Sunday, September 30, 2007

Busy Saturday

Chaos played with the ASO yesterday; I was an "orchestra mom" and now we are both tired.
The official name was the ASO-GMEA Middle School String Project.

From the website:
The ASO-GMEA Middle School String Projects provide area instrumental string students the opportunity to work closely with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians either through All-State Clinics or Orchestra Clinics, and an afternoon concert open to the public. Projects also provide opportunities teachers and families to establish / strengthen ties with musicians of the ASO and to attend an ASO concert in Symphony Hall.

8:30am – 9:30am Registration/ Acoustics
Clinicians will take students to sectionals
9:40am – 10:50am Sectionals
10:30am – 10:40am Break
11:00am – 11:50am Large Group Rehearsal
11:50am – 12:20pm Pizza Lunch and drawings for ASO prizes
12:20 pm – 1:30pm Rehearsal Block #3
1:30pm – 1:40pm Break
1:40pm – 1:45pm Assemble in Auditorium
1:45pm Side-by-Side CONCERT followed by Reception

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wednesday Bullets

  • I think I'm in a bullet kind of mood right now.
  • I have un-earthed the freezer in the garage. There was too much stuff in front of the freezer for me to get to it; mostly things to give to Goodwill and what not. The freezer is totally frozen up -- it says "Frostfree" on the front -- Ha! I removed the food items I could and threw them away this morning; the garbage people (sanitation engineers?) will be here this morning. Much nicer to throw the stuff away frozen than to let it sit and rot for a few days... I'll have to let it thaw a while before I throw anything else away. But before I let it thaw, I have to get all the things around it off the floor of the garage so they don't get wet.
  • I've moved most of my shipping supplies to that corner of the garage; it's nice to see the dining room again. As soon as the freezer leaves, I'll have room for the giant stack of books (listed on Amazon) that are currently in the living room.
  • I get to be "orchestra mom" on Saturday. The ASO workshop is this Saturday, but none of our orchestra teachers can go. So I suppose I'll carry books to read while they play. It looks as if there are going to be 200 kids from all around the Atlanta area and 100 ASO members, so two kids will get to practice for several hours begin tutored by one ASO member. The concert will be at 2:00 pm. It should be cool.
  • Part of the "what-not" in front of the freezer was 5 bags of the Loving Husband's Mother's clothes. We brought them home shortly after the funeral and to be honest neither one of us have had the where-with-all to sort them out until now. I have three of her pocketbooks that I am going to display in my bedroom and Chaos' bedroom. She made them herself and I treasure them. I also found about 5 evening dresses; two of which are black with sequins. I am putting them aside for Chaos and Entropy. I don't know if they will wear them, but the two black ones would be appropriate to wear in a Symphony. As it is, next year Chaos will need something black and white to wear. Guys have it easy. One Tuxedo and a couple of shirts. Harder for girls.
  • The house is still a wreck, but I suppose that part of the process of this deep cleaning is initally getting messier.
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra was also taken by the story of the Cellist of Sarajevo. There is a song on one of their CDs called "The Prince of Peace."
    And the deepest scars of all
    Which to humans are unseen
    But the angel could see clearly
    Were the scars upon the dreams

    Like Belfast and Burundi
    Rwanda, Palestine
    The only decorations here
    Had been awarded for their crimes

    And in gardens where the children played
    Now soldiers only trod
    And stranger still, he heard some say
    That they were killing for their god

    Now the angel heard god speak many times
    And he had always paid attention
    But this killing of ones neighbor
    Was something the Lord had never mentioned

    But as he neared the earth
    Of a recent battleground
    From among the ruins
    He once more heard the sound

    It was a single cello playing
    A forgotten Christmas song
    And even on that battlefield
    The song somehow belonged

    And as he flew away
    The angel did take note
    That where he found this music played
    One always could find hope

