7 Quick Takes: An End to an Intense Week

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

The color of the dress. There was a debate online today about the color of the dress that someone posted on Tumblr. (Here’s a link to one of the articles on it for those who are interested.) The answer: it’s blue/black or white/gold depending on the light and angle at which you are viewing the picture.

— 2 —

Thank you. Thank you to those who have emailed or messaged me on Facebook over the last few days to express your condolences on the deaths of Trail Kitty and Cullen. It means a great deal to me. I think I’m dealing better with Cullen’s death than Jon is because I was present for it and I know he didn’t suffer. It was also the humane thing to do because apparently, he was having problems moving.

I am eternally grateful to Audrey, the woman who adopted my boys, because she’s given them a wonderful retirement home as they are now retired church cats. She lives in a retirement community for church workers so it is definitely fitting.

— 3 —

Midweek Lenten Soup Suppers. For those of my readership who are Catholic or Orthodox, a number of liturgical Protestant denominations have midweek Lenten soup suppers where people sign up to bring soup and other people bring salads and desserts. (My husband’s internship supervisor commented on Ash Wednesday 2003 that “Catholics fast, Lutherans eat.” At my Episcopal church, 4-5 people sign up to bring soup (homemade or store-bought — both are acceptable), 2 people bring salads, 2 people bring bread, and 2 people bring cookies. Last night, we had four options: egg drop, tomato bisque, chicken tortilla soup, and goulash. I went with the goulash as I’m allergic to eggs and the tomato base of the other two doesn’t sit well with my stomach. It was different than the goulash I was picturing — it was macaroni, ground beef, tomato paste, and a little bit of cheese to hold it together. I definitely needed some comfort food and it did not disappoint! We also do “Lenten interest groups” and mine is on prayer, so that was pretty fun.

— 4 —

A “liberal” reason to hate Susan G. Komen. Some of my Catholic friends are against Susan G. Komen because they get funds from Planned Parenthood. Well… now there’s a “liberal” reason to hate them: they’re partnered with Baker Hughes, a fracking company. They made a $100,000 donation to Komen and are passing out pink drill bits to their fracking sites.

If you’re disgusted by this (especially as 25% of the more than 700 chemicals used in fracking are carcinogenic), sign this petition.

— 5 —

An update on the whole “read the Bible in a year” thing. I just got through Leviticus in the Old Testament which was pretty dry and I’m in Numbers right now which is only marginally better. This is probably why my AP English teacher told us to to read Exodus but not take note of all the specs for the ark of the covenant unless we wanted to build one. :) I continue to be introduced to some wonderful Psalms (strangely, there are some I haven’t read before even though there’s at least one in the lectionary every Sunday) and I’m now into Luke’s Gospel in the New Testament.

— 6 —

Update on Lenten disciplines. When my mother-in-law saw me opening the last can of Coke in the house on Sunday, I may or may not have said something along the lines of “Yes, this is a can of Coke. Sundays are mini-Easters. Don’t judge me!!!!” Yeah… I’m doing just *SO* well at my abstaining of Coke for Lent. :) Otherwise, my prayers are at least happening and I’m getting the extra reading done daily.

— 7 —

Keeping myself sane. Megan at Clearing the Sill of the World introduced me to the wonderfulness that is Tim Hawkins 3 Lents ago and I’m re-posting his “hedge of protection” sketch because it’s one of my go-to YouTube videos when I need some levity.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

#FiveFaves: Things To Distract Me from the Suckiness of My Life At the Moment

#5Faves

In the last 48 hours, the following things have happened: I’ve had to fight with Social Security only to discover that I’m being penalized for their screw-up, my parents’ Maine Coon passed away, I got a call from Cullen’s new mommy telling me that he would be having to be put to sleep today due to advanced cancer of the intestine, I took Cullen with his new mommy to his vet appointment where he crossed the Rainbow Bridge (so glad I did — he went peacefully within a minute and a half with his new mommy and I stroking him and scratching his ears), and I’m dealing with financial issues.

So… right now, I’m wanting anything and everything that can distract me from my desire to just pull the covers over my head and hide. Here are some things that are keeping me from losing my mind.

