Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Random Dots of Tuesday

It has been a busy day. I did the following:

  • Picked up the ordination certificate from the framers.

  • Had lunch with a friend, although not the friend that I intended to have lunch with. My date forgot about our meeting and another friend came in to have lunch there. Serendipity!

  • Scored a great pair of black slacks and a tunic dress from the Chico's sale.

  • Survived the masses at Costco.

  • Got a pedicure (pale pink for summer).

Okay, I'm ready for a nap now before I tackle some research project work and make supper for PH and me. I'm proud of myself that I didn't get any fattening treat while I was out!

P.S. Rant du jour: can someone please tell Gov Mark Sanford that he is only digging a deeper hole for himself and that it is time for him to hush his mouth?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Back in the Real World

PH and I spent the weekend up in Brooklyn, where StrongOpinions has moved. We were blessed with a beautiful rainbow on Saturday evening as we went to dinner at The General Greene, a really fun restaurant. What was equally fun was watching folks react to the rainbow. People stopped in the street and took pictures with their cellphones, talked to each excitedly, turned and looked at it over their shoulders....kitchen workers came out of the back to look at it. Everyone was grinning madly. One fortyish hipster stood on the sidewalk on the verge of tears, saying "that's only the second rainbow I've seen in my whole life."

People say New Yorkers are too cool by half, not cheerful, don't interact...but give them a rainbow and they'll turn into Pollyannas in...what? A New York minute?
We brought stuff to the new apartment, which, although pretty messy, is a step up from the one in Spanish Harlem. Yeah, she's got to take the A train for 45 minutes to get to school, but the neighborhood is better, and the roommate is much better. We visited Columbia, the Cathedral of St John the Divine, drove around looking for my favorite kitchenware shop (Bridge - it has decamped to north Jersey, darn it), ate a lot of great food, got our fill of NYC traffic jams, and helped her buy a used bike in Jersey City. It was fun to go to Jersey City, and I showed SO the house I grew up in as well as my college, even getting a peek at the auditorium where I gave my senior recital. We even managed to get all the paperwork tended to so that her passport will be renewed in time for her trip to Paris in a couple of weeks. We stayed at a great little B&B in a Brooklyn brownstone about five blocks from SO's place. It's in the midst of a Muslim neighborhood, so we were awakened by the sound of the muezzin doing the call to prayer early in the morning. Made me feel like I was back in Qatar.
In the midst of this, I also did a phone interview for a job in the Windy City. Don't know how that one will proceed, but one of the local jobs seems close to extending me a call, and it's a good fit. We'll see what happens next. In the meantime, I'll start work on Wednesday as Interim Vicar of the parish where I was a seminarian. It is temporary, but it gets me working and gets me health insurance, which is a good thing.
The drive back was okay until we hit Delaware, where it took us almost an hour to go a couple of miles. We dropped off of Rt 95 to a local road and sailed along, staying local until we were just above Baltimore and had to get through the Harbor tunnel. It was good to be home some six hours after we left Brooklyn - should have taken about four - and eating a little light homemade dinner instead of restaurant food and going to sleep early.
No rainbows back home, just prep work for the new job and laundry. Life is good, though. Very good indeed.
P.S. Am I the only grinch who is wishing the wall-to-wall coverage of Michael Jackson's demise would cease? Yes, he was a great entertainer. Yes, he was a troubled soul. Yes, it's a tragedy that he died so young. But there are so many other folks whose deaths are mourned, so many other tragedies that call for our tears, and they all go unspoken in the larger culture. Enough about MJ, please, and let's say a prayer for each soul whose death went unmourned, whose life went uncelebrated. May they rest in Jesus' arms, beloved, peaceful, attended to by the one that matters. And I don't mean by Larry King.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Being a grandmother is fun sometimes...

I've used a bit of my free time to knit "Sackboy" dolls for the Princess and her dad. They play a Sony Playstation game that features Sackboy as a character. Of course, Princess's has to be pink. A fun little project that didn't take very long, and they'll enjoy their dolls until they get bored with that game, I suspect...

Why Life is Good

One word: grandchildren!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Moving Slowly Toward...What?

Another good meeting today. I may hear something definitive within 10 days. I like what I hear, although I am surprised some members of the Committee think my sermons lean liberal, given the sermons I sent to them.

I have some interim work lined up between the first of the month and when I would take this other job, should they decide to call me.

I am wondering if I will feel a "this is it!" moment - when I sense the Holy Spirit whispering in my ear. I'm not getting that feeling about any of the places with whom I am talking, but with this one, I'm getting a gentle breeze in my heart. And I smile in, and after, every meeting, and when I think of working there.

