Showing posts from 2015

Happy, Happy Christmas!


Why We Take Presents to the Neighbors

I'm sure I could find the specifics of this story if I searched the blog thoroughly, but, frankly, I don't feel like it. I can tell the story just as well without using specific names and specific towns anyway.

It was at the second Christmas in our current house, I believe, that we decided to start giving presents to our neighbors. Our neighbor to the south has lived here longer than we have, and we're friends with her now (food presents are always an icebreaker). Our neighbors to the north have come and gone; we've have really great neighbors and really terrible neighbors in that house. When students lived next door, they would play music so loud that we once even had to call the police. When we showed up that Christmas with a cookie mix from Women's Bean Project and talked to them for a good while, we got along swimmingly ... and the loud music stopped.

We dropped off some sweet bread (not to be confused with sweetbreads), coffee, and peppermint cocoa for the kid…

Halloween 2015

I'm a really sensitive person, which is why I should never read the comments on articles. Especially articles about couples without children. Because invariably there's someone who wants to talk about how marriage was made for having children and how children (in large herds, preferably) are a blessing from God. I guess that's the only way God can bless you--screw me, I'm cursed!

I began my marriage childless-not-by-choice and have ended up, after 11 years blissfully wed, childless-by-choice. And I'm not cursed, unless you count the severe depression that would've made me a terrible mother. I don't even consider that a curse, really--it's just a thing I have to deal with. Now that I'm out of the Church of Fecundity, I'm starting to see what God really expects of me. There are two psalms (that drive me mad whenever they come up) about how having lots of kids is great ... and serving the marginalized appears in the Psalter about a billion more tim…

But I Don't Want to be an Advocate!

All the sudden, I became an anti-death penalty advocate.

Twitter is basically my connection to the world (thanks, agoraphobia), so I began to take meaning in petitioning government officials about inmates on death row. I also petitioned my representatives about hunger policy both in the US and worldwide.

It all has a very hopeless feel. The bajillions of people I'm watching on the death penalty list seem to be the victims of state governments who value death over mercy. As for hunger advocacy, my reps seem more interested in cutting spending. Sigh.

I curl up on the couch every day and snuggle in with a book, but I can't stop thinking. Three different people have told me I think too much, but I can't seem to turn that off. I'd do anything to be able to change the world, but various illnesses keep me down. Writing letters and emails is easy (well, comparatively--you handwrite three letters begging for clemency in a row and you're going to get drained). It's the h…

Haven't blogged in a while ...

... so here are some flowers.

Sabbath Redux

You will be surprised, I'm sure, to learn that someone as lazy as myself has had to scale back my Sabbath ambitions tremendously. Possibly too far--I still think we should live without at least some screens for a day. But yeah, we don't completely disconnect anymore. Shame. Chris really liked just sitting around and reading all day (a tradition that was even growing on me), but sometimes homework for RN prerequisites takes priority.

So what do we do? Something wonderful. We say the Daily Office: Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline. It's a great way to spend a Saturday, moving with the rhythms of the Church. And it's nice to just sit together and throw out the things we're thankful for and the people who need prayers in the designated spots. Gives us something to do besides our usual morning and evening prayers.

Sabbath is great. Just don't ask about Friday fasting. Eek.

Do YOU Know Where My Coptic Orphans Packet Went?

Because I think the only person who knows is asleep, and he worked a 12-hour shift last night and I don't want to disturb him. It's not like I can think of anything to say to my sponsored child anyway.

Oh, update? Eyes are much improved. It was not Cogentin causing the problem, but good, ol' Trilafon. It was doubled on the same day I was put on Cogentin, so I guess it's easy to see how we could all become confused. But I'm back on the dose of Trilafon I was on before, so all is well. Sort of. I still have to put steroid drops in my right eye, but my vision is becoming clearer all the time. My appointment next month is for new glasses instead of just seeing what kinds of junk is floating around my eye!

Hold on, I see a blue folder ... dammit, it's just our tax return. I'll never find this packet.

Working on It

Well, this week I have an ophthalmologist appointment to deal with my terribly screwed-up eyes. I usually don't have medicine problems, but a 1 mg dose of Cogentin has ruined my vision! I got it because I was shaking so badly thanks to Trilafon, and the shaking did stop. But it's been a while before I could see what I was reading and writing. So things are getting a little better ... except for the excruciating pain in my eyeballs whenever I wake up. I'd really like to keep my eyes, so pray this is a minor fix.

Our weekly traditions continue on, and at Friday dinner, Chris said, "This is my favorite meal of the week." I was surprised and happy that an idea I'd commandeered was worth it! Sabbath still continues, but I'm get lax about my phone. I woke up Saturday with 18 emails. (Something must be done!) I ended up just sitting on the couch for a while and listening to Johnny Cash read the New Testament. Doesn't suck to just sit and listen.

All our meal…

Joyous Easter!


