Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
March 18th, 2014


I was talking with my son about sensitivity to gluten which seems to be a malady that flesh is heir to in recent days. He is of the opinion that people are eating much more in the way of gluten-containing foodstuffs than ever before in the form of breads, muffins, cookies, cakes, pizza, and the like which explains why our bodies can’t handle it. Apparently in the “olden days,” before cross-country trucking and railroads, and refrigeration, wheat products were more of a seasonal thing and the ordinary joe ate more fruits, vegetables, and meats, and less starches.
On the other hand it was my thought that bread has been a staple for millennia and at least since the time of Jesus people have been breaking bread, the kid had loaves for Jesus to multiply, and his disciples were reprimanded for eating a few kernels as they passed through a wheat field. It could be we were both right. We eat more wheat but bread has always been with us.

Speaking of refrigeration I mentioned in the course of the conversation that when I was about 7 or 8 my family had a icebox in the kitchen, with a drip tray at the bottom, and a sign to put in the window telling the iceman how big a block of ice we wanted. The iceman would drive his horse-drawn cart through the back alley every day and we kids would follow along behind, hoping to get some chips of ice on a hot day. It seems I had never before mentioned to my son that I dated back to the time when the iceman actually came.

All of which caused wonderment as to how, without refrigeration, the iceman was able to deliver ice to us on a hot summer day. The next day it was explained to me that they cut huge blocks of ice from the frozen pond in the wintertime which was stored in a big warehouse where it was surrounded by sawdust for insulation until needed.

Which left two more questions: Ons, how did they cut and lift those big ice blocks, and.two, where did they get all that sawdust? Obviously I should have asked more questions when I was around.

March 10th, 2014


It is ridiculous how happy I am that Lent has come at last! The TV is turned off and will be off for six weeks. I surely love to watch TV but I also love the blessed silence and time that I wallow in when all is quiet in the living room. Of course, I could turn off the TV anytime I chose during the rest of the year but it wouldn’t be the same. There is something about giving up the TV option that is freeing and gives me some understanding of the role of retreats or vacations. Some people might think that at 90 my life is just one big long vacation but it is amazing how busy it is. (Confession: I lie down and sleep more than I used to.)

To follow up on my last post, my balance has improved considerably but I do use my HurryCane outdoors and find in helpful on winter terrain or uneven surfaces. It also seems to make people more solicitous, which is not all bad. The dental surgery I alluded to has occurred — one more lower tooth gone, and not that many more to go! For a while because of dizziness and tooth problems I couldn’t tolerate my new lovely upper denture but am now doing my best to really wear it more often. It does help with chewing and I look cuter, but old dogs don’t take kindly to new tricks.

Alas, the time I hoped to use for more blogging has vanished. When my tenant finally moved out my son brought about a dozen boxes down from the attic that I didn’t even know were there, a real treasure trove from God knows when. It will probably take all of Lent to deal with the contents–baby clothes! diapers! cloth diapers! the old kind! My last baby is now 53 and we moved here in 1963. My old report cards from the thirties! Newspapers about the fire at Our Lady of the Angels school in Chicago, December 1958. Three of my children were in attendance there the day of the fire–92 children and three nuns died as a result but mine were spared, thank you Lord! I remember my mom calling from Connecticut in tears, fearing her first grandchildren had died.

So much to do, so much to blog about, old friends dying, greatgrandchildren that I’ve never seen (Maine, Florida) growing up on Facebook. My children and grandchildren keep in touch on Facebook. As do old friends. So I hope it is understandable that Facebook is a daily thing and blogging is when I have time. There are often things I want to write about “sometime” but the time seems to slip away. I you can’t find me on Facebook, you will know I am very not well!

Friends are so precious. Thanks to each one who bothers to look in now and then. A few days ago I posted on Facebook the lyric poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay called Renascence. If you enjoy poetry take a look–it is a gift from her to me to you.

“You have to allow a certain amount of time in which you are doing nothing in order to have things occur to you, to let your mind think.”
―Mortimer Adler