Wednesday, April 30, 2008

thoughts while choosing hymns for Sunday...

And thanks to the good people who supply the daily cup of good news at St. Alban's Cafe, now I have another song I can't shake; you can find it right here. Enjoy.

It's raining here today. Yes, it is. That is rain. All of it. Even the chunky white bits. Rain, do you hear me? Rain.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

a tranquil moment

We've had two beautiful days, too warm even for a in the early evening the clouds have moved in, there have been a few drops of rain, the wind is picking up...the dust smells--I guess the word would be "slaked"...very refreshing.

Up early to take Number One Son and Comely Friend, archaeologists both, to the airport...we had had a very pleasant dinner last night at Big Chain Steak House, sat long over our coffee...went to Big Chain Bookstore to see whether we could find the April 28th issue of the New Yorker with the fine review article on Herodotus. Pause to reflect that it's a pleasure to eat dinner and discuss things with young people who know how to pronounce "Herodotus." (I remember a line from an old, old, old, Saturday Evening Post story, in which a person of yokelish propensities commented, "Ah knowed a feller named Otis, one time, but Ah don't think his first name was Hee-Rod...")

Hustled up the road to MH & U from the to work on the paper pile on the desk. Sent off a letter severing our relationship with our janitorial contractor. Sent off a letter establishing a relationship with a NEW janitorial contractor. Reviewed Vestry minutes. Cleared up some e-mails. Made a few phone calls.

Away downtown to celebrate the noon Eucharist at the Cathedral...with a small congregation, but a bit of conversation with folks I know.

More paperwork and reading, confabs with my Building Committee guys about possible electrical anomalies in the building (pause to twitch all over)...confabs with the Knit-Wits over what to do with all the yarn we garnered from the Rummage Sale (including a lot of old-style Phentex, phew)...confab with a colleague who comes here to do spiritual direction once a month.

And now I'm waiting to see whether anyone shows up for Bible study. If not...HOMEWARDS at a rate of knots, and some housework. I'm on my own now until early July, when the Son Unit returns from his "dig." Just me and the frowsy old cat!

Enquiries from a parishioner or two about the most recent round of "defections" to the Church of the Southern Cone. May I go on record here as stating that I have no objection whatever to senior clergy, bishops, professors of theology, etc., putting themselves under the jurisdiction of the Church of the Southern Cone, PROVIDED that they remove themselves, physically and materially, at the earliest possible date, to Patagonia its own self. And stay there.

Again, I am reminded of a long-ago conversation overheard on a train on British Rail. It was when Bernadette Devlin of fading memory was making all kinds of headlines as an MP for an Ulster riding. One of my fellow passengers OPINED that both Ms. Devlin and the Rev. Dr. Ian Paisley ("both of them, mark you, not one, OR the other, but BOTH") should be transported to the Andaman Islands...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

cabbages and kings...

A quick post before I head for home.

The Rummage is over for another six months. Very lucrative this year. Promising new volunteers, taking all sorts of initiative toward a more rational disposal of STUFF.

And all concerned went home today as full as Tige...we gave them an in-house-catered lunch at 1:30, short pasta (rotini) with a choice of home-made Bolognese sauce or home-augmented store-bought Alfredo with about six cheeses; spring-mix salad greens with balsamic vinaigrette; various bread; vanilla ice-cream and slightly intoxicated mixed berries to top.

We fed 40 people for under a hundred bucks, guys! I have to make notes about quantities to streamline the process next year, or next sale. As Jane Austen said: "They could not all talk [or work, or think, etc. etc.]; but they could all eat." One of her snarlier remarks, I love it.

Also was able to send home some little blue-lidded portions with various folks, to improve their diet for the next day or so.

I bought some Rummage (don't tell my kids). Quite a lot of mystery novels -- Michael Gilbert mostly, whom I never find secondhand because MG fans don't let go of their copies... a nice throw-blanket... some extra fondue forks... and, hurray!!! a 3-D jigsaw puzzle of St. Peter's in Rome.

Alas, tomorrow's sermon is still hanging fire. But what I want to say is something like: "Pay attention! Because the core of who we are and what we believe and what we are all about and what we have to say and what we have to do in this present world is right here this morning in these readings. This is the central stuff, you lot, and we need to take hold of it with both hands, and Not Let Go."

Wow, what terrific lections.

A story from my assistant, about last Sunday's children's talk. He asked them if they knew the word "YEARN" and what it meant. He said most of them looked quite blank, but one boy (about ten) looked very uncomfortable and said, "Well, it has two meanings." And then he explained, "One meaning is to want something very very much. And the other meaning is .... {in a whisper).... PEE."