Hungry Friday #3

Chris is asleep, so it's my job to bake this week's bread. Soon enough, the sweet smell of the brown sugar cinnamon mix I got will be wafting through the house, making everyone happy. Today I'm using our double loaf pan in the bread machine, and we'll give one of the two loaves away to a neighbor. After all, this is the prayer we pray every Friday and Saturday night:
Bless, O Lord,
this food we are about to eat,
and we pray you, O God,
that it may be good for our body and soul
and if there is any poor creature
hungry or thirsty walking the road
may God send them in to us
so that we can share the food with them,
just as Christ shares His gifts with all of us.  (H/T to Celtic Daily Prayer.)

But until fruit and bread is served, we fast. Not too hard for Chris today, since he got off work at 7AM and is now getting his hard-earned sleep.

Chris likes the rituals we've created for our itsy-bitsy family. He feels that fasting is necessary for us simply because Jesus said it was. A…

Still Testing the Waters

Before he departed for work, Chris said to me, "I like Sabbath, but I like this idea better." The mysterious this idea is Hungry Friday, which I stole from the Episcopal Relief & Development daily Lenten meditations. In fact, you can read it word-for-word in the last post. So, like many things we've recently added to our lives, it's not original. There's no harm though, I think, in taking inspiration from someone else's clever ideas.

I think Chris's first Sabbath was a little overwhelming for him. What can I say? It's hard to disconnect from the world for a day. I don't think I helped him, sadly. I hope that this week will be different: Less sitting around studying heavy tomes, more board games. We have boatloads of board games that have never been played. We polished off Sabbath the last time with a game of checkers, and I wish there had been more of that: more laughing, more talking, more telling the dog he couldn't play because this was…

Eine Gute Woche!

"A guten voch!" is what Mirka's sister Devory shouts after Mirka and Rochel when they leave her apartment after spending Shabbos there in Barry Deutsch's Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite. (Seriously, you gotta read these books! They're so great!) It basically means "have a good week", and I say it to you after celebrating a ... well ... okay Sabbath here in Tejas.

My vision of Sabbath conceivably lasts too long: It's supposed to take up all of Saturday and end after church Sunday morning. If you couldn't tell from the picture I posted Friday night, it sort of starts Friday night (or afternoon if Chris is working) with the bread, fruit, and cheese meal I showed you. However, I'm still free to get the Facebook out of my system until midnight.

But sometimes the best laid plans go awry. My sore throat continues to worsen, and Chris had a day at work that was downright disturbing (and no, I can't go into details), so I ended up on the pho…

Friday Night Fruit and Bread!

... and cheese!

I'm beginning to feel like I should rename this thing "Chandler's Sabbath Blog" and give up the Loquacious Loquat nonsense. So do forgive me--I swear I'll have something interesting to write about later (unless you want me to sit down right now and tell you about my throat infection).

Before I've turned off the computer, I want to show you what my ideal Sabbath meal looks like. I won't go into details about it now (probably will on Sunday), but here's a nice picture of our dining table.

Note that the Sabbath candles are lit (even though it's not sundown yet--you do what you can when your husband has to report to work by 6:30). Fruit, bread, and cheese: A nice, simple way to welcome the Sabbath rest. And big kudos to Chris, who took time out of his busy schedule today to make his awesome sandwich bread.

Shabbat Shalom to everyone, and don't forget to set your clocks forward Saturday night!

First Sabbath

One of my favorite prayer books is Celtic Daily Prayer. Flipping through it one day, I found a section on Shabbat and some information on how the early Celtic Christians observed it. Apparently, Celtic Christians observed the Sabbath on Saturday, broke it after the Eucharist, and worked the rest of the day Sunday. So moved was I by this that I gobbled up books on Christian Sabbath-keeping, and I worked my way mightily through one yesterday as I observed the Sabbath for the first time.

I sort of got used to the notion when I was Orthodox. We were advised to keep the Lord's Day (Sunday, of course) differently than the other days of the week. We still observed the Sabbath on Saturday (or at least said we did), but the Lord's Day took precedence. And guess what? I sucked at it. I got very restless on Sundays, feeling that the hard part (church itself) had been done, and that the afternoon would be best spent unwinding with Super Paper Mario. But the Celtic way made sense: Rest up …

My New Pinterest Board

This has been a lousy week, but I'm getting over it. I wish I were at church today, but I decided in advance not to go when I probably could've. Chris and I will go on Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, the Roomba is running all over the living room and kitchen so I don't have to do any work, and I'm tempted to join the dog lying in the sunshine.

But first ...

Check this out! Hats for Homeless. It's my new Pinterest board. :)

When I started knitting on the looms, I had no idea what to do to with all the hats I wanted to make. I had no clue that in a few years I'd be hoarding huge amounts of yarn in various places around the house: the garage, the guest room ... oh my gosh, the poor guest room!
And over the years of knitting for the homeless, I've become quite the expert in what kinds of yarn to use after extensive online research. (Acrylic is best, but all that yarn hoarding has resulted in a treasure trove of wool. Oops.) I still get embarrassed that I don't …