Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a poem for advent

A poem that speaks to me again and again as a companion in the spiritual live was written by Minnie Louis Haskins, an English schoolteacher, and read by King George VI during a Christmas broadcast to the people of England and Britain in 1939. My favorite verses are the very first, but all of it speaks to the heartbeat of Advent.

God Knows
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.

Monday, November 29, 2010

one-stop shopping!

Today I am inviting and encouraging some Pampered Chef shopping! Orders of $75 or more will ship FREE today (Monday, November 29). The collections you see here are bundled and priced as a single item. I've included the "name," item number and price before tax (did I mention FREE shipping?).

Two of these bundles are less than $75. May I suggest adding a cookbook to make your order eligible? Our favorite is It's Good for You, full of delicious and healthy recipes (we love the fish tacos!). It's #2218. Or, stock up on one (or more) of our delicious sauces or savory meat rubs. The latter make great hostess gifts!
There are fun ways to package items, too. Add a tag to Batter Bowls and measuring products that reads, "You really measure up as a friend!" Or choose one of our great forged cutlery knives with a note that reads, "You're a cut above the rest." You get the idea, and I'm sure you could come up with ideas of your own.
Most of our products come with guarantees of at least a year, and our cookware and forged cutlery have lifetime guarantees. And did I mention that today when you spend $75 your order ships for FREE?
 Don't delay! You can't go wrong with any of our products, and if you want recommendations or have questions, shoot me an email, I'll be glad to assist you.
Even if you aren't able to take advantage of this great offer, please share this great news. When you refer a customer to me today I'll send something special your way. Just think of me as a satellite branch of the north pole. 
AND! Last but not least, our cookie press (item #GV79) is 20% off this month, so don't hesitate to add one of those for the baker in your life (which may, in fact, be you!).
Click here for Happy Shopping, and may you have a Pampered Day!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

the color purple

I'm a sucker for the liturgical year, and Advent is one of my favorites. It's a bit ironic that, growing up in a family whose faith tradition was distinctly not liturgical, we honored Advent. We had a wreath and candle on the dining room table that was lit with ritual. We had a large calendar that Mom made that hung on the back of the front door. At times we had individual advent calendars, and though they were pretty and glittery and held their own mystery, the one that I shared with my brothers was preferred. The house was also decorated according to a theme of the season and the season to come. The twelve days of Christmas featured partridges in pear trees, or any of the other assembly; the magi took their places on top of the piano, on the mantel, or elsewhere in the house; heralding angels carried their harps or trumpets; doves of peace from Christmas card fronts formed a line down the wall... We made our way through Advent with anticipation, permeated by the signs and symbols of what was to come.

As a priest I bear the responsibility of holding the Advent reins, and offering up the power that the season holds for us. I come to it anew this year, traveling with a congregation that seeks to do much while lacking the resources to do what it desires. On parallel tracks, we look to use what we have, trusting that God will bless the effort and multiply that blessing in the lives of others. I recognize, too, that when God is setting out to do a new thing we dig in our heels and resist the breath of the Spirit that carries change.  That Spirit-wind comes anyway, and rattles the foundations where we have planted our feet so firmly. Our world shakes and things fall down around us, leaving us disoriented and discomfited. That describes my world these days. I am guilty of railing against it rather than shifting my rhythm and being in the tumbled mess that surrounds me.

In fact, it's not a mess at all. What surrounds me has comforted me against the pinions of hardship and the disappointments of my own limitations. Having recognized that, I can now lift my eyes to the metaphoric cracks in my walls and the leak over my head. I can respond to God's invitation to be part of the repair and renewal, and in putting my world back together we can choose new patterns, new colors, and new rhythms to suit the world in which I now live. Doing so helps me breathe.

I like purple. Some shade of it seems to suit just now.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

the eve of advent

Have I mentioned that I love Christmas? This weekend I'm enjoying browsing web sites for deals. Found a few at places where I have gift cards, which makes shopping a gleeful experience. Can't argue with free shipping, either. And discounts!

The tree is up, and later this morning the ornaments and other decorations will come down from the attic.

My Christmas cards/postcards have arrived.

I've got lots of jam that can be used with cookies.

I've got a handful of presents that can be wrapped and put under the tree.

Seasonal music is abundant.

Ah, life is good.

If you missed seeing reader-submitted Thanksgiving photos at the NY Times web site on Thursday you really should take a look. There are lots of pictures, and every one of them made me smile (when I looked there weren't 1000+ of them, but I did look at hundreds of them). It's a feel-good kind of slideshow. It also really made me miss my family thanksgiving.

