- Blessings of Babies (and parents) and Tomato Plants Too- The end of our get-away last weekend involved worshipping with a dear friend, Adrien, at her Episcopal church and then having brunch with her and her beloved, Jess. It was a lovely way to end the trip! Especially because Episcopalians (and Catholics, too. Others?) give babies blessings during the eucharist. Four months ago now when my mom was last here we went to a Wednesday evening eucharist at the Episcopal Church on campus (my mom is Episcopalian, but wasn’t when I was growing up. I think I’m a Presby in my blood, but had I been raised in both churches… hmm…) Caroline was SO small then- just four weeks old (she is now 21 weeks, 5 months Tuesday!) Most everyone was seated in a circle. But we sat toward the back of the chapel to allow a quick exit with a screaming baby if need be. A few others who came in late sat near us. When it came time to share the bread and cup, they passed the elements around the congregation, serving each other. I wasn’t sure how this would work, if we would be included since we weren’t really in the circle. And my hands were rather full to participate in offering the gifts… But a young woman served my mother and me and then passed the elements to the next person. And once the elements returned to the front of the chapel, the priest came down and blessed Caroline. I was so deeply moved. This week Caroline was blessed again and the priest/deacon? threw mom and dad into the blessing, too. Before he blessed her (and us) he paused, looked into her eyes, smiled at her. That was blessing enough. Hundreds to feed and he paused. For this, I could be an Episcopalian. Before we left that day we bought a cherry tomato plant that had been cultivated from seed by elementary students in the church- a big, healthy seedling, truly impressive. A young child helped me find the one I was looking for, “Sweet Baby Girl”, of course. The kids took such pride in their efforts. Loved this fundraiser, but LOVED the blessing.
- Friends Who Swoop In and Help Out- Adam and Heidi arrived Sunday night after driving all the way from Chicago. They showed up on our doorstep moments after Caroline FINALLY went to sleep after a VERY difficult bedtime. I was demoralized. Their company helped immediately. But the time they spent with Caroline on Monday, the meal they cooked for us… LOVED IT. And just LOVED that they would come all the way here to be with us AND that they would take care of us while they were here.
- Adam’s Flourless Chocolate Cake- So they get two of the three this week! Adam made a flourless chocolate cake that was to.die.for. I had two pieces Sunday night. And another one on Thursday. And I’m going to have another one today. Non-refined sugar, no flour, rich chocolaty goodness. AND know what I love the most??? I STILL lost a significant amount of weight this week even with three pieces of that cake! LOVE IT!
- Parking Blessings- I don’t like parking, especially parallel parking. I never leave enough time for finding a parking place. I rarely have the right change. This was one of the BEST things about rural living. No parking headaches- or rare parking headaches. BUT more times than I can count, I have found a free spot that is FREE, as in available and not costing a cent (parking GOLD), when I have only pennies to my name. OR I have scrounged together JUST enough change to get me through whatever I’m going to. OR I have found a luxuriously large space that I can pull into without parallel parking. This doesn’t always happen, but often. This week I was hoping for such magic as I was nearly late for my guided reading discussion. No places close by. No doubly free places. And… wasn’t sure if I had any change. I pulled into a metered spot, scrounged around and came up with enough change for 45 minutes. I needed an hour and a half. But… friends… it was a torrential downpour. I doubted that meter maids would be giving out tickets and figured the city deserved my money if they were. So I paid for the 45 minutes and took my time caring for Caroline after the appointment… came back… and… NO TICKET. Another parking blessing, and I love them!
- Rain- I’ve always loved rain, the sound of it, the smell of it, the feel of it (usually)… but now that we have a garden, I really love it. Rain is steroids for plants. Our corn is a few inches tall now. Most everything is visibly poking through. And the biggest victory of all? The lettuce looks like lettuce!!! Hooray! It is supposed to rain all week. And so long as it doesn’t drown our garden, this is FINE with me.
- Being Headache Free and Other Pleasant Surprises- So, I have given up wheat and oatmeal the past two weeks in the hopes that it would help our little girl. I’m not sure if it is helping her. It is not hurting her in any case. BUT… it is helping me. I have lived with incredibly frequent headaches for much of my life, certainly from adolescence on. Sometimes these headaches last days. And my headaches are more than headaches. They are one-sided and effect an entire side of my body. Sometimes I wake up to find that side of my body feeling better, only to feel the other side seizing up as the day goes along. They aren’t crippling headaches. But they’re miserable. As far as I could tell, my headaches had millions of triggers. Well, in the last two weeks I’ve experienced many of those triggers- allergies, a few days without allergy meds, sleep deprivation, less water than is ideal, dramatic weather changes (esp. if the change is to damp and it was) and muscle tension from various activities (only thing missing- hormones- and goodness knows those could have been raging, too)- and NO HEADACHES. I love bread. I love wheat. Love it. But not as much as I love being headache free. I’ll keep this up for awhile. If I continue to experience a dramatic drop in headaches… it might have to stick. Who knew?
- Generous Professors- I’ve been doing a guided reading this semester which will continue through the summer. My understanding is that most professors are absolutely unavailable in the summer. The prof who is working with me on this made himself available to me during a semester while he was on LEAVE and is going to continue to work with me all summer. This week as we met I was entertaining Caroline while we talked. He was gracious enough not to mind this, and even to delight in her on occasion, and he was gracious enough to slow down his sharing so I could get it typed with only one hand. But near the end of the session he said “I should be recording this conversations and putting them on-line for you. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it. I have my recorder here. It is what I do with my lectures. It would be no problem.” I replied, “I could bring in a digital recorder from home.” “No,” he said, “I’ll do it.” This is the same man who cares about what’s going on in my life generally, who is seeking to help with Kev’s employment situation. SO GENEROUS. Love him. Love it.
One more thing… I love being a lifetime member of Weight Watchers. This means I was able to re-join without a fee, and that I pay a flat, reduced rate every week until I’m back to goal. And that I don’t have to pay for missed weeks. I’m now to 32 pounds down! Less than 20 to go. I’m so glad I reached goal years ago and it is paying off even today. (And no, no one is paying me to say this)