Monday, February 23, 2009

Pleasant Things in the Evening

We are supposed to be fasting (basically eating in a vegan form) for the six weeks of Lent. I try to keep the fast, but it's costly. I always do as I can. My husband gets paid in a few days and I will do most of my shopping in the Fred Meyer health food section. We'll have a lot of Indian food and tacos. I wish that I lived closer to Anchorage so I could browse New Sagaya and be seduced by all their products and do a Lent the right way.

Trying to cook everything that I have and getting low, tonight I made chicken and rice in the crock pot.I love cooking in the crock pot-- when Darin comes home, the smell greets him before he opens the door. I used another crock pot to make a bread pudding with some stale hot dog and hamburger buns and dates. The whole dinner was great. Cloud gave me a huge crock pot for Christmas and I use it all the time. I used to use two small crocks and make dinner, but this is bigger than the two. (They are cheap but we never had the cash to get one big one-- money just went to other things.)

While I made dinner, Guy read to me. Guy doesn't read well, but he has speech impairments and has an impressive vocabulary when you can understand him. He sloshed through the book and Darin made him read it again, but he had to enunciate. Guy growled and he did a better job. Darin was playing Chess with Basil who is getting ready for a tournament soon. Dmitri was assigned a couple of chapters of a biography (written for third graders) on Einstein. At first he whined that he didn't care "about that stupid old man," and asked why he should care about him! Cloud picked up the book and started reading in a fake English accent and drew him in. They took turns reading chapters to each other and within an hour the book was read and he was laughing and said he wished he had met him. That made me happy, then he mentioned that Guy has problems like Albert Einstein did in school and spoke late-- "maybe Guy will be like Einstein!"

Guy looked up from his book and said, "E equals M. . . what did he say, Dad?"

All while this was going on, Mudd was running around through the kitchen with a remote control car and chasing the cats and dog with it. They are not allowed to use the remote control car around me, especially when I am cooking, but he was a bit fast and my hands and lower arms were covered in flour. Before she ripped up bread for the pudding, Calamity Jane was coming in and asking me for Spanish words that she is learning, and at one point came in to sing "Get Rhythm" and twirled a jump rope over her head, knocking over a plastic bowl that was perched on the cupboard. Mudd would toss a salad for me, getting salad all over the cupboard, but he was having fun and I contained him all right. Starshine was dancing "to music that is in my mind!" She wanted me to guess and not knowing, I started singing, "Menomenah!" It wasn't what she was imagining but the whole family got into it! Puppets from the school cabinet popped up from behind the bar, courtesy of Basil and Guy, and we got a little crazy, dancing and singing!

The bread pudding was great-- the kids loved it and asked if I could make it a birthday cake for them some time ;) Darin had enough leftovers for lunch and Cloud was happy with that because we NEVER have leftovers, but "her" crock pot was just big enough to have seconds for everyone and a little extra. This won't last long though-- he asked me to plan to cook with the Giant Cloud crock pot and one of the smaller ones so I can freeze several lunches for him in the future.

With this being Lent, we started out the evening meal by lighting a candle in front of the icon wall and praying. The whole meal, the before-fun, made it wonderful.

I'm starting a mulch pile-- an old friends' mom who lives for gardening in our fair state told me to start a mulch pile. I have a clean trash can that she told me to put near my garage for tossing vegetable scraps, coffee and tea and their filters, and egg shells. We don't have a lot of money for the garden so she says this is where to start, buy composting. The kids actually like helping me peel vegetables knowing that they can dump the peels and whatever in to my sink-side container, I think because they are thinking of summer.


Ropi said...

Hmm, chess... the best sport ever. I love it but I haven't played it for a long time. I didn't have time and opponent unfortunately.
In November-December probably I will dance Waltz again. I hope your daughter won't be dissatisfied that I won't be a dancing general but a dancing penguin.

steve on the slow train said...

I've never been into chess, but it remided me of a Charles Dana Gibson illustration, "The Greatest Game in the World--His Move."

The greatest game hasn't changed since Gibson's time.

Olivia said...

By observing Lent you made me think you were Catholic but having an icon wall seems to me a very Orthodox thing to do.

I miss the lead up to Easter. I feel guilty on Ash Wednesday when I don't have my own ashen cross. When was the last time I went to church?

I need to correct this...

Tea N. Crumpet said...

You know about Orthodox?!!! You are one of the few who I know who do!

Yes, get back to your Catholic origins-- I fell in love with Lutheranism, Presbyterianism, Catholicism, then Judaism, then Orthodoxy. (After having tried a gamut of other American Evangelical, Protestant churches.) I needed something that you immerse yourself in, that has a history. All three of these are like this. I actually spent lots of time in these churches-- at least six months to a year.

There is something about the celebration of the holidays that makes us take hold of what is happening with us. Humanity has not changed in the 2,000 years that Christianity has been around, and the 5,500 years of Judaism, that it's comforting to acknowledge the passage of time and celebrations.

Olivia said...

Actually, I was born into the Anglican church, but dabbled a bit in bible churches and the like when we moved to the US, then both my mother and I missed the traditions so we went back to the Episcopal church and were never happier.

While at Catholic university in Houston, I would sometimes visit the Greek Orthodox church down the road. My grandfather trained to be an Orthodox priest, you know. So it's a little special to me.