Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Party, Halloween and Seminary

Time for some catching-up ...

The Party was terrif. This was actually our 13th Halloween party. And no, I don't think 13 is unlucky. In fact, I love the number 13 now. After Little Warrior had completed all of her treatment, we were going up to the Cancer Clinic on the 14th floor, when I noticed ... hmm, no 13th floor. So we had actually been going up to the 13th floor that whole time. I love that place, so 13 is a beautiful number, to me.

Anyway, party was much fun. Tons and tons of people, just the way we like it. Great food, if I say so myself (some contributed by friends). Mojito punch. Slide show DVD of previous parties. Karaoke. The Princess and Bo Peep pooped out about 9ish, but The Boy and Little Warrior were still going strong at midnight.

Seminary is also quite enjoyable. I have a new friend, who -- being black, gay, and an ex-addict -- is generously sharing his experiences with me. Some eye-opening information, especially since I didn't know the current practice of separating out and color-coding the self-admitted gay inmates in the county jail. Rather yellow-star-ish.

I'm working on my term paper now -- the ethical issues in ministering to the difficult person. I'm sure I'll never need that ...

And yay, today is Halloween. I hatehatehate the fact that in the part of the country, children are no longer allowed to wear costumes to school. (It offends the religious sensibilities of some.) And I'm not very fond of the government pushing the time change off a weekend ... means we'll be waiting even LONGER for it to get dark tonight. (Around here, no one goes trick or treating til dusk.)

But it is Halloween, a holiday I love. I've been sick this week, so I'm not going to make our traditional Halloween meal (Burgundy stew with spaetzle) ... I think I'm going to ring up The Husband and get him to pick up some hot and sour soup for me and entrees for him and kids. And then ... trick or treating. Got a big bag of candy and in case we get more trick-or-treaters than I expect, a bunch of individual bags of cookies. Can be used in the kids' lunches otherwise, you see.

Oh, and costumes ... The Boy is a pirate, The Princess is Hermione, Bo Peep is a Neverland Fairy and Little Warrior is Piglet. For the party, The Husband and I colored our hair blue, wore blue warmups, and name tags -- Gene and Jean. Get it? Get it? We were a pair of ... Okay, it was his idea. Don't flame me.

Happy Halloween, Y'all.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hot Chestnuts

Hey, you Yanks -- help me out.

I live in a land of no chestnut vendors. We're doing a holiday festival and I've found a vendor of fresh chestnuts. How many chestnuts are usually in a sack, and what is the cost ... from the best of your recollection?

Thanks, y'all.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Funny choices

I think it's quite funny that many Christian churches are foregoing trick or treating -- a tradition that owes more to the 1950s-era suburb neighborhood values crowd than to its soul-cake pagan origins-- in favor of harvest festivals. Festivals honoring the changing of seasons and the harvest. MAJOR pagan influence.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Doing favors for my future self

Monday morning, I was dropping my son off at school when I noticed my gasoline was getting low. I wanted to just go home, but I have class Monday nights, so I said, "This is a present for my future self" and filled up the tank.

It's the kind of thing that I wouldn't hesitate to do for someone else, but for myself, not so often.

That afternoon, as I was frantically getting my stuff together (oh, YOU try and get professionally dressed, make dinner for the 5 you leave at home and get out the door on time), I was very thankful to my earlier self.

I think I'm going do more things for her. I mean my later self. Oh, you know.

Shoutout to Who Told Me About Sliding Papers in a Sermon

I think it was Peacebang, or maybe it was someone quoting PB. In any case, whomever you are, thank you. I preached this Sunday (all about forgiving God, forgiving others, forgiving yourself) and used the trick of sliding pages over, rather than flipping them.

Eureka! Don't you love it when something so simple, so easy, is so revolutionary?

Mwah, mwah, dahlings.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Charlotte and the Exterminator

We have used an exterminator on a regular basis since moving to this house, surrounded by towering pine trees, which bring with them great big Wood Roaches.

It's about time for a visit, but then I realized ...

The exterminator sprays outside the house, too.

He sprays in the garden where Ariadne and Cassandra live.

No, no, that won't do! They are still spinning gorgeous webs everyday, thrilling us with their brilliance.

