Friday, December 28, 2007

I drove to the New Orleans airport to collect my passenger! She is here and we are happy!
Drinking coffee in her room this morning, all the cats and Sister joined us. If pets can adore humans, the room filled up with Songbird Adoration.

Today we revisit the hurricane sites Songbird saw in 2oo5 and 2006. She will see St. Peter's rebuilt, Mr. C.'s unbuilt office site and ride along the beach road toward a yarn shop. Yarn must be bought! Shopping must be done! Lunch must be eaten!

And we will talk. My soul will fill up with good ideas and her wisdom. What about this, Songbird? What shall I do about this?

Could you all come down here RIGHT NOW and join us?

I mean it.,

St. Casserole

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Today we celebrate! In two more days we celebrate AGAIN!

Love,

St. Casserole

Monday, December 24, 2007

To all of you who led or will lead worship tonight, bless you.

Merry Christmas,

St. Casserole

Saturday, December 22, 2007


What a wonderful Advent Retreat! Woo! Woo! Everybody relaxed, ate, read books and played. Laughed often, napped well and stared at the Caribbean water...

Now I focus again on the Fourth Sunday of Advent tomorrow. I changed from the Matthew text to Luke on the ship, then re-wrote my sermon. Sermon prep on a boat deck thrilled me although I had a difficult time hearing myself over the reggae and rock music from the band. Being dour Calvinist, I pushed away all offers of umbrella drinks for iced tea and kept writing.

No one asked me what I was doing. Being dour rather discourages questions.

I thought of you all while I was gone. Glad to be home again.

St. Casserole, Living a hard life...

Sunday, December 16, 2007


See you this weekend! I'm off to Retreat the Last Days of Advent.
Hold my purse for me, will you? I'll be right back.
St. Casserole

Friday, December 14, 2007

#1 What Not to Give for Christmas

Twitch, the Road Kill Teddy. from www.roadkilltoys.com

Hat Tip and Warm Hug to Jane+

St. Casserole

The Invisible Woman

Hello. Hello? I'm not sure if you can see me. It appears that I am invisible to my family...
Tuesday I got a new haircut and a dark glaze for winter put on my hair. Not one person has noticed. No one.

If you would, help me out here by noticing my new haircut. I like it.

Comments are open,

St. Casserole, Invisible Woman

#2 What Not to Give for Christmas


This is the "Katrina Crown" from www.stumpsprom.com. Maybe you should send one of these to Sherry, me and other Katrina Survivors. Ol' stumpsproms wasn't thinking about us when they named this tiara....or were they?

#3 What Not to Give for Christmas

Great name but don't buy this for your SweetiePie even if he or she does have the dreaded "monkey butt". From www.duluthtrading.com Read all about it.

#4 What Not to Give for Christmas

from www.southernbellestore.com T-shirt reads: I used to go skinny dipping, now I go chunky dunking According to their website it's almost too late to order for Christmas.
Just. As. Well.

#5 What Not to Give

3 Gun Vase. Ewwwwwwww at www.gnr8.com $49

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Gift of Time Second Week of Advent

Just for this week, put aside: any worry that you are not living up to your Call, any concern that you are not doing enough in your ministry, any fear that you are not competent for ministry or worthy. Just for this week, trust God to take care of these for you. At the end of the week, you may if you wish, take back your worries and fears.

Ministry seldom shows results quickly. Ministry takes time. It's not how you feel about yourself this week or what that church member said to you in anger yesterday. Time will show the fruit of your work in God's good measure.

You run to the drug store with baby spit-up, a child's nose bleed or whatever down the front of your shirt. You see a church member and feel embarrassed. Don't. You've just shown your member that you are human, live a real life and aren't perfect. Many of our members worry that we are perfect. They are wrong to do this but our culture encourages thinking of some people as perfect so we fall into this trap. You look like a mess? Great. You freed the member from the trap.

You forget a portion of the worship service. Fine. Read the above paragraph. Relax.

That kid in confirmation class who looks as if he hates being there each week? He's the one who enters the ministry years from now leaving behind an insurance career because he hungers for serving God's people. You are part of his call to ministry.

See that woman over there? The one who looks at you like you are symbol of what is wrong with the entire planet? She's lonely. She's unhappy. She can't get along with anyone who matters to her. She knows something is wrong but can't figure how to ask for help. If only someone would move in closer to her rather than allow her pushing away to keep her isolated. Who knows, you may be the one. Or, not. Regardless, her response to you isn't personal.

While you contemplate repentance and waiting for the Kingdom to arrive, forget about time.

Just for this week. It's not about you and your success or failure. It's about God and God's sense of time is holy, welcoming and right.

St. Casserole

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Right this minute, I live in the peaceable kingdom.

The Lion has lain down with the Lamb. Fish is happily snuggling with Dubby on the sofa in our bedroom. Previously, Fish didn't have anything but clawy paws for Dubs.

Sister, the best Dog Nanny in the Whirl, was handed a green Milkbone dog biscuit from my purse. I put the freebie dog cookie in my purse while at Petsmart. The dog cookie must smell weird to Sister who took the bone timidly then walked behind a bush to drop it. She has lovely manners.

LD returned from Church Christmas Program Play Practice to say the play was NOT going to get ANY better no matter how much the adults yelled at the cast.

Mr. C. is reading the ninth Horatio Hornblower book (carefully found at used bookstores and garage sales) and could not be happier.

I'm in my study and just ate two Dove Dark Chocolate pieces.

Contentment!

St. Casserole

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Fish Gets A Cookie

This is Fish. He walks around and gets a cat cookie.

Fish and Whistle look great in their Christmas collars. Fish's collar is red with candy canes. Whistle has blue snowflakes on his. Dubby picked a blue collar with polar bears.

Took this with my Flip video camera. You may need to go get one yourself.

St. Casserole

Monday, December 03, 2007

On the Way to Church Report




Left for Church: 20 minutes late
Saw as I left: Methodist putting up a tent in their church yard
Took as I left: Bible, sermon, alb, Advent stole, agenda, coffee
Road Conditions: clear, blue skies, dark clouds off in the distance
Animals Escaped: two goats by the side of the road
Birds Observed: 4 buzzards
Christmas Inflated Yard Decorations: lost count
Stops: one for cough medicine, one for coffee
Number of Hunters at Coffee Stop: 6 in parking lot
Thought About: sermon, beginning of Year A, Advent
Felt: full of cold
Emotional Status: happy

St. C, just reporting in

Saturday, December 01, 2007

#10 What Not to Give This Christmas



Please. Don't give this to your Sweetheart for Christmas, ok?


from Urbanoutfitters.com

Duly noting the abhorrence RG's have for Christmas Yard Inflatables, I offer this Cake Inflatable in honor of my Third Blogiversary!


Three years ago today, I posted on this blog. Since then, I've met many of you. You've been my friend, counselor, made me laugh, made me cry, sent me to my knees in prayer for you, suggested great books, taught me how to cook the Festival of Meatloaf and Grace Solidarity Cake, kept my cats in Greenies and told me what perfume to use.


What would I do without you?


I don't wanna think...


