Thursday, March 30, 2006

Welcome to the Pavilion Online Store

Welcome to the Pavilion Online Store

Here are two examples of the Emily Ray "Circle of Faith" RGBP's Alpha and Omega symbol. I guess they don't have the bracelet with the single AO charm.

Full service jewelry searcher,

St. C
I'm grateful reporter Jill Carroll is free.

My eBay rug came today and is better than I hoped it would be. Beautiful colors, great 100% wool runner with regular cost shipping and even better price for the rug itself. I put it in the long hallway and put the Karastan I Grew Up With Which Retains To This Day A Tad of Duncan Black Lab Fur in the hallway to our bedroom.

Yours,
St. Casserole

Not a Bit Quirky. Nope, Not me!

Your Quirk Factor: 44%

You're a pretty quirky person, but you're just normal enough to hide it.
Congratulations - you've fooled other people into thinking you're just like them!
Commenter Nightwoodkitty, in response to my post about manners, wished people would say "you're welcome" when thanked rather than "no problem".
The local paper has a phone-in comment line and this appeared today:

• I'm calling about the watering down of our manners. Whatever happened to "you're welcome?" Now the clich├ęd language is "Not a problem." What's that? What happened to "you're welcome?" It's being dumbed down to these soundbytes. The only problem I have is people saying "not a problem."

Ok, all together, in unison, "You're welcome".

Channeling our Mothers,

St. Casserole

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Things I like

See this London Underground plastic pass pack? I found this at a charity shop for .46. I hereby establish that I own the best bidness card case in the entire Presbytery and beyond.






This Alpha and Omega sterling bracelet is by Emily Ray. I think she's a Texan. Grace will know. The flip side of the disc features a cross.
It's not easy to find an Alpha and Omega symbol unless it's in a frat/sorority pin.
I declare this bracelet to be the Official RevGalBlogPal bracelet. I wear this one and a spectacular RGBP wears one, too. For men and women.

I guess you can get one of the bracelets by 'net search. The local emporium sold out of these back in January.

Love,
St. C

Friday, March 24, 2006

RevGalBlogPals Friday Five "Planet St. Casserole"

Songbird invites us to create our own Planet Us RevGalBlogPals for the Friday Five. What would be in my Planet St. Casserole shop?:

1. Dark Chocolate cake, cookies, candy, fudge and cocoa but no chocolate-y fragrances or body lotions. "Chocolate is sacred. Eat it; don't wear it." (from St. Casserole, GUIDE TO LIFE, page 13)

2. Sterling silver flatware, holloware, antique monogrammed, trophies, luggage tags and bracelets. Lots of vintage and antique sterling. Lots!

3. Books! No self-help except devotional lit but lots of biographies, murder mysteries, novels and coffee table art books all around the shop.

4. Comfortable chairs for people under 5' 5". No chairs where short people sit with their legs stuck out straight. Comfortable pillows, probably vintage needlepoint but no down-stuffed pillows.

5. You. What would Planet St. Casserole be without you??

Thanks, Songbird

Love,
St. C

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Circumstances turned this blog into a Katrina blog. I don't apologize for this but do feel a bit miserable talking about the storm endlessly. So, for the next seven days, I'm not mentioning the hurricane.

Before I begin not talking about the storm, I want to mention:

*A group of Church women came to the Coast to offer a "Spa Night" to Baptist Church women. The Baptist women came to their Church and received manicures, pedicures, facials and neck/shoulder massages. I thought this was a clever offering of relief from hurricane stress.

*Another group sent tuxes and evening gowns for Prom to high school students.

*Robin from somewhere called me Tuesday to ask if there was anything she could do for me. She's staying at a local Presbyterian Church for the week. She's offering pastoral skills while others in her group are roofing and tearing out damaged walls around town.

*A local pastor came by to get donated books I've received. He was all smiles as he left with his haul.

*The Humane Society is in the new building!