We ended up having leftovers on Thanksgiving. We made a fabulous tuna recipe the night before (layer it on lemon slides, season with salt and pepper, then saute onions, garlic, tarragon and thyme mixed with some breadcrumbs to layer on top, then cover with more lemon slices and bake. So good!), so finished that off. The day was underwhelming, but that was actually okay. I cleaned the kitchen, and that was a great thing!

So what are you doing this Black Friday/Shop Small Business Saturday/No-shop weekend?

OH! And before I forget, Pampered Chef has free shipping on Monday for orders over $75. I'll post the link on Monday to my web site, but if you want to stop browsing online go ahead and start looking! Pool orders from friends and family to reach the $75 minimum. There are also some great bundled deals. And, if you email me ahead of time I might be able to work out a 10% discount for you.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

shades of life

As acknowledged here, the last few weeks have been a bit on the blah side, but things are looking up.

I needed to do a little shopping yesterday, and while I was out I encountered all sorts of seasonal temptations. I soaked up every sensory bit of it--the music, the colors, the displays, even the smells! I may not be able to enjoy shopping with abandon, but there are deals here and there that can be considered, and it's almost a happy challenge to find small, inexpensive things that have meaning. I love Christmas. I have great memories of the season and the traditions of my youth that stir when the weather gets cold and the calendar ticks toward December. When confronting disappointment I often tell myself not to dwell on what I don't have, but to make the most of what I do have. Time to employ that sentiment this year. Time to shape our own holiday and bring meaning to it for this stage of life. We can do this. Si, se puede!

But wait, there's more! Ashley called last night with the news that they're pregnant again. Baby number three is due to arrive in July, right around the time when they are scheduled to move to their next post. The timing is accidental, number three is not. Time to get busy with some "new baby" plans and creations.

And speaking of getting busy, Advent is around the corner and there's work to be done! A quick warm-up of what's left of my coffee and then it's nose to the grindstone. Tis the season!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

tuesday tidbits

In an effort to climb out of the slump I am in I actually wrapped my daughter-in-law's birthday presents yesterday. Her birthday was ten days ago. With any luck she'll get them before the month is over!

I read an article on Huffington Post the other day about how celeac disease (gluten intolerance) can impair memory and concentration. I've got some serious issues related to both, so I think I may just try a gluten-free diet for a few weeks and see what happens. Wouldn't that be a kick in the pants? Next doctor's visit, I'll ask him to check it out. Fortunately I happened upon an awesome blog that features gluten-free recipes. We'll see how this goes.

My husband just informed me that he's moved past Thanksgiving. To him, it will be just another day of the week. Apparently a combination of things has led to pulling the plug, but the only explanation he offers is that he's "done." Alrighty then!

For my part, I'm starting Thanksgiving Day early by volunteering at the first annual Turkey Trot, a 5k fundraiser to benefit our local animal shelter, New Leash on Life. The race begins at 8 AM. Great way to work up an appetite for that big ole turkey dinner. For runners. Who will have a big ole turkey dinner!

I picked up a styrofoam tree-form to try to make one of those paper Christmas trees I posted the other day. Found some fun stuff to put on top. Stay tuned for pictures!

I bit the bullet and ordered Christmas cards. They have already shipped, so maybe they'll arrive today!

I hosted an Uppercase Living party last week, and we close out the party today. Can't wait til my free stuff gets here and I can put it up!

I'm grateful for my blogging buddies. Thanks for stopping by to catch up, and to say hello. You all are often the bright spot of my day!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

all I want for christmas

are these!

I had lunch with my friend Debi on Saturday and she brought me a catalog of things British. Among the goodies were these sun-catchers. To know me is to know that 1) I love dogs (and Border Collies especially), and 2) I love sheep! These are the perfect combination of two things that bring me joy.

Thanks, Deb!

Friday, November 19, 2010

friday five: gratitude up, with a twist

At RevGals Jan writes: With the American holiday of Thanksgiving being less than a week away, I tried to think of some questions for Friday Five that could be connected to this, but in a new way. So here is my one try:

Name five things that were unexpected in your life that you are now grateful for.

This friday five really challenges me. I think the twist that Jan is putting on the usual gratitude post relates to redemption.  What unexpected thing/event/heartbreak/disappointment was redeemed such that I can now be thankful for it. It's a sad reflection on my present life and circumstances that it is difficult for me to think of things to name here. But, I'll try!

