Thursday, May 28, 2009

cusp of summer thoughts

Of course, there is so much to do.

And when I havent actually been doing it,
I've been worrying about doing it.
Or worrying about not doing it.
Or worrying about when am I gonna do it.
Or worrying are the people who said they would do some of it going to really do it.
Or worrying am I going to have to do it all anyway? Like always? (Let's all heave a big sigh for this one, fellow martyrs.)

So this week, I crashed a little the way I do which was to get a big headache that sent me to bed for the day. I had to cancel some stuff, which liberated the You Are Not Trustworthy goblin, who danced all over my chest for awhile. But, the people I canceled stuff with were/are so very much kinder to me than I have the capacity to be to myself on occasions like this.

It helps that the blogosphere, in its sneaky improbable way is speaking right to me these days. Especially Magpie and Revmother. (oops, here comes the It's Not All About You goblin....down, down, boy)

So I'm trying to be kinder. For instance. Even though I had a sick day, I am not working an extra day this weekend to make it up. I'm just taking a sick day like a normal person. My sermon is ready and my childrens time, during which we will sing happy birthday dear churrr-rrrch, so tomorrow and Saturday are all about family stuff.

Gratitude helps, too. I am looking forward to some time with mom, who comes tomorrow for a couple of days. Awesome Sarah will be here in a month. I have so much abundance of love and help and freedom and books and kicky new capris that it's actually breathtaking. As in. If I really stop to think it about it I sort of cant breathe from joy for a moment.

And I'm sitting outside. Because it's so very lovely here right here. Like, you know how you imagine absolutely perfect weather but think it never really happnes? It DOES happen, though, and it is, right now. So that when you go outside, it's kind of hard not to look up and around, instead of deep into your own navel. Even for me. Which is saying something.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Same Planet, Different Worlds

Overheard while tiptoeing through my husband's home office, while he was on the phone with his workplace (where this, incidently, is currently the number one seller in apparel. See what snarkiness will get you?).

" then he realized that wouldn't be such a great idea since only like 10,000 people would see it, as opposed to the other idea which would be seen by like, millions..."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

God Talk

Here's what I've been hearing/reading about God today:

We believe in you, O God, Eternal Spirit, God of our Savior Jesus Christ and our God, and to your deeds we testify:
You call the worlds into being, create persons in your own image, and set before each one the ways of life and death.
You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.
You judge people and nations by your righteous will declared through prophets and apostles.
-The United Church of Christ Statement of Faith in the form of a doxology

God invented the surfboard
to keep the truly great
from ruling the world.
-Bumper sticker seen in Multnomah Village

I am an atheist. I was raised a Christian of some sort, but the more I traveled around the world, the more I knew there was no God.
-Conversation with a shopkeeper

How about you? What's the one thing you can say for sure about God?

If it helps, think of it like a status update: God is....

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What to eat when you get home late and need something fast, hot and filling.

Because Mark Bittman says somewhere not to worry about the pasta snobs who tell you not to reheat your pasta. He claims that they do it too.

Heat a fair amount of olive oil (maybe a T or so) on medium-high heat.
Throw in a little crushed garlic
and a smattering of red pepper flakes.
Throw in a handful of cooked rotini pasta and
a half handful of walnuts.

Cook a minute or so until it's heated through.
Smother in parmesan cheese.

Eat it up!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Things I Want To Do

I started a little controversy recently by referring to myself as middle aged. I always thought that "middle aged" was the middle of life, and if I live until 80, I'll feel like that's a pretty good run. So, now I'm 40 and hence middle aged, the logic goes. But evidently, for other people, middle aged stretches way into the distant future, to the age at which I'm planning to just ahead and call myself "old." Anyway, for the first time in my life I find myself thinking when I hear of a thing that sounds like fun "Oh, I should put that on the list of Things I Want To Do Before I Die." Now that I'm middle aged.

I usually dont feel like much of a planner - most of the time I think I just sort of take what comes. And my life is pretty crowded with other people and THEIR plans - both immediate and distant. But when you start thinking mortal thoughts, it can be actually very freeing. If I start a list at random, in no particular order, what comes out first is:

1. Take my son to Disneyland.
2. Plant a vegetable garden that actually grows vegetables that humans can actually eat.
3. Read Tolstoy. Also Dostoyevsky.
4. Train a puppy.
5. Walk the Camino.

