Sunday, July 30, 2006

Home Again

...into our new place, that is. We moved yesterday (one of the hottest days of the year). Thank goodness we used movers rather than trying to do the UHaul thing. As it was, I thought a couple of the moving guys would pass out any moment with heatstroke. It took from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., which isn't all that bad considering they had to retrieve most of our worldy possessions from the storage place. We cleaned ourselves up, made the bed, and went out to dinner.

The cats are moved in and are adjusting to their new home, we went back and cleaned the old place to ready it for the walk-through, and the stereo and computer are up and the kitchen is almost functional. Only a couple of nonessential small things got broken. We're fortunate.

We've unpacked about 40 boxes thus far, with most of the important ones unpacked. I'll slowly wend my way through some more, and then I'll stop, and the remianing stuff will probably stay in boxes for the next three years, and I won't really care.

Tomorrow is settlement day for the old place. I pray it all goes smoothly. I'll be glad to get this part of it done.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Signing Off Until Next Week

The movers are coming on Saturday morning, but some things (like the computer) will go to the new place in the car, so I'll be packing up the 'puter today to go to its new home. If all goes well and our Internet service works as planned, I'll check back in on Sunday or Monday...

Say a paryer , please, that all goes well.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Sheetrocking - done
1st coat of joint compound - done
Lining the cabinets with plastic sheeting - done
Hanging the towel rack - done
Putting the water filter on the faucet - done
Closets emptied - done

Most important:

Moving Moses the gecko to his new home - DONE!

He is riding over there now with PH in StrongOpinions' Saabie. The cats will go after the movers are done on Saturday.

Today will be sanding the joint compound, putting on another coat of it, and painting the other walls of the basement. Plus carting a ton o' stuff over in the car (fax machine, office stuff, more fragile things, etc.) I'll make one stop in PetSmart for crickets for Moses and one stop at Goodwill to drop off assorted cast-offs.

After we got back home last night, PH got up on the tall ladder to put a skim coat of spackle on the bad spot in the hallway ceiling. Tonight he'll sand that and we'll paint it (hopefully it will be the final time). Meanwhile the pest control and repair folks are fixing the one part that they needed to do after the termite inspection.

The repair men showed up at 7:45 this morning, two short, dark Central American guys, very friendly and polite, who set to work right away and should be done soon. Most of the workmen who have helped us get the house ready for sale are like these two - from Central America, hardworking, sweet-natured. They do good work and they're clearly glad to have a job. It got me to thinking about this whole immigration debate, and wondering what it would be like around here if these folks weren't part of the workforce. It would certainly mean it would take longer to get things done. I know the issue is more complicated than justthis small slice of it, but I would hate to see guys like this (I don't know if they're legal or not) get shipped off just for someone's political posturing.

Off to pack some more stuff-

Friday, July 21, 2006

The First Load

We're getting the keys to our new place tomorrow morning. In anticipation, I've packed my car with the following:
  • Garbage Can
  • Coffee pot
  • Garbage Bags
  • Assorted cleaning stuff
  • Towels and shower basics
  • Ice Cube Tray
  • Frying Pan and 1 pot
  • Two boxes of StrongOpinions' fragile stuff
  • One workshop shelf unit for PH's tools and stuff
  • Toilet Paper and Paper Towels
  • A small portable radio
  • First Aid Kit
  • A five foot long needlepoint my SIL made for PH on the occasion of his ordination. It is a vine with all different symbols from the Bible, from grapes and olives to cranes and bees. It's gift of love that will eventually be hung near our front door, to remind us what we are about. I want to prop it up in the living room while we do this work, to make us smile.

The other thing, of course, will be our wallets....moving is an expensive proposition! We'll spend the weekend getting supplies, removing the cheesy faux-paneling in the basement. and starting the work of sheetrocking the basement. We'll have friends from church (a couple of whom were part of our Pascagoula mission trip in February, and are now experts at this sort of stuff) helping out, plus PH's retired cousin (HeWhoOwnsAPickupTruck), clearly one of the most important helpers because of our need to get sheetrock, ceiling tiles, and other large things from HomeDepot.

Somehow, I think I'll be making lots or trips back and forth between the places, moving the little odds and ends that aren't suited to the movers' truck.

All will be well, all will be well.

Fifth Anniversary RevGal Friday Five

1) What is your first memory of the RevGalBlogPals?

I found members of group in its early stages circuitously from Real Live Preacher. Can't remember exactly how I got to Songbird and St Casserole and ReverendMother, but they were the first Gals I met, and I was encouraged to blog myself. A pretty radical step for a 50-plus woman going through the discernment process.

