Monday, June 27, 2005

Knitting Content

Finished object: in honor of the lengthy discussion on the Knitlist about blogging and dishcloths, I hereby post to my blog about a dishcloth. Posted by Hello

Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton with a #7 needle. For me, cotton works much better on Addis than on wood or bamboo. Pattern of purls and knits, the right side is the reverse stockinette side, although both sides are pretty. Found in a leaflet on knitting I picked up in the grocery store.

In the background is the purple coneflower, still in its attractive container it came home in.

A God Worth Following (Proper 8)

Trinity, Guthrie
June 26, 2005

What do we do with the difficult passages in Scripture? What do we do with the stories and writings that don’t make sense to us? What are we to do with stories like the one we heard read in this morning’s lesson from Hebrew scriptures, the story of Abraham and Isaac on the mountain, Abraham poised to sacrifice his son, his only son, the one whom he loves at the command of God? What do we do with this story, this story of a God, our God, who inflicts this unbelievably cruel moment on father and son?
When I was in my twenties, I approached my Rector after a service which contained a difficult Gospel reading and asked him about it. He replied, “well, Jesus didn’t really say that,” implying I didn’t have to worry about it. And I could tell you, this is just one of those ancient stories, a myth, it’s just a story out of the Old Testament, we don’t believe in that kind of God anymore, don’t worry about it.
And yet I don’t want to swing too far in the other direction and become a literal interpreter of the Bible. God said it, I believe it. No, I think the difficult passages, the ones where we wrestle with who our God is and what our relationship is to that God, require research into their history and their language, pulling them apart, sitting with them, praying with them, living with them. We can’t brush them off and we can’t say “it means what it says.”
Passages like this one from Genesis are crucial to our understanding of God because without them, we humans could fall too easily into the trap of making a religion that looked more like a Norman Rockwell painting than like actual life. If we start to wander too far in the direction of making our God too innocuous or cute, hang too many wide-eyed angels on our Christmas tree, religion becomes more about us than about God. We Americans especially can get a little caught up in a religion that looks a little too much like the American dream—obey the rules and you’ll have two new cars in the driveway, clean shiny well-behaved children and a personal relationship with Jesus.
In this morning’s reading we confront a God who will have nothing to do with that sort of religion. Yes, it’s an ancient story, reflecting an earlier human understanding of God. But perhaps, if we read it carefully, we will find truth there even for us.
By the time we reach this story in Genesis, God and Abraham have been together for a long time. God has seemed to fulfill some of his promises (Abraham has Isaac, the long hoped-for son) but he has yet to see the multitudes of descendants and the land that God keeps mentioning in their covenant moments. Abraham has been deeply faithful in many ways, but on a couple of occasions has failed to trust in God’s word—most significantly twice trying to pass Sarah off as his sister when encountering dangerous foreign rulers.
We’re uncomfortable with the idea that God might want to test Abraham, but don’t all relationships get put to the test? God is investing everything into this relationship—choosing Abraham as the ancestor of the people who will bring blessing to the whole world. Abraham’s faith is not just about Abraham; for God it is about the future of humanity.
God does want a personal relationship with the humans he chooses, but look carefully before you sign on . This God cannot be tamed. This God cannot be controlled. We might have a personal relationship with this God, but if it is real, it may take you places you never imagined you would go.
Abraham never imagined God would ask him to give back his son, the one on whom all the promises rest. Abraham has experienced the full range of this God, stepped out in faith and trust. Abraham has been judged and found wanting on occasion and yet God has still blessed him and Sarah with a son. Can you imagine what he is thinking and feeling? Alone. Abandoned. Disoriented. Even as he comforts his son, “God himself will provide the sacrifice,” he is surely reviewing his relationship with God. How did they come to this point? Did he hear it all correctly? Did he get the message wrong somewhere along the line?
When we say yes, here I am, as Abraham did, we can’t control where we end up. Sometimes God can take us down paths we don’t want to go, lead us to lonely places where we wonder if we got the message right, asking everything of us, even the good things God has already given us.
And yet could we follow any other God? What kind of God would only want a part of us?
I don’t always understand the journey God has me on. I have experienced blessings, but there have been moments of deep pain. But I’m not sure I would follow a God who asked any less of me. Because this God who asks us to give all of ourselves is the very same God who was willing to give all of God’s very being, poured into his only Son, to let it all come to pain and death on a cross. Why would we follow this God and not expect to find ourselves experiencing crucifixion along the way?
I don’t always understand it. I’m certainly not always happy about it. But I know, the cross was real, but it wasn’t the end. The pain and horror in this morning’s reading is real—but the story of Abraham’s family doesn’t end there. Jesus’ first followers experienced persecution and betrayal—but the story of the Church doesn’t end there. We as an Episcopal Church are experiencing pain and division and I’m going to predict with confidence that the story doesn’t end there, either.
The psalmist this morning said it best:
“how long shall I have perplexity in my mind and grief in my heart, day after day?”
But I put my trust in your mercy; my heart is joyful because of your saving help.”
Like Abraham, we are called to follow God, even to the loneliest of places. But we are also called to trust in the mercy that provided a lamb for the sacrifice, for Abraham and for all of us, a lamb prepared for the saving of the whole world.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

