Garbage Follies

So I have a 15 year old who is, shall we say…garbage challenged.

It’s simple really – the “garbage man” (not garbage-person, sorry ladies) comes on Wednesday and Saturday. The “recycle man” comes on Saturday too. So I ask my oldest, #1 son, fruit of mine loins, to please bring in the garbage can because today is Wednesday, and the empty can has been sitting out there all day, waiting patiently for him to bring it in. “And while you are going that way,” I ask, “could you please take the recycles from under the sink and put them in the recycle bin?” Pretty standard request really. Recycles live in a bucket under the sink. Simple. Number One Son comes back in the house and goes back to doing teenage boy things. All is well with the world.

So my husband and I go out front for a moment and low and behold…could our eyes deceive us?…maybe I’m not seeing right since I don’t have my glasses on? I squint. I walk over. Yep, here it is a Wednesday night and this is what I see:

It is the Saturday recycle bin sitting at the curb…he did bring in the garbage can, and in the recycle bin, amongst the plastic milk bottles, soup cans, and aluminum soda cans that were supposed to be separated from the rest, sits the bucket from under the sink. In the bin…at the curb…on Wednesday.

Can’t you just see the neighbors panic as they get up and leave the house for work and think…”Oh no! It’s recycle day! Crap! I forgot to put it out again!” And either be annoyed, OR turn around and put their recycles out! It could affect the whole neighborhood. Alternately, the neighbors think it is Saturday and turn around and go back to bed, missing a whole day of work. The thought is hysterical and all I can do is laugh.

“Come My Lovely” – The Assumption of Mary

My love lifts up his voice, he says to me, ‘Come then, my beloved, my lovely one, come’. (Song of Songs 2:10)

August 15th is the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, when we celebrate the Blessed Mother of Jesus being assumed body and soul into heaven.  It is a beautiful, tender moment and a lovely feast for a lovely lady.

If you are interested in the basis for this feast please read these two sources (there are lots online, these are just two):  
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Marcellino D’Ambrosio and
Assumption of Mary into Heaven by Msgr. Charles Pope at the Archdiocese of Washington

Update:  You should find the Women for Faith & Family Assumption page to be very informative also.  It includes the history, readings for the day, prayers and devotions and more…

Also:  Fr. Z’s wonderful Meditations of the Assumption as part of his excellent Patristic Rosary Project

Image:  The Assumption of the Virgin, Peter Paul Rubens, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
More Info:  Shafe 

Is Your Decision God’s Will?

How do you go about making decisions or trying to decide what God’s will is for you.  If you are a young person and are deciding which college to go to, are you going against God’s will by choosing one over the other?  If you are deciding between cities to move your family, if you choose Chicago over Kansas City, is one of those not God’s will? 

I find this topic, as probably most people do, to be fascinating.  So when I discovered Peter Kreeft’s latest article Discernment – (How can I learn God’s Will for me?)  I was hot to trot to read it and I’m glad I did, because it really clarified for me some questions I had and it is probably the best article I have read about this subject.  

God gives us free will, not to watch us screw up but to really give us choices.  Neither Chicago or Kansas City – or Harvard v. Yale are sinful or bad choices.  They are just choices.  If we have prayed to know his will and know what the church teaches about a certain topic and our consciences are clear, we should pick the one we want with no fear.  Yes, Yale might be good, but if you are leaning to Harvard because you like the town better, the girls are prettier or you have friends there, that is just fine.  Go with what you want.  It’s common sense, really.  God gave it to us – let’s use it.

You’ve Got Questions?

I’ve recently discovered a gold mine of great info that I thought I would pass on.  Aggie Catholics, a service of St. Mary’s Catholic Center at Texas A&M University, is a great blog.  They have a fantastic Question & Answer section dedicated to the questions they have received from the ordinary Catholic.  The list is extensive and the questions people have asked are answered in a knowledgeable and compassionate way. You’ll probably learn a lot by just browsing through to take a look.

Our Favorite Casserole

I love reading about casseroles that other people make.  Chicken and rice casserole, creamy noodle casseroles…yum.  They all sound so good and are so easy.  The same thing applies to crock-pot recipes.  So easy and very little work.  Well… that is not my reality.  While my husband and I will eat most things, the kids (especially one) are shall we say…texture averse.  I take that back – they like texture.  A nice piece of meat, carrots…firm things – not smothered in any type of sauce unless it is red and has the word barbecue.

A casserole is not that.  I know someday that will change, but it takes time.  I thought I would sing the Hallelujah Chorus when my teenage son asked me if he could taste my salad.  It was a miracle. That was a year ago.  Now he will eat what is essentially a bowl of greens, maybe some onion, maybe some chick peas, with Honey Mustard dressing.  No tomato.  He could eat a whole bowl of salsa by himself, but will not have tomato on his salad. Go figure.

So when I made a casserole last year that I have loved since I was a teen, I fully expected to be rebuffed.  “Yuck, I’m not eating that!”  “What am I having for dinner?”  Yeah, yeah, I know.  You make your kid eat a bite of everything, or all your children have to finish what is on their plates even if they hate it.  Good for you.  I’m very proud of you.  We don’t do that. I do my best to try to get the kids to try new things, etc. but I don’t force them.  I would not want to be forced to eat food I hate, and I won’t do it to them either.  I want our dinner table to be a place of conversation, interest and happiness, not yelling, tears and bad feelings.

OK, so back to The Casserole – Introduction time.  One kid was not thrilled and picked at it.  The other gradually came to see that IT WAS WONDERFUL.  Now they both love it and request it.  I found this recipe in an old cookbook that my mother probably got at a garage sale.  It was the only recipe in the book I thought was interesting when I found it as a teenager.  It is called Martha’s Company Casserole.  Who is Martha?  I have no idea.  This book was written way before Martha Stewart.  Whoever she was, she was having company and it was good.  Enjoy!

Martha’s Company Casserole 
8oz Elbow Macaroni
3 T Margarine divided (2T melted, 1T unmelted)
1 pound ground chuck
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1 cup cottage cheese

1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened and cut into cubes
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup snipped scallions
1 T minced green pepper

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Cook noodles as directed on package and drain.
  • While noodles are cooking, saute’ the ground chuck with the 1 tablespoon of unmelted butter.  Saute’ until brown.  DO NOT DRAIN the fat.  Don’t be disgusted, just go with it.  If you drain it, it will be dry. (trust me)
  • Stir in the tomato sauce and remove from the heat.
  • Combine the cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, scallions and green pepper.
  • Grease a large casserole dish.
  • Spread half of the noodles on the bottom of the dish.
  • Cover with the cheese mixture.
  • Put the rest of the noodles on top of the cheese mixture, distributing them evenly.
  • Pour the 2T of melted margarine on top.
  • Pour the meat mixture on top.
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let sit 10 minutes.

Now, as you have guessed, this is not a low-fat meal.  I do happen to use low fat sour cream and reduced fat cream cheese.  This is what I have in my fridge so that is what I use and it works fine.  This dish tastes even better the next day.  The picture above does not really do it justice – it is the taste that counts.  I usually serve it with a salad or fruit.  Please try it and let me know what you think.