Yours,

St. Casserole

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Outlawed, Now and Forever

Public whistling

Cleaning one's nose in public

Using hand or wrist as kleenex

Smacking noises whilst chewing gum

Any noise whilst chewing gum

Playing "see food"

Eating with elbows, forearms or chest on the table

Saying, "to be honest with you" (reveals that person lies anytime this is not said)

Leaving residual toothpaste smears in lavatory bowl

Public whistling

Hereby declared by Manners Patrol, March 22, 2006

St. C, Recording Secretary

Monday, March 20, 2006

People Who Blog About Cats or Have Cats As Guest Bloggers
Have too much time on their paws
Might want to consider "getting a life"
Love Cat a bit "too much"
Are Creative, Likable Persons Who Know Cats
Show Sound Judgement, Good Character and Deserve A Prize
Feel Guilty About Not Buying More Cat Toys
Have Never Been to Paris and It Shows
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Guest Blogger: Fish the Kitten

Now that I'm more than 6 months old, I can tell you things. I know things because I'm old now.

1. If your brother, Whistle, is eating, put your paw into the dish and pull it away from him. You get the bowl. He doesn't do it back to you.

2. If your Mom calls, "Kitty, kitty, kitty, CAT COOKIES!" wait to see if Whistle runs to get a cookie first. Then, you can run. That way, you don't have a false alarm "Cat Cookie" waste of your time.

3. Hide if you see P.P. Puppy. Only Whistle plays with the P.

4. Jump up on as much stuff as you can. Try to climb the bookcases. Jump on top of your Mom's dresser and knock stuff off. Hide when she comes to see what made the noise.

5. Go sit on the Man's lap. He likes it. Purr and look at him. You can see up his nose. Weird, but entertaining.

6. Run to use the litter box if you hear Her cleaning it out.

7. Get on the bathroom counter and dig out all the Q-tips. Roll them off the counter and make a pattern on the floor. Pretty!

8. If She is reading, go sit on her book.

9. Follow Andy around and sniff him endlessly. He smells like OUTSIDE!
Continue sniffing him until he hisses and raises his paw.

10. Sleep on your Mom's legs. I don't know why but this is good.

11. If Whistle has anything, take it away from him.

12. Want some of what your Mom is drinking? No problem! Put your head into the glass and she won't touch it again! Works very time!

Your friend,
Fish the Kitten

P.S. I have to go read the Bible. Mom says I need to review the story of Cain and Abel.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

My text is John 2:13-22, Jesus throwing out the money-changers to cleanse the Temple.

Everyone and everything has a price. God does not have a price. You can't put monetary value on God so don't even bother.

The value of God is beyond everything and all things. Nothing and no one is of more value to God who cares for both the sparrow who falls and the greatest among us.

Amen.
Long day yesterday touring the Coast with denominational officials. I liked all of the visitors; bright, smart and immeasurably kind.

The day was difficult for me beginning with the drive to East Biloxi on Highway 90. The roads are clear. Parts of the beach are free of debris but the devastation is everywhere. Our meeting-up place was a casino.

I find it insufferable that the casino is up and running looking like a brand-new place while the rest of the area is a blasted out misery. Money talks and everyone else will re-build as they are able. Early in the morning the casino bustled and the noise of slot machines got on my nerves. The dissonance between outside the building and indoors felt painful.

We toured PDA sites along as well as damaged churches. The visitors got a good look at what the hurricane did to the area.

Every church showed improvement either in clean-up or re-building. I'm pleased about this because I saw clear differences from two months ago.

I had a meltdown at one church where we stood in the empty sanctuary watching workers doing carpentry. I'm not sure what happened to me but the pressure of damaged churches, sympathetic visitors and hearing the church member say that 98% of the church members had housing damages brought me to tears. Folks, it's just tough down here.

I'm tough. I'm doing well. I'm dealing with it all.

Rats. Double Rats! Hearing the suffering in people's voices, seeing their devastation and knowing my own losses and fears is just a bit much for a tough gal like me.

The visitors talked about programs to help us. One is sending me a copy of Brueggman's Psalms just because. Another is going to help with loans for churches needing repairs and all of them were kind. The programs being offered are creative and will help us.

