Was up until 2 a.m. with a couple of work projects, and now I’m starting the work week with a headache and in a sluggish daze. Probably a good thing that I left my Fitbit charging when I finally went to bed, so now it can’t nag me with a poor sleep score.

Thank God for morning White Sox baseball on Patriot Day in Boston. I need Jason Benetti and Steve Stone in the background to soothe my frazzled, weary nerves.

New neighbors have moved into the old nest outside our front door.

Want more advice? Go here.

The losing battle, Week 13: A wee bit of cheating

Quick update, because it’s 10:40 p.m. Central time as I write this, and I’m already more than a day late in my reporting: I’m down 0.4 pound to 251.8 pounds, or 31.2 pounds since I started all this in January.

I’m posting a weight loss update on a Tuesday, rather than the usual Monday, because I was feeling bloated and heavy yesterday. My initial weigh-in yesterday confirmed this. I could have just logged a gain and moved on with my life, I know. But I was feeling marginally better today, and I ended up down very slightly.

So, yeah, I cheated a little to log another loss, however slight.

Still, I’m making progress. My wedding ring slipped off overnight the other day, and I had to use a backup ring that was more secure. My face looks slightly less puffy these days. And I was able to walk around a museum over the weekend without back spasms.

Pounds aren’t the only measure of success.

This is pretty much why I hunt Pokemon and breed cartoon dragons in my spare time.

The cat would like to know why Shane Bieber has given up such a lucrative pop music career to fling baseballs at people.

Sunday worship in the time of pandemic

Not that it’s anybody’s business but God’s, but it dawned on me that one could ask: Why do you opt to view Mass from home on Sundays rather than attend in person, but you’re okay with going into restaurants, a Pilates studio, and even a museum occasionally?

I’ve thought about this a lot. And I don’t emerge from this guilt-free. I get that it is incongruous to be unwilling to go to church yet be willing to go out to these other relatively less important places. The possibility of infection is only a small part of why we remain home Sunday mornings.

The truth is, if it was just me, I’d likely be more inclined to go to Mass. (I haven’t received the Eucharist since my November retreat. And it kills me to think about it.) But I have to consider my daughter, who is preparing for confirmation and reception of Communion in the Roman Catholic Church.

My Episcopal and Anglican friends, having been part of F’s First Communion celebration at our former Episcopal parish a couple of years ago, would be horrified and indignant that our Roman parish’s pastor decided F would have to wait and prepare another 2 years to begin receiving the Eucharist again. But that is what we have agreed to do. F agreed to go through 2 years of CCD – asking to do this first year remotely, rather than in person – rather than try to rush the process by going through, say, a year of RCIA with older people or even periodic meetings with the pastor. Our pastor gave F those options, and she opted for the 2-year deal.

But, my Episcopal and Anglican friends would insist, our former parish was “Catholic,” and the longtime rector there taught that the Episcopal Church is on equal footing with Rome insofar as the sacraments go. This teaching helped me feel better about being at the Episcopal parish, where I was very happy for a number of years, because I knew in my heart of hearts that I was Catholic, and this place – back then, before that rector retired – was in many ways more “Catholic” than a lot of Roman parishes I know. (This was before my husband’s annulment gave me the opportunity to return to Rome, which is a subject for a future post.)

Despite that rector’s contention, however, and the informal agreement of many Roman Catholic clergy with that idea, this is not what the Church – that is to say, Rome – officially teaches. And we are part of Rome now.

F and I had attended Mass at a couple of different Roman parishes since leaving our old Episcopal parish, and F dutifully would join the Communion line, arms crossed, to receive a blessing. There were several times when eucharistic ministers didn’t know what to do with a tween who wasn’t receiving; confusing scenarios would ensue, and they became increasingly awkward. When the pandemic dispensations came down that allowed us not to worry about our Sunday Mass obligation, I was relieved that F didn’t have to go through such awkwardness for a while.

After churches shut down, I set up our own home liturgy each week, based on the Sunday rubrics – the Sunday readings and many of the Mass prayers, up to the Eucharistic celebration, obviously – and wrapping up with our own intercessions and the prayer of Spiritual Communion, plus the Hail Holy Queen and prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. We continued with this even after we returned to in-person Mass for a bit.

When we started going back to Mass after churches reopened, things became even more awkward; the kabuki-like processes involving hand sanitizer and masks complicated things, and both priests and eucharistic ministers became even more befuddled by a non-receiving kid. After several Sundays of this, I finally decided we would remain at home on Sundays. F seemed relieved.

Nowadays, we pray through our home liturgy together before CCD; after CCD, we usually view the Sunday Mass from Holy Name Cathedral. At the very least, this gets F acclimated to the words and routine of the Sunday liturgy without either the distractions that come with in-person worship or the anxiety that comes with awkward Communion line situations.

It can be laborious sometimes, putting together the home liturgy, but reading and praying through the process has been an enlightening and fruitful experience for me. I’m grateful for it, and F seems to appreciate the intimacy of praying through it together as well.

So, no, we’re not attending Sunday Mass these days. The pandemic dispensations remain, so we are okay as far as the Church is concerned. And until the dispensations are lifted, I’m going to forge ahead this way with my daughter.

I can never decide how I feel about local sports references being inserted into the Sunday Mass from Holy Name Cathedral. But this time, I approve of the assisting priest’s mask.

The traffic from here is, in fact, far worse than I remember.

Deleted the pottymouthed post from a couple of days ago. There are more pleasant ways to announce that I started subscribing to MLB.tv streaming video in a fit of pique over a lousy day.

This is what conversations with my child amount to these days.

Welcome to another year of MLB Closed Captioning, beginning with Jason Benetti calling it: “Oh, yeah! Jose Abreu!”

Local elections today. I appreciate the fact that people here vote in Tagalog, Spanish, and Polish.

I wish I could use this line when it gets busy at the office.

The losing battle, Week 12: Something's working, but I'm not sure what

I don’t know how it happened, but I dropped another 3.6 pounds this past week. Forgetting to eat half the time, with minimal eating on Good Friday, may have helped.

It was an odd week, as I was off Monday and Friday running around happily with F, with three very stressful work days in between. I had a few more sugared sweets than usual (what with Easter and spending time with F and whatnot), though I was careful to stay within my carb limits. I was short on sleep a few days, too. I assumed this would be the first week with a gain, but nope.

So, I’m down a total of 30.8 pounds since January 11, weighing in at 252.2 pounds. Another 70+ pounds to go.

I’ve seen this grocery store cake in my nightmares. Happy Easter.

Still not too old for a backyard egg hunt.

Morning has broken, like the first morning.

The cat joined us for Easter Mass video from Holy Name Cathedral.

Happy Easter! To paraphrase the Passover Seder, next year in an actual parish pew.

And thank God for it.

Today, the most deeply heartfelt Good Friday social media posts — to me, anyway — came from Patti Smith on Instagram.

And so it begins.