Just curious about whether it's as effective in the blogosphere as in the fellowship hall.

Are you ready?


Friday Five: Gifts and Talents

You know, when I first joined the RevGals ring, I was not wild about the Friday Five. Now, I find myself looking forward to it all week. I play early on, and peek back in all day to see who else has played.

So this week, Sally gave us a Gifts and Talents theme.

1. Personality tests; love them or hate them?
I have sort of a love-hate relationship with them. When I was younger, I thought they were fantastic. As I get older, and feel like I'm growing into my own skin more fully, I am less patient with them. I don't want to see acronyms or numbers, I want to see people.

2. Would you describe yourself as practical, creative, intellectual or a mixture? I think I'm a mixture. I learned from MamaMarine to be very resourceful, and I think that's a combination of practicality and creativity. My language skills are very strong, I'm a big reader, and I'm very curious, so people often think I'm more intellectual than I really am. If I can't see how something is applied, I'm often not very interested in studying it.

3. It is said that everyone has their 15 minutes of fame; have you had your yet? If so what was it, if not dream away what would you like it to be?
I don't think that I have, but I'm not sure I want it. I'd rather be well-loved than well-known.

4. If you were given a 2 year sabatical ( oh the dream of it) to create something would it be music, literature, art.....something completely different...share your dream with us...
MamaMarine and Mr. M both think I'll write books one day, but it's hard to imagine right now, because I don't feel like I have anything I need to share yet.

5. Describe a talent you would like to develop, but that seems completely beyond you. I would love to play an instument well. I think the cello-- beautiful, and very glamorous.

Bonus question: Back to the church- what does every member ministry mean to you? Is it truly possible to encourage/ implement?
I deeply, deeply believe in the ministry of all the baptised. To me, ordained ministry is like parenting, in that the goal is to work yourself out of a job. I haven't been in the position to try this yet, but I think some cornerstones are to encourage like mad, not to micromanage, and to teach the church to consider their priorities-- is each form of ministry important enough to them to roll up their own sleeves? Of course, we'll see what my answers are when I'm in the scary position of trying to implement these things!


Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Gross!

I am a Big Weenie. I cannot handle my own blood, seriously grosses me out. That stuff is supposed to be on the inside. Other people's injuries, on the other hand, are fine. After Mr. M had major abdominal surgery and his incision got infected, who changed his packing? (If you don't know what that means, trust me when I say you don't want to.)

Last night I decided that I would soak my poor barking dogs. Apparently an hour-long soak makes one's nails fragile. So when I scrubbed my pinky toe with a cotton ball and nail polish remover, the nail tore. Diagonally, about a third of it. Tore off. Blood. Pain. And major, major grossness.

So, I put a band-aid on it, and I'm trying not to think about it. I'm pretty sure I should trim the torn part, and put some sort of anti-bacterial ointment on it. I haven't been able to stop turning green long enough to make those moves, though.


It's Always 5 O'Clock in Margaritaville.

Y'all. I just got my books for my Summer Academy session. I have clearly been out of the game for too long. My classes seemed so interesting when I signed up for them (Preaching the Gospel of Matthew, Liturgical Arts, and Global Worship for Inclusive Communities).

But like I said, I got my books. Eager bibliophile that I am, I dove right in.

Dear heavens, I'd forgotten how dry things can be. I'd lulled myself into a false sense of security, thinking it was all Barbara Brown Taylor and Walter Brueggemann. Even Bonhoeffer. Oy. Poor Ulrich Luz. I'm sure that he has wise, insightful things to share in his The Theology of the Gospel of Matthew, but all of a sudden I'm remembering why I drank so much coffee in college. I'm reading two books by Diann Neu, and they're very interesting... but definitely different, too. I'm remembering why I'm not necessarily wild about the word "feminist." Wish we could be whole-ists, instead, forsaking neither gender in favor of the other.

So here I am, slogging through my little pile. It does feel like good discipline to read something that isn't necessarily a "want to."

5 Things I Dig About Jesus

A few lovely RevGals tagged me for this meme, and I've been avoiding it because I'm a little tired and crankly, and can't be arsed to follow the rules properly. So, I'm not linking, I'm not tagging, but here it is. Thanks for the grace, friends.

1. I dig that Jesus cares more about love than about rules for the sake of rules.
2. I dig that Jesus tells me not to worry, that God is wild about me and wants to look after me.
3. I dig that Jesus cries, too.
4. I dig that Jesus is patient.
5. I dig that Jesus gets pissed off sometimes, too.

Thanks, y'all. I really enjoyed that. Anyone else who might enjoy playing, jump on it. The water's great.


