Tag Archives: Mary

Off the grid…sort of

We had an exciting weekend.  (The post is a little late because I was waiting on pictures.)  In honor of Craig’s Justice Walking theme this week, which is fasting from the artificial and feasting on the natural, we went to Barataria Preserve to “hike”.  We did the two-mile board walk through the swamp, which was really cool.  There were tons of very large spiders, lizards, small snakes, dragon flies, and we saw an owl in the top of one of the trees.  Lucy walked almost the whole way by herself, which was nice.  Samantha got to ride with Dad.

After this adventure we returned, we thought, to civilization, only to find that the power was out.  Craig called Entergy, and they said it would be back on around noon.  (This was 11 o’clock or so.)  We ate lunch, started naps, and when the power still wasn’t on at two, called again.  Now it would be on at five.  When six o’clock rolled around, we called again, and supposedly it would be back on at eight.  So we packed up the girls and went to buy a lantern. (Which we should have had in our “hurricane preparedness” kit, but that gives you and idea of how hurricane-prepared we are.  We generally go running to Baton Rouge, so lanterns and the like have never been a priority.)  We played in the lantern light until a little after nine, when the power actually did come on.  I was so thankful that this happened now, and not a month ago!  We had already had the windows open for a couple of days, and the cool(er) weather held out for us.

(Apparently the problem with the power turned out to be that some Entergy workers had hit and exploded a gas line.  That took a while to fix.)

We had to eat during all this time, so we took to lighting the gas stove with matches.  (Electric starter.  Sigh.)  Craig wanted to make something fun, so he dug a recipe for caramel rolls out of my Grandmother’s Czech cookbook.  They were good.  I had planned breakfast for dinner, and Craig wanted something new and different, so he made cornmeal mush.  We actually ended up going to CiCi’s Pizza after the lantern-buying excursion, but this morning we had fried cornmeal mush for breakfast.  And don’t knock it till you’ve tired it, it tasted like soft French toast.  Mmmm.  I will me making it again.

So today (= Sunday), before the mush, with power on but still with the A/C off (on principle), Craig and I went outside to drink coffee before the girls got up.  While we were there, I wandered to about the back corner of the yard, where we have a square-foot garden, three rose bushes, two basil plants, and a statue of the Blessed Mother surrounded by volunteer loquats.  I was pulling weeds, and Craig came to mow a path to the square and around it with his non-power mower.  We started talking about what I’d like to see there, and decided to go get some mulch to try and clean up around the roses, Mary, and the basil plants.  Since it was St. Francis’s feast day, it seemed like a good time to tackle this.

Load up girls, go to Lowe’s, put down mulch in the rain, and listen to Lucy sing “Row, row, row your boat” over and over and over.

Once the weeds were curtailed and the mulch was down, Craig started to worry that the grass would invade the newly-cleaned areas very quickly if we didn’t put down some kind of border.  I described to him what I wanted in the way of paths and such back there, and after lunch we headed back to Lowe’s.  Then he put out the stones while I tried, unsuccessfully, to get the girls to nap.  More “Row, row, row your boat” followed.

And, finally, here is the (partly) finished product.

Square foot garden, soon to be planted with lettuce and carrots and spinach.  (Done, by the time I got around to posting this!)veggie garden

Seating area, with fire pit (Craig’s idea) in the middle.

fire pit

Lucy’s square?

Lucy's square

Rose bushes.  (Very hard to see because they’re scrawny and not blooming, but there are three of them there.  I promise.)

Rose bushes

Mary and basil.  (The basil are also very, very hard to see.  One took a hit from the lawn mower, and is very short, but recovering.  The other was picked and snailed nearly to death.  Its fate is yet to be decided.)

Mary and Basil

The point of all this being, I’m feeling like, at least for fall and spring, it wouldn’t be so bad to live off the grid after all.  Of course, then you wouldn’t get to hear about our gardening adventures.  I guess we’ll have to keep the power…for now at least.

Immaculate Mary

I wish everyone had gotten to hear the homily I heard tonight for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Father took us through Mary’s life, from her “Yes” to becoming the mother of God, through a desperate journey to Egypt, through giving up her son to his public ministry, to watching him die on the cross. I had to imagine giving birth in a stable – suddenly a hospital doesn’t look so bad! I highly recommend this as a spiritual exercise, especially for mothers. Put yourself in the Blessed Mother’s place for some of these events. Remember losing sight of your child at the park? Imagine losing him in Jerusalem! Anyone know of a book or web site which does this well? If I can’t find one, maybe I’ll have to write it!