Friday, December 26, 2008

Lovely Christmas with the family. So glad to have everyone home and happy.

Today Songbird arrives for our annual visit! Love it!

She'll see Little Church restored on Sunday when she is our Preacher.

We plan to see our S. and go to Pearlington to meet a RevGal.

Wish you were here,


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Aunt Bostic Writes

Dear Niece,

I'm sitting at my kitchen table writing to you. Lila's dog, Champ, is on my lap. He's not happy (or safe!) anywhere else. I agreed to keep him while Lila and Hattie drove to Houston to see Dora. I'd forgotten Champ's troubles: incontinence, deaf, can't see and toothless. I'm grinding up his dog crunchies in that little food processor you gave me before the Storm. He's a sweet dog and I'm glad to keep him while the girls are gone but he reminds me how needy dogs and people can be.

Lila plans to drive back on Friday after going to the Houston After Christmas sales. I can't imagine that the sales will be any better after Christmas this year. Seems like the retailers are coupon crazy and slashing prices right and left. I bought less this year and made more. You showed me that "Buy Handmade" site of those young craft girls so I took this to heart. I made jelly, corn relish and decorated pine cones for the birds with peanut butter and sunflower seeds to give as gifts. I did some shopping at the Senior Center but only if the prices made sense. I'm not paying $7 for a kitchen towel with crochet on the top. My house looks like an old people's museum without adding to the atmosphere.

Did you see that news thing about Hallmark recalling snow globes? Seems the globes caught the light so well fires broke out. I read this and think you might have a good sermon illustration here. Something like, "snow globes focused light into fire and got recalled." People with great passion and ideas get recalled, too. Not everyone likes focus and passion. It's easier to just go along to get along. Not sure if this will help you. Did you use those Reader's Digest jokes I sent you?
Our pastor reads us "Life in These United States" when he can't think of anything for a sermon. Phew!

Champ just let loose on my lap. I'll say good-bye and love to you and your family.
Merry Christmas!

Aunt Bostick

P.S. Bridge Club got huffy with me again this week when I asked them what they thought of Rick Warren and President-Elect Obama. Every last one of them think Rick Warren is a big whopping liberal. I choked on my fruitcake when I heard that! Not a one of them knows how upset our GLBT friends and people of conscience are about the choice of Pastor Warren. I think Obama is doing his best to include everyone. He should have asked you to pray. No one knows you anyway. I doubt you'd offend too many.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Why I Live Here

Charming story, top of the fold, in our local news.

Celebrating the Prince of Peace wherever I am,


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bowling Ball Contest Winners Announced!

The winner of the contest to guess which bowling ball hides the secret cache of chocolate is 1-4 Grace! The ninth bowling ball is the correct answer. She was the first guess #9! Contact me so I may mail your prize to you!

Knitting Preacher wins the contest for most over-the-top compliment on my Yard Artage. Contact me so I may mail a prize to you, too!

Congrats to the winners and many thanks to all of you who entered the contest.


I can be reached at your google mailage.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Aunt Bostic Writes

Dear St.Casserole,
I hope you received the envelope of coupons I sent from Effie Pennington's house.
After Church and lunch we read their Sunday paper. She doesn't use her coupons and I hate to see them wasted so I hope you can use them.

When I go to another Church, I appreciate my own Church more. Effie's Church has a name like yours but she said they began to call your church "apostate" in 1973. I had to look that one up in her dictionary on the stand in their living room while she was turning out the tomato aspic. I thought she said something about their pastor's personal man health but that's not the same word.

Her pastor is a young man. I don't suppose anyone supervises him but he could use it. He's the one who prays imprecatory prayers. Thank you for explaining that one to me. I don't care for the idea at all. Like anyone should advice the Lord on how to hurt other people. Sounds rude to me.

Sunday, this young man preacher was discussing listening. He talked about how we don't listen all the time. True enough, I filter out most of what I hear because I am not interested in gossip. He wasn't talking about that exactly but used an illustration where he took the paper into a private place every morning and didn't want to be disturbed. Now what does that sound like he was doing? That's what he meant! Can you believe it? He went on and on about this and his wife was turning pinker and huffier than usual. She's the one who tells him to to get rid of if she doesn't like them. Where do they get pastors like this?