1) Letting go, letting God. Once upon a time I loved a man who didn't love me back. The irony of this predicament is that he initiated the relationship, and we dated for several months. On my way to what I knew would be our last date, I offered up a prayer that God would make the relationship right. We enjoyed a good time together that evening, and as I headed home, I was enveloped with a sense of peace that all would be well. It took eighteen months, heartbreak, soul-searching, and prayer, and then one day, all was well. Through those intervening months God worked to redeem the relationship from broken romance to solid platonic friendship. It has been good ever since. It was my first significant experience of transformation in relationship, and was a powerful sign to me of God's working in my life. That's a gratitude "no brainer!"

2) Marrying into a military family. As a lifelong pacifist I never expected to be in a close relationship with anyone in the military. Imagine my surprise when I married someone retired from the Army!  My (step) son was an army Ranger when I joined this family, and he now involved in Ranger training. It is a regular challenge to be opposed to a military response to conflict while loving and supporting someone engaged in that response. Yet I am and I do, and that strange juxtaposition is made possible by love. That's the short version of my gratitude.

3) Aging. Okay, well, aging is expected, but what comes with it can be unexpected. The wisdom acquired through life's trials and tribulations, successes and failures makes it possible to endure all manner of insanity manifesting itself in the world. The farce that passes as our political system is one case in point. It makes me crazy on the one hand, but on the other hand I have learned to trust time and God's justice in transforming wrongs to rights. Sometimes I am disappointed in that realm, too, but I have learned to live with that. I have a deep and abiding patience and tolerance for the inane and thoughtless actions of others, and can let a lot of things roll off my back. I don't tend to waste energy on things over which I have no control, and for that I am very grateful.

4) Forgiveness

5) My childhood. In concert with efforts to attain better mental health through my life and "grow up," I've unpacked the events and contributing circumstances of my personal "issues" that stem from my family of origin. I never expected to look back at those same years through eyes that have yielded enormous gratitude for other aspects of my youth. I have done this,  in part, thanks to some of the our friday fives, and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the questions and shared responses that have led to my reflections. Dysfunction notwithstanding, I had a great childhood.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

here, let me turn the other cheek

I can, and do, admit when I'm wrong.
I can, and do, say I'm sorry.
I can, and do, acknowledge that I failed to complete something I said I would do.
Mea culpa and I know each other well.

It's not fun to be wrong.
I don't enjoy hurting or disappointing someone (it's never intentional).
Failure makes me feel small, inadequate and incompetent.

Taking responsibility for something is difficult, but the good thing about pruning is that growth, and even fruit, follow.

It's another thing entirely when you feel the cold wind of being ignored or left in the dark.
It hurts when it appears that you, or your efforts, don't matter.

In time I will process and let go of feeling isolated and marginalized. Today the sting of collective arrows have laid me low. It's no wonder that every part of me hurts.

Monday, November 15, 2010

o christmas tree

I realize that today is the ides of November, and no, we have not begun any Christmas here. But there's something going on at my favorite local university that the Development Office (I think) is putting together that has got my creative juices warming up for action.

This is the first year that Cumberland will host "Trees of the Hall," a live auction of decorated Christmas trees. From the event page on facebook:  
This first time event is a scholarship benefit for underprivileged children to attend Cumberland Arts Academy. Beautifully decorated Christmas trees brought to you by sponsors and friends across Wilson County will be available for purchase during our live auction. Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served and entertainment will be provided by the Cumberland Arts Academy Suzuki Violin Players as well as the Cumberland University Choir.

I love stuff like this! The event is just two weeks away, so it's late in the game to try to get a tree put together, but I'm already brainstorming ideas for the church to contribute a tree next year. What a fun way to do outreach! There are so many ways to get creative with a project like this: do a tabletop tree, pick a theme, a color for ornaments, blah blah blah. We've got lots of talented and artistic folks in the church, and we could work through the year to create or collect ornaments. We've also got a member who works at Lowe's, and I've already got plans to talk to him about getting a pre-lit tree at a discount (better yet, donated!) at the close of this year's Christmas selling season. I've already talked to our outreach coordinator, and she's on board! Can you tell I'm excited?

In the meantime, is this tree (pictured) not just the cutest thing? I came across it looking for a picture to include in this post. It's made of paper, and probably takes about 30 minutes to make. Let me at it!