Ministry is better in fellowship or "revgalblog-ship",


Love,


St. Casserole

Today is World AIDS Day. We celebrate the progress made in the past twenty-something years educating people about this public health issue. We remember those who died before we knew much about the disease and those who died because health care wasn't available to them. We remember friends, colleagues and family who died from a disease which was once considered to be "shameful".
Down here, when I began to hear about AIDS cases, I started reading about the disease. I found out that a friend at the newspaper resigned her reporting job to work with a tiny agency trying to help AIDS patients. When I went to see her, I was stunned by how much of her time was taken up with reassuring everyone and trying to protect the privacy of her clients.
If you want a "hot button" ministry, find out what no one wants to talk about, what scares people and where "nice" people will not go. I decided to be intentional support for her the other staff. I wouldn't be allowed to have contact with the clients because of privacy issues and the fear the clients felt towards religious people.
People who knew I did this were not happy. They accused me of putting my young children in jeopardy because I could bring the disease home. They wondered why I would associate with people with AIDS.
I wasn't being brave. Really, I just thought that if something happened in our community that clergy needed to be there. Most male clergy didn't want to have contact because of the stigma of being thought of as gay. We didn't have but a few women clergy and I don't know where they were because I didn't know them.
I led a support group for HIV people and their caregivers. I cooked dinner at home for the support group and carried it to the building where we met. The clients were hungry, lonely and paranoid about privacy. They were angry, afraid and bitter that the world around them spent more time condemning them for their disease than showing compassion about their illness.
Before the cocktail drugs, my clients wasted. I asked the board of the sponsor group for pillows for the clients to sit on so they could be comfortable. I brought candles, flowers and homey decorations for our meeting room.
I was asked to do funerals for client after client. Many didn't have pastors so I became their pastor, to the extent that they would allow me. Looking back, I wonder how we all stood the months and months of deaths.
I watched clients learn to monitor their illness and become drug and diet experts. I stand amazed at the bravery of all those I knew then.
Remember that this all took place with a wall of privacy around them. The disease was horrible but the public shaming made everything worse.
When the protease inhibitor drugs came, my clients began to hope. They stopped wasting and developed big stomachs. Women began to come to the agency in larger numbers. Couples, teens and startled "regular" guys poured in.
When I began my work (unpaid, unnamed and not sponsored by my religious group), testing for HIV took months. This meant that the disease grew wildly while people waited for test results. Now, you can be tested and get the results in one day.
Then, it was almost impossible to get African American pastors involved because they would not consider that anyone in their church might have the disease. The 'phobia was too much for them. Now, the local World AIDS Day service is held in a Black church. The African American pastors are knowledgeable, compassionate and helpful.
Everything is so much better now. Amazingly better. I can't believe the improvements. The crisis isn't solved because new cases of AIDS happen. There is never enough money for all the need. Ignorance exists still.
Being with a marginalized community as an observer, friend and learner changed my life. The ministry I had in those early years of the disease blessed me in ways I can't express.
Mr. C. says I don't talk about stuff I've done because I don't value it. He may be right. It seems self-serving to discuss this here but the post isn't about me but about how the world has changed. And, how grateful I am to have known people who stopped being afraid of church-preachers-God because they let me into their lives.
Now I'm not sure if I should publish this post. Let me click the button quickly before I change my mind.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I don't feel any better than I did yesterday but I got up and left the house. I've been at home since I got home after Worship Sunday.

This morning I realized I couldn't take another minute of daytime t.v. with the cats. They fight about the news, cry during soap operas and love CNN.

We needed everything at the grocery. I got as much as I thought I could carry and put away without dropping in exhaustion. I heated the saute pan with olive oil to brown a roast and caramelize onions, garlic and chopped green peppers. All went into the slow cooker (not the pan!) for several hours. I may be sick but I can make a great supper for my family. The roast recipe includes cutting up andouille sausage, browning it and adding it to the roast. The andouille gives extra "heat" and flavor to the roast.

I'm here eating my supper in front of the computer alone. Well, a few cats are hoping my dish falls over but no humans are with me. LD is over by the church for supper and Christmas play practice. Mr. C. is having dinner with a college friend who blows through the state once or twice a year.

I knew all this but my poor stuffed up cold head didn't remember.

I cooked, cleaned the kitchen and did two loads of laundry.

I feel rotten, righteous and lonely.

St. Casserole "What a Woman!" TM

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Very surprised by the news Sen. Trent Lott retires in a few weeks. Caught me off guard because I know everything changes in politics when you least expect it. Lott says he stayed on to get help for his constituents after Hurricane Katrina. His home in Pascagoula disappeared in the storm.

Some say Young Pickering will be appointed by Governor Hailey Bubba to replace Lott until the election. Don't know much about Young Pickering other than he's a fertile parent (5 sons) and is the privileged child of privilege. I'm not thrilled about legacy politicos.

The Worst News Yesterday was the forced resignation of Coach Jeff Bower at USM. 14 winning seasons and you get pushed out as Coach? Our entire dinner table discussion involved this bad news.

I have a head cold. I do not feel well.

St. Casserole

Guest Blogger: Fish

For immediate transfer: Dubby, the kitten. Really, folks, I've had it with this boy. He gets attention from Mom, LD, Mr. C. and Sister-our-Nanny.

Whistle loves him. I do not love him.

Whistle plays with Dubby and takes naps with him.

That's my job. Time spent with Dubby means time taken from me.

Come get this kitten. Take his stupid blue kitten collar and that red felted mouse, too.

Up to my whiskers,

Fish

Monday, November 26, 2007


Ohhhhhhhhhhh.....I have a head cold.....I feel dreadful.....I am pitiful.
I am a walking plague of Kleenex, Chapstick and water bottles. People ran off to work and school so fast today that the cats got scared. Why?
I am crabby, very crabby.
So, why not use this ill temper in my ill body? Here's my list:
HEY WORLD! LISTEN UP!

DO NOT WHISTLE IN PUBLIC!
DO NOT PUT EMPTY BOXES BACK ON THE PANTRY SHELVES!
STOP HOLDING YOUR FORK LIKE A TROWEL!
STOP ANSWERING "NO PROBLEM" WHEN I SAY "THANK YOU".
Fondly,
St. Casserole

Saturday, November 24, 2007

One More Time


One more ugly cover from The Presbyterian Outlook, November 19, 2008 Issue.
Please! I'd rather have old photos from the Historical Society than creepy covers like this one.
St. C.
















Hey Inner Dorothy! Get a look at this Veggie Tales Nativity Set!

Is the world great or what???

St. Casserole
LS slept while I vacuumed the family room. When his arm dropped down from the sofa, I vacuumed around his hand then under his hand.

He slept through this.

St. C

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Mug Meme

Beso Mami has a mug meme here of seven mugs in our cupboards.

Here are mine:

1. an English pottery glazed mug with blackberries on it from a trip to England with my Mom in 1978; one of four mugs only this one remains

2. my REVGALBLOGPALS mug from our site at Cafe Press Mr. C. uses this giant sized mug more than I do

3. a Kate Spade Rutherford Circle red mug from the local salvage store

4. Walter Anderson pottery mug from the Peter Anderson Festival in Ocean Springs

5. White mug, plain but lovely to hold

6. Blue Fiesta Mug in that odd blue glaze not dark or light

7. A Catzilla mug with tuxedo and ginger cats

I would like RevMutha, Songbird and NotShy to tell us about their muggage....

Hope you got enough turkey today,

St. Casserole

From the prayer book, "and give us one thing more, give us grateful hearts".
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.
St. Casserole

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ten Random Things About Me

I'm playing because Songbird invited me to play.

1. I really like Diet Coke.
2. I was head cheerleader for the Calvin Bowl my first year of seminary in Virginia.
3.I love a dollop of maple syrup in my oatmeal.
4. Sterling silver, how it can be made into anything, fascinates me.
5. I'm going on the RevGal Cruise!
6. I design houses to fall asleep.
7. I listen to audio books while driving.
8. Early morning is my favorite time of day.
9. I like sweets and wish I didn't.
10. I've learned more about the Bible preaching the lectionary than I ever have before.

You reading this? All the way through? I tag you!

St. Casserole

Friday, November 09, 2007

Rev. Bird Dog says he gives up the ministry every Monday following Easter Sunday. He says he gives it up, without a backward glance....until he gets rest.

