Odds and Ends, Spring Break and Lent

Next week is Spring Break, and I’ve only got one more day of classes to get through beforehand. Yayyyy! I am sitting on a stack of essays to grade, but I have given myself permission to wait until classes start again to work on them. I mean, hey, it’s my vacation too, right? I thought so. Grading on vacation is simply verboten.

Currently I am trying to decide if I have a cold coming on or some allergies or what, but I am feeling a little iffy and hoping the situation resolves itself soon, because I have plans, you see, PLANS! For the first half of break, I’ll be heading to Savannah, Georgia for a long weekend away with some of my fabulous ladyfriends. We’re doing a bachelorette party for my soon-to-be-wed friend Golightly and it should be tons of fun. I am looking forward to temperatures in the seventies and charming little squares and scenic sights and general cavorting. Wheee!

[60/365] Pear Tree

For the second weekend of the break, I am making it a Me Weekend (trademark on that term goes to my friend Jjenniac.). As you could probably tell by my last post, some time doing plenty of nothing is much needed right now! I won’t really be doing nothing, of course, but I foresee some housecleaning, cooking, baking, general puttering, reading, movies, and lounging. I may hit the roads for a long bike ride and some running, too. Pretty much just doing All The Shit I Like Just for Me. Me Weekend.


In other news, I have not consciously given anything up for Lent in a really long time. Like probably since the 1980s. I grew up Catholic and attended Catholic school from K-5 (all that was possible in my town — we had no Catholic middle school or high school, but if we had you had best believe my parents would have been ON IT). I decided pretty early on, though, that religion was not going to be a big part of my life. So along with that, Lent fell by the wayside. I am not currently experiencing a revival of faith or anything, but I had been thinking about declaring a period of time in which I would forego shopping just in order to save money, and then all of a sudden people were talking about Lent and what they were giving up for Lent and all “Lent, Lent, Blahbidybloo,” which reminded me that, hey!, it’s Lent again, what perfect timing.

And so I am giving up shopping for Lent. No more random trips to Target or The Gap and no more Amazon-one-clicking my way to a drained bank account. I’ll only buy groceries and the essential household items, plus a couple of things I already identified that I needed and haven’t purchased yet. For example, my running socks are all full of holes and I just broke both my blender and my paper shredder on the same day. I will replace those items, but that’s it. (By the way, do you think they make some kind of giant food processor that also shreds documents with its sharp blade? They should. I could kill two birds with one stone, which, now that I have typed that out, seems like an idea this pacifist/vegan would be opposed to, so never mind.) At any rate, this period of not shopping should really help me set aside some money for summer. (Don’t get me started on teachers getting “three months’ vacation” — the truth is that we are unemployed for three months!)

I have two questions for you, if you want to play along, audience-participation style: 1) What would you do on a You Weekend? and 2) Do you ever give things up, for Lent or otherwise, and are you giving anything up this year?


  1. A perfect weekend, for me, right now, would involve NOT GESTATING. So, for the sake of playing along – a non-pregnant perfect weekend would involve these little cabins on the coast that the state parks rent out, happy children that don’t push or pull hair, a huge brunch at a greasy spoon, a long run, and an evening of sipping wine with my honey.

    As for Lent, I grew up in a Catholic household but I don’t ‘give anything up’ – occasionally I do try and do a self-imposed spending freeze, but it is unrelated to a holiday. Perhaps, I should give up something considering I celebrate all the food-related festivities surrounding Lent…(pancakes for Shrove Tuesday? yes, please)!


    1. OK, your weekend sounds LOVELY! Cabins on the coast? Wine sipping? Wonderful. Maybe you can put that into action after the gestating is finished!


  2. Lovely blossoms! Your pics are good, keep posting them!

    1) On a ME weekend: Lots of snuggle time with the Mrs, write a story or two, hang out with friends.

    2) Give things up? Soda. But I can’t say that has been a big effort – as I get older, soda tastes worse and worse. (And cinnamon tastes better and better. Weird.)


    1. Oh man, I need to give up soda. I have (mostly) given up buying it for the house, but I still buy one almost every day on campus. I am making strides, though.


  3. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has a podcast in which she identifies proverbs and idioms that demean animals or promote violence against them. She identifies their derivation and first usage. Then she comes up with vegan alternatives. I like hearing about the idioms and their origins but most of the vegan alternatives were cheesy (ummm, nutritional yeasty?). I did like “cut two carrots with one knife” however.

