I've been wanting to make bread for a while. Mr. M and I try to limit the amount of processed food that we eat and buy, so this makes sense. I'm tired of buying sandwich bread. HOWEVER, I'm a little lazy. And not wild about the consistency of the loaves that come out of our breadmaker.

But THEN, I found this article and recipe in the Times. So tonight, I'm going to mix the dough, and tomorrow, this experiment goes into the oven! I'll let you know how it turns out.

(Better than all the other unfinished projects, I hope... though I'm cutting back my commitments, just so that I can finally post results on some of these puppies!)


Gilbert and Sullivan have been on my list of things to explore for a while now. I can't explain it, but I think they're going to be right up my alley.

So, I was very pleased to find out that there's a semi-local amateur company devoted entirely to Gilbert and Sullivan. Then, I was even more delighted to find out that they'll be performing in an open-air theater in lovely Longwood Gardens.

My friends, I see a gorgeous date in my future.



I'm having the weirdest disconnect lately. I've spent the last 3 1/2 years in (fairly) singleminded pursuit of Episcopal ordination, but frustrated as heck with it. Lately, though, I feel a thousand times better about continuing The Process... but at the same time, a million other daydreams dance alongside the one of ordination.

Kids, or not. Moving, or not. A new home, where? Seminary, where?

It's amazing what happens when one lets one's imagination roam free. I feel more hope, and more confusion, than I have in a long time. It seems like exactly the right place to be.

Is there room in the church for dreamers?

If you are a dreamer, come in, If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, A
hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer... If you're a pretender, come sit by my
fire For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in! -Shel Silverstein


Friday Five: Postmodern Edition

From Singing Owl:

Yesterday I had two separate conversations in which people were musing about how much change is occurring. The WW II generation, of which my mom is a part, went from horse and buggy to automobiles, saw the lessening, or even the end of many diseases, went from widespread use of kerosene lamps and outhouses (in the country, and most folks were rural)) to a totally electrified and plumbed society. The fastest means of communication was a telegraph. The second conversation--gulp--was about MY generation and how much change occurred in the last half of the 20th century. The person said his 13 year old had not seen a vinyl record album until a few days before, couldn't remember a time without cell phones, and on and on.As for the questions!

1. What modern convenience/invention could you absolutely, positively not livewithout?
This is pretty hard for me to answer. I think I'm pretty adaptable, I almost never watch TV, and I was a pretty late holdout on cell phones. Despite my blogging habit, I really would be OK without an awful lot of conveniences. I still write real letters, for crying out loud!

2. What modern convenience/invention do you wish had never seen the light of day?Why?
I'm not wild about cell phones, but like anything else, there are good things and bad things about them.

3. Do you own a music-playing device older than a CD player? More than one? Ifso, do you use it (them)?
Yep, there's a tape player in our car, and one in the house.

4. Do you find the rapid change in our world exciting, scary, a mix...or somethingelse?
Neither, really. People are people, that doesn't change all that much. This Friday Five reminds me a lot of Ecclesiastes: there's nothing new under the sun. Love and greed and fear and grace all remain the same, they just acquire different settings.

5. What did our forebears have that we have lost and you'd like to regain?
I don't know: I worry that we romanticize the past a bit. If I had to pick something, I'd like to see more people reading.
Bonuspoints if you have a suggestion of how to begin that process.
I'll read to our (non-existant now) kidlets, and I'll keep reading, and I'll keep sharing the beauty I find in those books.


Another Disenfranchised Voter

Mr. M is not having a good day.

He's been excited about the primary for weeks and weeks now. We got up early, donned our lucky knickers, and headed out to our local polling place.

Where he wasn't allowed to vote.

The last time he updated his driver's license, he also changed his voter registration. This was back in 2004, before the last election. He'd be registered Green, but he decided that was unduly idealistic, he usually goes Dem, and he wanted to be able to vote in the primary. He got his new voter registration card in the mail, and it said "D."

Unfortunately, PENNDoT, stellar as ever, didn't pass the information on to the PA Dept. of State. So when Mr. M showed up at the polls, he couldn't vote. What makes the story even better is that the gentleman helping us explained that 99% of people who have any problems at all with their registration are those who have done it through PENNDoT. I'm now dreading today's results, knowing how many people in our state recently changed their registration.

UPDATE: So now I'm just made. It looks like we've known this was a problem for years now, and we're not fixing it OR educating about it!


I have been having the weirdest dreams lately. Really, the first weird part is just that I'm remembering them (I almost never do).

Last night I dreamt that I was hanging out with a good friend and his wife in our college library. I looked down at his books, and realized they were the same ones I read early in discernment (albeit in a different language). I was shocked that he was interested, and it was clearly an open door to communication.

The book that struck me most, and that I remembered as important after I woke up was Eugene Peterson's Under the Unpredictable Plant.

