Seven Quick Takes are hosted here.
1. We have ants in our house. I'm not sure where they are coming from, and they are few -- maybe two or three a day. My first impulse when I see one is to grab a Kleenex and smash. But ... Lucas, our cat, takes a great deal of joy in playing with them. He stalks them on the rug, he bats them around the hardwood, he licks his paw so that they stick to it and then shakes them off. So if I see an ant and Lucas is around, I mostly do nothing. It doesn't matter very much to me if an ant dies smashed in a tissue or batted to death on the rug. Therefore, I let Lucas have his fun. But tell me -- am I kind or cruel to animals?
2. Our friend Fr. Paul is dying. He turned 90 last spring, and we teased him then that he had missed his chance to die young. This is not unexpected, as he's been moving slowly downhill for a couple of years. But there never seems to be a right time for somebody to die. I was going to say "I wish I had God's perspective on this." But I think, actually, that I do. There wasn't supposed to be death in this world, until Adam and Eve chose to disobey, so all times for dying are wrong, a sign that our redemption is not complete.
Updated: Fr. Paul died about 5PM Saturday. He was under hospice care and in no pain, and both his niece and Roger were with him. He will be very much missed. Fr. Paul Higdon, R.I.P.
3. Chili beans and rice for dinner tonight. Over the last couple of years I have realized that I really like most of the dinners that have become part of my Lenten Friday routine, to the point where I actually look forward to Lent so that I can serve them. I decided that this missed the point of "abstinence from meat equals self denial", so I'm serving my favorites some other day of the week and having canned beans and rice on Fridays. Of course, this is a meal that Kelson looks forward to.....
4. It is getting lighter out in the evenings. When we moved in here I was barely done with my day before I had to close the blinds. Right now dinner is cooking and outside my window there is blue sky and sun on snow, with a birch tree and some pines for contrast. And in three weeks Daylight Saving Time begins, so we will always be able to eat dinner with the blinds open. It also means that it will once again be pitch dark when I have to get up. Win some, lose some.
5. if I haven't mentioned it before, I now have my computer in the kitchen. This has proved to be a mixed blessing. On the one hand, I can write a blog post and keep an eye on dinner at the same time. On the other hand, I can get sucked into checking my email five or ten times a day instead of the two or three I used to allow myself. And let's not talk about the games on Facebook (though I have managed to avoid Farmville and that ilk.) If I still think my real-to-virtual-life balance is off in a year, I may have to give up the internet for Lent. This is a very good incentive to shape up soon!
6. Lucas the cat apparently likes the smell of warming chili beans. I just had to chase him off the stove! As far as I know this is the first time EVER he's gotten up there. Maybe for the rest of Lent I'll have to heat them in the microwave.
7. Why do Girl Scout cookies always arrive just in time for Lent? Inquiring minds want to know!