Thursday, April 29, 2010

rehearsal dinner review

Here's a recap of the rehearsal dinner...

Hors d'oeuvres: the usual cheese and fruit options, mini egg rolls, sauteed apple-sausage slices. Particular yum on the latter two.

Buffet: roast pork with cranberries and a merlot reduction sauce; chicken with mushrooms in an herb cream sauce; vegetable medley (over which my husband, the vegetable lover, keeps exclaiming with joy and exuberance); smashed yukon gold potatoes with garlic and some other secret substance that made them irresistable; salad and rolls; an array of desserts that included a chocolate trifle (sorry, no photo to make you drool--see, I was thinking of you!). Iced tea, coffee, water, red and white wine.

It turns out that the centerpiece idea was salvaged by reducing the size of the hurricanes used. The problem then became finding smaller candles to fit into those hurricans. We searched all over Augusta and came up empty-handed, finally resorting to stacking votive candles with some minor effort at fusing them with melted wax. The centerpieces were comprised of cute planters with the hurricanes in the center, and fresh potted flowers on either side: yellow gerberas and purple/white petunias. These were placed on a mat of John Deer fabric. Napkins were folded in a way that allowed forsythia to be inserted and all held together with ribbon. Click on the image above for a larger view that includes the table setting. There were also little color coordinated pinwheels stuck in a plant, and little boxes in the colors of the day on each table as decoration. It was sort of a garden theme, all told.

The best part, however, was afterward, when we played "almost newlywed bingo" using card sheets that I had made with pictures of the couple on every other square. A huge hit. Hershey kisses were the bingo pieces. Amazingly enough the same two people won the two games we played! Then we played the almost newlywed game, which was hilarious and lots of fun. The final piece of adventure for the night (also pictured above) was that we had a table set up on which a jigsaw puzzle of Kenneth Trisha was placed. It attracted the hard core attention of a few puzzlers, who completed their quest shortly before the party broke up. The photographer was particularly pleased by this activity, as he had met his girlfriend over a jigsaw puzzle.

The best complement of all was the repeated thanks offered by guests who claimed that they had never been to a rehearsal dinner like this one, and that they had more fun than ever. The bride and groom agreed, and that was what mattered most.

Next post, next wedding story. See you on the flipside!
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Monday, April 26, 2010

glorious!

It was a wonderful weekend. There are too many things, too many details to share with you, so I will limit this brief post to this picture of our beautiful daughter-in-law, Trisha, and a smidgen of news.

My apologies for the delay in being in touch. You may recall that Internet access at Melrose is by long-distance dial-up. Between that annoyance and the slow speed at which my computer is functioning these days it is just impossible to log on and accomplish anything without taking forever. I have opted to limit my online activity to occasions when I can be at a wi-fi spot, like now. As it is we spent so much time last week running around taking care of wedding errands that we had little time to enjoy being at Melrose. The remaining days this week feel exceedingly precious, so I may wait until my return home before I post again. But you never know.

Some highlights: I got to hold my grandsons! That was exquisite joy. Some of you know about the tensions that have plagued the relationship with our daughter. I am happy to report that there is progress in that area. I took it upon myself to initiate conversations with both daughter and son-in-law to pave the way toward better communication, and the effort was more than worth it. I have made my own commitment to be more active in communicating with that family, and I pray that will make a difference. We all want things to be better. Getting there without a road map is a challenge.

We have also committed to referring to Junior as Kenneth. He has had too many names and nicknames, and the apparent identity crisis (not for him, but for the rest of us) prompted our decision to join the mainstream.

My dress was a disaster. I love the dress, but it just didn't love me back. Let's just say that my weight gain and increased dimensions up top have given me cleavage for the first time in history. In spite of having "accessories" to aid in dressing, it just didn't work. Thanks to a shawl loaned to me by a friend I was able to maintain some modesty, but I was self-conscious and rearranging the shawl without ceasing throughout the wedding festivities. Groan.

The bridal couple looked absolutely stunning. Kenneth in his dress blues and Trisha's natural beauty rocked the house. I can't wait for the pictures to pour in so that I can share them with you.