Which got me thinking about the 4th Chapter of Jonah. As a hat tip to Mr. Peterson, we'll go with The Message version:

1-2 Jonah was furious. He lost his temper. He yelled at God, "God! I knew
it—when I was back home, I knew this was going to happen! That's why I ran
off to Tarshish! I knew you were sheer grace and mercy, not easily angered,
rich in love, and ready at the drop of a hat to turn your plans of
punishment into a program of forgiveness! 3"So, God, if you won't kill them, kill me! I'm better off dead!" 4God said, "What do you have to be angry about?" 5But Jonah just left. He went out of the city to the east and sat down in a sulk. He put together a makeshift shelter of leafy branches and sat there in the shade to see what would happen to the city. 6God arranged for a broad-leafed tree to spring up. It grew
over Jonah to cool him off and get him out of his angry sulk. Jonah was pleased
and enjoyed the shade. Life was looking up. 7-8But then God sent a worm. By dawn of the next day, the worm had bored into the shade tree and it withered away. The sun came up and God sent a hot, blistering wind from the east. The sun beat down on Jonah's head and he started to faint. He prayed to die: "I'm better off dead!" 9Then God said to Jonah, "What right do you have to get angry about this shade tree?" Jonah said, "Plenty of right. It's made me angry enough to die!" 10-11God said, "What's this? How is it that you can change your feelings from pleasure to anger overnight about a mere shade tree that you did nothing to get? You neither planted nor watered it. It grew up one night and died the next night. So, why can't I likewise change what I feel about Nineveh from anger to pleasure, this big city of more than 120,000 childlike people who don't yet know right from wrong, to say nothing of all
the innocent animals?"
My job is not to decide whether or not I feel warm and fuzzy about where God sends me. My job is to respond to call. Something to think about when the church makes me nuts.

Jonah Window, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Holyoke, MA, Designed by Rebecca Leiter, 1996, Lyn Hovey Studio


DO EET!!!!

Before I wrap up for the day, I want to remind my PA neighbors (who also happen to be registered voters) to GET THEE TO THY POLLING PLACE tomorrow. (For those who don't know where that might be, just plug your address into this handy form, and you'll get the location pronto!) Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. tomorrow, though if you are in line by 8:00 p.m., you must be allowed to vote. So if there's a line, but you're in it by 8, stay put! You will still be allowed to vote. Regardless of your preferences, get out there and be a part of this exciting election tomorrow. (Seriously. Yes, I have a preference, but I respect everyone getting involved more than I respect my guy winning just because someone didn't bother showing up.)

So, with hats off to Cute Overload:

On Track for Change

Just a quick peek for those who are interested: Mr. M and I went to the local "On Track for Change" whistlestop speech on Saturday. Here are a few pics:


Friday Five: 24

RevHRod gives us this Friday Five:

Yesterday I had the 24 hour flu. I had been told by the people who had it first that it really was a twenty-four hour bug. And so while I dealt with all the blech of the flu, I kept reminding myself that morning would come and I would feel a lot better.
This is certainly a strange way to start out a Friday Five but it made me think about what I might like to do if I knew it would only last for 24 hours. There are no reality boundaries to these imaginings. So here are the five things for you to consider...
1.If you could dramatically change your physical appearance for 24 hours, what would you do?

I think I'd want to be tall for 24 hours, just to see what it was like. I don't mind being 5'3", but it would be interesting to have a different perspective for a little while.

2. If you could live in another place for 24 hours where would you go?
This is such a hard question, because 24 hours doesn't seem like nearly enough. Given that, I think it would have to be something that I could explore in a day (maybe a Russian palace) rather than a city. Yep, I think we're going with Russion palace here. (Um, before the Bolsheviks.)

3.You get to do somebody else's job for a day...
I'd love to be in Congress for a day. That would be fabulous.

4. Spend the day with another person from anywhere in time and space...
Dorothy Day.

5. A magical power is yours. Which one would you pick?
Ooo-- I'd want to get beamed up. Schedule hour-long visits with a dozen far-flung loved ones.



I'm playing with blogger, it may take a while to be legible again!



I'm Out!

It's past time. It's OK to have a voice of my own.

Pleased to meet you.

Friend Crushes

This last year has been an awfully good one for me. I feel like every time I turn around, I'm finding a little piece of myself that I thought I'd misplaced forever. A little joy turns up in a sock drawer, and wedge of hope is stuck under the front porch. "Darn- so that's where it's been!"

This week, I opened a closet and a big old pile of Friend Crush fell on my head. I must have just thrown it in there and slammed the door.

I used to be really nuts about my friends. Loved them dearly, celebrated them, felt genuinely honored to share their company. But way leads onto way and after a rough few years trust in my fellow person was pretty well shot.

