Wednesday, January 31, 2007

4 Signs of the Apocalypse

1) I made homemade play dough -including coloring - for my son's birthday party.

2) I have agreed to have a birthday party for my 2 year old.

3) I am working on my sermon on a Wednesday.

4) The carill-still very much-on just played Here I am Lord... again.

Monday, January 29, 2007

I Think I Have an Opinion on That One

I leave in a couple of hours for a retreat involving this Presbytery's Uber Committee, a committee that I have WAY too much responsibility on. I will not return until tomorrow afternoon. One of the questions on the docket is should we do this 'retreat' any more.


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Carillon, CarillOFF

When we moved here the church had a carillon, circa: 1974 (1864?). The 'tapes' that went in it were warped and there were no replacements; not on ebay, Craig's list, or from the company (which was now just one retired guy in the assisted living part of the local nursing home). Eventually the time mechanism got so screwed up on it that I won the unspoken argument to shut 'er down. It was unspoken because I did it and when one person questioned why, I handed them the manual and encouraged them that if they could get it to work they should.

I thought I was safe from superflous serenades for the rest of our time here for what small, rural church would spend hard to come by funds on supposedly soothing air pollution? The answer of course is, this one!

Over $1000 was spent on a digital noise maker with over 1,ooo songs and a satellite system that keeps it running on time. The monitor is nicer than mine. The problem is that the guy who knows how to program it - I REFUSE to learn - is very busy and we are currently on a rotation of about 10 songs. The thing chimes every hour and plays little diddies at 9, 12, 3 and 6.

If I hear Here I am Lord one more fireplacin' time, there is going to be heck to pay. And if Onward Christian Soldiers wakes me up from one more nap I am going to go over to all of the people's houses who love it so much - those who are nowhere close to being within ear shot - and I am going to sing Amazing Grace outside of their window as loud as I can at 3 in the morning.

Empty threats? Just try me.

Friday, January 26, 2007

RevGalBlogPals Friday Five: Renewal Edition

List four ways you like to relax or give yourself a break. Then name a fifth, something you've never been able to do, a self-care dream.

1) Nap.

2) Empty the house. Have food, drink, laptop and remote at the ready. Sit on the couch. Watch movies either via tv or dvd's.

3) Coffee with friends.

4) Massage.

5) I would LOVE to go to one of those all expense paid, tropical things where no one knows my name except the cabin boy, Pablo.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wonder Revgal Power - ACTIVATE!!!

Form of... A RAIN CLOUD!

Why did the Wonder Twins only use their powers to become a form of water (him) and a type of animal (her)?

Anyway, I digress. What I am REALLY looking for is help with resources for contemporary music that is NOT 'Jesus is my Boyfriend' music.

In the name of blended worship, we are going to sing something in worship a lot less organ/hymny as our second song of the day (out of 3). However, I need decent music to do this as bad contemporary makes me want to hurl and truly I am a church geek and traditionalist at heart.

Any ideas?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Take. That.

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Royal Highness The Reverend Will Smama the Free of Puddleston St Droop
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I Write the Psalms

For what it is worth, here is one of the Psalms I wrote for tomorrow's sermon:

A Psalm of lament for the illnesses a lot of us have been suffering this winter:


O Lord, why has thou forsaken us?
Our throats are sore and our noses full.
We cry out to you, “Why Lord, why ---hack, cough, hack---?!”
Pneumonia, bronchitis – yea, even pleurisy
Have stricken us; oh how the mighty have fallen.
Surely your goodness and mercy will rescue us
From the depths of Robitussin.

O Lord have mercy upon those of us who drag
Through the day and yet receive no sleep through the night.
We search for answers Lord, and yet you are the one who commanded,
“Never kiss your honey, when your nose is runny.
You may think it’s funny…But it’s not.”

I kill me.

I swear, if I were even half as funny as I think I am, I would be making millions on the circuit right now.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I've Been Outed...

... by myself!

Tonight I had to ask for my board's blessing on a potential D.Min. I say potential because I haven't even applied yet but part of the application is getting your board to say it will support you.

(sarcasm dripping) I am just so excited to have this opportunity to publicly fail at even getting into the program. No really, thank you for that.

Too Much Information

The first and last bands listed on my Ipod meme in the post below bring back memories relating to The Boy.

In between the loss of Baby Snowpea and my next pregnancy we went to a friend's party where they played a game where we all sat in a circle with a pen and a piece of paper that had a particular writing category on it. For instance, mine said 'recipe' another said 'fable' another said 'short story', etc... We would write for a couple of minutes and then pass the paper to the next person. We did this until they went all the way around the circle and then we read them.

I forget what the heading of the story was but one of them started talking about babies and the various challenges - all humorous - that come with having them. And then the tone of the paper turned saying something like :but babies are warm and snuggly and make you want to kiss them all over and sing cheesy Air Supply songs to them... To my surprise it was TDH who had written that and for so many reasons that was a relief and a joy.