Perhaps that just means that the Holy Spirit is more subtle than I am...

P.S. Gov. Mark Sanford is a fool of the first order. He and his family are in my prayers. It never ceases to amaze me how politicians begin to think they are not to be held to the same rules as the rest of us, and how oblivious they can be to the pain they will cause. Narcissism and risk-taking are behaviors common to successful politicians (on both side of the aisle) and to philanderers, so I shouldn't be surprised. Nevertheless, I'm still annoyed and disappointed at the steady parade of misbehavior from elected officials.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Back in Wait State

It was a quiet and lovely weekend, mostly.

PH and I had plans to attend the 10:30 service at a wonderful and creative parish about 8 miles from here. We were utterly bumfuzzled by street closures due to a triathlon. I wouldn't have minded except for the fact that the traffic website showed no such closures.

On a normal Sunday, getting from our place to that church would take about 25 minutes. We left the house at 9:15, and at 10:23 were still entangled in a jam up around the Library of Congress, a good 3 miles from the church. Given that most parishes have gone over to summer schedule and their services start at 10 or 10:30, we gave up. Turned around, drove back into VA, and had brunch, complete with Father's Day mimosas. I know french toast and mimosas aren't a eucharistic feast, but it was a love feast of a different sort.

The job thing is in a state of suspended animation. I had a phone interview (one of four candidates) for a rectorship on Saturday morning. Good folks, working hard to discern what God wants for their parish. I think they may get hung up on the fact that I am a transitional deacon and won't be ordained to the priesthood until early December, even though I laid out a whole plan of how we could make it work well. I hope to hear something from them within the next week or so.

There is a part-time job for which I am a candidate. I don't mind the part-time nature of it, since it's a wonderful parish with a great mentor-rector, and the diocese has another part-time task in mind for me to complement that work. I had hoped to hear from the rector last week, since I've been through the interviews, but maybe today or tomorrow.

Another job, a full-time one nearby, is also in play, but that rector is on vacation until next Friday, so I don't expect to hear much of anything soon from him.

I'm also in the running for a non-parish job in the Midwest, and I expect to have a phone interview one of these days with those folks, but I don't know how my bishops would feel about that one. They tend to want us in parish settings.

In any case, something will happen reasonably soon, I hope.

PH and I amused ourselves after brunch by going to Open Houses in a townhouse community nearby. Definitely a step up from seminary housing, and when I run the numbers, it's clear we can afford to buy there. I checked the FICO score this morning and got a nice high number. Living within one's means is a good idea, it seems. This community would work well with the part-time job, and would work well for PH as well. The townhouses are big enough to accomodate our baby grand (yes, KW, I will want the piano back after the September concert!) and the kitchens are much closer to the really beautiful little kitchen in our old house than to the pretty sad one in our seminary housing. Still a fantasy until we know where I will accept a call, but fun nevertheless.

So I sit and wait. At least I feel like I'm closer to something than two months ago.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Things I Like

I have time to knit.

I have time to read, and not only academic stuff.

StrongOpinions is semi-settled into her new apartment in the Big Apple.

I have gone for long walks four out of the past five days.

I have job prospects - something interim and several permanent. We'll see what actually materializes.

I'll go to church at a fun and interesting place tomorrow.

PH and I may go on a mini-vacation next weekend to see StrongOpinion's new place in the hiptastic borough across the bridge from lower Manhattan.

We are all reasonably healthy and happy.

Yes, there are still several questions about what lies ahead. But with all this good stuff going on, it's easier to let go of the reins and let them just unfold.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Five: Life is a Verb

A lovely Friday Five from Jan this morning....

1. What awakens you to the present moment?

Coffee and possibilities.

2. What are 5 things you see out your window right now?

Satellite dishes (lots of sports fans in my townhouse community), a thousand shades of green in the leaves of the trees, bushes and grass, a squirrel on a branch, lots of wires running from house to house (lots of electricity used around here), a tilted fence.

3. Which verbs describe your experience of God?

Being, doing, listening, smiling, weeping.

4. From the book on p. 197:
Who were you when you were 13? Where did that kid go?

Book nerd, musician, thinker. I'm pretty much the same as then, just a little grayer and a little fatter.

5. From the book on p. 88:
If your work were the answer to a question, what would the question be?

Can I tell you my story?