I left the meeting later in the afternoon. I'd had enough and just wanted to be alone.

Love,

St. Casserole

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Pastoral Advice

Suffering is pain without meaning. Anyone with sense avoids suffering. The old religious idea of searching for suffering is for wimps and nutcases.

Pain with meaning comes our way whether we are believers or not.

I have advice for those in pain.

Read the Psalms. Get a translation of the Psalms which makes sense to you. If King James English reads clearly to you, go with that translation. Otherwise, I suggest looking for a contemporary translation.

The Psalms are full of people whose physical and emotional pain will resonate with yours. When I am physically sick, the Psalms reassure me that my human pain is not unusual. When I am in emotional distress, the Psalms discuss being threatened, harmed, assailed by evil doers (great language, huh?) and feeling lower than a snake's belly in a wheel rut. I don't feel alone when I read the Psalms.

I have a family member who is suffering. There is no meaning to this pain. It is hideous. No way to avoid the pain. No escape or end in sight to what this person has to deal with in a rotten, painful situation. None of it is his fault. He is not responsible for it but suffers all the same.

This family member's pain is tied up with a community's anguish and there is no escape.

Read the Psalms. Look for God's help. There is no one on earth who can transform our misery, hold it, listen to us and offer comfort the way God does.

I'm standing close to this family member. I love him. I would fight all the armies in the world and take on the Dark One himself for this person. He is coping with family issues I can't even imagine knowing about outside the pages of a novel.

Life is tough. God is available. Love heals. Hope is what we hold onto. Just keep moving forward.

St. Casserole (who loves you)
It's Thursday night which means the Casserole Kitchen is closed so that the thundering hordes may rush to the neighborhood Mexican Restaurant.

I don't believe in cooking on Thursday nights. It's a Presbyterian thang.

St. Casserole (cool but still approachable)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Considering the entire scope and meaning of human existence, bad hair means nothing.

Thank goodness, because yesterday I noticed rampant bad hair everywhere I went, especially bangs. "Bangs" means the hair falling over your forehead for our international readers.

The twist of planets and the ocean tides provided hair follicles a break from behaving.

I never saw such bad hair as I did yesterday.

I wish I'd had time to ask you to look in the mirror yesterday to confirm my suspicions about BAD HAIR.

Taylor Hicks, on American Idol, did not have bad bangs or hair. He was an exception. Even the cats looked cow-licked and disheveled.

This may not be my best post, but it's whats on my mind.

Yours,
St. Casserole

Monday, March 13, 2006

It's great the RevGals want to send me to Paris.

I can't go because my life is here. Everyone gets the itch to run away from the disaster zone but few of us up and go. I'm not going anywhere but will pray and muddle through.

I wonder what it is like for people who grab a credit card and a passport and leave when the world presses in? Do they call home when they arrive at the Hotel D'ieu on the Rive Gauche to let the home folks know they are ok?

As a child, I could run away by hiding under the dining room table, going to my playhouse in the backyard or just not answering if someone called for me. Maybe I could get on my bike to speed down the fast turn at the far corner sailing around the block. Best yet, I found a book and jumped into the pages to escape far, far away.

Most of the time, I like being an adult. I'd rather be an adult than a child because I don't want anyone telling me to turn off the light, stop reading and go to bed. I like being married, having a schedule of my choosing and being part of the larger community.

You don't run away when you are an adult.
You answer the phone. You straighten the house. You deal with whatever comes your way with as much grace and faith as you can muster.

If I get under the dining room table, I better have a vacuum in my hand to explain why I am there. If I go to the greenhouse, which before-the-storm had a "playhouse" feel, I have to watch out for the 'possums and other wild life who live there now in the ruin. My bike was stolen, so no riding down the hill of Sharon Road. As for losing myself reading, I do that still.

I will muddle through and things will get better and I'll be fine, by God's grace.
I've been through stuff before so I have experience. I'll lean on God's good care vigorously and see what happens.

