Archive for March, 2007

Hmmm.

Friday, March 30th, 2007

So I’m starting work on my next sermon, to be preached April 15, Easter II. My texts (RSL) are doozies; when I first read them, my immediate reaction was nigh-panic. They’re all, one way or anther, polemical or contentious texts – not the kind of warm fuzzies that make easy sermonizing. (more…)

Why I love EDS; and, Floating speck aversions.

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

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Because Tuesday, in morning chapel, I learned how to make a shrimp out of a bendy straw. It had something to do with the environment, and caring for creation, and reusing and recycling and all, which is why we did it in chapel. Questionable spiritual value aside, this is the kind of thing I just love knowing how to do. I can make the wire stuff that covers a champagne cork into a doll chair, like in the movie The Fisher King, too. (NB: I didn’t actually make the pictured shrimp. It’s someone else’s picture off the Internet. I can make one that looks pretty much just like that, only I’m too tired and cranky right now to take a picture of one of mine, download it, save it to the appropriate size, and upload it here.)

Thursday is my heavy class day: 10 – 12 and then 1 – 3. This is great, actually; I enjoy both classes and it’s nice to be off doing schooly stuff all day. 12 – 1 is kind of rushed: I hurry home, send home one classmate/babysitter, put Zagazoo down for his nap (which on a bad day can take over half an hour… you do the math), eat something, let in the next classmate/babysitter, and rush off to the next class. I don’t think this alone explains why I’m so often tired and cranky on Thursday evenings, though. By Thursday it’s been a long week, and I’m starting to run low on sweet loving mama resources. The weekend, a couple of days with lots of active daddying from Tilt, refreshes me for another week, but Thursday evening is the low point. Which is why this isn’t going to be much of a post, but I wanted to let y’all know I’m still out here…

It’s possible that Zag is becoming increasingly tw0-ish, also. He wears us out sometimes, that’s for sure. The latest thing is that he’s developed a deep-seated distress about dust motes. Dust on surfaces seems to be OK (thank goodness!), but dust floating in the air, in a sunbeam where he can see it, throws him into hysterics. Really – red face, shrieking and gurgling with emotion. He burst into loud angry tears over some kibble dust in Prize’s water bowl this evening, too.

I don’t think our parenting books have tips on the subject of floating speck aversions. Except: wait it out.

Zag logic

Monday, March 26th, 2007

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Kids’ minds work in such terrific ways. As Zagazoo gets more verbal, we find out more of what he’s thinking, and it’s (often) a lot of fun. A couple of recent examples: Today as I was putting him down for his nap, I sneezed a couple of times. He grinned up at me (he was nursing), and I commented that I had sneezed. He laughed and pointed to his knee. A toddler pun: sneeze, knees! We’ve also discovered that he associates clouds with Santa Claus. He looks at fluffy, white clouds (in real life or pictures) and says, “Ho, ho, ho.” We hypothesize that he associates them with Santa’s fluffy white beard?

Then Want must be my master.

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

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When I was a little girl and wanted something that I simply could not have, and all the explanations of why I could not have it failed to resign me to the situation, my mother would tell me, “Then want must be your master.” An odd, archaic phrase – I wonder where she got it? It took me years to be able to parse it, but I always understood the gist: ‘Well, then, I guess you’re stuck wanting.’

I thought of this today while driving home from church. I’d stopped off at Marshall’s, and while buying some things we arguably need (a bigger towel for Zagazoo, because he wants to wear his towel around his waist like Daddy; a better pillow for me), I spotted a very cute pair of shoes (shown above, Exhibit A – only mine are tan where these are black). My size, only $16.99 – I argued with myself briefly, but ultimately succumbed. They’re cute and very Weirdbird in style, and they’ll be comfy summer slip-on shoes.

But they’re made in China. Of course they’re made in China. It’s so freaking hard to find new clothes or shoes, or anything, that isn’t made under working conditions that are dubious at best, horrific at worst. I deal with this with the clothing industry by buying most of my own and Zag’s clothes at thrift or resale stores. But it’s hard to find decent shoes, in good condition and acceptable style, at thrift stores. (The exceptions, like my $5 Dansko Mary Janes, are terrific, but rare.) And correspondingly, it’s hard to resist cute, affordable, reasonably practical shoes when they call out to me in Marshall’s or on Zappos.com. Even if they’re made in China.

