Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ethics: Speed Edition

"What would you do?"

A customer rushes into Walmart with a sick child at home. She grabs a couple of items and asks for and receives what she came for - a special item from behind the counter of the pharmacy - medicine for her child.

The check-out lines are busy and finally it is her turn. The woman places her 5 items on the belt and the cashier flies them over the sensor.

Hearing the odd beep the cashier runs the last product she had in her hand over the sensor again.

Looking at the screen both costumer and cashier realize now that item has been charged twice. The cashier removes the error and runs the last item through.


The customer immediately realizes what happened. The medicine is what caused the weird sound from the register, not the product that had been rung in twice. There must not be a bar code on the medicine. The medicine itself would make the bill at least three times more.

All of this is figured out by the costumer in the matter of a second. Her decision happens in the next second...

What would you do?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Reality Check

I got me a new lappie.

It has Vista on it.

It has become quite clear that I am no where near cool enough for Vista.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Revgalblogpals Friday Five: Companions on the Way Edition

This week's Friday five as suggested by Jonah and brought to us by Songbird via the revgalblogpals:

Dante had Virgil as a guide. Before he had younger siblings, my oldest child had an imaginary friend named Patrick. Betsy had Tacy. Laura Ingalls depended on her brindle bulldog, Jack. All of them were companions on the way.

As we take the beginning steps of our journey through Lent, who would we take as a companion? Name five people, real or imaginary, you might like to have with you as guide or guardian or simply good friend.

I am going to pull out the Lent and instead focus on a spiritual/physical journey. I am envisioning it as walking through a path in the woods.

There are friends that would have to come with me: LS, LB, SB, SC - what a combination of humor, faith, grace and understanding... and all of them think I am funny. More important to the journey though is that they are funny too.

Another companion would be Winnie the Pooh; not the secular Disney version but the thoughtful A.A. Milne version who would combine just the right amount of humbleness and wise whimsy and could occasionally entertain us with his songs and poems; some about everything and some about nothing at all.

There are a few clergy that I have come across in my day whose wisdom and spirituality have far surpassed my own... and there are plenty more out there. But the ones I respect have all that they have and yet when around them you never feel like you are the lesser because you don't. This companion would be a composite of SS & LS's compassionate liberal, with LR's deep spirituality, and a dab of AKMA's theological depth (but not too much because he uses too many big words).

I would like to bring my upper-30's children. They don't exist right now but I would like to have them along so we can talk about the world as they see it and we can discuss what values and goals are important to them. I am merely choosing that age I guess because that is where I am now and from this perspective it seems like a good place to be, away from both the immaturity of youth and the responsibilities that come when you are older.

My four legged companion (because what journey is worthy without a four-legged companion) would be our Golden Retriver. He tends to run ahead, but never too far and has a habit of checking with those he is walking with just to make sure everyone is still safe and continuing on the journey.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Lazy Problem

When I originally signed up to have a blog I made my sign-in name and password short and sweet so that I could quickly type them in as I was commenting around the blog world.

When I created a gmail account for this blog I wanted to use the title of the blog so that is about as long as you can have it and then add to that a password that gmail considered hard to crack and you have quite a bit of typing to do in order to get into that account.

NOW those gmail sign-in/password are how I log in to make a comment and it irritates me to no end.

I should not have to worry about carpal tunnel just to make a fireplacin' comment... I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Remember That You are Dust...

I was going to go to someone else's morning or afternoon Ash Wednesday service today before I led our own at 7pm. But life got in the way and I ran out of time.

One thing I have noticed in the last few years is that I leave our own service with my forehead clean. Somehow that just doesn't seem right, but there is no one else on staff to go through the ritual with me on the receiving end and the whole thing is too new for this congregation to ask even one of the Elders to help me out.

Tonight about an hour before our own worship service I looked into a mirror and said the words, "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return," and placed the ashes on my own forehead in the sign of a cross.

Now maybe this wasn't appropriate. I would never serve myself communion. But I will tell you the words had a whole new meaning for me as I said them while looking into my own eyes.

Eery. Spiritual.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Can't Say it in Church

Some folks from the church just dropped off the ashes for Ash Wednesday. I had them pull in the driveway in front of the Sanctuary and I ran out to get them. They said that I didn't need to come out and get them and I said:

"Well, I didn't want you to get out and fall on your ash."

Yes, it is pitiful. Not only do I laugh at my own jokes, I am now posting them.

Not a Fan

As if being a woman and being clergy is not a hard enough balance without another member of that same group trying to knock you off the beam.