2) Have you met any of the other ring members in real life?

Reverendmother and I have gotten together on a couple of occasions. I had hoped to meet St Casserole when I was down rebuilding in the Gulf after Katrina, but we weren't able to make it happen. One of these days, we'll manage it.

3) Of those you haven't met, name a few you would love to know in person.

The list is endless. Kathryn, Songbird, St Casserole, Emily, Sophia,Lorna, ChiRev, Cheesehead...I hate not to include anyone since I love you all! I should find a way to get together with JLEdmiston since we're in the same neck of the woods.

4) What has Ring Membership added to your life?

Affirmation, laughter, tears, courage, new ways of thinking about things, a theological education, a greater understanding of the polity and theology of other denominations, and ever fresh views of Christ in my brothers and sisters of the ring. Plus the opportunity to stretch my writing wings in a new way in our devotional books. You've been with me through my discernment process, through myacceptance as a postulant and to seminary, through illnesses, through various and sundry joys and travails...what a great group of friends!

5) Describe a hope for the future of the WebRing.

A continually growing, supportive community that has more intentionality in getting together. Maybe mini-regional-meet-ups.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Just when I thought I was in the home stretch on selling the house, several things rear their ugly heads. We had a termite inspection; they found evidence of termites, and we paid to have the house treated, not with the cheaper alternative, but with the Cadillac of termite systems. There was some damage to a 2x4 in the basement, but the inspector said it wasn't a structural problem and didn't need to be repaired. The settlement company is now insisting on a structural engineer to come evaluate it and repair it. I need a receipt from one of the workmen on some other work we needed to get done - I haven't even paid him yet - and I haven't been able to get a hold of him. The hallway ceiling is looking (once again) like there is some water damage, after PH did such a wonderful job fixing it a couple months ago. Of course, the 300-year rain we had over the past couple of weeks might have something to do with it. Lastly, I'm in a plateau in my weight loss. Twelve more pounds to lose and I haven't lost an ounce in three weeks.

This sucks. Praying for calm.

New Toys

I'm typing this on my sexy new laptop. What's more, I'm now able to WiFi...we have a wireless router on the home computer.

The laptop was an investment for seminary, but I'm loving being able to work in the living room while PH is in the den. No more competition for the 'puter! Yay!

Twas good to have a dear friend who's a geek, who came over and set all this up with us last night. Hopefully, it will survive the move in good order.

Off to pack stuff...

Monday, July 17, 2006

Who Needs MasterCard?

Seeing Princess granddaughter looking lovely and perky...wonderful.
Seeing Cowboy grandson being his usual wild and crazy self...exhilarating.
Seeing Buddha-Baby grandson as serene and mellow as ever...heart-warming.

Seeing Stepson #2 looking as sleep-deprived and exhausted as I was for much of his growing up years...


Friday, July 14, 2006

Peevish Friday Five

1. Grammatical pet peeve

Use of four-letter words indiscriminately. Yes, I use them myself. Not infrequently. But I'd like to believe I use them meaningfully, rather than as a modifier to EVERY noun in a sentence.

2. Household pet peeve

Leaving empty cartons or containers that previously held food in the frig or pantry. How am I to know if we need more unless I see the milk jug's gone, or there are no more cereal boxes in the cabinet?

3. Arts & Entertainment pet peeve (movie theaters, restaurants, concerts)

Operagoers who shout "bravo" before the aria is completed. Especially aggravating when the performance wasn't worthy of a "bravo" in the first place. People who unwrap their coughdrops (crinkle crinkle crinkle) during the quiet passages. Yes, I'm glad you're trying to combat that nasty cough. Couldn't you have unwrapped it when the music was loud? I know. I'll stop being such a prissy nudge now.

4. Liturgical pet peeve

"We just really thank you, God." It has become a catch phrase that equals "Jesus Christ, personal Savior" as code and as posturing. Sorry if I offend anyone, but I'm unhappy with recipe book Christianity that requires certain key phrases as an indicator of being "the right kind" of Christian. I'll go put away my quotation marks now.

5. Wild card--pet peeve that doesn't fit any of the above categories

Assumptions that all Republicans are greedy troglodytes and all Democrats are idiotic bleeding heart spendthrifts. Politics is slightly more nuanced than that. I give you John Danforth and Joe Lieberman.

Bonus: Because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God: What do YOU do that others might consider a pet peeve?

a) I allow StrongOpinions to interrupt my conversations with PH, which rightly peeves him.
b)I use ellipses (...) excessively....