When I found out I was pregnant with The Boy I told TDH by blaring Air Supply's greatest hits through the house and watching as he slowly realized what that meant.

As for the Timberlake, well that is a slightly less gentile story. Basically my friend who gave me that as a fun gift for my birthday takes TOTAL credit for The Boy being with us today since I told her I was going to open it immediately 'to get in the mood' and we do believe that the conception date was my birthday.

I know, iw.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Ipod Meme

Why? Because finally - and through the great generosity and overwhelming Christmas spirit of my sister - I can!

Teh Idea - Totally 'borrowed' from Inner Dorothy
Teh Rules: Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question. NO CHEATING.

How does the world see you?
"Young Love" - Air Supply (ouch, what a way to start)

Will I have a happy life?"
I am a Man of Constant Sorrow" - Soggy Bottom Boys (well at least the music quality is better)

What do my friends really think of me?
"Hold On" - Yes (Apparantly much like VH1, I loved the 80’s)

How can I make myself happy?
"Everything Must Change” - Barbra Streisand (huh, interesting to say the least)

What should I do with my life?
"Chains of Love" - Erasure

Will I ever have children?
"I Hope" - Dixie Chicks (huh again)

What is some good advice for me?
"Walk On" - Susan Ashton (everything must change and walk on.. I’m noticing a pattern)

How will I be remembered?
"I Don’t Want to Wait" - Paula Cole (instant gratification on my tomb stone - cool!)

What is my signature dancing song?
“Farther Along” - Lost Dogs (That was so lame I’m going to try it again: “Blessing in Disguise” - Lost Dogs. Okay, apparantly I am not supposed to have a good dance song and I am supposed to consider it a blessing)

What do I think my current theme song is?
"A Vegas Story" - Lost Dogs (did my Ipod get stuck on one band?)

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
"When it Was Over" - Sara Groves (I've got nothing)

What song will play at my funeral?
"The Climb” - No Doubt

What type of men/women do you like?
Men: "Minimum Wage" - They Might Be Giants (LOL!)
Women: "Like I Love You" - Justin Timberlake (that’s right, I’ve got some Timberlake on my Ipod - what of it?!)

What is my day going to be like?
"I want to be Loved" - Bon Jovi (As much as I hate to admit it, that’s about right)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Ministry Can be Isolating

Yeah, I know... not exactly an Einstein declaration.

But it is the thought I had today as I realized I would have loved to have been able to meet songbird, or St. Casserole or reverend mother or listing straight or LadyBurg or Pink Shoes or PPB or Preacher Mom or insert your name here:

For just even the quickest cup of coffee together.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I am SO over this Head Cold

We interrupt this head cold with the following picture...

Thank you for your time.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Procrastinator, Blogger and Preacher (sort of)

I think Polar Bear did this once before, but I thought I would share last Saturday morning's initial activities with you:

Arrive in office
Turn on computers
Note that computer is rattling… loudly.
Email select friends to let them know you are in the office… working.
Read and add comment to revgalblogpal Preaching Party thread.
Dig out bulletin and sermon worksheet.
Title worksheet with appropriate Scriptures and date.
Look up sermon title in bulletin.
Wonder if eventual sermon will actually match up with title.
Decide it is time to move from pen - with inherent concreteness - to pencil on worksheet which makes one feel smarter and like one is actually working on something full of great wisdom and truth. Reminds one of Pooh when said bear taps on his head and proclaims, “Think. Think. Think.”
No pencils on desk.
No pencils in desk.
Go to supply closet to get pencils… oooh, paperclips!
Get big and small paperclips, restack stick-it notes, close door.
Open door back up and get three pencils - duh.
Go to other closet to sharpen pencils.
Pencil sharpener unplugged.
Decide pencil sharpener should be in closer location anyway, but where?
Remember that current printer on desk is out of ink and ‘powers that be’ said networked printer is more cost effective anyway.
Decide to take bulky printer off and replace with pencil sharpener.
Unplug things.
Remove things.
Dust desk.
Laugh at self and wonder if this latest procrastination track will blog.
Debate on where sharpener should go.
Place sharpener on desk.
Plug in sharpener.
Sharpen pencils.
Place paperclips in proper sections in desk.
Stare at worksheet.
Check email.
Check preaching party thread.
Decide to type up current procrastination track for blog.
Check email.
Back to worksheet….

Minutes passed since arrival in office: 63
Words written on sermon worksheet: 13
Words written on assorted emails and blogs: well over 1000 (estimated)

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Trip II

The next leg of our journey took us down to see our friends from seminary. They have two beautiful girls - one is in Kindergarten and the other is just 5 months older than The Boy.

The older one was incredibly patient with the two younger ones. The younger one was followed by The Boy EVERY where. It was so cute, but she didn't always think it was so great.

