Showing posts from 2017

Merry Christmas!


Healing Tuesday

On Tuesdays, I pray for healing for my dad. (It's here that I remind him that healing and curing are not the same thing, Mr. Grumpy-Pants.) It's the only day I really designate for something. Chris suggested that I switch from the Catholic rosary to the Anglican rosary, however, because sometimes I get a touch obsessed and want to convert to Catholicism ... and Chris has had it with switching religions. Honestly, after the last one turned into a fertility cult, I'm reluctant to leave the hospitable, open arms of the Episcopal Church ever again, too. Unfortunately, switching rosaries left me without a set of prayers to use. I thought I'd share what I found when I went searching:

Two sets from Bead One, Pray Too
A lovely PDF!
From the Franciscans
If you prefer your rosary Catholic, there are several healing-themed mysteries in this lovely book
There's also this (note that it's about trauma and not physical/mental illness)

Hmm. I was hoping there'd be more. Feel …

The Spiritual Motherhood Rosary

Can I admit that I don't quite know how to feel about this thing I made shortly after leaving Orthodoxy? I feel like I've struggled my whole adult life with not being able to have kids, and yet there was something relieving in letting go of that hope. The writer of some of this rosary, Alice von Hildebrand, was a devout Catholic but married too late in life to have children. She said that people such as I should strive for spiritual motherhood in lieu of actual motherhood (and thus, this set of prayers was born). Now, however, I don't feel like this is my life's work. But I love my nieces and my sponsored children, and I'm always thrilled when someone chooses to become a foster parent because this country desperately needs foster parents who aren't in it just for the money. I'm also aware of my responsibilities to these children in my life. I'm just not sure I want to call it "motherhood".

My biases about my own creation aside, it occurs to me…

Advent/"O Antiphon" Anglican Rosary

The "O Antiphons" (so called because they all begin with "O") are said during morning prayer the week from December 17th to the 23rd, neatly sandwiching the Magnificat. Much like the St. Patrick's Breastplate rosary (which you can find and enjoy here), each week bead is different thing rather than being totally repetitive. What luck that there are seven O Antiphons, amiright? Say this original set of prayers on a purple/blue and pink Anglican rosary for extra festive joy.

Just a quick note on the Resurrection Bead: In my early twenties, I made tons of Anglican rosaries. Then I went to the Orthodox Church for about ten years, and when I emerged on the other side this baffling bead had been added between the invitatory and first cruciform beads. I'm not 100% sure how to use it, and you won't see it on all Anglican rosaries. If you have it, I've included it; if not, whatever.

CROSS: In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


My Latest Idea

I bounce around from hobbies. I've had enough of writing poetry for now; I'm ambivalent about playing music, although it would be nice if I wasn't because I said I'd play on Christmas Day; and I think I'm about to get back into Anglican/Episcopal rosary/prayer beads making. With that comes piecing together things to say on those rosaries. So I'm starting a new label on the Loquat and making it a resource for finding rosary prayers both original and from the far-flung corners of the web. Neato, huh?

I thought I'd kick things off with the only one I have memorized--my go-to. I love Julian of Norwich and read a chapter of her Revelations of Divine Love every morning. I have several translations and am hoping for more this happy Christmas. Anyway, here's a Julian-themed Anglican rosary for your enjoyment and prayerfulness.

With All Reluctance ...

I used to know a really great article on why those "blessing bags" for the homeless were not generally viewed as blessings in their eyes, but alas, the blog it was on went private and I can no longer share it with you. The moral of the story was that if you're not comfortable giving money, just say so. So I'm skeptical of this altruistic practice, which gives me good reason to sit down and make some ... ? It's not without a heapin' helpin' of sighs that I undertake this activity.

Backstory: In April, Chris and I traveled almost entirely by rail from Denton to Columbia for my birthday, which is no small feat in two public transit-averse states. Assisting on the trip was tuna salad in a box: A little tin of tuna or chicken salad, buttery crackers, and a little plastic spoon. Several companies make them, and I've tried all kinds. (Be advised that the salmon salad tastes nothing like salmon, and I haven't tried the ham salad because it kinda sounds we…

Follow Up to "People Hate Christians"

I'm no longer proud of my post about Joel Osteen. As Chris said last night, "He's low-hanging fruit." I admit that he's infinitely easy to throw under the bus, but to do so is equally as un-Christian as what he did, if not more so. Jesus, the man I worship as God, didn't just say the parable I put in that post--He also said, "Judge not lest ye be judged." Luke 17:7-10 has caused a great deal of grief in my life, especially while I was Orthodox and didn't think I could take pride or joy in any of the good things I did. It was wrong of me to subject another person to that message, it was wrong of me to judge, and it's still wrong of me to do as little as I've done for the people on the coast of my own state. 
Please forgive me. Sometimes I really don't know what I do.

My Reading Challenge for 2018

Seems a bit early to be posting this, but my insomniac self was awake for a very long time last night, putting all my books that I have on my Kindle into a special folder on GoodReads. ... Yes, it says "Check Library." No, I have no clue how to change that. I would like it to just say "Challenge" so I can update it every year. If you know how to do that, for fuck's sake, COMMENT.

There's another little problem: Chris and I have vowed not to buy any books for a year. Having made this vow, we immediately went out and stocked up on books the way gun nuts stock up on ammo after a perceived threat to their supply. So, September 1 to September 1, no more new books (unless we are given one). That lead me to thinking about my Kindle, which is flush with books that I might never read unless I make a point to do so.