They are both fun-loving people, and that was never more apparent than at the reception, and on occasion during the wedding ceremony itself. During one dance Kenneth's performance even elicited an enthusiastic response by one of the catering staff at the drink station--she ran onto the dance floor and stuffed a dollar bill beneath his suspenders. Priceless!

I regret that I don't have very many pictures from the weekend. The photographer, who was fabulous, was so efficient that things moved too fast for me to get in position with my camera and capture some of the shots I would normally have sought. He assured us that a CD would be available, so we will wait to see his results.

The rehearsal dinner was a huge hit. Phew! Details on that in another post, but everyone told us they had never been to another rehearsal dinner like it, and that it was lots of fun. We're glad. Having fun was the whole point.

So, friends, that's it for now. You have no idea how much I have missed being in touch with you all. I am eager to share more snippets and a few more images with you when I am able to post again. Until then be well, and don't forget to write!

Monday, April 19, 2010

hitting the road!

Just a note to say So Long! I'll be in touch as soon as is possible. Things are looking good and we're pretty much relaxed! I just need to buy candles and tissue paper, and fray some fabric. Piece of cake!

Thanks y'all for the support and prayers and good wishes. I know you are sharing this journey and excitement with me. It matters! I love you all and will be in touch soon!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

captured at last

Breaking news!
I learned in an email this morning that my spring sonnet won the challenge at (in)courage!
I will receive a $25 gift card for use at that site. Ba da bing! I'm still in shock.
And now back to our regularly scheduled post for the day.


The University of the South is situated primarily on one "main drag," University Avenue, in Sewanee, Tennessee. It is a lovely campus dominated by the Gothic-styled All Saints Chapel. It is an Episcopal school, founded by a collection of southern bishops whose dioceses share oversight and representation on the board of regents, and is also home to one of the Episcopal Church's eleven seminaries.

When you drive down University Avenue the architecture on either side of the street competes for attention. Victorian homes, large and small, have a commanding presence among the more solid structures built with Sewanee stone. And then there's this old log home with its gingerbread cornice eaves and the wisteria covered front porch. Rebel's Rest is the site of a home of Louisiana Bishop Leonidas Polk before the Civil War, and after the war the location of the first two post-Civil War log homes to be built in Sewanee. There is significance in the history of the university of its use for meetings and gatherings.

Though I lived and worked in Sewanee and its surrounding communities through three springs, I never managed to capture the wisteria in bloom. Last week's time at St. Mary's, however, afforded me the opportunity to take some time to visit it up close and capture these pictures on a clear-blue day. I have my pictures of the Sewanee cross and the chapel, and now I can close the chapter, photographically, on this distinctive place. Closure is a good thing, pleasant, even, when it comes in the form of such loveliness and peace.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

the countdown begins

At the moment I begin to type this post it is exactly "T" minus 48 hours until we depart for the long-awaited Wedding Event. Wahoo! I am feeling a parent's lament for Trisha one week before her wedding. Preparations have veen fraught with pitfalls here and there. The budget took a hit. Items anticipated need to be cut. The details alone are enough to make one nuts, but stir into that disappointments and frustrations and, well, you can imagine this isn't feeling fun for her. I so wish that Ken and I were closer so that we could be helpful in practical ways. We will have to suffice with what we can do from afar.

My plans have suffered their own setback, through my own fault. The centerpieces I had planned will not work out, all because of the facility requirement that there be no open flame. I had forgotten that detail, since when I read the requirements I had no idea what our centerpieces would be. Over time they changed so much that I quickly lost track of what could or couldn't be done! Hurricanes to encase the candles I had planned to use are too big to fit into the centerpiece container that was intended to be the focus. I am now forced to drop back and punt, with two days left before departure. Crap! Back to the drawing board with simplicity in mind, and a total alteration to how the decor was shaping up. What a fun day I have ahead of me!

I have faith, however, that all will be well. I have an idea in mind that I think will work. Time to do some google searching to locate what I would like to use. Maybe the Georgia Bulldogs will have a place in this after all!

I will gladly accept prayers of support (among them that I find the Hobby Lobby receipt) and any suggestions along the way. In the meantime I hope your weekend is filled with good things. Prayers of thanksgiving are said for all of you!
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Friday, April 16, 2010

friday five: let's pack!

