Saturday, January 31, 2009

i love words!

the volcano in a peaceful repose

Yesterday I was listening to NPR while on the road doing some errands and they were talking to a scientist about the imminent eruption of Mt. Redoubt (yes, that is really its name) in Alaska. In the course of the conversation, the scientist (I’m sure there’s a name for his specialty—he may be more than a seismologist), referred to the “seismicity” of activity related to the volcano. Love it! Seismicity. It feels good on the tongue.

I began to imagine uses for it in daily conversation. Like, “the seismicity of your mood does not bode well.” Or, “I’ve never seen anything like the seismicity of last night’s party!”

So your challenge for today is to use seismicity in a sentence. At least one. Go for a record if you choose, and report in on your results.

I’ll help you get started by sharing Webster’s definition (which, of course, refers back to another word).
seis-mic-ity, noun. 1) the property or state of being seismic 2) the frequency, intensity, etc. of earthquake activity in a given region.
seis-mic adj. to excite, shake, shock, to be excited, sparkle…

Go on. Have some fun!

Friday, January 30, 2009

sing out and sign on, America

I am indebted to my friend Yolande for sharing this video with me. I've watched it multiple times and never tire of the words, the tune, the video images, or the way it makes me feel (in fact, I'm listening to it now as I type!). It is the signature piece of Norman Lear's creation Born Again American. For some reason the video on the web site gets cut off about half way through, but it's worth visiting the site and learning more.
And can I just say what a thrill it is to see the choir from All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena featured in this video?
Give me an Amen!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Tedious as church business gatherings can be, they are extraordinary vessels. For instance:
  • I did some knitting. Not only did this effort advance the project on which I worked (a scarf, which will be given to Ken's employee, who is also the new owner of my old ski-jacket), but it got me knitting again. A two-fer.
  • I saw people I hadn't seen in weeks, months, and since last year. I remembered their names, and they knew mine--assurance in the midst of mid-life mental lapses! Sometimes these encounters are more like grazes, but often they are gifts. Last year I spent considerable time with one friend who died three months later. I thank God regularly for the gift of that time with her who I miss.
  • I got inspired. In addition to being renewed by Bishop Jenkins' words there is a resurrection story happening within our own diocese, just down the road from us. Bishop Jenkins also talked about times of crisis and challenge doubling as opportunity, and this is just such a story marked by grace upon grace. I'll tell that another time.
  • I prayed. This is not as obvious as it sounds. When you're the one leading prayer the opportunity to pray in the pew comes infrequently. I seize it with relish.
  • We adjusted the budget to save someone's job. A few years ago my own job was saved by a similar measure. Time to pay it back (or forward).
  • There was time, especially over meals, to get better acquainted with our delegates. Deepening relationships is always a good thing.

A wise chaplain once suggested to me that the Episcopal tradition was a necessary vessel in my life. The structure of the liturgy freed my spirit to grow, and the pattern of corporate life and institutional governance offered grounding for my creativity. She was right.

Vessels contain and transport, a sort of paradox that reminds me that there is more balance in the world around me than I often recognize, and opportunity when I allow myself to be engaged. I chose the image above because its eventual shape is yet to be determined--it can become all manner of things, and serve any number of purposes. Just like a church meeting. Just like us.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

keeping the light

Since hearing Bishop Jenkins speak last weekend I have been looking for some written reflection of his to which I can refer for refreshment. While I have not found writings related to what he spoke to us at our convention I did discover his blog. The blog is mostly newsy, although woven through it one gets a sense of the man's passions, convictions and insight. I could stand to hear and read from him regularly!

What struck me most significantly in his remarks the other day was as he related his personal struggle through, and after, hurricane Katrina. He has been diagnosed with PTSD, and though living with that disorder has its costs, he has been particularly concerned about his spiritual experience.