I’m struggling with this right now with respect to a pair of shoes I really, really want to buy for Zagazoo (the second image, above). They’re See Kai Run brand, and I’m positive they’re made in China too, because some other SKRs I looked at recently were, and because everything is. And they’re $35, which is a lot for little kid shoes. They’re sitting on my Amazon wish list while I have a long and complex interior dialogue about them. It reminds me a little of the classic angel-on-one-shoulder, devil-on-the-other scenario, only more complicated – there are several angels, each concerned with different issues: (more…)

Good reason #17 to live in Durham, NC?

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

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The Scrap Exchange rocks my world. I miss it. It’s hard to describe; if you’re in the area, just go. I think it calls itself a creative reuse center. They get large quantities of overstock or no-longer-useful thingummies of all sorts, from all kinds of businesses. Foam noodles (cheap!), lab glass, decor items, plastic zipper bags, film canisters, fabric remnants, oh, so much, so hard to capture the reality. They have a big back room with all sorts of random donations for purchase (usually very cheaply), and another smaller back room that’s a gallery for local artists who use ScrapEx-type materials. Also you can host parties there, and have your guests make stuff. I had my twenty-third birthday party there, a long, long time ago. We made crowns.

What we bought on this visit: Eight kazoos, in eight different colors, for a quarter each, selected out of a huge bin of kazoos of all colors, printed with various sayings – obviously overruns or samples from some imprinting company. It was hard to stop at eight. What I wanted most to buy this visit, and couldn’t, since we were flying home: They had two stacks nearly as tall as me of stool tops – wooden disks, finished, flat on both sides, beveled edges, about an inch thick and maybe ten inches across. With the finish sanded off, they’d be great to paint on. They were heavy, though — too heavy for our luggage. Sigh.

I’m glad we stopped in, though, even just for the kazoos. Not visiting a store that you really want to visit can be torture, if you’re a shopper by nature, like me… it’s easy to imagine that just what you most need/want is there, tucked in a corner where only you will spot it, and probably on sale. Today I snuck off (with Tilt’s loving permission) for an hour to check out Anokhi, a store not far from here that sells hand-printed Indian fabrics made into clothing and household textiles. I’d seen some of their clothing and thought it was beautiful, and they’re going out of business, so I’ve been torturing myself imagining all those gorgeous dresses, on sale, waiting for me… just waiting. So I went. And, y’know, nothing grabbed me. There was one nice red dress, but even at 70% off it cost more than it was worth to me. I spent $5 on a grey knit kid’s shirt to decorate, and a gorgeous blue glass napkin ring which wanted to be mine, in spite of having no clear mission in life. Best of all, I’m now free of my missing-out-on-Anokhi anxieties.

In other news, Zagazoo cracks us up. He does projects – just like his parents. He’ll get all involved in putting all his crayons into his shape-sorter, or taking all the Penguin 60s (tiny paperback books) off the shelf and putting them into a small suitcase, or pushing Kleenex through the door on his busy box. He’ll work on these projects for fifteen, twenty minutes, sometimes half an hour. A child with an intense ability to focus on the task at hand. We just hope he uses his powers for good, instead of evil. New pics are up on Smugmug, for those who like to browse – if anyone wants to see & doesn’ t know the url, ask me.

Make your bids now!

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

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I had to blog this item concerning our Archbishop, Rowan Williams (shown above with unidentified moose). (Thanks to Dylan over at SarahLaughed for the pointer.) C’mon, my Episcopal readers, get your bids in for the big chance to get Rowan over here! It’s gonna take more than $31 (the current bid), folks…

BTW, in case anyone’s been noticing the obnoxious spam comments I’ve started getting, sorry. We’re going to up our security stuff and, I hope, clear that up.

Digging for treasure

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

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On my way to Trader Joe’s for some much-needed groceries this afternoon, I stopped off at the Garment District to look for raw materials for making some nursing shirts, for friends and maybe Etsy. This is only my second time at the Garment District, and I haven’t yet made it upstairs to the main floor, but I’ve had a really good time in the $1.50 a pound section in the back of the first floor. Last time I came, Zag and I scored many wool sweaters to felt, two bags of polyester batting (much cheaper by the pound!), and a red plastic toddler pull sled, which Zag was very excited about. (Alas, this winter didn’t give us much chance to use it…)

This time, I was Zag-free, and better able to wade in to the enormous pile o’clothes that is the $1.50 section. I think it quite likely that the whole pile is infested with various critters, and one section I hit today was distinctly damp, but still, I and many others find the risks worth taking. (more…)

Recusing ECUSA?

