Holy Thursday

This was the cake I decorated for last night’s Passover remembrance dinner, which is not to be confused with a Christian Seder, since I don’t follow any particular formula. We just eat lamb while I quiz the kids on the related stories from the Bible. I think my decorating skills are improving.
Side note: if you haven’t eaten sweets in 6 weeks, eating cake with this much icing will make you want to puke. It’s a warm up for Sunday, I guess.

Spring cleaning or not

For years, the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week have been my spring cleaning days. I love to clean, and I especially love to enter the Triduum with a tidy house to match my freshly laundered soul. Ah, the symbolism!

Some years are better than others, but whenever there is an infant about, the reality naturally falls well below my goals. As much as I love a clean house, I love happy babies more. I squeeze the extra chores into naptimes or I get up early or I stay up late, and I do the best I can.

But this year, I haven’t had many breaks from baby-duty. Baby’s first cold turned into baby’s first ear infection, and baby’s preferred place to sleep is in my arms. When I’ve managed to put her down, I am lucky to get a half hour. I’ve gotten most of the dust bunnies out of the upstairs, and some of the windows washed, but the closet organizing and wall-washing will just have to wait for another day, possibly in June, possibly never.

And just in case Mary’s perking up after 24 hours of antibiotics this evening had me thinking I might squeeze in a full day’s labor and get my house shining, I finally concluded, after several days of troubleshooting, that my Animal was not doing its job; it is, in fact, broken! I called the company and they are sending me, for free, a new brush roller, but it won’t get here for seven to ten days.

I’ll keep my hyperventilating to myself.

So in a week or so with no vacuuming, I’ll have fresh dust bunnies to go with my cleansed soul. Lovely.

Hopefully, tomorrow, I will get the kitchen shaped up. I don’t need a vacuum to do that. Holy Thursday Mass is at 5 pm, so we’re having our Passover remembrance meal tomorrow night. I dislike swapping things around, but the schedule will just be too pinched on Thursday. Semper Gumbi.

I eagerly anticipate Easter.

Driving in the Rain

If you

(with six small children in tow)

go to the auto parts store

(in the pouring rain)

and ask the man

(in a slightly desperate tone)

which brand windshield wipers you should buy, and he

(without hesitation)

answers something German-sounding, you could safely bet that they won’t be cheap.

In fact, you might even wince as you pay for them.

But they will work, and very nicely too.

And, thank the good Lord, the installation was included.

Severe Weather Alert

Attention: Residents of Hell.

I issue this severe winter weather watch for Friday, March 14th. Fritz is eating macaroni and cheese of his own free will and desire. In recent months, there has been an increased trend for him to actually sample different foods without crying, moaning, or tightening his throat muscles. He even admits to liking some of them. Preliminary research has linked this phenomenon to the sudden, brief drops in temperature in your area. The science suggests that if the trend continues, permanent climate changes may become a reality. In the short term, expect some frost and the possibility of some flurries.

Just say no.

A few weeks ago, Peter’s favorite color was pink.

Now, pink is for girls, and he, as he has made quite clear, is a boy.

A few weeks ago, the most likely response to any request of Peter would be “no.” Or rather, “NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Peter, get off the table.” “NOOOOOO!”

“Peter, no throwing food.” “NOOOOO!”

“PETER! PUT DOWN THE KNIFE!” “NOOOOO!”

That, too has changed. I think I actually preferred “no.” Because now we have moved on to…

“Why?”

Peter loves “Why?” It makes him smile. Now, mom and dad aren’t yelling at him, and he’s not yelling back. There’s none of this run fast and hide the contraband game that he could never win either. Now Peter succeeds in irritating his parents with hardly any effort at all.

In fact, he even tries to bait us into asking him things to which he can respond “Why?”

Today at nap time, he stuck his finger in his nose. I was nursing the baby in the rocker and didn’t notice right away. “Tell me to get my finger out of my nose, Mom.”

“Peter, that’s yucky.”

“Tell me to get my finger out of my nose,” he said again.

“Peter, get your finger out of your nose.”

“Why?” And he smiled.

“Because it’s yucky.”

He moves his finger to his mouth. “My finger’s not in my mouth, Mom, it’s in my teeth.”

“Peter!”

“Tell me to get my finger out of my mouth, Mom.”

“Peter, go to sleep!”

“Why?”

Arrgh!

Stranger Than Fiction

This past weekend, Bill and I watched Stranger Than Fiction. We liked it; it provided some food for thought.

From The Internet Movie database comes this review:

No humor, no suspense, no cursing, no use of the “n” word, no frontal nudity, not even rear end nudity, no sex at all, no car chases, no drive-by shootings, no screaming or yelling..just NOTHING to keep a person awake for 2 hours.

They gave it one out of ten stars. If you’re expecting a typical Will Ferrell movie (a la Talladega Nights), this ain’t it. For those of us with entertainment tastes slightly more sophisticated than the average NASCAR fan, it’s not a snoozer. I managed to stay awake, but I totally slept through V For Vendetta with its plethora of violence.

Harold Crick (Ferrell) suddenly begins to hear a voice narrating his life. At first, it is merely obnoxious, and he wonders about his mental health. He then becomes quite alarmed when he hears the narrator casually mention his “imminent death.” He seeks help from a shrink who refers him to a professor of literature (yes, that’s a bit silly, and of course, we all know the guy would end up on anti- psychotic drugs faster than he could just say no, but it works). The professor helps him discern what kind of story he is in (tragedy or comedy), what chance he has for survival, and who the author is. He also encourages Harold to, basically, seize the day, which Harold does.

I venture to guess that very few people would actually want to know the day and time and method by which one would die. Would you have boarded the Titantic if you knew it would sink? Would you not rather sleep late than face the morning commute if you knew someone would spin out of control and nail you? Even soldiers, firefighters, police, and other workers who face danger daily don’t go to work thinking their number is up. They rush into buildings to save lives while praying for a miracle to protect their own.

Harold Crick meets the author and pleads for his life. She gives him her outline of his death, but, being just a tiny bit freaked out by the reality of her character, begins to doubt that she should tell the tale. Harold reads his story, learns of his heroic death, and freely chooses this end. As the author correctly points out, it is one thing to die a hero’s death, but something even greater to freely choose in advance to die a hero’s death.

Although I didn’t notice any mention of it at TIMd, it is glaringly obvious, especially during this Lenten season, that Harold Crick is a Christ-like figure. My guess is that those who didn’t like the movie didn’t get this or aren’t the type to be drawn to such a story (no sex in The Passion, despite the name). I thought that the analogy, though clear, was not blunt. And I appreciate that.

On a completely different note, Bill’s wrist watch recently breathed it’s last tick, and he liked Harold Crick’s watch enough that I got it for him. I wonder if it will spontaneously chime whenever I’m in the vicinity…