I really enjoyed my monthly series of Inspire and Friday Food that appeared all through 2020, and I’m planning on continuing it into this year. Inspire will return next week as this week was too full of news to focus on it, although I did find some things in the past week to be inspired about.
This was a layered breakfast casserole I had at Cracker Barrel. The restaurant is back to a limited menu due to the uptick of covid cases but this is seriously easy to make at home, either from scratch or with a few boxed ingredients.
When I first saw it, I thought it was a too small portion, but its looks are deceiving – it was hot, filling, and the tastes were perfectly balanced.
It is simple, easy, and delicious and while I haven’t tried this at home myself, I have no doubt that I could put it together in short order.
The layers from bottom to top are:
Hashbrown Casserole base
Melted Colby cheese
Crispy fried onions
Buttermilk biscuit with butter and/or jam on the side
The breakfast of champions. Enjoy it and the beginning of this new year that I’m going to choose to look on with potential and optimism despite recent setbacks.
There are times when things don’t work that should and you more or less know that they don’t work even though you also know they should, but you can’t figure out why or what the problem is. Or how to make it better.
We know the opposite too.
This holds true for many things, both tangible and un- , but for me this week, it was a pair of pictures, both Mary, both by the same artist, my friend, Brother Mickey McGrath.
I had attended a weekend retreat under his direction in 2019. His retreats always include his artwork related to the weekend subject.
One of the pictures that I was drawn to was Mary, Queen of the Prophets. It was blue and yellow-gold and swirly and I was perfectly captivated by it.
I ordered a print, framed it and hung it in its place.
Every time I looked at it I got a twinge of unease. Nothing specific. Nothing sinister. Just something not quite right.
The feelings I was getting made no sense.
I had wanted the picture for some time. I knew exactly where it would go when it came. But I don’t know. There was something undefined and uncomfortable when I looked at it despite its beauty.
And I lived with it even though I considered trading it back with the picture that originally hung in that space. I think I thought I would eventually change it.
Recently, Brother Mickey created a new Mary art. This one was Mary, Untier of Knots. Our Lady, Untier of Knots is my personal favorite of Marian devotions. I feel an overwhelming devotion to her. I have cards, coins, and medals of this devotion.
For Christmas, I decided ot use a little of my gift money to order the print. I bought a frame and it arrived very quickly. Having nothing to do with the Queen of Prophets in particular, that spot was where it would hang – behind the chair in my corner office. It was time for change and Mary, Untier of Knots was *my* Mary.
As soon as it came I hung it on the wall.
The first time I looked at it from across the room, I felt a calmness wash over me.
There was serenity and feelings from deep within me.
I brought the other picture up to my bedroom. The walls are yellow and I thought it would fit with the blues and the yellow-gold and the swirls of the print. I propped it up against the wall on the floor beside my bed, intending to leave it until I could figure out where in the room exactly it would go.
Then something happened.
I looked at it – Mary’s face, Mary’s hands, the swirling of the background.
Even resting on the floor, it was home. I was full of emotion seeing it in this temporary place, but still…its place.
Wherever I would hang it in my bedroom it would fit; it would be perfect.
Things have a place and when they’re in the wrong one, you know it. Even if you don’t actively know it or the reasons for the discomfort, you feel something real, and eventually with a little nudge, these things can be righted.