Sunday, March 28, 2021

Palm Sunday


Entry of Christ into Jerusalem by van Dyck

"All desire to rejoice with Him, few are willing to endure anything for Him, or with Him. Many follow Jesus unto the breaking of bread; but few to the drinking of the cup of His passion. Many reverence His miracles, few follow the ignominy of His cross. Many love Jesus so long as no adversities befall them."

                                                                  -  from the Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a Kempis

Saturday, March 27, 2021


 The grass is entirely green now, and all it takes is a warm day. It had begun to turn a couple of weeks back with those two days of warmth, and then stopped the greening when it cooled down. This week was enough to finish it - it makes such a difference, to see green grass all around! And the maples have their red buds all over them.

And Easter is coming. 

I heard a question on the radio the other day - they wanted to know if anyone could guess which president said this:  "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"  I said to myself, that sounds like something Reagan would say, and I was right. Good old Ronnie. Life was simpler then.

I thought I would've had some seeds started inside by now, but you can only do so many things in one day, and Sweetie's condition has been occupying my mind a lot this week; she took a turn for the worse over last weekend and can't seem to eat by herself anymore. So, we fish her out of whatever corner she's hiding herself and squirt some thinned-out soft food in her mouth a few times a day. She can still drink from the water bowl on her own. The vet's coming on Monday, and I hope she can help us figure out a way to clean her - she doesn't groom herself and she is dirty and smelly, poor mite. But she's so hostile to any kind of messing with her little person - she really is the most difficult cat I've ever dealt with. But I feel sorry, and I think she understands we're trying to help her when we disturb her so often. If she can be sedated so she can be bathed that would be great; it's a terrible situation but today she came out from hiding for a bit and scratched on a cardboard scratching thing. The reason she hides is not because of her illness, but because she does not like being bothered so often by us - this I know. The vet ordered a pain med for her which should arrive soon. We'll see. She still enjoys hearing the chant CDs I play every day. 

The reading challenge I'm taking part in requires a book written in ancient Greece or Roman times, or one about those times, or even just a novel taking place during those times. I looked around the library and settled on The Roman Way by Edith Hamilton, published in 1932. So interesting! What Charlotte Mason would call a living book, I think, which means non-fiction written in a narrative style. I have never been attracted to those cultures very much - I prefer the middle ages. Still, a chapter from this morning's reading was about Cicero, and apparently we have eight hundred of his letters. 

"Cleopatra. How I detest the woman. You know she lived just across the river from me for several months."  (maybe she snubbed him!) He says that Brutus was charging forty eight percent interest on money he's paid to the people of Salamis! It's becoming more appealing to me - I guess I'm warming up to it. Lots of gossipy stuff.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

springing up

 I could have worn a sleeveless shift today. It was well over seventy and it's still warm - sixty. After chopping the soup vegetables early in the day, I never made the soup. Who need it on a warm day? It's not unheard of in March - very warm temperatures like this happen every, oh, every ten years or so. I always hope for it. 

It was also the Annunciation of the Lord. 

The Just One has descended like dew from above; the earth has opened and the Savior has sprung up.

-  Isaiah 45:8

Some more earthly things are springing up - a friend pointed out a crocus in our front lawn, and a little cluster in the bed where I'd planted some a few years ago. 

A delight. 

Dolly gets so fretful, wanting food All the Time, but then you give it, and she wanders away, seemingly inviting you to bring the dish to the new location. But then maybe she still doesn't eat it, and what you realize (but why should it take so long, when you know she's a music lover) is that she really wants to Hear something. So you put the radio on, right next to her (if you don't, she moves closer to it anyway) and it's quite obvious she's really listening. 

