Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Five: Books and More Books Edition

Jan says: "I hope some of you received books for Christmas presents; I did and have been reading ever since. Then I discovered a new author from those recommendations that pop up on Instead of buying those books, I've been checking them out at the library, which will not help Amazon's future recommendations for me at all. So tell us what you're reading, what you would and would not recommend--five books or authors! And if you don't want to do that freestyle, here are some questions:"
1. What books have you recently read? Tell us your opinion of them. I DID get a book for Christmas from my husband's lovely daughter.  It's Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and I am reading and enjoying this thoughtful delve into how we know those things we just know in the "blink of an eye."  I'm also reading Christianity for the Rest of Us which is making me by turns inspired and, I have to say, a little wistful.  Also just starting David Bach's Start Late, Finish Rich which I got for .01 on Amazon (and of course $3.99 for shipping, but still a good deal.) So far it's in sync with what I've seen on his website and in his earlier works...upbeat hopeful..."YOU can DO IT!!!" I can...but will I? Also reading Little Women on the android Nook just because it was a free download and I am between books and haven't had time to go get more.  I just finished Patricia Cornwell's Port Mortuary on the Nook, a Kay Scarpetta mystery. Always a good escape read.  And before that there was a Jodi Piccoult.  Got a gift card for the Nook from my sweetie for Christmas, so gotta shop before the BE! I'm actually thinking of getting a full size Nook or Kindle.  Me the queen of books liking a "device"....who'd a thought! But I love having five or six "at hand" without the lugging!

2. What books are awaiting your available time to be read?
There are the coffee table, beside the bed, in the office(s)...I don't even know what is in them anymore.  Books I bought, books people gave me, loaned me. Someday they will float up (or not) and get read (or not) or returned (or not).  So here's notice, if you ever loaned me a book, and you want it back, please tell me, it may be in that pile!
3. Have any books been recently recommended? I'm sure they have, but apparently I did not write them down...and sigh....they are gone where ever in brain such things go to hide of late.

4. What genre of books are your favorite, along with some titles and/or authors you like best? For just plain old escape I love me a mystery, especially with a women protagonist.  I like "cozies." I like things set in Minnesota, so Joanne Fluke's little baker/crime solver Hannah Swenson is a favorite as is anything by John Sandford or William Kent Krueger.  I'm also hooked on Julia Spencer Fleming and her  Rev.Clare Fergussen, Episcopal priest, ex-military pilot, crime junkie and thoroughlyy human woman.

5. What have you read lately that you have a strong urge to recommend? (or to condemn?) The above mentioned Blink is a fun and informative read.  I keep wanting to interrupt R at whatever he's doing to say "Did you know....." So he's now reading it along with me.  Thank you lovely daughter, good choice!

Monday, January 17, 2011

January Blogging NaBloPoMo

Today's Prompt: Write about something you feel should not have been invented.

I'm struggling here.  I have a hard time with absolutes. There are some things that come to mind as inventions we might well have been better off without.  The atom bomb might be one choice.  But from some of the research and development  that spawned that weapon also came things that were useful.  So there you go. Yin and yang rather than black and white. 

I have problems in general with should.  It's one of those non-negotiable words.  Like its friends must and ought and cousins always and never. Very absolute those words are.  Up against the wall and rigid they get us in our thinking. Personally, I like a little more breathing room, a little more space and movement for things to flow.

Perhaps there are things I would prefer that there were not flying loose in the world for unwise people to get hold of.  Were it my choice, atoms and their power would be used judiciously (if at all) and only for peace, and weapons of any sort (including inciting words)  would be carefully guarded and their use would the very very very last resort as a way to ever decide an outcome.

But to censor invention, even in imagination takes me to a place where I would not prefer to go.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Time to Get Up and Play the Friday Five

Singing Owl says: "Where I am it is dark, and it is cold, and it is snowing. I really wanted to stay in bed with the electric blanket cranked this morning. Share five things that made getting out of bed worthwhile for you today!"

Oh Amen to that!  Let's see....not even sure I can come up with five..
  1. It's FRIDAY and that means I don't have to get up quite so early in the dark and the cold tomorrow.
  2. It's only 43 days till the BE (really can that be true?!?!)
  3. It's only 71 days the first day of Spring (not that this really means anything here in the frozen north.  We once had 19 inches of snow on the 19th of April.  I'm just sayin'
  4. It's less than six months till our next adventure. Not a lot to be said on that yet, but plans are being made, and each day there is something to do that gets me up to face the day and moves me forward toward it.
  5. And last but certainly not least, I got to see that sweet face that makes every day worth getting up for. Ok, I know, I know....but gimme a break, we are still newlyweds!

January Blogging NaBloPoMo (Thursday)

Yesterday's prompt because I forgot.....What's the biggest lie you ever told?