Don't you love them.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

We wait in hope and live in mystery...

It hasn't snowed again; in fact, today there was quite a lot of melting. Every square foot of earth or pavement that is exposed by and to the sun accelerates the process. Thanks be to God.

Preparations for the spring rummage sale continue. The week started slowly -- people were afraid to venture out with their contributions -- but we have more than made up for it in the last 24 hours.

The question goes up, yet again: "WHERE does all this STUFF come from?" The answer is, in part -- from previous rummage sales!!! I am sure there are some of the more hideous bibelots that have been handed back in for resale twice a year ever since I came.

This year we have a serious marketing conundrum before us -- a MASSIVE collection of souvenir spoons (there is at least one "estate" in this spring's rummage) on earth do we price these???

The greatest hilarity arose this morning, though, when the crew were unpacking another box of "miscellaneous" and came on a compact full of birth-control pills. When the ribaldry had died down a bit, somebody suggested we divvy them up and use them to jazz up our house plants. This may be entirely folklore, but "the word" is that all that estrogen makes African Violets quite colossal...there is even a rumour that one lady got her hoya to bloom by means infusions of birth control pills. I'll keep you posted...

We have had beef minestrone, chicken/mushroom/wild rice soup, and (today) split pea soup with ham sausage (and lots of finely chopped vegetables). Tomorrow, as everybody has behaved nicely -- New England clam chowder.

Then on Saturday there is a LUNCH for all the sale-workers and clean-up crew...Often this is catered from outside. This year, we will cook it in house. I'm anticipating "short" pasta i.e. penne or rotini or some such...a choice of red sauce or white sauce...big leafy salad...bread...and ice cream for dessert. I think it will be collaboratively put together by the Rambler and one of the women in the parish... I have this unslaked desire to chop vegetables...

I'm thinking it's time, again, to try publishing a parish cookbook. We published quite a nice one in 1907, after all. It was one of the two earliest church cookbooks published here in Prairie Province...the "household hints" are priceless.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Snew and more snew...

It has been snowing steadily since last Friday. Check calendars, folks, this is APRIL. The temperature this morning was about five degrees above zero. APRIL. The wind is blowing -- the houses have no snow on their windward roofs, great overhangs on the lee side, which occasionally come whumpfing down...
The roads are beyond description, but little Harriet-the-Echo was dragging her belly in snow on MAJOR THOROUGHFARES this morning on the way to MH&U.
Where, just to keep the pot a-bilin', it is RUMMAGE WEEK.
We have about half the usual crew on site. Praying, profoundly, that this weather breaks between now and Friday night when the sale itself begins.
Vestry met last night, another long meeting but we did a lot of good work and have made motions allotting various funds toward the Boiler Project.
Slickest move of the evening -- I gloat, hear me -- was allowing the partisans of Rummage to talk on and on about their desire to dedicate $2K of proceeds from this current sale (please, Lord!) to a particular Rwandan charity project...
and then EVER...SO...GENTLY... sliding them into unresisting endorsement of Vestry's desire to pull $10K out of Rummage Reserves and transfer it to Boiler Project.
Vestry has legal control of these monies, but "you know how it is"...when the money has been raised by an identifiable group of volunteers...
I laughed a lot, on the way home.
Time to go and make with the chicken/mushroom/wild rice soup for their Tuesday lunch.
Y'all keep warm and spare a kind thought for our spring flowers (they're down there somewhere) and our early-returned's kind of grim.
We're supposed to get another 4" today.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I wouldn't have believed it...

...if I hadn't seen it with these mine eyes.

Thursday was a brilliant day here -- warm sunshine, lovely breezes, birds all hollering in the trees, the whole bit (this morning, it's about 10 degrees above zero, and we have SNOW again. Rough on the tulips etc.)... just a delight to be outdoors, even if my outing was to the nearest cemetery for an interment. A "proper" old-fashioned interment, that is, casket and all.

I had good directions to the plot, and there was the family, all lined up, and there were the myrmidons from the funeral home. And to my joy, one of the myrmidons was carrying the Little Brass Thing -- I want to call it a "dirt dauber," but that's not dignified, I suppose. The Thing, anyway, that you carry sand in, to sprinkle on the casket. Out in the country there is a pile of earth and a bouquet of shovels, and the family lay hold on them appropriately, but in the city we're a bit daintier about the "earth to earth" symbolism, I guess.