Bishop Jenkins defined resurrection in a way that I've never heard before. He described it as being in pain and darkness and still having the capacity to praise God. It struck a chord with me because in the years since my "conversion" (more than 20 years ago), my own life has been infused with episodes of pain, darkness and struggle pretty regularly. In the midst of such an existence it is difficult to have much spiritual energy for anything beyond keeping the embers of faith alive. The phrase "the dark night of the soul" is used to describe such episodes (and the "night" is not in human time). It is akin to depression, but strikes a different part of us. Daily functioning continues apace, though impaired, as if a patch were covering one eye. For a person of faith the core of one's being is at risk, and the soul is in anguish.

Theologically resurrection implies that death, or darkness, is left behind, and that transformation and renewal replace the pain of what was. This notion of resurrection dominates our perception and our belief. In search of an image to include with this post I googled "resurrection," and nearly all the images depicted a risen Christ or the evidence of his rising, the empty tomb (the remaining images were either sunrises, or what I would call artistic license with appropriations of the word).

Time to regroup. I was looking for an image that reflected a personal experience of resurrection that somehow depicted the transition from death to new life. I thought of the butterfly and what is called chrysalis--the process of transformation from catepillar to cocoon to emerged being (mostly the latter). Most of those images focused on the cocoon, which didn't reveal the process that was taking place inside it. Images of butterflies emerging from the cocoon didn't capture the pain of transformation, though they did reveal an outer glory.

The problem with resurrection is that while the theology of it is powerful and inspiring, the reality of the experience of it doesn't match its definition. I'm not sure there really is a singular word for what Bishop Jenkins describes as resurrection. While his definition doesn't match the biblical record it is no less real or accurate. It is, perhaps, a still vulnerable step toward the fullness of what the Church claims resurrection to be. And while we experience resurrections of all kinds throughout our lives--new beginnings that follow endings of various kinds--the soul is too complex to reduce to the generalized terminology we use to describe theological beliefs.

"The Church" promotes the idea of resurrection as being done with what was and moving on to embrace what is. It implies closure. You don't ever hear Jesus talking about how his side hurts where he was pierced, or that raising his arms in an outstretched manner brings back painful memories of the crucifixion.

I haven't walked the kind of path Bishop Jenkins has. My own journey suggests that his resurrection experience is still unfolding and that its implications will continue to be profound, not only for him, but the rest of us who are lucky enough to learn from it. I am grateful that as I look back at the road I have travelled there are only pockets of darkness, and that the remainder bears evidence of illumination that made it possible for me to move forward. That is the faith of which Bishop Jenkins speaks. That is the resurrection of being in darkness and not losing the light. That is the hope that keeps the embers hot even when they do not glow. That is the presence of God.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


The last several days have been full and busy. Our diocesan convention was pretty much "business as usual," with elections, reports by committees, discussion on the budget, and so on. Most notable is that it was not contentious as in years past, and our bishop gave an address that, much as the inaugural speech of our new president, reflected an honest appraisal of the challenges we face (with a touch of humor here and there). There were some highlights, like seeing people that I have come to know and enjoy over the years, and exchanging happy greetings and hugs with them, and I added several inches in length to a scarf I was knitting. I also had the pleasure of snuggling with young Hadley Spurlock, daughter of another priest whose wife is a good friend. Hadley will be two in March, and she and I have a special bond.

The lasting impact from this convention, however, was the message of our guest speaker and preacher, The Right Reverend Charles Jenkins, bishop of Louisiana. Bishop Jenkins was flooded out of his home when hurricane Katrina hit, and even as he was struck by loss, grief and trauma from that event he also led a charge to responding to other victims left homeless and, often, helpless. Though we heard some of the details of what life looked like after a devastating hurricane, I was touched by his spiritual journey and his struggles to cope with the experience. His reflection and sharing watered my own parched soul, and this morning, with time and the benefit of solitude, I am being attentive to the voice of my soul as it responds to Bishop Jenkin's words and their meaning. (Stay tuned--it's too much to put in one post.)

