Some Thoughts on Play, and Dancing

A number of people I can think of (including Rev.Dr.Kate) have been thinking about play lately.

I've been thinking about dancing with Brendan Fraser. No, it's not something I expect to see happen anytime soon, but it does make me think about the connections between playfulness, confidence, grace, and peace.

Mr. M and I watched School Ties a couple of weeks ago, because I decided to add all Brendan Fraser movies to the top of our Netflix queue. It's a really mediocre movie at best. Good cast, decent idea for the plot, painfully flimsy writing. But, it turns out, Mr. Fraser is quite a good dancer! (There's only a little dancing, but if you have a crush, a little is all you need!) And then last night, when someone was talking to me about their later-in-life-than-usual need to learn to play, I thought about dancing. You simply cannot do it if you're worried, or self-conscious, or scared, or not having a good time. Even bad dancers are fun to watch when they're having fun. You have to know how to play to be able to dance, then, yes?

I think there are life lessons in this, so I'm going to mull it over for a little while, but I wanted to throw the beginnings of my thoughts out there to you all.

The Lemons Get Tipsy

A dear friend was comparing people in our group to whiskey drinks a few months back, and mine was whiskey and lemonade. I tend to be a wine or beer kinda girl, so I've been curious. Last night, Mr. M and I took the plunge, using this recipe. Oh-- I should point out that I used seltzer instead of Sprite/7Up, because I'm not wild about very-sweet things.

It's really, really tasty! Mind you, Sandra Lee hasn't made anything yet that I've disliked, so I'm sure that factored in. (We make her Peach and Apricot Hard Cider for our annual Cookie Day.)

So, sip slowly and enjoy!

In which Mrs. M is disappointed.

Well, I've done an internet search, and I can't find Beattitude yard signs.

It's probably for the best, but I'm still going to keep my eyes peeled.


And another...

Here's the monkey that Mr. M made for my friend Sarah:

Mostly for Sarah

Mr. M and I went for a run this evening, after my fantabulous bud Sarah and I chatted about what a pain in the rear it can be to get started back after a break. To make the whole thing more fun, we agreed to take pictures on our outings. Here are a few of mine.

We always start by stretching, usually against a UPS drop-box:

We saw a cat down an alley:

You can't see it (any better than you can see the cat, really) but there's a goose and gosling waddling into the tall grasses.

The town college:
The little gazebo next to the college:

This was four guys holding a mattress on top of their car. Dangerous, maybe, but funny too:

I call these dragon-tooth walls:
These darn "10 Commandments" signs irritate the heck out of me. I'd love to go for a run in the dead of night, and replace them all with Beattitudes signs.

I tend to look like a tomato with hair after a run:

We see this on our cool-down walk home. Mr. M and I think this sign is rather... callipygian. Why doesn't the design firm notice?

And apparently, Mr. M just couldn't resist this:


Perfect Timing Friday Five!!!!

I could just kiss Singing Owl for giving this timely Friday Five!:

We will be at a chaplain's convention when you all are answering the Friday Five Questions. I'll look forward to reading your answers next week when I get home. At the moment we are trying to get the car loaded so we can hit the road, so this will be a simple F.F. This running around madly in order to leave has me wondering: what are the five things you simply must have when you are away from home? And why? Any history or goofy things, or stories?

We've been out of town A LOT this summer, and we've got at least two more trips planned. Here are my Five Things:

  1. A couple of books. I don't care where we're going, I'm going to have down time at some point. On vacation, I got to start The Idiot, and a fantabulous little book called To Begin The World Anew, about the American experiment of democracy.
  2. My journal and a bible. Always, always, always. Because inevitably, I'm going to want a chance to process.
  3. Extra underpants. Even if I'm just going somewhere overnight, I'll pack at least 3 extra pair of undies. In fact, I keep about 3 extra pairs of undies and socks in my gym bag. I cannot explain this to you, but I think I learned it from my mom.
  4. Snacks. Usually a peanut butter power bar, because I get really cranky if I have to go too long without meals. This way, I can take care of it, and not bother other people.
  5. This summer, I haven't gone anywhere without a hat. There's just too much skin cancer in my family.

