A Half-Fast Lent

Happy Easter!

Despite my positive past experiences with changing my behavior for Lent, this year I didn’t give up anything for those six weeks.  Frankly, I kind of felt like I couldn’t handle any more self-discipline, since my schedule was so packed with work, meetings, household errands and projects, and trying to be some kind of a mother to my six-year-old son.  As a member of my church’s vestry (administrative council) while our overstressed pastor is on a four-month leave and both the congregation and the pastor are discerning how we can work together more effectively in the future, I attended two hours of meetings per week on average and spent many hours analyzing data we collected at a parish forum.  In a way, that was a Lenten discipline!  Why not cut myself some slack this year?

But then, the week before Lent began, I wrote a grouchy article about why I should never have started a “To Be Filed” pile, and just a few days later our priest-in-residence asked if anyone could loan him an end table for his temporary home. Read more…

7 Things You Oughta Be Able to Do at Your Age

The idea for this article came from a friend of ours who is fifty-one years old and is becoming increasingly disgusted with twentysomething guys who are in worse physical condition than he is and, when he comments on it, mumble about how they can’t afford to join a gym.  They seem to be totally blind to the fact that one can exercise using ordinary household objects or simply by shifting the weight of one’s own body.  He was ranting about this one day when I was over at his house and instructed me to tell the Internet about it. Read more…

Easy, Earth-Friendly Way to Clean a Microwave Oven!

Today is the Spring Cleaning Tips edition of Works-for-Me Wednesday, and I’m hardly an expert cleaner . . . but I actually went on a little kitchen-cleaning binge last night and utilized a tip that I want to share! I believe I originally saw this in “Hints from Heloise.”

When the interior of your microwave oven is splattered with cooked-on food, simply place a cup of half white vinegar and half water in the microwave and heat it to a rolling boil. Read more…

Things Not To Do: Cooked Fruit Edition

Don’t cook cantaloupe.

Most other kinds of fruit can be cooked and will still taste good, maybe even better.  Cooking is an ideal way to use scraps or fruit that’s too old to eat fresh. But not if it’s cantaloupe.

Cooking makes cantaloupe fragrant in a bad way.  It doesn’t smell like food anymore.  It’s like some kind of cloying perfume or big show-offy flower.

In addition, cooking makes the texture of cantaloupe soft, icky, almost slimy.  The mouth-feel combined with the overripe smell is guaranteed to set off primitive reflexes deep in the brain that scream, “This food is no longer safe to eat!!”

Even if you mix it with other fruits, cooked cantaloupe is hard to gag down.  I can believe that it might be possible to take it in an edible direction by cooking it with a lot of spices and onions and things, but I am not willing to experiment.  Unless you have a really promising-sounding recipe from someone you trust not to be a practical joker, I repeat, do not cook cantaloupe.  Ewww.


UPDATE: Maybe this recipe for Sunshine Bread will work!  I haven’t yet tried it myself, but the author and some commenters say it’s delicious!