The SO Masonic Blues

Sometimes, I’m really good at feeling sorry for myself and being absolutely pathetic. Take last night for instance. I’ve got a bum foot, so I’ve been on crutches for about a week, this coupled with the fact that I can’t do much of work or school on crutches, has left me with a lot of free time. Unfortunately, in the case of last night, this free time does not include my husband; it sounds kind of lame when I put it this way, but the man is  my best friend. While I did get some homework done, lets be real, all I wanted to do was consume an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s while watching Fuller House.

Sometimes being in a relationship with a Mason can be hard. Sometimes you can’t, or don’t want to come to Lodge dinners, or other meetings just to hang outside the Lodge room. If your Mason is anything like mine, Lodge night often involves hours at the Shrine bar afterwards, which often means that he’s not home until long after I’m asleep. While I didn’t approach last night in the most healthy way, it certainly could have been worse. And I did start making this list, a list I want to share with you, and hope that you will take and add to, and make your own. Please note that I am definitely an introvert, so those who are not will find themselves with completely different lists. Even if you don’t take any of these ideas, at least take the concept, so that you have something to pull out of your back pocket for when you’re feeling down and sorry for yourself on Lodge night (or any other night for that matter).

Things to Do on Lodge Night: (Especially when I’m feeling sorry for myself, in no particular order)

  • Watch movies in genres he hates or only watches for you
  • Make a super awesome dinner for one
  • Bake!
  • Play video games
  • Take yourself out to dinner
  • Order Chinese delivery, eat all of the evidence
  • Do that thing you’ve been saying you’re gonna do for months
  • Read a book
  • Start a new hobby, or revisit one you haven’t had time for
  • Work on the Master Craftsman Program
  • Go for a nice walk (it’s getting to be that time of year)
  • Binge watch an entire season of a show on Netflix
  • Play a solo board game, or call up a friend and play games
  • Call up some friends and go out for coffee or dinner
  • Learn or start a new craft project
  • Clean (boring)
  • Organize (less boring)
  • Go shopping, spend way too much time at the store
  • Work out
  • Work on a puzzle, crossword, sudoku, etc
  • Check out your local library
  • Work on learning a new language (check out Duolingo!)
  • Drive out to the country and stargaze
  • Actually write something by hand: a letter, a journal, a book
  • Organize a girls night out on Lodge night with other SO’s from the Lodge


What would you add? What’s on your list?

What Actually Happens at Lodge

So, you’ve been with your Mason for a while now, you know he goes off to Lodge every week or two weeks, and you know he comes back late, you’ve maybe even been to a few of the dinners that they put on before the meeting. But what do they actually do at these meetings? What’s so important that it has to go on behind closed doors?  The answer might surprise you.

The Masonic Meal

Arguable one of the most important aspects of the Lodge meeting is the meal beforehand. Not every Lodge has them, but many of them do, some before, and some after the meeting. Usually potluck, although some Lodge’s have been known to cater dinners, the meal before the Lodge meeting tends to be the best opportunity for fellowship, not only between the members of the Lodge, but also between their families. I have never known a Lodge meal to not be open to families and friends, but some Lodges may have private policies. If it is open to the “public” (i.e. non-Masons), I highly recommend that you go. Not only is it a great homemade meal (it’s usually potluck, so ask of you should bring something!), but it also gives you a chance to get to meet all of the men that he spends time with every week. I know that it helped put my mind at ease to actually be able to put names to faces. Going to these dinners will also allow you to be more involved in the Lodge. At T’s Lodge, the women clean up after the meal (although, this is apparently not the norm elsewhere), and then we sit, chat, have coffee or play cards. It really helps facilitate the family feel of Masonry. We have family style dinners like this once a month, and I always look forward to it. Give it a shot at least once.

Opening of the Lodge

There are three main types of Lodge meetings. business meetings, where normal business is conducted; degree work, where a Mason receives a degree, this involves the majority of the secret ritual work; and other meetings, these may include papers or other presentations, or other special topics. How often each meeting occurs depends on the Lodge. Lodges meet anywhere from one to four times a month, plus any special committee meetings. Which of these meetings occurs when depends on the needs of the Lodge, some will only have business meetings with the occasional degree work, others may focus on the “fun” types of meetings. T’s Lodge (which currently has a waiting list!) only has time for degree work each week. However, every Lodge will have at least one business meeting each month.

