Monday, December 17, 2018

Sunday's Accomplishments

Sunday morning, I wrote my blog post for the Pause in Advent series, as I paused in my almsgiving preparations.  I knew what I wanted to say, which was to do whatever one is doing in good faith, but, I never know just how much background information to provide to give the proper context for what I am saying.  I ended up deleting most of what I wrote and rewriting the post.  That took a little time.

While I was writing the post, I received a phone call from the chief monk at the temple.  He was calling to let me know that the monk with special dietary needs will not be attending the almsgiving, as he had just informed the chief monk of his intention to attend another event.  So, there will be no need to prepare special food for this one monk; the four monks who will be attending will be happy to have Sri Lankan rice and curries.  Although I was fine with preparing non-spicy food for the one monk, I was also happy to know that I didn't need to cater for him.  Because, last year, when he attended my almsgiving, the monks brought with them a container of grilled chicken for him and asked my friend to warm it up for him.  Both my friend and my cousin who were helping me with the almsgiving were shocked, as they know that I serve only vegetarian food at my almsgivings.  They both informed me about it, but I shrugged - it was something the monks brought with them for that particular monk, not something I had prepared.

I am not a vegetarian, so it might be that I am being hypocritical, but, I try to keep my almsgiving as a vegetarian meal.  I don't prepare any fish or meat to serve at the almsgiving, only eggs, because one of the older chief monks had assured me that it was OK to serve eggs since most commercially sold eggs here are unfertilized eggs.  I know that monks aren't specifically required to be vegetarian, and some of them eat fish and chicken, but, I prepare vegetarian meals for them and they are obliged to eat what is served to them.  My daughter was going to make a vegetarian pizza and some roasted vegetables to provide non-spicy alternatives and I was considering adding fried rice or noodles to the menu, but, not the chicken fried rice that had been suggested!  I had stressed over it and had discussed it with both my daughter and friend R and we had agreed that it was my almsgiving and I was free to serve what I pleased.  If I wanted it to be a vegetarian meal, then, that's what it should be.  I told them that, if my mother had been alive, she would have had something to say to the chief monk about it!  LOL!

So, when the chief monk called to say that the other monk will not be attending, and the special dietary needs became a non-issue, I felt relieved, and, I felt that maybe my mother's spirit had played a role in it!  It is something I intend to discuss with the monks.

Sunday afternoon, I did more almsgiving preparations.  I have a wheeled trolley table/cart I use as a side table in the family room:

Trolley Table
I bought this from a second hand store, years ago, for $42.  The drop leaves on either side extend out to make a square table, and the shelf below is a tray that can be lifted out.  Ideal for serving tea, I suppose.  During my almsgivings, I use it as an extension of the altar and place the offerings of food, flowers, incense, and candles on it (it will be covered with a small table cloth, first).

Then, I took down the plates, soup mugs, bowls used for handwashing, etc., that are used exclusively for the almsgiving (as per my mother's wishes) and washed them, in readiness for use. 

And I vacuumed the house, which was a major accomplishment! 

I didn't make the table runners I had planned to make, but that is OK.  I will get them done, this week.

Neighbor T called in the afternoon and we chatted for a bit.  Later in the evening, I called friend R and we had a long chat.   Still later, I video chatted with my daughter.

On Sunday, I was grateful for:
- The situation with the almsgiving menu resolving itself and becoming a non-issue
- All what I accomplished with the house cleaning and the almsgiving preparations
- A long chat with friend R
- Video chatting with my daughter
- Sunny, warm days

How was your Sunday? 


  1. Following a busy few days, I've been enjoying a quick catch-up. I'm pleased to read your preparations are going well. I'm not quite sure how I would feel about the monk binging his own food last time, or was it because he expected the food you prepared to be spicy? At least you don't need to concern yourself with it this time. X

    1. Glad to have you stop by, Jules. :) I believe the monks brought some food for that other monk in an attempt to save me the trouble of making non-spicy food for him. I wasn't quite as well, last year, as I am this year, my daughter wasn't coming down to help me, and they didn't want me to stress about special food for him. It was an unfortunate choice of food, though, since I like to have a vegetarian almsgiving. But, I don't have to worry about it, this year.

  2. I am very surprised that they would bring meat to the Almsgiving for you to heat up. What if you WERE vegetarian or vegan? How would you be expected to act in that case? You would definitely have to decline, and I suppose you could have declined anyways, but you were taken aback by the presumption. Yes definitely, this needs to be discussed.

    Very nice tea trolley. A lovely piece of furniture. You accomplished a lot yesterday....certainly more than I did. Ha.

    1. I suppose they assumed that it would be OK with me, since they know that I am not vegetarian. I didn't think to bring it up, at the time, though. But, I would rather not prepare and offer meat at my almsgivings.

      Thank you, I rather like my trolley table. It makes a nice side table and comes in useful during the almsgiving. :) I am very pleased with what I was able to accomplish, yesterday. You were more productive than I, earlier, when you were making your holiday gifts and decorating. :)

  3. That's a very nice trolley table. It looks like an antique one.

    1. Thank you, Nil. I don't think it's an antique, but I do like the inlay work. :)


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