Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I know that I'm tired today. Yesterday was a marathon day of voting and meetings and being "on" and more meetings and counseling and phone calls and more meetings. Oh, and the election, and the returns and the races and the speeches and the tears and the amazement.

But knowing that I'm tired and being rational about it? Two different things.

However, in the midst of the crap I was able to distill a need of mine -- I need to hear that we're doing good ministry here. I know I should be able to see it and sense it on my own, but I'd really love to hear someone else give some indication that we're not messing up entirely.

And really, there are little things -- the thank you card we got from a confirmand, the ability to talk about giving with faith, the encouragement from a curmudgeon to take care of ourselves during this stressful time.

Like I said, knowledge and rationality appear to be on opposite ends of my spectrum. Maybe I need a nap.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


I've posted about cooking before. The process is usually an adventure as I think to myself, "Self, we need to bring a dish!" or "Self, we need to eat!" and then the rummaging and scrounging begins. I also become convinced during this time that we will make do with what we have on hand and will. not. go. to. the. store. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. 
Yesterday we needed to bring a dish, I wasn't going to the store, and I had it in my mind that we should bring a dip. 

Fortunately we had on hand: 
2 packages (blocks) of cream cheese
1 smallish - mediumish wedge of bleu cheese
1/2 cup or so remnant of plain non-fat yogurt
1 small jar of marinated artichoke hearts

I mixed it together, added some salt and crushed pepper, let it chill and served it with crackers. It was good. However, I would try to heat it next time. I think it would be tasty if baked. 

Other options that I considered and vetoed: 
Decorating the edges with almonds (too putzy for travel)
Mixing in walnuts (no walnuts in the house)
Adding marinated mushrooms (thought they'd compete poorly with the artichokes)
Sprinkling with craisins (might do this next time; it would have been good color)

If you happen to have these ingredients on hand, or aren't opposed to going to the store, enjoy! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Not a day goes by without someone calling, stopping by, to see if they can get some assistance. Word spreads like wildfire that there is assistance here, and that, as one person told me, “You’ve got a kind heart, Pastor; my friend said you’re kind.”

If only they knew, I often think, if only they knew that I sit muttering in my office, trying to gain the strength to face another person in need – another young woman with a baby, another addict trying to stay clean, another man who used to be somebody, another kid who should be in college but instead is trying to find a place to take a shower. “You’ve got a kind heart, Reverend.” Those words nearly haunt me as I go about my day.

I was about to leave the office for a minute this afternoon – grab a cup of overpriced coffee to get me through the day and evening, breathe some fresh air, take a break from my computer and to-do list, when my phone rang. “There’s someone here to see you about getting some assistance,” she said. I responded that I’d be there in a minute, and I heard the man take a seat. I sighed loudly in the privacy of my office, and prayed a not very holy prayer.

When I stepped into the hall he was sitting on the stool with one of the devotionals we have available, papers clutched in his hand. “Good afternoon, what can I do for you?” I asked briskly, my mind on my future latte. I recognized him from a previous visit, though I couldn’t remember what I’d helped him with before.

“We were here a few months ago,” he said. “And you helped us out. Well, my wife, well, she passed, and I have to bury her.” His words poured out and he didn’t cry; he spoke as if all of his tears were gone. He unfolded the paper from the mortuary company and explained that this was the cheapest he could find, that she would be cremated, and he had a portion of what they were asking him to pay.

“When did she pass,” I asked him, using the vernacular that he had used, buying myself time to breathe; this was a new request. “Last Tuesday, ma’am; the funeral is Friday,” he said, pointing to the line on the paper. “I can help,” I said, and turned back to my office to prepare the check.

Burial expenses, I thought, feeding the check through the printer. I shook my head and ran my fingers over the itemized list from the funeral home – Type of container: Cardboard box.

This story isn’t about me and my reticence and frustration. Now in the privacy of my office I cry the tears that he didn’t cry when he asked me for help. Mostly they’re tears of gratitude because I am able to help – that I am able to be the means of God’s grace and the face of generosity of God’s people.