Looking at Monday,

St. Casserole

Friday, March 10, 2006

Why I Need Spring Break More than These People

1. I am tired of living in the Hurricane Disaster Relief Area.

2. I need a pedicure.

3. I had surgery and have pushed myself ever since.

4. I am tired of loading the dishwasher, daily chores and cleaning cat litter.

5. I am tired of returning phone calls and making phone calls.

6. I've never been to Paris.

7. My attitude is sour.

8. I'm sick of injustice here and around the world.

9. The fire ants are busy and on my nerves.

10. These kids haven't done anything but read good books, listen to lectures by educated teachers and stayed up late doing God-Knows-What. They don't need Spring Break, I do.

Wound pretty tight,

St. Casserole

Thursday, March 09, 2006

One step forward, two steps back.

Bay St. Louis, hard hit by Katrina, is making progress. I saw the damage there early last October and was depressed for days. The town is cleaner, more houses look repaired or beginning to be repaired and business are re-opening. I'm happy when I see progress.

I visited in BSL with Little S. twice. Love talking with her! She could be a RevGal except that she is Luddite and proud of it.

On the other hand, the trip to BSL was miserable. I followed trucks blowing black smoke, dodged dangerous debris falling off trucks onto the interstate while fighting to stay on the highway with the big trucks and pick-ups.

I don't know how the town stands all the dust blowing and dirty air. It's discouraging

My BSL preacher pal's repaired home is beautiful. He and his wife redesigned the interior of their damaged home into better space for their family. The new kitchen is great and they picked out beautiful furniture. I'm happy for them.

Over in my neck of the woods, I took a prescription to the neighborhood pharmacy. The tech returned the script to me with the comment, "We can't fill this until tomorrow at 5." Great. A full 24 hours to wait unless I can find another pharmacy. Why? Not enough pharmacists or techs.

The neighborhood grocery store opened. The movie theater won't be re-built. My bank branch will be closed for another few months. We don't have a bookstore on the Coast.

St. Casserole

A Prayer for Those Who Go to Meetings

Gracious God, who calls us from our various tasks to look to you, we ask for your presence with all those who gather in meetings today.
Bless us as we enter, as we greet and as we begin our work.
Give us a generous spirit towards those we have difficulties.
Let this be the meeting where we are able to see and hear and know them as your vehicles of grace.
Let this be the meeting where we hold our tongues and thoughts so that others may shine.
Let this be the meeting where we see ourselves as part of a greater challenge and rise to meet the needs presented with our response of love and wisdom.
Grant us, we pray, that the time we spend together be a blessing to the group and a way of honoring you.
In Christ's name, we pray. Amen

St. Casserole

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Our Pass Christian High School kids got prom dresses, accessories and tuxes from a high school in Connecticut.

The Humane Society of South Mississippi moved out of the Katrina damaged building into a great new facility. Grants, donations and labor from around the country came pouring in to help.

Our neighborhood Chinese restaurant re-opened and looks better than it did before the storm.

Little S. is on the Coast. I'll see her today.

I see church vans every where I drive. People are here to help us. I am so happy.

Ruby's landlord is taking his sweet time making repairs on her home. She's afraid to ask him about it because he may increase her rent. She's paying rent and living in a FEMA trailer. She has to buy propane tanks for the FEMA trailer to keep warm.

The neighborhood grocery stocks hydroponic lettuce. LH is fascinated with all the new stuff the grocery carries now after the storm.

I hope to see our plumber today. I hope to see the electrician. I carry this hope from week to week.

If you want to have coffee with the Preacher Group, come over at 10:30. We are meeting here this morning.

St. Casserole

Monday, March 06, 2006

Do you wear a cross?

Do you wear a cross? Most of the time.

Is there a particular time or place that you consider wearing a cross? At worship or whenever I leave home. I don't wear jewelry at home often.

Where do you were it? I wear a cross on a necklace, usually outside of my clothing.

What does the cross look like? I have several crosses. The one I wear now is silver about three inches long and has flowers engraved.

Who gave the cross to you or did you choose it? I bought this cross at a garage sale last year.