I have not been feeling particularly excited about Christmas this year. we have no money for anything. When I think about a card I don't think there are any pictures of us that I would want anyone to see. The weight gain in this house is not a pretty thing. But even if we had a picture, the cost of cards (we send about 150) and postage pretty much exhausts any discretionary spending we might have. It will probably be just the two of us this year, and unless we think of some way to spend the day that is interesting and stimulating, well, big deal. If Christmas day wasn't smack up against Sunday I'd suggest going to Gatlinburg, but since we can't even get out of town until midnight Christmas Eve, there's not much point. Sigh. We'll think of something.

For now we'll focus on simple pleasures and find blessings in small things. That's what life is about, after all.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

chowder, by request

Corn Chowder with Chicken and Curry

½ cup chopped bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped green pepper,
      seeds and membrane removed
2-3 teaspoons curry powder (optional)
1 cup diced pared raw potatoes
2 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon paprika
½ bay leaf
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk, divided
2 cups whole-kernel corn
2 cups diced cooked chicken
Chopped parsley (optional)

Sauté bacon pieces slowly until lightly browned. Add onion, celery and green pepper and sauté until lightly brown. Stir in curry (add to taste). Add potatoes, water, salt, paprika and bay leaf and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes.  In a small saucepan blend flour and ½ cup milk. Bring to the boiling point and blend with soup mixture, removing any lumps. Heat about five minutes. Heat 1½ cups milk until hot. Add milk, corn and chicken and heat through. Do not boil soup. Serve and garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

Makes about 8-9 cups.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

riding the poetry bus

When it comes to poetry I'm a peculiar bird. When I try my hand at it I usually do okay, but for whatever reason poetry usually is off my radar. A few of my blogging friends, however, enjoy poetry a great deal, so I am reading and enjoying more and more of it. My friend The Bug participates regularly in some writing challenges via other blogs, and this week one of them piqued my interest enough to give it a go. I have lifted the following (in italics) from her blog:

The Poetry Bus is being driven by the amazing Karen at Keeping Secrets (really, you should check out her poetry). She has us thinking of Robert Frost and forks in the road. She says:

The challenge for passengers this week will be to write about one of the following:

(1) a time you had to choose between two clearly divergent paths; (2) a time you were called to walk a path you didn't choose for yourself; or (3) a time you refused to travel the path you were called to follow. If these won't work for you, write anything about a choice you made.

I'm going with number 1. It is title-less. 

How is it
that love lives
where like can find no home?

The lure of love
brushed past the ragged edges of 
dis- too many things,
and blazed a trail that,
just in time, 
would host the thundering hooves
of heartbreak.

Worse, dreambreak.

Shards of broken images
stared back at me
from that place of 
imagining a world
through which I was meant 
to dance
and sing
and play
and splash
in puddles of joy.

But, no.
Wisdom called out, 
my own clarion call to hold me back 
and protect the heart 
whose breath lifts the wings of dreams.
In the shadow of wakefulness 
my world went still, 
and gray. 

And it waits. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

friday five: let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

At RevGals Singing Owl writes: I am looking at the weather forecast with a sigh of resignation. You see, our glorious unseasonable stretch of sunny days is ending and rain mixed with snow is in the forecast. The weather guy actually said, "This is probably the last nice day till spring, folks..." So, I am trying to plan ahead. Help me out, please. When it is cold outside:

As a transplanted Yankee to the temperate middleness of Tennessee, I miss snow! Sure, winter is cold, but there is nothing comparable to the quiet and gentleness of snowfall, nor its first-fallen beauty. Without snow you can't build snow forts, make snow angles, or watch your dog's euphoric behavior romping in it. To me, snow is a kind of bliss. It's okay, you can call me crazy. I can take it.

1. What is your favorite movie for watching when curled up under a wooly blanket?
I confess that my movie-watching isn't seasonal, so as long as I'm toasty and warm it could be anything on my "watch" list. My preference is drama.

2. Likewise, what book?
Anything that absorbs me and is well written.

3. What foods do you tend to cook/eat when it gets cold?
I love homemade soups and stews. I've got a great minestrone recipe from Canadian Living (they know about winter!), and my personal favorite is corn chowder made with bacon, curry and chicken.

4. What do you like to do if you get a "snow day" (or if you don't get snow days, what if you did)?
Bake cookies. Especially if it's before Christmas.

5. Do you like winter sports or outdoor activities, or are you more likely to be inside playing a board game? Do you have a favorite (indoors or out)?
When I was young and impervious I loved playing outdoors, and my family skied. With age, outdoor activity isn't my cup of tea. My favorite indoor activity is to work on a jigsaw puzzle. With a fire going. And a full pot of tea. Alas, our youngest dog makes jigsaw puzzles essentially impossible.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

the bs report

I think that I get more out of our bible/book study that the other folks that attend. We are reading The Good Book, by Peter Gomes, as a means toward understanding what the bible is (and isn't) as we read it and allow it to form and inform our lives of faith.