Bonus idea for you here or on your own--from the book on p. 149:
"Go outside. Walk slowly forward. Open your hand and let something fall into it from the sky. It might be an idea, it might be an object. Name it. Set it aside. Walk forward. Open your hand and let something fall into it from the sky. Name it. Set it aside. Repeat.

Breeze brushing my hand and the side of my face. Warmth of the sun, blessed after yesterday's wild rain storms, brightening my skin.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


In the past two days I've had four meetings related either directly or indirectly to employment. They've all been delightful, but a tad tiring. I have told my "call story" a couple of times, I've talked about my strengths and weaknesses ad infinitum, I've answered a zillion questions. I have another interview (phone interview) on Saturday morning, and am waiting to talk with the rector at the place I visited last night. It looks like I've got an interim gig that will start in a few weeks, so that makes it a bit less pressured, but I still have lots of questions about where the Lord will lead me. Tiring, indeed, not knowing.

And yet there is a certain pleasure in floating without a specific professional identity for a bit, while waiting for the Spirit to whisper in my ear. Free-floating possibilities. It is all good, even without firm answers. Imagination, fantasy, creativity...it can work even in the religion business, maybe especially in the religion business.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Wonderful Video

I don't usually do this sort of thing, but it is too good not to share.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bad Blogger

Yes, I know I've neglected you, and I apologize.

Various and sundry things have been cooking and life has been verrrrrrry interesting. Mostly all job search stuff, and I can't talk about any of it yet, except to say that after the very long dry spell, I may end up with a couple of options to choose from. I had a delightful conversation with one of my bishops yesterday. We're fortunate to have three (the one that is retiring, the one that will replace him, and the suffragan, who focuses on mission churches and other creative stuff.) It was the suffragan with whom I met.

In the meantime, I am cleaning, filing, tossing, and working on my Spanish. I figure I'm bad at French and Italian, why not add a lack of facility in a third Romance language to my resume?

StrongOpinions is moving from the spicy Spanish Harlem neighborhood one subway stop away from her university all the way downtown and then some to Brooklyn, to a safer neighborhood where she has a lot of friends. It will make for a nasty commute to school, but I think overall it will be a better environment for her. After she gets settled in to the apartment, she will take a weeklong vacation in Paris. Her stepfather and I will most likely be car-camping in the Shenandoah, but the girlchild gets to go to Paris. Not that I'm jealous or anything....my mother had left her a small bequest just for things like this, so it's covered, and my mother took me there when I was 18, so I can understand her desire to be in the city of the flaneurs. She'll be staying with a friend who is doing a research project there. Ah, to be 21 and in Paris. Actually, I'd rather be my age (approaching crone-dom) and in Paris, but that will wait for another year.

My laptop, which died ignominiously on Friday, is back to life. New motherboard, new screen, new speaker, and functional wifi. A few weeks ago, when I shelled out the money I didn't have to extend the service contract for another two years, I ground my teeth and wondered if it was a waste of money. Now I am very, very glad that I did. It was much cheaper than a new computer. Boy, am I glad this happened now and not when I was in the midst of thesis madness.

God does seem to watch out for me, even when I forget that God does that all the time. Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

An Embarrassment of Riches, or Not

Stuff is starting to pop on the job front.

As I mentioned before, I had a good interview earlier this week at a wonderful place, and will be talking with the committee helping that rector in the near future about next steps.

I had a good very preliminary interview with another nearby place last week, and I hear through the grapevine that I favorably impressed that rector...hope to hear more from there very soon.

I had a request from a search committee for a rectorship for more materials, which I take as a positive.

A couple of friends have given me heads up about a few other opportunities.

So stuff is starting to move a bit, for which I'm grateful. I don't know how far any of these will go, whether there is something else out there that I haven't heard about yet, whether I will have more than one option ahead, but I sure am grateful to have SOMETHING happening. Thanks for the prayers thus far, and please keep praying.

In the meantime, I'm continuing work on the research project with my professor, and it is getting very interesting indeed. Love this work!

StrongOpinions is in the Big Apple, moving her stuff to her new apartment. I may have to go up there next week to help move the bed, but I'm glad she's settled for next fall. She is almost ready to publish the first issue of her new literary magazine...wow! She will be going to Colorado for a writer's conference after the apartment and magazine stuff is done, then to Paris for a week. Must be nice to be 21. Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out if PH and I can swing some sort of mini-vacation. It may end up being car-camping in the Shenandoah, which would be just fine by me.

I am just whupped. All the emotion about the ordination plus all the family visiting seems to have just caught up to me, and I slept until 8 this morning (unusually late for me) and I'm still foggy.

