If you give a mouse a cookie…

So, I think there’s a mouse in my house.

Boo.

It has started off small, a nibble in something here.  The sound of a scurry there. I could never catch him, but he never stayed more than a day at a time.

Kris calls him my house pet.  Can I take him to the pound?

Then this morning, about 6am, I heard my little friend loud and clear.  Upon investigation, I found that he had eaten an ENTIRE roll of Lifesavers – wrapper and all!

And, being the polite little rodent he is, kindly moved my package of thank-you notes from the living room, into the middle of the kitchen.   And yes, he left his toothy signature.

Methinks this Lifesaver and thank-you note eating critter is not little mouse after all…

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‘Tis the season to hear about Lent.  What people are giving up this Lent.  It becomes a common question, and an easy alibi. 

I realized yesterday why it is that we have Lenten Commitments.  Maybe not the theological reason, but why it is that we commit to giving something up for 40 days.    It’s to discover what we depend on, but shouldn’t; and what we don’t depend on, but should.   When I take a really good, strong look into my life, and what I depend on,  I’m shocked.  Of course I depend on my family and friends, but surely God wouldn’t want me to give them up for 40 days!?  Beyond relationships, what vice do I have that I lean on when days are tough?

I’m not afraid to tell you what I gave up for Lent.  I know the whole “pray in secret” logic, but I will be honest: it would be a lot harder for me to be faithful to this commitment if I didn’t put it all out there.  I’m depending on accountability here!  Because this Lenten season, I have given up chocolate.

I’m not giving up chocolate because I need the diet, but because chocolate is my go-to.  It is my pick me up.  I’m dependant on chocolate, and that is no good.  You would be shocked by how much chocolate is in my home.  And in my office.  And at the day center where I work.  And at every.single.meeting I attend!  It is common in every dessert.  It has become almost comical to notice how much chocolate is around me.  When I’m craving that mid-morning, or mid-afternoon snack, there is nothing to reach for at the day center this isn’t chocolate or a donut! (which I gave up as my New Year’s Resolution!)

So on days like yesterday, when I was seething, and just wanted to pull my hair out; or the night before, when I was worried and frantic, it’s a good thing I had to learn (again) how to depend on something other than chocolate.  Had I not made the very public commitment to give up chocolate, I would have indulged myself yesterday as a form of making myself feel better.  But with the loyalty to that commitment hanging over my head, it helped me to realize what chocolate really is for me.  It isn’t just a delightful little snack.  It is more than I need or even want it to be. 

So this Lenten season, I vow to not only give up my dependency on chocolate, but resolve to try to shift that dependency back to where it should be in the first place.  In myself, and in my God.

Women in Black

Every time a homeless person is found dead outside or dies by violence in King County, WHEEL (a homeless women’s organizing effort) and the Church of Mary Magdalene (an ecumenical day ministry) mobilize for our silent witnessing vigil called Women in Black.  On Wednesday, February 17th, we will stand vigil to honor and remember:

  • Randy Leonard, 52, who died on February 1st in Lake City; he was found near the intersection of 120th St. NE and 10th Ave. NE.  The cause of his death is not yet determined. 

Randy was a beloved member of the Lake City community of homeless and housed people.  According to his friends, Randy had a large extended family.  He was known to love the outdoors – hunting, hiking, motorbike riding and camping with his children.  He worked in the Carpenter’s Union and was an accomplished mechanic.   He was a student of philosophy, an accomplished guitarist and harmonica player, and also a painter.  He brought joy and gifts to many, and managed to love amidst his suffering.

A memorial service was held for Randy Leonard at the Seattle Mennonite Church on Friday, February 12th.   Our hearts and prayers go out to Randy’s friends and family.

The number of known homeless deaths outside or by violence in 2009 was at least 36.  The majority of these deaths were caused by violence.  This is exactly why Nickelsville and more day/night shelters are so desperately needed.    We are also keenly aware of the fact that the Lake City community has been particularly hard-hit recently, with five deaths in the past two years.  PLEASE JOIN US IN SOLIDARITY!

(Taken from the Women in Black press release)

I have been using Aussie Sprunch Spray for, oh geez, I don’t even know how long.  YEARS!  It is the only product I use.  Ever.  When I go to the store, I buy 2 or 3 bottles at a time because I go through it so quickly.  About a bottle every 3 weeks.  Granted, my hair is down to my waist, but still.  I use a lot of Aussie Sprunch.  I love me some Sprunch Spray.   (and it’s a fun name!)

And then, they went and changed the product on me.  It no longer has its familiar, comforting scent.  And it doesn’t work the same!!  Sprunch spray used to give me firm, but manageable curls.  I could wear my hair down or up in a ponytail and always be assured my curls would stay in place.  Now, my hair feels like it is fried, it’s like straw!  The curls aren’t holding, and the frizz is back!!  Oh my goodness the frizz is back.  Raise your hand if you remember back in the frizzy days?  Oh dear….but your hand back down and hide those pictures please!!

I don’t consider myself to be a vain person, but when you have gotten used to one product over the years, particularly one that makes you feel at least some what put together, well, it’s devestating when they change it.  I guess I have to start looking for a new hair product, but ugghh. 

Darn you Aussie.

Women in Black: First vigil of 2010

Every time a homeless person is found dead outside or dies by violence in King County, WHEEL (a homeless women’s organizing effort) and the Church of Mary Magdalene (an ecumenical day ministry) mobilize for our silent witnessing vigil called Women in Black. On Wednesday, February 3rd, we will stand our first vigil of 2010 for one new homeless death.  We will honor and remember are:

  • Anna Moore, 42, who died by accidental drowning in Ballard on January 18th;

Our hearts go out to her friends and family.  She was a beloved Ballard community member and had been homeless there for a number of years; a memorial service was held for her in Ballard on January 22nd.  A nice article about the memorial service can be found in the Ballard News-Tribune.

The number of known homeless deaths outside or by violence in 2009 was at least 36.  The majority of these deaths were caused by violence.  This is exactly why Nickelsville and more day/night shelters are so desperately needed.  JOIN US!

(Taken from the Women in Black press release)