new diet

Hey clergy! Having trouble shedding those pesky extra pounds? Finding those cookies and slices of cake from Coffee Hour are starting to take your collar size up a notch or two?

Try the Ordination Weight Loss plan! For a mere sum of $99.99, plus the cost of transportation and vestments, we guarantee you will lose 5 pounds in the space of two hours. Other spas and weight treatment centers might make you the same promise, but you will have to endure hours wrapped in seaweed or aluminum foil. Simply show up in your black clothes, put on a robe or two,(don't forget to pull that cincture nice and tight) hang a red wool and/or satin stole around your neck and participate in Episcopal aerobics (sit, stand, kneel) with your colleagues.
Bonus--all your favorite ordination and communion hymns.

(Although otherwise a very lovely service, the ordination yesterday at the Cathedral in OKC was marred by the peripatetic behavior of the air-conditioning. Mostly it was off. On the other hand, a hot, humid environment makes for good singing--unless you've passed out before the descants. Why again do we clergy in the Southwest wear vestments originally designed by people who lived in Northern Europe? Just asking.)

Friday, June 24, 2005

a little too much excitement for my taste (warning--litterbox story involved)

I can write about it now. I was almost inarticulate while this was all going on.

You see, the Wilbur of the previous post gave me a good scare over the last 28 hours. Although I am usually quite careful about stray pieces of yarn, yesterday afternoon Wilbur got a hold of a foot long piece of Lion Brand baby soft (melon) which had been snipped from the aforementioned Baby Albert jacket (only one sleeve to go, btw). He swallowed the whole thing (in fact, he swallowed it while running away from my desperate attempts to get it out of his mouth). If I hadn't been so anxious, it would have been funny, seeing him with this orange colored pasta string hanging out of his mouth while he ran up the stairs, down the stairs, under the bed. I called the vet. I plopped Wilbur into the carrier (an undertaking which "plopped into the carrier" really does not fully describe) and drove to the vet, hitting, of course, every single stoplight. (He had managed to swallow successfully after making the requisite hairball noises). At our vet (he peed in the carrier, of course), she could see the yarn in his throat, but when she tried to remove it, he swallowed it further. So she sent us off, again hitting every stoplight, to the local animal hospital, (too big and too noisy but the medical care was ok), where I was given an estimate for an endoscopy. Of course the vet would not give me his personal recommendation. Of course I couldn't reach the DH on his cell phone (although I did eventually reach him through the ancient method of telephoning the office on a land line). Fearing bowel obstruction, we agreed to the endoscopy. I left Wilbur and went home and pretended not to fret. This is why there are no buttonholes on the upper left front of the Baby Albert jacket. (I am not redoing it. It is not noticeable. )

Finally I received a call from the vet who said the yarn had moved out of the stomach and into the intestines, therefore a) they weren't going to charge for the endoscopy (the good news) and b) now we'd have to wait for 72 hours to see if it would pass or if "profuse vomiting" would ensue (the bad news). There was some excessive description of what could happen if not caught in time.

Needless to say, post-anesthesia, Wilbur was grumpy. I was on pins and needles, waiting to hear the dreaded "urk" noises. I checked litter box frequently. No sign of melon colored sportweight yarn.

I was a basketcase all day today. Wilbur hid most of the day (I would have hid from me too). There was obsessive knitting and checking of litterboxes (not at the same time). There was immersion in daytime TV (that's a lot of Law and Order) to try not to think about it. Worst of all, there was no chocolate in the house.