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


  • There is either way too much to blog about or way too little. If you know what I mean.
  • I'm not really in the mood because I'm writing papers for the Board of Ordained Ministry and I'm getting tired of writing.
  • I'm shipping 2 to 6 packages a day still from either Amazon or eBay. The River flows swiftly at times and not so swiftly at others. Sales are lumpy.
  • There is some sort of scare about accounts at eBay today. Don't think it's a real problem for me, just enough of something for the newspeople to get themselves in a lather.
  • I'm watching The War on PBS. It makes me think of my parents: my mother was the girl at home and my Dad was career Army until he had thorastic surgery during Korea and he was sworn out of the Army.
  • Coincidentally, I found my dad's letters home from that war this week as I was cleaning the garage. I can't bring myself to read them yet.
  • I'm listening to Yo Yo Ma's "Cellist of Sarajevo" -- and the Adiago in G Minor by Remo Giazotto based from fragments found in the ruins of the Saxon State Library on the slow movement of a Sonata in G minor by Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni. The Saxon State Library of Dresden was firebombed by the Allies in February and March of 1945, near the end of the war. This piece is the major piece that Vedran Smailovic played in the ruins of the National Library in Sarajevo (among other places). He played for 22 days straight, in full dress and in harm's way to honor the 22 people who had been killed while queuing for bread during the siege of Sarajevo on May 27, 1992. For some reason, this captures my imagination -- to sit in that ruined space and yet to be faithful to his calling. Beauty amid unmistakable signs of violence. Is this not too our calling?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Morning Prayer -- Psalm 96

Psalm 96
1 Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the whole earth.
2 Sing to the LORD and bless his Name;
proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations
and his wonders among all peoples.
4 For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised;
he is more to be feared than all gods.
5 As for all the gods of the nations, they are but idols;
but it is the LORD who made the heavens.
6 Oh, the majesty and magnificence of his presence!
Oh, the power and the splendor of his sanctuary!

Collect of the Day: Pentecost, Proper 20
Grant us, Lord, not to anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things which are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.*

*Appropriate today as I continue to clean my space, giving away all that I can to those who need it.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Go Jackets!

Morning Prayer -- Psalm 46

God is our hope and strength,
a very present help in trouble.

Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be moved,
and though the hills be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though the waters thereof rage and swell,
and though the mountains shake at the tempest of the same.

There is a river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God,
the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.

Psalm 46: 1-4, BCP 1979

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Morning Prayer -- Emerson

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
Father in heaven,
We thank thee.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thelogy of Space -- the Problem of the Living Room

I've turned my not insignificant analytical skills over to the "Problem of the Living Room." This is the room I most associate with my "public life"-- that and the front porch. This is really very Jungian -- Jung described seeing his life as a house, and in 1909 had his dream about the sub-celler that he called the collective unconscious. I dream often about houses; my life IS my house; my house IS my life; an inner expression of an outward state and thus the way I keep my "house" is sacramental. I don't know of anyone really doing serious work on this in Western thought. I know that many Eastern religions see and express this relationship between inner spaces and outer spaces, but not traditional Western Theology. This is an area that indeed fascinates me. I think about it often.

So by addressing the inner clutter and placing spiritual disciplines into my inner life is not the end all, be all. My outer space needs to reflect that discipline. Thus my musings on the "Problem of the Living Room." My bedroom is usually the neatest and most uncluttered room. In fact, most of the time my bedroom (the place that represents my most inner self) is quite nice; serene.

But the Living Room. Yikes. There are several "systems problems" going on. We tend to fold the laundry in the living room and never put it away. There are magazines and books heaped on the coffee table. The cat's quilt is always in a heap on the sofa. And recently I've added to the mess -- I've got about 12 boxes of books that have been listed on Amazon stacked up near the fireplace and 2 boxes of eBay stuff. The kitchen catches the spill over and it's quite messy too.

And I wonder -- isn't this just reflective of my "public life." There's too many activities to do in a day. Chaos alone has almost 8 separate extra curricular activities and the number is growing rather than shrinking.

(An aside; Chaos has been selected to participate in the big Middle School event that the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has every year -- Metro Atlanta has 15 counties, a couple of million kids, and only 200 selected to participate in this clinic. It's a great honor. But it's another thing to add to the schedule .... This kid has at least 6 concerts this year. Yikes!)

