Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday Five - weather

From Sally over at RevGals:

1. Have you experienced living through an extreme weather event- what was it and how did you cope?
First answer: No.
Second Answer: Unless you count one of my first memories. Which is standing on the porch of my parent's dorm/apartment building with them and watching the sky turn green while a tornado passed nearby. Since I was like 4, I dont remember anything else about that time, only feeling very small. Which is maybe what big weather does to anyone.
Third Answer: When I first moved to Seattle I used to try this tell story about a protest we had at the Federal Building in Minneapolis during the first gulf war, but I could never get past the first line "It was about 10 below, you know, so we were wearing...." without getting stopped for a few minutes of incredulity. So I guess extreme is maybe a matter of perspective.

2. How important is it that we wake up to issues such as global warming?
One answer. Extremely imperative.

3. The Christian message needs to include stewardship of the earths resources agree/ disagree?
Agree. The best sermon I've heard lately about global warming had a "Hope above all. If we fall into despair then we've already lost" kind of message.

And because it is summer- on a brighter note....

4. What is your favourite season and why?
Fall, fall, FALL! Maybe because I love school so much. (cou-geek-gh) And I got married in October. And is it trite to say "the leaves"?

5. Describe your perfect vacation weather....
Sunny. Not too hot. A little breezy. And early every morning, a gentle, little rainfall.
Although 90 degree F and 90% humidity (vacation in Minnesota right around the corner!) can also have its own weird charms after a cool PNW July.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Joke Hat

Seems like most everyone in the blogosphere is out of sorts. Even Jody. I mean, you know things are bad when they're even losing their tempers over at House of WEG. Some people have really heartrending news to share, others are just cranky.

Personally, I'm in the just cranky camp. We are in the death throes of buying a house. People are all the time asking us "did you buy a house?" as if it's a done deal. Probably other people just go and buy and a house, but for us FINDING a house has been followed by 22 days of daily (sometimes hourly) phone calls, faxes, and garment rending. In terms of increase in (in)tense marital conversation, (hmm, say THAT three times fast!) it has definately outranked anything we've done so far, including parenting a sick kid. We may sign on Monday if nothing else goes awry. Then it's time to start wrangling about a remodel. So, it's cranky with the anticipation of more cranky. Nice.

Since you always preach what you need to hear, my sermon last Sunday was about How Jesus Would Have Us Solve Conflict, about getting to the heart of the matter, speaking Truth, and living as if the Kingdom were at hand. It was very mature and grace-filled I am sure, but sometimes, and I'm thinking just now is one of those times, you don't need to roll up your sleeves and get down and dirty and figure it all out. Sometimes you need your joke hat.

A thousand years ago, when Bob was still alive and the company was basically just him and a few friends, I used to work at Red House Records as sort of a student intern. I say "sort of" because I received neither financial compensation nor school credit for much of the time - but I was paid in, as Bob said "all the music you can eat." I took home to my dorm room tottering little piles of cassette tapes (tapes!) and I went to lots of concerts.

Of the artists I met, realest of all was Spider John Koerner. To 20-year-old me seemed like he'd been around pretty much forever and he owned Shenendoah as far as I could tell. He was shy and dry, and he'd sing all these sad, serious old folk songs. Then, part way through his set, he'd reach under his chair and pull out his joke hat and grin and put it on. He'd tell a joke, probably a long rambling one. Can't remember any of the jokes he told now, although I remember laughing my head off, mostly because he's the only person in America who can still manage to look dignified in that hat.

I dont know that many jokes, but I do remember one that I heard Ferron tell* the night my mom and I drove an hour and half to see her in concert in an old school gym or something, one we still laugh at. And that night is high on the list of Favorite Times Out With Mom, mostly because of the laughing.

So - remembering that Truth is important, and Figuring Things Out, and Process are too, I'm remembering that laughing has it's place and now I'm finally getting to the point to ask you:

Do you know any jokes? I'd love to hear them - either in the comments or over at your place. All around us, things are sad and serious. It seems like it's time for the joke hat.

*Here's the joke that Ferron told:

What did the zero say to the eight?


Nice belt.