At RevGals Songbird writes: I'm preparing to pack my bags for the Big Event Three, and as I gather what I need I'm thinking about just that: what do I *need* to take with me? As a person who likes to pack light, I worry that in the end I may underpack and wish I had other things with me. I own the gigantor version of the bag to the right, but my morbid fear of having it go astray and not get to the ship means I'm more likely to try to pack it all in a carry-on bag instead, especially since I have a very tight connection on the way to the cruise. But won't I be sorry if I don't bring _______________?With that in mind, here are five questions about packing to go on a trip.

Dang! I just unpacked from a few days away--wish I'd thought to take a picture! A wise person once suggested that when planning a trip one should always take half as many clothes and twice as much money as you think you need. I am occasionally able to heed that advice.

1) Some fold, some roll and some simply fling into the bag. What's your technique for packing clothes?
Fold. I'm something of a "master packer," so I maximize space everywhere: closets, drawers, suitcases. Occasionally that means rolling, too.

2) The tight regulations about carrying liquids on planes makes packing complicated. What might we find in your quart-size bag? Ever lose a liquid that was too big?
I've never taken a quart-sized bag, so I'm not sure what would be in it.

3) What's something you can't imagine leaving at home?
My camera.

4) Do you have a bag with wheels?
I do!

5) What's your favorite reading material for a non-driving trip (plane, train, bus, ship)?
A mystery. Something by Janet Evanovich, Patricia Cornwell, Nevada Barr.

Bonus! 
We leave on Monday for our annual spring trip to our family tree farm, AND for our son's wedding next weekend.  Can't wait for both parts of our time away.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

my sonnet


I wrote this sonnet in response to a challenge on (in)courage. We were invited to write an English sonnet about spring.

I have long contended that winter sunsets are more brilliant than those in other seasons (not that there aren’t brilliant sunsets in other seasons, they're just not as frequent, proportionately!). The colors strike me as more vivid and sharp. I reflected, recently, that this extra boldness of color in wintertime was a way to “bookmark” the life and color of the other seasons until they returned. It was that reflection that inspired this sonnet.



The dark and death of winter’s landscape lies
Across the yearning heart of courage born;
While in the quiet of the fading skies
A swath of color lifts the soul forlorn.

Bold stripes of golden hues and tangerine
Array themselves amongst the clouds that shine
With teasing hints of rose and aubergine;
The promise of renewal so divine.

Then, yielding to the buds that lie in wait
The dull and dormant days gives way to life.
Bright blooms and songbirds do the heart elate
And put to rest the lengthy season’s strife.

The glowing days of spring with colors bright
With ease call forth our laughter and delight.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

waving from the mountaintop!

It was a beautiful evening last night as we began our clergy colloquium here at St. Mary's Center in Sewanee, TN. The red bud is just passing peak, and the dogwood are about the same. The views from St. Mary's, of course, are divine and awe-inspiring. I love being here, although there is no A/C so when it gets hot, I'm better off just popping in for a visit! Today there are cool breezes coming through the screened doors, and a pollen-filled haze constricts the air as well as the view.
The colloquium has been thought-provoking, catalysed by three presentations by Stephen Fowl, a professor of new testament at Loyola University in Baltimore. He focused on the role of scripture in the Christian life, and we spent some time discussing the implications for Christian community. Very interesting.

We have a free afternoon, and I've decided to dedicate that time to a challenge posted on (in)courage, a blog I visit: write an English sonnet about spring. Last night while watching the sun set I began to get an idea of what I wanted to write in that sonnet, so I intend to seize the time and the inspiration and go for it. It nothing else, I will have exercised a little creative muscle in the effort.

But first I wanted to drop in and say a quick hello so you didn't think I'd forgotten you. Hold the fort while I'm away from the computer!
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

morning's glory

Our kitchen window affords us the only view from indoors of a small collection of lilies iris (I really did know this--thanks, Dana, for the catch!) that sprang up along the front sidewalk. Like the lone daffodil that bloomed several weeks ago, these spires have multiplied to bloom into a lovely showing for the eye. They are in shade and sun at various times of the day, and the other morning I tried to capture them in the glow of early light. They come up right against the edge of the sidewalk, and I'm not sure how they got there. There is no evidence of a garden bed along that side of the walk, and no other blooms decorate the area on the other side where a garden has been established. Okay, established is an overstatement. There's some crappy soil and some attempts on our part to work some improvement into that soil. I still have to get some plants in there.