In addition to the convention we had a full morning on Sunday at church, with higher than usual attendance that included some visitors (yay!). Monday I had a busy morning at the office, followed by hours and hours of data-entry trying to get an updated directory ready for print. Then, at the eleventh hour I did an online search for software that would handle our needs and at about 9 PM last night found what looks to be a great program for FREE! I downloaded it and started re keying the info, finally forcing myself to stop when David Letterman went off the air (I am NEVER up that late!).

Today I have miscellaneous items on my agenda. It's a rainy, messy day but that's okay with me. I can hang in my jammies for a while and be reflective before getting down to business.

I've missed being in touch.

Friday, January 23, 2009

hablamos espanol

I am happy to report that a ballot initiative to make Nashville an "english only" locale has failed. Small minds believe that what binds a community is its common language. I understand the frustration of trying to communicate with others whose english is heavily accented, but that personal frustration has no place in determining whether or not a member of our society in distress should be able to communicate with government or other officials in order to get information or express their needs. To me this is bigotry, plain and simple: "be like me, deal with it."

It's been a good week for celebrating citizenship.

In that vein, today our diocesan convention begins. We don't have anything particularly decisive on the agenda beyond the usual elections and budgetary decisions. In fact, contrary to the "noise" that tends to dominate the headlines about fractiousness in our Church, there are some really wonderful things taking place right here in our diocese. I'll try to share some of that soon. Still, I suspect it will be something of a long couple of days, so I've got a knitting project ready to go to keep me from getting utterly bored.

Off to take care of a few things before we head downtown. I may not have time to report in tomorrow, so I'm wishing you all a happy and blessed weekend.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

missing you

This has been a challenging week. At home we are the walking wounded: Ken with his back troubles, and me recovering from my inter costal muscle injury (ribcage). I have felt fatigued, and things that were on my to do list have not gotten done. My retention of details is hit or miss and can't be relied on. Ken is frustrated by his injury, not being able to work and thus not getting paid, and the stress begins to mount. If I were a bath person I would say "Calgon, take me away!"

But I'm not a bath person so other coping methods must be employed. Today I think I will try to get myself out of the house to take care of necessary and postponed errands. The house needs to be cleaned from the disarray caused by Christmas (and now, the absence of Christmas) and in anticipation of guests. This weekend is our diocesan convention and it looks to be rather boring. Time to resurrect a knitting project to keep myself from going stir-crazy during the next two days!

And so I come here to be in touch with another part of my world, the people who I wished lived closer. The ones I would love to meet for coffee, go to the beach with, hang out in their hot tub or simply laugh with. The ones I would walk with (in the snow! that means you, Gail), talk with, scrap with. The ones I love and love me back. I miss you all.

In the meantime I am reveling in Obama, and it feels good to feel good about something that is going right, even if it's baby steps at a time. Stars are aligning in the universe, God is answering prayers and hearts are singing the same song. As Julian of Norwich famously said, "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well."

Blessings to you all, with love.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


In spite of a mangled start, yesterday was awesome.

We were at the doctor's by 8:30, but didn't get shown to the inner sanctum for another hour. It was another 25 minutes before we saw the doctor. The good news is that after the exam the doctor believes this is a muscle problem. Solution: painkillers and suitable stretching exercises, and an x-ray to rule out anything more serious. We were in the car at 10:15 and I was thinking, "yes, we can do this. Swing by the drug store to get the prescriptions and get home in time for the swearing in at 11:00 (we're Central Time, remember). " Then Ken says, "let's go take care of the x-ray."

So there I sat in the outpatient waiting room at the hospital, where at least there was a TV! Ken emerged just before the swearing in, and knew better than to suggest that we leave at that point. I have to say that I was astounded by the lack of attention the event was receiving by others in the waiting area. As far as I could tell there were two or three others watching. When the crowd in Washington stood for Obama's swearaing in I stood too, and when he was "official," I alone applauded. I wanted to cheer, but felt conspicuous enough being the only one there who was demonstrating any concern for this historic event.