Every meeting, regardless of what they may be doing, open and closes almost the same way each time (different degrees may be opened different ways, but always more or less the same thing). Please note that exactly what is said and done varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, however, many things stay the same throughout the country; therefore, I will be making this as general as possible. Before the opening of the meeting, all non-officer members sit where they please alongside the “north” and “south” parts of the Lodge room. (Some Lodges are not set up so that the Worshipful Master is sitting actually in the east, however, it is still referred to as the East.)  The officers come in, sometimes to music, and each of the officers take their respective positions (You can read more about that here.)  The Tyler is then put with the task of  securing the meeting from intruders, and an officer is asked to make sure that all present are Masons or candidates. There is then a ritual where each officer is called upon by the WM, and asked to relay the duties. and sometimes signs or other meanings of their office. This helps to remind each member why they are there, and also helps new members recall which station is which. A prayer is then given by the Chaplain, and the Pledge of Allegiance may be done. The Lodge is then open.

Order of Business

Business is then conducted. Even though you may think that it would, Masonic Lodges do not follow Robert’s Rules of Order. Instead, each Grand Lodge jurisdiction will lay out the order of each business meeting. Usually, it ends up something like this:

  • Reading and confirming of minutes– Just like you may in any other meeting, the minutes are supposed to be read, but they may be printed off, or displayed on a screen instead. They are then voted on, and if approved, archived.
  • Introduction of visitors – This is usually done by the WM, and may be skipped if the person is a frequent visitor.
  • Reading of petitions – The reading of petitions from potential new members. After a petition is read, the interview committee is formed.
  • Balloting on petitions– The interview committee will come back and give report on the candidate that they interviewed. A vote will then occur of the person is to receive the degrees of Masonry.
  • Reports of committees – Some jurisdictions may require this to be in writing, some may not. Committees are usually degree work, finances, fellowship committee, etc.
  • Applications for relief-  As I have stated before, a Mason is eligible to petition his Lodge to help him financially. Depending on the amount and situation, it may be voted on immediately. Often, Lodges will also include a list of members hospitalized, as well as recent deaths.
  • Reading of communications- Lodges get a lot of mail, usually from other Lodges, or other Masonic organizations. These are usually read to inform the members as to what else is going on Masonically in the area. The Grand Lodge may send out communications so often, and it is required that every Lodge read this communication during their business meeting. Bills, usually for the Lodge building, are also read and voted on during this time.
  • Unfinished business Exactly as it sounds, this is the time that any business that may have carried over from the last meeting is discussed.
  • New business Again, pretty simple here, any new business that the Lodge needs to take care of is discussed at this time.
  • Business for the good of the order- This is kind of open floor time, and gives members of the Lodge a chance to speak up about anything going on that they might want others to know about (usually things like fundraisers, school events, Girl Scout cookies, etc)
  • Ritual work and lectures – This is where the meetings can deviate. If the Lodge is conducting degree work, now is when they bring in the candidate. If someone is to give a lecture or other presentation, now is the time. Please remember that this portion may happen at different times during the meeting in different jurisdictions. If it is just a business meeting, nothing happens here.

Closing of the Lodge

When all business has been conducted to the satisfaction of the WM, the Lodge begins its closing ritual. It is usually much shorter than opening. The WM lets the Tyler know they are getting ready to close, the Chapalin gives another prayer, and the WM declares the Lodge closed. That’s it. Remember when I said you may be surprised about what goes on? You may be surprised how mundane, and occasionally boring it can be. However, Masonry is not only what happens in the Lodge room, but also outside it.

Food for the Masses

Welcome to the new page! What a crazy couple of weeks this has been! Unfortunately, I was not able to resolve the security issue, so I decided it was time to go ahead and buy the domain name. Everything is still here, just in a slightly different package. T is on his way home from DeMolay Round Up, and I am finally starting to feel better after my concussion (the gym bit me), so, I figured, what better way to celebrate than with food?