Today I am off to Sewanee for a couple of days for a clergy gathering. The days are getting crunched for final rehearsal dinner details. Yesterday I found shoes for the wedding (my own black shoes are just too beat up!), and by chance some shoes for the bridesmaid lunch! I wasn't looking for any to wear to that, but I happened upon these, and well, they just made sense. Photos later, but don't hold your breath--I would not want to be responsible for anyone passing out because they awaited my latest fashionista purchases!

I also colored my hair last night. The grayer I get the more obvious the contrast is when I do this, and even I am needing some time to adjust. But the color matches my natural color and is just more flattering. According to me. This morning I'm taking care of a few other details before heading off to the mountain. I'm hoping that I get there in time to photograph the "Rebel's Roost" at the University, whose front porch is draped in wisteria. It's a cool look.

I think there's an internet connection at St. Mary's, and this time I will take my computer. There might be opportunity to post. Until the next time, be well, friends, and thanks for checking in.

Monday, April 12, 2010

trendy, as always!

The latest in fracture fashion! The break is on the fifth metatarsal (the bone in your hand that connects to your pinky), and my doctor recommended this splint. Four weeks! I may keep it on for the rehearsal dinner but I don't plan to wear it at the wedding! You have no idea how hard it was to take this picture using my left hand--I've got a digital slr (think "old clunky model") and the shutter is on the top right. All in all this didn't turn out too badly. There are definitely things that are difficult to do while wearing this--like taking photographs with the left hand--but generally I've got a fair amount of mobility.

Just wanted to do a quick reporting in. I wish after the absence of writing for a few days that I had all sorts of fun or profound things to say but alas, the well is dry. Maybe tomorrow.

In the meantime good wishes to you all. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 09, 2010

friday five: on the road again

taken from the backseat on a Florida adventure with friends
At RevGals Sophia writes: My family is heading out to my husband's parents for the weekend later today. They would have preferred that we come at Easter, but I preferred that my choir director not bring my life to an early end! (Five liturgies to sing between Thursday and Sunday, two with major solos).

So Low Sunday it is. Some Gals and Pals may have been able to travel to join family or visit a vacation spot last week; some who had to stay put then may be traveling this weekend; and, if I recall correctly, some lucky ones are heading out to the Big Event next weekend. Hence: a road trip Friday Five.



1. When was your last, or will be your next, out of town travel?
In the last nine months our travel has been somewhat wedding focused! Our last trip out of town was to Augusta, GA, for a Christmas shower for our son and his fiance (PS--this is a great idea for a couple who hasn't had much opportunity to collect ornamanets or decorations). Every spring we take a week to go to our family tree farm in SC, just a stone's throw from Augusta, so in another ten days we'll head there, and two weeks from tomorrow is The Wedding! Yeeha! We're looking forward to being at Melrose, and looking forward to the wedding. (Another PS--if you're game, read the preceding post for a little audience participation!)


2. Long car trips: love or loathe?
I actually enjoy long car trips. I love seeing other parts of the country, whether traversing familiar roads (like I-81 in Virginia and PA) or discovering new ones.

3. Do you prefer to be driver or passenger?
I'm happy to do either.

4. If passenger, would you rather pass the time with handwork, conversing, reading, listening to music, or ???
Doing anything that takes my eyes off the road for any length of time is a challenge for me (too many years of getting carsick when I was young). Now that I need to wear glasses for close work (like handwork or reading), I'm pretty much captive to aural and long-range visual interests. When I travel by myself for a distance I really like books on tape. That's how I discovered Stephanie Plum (Janet Evanovich).

5. Are you going, or have you ever gone, on a RevGals BE? Happiest memories of the former, and/or most anticipated pleasures of the latter?
The timing of BE is a bit of an issue for me because it coincides with our annual trips to Melrose. Funds are another matter. I would love to go sometime, however.

