Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Thankful wednesday

Thank you God for
All the usual wonderful stuff like family, health and safety...
Lunch with a friend who teared up when talking about waiting for God's "call"
and felt somewhat comfortable doing that in my prescence.
The Summer of Study ends tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.
A new baby in the neighborhood and the parade of meals that follows.
My dog, hopefully on the upswing from a condition that has made him miserable, and consequently destructive. I thank God that we finally thought to take him to the vet.
Generous people, some quiet time and
...the realization that its only Wednesday when I originally titled this post Thankful Thursday. I'm living into the future apparently.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Aren't women great?

My mom and sister came tonight to celebrate my birthday (last week) along with Hubby Flash and my nephew. We just went out to dinner and then to the playground...but the chatting was the best part. It was wonderful. My female boss let me off a couple hours early saying " your mom is in town...go home". Isn't that great? Do you think she could sense home much I needed it?
I've scheduled coffee with a neighbor and lunch with a former co-worker this week. Just to talk! Isn't it funny how we crave the company of women sometimes? How we just need sisters and girlfriends to share with? Not about the boys or makeup like during middle-school sleepovers so much, but about the things that make up our lives as grown-up women.
Last night was Church Book Club and it was just us ladies talking about the book. One of them read from a book called The Sister... for which I cannot find a reference. But there was a great line in it where God has created a sister for Eve and Eve asks what she is.

"What is she? Eve asks.
"She's a sister, she's a little like something I was going to make later on, called a friend" says God
"What's a friend?" asks Eve
"Its a little like a sister, but not quite as good" says God

Sisters and girlfriends are GOOD! This is a shoutout to my sister, my steps and in-laws, my lady friends who have moved on, those whom I've lost contact with, those I see all the time and and those that I am only coming to know. Aren't women great?!

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Three down one to go...just the take-home exegesis. So some of the tension has evaporated. He'll take a test-taking sabbath tomorrow and get busy on Monday. We find out test results in late October.

In other news, I've been asked to do adult Sunday school this year, and I'm pretty excited!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday 5: School daze

This is a very sad sign that summer is almost over. Lucky for me, summer is my busy season!

1. What is your earliest memory of school?
What came to mind was walking with my friend Ted to first grade, by the trolley tracks and carefully through the bully's neighborhood (which, incidentally, is where my sister now lives). The bully has his own plumbing business now. The school was torn down two years later and we took the bus to another school.

2. Who was a favorite teacher in your early education?
I loved almost all of my teachers. I loved Miss Lee though. Young and pretty and her sister was my middle school volleyball coach later. Also Mrs. Zachow whose pretend-example-person was always named Heliotrope. "If Heliotrope has five apples..."
I can't remember her name but my math teacher in 3rd grade had a sign up that said
"Good better Best
Never Let them Rest
Until Their Good is Better
and their Better is the Best!" Sound ominous but she was great! And by that time, my best friend's math skills had outstripped me, so I needed some encouragement. He's a math professor now.

3. What do you remember about school “back then” that is different from what you know about schools now?
I was aware that I wasn't popular but I had friends and we had fun. Is school really as "mean" as books, TV or movies suggest? Was I clueless in school? Probably.
No peanut butter rules. The no backpack thing doesn't ring with me, we carried our books
Block scheduling sounds "wack". We had 10 class periods a day (5/6 was lunch) so you could take all sorts of classes.
No recess? Come on! (ditto art, music and libraries)
But also it sounds like they teach a lot more stuff than when I was a kid. I'm not talking 3 R's specifically but computers, character, languages, and more science and history earlier than we learned it. Flash is learning a little Spanish and Hindi (his teacher is Indian-American) and he's 2. Wow.

4. Did you have to memorize in school? If so, share a poem or song you learned.
Yes we did memorize some, especially multipliation tables, the preamble, and a poem a year (most of which I do not remember). My hubby can recite the beginning of The Scarlet Letter. I have an Aesop fable in French that rattles through my brain sometimes.