I need to enforce the same discipline in my public life that I have in my inner life. I started yesterday by hiding Chaos' laptop and Entropy's Wi-Remotes. Funny, with those things gone, more chores got done. The mess in the Living Room is much reduced.... Hmmm..... Time for me to get off the sofa/computer and do a little more picking up. Oh, and post everything on the family calendar on the back door so we don't have as many conflicts...

To do:
  • Clean out the garage so that I have room for Amazon books and eBay auction stuff.
  • To do that I need to give away the Goodwill stuff.
  • To do that I need to find the iPod that Entropy has lost (to make sure it's not in the giveaway bags.)
  • To do that I need to clear out dirty laundry.
  • So laundry will be first.

I've had hay fever

I've had hay fever (or congestion or a cold or whatever) for 3 weeks now and this morning I woke up with a full fledged sinus infection. Bleh. I suppose it's time to go to the doctor now. I get something like this about this time every year. I guess I should just expect it, but I thought I could be proactive about this and head it off in the pass. I've been upping the vitamins, drinking a Danactive every day, orange juice, green tea, gum with Xylitol, washing my head out with salt water and I suppose my sinuses could be worse...

But now it's time for antibiotics. Goody.

Morning Prayer -- from Augustine

Breathe in me, inspire, O Holy Spirit,
that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, shape my will, O Holy Spirit,
that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart closer to you, O Holy Spirit,
that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit,
to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit,
that I always may be holy.

(From a prayer of St. Augustine)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Picture 239 of 365

Clutter Monday Morning.
Different stuff. Different Day.

Morning Prayer -- Serenity Prayer

give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
to change the things that should be changed,
and the wisdom
to distinguish the one from the other.

DC Talk

Friday, September 14, 2007

Picture 238 of 365

State of the House Picture: Thursday Morning
Same amount of clutter; almost completely different clutter...
(eh, on second thought, I think maybe it's a little worse. Time to declutter the living room.)
Other updates: disposed of 8 Christmas Boy Scout Popcorn tins. FreeCycle. Yeah!
6 books sold on Amazon.

Morning Prayer -- Fruit; Mother Teresa

The fruit of silence is prayer.
The fruit of prayer is faith.
The fruit of faith is love.
The fruit of love is service.
The fruit of service is peace.
-- Mother Teresa

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Football Season

This makes me want to go to a game. The DH was one of those fancy trombone players, oh, 20-something years ago.

Go Jackets!

Edited to Add: Georgia Tech. Of course!

Picture 239 of 365

State of the House Pictures:
Tuesday Morning
Stuff drifting in and out of the Living Room. It's been a busy month; the kids have started school and I have shipped out 118 packages with 6 to go out today. (Actually it will be 120 this morning, as I sold two more books on Amazon.) That's over one hundred items sold on eBay and Amazon. I had no idea it was that many until I counted up last night.*

I've also given away things on Freecycle: the kid's old sandbox and the Toddler slide from the back yard. I've tried to give away the fancy-schmancy litter box that the cat won't use, but had a no-show yesterday. I've 6 bags of Goodwill stuff that I want to give away but can't until find Entropy's iPod (is it in the bags? is it under the bed (no)? is it in your collection of pocketbooks (no)?). As soon as the iPod is found, those 6 bags are so out of here. I'm trying to give away the old sofa and the Lazy Boy that are in the garage, as well.

More work on the garage this morning; several packages to ship; kids to get to school (one at 8:10, one at 9:00) then to fetch at 4:00. Purchase hiking boots for Chaos. Purchase 8 more copies of "The Faith We Sing." Church stuff. Choir practice. Laundry. Dishes. Sweep floor, wipe counters.

Later, gators.

* Lots of stuff sold; and I would like to admit, many books read. It seems I get stuck as I list books to sell; I inspect them to "grade" New, Like New, Very Good, Good, Acceptable. I fan them, sniff them, look for highlighting, start reading, huh, don't remember this book.... and 2 hours later remember what I was supposed to be doing. I've done this so many times now. Bad, bad habit.

