The Scary Truth about Pumpkins


October traditions lead to massive pumpkin waste!  In November when pumpkins begin to decompose, unfortunately they turn in to methane. That, of course, is a harmful greenhouse gas that plays a huge part in climate change. 

Transforming a plain old pumpkin into a jack-o’-lantern is one of the highlights of Halloween. But once we’re done, second nature – we throw them away instead of disposing them in an eco-friendly manner. Pumpkins are organic waste, which means you can compost them, but we often fail to do so. Here are some ways to extend the life of your used jack-o’-lantern and uncarved pumpkins. 

Firstly, what you’re going to want to do is split the pumpkin seeds and guts apart.  Then cut the pumpkin in half. With the seeds you can either roast them, creating a delicious plant protein snack, or you can store the seeds to grow your own pumpkin patch. 

To roast them you simply preheat the oven to 320°

-Boil the seeds in salt water and drain

-Scatter them on a cooking sheet

-Add olive oil and a little bit of salt

-Roast for 10 minutes and you’re done with an easy healthy snack.

Now for the guts – many overlook the endless possibilities of how you can use the guts – If you have a juicer you can juice the pumpkin with apple, ginger or cinnamon, creating a healthy drink. You can use the pulp for these recipes- but if you don’t have a juicer, you can use the guts of the pumpkin for various recipes.

If you have a savory sweet tooth but want to stay healthy around the holidays this might be the perfect drink for you –

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake (Vegan)

-Steam the pumpkin guts for 30 minutes

-Let it cool and using a blender purée

(If using pulp you can skip this step^)

Now blend-

-4 tbsp purée or pulp

-Either 3 ice cubes and a Banana or 1 cup vanilla vegan ice cream

-¼ cup of any plant-based milk (my favorite, oak milk)

-½ TBSP vanilla extract

-½ tbsp pumpkin spice, cinnamon or nutMeg

And enjoy a healthy holiday dessert!

This next recipe will make your dogs love you a little bit more around the holidays – pumpkins are considered one of the best “people foods” you can give your canine companion, supporting their urinary and digestive health!

Pumpkin Flaxseed/oat Dog Treats 

Blend: the pumpkin pulp 

-1 ½ cups of flaxseeds or oats

-¼ cup of water

– *2 tablespoons of coconut flakes or peanut butter (If desired) 

Roll into ball shapes and freeze them

With this same recipe you can make a brightening face mask filled with vitamin A and C 

All you do is you the same ingredients, minus the peanut butter and freezing.

 If you don’t want to do any of these sustainable recipes you can always donate pumpkins to local animal sanctuary.  The animals love them. You can also compost in your own backyard, or find a local composting facility or community garden that will utilize the pumpkins.

Make the most out of your pumpkins this season and let’s all be less wasteful together!

Image credit: Pinterest.com

Concentric Circles

Image via OxfordLearnersDictionary.com

Like two concentric circles

I feel the dawns and risings

Falling into time

Orbiting and cycling like rings of some grand design

Winds blow me where the water runs in time

To keep my eyes above the ribbons parched and frozen

Like an ocean master’s finger hold

Her careless calloused caress

It screams of devotion

Of a calm

Of a sailor’s test

Her arms are ragged and fearless

Her toes are soaked and furled

She holds it all together

Like god holds our world

She chews upon ideas

Like a mouthful of wonder

Like cheeks full of zeal

And I am left on the deck like a blubberless seal

Wondering where along my path will I learn such sacred songs

I feel like I can hear them

Like leaves

The lessons

thrust to the ground from their canopy homes 

and dragged

Like billions of fingernails on a world sized chalkboard

reflections above the water

the pool, hot on a september slab of concrete. a speaker singing a distinctly weekend song, listing back towards the heat of summer struggling against the onset of school. but we just repeatedly submerged ourselves and lie on hot things in the sun roasting to save a bit of heat, sort of fattening up for the winter. Peter was ripped of course, how could he not have a six pack at 16, he’s just that kinda guy. strong silent type, super cool, badass; also relentlessly nerdy, shy as can be, and definitely one of the guys you have to know well to know at all. he’s perched like a lizard on the high dive rolling over to toast each side, occasionally and jarringly rolling off the diving board upsetting the water 10 feet below and the less fit, less shy, me on the low dive (because heights aren’t my thing.) 

you feel like the sun is shining through you when you lay on a black diving board like that, the surface burns your skin and the sun does its worst on the other side, you lie there. the closest we will ever feel to a cold blooded animal, or a zucchini in the midst of the broiling of a lifetime. we just lie there thinking that maybe if we didn’t move time might pass us by and leave us happily stranded in constant farewell to the pregnant bliss of the weekend. and teal, blues in abundance like a brochure to mykonos, both the sky and the water both are cloudless and still moving.

in those peaceful hours i saw fleetingly like a stag in your peripheral, the adolescence people tell you to hold onto. we did. we savored it. an experience we never talked about partly because it might seem gay and partly because what would we say. in a way it was my connection to the schoolboys i see in black and white, with my white gloves flipping through ancient yearbooks. content to lie on a hot rock by the creek with a friend you have been through hell and back with. i saw a glimpse in that moment, a glimpse of the school we would’ve attended had we been born in 1900.

