Monday, December 29, 2008


I've been thinking about church a lot these days. Trying to put my finger on what it is that feels lacking. For the most part, I love what we do. We are committed to one another in a way that I have never experienced outside of college. I think it's wonderful. 

But lately I have been aching a bit, and until recently, I haven't been able to put my finger on it. I need some hard thinking. I crave the discussion of big ideas, or small ideas. I love to wrestle with the hard questions. I love to read what others are thinking and actually have a discussion with others who are also needing that same thing. And as much as I love our community, it's just not going to happen there. We've tried. There are those of us who enjoy it. But it's not something that will just happen spontaneously. 

What's a girl to do? I don't want to give up what I have, but I need more. (Is that just the epitome of an American belief system?!) I checked out the local seminary workshops and they all seem to be related to music and counseling. And while I am not opposed to either, they are not exactly my baileywick.  So in all my internet surfing, I stumbled across a local church (very mega) which offers 101 things to do. Thing is, I was interested in most of them.

Now, if you know me, you know that I am NOT your typical evangelical. In fact, it's been really hard for me to find a place where I don't feel like I am always the sandpaper rubbing up against everyone. So the fact that these book groups, artist meet-ups, drum circles and celtic services appealed to me was a bit of a shock. I am thinking I will give a couple of them a whirl. At least a book group and the artist meet-up. And the best thing is, I can still maintain my Sunday community. Perhaps there is a way for me after all?

Movie Time

It's that time of year for us. My mom and dad and I seem to reserve Winter Break as the time to indulge in movies. We have our usual suspects for the holidays: The Family Stone, The Gathering (both really the same movie), It's A Wonderful Life, Christmas With The Kranks (again, the same movie) & The Holiday; and then there's the wonderful array of movies that Turner plays: Holiday Inn (I think this is my new holiday fav), White Christmas, Family Man, About A Boy.

We also like to watch the movies that show up under the tree. This year it was The First Wives Club. I've said it before and I'll say it again: when I grow up, I want to be Diane Keaton.

Last night we stumbled across a great little chick flick called The Women. If you are a fan of Sex And The City, or Meg Ryan, Annette Benning, Cloris Leachman, Jeda Pinkett Smith, Deborah Messing, Candice Bergen, Bette Middler, or fast talking dames in general, I'd give it a go. It's not going to win any awards - and the critics hated it. And it is NOT as good as Sex And The City. But I thought it was a great little romp through the lives of women and how we make decisions, what matters most, and how our girlfriends are irreplaceable.

Any suggestions for the rest of break?

Monday, December 15, 2008

A New Perspective

As I was getting myself my last cup of tea this evening, I saw this lovely poem on the Celestial Seasonings box. It describes perfectly the way I feel about being out in the garden. A perfect reminder on a bitter cold December night.

A New Perspective
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Those little cares that fretted me,
I lost them yesterday
Among the fields above the sea,
Among the winds at play;
Among the lowing of the herds,
The rustling of the trees,
Among the singing of the birds,
the humming of the bees.

The foolish fears of what may happen,
I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay;
Among the husking of the corn
Where drowsy poppies nod,
Where ill thoughts die and good are born,
Out in the fields of God.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Deep Breath

Upon further review, and despite a terrible night's sleep, I am feeling better. It's amazing what a shower, anti-anxiety meds, and a thorough tooth brushing can do. And those blueberries I purchased from the very evil Walmart corporation that I am sure contributed beyond measure to the global warming crisis which before this week I would never have even mentioned for the sheer guilt of having broken my in-season-only vow -- those blueberries were especially nice today.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Living the Week from Hell

Wednesday, November 26th
  • 6 am mad dash to the airport
  • two uneventful flights land us in Orlando
  • call from home that Garter (my grandmother) has been hospitalized with pneumonia
  • family dinner at Downtown Disney is not so fabulous, but the Lego store is a winner
Thursday, Thanksgiving
  • Call Garter, doing well
  • Spend wonderful day with family in Florida
  • wakened in dead of night (12:23 am) to a call from home: Aunt is being air-lifted to the heart center, as she has had a massive heart attack. Don't know if she will survive
Friday, November 28th
  • 1:30 am, still awake and listening to the last Disney busses stop at our hotel
  • 3:30 am, randomly wish I were a smoker so I could go have a drag on the balcony
  • 4:30 am, finally fall asleep
  • 6 am, wake-up call for "fun day" in the Magic Kingdom
  • 11:30, finding quiet place in MK to take conference call with family - finally get the full story, still not sure if aunt is going to make it.
  • 1 pm, nap
  • 5 pm rejoin family in MK and have some fun after all
  • midnight, fall into bed
Saturday, November 29th
  • Last hurrah in WDW
  • Flight delayed and will not make connection
  • Aunt still touch and go
  • Garter checked into nursing home; my aunt was her primary care giver
  • Fly home on a jet far to small for my taste
Sunday, November 30th
  • 1 am, home at last; fall into bed
  • 10 am Richard departs for week in Texas
  • visit Garter in nursing home (30 minutes away) - take home a list of items she still needs from the house
  • go to Aunt's house (30 minutes away) and reheat Thanksgiving leftovers. How perverse is it that my aunt made the dinner we would need while she was in the hospital?
  • Family meeting at 7 to figure out details of next week
  • 9 pm, take items to Garter
  • 10 pm, visit Aunt for first time. It's as bad as everyone has said.
Monday, December 1
  • All manner of running about, to nursing home, to hospital, to pick up Nephew from school
  • GOOD NEWS! The balloon pump that was in Aunt's heart has been removed and her heart is pumping on its own. Thank God.
  • Dinner with Uncle and Nephew at our house
Tuesday, December 2
  • Another blur of hospital and nursing home visits, groceries, Nephew and dinner at our place
  • Hospital decides not to take Aunt off ventilator yet.
  • Garter calls and calls and calls - she has inane jobs she wants us to tend to (brushing her dog, putting up the Xmas tree for Aunt, etc.)
  • Father has to go put Garter in her place.
  • we are all on edge with one another.
  • I polished off an entire bottle of Chardonnay.
Wednesday, December 3
  • 9 am, Take coughing child to Dr. Diagnosed with mild form of asthma - only flares with colds
  • 10:30, pharmacy for refill on nebulizer
  • 11 am, pick up Nephew
  • 11:30 am, visit nursing home, conference with occupational therapist
  • 1 pm, discover that the little whippet has demolished the carpet at the threshold of our bedroom door
  • 1:30 pm, oh yeah, the boys need lunch
  • No word yet from hospital. Have yet to visit that bunch.
I don't even want to ask what could go wrong next for fear of jinxing us all -- we just need some peace and quiet.

  • 5:30 pm, reheat and freeze last of Thanksgiving dinner at Aunt's house
  • 8:15 pm, Hayes has to be held down by me AND my father for nebulizer treatment.
  • 9:30 pm, glass of wine and vegging by the TV