Effie said they had African American visitors two Sundays ago. It's an all white person church. If they don't let women preach, then you know the white boys want to hold on to all the authority. Believe me, Effie said, he pulled out such phrases as "white people can't dance" and other bon mots to beat the band. She was so embarrassed. It's not like he uses racial remarks to a white congregation but let two ladies wander in to worship and he's all about the 'hood. Effie may be old as Job's turkey but she isn't stupid. I said, "Effie, did anyone else comment on it?" She said they all just raced to greet and give coffee to the visiting ladies.

I thought his sermon sounded like he made it up on the spot. I thought your people liked to compose their sermons prior to preaching.

You let me know if you want those crochet hosiery bags I told you Annie Lemon is selling over at the Senior Center. The bags seem right popular and if you want one, I need to go get it this week.

Love to all of you,

Aunt Bostic

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Teaching the PW Lesson

I'm teaching the PW lesson for December from the 2008 Jubilee study next week. Didn't realize that my high school classmate, Louise Lawson Johnson co-wrote the book.

Amazing to recall that Louise, Little S. and I graduated from high school together and entered Seminary. I think there was a third girl from our graduating class who went to Gordon-Conwell, but I didn't know her well and don't remember her family name. Wasn't it extraordinary that four girls from the Class of '70 and '71 (Little S.)ended up as pastors? Did anyone notice then?

Thirty years ago we were pioneers of a sort. Little S. graduated the following year after Louise and they ended up at the same university and seminary.

I saw Louise last at the 1989 G.A. in Philadelphia. We spoke for a few minutes then ran back to our work.

She's a smart, fun gal. Brave, too.


St. Casserole

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Q Conference in Austin

Taking a break from contests (see past two postings), I wondering about

Do you know anything about it? Attended it?

I like the concept and the location.

Just wondering during Advent,


Monday, December 08, 2008

The Next Contest: Yard Art

Whew. I'm the judge for this contest.

Look at this yard art installation*.

You see thirteen bowling balls arranged in front of a large azalea. One bowling ball hides the opening to a secret cache where I keep my emergency chocolate rations. Which bowling ball, numbering 1 to 13 from the left, covers the secret sealed chocolate vault? Ignore the blue flag near the temporary water faucet. The hurricane blew out my underground watering system and I haven't decided if I want to take up a sod section to have less grass or change how I water.

The first thirteen entrants should guess one number each. The fourteenth comment may begin the gratuitous enthusiasm about how lovely my yard art installation is.

One small prize goes to the correct guess on which ball hides the secret cache.

One small prize goes to the most over the top compliment for my yard artage.


Monday, December 01, 2008

Bloganniversary and Contest!

Today is my bloganniversary. I'm so pleased to belong to a community of RevGals and friends stretched out in every direction.

To celebrate I propose to have several contests this week.

The first contest begins now.

Please give three suggestions for the blog.

Skip any suggestion that I increase my blog activity. I blog off-kilter when I'm busy. Skip any idea of adding techie stuff unless my Tech Advisor, arriving in less than a month, feels like helping me.

Leave your entry/suggestions in the comments. The Judges are: me, Whistle and Aunt Bostick.

If your entry is chosen, you will receive a small gift.



UPDATE: Four days later. After several conversations with Aunt Bostick and Whistle, let me say that I will be the SOLE judge from here on out. Aunt Bostick voted for everyone who mentioned her. She said about QG, "you can tell she was raised right", about Sue she said, "Tell that sweet little thing to come down here and get away from that snow". She wants Songbird to be in the new Cabinet. Whistle voted for Sue, I-4 Grace, Aunt Songbird and Mary Beth. When pressed to pick a winner, Aunt Bostick said everyone "of those sweet girls" should get a prize. Whistle took a long bath and went to sleep. I.Give.Up.

So, the winner of the contest is the Vicar of Hogsmeade.

