Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Remember back in the days before teh Headache, how Sue (our dear Inner Dorothy) used to paint a room every time she went on vacation? I was thinking about that when I painted E's room this weekend (Yellow and green, the colors of his somehow-mysteriously-selected Favorite Team. It turned out alright.)

But, anyway, as I was painting, I was thinking of Sue and of another very dear friend who's carrying a heavy load this week, and I remembered monks who dedicate their work, like it's prayer, which is something I've never done since work is a thing to get over quick, in my way of thinking. But since you cant really rush room painting, I tried it.

Every brush stroke, roller stroke, for my dear friend, and then for Sue, who is just struggling so badly right now and needs our fervent prayers, every one we can spare. Then for other things and people came to mind, and I prayed as thoughts rolled into my head. For Barack Obama that he not mess it up and get it messed up for him. For grandparents and aunties gathering at the lake. For all the far flung dear ones from many times and places who are being rediscovered on Facebook (including the husband of my college roomate in Chicago, who somehow knows a blog friend in Boston). For the all the children I know and love - my son, his cousins (including one on the way) and friends. For animals who need homes and for the people who love them. For the people of my church, one by one. For the ones who push my buttons and the ones who delight me without ceasing. For the medical professional whose response was "be careful" when I told her I would be painting this weekend. For (as I listened to the radio) the people of Knoxville. For more rain some places, for less other places. For peace. For healing and then back for Sue, and then for my dear dear friend.

It was a relief to find the wandering mind does not always have to wander into pitfalls of self loathing or irritation. Maybe the monks were on to something.

Also, unrelated, perhaps. We got 3/4 of a gallon of yellow paint for free, since is EXPLODED in the mixer at the hardware store! Maybe I could have prayed for the guy who had to clean all that up. So when we went to buy a ladder, I got the most expensive one - the super sturdy one that shows a picture of a 75 year old man changing light bulbs on the wrapper. Love the new ladder. I am now adding it to my list of

Things It's Not Worth Buying The Cheapest One Of:
1. band-aids
2. croissants
3. undergarments
4. ladders

What's on your list?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Why the Good Lord gave us the internet

Because the world needs a video of The Making of The Baby Cake.

(File under: Ew. Yuck.)

Confidential to Sarah. Thanks. I think.

Monday, July 21, 2008

God, gender, and next Sunday's sermon illustration

Check out this AWESOME interview with Rabbi Mark Sameth.

"Who is He? He is She: The Secret Four-Letter Name of God" will appear in the summer issue of the CCAR Journal, published by the Central Conference of American Rabbis, an association of Reform rabbis.

Sameth's theory is not as outlandish as it might seem to the uninitiated. For one thing, Jewish mystical traditions have long found levels of meaning in the Hebrew Bible beyond those that come from a literal or metaphorical reading. For another, there is a deep tradition in Jewish prayer and thinking, particularly among the so-called mystics, of seeking to reconcile the male and female elements in the universe.

Sameth's article includes this: "What the mystics called 'the secret of one' is the inner unification of the sometimes competing, sometimes complementing masculine and feminine energies that reside within each of us, regardless whether we are male or female."

And, they really have nothing to do with each other, but you might also want to check out this video from some fed-up pastor's wives from Florida. Cant decide if it's funny or, well, not. You decide.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ecumenism: An Elijalogue

(while biking past a Catholic cemetary)

"Look! Those people must be UCC, also! They have crosses on their rocks!"

Friday, July 18, 2008

500th Post!!

Happy blogoversary to me.

It's summer, so too busy having a life outside where the sun is shining to report much.

If you want to look at some beautiful things, go and check out Jeff's photos on They are a cool photo site, organized by theme. Check out (and vote yeah for!) Jeff's submission to Geometry.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

on the way out the door to a meeting....

