Tuesday, January 30, 2007

How to Have a Gray Day

Get up. See that the day is gray, cold, wet and yukky.
Drink coffee. Tell cats how lucky they are to be indoor kitties.
Take LD to school.
Go to grocery store for breakfast. Eat grits while listening to old men tell tales at the next table.
Buy a roast, fresh vegetables (carrots, red potatoes, mushrooms, yellow onion).
Drive home. Make a fresh fruit smoothie to take to LH at office because he is fighting a cold.
At office, sit in car and have lengthy loving conversation with MPRG on phone.
Take smoothie inside to LH. Talk bidness. Get fax numbers. Take home cool office lamp to repair.
Brown roast in hot pan. Put roast into crockpot with cup up potatoes, mushrooms, carrots and onion. Add one packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing dry mix to crockpot. Turn on crockpot to high.
Walk around considering lectionary texts for Sunday. Decide that selection method of picking text is highly subjective. Remind self that self is preacher and may be subjective in picking text to fight with over the next three days.
Email newspaper ad about antique windows for sale.
Check email. Discover Tuesday Morning is having a big one on February 6.
Recall that one doesn't need a single thing offered at the big sale.
Stare out window. Play dangly string game with Fish the Cat.
Answer door.
Welcome favorite young adult volunteer to home. Make her tea. Get her wireless code.
Watch her set up her laptop in the exact chair Songbird used while visiting the Casseroles.
Talk to yav while she is trying to do work.
Smell roast cooking.
Drink a diet coke.
Put on warm hoodie while drinking cold drink.
Make dentist appointments for two children.
Review travel arrangements for LS.
Get textbooks from UPS guy. Open packages. Glance through LS's textbooks.
Recall glory days of being a college student. Look out window. Wish I could return to college and never make dental appointments again.
Chat with yav. Enjoy time with yav. Wish yav would stay for lunch.
Turn on more lamps. Put more dirty laundry in washer.
Consider unloading dishwasher but stare out window until impulse passes.
Recall lectionary texts. Wonder what crazed committee put these texts together for the first Sunday in February.
Eat lunch late. Take brief nappage. Go get LD from school. Deliver her to her activity. Return home.
Be happy that LH came home early today. Discuss gray day.
Wander around the house doing small things.
Hug Whistle the cat.
Chat with LH.
Go fix LH plate of roast and veggies.
Watch LH go fix second serving.
Hear him comment, "this is good. Don't put this in your it's-great-so-I-will-never-make-it-again
file". Laugh
Come blog about gray day.
St. C

Death Gets On My Nerves

One of my community neighbors died on Saturday. I read his obituary in today's paper. Rats!

I will miss him. We were at the vacuum cleaner repair shop the last time I saw him and began laughing about stuff. He had great sparkle and loved women (in the best way, not the creepy way).

It gets on my nerves that death means you can't call a person up, run into them at the grocery or see them at the Yacht Club.

Death comes and that's it. I hate it.

People who make my world more interesting or charming or happier, then die, make my world dimmer.

Why didn't I call them up to chat or go see them or make dinner plans with them? Why?

Because I thought I had time. I thought I'd see them again.

I forgot that all human relationships have an end.

Don't tell me that I can talk with them in my dreams or imagine a conversation with them.
I know this. But, Geez Louise!, this isn't the same.

Don't tell me that now is the time to tell people I love them.
I understand this but who can remember this all the time?

If anyone asks you how I am today, tell them, "The finality of death is getting on St. C's nerves."

St. Casserole

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Saturday Morning

Going through today's mail, I flipped through the bills and credit card offers to glance down at the new Presbyterian Outlook magazine and thought,

"Why is Dick Cheney on the cover?"

Looking again, it's a photo of Joseph Small, Director of the Office of Theology, Worship and Education for the P.C. (U.S.A.).


I enjoy reading Joe Small's perspective. He's a good teacher, too.

St. Casserole, squinting

Friday, January 26, 2007

What I am reading

Thirst, Mary Oliver
Long Life, Mary Oliver
Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth,
Walter Brueggemann
Credo, William Sloane Coffin
Neither Here nor There, Bill Bryson
What's going on with you?
St. Casserole

Friday Five Renewal

In this week that looks unlikely to hold a complete day off, I am pondering renewal. List four ways you like to relax or give yourself a break. Then name a fifth, something you've never been able to do, a self-care dream.

1. Stare out the window.

2. Take a brief nap.

3. Play with cats.

4. Think about making stuff

5. fly like a bird

Thanks, Songbird!

St. Casserole, herself

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I'm proud of our local animal shelter/spay and placement center here on the Coast.

Volunteers from all over come to help take care of abandoned or released animals. The South Mississippi Humane Society is a great place.

If you'd like to help Coast animals, please send a donation to them. The site has Paypal and snail mail address.

