Yeah, I “Do” Lent

Bible-Stories-Lent-JT-Blog-Image

 

It’s the day before St. Patrick’s Day in Cork City Ireland and people are concerned about whether they will honour their Lent “resolution”. I was told a while back when I first move here, that “They” usually allow you to “cheat” on St. Patrick’s Day. But that’s not what I’m wanting to write about here. In this conversation that I had with a friend who was trying to justify eating meat (AKA a  West Cork Burger Company juicy blue cheese lamb burger) I told them that I was giving up buying ready made meals for my lunches and dinners at work. That I was going to make all my lunches and dinners at home and .bring them to work. The look of confusion and surprise on their face was astounding! They knew that I wasn’t Christian/Catholic, or any religion in particular so their confusion was justified.

“WTF! Why are doing Lent!?” They exclaimed “Your not Christian!”

No, I’m not, but do I have to of that religion to believe that something is simply a good practice?

Before Christianity people gave up eating meat during this time of the year because their live stock were pregnant and giving birth to more livestock. It was good practice to ensure that they didn’t deplete their herd so that it can multiply and grow. Pancake Tuesday was a way of getting rid of the old eggs, so they can distinguish the new eggs that were laid.  You let these eggs hatch so again you can have more chickens! When Christianity was incorporated into this tradition or vis versa, the old hen that doesn’t lay eggs anymore would have 40 days of pampering  and fattening for it’s final destination as one of the main courses for Easter dinner.

Religion aside, I felt that these are good practices, for cleansing, to go without so you don’t become indulgent. It is a good practice for saving and planning so that you are not caught out. It is a good practice to develop good habits. Making my own meals to bring to work will save me money. I make my own food that is better for me, so I’m healthier. Having more money and being healthier, I’m generally happier! So yeah I “do” Lent because it makes me happy!

 

Caught A Mouse

No, no. It’s not a euphemism. I actually did catch a mouse.  I used a glass and captured it, then took it outside to the compost. I released and it seemed quiet content to stay and naw on some carrot scraps.

 

People are always surprised how I do this. “Why aren’t you using traps?” “I have some extra traps you can have!” “They have these ‘human’ traps now!”…

I’ve seen 1st hand what those so called “humane” traps are like. Back in the early 2000s I was living in a basement walk out in the Nyland Co Housing Community back in Layfayette Colorado. I had told the people that were renting the house upstairs that there mice. See back then I didn’t have a phone, or wifi, or any sort of internet. The landlords of the place where living in Italy and the people upstairs were the connection to them if anything was needed. Well, they ignored me, because the mice didn’t make it up the stairs to their place … yet… They eventually did. Maybe they moved upstairs because I was so dirt poor that that my cupboards were bare and my little basement walk out was colder inside than it was outside. So when the mice nested in their oven, they finally called in the exterminators. They laid down gel traps… ugh…

They did their job. The mice ran across them and got stuck. But they didn’t die. They were stuck and they screamed. Shrill, haunting screams. I had to look. There were 2 mice in one tray. One had it’s nose stuck into the gel and couldn’t breath. You could see it’s little body heave for air that wasn’t there. The other one had all 4 legs stuck in it. I heard it’s little bones snap as it struggle to get free. I couldn’t take it, I grab a sharp kitchen knife and stabbed it through their heads to put them out of their misery. From that day forward I swore I would never use gel traps again. And if at all possible never use any sort of death trap at all.

So what do I do? When I notice that there is a mouse. I ignore it. It seems to get use to me quite quickly. It might take a day or two. But eventually it gets comfortable enough to come out into the open. Even then I would ignore it for a bit longer. And then about the 3rd time that it comes out, I simple put a glass over it, slide a bit of cardboard under it, and take the whole thing out into the compost and set it free. They never run and hide when I release them out there. They just start munching on the nearest food scrap.

That’s it… It’s a better way… At least for me… I can go to sleep at night without the sounds of a screaming mouse in agony after their bones snapped trying to get out of a trap.

Speaking of sleep… There’s another mouse upstairs in the bed room. Different mouse, bigger and brownish. Maybe a baby rat. I don’t know. But in a couple of days I’ll capture it in my way and bring it out to the compost…

School Strike 4 Climate Cork Ireland 14 March 2019

I don’t have much to say… I was there. I wanted to support the kids and the Cork Environmental Forum. I marched with them from the Cork Opera House down St. Patricks Street, Grand Parade, over Parnell Bridge to City Hall! All us “Old Timers” felt out of place. This was their march, their protest. But being there with the kids and the young adults, was so every energizing and inspiring! Their creativity and enthusiasm was AWESOME!

The Youth of this world are AMAZING! They let us see into the future while reminding us of our past. This strike, this march show us that our future is in good hands!

A Memory Of Lent

images

Growing up in a Catholic community in Colorado Springs Colorado, all the neighbourhood kids would brace themselves for 40 days with no candy or chocolate. But not my Brother & me. Nope. We reveled in the “offering” to “share” our Kit Kat, Snicker, or Hershy bars full well knowing that they gave them up for Lent.  We were the perfect tag team of temptation & damnation. So when the other kids with their inflated sense of superiority would get up on their high horses so that they could look down on us when they declined our offer with a snobby  “No Thanks! I’m giving up candy for Lent!”  We would then shrug & proceeded to eat and savour every sweet lushious morsel right in from them. It was even sweeter if adults were around to witness.

My Brother had the dicipline and controle not to eat the whole candy bar. At 3/4 of the way through he’d stop and say “Are you sure you don’t want this last bit?” When the other kid answered with more biting snobbery; “I can’t! I told you! I gave it up for Lent!” He’ll then say “I don’t want any more, so I guess I’ll throw it away.” At which point the other kid would figit & drool. Oh the thought of this perfectly good piece of candy bar going to waste… Their eyes would dart side to side, scanning to see if anyone of importance is watching.  The breeze stood still. …

Just as my Brother began to pull the candy bar back, their resolve would instantly disinergrate like a delicate snowflake on a hot Summer day. They’d snatch it from my Brother and smash it into their face with very little accuracy, I might add… When their face was covered in chocolate,  and their eyes rolled back into their eyelids fluttering from the ecstasy of such delectable sin, I would say quietly in their ear; “You’re going to burn in Hell for that!”

My Brother and I would stand in reverant silence as they trembled  in their Biblical fear…

Never again were they ever so high & mighty… Well, at least not until the next Lent.

07-candy-bars.w700.h700