I'm with Listing Straight... although admittedly she said it far kinder and with far more grace than I would have. She's good that way.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Not Exactly

With a tip-of-the-halo to silent:

You Are 70% Extrovert, 30% Introvert

You are quite outgoing
You are a social connector - you know a ton of people
While you aren't a wild extrovert, you are a great talker
A fantastic storyteller, you keep everyone laughing

I cannot BELIEVE how much I look just like that chick in the picture.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Revgalblogpals Friday Five: Tourist Edition

Reverendmother is our source for the Friday Five this week. She writes: I am downtown on retreat this week. Most of the retreatants are from out of town, so I get to experience this place through the eyes of visitors. So in the spirit of tourism:

1. What is one place you make sure to take out-of-town guests when they visit? (you can be vague to preserve your anonymity if you like)
Well, we're not exactly in a tourist area so it depends upon the age group of the person/people who come. With my friends I always try to hit a fun second-hand furniture store or two and/or definitely a coffee shop. With elementary kids and adolescents a church member will give us a tour of his dairy farm. With over 900 head of cattle that is not to be missed.

2. When visiting another city or town, do you try to cram as much in as possible, or take it slow and easy?
Slow and easy. Trying to cram it all in very quickly becomes mandatory fun.

3. When traveling, where are we most likely to find you: strolling through a museum, checking out the local shopping, or _________________?
Walking around seeing the sights... saving our $ for whatever splurge we have preplanned (ie: Broadway show, nice dinner, etc...)

4. Do you like organized tours and/or carefully planned itineraries, or would you rather strike out and just see what happens?
I'm not big on the planned tour route although I have always wanted to get guided around the art museum instead of just thinking to myself, "Well that there picture is right pretty."
If we could ever afford to do another country I would like to do half tour group, half on our own.

5. After an extended trip, what do you find yourself craving most about home?
Absolutely no question, our bed. It is one of those foam mattresses that contours to your body. We joke that it actually ruins some vacations because we just want to get back to our own bed.

You know, I could really use a vacation. Maybe I'll look into using one of my quarterly spiritual days

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

And Now for Something Completely Different

It certainly has been a blog of fluff lately and for all of you fans of stomach viruses, teen driving issues and my JT crush I promise to return to such things soon.

I am on the PCUSA News Service email list so at least two to three times a day I get some sort of blurb from them. Mostly they are informative - PCUSA was one of the first responders to the devastating tornadoes that hit Florida a couple of weeks ago. Sometimes they are to help others publicize their ministry - we received a copy of a letter from a missionary in Kenya. Sometimes they are addressing the issues that a lot of pcusa'ers are sensitive about right now.

I usually leave these issues to the folks that can write using bigger words than I can and truthfully to those who are far more passionate about these things than I am.

It may be idealistic, but I just want to spread the Good News to the community through Word and deed and inspire others to do likewise. I don't have much time or patience for division, scruples and judgment.

But it is time for my own ‘ugh!’ The background of the story is that the schismatic conservatives of the pcusa have formed something called the New Wineskins. Now they have moved to all join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church… whatever, I don’t care. BUT the EPC leaves it up to individual congregations to ordain women and so of course there aren’t many - two to be exact and one of them is retiring.

To quote from the article,
"When that concern was raised the Rev. Carmen Fowler, NWAC vice-moderator, assured delegates that women would not be forgotten, and encouraged them to trust.

'I feel confident in saying that the brothers involved are
not going to let the sisters involved fall by the wayside,
because frankly they know how much work we do,' she said."

ARGH!!!! I think I just spit up a little bit in my mouth!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Too Much of a Good Thing

They say variety is the spice of life and in general I like the variety that my vocation has to offer. However, teens using our parking lot to skid in, lose control and slam into and through a light pole and then taking off is a bit more variety than I had in mind.

I have noticed that almost all of my posts fall under the 'Signs of the Apocalypse' label. And in this case it is once again true because we hoped that the kids' conscience might kick in or that a parents' wisdom and sense of right and wrong might prevail but unfortunately our next thought was that in this day and age both of those are highly unlikely.
Or worse the church will be sued for not having warning signs that when snow hits the pavement it is slippery.

Monday, February 12, 2007

How the Flood Gates Were Opened

It started out so innocently - church related even.

Every year the men do a Valentine's breakfast at church and the highlight is a men's chorus that sings love songs. It helps them if they have recordings to go by so TDH asked me if I could use all of my new technology to get him You've Lost that Loving Feeling to bring to practice Wednesday night.

You see, I received an ipod for Christmas and now have been introduced to the money sucking black hole that is iTunes. But until about 10 minutes ago, I had not given the black hole my credit card number because I know I am an impulse buyer and is anything more conducive to impulse buying than songs that are "only 99 cents each"?

So now we have the Darryl Hall and John Oates version of the previously mentioned song... and the 2007 Grammy Album.... and somehow Justin Timberlake's SexyBack video.

I feel so ashamed and yet not at all sorry.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Friday Five: Abbreviated American Idol Edition

My son is still sick... nasty sick and so as much as I LOVE this edition of Friday Five which you can find in its full version with its many links at revgalblogpals, I just cannot take the time to do the full thing (not to mention it is no longer Friday).