This was Kenny Rogers singing The Gambler. She just likes music, even Kenny Rogers. I didn't care for it, but the classical program was over and the jazz one hadn't begun yet. And I wanted the ipad myself for a change, so I couldn't stream anything for her. She got quiet and settled down immediately, poor little thing. She just wanted the comfort of the sounds, I guess. And maybe she has a little Spring Fever.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Monday projects


This thing is almost done; it may serve as a cat mat. We will see. Meanwhile, I'm trying to do my state income taxes, and the mending pile gets higher.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

birth days

 We had a baptism during Mass today - a wee little one, born not more than two months ago, probably less. He was quiet throughout, except he did cry from the (cold, I presume) water. It was good to be a witness to it, to hear the prayers for the parents and be reminded by Father to pray for him. 

I saw this on Instagram - a quote from Johann Sebastian Bach, whose birthday anniversary it is today:  "Without my morning coffee I'm just like a dried up piece of roasted goat."   Well! One tends to think of these people as superhuman, but - I guess not. 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

"the cock is crowing" and other spring things

 I washed another of my woolly turtlenecks today - there's another warm-up coming and I can't imagine it's going to get much below forty again during the day. 

When I wash something like that by hand, I use the right-hand sink in the kitchen. Afterward I kept seeing patches of water on the floor, which I supposed I'd dripped as I carried it to the table to wrap in a towel, but I'd wipe them up and more would appear. I was beginning to wonder about my sanity and then we discovered a leak under the sink. Not very welcome news, but my sanity is intact for the time being.

For Lent, I've brought out all my religious CDs, many of which are Gregorian chant type things - it can be monotonous to play them all day, but I know that it's prayer which is very suitable for this season. Then I stumbled on a youtube video of an exorcist (Fr. Chad Ripperger) who said that demons really can't stand the chant. The exorcists can often play the music and the demons will leave the afflicted person without an exorcism having to be performed. This made me appreciate hearing it even more; funny, though - it doesn't deter the Orphan from pestering Sweetie! I'm not sure what to make of that.

I couldn't stand to make another meatloaf today, so we had fish.There was plenty of Thousand Island dressing left from the Reuben sandwiches, and I like to use these fancy dressings to spread on the cod when I bake it, so that's what we had, and it surprised me how delicious it was. We can have meatloaf tomorrow. 

I heard this poem the other day and even though our March is nothing like this, I can pretend -

Written in March

The cock is crowing,*
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter
The green field sleeps in the sun;
The oldest and youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising;
There are forty feeding like one!

Like an army defeated
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
The plow-boy is whooping - anon-anon:
There's joy in the mountains;
There's life in the fountains;
Small clouds are sailing,
Blue sky prevailing;
The rain is over and gone!

- Wm. Wordsworth

*Actually, this morning Dolly was on my bed and I thought I kept hearing her cry, but wasn't sure. Finally, I realized it was the rooster who, with the chickens, was pecking around outside the back door. 

Friday, March 19, 2021

new money, old jokes, and cat drama

 This is what I came home to -

which of course reminded me of a crime scene. But she revived after a little, and seems to be her usual self. And there was no blood, for a change. 

Money laundering: a dime went through the wash. That reminds me of a joke an older gentleman told me last week at the library - How does an angel light a candle? *

Easter is two weeks away.

"Hold fast to your duty, busy yourself with it, grow old while doing your task. Admire not how sinners live, but trust in the Lord and wait for his light; God's blessing is the lot of the just man, and in due time his hopes bear fruit."

Sirach 11: 20-21a, 22

* with a match made in Heaven!

Monday, March 15, 2021

getting somewhere

 My knitting project is looking like a sunset, the ends are getting used up, and I'm not sure if I'll felt it after all. A few more rows and then we'll see.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

mid March

 I wore sandals to work yesterday - with bare feet! Today it's back to the forties, but that's not bad. And we have the memory of two days sixty five to seventy degrees. 

Our Lenten meal plan has been interesting; after three weeks of meatloaf on Saturday, I made meatballs today, and spaghetti. That was a little better. As for the Monday eggs, I am getting sick of that. I often feel a little queasy after having eggs, so I'm trying to make them with more vegetables. But shopping is easier, since there's not any meal planning to speak of.