5. Did you ever get in trouble at school? Were there any embarrassing moments you can share?
My bus-stop got in trouble for playing football over the road. Well, actually, the ball was caught by a guy's convertible and he reported us. And took our ball. Interesting that just saying that flared up a little "stinker" though in my brain. Got caught kissing in the stairwell but never for passing notes (go figure). But, mostly I was a good kid and friendly with everyone.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Books (for grown-ups) on my desk

Father Joe: The Man that Saved My Soul - Hedra
This one is for Church Book Club this weekend. I've finished it and really enjoyed it until I poked around too much (librarian's habit) and discovered Hedra's daughter's biography wherein she says he molested her. Sigh. I don't even want to tell the Book Club.

The Good Good Pig: The extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood - Montgomery
Getting good buzz around Book Club circles, NPR and such. A naturalist writes about her pet pig, who came to her as a sick piglet and eventually reached 750 lbs. and some noteriety in her samll New Hampshire town.

Coraline - Gaiman
This is for the Parent/Child Book Club in October. Gaiman wrote American Gods (very, very good) and he also co-wrote Good Omens (very, very funny). Coraline moves to a new apartment and one of the doors opens into an apartment just like hers, with better parents, toys and food. And they want her to stay.

Simple Gifts: Great Hymns: One Man's Search for Grace - Henderson
This is my second time reading this book and I am considering recommending it for Church Book Club. Bill Henderson knows his hymns and relates them and their origins to facets of his life. He made me want to visit his church in Maine. Maybe someday.

Will the Circle be Unbroken? Reflections on Death Rebirth and Hunger for Faith - Terkel
I had to read a Studs Terkel collection of interviews while still in high school and it was transforming. Forget fiction, this is the real thing.

Folklore and Folklife - Dorson
I am interested in culture and folklore and someone suggested this older tome as a place to start. It looks weighty.

Mama Dip's Kitchen - Council
Excellent southern soul Cookbook from the restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC (The Southern part of Heaven- even says so on the town's sign)! I assume the restaurant is still there because of this cookbook. Its shameful how much I like to read cookbooks. And on the back there's this strange quote-
" Don't miss Mama Dip. She spreads joy around like pumpkin seeds." -Jessica B. Harris author of The Africa Cookbook Love that quote!

Great books! What will I actually read? Corduroy by Freeman to my Flash. Twice.

Bits pieces, just bits.
Trying not to blog much during work hours, which is difficult because I started this blog when I was at a very strange library job where I was chained to a public library reference desk that was rarely used. Several blogs I read have recently posted about blog-enforcement so I'm resolving to do better. Someday I'll have my own. We joked this a.m. that I have to go back to get another degree in order to get a computer of my own.

Had my birthday. Big party. Every year God gives you is a gift.
Co-worker quit. New neighbors, moving party. Messy house. ORDS.

Sunday, August 20, 2006 on my mind

Why can't weekends be longer? I know that the five day workweek was the an improvement on the older system...but think of what an improvement a 4 day work-week would be!

Theres a time to every purpose under heaven. I just can't get it all done. And its not gonna be this week.

So blogging will take a backseat. Sorry.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday 5 - Oh those Brits!

OK, this is an odd one and I have to admit I was of two minds about even doing this one. But, here goes. These are actual phrases that one of the revgals heard while she was in the UK.
We are to use our imaginations to define them.

Adverse Camber- Orangy brownish color used only in newspaper circulars.
Butts Wynd - I think I'll skip this one. Use your imagination.
Plague Church - A place where you you can feel God's Pox (Pax)??
Free House-The house next to the plague church.
Mind the Gap - The space between the your lips and the words they just said, that you can't believe they said.

Alright, thats my take on it.

My Aunt Gwen came over from England one chilly Fall and my mother told her that if she got cold during the night there were extra comforters in the closet. Apparently she waited until we all went to bed to see what we meant, because comforters are pacifiers. She also caused a small ruckus when she wanted to smoke in Provincetown, MA.

Today is the last day of Summer Reading Program and Ordination exams are one week away.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Summer Reading Update

So I said I was going to read 6 books this summer that I didn't want to...
And I haven't. Boy, I really haven't.
I've read some books I wanted to, some books I had to for work, some books to Flash, and the book for church book club. So I'm extending my Summer Reading Plan to include Fall.

