Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Getting ready for Lent

It's Shrove Tuesday. From my office I can hear the mardi gras music playing in the social hall and the hilarious bits of giggling and laughter, as adults who haven't hula-hooped in years get a few practice rounds in before tonight's contest. There will be pancakes and syrup, sausages and OJ, the hula-hoops, limbo, cake walk, jokes and silly masks. And a pie-in-the-face fundraiser for the youth traveling to the National Youth Gathering this summer. (I am VERY glad the pies will be in the kids' faces, not mine - I'm thinking my contacts would react badly to an influx of Reddi-Whip).
I'm looking forward to the fun, but also keenly aware that the party is not the reason for the party. At least not this one.
This party is about being ready for tomorrow. This party is preparation for the fast of Lent. This party has a hidden agenda and ulterior motive. I hope we can remember. I hope people will return tomorrow night, for the ashes and the reminder of their ultimate limits: Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return. I hope we can live into Lent without getting morbid.
A post on Luther Seminary's Working Preacher website has helped my thinking in getting ready for the season. Hope you like it, too.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Girl Effect

International Women's Day isn't until the 8th of March - but this video got my attention and is worth sharing, and I don't want to forget about it!! Pass it on!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Refrigerated Science Experiments

We've become increasingly aware of food at our house. Both of us enjoy cooking, and eating (obviously). I wouldn't say we're obsessed, exactly, just very healthily aware of what we purchase, consume, and throw away. Our current level of "purchase awareness" developed with the cutting in half of our income after we moved last summer. I now have a "price book" and keep track of how cheaply we can acquire our regular staples and favorites, so we can stock up when a sale is good, and avoid buying full-priced items as much as possible. Our consumption awareness continues to evolve, as we become more in tune with which foods fuel our bodies well and lead to health, and which are bad news for us fat people. Believe it or not (and those of you who have known me for a long time will think NOT) I don't buy Diet Coke anymore. I'll drink it occasionally, when at a restaurant or someone else's home, but it doesn't come in our house. I'm making do with a single cup of black tea or coffee every morning and a whole lot more water during the day. Awareness of our food waste is the least developed at our house. I always feel a little guilty when I realize there's something growing in the back of the refrigerator. It's usually the furry remains of what were really yummy dinner leftovers at one point, or the slimy last dregs of an ancient container of sour cream, or a mushy cucumber, forlorn and forgotten at the bottom of the veggie drawer. Throwing food away is not good for the budget. Or the environment. And we do a whole lot of it in this country. We're trying to do less of it at our house, through meal planning and cooking more realistic amounts of food for a kitchen table for two. I've taken to reading The Non-Consumer Advocate blog. The author has a link to another blog, called Wasted Food. I just started reading it. I may be hooked. Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

On not losing heart...

I can see from the "Live Traffic Feed" below that my friend Heather in Peoria doesn't lose heart too easily. The whole box, as of this writing, is full with her checking to see if I've come up with anything interesting to say. Or anything to say at all, for that matter. Heather: you are an inspiration! My lack of postings for the last two months has little to do with my having nothing to say, and much to do with a completely unreliable internet connection at home. Hopefully that will be changing soon, as we're under contract on a house, plan to close next week, and will be all moved in (and all moved out of our current abode) by the end of March. Wahoo!! I can't wait to actually have people over! In the meantime, life keeps trucking right along, busy as ever. Funny how even only working "half-time" we manage to stay as busy as we do. Husband/colleague and I have just embarked on a new schedule, one that will hopefully prevent us from overworking every single week: now we're each going to be in the office for three days a week, plus Sundays. Today's my day to be in the office solo. We'll both be here tomorrow and Thursday. Then I get this Friday off and the man will be in the office on his own. I think I could get to like this schedule. I also, am working on not losing heart. I joined the big local gym 13 days ago, after a physical and corresponding lab reports that didn't really hold any surprises. Needless to say, I'm sore in places I forgot I had! I signed up for "8 weeks to fitness," joining in the fun and pain half-way through the 8 weeks of group training (at 6am twice a week, I really am crazy!) So while my new workout buddies are lifting way more weight than I am, I just keep reminding myself that I'm healthier today than I was yesterday, and tomorrow will be even better. And walking, climbing stairs, and lifting your arms above your head are really overrated. :)