One

Crocheting. I’m sitting at $tarbux working on some amigurumi crocheting for a friend while catching up on some of my favorite shows.

Two

“All About That Bass” rendered by Straight No Chaser. Because tenors can be *SUCH* primadonnas!

Three

Inquirer’s Class. I’ve been attending an Episcopal Church since we moved down to southern California in June and I was invited to attend the Inquirer’s Class in preparation for the bishop’s visit in March to figure out what steps I would need to take to join. The answer is apparently Confirmation. So… I’m being confirmed on Sunday after 20 years of being Christian. (My mother-in-law’s response: “It’s about time you were confirmed!”)

Four

Tim Hawkins on going to a “hand-raising” church. If you’re familiar with megachurch worship, this will cause you to die of laughter. It’s one of YouTube videos I go to when I need a pick-me-up.

Five

Rice Krispies treats. They are my kryptonite.

Go love up Jenna and the others.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: February 23, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY February 23, 2015

Outside my window… sunny but a bit chilly still. It will probably be in the high 50’s today and we have a chance of more rain. Given how completely far behind we are, I say, “BRING IT!!!!” Despite the pain I get from all the weather changes, I really *did* enjoy the rain yesterday and the intermittent downpours last night. My beneficent mother-in-law (who quite graciously watches “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” with my child so I can have a shower and who is also reading over my shoulder) took Daniel to play in the gutters yesterday. The way our cul-de-sac is, they turn into a pretty decent river when it rains and my wee bairn had a blast!

I am thinking… about the tax stuff I’m trying to do.

I am thankful… that Daniel has a 5-day school week again though we’re headed into vacation time and teacher-inservice days next month.

In the kitchen… not sure what I’ll do for lunch. Maybe chicken over quinoa?

I am wearing…my Run for the Little Flowers 5K shirt and jeans. (I also added my UCSC Alumni sweatshirt midway through typing this.)

I am praying for… the Social Security blunders that I’m having to spend time straightening out, a call for Jon, Daniel’s IEP next week, and a bunch of special intentions along with my Lenten prayer practices.

I am going… to call Social Security in a few minutes to yell at them.

I am wondering… if we’ll be getting any refund this year on our taxes.

I am reading… The Hen of the Baskervilles by Donna Andrews. I read and finished Landlines by Rainbow Rowell this past week.

I am hoping… for a good afternoon with Daniel.

I am looking forward to… Wednesday.

I am hearing… various machines and robots cleaning.

Around the house… machines going (dishwasher, washer/dryer, Roomba, Mints…).

A favorite quote for today… “God loves human beings. God loves the world. Not an ideal human, but human beings as they are; not an ideal world, but the real world. What we find repulsive in their opposition to God, what we shrink back from with pain and hostility, namely, real human beings, the real world, this is for God the ground of unfathomable love.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

One of my favorite things… mint and chocolate.

A few plans for the rest of the week: sort out taxes, Bible study/meeting with speech therapy/class/choir on Wednesday, date night on Friday, and whatever else comes up.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Ashtags, Simcha Fisher on Lent, and Ministry Links

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

#Ashtag. Ignoring the naysayers, here is my #ashtag:

#ashtag

Not the best picture of me but it seemed wrong to do any photo-editing to make me appear like I wasn’t exhausted and my hair wasn’t standing on end after being in motion for about 9-10 hours at that point. There was also the fact that I was taking the pic in Daniel’s room with the lights off because I was trying to get my bear child (who was being a holy terror) to sleep.

— 2 —

Lenten disciplines. For Lent, I’ve got the follow disciplines going:

[-] Giving up Coke.
[-] Taking on extra reading. (I’m using this).
[-] Kelly’s discipline for me which is offering up every day for someone including 5 “enemies”. I was already planning to pray for a different person daily as suggested by priest’s wife so this totally works.

— 3 —

I heart Simcha Fisher. Girlfriend has two really good posts up about Lent here and here at the National Catholic Register.

