Sunday, June 28, 2009

GA and Camp

well, I didn't get to go to GA, but thanks to all the blogosphere for making me feel as if I got to experience some of it. I"m slowly working my way through the videos, and am loving the worship services and the music.

I never said much about the election, but I was asked to be a delegate of my congregation. I got all the info about the two candidates and my boss endorsed Hallman, but I felt drawn to Morales all along. I really did a lot of reading about both of them and their platforms and in the end I voted for Morales, though I felt a little guilty to let my boss down! (She didn't pressure me, she just *really* liked Hallman). So I am excited that Morales won and am looking forwad to the gifts that he will bring to our faith.

In other new, I dropped my two big girls off at camp in the Adirondacks today. I already miss them. My 10 yo has never been away from her parents for this long, and was really nervous, but at least her sister is there. She was already learning camp songs with her counselors when I left!

Quote of the day from Jude: "I want to grow up to be a good man like my dad."

I like it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Class in UU

YES! I so wish I could have been there for this. This is one my biggest hot buttons and one that affects my own family in ways that are hard to navigate.

It's much larger than racism, the cultural problems that are faith is trying to address. It's across the board - classism, racism, feminism, and on and on. And I agree that we have an image problem and set unattainable goals - but we shouldn't stop trying!

I have a sneaking suspicion that this is rooted in our need to focus more heavily on our Universalist roots of Radical Hospitality. No, our faith isn't for everyone, but avoiding alienation at the door might keep people coming back.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I hate the fact that I have to put a title here, I mean, really...

Well, of course Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett are dead.I have to say that the NYT coverage of both people was pretty negative. I guess honest, however, as much as we can know for sure about public figures.

I am enjoying all the GA posts, and more sad that I can't be there, but am enjoying this link that I didn't know about that details the Berry Street lectures.

I am also SO tired. I can't believe how one day of walking, sun and water took it out of me. I feel like I could sleep for a week.

I am finally feeling an urge to read again (and the attention to do so; I've been held to Reader's Digest and Country Magazine articles for too long now), and am looking for ideas; of course I have my required reading list from the UUA, but just ordered a book of poems by Mary Oliver. I don't even particularly like poetry, but I like hers. I was exposed to her work at Wellspring and fell in love with it. Her words just pour spirit in waves.

And the lawn is still growing into to find a repair place tomorrow. I can't take anymore.

My favorite time of year

Summer has finally arrived, since Solstice! I find it so much easier to commit to my morning meditation walk when it's warm out ;). Wimp.

Anyway, I am missing church; we haven't been since the RE year ended, for a variety of reasons, and probably won't go this weekend, as I have to drive the big girls to the Adirondacks for camp.

However, we've been communing with nature. The new used mower is dead already, so the lawn is more like a field. We went to Seabreeze yesterday - the camera is in the car, but I just found photos from LAST year on my cell phone! It was a perfect day. 80s, sunny, lots of time on the rides and in the water park and I even got to go on two water slides and a couple of rides. The kids all had a blast; there's something for everyone there and it's not so big that the older kids can't run off with their friends. Three homeschool groups came together and planned to go yesterday, so there were friends everywhere we looked!

Today is catch up day with cleaning and packing for camp. Park Day in the afternoon if all goes well, and a chance to rest this evening I hope.

I am writing all of this merely to console myself that I'm not at GA :::le sigh::: It sounds so wonderful but I couldn't make it happen this year. Maybe next year, right before I start my CPE in July...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

the end of ennui

Well, the days of reflection, ennui, and apathy are over! Yay!

Things are falling into place for all.

I scheduled my career assessment for August. There is a LOT of preparation to do. That link isn't even all of it. I am going to have to haul a** to get it done!

Then, I heard from our associate minister today. I have been asked to co-facilitate a Wellspring group next year!! (I'd add more !!!s, but that would be obnoxious). She said some wildly flattering things and of course I said yes. One of the reasons I believe that I didn't get any of the scholarships I applied for this year is my lack of leadership development within the church. I have lots of that in other places, but not within the church. This is a huge opportunity for me. Huge. This program is life changing. I watched it change others. It changed me. And it's being picked up by other congregations and even other faiths. I am so excited to have this chance and so flattered to be asked.