I sent him on his way with a handshake and a check and a blessing of God’s peace to be with him. It didn’t seem like enough when he’s about to bury his wife. It hardly seemed like enough at all.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Some thoughts of randomness

I'm not writing enough to get much traffic anymore. 

I'd like to cook more, and start making bread, in that artisan-five-minutes-a-day way. 

Visiting relatives make me want to clean my house. Both because some are amazingly great home-makers, and also because some, well, aren't. Clutter purge ahead! 

On my list of things to do again, hopefully soon: kayak, run, and race. Ok, some of those are new, but still on the list. 

I know the answer and I get it, but why is it so much harder to create a vision for myself than for others or an organization? I know, I know.... 

Monday, July 28, 2008


If you make changes to a check that I've written to help you, and it gets caught, causing me to file a police report and spend much time and anxiety trying to right the wrong that you created, please don't ever call looking for assistance again.

Because when you do?

There's absolutely no freaking way that I'll help you.

I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


The 101-year-old greeter met me at the door in her wheel chair.
Good afternoon, she said. How are you?
I responded, leaning in toward her to shake her hand. And how are you?
Never better, she said with a laugh.
I laughed back and said I was always happy when I was wearing sassy shoes, and so I lifted my leg to show off my blue patent flats and she admired them with a cluck of her tongue and a shake of her head. I’m sure she didn’t think I was anyone’s pastor.

I made my way to his room where he and his wife of 63 years wait for me, smiling as I went. This visiting, after all, while I struggle to make the appointments and even some days to look forward to it, breathes new life into what I do.

I don’t know if they’ll see 64 years together. They might, but they might not.

She’s a remarkable woman, he says to me, looking at her, his eyes filling with tears.
Oh, I don’t know about that, she responds with a modest giggle.

I think you’re both pretty remarkable, I say. And when I think about the truth of that statement – of what they’ve seen and the way they’ve lived and the delight they still take in a life that has changed so drastically the past couple of years – my own eyes fill with tears.
I think you’re both pretty remarkable.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Too something

It's too cliche to say that I've been busy.
More like, I have these half-posts in my head, sort of formulated, and relatively lovely, until I try to write them down at which point they come out clunky, like a toddler wearing heels.

Monday, June 16, 2008


One day last week I spent the afternoon without access to the internet (OK, it was all day, but I was out of the office in the morning), and I realized that I *can* do things without a messaging, and checking various news sites, and and and, though I don't really want to. It took me awhile to find my groove that afternoon and to return phone calls, write checks, stare blankly out the window and realize that's OK, every once in awhile. Though, please, powers-that-be, don't let it be too often.

In the midst of this I discovered the desire to cut things us and paste them on more paper. Some cal it collage. Some call it mixed media. I call it a mild and cheap form of therapy. But I don't keep many supplies in my office -- a circle template, some folders that I repurpose after they've held committee reports and council statements and education proposals from pastors gone by, and some official magazines that I'm getting better at letting go of. I pulled out the file and grabbed a couple of magazines and sat down -- fighting the urge to read, again, the articles, and instead grabbing images -- faces, poetry, words, fonts. Lifting style and vision from the pages with scissor, with tear, with another purpose not yet realized.

Why was I holding this particular issue, I wondered. Over two years old now, and with a cover author that I didn't know (and still don't), it had sat on my shelf, been transferred at least twice from container to container, and still I held onto it, the large ampersand on the cover curling about itself, standout yellow on gray. On the pages were dreams, I realized, some of my dreams from before, from long ago, from yesteryear, from back then. Not realized, those offers and programs called forth from the page, come here, go there, low-residency, top folks, study with the best.

