Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jenny Gallo at Carrot Top Studio crafts beautiful stoles. Look at this one for Advent: textured fabrics, gorgeous shades of purple (and pink!) gold braid and sparkles!

Jenny's work is on eBay. Find her by searching "carrot top studios" in "sellers". She has a few listed right now.

She uses different fabrics and trims to make comfortable stoles. Her stoles aren't too heavy or stiff but sure aren't flimsy. Her details, like sparkle, are subtle.

Advent colors are great for redhead preachers. I learned this last year when a very popular RevGal knit a long purple/lavender stole for me.

Check out Jenny's work. She makes liturgical banners and deacon's stoles, too.

Revved up for Advent,

St. Casserole

Monday, November 27, 2006

A Cats Christmas

A Cats Christmas

Tell Me What You Think

ReverendMother ( brings up the gift giving problem this time of year. She writes beautifully about everything so you'll enjoy reading her gift discussion (and wandering back into her archives).

I'm thinking about gifts, too. I love giving gifts and give them throughout the year to my pals. But, at Christmas, when gift giving is expected, I get confused.

It's the source of my gifts which confuses me. I don't do much retail shopping (ie. mall, boutiques, shops). I find great gifts at charity shops, estate sales and thrift stores.

I don't give anything soiled or gross or yukky. I'm not talking moldy shoes or used socks here.

People give away amazing things: fine crystal, sterling silver holloware and jewelry, unread books, etc. I clean, polish and dust (if necessary) and like to pass these treasures along.

What would you think if I gave you a gift from a charity shop? I don't try to pass off these gifts as new and, in fact, spend time thinking about the fit of the gift with the recipient.

Tell me, please.

Wearing brand-new unworn Ralph Lauren suede slippers with the new tags on slippers for .50 right now,

St. Casserole

Sunday, November 26, 2006

7:07 am. Sunday morning.
The cats woke me up at 5 am. They were lonely, wanted to drink water out of small bathroom cups (what? we have water in our bowl? who cares? let's shriek for the tiny cups!).

The bulletin is ready. The advent candle services are complete. My sermon is "mostly there..."(theological category where one hopes either that the Holy Spirit has her back or that one will be able to walk that dog proudly). Mostly, I'm content with what I hope to be a helpful sermon on the mystery of Christ our King.
Many thanks to Sarah Dylan Breuer whose lectionary blog reminded me of how the apocalytic texts, cf. Rev.1:4b-8, are worth confronting in sermons. No one doubted the worthiness of those texts but she brings a perspective to the mystery of Christ's impact on the world.

Thanks, too, the RevGals Preacher Party. I forget to attend the party on time but enjoy reading the comments of my sister and brother late-sermon-writing-pals there.

The cats were for sale at 5 am. for a cheap price, travel cases included. Free bag of IAMS food, too.

I'm sleepy but happy about seeing my congregation again. I traveled and rested the past two Sundays.

Homiletically Yours,

St. C.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Last Christmas, I was storm damaged. I didn't want to decorate or celebrate.

This year is different.

We put up our potted Norfolk Pine tree with lights and unbreak-able decorations. Kittens love Christmas trees. Whistle knocked the tree over before we got out the decorations.

Others may put up a tree Thanksgiving weekend. We've never decorated this early. Ever.

Time can be a great healer. Chin up, all those who are damaged.A better day is coming.


St. Casserole

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Today is Thanksgiving day.
I'm trying to see the humor in my poor planning for the holiday. I was out of town. I don't know how to cook a turkey and wish to spend the rest of my life without learning how. Thanksgiving is a day to be with people and be grateful for one another. It's not about the food.

Not doing too good, am I?

Instead of having hordes over to eat today or finding a decent restaurant serving a feast, we are at home. I made my famous Grits/Sausage/Cheese/Egg casserole. That's it.

At 4pm. today, we'll wander across the street to share a meal prepared by volunteers from Up Nawth. They're here re-building houses, listening to stories and being with our community. The few of us, at that church, who don't have a place to roost for Turkey Day will gather to eat.

All around the Coast, volunteers gather to serve dinner to the homeless, working poor, lonely and looney who need a warm meal.

We'll be among them. Good lesson for over-fed, middle-class comfortable people. We'll be receiving the grace of a meal given by volunteers who want to help.

The difference between our family and, those for whom today's meal will be an unusual treat, is that we're eating because of my indolence and poor planning. We can return to a full refrigerator after the meal. Mr. C. packed the frig after shopping for all the fixin's for his World Famous Best on the Planet Seafood Gumbo which he'll serve on Saturday to a drooling group of pals.

Grace on a Plate to you Today whatever your circumstances,

St. Casserole

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Caught on Canvas

This Norman Rockwell-esque pic is making the rounds on the 'net.

Actually...I know these people. This is their Thanksgiving meal from 2004. They're in a FEMA trailer this year.

Do all of y'all think we look and behave like this?