Anyhow, my own personal Little Brass Thing has been empty for some time, and I was very glad to see that we were nonetheless provided. I got to "Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy..." and held out my hand for it, tilted it decorously over the casket as we approached "earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust"... about to make the usual little gritty cross... and...

LO AND BEHOLD... it turns out that in the most advanced and fashionable undertakious circles, the Little Brass Thing is now filled with...


Words fail me.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

we cook

A quick post today. Met yesterday afternoon in a Spiritual Direction Peer Support Group. A very good friend is training for Spiritual Direction. Needs a PSG. So we meet monthly and bat around our experiences and feelings.

COOKIES are present. Yesterday she brought oatmeal cookies...when I said, "Oh these ARE good" she rolled her eyes and said, " know the recipe!!!"

Originally from the American Mental Health Association, the (in)famous


In a very large bowl (a big salad bowl, or even preserving kettle), place

3 cups butter or margarine (1.5 lb.), room temperature preferably
3 cups sugar (the browner the better)
3 cups flour (any kind although rye probably isn't a good idea)
6 cups rolled oats (any type)
1 Tbsp. baking soda (I have forgotten this entirely and can't tell the difference).

Wash your hands thoroughly; and then mix with both hands until the mixture is homogeneous (sp?)

Roll in small balls (pingpong sized) and flatten with a moistened fork.
Bake at 350 for 11-12 minutes until nice and brown.

If you're careful you can get 14 dozen out of this recipe. Very helpful in a house containing adolescent males.
They keep well, if stored in rusty old tins labelled "RAT POISON."

that is all.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

welcome home

High point of the day, yesterday -- I drove home after dark, pulled into my driveway about 10 p.m., and just as I was simultaneously turning off the engine (and headlights) and opening my door, there was a swift dark shadow across the headlights and then ...


My lap was full of overjoyed Black Labrador, and my face likewise much kissed: "Oh! you're home! I'm so glad! I was worried! Why were you so late! What kept you! Never mind, now you're home! MWA MWA MWA MWA MWA SLURP!"

The Black Lab, who belongs to my neighbour across the street, is unfailingly glad to see me...but never barks...just LAUNCHES himself at me, often when I'm looking the other way, and if I didn't hear the drumming of his Giant Hooves on the ground I'm sure he'd take me off my feet...

It's nice to evoke such unequivocal joy in somebody!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I know, I know, Tuesday is the High Productivity Day...but this is just ridiculous.

Because I am still without my laptop, my computer work including the Internet stuff is being done in the vacant office formerly occupied by Excellent Assistant Curate, on the rather elderly desktop computer that we provided for him.

It IS quickly we get spoiled with regard to the SPEED at which our servo-mechanisms are supposed to function, whooo-eee.

But all my accumulated tasks are in my own proper office...the one without a computer.

Sooooooo...I carry tasks into the temporary office, one at a time. And I do them. And then I go and get another one.

It is just EERIE how fast things are coming out of the inbox, today.

Maybe this is what I need...a secluded place to get the work done, one piece at a time, and my "proper office" to meet with people, read, and so on...

Wherever I decide to park the new laptop, though -- there will be heavy duty hardware attaching it to the premises!

Monday, April 14, 2008

bloody but unbowed

Hello all,
Just to say I'm still kicking -- the new computer has been ordered -- in the meantime I've been offered another one, which is so entirely kind.

And we had our meeting yesterday to consider the question about the new heating units, and both motions were passed without a dissenting voice.

Which is not to say that we didn't have the necessary complement of "look at me being a jerk" voices before the questions were called.

But fortunately we have good, intelligent, clear, even-tempered parishioners who jump in and rescue the Rambler's BP.

Then family dinner with Son Units #1 and #2, Grandson Unit, Daughter Unit, and Comely Friend of Son Unit #1. We had a very unremarkable ham and a LOT of asparagus, rice and salad and finally strawberries and ice cream. My mother-in-law, now at rest in the bosom of Abraham, used to get the water boiling, THEN go out to the asparagus patch with a sharp-ish knife... Eating asparagus at her house in the spring was an entirely different experience, but what we had last night wasn't bad.

Especially as it was embellished with Peg Bracken's Blender Hollandaise, the bestest & easiest thing to do to a veggie, EVER (also eggs bennie, of course).

For those of you who may not have the I Hate to Cook Book or the I Still Hate to Cook Book--this is how you do it.