Morning Prayer -- St. John of the Cross

O blessed Jesus,
give me stillness of soul in You.
Let Your mighty calmness reign in me.
Rule me, O King of Gentleness,
King of Peace.

When asked what she says when she prays to God she said,
Mother Teresa is often quoted: "I don't say anything; I listen."

Trying right now to listen rather than talk.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mean Kitty

A couple of crude words, but funny. Sort of like the "Cat, I'm a kitty cat" video. Sticks in your head.

Picture 237 of 365

The bi-weekly cat "waterings" (sub-q fluids with the IV needle) have not been pleasant. For either of us (cat or human). She tends to yowl quite a bit, but I will say, she's much much improved. She's almost perky. Here she is in the "Lion King" pose.

Picture 236 of 365

Scenes from the week: Entropy in the back seat. We spend a LOT of time in the car. I drop them off and pick them up now (they are at the same school and it just works better.) Then it's Girl Scouts (times two on two different days), Karate, Piano lessons, Cello lessons, Art Club, Chamber Ensemble, Choir and two different Bible Studies .... Chaos tells me she LIKES being busy, but shoot! The bright side? I've read a bunch of books waiting in car-pool lines and at various and sundry lessons. Last year I hired out the driving around to a high-schooler. I had NO idea how much time I was going to spend doing this.

P.S. New camera phone. Takes truly awful pictures.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Poems for 9/11

Violence shakes my dreams
As scholars dungeoned in an ignorant age
Tended the embers of the Trojan fire.
Cities shall suffer siege and some shall fall,
But man's not taken. What the deep heart means,
Its message of the big, round, childish hand,
Its wonder, its simple lonely cry,
The bloodied envelope addressed to you,
Is history, that wide and mortal pang.
--Stanley Kunitz

AFTER the torchlight red on sweaty faces
After the frosty silence in the gardens
After the agony in stony places
The shouting and the crying 325
Prison and place and reverberation
Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience
--T.S. Eliot (The Wasteland)

Morning Prayer -- Robert Louis Stevenson

Lord, behold our family here assembled.
We thank Thee for this place in which we dwell;
for the love that unites us;
for the peace accorded us this day;
for the hope with which we expect the morrow;
for the health, the work, the food, and the
bright skies that make our lives delightful;
for our friends in all parts of the earth, and our friendly helpers in this foreign isle [Samoa]...
Give us courage, gaiety, and the quiet mind.
Spare to us our friends, soften to us our enemies.

Bless us,
if it may be, in all our innocent endeavors.
If it may not be,
give us the strength to encounter that which is to come,
that we be brave in peril,
constant in tribulation,
temperate in wrath,
and in all changes of fortune and down to the gates of death,
loyal and loving to one another.

... Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

Monday, September 10, 2007


  • Cleaning house.
  • Selling Books.
  • Selling stuffy stuff on eBay.
  • Going to Goodwill.
  • Cleaning garage.
  • Blog later.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Theology of Space -- Third Law of Thermodynamics

Jean made me giggle with her reference to the Third Law of Theromdynamics.

From Wikipedia:
The third law of thermodynamics is an axiom of nature regarding entropy and the impossibility of reaching absolute zero of temperature. The most common enunciation of third law of thermodynamics is: “As a system approaches absolute zero of temperature, all processes cease and the entropy of the system approaches a minimum value."

In other words, the more heat you add to a system, the more chaos and entropy there is in that system.

I giggle because I named my kids Chaos and Entropy. Hehehe.

It's amazing that so many of these Laws of Physics can translate to "real life" so easily. The more heat (action) there is at the house, the more chaos there is. The more heat (anger) I add to a relationship, there is a definite decline of order (relationship).

I think it's true of your physical space as well -- the more you are in emotional upheaval/overload the more chaotic you space becomes. It almost has to. Likewise the inverse: the more chaos in your physical space, the more overload you feel.