Is Daylight Saving Time a governmental reminder that we are exhausted? Around the Casserole home everyone is worn out. We go to bed earlier and stomp around cranky through these short light days. If I didn't love them, I'd holler at them about being crabby and turned inward through the early Winter days.

James Howell writes about "Staying Power" in the Oct. 30 Christian Century. Howell tells the story of the night he decided to leave the ministry which turned out to be the night he decided to stay in ministry. He doesn't say when this night occurred but it may have been in November.

I imagine he was tired. Aren't we all just aching for a deep sleep and several good naps?

It's Advent almost. I will put aside Luke and the current lectionary to sprint with delight to a new year of texts. Not that I haven't gotten more out of the Luke year than I ever have before but because I am tired of trying to compose sermons to bring Jesus' words to a tired and worn-out world.

I head off to Manhattan next week for my Annual Shopping, Food and Theater Pilgrimage. Miss P. and I have nothing planned: no tickets to see Radio Music Hall or TV shows or anything. She's worn out, too.

Ministry is tiring. Frustrating. Provoking of anger, rebellion and chaos. Writing sermons makes me feel like a beginner every week even though I have years of experience.

Stay and rest, people. Stay and wait, people. Stay and watch, people.

St. Casserole

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Today

Finally. Cold weather here! Frost on the roof! After months of heat with humidity, the weather turned crisp. I am one happy RevGal.

John Holbert, the homiletics professor at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, speaks this morning at a local church. {The flower money pays for this. God bless the flower money!} John's topic is " What's Good about the Good News? Preaching the Alternative Reality of God."

Preacher quick recipe: Pumpkin Muffins-two boxes of Duncan Hines Spice Cake mix, two 15 oz. cans of Pumpkin, two teaspoons of vanilla. Combine the ingredients with electric mixer. Batter will be very stiff. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes. Simple, delicious muffins with no eggs or oil.

I am very happy. Landscapers pruned, weeded, replaced dead plants and put out pine straw in our yard. Workers caulked windows and doors along with painting trim. My front doors are a subtle but odd color of green and look great. Getting work done here is frustrating, miserable and expensive. This week's crew did beautiful work. Amazing.

If your child is in theater, she becomes an instant drama critic. Hilarious discussion around the dinner table last night with LD dissing a local theater group who presented "...something about a cat and roofs" (trans. Cat on A Hot Tin Roof) "Dad", she said, "Did you know it was written by a guy from Mississippi?"

I will wear socks with my flip flops today and a turtleneck with my shorts in honor of the chilly weather.

Moving Right Along,

St. Casserole

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Why I Live Here

From this morning's paper, here in the Backwater:

"When it comes to communiticating , Brown has said, “I answer my phone, my e-mails and letters, and I respond to messages.”"

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Little Church is a happy place for me.

I walk up to the pulpit and feel a rush of joy and gratitude about being there.

Church redevelopment (or whatever it's called now) suits me fine.

We elected two new elders Sunday.

Couldn't have done this two years ago, but now we have the people and the energy.

Yours,

St. C.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Dear Aunt Bostick,

The Major Political Party in the state sends me several giant full color postcards daily touting their candidates. I'm even getting mass mailings of magnolia prints from the State First Lady printed in cursive! I didn't "do" Halloween this week because I know that the real "trick or treat" will happen on Tuesday with the elections. Any advice? St. Casserole



My dear Casserole,

I've been voting since Truman wore diapers. Did you get the one with the white Major Party Candidate with the picture of his Smaller Party candidate? Yes, the one where the opponent is Black. Good Lord! The subtle racism of the Major Party in this piteous State repels me!

Toughen your skin to balance between idealism and cynicism. Use your idealism to encourage hope for change and your cynicism to motivate yourself to get to work! The system needs our votes but pays little attention to us. Go to your local Council meetings, Neighborhood groups, State legislature to make your needs known. Speak up for those who have no voice.

On Tuesday, I'll vote for the candidate who has the most education and who repulses me least.

I want political parties to inspire me with thoughtful care of the children and elderly! I'm writing to the State Majority Party to tell them that I want them to put all their campaign money into programs for the poor like little children and old people. They don't care about the vulnerable. Health care for children and old people stink here. Immigration policy needs attention. Pay public school teachers a living wage! Throw out the school programs that exist to drive teachers crazy with paperwork and frustrate the children.

Let's make it a law that no politician can run for office unless his children and grandchildren attend public school. I know you sent your little precious ones to private school, so you are disqualified.

The Smaller State party isn't much better. Too bad the U.S. Attorney General's Federal Attorney Scandal cut off funds from one of the wealthiest benefactors in the State. Wait until people figure out what was done to them.

Get back to work, Sweetie. Do what you can to make your community better. Read about government. Read history. Pray. Think. Do. Isn't that what your sweatshirt says?

I've got more green peppers coming along in the garden. I'll send them on to you with Beulah Lynch when she comes to the Coast for the Baptist Ladies Drum Corp and Hymn Sing.

Love,

Aunt Bostick


I've been off line with AT&T modem problems. My modem went bad.

Workers are here at our home caulking, repairing and standing around looking at potential job areas.

John Calvin (pictured left) inspires me to proceed as best I am able, with God's grace, forward.

Nothing much else to report except my sermon which is mostly in my head but will be on paper tonight.

Yours,

St. Casserole

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What I Want

I'll miss Presbytery this week.

Here's what I want Presbytery to be:

  • fair to everyone. no favorites. no golden boys. interested in all preachers
  • for the executive presbyter to drop the "executive" part and fulfill all the obligations in the Book of Order, to be a pastor to pastors, to know each pastor's abilities and interests and to use these to further mission
  • a place of encouragement for collegial relationships fostering friendships rather than competition
  • to be a place where worship is valued. for every meeting to include worship not just the obligatory opening prayer
  • where churches work together to help one another
  • where there is a spirit of openness, transparency rather than having all major decisions made before the meeting
  • a better place for laypeople to develop skills for ministry both administrative and pastoral
  • a clearing house of information about available resources
  • a group people love not dread.

Am I willing to work for these things? I'm not sure this week. Politics and meanness are killing my presbytery.

St. Casserole, someone who wants Presbytery to be more



Monday, October 22, 2007

Rain again today. All day long.
Too much thunder and lightening for Sister the Dog who crawled under our bed to pray.
I wore rain boots out to supper tonight.
Thank goodness Cheesehead introduced me to the Betty Friedan line of anti-frizz hair products.

Yours,

St. Casserole

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's raining! It has been raining! It will rain more!

Good news for the parched ground!

St. Casserole

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Friends, that sound is my last nerve popping.

Look at the October 15th issue of the Presbyterian Outlook.

Read the Editor's page. Scratch head in wonderment.

Read that Editor Jack Haberer writes about a young adult friendly PCA congregation in New York.

Haberer's point of view is the good work this church does with young adults. Great.

He notes that the PCA is a denomination that "bucks" us. Understatement.

I DO NOT WANT TO READ ABOUT THE PCA IN MY DENOMINATIONAL MAGAZINE.

Independent periodical or not, the Outlook is a source of news for PCUSA people.

The PCA connected adoption agencies will not place a child with a PCUSA family because we are not "evangelical".

The PCA does not ordain women.

In some PCA churches, women do not teach boys older than 11.

The PCA delights in misunderstanding the PCUSA.

The PCA hurts families and churches in my State. Agressive is an understatement.

I've read the Presbyterian Outlook since 1975. I'm about finished.

Say what you will but the column is inappropriate. Like he couldn't find a great PCUSA congregation to visit and review?

St. Casserole
Just sayin'.

Computer probs and work slowed down teh blogging.

Yours,

St. Casserole

Friday, October 12, 2007

The winner of the CONTEST! is Presbyterian Gal. First runner-up is Alex who took a decorative approach and Second runner-up is Little Mary with the whining card. As the rules mentioned, only the Winner winner is the winner.

