Am about to upgrade the “theme” I use for this blog. It may take a while to make any necessary “adjustments”, so be patient if everything looks a bit different for a few days.
Apologies for the falloff in my Lenten posts. (Not sure what happened, though some health issues intervened to disrupt my Lenten plans. Much to my relief, the issues were not as serious as I first feared, but still required doctor visits and tests to rule out the worst.)
Giving up Facebook for Lent did provide me with time to pursue other projects (as described in my March 5 post, these included Music, Cooking, Sewing, and Reading, with a bit of Spring Training on the radio thrown in). Unfortunately, by the end of Lent these disciplines had left me “wandering in the wilderness”, rather than “journeying to Jerusalem”. Still pondering why that is and will try to post more if I find any insightful answers.
I did manage to finish all 430 pages of Lactantius’ Divine Institutes for my Lenten Reading Group. By the end I was pretty sure that if what he was arguing for was what Christians should believe than I probably wasn’t one. In fact, his main point, that “religio” (the worship of God) and “sapientia” (wisdom) cannot exist separately from each other, became my main sticking point. The difficulty was in part his description of what “worship of God” looks like (heavily stressing obedience to God as a way to gain immortality) and in part my disgust over current practices passing for “religio“. Seems to me most Christian Churches are so far removed from God as not to be worshiping God at all. And don’t even get me started on the mess in the Catholic church and why a strict hierarchical church structure is a recipe for abuse of many kinds!
In addition to Lactantius, I finished four other books: Alexander’s Bridge and O, Pioneers! by Willa Cather, Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell, and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Also started a few others, including some Mexican and Ethiopian cookbooks which I won’t be reading cover-to-cover. Most of these can be found in my LibraryThing catalog
I checked out (from the library) a bunch of CDs and books on Jazz Violin and have been trying to immerse myself in the sound and history of the violin as a jazz instrument. Still not very good at implementing the concept on my own instrument, but “playing around” at it nonetheless.
Also checked out some Chopin piano music (to supplement the books I already had) and really enjoyed the month-long celebrations of Chopin’s 200th birthday.
Totally dropped the ball on this one. No progress on any of my sewing projects since my post on Feb 24th.
Did pretty good at simplifying my cooking and eating during Lent, though I’m not sure I saved much money. Lots of Black & White Burritos, Brown Rice w/ Veggies, Pasta . . . Tried to use up stuff in my pantry. Managed to avoid baking goodies (though as soon as Lent was over I baked two loaves of bread, a lemon cake, and cornbread). Lost a few pounds and have already gained a few back. I’ll try to find time and energy to calculate any monetary savings and post more on that later.
I’m suffering a bit of baseball withdrawal (yes, I know the season just started) due to no longer having cable TV. The Twins are usually on over-the-air TV on Sunday afternoons, and I’ve been able to listen to several Cubs and Twins games over the radio, but my annual Opening Day ritual involving 14-hours of non-stop baseball was missing this year. So I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself, though I know I’m better off not having the cable (so I can afford to eat 🙂 . . . And with any luck I’ll get a few more summer projects done this year than in the past few years.
Both my yoga practice and my walking suffered a decline during Lent, which might explain why I feel so out-of-sorts. Will try to get back to those very soon.
Not a very uplifting post-Lent post, but such it is . . .
Lent has continued to be more exhausting than my usual “Lenten Retreat.” Week 2 included more music, less cooking, some minor sewing, ongoing reading, and (most important) the start of the 2010 Baseball Spring Training Season!
I hadn’t been to Jazz Ensemble practice in almost a month (due to snow, vacation days, etc.). This week my violin and I finally got there. And now we have to come up with a 14-bar SOLO for “Play that Funky Music.” This should be interesting 😉
This week was also the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Chopin. MPR carried some great concert segments celebrating the event. And of course I had to pull out my books of Chopin’s piano music (and even ordered some more from the library).
Quite the musical week!
I’ve decided one way to spend less money on food during Lent is to clear out my rather extensive pantry and freezer collections. So this week I roasted some chicken leg quarters (from the freezer) and had them with some beets (from the freezer) and sautéed kale and brown rice (from the pantry). Then ate the leftover baked rigatoni from a couple of weeks ago (from the freezer). Next I’ll be whipping up a curry from a combination of fresh and frozen veggies in the frig. That should last a while!
Never got back to the big sewing projects started last week, but did manage to do some mending and patching this week. I guess that is in the Lenten spirit of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.
Made it through Book IV of Lactantius’ Divine Institutes (see previous post). Still not wild about his style of argument. Also not sure many of his arguments have the Biblical support he claims for them. But the group is still interesting, so I will plod on.
Spring Training has begun. Listened to part of yesterday’s Twins/Red Sox game. Another game is on this afternoon. Probably should take it slow. Don’t want to wear myself out before the season even starts 🙂 I tried not to pay too much attention during the off season. The Twins actually made some impressive acquisitions (Orlando Hudson, J.J.Hardy). Maybe now that Daddy Pohlad is gone, the wallet will open enough to produce a winning team. Not as sure about the Cubs . . . no cable means it will be harder for me to follow them (except when the radio reception from Chicago is good), but that might not be such a bad thing.
Temps were in the 40s most of this week, so I tried to go for a few short (10-15 minutes) walks. I tend to get post-exertional malaise and/or excessive fatigue and/or post-exertional headache from even the briefest attempt at exercise (other than yoga), but I needed the fresh air. Also added “take your daily vitamins” to my list of lenten disciplines (along with flossing and drinking more milk).