In your blender, put 3 large egg yolks, 1/4 tsp. salt, 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, and either "some" cayenne pepper or "some" Tabasco sauce (I use about "two shakes" of whichever my hand lights on first).
Put the lid on the blender.
In a small skillet, melt 1/2 cup of butter or margarine, until it sizzles. DON'T LET IT BROWN!!!
Then...this is why it's good to have two hands, opposable thumbs, etc.:
with one hand, turn on the blender. With the other hand, lift the skillet off the stove. With the first hand, gently lift the lid of the (running) blender. Pour the melted butter into the blender in a thin stream.
When it's all added, turn off the blender.

Et voila! I put the left-overs into the fridge and once cold (and somewhat stiff) -- the best "sandwich butter" EVER.

You will note that there are 3 egg whites, surplus to requirements, still knocking about the kitchen counter.
The thing to do with them, is to make a nice lemon meringue pie; 2 egg yolks in the filling, and 2 + 3 egg whites in the meringue. Any meringue that takes less that 5 egg whites is a Waste of Time and Cream of Tartar. The Ancient Ones have spoken.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Oh my...

I am just this very living minute off the phone with "my IT guy" -- I want a new canon in the books, that says you can't establish a parish until you can demonstrate the presence of a) a Master Plumber/Pipefitter and b) a qualified IT guy on the hypothetical parish roll. And c) would be an electrician.

My IT guy is the beloved young man who took me by the hand to Costco and helped me buy the laptop of cherished memory. Since hearing yesterday's bad news...he has been out there among his contacts locating the best possible deal for a replacement...pronto. He feels he has succeeded: "And let me tell you, in priest-speak -- this sucker's gonna FLY!"

Mr. IT is also the husband of T, who was having such deep postpartum difficulties. She is back in church on Sundays but not ready to chat with people yet.

Excuse me, I need to find some Kleenex, I think.

Thank you for all your kind responses. Yes, we're going to be into online encrypted backup, also bicycle chains anchoring this "flying sucker" to some very heavy piece of furniture...

And as my dear Dad would have said, "Tell me, did ya LEARN anything...."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

oh rage, oh despair

Here's the thing, blogging friends.
In one unsupervised 20 minute period this morning, my cherished laptop was lifted out of my office at MH & U...
Those of you who have been there, will know all about it.
Those of you who haven't, can't imagine.

ALL the sermons. ALL. All the emails.

Were they backed up to disc, the way I was told....surely you jest.

The Rambler goes, sackcloth in hand, in search of the nearest patch of ashes. An order has been placed for potsherds.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Okay here's the thing, about the Music...

LET ME haven't heard our choir, or the mighty Casavant in action...we take our music very seriously, and have begun to make a reputation for very high-end, not necessarily high-church, liturgical music and hymn-singing.
Dear rach, not the "Gaithers" -- that at least would have some ENERGY to it -- but the "Gather" book...contemporary Roman Catholic hymnody...the sad, ironic and frustrating thing is that this music, although apparently less "demanding," is much less suited to vigorous congregational singing than the 18th and 19th century foursquare stuff.
It isn't just a matter of "we can sing only music the Rector likes" can't be, and mustn't be, because the Sunday service is NOT the same as "me programming my Ipod for my own delectation" even if I had one which I don't.
Our BAND leader IS a really fine guitarist, and when he plays a guitar solo it is exquisitely moving, musically sensitive, all the good stuff. And he has quite skilful backup musicians. But they don't accompany congregational singing worth a darn, even when the tunes are undemanding and the words simple to the point of inanity... I love the people in our BAND. Truly I do. Their music doesn't do it for me, but it does for them, and I try to be very aware and tender of that, and of them.
What makes me sad (Reason to Be Sad #187) is not that they don't levitate to--say-- Anglican chant on the Psalms, or "Wachet Auf" or the Widor "Toccata," or the Bedard "Variations on Sine Nomine," but that they don't down deep believe anyone else really does either.
We've had excellent organists in all my time of these young men was playing a wonderful, intricate, exhilarating postlude one Sunday, as I stood listening in the doorway, with a parishioner. As the postlude finished, I said to my parishioner, "Isn't it glorious, and I get to listen to him PRACTISE too" -- my office is adjacent to the Chancel. And the parishioner's response? "Yeah, and I'll bet when he practises he plays stuff he REALLY likes..."

HOWEVER, be that as it may...all is now peace, and I think all our musicians will have appropriate and ample opportunity to glorify God according to the light that is in them, on the Feast of Pentecost.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Where to START...