6. Bonus: a favorite piece of road trip music.
Willie Nelson's On the Road Again ranks right up there! I like the catchy refrain from Rascal Flatts' Life is a Highway, too!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

rehearsal dinner plans, take 6

The days are waning! Another ten days and we'll be on the road to Melrose for some pre-wedding R&R (such as can be) and then the Big Event will be here! RD details are quite well in hand and there only minor things still to address.

One of them deals with ice-breaking activities. At the suggestion of a wedding consultant (thanks, Dana!) we've decided to play "The Almost Newlywed Game!" Now to come up with questions for the bride and groom! Help!!! I'm good at this kind of thing when I'm in a group and can feed off other people's energy and creativity in this regard. Then I get on a roll. But I am lacking the sufficient real life community for that task at the moment, however, so I'm asking for your help. What fun and only slightly embarrassing questions can we come up with to challenge our honored guests? And what would be some good ways to involve and/or reward the other guests for participating in some way?

Do you have other ideas about fun things to do? I'm all ears! And thank you!
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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

happy dance x n!

It's a joy! joy! happy day! And girlfriends (and guys, too), my virtual dancing shoes are on and I'm hitchin' my skirt for some high-stepping!

1) Taxes are done. Yay!!!! As soon as I publish this post I will be downloading bank statements for the first three months of this year and get set up for an easy-breezy tax season next time around!

2) I have a dress for the wedding! After leaving the accountant's office I decided to pop down the road to "Brides on a Budget." I think the merchandise is gently worn or something, but for a small shop they have an amazing number of lovely things. I found only one dress in my size that was worth trying on, and it came home with me! Fit like a glove and was half price. That's my kind of luck! (Picture Julie Andrews kicking up her heals do the tune of "I have confidence!" Guitar optional.)

3) The window is finally unstuck in my office and I've been enjoying the most delicious breeze in here all day long. Color me wispy and wistful as it blows my hair out of place!

4) While sorting through various piles and papers in preparation for doing taxes I discovered that there were lots of recipes in the mix. Hmmm. One might think I like to cook or something. So here's the thing. There's a photo challenge on I heart Faces from earlier this week that suggests we document a baking event. Ordinarily I don't bake much. Ken can't have sugar (and sorry, Splenda just isn't the same), and I try to keep my consumption of sweets to a minimum. But every now and then I get the bug, or have an occasion, or think about sending a care package (I should do more than think--I should bake!). This Easter week I'm sorting of taking the week off, and now that the onus of taxes is behind me, I feel quite liberated and ready to, well, dance! And bake! And perhaps try out another recipe that now sits in a pile of similar wannabes just itching to come to life.

5) A friend of mine called earlier to let me know that she was doing a closet purge (the lucky gal has lost 15 pounds!) and wondered if I would be interested in some of her cast-offs. Let me think about that. Yes! She has good taste in clothes and takes good care of them, so this was a no-brainer. Best of all, I'm keeping about ten of the items she dropped off a couple of hours ago--colorful, some have black (that's a clergy mandate), and they fit. I was getting so tired of polo shirts. Thanks, Yo!

6) Ken was at the Habitat for Humanity Restore earlier today, and came home with great news. A load of the oddly shaped mega-bricks popular for use in retaining walls was due in to the store. These aren't cheap, about $2 per brick at your local HD or Lowes. I've been hankering after a load of them to make a garden around one of the trees in our front yard, but the price was prohibitive in our present circumstances. Until now! Ken has Most Favored Donor status at the Restore, and we'll get them for about 25 cents each. Wahooo!!! I'm dancing on the retaining wall!

What's making you dance today? What's that? Feeling a bit grumpy? Nah, nothing like a little dancing with friends to get the blood going and bring oxygen into your lungs for some extra pep and a bounce in your step. Come on, step lively! That's the spirit!
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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

nose to the grindstone

I used to be really good about organizing my files and recording data for use compiling taxes. Somewhere along the line all that went to you-know-what in a hand basket. So today I am sorting through records and papers trying to assemble our tax form to take to the accountant. It is my hope to complete this task today, but who knows? My head is down and I'm in gear to transfer numbers and figures to forms. Perhaps tomorrow I'll have something to write that will be worth reading!

