Friday Food. January.

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Kellogg’s Luxury Muesli. (c)2022

We happened upon this lovely speciman while we were on vacation last summer. It was one of the choices for breakfast at our hotel in Quebec. I had to laugh at its ‘luxury’ adjective even as it gave me flashbacks.

Thirty-five years ago this month, very close to this day in fact, I was traveling with my college roommate throughout the British Isles between the fall and spring semesters. We were traveling by foot mostly with trains, buses, and hitchhiking interspersed where necessary. We stayed in hostels the whole time except for one bed and breakfast in Warwick. Except for that bastion of civilization that included a delicious English fry-up and a bathtub, we carried and prepared out own food. On any of the two night stays we were able to procure eggs and milk or other refrigerated items to use.

On the other days we breakfasted on mueslix. Not this luxury variety from Kellogg’s, but a no-name baggie of oats and other grains, almonds, and raisins. Mixed with hot water, it was….vile. Maybe I should have added milk and butter as if it were oatmeal, but we never had milk or butter at our disposal; only water that we could heat. Sometimes we ate it cold.

At least the tea was good.

I fully intended to try this ‘luxury’ branded muesli, but I never got past my aversion filled flashbacks to try it. I tried to get one of my kids to eat it so I could taste it, but they wouldn’t succumb to the pressure. It was as if they could read my memory.

Muesli. Ugh.

Inspire. January. 2022.

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They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

Andy Warhol

…any writer who waits for “inspiration” to strike will never finish a book. Inspiration is all very well, but it will never replace sheer dogged determination.

Author Elizabeth Peters in an interview that appears at the end of The Golden One, one in her Amelia Peabody series.

Pointsettia. (c)2022

Every year, just after midnight on January 1st, I take out my new calendar/blog planner. It is perfectly even. No bent pages, no stray marks, no correcting tape, no bookmarks, no stickers. Empty pages and I never go to bed until I’ve filled in the dates that have been piling up in lists at the back of the old planner. New appointments, new school days, new writing assignments and ideas. Over the days and weeks, it will fill in and be the guide that I use throughout the year.

Resolutions get broken. They start out with good intentions, but often they fall by the wayside. I try to set goals; to have determinations; to focus. I do this a few times a year beginning in the fall and adjusting and re-adjusting what I want to accomplish.

I have a few writing series that I will continue including this Inspire series. It may have a change of name, but all in all, it will continue in the same format.

I am continuing the new Instagram and Spotify compilations; Instagram as the mood strikes and Spotify during the last week of the month.

I would also like to begin a more definitive travel section, including places of interest as well as giving more time to my book writing.

So much to do, but I am determined to take those two quotations to heart and simply keep moving forward.


A Christmas Season Reflection

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Since joining the church I discovered something about Christmas that had, up until then been unknown to me. The Christmas season doesn’t end on Christmas Day, but begins. The twelve days of Christmas aren’t the twelve days preceding December the twenty-fifth, but the twelve days after. Christmas Day is a beginning, not just of the season of Christmas, but of a way of thinking, of letting us move forward in our journeys, becoming more in relationship with Jesus than we had been previously.

In my parish, and in many parishes across the world, there is a visual documentation of this journey, from the Birth of Christ through His Baptism: the travel of the three kings from one side of the altar to the other, on their way to meet the Christ child, awaiting them in the manger.

We go through a similar journey ourselves; from Christ’s Nativity to His Crucifixion and Resurrection, the journey from his life to his death, and to his life again, a never ending circle that continues through time.

We try to put ourselves in Jesus’ shoes, walking through his childhood in a quick one-two-three and then move suddenly into the Acts of the Apostles to see what his disciples did after his ministry, death, and resurrection. Were they able to put aside their fears, their doubts, the uncertainness about their own personal futures to follow his example? Are we? The Acts show us what the disciples did in those days after, and give us examples of how we can go ahead sharing the Word in our world, and being examples ourselves. They give us a path to emulate, reaching across and around the globe, introducing Jesus to the people and making him accessible. We still do this today.

Today is Epiphany, a word that by itself has several meanings, all of which are relevant. We see with new eyes. We come to the realization. We indulge in our thoughts and find our way with that one seed, that one kernal, that one thing that moves us forward in whatever we do, and hopefully in all of these journeys we carry Jesus with us, as He carries us; with concern, with care, with hope, and with love.

In one week, Jesus will be baptized, like I was – as an adult. It is something I can relate to. When the priest asks if we remember our baptisms, most in the pews will shake their heads and laugh, but I, and a few others, can raise our hands and declare, yes, I remember my baptism. It was one of the greatest days in my life. It was the one time, literally, the only time where I did something without second thoughts. When asked if I was nervous, I readily and confidently stated, Not at all. And I meant it.

In one week, we return to ordinary time for a scant amount of weeks until Lent begins another journey. From now until then, we can set out to learn more about our relationship with Jesus and try to put ourselves into his shoes. We can never fill them, but we can muddle along and do our best. That is all any of us can do.


(c)2022