Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Day 19:NaBloPoMo- Blog Fail

I tried to blog every day in November, but life happened, including a family member hospitalized, an unexpected funeral, the router at the manse is on the blink, and I am trying, trying, trying to keep my head above water. I did get to the gym a lot. There's that.
I've accomplished a lot of good stuff since last Friday. But it wasn't National Write a Sermon month, or National Bake Cookies Month or National Visit Lots of People in the Hospital Month. I serendipitously started my Christmas shopping, found amazing yarn for 75% off, and spent a whole Saturday with the good folks of the Presbytery of Chicago. I've cooked some pretty fantastic meals, too. I've thought a lot about our presbytery's desire to look ahead with hope and the resolve to do some things differently. We got very bogged down with the title of "community organizer" for a new staff position, the job description for which was overwhelmingly approved. The title bothered some and excited others. For that exact reason, I was intrigued by the title, because it engaged folks in immediate discussion. Pretty brilliant. As an assembly, we granted the search committee permission to choose the title for the position. I can't wait to see what they decide. So, I've failed at writing a bog post every day for a month, but what I've learned is that having the right tools is important. I think I could have maintained a nineteen day streak if the computer at home were behaving. I'm shaking the dust off that failure nonsense. I didn't meet the challenge, but I blogged consistently for the first half of the month, which is better than I've done in a long time. That's not failure. And I have beautiful new additions to my yarn stash. That's never a fail.

Friday, November 14, 2014

NaBloPoMo- Day 14: Blessings and Thankful Hearts

Our women's group met for lunch yesterday and the soups were phenomenal. The topic for the afternoon was gratitude and one of our parish associates gave the presentation, which was thoughtful and filled with poetry. I was asked to give the blessing. Here's what I shared: Food for Thought-- “A woman once told me that she did not feel the need to reach out to those around her because she prayed every day. Surely, this was enough. But a prayer is about our relationship to God; a blessing is about our relationship to the spark of God in one another. God may not need our attention as badly as the person next to us on the bus or behind us in line in the supermarket. Everyone in the world matters, and so do their blessings. When we bless others, we offer them refuge from an indifferent world. “ (Rachel Naomi Remen)
We Bless Each Other-- Turn to a person next to you and offer a blessing. “May God bless you today with a grateful heart” might be one. Another option: “May God, who loves you, bless you to love others this day.”
Our Table Blessing-- Gracious God, Source of all Blessings, You have been extravagant in your generosity. You have planted within us the seeds of hope. You have nurtured within us the saplings of faith. You have harvested the fruits of your creation and spread before us the feast of all possibility. Words cannot express our thanks with extravagant generosity. May we offer our lives to you in acts of compassion for one another. May we walk gently upon the earth, ever mindful of our gifts of breath, of love, of life itself. Amen. (Anne G. Cohen) Images from here and here and here.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

NaBloPoMo- Day 13: A Trellis

We have a purple clematis that grows outside our house. It's massive and we attach it to its trellis each year with whatever is close by. Sometimes we use twine; one year we had grosgrain ribbon at hand and used it. We've used twist ties from garbage bags, embroidery floss, some of the string we use to tie up our newspapers before recycling them. It does not seem to matter a bit what we use to tie the clematis to the wooden trellis. It stays affixed all season and looks lush and beautiful every year. It is blooming where it's planted and it is thriving.
Part of my formation as a part of the clergy renewal program in which I participated for two years at Our Lady of Grace was to study and to learn about the Rule of St. Benedict. I read a portion of the Rule each day on my Kindle. (I'm hoping St. Benedict doesn't mind a slightly higher tech approach to his brilliant rule. It really works for me.) Another part of that time, which concluded last May, was to write my own rule. We learned about an approach to a personal rule for life being like setting up a trellis on which one's life can be lived. For some reason, for the past six months I have resisted writing a personal rule. Friends in the program have completed theirs and e-mailed them, and with a start, I recall that I need to complete mine, too. (There's a lot of stuff that applies to no one else but me that I put off doing in favor of the triage of life that is really common. I see the pattern. I really do.)
Last week, my friends at the Benedict Inn, which is one of the arms of continuing education and renewal offered by the Sisters of St. Benedict who changed my life (no exaggeration) two years ago, sent this small announcement within their newsletter: "A Trellis that Supports Your Spiritual Life A Rule of Life serves as a trellis to help support your spiritual life. This evening will introduce you to what a Rule of Life is and how it might help you on your own spiritual journey. It is a way to help you pay attention to what makes you a better you! Thursday, Nov. 13, 7-9 PM Sr. Jennifer Mechtild Horner, OSB"
How much more of a nudge do I need? If I lived closer to Indianapolis, this would be the night. Except, I have been introduced to what a Rule of Life is and how it might help me on my own spiritual journey. (Note that the workshop will be held tonight.) My trellis, my rule, definitely needs to include time for reading and personal devotions each day. It needs to include time for intercessory prayer. Some part of the trellis should represent time with my family. Time is fleeting and life is simultaneously strong as iron and fragile as gossamer. I want that time with my nearest and dearest. Some part of the trellis needs to be daily, physical exercise. Duh. Duh. Duh. A portion of the trellis must be a little creativity. I write a lot, so I envision this part being knitting, cooking, quilting as another place in my brain to utilize. I think the feet or the arc of the trellis would represent gratitude. I've had a practice for a while (a blatant steal from my friend ADC) of praying a grateful prayer each morning and then accompanying that prayer with a thank you note to the one for whom I am grateful. I love this practice and it has sustained me in ways I never would have imagined.
My world is filled with people who practice a Rule of Life far better than I. What am I missing? What would you suggest that I add or edit? After hearing from you and considering your great thoughts, I'm ready to call this my rule. Project done. Trellis installed. Life to be savored some more.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NaBloPoMo- Day 12: Looking/Seeing, Hearing/Listening