1. Who schedules meetings on The Most Beautiful Summer Night of the Year? I'm just saying
2. Well, hopefully we can make it short one at least.
3. I'm reading more Haven Kimmel - She got up off the couch this time. 17 pages in. I've already laughed until I peed once. I mean, not really, but it's really really funny.
4. There is no way that everything that is supposed to happen is going to happen this weekend. And that includes getting the house sssssppppooooottttllllessss for the dear church people who are coming for an inspection, er, party on Saturday afternoon.
5. I do have a wedding in a park tomorrow, which should be lovely.
6. Although they suddenly asked for No God If Possible.
7. Not possible.
8. I thought we talked about this. What part of Rev dont you understand, pal?
9. Not like I'm hostile about that or anything.
10. Turns out I'm so tired because I have an infection, for which I have to take TWO antibiotics.
11. For Pete's sake. That's 5 pills a day. All at different times.
12. Because I evidently have nothing else to do.
13. I cant take time for anything else, because I'm watching the UCC steeples ad on youtube all day. I've watched it probably 4573 times in my life and it still gets me every day time.
14. Pass me a hankie, will ya? Wait, that's 14.

Ok, gotta go to my meeting now.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Independence Day

After an evilly grumpy morning, solved by
1. eating some carbs (sometimes I can get A LITTLE CARRIED AWAY in my zeal to acheive something in ww and looking back, I realized it had been Too Long) and then
2. sleeping 2 hours, followed by
3. saying the prayer "OK Jesus, I need some help not being so grouchy right now."
...we had an amazing evening at PGE Stadium.

Perfect weather. And I mean PERFECT.
Relaxing with some neighbors and friends.
Not catching the foul ball that bounced right past us, but not getting smacked by it either.
A beer, peanuts and nachos (mmmm, more carbs).
An appearance by the Zooperstars.
Fireworks, just the right size to be impressive without, as St C would say, blowing your eyebrows up. Or is it "off?" Or "out?" Well, anyway.
Wondering out loud why it's offensive to carry an American flag into an anti-war protest, but ok to wear it as a shirt into a ball game.
A grand slam in the 8th by the home team.
A 6 year old boy who could not believe the incredible awesomeness of doing the wave for the first time. Ditto the awesomeness of a first singing of Take Me Out the Ballgame.
A boy who was, in fact, enthralled for three hours and only really lost it at the very very very end, when he realized he would not be getting a Beavers tshirt but quickly recovered in time to fall immediately into a deep sleep once we got to the van.
And the great night was not over yet. Although we parked incredibly illegally, our van was still there when we got back. And no ticket on it!

Do you think as part of the mid life crisis where I'm suddenly into pop music, and thinking about getting a tattoo (and by thinking about, I mean ALL THE TIME), I could also get into baseball? That would be so funny, wouldnt it?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Major Award

(and no, it is not a lamp.)

Here is a column I wrote for the little local paper.

And I've been waiting for notice to be posted before I told the internets about it, but I dont know when that will be, so here is the link to the award that's mentioned in the little bio.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Things I'm thinking about: Tuesday night edition

-We had a visit tonight from one of my first mentors, a person who has been very important to me in many stages of my life. She gave me my first job, putting labels on envelopes, which was a job I HATED at the time, but have been grateful for ever since, as bulk mailing is a skill I have used at every single job since then. She also directed a little pick-up bell choir I was in as a teenager, hired me as her assistant in a library, and then pulled me out of there and into publishing, where I had the coolest, hardest job I'll ever have.

-I keep wanting to make a sentence about how very great it was to see her, how when I am with her I realize how much of my style I've borrowed from her, and also how invigorating it is to be with someone who wants to never stop learning. But I cant quite get what I'm trying to say right. Well, you'll have to take my word for it.

"Church is the most demanding volunteer activity I've ever been involved in."
"More demanding than Rotary? Don't they fine you and stuff if you miss a week?"
"Well, there are ways around that. Yes, more demanding than Rotary but not as demanding as being a business owner."
There you have it, you church planters. A tag line for a new generation:
Church: harder than Rotary, but not as hard as owning your own business.

-We are going to the beach tomorrow - just for the day. Yes, I AM taking a day off to do that. But it's been a while, if you count camp. And considering the amount of sleep I got, and how very nice I mostly was the whole time, I most certainly am counting it.