BONUS QUESTION, PLEASE: I'm taking a road trip to Dayton next week, and I'm trying to bring fun music with me. I'd love to have suggestions in the comments. Oh, and to give you a start, so far I have:

  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Georgia Satellites
  • Matchbox 20
  • Indigo Girls
  • B-52s
  • Neil Diamond (who doesn't love Sweet Caroline?)
  • Melissa Etheridge
  • Dolly Parton
  • Dave Matthews

I'll take anything spunky, but you get extra points if it's fun for a tenor to sing along with!



Mr. M's been crafty lately, too. When I found this great book
at Barnes and Noble, he was just on the other side of the shelf, browsing for himself.

And when he stumbled across this gem, I had a feeling our library was about to expand.

So, Mr. M has begun his great sewing adventures. Our first new friend is Sniffles the Elephant. He seemed to be really easy to make (I don't know for sure, I didn't help). But Mr. M has never sewn more than a button, and finished in 3 evenings. Here's how it all came together:


Hot Tips

A really, really darling friend of mine became a dad on Friday (9 days early). I've been working on a baby blanket for the little one, but as you may have picked up, I'm much better at starting projects than finishing them. BUT I'm wild about this friend, and come heck or high water, the darn blanket is getting done.

SO, here are the things that are working today:

  1. If I pack enough paraphernalia into a canvas sack, and hole up in an unused meeting room during my lunch hour, I can get much more done than I do at home. At home, I have the attention span of a gypsy moth. Hot tip #1: Craftiness over my lunch hour is great, because it's a mental break from work without leaving the building, and I get WAY more done.
  2. I used a silver marking pencil to plan out where I was going to embroider flowers on the gingham side of my blanket. I got about a quarter of the way through this when I realized it would be just as effective, and much smarter, to mark the back of the cloth. And then I realized how hard it is to use a fabric eraser on flannel. Hot tip #2: If I blog the pencil with clear packing tape, the marks come right up, and they don't screw with the nap of the fabric!

Progress has been made! If I can just reconcile myself to the fact that it isn't going to be perfect, and that it's good to do it anyway, we'll be all set.


Friday Five: Name Game

RevHRod leads the Friday Five this week:

If you are a regular reader of Songbird's blog, you know that "The Princess" has requested a new name. Her older brother changed his "secret identity" a while back and now this lovely young lady is searching for a new name on her mother's blog. This got me to thinking. How do we come up with all of these names? There must be at least a few good stories out there.

1. So how did you come up with your blogging name? And/or the name of your blog?
My blog name comes from goes way back. When I was little, my tiny family (Mama Marine and I) moved around A LOT, and the "family" I developed weren't related to me, they were the loving, hospitable people that we found at different bases all over the world. I loved full, boisterious houses, and wanted to have one of my own one day. My theory was that I would always leave the kitchen door unlocked, and our friends could come by whenever they needed or wanted to-- the door would always be open. Later, I realized that vision of hospitality was also one I had for the church.

2. Are there any code names or secret identities in your blog? Any stories there?
Not really. I finally un-anonymoused myself this year, but I'm still fairly careful with other people. (Though obviously if you know me IRL, you know who Mr. M is!)

3. What are some blog titles that you just love? For their cleverness, drama, or sheer, crazy fun?
I really appreciate the title of Growing Where I'm Planted.

4. What three blogs are you devoted to? Other than the RevGalBlogPals of course!
I read dooce all the time, and I also read my friend Chaplain Danny's.

5. Who introduced you to the world of blogging and why?
I'm so embarassed-- I can't remember how I started!!!

Bonus question: Have you ever met any of your blogging friends? Where are some of the places you've met these fun folks?
I have, I have!! I've gotten to hang out with both ladyburg and charlotte, and they're both really wonderful. (Thank heavens this question wasn't, "Who would you like to meet?" because I would have gone on and on...)


Kyrie Eleison

Just a reminder to please hold all Anglican bishops in your prayers today, as Lambeth begins.

Oh-- and go read this. I'm so proud of ++Katharine.

A Wise Man Once Said

Mr. M and I were driving home very late a couple of weeks ago, passing corn fields along the way. I was watching the fireflies dancing in the tall stalks when he asked me what I was thinking.