Monday, July 10, 2006

Home Again

I'm back from retreat. It was lovely, a time of reflection and conversation with the other postulants from our diocese. Our retreat leader found out she has been nominated to be Bishop in another diocese - very exciting news, since she's a marvelous priest and solid as they come.

I was pretty frazzled when I got there Friday evening. what is normally an hour and 45 minute drive turned into a four hour endurance test. Fortunately, the return trip Sunday afternoon was more like the usual time.

Back to the real world today: the termite inspection guy is walking through the house poking walls and such with a stick. He just told me he saw some evidence of termite activity downstairs. Sigh. And the handyman is preparing to install a french drain on the side of the house where we may have some water seepage. Another sigh. And I need to call the post office because they started forwarding our mail to the new address already, when I told them to start July 28th.

I think I'll go back down to the retreat center....


The termite system will cost $1500 and instead of a French drain, we're having that side of the house waterproofed. another grand. Good thing we're making some money on this house. The mighty wind you're hearing is money pouring out of our checkbook.

Friday, July 07, 2006

RevGal Friday Five: Short Stuff

On all things short:

1. Here in the USA, at 5'2", I'm considered short. In Japan, I'm considered average height for a woman, I think. In certain parts of Africa, I'm tall.

I'd like to think that I'm not short, simply energy-efficient.

2. Real strawberry shortcakes, with biscuit-type shortcakes that absorb the strawberry juices so wonderfully, are culinary nirvana. Eating strawberry shortcakes any time but in June when the local strawberries are at their sweetest is a crime against nature.

3. It's just a short time before I start seminary. I'm as excited as I used to get in the days before elementary school started, and I got my new pencil case and black marble-covered notebooks. The only difference now is that I got a new laptop computer instead of notebooks.

4. Short-tempered people abound in the heat of a Washington summer. I find I'm saying to myself "Remember, this is a child of God" more often now than in wintertime.

5. Short skirts: I know I've become an official middle-aged old poop when I see my daughter and some of her friends wearing thigh-high short skirts and I think to myself "Those skirts are wayyyyy too short!" Then again, those skirts really ARE wayyy too short. Then again, 30+ years ago, I wore skirts not much longer than that.

I get short-tempered when I'm hoist upon my own petard...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A range of Emotions

Remembering the wonderful mezzo Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, whose interpretations of Bach cantatas move me beyond words. She died of cancer this past Monday. I'm grateful for her artistry, but am so sad I'll never hear her live again. For more, here's NPR's article on her:

We spent the past several days up in Michigan, west of Detroit and north of Ann Arbor, at a state park. We were sixteen family members ranging in age from 2 to 70+. Some wonderful moments:
  • sand hill cranes and deer in the road in the early morning, plus a family of raccoons who shamelessly walked around our cabins looking for food
  • a July Fourth small-town parade in a nearby town, complete with five candidates each for Probate Judge and District Court Judge, a jump-rope drill team, and firemen playing soccer with a bowling ball, propelling it with hoses spurting water
  • my brother-in-law gracefully explaining the possible reasons why we have so many flood stories, like ours of Noah and the Ark, in so many different ancient traditions, to my scary-bright 13 year old nephew
  • my almost-three year old nephew saying "Please" and "Thank you"...most of the time
  • s'mores made with Reese's peanut butter cups
  • driving through Ann Arbor and hearing my MIL and FIL tell stories of their days there as students (she in nursing, he in med school)
  • the cries of loons and geese and cranes at 6 in the morning
  • bratwursts on the grill.

Of course, bringing the bocce ball set turned out to be a mistake, since the little one decided he should drop them on his dad's foot and throw one at his mom's arm. Ouch.
Now, 16 people in two large family cabins means the likelihood that someone, or two, or three, will snore is pretty high. Thus, I was grateful for the earplugs and melatonin that I brought with me.

As wonderful as it was, I was glad to be home again in my quiet little house, with a real toilet and a shower I didn't have to drive to. And I need to detox from all the coffee we drank (they are Swedish, after all).

Tomorrow will begin the postulants' retreat for new postulants in our diocese. I'll meet eight other folks at our diocesan conference center 100 miles from here. I'm excited and little scared.

Last but not least, I'm bummed. My lovely 2000 Saab needs a brain transplant, it appears. The mechanics will call me tomorrow to see if the transplant successfully fixed its problem. Would that it were as easy for me and my quirky brain!

Life is full, indeed.