Finally, this evening, I rechecked the previous day's litter. I was getting nervous that, with it not having passed for 24 hours, that we were headed for emergency surgery. This time I looked a little closer, and sure enough, I spotted something that had in a previous life been a wad of Lion Brand melon-colored sportweight acrylic yarn. (I don't think LB's going to want this as a testimonial however--goes right through!) Wilbur had probably passed it yesterday evening.

He's fine. I'll be fine tomorrow.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Wilbur is a contemplative cat. Posted by Hello

Knitting Content

Since I belong to the Oklahoma Knitters ring, it occurred to me it was time to post some actual knitting.

Behold, a Baby Albert jacket out of Sally Melville's "The Knit Stitch," in progress. I took this photo yesterday but had some trouble with posting it. I've actually just bound off the middle back section as well. All that is left is the upper left front and the sleeves.

I really like how it's coming together but I have to say that miles of plain old garter stitch is not doing it for me anymore. Whatever I do next is going to have to have a pattern to hold my interest.

 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

other tasks as assigned

I've been having some trouble with my squash. The plant is huge, has sprouted the appropriate squash blossoms, but the resulting fruit have been somewhat underdeveloped.

After some research, I've discovered that I probably don't have any bees visiting the flowers in the morning, transferring the pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers. So tomorrow morning, I'm going to take on my new role as pollinator and fertilize the appropriate blooms.

Many, many double entendres and puns come to mind, none of which seem appropriate for this dignified person of the cloth (oh please, I can't even write THAT with a straight face).

(I do have flowers out that are bee attracters, but they're probably having trouble finding the sheltered courtyard behind our townhouse. I did spot a butterfly taking in the lantana and the gallardia this afternoon, which pleased me considerably. With the exception of the hoped-for pollinators, it is certainly ALIVE back there on the patio--caterpillars, a ladybug or two, the passing butterfly. But currently only one unsmooshed grasshopper.

seems appropriate after the book meme

You're The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!

by C.S. Lewis

You were just looking for some decent clothes when everything changed
quite dramatically. For the better or for the worse, it is still hard to tell. Now it
seems like winter will never end and you feel cursed. Soon there will be an epic
struggle between two forces in your life and you are very concerned about a betrayal
that could turn the balance. If this makes it sound like you're re-enacting Christian
theological events, that may or may not be coincidence. When in doubt, put your trust
in zoo animals.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

It's just like the Kevin Bacon game, but it's the church

I don't know why I was worried, ever, about starting over in a new diocese. Although I was very happy that the DH got his job and that we were going somewhere new and different, the prospect of starting over, AGAIN, sometimes felt a little disconcerting. In my previous diocese I felt very well connected--in fact, I remember looking around at my ordination and thinking, "I know most everyone in this cathedral." Not that they were all there for me, but it was a small diocese and I had gotten to know people very quickly simply by being a counselor at camp and a few other things.

I don't know why I worried. The essential nature of the Episcopal Church is that there are, at most, two degrees of separation from any one other Episcopalian. You just have to do the math, like the Kevin Bacon game.

This time of year is ordination season in the Church. Red stoles and processions abound from diocese to diocese. The D. of OK ordained two permanent deacons today and will ordained 5 transitional deacons next Saturday (who will soon be ordained priests). The other clergy were very friendly, and I wasn't there 5 minutes before I ran into the mother of one of my former parishioners, walked in the procession with the former Canon to the Ordinary in MO (who knew both husband and me) and then, to top the morning off, met Monastic Mumblings and Unregulated Female. It was good to meet them and good to discuss (briefly) blogging and "Blogging Episcopalians." Funny to talk about AKMA with someone who only knows him from the internet and not connected to SWTS.

There is a good and a bad side to the Internet. Gossip and rumors abound, and people's anxiety can be increased by what they read. Somehow information on the Internet, right or wrong, has an immediacy that is a little different from other media. But there is a good side, the building of community, helping people be connected to each other, and hopefully, maybe, to God--hmm, isn't that in the BCP somewhere, like the mission of the church?