In Which Steam Billows Out of Mrs. M's ears...

There's an article on the front page of our (small, local) evening paper about pornography being an issue that churches are now feeling a need to address.

That's not where the steam starts, I can agree with that.

The steam comes in with the following:
"I'm real with the guys," [Dan Seaborne] said. "I tell them what they're seeing is fake. Those women are getting paid. Then I tell them, 'If you gave your wife a million dollars, you have no idea what she might do, '" he said with a laugh.

Oh, my God.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who's furious. How is this pastor comfortable with a statement that treats people's loved ones like prostitutes-- "give them money, you'll get what you want"? (Please understand, I don't think we should treat anyone like that, not even those who are engaged in the profession.) For that matter, why does the whole damn article (which I can't link to, because it's not online) talk exclusively about the poor men who are struggling with this, with maybe a passing reference to their wives, but not address the fact that this completely dehumanizes women? Call me naive, closedminded, ignorant, puritanical, but I have a very hard time believing that women who are deeply loved and respected wind up in this profession. As a person of faith, I have no interest in pinning a big red "A" on someone, and neglecting her needs.

I'm sure there are many of you who disagree with me. I know that there are strong feelings on all sides of this issue. My biggest concern is the utter lack of respect for the person-hood of the women in these films and photos, and I hope that's something we can all come together on.

Steam just pouring out...

Friday Five: Hot Town, Summer in the City

The weather here has been unbelievably beautiful this week, so I'm looking forward to playing Reverendmother's Friday Five.
1. Favorite summer food(s) and beverage(s)
I love grilling. Mr. M barbeques shrimp, and they're fantastic (completely makes me forget the fact that I'm eating the bugs of the sea). I love a good 'rita (on the rocks, with salt), or a big ol' glass of sweet tea (with a splash of almond extract and lemon).

2. Song that "says" summer to you. (Need not be about summer explicitly.)
I hope no one here thinks I'm just going to name one song. My energy levels skyrocket when the sun finally wakes after a long winter. And frankly, I get a lot friskier, too (if we ever have kids, I think they're likely to be born between March and May!). I digress.
Love Shack, B-52s
Night Moves, Bob Seger
Like a Rock, Bob Seger (Am I the only one annoyed that Chevy used one of the sauciest songs EVER?)
Anything by Springsteen
Say Goodbye, DMB

3. A childhood summer memory
At the time, I loved Youth Group camp at Hume Lake. The location was gorgeous, the bonding with other campers was great. Spiritually, I don't think I agree with how they do things anymore, but I loved it then.

4. An adult summer memory
The summer in college that I drove cross-country by myself. I find a tremendous amount of freedom in driving, and long solo trips restore my strongest self. I can still see the red mountains in Utah, and feel the hot, dry wind that swished through my white sundress. I remember stopping for a root beer float at a little stand in Iowa. Gorgeous trip.

5. Describe a wonderful summer day you'd like to have in the near future. (weather, location, activities)
I'm having a seriously hard time keeping my mind out of the gutter here, folks. No answer on this one.

Afterthought: What was I thinking?!? How could I have listed summer music without Jimmy? Where would we be in the hot months without Fruitcakes, without Songs You Know By Heart?


Tonight, she sleeps with the kitties.

Anybody else have this problem with napping?

Joe Da Fish Guy

We acquired a new family member on Friday night:

Because we have three cats, I'd been joking about how a fish would be great Cat TV. We went (as we do every year) to the summer carnival at a local Catholic church. Mr. M is not athletic. Or, bless his heart, all that coordinated. So imagine our shock when he won our little fish, now known as Joe Da Fish Guy.
And then imagine their shock when he came home:

Anthony and Izzy spent quite some time wondering if they could possibly get to the little guy. Romper, on the other hand, was content to lie back and watch the show.


Time Diet

Y'all, I'm a slob. It's sad but true. The unfortunate thing is, I don't like messy houses. But I don't particularly like to clean them, either. (Though my closet is extremely ornganized-- by type of garment, and then by color.)

I have found what seems to be a workable solution! Every day, I set the kitchen timer for 15 minutes, and then do as much cleaning/tidying as possible in that amount of time. (I learned this trick from my husband, who is not all that naturally tidy, either.) Yesterday I put away laundry, made the bed, put a new load of laundry in, and tidied up the books/tissues/etc on my side of the bed. It made a huge difference, and 15 minutes feels like no time at all.

If we keep at this, we might actually have a neat house without having to have guests!