I got part way through the magazine before I started to feel that twinge, that pull, that things that said, this is why you've saved me -- because within these pages there is something more than script on paper, there is something more than programs and offers, there is something other than today or yesterday or even tomorrow -- hope, vision, dream. With that in hand, I wrote this all down, then turned to face the paper again -- scissors and glue, circle and promise, together to create a new vision from old dreams.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


My husband recently got a fancy new phone, you know, a "smartphone" that allows him to check email and send things on a qwerty keypad. It's nice and when he's driving, I use it to check things online and to send an occasional update or email. Mine is a standard flip phone, and it works just fine. However, as I find myself being out of the office more and more, on the road or simply away to places without (free) business centers or even a computer, I dream of being able to check in without having to go home or to the office. It seems silly in some ways to me, but in other ways it's a good use of resources... some might even say in this line of work, that it's good stewardship.

This morning he handed me the fancyschmancy device and said, "read this." Under the banner headline of "Smartphones Now Ringing for Women," the New York Times reported on the trend of women increasingly wanting smartphones -- iphone, blacberry, etc. He hadn't read more than the opening sentences, but as I've lusted after his phone he thought I might find it of interest.

Interesting, yes. Slightly enraging? Yep.

With quotes such as, "Women have been using them for years in business, of course, but many are finding that the phones can also help manage their families’ hectic schedules and keep them in touch with friends" Ms. Holson proceeded to illustrate that women can use a phone (and it doesn't have to be pink! WHAT?! Shock of all shocks!) to keep every bit of their life in order. You know, on top of all of the things that they do in the office. And, better still, it's not seen as "geeky" anymore to be connected. Perhaps if she'd left out the phrase "of course" that particular quote wouldn't have perturbed me quite so much. As if women had just realized that they could use a planner to schedule everything else -- and not. just. work.

Because look -- women can operate technology, too!

(Just for the record: I have nothing against the pink phone. I would happily use one if given the opportunity.)


I finished a book tonight, and toward the end, I got all weepy. OK, by the time I closed the cover, I was wiping hot tears from my cheeks. The book wasn't a literary masterpiece, by any means, but it was touching and sad.

As I was chiding myself for the tears over a silly book, I thought about the other times that I've cried recently -- a movie, a song on the radio. And then I remembered a pattern I've developed. I don't nap, even Sunday afternoons; instead I plow through the day and whatever exhaustion I'm feeling. When evening comes, after dinner and often with a glass of wine, I'll watch Ty's makeover home show. You know the one. We call it the weepy home show -- because I cry. Every. Week. It took me awhile to realize that this emotional release was helpful, necessary, whatever -- but that it is an emotional release.

So it was with the book, the movie, the song. In the many ways that I'm strong in many places, the emotions sneak up on me and I'm discreetly trying to wipe away the wetness on my cheeks before I reach my next destination, or turn the aisle in the store after looking at a particularly touching card.

When I sat down to write this, I thought, "I'm tired. It's been a long weekend." But that statement stretched into a question of week? couple off weeks? month? And so I found myself weeping tonight, tears that slid off the side of my face as I finished my book.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Honored Roads

It’s a long ways, she said. I know it’s a lot to ask. And when I sat down with her today, she handed me a map, copied from a standard atlas. Roads and highways that I’ve come to know, numbers and directions that are being written on my heart in ways that I never would have expected. Stapled to the back of that sheet, which would be available to anyone, was another map. Closer in detail, and seemingly hand-drawn, though that would surprise me, the map showed acreage and owners, creeks (or cricks) and stands of trees.

I would be honored to stand at the graveside, to pour dirt on the casket, to pray for commendation, and to be present as you say your farewells. I would be honored to walk with you, my heels sinking into the rich dirt of this corner set aside for a place of remembrance and holiness. I would be honored to sit and hear you tell stories, to hear your laughter and see your tears, to learn about this man whom you loved, whom you still, will always love, to discover anew what he was all about – service and people, reaching out to those whom he did not know, making a difference with all he knew.

