Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance


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Moo: A Stream of Consciousness Post that’s not just about Cows.

cows coming

The first think I thought of when I saw today’s Steam of Consciousness prompt, “moo,” was of course cows and how I’ve given up dairy for lent. It’s because I love animals, especially mammals, cause I’m a little biased being a mammal myself…..Where was I?

Ok, I’m not going to go into the bad stuff about cows on factory farms, but I will say that dairy has been hard for me to give up, especially cheese. (I cheated with cheese a couple weeks ago, and my digestive system is still not back to normal.) I’ve had no trouble not eating meat for over 40 years now, except chicken and fish, no trouble not eating mammals, but dairy has been hard. I’ve missed having pizza. I had a pizza with vegan cheese, it even melted, but yeah it wasn’t the same. It was good though.

I will probably indulge in cheese from time to time, but what lent has taught me, as it often does, is that it is possible to live without consuming mammal milk products. As an adult anyway. Lent stretches me outside my comfort zone, which is why I’ve done better over the years at not eating chicken. To be honest, I will probably go back to eating some fish after lent, mostly salmon or shrimp. I’m sorry shrimp and salmon. I will only eat your now and then, like once or twice a month, but during lent, you get a reprieve.

The second thing I thought about when I saw the moo prompt was my little Mary Moo. Her name was originally Marigold when I got her for my daughter almost 15 years ago. Marigold turned into Mary, then Mary Moo, then Mary Moodle, then the song that starts out, “Mary Moodle, you’re not a poodle, Mary Moodle, you’re just a mutt.” I’m not going to take you to the other lines my stream of consciousness has created over the years containing things that rhyme with mutt. Nope. Not going that far.

Anyway, Mary Moo will be 15 next month. She’s doing okay though she sleeps a lot and is deaf as a stone.

Do you have silly nicknames for your animal friends?

Here are two pictures of Mary Moo:

mary moo

Mary Moo on a road trip.

This one, below, is the painting I did for the back cover of my soon to be published book. Mary is the one all the way on the left. The littlest one.

back cover larger (2)

The Saturday Stream of Consciousness is brought to us by Linda G. Hill. who blogs at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/04/14/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-apr-1517/

SOCS

Here are the rules for SOCS:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


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The Eye of the Red Snapper

Redsnapper.jpg by Paulk via Wikimedia Commons

Lent – the forty days between Mardi Gras and, Easter – is the only time, so far, I’ve been able to be a true vegetarian. Not vegan (I still eat cheese – still working on that) but vegetarian – no beef, no pork (the easy part for me) and no chicken or fish (the harder part.)

My husband respects my goals on this so much, that he voluntarily doesn’t eat “red meat” at home and doesn’t eat much meat in my presence, besides chicken and fish. A few weeks before lent, he asked me if I minded if he brought home some red snapper someone at work had offered him. Since I’ve occasionally indulged in seafood (except during lent) I said okay. As a tomboyish youth, I took pride in cleaning fish myself, but this time, I was happy to leave that job up to my husband. The night being cold, he scaled the fish and cut off the heads in the kitchen. The smell was not pleasant.

Then I saw it – The eye of the red snapper, staring at me, from my own kitchen sink. The eye’s blank look confirmed that it was dead. But it was still shiny. The fish had been frozen until it thawed in my sink. Could the eye possibly still see me?

I think I’m going to get better at this vegetarian thing. It’s about time. I’ve been working on it for about 40 years. Not eating cows and pigs has been easy. And after watching enough videos of what happens to baby chicks on factory farms….. well… I think I’m done with chicken. Now the eye of the red snapper has given me an extra push toward being a true vegetarian. Even though the taste of its well prepared flesh was flaky and mild, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have, if I had not seen the eye.

On the eve of lent, during my church’s annual Shrove (aka Fat) Tuesday oyster roast, I only ate three oysters – well done and dry, not slurpy. Oysters don’t have eyes, but I wonder: Are they still alive when the heat of the roasting fire forces their shells open?

Sometimes I wish I didn’t think about such things.

Now, for a somewhat humorous, yet honest, look at this issue:

 

It’s about progress, not perfection.

(The red snapper image is by “Paulk” via Wikimedia Commons)

 


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Lent: Is it Okay to Cheat on Sundays?

