18 February 2017

Lent is fast approaching. I've got the gluten-free pancake mix stacked in the store cupboard and the maple syrup ordered. I've got the freezer fish drawer stocked with frozen fish fingers (for me as they come breaded and Paul can't eat them) and various fish fillets (no breading so I can dredge them with gluten-free cornmeal). And I'm in a serious scurry to get all my online shopping done...


Because this Lent, like the last one, I'm giving up online ordering and brick&mortar shopping. Just for Lent, and the Amazon gluten-free Subscribe and Save cat food and gluten-free supplies will not be given up - honestly couldn't make it without my monthly S&S order!

Online shopping, and in particular Amazon, has become my lifesaver. My shopping go-to. Since falling last March, getting out and about to browse the High Street shops is next to impossible - I'm always worried I'm going to fall or someone is going to jostle me, and riding in the motor for more than a half-hour is quite uncomfortable still. But Paul is finally onboard with the need to buy things to stock our home - when I came over he was the quintessential 'camping in a house' bachelor, he had NOTHING but three knives and a rather nice set (complete, I mean this set has EVERYTHING) of professional stainless steel cookware.

It's taken me nearly seven years but our house is finally just about properly stocked with bed linens, blankets (hand-knit/crocheted by me, blimey are decent blankets expensive here!), dishcloths (hand crocheted) and tea towels, crockery for dining and serving, kitchen utensils from knives and mini-food processor to cheese graters and cutlery. Slow cooker, ginormous electric frying pan (honestly, even Fox the chef says frying chicken in a skillet is next to impossible!), and the ultimate...BAKEWARE including three different types rolling pins. Thanks to online yarn and embroidery shops, and of course Amazon, we're really just about there.

And I admit, I buy nearly all mine and Paul's clothing off Amazon now although I do buy from Cotton Traders at least twice a year as well. And sewing-knitting-crocheting supplies. And embroidery supplies, and my latest crafting craze - purse frame bags. Yes, I know, but those vintage coin, clutch, and cross body ball clasp bags have become something of an obsession with me lately. If I couldn't shop online my crafting cupboard would be bare - we don't have good craft shops close enough to walk to, and the one 'craft supply' store (I won't mention the name but they just are too expensive for yarn and embroidery threads, and their sewing supplies section is dismal!).

Too, without Amazon, Paul would probably either starve or go off his coeliac diet. The supermarkets close enough to us to shop don't regularly stock the gluten-free products (ingredients mostly but also some of the baked goods mixes are so good I can't make them at home near as well) I need to cook and bake for him but Amazon does, and wow is the selection amazing!

I'm browsing-noting-wish listing on Amazon everyday. This morning I made one of the last pre-Lent housewares purchases (pie crust shields and a set of 21cm Duralex glass pasta bowls to go with the rest of the set I've slowly been building...). I just checked my vacuum cleaner bag supply and will need to order another box in the next few days. Last week I ordered three Lauscha (Germany) handblown clip on birds for the 2018 Christmas tree and I'm sniffling at the thought of not being able to order again from Germany for the full forty days of Lent - they list a GORGEOUS catalogue on Amazon and their post&packing cost is far less through Amazon than directly from their site. I'm really hoping Fox, and perhaps his sister and her children, will be here for Christmas 2018 (it's looking iffy but hope floats!) and I want the trees to be real stunners!

Giving up any online shopping, especially Amazon, for Lent is a serious sacrifice! We're so close to having enough housewares that not being able to hit the Amazon site regularly is going to be a genuine struggle for me. I keep busy crafting and not being able to shop for supplies during Lent is also a sacrifice - I make all our table linens and blankets myself and buy ALL my supplies online. And of course we need clothes...

January and February are two months 'scrurry-days' for me - I try to stock in everything I even think I may need so the temptation to go online and click 'add to basket' is lessened during Lent. I have to say - giving up online shopping last year worked SO well it was mid-May last year before I shopped online again!

Fox and his sister used to act as though they thought my online shopping was a sure sign I'm too old. Now both think I'm a genius. Which feels REALLY good:) The postie loves me, he says I and the other online shoppers on his route keep him in work:)

Once a month Paul and I force ourselves to go to the two best supermarkets locally and do a 'Big Shop'. I keep a running list  - yeah, on a spreadsheet - I print it out the morning we do the Big Shop and wowsa does that list keep us stocked for another month! The Big Shop is the only brick&mortar shopping I do nowadays. Once I can travel again, I'll do destination shopping, of course - so many craft shops-so little time!

Ftr, I do observe Lent 'properly' - the Lenten period is a time of reflection and self-examination, and I use the time to make needed spiritual changes to keep myself on the right path. This year I plan to get back into the habit of saying a daily rosary - the full five decades. I'm hoping saying it daily during Lent will lead to my saying it everyday of the year again.

Lent is a very important part of my life spiritually and materially, without Lenten observations I'm not really sure I would like myself.

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