I guess it's time to go take a shower and get dressed.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Monday. Wow.

I recovered from the ordination, the intensity of having eleven family members all here at the same time, the challenges of getting various people to various airports, a very full morning of serving as a deacon at my sponsoring parish - boy, being introduced as Rev. Mibi was an odd sensation - dealing with various and sundry little crises around the house.

So day before yesterday I got an email from a blogo-friend who is just headed to seminary, telling me about a part-time job at his church, and how he and his wife think I might consider applying for the job.

Now this is a job that has morphed from full to part-time over the past few months when the prior incumbent left. I've sent my stuff in there several times, as has the diocesan deployment officer, to no response.

But when my friend sent me that message, I thought this might be one of those Spirit-led moments, so I went ahead and sent a message to the rector, with my stuff. And he replied this morning asking me to come talk to him, and I ended up having a marvelous two-hour interview with him. He will pass me along to the personnel committee next (I just emailed them some audio files of sermons), and we will see what happens from there. I've got a good feeling about how things went, and the rector seems like a good mentor. The only funny moment was when he asked why I hadn't applied for the job earlier.

"Erm, I sent my resume and profile in three times already..."

"Did you hear back from us?"

"Uh, no, I didn't."

"Why do you think they didn't contact you?"

"I'm not really sure. Perhaps it's one of those wonderful surprises that God has for us..."

I mean, what else could I say?

All you can do sometimes is just smile.

Then I came home to find an invitation to apply for a rectorship a couple hours north of here.

We shall see how this all plays out, shan't we?

Saturday, June 06, 2009

A couple of pictures from the ordination...

A little fuzzy (taken by a friend with an iPhone) but here the Bishop is laying hands on me and ordaining me a deacon. A remarkable picture of the entire clan. It is well nigh impossible to get everyone in the same place at the same time, since they are spread across six states and both coasts. Two stepsons, two daughters-in-law, two sons, one daughter, four grandchildren...plus PH and me. To the extreme right is StrongOpinions. To the left of her, StoneMason. Litigator is immediately to the left of me, holding one of the grandkids. PH is, of course, in the Geneva robe with the red stole.

We are now officially a two-clergy family. PH served as the Gospeller for the service today. Since he is ordained in another tradition, we needed special permission from the Bishop for him to serve in this capacity. As the Bishop said later, "What's a few rubrics among friends?"

Name Change

Until this moment, this blog was named "Rev-to-be-Mibi." It chronicled my journey through discernment and seminary.

Now, since the Bishop and the people consented and I was ordained to the transitional diaconate this morning, the name no longer fits. So this place has a new name, and I have a new title.

Rev Mibi. Wow.
TOH to The Rev. Matthew C, who took this picture of me receiving my Bible from my Bishop from the Amen Corner of the church where I was ordained this morning. Interesting factoid: I was standing in front of the exact spot on the altar rail where Robt. E. Lee was confirmed in the mid-1800s. George Washington's pew is over beyond the right side of this picture.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Moving and Changing Friday Five

Given our very up-in-the-air state (graduated from seminary and in the midst of job search), this Friday Five from Sally is very apt indeed!

1. A big move is looming, name one thing that you could not possibly part with, it must be packed ?
I've learned that most everything is expendable, but I suspect the family photo albums would top the list of the "must haves."

2. Name one thing that you would gladly leave behind...
Oh, dear, where to begin? The ancient sofabed that is virtually impossible to open up anymore? The recliner that has somehow gotten torqued so that sitting in it for an extended period of time necessitates a trip to the chiropractor? No...wait...it's the cabinets and drawers in this seminary housing that are so old that all the shelves bow and none of the drawers remain closed. Hate. Them. Stupid kitchen.

3. How do you prepare for a move
a. practically?
I have become a list-maker in my later years, so I make vast quantities of lists. I also plan where everything will go in the new place, and pack our things to fit the new place, not the old. What that might mean is that not all kitchenware will be put in boxes labelled "kitchen," some might be labelled "pantry" or "basement storage." Having moved at least 18 times thus far in my life, I'm pretty good at organizing and moving. The other thing that is essential is the purge of all things that need to be thrown or donated or given to others. The thing that neither PH or I are good at is disposing of books. When we moved into the seminary housing, we had 150 boxes of books. When we leave this place, I expect it will be over 200. It's just very hard to get rid of books, emotionally and practically.
b. spiritually/ emotionally?
That process of purging the excess becomes a cathartic spiritual practice. Sorting through, deciding what is necessary and what is not...it's a good thing to do periodically. At Big Old Seminary we have something called the SPIRIT closet, run by the partners/spouses of seminarians. You can donate unwanted but serviceable clothing to it; you can take whatever you want that you find there.for free It's particularly a boon for the parents of children, who can find all sorts of useful clothing there as their children grow, but it's also helpful for the grown-ups. This year I gave much of the contents of my closet (mostly business clothing that I no longer can fit into) to the SPIRIT closet, and I expect that there are many folks who will have some excellent wardrobes as a result. It felt good, it felt cathartic, and it was reminiscent of the concept of "packing light for the journey."