I like the image of "painting the bridge." I forget who told me, but my husband and I have latched onto that image. It takes a crew of people a year to paint the Golden Gate bridge from one end to the other -- and the paint lasts about a year. By the time you finish, it's time to start over again. The tasks that are tedious and never-ending never really go away. There is always dirty dishes and laundry to be done. There is always somewhere that is not exactly vacuumed or dusted as you would like. It's just painting the bridge. There is always somewhere that is heading into full entropy -- our task is not to bemoan the entropy but to just plug away at it.

Or even better, to find God within these small and mundane jobs. God is a God of everyday things. There is God to be found within purging, picking up, cleaning and beautifying. God is a God who takes chaos and creates order. I participate with God when I paint the bridge. And it should be an honor to do so -- but instead I complain.... And this is indeed human nature.

I had other things to say about chaos and entropy -- primarily that there are times that chaos looks to us to be just that, yet there is order fractally embedded within the chaos. Order that to the bare eye and without perspective looks indistinguishable. But it is there. But that will be for another day. I need to go do the dishes.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


  • Listing books on Amazon. It takes a while; you have to list each book one at a time. I'm thinning out the books. By the time I finish I'll have listed maybe a third of them.
  • Listing books is work!
  • I don't understand how people can list a book for a penny. You would be paying them to take the book. Amazon charges $3.99 for shipping; then keeps $2.34 of the sale. So I get a "credit" of $4.00 -- Amazon keeps $2.34. It cost $2.31 to ship. The mailer costs $.20. The label is $.10. So I am out of pocket about $.95 to mail the book. So how do people do it?
  • The living room is now about knee deep in boxes of books and unfolded laundry. I need to clear a corner of the garage to put the books in.
  • How come each new problem causes a solution that in turn causes a new problem?
  • Appointments today.
  • I've some paperwork to do.
  • Later, y'all.

Monday, September 03, 2007


For some temptation is chocolate. For some, gambling. For others, smoking or alcohol.

For me it's 720 pairs of used but good blue jeans: Levi's, American Eagle, Calvin Klein. For $.14 a pair. Or rather $100 plus shipping. Just think of what you could do with these jeans! Resale in a thrift store ... online sales on eBay. Unlimited pairs for the kids -- never having to wash jeans again (or at least for a long time.) Gifts to the homeless. Crafts/quilting.

My imagination boggles at the possibilities.

Picture 235 of 365

The Great Sadness

[SONG.] AMIENS; Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

JAQUES; More, more, I prithee, more.

AMIENS; It will make you melancholy, Monsieur Jaques.

JAQUES; I thank it. More, I prithee, more. I can suck
melancholy out of a song, as a weasel sucks eggs.
More, I prithee, more.

-- As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 5

I posted a quote from Kierkegaard yesterday -- I've had people ask if all is well -- and the answer is yes, all will be well.

I've been feeling melancholy this week for a couple of reasons; and one in particular. The little church I'm with right now has about 100 members in regular attendance and another 50 or so who are 12-24s (attend church 12 to 24 times a year.) This last 8 months or so we've done 2 funerals -- this last winter for a young man of 13 years of age who committed suicide and last Wednesday for a young woman of 28.

She was a particularly pretty person; full of life with two little towheaded boys and a handsome husband. She was surrounded by loving family and friends. Her boys found her in bed last Saturday morning. She had died in her sleep. The funeral was very well attended. Her mother-in-law sang. And I can say no more. It's just too heavy.

It's not as if I've not had parishioners die before. And it's not like I've not seen death touch the young before -- after all, I've done a unit of CPE at a Children's Hospital. It's just that it seems fresh every time -- and as it should. I've been dwelling in the melancholy. There is a book I've been reading that talks about grief being The Great Sadness. I've had The Great Sadness draped over me this week and it's heavy.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Thought for the Day

“In addition to my other numerous acquaintances, I have one more intimate confidant. My depression is the most faithful mistress I have known -- no wonder, then, that I return the love.”
-- Kierkegaard