Well, first. Let me say a few things about the Wovel (to the left) that I got for Christmas, while I worry about the load of snow piling up on my rooftop that is incredibly heavy from moisture, wondering if my roof will cave in. Please. That would wreck the weekend plans to getaway to NYC. I digress. The Wovel is like a snow shovel, except, as you can see from the picture, it has the capacity to move a lot of snow. This is a great tool for when the snow is light and fluffy, or when you don't have five feet of snow already piled up in your driveway, frontyard, backyard. The problem, is as the snowbanks get higher, it is increasingly difficult to try to pop it up that high, and you just end up making a mess that you have to go to your old fashioned shovel to fix. In addition, the wovel has a pretty big shovel on it--which does in fact move a lot of snow, but one needs a lot of space to maneuver it--and since I am a urban dweller, there's not a lot of room to manage it. I would suggest a wovel lite, or mini-wovel, wovel petit that would make shoveling the tight areas feasible. Would I throw 100 bucks at it again if I could do over. Probably. But, I am sorely tempted to check out the sales on the snow throwers (as they call them up here). But, speaking of snow throwers, I feel like there is a little bit of competition between the two 20-30 something guys on our block that have these machines. It is really sweet--it is as if they are racing each other to help out all of the neighbors to blow their snow for them. Next door Fireman Guy was a little late in getting out, and across the street Hocky Guy had not only done his own sidewalk, but the neighbor across the street, next door to us, and all of the my driveway that he could. Wow. Lovin' that. Fireman Guy (also new to the neighborhood) had to go further down the block. I am sure that secretly he was so dissappointed he couldn't do our sidewalk--we are the best next door neighbors ever. So, he did two driveways down the block. I was curious to see if he would do Skanky neighbors next to him, who have the dog that attacked another dog and my beloved while she was trying to save it. I couldn't really tell. And, just randomly--why can't it be a rule that all snow should be light and fluffy and never wet, heavy, slushy, sleety, messy, icy stuff? It would be such an improvement. NOT that I am complaining or anything.
It's Monday. It is sooooo cold outside today, but I am home, and can't go anywhere until I get an important delivery that we missed on Friday. So, I have exercised, checked email, and now will settle in to do some planning for a women's retreat I am leading the first weekend in February. Anybody got something great?
Anyway--there are a ton of things I should be doing, but I have been chilling out, surfing, shoe shopping...later I will bundle up and take doggies for their stroll. I am dying to get to the studio because I made all of these test tiles and I am so curious as to how the glazes came out. Hopefully the box I have to sign for will get here SOON.
In the meantime, the house is so quiet. Every single one of the nine furry friends that live here are happily snoozing.
I had an opinion I wanted to post, but I can't remember what it was!!! silly.
well, not really. just off to the gagillion things to get done today.
But, just had to tell an urban wild story. Yesterday, a guy like this one took exactly one hour to kill, pluck, and eat an entire sparrow in my pristine snow covered back yard. Now it is full of tiny feathers.
(picture totally not used with permission, a google result.)
when playing Friday Five late, one should read other's plays before playing. let me offer one or two less superficial things you should know about me:
1. I can't hold a conflict or issue that needs to be resolved very long in my heart. I have a deep need to not harbor resentment, or misunderstanding. It's about peacemaking.
2. I am incredibly adaptable and flexible. For example, if a child in my Sunday School want to move up to the next age level because her friends are in that class--I say "go for it!". If I make a plan, and someone says...you know, maybe we should add this or subtract that, its great. If I walk into a room, and it isn't what I expect, I go with the flow.
3. I love to collaborate. Love, love, love it. Really collaborate. That being said, at times I can be a tiny bit type a--you know what I mean--a sort of "it's easier to do it myself and get it done..." I am better at this than I used to be...but it creeps up.
4. It should be no surprise that I have a deep passion for the non-human world. I think that the veil between me and trees and plants and animals--wild and domestic--is fairly thin. I am no dog whisperer or Jack Hanna--but my heart hurts when I see a tree cut down for no reason, or possums in the back yard because their habitat has shrunk.
5.If I could be a rock star for a day, I always thought I would want to be Madonna. Now, I would rather be Beyonce.
Purple gifted me with this: "The Friends Award isn't about being the most popular blogger or having the most read blog. It is just because you consider the author a friend. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."
Aw...thanks, Purple. I blog just because...it is a form of writing that I can just jot notes..just about the ordinary in my life. Thanks...friends and lurkers for stopping by once in awhile. I find the blog community lovely and interesting.
That being said, I don't know eight bloggers that HAVEN'T received this award! All of my bloggy friends are wonderful, deep, and authentic. And funny, too!
However, I can award one blogger who has reached thousands of parents and teachers and others around the topic of parenting and autism and advocacy and education. Jess, the author of Diary of a Mom has created an amazing community of support and friendship--a place where tears flow and laughter floats and caring abides. So, Jess, here you go! What you have done and are doing--is amazing!
