Archive for December, 2007

Claude was right

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Sorry it’s been quiet. My father was here for a few days to help out with Zagazoo-care. They had a great time together, and I worked hard on GOE prep and CPE hours. By this Sunday the GOEs will be over, and my life will be less dominated by TLAs for a while….

This morning, taking a much-needed shower, I reached down to get the shampoo. I use Trader Joe’s Refresh citrus shampoo and conditioner – $1.99 a bottle and cruelty-free! This bottle was nearly empty, and in the course of turning it over to squeeze some out in my hand, I discovered that the label said, “Bath and Body Gel.” Not shampoo. I would say, “Well, that explains why my hair’s been so hard to manage lately!” – except that my hair’s been pretty much normal.  Still, what do I do when I notice the label? I think, “Well, I can’t use that on my hair!”, and I borrow some of Tilt’s shampoo. (more…)

Christmas Day

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

We had nothing planned yesterday, nothing at all. I’ve been worrying for weeks – in a low-key, occasional sort of way – that not having anything planned for Christmas would make me sad and lonely. About 6am Christmas morning it finally occurred to me that this may well be the last Christmas for a long, long time when I/we have the option of having no plans at all. With that in mind, I really enjoyed the day. (more…)

Christmas Eve

Monday, December 24th, 2007

Interesting doings in the Anglican Communion today – one conservative group asserting that the global Communion has already effectively split (and by so asserting, hoping to make it so… funny how that can work).

In more pleasant news, we’re having a quiet day. We ate pie and went to the bank – our local branch of our wonderful progressive bank is finally open again, and serving free fair-trade coffee. We’ll go to the family service at St. James’s this afternoon. We have no plans at all for Christmas Day. We will eat good things, and open presents, and play with our new toys, and get overexcited and have tantrums, and take naps, and wake up and do it all again. Yesterday after church we hung around for a few minutes watching the pageant rehearsal and the altar guild ladies rushing around putting out poinsettias and changing frontals. Zag kept asking, “What’s going to happen? What’s going to happen?” He likes the story about Jesus being born and is pretty excited about the whole deal. (more…)

Still trying

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

I know I’ve relaxed before. It’s theoretically possible. But right now I’m still in the mode I’ve been in far too much this past semester, where every little assignment I give myself (Take a shower! Finish a paper! Sweep the floor! Do something fun with Griffin! Decorate the Christmas tree! Make loving little gifts for your entire family! Relax!) feels like this life-or-death ordeal that Must. Be. Accomplished. Immediately. God help me. I get a lot accomplished in that mode, so it can be adaptive at times, but I’m not much fun for myself or others. I’m trying to remember how to unwind myself…. Zag and I got the packages mailed today, so maybe that will help a little. Christmas can feel less like an assignment and more like a season.

I had an eye exam on Wednesday, so now I have a prescription! So I can spend many happy hours glasses-shopping online. I’m thinking seriously of ordering, like, three pairs. At $15 – $40 apiece, why not? Still cheaper than one pair at an optician’s. I figure if I’m careful about choosing, I’ll probably like two of the three pretty well, and the third can be backup. It’s sure going to be good to have glasses where I don’t have to cringe when Zag helpfully brings them  to me in the morning – often extending the helpfulness to opening the temples for me. Hmm, I should look for pairs with sturdy springs.

Lots of snow again, a pretty soft blanket over the foot of crusty, gray stuff we had already. I think this one was a bit of a surprise; last time I looked at a forecast (Tuesday or so?) they expected it to be 40ish and rainy all week. We have nowhere in particular to go until Sunday, so we can just enjoy the prettiness.

I do, however, have guests coming over to hang out and do grownup things like drink wine and play board games, in twenty minutes. I’m going to go shower so I’m presentable.

Another sermon: Advent III

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

Classes are over and I’m trying to remember how to relax… a little; GOEs are awfully close! Weaning seems nearly accomplished – Zag hasn’t nursed since I last posted. He’s brought it up and been sad about it a couple of times, but tolerated my changing the subject. If he’d really been distraught, I probably would have given in. I guess we’re both ready, which is what I hoped I was sensing.