Congrats to Presbyterian Gal! Send me your address and I'll mail the John Calvin Creamer and Sugar Bowl to you.

About the judging: David took a cheap shot at Calvinism with his "understanding" of predestination. Teri corrected all of youse so she gets an "honorable mention" for being theologically diligent.

It's just as well that Cheesehead wimped over to David because she didn't qualify for the contest. Not really. Y'all would cry "foul" if my G.A. Roommate and Fashion Maven won. Same with Songbird, Sue and the rest of you.

After reviewing the comments with Ernst&Ernst, the cats and drinking a poor excuse for an Irish Cider, the best comment became obvious.

Congrats to Presbyterian Gal!!!! She is a winner!

With Enough Dour Attitude to Share,

St. Casserole

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Contest!

Win the John Calvin Creamer and Sugar Bowl!

Rules: Contest open to residents of the contiguous United States only. Sorry, but it's difficult to mail anything outside of my State much less to foreign shores. One entry per contestant. Postage to be paid by me. Judging will be impartial, expert and foreshadow that of Heaven.

In the comments, explain why you should own the John Calvin Creamer and Sugar Bowl.
Please note that this John Calvin set is for decorative purposes only. A good Calvinist drinks black coffee and plain tea. The life of servanthood is not for sissies who use sugar and cream.

Dubbie's leg and foot are not included in the prize!

Winner will be announced on Friday, October 12, 2007 when I get around to it.

You do not have to be a Calvinist to play!

St.Casserole, Judge

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Calm Down! This ONLY the Contest Announcement!



In honor of LD getting her braces off today and being in her first High School Play this evening, I am proud to announce a St.CasseroleContest!


Friends, please prepare yourselves to enter the St.Casserole Comment Contest tomorrow!


Grand Prize, to be shown here tomorrow, will be given to the best comment about why you should win the Grand Prize to be shown here tomorrow. There will be no runner-up or place prizes, only the Grand Prize to be shown here tomorrow. This is win or lose, cut bait or fish, drive or get out of the car, saddle up or shut up type contest.


Your best hope is your wit, brainpower and not telling another soul about this contest so that I get so few entries that every one's comment looks good because I will be humiliated by desperation to be shown here tomorrow.


This is, however, not about me but about LD's no brace's smile and her play tonight and about you who should be sharpening your comment skills to be shown here tomorrow.


Until then, I remain, ever your,


St. Casserole
P.S. You could practice by leaving sucking up kinds of comments today!



More about Obituaries...

*Local obituary of an older woman records her involvement with the senior citizen's program along with names of her survivors only. Did this woman do nothing in her earlier years? Was the writer of her obit familiar with her latter years only?

Shouldn't obituaries, even with cost restraints regarding length, include something about the person's life? Was she a member of the Ruth Bible Class? Did her recipe for duck a la banana die with her? Was she a reader or knitter or great with little children?

*What's all this with "special friends"? If the deceased lived with Denise for 15 years, wouldn't "companion" be more exact? A recent local obit listed the young man's girlfriend as "Tiffany" with no surname. In years to come, will survivors wonder which Tiffany?

Obits are supposed to be a final historical record of the person's life. Where was she born? Where did she die? Who preceded her in death? Who were her people? What did she do? etc. etc. The local paper will not say how the person died. I respect the privacy of those who died while cleaning gutters standing on a paint can holding a live electrical wire and eating a Hot Pocket microwaved pepperoni "sandwich" at midnight in the rain but a tad of information may be helpful to survivors.

Write your own obituary and keep it updated (like served the Riverside Church as Pastor) so survivors will know what you want included.

Tom Long has a good audio lecture at the Calvin Institute of Worship about re-thinking Christian funerals. He mentioned some of these things at the Fest o' Homies this summer.

Just saying,

St. Casserole

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Riverside Church has not called me. I'm growing moss waiting to get the call to be their next pastor.

I do not know why. I do not understand this.

Here's a tip about me: I'd rather you tell me than not tell me.

For example, I love my broker. She's a wonderfully smart gal with a generous heart. She's trim and looks great in her clothes. However, she wears a rectangle of dark eye shadow over each eyelid and it looks odd. If she blended the eyeshadow, it'd look like she punched herself in the eye. The rest of her make-up and hair are well done. I do not know why anyone hasn't said something to her about this. It's just weird looking. Other people comment on it but no one tells her.

I'd rather be told.

Why haven't I told her? I'm trying to live by Mr.C's advice. He says, "St.C, everyone doesn't need to know your opinion of them."

Excellent, excellent. But what if there is a wild flaw I need to know about? I know I interupt too much. I dress from thrift shops so I can look like a groomed bag lady on my best days. I go on about cats too much. Etc. Etc.

Not to be gross but I heard a pal at the Young Clergywoman's Conference say that she had a "booger patrol" at her church. Choir members were supposed to tell her if she had "nose dirt" showing before she entered the sanctuary. We need this.

There's nothing like dragging toilet paper on our heels or having our skirts tucked into our pantyhose as we walk around life.

But, who tells us?

I'm just saying, if you need to tell me something, tell me.
If it's dreadful, tell me in private.


Oh? Is that Riverside calling me? BRB!

St. Casserole
One Blogpost for Burma.
Free Burma

Thanks, Karen!


St.C.

Here's Proof I Went to a Football Game



Mr. C. escorted me to a football game uppada LS's school. LS and Friend went with us. LS's school team had a rotten time of it until We left at half-time (school night for LD and F.) Twenty-five miles out of town and the team recovered enough to lose by two points, which was better than 31-7.

See my shoes? See those Skittles? I ate popcorn without salt and drank a Diet Coke.

Kept wishing I had a tape to record the good ol'boys sitting behind me. Accents were priceless as were their comments.

A Real Sports Fan Here,

St. Casserole

Monday, October 01, 2007

Obituary Troubles New Series!

I read obituaries. I read to be aware of pastoral needs and lately, for entertainment. The "good" obit is a thing of beauty, an art form but here in the Sticks, we have odd things happen when we rhapsodize our dead. For example, the "Ken" of this story is 47. Assuming that his partner is around his age, is it fair to think that the remaining years of her life will be spent burning up time to join him on his heavenly fishing boat? What if his partner heals from his loss enough to love again?

"Please envision Ken floating above us in a great boat with a feisty fish on the line, cheering for the LSU Tigers, reunited with all the adoring pets who passed before him, smiling and patiently waiting for his wife Alice, the "love of his life and best friend", to join him on board to resume their life together on the best journey ever."
Turning a steel eye toward others,

St. Casserole

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Take a seat. I'll get to bloggage after I finish a load of busyness.

Rapidly,

St. Casserole

P.S. This bench reminds me of the old dorm furnitue at CTS. Who knew this style would make a come back?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Home



Safely home from beautiful Ireland. Tired. Sleepy.

More later,

St. Casserole

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I'm in Dingle, County Kerry. So beautiful here! The Covenant Group travels well together although having a Flower Foundation "Companion" can be awkward.

I ate a cream filled pastry this morning. Wasn't hungry but felt you all wanted me to eat my way across Ireland.

More later, I'm at an Internet cafe with a line behind me.

I'll be home late, late tomorrow. I sure missed you!

Love,

St. Casserole

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pre-Travel Musings...



Went to bed at midnight. Woke up at 4 a.m. Ride comes at 8 am. Plane leaves at 1:10 pm. Two hour wait in Philadelphia. Hours later, arrive Shannon Airport.

Jittery, here.

Cats and dogs are delighted to get an early breakfast and have ear scratches, cooing and snuggles. Dubby keeps following the cats hoping for someone to play with him.