The Church Book club book is Father Joe : The Man Who Saved My Soul by Tony Hedra.

So far it is excellent and I'm only on page 133.

Thankful Thursday

For health and safety,
For Family, Friends and strangers,
New neighbors and the ones we miss,
New vocations, opportunities and the freedom to explore them
For your faithfulness and peace when we need it,
For your forgiveness and counsel when we need it,
Thank you God

Real good news

Today I have real good news. My friend's husband has been looking for just the right teaching job for over a year. And it has finally found him. Middle School PE. And the assistant softball coach too. Starting Monday. He's over the moon about it. God bless him.

Flash's happy life

In a discussion about our dogs...
Q. So, what are they? Are they people?
A. No, they don't talk as much.

We've also backfired (already) on our fledgling toilet-training attempt. Apparently if you pee in your big boy underpants, you get to wear another pair! Hooray!

And the boy across the street gets a chocolate chip when he uses his potty successfully, rather than a sticker. My sticker mania is crushed.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sticker Mania!

Isn't great how kids go wild for stickers! I give them out at the library all the time and the children just beam. They put them on their shirts and hands and cheeks. They show them to their friends. Our Flash gets them for special things like toilet training and extreme goodness.

But it seems like they are "coming back" I even saw the puffy kind when I was out this weekend. Are sticker books next? Collecting? Scratch and sniff? Shinys?

And while we are regressing... The movie of the book How to Eat Fried Worms comes out next weekend! I can't wait.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Family, Anger and Peace

Our pastor's sermon was about anger today. About letting it go, letting the Holy spirit take it away, not letting it turn into sin or giving the Devil room to play. And although I joked with my hubby about our arguement last night about housework (naturally), I was really thinking about my sister and my Dad.

They don't talk, they don't understand each other and most of the time they don't care. Its an old, old hurt that has been reinforced several times. Its not abuse. Its just....I don't know. Right now he wants to reconnect, see his grandson, and she is beyond it. I can't blame her.

I love him. Can't help it, he's my Dad and I do. I love her too. I kind of wish she'd forgive and forget and magically remain stupid enough to think that he won't bring it up again. I wish he'd change his tactics...and leave her alone...out of love. Weird, huh?

I've prayed for this situation to iron itself out but I'm realizing that its been a selfish prayer. I want then to stop talking to me about it. Several years ago I was in a similar situation and I had to ask someone I love that when I talked to her I wanted to talk only about my life and her life only...because it was too hard to talk about the other party (and that maybe if they wanted to talk about the other person, they should talk to that person, or to a counselor). Looks like I'm going to have to have that conversation again. Come on Holy Spirit!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday 5: Fruits of the Spirit

Its been a long hard week for me. Todays' Friday 5 from the revgals seemed very well chosen.
Love fruit, need spirit.

Galatians 5 describes the Fruit of the Spirit.
With all the sadness and despair out there, we certainly need it!
So, the Friday Five is simple.
Pick any five of the following attributes and go wherever the Spirit leads you... your choice! If you're feeling light-hearted--just assign a fruit to each one.

Love - Strawberries? They look a little like a heart (except for the seeds), are sweet and are often eaten in romance movies. I like them, but my hubby doesn't really care for fruit except for cantelope.

Joy - Watermelon! Such a large, happy fruit. We were at Grandma/Grandpas' earlier this year and a watermelon was resting on a chair in the dining room, waiting to be eaten after dinner. Flash, somehow, got it down onto the ground and tried to bite into it. But watermelons are tough.

Peace - Olives. This has been the toughest for me. I've been through all of the others and I'm still stuck on this one. So, olives. They are a fruit. Think of "extending the olive branch". They are also peaceful because I won't touch them. Yuck.

Patience - Coconut. I'm not sure that God intended us to eat these. In their original state, they are very hard to get open.

Kindness and Generosity - Pineapples. They are a symbol of hospitality in the South, but not really a part of the cooking. Isn't that odd? Pictures of them often appear on hotel stationery and such becauue pineapples convey this message somehow. I love them!