This thing that we do, as pastors, is exhausting and untimely. It’s messy and yucky, and we try to move between bedside and baseball game and babies’ first cries seamlessly. Sometimes that works, and we’re able to slide here and there, filling our wells to drain them into someone else’s. I speak in metaphor and idea; I ponder and reflect and ask “good questions” and at the end of the day, the quiet of the night, with only the tip-tip-clack of nails on keyboard, I wonder if any of it matters. If any of it makes a difference. And I know, really, that it does. That this is belief and faith; that this life (mine, that of a pastor, yours) is all about moving from this thing to that one, about shifting from one to the other and being honored to simply be part.

I’m tired today, and that’s OK. These days have been full of the things that make up life – games and conversations, hands reached out over tables and across chairs in family waiting rooms, heads bowed in prayer and thrown back in laughter. The sun has shone down, making hair warm and brows sweaty, stirring seeds deep in the earth, calling, “Come out! Come out!”

In a couple of days I will drive a couple of hours, probably more with construction and traffic, and when I get there, it will be holy ground: green studded with marble and granite, surrounded by those open-country sounds of early summer, cows and tractors, big trucks and cars on dirt roads. These are not roads I have traveled before, but in the ways of heritage, they are already written in my heart. We will open the earth, speak words and read prayers, we will lift our hearts and commend, and it won’t be far at all.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Every summer we try to "go home." Living hours upon hours away from family has advantages, but we do try to make the pilgrimage each summer, and again sometime in the winter. It's sort of the deal we struck moving so far away. We grumble about it every time, and it's hard to spend time with family in such an intense way, seeing everyone in a short, compact amount of time, trying to make sure that everyone feels like they've had their fair share of us. Of course everyone wishes that there was more time, more days, more moments.

This summer, for a variety of reasons, we don't have anything on the calendar except a lot of times that won't work. In fact, we don't have any sort of non-work related travel on the calendar at all, until October. Perhaps that should change. It might help my outlook on the world, to know that there would be time away.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


I'm the type of person who can watch the same movie over and over and over. Of course not every movie is worthy of such a watching, a casual playing while I do something else, or an intentional burrowing on the couch, blankets and snacks around.

Lorenzo's Oil was one of them. I watched it several times, crying each and every time, awed by the strength of the parents, the dedication and the intensity.

The inspiration for the movie died yesterday at age 30. May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


So much hangs in that moment between question and answer.

Truth? Maybe. Comfort? Probably. Laughter? Possibly.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I'm all full-up, as my kidlet used to say, from this past week. All brimming with inspiration, of speakers and brushes with fame. I'm satiated with friends and connections, new and old. I'm a bit sloshy with the life, and drunk on conversation and idea.
And now I'm back, drawn again to word and immersed in a sacramental life. I'm asking questions again, of myself, my place, my calling, searching for clarity and synchronicity, trying to answer that which I asked others. I'm looking for that yearning bit and trying to stand apart.
It's not easy, this calling, and it's been good to have a break, to realize that no one else lives an especially easy life, either. That there are always obligations and questions, irritations and frustrations.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Trying to find a word.

The place, the people, the time:
Amazing, sacred, full, intense, delightful, unexpected.
Stunning, gracious, good-natured, laughing.
Divine. Quotidian.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Grand Tour Friday Five

From Songbird over at the RevGals:
One of our original ring members, jo(e), wrote yesterday about a trip she and her sisters are taking overseas with their parents, to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Many other RevGals are headed for the Festival of Homiletics in the coming week (click here for information on a RevGals meetup!!).
In honor of these upcoming trips, herewith your Grand Tour Friday Five.

Name five places that fall into the following categories:
1) Favorite Destination -- someplace you've visited once or often and would gladly go again
There are so many!! As someone who loves to travel, there are many places I would gladly go again, so I'll list five in honor of the Friday Five:
Baltimore and Washington DC -- I would gladly go again to explore more than the Inner Harbor, and to simply explore more of the history. (Ok, I know that's two, but I'm considering that it could be done in one visit!)