"I was thinking about how great it would be to be a firefly."


Didn't say anything else. The next day I said to him, "You know, if I were a firefly, my butt wouldn't light up. Girl fireflies don't glow." He told me he thought about that at the time, but didn't want to burst my bubble.

This, ladies, is the mark of a very good husband.

And now, when I'm happy (or when he wants to distract me), he tells me my butt's lighting up.

Godzilla of Gross

I have a huge pimple in the middle of my back, exactly where my bra strap is. I think it's planning to take over Tokoyo.

That's all the news I've got. I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.


Crafty Silly Secrets

OK, I have a silly secret plan, but I need your help. I'm driving out to see one of my very favorite girlfriends in Dayton in a few weeks, and I need to bring some whimsy with me.

I need suggestions on ways to decorate t-shirts. That's not exactly what we'll be decorating, but it'll get me close enough. I want to bring a silly kit with me (and probably a couple of bottles of red wine).

Help me out, friends!

Simmering Down

The last week or so I've been a real crankypants. Ergo, I'm going to take a page out of Mary Beth's book (funny phrase for a couple of bibliophiles) and try to focus on gratitude instead of nuttiness. Here's what I can be grateful for today:

  • Mom's sounded fairly "up" lately.
  • Mr. M is a really good guy.
  • Flannel bottom sheets (a flannel top sheet would be too heavy). I don't know why, but I sleep like a rock on flannel.
  • Lots of rainstorms-- I love the sound of water.
  • Dinner this coming weekend with an "adopted" brother, and his very pregnant wife-- in Bethesda!
  • A half day on Friday.
  • Lots of snuggling with an orange cat this week
  • A lot of really kind coworkers.
  • Yoga tonight (and Mr. M is going to try it!).
  • Very good health.

There's a lot on that list, and it didn't take long to get that far. Something to think about...


Chasing Skirt

I admit it: I like paraphernalia more than I like hobbies. I like accoutrements more than activities.

So, I'm a sporadic knitter, embroiderer, quilter, runner, baker, dancer, yoga practioner, rosary pray-er, guitar player.

But The Stuff is always so nifty. *sigh*

So when my July edition of Runner's World came in the mail, and there were a variety of articles on running skirts, I knew I was being led into temptation. I'd been running really consistantly Dec-April, but then... nothing. I can blame it on a cranky illiotibial band (and that's part of it), but mostly I just got distracted.

SO, I came up with a plan: I can buy a skirt after I've run as many miles as the skirt costs dollars. Once I get into the habit, I'm much more likely to stay on the wagon.

I shared my plan with Mr. M, and he likes it so much he's adapted it for himself. He would really like to buy himself a Wii, but also wants to make sure that he stays active. Because he's a creative guy, he's added a caveat: only outdoor miles build the Wii fund. Treadmill miles don't count, because he wants to counteract the indoor-ness of video games. He figures it'll last long after he gets the Wii, because then he'll want games, and accessories.

I'm kind of excited. It's nice to have incentive, and it's nice to have a partner in crime.

Oh, and you know what else would be nice? If this race series planned a race closer to me.

Fantastic Find

I was listening to NPR this weekend, and stumbled across one of those delightful gems that make me a coffee-mug carrying public radio station member.

Do you all know about Ben Sollee? His music is fantastic. I love cello, I love folk music, I love singer-songwriters, and I love tall, lanky men with senses of humor.

I'm tell you, he's worth looking at into.


Thick as Two Short Planks

I'm reading Robert Prichard's History of the Episcopal Church. (No, it's not assigned reading, yes, I am a very huge dork.) I'm mostly reading it because I want to know how we've gotten to where we are today. Are the things that make me nutty longstanding and systemic, or are they particular to my experience?

As I started reading it thought, I bonked my head onto my desk in embarrassment: America was colonized at the same time as the English Reformation. There was no established Church of England at the time of Virginia's birth! Of course! I knew the dates for both of those things, but somehow never put them together.

This means to me that of course the structure and personality of the two institutions don't mirror each other precisesly. We aren't the inheritors of a longstanding tradition. Both sides of the Atlantic were working the kinks out at the same time, in their own unique ways.

Very exciting discovery. Even if people with half a brain would have put it together ages ago.