Anyway, I heard most of the speech in the car, and we got into the house in time to see the last two minutes on TV. I grabbed my special occasion chip and dip to celebrate, and settled in for the coverage. It was a glorious day in so many respects. The joy of so many people remains for me the standout impression, and little moments here and there kept me glued to the tube. I love this picture from the Commander-in-Chief Ball, with the olive branches surrounding the seal of the president. And the shot of Sasha giving her dad the thumbs up reminds us that in the midst of protocol and formality we remain ordinary human beings who appreciate the approval of our kids.

Now to get to work, all of us, to do what we can do restore health and prosperity to our families, our communities and our nation, and seek in the end to change the world.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


The original title of today's post was "i'm so excited I could just plotz!" Today is one of the most momentous in our country's history, and certainly in my own life. I have been looking forward to being home and watching TV coverage all day, weeping through the swearing in, and enjoying the festivities from my carefully scoped out and personally claimed spot on the couch.

That was until Ken bent over to put his socks on and sent his back into terrible pain. My day has just been derailed. It has become all about Ken. I will be the dutiful wife and get him to the doctor, pick up prescriptions or whatever else might be necessary to help him feel better. I will Do The Right Thing. And I am very upset.

It's not Ken's fault that the timing of this episode coincides with Obama's inauguration. I'm not mad at him (though I am annoyed with his attitude). A little empathy would be nice. I've only been looking forward to this since November 4, and I will get over it. After all, there are many people who won't be able to watch today's events live, as they unfold. There will be highlights and replays throughout the day and this evening. I might be able to see some of the good parts live, but I'm bracing myself for disappointment.

Let's just say that I'm crushed. I won't be able to get this day back, and it means more to me than I have words to express. I will wear my "life is good" shirt with the red, white and blue design on it, and give thanks to God for the miracle of Barack Obama becoming our president. Y'all do know that the word Obama means "blessing," don't you?

Enjoy this day. It is a blessing and a miracle. We'll be going to the doctor and there are people without medical care. Our household is college-educated with one advanced degree and others lack adequate access to education. We have a roof over our heads and cable to watch historic events while others are homeless. I don't feel sorry for myself. Life is good. And today life will begin a journey toward better for a whole lot of people. Thank you, God. Thank you Barack and Michelle. And thank you Sasha and Malia for sharing your daddy with the rest of us.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


As I grow into my position at the church and various matters come up, people reveal their colors. There is one man that I haven't really been able to get a handle on--he's not especially outgoing, and though he appears reserved I have seen him laugh and smile. Email exchanges with him, though there have not been many, are direct and to the point.

Over the last several days in an effort to get clarity on something we have had several email exchanges. I now feel that I can refer to him as cranky. I wouldn't call him a curmudgeon, because he doesn't seem ill-tempered or sour, but he isn't exactly approachable, either.

In thinking about whether or not he might be described as a curmudgeon I got to wondering what the female version of that person would be called. A google search suggests that there isn't a word, though one person nominated the comic strip character "Maxine" as epitomising those "virtues." Another suggested Ann Coulter, which made me laugh. I don't think she's old enough to be a curmudgeon, but something seems to be perpetually stuck up her butt.

I actually don't think this particular man at church is a perpetually cranky guy, he's just expressing crankiness about a matter with which he is uncomfortable. That's probably true of any number of people. I think, rather, that he lacks finesse (again, he has company there), and perhaps looking at his behavior has the potential to help me overlook how he acts and instead focus on the matter at hand.