Monday, April 05, 2010

monday miscellany

  • Our sunrise service yesterday was fun. Seriously! The sun broke the plane of the horizon just as the service began. Don't you love it? It was chilly. 45 degrees. By the time we got to communion the paten and chalice were so cold! We had a good turnout, and I think I preached one of my best Easter sermons. I love Lent (no, really, I do!). I love Holy Week. I love Easter. I'm so glad all of that is over.
  • A winter wreath is still hanging on the front door. It needs to come down. Maybe today.
  • My plans for the week are to be a Domestic Diva Extraordinaire. The house is a total wreck. Dust rules supreme, though dog hair might trump the dust. My work is cut out for me.
  • If the weather remains pleasant (i.e. doesn't get much above 70 without a pleasant breeze) I will try to get some weeding done. The weeds trump the dog hair and the dust.
  • I'm allergic to heat and humidity (yes, that's exactly why I live in the south!).
  • Junior has a new job! He'll be going to Fort Benning (Columbus, GA), full time active duty National Guard to do training. I believe a promotion comes with the gig.
  • I'm thrilled for Junior--one of his best friends from his Ranger unit is at Benning, the husband half of the couple at whose wedding Junior and Trisha met. This means Trisha already knows someone there! I have no idea if this affects his scheduled deployment next January, but I suspect that is still on track (bummer).
  • The wedding is less than three weeks away!
  • Taxes loom. Ugh.
  • The church was beautiful yesterday, and the fragrance of those glorious flowers was delightful without being overpowering.
  • It's time for a closet purge.
  • I received my first set of hand tracings. Yay!
  • Breakfast calls.
  • Have a fabulous Easter Monday!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

found

I am happy to report that the dogs were found by someone on their way to Kroger. Our two beloveds crossed five lanes of traffic along the way, but all we care about is that they are home, safe and sound. Thank you all for your prayers and good thoughts. I can now sleep tonight.

missing

These are our two oldest, Juliet (above) and Rigel (below).
We got home about noon from a busy morning at church and were beginning to relax when McKinlee scratched the doggie-door cover off and scrambled through the door to the yard. Rigel went in hot pursuit. McKinlee, not trained yet to the invisible fence, hopped merrily out of the yard and on to one of the neighboring homes where dogs are in pens. Rigel remained in the yard, barking after her. I decided to let Juliet out as well. She will wander, but it has never been far, and she returns to the call of her name within minutes.

I went back into the house to check on something, and in another minute McKinlee voluntarily came back through the doggie door and into the house. I secured her within and went out to retrieve the other two. Gone. Neither of them were in sight. The call of their names produced no result. I got in the car and toured the neighborhood. No sign of them. Ken joined me and we circled other parts of the neighborhood. No sign of them.

On her own, I trust Juliet to return on her own. With Rigel with her all bets are off. He has never been off lead outside of the yard. My guess is that she would stay with him out of sense of maternal responsibility, being the more cautious dog in the first place. But now it's been an hour. I've taken another tour around a broader scope of the neighborhood. There is a breeze, so my voice won't carry but in one direction.

My heart is beginning to squeeze and tears prick at the corners of my eyes. I have prayed. I have called. I have looked, I have stopped people and asked if they have seen the dogs. The bad news: neither of them has ID's on. Both have collars (Rigel has two), and there are rabies tags attached, but the ID tags came off and have not been replaced yet. I am doing everything I can to avoid becoming a wreck.

Pray for their safe, voluntary return. Soon. Save my sanity. These are my babies. I don't want to think about what might happen next.
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Friday, April 02, 2010

walking the tightrope of good friday

Since the days of spiritual renewal that led to my adult baptism, Holy Week has held a special place in my heart and my history. I was blessed to be able to participate and attend services in communities where the services of the triduum--Maundy Thursday through Holy Saturday--were done with competence and reverence. They held power for me and brought depth and breadth to my journey that isn't touched by other means.