Sitting here in the dark, with the computer monitor as the light source, a moth flew to my screen then dived into my coffee cup. I am very grateful I saw this as I would have sipped moth...

I've packed as much as I think I need. LD loaned her North Face fleece (the #1 Choice of High School students here) and R. sent over a packable Gore-tex jacket. I did not pack any cute shoes unless you think the bluefish Sperry's are cute. I bought those to stomp through rainy days with comfy feet.

See that Hello Kitty suitcase? I'm traveling with the giant Go-Across-the-Big-Water suitcase I bought at a garage sale months ago. LS took it to France and if it can survive traveling with Mr. Rough and Tumble, it will do fine with me. I put a bright pink tassel on it so he could find it quickly. The tassel survived and will lead me to it in Ireland.

It seems that the three other preachers traveling with me are having fits, too. I spoke with each several times yesterday and they sound frayed, tired and anxious.

Thank you, LLS for your sweet call. Hey! NJ Girl? So glad to hear from you! And, my wild Epis. priest buddy from the Young Clergywomen's Conf. called to say she'd begun blogging even if she hasn't posted yet! Yippee! NJ Girl: get a blog. I want both of you to become RGBP's. LLS, you'd be a great RGBP, too and your kitties could blog!

Songbird, I'll miss talking with you everyday. It will be weird to not tell you all the goofy details along the trip.

If you didn't call me yesterday, it's because you couldn't get through. I was on the phone ALL DAY LONG.

I'm going to be brave today and travel over water to Ireland. I commend my family and friends and Little Church to God's good care. I will be sweet to my traveling buddies (not difficult but they are TESTY)and drink plenty of water.

I wish I was neurotic about Post-Industrial European Studies rather than leaving home. It would be easier.

Brave and trying to be Tall and Commanding,

St. Casserole

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dear Aunt Bostick




Dear Aunt Bostick,
I'm flying to Ireland tomorrow. Everyone is happy for me. I'm not very happy, though. Why do I fret and fester before a trip?

Your Niece,
St. Casserole

My dear, how nice to hear from you again. I'm pleased that you will go to Ireland. Your Uncle, now in the Church Invisible, traveled to Ireland once to sell grass seed. He loved the country, the people and the pubs.

All of us feel a twinge about traveling from home. Leaving those we love best to board airplanes (subsidized by your govt.) where one is packed like a tinned fish with people who either reek of dry cleaning fluid or athletic activities is no fun. Once those cute young people stopped working the flights to be replaced with normal looking staff things changed with air travel. Travel becomes a physical endurance test instead of a flying party.

You'll go ahead with your trip. God will be with your family here. Your friends will be here when you return. You'll see new things in an world without hurricane debris or damage.

Just a few things: when drinking in pubs, do not wipe the froth off with your sleeve. Be kind to everyone and speak slowly. I'm not sure the Irish have an ear for your accent. If your feet hurt, your back aches or you do not care for your luncheon, keep this information to yourself. No one likes a complaining traveler.

I'll keep you in my prayers while you are away. When you return, please let me know why in God's name you got another cat.

Lovingly,

Aunt Bostick
If I do not get it done or packed today, it will not be handled before I leave for Ireland and will not be in my suitcase or carry-on.

The clock is ticking away.


Yikes!


St. Casserole

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Amazing! We have COOL temperatures here! It's in the 60's!

Taking my coffee mug outside to stare, as I do every morning, I felt cool air!

Stunned and Happy,

St. C.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Not the CCL!




Dear Grace and all those who are wondering if I am becoming the Crazy Cat Lady,

I discussed the issue of multiple cats and the effect on CCL with Songbird who has assured me, in two separate phone calls, that four cats does not a CCL make.

I am not at all defensive about the suggestion that I am a CCL. Not.One.Bit.

Nada.

No way am I defensive.

Really.

You can see that the CCL Action Figure has seven cats. I have four. Just 4.

Not defensive. Not the the defense-inator. Nope.

Yours,

St. Casserole

Now that I am Older...



Now that I am older...

...I realize that is not necessary for everyone to know what I think of them.

...When you engage me in conflict, I will not tell you all I know about you because I care about you. I want to continue the relationship in the future so I will not put your back against the wall verbally.

...I realize that it is well nigh impossible for the young to realize that the world does not revolve around them, even those who are in their 30's.

...I understand that I never won when I took on the Senior Pastor. I wasn't the associate to correct the HoS or run the congregation.

...I know that most stuff isn't personal, it's just stuff. If we can't figure out how to redeem it now we can pray that our situations and relationships may be redeemed in the future.

...I look for kindness in others more than the excitement of their chaos.


Yours,

St. Casserole

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Press Release from St. Casserole's Cattery



Welcome, Dubbie!

Dubbie, the Bookstore foster kitten joins Andy, Fish and Whistle in the St. Casserole household. He is a native of St. Casserole Town and was born in extreme circumstances then abandoned. Discovered by a kind-heart, Dubbie, along with his three brothers, was bottle-fed and loved until old enough to become a pet.

St. Casserole said, "He's a dear boy and we are delighted to have him with us." LD added, "He's my kitten and I love him already." Andy, Fish and Whistle had no comment. Sister, Fish and Whistle's Nanny admits that she's a bit surprised to have another cat under her care but is ready to bring Dubbie up as she has the Ginger Brothers. Mr. Casserole appeared stunned when he realized that Dubbie joined the household.

Dubbie, a polydactyl kitten, is white with a saddle and toupe of grey striped fur. He has all pink toes 'cept one black hind toe. He's sweet natured and glad to be with people. He will be enrolled at Prof. Whisker's in the next few weeks for Cat School. He's interested in learning to type and create web pages since he has "cat thumbs".

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



My radiologist (a friend) told me that local Irish women do not go to pubs and that I will not be welcomed until I speak and show myself to be an American. Interesting!
I will spend time in pubs next week in Ireland. I will be a pub visiting, ale drinking woman.

I intend to drink ale. I will drink ale. I will be cautious because I am an infrequent drinker and don't enjoy alky hall much, but I will drink ale. I won't be responsible for driving and I'll be in a safe group. And, I won't overdo. I wouldn't mention this but I am not a social drinker or closet drinker. People think I'm being pious but it's a personal taste kind of thing rather than a discipline.

Pictured is the Fitzgerald Bar from the fabulous BBC series, Ballykissangel.
Put the series in your Netflix que.

I hear we will have cool temperatures in Ireland. So looking forward to cool weather!

Soberly,

St. Casserole

Thinking about Grace

I woke up early thinking about Hurricane Humberto. Humberto passed us by on the Central Gulf Coast but headed inland toward Houston. I hope our pal, Quotidian Grace, and all Houstonians and Texans fared well through the hurricane.

The threat of hurricanes, tropical storms and such get on our nerves this time of year. In the old days, we didn't worry about big storms by mid-September. Now we worry about storms until the end of September.

I do not live in a flood zone but have flood insurance. I didn't lose my home but have Katrina damage still because I can't find workers. It takes a long time to recover from hurricanes.

I hope all is well for our Grace and her fellow Texans.

Thinking of her,

St. Casserole

Saturday, September 08, 2007



Well, hey...

I'm preaching on the Jeremiah passage. Luke will be taking a break this Sunday.

A gallery in BSL took three of my boxes. These are the mixed media retablo type things I've been making for months. It is an odd feeling to move from the privacy of my opinion of my work to what others may think.

All my work materials are boxed now. The kitchen counter is clean (is granite the best work surface ever?)with all the glue scraped up. I'm moving toward my next calendar project.

I'm going to Ireland with the Preacher Group on the 18th. Yep, the flower foundation is funding the distressed hurricane pastors trip to the green green world of Ireland for a week. We'll listen to story-tellers and meditate in pubs to try to make sense of what happened two years ago.

