Saturday, July 12, 2014

A reflection on a non-preaching weekend....

seeing as HOW nobody at this house is preaching tomorrow, I am sympathetically offering a funny of some antiquity to all those of you toiling over three-points-and-a-poem today.  Here's how we do it in the True North Strong and Free: 



February 21, 2008
Canadian Sermon Types, eh?
And now for something completely different...

Neil Young, who pastors Erindale United Church in Mississauga, Ontario, sent us this inventory of sermon styles in the Great White North.

The Maple Syrup: Boils source material down to about 1/50th its starting volume.

The Mountie: When it's most dressed-up, it doesn't arrest anybody.

The Igloo: Goes 'round and 'round until a final capstone is dropped in.

The Curling: Kind of incomprehensible, but everybody seems to have a good time.

The Lacrosse: Fast, hard-hitting, and it's hard to see the points as they're made.

The Hockey Fight: Staggers unsteadily, swinging wildly, but lands a punch or two.

The Canadian: Overly apologetic.

The Snowmobile: Loud and a bit obnoxious, but takes you places you otherwise wouldn't go.

The Beaver: Dams everything in sight.

The Maple Leaf: Has 11 points; always ends up falling to the ground.
 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Second Day, with some outings...






Today the routine was a little different -- went out to shop for a short list of items, then swung back past the library, dropped one off (Ursula Le Guin), picked one up (Rana Dasgupta), then to the pharmacy for a prescription and vitamin C, to the P.O. to mail a couple of items...and home again.
It's been hot...I've kept windows and drapes closed, will open up everything again tonight and turn on some fans...
Meantime I have finished Barbara Ehrenreich, Living with a Wild God, which was very good indeed (I'd read her Nickel and Dimed earlier).  It would be a great book I think for university student groups...
I am very far behind in reading the periodicals that come in -- but have at least made some "stacks" and can commence to get caught up.
Tomorrow I go out for coffee and some book-talk (Eliot's Four Quartets and John Booty's book of reflections on them); then I have a date to go to the University farm and collect a dozen "heirloom eggs" on behalf of the daughter-family-unit, who are away...they have sponsored a University Chicken this year and collect eggs every two weeks.  Very exciting!
And in the evening, a sit-down with an art-studio group.  I am hoping that the contents of the mending basket qualify me to take part!
And that is all that is new at Tether's End.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Day...

A quick post here this morning; in fifteen minutes this apparatus is turned OFF for the day.  In words repeated oftener than anything else in my memory, "There's going to be a new regime around here!!!"

This is a "statuary" holiday hereabouts, as a friend likes to say.  The sun is shining, the winds are calm, there is nothing ominous in the forecast.  Festivity is imminent all around and about, culminating in "illuminations" on the Big Ol' Bridge tonight, and fireworks.  I intend to take it all on trust.  Standing in a crowd, in the dark, in a cloud of mosquitoes, is not really all that much fun.

But today is a new day.  I have started with a new morning routine.  And a modest frittata (green onions, jalapeno, spinach, cheese, and 2 farm eggs) and 2 pieces of toast (homemade bread).  There is a pot of half-caf coffee on the warmer.  The bed is made, the bathroom is tidy, I am showered and dressed (and medicated and "vitaminized") and insofar as such a thing is possible, READY FOR THE DAY.

A new schedule, a new way of managing time and space and chores.  I am about to sit down with bookbag, reading specs, reading journal and pen, and READ AND READ AND READ.  It may be what I'm all about, from here on.

After while, I intend to go outdoors for a time, with my hat on, and walk in an intentional way.

But not to do errands.  Tomorrow, errands -- library and pharmacy and grocery store and bank and post office. 

Today, I'm reading and walking.  And eating delicious leftovers; cold roast beef and cold potatoes and carrot/cabbage slaw and carrot sticks and hummus and Washington State black cherries.

Then I'm going to read some more.

Back atcha, anon.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

and a glimpse of Thing #2






"Grandma played with me all morning, and now I am just 'zosted."

(Grandma could use a bit of a nap also!)

Monday, June 23, 2014

"Goin' on a TRIP"

The #1 granddaughter is getting equipped for her new status as a Conscious Traveller later this summer.  You see her above, getting into the skin of the role.  I hope travel is as much fun for her as it has been for her Grandma.

Just home yesterday in the small hours from a cross-country jaunt to a major ecumenical conversation.  A new venue that I hadn't visited before, a style of hospitality I already knew very well.  And we had a very fine time altogether.

I have a suspicion that when the time finally comes for Shady Pines, I am going to have a very fine time there also.  Ecclesial gatherings often mean we are assigned rather small, spartan, sparsely-furnished rooms for our sleeping and ablutions -- and invariably I am as happy as a clam therein.  Maybe because a dorm-room was the first space I  thought of as MINE?  who knows.  But it's quite funny, I think.

This was an especially challenging jaunt in some ways because of various symptoms that appeared about 24 hours before departure...despite the lapse of 64 years since the chicken-pox, and the Zoster vaccine a couple of years ago -- SHINGLES.  So the day of departure along with a haircut and a midday church meeting I found myself speed-dating both my own physician and an optometrist (shingles being particularly bothersome around one EYE, where complications can be serious).  

And then picked up a prescription for formidable big blue pills, finished packing, hired the little boy next door as cat-feeder,and off down the highway to the airport. 