So I picked my favorite question... or maybe my favorite answer:
4) If I could sing a dream duet it would be with ___________.
Public answer: Josh Groben
Real answer: Justin Timberlake

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Post Party Depression

Well, apparantly the party also acted as an incubator for some sort of stomach virus as most participants have some variety of stomach cramps and all of the fun that comes with that. TDH has been a wasteland since late yesterday afternoon and did stuff overnight that he hasn't done since the 80's (I am trying not to be gross, but think bowl by the bed).

I have three thoughts running through my head that are a bit odd:
1) This couldn't have been the food, right? I mean if it were the food it would've hit us all a lot sooner.
2) Please God, let the touch of it I had yesterday be all I get this time around.
3) How weird is it that staying home from work to tend to the sick makes me feel like a 'real mommy' as if I'm not when I do all the other things I do.

I of course feel awful for all of those who are struggling with this thing - and party goers are not the only ones in this community afflicted - but those three thoughts are the ones that keep coming back to me.

Also, it is very hard to work on a sermon at a foot high fisher price table surrounded by crayons and play-doh... I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

RevGalBlogPal Friday(ish) Five Change Edition

I am having trouble focusing at work so I am hoping throwing up a post will help me simmer down and get some things done. On Friday I was hurriedly trying to finish a sermon so I couldn't get to this fun Friday Five as presented by reverend mother. Somehow I don't think changing the Friday Five to Tuesday was quite was she had in mind, but here it is anyway.

Change is a given in life, yet it's not easy for any of us. So strap on your seat belts and let's talk about it:

1. Share, if you wish, the biggest change you experienced this past year.
The transition from immobile baby to mobile - and opinionated! - toddler has been pretty big for us. Pretty fun (most of the time) too.

2. Talk about a time you changed your mind about something, important or not.
I have only been married once, but I am not married to the first person I said I would marry.

3. Bishop John Shelby Spong wrote a controversial book called "Why Christianity Must Change or Die." Setting aside his ideas--what kind of changes would you like to see in the Church?
Hording our resources in the name of being fiscally sound and saying we want folks to come and join us but really meaning we only want folks like us to come and join us.

4. Have you changed your hairstyle/hair color in the last five years? If so, how many times?
I am currently in the midst of growing my hair out because like most men, my husband likes it longer. I will NEVER admit this to him, but even though I HATE hair in my face it does look better longer.

5. What WERE they thinking with that New Coke thing?
Maybe there is a connection between New Coke and crack - both came out in the 80's and partaking in them was a VERY bad decision.

Special thanks to Peter Brady who for all of us around a certain age symbolizes how hard it sometimes is to overcome change but with a little creativity (and a boost in the tv ratings) anything is possible!

Any chance I buckle down now?

Monday, February 05, 2007


First I was grateful for those of you who have stuck with me the past week as I blogged about a 2 year old's birthday party. Wow. That was some patience. Thank you.

Then I was grateful (sorry, just a few more things about the party) for an event for 16 adults and 8 children that went off without a hitch thanks to TDH, a church fellowship hall, copious quantities of food, family helpers and the words "you may mix the play dough as much as you want" which in a few of those children's eyes has made me the. best. pastor/Mom. EVER!

Then I was grateful for a late afternoon cat nap that allowed my two year son to rebound from a long Sunday and enjoy opening his presents while his Aunt and Uncle were still in town.

Then I was grateful as this evening a committee voted to get me a new computer this year instead of next... and it shall be a lappie.

All of these things and more have made for a great weekend for which I am incredibly grateful.

Then this evening when I put The Boy to bed I said, "Night night" to which he responded with his usual sweet, sing songy "Night, night. See you. Bye Bye.... "

And then for the first time ever, "I love you."

My cup - and my heart - runneth over.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I know it's become cliche but...

Being able to smush all of the playdough into one big ball without getting yelled at: $0

Mommy explaining to me that we are eating cake and not actually eating Elmo: $0

A stolen kiss from an appreciative party goer: priceless.

Birthday Party Saga: Late Night Edition

I came home from the airport run and immediately jumped into making the Elmo cake and the next batch of playdough. So far so good on the first enterprise, although the truth will be in the icing coming out right (seriously, who AM I?).

This batch of playdough I decided to get tricky and I added cinnamon so it would smell good... unfortunately I added too much cinnamon.

I was getting ready to put the glitter in when I realized the dough was burning the chapped parts of my hands from the cinnamon. Good thing I tested it before I handed it to unsuspecting children and their parents!

Welcome to will smama's toddler party o' torture! Don't forget to put the real fire ants in your pants and pin the tail on that guy over there.

Can you feed dogs home made playdough?

Don't worry, I know the answer is no.