Well, I've never met Kevin Bacon, but I like the sense of connection to each other we have in the Episcopal Church. I hate to see the strains that have crept in over the years, and which have come to light since General Convention (they were already there, you see, these tensions aren't new, they're just public now). I would hate to see the breakup of the Communion. It seems like something evil is assaulting us, when we can be more connected than ever thanks to technology, that we are being driven apart. I pray fervently for the unity of the church. I want to keep playing the Kevin Bacon game in the Episcopal Church for the rest of my life, only with more people,not fewer.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I should be taking the quiz "Which theologian are you?" but

this was too good to resist, and besides, I used to have this poster of Han and Leia (sorry Padme and Anakin don't quite do it for me)

Your Star Wars Pickup Line

"Date, or date not -- there is no 'let's just friends be'."

What's Your Star Wars Pickup Line?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

What I was going to post about

was the concept of "fingerprints of God," which is the theme of the Vacation Bible School at the DH's parish this week. I think about it when I'm out on the patio, and what information is encoded in the DNA of the plants that are coming up (including my very first squash and tomato, now literally fruiting on the vine). I think about that code as the traces of God's work. And how unexpectedly spiritual an experience it is to walk out on the patio and smell the plants and the greenness of it all.

I was going to blog about that, but instead I had to take my car into the shop (I almost said "into the vet")because it has been stalling on me, especially on Sunday mornings when I'm about ready to go off supplying. And I've just come back from the shop, only to find out I need a new fuel pump (which is going to cost $$$) and of course there's always other things wrong, which,considering the original $$$, might as well take care of at the same time).

Still, it could be worse. It is not a repair that is worth more than the car itself. It should clear it all right up.

And then I can go back to thinking about what else I can grow in a container on the patio this summer and early fall.

Monday, June 13, 2005

book tag

Tina at Frustrations, Hopes and Dreams just tagged me (this is much more fun than being stuck endlessly as "it" in grade school).

How many books do you own? (Do we count the ones in my parents' house in Wilmette that they're still bugging me to move?) Let's say 500. Like Tina, I've become a big fan of the library, although I still need to get a card here in OKC.

Last book I bought: The Botany of Desire, by Michael Pollan. I also just finished reading Pollan's book on gardening. I've found both books to be instructive and thought-provoking as I create my little greenspace on the patio.

Last book I read: We Thought You'd be Prettier, by Laurie Nortaro. If you have not discovered the brutally honest and funny works of Laurie Nortaro, you must, MUST go out now and get them. Just remember I used the word brutal. NOT for the faint of heart. Even better if you've ever lived in Phoenix (or, being a former Tucsonan, lived in Arizona and despised Phoenix).

5 Books that mean a lot to me (not, as we've all pointed out, including the Bible and the BCP).

So I've come up with 5, four of which are series. . .

1) The Lord of the Rings. Means even more to me now as an adult and I can understand the greater themes going on in Tolkien's work. Thanks to Peter Jackson for helping me rediscover the written work. I read these books 20 or so times in high school while everyone else was reading Flowers in the Attic.

2) The Dark is Rising series by Susan Howatch. The older I get, the more the books I read as a child or teenager stand out to me. What's not to like about this series if you're an Anglophile who loves fantasy novels? Arthurian motifs, scenes in Cornwall and Wales. As a child I scared myself silly reading the Grey King and its terrifying wolf scenes.

3) Not surprisingly, let's add the Harry Potter series as well. As Rowling's writing matures, her themes resonate more and more with me as well. Sign me up for the Order of the Phoenix.

4) Back to reality. Everything Annie Lamott has ever written. How can one choose between Traveling Mercies, Bird by Bird, or Operating Instructions? The clergy of MO gave us her latest as a parting gift and it ended up in the "important papers--open immediately" bag, which of course is sitting unopened in a closet. Maybe I'll read it this week.

5) Finally, for the feelings it evokes and the thoughtfulness of her insights, Barbara Kingsolver's High Tide in Tucson.

And now, who to tag? Let's see, Barbara, Abigail, Jason. Oh, and how about Monk-in-Training?

Hootie (minus the Blowfish) looks for an escape route Posted by Hello

Yes, I am an idiot

So I just noticed that the sermon I preached on 6/12/05, and which I posted to the computer on 6/12/05 I cleverly titled June 6, 2005 ( a desperate move as it was because I couldn't think of a title for the sermon anyway).

At least yesterday at Guthrie I managed to get out of the pulpit without tripping, which is what happened to me on the actual June 6, 2005 preaching experience at St. Augustine of Canterbury, OKC (no sermon to post b/c I preached from notes).