I keep meaning to say something about Sweetie, but there's a lot to say; she's still around, two months after the doctor said she would be. I'll have to come back to this subject. But she's not much worse, as far as we can tell.

I'm working on St. Patrick's Day, and don't want to cook the traditional dinner on a different day, so I'm planning on Reuben sandwiches. 

Thursday, March 11, 2021

blood and laundry

It's ten o'clock, and fifty four degrees out - if my hair wasn't wet I'd still have my window open. But it's tempting to keep it open tonight, on March 11th for heaven's sake. Today was almost balmy, well into the sixties. Delightful! I felt I should do something outside, so I picked up some sticks, then wandered to the garden and pulled up dried zinnia stalks. 

Dolly has another UTI, and more bloody than the last, in case you wanted to know that. My brother happened to have time to come home when a client overslept yesterday and missed his appointment. The vet just happened to be free, so he dropped her off for observation and got her again at his lunch time a few hours later. They were looking to see if anything is wrong, but it's just another UTI, it seems. She got some blood on my quilt so I put it in the wash, and then she came back and got it on my other quilt. I was still finding spots on the floor this morning, but the Clavamox works wonders and she's feeling much better already. Everyone says UTI's are common with diabetes; I hate to think she's going to live the rest of her life on antibiotics every few weeks. 

on quilt #2

Meanwhile, while typing this, wild sounds of The Orphan speeding around the living room, crashing into things, reach my ears. She's happy.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

reading and knitting

 I felt like knitting, using up leftover yarn, but couldn't settle on a plan. So, I'm just doing it, with the ends of the wool I've used for the hand warmers. I'll most likely felt it. And then figure out what to do with the result. 

I've got a library book called Soldier of the American Revolution - it's got lots of photos. This part really surprised me:

"During the Revolution, American soldiers were the most literate soldiers in the world. At the beginning of the war, the army was almost entirely recruited in New England, where approximately 80 percent of adults could read as compared to less than 40 percent in England. The unusual practice of teaching reading to boys and girls from every level of society probably found its origins in Puritanism that promoted individual Bible study. " 

I am amazed. It goes on to say  "Reading and writing were taught separately, the former often without the latter. Of the people that could read printed material, only a small percentage could write and read cursive text. These were typically wealthy landowners, merchants, clerks, clergymen, or others whose occupations required correspondence or record keeping. An important part of penmanship consisted in mastering the art of carving goose or turkey quills."

Interesting; they could read but not necessarily write. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

March winds and other things

 Dolly is doing so extremely well - she is more active than she's been in years. I guess it's the insulin, and now her UTI is gone - she's feeling good! Yesterday her blood glucose levels were checked and were surprisingly low, so we'll be giving her the shot only once per day till next Monday, when they will be checked again. Right now she's behind me, on my bed. With the jazz program on the radio, naturally. 

March is coming in like a lion, it seems. The wind was fiercely blowing last night and today and below freezing all day.  But it really feels like spring at times. Something about the light and the brightness. 

I was typing a comment on Clare's blog when the cursor disappeared. I left the laptop in disgust and came back much later - it was still nowhere to be seen. I had to cut it off; I never got back there. I know I need a new computer - I just have to make a decision. 

Dolly's dream, to have two food bowls! She ate everything.

I am really liking my Lenten dinner plan, which is something I've done in past years (but not always): the same thing every week. On Mondays, soup and eggs. Thursdays, minestrone and BTLs. Saturday, meatloaf. Sundays, chicken most often, but maybe fish. The other days we have leftovers. Mondays seem the easiest: I make such a large pot of minestrone on Thursdays, that we have it again on Friday and there's still some left for Monday - I don't have to make soup Mondays, so far! It occurred to me that making a recipe every week can help to hone one's technique, which sounds like an excellent thing. Meatloaf, for example - I've made the same recipe for many years, but am trying another for Lent. If I keep making it, I can work out any quirks or things I don't care for; if I make it only occasionally, I don't think I'd be able to do that. So, I may continue this sort of thing after Lent; it's certainly easier than coming up with a new menu every week. We will see.