In the chapter on interpretation that we discussed yesterday I got sidetracked by this statement: "[the bible] is the record of holy encounters between people and God, encounters that have been reckoned to be decisive and compelling, and that have been preserved from generation to generation because they remind each generation of the presence of God in their lives and the search for God when the divine absence is felt." (p. 34)  The latter portion about divine absence is what catalyzed a stream of consciousness that I fear left my companions in a cloud of confusion while I attempted to ponder the connection between the experience of divine absence and the development of faith.

The question I posed, more or less, was this: if we don't experience the absence of God, is it possible for faith to develop? I used the analogy of separation anxiety felt by children when they first experience being "left" by parents. The experience of the parent's return builds trust that when parents leave, the child has faith that the parent will return. It's not a perfect analogy, by any means, but it was the first thing that occurred to me.

I have had my own struggles with this. My faith became established through the powerful experience of God's presence. Desert times ensued, and I emerged from those. Based on the former experience of God's power/presence, I hung on, trusting that God was at work on my behalf because I believed that to be true, even though I could not point to evidence of it being true. Over time, however, my faith has become more a matter of mind than heart. It has been a while since I have felt the deep, resonating presence of earlier and sustaining days. More often I feel disappointed in both God and myself, and I wonder how to repair the damaged connection that was once such a vital lifeline.

I watch in awe as others revel in a holy joy that eludes me, and yearn for that experience again. And I wonder how others remind themselves of the presence of God when absence--or distance--is the experience.  It is gut-work, and wearying, to hold on to the promise, even when belief is at hand. The fabric of faithfulness feels threadbare. I pray--yes, I pray--that it doesn't become fragile.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

double-edged ploughsare

It is always an honor to be asked to speak to a group. The idea that someone thinks I might have something interesting or valuable to say tends to stroke the ego. The flip side of that honor is coming up with something to say. People may think that asking a priest or minister to speak narrows the field: religion, or perhaps spirituality! The field is broad, however, and narrowing it to something specific in order to share something coherent can be a challenge. If I had a particular area of expertise on which to focus that would be one thing. But the request, "will you come speak to our group?" tends to leave me feeling some unease.

When I was asked to speak to the Baptist student group at Cumberland University, therefore, I felt a twinge of pleasure mixed with angst. When I posed the question, "what would you like me to talk about?" I was a little surprised to hear, "tell us about your Quaker background." That did help narrow the field a bit, but still left lots of room to wander.

I wear the label "Quakopalian" with pride. I've been an Episcopalian for more than twenty years, and though I feel confident speaking about Quakerism, I thought it wouldn't hurt to dust off the cobwebs of knowledge before facing college students. Some of the things upon which I stumbled really lifted my heart. For instance, while reviewing some notes on pacifism I found these words written by young Friends: how many teens and young adults consider the implications of taxes and the military industrial complex, or standing in silent vigil as a means of "speaking out" against bullying? Talk about thoughtful, sensitive, deliberate decision-making! It took me back to my own days of going to conferences and weekends with other Friends (young and otherwise), writing letters to the editor, and participating in Good Friday vigils on the Boston Common. The Quaker emphasis on integrity (truth, in the above tiles), equality, simplicity and peace doesn't sound like the creeds or confessions of other Churches, but they are rooted deeply in scripture and reflect the life to which Jesus calls us. I learned more about the Christian life growing up in Quaker community than I have witnessed anywhere else in the Church in subsequent years.

The trip down memory lane was poignant for me, and yielded considerable fodder for reflection. Again I am reminded of the richness of my spiritual inheritance, but more than that I am thankful for the values that shaped me and gave me solid grounding for an authentic life. Whatever flaws are part of my nature, the nurturing gets enormous credit for who I am.

Thank you, Friends.

Monday, November 08, 2010

witwct? (to what is the world coming?)

I was getting ready to climb out of my corner of the sofa to head to bed last night when the newscaster made an utterance that caught me by surprise: "And now we'll go to blah-di-blah to get the LD on the story." Say what? Did she just use acronym jargon in a newscast? And since when did our local news anchors start using phrases like "lo-down" to refer to reporting?

