Thursday, August 26, 2010


The last couple of weeks have been a good time for the's a cliche, maybe, to talk about "healing," but I certainly do feel more able to function and with more energy than for quite some time.

The trip south of the Longest Undefended Border in the World (!) was a great source of joy.

I should backtrack here a little bit, perhaps. When I was first able to read, we spent a lot of time with my grandparents, who subscribed to a lot of American magazines (because that's what there WAS, children, is why). They were ideal reading for a curious child: "Life" with wonderful photographs, "Look," "Collier's," and of course "The Saturday Evening Post," with plenty of fiction in every issue, terrific cartoons, Norman Rockwell covers, and all.

I was aware that we lived in Canada, and that south of us there was another country called the United States -- we were close to the border, and now and then visited a great-aunt near Seattle. But most of my awareness came from American magazines. And over time I came to the deep conviction that although the bits around the edge might be a bit dodgy, if you got into the very middle part of the United States, you would find that THAT was where the "Good People" lived. It was a pretty untested assumption, but comforting nonetheless.

And then I grew up, or at least got older, and became more worldly-wise, and dismissed that youthful impression with derision.

But every now and then I get to travel into the "very middle part of the United States," and am forced to admit, every time, "By damn, I was right in the first place."

Setting aside for the moment the stellar hospitality of my hosts in the Cheesy Bit of the Very Middle Part -- folks, they even let me cut up the lefse for the ordination dinner, I was so honoured -- just the experience of travel ... from the efforts of all at Teeny Municipal Airport, ticket agents, security crew, jet-bridge attendants, flight attendants, who all but threw me bodily onto a flight for which I turned up so late it was the total strangers I encountered on the people-movers in Enormous Hub of Air Travel...I was flabbergasted, people looked me in the eye and smiled and said "hello there!" Friends, it's downright Uncanadian Behaviour. But I think I like it.

More, another time.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday don't tell me what number

aka, "A woman is gotta DREAM."

Please note total absence of rainfall in this photograph.

Awoke to the gentle trickling sound of rain this morning at 5:45...shortly seguing into gentle roaring sound of wet-dry vac in the basement. This is very boring, I am not going to blog about it any more.

Much to be done today before take-off tomorrow.

I spend too much time trying to sort out the task-chains...every thing that needs doing comes with a great PROBOSCIS of prerequisites aka "But FIRST, I oughta..." until the whole living project begins to look a lot like gridlock, and "teh urgent" once again drives out "teh important" not to mention "teh fun," and so forth and so on.

The weather forecast is "light rain." Light rain, my Left Behind. The sky to the west is the unappetizing colour of a wet wool work sock.

Back downstairs to the levees.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

what, Thursday already???

Oops, missed a day there somehow.

The heat of the last few days has abated. Heavy solid cloud cover this morning with rain in the offing. Suspense...waiting to see whether the minor stopgap measures I've taken will keep rainwater out of my basement.

What's on the board for today? (yogurt yogued, overnight, as hoped for, and has been "jarred up" -- I suppose an intelligent woman would set it in the oven IN the jar it's to be stored in, right? Ok, next time) (cold coffee concentrate is ready to be filtered off).

Unload dishwasher and re-load, I think there is enough lying about to fill it already (blitzed the Science Fair projects on the lower shelves of the fridge in time to get the whole sorry lot out to the curb -- garbage day)...

The laundry's all done and the ironing also...I could pack my bag for the weekend...

Some surface clearing in the kitchen wouldn't hurt, and maybe a bit of baking, as "heating up the house" isn't going to be a problem today.

I've begun sorting OUT my clothes...after years of "shove it in the closet and snatch it out again"...and have discovered a latent luxury that I'm now going to enjoy...I have enough nighties to enjoy a fresh clean one every single night. Wow.

In the sorting process, beginning to fill a bag with stuff I'll not wear again. I should probably tackle my bureau drawers too...I could do that on my lap while I watch television in the evenings.

Meantime I am reading through the two most recent issues of TLS, and the new Anglican Theological Review; there are limericks in the poetry section, and I approve. Interesting article on potential convergence between Episcopalian systematics and the "Emergent" phenomenon. Haven't gotten into the review section yet in any thorough way.