15 minutes of cleaning, 15 minutes before work of silence with God. I'm an obnoxiously healthy eater, and I think I'm finally realizing that the same healthy principles there can also be used in time management. I think too much multitasking can really erode our contentment and awareness, so these small portions are working beautifully for me.



while I'm typing your eyes off (wow, that sounds way more gross than talking your ear off, yikes), these are the loveliest cards I've seen in a very long time. I wish they were prints, rather than cards (though there's no reason one couldn't frame cards).

Mrs. M Gets Her Groove Back

That might be overstating the case, but I'm feeling pretty darn good. Getting a little spunk back, a little mischief.

I figured out a couple of weeks ago that it was distinctly possible that a prescription I'd been on was why I'd started having migraines, anxiousness, upset stomach. (I'm embarrassed to tell you it took about 3 years for me to figure it out. Everything was so minor in itself that I didn't bother talking to my doctor about it, and the classic line in my family is, "It's probably stress." Turns out, it's not stress.) I was even blaming Mr. M, because I started the prescription around the same time I got married!

I already feel so much better!

(Also, I think I might have been chatted up by a manager in the bookstore. It's been a long time since something like that has happened, and it was pretty funny.)

Meanwhile, if anyone knows how to find a FAM/NFP class-- preferably not a Catholic one, please let me know!

Geeky AND fun

Here it is, friends. A great time for one and all. Programmers at USC got together and greated the Congressional Redistricting game. It's educational, it's fun... and it's free.



I spoke with a friend over the weekend, who happened to mention a mutual acquaintance who is going through The Process locally. She's headed towards the permanent diaconate, but there are many things we're both experiencing. My friend gave me her number, and TA-DA, we're having breakfast in a few weeks.

I'm really looking forward to it, and she sounded pretty excited, too.

Wagwagwag for companionship.


Friday Five: Books Edition

This week, Sally has given us some book questions:

1. Fiction what kind, detective novels, historical stuff, thrillers, romance????Genre is not as important as liking the characters is. For mystery authors, I like G.A. McKevitt, Mary Daheim, and P.D. James, who makes me feel smart. I like Julia Quinn novels for romance, and I LOVE Jennifer Crusie, her heroines are my favorite fictional people in the world.

2. When you get a really good book do you read it all in one chunk or savour it slowly?
All in one chunk. And usually very quickly.

3. Is there a book you keep returning to and why?
John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany. I've been re-reading it since I was in high school, I've literally given away dozens of copies, and it's beautiful every time I read it.

4. Apart from the Bible which non-fiction book has influenced you the most?
Walter Bruggemann's The Prophetic Imagination. When I first read it, I loved it, but only processed it on a social justice level. The more I think about it and return to it, I see that his prophetic cycle of seeing, grieving, and envisioning something better is immensely personally healing as well.

5. Describe a perfect place to read. ( could be anywhere!!!)
Either outside (though when I do that, "reading" becomes a code word for napping), or else in my sacred space corner, in this
unbelievably comfortable chair.


Woo-Hoo! Years of Friday chapel paid off!

Too bad my skirts don't still come to my knees (I guess it couldn't all stick!).

You know the Bible 100%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

8 Random Things

Hey, folks! I've been tagged by Kate and Susie for 8 Random Things. (I feel like Sally Fields at the Oscars because of this. Well, and confused that I can't link to Susie's blog...)

Here we go:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Now my 8 things.

1) Sunday afternoon/evening is pampering time for me. Sometimes I take a nap, I grocery shop w/ Mr. M (no, this is fun for me, really), I do my nails (fingers and toes), sometimes I henna my hair. It's a very nice way to wrap up the week. I feel like I have to be tough all week, and I get to be soft on Sundays.

2) I make the world's best pie crust.

3) I went to 13 schools, kindergarten through college. We moved a lot growing up.

4) I was a cheerleader in high school and college. I dated no football players, but we should probably not talk about my history with band members.

5) I am painfully bad with math, except word problems. I can solve word problems easily, but often cannot do the same function in a normal equation.

6) I weigh half of what my husband does, but easily eat twice as much. A college roommate once said that I eat like a trucker.

7) My mother and I have the same first name. I hated not having my own name growing up, putting up with the annoying jokes ("HehHehHeh... can I call you Junior?"). I used to buy baby name books, and think about all the things I might call myself when I was old enough to choose my own name and have it legal changed. (I kept my name.)

8) I'm extremely uptight about protecting my skin, but I loooove to be in the sunshine. I feel like I have a solar panel.

I tag:
6.Jane Ellen
7.Mother Laura
And hope that I haven't missed a post where these ladies have already played...


Wherein Mr. M's Coke goes up his nose...

You are Ocean Blue

You're both warm and practical. You're very driven, but you're also very well rounded.
You tend to see both sides to every issue, and people consider you a natural diplomat.

