Wednesday, July 29, 2009

and also...

...there were kingfishers...

back at it.

Back at the desk since yesterday morning...started both days, however, elsewhere, the dentist yesterday (Gold-Tooth Gertie, that's me) and this morning at the lab. Bloodwork accomplished promptly...but Dr. B was very thorough, BHH, in her requisition this time around, and I left FURNISHED with a specimen kit and elaborate instructions covering the next three days. Actually, the next six, since one can't take Vitamin C for three days beforehand or the three days during. (The diagnosis is "scurvy," you say?)

And that's ALL I want to say about that. Believe me.

Time away was lovely. Blazing hot weather, and mountains, and hot springs, and birds, and flowers, and a sufficiency of mammalia.

A great initial glee in the whole thing upon arrival at the portal of our National Mountain Wonderland. I asked for an annual pass (hang-tag, goes on the rear-view mirror).

"Yes, ma'am; tell me, are you a senior?"
"Well, in two weeks I'll be a senior."
"Thank you, ma'am, then you're a senior."

So on that splendidly logical basis I have a senior's park pass, which in turn entitled (!) me to all sorts of dizzying discounts, sometimes as much as fifty cents.

And I thought -- "I'm an OLD LADY!!! I have a government-issue hang-tag, that says so, in both official languages! Woot!!! Now let's see, what can I get away with, on this basis?"

The three "B's" suggest themselves -- Birding, Botanizing, and Badgering total strangers with pointless reminiscences...

The Birding was fun -- dozens and dozens of OSPREYS along the way. And I even watched one fishing (not catching, alas)... they jump into the water feet first like a little boy off a diving board, with a great splash, going completely out of sight. Then after emerging, on about the fourth wingbeat, they shake themselves dry in midair, like a wet dog only airborne. Just wonderful...

Also on the list a white-crowned sparrow, a hummingbird, and a three-toed woodpecker. I appreciate that to non-bird people this will not convey a great deal. But it was a kind of thrill even so.

Botanizing is made easier with a digital camera (new toy); just take a pic of that sucker and haul it back to the shelter of vehicle or motel and thumb through the flower guide until a match appears... I now feel confident I can identify Linnaea borealis as far away as I can see it. Which isn't far, it's about matchhead-sized.

When it comes to flowers'n'them, I realize -- I don't even know the language of description yet. "It has leaves, some, and a stem, and a flower, and it's red, and it's not a carnation..." but an axil? a carpal? a drupe? all terra incognita.

NEVER MIND. These things can be learned, that's the good news.

Off to photocopy the Life List from Peterson's Guide to Western Birds!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Dear all,

Deep in the moun-TAINS and having the most wonderful time.
Practising to be all OLD and everything. It's a hoot.
And I'm happy to report that the osprey population is almost excessively healthy and full of bumptious good spirits in these parts.
That is all.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I've been at home now for two days, practising to be retired. So far it's lovely!
Heading out in two more sleeps for my default destination in the hot-spring zone of the neighbouring province...bearing all manner of groceries and holiday gear including a brand-new digital camera.

This is a breakthrough, folks, I started with a Baby Brownie, took 8-exposure 127 daylight film, and had no power assist of any kind... and lasted me nearly 30 years. Near the end of that time it filled in a photographic gap and actually took COLOUR pictures of Big Ol' Mountain...and the 127 had such big negatives that great, great prints resulted.

Won't be quite the same thrill with the new baby Nikon I am sure!

home to clean out the car and the coolers and get the ice packs frozen.

Y'all behave, now.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Eavesdropping... a feature of this office, with its three separate doors all opening into different spaces...and, frequently, people working and conversing in all three.

The parish IT Guy is working with his good buddy, not Mad Dog, another good buddy, installing CABLE as wireless internet is not all that practical given the amount of BRICK in the establishment. From time to time they give tongue, upon discovering some new eccentricity in the architecture.

Envelope Secretary comes by and gives Wonder Secketry the gears because of her use of the Rambler's lovely pink angle-arm reading lamp (from IKEA, yet)...the old ceiling fluorescents in Outer Office being v. feeble and flickery. Apparently it takes more Anglicans than we can muster at the moment, to change a light bulb, or to change THESE light bulbs.

My face is still about half-frozen, adding to the chill dignity of my demeanour no doubt. Temporary crown installed, lower left.

Briefing Wonder Curate to tackle an end-of-life pastoral situation rapidly approaching... as I am about to betake myself into the pointy bits of Adjacent Province for about a week.

Time to do another small binge of clean-up, here.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Found again...

...after it had been tucked away in an old journal for about fifteen years...I first read it when I was just getting started in ministry. It holds up well!
Stepping Westward

What is green in me
darkens, muscadine.
If woman is inconstant,
good, I am faithful to
ebb and flow, I fall
in season and now
is a time of ripening.
If her part
is to be true,
a north star,
good, I hold steady
in the black sky
and vanish by day,
yet burn there
in blue or above
quilts of cloud.
There is no savor
more sweet, more salt
than to be glad to be
what, woman,
and who, myself,
I am, a shadow
that grows longer as the sun
moves, drawn out
on a thread of wonder.
If I bear burdens
they begin to be remembered
as gifts, goods, a basket
of bread that hurts
my shoulders but closes me
in fragrance. I can
eat as I go.

Denise Levertov

Thursday, July 9, 2009

a propos of this week's events in Prairie Metropolis, and elsewhere...

Oh, the glamor, and the clamor that attends the affairs of state
tend to fascinate the rabble and impress some folks as great.
But the truth about the matter in terms of loss and gain,
there ain't one inauguration worth a good, slow, two inch rain.
-Carlos Ashley
1904 - 1993

"Inaugurations" being in the same list with the pompes funebres of over-publicized popular entertainers...and the liturgical faux pas of elected officials...and you can fill in your own list, I think.

A tip of the Rambler-Hat to the Fraternal Unit for the quotation!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

in which the Rambler rejoices some more....


Nice steady pounding.

Thanks be to God.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Signs of the Apocalypse...

So you know the feeling that NOW you've at last seen everything? And what a fleeting state that is.

Departing from the premises of Most Holy & Undivided on a recent late Saturday afternoon...I observed a wedding party, bride, groom, parents, attendants, the entire catastrophe, cheerfully having their wedding photos taken.

ON the premises of MH & U. Where they had NOT been married, and to which they were Complete and Total Strangers...

Could not figure out how to smite them hip and/or thigh with mildew and blasting as per the prophet -- without Spoiling the Poor Girl's Wedding, which one would rather not do... so drove away. Did not even drive over the bride's father's foot, which was in the driveway and therefore Fair Game.

but did you EVER?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

in which the Rambler experiences disproportionate elation...

Things that produce euphoria (this week, anyhow):

1. Cathedral staff who address the parochial clergy (on first acquaintance), as
"Hon" -- "Hi, Hon, are you here to do the noon Eucharist?"
2. Bright sun after hard rain...
3. Parish knitters chowing down on year-end lunch -- roast beef, baked ham, and all the farm style go-withs -- prepared by "Fabric Committee" aka Old Guys That Fix Stuff...
4. Long walks with fellow clergy and amiable canines.
5. Beautiful new T-shirt logo'ed "MH & U Knit Wits"...
6. Second-hand compliments
7. Second-hand compliments to other family members: "Hey, I didn't know he was your brother!!! What an awesome teacher!!!"
8. Breakfast with old friends.
9. Flags and fireworks...
10. Beethoven piano sonatas as drive-to-work music -- just me and Alfred Brendel, woot woot.