The plane was full and I had a centre-seat, between two genial types returning home to Newfoundland, so conversation was very brisk until they worked out "who they were" with reference to each other, and just exactly how crazy HE had been over HER youngest aunt, and like that.  Then they went to sleep, and I tried to, and by about 2 a.m. I was thinking if someone would just open a door maybe I would try walking home--but the cabin attendant brought me some water and I got my little air-blower turned on cool, and managed a little bit of shuteye with some comfort...

Then a limo to the conference centre, and a rendez-vous with a friend of fifty years' standing, and breakfast, and a bit of a nap, and we were into our ecumenical deliberations.  Part of the work at this session was making videos of each of us reading our essays on very basic questions.  Challenging!  I hadn't worked with a teleprompter before -- and of course this was scheduled on the day that the shingles were most conspicuously LEPROUS.  But I had a little sit-down with myself on the topic of Vanity~~and the lovely young woman directing our videos was equipped with face powder and a big brush~~so that went off all right too.

A very special group of people -- theology nerds, to start with, but there are also aspects of "book club," and "writing group" and heaps of benevolentia mutua animorum as the poet Petrarch called it.

The shingles are (is?) improving.  Feeling quite pleased with myself that I thought of taking my good old-fashioned icebag with me--our hosts showed me where the big icemaker stood in their back kitchen, and on the way home a kindly bartender filled the icebag one final time,so that I could keep everything happily numb throughout the four-hour flight.  I had a row to myself this time, so could stretch my legs and wriggle about as I pleased.

Now emptying bags and working at re-organizing the permanent "go kit" in each of them, and then it's time for the post-trip paperwork...and, in due course, back to the rhubarb fields!

 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

"full of sap and flourishing"


And the end of a rather pretty but not terribly accomplishing kind of a Sunday draws near -- 10:15 p.m. and the sun just setting, lots of light still in the sky, and almost a week left to run before the solstice.

Trying to put some order into my days and nights here, to not very much avail; but it's becoming clearer that certain things like medications and daily tasks will have to be assigned to specific regular times every day.

And one of those tasks will be CALENDAR DRILL.  Twice in the past week I've simply gone oblivious of events I really quite wanted to, and intended to, be present at, and enjoy.  They were written on the calendar -- but I was somehow mesmerized by the thought of a FREE DAY with NOTHING ON THE SCHEDULE, so I forgot what WAS on the schedule, and there you are.

However I did manage today to lay out the daytimer, the weekly white-board calendar, the four-month white-board calendar, and make them all talk to each other.  And then I found time and energy to extirpate a certain number of dead or dying houseplants.

And I did also manage to do a kind of cursory inventory of the pantry, and a survey of the grocery flyers, and then went out to one Wholesaler, one greengrocer, two supermarkets, and the (sh!) liquor store, so we are all well stocked for the moment.  "We" being self and cat, you understand.

Tomorrow I have to pick rhubarb some more, and deliver it to the processors. Then I have: one seminar, two meetings at different sites, and supper with #1 Grandbaby and her parents...all grand and good!

And part of the attempt to improve the shining hour is a return to Morning Prayer.  The title of this post was in this morning's Psalm, Old Style,as a Blessed and Graced Condition of the elderly.  It might have needed the Oxford comma,but as it is I like the ambiguity, being,most days, "full of flourishing," if not "sap."  (Query: is "sap" perhaps the Hebrew equivalent of the better known P and V???) (or maybe "beans and gravy," if that's your locution?)

So for today, "that's all,folks....."


Saturday, June 14, 2014

CATCHING UP AT THE END OF THE WEEK...

Haven't had much energy the last couple of nights to catch up on the blog...

But it's been a nice week of new experiences.  Tuesday turned out to be the Ultimate Retreat Day.  Very simple recipe: alone in a friend's elegant house full of soothing eye-space, big windows; the world's most comfortably supportive chaise longue; a sturdy carry-bag full of fat library books; and a gracious, warm, drowsy schnauzer.  And NO ELECTRONICS.  No screens.  None.  The schnauzer and I read, and slept, and slept, and read, and had one hurried 8 block walk between rain squalls.  Finished the fat library books.  The dog may have been reading while I was asleep.  We took turns.  He was certainly sleeping while I was reading.  Absolute bliss and relaxation.  

Wednesday for a complete change of pace, the Rambler became a Rhubarb Rescuer, equipped with large plastic bags and a little note of two addresses where there was rhubarb that the owners didn't want or need.  The first address there was a small patch of rather scrawny but brilliant ruby rhubarb.  That didn't take long.  The second address there was a rhubarb patch the length of the garage, and anywhere between 20 and 50 years old.  Picked more rhubarb than I could comfortably carry, and that was ONE PLANT...so I conferred with the owner for follow-up visits.

Second part of the day was to take all 35 pounds of rhubarb to the processors, a quartet of women at work in a community-league kitchen, making exotic amazing jelly out of rhubarb juice.  The batch of the moment included juice, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, hot sauce--and I arrived just as they were about to add the GIN.

So I had some exercise outdoors and I engaged with six total strangers, including the grandmother of triplets (because Moms'n'Tots were playing in the hall next to the Rhubarb Kitchen) -- NINE if you count the triplets -- not counting the hard-hatted workmen from Prairie City Power who came down the lane by the rhubarb patch to clear brush from around the power lines.  We exchanged pleasantries and rhubarb recipes and they looked muscular at me and made their bucket-hoist go up and down, you know, the typical exchange between the sexes.  All very amiable.  Part of the campaign Not to Become a Recluse now that I've retired.

And I have several pounds of lovely prime rhubarb to process for myself.  But I think I'll just drink the gin on the side....