So, pals, what do I pack for a mid-September trip? It's hot Summer here. Can I even imagine that I might be chilly or cold?

Suggestions?

St. Casserole

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Guest Blogger: Whistle Interviews Andy



Whistle: Andy, I'm interviewing you for the blog.
Andy: Blog Smog! Shut-up!!!
W: Andy, Mom said you had to be nice to me.
A: Be Quiet!
W: You are in the confinement pen in Mom's Study. Can you tell us why?
A: Big hole in my gut. Had surgery, emergency surgery, on Monday.
W: How's it going?
A: Hate it! I'm an outdoor cat. Can't stand being confined.
W: You have a litter box in there.
A: Don't talk about that! Litter boxes are for prissy little indoor cats! I haven't used one before.
W: Is that why you didn't use it for almost two days? We saw you with your back legs crossed...
A: Do Not Write About This!
W: OK.
A: And don't put a sappy picture up either!
W: OK, I won't. How long do you have to stay in the confinement pen?
A: Doc says two weeks. I say until I break out of here.
W: You have stitches and an e-collar. Just like Fish did.
A: Stitches come out today. I pulled off the e-collar. Do not tell!
W: I won't tell. Andy, you are a Katrina Survivor, aren't you?
A: Yeah, I came back with the Casserole Men three days after the Storm. They needed me. I rode in the rental truck with water, ice, food, chain saws and generators. I kept watch over the home while they helped people. Trees were down everywhere! I walked on trees instead of climbing. I had to eat what they put down for me except for a few squirrels and some birds I caught. I felt badly about eating the yard animals, no sport in it. The animals were dazed and sick. That Storm about killed us all. You were less than a week old then. You don't know anything about hurricanes!
W: OK. Mom says you picked out us as a family...
A: Not you or your brother! I found this house several years ago. I became the apprentice to Rusty the Great Cat. He taught me everything I know.
W: He's the cat Mama talks about and then gets all wet eyed about?
A: Yeah, She loved him and he loved her. He was Great.
W: She loves all of us. We love Sister our Nanny and you.
A: Stop it! My pain meds are wearing off! I'm not talking anymore to you!
W: OK.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

For those in the path of the hurricane and other storms, Lord have mercy.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

From NOAA 8pm. Sunday Night

HURRICANE FELIX SPECIAL DISCUSSION NUMBER 10
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL062007
800 PM EDT SUN SEP 02 2007

REPORTS FROM A NOAA HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT FELIX
HAS INTENSIFIED AND IS NOW A CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE. THE AIRCRAFT
REPORTED PEAK FLIGHT-LEVEL WINDS OF 152 KT...WITH PEAK SFMR WINDS
OF 142 KT IN THE SOUTHWEST QUADRANT. HIGHER SFMR WINDS WERE FOUND
IN THE NORTHEAST QUADRANT...UP TO 163 KT...BUT THESE MAY HAVE BEEN
CONTAMINATED BY GROUPEL. A DROPSONDE RELEASED IN THE SOUTHWEST
QUADRANT LANDED IN THE NORTHEAST QUADRANT...AND THIS DROP YIELDED A
SURFACE ESTIMATE OF 139 KT BASED ON THE LOWEST 150 M LAYER AVERAGE.
BASED ON THESE DATA...THE PEAK SURFACE WINDS ARE ESTIMATED TO BE AT
LEAST 145 KT. AN EYE SONDE MEASURED A SURFACE PRESSURE OF 936 MB
WITH SURFACE WINDS OF 24 KT. BECAUSE OF THE EXTREME TURBULENCE AND
GROUPEL THAT THE AIRCRAFT EXPERIENCED...THE MISSION IS BEING
ABORTED AND THE AIRCRAFT IS RETURNING TO ST. CROIX.

THIS SPECIAL ADVISORY IS BEING ISSUED TO UPDATE THE INITIAL AND
FORECAST INTENSITIES. NO OTHER CHANGES TO THE FORECAST ARE BEING
MADE. THIS SPECIAL ADVISORY IS BEING ISSUED IN LIEU OF THE
SCHEDULED INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY.

Lord have mercy on those in Felix's path.
Great, Just Great,

St. Casserole

Saturday, September 01, 2007

St. Casserole Suggests........




It may be hotter than Hades here but I'm ready to change from OPI's classic Cajun Shrimp on my pastoral toes to OPI's Vodka and Caviar shown above.

I am ready to stop wearing linen and cotton everyday and dress for Fall. Our Fall temps (like below 85c) will begin in October, late in the month. We survived August's scorch. I'm ready for Fall.

Check out Vodka and Caviar the next time you get a pedicure.

Just Sayin,

St. Casserole

Friday, August 31, 2007




Monday I heard a perfect Southern man's voice. Sitting in the pew at the regional grouping of churches discussing churches who wish to depart our fellowship, a speaker's voice caught my ear. I turned around to see a tall man in a seersucker suit speaking passionately about his congregation. I don't know him. Can't recall where he's from or what he said. His voice! That educated dulcet toned Southern male voice was enough.

Accents? I love listening to regional and national speech.

Listening to the Canadian news on the 'net last night, I tried to hear the difference in the newscaster's accent. It was the "ou" sound as in "about". Very different from mine.

We don't know what our voices sound like, do we? I hear my recorded voice played back to me and cringe. Every. Single. Time.

I called LLS this week and heard in her voice mail message our Mother's voice. Lovely to my ears!

I listened to the voices at the Mission yesterday and heard speech bereft of any public education or education in English at all. The woman is a native English speaker but her use of words showed that her speech was private, that is, not used for commerce or the larger public.

The volunteers who come to help us laugh at the use of "y'all" then begin to use it. "Y'all" is a useful word and somehow sweeter than "you guys".

LD changes her accent to fit her audience moving effortlessly from high school speech to talking with parents to navigating the larger world. Some of her tones have an NC quality from her months with LLS.

We'll have dinner Saturday night with one of my favorite voices: a native Mississippian with a cultured accent who commands a room with a beautiful sound.

Our Songbird says that her Southern accent comes out when she talks with me. She sounds familiar to me, so this must be true.

I come from the South and our voices are distinctive.

Listening,

St. Casserole

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Q. What is joy?

A. Joy is being free to run and jump. Joy is waking up your humans with purrs and sniffs. Joy is using the Booda litter box for the first time, just like Whistle. Joy is being out of confinement with a healed leg.


St. Casserole

Fish injured his back leg 4 months and 13 days ago. 137 days...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

FISH IS HEALED! FISH IS RUNNING AROUND OUR HOUSE! YIPPEEEE!

Remembering Katrina 2007

Two years ago today, we were in Destin waiting for word about the Gulf Coast. News of the Coast was scarce because the news people couldn't get to Mississippi. We saw where Katrina's eye came ashore later in the morning. Cell phone and land line calls did not work as we tried to call our friends who stayed in their homes.

We didn't know that our hurricane preparations made no difference. Boarding up Mr. C's law firm building (an old Coast home restored and used for less than ten months) was destroyed. So many trees fell around our home that it could not be seen from the street. P. and C.'s home flooded. Our pediatrician's home flooded. Many of our neighbor's homes were flooded, broken by trees or blown away. Our sailboat ended up miles away. People died because they refused to evacuate or would not leave their pets.

Who knew anything? We didn't. Scenes of New Orleans on the news showed misery. Little did we know that the levees would break and ruin the City Care Forgot.

Little did we know that churches were demolished, roads torn up and our lives changed forever.

Regular people suffered extreme misery.

We kept close to the tv in the Destin condo.

Andy, Assumpta and Dibley ran around meowing. LD and LS tried to text message their friends. Mr. C. and I held on.