What could go wrong? Well, I've said it before, I'm a slow reader. I got an English degree just by paying attention in class. Turns out I have 41…

People Hate Christians

With good reason, thanks to Joel Osteen, making us all look bad in one fell swoop. Perhaps you haven't been paying attention, but there's a massive hurricane that did massive damage to the Texas coast. Both Chris and I have family there. Houston is at the epicenter because it's poorly drained (Chris, Gulf Coast brat, tells me it floods after the lightest of sprinkles there), and SOMEONE has a 16,000+ capacity church there. And this person has declined to turn said church (formerly a frickin' basketball arena) into a shelter. Cue booing and rotten vegetables. 
I anticipate a need of an unusual sort: Should someone austensibly Christian attempt to defend this patently un-Christian behavior by saying that no one would've praised Osteen if he had opened up the church, you have my permission to quote little-known parable Luke 17:7-10. Here, I'll even put it right here for you for your convenience! 

And it's even in red, so you know it's serious.

Pictures from Breughel

This is more for my sake than that of the gentle readership, but I'm still trudging through the selected poems of William Carlos Williams. I have made it far enough along to be on his book Pictures from Breughel, which, of course, is no fun without the actual paintings, right?

A little internet poking-around revealed this little blog, which served its purpose and wrapped things the hell up several years ago. So if, you're interested, there are the pictures from Breughel, complete with poems!

Welcome to Waco!

After getting a great house with a great neighbor and thinking I'd never leave the beautiful burg of Denton ever again, I find myself in a townhouse a few blocks from Baylor University in the burg of Waco. I've told people that I really never thought I'd move here, not even long enough to think, "Naw." Strangely, here I am in a whole new part of Texas (Central Texas as opposed to North Texas), and I'm just as close to my parents' new home in Fort Worth as I was in Denton. So there was no major loss after my parents finally decided to retire and move back to Texas. Weird how that works out.

What happened was that Chris hated his job. It was making him depressed, his boss sucked, all of it. So he went looking for jobs still in corrections-medical, and now we live in Prison Central! No prisons in Waco-proper, but the little towns nearby are teeming with them. So, yeah--34 years old and beginning again. When you don't have kids, it's like your twentie…

Welcome to My Protestant Blog

I killed just under 400 posts because I didn't want all the Orthodox stuff on here. It's my prerogative.

What's left is interesting. I have to label Chris's posts about vacations we've been on (his sole contribution to the Loquat), and there are fun hikes we used to do before I got sciatica, and there's the time the world's greatest cat died. That's about all I kept on this here blog. I wanted to archive it and move to a different platform, but I've discovered that I'm getting old and that technology befuddles me. In other words, so much for Medium.

The Loquat may be the only blog left on Blogger at this point, but I'm essentially only talking to my parents, so that's okay.

For Such a Time as That: Post-Fast Thoughts

First off, I blew it. On the last day. I couldn't resist fried chicken and one of those Midnight Mocha fraps from Starbucks--you know, the kind that's like a minty Oreo with caffeine ... so much caffeine. Didn't sleep well that night, but it wasn't my conscience. Chris would later inform me that those little buggers have like three shots of espresso in them. Oopsy-daisy.

And much to my dismay (caused by romanticizing the process), I'm swimming in leftovers. Wouldn't it have been great to feel my blood sugar plummet now that we were out of bean soup and bread? To have swooned over my lack of food? Yeah, it didn't happen. But what good would have come of it anyway? "Yeah, I feel your pain. I once ate only soup and bread for three days, and it ran out. So I totally feel empathy with your desperation and embarrassment at having to turn to church food pantries just to make it to the end of the month."

Yeah, I feel like a dumbass. On Facebook, my mom ca…

For Such a Time as This

Since leaving Orthodoxy, I'm not really that big on fasts. As a result of Orthodoxy, I'm not big on fasts that seem to set out to change God's mind. Yet, here I find myself: bean soup in the fridge and bread in the bread machine. And it all has to last two people for three days.

You can read about the "For Such a Time as This" fast that Bread for the World has called for in greater detail on their own webpage--I'd just be rehashing the same stuff--but I did want to blab on about my take on it and maybe encourage others to do it now and in the future. The first fast is three days (a la Esther) to prepare us for the major work of advocating against cuts to safety net programs. Subsequent fasts will take place (for one day) each 21st of the month--the day when 90% of SNAP benefits run out. When I heard about it, I put my thinking cap on and decided on some things:

I cannot go without food for three days voluntarily. That's madness. I can eat a limited amount

Well Done, Denton.

And France! No fascism for France! Well done indeed!

Anyway, Denton barely voted in favor of the tax freeze for the elderly and disabled.

I clearly don't get out enough because there were NO TAX FREEZE!!! signs all over our neighborhood. But, then again, we're just a bunch of scrooges in this area of Denton. No heart. Sad!

(Boy, I'm suddenly hoping the newspaper doesn't come down on me for this screen cap of the results. Have mercy! No one reads this blog anyway!)

Good triumphing over evil everywhere!

Political Musing

I'm at my parents' house in Missouri, writing a blog on my phone. Things must be serious. And they are! After all, my little burg of Denton, TX, is contemplating the lucrativeness of the elderly and disabled. See for yourself from this article from the North Texas Daily:
As a champion (debatable) of the poor, I simply must weigh in. I first became aware of this when I saw either on Facebook or Twitter: SHOULD THE YOUNG HAVE TO PICK UP THE SLACK SO THE ELDERLY CAN HAVE A TAX BREAK?!? 
In a word: Yes. And while we're at it, can we not discuss how many millions of dollars we'd be losing if gave our most vulnerable citizens a break, Family Values State of Texas? Wait, we do still believe in family values, right? So, we get find out on May 6 if we serve God or mammon. Find your polling place here:
Is it okay to be upset about this--that so…