Friday, February 27, 2015

A fast and sloppy 7 quick takes. with a lot of links.

                                                                                                                                                            Because I have to go to the laundromat, and my idea-maker, also loosely referred to as my brain, is not working at optimal speed.


1.  This blog is one of my favorites to read. Not only is it inspirational, instructional and beautifully laid out, the monks are based in Ireland, where I dearly would love to go someday. Today's post about fasting is outstanding. And I am referring to this one throughout Lent, as a reminder. And Ireland.

2. Our Chinese student, who I will refer to as Chili to protect his identity, and because that is what I actually call him, had a birthday this past week. we took him to an Italian restaurant (owned by a couple that happen to live on our block, and have incidentally appeared in an episode of Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares). It was definitely no nightmare, the food being the kind of Italian you enjoy at your Nonna's on a Sunday. Chili likes Italian second best to Chinese. And waffles. Oh and Bacon, eggs, cereal, hot dogs, steak...anyway. He is 18, so. But the POINT is, Lent went out the window that night. As it rightly should have for a birthday celebration. But so did Bob's diet, my sorta kinda diet, and any sense of restraint. Chocolate Mousse Cake. I am still burping a little. Scusi.

3.  You should also read this blog. Today's post is funny AND spiritual. Good combo. But if you, like me, are bookish, you will like it all the time.

4. One of the good things I am reading a lot about this Lent is that we shouldn't try to do things that interfere with our vocation. Such as, the well worn scenario of the woman that goes to mass all the time and neglects her family. Or the person who fasts so strictly that he or she feels terrible and can't do their work well. Stuff like that. Something that comes to mind when I want to say, go to a morning weekday mass but can't due to duties or chores is this: When Bob and I used to play/sing music weekly for our parish's Sunday 5PM masses, we liked to arrive as early as possible to set up and rehearse in the church before people started to come and sit in the pews. Father Kelley would sometimes be praying in the empty church, at the side of the altar. We would come bustling in, lugging Bob's keyboard and all our stuff, and when we saw him, would apologize for having disturbed his prayer. I forget his exact words, but he never made us feel bad, saying something to the effect that he never would complain about that, because people were more important. I try to remember that when I am trying to BE SPIRITUAL but, people.

5.  If you like to cook or bake, or know anyone who does, this is the very best recipe blog around,  Any time my kids ask me for "that cheesecake recipe"or "that chili, or chocolate cake recipe'" it's always from Smitten Kitchen. She is a funny writer as well, and has wonderful step by step photos.

6. On a more serious note, I would ask you once again for your prayers for my family. Everyone has their own thing right now. Also for a couple of dear friends going through deep trials. Also for a family that has recently been in a terrible car accident and are all in various stages of injury, some serious. Their last name is Kurtz, they are from the area west of Philadelphia, and they are an amazing pro life family, having adopted 20 and helped scores more. This link takes you to the St. Francis house, which they helped start. It tells the story and asks for donations.

7. And now, because the laundry awaits, a joke,

GOD   to    ST. FRANCIS :
Frank:    You know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet?   What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago?   I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I  expected to see a vast garden of colours by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.

   It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers 'weeds' and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with   grass.

   Grass? But, it's so boring. It's not colourful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and worms. It's sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

   Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

   The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.  

   Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it - sometimes twice a week.

   They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

   Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

   They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

    No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away!

   Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw 
it away?

   Yes, Sir.

   These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

 You aren't going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

 What nonsense! At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It's a natural cycle of life.

   You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

   No! What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

   After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

    And where do they get this mulch?

   They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch .

   Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

   'Dumb and Dumber,' Lord. It's a story about...  

   Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

Happy weekend everybody!




  1. (1) Oh, you're too kind to mention my blog. Thank you.
    (2) Vulti Christi is a great blog, I agree. I got it from Joyce.
    (3) Your Chinese student is going to be a fat American before Is he Catholic? Have you taken him to Mass?
    (4) Prayers for your family. I hope all your children are doing well. I can use a prayer for my mother (still hobbled with pain and to receive steroid shots Weds) and a dear person I worked with for over 25 years passed away Friday. Audrey was her name and she had cancer. Can you pray for her soul?
    (5) I saw that joke somewhere else but I can't remember where. Loved it that my Catherine of Siena comes in at the end! :)

  2. Hey Manny, (1)., You're welcome.
    (2). Of course!
    (3). He is very weight conscious, and goes to the gym with my son, I think it will all balance out. :) He believes in Jesus, but has not been raised to go to church. Churches there tend to be tightly controlled by the government. I have read that some prefer "house churches."But he has no experience. Since he is in a Catholic High School, he will experience Mass. He asks a few questions from time to time, and I hope he will join us at the Easter Vigil, where most of mine that are not Catholic or don't go to mass, will go.
    (4). Of course I will pray for your mother and deceased friend.
    (5). Ha ha. :)

  3. Love that St. Francis joke! It's so true.

  4. Silly me. You sent me that joke in an email. That's where I saw it before, and I even replied to you with the same comment. I just came across it in my inbox. Lord my memory is

    1. Haha, I thought you were kidding :)
      When I say the same things over again, my response is, "hey, at least I'm consistent!" lol