Thursday, June 29, 2006

Guest Blogger: Whistle

Whistle the Kitten here. I am going to be one year old in human years on August 28,2006. Please start buying me presents.

I am writing this essay to get out of trouble. I do not like it that P.P. Puppy gets Cat Cookies because she is a dog. Cat Cookies are for us. Not the dog. My mom says I am "Ungracious, stingy and should count my blessings." I am writing this essay to get out of trouble.

My Blessings by Whistle

I eat good cat food everyday and my Mom knows how to fix our cat food with warm water sometimes and I really like her cooking.

We get fresh wheat grass grown for us so we can have a salad bar. This grass is not coated with chemicals or anything gross. I like it. Indoor cats need a green snack everyday according to my Mom.

We get cat cookies everyday. They are called "greenies" on the package and I will do anything to get one. I stand on my back paws and do tricks to get Cat Cookies. The magic words to call me from anywhere are: "kitty, kitty, kitty, CAT COOKIES!!!!"

My people love me. I sit with them if they are sad or tired or crabby. They know just how to rub my ears and scratch under my chin.

We have a fancy litter box and know how to use it. Our Aunt LLS could say of us that we are "good producers".

I am on school vacation now because our Catechetics Class is on summer break.

My mom bought sixty furry mice on eBay and I like them. If I am very good, I get a new mouse. She has about 55 of them left because I am not being "gracious" enough.

We have a big box of furry mice in our house. This merits another mention in the blessing essay.

We have a summer reading program. First book is "Cat in the Hat"; second is "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". Mom says to ask you what we should read next.

Whew! I'm sleepy and need another morning nap. I hope I get out of trouble.
Remember, only a few days of shopping left until my birthday.


Whistle the Kitten

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Dear Uncle Pollard, Thanks for your kind note about the G.A. I did have a good time seeing friends from around the country and enjoyed being roomies with Cheesehead. I'm sorry you and Aunt Cordie didn't get to meet her. If I'd known you all were going to be at the big communion service, we could have met up afterwards. I loved seeing all "mighty cloud of witnesses" coming into the worship area in their ethnic dress. I was wearing my ethnic dress of black slacks, jacket and big hair! I'm having trouble doing proper indention on this laptop of Mr. C's. Cheesehead has a birthday laptop which I got to play with a bit and now I'm thinking I need one, too. Mr. C. is suspicious of my longing for all the toys of my RGBPs (like my Christmas request for a Bearnaise Mountain Dog with Portable Air/Conditioner Back Pack). I'm not sure how to work this durn laptop. Hope you can read this. You asked how I felt about the Big Vote. I think I can discuss it now. Took a few days to think about it before I could respond. My congregation didn't have any interest in it because they don't think it will make any difference to them and as a tiny minority in Tiny Town, they don't worry what other people think. I've been surprised (do I have NO sense of history???) with the vehement response of others around the country. Let's invent a new denomination! Let's decide that we have the ability to know God's heart completely and decide what God wants! Let's go whoop it up with only like-minded folks because that is easier and more comfortable! Let's add to the general sense of malaise and fear in the U.S. by going off and leaving our "cousins" behind! Let's play "I'm MORE HOLY than YOU are!" Sarcasm aside, do people have NO sense of church history? As you and Aunt Cordie have noticed, Mr. C. and I associate with a wide variety of people. Often the only common denoninator between our friends is knowing us. We aren't X politically but we have close pals who are X's. We don't think of ourselves as "Y" theologically but associate with people who are and love them. We don't make friends so that we can consider ourselves diverse, we just love the people God has given into our hands. For all those who think they are too righteous to associate with us, how will they ever love us into understanding our position or even us. Go figure. Do you recall that summer several years ago when every church began joining the movement named after D. Bonhoeffer's movement in Germany? That summer, churches took the name of that movement and joined together to make sure that everyone knew how righteous they were. It bothered me that they used Bonhoeffer's movement name without regard to the sacrfices made in Germany. I think the summer boredom got to the preachers so they fired up the 'puters, 'phones and faxes to make sure they had a party. What's going on now, after the G.A. is different but similar in it's high school intensity to make it clear who is in the "in crowd" and who is not. Mr. C. is taking the laptop off to work so I have to stop. Love to Aunt Cordie. Come see us, ok? Love, St. Casserole

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Today is a Special Day for Me

Today I celebrate the Twenty-eighth anniversary of my ordination to the Ministry of the Word and Sacraments. Thanks be to God for these years! I'll be singing "Be Thou My Vision" today as I recall my ordination service.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Crabby Comments #679

+ Children who ask to go spend-the-night after 8:30 pm. with friends we don't know. There is a rule against this. What's the problem with remembering it?

+ Winning a prize at the local home show that includes one hour of free design advice. EVERYONE won this prize.

+Having two sermons ready for tomorrow but knowing the expectation is that I will discuss the GA.

+Wondering if, during the Trinity paper discussion, "Dad, Lad and Glad" was considered as alternate language.

+Enjoying the Wilson brothers, but wondering if Luke and Owen, will be in EVERY DURN MOVIE forever.

+Cleaning up the kitchen more than twice a day.

