Saturday, March 29, 2008

Postcard from Florida

I know it makes no difference to you, dear virtual reader, from whence I come, but I am writing this in Sarasota where the sun is warm, the margaritas are cold and the sand!  well, I got nothing to say about the sand that hasn't already been said, except that it's great.

Today we saw 2 egrets, a multiplicity of lizards and, according to the sign we had just finished reading at the botanical garden, a so-called "harmless" black snack (shudder).  Also, saw banyon trees, sun-burned people and the Waffle House, but which we know for sure we are in the real South.

We are missing Daddy J.  On the phone he says he is feeling better - fever's gone! hurrah! -  and tomorow  after  church and before bowling (if E gets his way) OR the beach party where everyone brings drums and dances (if Juniper gets her way) we are going (shhh, dont tell him if you see him as we want it to be a surprise) beachcombing for the very biggest shark tooth we can find to bring home.  It's a bummer to be stuck in rainy Portland when your family is enjoying a tropical vacation, but I think a shark tooth is probably a better consolation prize than the tshirt I did not buy him at the Houston airport during our layover: "NASA: Failure is NOT an option!"

More later.  In the meantime, hang loose or whatever it is us beach bums say.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Brrr, it's cold in here.

One of the not-so-funny jokes of our marriage is that every time I go out of town without him, J falls or get sick. I go out of town without him - to conferences or whatever - a couple of times a year, and a couple of times a year he falls or gets really sick, so it could just be a coincidence, but really it happens at the same time far too often to be mere chance.

The day before I went to India for three weeks 6 or 7 years ago, he took the worst fall he'd had since I'd known him - fell backwards, and cracked his head on the sidewalk. That sucked, but the paramedics just sent him home with no stitches or anything and after a couple of days of bad headaches, he was ok.

Another memorable and horrible time, he fell right out of his wheelchair a little while before I, traveling with baby E 1300 miles away, called to ask his advice about whether I should take our very sick little son to the hospital. He answered the phone, "Help! Help! Help!" The men in his family have some kind of A Thing about calling 911, but I somehow convinced him that this was a situation in which an emergency call was warranted. * I was staying with my brother and sister-in-law and I'll never forget their faces as I hung up from that phone call. They were already dealing with quite a bit - a sick kid, a hysterical woman, the cancellation of our travel plans. Their eyes were, and I'm not being metaphorical here, as big as plates.

When J fell and broke his leg, just a few days before we moved to Portland last summer, I tried to joke with him about it "Oh honey, you don't have to hurt yourself, you're coming WITH me, remember?" Yeah, it wasn't all that funny at the time, either.

So, now E and I are getting ready to go to Florida for a few days to see E's grandpa - a long planned trip (and one reason I wont be cruising with the RevGals). And J has a pretty bad fever and cough. I heard myself say to my dad on skype tonight "I hope J doesn't get pneumonia or we'll have to cut our trip short." Which sounds like the most cold hearted wifely statement ever, but given the history, you can kind of get it, right? Right?

*The paramedics, by the way, arrived quickly and picked him right up and he wasn't hurt at all. He asked them about filling out the paper work and they were so cool, "Oh, no charge for helping you up. Just call us if you ever tip over again." So I guess we have the taxpayers of Washington to thank for that one.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Tuesday prayer

Cross posted at Rev Gals Prayer Blog.

I've never been part of a tradition that officially celebrated the Annunciation. To me, rediscovering or uncovering a celebration day allows for tremendous freedom to create and imagine new traditions and rituals. Whatever you experience with Annunciation, I pray that your creativity is also unleashed today.

Suggestions for celebrating Annunciation Day

"Creator and Lover, I delight in all the unexpected ways you make yourself known to me. Although I sometimes feel afraid or tired when I learn about the tasks you have prepared for me, I rejoice that you will always with be with me. I count on your strength to sustain me. You are my delight! With you, all things are truly possible. Amen."
"Hail Mary, full of grace
Emmanuel, God is with you.
Blessed are you, and blessed is your child Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother to all.
Pray for God's people,
Now and always."
From the Feminist Rosary

Be your own spiritual director
Spend some time considering a question, such as:
What within you is waiting to be born?
How has God appeared to you recently and what was your reaction?
What, if any, connection do you feel with Mary?
Walk in beauty
Enjoy one of the many pieces of art depicting the Annunciation.