I would like to share with you guys some of my favorite recipes, all of which are easily made en masse, for a lodge dinner, and all of which are tastier than the Masonic tradition of beef, mashed potatoes, and green beans. Everything should be easy to follow, T will do everything exactly as written, so that’s how my cookbook reads. Invest in a crockpot, even if you don’t cook for the lodge. They are not expensive, and worth every penny If you have any questions, or if you have any recipes you would like to add, please comment here, or email me at .

Warning: None of the following recipes are remotely healthy. (Okay, maybe the chili)

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Do not double the recipe. You will eat it all. (As you can see, it is easily doubled)


2-3 10 oz canned chicken breast (yes. canned chicken exists, its by the tuna)

1 packages cream cheese

1/2-1 cup buffalo sauce- depending on how hot you like it

1/2 cup blue cheese salad dressing, or 1/2  cup ranch

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, or 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Bag of tortilla chips


1. Throw everything into the crockpot.

2. Turn on high, stirring often until warm and melted, about 45 minutes.

3. Serve, directly out of crockpot, on warm, with chips.

Party Potatoes


These are so tasty, I will make a pan at home with full intentions of having left overs…and they never seem to last through the night.


1 1/4 cups milk

2 cups water

3 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

3 ounces sour cream (this is an awkward amount I know, but anymore would be wrong. It ends up being 1/4+1/8 of a cup)

8 ounces cream cheese (one package)

3 cups instant potato flakes


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a 9×13 pan

2. Add milk, water, butter, and salt to large pot on the stove, and bring to a boil.

3.  Stir in garlic powder, sour cream, cream cheese, and potato flakes. Stir well, about 3 minutes, until it looks like mashed potatoes.

4. Pour into pan, and bake 45-60 minutes, until the top is browned. Well worth the wait! Could easily be adapted to add bacon. 🙂

Chocolate Chili

I make this in my 5qt crockpot, which barely holds all of this chili! Great to make ahead and take to lodge.


2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Medium sweet onions chopped

4 cloves of garlic minced

2 pounds ground beef

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon oregano

2 Tablespoons chili powder

2 Tablespoons cumin

1 1/2 Tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon salt

1   6oz can tomato paste

1  14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes

1  14.5 oz can beef broth


1. Add oil and onions to a pan on the stove, cook until onions are clear, about 7 minutes, add to crockpot

2. Put garlic in pan until fragrant, about 30 seconds, add to crockpot

3. Brown beef in pan, add meat and juices to crockpot

4. Add all spices (including cocoa powder), to pan, heat for about 20 seconds. Add tomato paste, cook for 1 minute, mixing well. Add can of beef broth. Combine well, then add to crockpot.

5. Add can of tomatoes to crockpot. Stir everything really well.

6. Cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3. Serve to the masses.

Oreo Balls

Only buy Oreo brand Oreos for this recipe. Nothing else seems to taste as good.


1 package of Oreos

1  8 oz package of cream cheese, softened

Cocoa powder, powdered sugar, sprinkles


If you have a food processor:

1. Dump oreos  into the food processor, pulse into crumbs. Add cream cheese, turn on high, until it forms a doughy ball, remove and put in bowl.

If you do not have a food processor:

1. Put Oreos into a Ziploc bag. Crush well with rolling-pin, hammer, your hands, anything that you think will work. Crush as finely as you can. Think breadcrumbs. Add to bowl, and add cream cheese, mix with hand mixer. I have heard you can also use a blender, but I have not tried this method.


2. Place bowl in refrigerator, for about an hour, or freezer for about 30 minutes.

3. Pull out bowl,scoop out 1-2 tablespoons of the dough at a time, placing them on waxed paper, parchment paper, foil…anything really, on a cookie sheet. Return cookie sheet to freezer or fridge for about 30 minutes.

4. Roll the scoops into pretty balls, they should be about 1 inch a piece. Roll each ball into cocoa powder, powdered sugar, sprinkles, etc. Many recipes call for dipping the balls, I think that this is much easier, and usually ends up much tastier! You can easily experiment with different Oreo flavors. Keep chilled until serving.

I hope you try these out at lodge, let me know what you think! What are some of your favorite recipes to make for lodge dinners?