Is this your favorite cross, if so, why? The silver cross is lightweight and I like the styling but it's not my favorite. My parents gave a cross to me at my ordination even though my calling confused them. That cross is my favorite but I don't wear it often because I seldom wear gold.

What does wearing a cross mean to you? I wear a cross to remind me of Whose I am and because I'm grateful for my calling.

Wanna play? Tag yourself and tell us if, when and why you wear or don't wear a cross.

St. Casserole

Friday, March 03, 2006

Dear Uncle Pollard,
Thank you for your kind and thoughtful note. I hope you have a deep and blessed Lent yourself.

I didn’t realize how timely your comments were on the South Dakota decision until our State voted the same way yesterday. Our Governor insisted on rape and incest as exceptions. I suppose he was using compromise to get the law passed. I’d like to shake hands with all those ( how many one wonders) who pressed him for these exceptions.

You commented that being against abortion is all one has to do to be considered righteous. I suppose you are correct but I’m sorry we live in this kind of world. Righteous, as I understand it, is a deeper concept than "correct political belief" and I worry that reducing the concept to being against "homer-sexuality" and preserving all pregnancies hurts in ways we can’t imagine.
I heard a woman on the radio say that we are demeaning children born of rape and incest by allowing them to be on the "hit" list for enforced pregnancy. Then she said that the women she knew would choose to die to save their infants if only one could live through labor and delivery.

Like you, I feel that we are moving to enforced pregnancies and perhaps having a "cycle check" each month for women to make sure that they are not endangering human life.

Because I spent so many years hoping for a successful pregnancy, I feel close to the issue and have since it took over the national scene in the 1970's.
I heard another radio person say that until we declared that all life begins at conception we’d never be safe from the liberals. I'm afraid of those who want to control pregancies for others. I suggest that until we make life safe for all children, nothing we say or do about abortion will make any difference in God’s eyes. Great pre-natal and life-long health care, good nutrition, parental education, good schools, fair pay and meaningful work need to be in place for every child. Providing safe contraception to stop children having children makes sense, too.

We have so many needs down here in Mississippi that I wish our legislators spent time making education and good jobs a priority rather than passing fatuous laws. It’s election time and I suppose the "righteousness" law is a no-brainer. There was talk of removing the 7 % tax on groceries but the legislature couldn’t work out how to allow people to buy milk and bread without the tax. Makes you think...

Love to you and Aunt Cordie. Come see us.

St. Casserole

Thursday, March 02, 2006

My Neighborhood



These are pictures of places in my neighborhood. I took the pictures yesterday, March 1, six months after Katrina.
The top left picture is the green space down the block from our home. It was a pine grove. Top right picture is a genuine FEMA trailer in front of a neighbor's damaged home. The third is a "blue roof" home showing the tarps used by the Army Corp of Engineers to protect homes, temporarily. I don't know why this neighbor hasn't gotten a new roof. Most likely, their insurance company is being a Big Poot.
Yesterday, when I tried to load these photos and more, I couldn't get them up on the Blogesphere.
I heard a piece on NPR yesterday about the older people who've died since the storm. The commentator made the point that these deaths are storm-related although not counted in the statistics. Older adults who've evacuated to new places and who do not have the "umph" to re-build lives in the storm area, die.
Not everyone, thank God, but one of the interviewees counted 38 deaths among her friendship group since August 29, 2005.

St. C.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I'm trapped in my study with the cats this morning. LD has a project showing a Rube Goldberg machine on the kitchen counter. Whistle and Fish express interest in everything and the project is fragile. Until I take LD and the project in the Big Car at 8 am., we are sequestered in this small room. Cats are everywhere.

The kittens 6 month birthday party was a great success with new furry mice and lots of balled up paper to chase. We did not limit the party to a specific time but told them "Happy 6th Month Birthday!!!" throughout yesterday. They seemed satisfied.














Happy March 1 to all of you. We survived my least favorite month of the year, February, and may now proceed to March. Remember that March is Wear More Jewelry month so load it on. Keep your pedicures current and buy a new pair of shoes. Oh rats! It's Lent. Forget all that and get your purple on.

Love,
St. Casserole