So, hanging out in doctors' offices and hospital waiting rooms and grocery stores and the gym, for heaven's sake, are teaching me in new ways that we're just too busy as a society. We are pressed by deadlines, billable hours, insurance requirements and the need to Get.Things.Done. In addition to being busy, or crammed full, we're not very patient as a society. It's a little bit scary, because impatience or inattention can lead to error at the worst, or inefficiency, frustration or wasted time, at the least. Prescribing medication for the second time, when the doctor has been warned that the patient does not tolerate it well, leaves everyone comprised. When the patient representative asks someone four times in the span of ten minutes if they have a living will or advance directive, it makes for inside jokes and smiles, but really, it's just an example of inattention and not listening to oneself or others. No, really, what it does is leaves people feeling that they haven't been listened to. And honestly, there's nothing quite like the sting of feeling unseen or unheard. And there's nothing better than those increasingly rare occasions when someone listens well, sees clearly, "gets us". I wish it didn't feel so rare and exotic. Image from here.

NaBloPoMo- Day 11: What a quiet day looks like

Our church office is closed today, but Veterans' Day is one of those funky holidays. Some businesses and schools observe it; others do not. Bank holidays are considered church office holidays where I serve, kind of a planned snow day. It's great for staff morale, but today three of us showed up to take advantage of the phone ringing less frequently, so that we could catch up on some writing with deadlines attached. Hilarity ensued when the phone rang no less often, and we couldn't ignore it. We yelled into the air, "We're closed" and then answered the phone as usual. Folks stopped by and rapped on the door to be let in. We should have been clearer, and we will next time and swap our outgoing voice mail messages for some "office closed" words and place a sign on the outer door indicating that we are closed. Then it really would feel like a quiet day.

NaBloPoMo- Day 10- Be Careful What You Wish For

As it turned out, today was very different than I had hoped it would be. My beloved's test was short and sweet, and I thought it was the only hospital visit of the day. A phone call mid-afternoon brought news that my stepfather's pre-surgical blood test needed to be redone, so we dashed over and got that done. By 5:00 p.m., we learned that the re-test showed a dangerously low sodium level, so the surgery was cancelled and we were advised to head to the emergency room. It was a busy evening at the local ER, and it took three hours and forty five minutes to be seen by a doctor, who admitted my step-dad and I headed home, after he was sent up to the medical floor, for dinner and dog walking. The week is shaping up differently than it began. I got a good pot of soup underway before the day took its unexpected turn, and got a lot of knitting done in the emergency room. Sadly, the trip to the gym got shelved, but there is always tomorrow.

NaBloPoMo- Day 9: Planning

Here's what I started and saved before our home computer crashed. (I really have blogged every day this month. I've just been unable to post.) Tomorrow is quickly filling up with errands, which is part of what a day off is meant for. We'll be up earlier than usual to get my beloved to the hospital for a test, then back quickly for a furnace inspection. After that, the day will be less scheduled, but the to do list will keep me close to home. On days like tomorrow, I enjoy setting some goals to weave into the day. I'm planning to knit a little, read a little, exercise a lot, and make butternut squash soup. This, friends, is the prescription for a perfect day, in my book. Let's hope.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

NaBloPoMo-Day 8: This and That

I spent today doing errands, a little shopping, made some good chili for supper, and had plenty of time for walking, reading and knitting. It was a nice day, doing a little of this and that. I'm feeling ready for a full day of churchy stuff tomorrow.