Try saying it out loud. It's better that way.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dork - An Elijahlogue in One Short Act

Mother (loudly, after noticing a boy hiding but not hidden behind a tree across the park): Hmmmm! I wonder where Eli could be!? He was just here a minute ago! He must be hiding!

Son (in a loud whisper): Mom! I'm playing hide and seek!

Mother (excessively kindly): Oh, I see honey. But if you want to play hide and seek with me, you have to tell me so I can come look for you.

Son: I'm. playing. with. someone. else.

Mother (slinks noisily off stage left)

Monday, July 23, 2007

yesterday and today

I havent really been keeping track, but I'm pretty sure that I've had more than 753 feelings in the last 24 hours. It's too much. I'm having that problem of not knowing what to write about. I keep starting sentences and then erasing them.

Well. Let's begin here. A (10.5 pound!) baby was born on Sunday morning to a dear friend after a long and hard labor. And the child born on Sabbath day is bonny and blythe and good and gay. Both mama and baby fine and cuddly. Holding a newborn baby is so sweet, isnt it?

Yes, that's enough to put out into the world tonight. I will leave the rest of the rat's nest of emotions to untangle themselves overnight, and for now I'll give thanks for a mellow new baby with a red, wrinkly head and an honest-to-gosh dimple in his little cheek and crazy-long fingers and toes.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saturday, What a Day

When Elijah over heard me tell his dad "We were talking about clothes we like today and Eli's godsister said she likes clothes that are 'comfortable and beautiful' and Eli said he likes clothes that are 'awesome and fancy," he corrected me. "No, it's awesome and SCARY." Which, as he says it "awesome and SCAWY" is really funnier than it should be for something said so seriously.

And speaking of awesome (and some of those other adjectives, too: scary, funny, serious) that is all I can say about the people who will come to your garage sale at 8:00 in the morning when the sign says 9:00 and want to know if you have any jewelry or (and this is an actual quote) any "children's books in French," to which I mostly responded, "no, all I have is junk, and if you take some it will lighten my trip to goodwill this afternoon..."

And speaking of good will, props to my neighbor for offering me free Lyle Lovett tickets (kd lang opening!) he wasnt able to to use tonight. I guess I'm still not really from here, though, because I just really dont want to go to an outdoor concert at night when it's raining. Especially when I know it will take 2 hours to get there and find parking and place to sit, and that much again getting home, or maybe more. Which is why I'm glad to be leaving Seattle soon. There's all kinds of stuff happening, but you cant go to any of it because the traffic always sucks.

And speaking of neighbors, today all our neighbors who we usually never see or talk to stopped by to tell us they'll really miss us since we're such good neighbors. By which I guess they mean the kind of neighbors they never have to see or talk to. Weirdos.

And speaking of weird, did I mention that tomorrow is my last sermon at my current call? Ok, this does so go with weird, because it's totally weird how not nervous I am. Last week, second to last sermon, I was a VERITABLE WRECK.

And speaking of veritable wrecks, have I mentioned how glad I am that vacation is almost here? I had wanted to make all these big plans for when we are with our family for two whole weeks, now sitting next to a pool reading Harry Potter seems like about my speed.

And speaking of Harry Potter, I read the whole plot on It seems like something I would like to read. I do not understand spoiler haters. If you are one, feel free to explain. The more I know about the plot, the friendlier I feel toward the whole thing. And I know this isnt because I'm dope because super-smart reverandmother feels the same way.

And speaking of supersmart, the smart pastor goes to SLEEP at 10:00 the night before her last sermon instead of blogging all night, so I'm signing off. Peace all.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Favorite Sermon Helps?

Hey ya'll,
Yikes. Moving from associate to solo, and I'm freaking out to think of preaching every single week. But you do it! So, can you give me some advice. What are your favorite sermon helpers? I'm thinking of subscribing to Homiletics (as in, Festival Of). Do you recommend it? Or something else? Right now, I pretty much use, but it's fairly time consuming to sort thru it all.

Book Report

I'm with Cheesehead on the whole Potter Phenom. I enjoy the hullabaloo from afar, and I like the books OKAY, and I will read them, but I'm not, you know, INTO it.

However, I'm always picking up recommendations from other bloggers so my Eli-sized trips to the library can be efficient and are are not spent falling into the coma I can so easily get into in the presence of the shelves of books, so here's what's been on the bookshelf lately.

