Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A soundtrack for life/Simple Ways

We're working on annual reports around here in preparation for our annual congregational meeting. A longtime dream of mine is to have a slideshow/Powerpoint that reviews the year in pictures to begin the meeting and set the tone.

My terrific colleague is working on the photos and I'm working on the soundtrack-- the excerpted song or two that will underscore photos of individuals and activities from last year.

I'm listening to Pandora, which is always a good thing and the closest thing I can find that feels like a soundtrack for my day. Right now it's Jason Mraz, followed by Matt Nathanson. It's a great pick-me-up.

I'm just getting started on music selection. Any suggestions for a great song that would serve as background for a year in review slideshow?

PS; Simple Ways is the latest Gunilla Norris book I've read. It is a lovely set of the simplest kinds of meditations spurred by daily life and objects. It's super!

Monday, January 26, 2009

What a giveaway!

It's a giveaway at Knitsational's blog:

I can't think of when I've been the lucky one, but you never know...

Mundane Monday

Two pounds. That's a start.
DH promises to notice aloud when it starts to show.

Looks like snow here, once again. Whether it snows or not, it's bitterly cold (again) today.

Monday is my day off, and it offers the opportunity to clean up the ping pong table in the basement, which had been Gift Wrapping Central before Christmas.

The basement stairs=my stairmaster.

I wonder how many activity points I can earn with this form of indoor exercise?

Blessings to you this Monday morning.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

For the time being

You who read this blog know that I have a marvelous call to a wonderful, healthy church.

To be sure, there are days that are too full, crises that would threaten to break a heart,all the same nagging, frustrating disappointments that anybody with a hope or a dream faces.

All in all, though,life is good. I have a treasure of a family I feel like I waited forever to find, I am being absolutely steadfast in my commitment to healthy eating and exercise, and to reference a thread of late among cabin-fever Revgals, my dog can fart with the best of 'em, but he's lovable and sweet (have you ever met a golden retriever you didn't like?).

We had a great Sunday-- I'll tell you about the amazing event we had tonight that served so many great purposes that I thought I was going to fall over from grinning at the fun and meaning of it all--and tomorrow's day off will be fine, I'm sure.

But here's the thing: We received such craptastic news on Friday, but it's unbloggable, at least for the moment. I have a heavy heart, despite all that is of good report. So, for the time being, I'll juggle the feeling that life will never be the same with Philippians 4:8.

And so it goes...

Flickr photo

Friday, January 23, 2009

Out in the Open

So, it's like this: I am emotional eater. I eat when I'm happy, I eat when I'm sad.
I use food as a comfort and a reward. When I'm tired, it's just so easy to order take-out, particularly pizza, which my family loves. (Plus, we live in Chicago, where there is no shortage of fabulous pizza options.) Add to the mix my life-long devotion to ice cream, and you sense the issues, I'm sure.

DH and I had a long conversation about all of the great reasons we could think of to spend this year experimenting with not making any unnecessary purchases on clothing, entertainment, just being more frugal. I have a closet full of great clothes that will all fit, with some attention to diet and exercise (but not without!)I'm turning 50 in four months and want to be healthy and fit. I know that it won't get any easier. I know there's no magic in this. I believe that I can be successful, but to be honest, it's maintaining weight loss that's hard for me. This time, I want it to be different.

After much thought, I took the plunge yesterday and signed up for WW. Again. This time, I'm trying the online version, thinking that I can do a lot of tracking and accountability right here at the computer.

It's frustrating and embarrassing to admit that I'm still, after all these years, wrestling with this issue of weight. I've had success with WW before. I hope to again. I'm going to try and think about it as a long-term project, perhaps for the rest of my life. I continue to believe that there are a lot of circumstances in my own life over which I have no control, but that weight does not have to be one of them.
Here goes....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another new day...

This is exciting news....

"But first, Mr. Obama traveled to the National Cathedral for an interfaith prayer service that was also attended by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and former President Bill Clinton and Mrs. Clinton, who all shared a front pew.

