Friday, March 8, 2013

7 quick mid-Lent-slump takes


Last week my Lent routine fell apart. I missed daily mass three days, forgot my daily prayers a couple days, and when I finally got to mass on Friday, was provided with an opportunity to pray Stations of the Cross, but didn't get the flyer with the words on it as I entered, and then felt too self conscious to go around looking for it, so I just listened to the collective mumbling of everybody else, and called it "going to Stations." I did kneel and say, "for by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world,"so that made it count.


Our cat, otherwise known as He Who Has Never Left The House, SOMEHOW has gotten fleas. Not a terrible case, but STILL. We have bathed him in Dawn dish soap several times, which he LOVES, and then have to vacuum and wash everything that isn't nailed down. (Which is, everything, because I don't know about you, but we don't nail things down).  Rinse and repeat. And NO TALKING about the fleas or we will all be itching. So, yes, right now, I am itching.


I am reading The Collected Stories, by Isaac Bashevis Singer. I have always loved reading Jewish literature, I read everything by Chaim Potok as a kid/young adult. This book is all short stories, some are folk tales, some set in modern times in New York City, still folk-tale-ish. They all, so far, deal with the presence and effect of evil in the world. What is interesting is how his Jewish perspective is very like the Catholic one.


If you suffer from disappearing socks while doing your laundry at home, try taking your wet laundry to the laundromat. I went from three pairs to none. Now I have to rummage in my 13 year old daughter's drawers whenever I am about to leave the house and don't feel like going sockless in my snow boots. Now I know why she emerges from her room in seventeen seconds after I send her in there to put away her clothes. I also found where my can opener went. Still better than finding food in a dresser drawer. Months-old food. It has happened.


Lent has been very Lent-ish this year. Dear friends and family that really need prayers! Please add my intentions for them to your prayers whenever you think of me going around sockless with no can opener. But there really are some heavy needs, besides mine. We also STILL have not received our tax return, even though it has been the prescribed 21 days. sigh. We just want to pay some bills! And I am beginning to dream about cookies. But those will have to wait till Easter. I would at least like to be able to start gathering the ingredients to do my Easter baking. Then I can see that we are getting closer! Some people read daily Lenten spiritual readings as a count down, I pore over Easter bread and ricotta pie recipes. To each his own.


What do you do for St. Patrick's day?  We have corned beef and cabbage, and some years I make Irish potatoes. My daughter Corrie's birthday is the 17th, so we mash up her birthday with St. P's day. This year, we are including the flea bag cat , as he is a year in March. Malaika figures he is a ginger (he is orange) so he must be Irish. And thankfully it falls on a Sunday, so yes, once again, food.


Well, I am off to the laundromat, with mismatched borrowed socks, in the falling snow, feeling itchy because I brought up THAT subject, feeling a little irritated with the IRS, and a little worried, too. How Lenten. But also thankful for my husband carrying out the 400 pounds of wet laundry in the snow earlier, to save me at least one trip. And that I can go to the novena mass tonight, thereby saving me from missing mass altogether. And for being offered a part time job cooking for the IHM sisters at our parish. Every little bit helps. I will probably have some tales about that!

You friends and loved ones--know that I am praying for you, even as I blunder about. Love you!


  1. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who's suffered mid-Lent slump this week. And I SO feel for you with the flea issue. When we had cats we had to deal with that once and it was horrific. One tip - don't forget to treat all wicker in the house (furniture, baskets, wastebaskets, etc). Fleas like wicker for some reason.

    1. Uh oh. baskets. erg! Bit thanks for the tip!

  2. here is Joyce's comment that I accidentally deleted, It was in my email, and upon deleting it from there, it disappeared from here as well. Sorry! And I had even replied to it.erg...

    I am at your service if you want some help ( or company) with the laundry. Sometimes I wish we were still in the "dark ages" where clothes were washed by hand because I find that sort of thing both therapeutic and penitential, as only a weirdo like me could. That wish would last all of about an hour if anything permanent did happen to our washing machine. As for the cat...been there, long ago with a black Lab we had who got herself infested somehow. I still itch thinking about it, so I feel your pain, er um itchiness. This will be the Lent I will never forget for a lot of reasons but I am grateful for friends like you and your prayers. Know that you and yours are always in mine as well. Love ya Joyce

    1. Laundry is one of my favorite chores. About 18 years ago I lived in Southern Chester County, very near the Delaware border and Lancaster to our west -- I hung out the wash summer and winter. we had a woodstove, and I would string stuff up over that on wet days. You should have seen how gorgeous it was there, and how peaceful. I am so out of my element in the city.
      I know I have pictures of it there, even then I knew it wouldn't last. I will scan and make a post out of them.

      I also had a vegetable garden the size of your average South Philly living room. Ah, that part of then was a gift from God.

  3. Oh I completely fell apart too this week with my Lenten promises. I was on a week long business trip and it's impossible to not have a drink. One of the things I gave up was alcohol. Well it's not impossible because others didn't (not because of Lent but because they don't drink period) but I caved. I must have had at least one drink every night.

    Great you're reading Singer. He's fantastic.

    We try to have corned beef and cabbage too. Wow, that's only a week away. I wonder if they've put corned beef on sale yet.

    I've been praying the Stations of the Cross almost every morning during Lent. And Joyce's rosary asignment at night. ;)

    1. Your prayer sounds wonderful. It is good to gain control over our desires, but it sounds like this Lent, for you, the prayer and communion with Jesus became your focus, and that is fantastic. You will not want to stop! My prayer life is always there, but so scattered and inconsistent. If I don't go to our 8:30 AM daily mass, where they say the rosary afterward, I will not get around to saying it on my own. And then also may forget to say some of my other daily prayers. I need that time, purposely carved out of my day, or it gets away from me.

      I feel slightly lass bad about that, because usually if I don't go it;s either because I am sick or doing something for a family member, or some work for the household. Since all that is part of my vocation too, I know at least I am fulfilling part of my duties.

      As far as the corned beef goes, I don't know what food prices are like up your way, but they are sky high here. I found a hunk of corned beef at an Aldo store for a decent price, and if we end up having a lot of people that night, I'll just make a lot of potatoes. :)

      I am enjoying the Singer immensely. About 2/3 of the way through it. He really has a handle on how sin and evil worm their way in to the lives of even the most faithful.