Chickens

It’s about halfway through the 40 days of lent. As in years past, I’ve been cleaning up my vegetarian plate for lent. I’m not vegan, though I do have vegan days. I thought I was having one  last week until I remembered there was butter and parmesan cheese on that garlic bread. No body’s perfect.

I stopped eating meat in the late 70’s. Here’s how it happened. Since then, it’s been easy for me to abstain from eating mammals. It’s been harder to give up eating fish and chicken, except during the season of lent.  During lent, I’m a strict true vegetarian.

A couple weeks ago, one of the regularly visiting priests ministering to my little Episcopal church told me that Sundays don’t count in lent.

What?

He said there were more than 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter and that’s how Sundays get to be free days, though I think he said, “feast days.”

I counted the days on the calendar, and sure enough, there are 46 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter!

Why did I not know this? Or did I hear it and just not pay attention?

Going 40 days in a row, (now 46) straight through to Easter as a true vegetarian works for me. It brings me closer to my goal to not contribute to the horrors of factory farming, because after lent, I eat way less chicken. It’s just possible that I’m done with chicken for good.

(Fish is another matter. I’m not going there yet.)

What I’ve learned about myself, and I think this applies to most people with addictive personalities, is that it’s easier for me to abstain all together, than to indulge occasionally. I learned this the hard way with cigarettes. And even though I’m not an alcoholic, it’s easier for me to abstain than to drink alcohol occasionally. I can’t say I’ll never drink again. Maybe I’ll have a glass of wine on my 80th birthday. For now, I’m comfortable staying sober. But for some people, once it too many and a thousand’s never enough. For some people, like alcoholics, it’s not worth the risk.

I quit drinking twenty something years ago, when I got serious about recovery from compulsive overeating and stopped consuming empty calories. I stopped eating refined sugar for about a year. At that time, total abstinence from sweets was easier than moderation. Now I indulge in sweets occasionally, especially dark chocolate, but I know it’s a slippery slope, and I need to be mindful.

For lent, I’m sticking to my tradition of being a true vegetarian, including Sundays, all the way ’til Easter.  I hope this will help me really be done with eating chicken. And I’m not going fishing for seafood. There are plenty of other options lower on the food chain.

Like dark chocolate.

We all have our own values and goals. Some are easier than others. Some we struggle with. What helps you be consistent? Or are you fine with the occasional indulgence?


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Confesssions of an Imperfect Vegetarian

chicken on the farm

Ever since 1970, when I heard Melanie Safka sing, “I don’t eat animals, cause I love em you see. I don’t eat animals, and they don’t eat me,” I’ve wanted to be a vegetarian.

I got good at it  when I was in college, after reading an article by a hunter challenging people who are against hunting to stop eating meat. I did better after reading quotes by Isaac Bashevis Singer comparing factory farms to Nazi concentration camps, a realistic comparison considering the severity of misery inflicted. Watching videos of baby chicks being de-beaked or ground up alive, always works for a while. I’ve actually gotten better over the years at not eating chicken.

For almost 30 years, I’ve had no problem abstaining from mammal flesh, feeling a kinship with animals who feed their babies with milk from their bodies, like I did. But I’ve struggled with fish and chicken. Most of the time, I’ve been imperfect in my quest.

Except for Lent. During Lent,  the 40 days that start with Ash Wednesday and finish up with Easter, I am stronger.  For 40 days, I  know I can do what my spirit tells me is right for me. I can be an honest vegetarian-no chicken and no fish. During Lent, I have the strength to stretch myself, with God’s help, to have more days of being vegan-no animal products at all.  With so many alternatives available these days, it’s not too much of a sacrifice considering what Jesus did for us. So, I approach Lent with a sense of confidence that grows stronger each year.

Lent

Lent doesn’t have to be about giving something up. It can be about adding something good to your life. Like singing more.

Image

At the Church of the Good Shepherd, we are working on a song for lent called: “You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord.” It’s about God saying, “I will raise you up on eagle’s wings,bear you on the breath of dawn, make you shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of my hand.”  It gives my soul goose bumps.  This is what I joined  choir for: that feeling of accomplishment when you start to “get” a song you love- when it starts to come together with the voices of friends.  It’s a natural high, a power that comes from divine love.

So this year, I will add daily singing to my Lenten practice. It’s good for the soul. I’ll sing for God and for Jesus and for the animals. Cause I love ’em you see.