Thank you to everyone who commented and left suggestions.
I will return to discussing ministry, then and now. Aunt Bostick isn't sure she has anything to say in a blog. (HA!) and Whistle said to remind everyone that Greenies are his favorite brand of cat cookies.

Vicar, contact me so I may send you a prize. Congrats!


Saturday, November 29, 2008

2008 Good Gifts for Preachers

Crying in worship along with having a good cry with the Pastor is healing. When I go into a Pastor's office and see a box of kleenex (or "facial tissue"), I know the Pastor is comfortable with tears. If you can cry around a Pastor, you can tell them anything.

Tears clean out soul and mind debris.

If you can cry, be grateful. Crying is a gift if you have bunched all your sadness inside.


Picture of kittens from I Can Haz A Cheeseburger?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

2008 Good Gifts for Preachers

I have a rooster lamp in my dining room. I'd put the lamp in my study if I could find a place for it. Roosters and chickens as decorations don't mean much to me but I love the idea of a preacher owning a rooster lamp. Why? Because we need reminders of our betrayals. Peter needed a rooster lamp but got the lesson directly from Jesus. Glance at your lamp and remind yourself not to betray yourself or others. Turn on the lamp and see light reminding you of God's light coming into your darkness.

Here's the one in the picture: rooster lamp

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Oh. I forgot to blog. Anyone out there?

I deserve no readers for the next ten days...

I am reading The Shack. People have been pushing the book on me for months. I'm about 3/4 through with it. I'm happy with it so far.

I've seen Twilight twice. I read all four books in the summer.
The movie works as an adaptation.

Other than these, I don't have much news.

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Take a moment to go here

I don't want you to be serious all the time.

It's Monday. Aren't you tired from yesterday?


Can you hear me laughing?
Reading now: Walter Brueggemann's Prayers for a Privileged People

Jean-Pierre de Caussade's The Sacrament of the Present Moment

Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog

and because I'm fighting the blues I grabbed my Grandmother's copy of Prayers New and Old, 1937 The Forward Movement, for my devotionals this Monday morning.

I drove to and from the church for a wedding weekend. Six hours in the car allowed me to finish The Poisonwood Bible. What a relief to finish the story. I kept thinking the author had nothing more to say during the final three audio CDs but on she went. The Price women kept going with more aphorisms, cruel and brittle insights and descriptions of Africa. On the sixth hour of driving, as I entered my home county, the story ended.

The Congo is in the news again. Has been for years. I googled info about the current situation even going to the gov CIA site, though after reading the book I doubt the contents. The history from our perspective I ignored but the health stats broke my heart. Nothing is better there. Not enough food, bad health care, violence beyond reason (isn't all violence this?), dictators, no infrastructure, and more.

Lord, for all those who teach, for healthcare workers,for the people of the Congo, for those who love and serve the people of the Congo, have mercy.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm reading the newest Phil Rickman novel with clergywoman sleuth/deliverance minister, Merrily Watkins To Dream of the Dead.

I love this series.

Thanks, Phil, for getting this book out before Christmas! Thanks for introducing me to singer Nick Drake, too!

Last year Amazon kept telling me the book was available only to delay it.

I wonder if UK readers appreciate Merrily Watkins? I was surprised that three bookstores in Ireland hadn't heard of Rickman. Why were these bookstores even bothering to be in business.



P.S. I am behind listing my books read. Let me add this to my to-do list.

Cold where you are?


High will be 75.


Too hot to garden.

Too many bugs outside.


St. Casserole

Picture of Faith Tones via The Presurfer. The higher the hair, the closer to God.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nightmares! I've got them!

I'm feeling good, eating well, plowing through the Fall/Winter garden work.

The past two nights kept me waking up with miserable nightmares.

I'm listening to the audio unabridged POISONWOOD BIBLE in my car. I'm on disc 9 of 13 so far.

I resisted reading the book ten years ago but when a CD set showed up at a garage sale for $2, I grabbed it. Keeping a novel going while I drive costs buckage so deals appeal to me.