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Sunday, June 6, 2005

June 12, 2005
Trinity, Guthrie

Have you seen those articles that show how stressful life’s transitions are? Those charts with the numbers on them that show that transitions, even good ones, can have an effect on your health?
In the past few years, I’ve worked for 3 different priests, been ordained, been married, moved, was in charge of my congregation while my rector was on reserve duty in Iraq, lost a dear uncle, lost my job due to a substantial budget deficit and the congregation could no longer afford 2 clergy, and now, as my husband, also an Episcopal priest, is the new Rector at St. John’s in OKC, we’re moved here and started all over in a new diocese and a new state. That’s in addition to the cultural stresses we’ve all felt since 9/11 and the institutional challenges we’ve faced in the Episcopal Church in the last couple of years. Whew! According to those charts, I should be sitting in a corner curled up in a fetal position. If it weren’t for the grace of God and a lot of chocolate I’m not sure I would have a pulse right about now.
And when I was reading your newsletter that was graciously sent to me I understand that this congregation is facing a time of transition of its own, the recent retirement of a beloved rector. Churches don’t like change—a rector is the person who knows our hopes and our tragedies, the keeper of our souls, if you will, for many of us the rector is the intermediary with God. And to be honest, we Episcopalians are a lot like cats—we really don’t like the furniture (real and metaphorical) being moved around on us.
The people of Jesus’ time and the people Matthew was writing the Gospel for 60 years later—they understood living in stressful and uncertain times. A journey as long as I made this morning from OKC to Guthrie could have been perilous back then. On foot, you couldn’t have afforded to run out of food and water in the desert (no such thing as a Braum’s at every exit). A lone traveler could be set upon by bandits. The Romans occupied Israel, and by the time Matthew was writing, the Jews had unsuccessfully revolted, and the Romans had destroyed the temple—the heart and soul of Judaism, the home of God on earth. Forget moving the furniture—most people could barely afford furniture, and most of them didn’t own the land they lived on and worked for endless hours each day. No wonder Jesus had compassion on them—harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
And, again, when Matthew was writing, the young Jesus movement was in conflict with the movement of the Pharisees (explains all those nasty stories about the Pharisees) both still considered Jewish, and like any conflict among family, very ugly. Families and synagogues were divided, often with physically violent results.
So what does Jesus do and say in this morning’s Gospel? Does he catalogue the stress and offer words of soothing comfort? Does he send everyone off to a spa for a massage and a makeover? No, Jesus looks around and sees a plentiful harvest—lots of ministry to do. Jesus himself travels around this unstable country doing his ministry. Then he takes his 12 disciples, and let’s face it, who are these guys? These are not the successfully CEOs and celebrities of the day. Small businessmen, a collaborator with the Romans like Matthew, impetuous, flawed Peter, and let’s not even get started on Judas Iscariot. They were people who disagreed with each other and argued over who was the greatest. Imperfect people who made mistakes left and right. He takes these 12 disciples, gives them authority and calls them his apostles. He takes these 12 (12 being a symbolic number, representing a new Israel) and gives them his authority to do ministry, sends them out into unstable places and an uncertain future. And he sends them with no cell phone, no pager, no laptop—just instructions to proclaim the Good News and cure every disease and every sickness. And it’s not always going to be easy, he says. Jesus promises persecution and turbulence. Jesus promises stress.
Called by our baptism and strengthened in confirmation, each one of us here, every one is an heir to the gift of authority and the direction to ministry Jesus offers in this morning’s Gospel. Each one of us has ministry among our families, in our workplaces, in our congregation, in our community. There is good news to share and harvesting to do. And if it doesn’t work in one place, we get to shake it off and try again. We can’t wait until things settle down. We can’t wait for someone to come and put the furniture back the way we like it. There’s no time. The harvest is happening right now and the laborers are all too few.
How can we do it? How can we bear it? Because this morning we’re going to do something else Jesus told us to do. We’re going to come to the table and do this in remembrance of him, of the one who bears it all for us, as flawed and imperfect as the original 12. We can do it because it was done for us in a dangerous time and an unstable place. We can do it because it was done for us—all of us, a body blessed, broken and restored, through the love and mercy of God, for the harvesting of the whole world.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Friday Episcopal humor roundup

I admit I'm stealing the idea of a Friday blog roundup, but I thought I would focus on moments of humor on the beloved Episcoblogs ring. (A couple of good ones are OkieDoke and Locusts and Honey.