Hawaii -- I've done the historical and touristy things, but I'd love to go with no other purpose than sitting in the sun and listening to the ocean.

Texas -- for good friends.

Montana -- if for no other reason than to lay on my back and gaze at the stars in Big Sky country.

Grandma's farm -- to lift dirt from the edge of the field and know that there is peace within that heritage of soil.

2) Unfavorite Destination -- someplace you wish you had never been (and why)
Bountiful, Utah -- we drove around there for a very. long. time. before realizing how lost we really were.

3) Fantasy Destination -- someplace to visit if cost and/or time did not matter
New York City, to which I've never been. Of course, I'd also love to visit Greece and have ample time to do both the historical AND the fantasy of a place by the sea and nothing to do but read and enjoy good food.

4) Fictional Destination -- someplace from a book or movie or other art or media form you would love to visit, although it exists only in imagination
I just finished reading The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square by Rosina Lippi, and if for no other reason than to spend a day in the shop Coccoon, I'd love to go there.

5) Funny Destination -- the funniest place name you've ever visited or want to visit
I've got nothin' for this one. Though the name of my hometown is pretty funny, so perhaps I'm sensitive to the funny-named town!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I've chronicled the Saga of My Unwashed Coffee Cups here before.

I washed the collection this morning, and realized that it's one of the tangible signs that I'm getting ready to go away for a bit. I wash my coffee cups. Some people clean their home. I wash cups.

Next week? I do believe it's called room service.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Better than the crossword puzzle

I never realize how entrenched I am in the little routines of my life until I change them. Obvious, perhaps, and yet.... perhaps I should change more than one of them in any given day.

This morning I had to stop and walk myself through the shampoo/rinse/condition/wash/rinse cycle because I'd moved my shampoo.

And this afternoon? I nearly just threw my chewed gum on the carpet of my office because I moved my garbage can.

Try it.

Friday, May 09, 2008


You remind me of words
I said long ago
Words that I'd forgotten
and scenarios 
I had scrubbed clean away. 
You make me laugh
and somehow sad, 
not knowing what
this is all about. 
I scanned over some
pieces today
that represented 
more than the black and white
on the page, 
and that conjured up places
I'd allowed to gather dust. 
Tile by tile
Piece by piece
Creating a bit of 

Friday, May 02, 2008

From the dirt

I raked 10 brown yard bags full of old mulch, leaves I'd banked around trees in the fall, crusted bed toppings that hadn't been tended to in years (?). It felt renewing to uncover the ground and see where things that had been left behind had turned the ground deep and rich, dark and cool. I plunked down some new bulbs and a path and some ridiculous cubic footage of fresh mulch, and visioned a little sitting area, if not for me for the birds. We live on a corner that's busy, though I prefer bustling, it seems to have better resale value though I know it's just semantics. And I love how the kids walk by from school and the neighbors honk and stop to tell me that I'm making them look bad with all I'm doing out there. 
It was cold, but after wielding my rake and the clippers and wearing the gardening gloves, I wiped the sweat away, leaving dark brown streaks across my forehead, remember that you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return. There was life among the decay that had happened over the winter, new leaves on things I thought had died, fresh shoots of things I wish had not survived, tendrils peeking through the ground looking bold and tender. I stood and visioned all sorts of foliage, creating the beds into a mishmash of color and bloom, of green, of life, ridding the corners of their barren brown. A frost warning prevented me from rushing out to stimulate the economy with my garden dreams, but last night a woman said to me, come to my yard, wander about to see what I have, there are lots of shoots, bleeding hearts and cup-plants, and .... and my vision took root again, and I want my hands to retain a speck or three of black beneath the nail, a reminder of the dirt from which I come. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wanting to know

I run and walk in these beautiful circles of people of faith, and sometimes I wish I didn't. Not in a way that says I want to throw it all away, but in a way that I dream of some perspective. How do people not affiliated with the church, any church, see the church -- and not even folks who are hostile or disenchanted, but folks who are just sort of ambivalent, who are churched in culture but not theology. 