I think I was about eleven or so.  My friend Pam and I, for reasons known only to two silly girls drank a part of one of my dad's beers from the fridge on a hot summer afternoon.  And then we left the partial bottle in the refrigerator, which was the first mistake.  In my house, there were no partial bottles, ev-er.  If we had finished the bottle and put it with the rest of the empties, there would like have been no issue.  However, we didn't, and when questions were asked, I compounded the first problem with my biggest (and dumbest!) lie ever..."How did it get there?" "Well I guess dad left it." Busted! Mom of course told dad we drank his beer and I was duly punished and Pam was not permitted to come over again for a while. Yup, lesson learned. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January Blogging NaBloPoMo

Today' prompt: What do you prefer listening to, music with lyrics or music without?

As my sweetie is fond of doing when I ask him some random either/or question, I'll just say, "Yes."

I know, grammatically that makes no sense, but irrationally I got kind of irky at the prompt..."You want me to choose?" Why?!? There's a time and place for everything and lyrics are one of those things, too.  When I just need me some background music...something to settle or soothe me, or something to read or write along to, then lyrics can just get in the way, or be distracting and at that point there is nothing like some lovely lush instrumentals...cellos, harps and pianos are high on my lists.  But when I am workin' me up a sweat on the treadmill, or trying to get my rear in gear into a cleaning project....I need to SING to something wild and upbeat to get my blood flowing and my energy moving. So do I have a preference for one over the other? It  all depends on the situation.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January Blogging NaBloPoMo

Today's prompt: What's the most fun you've had without laughing?

Baptising people, and blessing them runs a close second.  I haven't had a lot of opportunities to do the former, 2 to be precise, one sweet baby and my friend L. But I get to do the latter often, and it never ceases to amaze me what an absolutely amazing holy wonderful thing it is to be the conduit and channel of this gracefilled offering to God's people.  I cannot bless people without smiling.

Monday, January 10, 2011

January Blogging NaBloPoMo

Today's Prompt: Find a quote that fits your intention for today and tell us both of them.

Thumper: He doesn't walk very good, does he?

Mrs. Rabbit: Thumper!
Thumper: Yes, mama?
Mrs. Rabbit: What did your father tell you this morning?
Thumper: [clears throat] If you can't say something nice... don't say nothing at all.

It's Monday in the almost middle of January.  It's snowing...again, for what feels like gazillionith time already this year.  It's cold, it's dark and it seems as if there is no end in sight.  Stressors abound on various sides in my world.  And yet these melt away in comparison to to the really big bad and dark things around us.  The Arizona shooting that has stunned all of us in its absolute senseless brutality, a wonderful friend who has just received a cancer diagnosis that even with it's best prognosis will change her life forever, the sadness and problems that my clients bring me that sometimes feel insurmountable and endless.

There is an absolute temptation to cave in to the darkness and despair.  To say things that are indeed "not nice" on so many levels.  So my intention today is to follow Mrs. Rabbit's advice and to be thoughtful about my words.  To try to be silent if I can't be helpful and if I can't make things better in some least don't contribute to the problem.  Not bad advice from a rabbit.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Friday Five: Holiday Redux Edition

kathrynzj says "Not so fast, revgals and pals!!! Yes, I know it's January and yes, I know some of us are still on a cool sprint after only a brief respite (if that) from Advent and Christmas BUT... before we move too far along into The Next, I wanted to give us a chance to reflect on What Was. A couple of staff members and I sat down today and wrote down what worked and didn't work during the Advent and Christmas season. There are quite a few things bearing down on us at the moment so it was a discipline to do it, but ten and a half months from now Future Me is going to LOVE that we made the effort. And so partly to give us all a record and partly to give us all a chance to reflect on the 2010 Holiday Season now that we are out of it, I ask you this:"
1) What food item was one of your favorites this year - a definite keeper? The oyster stew R made for us the day after Christmas (simply becasue it didn't fit anywhere else in the plan) is definitely a keeper in the holiday menu traditions in our new family unit.
2) Was there a meal or party or a gathering that stands out in your mind from this mose recent holiday season? One tradition that I have been part of now for a few years that is special to me is the community meal on Christmas Eve that my friends over at the Presby church do each year before their candlelight service.  I started helping prepare and serve, then two years ago R joined in, and now it's part of our Christmas tradition.  This year was bittersweet with memories and anticipation.
3) Were you involved in a jaw-dropper gift? Were you the giver or recipient or an on-looker? Well I don't know that I'd go so far as "jaw-dropping" but I did make my long-suffering husband go on a scavenger hunt for the tonneau cover I got him for the new truck.  It was too big to wrap so I'd hidden it in the basement and took him all over the house with rhyming clues to find it.  I thought it was kind of fun and hope he did.  Now if it ever warms up and stops snowing, we might actually get this nice gift ON the truck and get to make use of it!
4) Was there at least one moment where you experienced true worship? I did supply last weekend at my favorite small parish down the road. We celebrated Epiphany and it was very much an Epiphany in all the lovely ways that can be in worship.
5) What is at least one thing you want to make sure you do next year? Have a more Adventatious Advent. Didn't this year...not sure why, but next year, yeah, somehow, want to have that.
BONUS: What is something you absolutely must remember to do differently... or not at all! OR: If you just want to sum it all up in a few words, that will work too. See #5.  And maybe next year, the big tree again, with all the ornaments and the whole fa-la-la.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