Friday, November 7, 2014

NaBloPoMo- Day 7: Is this a sprint or a marathon?

When I was 35, I thought nothing of staying up late and then getting up early. I ordinarily worked long hours and was a mom to young children and walked the dog and danced at wedding receptions. I had a lot of energy.
At 55, I am discovering that there is a wall, and I hit it regularly. Early and often. I am keenly aware of how much I benefit from a good night's sleep, from adequate hydration and sunlight, and an occasional change of scenery, which is the human equivalent of repotting a plant, I think. And in contrast, I am just as aware of how too little sleep, skipping meals, not drinking enough water, skimping on the dogs' walks, and not scheduling fun (preferably outdoor fun) is just.plain.stupid. I don't need any reminders that (my)life is stressful. Most of us lead stressful lives. Some of the stress is positive and life-giving. Some of it is draining, soul-sucking. I have a friend who sets a beautiful table and cooks healthy, vegan fare, just for herself. She posts a picture on her Facebook wall, and they are a sight to behold and cause envy, at least in me. Supreme self-care.
Another friend heads to the gym for CrossFit training at 5:00 a.m. I am sure it's part of her self-care. My beloved spends time with Tetris, arranging puzzle pieces, perhaps because it's one place where things are neat and orderly and the round comes to an end. So many tasks in our lives are repetitive. Some of us have chronic conditions, or illness that is hard to diagnose, or jobs that are not fulfilling and life is about endurance more than it is about joy. Running a marathon is not the same as being a sprinter. On-going circumstances are different than ones that have a beginning and an end. The possibility of recurrence of an illness, perhaps, creates a different sort of race. And how one trains for that which is chronic, long-lasting or without an end in sight is very different than situations that resolve or stabilize more quickly. Friends along the race course help immensely. I know that for sure. People who understand without saying a word or are funny and shout from the side of the course, "You can do it! And the same medal is waiting for you at the finish as the Kenyans!!" are as or more effective than ibuprofen. Friends who remember to ask about a person who going through something chronic are as dear as those who deliver casseroles. A text that says, "Hope this test brings answers" is as golden as a Hallmark card.
I'm so grateful for a circle of friends and family who cheer like bad boys and girls. I am still looking for my ritual, for that which refills me when I get to Heartbreak Hill and hit the wall. I am sure that the secret is to have a practice of some sort, whether it's prayer, yoga, knitting, cooking, tennis, journaling, observing Sabbath that postpones wall-hitting. I still haven't found what I'm looking for, but I will. And whether it's a sprint or a marathon, I feel sure that when I do figure out my self-care practice, I'll feel 35 again. Images from Flickr, Susan, and the Mini-Marathon.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

NaBloPoMo- Day 6: A World of Great Need

The sequence of events unfolded in this way: This past summer, several members of the congregation I serve saw this video on YouTube, which led to a conversation about creating backpacks to distribute to homeless neighbors in need. Our Vacation Bible School project took shape and many contributed backpacks and useful items to go in the backpacks. Last week, the topic of our second hour intergenerational education offering was loving our neighbors and one of the options to attend was a great presentation by one of our members on what she was learning about being a thoughtful responder to homeless people in our midst. Her involvement was prompted by good conversations she and her husband had been having with their children about how to respond to the need. She shared the video above, as well as this one and some great tips on having conversations filled with compassion and dignity with people we encounter. The backpack project took shape for us, with assembly and note writing, so that recipients would receive a warm and supportive message along with tangible items such as socks, hats, gloves, food items, personal hygiene products and more. Folks who attend the class that morning were invited to take a filled backpack to offer, if they wished, or allow other volunteers to take any remaining backpacks to our local shelter.
I had occasion to be in Chicago yesterday and passed a lot of homeless men and women who were asking for assistance or carried signs, or were street musicians. Most of them had backpacks. After a hospital visit and lunch with a friend, I was walking down Michigan Avenue on my way to the train and passed a young man whose cardboard sign read, "I'm just trying to support my family." I stopped to talk with him and learned that he has two small children and a wife and that they have been homeless for six months because he was unable to find a job after returning from being stationed in Iraq. We talked for a few more moments and then I asked if I might give him the backpack from our church and what it contained. He agreed and looked inside. "May I share this?" he asked. I assured him that it was his to do with as he pleased. "My children haven't eaten this week," he said. I told him that I hoped he would find some helpful things and that I would keep him and his family in my prayers. We each said "God bless you" to the other, with lots of feeling, and I cried the rest of the walk to Union Station. I hope the backpack made some small difference in the young man's day. We live in a world of great, sometimes overwhelming need. But if feels much better to notice and engage with a person in need than to walk by as if he or she were invisible. I'm going to keep some backpacks handy in my car for future encounters. And I think I'll be keeping a gift card for food in my wallet as well. I hope these are good faith gestures.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