I noticed that it was back last week. I ran into someone I'd only met once or twice, and I gathered my ovaries and invited him to join us for dinner.

I was terrified.

And so, so excited. It is so like me to do this. And I haven't done it in ages. I haven't taken risks to get to know people I think are really neat. I haven't just relaxed and enjoyed people. I haven't felt safe enough to share, to joke, to be anything but reserved.


(And did I mention that I'm hanging out with the funny, beautiful, smart women that I work with on Saturday night? And that I'm thinking we could really be friends? I haven't been in the same town as great girlfriends since... well, let's not think in terms of time. I'm so excited.)


Road Trip

A couple of weeks ago, Mr. M and I headed down to the capital to take part in the Cherry Blossom Run. (I highly recommend it, fabulous race, great time.)

We saw this sign on the way down.

I don't think I can bring myself to comment, but I'd welcome any captions you might provide.


Friday Five: Moving Edition

Mother Laura says:

We are right in the middle of a move--only twenty minutes away, but we're still a mix of busy, excited, nervous and surprisingly full of grief about what we're leaving, for me at least. So this week's Friday Five asks about your experience of the marvels and madness of moving...

1. How many times have you moved? When was the last time?
Both of my parents were active duty military. By the time I graduated college, I had attended 13 different schools. I'm trying to count, and I have lived in at least 19 different houses/apartments (I'm counting college as all one, despite different dorm rooms). Did I mention I'm 28? But I've lived in the same apartment building for almost 6 years now (moved from a 1-bedroom to a two bedroom on the other side of the building when we got married 3 1/2 years ago).

2. What do you love and hate about moving?
I honestly don't love or hate it-- it's just something I do. I'm not wild about packing, but I don't mind unpacking.

3. Do you do it yourself or hire movers?
When I was a kid there were movers, but my mom was pretty particular, so we packed most things ourselves. Since I've been out of the house (17), I've moved myself.

4. Advice for surviving and thriving during a move?
Know that everything won't go perfectly. Some things will get broken, some things will get lost. Go easy on yourself, but label the boxes.
AFTERTHOUGHT: Unpack one room first, so that you have a retreat during the time when the house is chaos.

5. Are you in the middle of any inner moves, if not outer ones?
I'm not sure. We're anticipating an outer move in the next couple of years (and I'm ready-- turns out, I really am a city girl!), but I feel like I'm settling into myself. It feels really go to be confident that that settled feeling is independant of physical moves.


Crowding Out The Spirit


I said "No" to something!

Very exciting. Scary, but indicative of growth.

In the course of The Process, I've seen all church work as work assignments, which cannot be turned down. Unfortunately, I'm still working full time, and now training as well. Can't do it all. I realized in retrospect that when opportunities for ministry have been presented to me, they've been framed as instructions, rather than requests. I wasn't asked. In at least one instance, it was a ministry that really didn't feel appropriate for me. But I took it, because I wasn't asked, and I assumed I had to.

So, I've been thinking and praying about being overcommitted, and last night as I prayed before I led Evening Prayer, a phrase came to mind. "Crowding Out the Spirit."

When I'm fighting to get everything done, I'm not able to be attentive to myself, those around me, or, most importantly, God.

So this morning, I mustered up my ovaries and emailed my priest. One of my assignments needs to go. I'm open to discussing which program gets cut, but was clear that I could only work on one or the other.

Let's see how it goes!


Revelation Friday Five

Sally brings us this week's Friday Five on encountering God. I should warn you all in advance that I had a fabulous day at Spiritual Director's training yesterday, and I've been rocking out to Dolly all morning, so there's no telling what might happen here! (Note after the fact: it seems to have turned me into a linking fiend!) Here we go!

How has God revealed him/herself to you in a:
1. Book
Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass is beautiful to me. God is all over it.

I don't have a film, but this scene of the West Wing Season 2 finale gets me every single time.

3. Song
Yesterday at training, we spent our afternoon session discussing and meditating on the showings of Julian of Norwich. As we were pondering her earth/hazelnut reflection

"And with this insight he also showed me a little thing, the size of a
hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand. It seemed to me as round as a ball. I
gazed at it and thought, ‘What can this be?’ The answer came thus, ‘It is
everything that is made.’ I marveled how this could be, for it was so small it
seemed it might fall suddenly into nothingness. Then I heard the answer, ‘It
lasts, and ever shall last, because God loves it. All things have their being in
this way by the grace of God.’"
I remembered listening (over and over and over again, bless my mother's patience) to Christy Lane singing "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands." I can't find Christy, but here's a fun- albeit long- choir version.

4. Another person
Mr. M (of course!)

5. Creation
As we tiptoe into spring, with the trees just barely starting to bloom here, I am rejoicing for life and light and sun!