I find the story painful and difficult to tolerate. The image of Rev.Price oblivious to his wife and daughters struggling in the 1960's Congo makes me feel trapped.

Please, no spoilers.

Let me fight through the story and Lord, Have Mercy, may the nightmares stop.

Plucky but not so cheerful,


Saturday, November 08, 2008

What a week!

U.S. Presidential Election

24 Hour Conference a Camp Beckwith on Mobile Bay

and THIS

LD is home for the weekend


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

When Sarah Palin spoke in Arizona this morning, she listed what she intended to do back home in Alaska. On her list was "...children back in school". Why didn't she mention time with her new baby? Doesn't having an 8 month old baby grab a Mom's attention throughly?

I had two babies. They were the center of my world regardless of what else I did. Would I have forgotten to mention a fifth baby?

Sorry, but this is bugging me today.





Hope, I Haz It


Sunday, November 02, 2008

In today's pastoral prayer, I will ask God to help us be gracious and to work hard for our Country regardless of who wins the election.


Saturday, November 01, 2008

My mind is on:

Nov.4 Election

Sermon for Sunday

Deep South Fall Weather

LD at the Holy Ghost Weinie Roast

Mr.C's Office Building

Little Church's ongoing restoration

*Pic of Fish in his ADVENTURE CAT Halloween Costume

What? Is there Anything Else?


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's that time again. Put on socks with your flip flops!
Cooler temperatures makes our Coast feel like Fall instead of the Tropics.
I love being outdoors without hot, humid weather.

I wore a light weight jacket yesterday.



Monday, October 27, 2008

Good Sunday yesterday. Loved seeing my congregation again after a Sunday away.
Little Church looks prettier each time I look. The repaired pews are now shiny. We won't use the antique velvet pew cushions. Tiny pieces of velvet fluff stuck to the pews before and after storage for the summer, the mold spores and ancient dust gross me out. If the acoustics need pew cushions, we'll work on new ones.

The road to Little Church is newly paved. I love that drive through countryside seeing cattle and fields.

The church meeting Thursday was the warmest worship I've attended for our geographical cluster of churches in years. We prayed for people by name along with celebrations of good things happening in our congregations. The young preacher spoke deeply and well. I love her. Yep, I'm doing cartwheels thinking we attracted a smart, capable young woman to our geographical cluster.

The surprise of the day was how dang post-denominational we are. We ate lunch at a PCA church. Can you believe that? After all the anguish and pain of the past 30 years, we used a PCA church for lunch space.

Blessings to you. Be Bold.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Home safe.

Happy to be with Mr.C.

Cats fine; Dog Nanny tired.

Second Obama yard sign stolen.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Oh! If only you could be here! Great conversation, fabulous meals and time with my sisters!

I'm going to see Listing Straight, Mr. Listing and Little Listing in a few days.

The Fall colors are fabulous here. I'm surprised at how warm it is here. I'm wearing shorts wishing I brought my flip flops.

James Taylor announced he is giving five concerts around North Carolina for Obama. I'm hoping we get tickets for Taylor's concert here.

Thanks for your phone calls during my drive.



Sunday, October 12, 2008


I've got a house full of children. LS, LD and LD'sBFF are here! Mr.C. made gumbo and took them to the movies. I did laundry for the girls. I love having everyone home!

Tomorrow, LS drives them back to school.

I'm driving up to see LLS and LSiL on Tuesday. Call me and keep me company! I'll arrive for my week in the Blue Room Suite on Wednesday. I'll eat at the table of the World's Best Cook. I hope to snuggle with Assumpta and Dibley, the Katrina Kitties. They don't remember me but I remember them.

Life is busy and full here.

I'm going to see genuine Fall leaves on my trip. I'm going to talk and eat and love being with my sisters.

More later,

St. Casserole

Monday, October 06, 2008

Monday Things

*I'm loving I have a Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake station. Loving that Nick Drake.

*I need to update my 2008 Books Read. Can't recall all the titles or authors to do it now.