If I'm ambitious, I'll try again next Friday.

Here goes:

Felix Hominum muses about Christian book titles

Thunder Jones shares Qantas humor. No really.

The Green Knight links to an understatement.

Da Youth Guy chases bats.

and not necessarily humorous but certainly worthy of a read, Bette Bookish is a survivor.

couldn't resist

Saw this over at Smiling Heretic and couldn't resist.

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: The Claymore of Reasoned Discussion.

Get yours.

idolatry at Mathis Brothers

Does anyone besides me remember the book Motel of the Mysteries? It was written by David Macaulay back in the late 70s or early 80s, making fun of the discovery of the King Tut tomb and of contemporary American culture. In the book America is drowned by junk mail. Centuries later, archaeologists stumble onto a residence--in reality a standard side of the road motel.

The thing that kept coming back to my mind as the DH and I wrestled with needing to organize our audio/video equipment and wandering with this project in mind through OKC's bizarrely huge furniture store, Mathis Brothers (it's as huge as an IKEA, only with high-pressure car salesmen following you around) was a moment in Macaulay's book where the archaeologists find a skeleton in a bed in a room. The skeleton is facing a television, clutching a remote control. The archaeologist's interpretation is surely this is a moment of profound worship. The person at prayer is facing a representation of a god of the culture. The centrality of the television, the location in the room, all lead him to this conclusion.

I can only imagine what archaeologists of the future are going to conclude from the entertainment centers on display in 2005. Every single one we saw would take up the entire room of our townhouse. Grand carving,, which I can only describe as faux Tuscan, often completed the design.

Of course Mathis Brothers is not alone in carrying the oversized, overstuffed furniture that seems to be our only option at standard furniture stores these days.

(DH and I ended up at the Danish furniture store up the street where we brought an appropriate size set of shelves that meets our needs without creating a temple like quality to our living room. It's so sad that one has to pay more for less, as it were).

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Sigh. . .computers. . .sigh

It's really not fair to have your computer less than 24 hours and encounter the blue screen of death.

Nor should one have to be on the phone with customer support in that same 24 hours.

Today, however, after coming home from a fabulous 24 hour stay at St. Crispin's with our new bishop on a small group retreat, I found that the same old problem (how can it be the same old problem when I've had this computer less than 3 days?) had again reared its ugly head.

Thankfully the Spirit was lurking and directed me totally by accident to an appropriate help topic online. Turns out the SBC Yahoo software is incompatible with my computer. (I suspected it was SBC or McAfee). I deleted one of the SBC programs and so far, so good. If it crops up again I will delete the others and manually configure an Internet connection the old fashioned way.

I ended up having a philosophical conversation with Daniel In India during the support call. Daniel In India may not have realized it was a philosophical conversation. I wondered where was the owner's manual for my new computer (there's even a picture of it in the packing material). Of course you may note that there is an owner's manual on the computer itself. However, when one's computer is not working correctly (i.e. the icons and start button have completely disappeared) this is not useful. "you don't need an owner's manual," Daniel In India said. "Any time you have a problem you can call support and we will help you with it."

See, this is why I knit.

I want to understand why things work the way they do. I have just spent more $$ than I care to think about on my new computer and I don't want to have to call anyone anywhere in the world at 10 p.m. to try to understand what "safe mode" is or how to reboot without taking the battery out. (And let's not forget the 40 minutes on hold either, or how many times I had to input the "service tag," either.

Having spent $$ on said computer, I think an owner's manual is not too much to ask for.

It's scary to me how removed we are from the processes that affect our lives so deeply. We don't know where our clothes come from, or how they're made (enter knitting) and let's not even begin to talk about our food (I've just finished reading the section on the Potato in Michael Pollan's "The Botany of Desire". It will scare you, too). And how many hours will I spend on my computer without having the slightest idea how to work with it if it goes wrong?

Although, as it turns out, I am now an expert on running Windows in "safe mode," "System Restore" and "Symantec System Restore" which turns the clock back to the factory settings the computer came with. (Don't anyone bother me about that dangling preposition, either).

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


The New Computer has arrived.

I can now stop cadging internet time off loved ones and strangers.