+Having McRae's turn into Belk's so we have TWO Belk stores here both full of the most ordinary clothing imaginable. Wish Peacebang would bring her fashion posse and fix this.

+Tired of being hot two days into official Summer.


St. Crab, I mean Casserole

Friday, June 23, 2006

Home Again

I'm glad to be home. LH, LD and the kitties welcomed me as I burst into our house with bags of G.A. papers and luggage. LD commented that "having a mom around is good" so I may have a few days free of the 14 year old EVIL EYE (or so I hope!).

I ran out of clothes at the G.A. because I assumed that B'ham had shopping opps near the convention center. No such luck. Cheese looked fresh and pretty everyday. I did not. I raced to wash clothes last night and in my excitement washed LD's wallet. His paper money is fresh and clean, so are his ruined saved receipts. Oh, well...

It's time to write my sermon. I've been a lazy gal this week so I'm hunkered in my study with my Bible, a newspaper and coffee. (I made the newspaper part up. I read the paper earlier but I was pretending to be Barth.)

Glad to be home,

St. Casserole

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Who would have thought it?

Having a very long week at the G.A. Days drag then fly then stop. I'm ready to go home. Cheese is a fun roommate who knows everyone in the Church so I've enjoyed meeting her seminary pals, colleagues back upNorth and so on. We go back to the Grand Hotel to count police cars and see how the parking lot girls are doing. I'm not sleeping well here. It's hot then hotter.

Because I'm intuitive and care-worn by the Storm, I pick up on feelings floating around the Assembly. I feel so very sorry for those who believe that their church is now lost and I feel sorry for those who do not worry about those who feel that their church is lost. No one wins here. Our national life is mission, not rules. You heard me say it here.

What we say and do shows what we think about God. Our fractiousness is not a good witness to anyone.

It's not easy to tear this laptop out of Cheese's paws. I have it this morning because I sent her downstairs to get milk for our dreadfully strong coffee. I locked the door. If I keep the CNN news turned up high, I can finish this post without hearing her cries to be allowed back into the room.

The two of us had dinner last night at an updown diner (like the Buckhead Diner in Atlanta, Songbird) with NotShy. He is a dear and if the world made sense, he would live in my neighborhood. I loved sitting at the table with Cheese and NotShy, looking from one face to the other, and thinking about how much larger my world is because of the RGBPs.

I'll be going home tomorrow. Blessings to each of you,


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Dear Mr. C:
I hope you are having a good morning. Did the kitties wake you this morning? I'm hoping that Fish the Kitten was outside the courtyard door meowing for kitty bits at dawn. I hope he's ok.
I have the feeling that others are reading this, so I'll be discrete and not mention references to W.H.Auden poems which we use as code. However, I do want to remind you of a quotation from Pascal, "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it for religious conviction." Seems appropriate at a meeting where the general flavor is protecting God and Jesus and the Church from the evil of others. People are worried about the "others" here and I stand confused.
The Lovely Hotel parking lot screamed last night with motorcycle contests, the stairway outside of our room was the scene of a loud argument between intoxicated persons and then there was the gentle stream of loud emergency vehicles on the nearby interstate. When I say "nearby" interstate, I mean it. Someone threw out a beer can from a passing truck and hit our door with it. Cheesehead slept through these noises because she has a pure heart. I heard all of it.
She's making me iron my clothing for the GA. She looks presentable so I'm supposed to look the same. We're off to get a glimpse of the Kingdom soon, so I have to go.

Love to you and all in the disaster zone,

St. C.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Dear Mr. C,

I apologize for addressing you in this formal manner but there may be others reading this letter. We live in a world where our government listens to phone conversations and now the police may enter our homes and whatever they find may be used as evidence whether or not the
it is specified in a warrant. Or so I read in my complimentary copy of USA TODAY in our very elegant hotel.
Here in Birmingham, the living is very Southern although the large highway billboards with "I POOTED" make me uncomfortable. Rather crude for public view to my mind.
Anyway, thanks for the jewelry you bought me today at the Unclaimed Luggage in Scottsboro. I drove up into the mountains this morning to make a pastoral visit and just happened to stop there. I had no idea that sterling bangle was a James Avery until I louped it back home.
I hope that Fish the Kitten is home by the time you read this. I worry about my lil fur balls being outside and facing danger. Please take his keys away when he comes home.
I'm doing my best to have a happy attitude about the GA. I'm delighted with my roommate here at the Grand Hotel, Cheesehead. She's fun and we are swigging Diet Cokes and talking shop.
I have more to say but I can't remember. I'm tired after a long day. I miss you and I'm not coming home this weekend. The GA doesn't end until next Thursday. I thought I told you this. I hope the chil'run behave, the cats don't blog and your dog remains continent.


St. Casserole

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Here I Am

I'm off to the G.A. in Birmingham this morning. I'll be rooming with Cheesehead who said she'll be bringing an extra suitcase of cute shoes. Oh! The competition! I'm sure she'll win but I'll do my best.

Since I wrote last, I've had computer link troubles, a stomach virus and I-can't-remember-what. I've missed you.

