Thursday, March 31, 2011

Like dieting and exercising, three days is max

I do believe I am better, expletive-wise. And thanks to those two friends (you know who you are) who have read the two previous blogs, commiserated/ expressed shock, tsked-tsked, etc.
Like dieting and exercising, three days is max for me for any kind of new discipline. Although I did get to March 26 in my daily Lenten readings before I moved to another reading spot. That's seventeen days of following a new regimen--probably a record.
Speaking of regimens, it may be a matter of choice. For every day since I can remember--except when I'm out of town/ state or have an early-morning meeting, I read the daily paper, a notebook at my fingertips to jot down interesting tidbits.
Each day,twice a day, I feed the feral cats that have adopted this place.
Perhaps it's a matter of priority. Sure! That's what it is! Now, to make the extinction of "bad words" a high priority.I'll work on it.
But in the meantime, I've run out of quarters.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I've lost count, but I'm improving, swear-wise

The day after last week’s post, I did so well, even tho I spilled coffee down my white terry robe.
All day, I refrained from ugly words. While I was lying down mid-afternoon, I heard a noise from the chimney opening above the gas log fireplace. I rose to investigate. No openings in the chimney, but soon, one of the feral cats—the pregnant one—jumped out of the darkness above the fire unit (only the pilot burned, of course, on this warm, but breezy day).
Well, when I saw the cat, I swore. Thinking it may have been 'fixed' Boots who hid from me there, I called and the gray interloper scrunched out of the corner where she was trapped (how strong these little things are when frightened!) and flew out of sight. I followed her to the kitchen. She had jumped into a screened-in but open window, and before I could opwn the door for her to escape, she had pushed out the screen and fled. Second swear. I had to go out and reinsert the screen into its guides and secure it at the bottom. As I said, these boogers are strong, pregnant or not.
I found a way to use the quarters I've collected in my effort to 'give up' swearing: by purchasing items most needed by children and families in the Methodist Family Health program's "Get Up and Give" (not give up) collections:
socks, underwear, diapers, laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, paper towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, books, coloring books, crayons and markers, board games and backpacks and duffel bags.
And at the same time, I'll guard my mouth continuously.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lenten "swear" jar full of quarters

I knew I needed to clean up the exclamatory words and phrases I'd gotten addicted to, but until I started "watching" er listening and monitoring them, I hadn't realized how much they had invaded (I had let them invade) my solitudinous conversations. Having cats--inside, fixed--and outside, feral, keep me speaking.
When aged Elizabeth Calico messed up the bathroom rug that I'd just washed, she got a good cussing, poor thing. I should have known that giving her a different food would upset her digestion for a spell.
I could give more examples, but excuses won't help. Blaming it on my dad is cowardly. So is rebelling against my mom's upbringing.
Does swearing make me feel better? No. Although, sometimes after trying to open a jar or screw in a lightbulb or some such task, it seems that after I swear in frustration, I can do it easily. Nah... another excuse.
Maybe next week, I will have a better report.

~~Pat Laster dba lovepat press c 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday means Lent, which means...

With a smudge of burned palm branch ash on my forehead that--since I couldn't see it--I'd forgotten about, I visited the local dollar store on the way home from church. The sermon dealt with--partly--doing our acts of penitence in private. Yet here I was (inadvertently) flaunting (a Matthewean 'no-no') such an act in public. When I realized it--at checkout--I fiercely rubbed the oily, ashy bit off my forehead, laughing with the checker. "I figured that's where you'd been," she said.
Is the fact that I forgot the ashes of the supposedly meaningful, emotional act of contrition in such a short time telling on me? Is it my habit to breeze through worship each week as a choir member (and in two Sundays as the interim organist/ director) immediately forgetting the symbolism, the strength that corporate worship inspires, the prayers for the ill, the bereaved, the hurting--am I really so jaded with age and (ahem) experience that my acts of piety are JUST and ONLY that? God forbid!
I doubt I will "give up" or abstain from my eating habits, but perhaps I can guard my tongue a little better. How about a quarter in the "swear" jar for each infraction? Or a dollar? Plus, extra prayers for patience.
How will you observe Lent?

~~Pat Laster dba lovepat press c 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March marches in--mild but cool

a cardinal
the camellias
Saucer Magnolia
Arkansas' 'cherry blossoms'
gracing the Capitol
warm March Saturday
writing in the front porch swing
squirrel and birds distract
breeze turns to wind
unfurls my journal pages
moves the windchimes
beak full of dry grass
the bird drops it and flies
could a cat be near?
midmorning in March
neighborhood finally stirs
except for my sons
waking up grumpy
the teenager now singing
as he showers
Pat Laster dba lovepat press c 2011