After you make a donation, email me and I'll mail one of my handmade, no skill involved wool stuffies. Some of the stuffies are cats, or owls or bats or space aliens. One is a cat model of St. Peregrine; another is a Cat St. Francis.
My stuffies are made of felted wool and stuffed with fiberfill/silk mixture. Some have buttons or beads.

I'm not sure what you are to do with these stuffies. Because some have buttons or beads, these won't be toys for little children or pets.

I understand that one of my stuffies is way up north displayed on a mantelpiece. Another is half way up the East Coast sitting on a guest room bed holding a TV remote.

Here are the important details.
Send your donation to the HSSM, not to me.
If you don't mind, please do not mention this blog or me. I'd rather not be mentioned.
After you make your donation, contact me at revlapin at the America online dot com with your address and I'll pick out a stuffie to mail to you.
International pals, because of the lingering postal issues here in the Disaster Zone, I will mail to the contiguous U.S. only. Sorry.

I think I've made 18 stuffies so this offer to receive one is first come, first served.

Thank you for helping our animals.

St. Casserole

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

After all these months, people in New Orleans don't know if they can return to their neighborhoods. The city is a mess.

Here on the Gulf Coast, debris remains untouched, FEMA trailers abound, families wrangle with insurance companies for help rebuilding and huge stretches of land remain empty.

The President didn't mention us in the State of the Union.

Old news, not fashionable, difficult and complex problem....We are off the radar.


St. C

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Milady the Right Reverend St. Casserole the Essential of Bampton Underhoop
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Songbird did it. So here is my title.

St. C.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Appareo Decet Nihil Munditia?

Oh, yeah!

My decorating skills are needed at the Young Adult Volunteer apartment! I'll be hauling out treasures from every corner later this week to spruce up the gal's new housing.

I am go-to for funky lamps, window treatments and decorative detritus!

So excited,

St. Casserole

We are talking FESTIVE here!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Ask St. Casserole

Zorra and Cathy ponder putting sterling flatware in the dishwasher.

I say "sure, go ahead".

With these reservations:
a.) no antique hollow handled knives or serving pieces, the "grout" used to hold the sterling handle to the piece loosens if put into the dishwasher or left soaking in water

b) is it a coin silver piece? if so, wash by hand to be safe

c) if you see damage to your silver after dishwasher use, stop and wash pieces by hand

d) some say that mixing aluminum and stainless with sterling in the dishwasher is what harms the flatware. I don't know about this. I separate the pieces from the few stainless pieces I use
just as I separate good prep knives to clean them on the top rack of the dishwasher.

e)I wouldn't put holloware pieces, like sterling serving trays in the dishwasher. Hot soapy water cleans well enough. The dishwasher might take out all the patina in the pattern. Ewww! Not good.

Use MAAS to clean your flatware. Grab a tube at Walgreens then find a soft lint-free cloth. Old clean t-shirts are great for cleaning sterling. Take the dingy pieces of sterling to where you watch tv and polish your silver. Multi-tasking so you can get shiny silver while filling your brain area with trashy television shows.

Use your sterling, ok? It's survived this long and when used makes even the humblest of foods taste special.

This I believe,

St. Casserole

Friday, January 19, 2007

How to Feed Your Family

It distresses me that our children are often away at mealtime. It's not much fun to cook for people who breeze into the house then leave right when I want to serve dinner. I pull out tablecloths, candles and the good silver (hey! wash that sterling flatware in the dishwasher, it's fine!) for evening meals so we can talk around the table.

Sometimes, when I cook dinner, people grab their plates and race to their rooms. I'm not fond of this practice. My cooking mojo suffers.

This afternoon, after I inventoried what I had in the freezer and pantry, I made a chicken pot pie in a lime green casserole dish. Everyone had two helpings! I didn't have to go to the grocery store.

Anyone else dislike grocery shopping?

Here's my recipe:

five boneless, skinless chicken breasts from the freezer
saute on low with several dollops of olive oil; sprinkle with cajun seasoning.
1 can of low fat turkey gravy thickened with two tablespoons of corn starch
1 can of green peas, drained
1 can of carrots, drained
Ready-made crust, unused from Christmas pies

Cook chicken thoroughly but not to the dry-and-stringy stage. When cooked, add turkey gravy with corn starch. Heat through then add drained vegetables. Stare at pan. Add more Cajun seasoning.

Unfurl ready-made pie crust and place in bottom and sides of casserole dish. Fill dish with chicken veggie mixture. Top with remaining circle of pie crust. Stare at casserole dish. Make decorative cuts in top crust to allow steam to escape and because cutting into top crust is very fun.

Place in pre-heated oven at 350. Cook for 20 minutes or until crust is browned slightly.
Holler at family to come to supper.

Served with fresh green salad and tropical fruit mixture from a jar with fresh apples and bananas cut up. Do not mix green salad with fruit mixture. Serve in separate dishes.