Over time and through the transitions of being with other congregations, I have lost touch with some of that mystery. I carry it within me, but the communities I have served have not had traditions and experiences of power to anchor the opportunity of this week in their own lives of faith. No Easter Vigils, or poorly attended ones. In the last two years in the congregation I now serve, attendance during Holy Week services is embarrassingly small. It grieves my soul. This week is what it is all about.

In the midst of grounding myself in the holiness and pain that are these days, life and humor intervene. Last night I was in the middle of reading the gospel, the passage from John where Jesus washes the feet of his followers and gives the new commandment to his disciples to love one another as he has loved them. Six people were in the congregation (see earlier note about embarrassing). A cell phone rang. I continued to read, assuming that the call would be ignored and the phone turned off or switched to vibrate. And then the hushed voice reverberated in the mostly empty space, "I can't talk now, I'm in church!" I finished the reading. "Let me call you back." I couldn't help myself. Doing my best to keep a straight face I raised the book while reciting the familiar words, "The Gospel of the Lord," closed the book and stepped to the side to allow the crucifer to lead us back to the sanctuary. I could hear and sense the restrained giggles of others. I returned the Gospel book to the altar and turned to face the congregation to preach. I could no longer control myself and laughter escaped.

After the service, standing in the sacristy crowded with all the items removed from the chancel following the stripping of the altar, I was asked what sort of set up was needed for the Good Friday service.

"The paten, chalice and a purificator," I said, "and the reserved sacrament."

The newest member of the altar guild looked at me with a blank expression. "The what?"

"The paten and chalice--the plate and the cup."

She nodded. Got it. "And you need the host."

"No," I replied. "On Good Friday Jesus dies and we bury him. We don't resurrect him until Sunday. There is no celebration of Eucharist on Good Friday, which is why we consecrate extra bread and wine tonight to use tomorrow."

Another blank look. "So you don't need the plate since there won't be a host."

"No, we do need the plate because we need to serve the already consecrated wafers."

I watched her process this bit of information. Then a light went on and she broke into a smile. "Oh!" she brightened. "Tomorrow we're having leftovers!"

And hence the tightrope. I love this time of year.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

the ironing board

First, two things.

Thanks to all of you who offered counsel on the matter of shoes. I do believe that existing black flats will accompany the colorful dress to the bridesmaids lunch/tea.

And, thanks to all of you who are game to lend a hand or two, three, or more to my quilt project. Scans are a great way to close the gap of distance or lack of fabric. Just go to my profile and click on my email address. Voila! If you need my snail mail address to send fabric tracings, email is also a great way to let me know. (Caroleb, I couldn't respond to your request because I couldn't get to your email!)

Now, the ironing board. I am indebted to my mother for this. She uses her ironing board to wrap packages. It's the perfect height for this project since it doesn't require bending over. I have found it the perfect accessory for photographing things! In this picture I documented the parts of the rehearsal dinner invitations that are finally done and on their way to designated recipients. Phew! I contemplated so many variations along the theme of combining the colors of the dinner (yellow, cornflower blue, lime green). In the end this is the look. Not exciting, but not dull, either. I had fun especially stamping the little bride and groom on the corner of the envelopes.

But back to the ironing board. I keep it in my office/sewing/craft room. Sometimes it is set up for days, and risks becoming yet another surface area on which to put things that don't have an immediate home. Other days it is folded and leans up against the side of my paper storage unit. The iron is plugged in at all times and has a home in one of the cubbies of my paper storage unit that is being used to store fabric. (I believe in spaces that can have multiple functions.)

I use the board to iron, to wrap packages (I am my mother's daughter, after all), to lay things out for a look-see, and to offer a surface to photograph things. The cover is bland enough not to distract from what is being photographed, and the background doesn't seem to interfere much, either. It's a perfect solution.

And it got me to thinking about what ordinary, everyday things get used for handy purposes other than that for which they were created. As I look around my office I also notice that a shoe rack stores stationery and craft supplies, a kitchen utensil container holds pens, pencils, scissors, paint brushes and other long and lean gizmos. Like emery boards.

What about your space(s)? How do you use items or places in your home to help you organize or streamline your life? As my grandmother would say, let's share the wealth (of ideas)!
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