It's sad, but true, that my life is so exciting that I'm posting about inane subjects like this. The good news? It's very early in the week, and there's plenty of room for improvement! Hope yours is more interesting that this post.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

a better day

The sun is shining this morning, and with an extra hour to pad my sleep last night, I am feeling considerably better that any of the last six days.

Granny has been laid to rest, pasta and sauce were served last night without incident, lots of students from the university came, and the church was filled with the sound of laughter and lots of voices. Ken and I are both worn out from yesterday's round-the-clock efforts, but at the end of the day we were content and ready to collapse. Once church is over today, there are no claims on us that cannot be deferred to the next day--hurray! In spite of knowing, throughout the week, that "this, too, shall pass," I am relieved to have reached today--without it's added burdens, pressures, and the need to step in and fill the breech that should be the responsibilities of others. We Really need to address that at church.

On my list of priorities, besides some badly needed time off, is to retrieve files from my laptop hard drive. We may be a week into the month, but there is still a newsletter that needs to go out! I will also propose to Ken that we catch a matinee on Monday. We both want to see "Red," with Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and Bruce Willis (not to mention Mary Louise Parker!), and veterans get a discount at the local theater on Mondays.

May your day be blessed by light.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

quasi-rant alert

It's been one of those weeks.

Monday my computer screen went out. No computer. No files.

Tuesday election results sucked. 'nuf said. Well, there's plenty to say, but I won't.

Wednesday a member of the parish died. Fortunately she went peacefully in her sleep. She was 86.

Thursday the crush of funeral preparations (the bulletin, calling people to take roles, planning the service, conjuring up the skeleton of a homily) and last minute details for Saturday's Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction fundraiser hovered like vultures. I did manage to sneak in a massage, but the area that really needed attention--my neck--got short shrift (the good news is that I will get a 30-minute complimentary head and shoulder massage next week as compensation for that oversight).

Friday plumbing issues at the house manifested themselves, along with more funeral stuff, more fundraiser stuff. It all happens today.

I'm borrowing an unused computer from church so that Ken can reclaim his office, his desk, and his computer from my clutches. Everything needs to be installed and downloaded. Everything.

I'm trying to get some Pampered Chef business cooking as well, so add that to the mix.

I'm grumpy. I hurt all over. I miss Dooley (my dog). I want a real vacation. Maybe somewhere poolside with a book and a Cabana Boy, and someone who will do the cooking. Maybe an occasional drink with an umbrella in it. Is that asking too much?

Friday, November 05, 2010

friday five: bliss in the moment

(this picture is actually using milk but times are tough. Shh. don't tell!)

At RevGals Kathryn writes: We lead privileged lives.

True, some are more privileged than others but the fact that we are communicating right now via technological devices puts us in the privileged category.

There are many perks in my life for which I give thanks and then there are some that make everything right in the world during the moment I am enjoying them. I'm wondering what a few of those things - five to be specific - are for you.

Under the circumstances (my laptop screen has died, rendering my computer, and everything stored on it, useless and unavailable to me!), my first bliss is using my own computer to 1) read blogs, 2) check in on facebook, 3) stay informed, 4) stay in touch with folks by other means 5) research various things for business and pleasure, 6) upload and play with photos, 7) write this blog 8) do my work...  What follows is in no particular order:

2) A la Kathryn, coffee first thing in the morning. In a mug. With half and half.

3) Being on vacation

4) Sitting on the porch at Melrose looking at the view (I'd include a picture, but they're all on my computer. Did you hear I can't access anything on my computer?)

5) Creating. In no particular order: photos, sewing, making cards, needlework, cooking, knitting, calligraphy (though it's been a while), scrapbooking.

PS -- I'm an introvert, so of course these are all about me!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

just so you know

More computer problems here. The screen on my laptop blinked once, twice, three times and it was out! So, no visuals at all, which means I can do nothing on my computer except turn it on and listen to the music that crescendoes after booting.

I contacted my computer guru (thanks, Steve!! You are AWEsome!), and it looks like a new computer will be necessary. Sigh. Anyone need some Pampered Chef for Christmas gifts? I've got LOTS of ideas for just about anyone on your list. Maybe I'll do a post on that tomorrow or the next day.

The good news is that my day has felt freer to do some necessary housecleaning in anticipation of hosting the bible book study here tomorrow. (Ken will have the car).  The BAD news is that the November newsletter for the church won't get sent out. Ugh. Eight pages just sitting there on my computer!!

Ken has been at the polls all day, allowing me the use of his computer, but sharing won't be so easy after this! Oy! Prayers and money appreciated, LOL!


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