I'm not sure there are a lot of people who would agree that I'm a natural diplomat. I do like to see both sides, but I'm often rather... direct.

The bride and the bridegroom

A friend of mine read a recent post about not being in touch lately, and we were chatting about it. Through the conversation, I realized that my feelings of not wanting to talk about a difficult point in my marriage were very similar to not wanting to talk about this difficult point with the church.

Another beautiful, kind friend from college taught me that when someone is having a hard time with a partner/breaking up/etc, one of the the worst things to do is speak derisively about the partner. No one wants to have to defend someone they love when they're also feeling hurt by that someone. I love the church. At it's best, it's generous and kind and healing, encouraging, powerful and liberating. At it's worst, it's extremely human.

My relationship with the church feels very private (tricky, when I want a job that makes it very public), and when we hit rough patches, I don't want to feel awkward about bringing it to cocktail parties with my friends. I'd rather not have my girlfriends exchanging glances about my foolish loyalty to it, or pushing me to consider seeing someone else. "You'd be so much happier with one who wasn't so controlling." "It doesn't seem to have much of a sense of humor." "You know you can't change it, right?"

I'm not sure what to do with this idea, really. Seems like a good start just to recognize it.


Friday Five: Getaway Island Edition

This week, Cathy is thinking about stealing away.

We snitched a bit of time on an quiet island nearby this week. It was a last minute plan, escaping with a minimal amount of preparation. One must have essentials that make it a relaxing time. Perhaps you have had this opportunity to escape, or maybe it's only been a thought to get away. However, suppose you were told to pack some essentials for a trip to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Describe your location, in general or specific terms and....

1) What book(s) will you bring?

I will bring every Jennifer Crusie book I own. Which is most of them (even out of print ones). Because I absolutely love the women that she writes. The men are OK, but the women are seriously cool people.

2) What music accompanies you?
Jimmy Buffet. How can you enjoy the beach without Fruitcakes?

3) What essentials of everyday living must you take (as in the health and beauty aids aisle variety)?
Sunscreen, cleanser, toner, moisturizer. Shampoo and conditioner. Jsut the basics.

4) What technological gadgets if any, will you take with you or do you leave it all behind?
I will leave it all behind. Well, I might take my phone in case of emergency, but I'm turning that puppy off.

5) What culinary delights will you partake in while there?
Lots of seafood. Whatever's local. And vats of sweet tea.

As a bonus question, what makes for a perfect day on vacation for you?
I love lazy days and fancy nights. Let me bum around outside all day, no makeup, sweaty and recharging through the solar panel in my belly. Then let's clean up and paint the town red!


Nibbled to death by guilt, and I don't even know you.

Someone gave what I believe was a kind, thoughtful comment to a previous post, and because anonymous comments drive me out of my mind, I deleted it. And I cannot figure out how to not allow anonymous comments through blogger, all I can think of is a classic West Wing line about unnamed sources.

Y'all. Say whatever you want. But please give yourself SOME sort of name. I don't care if it's Rumplestiltskin.

The Problem with Jrs.

I just accidently sent an email to my father-in-law.

It was meant to go to my husband.

Mind you, it wasn't inappropriate, but it was a little schmoopy. In any event, I'm a brighter shade of pink than I might otherwise be.



I've been reading Rep. McGovern's blog about living for a week on food stamps, and there was an entry where he mentions that he notices more all of the wasted food left on plates in restaurants.

This observation struck me because I don't like that waste either-- but most of the time, I'm served about 3 times what I can comfortably eat. I've never been part of the "clean your plate" school of thought, because I believe that if you eat more than you need, the food is just as wasted as if you throw it away. If I'm out of town, or if it's simply something that won't keep well, what do I do about the wasted leftovers of these insane portions?

I may be the only consumer who would encourage restaurants to charge me the same, but give me less.

A Quick Pick-Me-Up

I found this great article in the Post this morning, and it was a joy to read. A high school coach in Virginia, with winning seasons in wrestling and softball, has been extremely successful. This is not news, right? The part that is news to me, is that he's done it by being respectful and kind. The article was great, and it was a pleasure to read about this man.

On a completely opposite note, I came across an odd book in Borders recently: The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace, and Surviving One That Isn't. The title alone is obviously wonderful, but it was pretty helpful overall. I especially liked that it addressed the possibility that the reader is sometimes the one who is a pain (not just always the victim of other people's bad behavior).

It seems to me that when people talk about leadership, they're often talking about dominion, and I don't believe it's the same thing. It was refreshing in both of these instances to hear confirmation that respect and cooperation are more effective than ostentatious displays of power.