Spring to life
Rejoice in the connection between the day of the conception of Jesus and the promise of spring. If you live in a climate where spring is not yet in evidence outside, relax and enjoy the carefree abundance of spring indoors. Bring in flowers. Turn up the heat. Snuggle with your pet or your child or your sweetie. Eat the rest of your Easter candy.

Read all about it
You might want to read the story of the annunciation from the book of Luke.
You can find detailed descriptions at Wikipedia and For an interesting article about the connection between the Annunciation and the celebrations of many other religions, check this out. Or take a trip to Bulgaria to a shrine dedicated to the Annunciation.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ok, that's enough of that silliness now

I seem to be at like 37 or 38 posts for Lent, so I'm going to cut out this business of posting a gazillion things on one day, but it sure was fun, huh? Thanks for playing. See you soon.

What We're Listening To

Well, it's Lent, so of course it's all Jesus Christ Superstar all the time around here.

J is listening to Bread, Steely Dan and Chicago. "It's like you're five years old again, and it all comes back. The wood paneling, those fuzzy foot stickers and that feeling of expansiveness, and how big the world is when you're five, you know?"

See why I love him?

Getting ready for vacation

I can tell I'm ready for vacation, because I called someone a bastard in an email. And even though I was trying to be all funny, and in context I'm sure it was hilarious, still I just dont think it was exactly WJWD, if you know what I mean.

Because I'm too busy reading blogs to write anything

Like these two, that came over the wire this week.

I'm not at Media Hound level, I'm more like a Media Puppy

But I was quoted in this very nice article in our neighborhood newspaper, if you'd like to check it out. And now I'm in conversation with the editor about being a panel to do a monthly religion column. I suggested it in a fit of optimism, and now wonder when exactly I'm going to have time for that.

Speaking of media hounds

I've officially totally had it with Hillary Clinton after hearing her on the radio today trying to defend herself about campaigning in Michigan and Florida. I mean the Democratic party was being really stoopid with their rules, but she is a Democrat after all and she agreed to the rules and what she did in those states was JUST PLAIN WRONG. I would respect her so much more if she would just admit that, instead of insinuating that Obama's alleged stealth "non of the above" campaign was the real problem.

Too bad I cant go the protest, I had my red outfit all picked out

Because my media hound colleague advises that if you are at a Thing Outside where the media are, you should wear red and they will take a picture of you. Also, ask them, "would it be easier for you if I wear your microphone?" then they will have to follow you around with their camera. When you are doing this, make sure to say the name of your church alot.

What was that thing Paul said about speaking Greek to the Greeks or whatever? Same deal.

March 15 is coming

And there is probably an anti-war protest where you are. Every year I cant go, because someone is sick. But this is the year of Incredible Respiratory Health at House of Juniper, so no one is sick. Instead I have church business on Saturday, so I cant go.


Friday Five (this week)

1. If you could travel to any historical time period, which would it be, and why?
Hmm, I just heard a thing about this on npr that reminded me that really, if I'm going to be traveling back in time my choices are somewhat limited due to my reliance on modern plumbing, medicine and methods of transportation.

2. What futuristic/science fiction development would you most like to see?
I will go with my first one, which is teleportation, although in reality irradication (that's coming up on my spell check, but I cant figure out the correct spelling - do you know what I mean, though?) of disease is probably what I would really like.

3. Which do you enjoy more: remembering the past, or dreaming for the future?
I'll take either, just dont make me loiter in the present. (ok, ok, I'm working on it...)

4. What do you find most memorable about this year's Lent?
The spring in Portland is remarkable. I hope I will remember my wonder in it for a long time. Notice this does not have to do with any deeply spiritual insights. That is for a reason.

5. How will you spend your time during this upcoming Holy Week? What part do you look forward to most?
Ever since I was arrested on Good Friday some time ago during a prayerful protest, I've always really found that day to be a big one for me. This year I'll go on a neighborhood stations of the cross thing that I'm not helping organize or lead at all, and then in the evening we'll have a labyrinth walk at the church, using a borrowed canvas labyrinth. I'm looking forward to both those things.

Friday Five (Last week)

What have you seen/ heard this week that was a :

1. Sign of hope?
Crocus and daffodils! Everywhere! I've been intermittantly irritated, like you are, with the guy who had this house before, but geez, that man could plant bulbs.

2. An unexpected word of light in a dark place?
A woman determined to overcome a current health issue, the result of an accident.

3. A sign of spring?
I keep looking at puppies and kittens on - how about you?

4. Challenging/ surprising?
I just got the order of worship for Maundy Thursday from the music director who put the service together and it's 17 pages long. This seems pretty long to me, like it might inadvertently become Easter Vigil, too.