    Oh you asked about Lent. My parents were a non-practicing Catholic and an Atheist Jew, so in order to rebel I became Super Jew and fasted at Yom Kippur and gave up things that rise for Passover. Considering the Catholic side is Italian and pasta is not kosher for Passover, I might as well have given up breathing. That’s similar, right?

    A me weekend would be nothing work related: no studying, no going into my second job, and cooking and running and sleeping. I’m an easy girl to please.


    1. So many things to comment on — where to start? “Cut two carrots with one knife” is a pretty good substitute for that one. The other day I was thinking of the expression “I have no dog in this fight” (AWFUL) and the best I could come up with was “I have no horse in this race” (still not great). Upon further reflection, “no stake in this game” is better.

      HOWEVER! The best part of your comment is this: “in order to rebel I became Super Jew.” Cracking up here!

      Also, your me weekend sounds like pretty much what mine will be: no work, plenty of home/cooking/running and oh yeah SLEEPING!


  4. Wouldja look at that pear tree? Baby’s just asking for some bee action. Beautiful.

    My key vice, these days, is pootling round the internet when I should be writing my doggamn book, but even with divine aid, I don’t think I could give up pootling round the internet. Which leaves not very much to give up. Food? Bathing? Sleep? Smothering the resident cats with my abundant trans-species motherlove? So I’ve decided to eat lentils every day of Lent (lentils round here come in yellow, red, green, brown, and Puy varieties, so this shouldn’t be too hard), and every time I do, I will think of Jesus and his mysterious proverbs, most of which manage not to do rhetorical violence to animals. (Mustard seeds, on the other hand …)

    As for not buying stuff – hooray! what an excellent plan! I keep starting up plans like that and then putting down $3000 deposits on rainwater tanks and the like, but I’m sure you’ll have more resolution than me.


  5. Your photos are beautiful! You just made me excited to go down to DC for the cherry blossom festival with my parents since I can take my fancy camera with me and amuse myself while dealing with all the crowds.
    I am giving up buying clothes and shoes and accessories during lent this year so we are similar on that one. I am allowing myself to purchase other things because I’ll be moving soon and will need some new stuff for the new place.
    If I had a ME weekend, I’d spend a lot of time with my dog, try to read a book, watch a movie or two, go running by myself, maybe ride my bike.


  6. I wish I could give up coffee for Lent. I swore I’d never get addicted to the stuff but now I can’t get through a day without at least one cup. It all started when I returned to school. Coffee shops were the perfect place to hang out between classes or served as an office so I wouldn’t be cooped up in the house all the time. Now I’ve discovered Dutch coffee, which is super-strong. It’s like I’ve switched from coke to crack!


    1. Oh man, I love coffee. I usually make it at home and have been without it all week because I am waiting to do a big grocery re-stock until after I get back from my trip. I *can* function fine without it but I don’t *like* to. Also I refuse to give it up — I have given up enough vices in life that I feel I am allowed to keep this one.


  7. Oh, a Me Weekend! I haven’t had one of those in so long!

    Mine would involve being alone. Maybe the dogs could come. I’d consider that. I would wake up around 7pm, go for a run, then write for a few hours, then make a big lunch, then take the dogs for a walk (if they’re around), then read a book in a hammock, then go to yoga, then have some kind of delicious dinner delivered to me, then open a bottle of fancy wine and drink the whole thing while watching a Glee marathon. Hm. Maybe I’ll make sure to do exactly that on one of my spring break days! 🙂


    1. That sounds awesome! Delivery dinner! I need to get on that. I think our Indian place delivers…must look into this for my me weekend.


  8. Great pictures, I looked through your Flickr. Last year I gave up meat and it’s been tough but I have quit eating me. I aspire to be a raw vegan. Those kale chips (in your flickr) looks good. I have thrown kale into the blender with other veggies and fruits, so far that is the only way I have ate/drunk it.


  9. I think I’m going to have a “Me Sunday” today! On the agenda: waking up slowly (check), making a raw strawberry jam (check), reading Kate’s blog (check!), going for a short run, making afternoon pancakes (seriously–I love pancakes in the afternoon), yoga, and reading a new library book. Life has been hectic lately, and today will be a good day to unwind.

    Your spring break sounds perfect. Just perfect!


  10. sounds like you have an awesome break plan. enjoy the me weekend (and thanks for the blog shoutout). i have to be in the office all week…yuck! i am taking some time, like this morning but I am heading in after lunch.


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