4. What is the first thing you look for in a new place?
I'm presuming I already have found the church, since that's the thing that will drive my move. I need to find a good grocery store, a good bakery, a good coffee shop and lunch place, and a hardware store. Hard to tell which of these would come first; probably the hardware store, with the grocery store a very close second. Got to get a new broom and picture hangers, don't you know...

5. Do you settle in easily, or does it take time for you to find your feet in a new location?
I actually do settle in pretty easily. All those moves over all those years have made it possible even for introverted me to find people and places and things to connect to.

The bonus for today; a new opportunity has come up for you to spend 5 years in a new area, where would you go and why?
The fantasy position would be an Anglican church in Italy, ministering to expats of various sorts. I like working with people who are out of their comfort zones. I like good art and good music and good food. I speak some Italian and would love to improve my skills. Alas, most jobs like this go to elderly British clerics with plummy voices, not to middle-aged American women who sometimes laugh a little too loudly!

Thursday, June 04, 2009


We talk a lot about gifts in the religion business. Gifts we've received from God, how we use our gifts, surprising gifts of grace from others, gifts as talents....you get the picture.

I am not the first to have thought of this, but it strikes me that the giving of gifts is in itself a pleasurable gift, and it is one we often enjoy more than the receiving. I am as subject to that as the next person.

Don't get me wrong - I do like to get gifts. But it is easier to give...then I'm doing the nice thing, and the burden is on the one who receives to appreciate it or respond in some other way. The response is sometimes hard work.

Like for instance, the time that PH got me perfume one Christmas. Bless him, he went to the department store and smelled twenty different perfumes before he picked one he thought I would like. So Christmas morning we opened the gifts, and I got to the perfume - a brand I didn't recognize - and oohed and aahed, and then opened it up, because of course you can't tell what a perfume is like until you open up the package. That, of course, renders it impossible to return. How bad could it be? said I to myself, hopefully.

Bad. Very strong. Very, very, very....everything. But he had that beautiful hopeful look on his face, so what could I say but "Thank you, sweetie. This is wonderful."

So I lied. It wasn't wonderful. The thought was wonderful, but the perfume itself was not.

It was a gift of love. What could I do but receive it with something approximating grace?

Turnabout fair play here. I've failed at the gift-giving end of things, too. Shirts he didn't really like, a CD of music that just wasn't his cup of tea, man-stuff for the grill that really wasn't useful. And he did the same thing that I did...receiving it with something approximating grace.

We've come to an agreement about gifts now, after being together many years. We tell each other what we would like...give each other ideas and options so that the gift we receive is what we want or need. Less of a surprise, but also less chance that it will be the bad-smelling perfume or the stupid grill accessory.

This works well in a marriage, of course. But gifts in the realm of theology are often unexpected, uncomfortable, not necessarily what we think are a good fit. What God gives us carries expectations - we are expected to use the gift from God. We can't return it to the department store, although sometimes we're tempted to put it in the back of the closet (as I did with that perfume) for a couple of years .

Actually, sometimes we put it in the back of the closet until we're ready to try it again...at which point we discover it actually may be a better fit than we thought. The funny thing about the perfume is that when I took out of the closet a few years later and tried it, it was actually pretty nice. I don't know whether I changed or it changed over the intervening years, but I was able to receive the gift differently. Yet another gift, I would say.

Sort of like a call to ministry. Didn't feel like a fit. Put it in the back of my mental closet for several years. Talked myself out of it time and time again, until God peeled away all the objections I set for Him and for myself. Finally, when I was brave enough to take another look at this gift, I realized it fit me better than anything else that had been a part of my life before.

The corollary to this, of course, is that we worry about giving the perfect gift to someone else, and often their reaction is not what we would expect. God has no such problem. God gives, and waits patiently for our response, knowing God's gifts are always the right ones, even when the receiver of the gift doesn't understand.