I didn't get to play RevGals Friday Five yesterday, but since I am needing to prime my pump for writing something that will preach tomorrow, I though I would play today. So here are five things you should know about me. 1. I love red shoes. I only have two pair, but two is enough. I also love all kinds of shoes. 2. I am very rule conscious and cautious when driving or parking. I never double park, or park in handicapped even if it is for a second, and I will never go over 8 miles past the speed limit.Some say that I drive like a "gramma". This is probably true. 3. I am GREAT at chilling out. 4. A nap is a treat for me--better than pizza. 5. I am shy way down deep in my heart. That being said, I love to laugh at myself and with others.
We miss you. We are so sad today, remembering how we didn't know the depth of your pain and desolation... You were so beloved, and continue to live in our hearts. We celebrate you, with Aric special coffees (what a jolt of caffeine, whew!) and your music, and with yellow flowers, with your sweet friends, who adored you. We remember you as we flip through photos, and search for You-tube videos of you on the internet (by the way, I came across some poety by someone with your exact name--did one of your friends post these? where is the notebook? jus'thinking that if you could send a sign or somethin' somethin' to confirm whether or not those are yours...) Anyway, it doesn't matter. You were a light, a joy, and so much more. You are missed.. but we know you are free... and that you know now, how deep and wide you were loved. Rest well, dear nephew, rest well.
I have been doing all of this training in discipleship/stewardship and becoming a church coach.I love it. It is interesting, engaging, and makes me think creatively.
Now, I am not what you would call an old fashioned evangelist, or even someone who will say, let's pray about this for God's answer. My embrace of prayer and of Christianity would be what some label progressive or liberal.
However, I do firmly believe that if the Church, and congregations feel the need to grow, feel the need to be revitalized, then the center of those endeavors is an active, communal, personal, intentional prayer life. Pray and listen. Be still...and know.
I don't know how to talk about prayerin New England churchspeak without scaring people. I mean, we pray for each other on Sundays, but the only people praying out loud--except for my youth and children, are the pastoral staff. We have a prayer circle, but it is virtual. They don't meet in real time--or have an intentional plan for what to pray for except for what is on the list from Sundays--which again, is really, really, important. I guess what I am really asking about is how does one encourage adults who aren't used to praying out loud in a circle of community members, to pray together? Am working on this........
so that at times I can vent when people are politically incorrect, claim it unapologetically, and it's not worth it to mention that perhaps some of the words or actions you use really are like little arrows that hit you, prick, and then bounce off. and...perhaps, one (as in me) is a little overly sensitive. but here it goes.
Dear You. you have no clue, do you, that when you use words like "stranglehold" or clutch your neck with both your hands, or point an imaginary gun to your head that a person who is listening to you has to stop, catch her breath, as she imagines her loved one strangling himself to death by hanging on a rope, or he almost doubles over because remembers his dearest who blew her brains out and he was first there at the scene....
To you, to most people these are words and actions that are part of common conversation, words that are used in metaphor, in imagery, meaning really nothing real... but there is this club that some of us belong to, where those words evoke an emptiness, a slash of raw pain, because they don't evoke a metaphor, they evoke reality.
It would be so bad, you... if you just used those words once, in passing... but they are phrases that are clearly part of your teaching canon.
Call me over-politically correct. I don't care. I think you would like to know that they hurt, but then, maybe you would think I was just being over the top. sigh.
I am having a hard time getting my teeth into anything right now. In other words, I think I am slacking a bit, and when I slack, I feel guilty. I should be out changing the world! I should be scheduled for the day within an inch of a minute! I should be praying until my knees are bloody! I should be ahead of my game, or on top of my game, or at least...PLAYING my game!
But, mostly, right now, I feel quiet and still and like I am marinating on something unknown. And in the midst of that, I have putzed this morning. Cleaned the kitchen, (btw, takes forever as we are out a dishwasher. it broke. in the middle of painting said kitchen and changing all door hardware and it is all a cluttery mess...however, because of the broken dishwasher, we decided to replace both dishwasher and fridge--an unpredictable appliance in our home---but the dishwasher hasn't even been scheduled for installation, which means I will be throwing a luncheon for 10 people on Friday in the middle of chaos. Thank God for amazing Italian restaurants that make meals for 10 and are delicious!) Back to the moment. It is grey and soggy and icy and wet snowy outside. My early morning meeting was cancelled,and my next isn't until 1:00, so I decided to work from home this morning...catching up on email and reading blogs and pondering.
Wish there were something more profound niggling at my mind and heart, something to hash out, but maybe, frankly, just having peace for awhile is something to embrace...instead of feeling guilty for! Moments of peace I think surprise us, because they rarely linger, and when peace lingers...well...it is a bit foreign and I feel like I should get busy rather than take the luxury of lingering with the peace.
my charge today: be peaceful. be at peace. amen.
p.s. while I write this in the quiet of my attic office, my skitzy Lucy cat is sitting in the window and leaping into it, everytime a bird flies by, as if she can catch it. Her tail is doing that swishy thing, and now one bird is on the sill. It is as if the bird knows she is quite safe and is happy to torment my silly Lucy. And Lucy is definitely falling for the sparrow's antics.
so, I will be at peace...and belly laugh with the Buddah.