I'm glad we had this little talk. Thanks for being there.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

this 'n' that

37 Random Things About me (thanks, Jules)

1. Do you like blue cheese? In small doeses
2. Have you ever smoked? Not as a habit
3. Do you own a gun? I don’t, but my hub does
4. What flavor Kool Aid is your favorite? I don’t drink Kool Aid, but it would probably be orange
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? no
6. What do you think of hot dogs? I try not to think of them, but that doesn’t stop me from eating them occasionally
7. Favorite Christmas movie? It’s a Wonderful Life
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee!
9. Can you do push-ups? That’s a good one!
10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? For beauty, my engagement ring. For sentiment my wedding ring—it was my great-great-grandmother’s wedding ring.
11. Favorite hobby? Creating anything, though lately I haven’t indulged in anything creative
12. Do you have A.D.D? No, but I have a copy cat disorder called mid-life.
13. Do you wear glasses/contacts? I need glasses to read.
14. Middle name? McKinne
15. Name thoughts at this moment? What am I going to wear today?
16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Coffee, water, cranberry juice
17. Current worry? Booking enough Pampered Chef shows to reach my sales goals
18. Current hate right now? I don’t really hate anything
19. Favorite place to be? In the presence of good friends
20. How did you bring in the New Year? Nothing special—I was grateful for a day off on the first!
21. Where would you like to go? To Florida to see my friends!
22. Name three people who will complete this? Two people already did (Kip and Jules). Jayne might.
23. Do you own slippers? Wear them constantly
24 What color shirt are you wearing? I’m still in my jammies—the top is cranberry
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? I’m not sure I ever have, but I’m thinking no
26. Can you whistle? Am I my father’s daughter? (that means “yes”)
27. Favorite Color? To wear: blue, to decorate: a pale, warm yellow, or sage green
28. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don’t sing in the shower, but I do talk to myself
29. Would you be a pirate? Only with the dread pirate Roberts
30. Favorite Girl's Name? I like Emma and Olivia
31. Favorite boy's name? I’ve never had a favorite boy’s name
32. What's in your pocket right now? Nothing
33. Last thing that made you laugh? Well, this wasn’t the last thing, but it’s the last specific thing I remember—from Gail Collins’ NY Times column earlier this week: So far, the Bush farewell appearances have not drawn a lot of rave reviews. (Most striking, perhaps, was a critique of that final press conference from Ted Anthony of The Associated Press: “It all felt strangely intimate and, occasionally, uncomfortable, in the manner of seeing a plumber wearing jeans that ride too low.”)
34. What vehicle do you drive? Saturn VUE
35. Worst injury you've ever had? Shattered heel
36. Do you love where you live? Yes
37. How many TVs do you have in your house? Three

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

a fresh look at a holiday classic

Do you need a laugh today? Sit back and enjoy this. Be sure to have kleenex on hand to wipe the tears away. Thanks to my friend Mendy who posted this on facebook.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


as in, food!
In Denver you would have to be blind to miss the eatery just across the street from the Hyatt Regency downtown: Bubba Gump's. The place was fun and the food sounded fabulous. It was hard to decide what to eat and I, unfortunately, did not choose well. They boasted New England Clam Chowder. If you're no where near New England, it had better be good if you're bothering to put it on the menu. Well, at Bubba's not so much. My companions, however, thought their mahi mahi was fabulous, and my director's shrimp was given two thumbs up. Like I said, I didn't choose well.

Night two, however, was another story. I joined three directors on our team to wander a bit farther down the tourist-beaten path to Venice. Ooh la la! The ambience was nice, the wine good, and the food--extraordinary. We shared calimari with two sauces: a pesto, and a red sauce that was made up of marinara and buffalo wing sauce. Yum! There was just enough heat and the flavor combinations were great. One of our number had a rissoto with lobster and strawberries that was a hit, another had butternut squash ravioli, still another had tortellini with an amazing gorgonzola sauce. I had ravioli with chicken, spinach, pancetta and tomatoes. Ohhh, my... We had coupons from the hotel for free desserts, and three of us went for profitiroles with chocolate mousse sauce. OMG! And check out the wine cellar!On the third night I met my sister-in-law, Margaret and we headed out in search of anyplace that had room for two. We lucked out at the Rialto cafe, where I had ahi tuna with ginger and wasabi, and a caeser salad. Yummy! Margaret had the soup of the day, a ginger-carrot soup, and a fabulous spinach salad. We struck gold, and had great service.Back on home turf, this morning I passed a mediterranean restaurant downtown on my way to an appointment, and on my way back stopped in to pick up lunch. I'm thinking it's time to spend some culinary time with mediterranean fare. I had a gyro, which I always love, and it's a safe place to start. But the place was hopping with all sorts of folks, and I even ran into a fellow 'pisci priest from Vermont who is doing a Ph D at Vanderbilt. We had a nice chat, and I will definitely be visiting the Fattoush Cafe again as soon as I can! Next time, the platter.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I'm baa-aacck!