Remembering,

St. Casserole

Monday, August 27, 2007

Dear Aunt Bostick


Dear Aunt Bostick,

I've gotten stuck in my bloggage. Too much stuff is going on right now for me to have much to say in my blog. I'm not depressed. I'm overwhelmed.
What should I do?
Your Niece,

St. Casserole

My Dear Casserole,
How kind of you to write me with your troubles. You young things don't often ask those of us who've lived through World Wars, Skirmishes and the Bush Years our opinions. Your generation appears to be busy using credit unwisely, allowing your children to make family decisions and wearing your clothing too tight. I thank you my dear for asking my advice.
First, what kind of blogger are you? Do you have a theme other than whining? If you have a theme you may find topics everyday. Or, are you a blogger who blogs only when she has something to say? I doubt this as I have read a number of your posts and they appear to be of no consequence to anyone. Forgive me if this sounds harsh.
Second, how much of your life do you wish to share with the unwashed masses, I mean, your readers. Who are these people anyway? When was the last time you asked lurkers and others to comment? It might help if you knew your audience. If you find out who reads you you may wish to tailor your remarks to their varied sensibilities.
Third, as Ernest told me one day long ago as we lounged on the beach in Key West, write what you know. Avoid pontificating on those subjects which elude your experience and brain power.
Fourth, keep it short. Your posts are too long. And, dear one, what's all this stuff about cats? Not everyone loves cats as you do. Thank goodness you started a blog for Whistle. That cat chats about his birthday every day of the year!
Fifth, remember these rules of life: eat more bran, organize your eyebrows, stand up straight, vote for the Democrats no matter how much or little you have in your Bank, tend to your family, don't run to Walgreen's looking like the Wrath of God and use sterling flatware at every meal. Honor these rules and your days will be long and happy.

Lovingly,

Aunt Bostick

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Hey! I'd blog more but I'm busy driving three hours to 2 hour meetings!
Cleaning up after messy people! Writing a sermon! Watching the Weather Channel (this is high season for hurricanes)!

Praying for friends
Getting LS settled at the University
Driving LD to various activities but not school because she is in a car pool
Writing letters asking for rebuilding funds for my congregation
Doing laundry
Reading


Yours,

St. Casserole

Tuesday, August 21, 2007



I've just had enough of about everything. As I told Mr. C last night, "I'm mad at the whole world!" Wisely, he turned over and went to sleep. So did I.

Therefore, I am dipping back into a pleasant memory vault for this picture of the downtown Bailey's Cafeteria in my hometown. We went there with my mother and grandparents as little kids. I believe LLS will remember Bailey's with me. I taught her how to take the ping pong ball off of the top of the water spray in the fountain before adults yelled at us.

I recall happy experiences at the cafeteria except for the time I realized that Mrs. Young, my sixth grade teacher, was behind me at the next table. Not only had I been caught off guard by a teacher straying from her post at the school so that I could be tortured at Bailey's by her nearness but I also had to go speak to her because of good manners. That woman had nerve.

If you think you can cheer me up, I'd do as Mr. C. did and ignore me until my mood lifts.

Here's to a good memory,

St. Casserole

Monday, August 20, 2007

News from the Neighborhood

Our colleague, Edward O'Connor, will leave the Gulf Coast to become Dean of the Cathedral in Jackson. Edward accomplished many things during his time here. I am sorry to see him go. He mentored a clergy pal of mine, calmed his congregation, preached well (so I heard) and moved his congregation forward after the hurricane. One of his great skills is his ability to listen. You know he hears you when you speak. I told Mr. C. that I was going to try to be a great listener like Edward so I cocked my head and stared at Mr. C. Finally, after being silent for several seconds, Mr. C. said, "Now you've gone creepy on me." Let me work on this...

We at Little Church heard from our denominational funders this week about our hurricane rebuilding grant. We received about 1/10th of our asking. I suppose that we didn't receive more because we haven't spent our cautiously saved funds down to zero (how can a tiny church of older people do this???) and have not cleaned our membership rolls since before the storm. We didn't think it wise to notify members that we were deleting them from our rolls after the storm. It would be another loss for them even it they aren't attending.
So, here we are, almost two years from the storm, without the funds to repair our church building. The building is secure and functional but has broken sheet rock, shows storm damage and looks bad. We put in new windows, replaced the roof, replaced the front columns and porch flooring, added ceiling fans and now we need to finish. We waited all this time, having been told that the millions donated by the faithful would complete our repairs. We applied for the money last Fall. We heard this week.
Very little of the needed work can be done by unskilled volunteers.
We are stuck. Pray for us.

The Southern Gulf is getting pounded by Dean the Hurricane. Lord, have mercy on your people there!

Fish the Cat's leg is healing well! Dr. Jen, our dear Vet before the storm, was back at Dr. D.'s Saturday! She watched Fish walk and trot then pronounced "He's doing great!" Fish returned home exhausted but happy that he may have only two more weeks in his Hermitage (confinement pen).

I feel rushed on Monday's to catch up with last week's leftovers, recover from Sunday and get started on this week's tasks. Do you feel the same?

Lovingly,

St. Casserole

Friday, August 17, 2007

Hurricane Dean



Ewwwwww, not again!



Where are the double dipped in Chocolate Oreos at a time like this?,

St. Casserole

Monday, August 13, 2007

Laundry, tons of laundry to do today. Being gone for a week means the house is knee high in trash, dirty clothing and bottle caps on every floor. Whistle the Cat keeps bottle-cap soccer going all the time.

I felt rested today. I hit the wall Friday night, all day Saturday and after the hours on Sunday, felt that I should crawl to a corner and just snore. Not that I snore. If I did make any noise, it would be a gentle purr so comforting to the hearer that he wouldn't remember it the next morning.

The YCW Conference wore me out. I love all of it but kept later and earlier busy hours than I do usually. I was the one to tell all the party gals to "go to bed" Thursday night after the second shift of partiers began to laugh like monkeys.

I'm missing the conference women. I loved their voices, ideas and energy for ministry. I loved hearing different ways of approaching preaching with our leader and feel that the combo of Festival of Homies in May and this Testimony conference have upped my preaching mojo.

Here's a note for Zorra: thanks for letting me know that "fireball eucharist" is from Walker Percy and means "fibroids in the uterus". I woke up the other night, before I read your comment and thought, "Rats! I got that wrong!".

Yours,

St. Casserole

Saturday, August 11, 2007

New Words



An enclosed courtyard: a garth

Excellent excuse to leave anytime, anywhere: say you have "explosive diarrhea"

Lady-like name for, uh, personal areas: Princess Parts

Odd medical condition: fireball eucharist (told to a Doctor who translated this to mean "fibroid tumors". No. Kidding.

You may be tested on these words later this week.

St. Casserole

Tiding Up



Just a few notes about my delightful D.C. week:

*Everyone of the young preachers in my group did well. I wasn't surprised. It takes courage to preach to peers. They brought a sermon then wrote a sermon for the conference.

*The conference was organized very well. We worked hard but were comfortable. I hope the organizer feels good about all of her work over the past months. I do.

*I frustrated several of the conferees with my comments about dressing as a professional. I spoke without translating my humor and believe I hurt several feelings. I regret this massively.

*I have never returned home from a conference knowing massive quantities of personal information about the speaker. Early on, I hopped up to hug the speaker thinking she was overwhelmed by her life's situation. I didn't realize she does this with groups.

*The setting was glorious. I loved the music, the worship, the Bethlehem Chapel and the College where we lived. The food was great, too.

*I loved seeing a bloggie buddy I've missed for over a year now. She's doing great and really in the pink of things. Love her! I met great women last week. I hope to see them again.

*Glad to be home! Missed all of you!

St. Casserole

Friday, August 10, 2007

Slept well last night in air conditioning + fan! Good times.