Today has been approximately a day and a half already, and it ain't over yet.

Yesterday we received official notice that we are to welcome our Primate (think, Presiding Bishop) here at MH & U, to preach and preside at both services on Sunday, May 11th, the Feast of Pentecost (all day long!), Mother's Day in the civic calendar, and -- later in the afternoon -- the consecration of our new Bishop here in Prairie Diocese. (Which is why His Grace will be in ain't just our beaux yeux, alas.)

Much joy, right? A signal honour for a parish. Hasn't happened here in living memory. May not happen again any time soon.

Signal for a collective pulling up of socks and pulling down of vests, shining of shoes, general dusting and buffing, the whole bit.

We shift now into a minor key. Sunday, May 11th, is also, according to our music calendar..."BAND Sunday," which happens once a month between September and June. On BAND Sunday, the music is handled by an aggregation of guitar-players, drummers, maraca-shakers, tambourine-specialists, and the restricted, shall we say. The prevailing style is something between C&W and "Sunday morning at the Folk Music Festival" with occasional infusions from the "Gather" book; or the oeuvre of Steve Bell; now and then something from our own Book of Common Praise, usually originating in the Southern Harmony or other nineteenth-century revival-ish list. Members of the BAND sing, according to the varying gifts that are in them. Meantime the two-manual Casavant pipe-organ stands silent, the seven-foot Yamaha grand, ditto, and the members of the chancel choir, for the most part, are absent altogether...

So. A primatial visit, and the BAND...

Also, possibly, a baptism (I'm incorrigible, you see).

Question. If we have all-the-musicians-we-have, at this very special service, can this be made to work, at all?

Music Director takes up the matter, tentatively, by email, with BAND leader. BAND leader takes umbrage, big time, and sends plangent, embittered email to the Rambler...complaining that he and his gang have been de-spi-sed and re-jec-ted, etc. etc. thereby staking a claim to the lower slopes of Mt. Hurt Feelings.

Brief Machiavellian conference between Music Director and the Rambler, just before previously scheduled face-to-face meeting between MD and BL.

Into which meeting the Rambler erupts, waving printout of BAND Leader's email, and planting her flag firmly on the summit of Mt. Hurt Feelings, emotes as follows: "How COULD you believe that we would do or even contemplate such a thing, first I was concerned and now I am furious, how long have you KNOWN us for pity's sake..." etc., collapse into armchair with wrist to brow.

They want DRAMA, then by the Lord Harry, I'll give them DRAMA till it comes out their noses (cf. quails, Numbers 11:20ff.)

And so the problem was sol-ved, and the organ and choir will make music until Communion, when the BAND will take over with Communion music, anthem, recessional hymn, and postlude.

Returning to her own office in understandable triumph from this confrontation, the Rambler trod heavily on one of her own mouse-traps....

Now all I have left to deal with is the expressed desire of the former Rector of MH&U who retired 25+ years ago (after 22 years in the parish), and has just celebrated the 70th anniversary of his ordination, to return to MH&U in order to be congratulated in person by the flock here. Most of whom, as he does NOT realize, weren't members of the congregation or indeed even BORN when he retired. Thereby not knowing him from Adam's off ox.

And his choice of occasion? Why, May 11th as ever was...

And meantime the building is taken over by film crew...rushing in and out and making strange thumpings and hammerings, as they transform the premises into a facsimile of Our Lady of Perpetual doubt to the outrage of the ancestral spirits, Protestants to a man (and a woman).

oh BTW we did Marriage Prep with eleven couples this weekend, and it ROCKED. A topic for another day!
and tomorrow is also a day.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Say what now?

It began to snow last night during the opening session of our Marriage Preparation weekend. Still snowing hard when I got up this morning...had to stop at the first open supermarket to pick up wherewithal for the noon the time I got across town it had decided to stop fooling about and REALLY REALLY SNOW. I think we got about eight inches in all. It is wet and heavy and sloppy and everybody has forgotten how to drive in it. Some have forgotten that "four wheel DRIVE does not mean four wheel STOP" too.

Arrived unscathed with my tote of soup-groceries, to meet with the Godbook Group (reading God's Advocates I was not in time to have everything chopped up in advance for soup, I made the other Groupers (sorry, that sounds like fish I know), meet in the room next to the upper kitchen, and circle their chairs at the kitchen door, so that I could simultaneously chop vegetables AND contradict what they were saying.

