Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Leap for Leap Year

I don't know why but I love Leap Year - there's something very cool about having an extra day in the year! Now I don't know how they came up with putting this day in February (let's face it, 29 days still doesn't make it even with the other months throughout the year) rather than say, June, when we have the sunlight and fabulous weather to truly take advantage of it, but it's still cool. And I guess the fact that it's on a Friday this year is something worth celebrating - I've heard of a couple of businesses offering Leap year parties and special events around town. I don't know if it's really that big a deal or if it's just another reason for a bar to host a party and bring in more people, but I kind of like the idea of celebrating something that isn't a Hallmark holiday. Or maybe this is being viewed as a warm up for St. Patrick's Day (which is a pretty big deal here in Kansas City, MO). I'm probably not going to actually celebrate Leap year with anything special. Fridays are still in the middle of my work week after all. But I think it's a fun idea. HAPPY LEAP YEAR - I hope you get to do something grand with your extra day this year. :)

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I'm sick of winter.
I'm sick of snow.
I'm sick of cloudy days.
I'm sick of coughing.
I'm sick of blowing my nose.
I'm sick.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Lenten Friday Five

I've been out of the loop on Friday Five's lately, but thought I'd jump in on this one since it's a pretty slow morning here at Habitat Kansas City.

Mother Laura asks:
1. Did you celebrate Mardi Gras and/or Ash Wednesday this week? How?
Not really, no. I totally forgot that Lent was starting so soon and, like most of the media, got caught up in the election stuff instead. I guess you could say I celebrated Mardi Gras by voting on Super Tuesday

2. What was your most memorable Mardi Gras/Ash Wednesday/Lent?
I don't know if memorable is the term I'd put to it, but the year I gave up chocolate was very hard for me. It was one of the years I was in college and it seemed like there was chocolate everywhere! A former Catholic, my Protestant friends kept informing me that Sundays don't count in the 40 days of Lent, so it was okay to indulge that one day a week, but that seemed to defeat the purpose so I didn't give in. It did make Easter that much more of a big deal when I got to make myself sick on chocolate bunnies.

3. Did you/your church/your family celebrate Lent as a child? If not, when and how did you discover it? Yes, my family always did the Lent thing. We were Catholic, although not too terribly hard core. My parents fasted for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday (but were told that wasn't appropriate for us kids) and we always had meatless Fridays for Lent. Even my school always served pizza on Fridays and during Lent there would always be a cheese only option (although many people ate pepperoni without thinking about it) - and this was PUBLIC school.

4. Are you more in the give-up camp, or the take-on camp, or somewhere in between? I guess I'd have to say the give-up camp - force of habit. I have taken things on a few years to try something different, and one year it went REALLY well. I wrote a note to a member of my family or a close friend each day to tell them why they were important to me. Several people called me when they received theirs and thanked me for bringing joy to their day.

5. How do you plan to keep Lent this year? Well, like I said before, I was sucked in to the political stuff this week and totally forgot it was coming. Then it snowed on Ash Wednesday cancelling the morning church service I was going to attend so it's really all out the window. I've been staying away from my church lately (for a variety of reasons), so I don't really know what to do with it this year. Maybe I'm giving up Lent this year.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Who does the tax rebate benefit?

There's been a lot of talk lately about the economy and ways that the govt. is working to stimulate us out of a possible recession. I'm not an economics expert by any means, but I can't help wondering exactly how this rebate thing is supposed to help in the long run. I know that I have credit card debt (from buying a new house and Christmas) that I need to pay off and when I get my rebate check, that's where it will be going. How does that help the economy? The credit card company isn't racking up more interest and I didn't spend that money on more crap I don't need from WalMart (not that I EVER shop at WalMart if I can help it). I know most people are probably going to use that money like they do their tax refunds - go buy that big screen tv they've been eyeing or go out to that new restaurant that's been getting so much attention or whatever, but I can't help wondering if that's the best thing to do with it.

I've really been trying to apply a theory of moderation to lots of things in my life - eating in moderation, tv in moderation, etc. and spending is one of those big areas where I know there's room for impovement. I found a website on Simple Living that I really like. It talks about the idea that we can all get by on less than we think we can and how it's responsible (to the environment and to each other) to not buy everything we're told we should have. I think it's great concept but one that isn't easy to live out. They have books they recommend reading, local groups that meet, shopping practices, etc. They also have a particular campaign right now - Don't Buy It - about the ways in which your rebate can be used in ways that are beneficial but not what the government is banking on. If we all continue to go out and buy that SUV, big screen tv, and the latest DVD's, sooner or later we run out of money, space and natural resources. There has to be a limit to our voracious consumption, and that limit could be our own fatality.