Recently I've had the privilege of being back in touch with a college friend, and I've been able to start to formulate some questions, to say, "when we're able to be together, can we talk about these things?" Because I'm curious, not because I want to promote my agenda (as if I had one) or because I want to sell something, or whatever. But because I want to know. 

Because right now, I'm feeling like I don't know much. 

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Available for an afternoon respite:

One, non-napping, slightly sassy, incredibly adorable toddler. Prone to runny noses, but very durable when it comes to falls. Currently struggling with pneumonia, but not letting that get in the way of his trip-planning (must include tractors, fire trucks, trains, and garbage trucks), thomas-watching, dvd-player manipulating, chicken-eating ways. At this very moment, despite repeated attempts for resting, he's in the big blue chair behind me, "reading," with feeling and emphasis, green eggs and ham. Exhausted mama will pack bag before opening wine, she promises. 

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Easter Shoes

Enough said. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I've often written and invited people into a holy exhaustion during this season -- come and worship, I've invited, feel the emotions that heighten and peak, and experience the glorious delight, the fear and joy that come with the resurrection.

I feel that holy exhaustion in a new way today, after having a funeral this morning with the sanctuary still smelling sticky sweet with Easter flowers, the cross still adorned with life and green, the alleluias still ringing in my ears. I feel that ache in my bones and that cloudy, hungover sense that makes me wonder what words are coming out of my mouth, as if I inhabit a different body. The deaths have lined up, one, two, three, and while the other two I will only mourn in my own way, not in the way of a leader, they are still present, and I struggle as always with the grief in the midst of sure knowledge of resurrection and everlasting life. It makes for a good sermon, but with it there is an exhaustion. Some might even say, a holy exhaustion.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Winter, still

It would sit on the ice in the middle of the river for months. People would buy tickets to guess when the ice below it would eventually give way and as the weather began to warm, each time we crossed the bridge -- which we did several times a day -- I would look to see if it was still there. 
I don't remember that my parents ever bought a ticket. I would guess they didn't. But watching the old junked car there was part of my childhood, pondering when the weather would warm enough and the river would run fast enough to break the ice free. 
I don't know how it got there, or how it was retrieved from the water after it went down, but it's one of those images imprinted on my mind. 
Today, I'm not above pondering just when the weather will warm enough to make it feel like spring is pending. Folks at church yesterday said, "By Wednesday, maybe Thursday," and I desperately want to believe them. I'd be thrilled with simply some sunshine, but I certainly won't turn down warmer weather. 
It's been a long winter, and I'm tired. 

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

And on a lighter note...

Some random tidbits from the world around me: 
* A few of the women whose blogs I read are pregnant. I'm excited for these births, even though I rarely (if ever) comment on their blogs. 
* I think chocolate is an acceptable food group for breakfast. Particularly with coffee. 
* I was sick last week. I hate being sick. 
* The whole personal pep talk thing? It should probably be a daily event, if not more. 
* My dog is sleeping very cutely right now. It makes me wonder why he's crazy-dog sometimes. 
* I had a "still, small voice" moment last night that I'm not sure what to make of. One of those times when I hear something in my head so very clearly, but so completely unexpectedly. 
*We're going to a fancy-schmancy dinner and dance this weekend. I'm particularly excited about the dancing option. 
* It's my birthday month. Soon it will be my birthday week. I need to figure out what I want to do for this celebration of my life. 
* If I could stay home and bake and cook all the time, I just might. Of course I know I would go batty and unproductive after about day three, but it's a good fantasy to have in the middle of a meeting. 

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Let it

I just keep thinking, I have to let it go. And I do. Which isn't to say that I will, or that I have. Only that I recognize that I have to. Ugh. I hate that feeling. 