Why do I love her so much? In March 2011 when I was dealing with a critically ill kid in the PICU at UC Davis Medical Center and wondering if I’d ever see my cats or my own bed again, she posted this. The idea of doing extracurricular work at my local Santaria club caused me to laugh so hard I was crying and caused nurses across the floor to congregate in Daniel’s PICU bay.

— 4 —

More Lenten fun. My favorite Jesuit author, Fr. James Martin, linked up a video on his Twitter about Lent and showed various America Magazine staffers as well as Stephen Colbert talking about what they’ll be doing for Lent this year.

Oh… and for those familiar with his buddies telling him what to give up for the last 30 years, this year’s list is: sno-balls, wintergreen flavoring, snow peas, and quinoa.

— 5 —

Understanding introverts. I think I saw this on Facebook but regardless, I think you need to read it. It’s about the things introverts would never tell you and it very perfectly describes me.

— 6 —

A blog post that should be sent to every church looking for a pastor. One of our dearest colleagues from Montana shared this article on Facebook about when churches are looking for a pastor to bring in young families. It says everything I’ve wanted to tell people when they kvetch about how “young people don’t do ________” and they wonder why young families don’t go near their church with a ten foot pole.

— 7 —

Promise Walk. I’m pondering the idea of doing a virtual walk for the Promise Walk this year as the closest one is 2 hours south and on a Sunday. I’ll let y’all know what I end up doing.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

Horrified

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the martyrdom of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya by ISIS. I’d like to ask y’all to please pray for them and their families. Their names are:

Makeen Zaky
Abanub Ayad Atiya
Maged Solaiman Shehata
Yusuf Shukry Yunan
Kirollos Shokry Fawzy
Bishoy Astafanus Kamel
Somaily Astafanus Kamel
Malak Ibrahim Sinweet
Tawadros Yusuf Tawadros
Girgis Milad Sinweet
Mina Fayez Aziz
Hany Abdelmesih Salib
Bishoy Adel Khalaf
Samuel Alham Wilson
Worker from Awr village
Ezat Bishri Naseef
Loqa Nagaty
Gaber Munir Adly
Esam Badir Samir
Malak Farag Abram
Sameh Salah Faruq

A dear sister-in-Christ of mine is a Coptic priest’s wife, also known as a “tasoni” and she has weighed in on this. I recommend reading it.

Regarding ISIS, I offer this prayer from the Book of Common Prayer:

O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth: deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: February 15, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY February 15, 2015

Outside my window… warm. Weather.Com is saying it’s 75F outside at 5:22 p.m. and I believe them. I know everyone on the eastern seaboard is going to throw things at me (especially any readers around Boston) but I miss living in places with snow. I actually had to shave my legs last night!!!! (I don’t usually have to in the winter.)

I am thinking… about my camera that bit the dust just now. Oh well… it served me well for 12 years.

I am thankful… that Daniel can (usually) entertain himself while I shower.

In the kitchen… teryaki chicken and potatoes. (Eating a combination of leftovers.)

I am wearing… Run for the Little Flowers 5K shirt and khaki shorts.

I am praying for… sanity (like that’s going to happen!), a good night’s sleep, a call for Jon, and a bunch of special intentions.

I am going… to be wearing flip-flops for the next few days until the top of my right foot stops hurting from the burns. (I burned it checking Daniel’s bathwater.)

I am wondering… what the 50 Shades of Grey junkies thought when they realized they were watching full-on pr0n.

I am reading… the Bible. I finished Murder with Puffins by Donna Andrews this morning during my pedicure.

I am hoping… Daniel goes down without too much of a fight tonight.

I am looking forward to… Daniel having normal school weeks and not having Mondays off for holidays.

I am hearing… Daniel playing with his tablet.

Around the house… laundry cycling and various cleaning robots working.

One of my favorite things… Coca Cola. It is disappearing for Lent though.

A few plans for the rest of the week: tea on Tuesday afternoon with a family friend, pancakes at church on Tuesday night, Ash Wednesday things on Wednesday, and whatever else the week holds for me.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

Some Words on Love

I re-post this almost every year.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
–1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)