NaBloPoMo-Day 5: Collecting Sounds

I learned a mindfulness technique earlier this year, in which one is still and listens for ten distinct sounds. It has become my favorite thing to do while waiting. I walk the dogs and collect sounds. I ride the train and scan for conversation, music, train wheels, babies cooing. I sit in doctor's office waiting rooms and collect the sounds around me.I collected sounds as I walked down Michigan Avenue today. I am calmer because of this practice and I know I am less anxious. I love this practice.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

NaBloPoMo- Day 4: Just an ordinary day

Like many, many people, I voted today. Like many, I went to work. Like so many, I got a lot done, but none of it was on my to do list.
I didn't get to the gym. I walked the dogs a couple of times. I exchanged texts with our second born. I got to attend four meetings with really wonderful people and we did some pretty creative work. I have some reading to catch up on, some writing that I've put off. I have a great salmon recipe that will have to wait until tomorrow.
I've managed to blog for four days in a row. My sisters-in-law are meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida this week to celebrate a big birthday one of them recently observed.
This is more of a list than a blog post, but it's getting late, and I'll be more inspired tomorrow.

Monday, November 3, 2014

NaBloPoMo: Day 3- Meet George

Here's a story of a trip that ended differently than it began. George is almost nine months old now. He's part Azorean Cattle Dog and part American bulldog. One winter day earlier this year, our daughter and son-in-law, C and B, went to a Golden Retriever adoption event near their home in suburban Cleveland and a small, black puppy caught their eye.
The rescue group that was sponsoring eight week old George talked to C and B about him, and after playing with him for a while, they went home to prepare to be foster parents, with the option to adopt baby George. Everyone got along famously. Fast forward to August, and life has changed a lot. New jobs in a new state for C and B, and George is living at our house while they get settled. It may be a little while...
George is a very active, large puppy these days. We are walking him, playing with him, working on training ourselves and him, and generally having a great time. He's smart and loving and gets along really well with Lucy, our 5 year old Golden. We're not very popular on neighborhood walks right now, as George's aggressive bark is unappealing to joggers, older adults, people who are trying to sleep, squirrels, other dogs, and children and teenagers. We hope that will change.
We're proud, tired grandparents, and we know that C and B miss him very much. We will be glad when they're back together for keeps, but it will be a much quieter and subdued manse when George is back with his folks. In the meantime, we're throwing a lot of tennis balls, talking lots of walks, and are thankful for the time George is hanging out with us.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

NaBloPoMo: Day 2-- Sainted Colleagues

It's All Saints' Day. We read the names of church members who had passed away in the previous year. We chose to include their names in the Great Prayer of Thanksgiving, just prior to celebrating communion. It was a pretty moving list... We also included a new little ritual and made prayer flags from strips of fabric. Folks were invited to write names on the fabric pieces. They were collected and strung on a string and the string of prayer flags was hung outdoors from wall to wall on our porte-cochere. It was colorful and animated by the breeze we have today. I hope we did a decent job in worship today remembering the departed. I kept thinking about my parish colleagues this morning. I've been very blessed, most especially over the last eleven years, to work with talented, creative people who are fun and thoughtful and flexible and deeply committed to their work. I have my grave shortcomings. I don't always pace myself well, and then I'm tired and cranky. I want to learn more about the art of coaching, so that I can help train leaders to be even more effective. I want to be more effective. too. I want to help others set their dreams in motion. I have some dreams as well, as does this terrific congregation. In the meantime, it has been a special joy that I do not take for granted, to work with amazing colleagues, past and present. I thank God for Tom and Ashley-Anne and Matt, for Carolyn and Joyce, for Therese and Chris, Marilyn, Alison, Patti and Stephanie, for Kurt, Elaine and Kristene. Thanks, God, for sainted colleagues.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