I'm starting to network and look for my community partnership placement opportunities. For school, I have to do 8 hours a week; this year in some sort of human services venue. I have some ideas and have put it out to some friends and my ministers. My hope is also that, since I have career experiences in this field, that I can find something that will turn into work that I can keep doing throughout school. We are still struggling financially and I need to keep getting paid somehow.

I've been slacking on my daily spiritual practice lately, but this week I've been getting back into it and it shows. I am sure that this recent period of down time was necessary, but it didn't feel like "me" so to speak. I'm starting to get excited, energized, connected to myself and others after a short hiatus. I am so filled with joy!


My health care story got published on Obama's website. Cool!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

I like Father's Day. It takes the pressure off me as the mother. I demand adulation all the time, darnit, and it's dad's turn ;).

Anyway, I think my husband had a good day; my son was vile for about 60% of the day, but we managed to avoid putting him the trash can. Barely. I'm sure my husband missed his dad, who passed away 5 years ago.

I talked to my dad on the phone; he was not having a good day. He has dementia as a result of 35+ years of aneurism- and seizure-related brain damage, and he just wasn't having a good day. He's 82 now, and a walking miracle. George should make you believe in mystery, if not God. They were having a father's day trivia contest at the nursing home; I hope he won!

My older girls, by all accounts, made their dad's day wonderful. They made shrinky-dink jewelry and brought him breakfast in bed.

This week will be a busy one; the two older girls are going to camp for a week starting next Sunday. We have to label and pack everything. They are both nervous - this is the 13 yo's 4th year at camp, but her best friend isn't going this year, so she'll be on her own. It's the 10 yo's first time away from home overnight for a week - but at least her sister will be there.

I'm going to be working on career development assessment preparation - making an appointment ASAP, doing the paperwork (did I mention that I spent 3 hours on an autobiographical thing that then disappeared off my hard drive?), and getting through school emails that have been pouring in. I also have to register for my pastoral care class at St. Bernard's.

I'm feeling a bit frazzled. I've been stuck in a morass of day to day ennui; it's time to access my inner passion and energy and oomph again. Hopefully the neverending rain will finally end. I think it would help tremendously to get outside and tackle the yard, the garden, and bounce on the trampoline. I have felt disconnected from my faith, but not my path; my connection to the earth, my connection to family and friends. It's time to re-engage; I'm recharged after a brief hiatus into being anti-social and apathetic.

Reborn. Again and again and again.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I have been following the NYT Lede blog and Twitter (as I can bear it - I haven't quite figured out the whole Twitter thing yet - I think I need a primer). My ex offers this advice about helping keep the lines of communication open.

I don't post much about politics here; I have strong feelings about a lot of things, and they are often controversial, and I don't often have time to spend debating. But because I see this as a religious issue as much as a political one, I am filled with compassion for those who are affected by the rigid and self-serving actions of their government's religious and political leaders.

Oppression, whether it's political or religious, is wrong. I believe that freedom of speech and fair elections are the cornerstones of transparent politics. Religious leaders have oppressed people since religion came into existence; I hope that the Iranian people will get the support they need to have a fair re-election, but I doubt it will happen. As I have recently read, when oppression is done in the name of religion (and isn't outright genocide these days), people are likely to let it happen because we don't want to in turn oppress religious freedom, right?

Right. :::sigh:::

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Healthy Thoughts

I am sending out love and healing thoughts to a friend at church who had a stillbirth on Tuesday night. I am devestated for her and her family.

Our friend Nadine, who is undergoing inpatient chemo treatment is continuing her heartwarming trend of cheerfulness and upbeat energy. She had a brief setback this week but is back to her regular room, and enjoying her new bald look!

My mother's cereberal artery clot has not reabsorbed and she continues to be at risk for another stroke. She can now raise her big toe but none of the other ones, and she has a bit of peripheral vision returning. She is under strict orders not to drive or list anything.

