Wednesday, January 30, 2008


The winds blew in last night and we've had gusts of 50-60 mph.
Of course, we had the windy rainstorm followed by a huge drop off in temperature, on garbage night.
Little Town has automated garbage pickup. The city assigns you a cart with a number and it's yours to care for. For nearly 5 years, we've had nary a problem with our green cart, until this morning.
No green cart as far as the eye can see. I assumed it blew somewhere, but not even within sight?
So, I spent 20 minutes driving through the sub-division looking for our cart, down every cul-de-sac. One fellow had three carts on his lawn, alas none were ours. I drove (mind you with that bitter cold whipping I wouldn't have lasted 5 yards) down the the major intersection where there were 2 carts lying on the corner. It was a long shot that ours would have travelled that far, but hey, stranger things have happened. I got out to check the numbers. Another van pulls up, another woman gets out with a little scrap of paper in her hand - also checking numbers. We exchange how we're looking for our lost litter containers. She checks the one and then says, "I guess I'll just take one." And she loaded up one garbage cart that wasn't hers. I wouldn't take a cart that wasn't mine, knowing someone must be looking for it.
Now I wonder who might've taken ours. I'm hoping one of my next-door neighbors brought it into their garage for safe keeping and will give us our garbage cart back this evening. Unless someone, actually took ours by mistake, but then where is theirs?
The Sanitation Dept. in Little Town got flooded with 1400 calls about missing garbage carts. Sure hope they turn up.
As humble as they are, garbage carts are a necessity and one thing I wouldn't want to do without - except I really only miss it, once a week, when we fill it and set it out to be relieved of its burden and ours. I wonder how we will cart away all our weekly debris and where our garbage cart now resides. I kinda miss it, even if it did just stand mutely in the garage as a sentinel to greet me whenever I pull into the garage. It was our garbage cart, spanking and sparkling new along with our house (except for the construction dust and grime)and the mail box. It all was new together and part of our life in Little Town.
Oh, Little Town will give us another one, but it just won't be the same. I know its number and I'll be looking for it.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Sunday was our annual congregational meeting following worship in our Fellowship Hall. Nominating & Building & Grounds committees (small committees though they are)were to host the coffee hour. One white-haired saint of the church made a point to mention a week ago Sunday, that she hoped there would be something more than just donuts, if you expect people to stay.
Well, now she had a point. When the Deacons met on Wednesday (1 is on Nominating committee, 1 is wife of Nominating committee member), the annual meeting was mentioned and someone mentioned donuts. I simply commented that perhaps we could use something a bit more since it would be lunch time. One offered some Trail Bologna (good Amish country cold sausage) and cheese and crackers. Great.
I began to think of the kids and knew you have to feed the crowd to make it more enjoyable and way of gathering. What good is the meeting when everyone's stomach is growling and all they're thinking is: how much longer 'til this is over and we can get lunch?
So, I made three salads - egg, salmon and chicken on Saturday.
On Sunday morning, I went through 3 loaves of bread (2 white, 1 wheat)and made an assembly line smearing salad on slices of bread and topping them with another slice, then cutting the slice diagonally into triangles and cutting the triangles diagonally into smaller triangles. After, I filled a serving plate, I went on and made American cheese sandwiches, cutting them in the same way. Next the PB & J with the same process. I put the cheese and PB & J onto a serving plate and the salmon salad sandwiches on their own seperate plate.
(The day before I made folded over index cards and a multi-colored pencil to write the name of the different sandwiches so people knew if it was chicken or tuna or what the salmon was!)
In a half hour I had all the sandwiches made, having gone through three loaves of bread and wondered if there was enough. I bagged up the left over salads, thinking they could be smeared on crackers.
Right after worship, I had to go to the office and run something off the computer which took some time. By the time I got upstairs, most of the sandwiches were gone. I got a triangle of American cheese. The trail bologna had vanished. There was some Swiss cheese, crackers, veges and dip and cookies still left.
Had I not made the salads and sandwiches, there would've been many hungry people. The kids gobbled up the cheese and PB & J sandwiches.
I sent one woman whose daughter is disabled and whose grandson lives with her, home with some egg and chicken salads.
There was still some left for LH and I to have a sandwich when we arrived back home.
I don't recall it ever mentioned in Seminary, that sometimes you have to literally feed your people, with homemade sandwiches!!! Even then, the meeting lasted less than 1/2 an hour! (which I suppose is OK that there weren't any major issues or concerns weighing heavily on people's hearts - outside the big gloomy ones of aging membership, no new members, tight finances, but we have 5 young people in the confirmation process, kids involved in Tone Chimes, choir and a small youth group and younger members who stepped in and have taken over some of the activities the older women and folks could no longer do without so much as a complaint! So there are signs of hope along the way!)
It's just one of those things that never got mentioned in Seminary...
I'm sure there are many more! Care to share what never was mentioned in Seminary that you ended up doing?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