Discuss among yourselves.

St. C

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Whistle: Up Close and Personal

Mr. Good Lookin' Kitty Himself

My fortune tonight said, "Smooth seas do not a skilled mariner make."

You heard it here first.

St. Casserole

Several things...

  • Yesterday I received my college's newsletter. Included in the news was the obituary of my Favorite College Professor. FCP gave me Southern Literature as a life-long passion. He was too good for us and we must have frustrated him terribly but his kindness as well as his quirkiness was a gift to me. One Spring day as we read "A Streetcar Named Desire" in class, he threw a big dictionary out the open window just as he got to the portion where Stanley heaves Blanche's radio out the window. God bless him on this portion of his journey.

  • We wear boat shoes/sperry's/topsiders year-round here. It's as though each of us thinks we will be sailing at any minute. Our sailboat was destroyed by the hurricane and I don't think we'll be replacing it anytime soon. We need to replace the leather laces of our shoes, though. Little cats are eating the strings on all of our shoes. I found my boat shoes gnawed down to little un-tie-able messes this morning. Mr. C.'s shoes look awful, LD's shoes are a mess and now, mine are trashed. If you hear a big cat burp, it's the indigestion from eating treated leather laces...

  • Happy Anniversary and Big Birthday celebration to LS and LSiL! Going to Germany tomorrow for a long Thanksgiving weekend trip. Traveling mercies to you!

  • In a moment of weakness, I said to College Boy, "Bring all your dirty laundry home and I'll wash it for you!" Yecch. He will arrive this afternoon pulling a U Haul of gross stuff.

  • I am now V.P. of a very prestigious international on-line intentional religious community with a long name. Thank you! As V.P., I think my task will be to follow a few paces behind the Prez to carry her handbag.

  • I'm looking forward to seeing my people again Sunday after a two Sunday break for travel. My sermon is pitiful but should strengthen by Thursday. At least, I pray it will.

  • The post below got more comments than ususal! I was amazed at the number of you who de-lurked. Many thanks! You cheered me up!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I'm joining the RevGalBlogPals in THANKSGIVING DELURKING
WEEK. I'm thankful for those who read this blog and comment. If you are a reader but don't comment, you are a lurker. How about leaving a comment this week?

The RevGal blog ring is so big that many of us can't keep up with all the great blogs contained in our on-line community. If you don't go to a blog, you can't comment.

You may be reading this blog and others but not leaving a comment. I don't comment on all the posts I read. Sometimes I have nothing to add to the blogger's post or can't think of anything to say. On those occasions, Cousin PPB suggests leaving a stone "(O)" for the blogger.

Let me know if you are out there. I can't see you through the monitor.

Your Pal,

St. Casserole

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Happy to be home, again!

P. and I flew into N.O. airport late yesterday afternoon. The airport shows signs of post-katrina misery: fewer flights, empty parking garages and a rather desolate feel to the terminal. Shops are open again and so are the cafes. When you fly in, remember to get beginets there.

We had a great time! Look for me on the Thanksgiving Day show of "Live with Regis and Kelly." I'm in the audience since, for some reason, being a RevGalBlogger wasn't enough to get me a guest spot. Daniel Craig, the new Bond, was scheduled as a guest. Rats-a-ria! His portion was taped before we got there! Kelly is prettier in person, charming and tiny. Reege is himself.

We saw "Jersey Boys" and loved the music. Great cast with great voices along with an interesting story-line about Frankie Valli. Set design looked great. I had a ticket for another show but left it at the hotel so I missed "The Drowsy Chaperone." P. said if I needed to miss a show, I picked well.

I ate a pastry for each of you so you'd feel included in my travels.....

Went to Bergdorf's to get our make-up done which I won't do at home because I don't want to sit in public having someone brush eye shadow on me. The make-up man says to brush on mascara at a slant away from your nose. This was news to me as was the blush tip he gave me.

I searched for big city cat collars for Whistle and Fish. Looked everywhere but found dog stuff everywhere. What a Dog town!

Glad to be back with you!

St. Casserole

Monday, November 13, 2006


St. Casserole is on her yearly civil pilgrimage. Here are some clues to where she is:
*Peter Minuit was this place's first garage sale-r, so-to-speak, getting a big bargain for nothing;
* Jan Peeck donated money to build a wall around the village, but the wall is gone, but
everyone knows where it used to be;
* This place was the first capital of the USA and people promptly got sensible and moved it to its later site, the appropriately swampy and dank area of Virginia;
* The river that is here was originally call Mahicanituk, which is Indian for "its got to be warmer somewhere else".
St. C called upon arrival and is fine and happy and with a like-pilgrimaging friend. Animals are fine and shall not blog on my watch. Daughter is fine and able to leap tall mounds of dirty clothes with a single jump. And, things are, as always, better than we deserve.
Mr. C
P.S. St. C will return within a settimana or a vokh or many other such varied words.

