood bedroom, and I found this poem, which was written by a woman named Edith Kent Battle. It resonated so clearly with me and my daily thoughts and prayers, so I thought I would share.