Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Read Marcus Borg's Newest Book

"Putting Away Childish Things."  He note in the foreword that no one would publish this book if he had not already been an established author; and to that, I agree.  It doesn't flow like a novel ought.  When his heroine is in the classroom and discusses an article, he puts the WHOLE THING in the narrative.  Not a nice little bit of it -- the WHOLE THING.  And the conflict that develops with the heroine -- if she will or will not accept a temporary chair at a liberal seminary felt undeveloped.  Too passive somehow.

And I'm sure he infused the entire book with the things he likes; I am sure that he drinks PG Tips, smokes a pipe and eats Saltimbocca. I liked it, but I'm sure it's like Saltimbocca -- something that not it not to everyone's taste.

Actually, I ended up with an extra copy (I think) and I am having a hard time thinking of who to give it to. It's not like "Poet of Tolstoy Park" or "The Heart of Christianity"; it's not a book that will change my life.  But I'll hang onto a copy nonetheless.


In other news: inspired by "Putting Away Childish Things," I have (yet again) started to journal my dreams.  Maybe there will be a pattern.  So far, it's a bunch of anxiety about foundational stuff and sharing my "house."

I've also decided that this new year I will:

  • Not Diet but stay on WW as much as possible.  I view "diet" with "depravation." 
  • Move More -- using my new stationary bike, I am hoping.
  • Learn to play my cello and Theremin.
  • Continue to clean house.  Getting rid of my excess is easy compared with helping the rest of the family get rid of theirs.  Example: in my bedroom, Bill has an entire laundry basket full of tee shirts that won't fit into the chest of drawers.  This tells me that there are too many tee shirts.
  • Today: the pantry.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Watching "Driving Miss Daisy"

It makes me uncomfortable at times; it makes me cry at others.  I feel an affinity to Alfred Uhry; for 13 years, I worked in the house he grew up in.  He once came and visited the house and I had absolutely no idea who he was.

Watching tonight, I paid particular attention to the mill scene at the beginning of the movie.  Mill towns and mill workers used to be a dime a dozen around here.  Nowadays, no one remembers them, except those of us who work around the fringes of their decay.  There are scads of Methodist churches who used to be affiliated with a mill.  Most of them are in decline now from the death of the associated mill.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I enjoy reading almost as much as I enjoy chocolate. Both give my spirits a lift and both are things I don't indulge in often enough. Well, reading at least.

I've picked up a couple of books to read over Christmas: Missy Tippens "His Forever Love" and "A Forever Christmas." I met Missy a couple of years ago at a District Christmas party and I must say I've enjoyed her work very much.

I've also picked up a Father Tim book by Jan Karon, some Kelley Armstrong (yes, Witchy/Vampire stuff -- another secret pleasure!) but the book I'm looking most forward to is Marcus Borg's new novel, "Putting Away Childish Things."

Now he admits in the foreword that he's not a novelist; but he is a good writer and a clear thinker. I believe the book that resonated the most to me in the previous decade was "The Heart of Christianity." (sidebar: the last couple of years that book would be Sonny Brewer's "Poet of Tolstoy Park.")  I'm on page 20 or so and already I am thinking.

I suppose books that I enjoy the most do one of two things: either they make me think more, or I can forget about thinking and just enjoy the ride.  Balance in all things!

Thursday, December 09, 2010


I've struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I joined Weight Watchers for the first time when I was 15 years old; I joined again shortly after Bill and I were married; I joined again about 8 weeks ago. I've lost maybe about 9 pounds since July -- only a handful on WW.

Of course I didn't gain the weight all in a day; the last 32 pounds came on in the last 3 years. Slowly my weight crept up; why should I expect it to leave me any faster?

Anyway, although I've had some success, I still haven't made my first goal -- and it's been since July. I'm discouraged. I'm not going to count anything as success until I lose that weight I've most recently gained. I know that's not very realistic, but there it is.

So I'm going to stay on the diet today; I'm making a goal to just *move* around a bit more every hour for a few minutes and I think I will make a goal of climbing the stairs two more times today than I did yesterday. Slow and steady wins the race, BUT STILL. The challenge is to stick to the program even though I don't feel any success. To do it ANYWAY.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Morning Prayer -- Christians, Awake!

I've had a very persistant headache for the last few days; that along with a persistant nose bleed has keep me down. I even had a coughing fit and nosebleed while I was reading the Bible in the pulpit on Sunday. That was a new and exciting event I would never want to repeat!

The Christmas rush is on. I had hoped to avoid this -- I had hoped to enjoy the Christmas season. But I have decided to enjoy what I can of it. This week at church is particularly busy: UMW party, UMW brunch, Breakfast with Santa and the Cantata. Lots to do this week!

In the busy-ness of the season, perhaps it is more important than ever to remember to pray. Here is my offering for the day.

Christians, awake! salute the happy morn,
whereon the Savior of the world was born;
rise to adore the mystery of love,
which hosts of angels chanted from above:
with them the joyful tidings first begun
of God incarnate and the Virgin's Son.

O may we keep and ponder in our mind
God's wondrous love in saving lost mankind;
trace we the Babe, who hath retrieved our loss,
from his poor manger to his bitter cross;
tread in his steps, assisted by his grace,
till man's first heavenly state again takes place.

Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer.

God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, December 03, 2010


Yesterday NASA announced that they have discovered a form of life that is not poisoned by arsenic. In fact, the bacteria they found uses arsenic in it's DNA and other biological structures instead of phosphorous. The lake in which they found this bacteria is rich in arsenic. To survive, the bacteria had to take the poison into itself and transmute it into something useful. The scientists showed though that the bacteria thrives better with phosphorous; it just has adapted to the environment.

I've been thinking about the current obsession with zombies. Movies, TV show and games all showing an end of the world that is being called the Zombie Apocalypse. One of the TV shows that I've watched is filmed here in Atlanta (sidebar: why do we still call it "filmed" when there is probably no real film involved anymore?). I've watched it just to see familiar places on the small screen, really, no other reason. K and I discussed some of these things yesterday; First, is this a real poison and if it is I wonder how much of this poison we are taking into ourselves and allowing it to become a part of our DNA.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

At the Risk

of sounding like "did this, did this" and so forth, I did try to stick to the diet yesterday. I did fall down a bit and ate a couple of coconut macaroons -- but I stuck to the diet otherwise. I'm also doing better at the "move around more" -- flitting around the house picking stuff up, straightening and just not sitting on the sofa. I remember reading somewhere that if you just move for a few minutes every hour, it helps boost your metabolism.

We had a scare last night with Alyx the cat. He dragged himself in last night quite literally as he couldn't move his hind legs or tail. An emergency trip to the vet and $90 later, he seems much recovered, but I think he had a blood clot. Poor cat! He's not allowed outside for a while so that we can watch him and make sure he doesn't have a relapse.

I'm getting zapped by phone calls all day asking for financial help. About 4 yesterday and 2 already today. We just don't have much to give. I refer them to FISH but I wish there was indeed more that I could do. As it is, money everywhere is tight.

More tomorrow.