Friday, November 10, 2006


For most of my ministry, I've served small churches where everything I did was shoestring budget sized. If I couldn't order VBS materials with all the cute CDs and hand puppets, I wrote the materials and used songs from books I found in the dusty church libraries or thrift stores.

If I couldn't order church school materials from the denomination because our budget could barely sustain my salary, I taught church school teachers how to adapt books on theology, the Bible and contemporary issues so that one book served an entire class.

I've furnished church nurseries to be safe and bright places for infants and toddlers from thrift and charity stores. I created worship materials to integrate children into worship so they would enjoy the service and feel included.

I know how to do ministry on a dust bunny budget.

I've gotten so proficient at doing everything with next-to-nothing that when my current congregation was dumb founded at my desire to have a baptismal font, I bought an Italian marble font at an estate sale. I worked the sale as a helper and security person so the antique dealers gave me a big discount. We haven't moved it to the church so it sits in my side yard as a bird bath. (Top that one, neighbors!)

I expect to do ministry without spending much money.

As we try to finish the repairs to our building, I'm learning to ask for money. We've put in a grant with the Big Cheeses and I am applying for other money. We need more than $100k to make our building handicap accessible, safer with new wiring and plumbing, more comfortable with fresh paint, ceiling fans and lowering our really high ceiling so we can insulate the attic.

I love the old building. It suits us for worship and activities.

We struggle to find the money to fix the building. Then we will struggle to find materials and craftspeople to do the repairs. Everything is much more expensive than before the hurricane.

I'm different since the hurricane, too. I'm asking myself big questions about ministry. Have I accomplished what I hoped for in all these years of dust bunny ministry? Are my gifts being used appropriately where I am? Do I have the words to enthuse people much younger than I am who sit and listen to me each week? Have I been responsible to my family by never earning much and having mostly no pension at this stage in my life?

Ministry is more than money. Ministry is trying one's creative best to be where God can use us to do what God wants for the world. Ministry is the willingness to serve and love people, who, if you didn't love them, you'd run from screaming. Ministry is hearing the deep song of something so beautiful that all you can do is follow hoping to catch the complete lyric.

And, now it's time to go sit with Mr. C.

St. Casserole

see that cat drinking from the dixie cup near the lavatory? i liked drinking out of human cups, too. not anymore! never again!

now she dips my hurt foot into a paper cup filled with warm water. the vet said to do this so I will lick my foot dry. conspiracy! bad human acts!

note to self: do not walk on that flat black shiny hot thing AGAIN! it is a stove and it is hot and now I have bitter auntie buy otts ticks put in my mouth every day.

talk about bad breff!

Fish the Cat

Fish the Cat Discusses His Injured Back Paw or Foot

Dear Friends,
This is not MY paw. I have ginger fur. This photo is a SYMBOL a VISUAL CLUE about the topic of this blog post.

She makes me drink bitter medicine out of a dropper then dunks my hind foot into a paper cup of warm water so I'll clean my burned foot.

My foot is healing. Is it a paw or a foot? Can't remember.
I don't have to limp anymore. I don't have fever. I'm doing fine except for (see paragraph above).


Fish the Kitten

P.S. My brother Whistle has polka-dots on his stomach. Pass it on! HAHA!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

St. Casserole --


'How" will you be defined in the dictionary?' at

With LS going for a doctor's visit today; Fish the Cat burning his back foot on the stove; LD having her cell phone taken away by the Principal and I NEED A HAIRCUT, I can't do much for my 600th post.

Love, St. C.

Monday, November 06, 2006

I like this topic for St. C's 600th Post:
Please! Nothing about the Cats!!!!
What are you reading these days?
Give us your recipe for cooking a roast.
I don't care. Just post.
Write an essay about your latest shoe purchase.
How's your ministry going?
What's the funniest thing you've seen from the pulpit?
Tell us about your ideal continuing ed. event.
How are the cats doing?
Free polls from

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Blog Post #598

I'm almost to my 600th post.

What topic do I pick?

Do you have suggestions for me?

St. Casserole

Whistle and Fish are constant companions when I am home. They follow me from room to room, "help" me with any activity and if they cannot be in a room with me, will nap outside the door.

Fish is working on being independent. He wants to be with me but he doesn't want to sit on my lap or have me snuggle with him for more than 45 seconds.

He wants to know where I am at all times. At night, after Mr. C. and I have put on our long Winter kerchiefs and turned off the light, Fish bounds into our room wailing for me. If I whisper, "I'm here, Fish", he can't hear me through the meowing.

I think it's sweet that Fish needs to know where I am to feel secure. Mr. C, falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow, doesn't like awaking up with cat wailing.

It's not easy being a year-old ginger cat in a world of war, civil rudeness, odd Presidential powers, no stem cell research and global warming. Stress, worries and fear can make a furball anxious.

St. Casserole

Copying Mindy and Cheesehead: I do whatever they do...

'What" will your obituary say?' at