Ours is. Well, it’s artificial. But an entire branch fell off this morning so I’m calling these the waning days of Christmas. We’ll probably make it liturgically fitting and box it back up on Sunday after Mass.
Funny, but I spent a lot of the final week of Advent pining (sorry) for a real evergreen and then on December 26th switched abruptly to giving thanks that our perfectly serviceable faux fir doesn’t need to be dragged to the curb while spewing pine needles into all the house’s major crevices.
This week has marked our return to the land of the living. This morning I took the whole crew to Target to pick up wheezy’s croup steroids and shocked the passersby with my rough and ill mannered crowd. It wasn’t our worst trip to the grocery store by any stretch, but it was obvious to even the most casual observer that we hadn’t been out in public in at least a month.
While in line for the pharmacy, I bent close to verbally chastise Luke who was dragging his entire tongue, canine style, down the side of the main cart basket to which he’d been exiled because your mother is not a fool, son, when a pharmacy associate restocking the ace bandage and Icy Hot section doubled over in silent laughter, hearing me berate the 3 year old for “always having to be Patient Zero. It’s like you’re looking for foreign bacteria to ingest.”
He is. He is always looking, and he is always licking.
One hundred dollars of roids and Paw Patrol underwear later, we finally staggered blinking out of the store, pale, chilled flesh flushing in confusion under the 60-something degree Colorado sun. I didn’t know exactly how much time had passed since we’d entered the Bullseye, but the parking lot was melting into lush puddles of spring all around us, defrosting a chunk of my icy heart along with it.
The coughs are fading, the piles of snow are dwindling to premature patches of brownish green, and life is looking up. I’m ready for a real holiday do-over this weekend on these the 11th and 12th days of Christmas, and I’m holding out for the second cheapest bottle of prosecco, a homemade charcuterie board and a binge watch of the Marie Kondo show on Netflix. (p.s. I’m a longtime fan – she even retweeted me on Twitter once. Swoon.)
I’ve been reading a little of this and that all week, bouncing back and forth between two books: Dopesick and Alone Time. I had to abandon High Season about 40 pages in which was so predictable, but I just keep hoping that this beach read, this chick lit is the one that I’ll be wrong about. So far, no good.
You guys were so into the What I Read post from last week that I’m thinking I should make a “currently reading” tab/continually updating post that I’ll add to as I finish books. It’s always a thrill to get a good recommendation, so I’m thrilled if I can provide one myself.
I’ve been watching Jen slay her talk on atheism at SEEK via FOCUS’ livestream of today’s breakout sessions. Worth your time, even if you just play it in the background with the video minimized and go about your business (though you don’t actually want to do that, because you’ll miss her perfect blowout).
I’m in a total keto slump. It goes like this: well behaved for breakfast, basically on track for lunch, and then…yep, that post lunch grind. A handful of dark chocolate chips here, a bite of someone’s awful rice krispie treat cereal (yep, that’s a real thing) there, and by dinner time I’m like PASS THOSE TORTILLA CHIPS RIGHT ON DOWN YEP I’M CARB LOADING TODAY.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally fine to eat like this if it’s intentional on my part, but ever since, um, honestly Thanksgiving, I’ve lost my performance edge of having zero cravings because I’ve been, duh, out of ketosis from all the stuff I’m eating, and so it’s back to a willpower game versus effortless not really caring that tortilla chips exist. And it seems remarkable that I was truly in a place of not caring whether tortilla chips exist, but I was. I was there. It was real. It seems like a dream now, but it was real…
I’m hoping that kids back to school next week + a few more actual sleeps through the night + the soft liturgical end of Christmastide = go time. We’ll see. All I know is sugar cravings are real, and I like life without them a whole lot easier on the knuckles.
I did a casual survey of a bunch of my friends about how/when they pray and while all the specifics of the answers will remain forever anonymous (see guys, I promised!), I found it fascinating how many of the holiest people I know make use of the “pirate prayer” in their daily practice of mental prayer. I’m two days in and feeling like it could change my life (rolls eyes), so fingers crossed that it’s a habit that is quickly automated. Fr. Mike Schmitz does a good job explaining it here. And here, if you’d rather watch than read.
How amazing is this story? I have specific memories of watching CCC movies as a kid and then worrying I’d see the sun dance if I looked at it too long or that the Eucharist would turn into physical flesh in my mouth after communion so suffice it to say I was a little weirdo and definitely not holy enough to have been worrying. Totally normal.
This is just…I don’t have words for this. But a culture of body hyper-autonomy, for lack of a more precise term, which gives us everything from butt implants to voluntary sterilizations to physician assisted suicide to gender reassignment surgeries surely has nothing left to credibly deny willing customers. Demand has always driven medical treatment in a way, but what does it mean when demand is totally untethered from the balance of morality, or even reality? I guess we’re going to find out.
A lovely weekend to you and yours – and hey, if you do end up coercing your better half into watching KonMari Netflix, well, just remind him that it’s been a long, cold football season this year.