Am the only "GRIL" and only catholic, really, in this group. I decided I might as well go with it and be the Great All-Providing Earthmama...making strong coffee (Fair Trade!) and warming up cinnamon rolls for the book-readers and keeping them provided while within their angle of vision I chopped and chopped and chopped and stirred and stirred and drove everybody MAD with the smell of simmering beef'n'barley'n'everything soup.

The Marriage Preppers have supped up all the soup, assisted by the support couples AND the organist, who got in a bit of practice over the noon hour...again a great morning for the MH&U soundscape, with bookreaders arguing and marriage-preppers discussing and the Sanctuary Guild polishing and arranging and the pipe-organ binding it all together.

Friday, April 4, 2008


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The Friday Five

With this Sunday's gospel reading in mind, that wonderful revelation of Christ to the companions on the Emmaus road. I wonder where you might have been surprised by God's revelation recently.

So with no further waffle I offer you this week's Friday 5:

How has God revealed him/herself to you in a:

1. Book

Too many to list. "Book" would be where I look first, always, from the time I learned to read, which was a fair time ago. At the moment, it would be Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. More about that, below.


Again, lots and lots...

3. Song

Whoops, I missed this one the first time through. How about that big fat unembarrassed C Major chord at the beginning of the 5th Piano Concerto (the "Emperor") by Beethoven? either that or Rhapsody in Blue...the piano arrangement (not that the fully orchestrated one isn't good too...)

4. Another person

This is a way-back, almost 60-year memory. My aunt and uncle used to drive from Ontario to the West Coast for a visit to both sets of grandparents -- every other year, since they couldn't make the round trip in the annual two-week allotted holiday. You do realize we are talking "back in the day," here? One summer when they arrived, my mother, my brother and I were already ensconced at Nana's. Nana lived about 3 miles from Crescent Beach, on Boundary Bay...Paradise Lost...and the Prime Hangable Offense in that household was to ask for ANYTHING. Anyway. Aunt and Uncle and two cousins arrived. And I contemplated them with wonderment. My aunt was beautiful and blonde and sassy, she smoked cigarettes and said "Damn," and yet the sky did not fall. And my uncle -- I know now he was decompressing from a solid week of pounding westward across the northern USA...was leaning on the kitchen counter with his arms folded...when he suddenly, without preamble, looked at me and said, "Aloo [baby name] -- have you got a bathing suit?" I remember thinking with AWE, "Oh he is going to take us to the beach without EVEN BEING ASKED." Which he did. Every single day. Rain and/or shine. We dug clams and chased little crabs in the tidal pools ... and swam, and dug, and all those good things. Without even being was all gold.

5. Creation

Mountains do it for me, because they're huge and I am not expected to do anything about them. Trees do it too...because they get on humbly and faithfully with the business of tree-ing, in spite of being "despitefully used."

Bonus answer: your choice- share something encouraging/ amazing/ humbling that has happened to you recently!

All right...Wednesday this week was kind of tough, ended up in a regional clergy meeting that began very well with an unusual degree of hospsitality, relaxation and camaraderie, prior to the arrival of two colleagues about whom I shall say nothing more at this time. I crept out early under a plea of having to prepare for a nursing-home communion service. Being WAY early for the service, I had time to detour through Small but Well-stocked Church Bookstore, where I bought the Anne Lamott I mentioned in #1. I drove to the nursing home and sat outside in the car in the sun, and read Anne Lamott and ate candied ginger until I felt human again and it was time for our service. You heard it here first: Anne Lamott, and candied ginger. Guaranteed to take the Bad Taste out of your mouth.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Back in the Real World

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Well, isn't this just...disappointing. But many more days like yesterday, and I might spoil my perfect record. For yesterday, dear Gals'n'Pals, was the day I got the e-mail, from the self-appointed Norn-in-chief at MH&U, to inform me that there were too many candidates for Holy Baptism last Sunday (seven is too many? two adults, five adorable infants? Too many?), and it took away from the SPECIALNESS of the day. Oooooooohhhhhhhhhh LAND O' GOSHEN, I said. Approximately.

I have read that in some Buddhist monasteries there is an official "reviler," whose ministry it is to criticize and insult the other monks so as to keep them humble, "Ha! You call THAT meditating? Pshaw!" We're so fortunate, that crucial role is supported by a whole roster of dedicated volunteers here at MH&U.

That said...maybe it (seriously!) helps keep my feet on the ground after all the lovely, friendly, gracious uplifting messages that have come from you since I posted about my Dad. I've never felt SO supported...and I do heartily thank you.