You Would Be a Pet Dog

You're friendly, loyal, and an all around good sport. People love to be near you.

You are very open with your feelings, and you're quite vocal in expressing them.

You are sincere and kind. You love many people - without any sort of agenda.

Why you would make a great pet: You're content to chill out with your friends

Why you would make a bad pet: You always find yourself getting into trouble

What you would love about being a dog: Running around and playing

What you would hate about being a dog: Being left home alone while everyone else is out having fun

Thanks to Skewed View!!!!
Guess all the time lazing about with my greys has worn off on me!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

SO FAR THIS YEAR...(Book Challenge)

I have read Praying in Color by Sybil Macbeth. I am still working on A Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs, and also in process is The Disciple-Making Church by Glenn MacDonald.
I ended up last year with Pontoon by Garrison Keillor, and Desperate Preacher's Wives by (I can't remember and passed the book on).
I have a couple others in process and hope I will actually finish them. Anne Lamott's is right up there (third in Traveling Mercies series).
I am flooded with Lenten projects and am at the overwhelmed stage although ideas are fairly solid and taking good form. Now, I have sit and type them into existence.
What I most want right now is a nap!!!!!! (and this at 10:55 am). Gonna be a long day working on my sermon.

Monday, January 14, 2008


The Birthday Friday five:

1. When is your birthday? Does anyone else (famous and/or in your own life) share
February 18th. John Travolta

2. Do you prefer a big party or an intimate celebration for a chosen few?
Haven't really celebrated my birthday much in many years. Pretty quiet affairs with LH and a dinner out.

3. Describe your most memorable birthday(s) - good, bad or both.
There's been a few: When I turned 7, we moved on my birthday into a new house just 2 blocks up the same street. I didn't get party that year.
A few years ago, LH and I drove to Princeton Seminary on my birthday for a continuing ed seminar and spent the whole day in the car. Had dinner at a nice restaurant in Princeton and had a Hostess cupcake with a candle in it for my Birthday cake.
When I turned 41, my Dad was dying of lymphoma. I was in Chicago at my sister's where Dad was staying. My niece came in from college for a long weekend to be with the family. We three girls managed a to go for a nice luncheon at a tea place. I bought my sister a mug and she bought me one - same style, different design on it. To this day, I use that mug every Saturday morning! It was a sad birthday but also special that we three girls were together. It was hard to really celebrate when our hearts ached so about losing our beloved Dad. He died about 2 weeks later.

4. What is your favorite cake and ice cream? (Bonus points if you share teh cake recipe) Or would you rather have a different treat altogether?
That would be chocolate layer cake of some kind - Pepperidge Farm used to
have a frozen one that was quite good. And, of course, Chocolate Moose Tracks ice cream to go with it!!!

5. Surprise parties: love 'em or hate 'em?
Never had a surprise party. Gave some though. I guess it would be kinda fun to have a surprise party.

BONUS: Describe your ideal birthday - the sky's the limit?
I would enjoy champagne brunch with my whole family (LH, sister, BIL, niece and nephew).
On a more realistic note, just a day to sleep in, putter around, read, play with the camera, write, and just laze about. Then to have a nice dinner out with LH.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

That Annoying Feeling of Inertia...