NaBloPoMo- Day One: Of Saints and Sojourners

It's All Saints' Day and it's also the start of National Blog Post Month, and I care about both. November 1 is one of my favorite holidays because I have long loved the notion that "we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses." We are all the sum of our experiences, our genetics, and our relationships. I am so very grateful for the people who have shaped all of those for me. Tomorrow morning in worship we'll attempt to create some space for remembering those we've loved who are part of the Church Triumphant by offering people strips of fabric in autumn colors on which they can write the name or names of those who have died. We'll collect them, and tie the strips to the branches of a shapely, bare tree in the church yard. It'll be a prayer tree. I hope it's well received. There is no shortage of names to write down. I'll likely write down Betsy's name tomorrow. Not a day goes by that I do not recall her smile and zest for living or quote her, recalling her tenacious hold upon recounting that which is of good report. I met Betsy in 2003. She was the clerk of Session at the church I currently serve, and was deeply involved in almost every part of the life of the congregation. She was a dream of a church member and a person who loved deeply. When she passed away, so many women claimed her as their best friend. She made everyone she encountered feel loved. She packed so much living into sixty short years.
There's a hymn that sings of living saints, and I have a slideshow in my head of those folks, too. There's my spouse, who plays with pain every day and works so hard at not letting it interfere with living. There's the woman in Indianapolis who is changing lives every day simply by living out her vow to the rule of St. Benedict. There's my colleague in ministry in New York who has lived the last 40+ years with an abiding concern for the poor and disenfranchised that has transformed thousands of lives. I am so grateful for the journey, and grateful for those whose paths have crossed my own.
Quilt image found here. Path image found here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Scanning for Goodness

I remember a conversation I had a few years ago with a colleague who is an oncology and neo-natal chaplain. "How do you navigate through such challenging cases?" I asked her. "I try to be a sieve rather than a sponge." What wisdom. Yesterday's sad news from Canada and the ongoing wound that is Ferguson and so many other places remind us that the world is filled with sorrow and pain. Many days I feel like a magnet for the hard news and the sadness that seems to engulf people. I'm trying to be a sieve. I'm heading to the gym today to meet with a trainer and figure out a routine that will kick up (kick in) some mighty fine endorphins. I'm watching those cute panda videos, and I'm making sure to watch Jimmy Fallon's opening monologue (at least). He makes me laugh. I'm taking chances, and listening and engaging with people who might want to tell me something good. It happened last night. My friend and mentor was discussing the cosmos with his godson on Facebook, and I read a line of their conversation that made me smile. The godson referred to a galaxy as a "wallop of stars" and I jumped in and commented. A lovely conversation ensued, and now I'm thinking good thoughts all morning about amazing minds and some of the wonderful uses of technology and social media that allow a deaf young man and two inquisitive pastors to discuss that which amazes. I'm taking to heart paragraphs like this one from the book I'm using as a devotional: "We live in a both/and world. We meditate on the teaching of YHWH, yet we also experience the way of the world upon us... We are at all times the righteous as well as the wicked. We are all sinners seeking righteousness-- that is, seeking to be in right relationship with God, self, and neighbor." (Jann Cather Weaver-p.509) In Mr. Rogers' words, I'm "looking for the helpers." I'm scanning the news for reports of goodness, rather than just the ways we fail one another and cause one another suffering, or the litany of lament that we know by heart. Image from Wikipedia- dwarf galaxy: "a flock of stars"

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Habit Forming

Those  who know me well know that I'm trying hard to get back in the habit of blogging. I would welcome any and all suggestions as I try to make this habit stick. Over the years I've written "Morning Pages" a la Julia Cameron, and I've gotten in  the groove with, but I'm not doing either of those right now. For me there's a bit of a hurdle to overcome with blogging, because it's so much more public than the Morning Pages or It's that "for public consumption" part that's tripping me up. It feels self-conscious. I wonder how to get over that?

I have some good habits. I have some poor ones. I've broken some poor habits and I've let some good habits slide, too. Several articles on the Web suggest that blogging can help reduce stress. Perhaps that is my hook. I'm walking to reduce stress. I'm paying really close attention to nutrition as another avenue toward alleviating it. I'm watching panda videos, since Good Morning America's health correspondent touts fun panda videos as stress-reducing.

You know this panda video, don't you?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Five: Random!