This lovely, well-planned conference will be over in a few hours. I will miss Hogwarts. Sitting under the giant trees on the Cathedral grounds with coffee this morning, I looked around trying to memorize the grounds. No little black squirrels came out looking for the giant acorns. Perhaps they were listening to the 7:30 am. Eucharist inside the Cathedral. Troops of conferees passed me on their way to Chapel.


We need traveling mercies for all those leaving today for home. We've got women from as far away as Oregon.

I am so glad I came to the conference. I'm so glad I had a peaceful week at Hogwarts.

Y'all doing ok?,

St. Casserole

P.S. I'll be home this evenin'

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Standing in the G at the C of P

Dear World,
Where I come from, a third world country within the U.S., we have air conditioning. We have a/c everywhere. Otherwise, we couldn't survive days and nights of 99 degree temperatures. Our attitudes would not survive.


You may recall that I'm out of town right now. Here I am in ecclesiastical Heaven where there is no a/c in my room. I'm sure it's a fluke of mechanics but I cannot sleep in a hot room. Hogwarts is well nigh perfect. Beautiful buildings, landscaping done so well it makes my teeth hurt and a serene environment where prayer pours out like a waterfall.
Excuse me, I so hot I am having a crabby fit.


I've heard that your Northern persons don't have air conditioning but I haven't believed it. How do people sleep in this heat without cool air blowing on them. As one of the young conferees said to me a few minutes ago, "You have a fan. I read it on your blog." Well, yes, I have a fan but it blows tepid phlegm temp air on me and I cannot sleep.


How many ways can I say I am too hot to sleep? I can't sleep without some cool air. I am too hot to sleep. I can't sleep in this heat.


I could sleep in the bathtub of the communal bathroom but dignity would prevent my hall mates from using the potty if I slept in the tub. I could sleep on the refectory table where the air is cooler but then I'd be known as the woman who slept in the refectory. I could stay up all night to write poetry about my situation but I am tired. I want to sleep.


If anyone asks you how I am, tell them I'm hot and I can't get to sleep.

Steaming,

St. Casserole
Hello from the Big City!

Every last one of you needs to add coming to the College of Preachers to your list of "things to do". It's lovely here and as comfortable as can be. The meals are fabulous, the rooms comfortable and what-else-can-you-say about living on the grounds of a national cathedral?

This well planned conference is going smoothly. The organizer should be proud of herself. The funding agency did a good thing by underwriting the conference.

But, I am so very hot in this Big City heat that I am ready to fold up into a ball and jump into the ice maker. Hogwarts isn't hot necessarily but it is not as air conditioned as we are on the Gulf Coast. I sleep with a fan blasting towards me. The rest of my day I prowl around looking for a/c vents and cups of ice.

The conference is going on as I write this. I found this nook with cold air and cannot tear myself away to return to a beautiful room filled with people where I become so warm I feel ill.

Thank goodness there is a slight flaw to being here or I wouldn't return home.

Y'all doing OK where you are?,

St. Casserole

Monday, August 06, 2007

Oh! What a beautiful place this is!

Having a great time!

More later,

St. Casserole

Sunday, August 05, 2007



I leave before 6am. tomorrow to make my way up the East Coast to Washington. You can't get anywhere from I live. All trips are arduous.

I'm going to the Young Clergywoman's Project at the College of Preachers. I told my congregation about the Project and my participation in it. They applauded me!

I'm thrilled to be attending.

I am trying to be brave.

Leaving home in August, during Hurricane Season, isn't something I do. Last time I traveled in August (to go to the Presbyterian Heaven in Western North Carolina) was in about 1989. A hurricane threatened and I was too far away to get home, with a baby along, to secure our home. I get very testy about how Mr. C. turns off the lights and shuts the door for hurricane prep. I do all sorts of lengthy arrangements: prescriptions filled? food bought? cat/dogs all arranged? house inventory photographed? insurance papers handy? yard/pool furniture secured? etc etc etc etc. It saves my emotions to be at home getting ready.

However, my joy about being with friends at the YCP tipped the balance towards being brave and heading to Washington.

I hope to see you there.

Look for me. I'll be the dour short clergywoman wearing sensible shoes and the Tonette Perm hairdo. Sorta like Delores Umbridge but without so much pink.

Yours,

St. Casserole

Friday, August 03, 2007

School starts today. Amazing, isn't it? August 3???
How can the end of summer vacation be this early? Our district plans for hurricane days to intefere with the mandated number of school days.

I fuss every year about having to end my time with the children so soon.
LS returns to university in two weeks. It's time for him to go back because he is the expert in everything without grace or patience unless it concerns him. He needs to be with his peers to allow his parents some quiet peace.

Ah! But has this been the sweetest summer with LD? Oh, yes!
Who knew that a 15 year old girl could be the happiest company I could wish for?

In a Praise Report, under Will Wonders Never Cease, I testify that she wanted: a pair of my shoes, two purses and two necklaces for her closet! Unbelievable that Miss 15 considered my stuff for her own.

Here's the funniest part:

SHE WENT OUT THE DOOR WITH HER COFFEE IN MY REVGALBLOGPALS MUG!

Excuse me while I go howl with laughter and irony....

Yours,

St. Casserole

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Pickin' n Choosin'

Not surprisingly, we don't fit in everywhere we go. We don't belong in some groups, other groups don't suit us and finally, isn't this the age when we can pick and choose where we wish to place our time and energies?

Churches are like this. People come and go through the membership without much trouble. Don't like the Preacher? Move to another church. Gotta beef with the music, go find another place to worship.

While we may bemoan the light-handed move from church to church, or how we move from belief system to belief system, we are a marketplace kind of people. We follow our preferences. We find those who are like us and who like us.

When the Kingdom comes, we will all be at the Table together. Differences and preferences will not matter. All those who love Christ will be one.

Until that time, let's remember that while everyone should be people like us, people aren't just like us.

In the best possible world, we would learn the discipline of belonging regardless of how we feel about the preacher, the music or the congregation. We'd decide that the Body of Christ where we were was where we needed to be. We'd work out the differences by committing ourselves to loving anyway, being a person of peace anyway.

No one wants to hear this. Our desire for self-fulfillment and comfort overcomes us.

I am sure that you have valid reasons for why you choose a homogenus life.

Looking at the bottom of my flip-flop,

St. Casserole

Monday, July 30, 2007




Here's the view we saw Sunday afternoon of the Pass Christian harbor.
We drove along the beach highway to the new BSL bridge. It's durn remarkable to see this giant bridge re-built in less than two years. Two more lanes will open in the coming months. BSL shows areas of recovery, then places so pitiful that you wonder how the residents can stand living there.*

We stopped at the Mockingbird Cafe for a sandwich but the kitchen closed earlier in the afternoon. I stared at the table where I sat with Songbird when she visited. Outside on the porch, I looked at the will smama table confused that someone else sat there. Go home and get your own table! That one is the will smama table, girlfriend!

Traveling back toward home, we stopped at Shaggy's in Pass Christian. Sitting on the breezy deck beach side while listening to music made me feel NORMAL for the first time in months, maybe almost two years.

Look out to the Gulf and the beach, things look normal. Not touched by a killer hurricane. Look to the north and you see signs of ravaged homes, broken riprap and destruction.

Felt like a vacation,

St. Casserole

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lord, give us a full measure of your grace today. Amen.

Blessings to all you Preachers, worshippers and those unable to worship in community.

St.Casserole

Thursday, July 26, 2007



Look at this scene from my bookcase. Andy (grey), Whistle and Fish (gingers) and Molly the Berner are all together. I need a Golden Lab like Sister, the Nanny to the Cats to finish the scene.

Oh, rats! I wanted to say something deep and meaningful in case some visitors floated over from the UM publication. Cannot thing of a single weighty thing to say.

St. Casserole