I was up all night finishing The Name of the Wind, which I heard about from 33 Names of Grace where I'm a frequent lurker. (Hi 33 Names! Delurking for a minute!) It's pretty good for a first time novel - great characters and an interesting world. And it's sort of kinder and gentler than lots of books in that orphan-goes-to-magic-school-and-fights-evil genre.

I got about half way through Assasination Vacation on Peacebang's recommendation, but honestly it was too self referential even for me. I KNOW it's the point of the whole book, but I kept wanting to say, "Sarah. I know you're all Gen Y and everything, but the Lincoln assassination is not really about you, actually."

I agree with Songbird about Susan Cheever's American Bloomsbury, which, I also started and did not finish. Too confusing for no reason, even though Cheever says in the introduction that being confusing is part of her MO. I can much more highly recommend either Miss Alcott's Email or The Peabody Sisters if you want to read about that crowd.

I've been really enjoying Good Omens, cant remember where I heard about that (but really, it's a very silly book - probably much too silly for this very serious blog).

And the intrepid reader is always looking ahead. We have vacation coming up in a couple of weeks, and I have some books set aside for that - King Hereafter, which I read on a blog I cant remember now was somebody's favorite book. (If it was you, let me know so I can add a link!) Also, in a whole other genre, Grace Eventually. For now, I'm getting going on Vision of Light, which I'm not going to FINISH by next Monday, but at least will crack open. See you at book club!

Monday, July 16, 2007

What Sabbatical Is For

This morning I had a meeting that went longer than I expected, so I rushed, lunchless, to pick up Eli at preschool so he could go to his swim lesson. He was a little whiny, which isnt like him, but since I hadnt had any lunch, I figured HE hadn't eaten his either, which he sometimes doesn't if something more interesting is going on and he gets distracted, so I gave him an apple and asked him if he was too tired for swim lesson, which he wasn't. I don't think it's bragging to say that he is now a pretty awesome swimmer who, in spite of having -8% body fat (yes, that IS a negative sign), easily can swim half way across the pool, which he did repeatedly today, with his face in the water just like they taught him. He was smiling during all the swimming, but when we got back in the car, he complained of a stitch in his side and I (still thinking of the missed lunch) gave him a cracker. Which he promptly threw up. Along with the the apple, half the pool's water, and his lunch (which appears to have involved peaches and possibly noodles).

I carried him inside, helped him change into clean clothes and tucked him into bed where he fell promptly sound asleep, which he always does after he pukes. Then, I went back outside with a roll of paper towels and the bottle of Liquid BioEnzymes or (whatever they're called) to clean out the car. And as I was squeezed under the front seat trying to wipe up all the yuck, I had three thoughts.

Thought Number One
I cannot BELIEVE I have to do this! I am a minister of GOD for crying out loud!

Followed a little while later, after some seething, by Thought Number Two
Ok, wise guy, but you're also a mom. And being a mom involves, you know, effluvia.

Followed immediately by Thought Number Three
Oh, yeah. This is what the blog is for.

It seems my short-ish blog sabbatical has come to an end, and like a good sabbatical should, a little light is now shone on the path ahead. I always assumed that all this writing about mommying would diminish once I working full time instead of part time (which will start in September) and instead, my blog would be more churchy in tone. I read with interest a while back when some of you Revgals were talking about blogging anonymously and that helped me realize that I didnt really think it would work for me to write about private stuff - staff issues or frustrating parishioners or menstrual cramps. (Well, ok, I'll probably blog about cramps sometimes. But I'll try not to make it too gory or anything.)

And I didnt really want to try to be anonymous anyway - I think I grew up in too small a town to believe that real anonymity is actually possible. But today, up to my elbows in boy puke, I realized something. I'm not going to stop being a mother just because I'm working full time! In fact, I'm going to have even more questions and stories about balancing it out - mothering, working and wrangling a disabled husband - than I EVER did before. FURTHERMORE (didn't you know we were headed for a "furthermore" at the end of an entry like this one?), I'm going to really need a space to figure all that out, and this is as good a one as I know.

End of speech, end of sabbatical. See you in the comment box.