Jude and I had a Very Long (tm) doctor's visit yesterday. He has two warts on different fingers, both impacting his fingernails. They had to be shaved and frozen (freezing and poison at home was not working). He was very cooperative until the freezing part (which he knew would hurt) but we survived. If all goes well, they will disappear and we will not have to see the pediatric dermatolgist in a month to have them surgically removed (one has been there for a year).

I had a long list of things to discuss - it seems that I have developed some sort of quasi-allergy to my own progesterone at peak times of the month and it's not going to go away until menopause. No help there! I have been having some strange heart palpitations and I'm to let her know if I develop chest pain or lightheadedness or shortness of breath. If I do, I have to have one of those monitor thingies. Woohoo. I also have a ganglion cyst on my hand, and go for a surgical consult on Monday. I cannot wait to have this thing gone. I have arthritis in both wrists and my fingers and it's aggravating my hand to have the cyst there. I also have an ear infection (I think I've had it for about 3 months now), and am supposed to start taking my allergy medicine daily (but I can't find it). I hate my allergy pills because they are big and stick in my throat. I am not a very graceful patient (but better than Jude. Eric didn't have to hold me down while Dr. J. looked in my ears, thank goodness!)

Soren has to go see a pediatric GI, since her tummy meds are aren't working, and Lucy has to go to a ped dentist for a suspected cavity (see below list of crap to see why this may be the case). I mostly blame my husband and his mother who can't tell this kid no, and let her eat ridiculous amounts of stuff that Is Not Food. Ugh.

In non-health related news, we had a lovely two day impromptu vacation at Keuka Lake, during which I forgot daughter 2's dental appointment to repair a filling, and husband forgot his Soul Matters group. Oops. Oh well, it was worth having a couple of days by the lake. Emma's friend J. went along and they and daughter 2 tent camped in the yard of the cottage. Our golden retriever escaped once and was returned by a nice, friendly, laughing neighbor, thank goodness. Our beagle brat ate the pizza leftovers when Jude forgot to shut the porch door. I read 2.5 murder mysteries while we were there, taught daughter 2 to play War and Blackjack and 2 new types of solitaire, and she taught me to play Spit. We also played frisbee and wiffle ball and catch and she built a fairy house. Jude and Lucy got very dirt and ran around like lunatics, eating everything in sight. We all polished off a case of Pepsi and a huge pack of Gatorade, a box of oreos, 2 loaves of breakfast bread, 3 packages of maple candy, lots of peanut butter and nutella, 2 packages of chicken, a huge container of mashed potatoes...the list goes on.

It rained for half the time but we had fun anyway :). It's good to be home again too. Thanks to Book for letting us borrow his cottage! It was awesome.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A perfect day!

It is so incredibly beautiful today. The lawnmower consented to work long enough for me to get the lawn mowed too.

(note to ogre: I tried to reply to your comment but it didn't post. I used to use a manual push mower, but we have over 2 acres. About half is left to field/wildlife area along the woods, and there are quite a bit of landscaped areas, but that still leaves way too much lawn to do by hand. Even if I planted more gardens, that means more time weeding and maintaining too!)

Note: Tom called me last night to posit that perhaps we were meant to be Amish. When he got to work, the cooling fan on our brand new Honda Odyssey wouldn't turn off and now we have to take the fuse in and out. Now I have to take it to the shop on Monday (and I spent an hour there Wednesday getting the first oil change, argh).

Our chicken tractor is almost done, but sadly, we aren't getting chickens as soon as we thought. The ones that our friends hatched were more than 1/2 roosters, and our friends don't have enough hens to give us the 4 to 6 I was planning on. I am hoping to find some at the farm they got their eggs from. I don't have time to hatch my own, and want to get healthy ones that will be friendly. The kids are super anxious to get started with the chickens, so I hope it works out; I don't want to buy them from auction if I can avoid it.

Garden:My lettuce is almost ready to eat and the cukes and broccoli are growing like crazy. I ran out of room to plant beans, squash and carrots though I may plant some squash around the corn if I have enough room not to interfere with the tomatoes.

Everyone is in a good mood; I spent a lot of time yesterday making paper airplanes and lego creations with the littles. It was so good to just have time to PLAY!