I'm grateful for this prompt today. Birthing the sermon, preparing for a wedding, meeting with a family whose two young children will be baptized on Sunday have all conspired to drain me of creativity for blogging. Thanks, RevGalBlogPals, for this prompt! Random Friday Five is back! 1. If you could sneak away anywhere this weekend, right now, all expenses paid, where would you go and what would you do? Anywhere? Really? No surprise, I'd go to the beach. Anyone can come with me, puppies included. We will walk on the beach. We will eat snacks. We will take naps. It will be wonderful. 2. What is for lunch today? Shoot. Missed it. 3. Along that first-FF-I-ever-played theme, what are you wearing today? Black jjill dress, cardigan, black & white infinity scarf, fitflops. #shoefail. 4. Along the Today Theme, what are you doing today? See above + a ridiculously fun church staff outing to a fundraiser for our Cuban partner congregation. Viva Cuba! 5. Along the random theme, what is your favorite scent, and why? How fun! I just discovered Demeter, the fragrance company that turns human beings into Yankee candles, thanks to their interesting, "lifelike" scents. My first order came today. My favorite: "Salt air". See you at the beach!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

This is the day

I'm clearly not yet back into the rhythm of blogging regularly, but I want to get there. I'm giving some serious thought to returning to Julia Cameron's wonderful practice of "morning pages" that she outlines in The Artist's Way. I had a wonderful time writing those pages, once upon a time. Then I moved to the website called, which was great, and I think I shrunk back into a non-blogging hole. I love reading other people's blogs, but when I consider why I don't blog, I think it's about self-consciousness. I'm not persuaded that I have anything worthwhile to offer. I'm very shy about anything that seems like self-promotion. I admire it in others, but can't seem to get there myself. So, what about today, this day that God has made? On this day, which is overcast and chilly here in Chicago, in contrast to the cloudless, warm, beautiful day it was thirteen years ago when the beauty of the morning changed so abruptly, I think it's wise to pause and be still; to remember and be so grateful for the helpers, as Mr. Rogers is famous for having said. To be mindful that we have such a long, long road to peace and understanding in our world, and to commit ourselves again to the gift and the challenge of being peacemakers.

Friday, August 8, 2014

It's just random.

I wish I could blog about all of the random things that happened today, and it's only 7:00 p.m. There's more time for more random things to happen. It's all pretty much unbloggable, but some of it is funny, including the wanderer who entered the building first thing this morning and proceeded to scope out the place (we found some electronic equipment "fingered")but not before he stopped to use the bathroom. Really? I went to a colleague's farewell reception today, only to discover that I was slated to speak at the formal program prior. Didn't have a clue, and arrived in more casual clothes (but not jeans). Seriously. Had a whole bunch of random encounters today, including someone who was looking for a house, not a workplace, asked if I was "Charlotte" and then showed me a piece of paper with a name and address that was not far away, but not near, however the person's name was not Charlotte. Okay..... Had two cell phone missed calls this afternoon; one was from Jamaica, and while I was trying to reverse lookup the other number, my landline rang and it was my son, calling from that number. He thinks he sprained his ankle because half (???) of the power is off in his apartment and he tripped and rolled his ankle. I'm not sure why he called, because he was already elevating and icing it. I could add no further wisdom, except anti-inflammatories. Sigh.... Two long distance requests for recipes needed soon, strange paraphernalia in the yard, a dog with a drippy eye, and all of the usual spinning and symptoms and complaints at the manse. Now I'm sitting at the church waiting for the terrific Properties elder to come and see about the text he received from another church employee that there's a leak in the hydraulic room for the elevator. It sounds like an intermittent version of the Rainforest Café. This day isn't over. Random count: easily a dozen random things. I have no pithy way to connect this to Jesus or the Church or anything. It's just random. Enough of that. flikr photo by MTSOfan
Here's a review I wrote from a July installment of the Englewood Review of Books.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Long time, no see

I have not blogged here in over a year. Today feels like a good day to begin again, as with so many things. I'm a big fan of Jennifer Boykin, whose work with women and resilience really speaks to my heart. I'm hard at work at getting unstuck: thinking about and being intentional about taking better care of myself so that I can be strong and creative and thoughtful in every area of my life. I think Facebook took up the time that I used to spend reading others' blogs and blogging occasionally myself. Facebook is great, but as one friend wrote, "it's like passing notes in the hallway at school." (Thanks for that image, Katherine Willis Pershey.) I think I'm at a time in my life where I need a little more conversation....a cup of coffee and some musing about books and art and joy. Maybe writing here will help with that. I hardly remember how to add links and photos. Time to try. Time to get back on this reflective horse. Flickr photo by Andy Allan.