January Blogging NaBloPoMo

Today's prompt: Kant said that we require three things by which to measure happiness: someone to love, something we like to do, and something to look forward to. Who do you love, what do you like to do, and what are you looking forward to this year?

Who do you love?  Well the first person obviously who comes to mind is the sweet husband. This of course is a good thing! Seriously...I love this man more than I ever knew I could love anyone!  I also love my Soul Sisters and my soul friend C in deep and abiding ways that sustain me and feed my soul.  I have long loving friendships with people I have known for years and years...the kind you can call and pick up your last conversation from where you left off.  I have been very blessed to have these people to love. And of course last but not least....God.

What do you like to do?  Oh. My.  This could be a very LONG list.  I like my work for the most part.  I like being with people when they are dealing with important life stuff and empowering them to change things that are not working for them.  It feels like holy ground to me to be allowed so far into people's lives and to be trusted with their deepest selves.  I like being a priest...all the bits and parts of that....I like crafting sermons and preaching them, I like creating and doing good liturgy, I like doing pastoral care, I like being part of "big church" things that make a difference in the world.  I like singing, and reading.  I like being with people and being alone.  I like traveling (especially road trips with R in the Cooper).  I like cooking and trying new recipes.  I like writing of all sorts.  I like spending time with my "new" family. I like doing arsty things.  I like going to live performances of all kinds.  I like acting. I like being with my dog and being silly with her.  I like spending time doing just about anything (or absolutely nothing) with my husband. I like planting gardens (note I did not say weeding them however). I like listening to music...all kinds pretty much.  I'm starting to like working out, or at least the results.

What are you looking forward to this year? There are SUCH big changes afoot that are as yet unbloggable for various reasons.  But I am looking forward to them in many areas of my life! New adventures to be shared with my sweetie as well as continuing to be with friends, do what I love, learn new things and continue to grow and become more who I am. 

Of course I am also looking forward to 02/26/11! Can't wait to see old friends, meet new ones and to be at sea!!!!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

January Blogging NaBloPoMo

Today's Prompt: Tell us about the day you were born.

Well, it's been a while,  so any memories I may have had are lost in time by now. :)  There weren't a lot of stories surrounding my birth day.  There was one about the day my mom came home and announced she was pregnant to my then thirteen and eighteen year old brothers.  The older of the two picked her up and apparently spun her until she was dizzy, so happy was he that she was pregnant and not ill with some dread disease that had been making her so tired and sick.  This was the same brother who got kind of sulky when she had to miss some of his high school graduation festivities due to being in labor!

I do have a "birth song" that my mother shared with me, and that follows like a golden thread through my life. Mom told me that when she was going into the labor room the last thing she heard was Gounod's Ave Maria playing on the hospital's sound system.  Again as she came out of recovery, that same song was playing, and again the day we were going home, just as we came out into the corridor to be wheeled downstairs, there it was, she said.  She insisted she did not hear it any other time all the while she was in the hospital (longer in those days!) So it became our song, hers and mine.  Every time I heard it I felt connected to her.  I had it sung at her funeral, my ordination and our wedding.  And this year on Christmas Eve, my friend CCM who sang it at our wedding sang it again in her lovely contralto in the beautifully candlelit Presbyterian church.  I quietly dampened R's shoulder with my tears as memories flooded me, and I knew that mom too, was there with us listening to our song.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

January Blogging NaBloPoMo...

One thing I've been wanting to do in the New Year is blogging more, and I thought maybe doing the January NaBloPoMo would be a good start.  And then I didn't. So I'm going to start late and go on and see how it goes....
January 4: Who was your best friend when you were 10? Did you still know him or her when you were 20? When I was 10 my best friend was MaryJo G.  Her dad was the butcher across the street.  We played Barbies and I went with her and her parents almost every Sunday to Wisconsin to her cousin's roadhouse for dinner.  We also went to her other cousin's in the summer where there was an outdoor pool where I learned to swim.  Mary Jo and I were a year apart in school.  We did go to the asme high school, but once we got there we drifted apart, and they had moved out of the neighborhood as well.  We lost touch completely after she graduated, and by twenty I had no idea what had become of her.