Peter never chose me. he was content with the friends he had, i wasn’t cool, and i idolized him. terrible way to make a friend. but i just kinda showed up, next door, and i would just come and sit with him, uncomfortable as all hell at first, but within days we became happy to distract one another and would spend study hall sneaking back and forth between our rooms talking about rock climbing season and expensive climbing shoes. like two freshman boys did in a hundred years prior, one running into the others room discussing the intricacies of a new radio. wasting a two hour study period and leaving homework for 5 am the next morning before we went to muck their horses. and tomorrow we’d plan to sleep through study hall as a result of our long day but instead chose to scour ebay for deals on aforementioned climbing shoes.

 we weren’t fast friends, but when we needed to study we could sit in silence and study and that was comfortable. also wasting our time nerding out over lame climbing equipment, but both were necessary evils and a part of our lives. for me silence was always the enemy of friendship because good friends always had something to talk or argue about. but Peter liked to listen, to say nothing, to test if it would be awkward, sometimes it was, most of the time it wasn’t. but now when i see him once a month silence is my enemy again. i want him to tell me everything, tell me the gossip, what’s happened since i left, who’s with who, who hates who, funny stories. and Peter just wants to be with his friend and sit and eat obscene quantities of brie and just exist and pretend nothing happened.

state to state

As a student who moved from Texas to Connecticut and to California, it is always refreshing to live in different states. Each state has different vibes for sure. The winter of Texas felt super short, and in contrast Connecticut’s winter felt super long. I realized that the climate of each state affects people subtly yet is still discernible, and those subtle changes accumulate and then makes each state’s unique vibe. The weather in California is indeed beautiful yet whimsical, and people in California seem to have another unique vibe compared to other states. This is my first year in California, and it is indeed mesmerizing to observe the beautiful state of California. And I can’t wait to watch the other side of California that I have not observed. I am really fascinated to stay in this state for a while, and I hope the good impression from the beginning will still stay in my head till the end.

photo credit: unsplash.com

The Smell of Rain

Every inhalation of Petrichor,

Every breath I take sitting and watching the teardrop water fall to the ground.

I am calm, grounded, grey.

I can’t describe the smell of rain in scents, only in feelings;

calm: an encompassing blanket wrapped around my shoulders and a companion sitting by my side. We are together, we are in love, we are safe, or at least we think we are in the moment.

brave: walking alone on an empty road. Only thoughts to accompany me. I am strong, I am powerful, I am one with the nature that surrounds me. Fuck the world, society, my responsibilities; I will walk until my legs give out. And when I collapse, my time has come. Like a wild rabbit in the jaws of a wolf.

sad: the sky is crying, so am I. But the sky’s tears feed the earth, maybe mine will too.

solitude: lonely, but lonely is not always bad. Today it’s peaceful, but yesterday it was harrowing . But today it’s peaceful

The smell of rain

One second it drizzles, the next it pours.

Ever changing.

Thunder follows lighting.

A bolt hits a tree, a fire starts

It is only natural.

Some days the rain makes me feel gloomy, somedays it makes me feel safe.

Today I feel thankful.

Thankful for the sun, thankful for the rain, thankful for the world, thankful to feel something.

Thankful for the memories.

The scent of Soaftsoap Milk and Golden Honey reminds me of kindergarten. The scent of petrichor reminds me of a time when things were different.

I can’t go back to kindergarten, but I’m starting to believe that I can go back to being happy.

Here I sit, watching the rain, breathing in the scent;

I feel gloomy like the sky, but I am grounded like the earth. my emotions are ever-changing just like the rain.

I am one day closer to jubilation.

I am breathing in the Petrichor

Image via Pinterest.com

Colorblind Autumn

California will always be the greatest state to me, don’t get me wrong. We have everything here. Some of the best skiing in the world, iconic beaches, wine country, incredible and unique cities. But despite all of these, the golden state lacks one thing- seasons. For me, and probably many of us who were raised here, Fall is warm breezes and dry air. The landscape maintains a tan and green hue, and the blue skies yield temperatures in the 80s. Here, it isn’t harvest season. The skies are not gray. Sweaters are not the garment of choice. Yes, we do have an abundance of pumpkin spice themed foods at the local Trader Jose. But it doesn’t quite make up for an abundance of colored leaves and ominous sky. In some ways it feels like fall. The lighting is different than summer, and the nights colder. There’s a general sense of giddy unease, and everything is a shade darker. But it isn’t the same. Visiting colleges display fold outs of orange yellow and gold tinted campuses, scarves and beanies, coffee and scarecrows resembling the flourishing crops. I know I’m not the only one that yearns for this, but sometimes it feels that way. California I love you, but there’s a few things you lack. Don’t even get me started about winter. 

Credit: TripSavvy

where my eyes cease to look

If I may,

through ye rivers

through ye trees

it is you who have suffered

by the hand of me

with starlets faded

and trumpets drowned

ye murky streams

stood idle

held fast in winter sounds

– you’re a river –

ancient winnings left unsung

you’re my peer, my equal

yet you still leave me stung 

ye valley, ye hillside, ye marbled dismay

covered in oleander

onward ye May

ye gargling, ye moving, ye ponderous brook 

(struck through me!)

a center it took

“Tear me to pieces

cut out where my eyes cease to look”

and just then will they open to see

the face of summer laughing at me

with eyes open wide 

my love it did wander

for bitter I was

my heart it did squander:

ye forest, ye mountain, ye breeze

ye sunglass driving, ye proliferate bees.

Suppose I am the offspring of thine shepherd:

you are the hunt,

that which I am after.

and with the fall comes the rapid convergence:

mine sweet love’s resurgence

But once again the autumn leaves took

to a different stream or babbling brook

and forevermore I am wandering in a forest ever stranger

of perilous rot

and cavernous danger

All that which a summer could bring!

but once again I am searching for a longer sting

and what of the prospect? What this winter will bring!

while more I could say might strengthen the pressure 

I leave with you no words, no rhyme, no measure

that might contrast mine song of May

it tingles, it trickles, and just may delight

in telling a story of our precarious plight

with the sincerest intentions on an immeasurable scale,

all that you’re left with is a tacky email

and no words, no sermons, no divine light

could bring you back the way it would 

into my life.

minutes later you answer:

true love is true love’s killer

Credit: https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1992.5112/