More when I return,

St. Casserole

Friday, June 09, 2006

RGBP Friday Five Rain

Whereas Songbird's world is full of rainy days, down here we are in a drought. We are inches behind in our rain amounts for 2006 and unless your root system is good or you are a grow-any-where weed, you are slumped over half-dead with dry.

1. Favorite way to spend a rainy day
In bed reading a good book.

2. Favorite song about rain
Itsy Bitsy Spider in Carly Simon's voice

3. Favorite movie featuring rain
That Sandra Bullock movie where she crashes a wedding. What is it called?

4. Favorite piece of raingear, past or present
Talbot's long yellow rain slicker with matching hat. Goofy but I re-live my fantasy job as a crossing guard at the elementary school when I wear it.

Happy Friday to each of you and thanks, Songbird.

St. Casserole

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Semi-pelagian Narrower Catechism

Go see this post. Thanks to Maggie Dawn.

The View From Here

Wish I had pictures for this posting. The Coast is showing signs of recovery after the Storm. My view is from the small city in the middle of the coastal area which leaves out many destroyed areas to the West.

Businesses north of the tracks have re-opened in many areas. We wait for service at the pharmacy, restaurants and other service businesses because of the staff shortages. I worry that the few nursing homes don't have enough staff to take care of patients. The large church retirement home will close again and re-build farther north. Other retirement facilities are damaged. Big national stores are open, the smaller stores are having a difficult time.

Several more homes in my neighborhood are gone, torn down because they couldn't be re-built. Other homes are occupied again. Most have work going on in them and we see fewer blue roofs in this immediate area. My repairs are not done as yet because I cannot get a carpenter, a plumber, or an electrician to set foot on this property of if they do come by, I cannot get them to return. Since we are able to live in our house, I have no complaint. The pitiful folks are those with torn out homes and no builders.

People are tired of the trailers given out after the storm. The trailers are tiny, loud, not safe in thunderstorms and make family life a misery. The jolly "we'll do fine!!!" attitude is drifting into feeling nothing about anything.

I received a pal's church newsletter this week. The newsletter is a list of who left the area, new addresses for those who stayed and then a long list of those who no one can find. Think about how it is to do ministry under these circumstances.

I see that Big Seminaries are planning conferences on "Dealing with Disasters" and I wonder WHO DID THEY TALK WITH DOWN HERE? None of my colleagues seem to know who or what or how the Big Sems are offering these events without speaking with us.

At the Presbyterian Women's Birthday Offering dinner last night at LH's church, listening to the President review the past year made me tear up. Even though she made every effort to spin the events into positives, I heard the suffering of lost homes, displaced lives, shattered spirits and death in her voice.
The fact that we gals sat there dressed up and eating salads made the poignancy of the moment overwhelming.

Having said the above, we remain convinced that God is working on our behalf and in our lives in powerful ways to bring about the transformation God has for each of us.

St. Casserole

Monday, June 05, 2006

My Text for the Red Tent Preaching Conference

My text for the RED TENT PREACHING CONFERENCE will be Psalm 102:3b:

For my days drift away like smoke,
and my bones are hot as burning coals.

I'm preparing the definitive sermon on the theology of hot flashes.

What are you preaching about at the Conference?

St. Casserole

Friday, June 02, 2006

News Bulletin Fish Runs Outside, Owner Upset

Fish, a 9 month old ginger kitten was reported missing by his owner this morning. "He shot out the door before I could grab him!" boo-hoo'd M. Casserole.

The kitten, well-known for his curiosity and energy, was last seen running to the left of the Casserole home. Attempts to catch him without falling over the brick debris in the dark failed. M. Casserole called out the traditional, "Cat Cookies! Cat Cookies" but at 4:10 am. she kept her volume down to avoid upsetting her neighbors.

Fish's brother, Whistle, is disturbed by his brother's absence. "He's gonna get in big trouble, I think," said the almost matching ginger cat. "I've gotten six Cat Cookies already because our Mom is upset."

Local cat finder, LD circled the block of homes in Fish's neighborhood speaking to neighbors about Fish's disappearance.

This story will be updated later this evening.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Happy June 1st !

Summer is a great time to catch up on stuff you couldn't get done during the regular year. Or, at least I think it is. Our home hops year round with activity.

The children are out of school so I have more time with them. I like this although LS is busy with his work and his friends. LD went to a church meeting with me yesterday in Hancock County. We met in the sanctuary where she found a distant pew to nap upon.

I like to stay up all night to read through a book. Summer is great for this. I like to eat snow cones/SnoCones at least once during the season.

What would I do if I had all the time in the world?

Write a book with photographs about backyard weeds. Here in my established yard, we have a variety of weeds whose names I do not know. I can identify dollar grass, Monk's head hibiscus and devil weed but I don't know the correct names.

Start an antique jewelry club to learn more about the old stuff.

Have people to dinner once a week.

Spend long hours in a studio making my found object boxes.

Travel on a banana boat to South America.

What would you do? You can add activities of great meaning like healing the sick around the world and memorizing the OT but put some fun stuff for yourself in your list, too.

Waving a Banana Leaf at Y'all,

St. Casserole