Faithfulness - Apples. They are pervasive, around at all times of the year ( here anyway). They are delicious whole, in pies, as applesauce. They have many sayings about them "apple of my eye", " an apple a day keeps the doctor away". They are referred to in the bible and in folklore. Do you remember twisting the stem of an apple while saying the alphabet? Whatever letter the stem twisted apart at, was the initial of your future love. I know so many of you are going to say self-control because of "the Fall" and, lest we forget, Snow White, but my reasons for apples stands true...He is everywhere and apples are everywhere.

Gentleness- Bananas. They are a baby's first food. (Try not to think of Gwen Stefani's Hollaback Girl song though, sigh.)

Self-control - Blueberries. I have NO self-control around blueberries. Do they ever get made into muffins or pies? No. Do they even accompany ice cream? No. Does my family know I usually buy two pints? No.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Minor League Magic

Just got home from a minor league baseball game! The seminary got a block of seats together. We go every year. This is the first year Flash noticed the game going on. He danced to the music, yelled Goooooaaaall when there was a home run (oops...World Cup fever...gotta love it!) and had a wondeful time. I know because he told his babydoll, Baby, all about it before he went to sleep. Even sang a little bit of "Take me out to the Ballgame".

Tickets for the whole family was under $15. Seats were great. Entertainment was great. Snacks were overpriced but not crazy. Why can't major league sports be like this? Yeah we would have had a great time. But we wouldn't be home yet because of the traffic. And it would have been a lot pricier. And we wouldn't have seen the game from our nosebleed seats.

In my husband's home town on Friday nights in the Fall everyone goes to the football games. Everyone. The whole town. It costs very little. And everyone has a great time...especially if the home team wins (Go Raiders!).
It is sport and community.

I feel so good tonight! I had a great night out after a horrible day at work and I feel like this game was a community event! I have a good opinion of the team, although I knew none of the players.

A lot of sports don't feel that way the point where I've pretty much given up on most pro sports with their overpaid actors and scandals. Yes, I said actors. But minor league, most college and high school games are still refreshing entertainment. I recommend it!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Vacation Planning

I have been trying to sit down and talk to Hubby about vacation for a few months now (I know, I know). First it was after school ends, then after GA and now its Ords. This summer is all about studying for ordination exams (coming up August 24-31). And last night I finally figured it out.
He doesn't want to go anywhere!
I'm somewhat relieved!
But disappointed too.
But relieved!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Book Tag

This could be dangerous for me but here goes...
Rambling About Books...
1. One book that changed your life: Man's Search for Meaning - Victor Frankel and Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People are high on my list. As for fiction...ummm...
2. One book that you’ve read more than once: Watership Down - Adams, Cat Among the Pigeons- Agatha Christie. I read a lot of books repeatedly, but these two stood out.
3. One book you’d want on a desert island: That yellow survival Guide book, whats it called? Oh and that book my sister has that could basically tell you how to set up civilisation if you needed to start from scratch (kind of a hippie title...out of print). But to read?
4. One book that made you laugh: anything by Dave Barry, Carl Hiaissen or Christopher Buckley.
5. One book that made you cry: Karen, Diary of a Young Girl but I try to avoid sad books.
6. One book that you wish had been written: hmmm. I'm always coming across topics that a kid wants to know about, but that we either don't have the book or its impossible to get. Can't think of one of those right now, of course.
7. One book that you wish had never been written: Ha! You're not gonna trap me with that one!
8. One book you’re currently reading: Girl Sleuth about the women who wrote Nancy Drew and The Owl and Moon Cafe. Just finished a book called Lucy's Laundrette. My Summer Reading plan isn't going well, can you tell?
9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: All of them! The Maltese Falcon - Hammett has been on my list for a few years.
Ask me tomorrow and I bet I'll have totally different i'm not sure this will be helpful to anyone.
Oh well.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Thankful Thursday

The little stinker said "Thank you God for watching TV" in his prayers...