5. Share a hope for the coming week/month/year....
Looking forward to getting to watch lots more tball in the weeks to come. I have a weird affection for tball, which is astonishing when you consider how deeply, deeply boring it is.

Bonus play... a piece of music/ poem guaranteed to cheer you?
Pretty much any time men dress in nun outfits and sing, it cracks me up. Remember when Inner Dorothy sent around the Hallelujah chorus in December? This is ridiculously lowbrow, I know.

But I have a plan

If I make a new post for every thought I'm having right this minute, plus some stuff like book reviews and Friday Fives from this week and last, I might do it after all.

Ready? Go.

Lent is coming to an end....

...and when I realized I wasnt I going to make my goal of 40 posts, I stopped blogging altogether, which is Just Like Me.

Monday, March 03, 2008

What I am reading

What am I reading? Well, I thought you'd never ask.

Just finished An Infinity of Little Hours for the RGBP's book club, which I found both infuriating and fascinating. I would love to hear the perspective of someone not religious on the story. Basically, I ended the book thinking, "those hermit guys are just trying to do what we're all trying to do - figure out themselves, other people and God IN THAT ORDER - but they're doing it in an unnecessarily uncomfortable way." Which is surely not the message they would like me to take from it.

Am in the middle of, thanks to Katherine, The Solace of Leaving Early, which I am trying not read too fast since I am lovvvvvving it so much. I'm afraid I'm going to get heartbroken, though. Am I? Am I? Katherine? I should probably have a whole entry in which I just quote the funny and true things from this book that I want to remember forever, but for now I'll just say that, even though I am having a hard time liking the characters, I cant help but love them. And the writing is great.

Just listened on tape in the car to Michael Palin's Full Circle, about his journey around the Pacific. You might know of this from the television machine. I enjoyed it, but it was very different than what I usually read, which is sort of the Eat Pray Love school of travel writing ("Let me tell you about me, and my feelings as I walked..."). His lack of self-reflection was, in fact, startling. His wife was very ill during the trip, and he mentioned it, but not in the "then I was changed forever as I considered how her life hung in the balance under the surgeon's knife..." sort of way. More in the British "let's get this over with" matter of fact sort of way. Anyway, once I got used to it, it was refreshing to experience straight up travelogue about someone's observations, information about history and geography and missed flights.

I admit rather sheepishly that I am currently listening to Dorothy Gilman's The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax, which is not at all edifying, has a plot full of holes and is probably also racist, if part of racism is having amusing and violent yet dimwitted foreign side-kicks. Definately not WWJR (What Would Jesus Read) material. However. It is short. And it makes the drive go faster. And I dont have to concentrate too hard on it when I should be thinking about traffic. And I do want to know how it's all going to work out, so it must not be ALL bad.

Ok, forget my silly car tape habits. Let's talk some more about reading. After losing my hearing aids for 36 frustrating hours, I am going to try to get back into Getting Things Done. I really do want to be more organized. Really, really do. Because I ahve better things to do than spend the weekend looking for my hearing aids, which are right where I put them in the medicine cabinet the whole time.

And, am reading, last chapters first but planning on devouring it all, and LOVING Anna Carter Florence's book, Preaching as Testimony. Thanks PPB - you were right. It is JUST the thing.

My life in six words

This fascinating meme is going around to describe your whole life in 6 words. I like PB's the best, even though it wrings my heart a little. Here's mine:

Dreamer, lover, worker seeks God experience.

That's what I ended up with. I started out playing around with this other one, but it seemed kind of, I dont know, martyr-ish in a way I'm really trying to get away from. And also, a little confusing, even to me. But I'm including it, so you'll see how lucky I am that this is not what we got stuck with. You gotta write the story you want to live in, you know?

Something for everyone. Now, herself too.

Why do you blog?

Kirstin tagged me to play the why do you blog? meme

1. Because sometimes I think I"m getting bored with it, but then something happens and I think "I could blog that!"

2. Because it keeps me a little in touch with friends and family far away.

3. Because it makes me feel part of a cool movement. (This is embarrassing, but true. And I am all about Telling the Truth.)

4. (I know, I know, it's supposed to be 3, but this more like more explanation than a reason.) I dont really consider myself A Writer, per se - I am so slow and not at all prolific and so often cant think of the word I really want. But sometimes I can get something DOWN just like it happened, but funnier, and that is very satisfying.