My mentor and I talked at length about this tendency to hold onto things and obsess about them, to let myself have the grace that I would give to someone else, to see that I deserve/need/am worthy of/do indeed receive grace even when I don't usually afford it to myself. 

Why can I preach about God's grace, but I have such a hard time feeling it myself? Maybe I'm OK with God's grace, it's grace for myself that I somehow am too stingy about? 

Let it go, let it go, let it go. 

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Tonight, after a fantastic haircut experience, I went for a drink with a girlfriend. 
And I got carded. 
I don't look that young. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


It's cold, and I'm tired. A wee bit sick, and cranky. Overwhelmed by my to-do list, and my want-to-do list. I've spent much of the past few days in pajamas, with my head in a fog, just not myself. Wanting the sun to shine into the depths of me, and reflect a brightness.
I opened the blinds in my office; perhaps that will help.
A sign of the fog that has descended? Not wanting to plan a birthday celebration for myself, or have anyone else do it, either. I love my birthday. And this morning I told my co-everything that I wasn't sure I wanted a party. Which isn't to say that I won't change my mind, but it's cold, and I'm tired.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Those days of my past

A small box of candy, a treat of some kind -- nothing extravagant, always special, wrapped or tied with ribbon and waiting, always magically waiting on the breakfast plate. 

Having to explain that we weren't doing anything special because he was probably doing something special with her. Wondering why I had to explain this to his friends, seething about the timing and the circumstances, just days before. 

Laughing with a girlfriend over margaritas and chips. 

Receiving not one but two unsigned bouquets, big and beautiful with cryptic messages, clearly from two senders. 
Not remembering many of these days, not thinking that they are really special, but always waiting to see what the day holds. Deliberating about a purchase or plan of my own. What to get the love, and the child who proclaimed as he bounced into our room this morning, "It's Val-en-tine's Day!"  

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Made me day

This morning, as I was getting dressed and particularly loathing my body, our dear sweet child patted my leg and simply said with delight, "You're so soft, Mommy!" And proceeded to pat me in admiration and love.

Sometimes others don't even realize the gift they give us.

Friday, February 08, 2008


Well, my goodness.
I do believe the sun's a-goin' to shine a wee bit.
Aw, shucks. It makes my heart warm just thinkin' about it.

Monday, January 28, 2008


So, before I forget about the fabulous meal that we had tonight, let me jot it down. Because it's not written anywhere else! 

Turkey-Stuffed Mushrooms
Pre-heat oven to 350
De-stem three portabello mushrooms and place upside down in baking dish to fit

Some olive oil, in a skillet
1 small onion, chopped as you like it and set to saute
2 cloves of garlic (or whatever you've got), prepared as you do and set with onion
1 lb of turkey burger (only about 1/3 to be used for this recipe -- freeze rest for chili), browned with onion and garlic

1 leftover baguette chunk from pan-sandwich shop, pulverized in processor
3 slices of provolone cheese, pulverized in processor (apart from bread)
Mix together in bowl

Drain turkey-onion-garlic mixture, and measure out 1/2 cup (or so)
Mix together with bread crumb-cheese mixture

Add some worcestire and soy to the top of the mushrooms; scoop mixture into mushrooms, packing lightly. Top with a splash of the w-sauce, if desired. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve. 

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Did something

Today I was confronted with something I did wrong. It was valid, which makes it suck even more. But I owned up, apologized, and tried to move along. Several hours later, I've clearly not moved on. 
Tonight I  was confronted with something that I did right, couched in a way that made me feel like I did something wrong, or that there was no possible way that I even might have done the right thing. 
For the record? I did. the. right. thing. 
And I wonder why I have authority issues. 

Friday, January 25, 2008

Writing Anyway

I was going to use an external jump for my writing today, and had resolved to do it, so here I am, writing regardless.... and making it up as I go along. You're invited to play, too.