So I am thankful for all the usual big things, health, love, safety
but also some little things...
* a great trashy romance book (Gotta love Red Dress Ink)
* homemade iced coffee
* clean laundry (OK a clean towel..)
* "the regulars" at the library
* new crayons (a donation!)
* The Indian-American boy who comes in every Wednesday and calls me "Auntie"
* 15 minutes of quiet all to myself (more would be wonderful...but I might fall asleep)

Let's get happy! -some kid jokes

The performer hired for yesterday's library program came a half hour late. GRRR.
I volunteered to "entertain the troops" while my co-worker phoned and waited.
So I asked if anyone had a joke they would like to share.
These are a few of the good ones (they are 3-5 graders).

What's brown and sticky?-------------A stick!
What did the digital clock say to the Grandfather clock?---------------Look! No hands!
What do you call a boomerang that doesn't come back -------------A stick!
Why don't bicycles ride themselves?----------------------They're two tired!
and my personal favorite
What do you get when you mix onions and beans?----------Teargas!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Vocations or What I've learned...

(I apologize for being so late...internet probs)

Someone once said that "If you want to make God laugh, show him your plan."
I've always been one to plan. I love lists and datebooks. I'd have made a much better farmer than a hunter/gatherer. And things rarely go the way we plan. And still we make them. Its part of our world, our culture, our nature...especially mine.

The past week has been one of unplanned reflection for me. Looking back over where I've been and how I got here, particularly in relation to God and religion. Reflection is good for me...I usually go go go. I've had the opportunity here to see connections I had misssed coincidence and happenstance have lead me on a path that grows closer to God.
But its not really coincidence is it?

God has put obstacles and angels in my way. Obstacles to trip over and angels to pick me up. These angels are just ordinary people, who have meant the world to me and they may not know it. I didn't realize what some of them were until recently. Some were teachers, nurses, roommates, aunts, friends and but many were relative strangers.

God is making a path for me...its not ordained ministry. But its ministry. Its librarianship, its mother, wife, pastor's wife, citizen and friend. And maybe I can be an angel for someone else.

My Religious History (Part 5)

I would love to be able to say that I was really supportive of Hubby's call. But I wasn't. Go off to seminary for three years? Move? What about jobs? What about our dogs? And most want to talk about this when I'm pregnant!?

Pregnant. Full of hope and worry. Now I knew what could go wrong. I couldn't hold two things in my head. Job and new baby. That was it. I couldn't handle anything else. So seminary had to go on my back burner. Hubby applied, not without my knowledge but without me paying much attention. He got Inquirer status and took his Psych tests. And I knew about all of this but didn't dwell on it much. It must be hard to understand that I know. We'd talk about the future and seminary in snippets, for as long as I could handle. Hubby was so gentle with me. Now I realize how difficult it all was, trying to balance his call with my delicate feelings.

We had weekly appointments with a high-risk OB. Weekly ultrasounds. Praying for the baby to make it to 31 weeks when it would have a better chance in the NICU. We found out he was a boy rather early (weekly ultrasounds) and named him, feeling like we could know him better that way. I was silently convinced we'd lose him too.

Flash arrived 3 weeks early (Yay!) in February. We had a blood type problem between us so he needed a little extra care. But we went home on the same day! And he was huge in our eyes even though he was only 6.5 lbs. And he ate and slept and grew and when he was three weeks old I told Bill that it was OK, we could go to seminary now.

We told our jobs. Decided between two schools. Packed (with TONS of help from my wonderful Mother-in-law) and put the house up for sale. And we moved here in time for July Greek. Husband, wife, child and two dogs at seminary.

I realize now what good care we were in. God led us along gently. Seminary has been so good for both of us. Hubby is learning what he needs to know to be a good pastor and I have been learning about God's good grace through our story and through others'. Through the wonderful people we've met, I've seen a whole different side of religion, christianity and holiness that I never saw before we joined our church in Georgia, before I met Hubby. I have bible study group of wonderful christian women from different traditions and they are bringing me along too. God is showing me through the wonderful people I have met and looking back..he's been with me through many of the people that helped me along the way. I wish I'd known sooner.