Saturday, April 29, 2006

How'd he DO That?

We have a distinguished visitor at our church this weekend. (prep for this event partly explains my silence on the blogosphere recently) Anyway, his visit was planned well before I arrived. He is a lovely man. Gives a nice talk/workshop. Gracious to children and old ladies. Doesn't name drop too much--no more than I probably would were I as notable and distinguished as he is. And I'm glad that he is preaching tomorrow and not me because I get to enjoy Saturday for a change.

Here's what I don't quite understand. Part of his distinguishedness is that, in addition to serving several tall steeple type churches, he is the author of more than a dozen books. How did he do that?? I can barely keep all the plates spinning, much less think about doing the research, thinking, contemplating and writing involved in producing an actual book. Even ONCE. Now, I'm guessing he had a spouse that probably didn't work full time. But even if I had a full-time homemaker in my life, I'm still not sure I could pull it off. I can hardly find the time to blog, for pete's sake.

How about you all. Have you figured this out?

Friday, April 21, 2006


Several of my friends are involved in CrossWalk America, an organization that is walking cross country even as we speak to raise awareness of an more expansive vision of Christianity than the more conservative vision that gets more air time generally. Would that this were in the LA Times this morning instead of a big story about a Christian young man suing for the right to wear a T-shirt to his high school informing his gay classmates that they should be ashamed. I know there are legitimate first amendment issues involved---but it makes me sad that the message that gets out is that being Christian is primarily about being anti-gay. Anyway--check out the walk and the blog that accompanies it.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Good News/Bad News

The good news: I had my very first IRL meet-up with a RGBP! Katherine and I had a too brief chat at a local coffee house before I had to race off to the next thing in a day I had managed to pack WAY to tightly. She's a lovely person and we talked about the rest of y'all---so if your ears were burning, that's why.

The bad news: Two more notches in my Bad Mom black belt. First, today my son was supposed to bring a paper towel tube to school for a classroom activity. I forgot. This caused great consternation when the boy discovered that, not only had I forgotten, but my schedule was such that returning home to fetch one was just not in the cards. Luckily, there were plenty of extras provided by the good moms who remembered. Second, I got scolded by my cleaning lady for not cleaning the house sufficiently in preparation for her arrival. HeLLO! If I were anything approximating a tidy person I would not employ a cleaner, right? Anyway, I'm warned that if I don't do better, she will have to charge me more.

How was YOUR day???

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Easter Near Miss

We had a near disaster on Easter afternoon. The kids were rollerblading under strict orders not to skate anywhere near the grill where we were roasting our Easter chicken. After the bird was roasted and eaten, my son went back outside. Perhaps it was the effect of all the candy, but he disregarded the no-skating-near-the-grill injunction and ended up slamming into it. Providentially, the top was still on and he knocked the grill away from himself so no hot coals fell on him. Still, he got screeched at and his rollerblades were confiscated until further notice.

He ran into his room, there to bewail his sins and his cruel fate. After about fifteen minutes, he came out, grabbed his nerf baseball bat and began hitting himself on the head with it.

"You don't have to do that, you know," I said to him. "When you make a mistake the best thing is to learn from it and move on."

"No," he said. "I'd rather hit myself over the head, then forget all about it."

Which is the whole problem, isn't it? We'd all rather endure a little short term punishment than experience true repentance. . .

Monday, April 17, 2006

Our place this Easter.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Rain on Good Friday

"It always rains on Good Friday. It's because God is sad." So one of my neighbors told me when I was sixteen and I had made some remark about the rotten weather we were having during Holy Week.

I was skeptical. This was at the time my family was living in England and it occurred to me, (though I was polite enough not to say so to her), that rain there on any Friday in April was a pretty good bet.

Life went on. I did notice that it rained on Good Friday almost every year. Still, climate seemed to be the best explanation. I lived in Ohio and New York where rainy springs are commonplace. Then I spent 15 years in the Pacific Northwest. Enough said.

This is my first Good Friday in Southern California--land of endless sunshine. It's pouring.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Yes, those are real palm trees. Not bad for a midwestern girl . . .

Friday, April 07, 2006

Bad Mom Award

Today my daughter's class had a multi-cultural festival. Part of the deal was that each family was to bring a potluck item from their own ethnic heritage. Right. On the cusp of Holy Week I'm gonna be whipping up pots of homemade borcht, or bratwurst, or platesful of cream scones. I visited the bakery department of my local grocer, selected an assortment of bagels, and slathered them with cream cheese. I slapped on a label that said "Eastern European-American" and declared my work done.

They looked pretty sorry next to the platters of home made eggrolls, enchiladas, beans and rice, and New Orleans caramel cake the other Moms produced.

Too late, it occured to me that with our family's deep midwestern taproots, I could have lit up the room with lime jello and mini marshmallows.

Next year.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The grass is always greener . . .

What I like about being in a bigger church:
1. Lots more people with varying gifts
2. You can buy stuff you need instead of waiting for it to turn up used or free or making it with duct tape
3. Good instruments regularly maintained
4. Building doesn't look like shit
5. Everybody hasn't necessarily known each other since infancy--more surprises
6. Real choir director instead of me waving my arms and hoping for the best

Oh yeah, I remember this crap from before
1. Endless time on administrivia
2. Longer meetings
3. Staff politics
4. People don't necessarily know each other at all
5. More people who could potentially get mad at me if I screw up
6.Annoying lapel mikes

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Friday Five on Saturday--Things Your Elders Said

Dad: "Avoid the passive voice!!!!!!!!!" (As he read my high school essays and early literary efforts.)

Grandpa: "What are you dressed as?" (Indicating that he disapproved of one's fashion choice for that day)

Mom: "That's dinner" (To any complaints that the menu was unsatisfactory)

Grandma: "Now, if you always . . . " (Did something you almost never did like empty the dryer as soon as it stopped, put your keys in the same place everyday, did your homework as soon as you got home---life would be better all 'round.)

Aunt M. "Always leave the house looking fantastic because you never know when you'll meet a new boyfriend." (Also apparently works when meeting old boyfriends as she is now dating a guy she dated briefly in college 40+ years ago.)

Russian Grandma: "I theenk if you looook in zat meedle drawer in zee china cabinet . . . ." (When my Mom had confiscated the bags of candy she had brought for me so that I would not eat them all at once and make myself sick)