Things I want to do in the coming years, which I'm loosely defining as 5-7-10:
Take a sabbatical
Go on a fantastic vacation
Lose a few pounds
Incorporate more intentional cooking
Go on an art retreat

Places I'd like to go:
New York City

Colors that surround me and give me life:

Things that excite me when they come in the mail:
Hand-addressed envelopes
Catalogues, especially for flowers and home furnishings

Skills I have to get me through the day:
A new inner monologue (actually, a variety from which to choose)

Things that make me happy:
My kidlet saying "lizard" and asking to go see the lizard at the "'quarium"
The circle of people who support me
Knowing that the annual meeting is over for one more year

Sunday, January 13, 2008

What's the opposite...

Of the golden touch? 

Other than my morning? 
Looking for humorous suggestions.... 

Few of mine are fit to print. And not that anything was tragically wrong, but it seemed that everything had something that wasn't right. 

Except my sermon, that is. Thank goodness I pulled myself together to preach because for the first time in a loooooong time I felt like my groove was back in the pulpit where it belongs -- instead of wherever it had been, flitting around a frozen pond somewhere. Hmpf. It better stay put. 

Friday, January 11, 2008

Nuts, oh nuts!

I like them just fine. Usually.
I'm not a fan of walnuts, especially in my brownies or any other baked good.
Cashews are a personal favorite.
Pecans are OK.
Peanuts seem sort of boring and ordinary, but I tolerate them.
Macadamias covered in chocolate or roasted slightly and salty. Yeah. That's good.

But recently? I can't get over the sense that I might be developing an allergy.

I have very little experience with allergies of any kind and feel fortunate that's the case. We're not a family known for food allergies -- on either side, extended or compact. In fact we like most foods, and will even on occasion eat those we don't like just so they don't feel left out. Except my mom has noted that she can't eat nuts, either. And that it used to just be walnuts, but recently it's other nuts, too.

So recently when I've eaten a nut, or it's been in something, and my mouth feels all tingly, I have to wonder if that's just not right. I'm not breaking out into hives, I'm not developing any visible reaction, I don't feel sick. Tingly is about the best I can come up with -- oh, and it doesn't go away right away.

I was hoping it was just walnuts, but the peanuts the other evening in the mix, and the macadamia nut cookie today.... well, yeah. There's that feeling.

Thoughts? Similar experiences? Or, am I just..... ;)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Little Things

Before Christmas I implemented a few things in my office that I have maintained in these days of January:

Music. Thanks to Katherine I discovered the holiday album from Over The Rhine. I listened to it every day. I just plugged my shuffle in, and while I desperately need to update it, I'm currently enjoying some Eddie From Ohio.

Candles. After decorating for a holiday function, I had some unscented candles that remained and I lit them one morning in the cold of December. They have since burned all the way down, but Restoration Hardware had some lovely red unscented candles on significant clearance that now grace the corner of my desk. When I'm feeling frantic, they calm me.

Post-it Mantra. I posted a couple of lists in December that gave some light to the interior monologue/voices in my head. I really couldn't post many of those in the light of day around my office, but one day in a fit of frustration I wrote out the following on a bright post-it and it rests atop my computer screen: "I'll never be balanced. I hope for centered... I pray for focused..."

What gives you life on "those days?" How do you calm the frantics?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Reverse Date

Lunch, movie, pick up child from daycare. I guess it's not really a reverse date as it is a date in a different time zone. Regardless, we had one Monday -- it's been awhile, so it was lovely. 
We saw Juno. 
Go see it. 
Oh, and I cried. 
At the movie, but also? 
During the previews. 
Yep. That's me -- the one in front of you sniffling at the end of a 90-second trailer. 

Friday, January 04, 2008

K1, P1

Days since learning (again) how to k1: 7
Scarves completed: 5
Unfinished Projects from High School Completed: 1
K2, P2 swatches successfully completed: 1
K2, P2 swatches unraveled in frustration: countless
Emotion after discovering a yarn sale: elated
Projects on needles: 2
Most excited about: striped hat