In other news, I was supposed to preach last Sunday, but couldn’t get to the church due to bad weather. The pastor filled in with a short, informal sermon, so all was well, but I’m bummed I didn’t get to deliver mine. I guess Advent III, Year A will come around again in another three years, God willing…  Thought I’d post it here, in the meantime. It’s a strong Old Testament sermon, just like my OT professor at Duke, Ellen Davis, taught us to preach. Sorry it’s all broken up into phrases for reading aloud – hope that’s not too irritating. (By the way, I  keep wondering about the implications of posting stuff like this without my real name attached. If anyone should ever, by some wild  chance, want to cite or quote me, and not know my real name,  just email me and I’ll happily reveal my not-all-that-secret identity…)

Reading back over this as I post it, it strikes me that where I end up is pretty abstract. Or maybe not abstract, exactly, but general? My hope was that people would sort of read into it from wherever they were, whatever they were thinking about.  I’m often tempted to get more concrete when  I’m preaching , to talk about particular issues  and practices I think the text calls us to…  but this isn’t really my  pulpit or my parish, so I’m hesitant to go far in that direction here.  I guess I also  see a lot of the prophetic literature, like this text, as exercises in stepping back to see the big picture.  So  opening those texts out for engagement  involves  trying to present the big picture  I think is offered in the text … which involves  staying kind of big-picture-y myself? Hmm.  Anyway.  Now I’ll really get around to  the sermon itself. (more…)

Mixed emotions

Friday, December 14th, 2007

I just put Zag down for his nap without nursing.

We’ve been working towards this for a few days. I couldn’t really find any advice about weaning toddlers in my various breastfeeding books, so I just invented my own plan. When we went into the bedroom to sit in the rocker and get ready for nap, I held him on my lap with his head on my shoulder, and started with something interesting – a new poem or a lively song. Then I slowly worked my way to more quiet, sleepy songs. Wednesday and Thursday he tolerated this fine for a while, but eventually asked for Mama milk, so I let him nurse for a little while. Today he just never got around to asking.

There will probably be other days yet when he will remember, and either we’ll nurse for a few minutes – or I’ll say no, and there will be tears. But I really think this is the beginning of weaning. And of course, as ready as I am, I’m a little sad. When he fell asleep on my shoulder just now, I had to fight a momentary temptation to wake him up again and get him to nurse a little. “Wait! Wait! …”

I think this is one of those transitions in life that demands a collect.  Here’s a quick effort… indebted to Lancelot Andrewes.

Loving God, you who brought us forth from the womb and kept us safe upon our mothers’ breasts:  Bless our children among us, that  they may grow in wisdom as in stature, and be nourished with all that is wholesome for body and spirit. Amen.

Snowed in

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

We got a foot of snow this afternoon and evening. It’s beautiful. Today was the last day of classes, and half of them were canceled. And now there is lots and lots of snow outside, and nothing we particularly need to do tomorrow. My sweet Minnesotan husband Tilt is outside right now with the dog, stomping around taking pictures. Finally, a real snow – it’s been years since we’ve seen one.

I know that a big snowstorm like this causes lots of problems for lots of people. I pray for the homeless, and city workers, and people who have to travel. But for me it just closes life down into peaceful, snow-covered simplicity. I can’t go in and make up that missed shift at the hospital; I can’t go shopping for the last essential elements of various Christmas boxes. I hope I can get to my church on Sunday to preach (on Isaiah, by the way). But until then there’s nowhere really pressing any of us need to be. I’ll finish papers, and organize Christmas presents, and take my kids out to play in the snow.

Doing the math

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

While walking between campuses of the hospital where I do CPE today, it occured to me that with 16 hours at the hospital, plus commute and some homework, I probably spend around 20 hours a week on CPE.

This semester I’ve been in class around 7 hours a week. I probably spend 8 or 9 hours a week on school-related work outside of class – reading, writing, studying. That’s another 15 hours, give or take.

Then there are weeks like the week before last, and this week, and next week, when I’m prepping a sermon or a liturgy or two. That’s two to four extra hours of work, at least…

So I’m pretty much working a full-time job. Without even starting to count the child care.

This makes me feel slightly better about many things. Maybe there’s a legitimate reason I’m so damn busy?

By the way, thanks, y’all, for the encouragement and good wishes vis-a-vis busyness and colds. There’s been a certain amount of self-pity around this blog lately. You’ve all been very tolerant and very kind. Thank you. You’re the best.


Sunday, December 9th, 2007

Sick again. Colds all around, all three of us. Poor us. I stayed home from my usual CPE shift tonight. I’m not essential enough to the hospital’s functioning to be worth the risk of spreading my germs around. Instead I cranked through much of the remaining work on my big independent study paper for the semester. Another hour’s good work on that, maybe, and I can hand it in. Hooray. I’m surprised I was able to focus on it so well; I’m feeling sort of sick and stupid. Hence the incoherence. (more…)

Getting better all the time

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

I’m feeling calmer. CPE was cancelled yesterday due to bad weather. I’m a little worried about how often that might happen in the next three months, and whether we have to go another week later in the spring for every Tuesday we miss. But right here, right now, I really needed the time. I took Zag to his babysitter anyway, and worked all day. I didn’t accomplish anything major – finished one exam, due next week – but I dealt with a lot of loose ends and moved things along that needed moving along. This certainly feels like a calmer week, as a result. (more…)