That's the thing about gifts. They carry more than the immediate and obvious characteristics that we recognize. Like a perfume that our noses don't like right now, but which might grow on us if we actually try it on, it is our response to the gift in the long term that truly matters.

The good thing is that God is willing to wait.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

If the Word "Evangelism" Gives You The Fantods...

...you must read this.

TOH to Fr. Terry, who also blogged about this piece. It is brilliant, and makes me want to go sit in a bar with the author and talk for a long, long time.


Wednesday was called "Hump Day" when I worked downtown. The idea, of course, was that it was the halfway point of the work week. If we survived Wednesday, it was a smooth downhill slide to Friday afternoon and the joys of the weekend.

Now, of course, I'm in a different business entirely. So what's Wednesday now?

  • If I'm scheduled to preach, I hope I've got at least the bare bones of the sermon down, maybe even a first draft. Wednesday is also usually when I think the sermon is a flea-bitten dog, to be put out of its misery, and that I should start over. I rarely do - this is my normal worrying pattern.

  • If I'm teaching on Sunday (as is the case for me this week), I am thinking about what materials might need to be duplicated, if I'm going to use the projector, in which case I have to make sure that the Keeper of the Projector gets it to church, and if I'm on the right track at all (the flea-bitten dog thing again), and if this was all a Big Mistake.*

  • If the alb is at the cleaner's, I should pick it up. I will forget it if I wait any longer. Nothing like waking up on Sunday morning and realizing it is in the cleaner's, which of course is closed on Sunday.

  • And Wednesday is also food-shopping day chez Mibi, especially this week, when the assembled masses of kids and grandkids are coming for the ordination on Saturday.

So what are my plans for today, outside of blogging?

  • Yes, food shopping. Necessary. We are out of tonic water and ingredients for guacamole. This must be remedied.

  • A pedicure. Appropriate liturgical color for ordination is red, so it will be red toenails, invisible in my cute new shoes, but as important as good undergarments for a special day. Purple toenails would be overreaching. Pink would be not celebratory enough.

  • A massage from the estimable Erin, who weighs something like 83 pounds but has the hands of a sumo wrestler.

  • Oh yes, the Sunday School class. Talking about the thesis and the surprises to be found in the Gospel of Matthew, using the story of the Canaanite woman's encounter with Jesus. Got to print off copies of the text...beyond that, it is finished.

So Wednesday is not really Hump Day in the same way anymore, because the weight of the week falls differently now. It becomes an odd sort of midweek Sabbath, when I can catch my breath and say I may indeed be ready for what awaits me in the days ahead. May it be so!

* "Big Mistake:" A story from our honeymoon in Italy. We had lunch with a food-writer friend and some other folks in a wonderful Florentine restaurant. When we got to the secondi, my friend told us that the chef, an enormous guy with flaming red hair, said that you cannot eat risotto with a spoon - it harms the grains of rice. You have to eat it with a fork. She warned us that he was pretty passionate about that. The risotto arrived at the table, and,sure enough, one of the group started eating it with a spoon. The chef, Fabio, came rushing out of the kitchen, screaming "Is mistake. Is Beeeeg Mistake!" He snatched the spoon out of her hand and told her that for her transgression, she was not getting any dessert. Some folks' ideas of mistakes are different than others, I learned. Context matters. So around our house, Big Mistakes can be about all sorts of things, and the one who names it as a Big Mistake has the right to do so, even if others think it's no big deal. We own our neuroses here at chez Mibi, and we're even a little proud of them.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


PH and I went to a wedding this weekend. The bride and groom were 18 years old. Nope, not kidding. They really were just 18. This was not a shotgun wedding. These two young people share an arts-related profession and wanted to be married so they could continue to pursue their dream together. Both sets of parents were supportive of this decision. The bride was gorgeous in a dress that seemed to be about a size 0 or maybe even a negative number, and the groom was very handsome and attentive.

For 18, they seemed pretty mature.

Still. though, 18?

Clergy folk out there, would you have presided at the wedding?

I'm still chewing on it, because I know way too much about failed marriages even among folks who should be old enough to handle it all. They had premarital counseling with the minister who presided and who is a pastoral counselor.

Still, though, 18?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Meditations on George Tiller's Death

I commend for your reading Cheesehead's post on the murder of Dr. George Tiller, a doctor who provided abortion services to women in Kansas.

Pray for Dr Tiller, his family, his friends, those who witnessed his murder at his church.

Pray for the deluded soul who thought this was a solution.

Pray for the women who may lose safe medical care in Kansas because of this.