So, the second half of the program year is off to a start! everyone is back in the office... and we are sorting dates and making sure we have pretty much every minute planned until June. seriously, that is almost 100% true. every Sunday is planned between here and there, with just a few preaching slots to fill in...programs planned, etc. do you all do that out there? just curious. I am not complaining about it, though, it is just different. most congregations or insitutions I have been a part of haven't had most of the year mapped out by the August before. it's not a bad thing. not entirely all good, though, if there isn't wiggle room for the Spirit to move. I think we have enough space, though.
well, I have a few things to update before my meeting at 10:00. just wanted to ramble for a few moments to prime the pump of my mind...
At RGBP, Sally writes: As we have stepped from 2008 into 2009 some of us look back with joy and others with saddness; probably most of us with a mixture of the two.
As we look back we may come to understand how God has worked in and through us in joy and saddness. how we have grown against what may seem impossible odds. As we look forward we may do so with expectation, and we may do so with fear and trembling. As we look back and forward in New Years liminality I offer you this simple yet I hope profound Friday Fivein two parts:
First list five things that you remember/ treasure from 2008
1. I cherish my B. I treasure the ways in which B and I have deepened in our marriage. By far my best friend and heart of my heart and love of my love.
2. The suicide of my nephew in January. I remember those days with razor sharp clarity. I don't treasure the experience, but what I do treasure is the resiliency of my sister (his mother) and all the ways in which she has walked through this fire and pain and grief of this year without being burned to ashes. Her grace and honest way of living in this has been...I am so grateful. I also treasure the way in which my family really became family in so many more ways than we ever have. So, I treasure that too.
3. I treasure the arrival of our sweetie Fenway,an adult chocolate lab mix, who picked us last spring to be her people. (Why would she do that? There is a lot of competition for attention in our animal farm household. In any case, I am glad she did!) I also celebrate all of the goofy dogs and cats that we love and care for. Never a dull moment.
4. New colleagues. I am coming up on three years in being in New England, and two years in my congregration. Making collegial friends, finding support, working together--it all takes time. I feel like I am finally in a network of folks that I can trust, laugh with, synergize with...and of course, I just love RevGals. I talk about this community all the time. Thank you for creating this community!
5. I treasure the memory of B's mom, who died this summer. She suffered from alzheimer's. I was honored to lead the memorial service, and to write her remembrances/eulogy with input from all of her children. People laughed and cried, and all I have to say, she was definitely something else.
6. I treasure so many more memories, but I will stop at six. I will have to say I treasure the people in my congregation with whom I have the privilege being in ministry with. Right now, I am picturing all of them in my mind's eye. Thanks be to God for them.
Then list five things that you are looking forward to in 2009:
1. I look forward to deepening my creativity and skills with clay. Ah! I just love it.
2. The BE2!
3. The mystery of the journey--where will it wind to next?
4. Learning more. About everything, but expanding professionally.
5. This should be number one, but growing deeper in my relationship with God. I am interesting in connecting with Shalem, or something like that. There is a spirituality center locally called Ruah, and they have some contemplative practise offerings that are intriguing...
Sally also left this gorgeous New Year Blessing from the Iona Community:
We stand to face the future: God behind us in the past Christ before us; the way ahead; Christ beside us in this moment; Christ beneath us in our weakness; Christ above to shield us- beneath the shadow of his wings we are safe; Christ between us to bind us in the unity of his love; Christ in us equipping us with his all sufficient grace. Thus armed and guided, and protected we face the new year. Now we arise and go forth on the journey before us, knowing that, where Christ leads, life is a journey home. Therefore we travel in faith, in hope, and in love, in the name of the Father/ Mother, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. May the blessing of God be upon us all this year and into eternity. Amen.
Today... 1. is bitter and cold, beautiful and bright (can you tell I grew up with farmer parents? I always report the weather!)
2. I am so grateful for the snowplower who plowed our street, because he/she actually did a careful job, making sure that there wasn't a five foot berm in front of my driveway.
3. In spite of being pleased with my Wovel, I am enormously thankful for the two of neighbors, next door and across the street, who are young and happy with their snowblowers, and feel like they should plow our sidewalk because we are middle aged old ladies. No, they don't say that, but can't you see them thinking that? I am grateful for their parents who raised such considerate men ;-)
4. I am waiting for the coffee to brew, and then I am going to get back into bed and read and ponder Sunday's sermon. And then write it. I want to go cross country skiing on Saturday.
5. 2008 was a year for us, like for many, full of dramatic contrasts. The world news and economics paints everyone's personal lives in so many different ways. So, there is that. Then, my nephew died from suicide. B's mother died. There was lots going on at work, stress. And then, so many things to be grateful. I would say that 2008 was full, full of the work and joy of life and living.
6. May peace be real, and hope a way of life in 2009.
NaBloPoMo Day 17: A spiritual practice
Write about a spiritual practice that keeps you connected to God and to others. I try to engage people with whom I would otherwise just slip by. By this, I m...