Suggest, after dinner, that children clear the dining room table and load the dishwasher.

Retire to blog about dinner in the study.

That's it!,

St. Casserole

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Sunday, January 14, 2007

As your full-service pastor, I design, type and print the worship bulletin each week. I use a template I created so the work is easy.

The difficulty is proof-reading. No matter how often I check for extra "amens" or faulty hymn numbers, at least one Big Goof shows up in my face Sunday mornings.

Today I had double "amens", and an extra word (or two, let's be honest here!) in the offertory prayer.

Little Church is gracious about my mistakes in print, in sermons and in person.

God bless them!

I've never served a church as loving as this congregation.

Sometimes I marvel at how long it took me to find a place to pray, think and do where I am received with loving, open hearts.

Thank you, God, for my stubborn spirit which gets me in trouble but sure helps me keep on when there isn't much of a way.

Just thinking about God's goodness to me,

St. Casserole

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Moral of this story is...

When Songbird and I bought our tiny purse size cameras, I announced with bravado that I would not be buying a service agreement.

Songbird, gentle as always, told me a very good story about how service agreements on small electronics are a good thing.

I bought the warranty for the tiny camera.

8 days after purchase, the camera went kerflooey.

Today, I have a new camera.

The moral of this story is: Always Listen to Songbird.

Learn from me,

St. Casserole

T T C of J

Dear Grace, Mindy and Rach,

Please bring the Texas Towncar of Justice. I know someone who needs a ride.

St. Casserole

(Note: when using Google Images, this is what a T T C of J looks like. For security purposes, the REAL T T C of J will not be shown.)

('Nother note: Can't follow this post? See post below, 'specially the comments)

(Last note: Thank you all for your kind words and offers of threatening behavior. You are the best.)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Shock and Awe

Gosh! In a meeting today, the exec pointed out that women and men approach things differently.

I was suggesting, strongly, to a person of important work, that he came across as ungracious and disrespectful of those who worked for him. I'm on the Commission overseeing his work. Then the exec interrupted me to explain that my perspective was the feminine approach.

What a helpful comment from the exec...

I was the only woman in the room. I am the only woman on the Commission.

I am aware I am a woman.

I assumed we were all clear on our gender placements.

Don't mess with me,

St. Casserole

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Ginger Cats in T-r-o-u-b-l-e

Feles mala! Cur cista non uteris? Stramentum novum in ea posui.


I like having friends from everywhere.

I ate lunch with Little S. at the very same place I had lunch with will smama then Songbird, The Mockingbird Cafe.

My life is better because of all of you.

St. C.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Appliance Update

For those of you who worry about my double oven, you may relax now. Mr. D (official Appliance Repair Guy of the Casserole Household) dropped by to determine the depth of disrepair of de ovens and discovered a possible doubtful computer display.

No repairs are needed at this time.

"You might want to clean that oven", he said, "It only costs about .40 in electricity."

I did.

Top oven now clean and ready for the next Festival of Meatloaf.
The late December Festival was marred by the oven locking new potatoes with garlic and sea salt so we couldn't get the 'taters out.

Mr. D. said he didn't know why this happened.

He is a wealth of information.


St. Casserole

Monday, January 08, 2007

Spoiler: Political Talk, sorta, Ahead

I'm sure I have a limited view of current events. We live in Republican land with all the glib radio talk show aphorisms. Seldom do I hear any thoughtful commentary on politics outside of my conversations with Mr. C.

I'm fascinated by what I see as a pattern in how the media handles politics. There appears to be a honeymoon period for media when they don't say what they see and hear from politicians. Then, a tipping point occurs and more direct information about the politician comes out.

For years, during this current administration, I've wondered how these bright Up East reporters tolerated a President who has trouble speaking in complete sentences and whose policies seem to be fed to him on cue cards.

The dissonance between the office of the President and his words or actions concerns me. I can control how much I hear his voice or read his statements. Reporters are forced to be present, take notes and then reflect on what the President says.

Further, why aren't people screaming about the appointment of his Dad's old pals to positions of authority. Can't we let these old guy's rest? Aren't most of them suspicious from their earlier work for Big Dad?

I think about these things.

Scratching My Head,

St. Casserole

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I drove 90 minutes north for a 15 minute meeting, then drove home today.

I thought about my sermon for Sunday.

I did three loads of laundry.

I swept the kitchen floor.

I unloaded the dishwasher then re-loaded all over again.

I read my mail.

I cleaned up my desk.

I don't have anything else to say.

St. Casserole

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year! Beautiful clear day here. Songbird in the kitchen. LS asleep. Cats pulling felt fish through the house! Mr.C away on an errand of mercy to retrieve LD from Church Camp. Sister dog taking a morning nap.

Three cheers for Mr. Augustus Harvey who knows how to cap a natural gas leak at 2 am. on New Years Day!

Happy to be here,

St. Casserole