Tuesday, February 24, 2009

See you later...

Today is Fat Tuesday.

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent the 40-day period of sacrifice and reflection observed by many Christians (especially, but not exclusively, Catholics) as a way to prepare for the Easter celebration of Jesus' death and resurrection.

Traditionally in the Catholic Church, Lent was a time of fasting -- defined as abstaining from meat and limiting oneself to one full meal a day, usually around noon. The Lenten fast is intended to recall Jesus' 40 days of fasting in the desert before he began his public ministry.
Pope Benedict XVI, in his
Lenten message this year, called for a renewed commitment to fasting, saying the practice "is a great help to avoid sin," a way to combat "disordered attachment to ourselves" and a daily reminder that many around the world live in poverty and hunger.

The tradition of fasting led, in modern times, to a broader (if less rigorous) notion of "giving something up" for Lent -- if not food, then at least ice cream; if not meat, then at least pepperoni pizza.

And the season is not just about sacrifice -- it's also a time of prayer and reflection, of learning and discernment. So in addition to "giving something up," people often commit to doing something positive -- to praying every day, or attending Mass daily, or treating everyone with kindness and patience.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As a cradle catholic I have been observing the Lenten season for my entire life. When I was really young I mostly remember 'Fish Fridays.' Growing up on a cattle ranch it was a rare exception when beef wasn't for dinner so fish sticks were pretty exciting.

As I entered Jr. High and High School I would routinely practice giving up something for Lent. Some years I did better than others with the sacrifice. This practice has continued on though my adult life.

My two youngest girls are at the age where 'Fish Friday' is about all they 'get'. They talk a big game when it comes to giving up things, but the flesh is weak. My oldest has made a list this year of sacrifices she is going to make during Lent. It was suggested to her by her CCD teacher that it is easier to be committed to a sacrifice if you write it down.

Some people suggest that it isn't as meaningful if you tell people what you are going to sacrifice for Lent. I'm guessing they believe that if you are whining or bragging about it, then the sacrifice is somehow less. I don't completely disagree. I do like the idea of writing down the sacrifice.

For me...it is easier to stay committed if I know others know and are keeping a mindful eye on me. I wish I was the type that felt strong enough to go cold turkey on all the really unimportant things in life that I value so much. But, the flesh is weak.

So this year, rather that do one really big ~ grand ~ cold-turkey approach, I have decided on three sacrifices:

#1. Coffee & Cola. A kinder and more gentle approach to the 'no-caffeine' approach I have taken in the past. I have left caffeinated tea available to jump start me in the mornings or an ice tea in the afternoon if it looks like it's going to be a long night.

#2. Chocolate. A kinder and more gentle approach to the 'no-sweets' approach that I have NEVER been able to accomplish. But those who know me well will recognize that my most craved and preferred sweet in the world is chocolate. This eliminates brownies, candy bars, and the 4 boxes of girl scout cookies that were delivered this week. This leaves me with Hot Tamales, gum, pop corn, and some other treats that will get me through but won't 'hit-the-spot'.

#3 Social networking. A kinder and more gentle approach to the 'no-technology' approach, similar to the 'no tv' approach that many sacrifice during Lent. What this means is...no facebook...no blog posting...no blog reading...no generic-mindless-web surfing. This leaves me with recipes, research, e-mail and work related computer use.

I know that each time I am craving my coffee or chocolate or facebook, that I will be reminded of the sacrifice Jesus made. I will be more reflective on what I am able to do when I am not 'doing' the computer. I am guessing that the 'need' for these will grow smaller over the days... I am guessing I will be anxious to 'get-back' the things I have decided to let go of, for this Lent season.

I will miss these 'things' in my life, but I hope that they will be replaced with Faith - Hope -Peace - Love - & - Blessings.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Go Griz...

Marc brought home

a little boy

{} bundle of joy {}

for Valentine's Day!

He is a 2-1/2 month old 1/2 poodle...1/2 ??? Mutt dog?

His coloring looks a bit like an Austrailian Shephard.

We love him already.

Will we love him still after ...

chewed up toys...
crying in his crate...

I'm sure we will!

Fun Times

It was a fun time in Portland celebrating my sister turning 40 with 60+ of her closest friends.
I enjoyed all the 'me' time I had too.
A quiet drive to Portland
Listening to the songs I like on the radio
Hitting Costco and buying a new little camera
Spending the night at the Gray Inn (A wonderful bed & breakfast.)
Shopping - Shopping - Shopping

Found a cute card for Jill's Birthday

Got really lucky with a present too

Met lots of fun people who all adore my sister

Stayed up until 2 am....yawn!
Slept in until 9 am
Drove to IKEA

Ate lunch with my good friend Amie & her daughter at Red Robin

Drove home again

Went to bed - early!

A great weekend.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

You can't stop it now...

My OLDER sister is turning 40 - soon. Her big bash is this weekend...here is a little something I made tonight. We might use it on the poster picture boards.

To those who know/care.... it was 23 layers. YIKES. It may be too much...but I was pretty proud that I had that many layers. I don't know that I'd be able to duplicate it...but it was fun.

Crap...just noticed that I am missing a flower in the upper corner. I'll fix that later.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Last Year's Resolution...

In 2008 I set a plan to complete one sewing project a month. First I thought I could handle taking a class once a month and getting a quilt out of each class. Then I decided maybe table runners and wall hangings could count. Finally I decided any sewing & project completion was good - no great...but only if there was no pressure.

In 2009 I didn't set a goal.
I had big plans for a word/motto for the year.
That didn't happen either.

I did however take a quilt class this weekend. And best of all...I got the entire top done in one day. I have an appointment to quilt in during spring break. Yeah for me.

I worked with one wonderful fabric that isn't in my typical blue and green favorites.

Maybe it was the '70's party that inspired me to chose this fabric.

The pattern is called Recess...and I tell you...it felt like recess all day as I made it.

It is tough to really capture the quilt in a photo, especially without the quilting done yet...
but here it is BQ (before quilting).

By the way...I am keeping this quilt for me.
I haven't ever made a quilt just for me before.

That '70's Night...

We have had the pleasure of attending a 'Trivia Night' get-together hosted by friends of ours for the past three years. It is always a night full of laughter and useless knowledge.

This year there was a twist. Everyone was asked to come decked out in 70's themed costumes.

It was fun searching the Internet for trends and digging through clothes at the senior center and Salvation Army to find the 'just right outfits.'

There were 20+ people there and every costume was outstanding. Here we are in 'Retro B&W':

Big Hair & Ponytails & Feathers

Fake eyelashes

Flower power


Blue eyeshadow


Bell bottoms

Great FUN...

Here we are again! This time in full color!


Peace & Love!!!