So, we're holding off. And I'm looking for better ways to not have roaches roaming the house. Will take suggestions, IF you've tried them yourself. Don't just google a recipe for roach cookies.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Any modern UU's gone door-to-door?

I was already thinking about UU evangelism and the article about Quillen Shinn reminded me of a question:

Have any modern UU's -- minister or lay -- gone door to door, inviting people to church? I mean, literally door to door. Going around a neighborhood, introducing yourself and saying, Hey, I just wanted to let you know that we're in the neighborhood and I wanted to invite you to visit us.

Curious minds want to know.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Random Thought

If you're a parent and you've never watched Parenthood ... I'm sorry, we have to revoke your license.

If you ever want to be a parent ... watch it. Now. If you can't stand it ... um, keep up the birth control.

And if you're not a parent, but you're a minister ... again, watch it. Today. A comedy, with a lot of truth. I can still remember when, after a conference up at the school with Child 1, The Husband turned to me and said ... "I'm sorry. I 'Parenthood'ed' you."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Hullo Toad,"

... she said somberly.

LW and I are outside playing in the back yard for the first time in about 6 months. We finally got a cool front and it is pleasant.

Walking the kids to school, we saw that a number of folks in the neighborhood have put up Halloween decorations. Here, they mean something more than just celebrating October 31. It's kind of an affirmation ... phew! We made it through the hot summer and survived! Facing broken air conditioners and overheated cars and mosquito bites and choking humidity ... but the summer is over and we are here. Time to celebrate.

(That and it lets you know who is safe to say "Happy Halloween" to and not worry that you'll get a lecture about how Halloween is Satan's holiday. A genuine risk, in this part of the country, where every Protestant church holds "autumn festivals" Halloween night to keep children "safe.")

Well, it's too early for me to begin my Halloween rant. Time to enjoy the particular modern pleasure of using my laptop outside, a new treat for me.

And help LW chase toads.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Laptop Lunches -- Cool, and Cheaper

We are now in possession of 3 "laptop lunchboxes" because -- yay! -- you can buy them in bulk and sell them to your congregation/co-op/etc.

We bought three, for the 3 school-budders ... but I think I'm going to have to buy another, for The Husband.

It's kind of a cult, this American bento-box fascination: ooh, aren't those photos cool?

Hard for me to argue with, though. Reusable containers, healthy food.

Tomorrow, the kids get:

* Deviled eggs (made with homemade yogurt, says Mz Martha-Stewart-not-at-all)
* Edamame (my kids are ready for bar snacks, what can I say?)
* Strawberries
* Cookies (but tomorrow I get in the kitchen and bake, I promise ...)

They're so cute. I might have to get two for Little Warrior and myself.

(sigh at consumerism ... there will be a post forthcoming on that topic.)

Friday, October 05, 2007

A Special Seminary

I am really happy with my seminary.

It hasn't always been this way. When I began school before All Of This, 3 years ago, it was a different school. Different location, much smaller enrollment, different attitude.

Now, they're really making strides towards being more diverse. In the orientation, the president of the school was very direct -- "You will be in classes with people who have different beliefs than you. Let me assure you that God did not send you here to 'save' any classmates."

Since this is a self-proclaimed evangelical Christian school, this was pretty huge.

Higher expectations, too. Which is good -- we all want to feel challenged, right? Yeah, okay, remind me that as I'm working on my term paper.

Best, I have a unique opportunity by going to this school. As I mentioned before, I am by far the racial minority; socio-economic, too.

What a gift this is! I realize that may sound so "cute," so earnestly liberal. But it is such a gift for my journey. My classmates are generous with sharing their experiences. Anti-oppression, anti-racism? I've got people living it and teaching it, baby.

That's good. Because I feel like I was called to be a minister. And the voice never said, "A minister of white, well-educated, upper-middle class people." The voice said to minister. Period.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Know of a great "servant model" of a minister?

Help Lizard Eater with her presentation. If you know of a great minister (especially UU) who fits the "servant" model of ministry (really tries to serve their congregation, as opposed to being the CEO or the hired hand), tell me about them.

Right now I have Rick Warren ... surely you can give me one a bit closer to our theological home?

And I know. Don't call you Shirley.