The tradition of a national prayer service dates to George Washington. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s inauguration in 1933, it has generally been held at the National Cathedral, an imposing Gothic sanctuary that sits on a hill overlooking the city.

Some new traditions were also being made. The service featured no fewer than 20 interfaith clergy, including woman leaders of the Muslim and Hindu faiths. And for the first time, the preacher was a woman, the Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins, general minister and president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a mainline Protestant denomination.

The service featured a gospel choir of African American children in crisp white shirts and black pants and dresses, many of whom broke into smiles as they filed in on glimpsing the new president. They sang a rocking rendition of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”"

From the New York Times...

A world of hurt, a world of hope

I can't imagine what more I can add to the chorus of voices weighing in on the inauguration. We set up a big screen at work and watched a streaming video of the inauguration. Some of us wept, all of us cheered, we bowed our heads for both Rev. Warren and Rev. Lowry's prayers and surely prayed in our own words, too. It was an amazing day.

It's been fun to be from Chicago this week. Our state has its share of bad press with respect to government, but the tone of this week seems to have affected people of the street. I noticed more folks smiling and making eye contact, exchanging a word with someone the passed on the street. Would that every day held such palpable hope and promise!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Five- some essentials...

Songbird's question for today is accompanied by the song "Take Me, Baby. or Leave Me". She inquires:

Whether it's new friends or new loves or new employers, what are five things people should know about you?

And I reply:

1. I love to listen. I really do. So, in conversation, if you think that I'm not disclosing enough about myself, it's because I'm genuinely interested in your story.

2. I'm only a borderline extrovert. I really need some time alone, now and again, to recharge.

3. Although I am an only child, I think I was really meant to have a bunch of siblings.

4. I have no confidence in the areas of home decorating or accessorizing.

5. I'm not certain what I want to be when I grow up.

Quilt by Leanne Beasley.

Books and Movies

I'm a latecomer to the Julia Spencer-Fleming mystery series, but devoured all six when I had a few days off at New Year's. The writing is great, the character development is wonderful, and it's hard not to relate to Rev. Clare Fergusson, the Episcopal priest whose life is an open book in all of Spencer-Fleming's tales. I loved every installment.

Yesterday I finished Overnight Float, a collaborative mystery written by former Smith and Mt. Holyoke College presidents Jil Ker Conway and Elizabeth Kennan. It reads like a first novel and is not as smooth as the Spencer-Fleming books in style, but the brave protagonist is Rev.Rosemary Stubbs, newly ordained chaplain at fictitious Sanderson College in Vermont. It was a quick read, and as a former college chaplain, I enjoyed the setting of the mystery.

I'm taking the challenge of keeping track of what I'm reading for fun at the bottom of the left hand column of the blog. I'm enjoying reading others' reviews and lists, too.

There are so many great movies out and so many I want to see. I was glad to see Marley & Me over the holidays and laughed and cried as any devoted dog lover would. I'm heading out with our evening adult education class to see Doubt on Sunday. Can't wait...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Friends are dear...

This was a lovely treat!

Blogging is a pretty new world to me. Jan inspired me Jan H. befriended me, and before too long I found Revgals, more friends and all of the deep joy that accompanies authenthic friendship. Hooray, blogging!!!

I'm grateful to Jan,and Serena for the nomination and, way more importantly, for the friendship the award represents.

The sentiment behind the reward is this: "These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

I love their blogs, too, and we have a lot of the same blogging friends.
I love these blogs and treasure the authors thereof:

Katherine e
Laughing Pastor

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Just like the Red Queen....

Here, it takes all the running one can do, just to stay int he same place.

Old year, new year.
Annual reports, for the congregation and other organizations with which I serve.
New officer training and assimilation.
That laundry list of all the things that folks put off talking about or doing until the new year.

It's all happening....waaa!!!!
(I'll have something of substance to say sometime soon....)