Off to get back outside and enjoy this wonderful sunshine and perfect temps; the housework is nearly caught up, but whatever isn't done will wait! We're going to Keuka Lake Tuesday to Wednesday, and I can't wait to enjoy the lake and beach and kids.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Bermuda Triangle

I have detailed my lawnmower woes here before, but for crying out loud. We have a John Deere that needs a transmission, a Bolens articulating that blew its engine, and we just borrowed an older True Value mowed 2/3 of the yard yesterday and then just stopped cold. Battery dead.

Our yard is becoming a graveyard for mowers.

The good news, totally unrelated to out of control grass, is that my 10 yo and I planted all of her sunflowers and morning glories yesterday; weeded the front walk a bit, and around the mailbox; and I should be able to get the rest of the vegetables and seeds in the garden today. We still need to weed the strawberry patch and the front flower beds, but mowing is dead in the water (lawn?) for today unless another battery does the trick.

Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something.

The Bermuda Triangle of my yard has some evil sort of mystery, but the mystery of the earth is also present!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Writer's Block or the Sea of Ennui

First of all, I am thrilled to see that Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman are dating. Two of my favorite artists, surrounded by bubbly hearts really makes my day.

I am not writing. I am not reading much. I am just ... being. And watching 24. A lot. And doing housework. My daughter suggested writer's block, but honestly, I just don't care. And that's weird.

So life in bullet points:
--One of our neighborhood foxes got hit by a car, which is sad.

--Two of our neighborhood dogs have decided they dislike me, which is also weird, since I'm a "dog person."

--My first ever vegetable garden is IN and beautiful. I really need to take a picture, just to prove that I actually planted a garden. I still need to get watermelon and squash and peppers in; hopefully I'll have time to get seeds or plants tomorrow.

--We have another lawn mower. We are turning into a mower graveyard over here folks. The new to us one has a dead battery already of course. I want to sell the articulating mower, but hubby won't let me quite yet. It's growing high grass around it though in an ironic turn of events, and it needs to go.

--Our homeschool baseball season has started. My 10 year old is playing for the first time and LOVES it. I'm so excited to see her loving something other than gymnastics. My 13 yo kicks butt and runs like the wind, and even the 2 yo tries t-ball. The almost 5 yo was very excited all day until he got there and then refused to even touch a bat, wear his mitt, or approach the field. Grrr.

--Gymnastics competition season is officially over. Soren didn't place but would have had 7th in the state for bars if she hadn't touched her fingertips to the ground on dismount. Oh well! She had so much fun and ate so much candy that she threw up Sunday morning after the meet! Now she has the rest of this month to work on the next level, but then we're taking 4-6 weeks off during the summer. We've been married to gymnastics for over 10 years and it's time for a short break for all of our sanity.

--After only 5 weeks, I already have 3500 miles on my car and get to get my first oil change tomorrow morning Very Early (tm). If I went to bed right now, I'd get 7 hours, barely enough sleep.

--I'm trying to do all the prep work for my career assessment, and after finishing most of the autobiography last week, couldn't find the file today and still can't find it. I am Very Upset to have to redo it.

--I got into an online class that I desperately wanted to take and found a pastoral care class locally that fits my schedule. Now if I could just find out about financial aid...I am having a hard time wrapping my head around figuring it all out. It's stressful.

--Wellspring is officially over. ::::sob:::: I will miss it. I am continuing my daily practice though, and hope to see my mentor next month. I am starting a youth Soul Matters group this fall with a new minister who is looking for a placement and am excited to get started.

--My part time gig in RE is up in a couple of weeks. This sucks for financial reasons, but it was the best decision for a lot of reasons. I wish I could find a part time job at the grocery store or something, just to help pay for gymnastics or books or something. Nothing is jumping out at me though.

--It's been a tough couple of weeks in the land of marital bliss but also productive in some ways. (not reproductive however! which is good). I'm reading Thich Naht Hahn's book on Anger, and it is really resonating. I wish I could put it into immediate practice, but internalizing the messages doesn't make me immediately zen-like and perfect. I wish it were that simple.

--I feel like I'm just kind of floating - spiritually aware, mentally quiet, trying to be present for the kids. Summer is almost here.