The last full day we were there our friends went back to school and jobs and we took The Boy to the aquarium. I had tried not to get my hopes up too high. He is after all only two. Turns out the three of us had a blast! I am not sure which is my favorite moment, when he saw the huge whale sharks float right in front of him or when he got the attention of the woman next to us and proudly proclaimed while pointing at the tank window, "It's a fish!"

I don't return from vacation well and there is something always frustrating to returning home in January to Christmas decorations up, but we loved spending time with our friends. Also, there is the benefit of the lazy conversations you can have with your loved one when you have no where else to go for 10+ hours.

All in all it was a great trip and as kids get older and schedules get busier I know being able to make a trip like that is not something to be taken for granted.

Peace, friends.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Trip

First, I know there are a lot of potential blogger meet-ups that I drive right by on our (at this point) annual trip down south. But I am very protective of my time with the Onion Rings. With this southern city's traffic issues, any meet up would take at least half the day and I am just not willing to give that up.

This most recent trip did include an overnight visit with 'Emerald Palace' as I called her on that same post about friends where I mentioned the Onion Rings. Now you know her better as Listing Straight. Interesting to note that I actually mentioned that one of us could leave: "She is a lot of fun and although I know that one of us will eventually move to a different area I hope our friendship will continue to grow..."
I just didn't think it would be so soon.

We had a great time. It was really good to see her and the amount of hospitality her family packed into about 16 hours was impressive. Even Darling Daughter was a patient hostess to The Boy who loves trains, but doesn't get the whole track concept and who thinks stuff on counters should be stuff on floors. They allowed us to relax which included letting The Boy run around while we ate dinner. If you are a parent you understand what a gift that is since The Boy had been in the car all day, but his running around meant that Darling Daughter wanted to run around and not eat dinner too.

We kicked back and watched fun tv together and we were treated to a yummy breakfast by request. She showed me around where she lives now and the church. The amount of transition she and her family have been through would break anyone's stress test, but she has handled it with her typical grace, humor and confidence in who God is calling her to be.

I am bummed she left, but glad that we managed to get our friendship to a more permanent place before she moved.

Blogger is not allowing me to post any more pictures so I will save the rest of the journey for later...

Note to Self:

In this particular church, in this particular place when the pastor is away the attendance barely waivers. However, when the choir is given the Sunday off, attendance drops by at least 25%. Please keep this in mind before sweating blood over a sermon to be delivered on a Sunday that the choir has off.

Also, go gargle something... your voice sounds like hell.

Friday, January 05, 2007

RevGalBlogPal Friday Five: Birthday Redux Edition

1. "It's my party and I'll [blank] if I want to..."Favorite way to celebrate your birthday (dinner with family? party with friends? a day in solitude?)
Not sure there is an answer to this. I have done a variety of things. Last year I went out with two women from church after our kids went to bed. The idea was to get drinks and eat appetizers. We placed our order of 2 beers (me - it was Happy Hour) and 2 Sprites (one was pregnant and one was dieting). After I gave them a LOT of grief for being lame, we went on to having a pretty decent time.

2. "You say it's your birthday... it's my birthday too, yeah..." Do you share your birthday with someone famous? (Click here to find out!)
Drew Carey and Jewel... and Rosemary Clooney which is officially the closest I will ever get to her nephew, George.

3. "Lordy Lordy look who's forty..."Milestone birthdays:
a) just like any other birthday--they're just numbers, people.
b) a good opportunity to look back/take stock
c) enjoy the black balloons--I'll be hiding under a pile of coats until the day is over
d) some combination of the above, or something else entirely.

a... with a touch of d. TDH is 5 years older than me so I have already done the cheering/the don't worries/the 'it's just a number' bit so when it gets to me I have to practice what I preached.

4. "Happy birthday, dear... Customer..."Have you ever been sung to in a restaurant? Fun or cringe-worthy?
Oh yeah. When I turned 21 I was given quite the gyrating song and dance by the group of waiters at a Florida beach eating establishment. They were really hot and really knew what they were doing so granted they were also really gay but really... who cares.

5. "Take my birthday--please"Tell me one advantage and one disadvantage about your particular birthday (e.g. birthday in the summer--never had to go to school; birthday near Christmas--the dreaded joint presents)EDITED TO ADD: This could also simply be something you like/dislike about your birthday (e.g. I like sharing a birthday with my best friend, etc.).
My birthday is in late May so I have had a few opportunities to combine it with graduation parties - a pretty cool thing. The day I turned 21 was also '3 for Thursday' night at a local eating establishment. It was also the last day of Finals at my college. That was not a bad combination. I also had quite the birthday/seminary graduation party.

The one year it was a disadvantage was the year it fell on the same night as prom. I was 16 and a sophomore. I had been invited by a senior, but my parents wouldn't let me go... then they forgot it was my birthday.

Worse, Matthew Schoeffling did NOT show up.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Brief Update

We have a long ride tomorrow and then we will be home. Once there I hope to share some of the events - and some pics - from the previous week. But as a hint I will tell you that today I heard the word "feesh" (fish) well over 200 times.