... such a view! ours didn't include leaves

Not surprisingly, catching up from being out of town means I am squeezed for time. My sleep is out of whack--I haven't been sleeping well for several weeks, and Sundays always mess me up because a nap in the afternoon is inevitable. This morning I am scrambling to get my day under control...

Denver was fabulous--the conference was stimulating, motivating, and revealed some awesome opportunities. We discovered some good restaurants, got a feel for the downtown area, saw snow on the mountains from the hotel and convention center, and I had a chance to have dinner with my sister-in-law, Margaret. That was a special treat!

Back at the ranch there is lots to do--at home, at the church, with my Pampered Chef business... I've got an intimidating to do list, but I've already checked three items off of it this morning. I'm psyched about PC and tackling some of the mundane administrative matters at the office. Speaking of which, it's time to get there! I'll try to report with some specificity about the last several days as soon as I can. For now, have a good one!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

on the fly!

I'm out the door in just a moment (an hour earlier than I had anticipated!) to head to Denver for a few days for Pampered Chef's Leadership Summit. I'm excited, but also in pain... a week ago I pulled/tore something while tending to puppies, which I now believe is connective tissue just inside my ribcage. Hurts like hell when I move certain ways, and oh, man, turning over in bed is the worst! Anyway, I will be sitting and walking in the next few days and not doing much else that is physical, fortunately.

So be good while I'm gone and I'll check back in Sunday afternoon sometime when I have a chance.

Ciao, bellas!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

getting out into the world

Well, the blog world at least. I spent most of yesterday devising a blog to serve as a web site for my diocese's new environmental ministry. I am on the steering committee for this group, and though I have a passion for living more "greenly," I am still woefully uninformed on many of the issues and facts. I am catching up, but when you consider that one of our team members is a director with the state Nature Conservancy office, well, you get the picture. So I offered to take on putting together this web site as my part of shouldering the work of our ministry team.

Mostly the work went well, but I am totally stuck trying to position the above image where I want it on the web page. When I have achieved that I'll share the link! I know you all don't care that it isn't perfect right now, but it matters to me to reveal the finished product as I want it to look.

It was, and continues to be, an interesting task doing this work. I surfed the Internet checking out existing web sites that communicate the work being done "out there" on matters effecting our environment. Faith groups are pretty active, and fairly creative. Just goes to show that you don't have to have a lot of money to implement good practices.

Here at home we're recycling fanatics, a good thing, but I'm learning that recycling doesn't have much impact when it comes to making a significant dent in the grand scheme of things. (It's still important, but there's sooooo much more to do.)

Today I'll soldier on trying to wrap up my work on this project, at least for now. I've also got a parishioner recovering from knee surgery, one down with the flu, another who is grieving the loss of her mother, and a child whose legs are temporarily paralyzed from some sort of flu (I can never get the name right). We're a small church, but we're full of human experiences!

Wishing you a green, and healthy day...

Monday, January 05, 2009

today's recipe for the journey

Maybe it's the effective osmosis of new year thinking, a wake-up call or a dormant longing, but it's time for me to get out of myself. There are too many things that I want to accomplish and ways I want to grow that aren't served by remaining on my present path.