Don't know what is nor can I put my finger on it exactly, it's just annoying feeling of inertia I've had lately. So much that needs to be done, planned for Lent, Easter, etc. Confirmation class to prepare for, Annual Report due, Newsletter article coming up, another week and another sermon, Presbytery meeting on Saturday, Session meeting Sunday after worship with Presbytery liasons for Triennial visit, ughhh...and I just can't seem to move and get going. To top it all off, I can't find things: my confirmation books (they seemed to have just vanished into thin air), a folder from Presbytery gathering on Small, Strong churches, my retreat folder on grace, etc....
I just wanted to sleep yesterday, so tired. I did doze on the couch from 10:00 ish pm until nearly 11 pm and woke in time for the news!
Now that I finished my annual report, spoke with a neighboring pastor about our county Pres churchs' Lenten Soup Suppers and have an idea and ordered the book, I'm starting to feel more energy, only slowly.
I think that the Presbytery meeting is already draining me of energy - too much time sitting and hearing ones who like to talk talk. The shine has long worn off going to Presbytery meetings, it's more an obligation, chore and duty than it is a joy. If they could be just 9 am to noon, that would be great, but it ends up being all day plus travel time.
Will continue to pray and work at shaking off this inertia of heavy tiredness and acedia.

Monday, January 07, 2008


One of the first things I did in this New Year was to sew 2 fabric panels for our chancel area for Lent. Did you know there are only 3 Sundays in Ordinary time, 1 Transfiguration Sunday and it's Lent?!!!? This is a extremely short season.
Anyhow, the fabric panels are done and ready to be hung at the proper time. I also happened to find a pastel tie-dye print for the Easter season. It looks like the paper towel used to wipe the egg dipper after dipping/turning eggs in different colored dyes. The colors just bleed into each other in a beautiful pastel rainbow.
So, that will be the next big sewing project (actually the big part of it is the measuring, marking and pinning! The sewing is the easy part!)
Today, I will be making mini-cheddar meat loaves for 18-20 (actually the recipe makes 24) for the Rotary Dinner at the church tonight. The Confirmation class will be serving and cleaning up the dinner which each parent making one dish for the dinner. Yours truly, of course, felt compelled to do the meat entree. (With only 5 confirmands and 2 from the same family - it just didn't seem fair to ask them to do the main meat dish). So, there you go. What a fun way to spend the first Monday of the New Year - making 24 little meat loaves and obsessing over the dinner. This is from someone who usually only cooks for 2, sometimes for 4-5 and never more than 8.
My prayer is that all will be well and dinner will be served on time. I've lost sleep over this already.
Perhaps, I should merely focus on the opportunity to provide hospitality, food in the eating place and drink in the drinking place and let God take my worry about the rest.
I had this winter theme all selected for the table decorations: blue votive candles holders with snowflakes and winter snow sparkles on them, fake snow, glass
ice cubes and frosty snowflakes. The placemats are white with blue napkins that have a snowflake on them. Only problem is that it's over 60 degrees here today!!!!
Oh well...winter theme it will remain!
Happy first Monday of the New Year to you!

1. The tree is slowly denuded of tinsel, ornaments and lights.
2. The naked tree is on the tree lawn.
3. The decorations are put away
4. The evergreen wreath on the front door changes to one with crystal ice sparkles
5. Most of the Christmas chocolate is eaten
6. The lime (for gin & tonics) has been cut down to a tiny knob of green
7. You take your glassware to the recycling bins and you count 5 wine bottles,
2 bottles of champagne and 1 spaghetti sauce bottle
8. The Christmas CD's go back in the holder
9. You're finishing the last of the Christmas paper towels and napkins
10. You sit among yards of purple fabric already focusing on Lent!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Recipe For stinuksuk

3 parts Daring

2 parts Creativity

1 part Passion

Splash of Vigor

Finish off with a squeeze of lime juice

Thank you, Inner Dorothy, for some fun to begin the New Year!