Friday, June 03, 2005

on going to the movies

Last weekend the DH and I did something I hadn't done in a long time--we went to a "blockbuster" movie on Memorial Day weekend. The only thing that could drive me to do this, was, of course, the final installment of Star Wars. How did Anakin become Vader? What happened to Padme? How many scenes would Jar Jar be in? These burning questions were at the top of my mind. (Also, can there be any good Star Wars movie without Han Solo, but I digress. . . The answer's still no, as far as I'm concerned).

Joe at Canterbury Trail has some good thoughts and a good discussion ensued in the comments, which I will not repeat here. What struck me before the movie even started was the previews.

I used to love previews. In earlier times, when going to the movies more frequently, I had a good friend I would go see movies with. He invariably would not show up until it was time for the movie to start. My other friends and I, who wanted to see the previews, finally coped with this by misremembering the start times of the movies ten minutes to the early side. Anyway, the previews came up.

I was so disappointed. There were 7-8 previews. Not one was for an original idea. There may be some good movies in there (Batman Begins has promise), but the Fantastic 4. War of the Worlds, Longest Yard, Batman, etc. all

were someone else's idea. Sequels, prequels, remakes, rewrites, comic books, novels. The thought of a moviemaker with a vision, a plan, a unique story to tell narratively through film was completely absent from this set of previews. Not that I think much of mainstream Hollywood films these days, but still. . .

End of rant.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Thunderstorms on Lake Hefner

After a few days of just posing as potential severe weather, the clouds in Oklahoma finally gathered enough momentum to actually rain on us last evening. The DH and I decided on a little adventure and tooled over to the lakeside restaurants to see if we could eat with views overlooking the weather. We were seated outside at Red Rock Canyon, and we watched the storm cross the lake (eventually chasing us inside where we finished our chicked while the rain pounded on the windows). Even though it wasn't a huge storm, it was fascinating to watch the colors change on the lake as the rain moved across the lake towards us, and how fast the waves whipped up as the winds blew in.

Not a bad way to end a day.

actual knitting content

I haven't blogged about it recently, not because I haven't been knitting but because I just haven't had much to say. I'm still on my project of using material up. I want outgo to exceed intake.

Since I bought 6 skeins of new yarn at SWAK I have to keep going.

I had a few skeins of sport yarn floating around so I've been working on baby projects. Please no one get excited. The problem with being a clergy couple is that EVERYONE has opinions about when one should get pregnant, and the mere mention that one is making baby garments tends to stir the waters. These are just for the gift stash.

So I'm making an aqua and white slip stitch baby sweater and I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. I don't know if I like how it looks. Someday my new computer will come and I'll be able to post photos etc. but that day is not quite yet.

this and that

Baby grasshopper body count: only 1 today. A couple yesterday. So far, so good.

Meanwhile the gardening continues. I went out on the patio today and realized it's become a bit of the green haven I was hoping for. The palms are doing well, although I think repotting is in their future. Two small lemons on the Meyer lemon turned yellow and looked like lemons. This is, to me, a miracle. The tomatoes and squash plants are growing furiously, and may also need repotting. I've added dill, fennel, parsley, rue (heard it keeps bad bugs away so I plopped it in front of the peppers to discourage what's left of the grasshoppers). I finished potting up the stray bits and pieces I had into some bowls and a big old Ikea planter I'd been hauling around for years (had most recently held yarn). Some of these combos are more successful than others. The prettiest is a bowl with zinnias, verbena, and stonecrop. The iffy one is the Ikea planter, which holds the stuff that I wasn't sure what to do with, so it is stuffed with sweet potato vine, yarrow, lantana and a big ugly sedum that I thought would work with the palms but once on the patio was both too big and too small to be helpful.

On Monday DH and I drove first to Guthrie to have lunch at Granny Had One, wandering around antique stores (DH loves old watches and audio equipment, so it's not just me dragging him through there) and of course, a stop at SWAK. We popped back into OKC and through sheer luck found a way to the Paseo Arts Festival. I didn't see much I felt like buying, although I was tempted buy some stunning photographs of the waterlilies at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

Meanwhile my online life is circumscribed because the NEC that has served me well for so many years is reaching the end of its lifespan. I have a new computer on order but seems to be taking longer than I personally think it should. So again I depend on the kindness of husband and other friends.

I have my first supply date this Sunday and next week we will be participating in a few diocesan activities, so I'm sure the pace will pick up soon. . .So I'm trying to just enjoy puttering on the patio and knitting in the a/c.