I need to acknowledge that, given the dark and wounded place of my life nine months ago I am grateful that I am on any path at all. All the same, this present path is well beaten and rather indistinct. I am a creature who needs a certain amount of familiarity for comfort and refuge, but I also know that I thrive on discovering new things and encountering new horizons. The latter have been missing for too long, and it is up to me to change that.

I am not making a resolution. Of late I have noted patterns that interfere with achieving simple tasks, never mind larger goals and satisfying dreams. Part of discovery is zeroing in on those and finding ways to alter, if not overcome them. This is about dedication. Time to focus on a few of the trees so that I may enjoy the entirety of the forest.

Frankly, that shouldn't be so hard to do. I have always loved trees, so I guess the thing to do is honor the love. Embrace the tree. Take the time to admire the beauty as well as the metaphor and learn from it. One tree at a time. That's it. And before I know it I will have worked my way from tree to tree through the forest, tracing my own path and encountering who knows what along the way. That sounds like the Anne I know and love.

I feel better already.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

dashing through the morning!

I overslept this morning so I'm in a bit of a rush to pull myself together and get out the door in time to get to church. And of all mornings... today the bishop will be with us.
I spent the day yesterday preparing for our Twelfth Night party last night. I was pleased with the results, but sadly, we had a low turnout. We enjoyed the guests who did come, and I guess the good news is that we have plenty of leftovers to take to church this morning for the potluck that follows the service! The house got cleaned up a bit as well, which is always a good thing, and floors got mopped!The other event yesterday is that we said goodbye to the puppies. The timing was right for us since we had the party last night, and on Wednesday I head to Denver for a Pampered Chef conference. Still, I miss those adorable little critters and will wonder about them for years. In another month they will head to Connecticut where they have homes waiting for them. I volunteered to drive them (great way to make a trip to see my family), but the arrangements have already been made. Oh well.

Off to beautify myself, as the saying goes. Hope it's a great day for all!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

project 365

There is a rage in the scrapping world this week around something called "Project 365." The idea behind it is for the length of a year to take a picture each day and make journal notes for the day. At the end of the year one's life for that duration would be uniquely, and rather thoroughly, documented.

I have decided to give it a try, stealing the format of my friend Janet rather than purchase the ready-made album for the purpose (see above). Janet's version is done entirely by digital/word processing means. I don't have to print out pictures, I can crop and collage as I need, and lay out the journaling and pictures on the page just so, adjusting size, fonts, and so on to create what I want.

I have managed to journal the week, and for the most part I have pictures for each day. The latter is a bit of a challenge since my days are pretty routine, but perhaps that is good incentive to alter my routine and nudge it toward some different things. Who knows where the year will lead? At least at its conclusion I'll be able to track it each and every day.

Today? Gotta cook and clean for our Twelfth Night party tonight. Time to get on the stick, there's work to be done!

Friday, January 02, 2009

where did I leave my mind?

There are days when I am astounded that I function at all. From one moment to the next I can't recall what I was doing or setting out to do. Ken and I will have a conversation and then I will ask him a question, the answer to which we had just discussed. At other times I am singularly focused, competent, productive and creative. What goes on here?

I know that as we age our brain function shifts to a lower gear, but mine seems to be performing like a car at the mercy of someone first learning how to drive a stick shift. Lurch, drive, lurch, drive, lurch, stall. It is beyond annoying.

For all of these reasons I have returned to the former habit of making lists (why did I ever stop?). It doesn't mean that I check off all the items on that list, but at least they serve as a record of intent, if not follow-through. Changing the habit of procrastination is another matter, but that one will be a tougher nut to crack.

This morning I am feeling at loose ends, not the best sign for making my way through today's list expeditiously. At least I had a productive day yesterday and can actually see the entirety (yes, the entirety!) of the top of my desk. Furthermore the floor is fairly clear of debris and the very suggestion of space induces happiness.

Now to tackle the list. Breathe. Do one thing. Cross it off the list. Breathe. Do another thing. Cross if off the list. Breathe....


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