There are probably lots more. But I have to stop here to say this.

I dont think much about traveling. With 3 people in my family in various stages of health (physical, psychological and developmental - respectively) travelling seems like an awful lot of work most of the time. But once I think "well, one day, my life might have the kind of space in which I COULD go on pilgrimage for 3 weeks" and I go ahead an type "Camino" on this list, then I start thinking of all sorts of other travels that would be appealing.

Take a long, leisurely driving trip to Yellowstone and other western points to the east of us.

Eat a croissant in Paris. And then lots of other meals.

Spend a couple of weeks that weird buddhist/jesuit monastery we visited for an afternoon in the mountains in India.

Or take a boat around the Galapagos. Wait a minute, I dont actually like boats. But then again, neither did Darwin, and look what happened to HIM when he sailed around the Galapagos.

I guess I'm not going to be able to ever do these things, unless I can start imagining them as possibilities. So if you catch me sitting around, staring off into the distance, you'll know what I'm doing. I'm making that list of Things I Want to Do Before You Know What. And it's getting really, really, really long.

(For some reason, btw, going to Disney doesnt count as travel in my head. How about you?)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Books I'm Part Way Through

I was responding to a month-old post over at Facebook about kids books, when I realized that I havent updated about books that I'VE been reading lately, and then I realized that's because I havent actually finished a book for a while. But I've started a bunch. Here, in no particular order:

Wickett's Remedy by Myla Goldberg. Listening to this on tape in my car. Although this books is peculiarly plot-less, the characters are less developed than I like (the heroine, Lydia, is so gentle, kind, calm, and courageous for no apparant reason that it's sort of ridiculous), and it's about the Spanish flu epidemic (certainly not a very uplifting topic just now) -- I cant seem to stop listening to it. So Goldberg must be doing something right.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Well, of course, I really love this book. And you would too. I mean, what's not to love? I'm about 40 pages in, but it's so incredibly atmospheric, that I feel like I want to read it when I have a really long day to get totally immersed in the world of it. Which I dont have right now.

Birchbark House. I dont think you have to have had a Madeline Island childhood, which I did, to think this book is really fascinating. Fascinating historical detail, combined with very relatable family dynamics. Really good and cant wait to finish it.

My Stroke of Insight. This is that book about the brain specialist who gets a stroke and describes it in vivid detail. I really liked all the medical stuff, and her description of actually having the stroke is so astounding, I cant imagine anyone being un-interested. But then, I kind of petered out on it when she started getting into that part about remaking her brain. I have an allergy to that If You Think It You Can Be It theology, so I gave up on it. But Someone I Respect (thank you Don) advises it's worth finishing, so I'm going to try.

Animal Vegetable Miracle. What is WRONG with me? Every time I try to read this book, I get 4 pages in and then stop. I just cant make myself read it for some reason. Probably just feeling guilty that I'm pretty much a 100% packaged food eater right now.

Vows: The Story of a Priest, a Nun and Their Son.
I got this on a whim from an endcap at the library since the title is so eye-catching (yes, I AM that kind of reader) and I was just going to take it back unread when it came due (yes, I'm that kind of library patron, too) , but I accidentally read a few pages and the writing is so lovely, compelling, gracious, kind and truthful all at once that I was drawn right in. And of course, the story is compelling too. So I renewed it, and I'm going to read it after all.

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.
Why havent I finished this book? I have no idea, because every time I open it again, I am fascinated. But I've been on page 354 since January. Maybe it's time to get going on it again, and finally return it to the parishioner who loaned it to me last fall.

It's totally excusable that I havent finished Team of Rivals yet, though. I loaned THAT one to someone else. The truth is, I got kind of bogged down in the middle. But as soon as I get it back, I really intend to re-persevere.

And please dont think less of me if I tell you the book that I HAVE finished this week is silly, silly, silly dear old Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil. A woman's got to turn her brain off SOMETIME.