06 June 2014

SQTF 91: Swiss Cheese, Slow Cookers, Summer Crazies, and St. John Chrysostom

I am truly awful at taking photos. Would it really be so hard to take a handful of photos during the week so that my Seven Quick Takes could be less block-of-text-y? Clearly, yes, it is... but it shouldn't be. Goal for next week: seven photos, one for each Take. Can I do it?

Slow cookers seem like an exclusively fall/winter appliance to me, but as we've been going to the gym regularly a couple of times a week after Matt finishes work, I've found myself looking for suppers that can be made ahead. This week, that's meant two slow cooker meals: calico beans on Tuesday, and Monterey spaghetti tonight. Calico beans are definitely not a summer food, but it was a chilly rainy day and Matt and Little Bear both love them, so it worked out. Monterey spaghetti, pasta with cheese and spinach, is more summer-appropriate, especially since it's still cool and cloudy out today after all the rain we've had. I'd love ideas for other summertime slow cooker meals!

I think I've mentioned that our landlords, who live in the upper level of this duplex, are in the process of selling. The realtor called on Tuesday to let us know that the building inspector would be coming by at 4 pm Thursday, and we needed to be out for two hours. Okay, I could do that. We had a lot going on throughout the day and evening, so I had everything planned carefully and everything was going smoothly... until the building inspector and buyers showed up at 3 pm. An hour before we'd been told they were coming. And we had to leave, immediately. If I had spotted the redheaded realtor on my way out to the car, she would definitely have been informed that I'd be looking for a hand-written note of apology today. This same realtor shows up late for appointments, has called to schedule showings with less than 24 hours' notice despite our landlady insisting on at least that much notice, and forgot to tell us that the appraiser was coming until he showed up and he and I waited outside until she got here. How unprofessional can you get?

After I got over being grumpy about the realtor, though, we wound up having a nice evening. Little Bear went to play at my parents' house. I picked Matt up at 4:30--he's working a slightly earlier schedule this week--and we sat and talked for more than an hour before meeting his coworkers for supper at a new-ish hibachi restaurant. We'd planned to go to the gym, but being kicked out of the house suddenly meant I hadn't had time to grab my gym clothes; it was good to have time to talk through some big upcoming decisions, though. Dinner was very good, and very fun, and it was nice to spend time with a group of other adults and actually be able to relax instead of running after Little Bear constantly and worrying about him bothering people. 

Okay, I did take one photo this week. Little Bear learned about Swiss cheese the other day: 

Clearly, this is what the hole is for, right?

I've been reading a collection of St. John Chrysostom's homilies on marriage and family life, and they are wonderful! Chrysostom's voice on these subjects is an important one; the idea of mutual authority between spouses, and of marital relations being a good rather than an evil tolerated for the sake of procreation (St. Augustine) sound much more like St. John Paul II than what many of us, I think, tend to see as the historical teaching on the role of a woman in a marriage. Somewhere along the line, likely--don't hate me, homeschoolers!--influenced by reading so much classic literature full of proper sensible obedient housewives, I internalized a very Protestant (and, in some circles, Catholic) view of what St. Paul means by "wives, submit to your husbands".  Trying to be the kind of good, obedient wife who never disagrees or has her own opinion makes me interiorly resentful, and makes Matt crazy because that's absolutely not what he wants from me... But there's still a strong "voice" in my subconscious that tries to shame me into quietly agreeing "because that's what a good wife is supposed to do" whenever something serious comes up about which we substantially disagree. Chrysostom's words have been wonderfully helpful for bludgeoning that voice recently.

We might have a calm, relaxing weekend coming up here; honestly, I've been afraid to stop and think through it in case I'm wrong and I suddenly realize there's a whole mountain of happenings waiting to fall on me when I wake up tomorrow. There's just so much going on right now, so much stress and uncertainty and summer craziness, I need to spend at least a few more hours believing that I'll have breathing room this weekend. I'll probably be horribly disappointed tomorrow, but at least the rest of today will be less stressful! 


  1. Good summer crock pot recipe: tried and true pulled bbq (insert favorite meat...beef, pork, chicken, moose) sandwiches. Make some coleslaw earlier in the day.

  2. Visiting from 7QT (a little late)...I agree with Karen! And also, hope you get some rest this weekend. That realtor sounds bad...glad it wasn't me.

  3. By that I mean, I would not have handled the situation so well. :)