Also floundering about among the bedclothes are Levinas, Beyond the Verse, very tough reading, it would probably be more,um, LIMPID in the original French; and Harvey Cox, Fire from Heaven.

Trying to coordinate some travel plans for what remains of the summer -- and I'd like SOME time on the road before I have to have snow tires restored to Harriet-the-Echo!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

a quiet Tuesday

Not a very accomplishing day. I think if I can put my laundry in order and commence my packing, and get the kitchen tidy enough before bedtime, I'll have done all I needed to do. Tomorrow is also a day.

I'm away next weekend -- a foray to Wisconsin for an ordination...from Prairie Metropolis such excursions ideally begin with the hop to Minneapolis. There WAS an alternate route this time...Seattle, Denver, Chicago...I don't think so!!

Soon after I was ordained I found an extra-long garment bag, which I've used ever since for vestments: first my alb, and after I'd worn it threadbare, cassock, surplice, etc. For about the last five years it has been "non-zippered" and held sketchily closed with an array of safety pins. I want to take my vestments as carry-on baggage on this run, and the safety-pin expedient just doesn't cut it, I think.

So the other night I dug out a nail file and a pair of pliers and went to work on the zipper and managed (fingers crossed) to get the slider first opened up and then closed up again, so as to control MOST of the zipper (the remainder I have sewn together solidly). Happy sigh of accomplishment.

Oh yes! also riding in the vestment bag this trip will be a lighweight washable chasuble; it was a handed-down ordination gift from a Clergy Widow who had originally made it for her husband. Among the happy memories of my first year of ordination are a number of attempts by Clergy Widows to get "THAT cupboard" empty at last--as a result I was very well outfitted, far better than I could have afforded on my own. And now the chasuble is going to another new ordinand...and in HER baggage, to Jerusalem and the Holy Land. A comfortable thought.

And I have emptied three bags of books. Perhaps one more, this evening, in the intervals of laundry, ironing, and dish-washing?

As inspiration, I have printed the Puppy-Face seen above and posted it on the remind myself of WHY I need to put the house in fit condition to harbour a big ol'dog.

Hoping upon my return to open up lines of communication with the nearest breeders of Gordon Setters. Most of the kennels I've looked up specify that they don't even arrange a breeding until they know they have takers for the hypothetical pups. I'm willing to wait, I think the breed is the better for this scrupulosity. It seems a bit odd, I guess, to set my heart on a dog I've never actually seen in the flesh...all I know is what I've read, and what I've been told about the Gordon my grandfather owned long before I was born! I don't want a dog to breed, or to show -- or to hunt!!! -- just a companion... and I love the setter shape and size...not sure I have the strength of character to tolerate the ditziness of an Irish.

I have friends with very well-behaved dogs who are a perfect joy, and friends with dogs which are Hysterical Monsters, so I'm approaching this project with some trepidation...must find my book about the monks of Skete and plumb its depths I guess!

and away we go, again.

{explanation of this image a bit later; bear with me, 'kay?)

I am now embarked upon my sixty-seventh year.

And perhaps I shall try to blog daily, for a while at least, as a discipline (which I sorely need).

Yesterday was a most marvellous an introverted control-freak sort of style: a quiet morning at home with some computer time, a beautiful lunch out with the Daughter Unit, good conversation and a beautiful salad; some quiet contemplation of the backs of my eyelids during the afternoon; a light half-supper; a delightful gathering with the Wise Women of St. Curious to begin reading Ann & Barry Ulanov's Primary Speech together.

Home again, and a second half-supper (left over chicken and rice and Miscellaneous Sauce from Sunday evening)...some television, a snooze on the sofa, a few more hours' sleep properly in my bed -- and from 3 a.m. on, AWAKE. So: tea, and perhaps presently a little toast.

I am carrying about the recollection of several score birthday greetings on my favourite 'social utility' also -- and phone calls, and cards, and wonderful encouraging prezzies (including chocolate cake!!!)

And I am having a bit of a daydream. I like dogs -- well-behaved dogs. I haven't ever had a dog. I am now thinking a dog-shaped thought (assisted by Google). I am thinking about a Gordon Setter...(see pic above).

And now I am going to take my tea, and return to bed, and read some more Harvey Cox on Pentecostalism.