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

The House of Bishops has spoken and, I believe, spoken well. I haven’t done the rounds of the blogosphere to see what other folks are making of it all, but I think what they said needed saying. There’s only so far we can, or should, bend our polity as Episcopalians. Localization, enculturation, is deep in the DNA of the Anglican tradition (I have that direct from Cranmer and Hooker, whatever anyone else may tell you), and the American context has made us an American church, a democratic church, a church with laity involved in governance. The Primates cannot pressure us into becoming a church led solely by bishops, and good for our bishops for resisting that pressure. I am profoundly grateful, too, that the bishops are clearly not interested in backpedaling on our church’s movement towards the full inclusion of gays and lesbians. I hope that gays, lesbians, and allies who had begun to doubt whether the Episcopal Church could really be their home will hear reassurance in the bishops’ statement this week.

I did skim VTS New Testament professor Kathy Grieb’s presentation to the bishops on the covenant process, and was very struck by this passage. I’m not really sure what to say about it; it just stopped me in my tracks. She points out that all the kerfuffle in the Anglican Communion in recent years – specifically the moves to push along this covenant concept – have been spurred by events in the Episcopal Church, and she wonders:

Would it help the Communion if we removed the pressure to come up with a Covenant by stepping out of the room for a while as they discuss it?…. I suggest that we enter a five-year period of fasting from full participation in the Anglican Communion to give us all time to think and to listen more carefully to one another. I think we should engage in prayerful non-participation in global meetings (in Lambeth, in the Anglican Consultative Council, in other Communion committee meetings) or, if invited to do so, send observers who could comment, if asked, on the matter under discussion. We should continue on the local level to send money and people wherever they are wanted. (This is not about taking our marbles and going home.) We need to remain wholly engaged in the mission of the church, as closely tied as we are allowed to the See of Canterbury and to the Anglican Communion as a whole. But we should absent ourselves from positions of leadership, stepping out of the room, so that the discussions of the Anglican Communion about itself can go on without spending any more time on our situation which has preoccupied it.

I haven’t sat with it yet; I may feel very differently in an hour or a week. But this idea makes me feel – relieved, the way you feel relieved when you’re engaged in a really tense conversation and someone suddenly says something that sets everyone free from the tension, to laugh a little, shake hands, promise to talk again soon, and walk away. How profoundly gracious to say: you know, folks, this isn’t really all about us, but as long as we’re in the conversation, that seems to be how it plays out, and that’s painful for everyone – so how about if we just, you know, take off for a while?

We’ll go out for ice cream, catch a movie. Call us when you’re ready to talk…

What the heck is a burial icon?

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

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OK, one more quick post before I vanish for a week. I was just looking back at my last post and thinking, Gosh, I bet I have readers who are still wondering what this icon business is all about. I meant to write about this ages ago; this will be a very brief version!

Icons are part of the worship tradition of the Eastern Orthodox tradition. They’re also used in the Catholic tradition, but the theology and use is somewhat different, and it’s from Orthodoxy that some Episcopal churches are adapting the practice. Sweeping historico-sociological generalization follows: Protestant Christianity has tended to be suspicious of beauty (except maybe in music), (more…)

Very very busy

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Much mad rushing back and forth and passing each other in the halls. We’re off to North Carolina tomorrow, weather permitting – we’re flying and Boston is supposed to get 7 – 15 inches of snow tomorrow. Yikes! Tilt’s big chance to ski, and we’re off to the South. Anyway, this evening is consumed with packing and prepping the house – my wonderful cousin Trevanna is dog-sitting for us, and we’re trying to leave the house pleasant for her, and also with a minimum of interesting chewables at ground level for Prize and her friend Merle the Dog, who will also be staying with us, to discover. Given Zag’s propensity for leaving interesting chewables at ground level, this is quite a task. But the house looks tidier than it has in a long time! (As long as you don’t look in the front bathroom’s bathtub, which is full of stuffed animals, cushions, and small rugs.)

The trip is both business and pleasure. I’m having my Candidacy Interviews, which means I’m meeting with two diocesan committees so they can look me over and decide whether it still seems like a good idea to maybe possibly ordain me as a priest in a year or so. Tilt’s going to work at his office, the real one, not the virtual one he telecommutes to every day, for a few days. And we’re going to catch up with friends, visit our beloved church, etc.

There’s a remote chance I’ll post from Chapel Hill, but most likely I’ll be on hiatus till Thursday or so. I feel like I’ve been sort of boring this week, and this makes matters even worse. I promise to come back from North Carolina with interesting things to write about. Cross my heart. Check back in a week.