*I found new leather driving shoes at Amazon by going to the Women's shoes, then seeing what was offered for 70%. Two lovely leather pairs arrived last week.

*I'm itching to try to drill through a china plate with my Dremel. Dremel doesn't offer a drill for china so I'll substitute something else. Don't know what but if you hear hollering and china shattering, it's just me.

*LD will be home for a long weekend. She's taking exams this week. I'm praying she'll find her happy attitude to do her work well and see some progress in her adjustment to the Art School. It's not easy to be 16 anywhere. If she could see herself as I see her, she'd take on the entire world.

*Little Church restoration is going very well. We are looking beautiful and dignified. Just found out last week that the furnace coils and motor are blown out. Age and humidity ruined the system. We need more money. I'm trusting we will be able to have heat this winter.

*Fall is here! I wore closed toe shoes last week! No more sandals even if the heat today was in the mid-80's. Mornings are cooler.

*If you weren't my friends, I'd be soooo lonesome. Thanks for being with me.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

I met my brokah's husband last week. I asked him to explain Republican politics to me. We drank coffee and he told me.

I'm not sure I picked the correct person to do this for me. A face-to-face meeting between peers who respect one another meant we were polite and agreeable. Ideas were shared. Questions asked.

I can read all I want about Republican theory, strategy, and history. I wanted to hear about what it meant to him to be part of a political party.

I learned more about civil discourse than I did partisan politics.

I'll keep trying.

This is the l-o-n-g-e-s-t political season ever. I'm exhausted.

Seeking Understanding,

Friday, October 03, 2008

Six Unremarkable Things About Me

Our sweet RevGal, MB offers a meme
here. I want to play "Six Unremarkable Things About Me", too. I've had a remarkable week but noting to say here on my blog.

1. When I buy new shoes, I don't wear them immediately. I let the new shoes "season" in my closet for a few days, then I put them on.

2. I write fan notes thanking authors of books I enjoy. I don't hear back from most, but that doesn't matter to me.

3. I use a silverplate Victorian sugar bowl to hold the pens and pencils on my desk. I bought it at an estate sale long ago. The bowl doesn't have a lid. Perfect for pencils, pens, scissors and a lone paintbrush.

4. I travel the same route to go to Little Church. I love this drive! People suggest alternate routes without success.

5. I love the smell of fresh turned earth.

6. I've taught myself how to do most household chores without "thinking" about the chores. I zen out and think about words, ideas and people instead.

Thanks, MB! I tag anyone who wishes to play.



Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lifeway Stores pulled this issue of Gospel Today from magazine racks because it features clergy women on the cover.

Lifeway is a bookstore of the Southern Baptist group. "Lifeway" sounds less denominational and more cool.

I've never read or heard of Gospel Today before the cover issue flap.

Two things: Clergy women must be doing something right if a picture of happy Christian women scares people, and, 2: I'm not buying from or stepping foot into a Lifeway Store.

Blessings to each of you today,


Friday, September 26, 2008

LD wanted another lamp for her Art School dorm room. I'll take her this today.
Two action figures and one Ken type copper wired to a lamp base. Everything but the light bulb is from thrifting.

Writing Sermons and Making Stuff

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dear St.Casserole,
Thank you for your phone call last night. It was good to hear your voice and get news of your little family. I'm homesick for you all and hope for a visit soon.

I'm glad you called last night. I spent this morning down at the Auxiliary Club playing Bridge. I don't care to go back. Beulah Lynch's usual Bridge partner, Bertie
Mae Smith Hedgins, has a new great-grand. Bertie went over to Waxhaw to be with her daughter. That daughter, you may remember, is the one who faints.

I agreed to be the fourth at the table and showed up about 9:30 a.m. to start playing. The girls play until lunch. One of them buys lunch for everyone else. It was Beulah's turn so I was glad to go. She owes me several lunches, but I'm not counting.

Everybody at the table began talking politics. I'd rather hear who is doing what with whom but I was a guest. Lillian Jenkins Caldwell announced that Sen. Obama is a Muslim and she would never vote for someone who isn't a Christian. I about dropped my teeth. They all jumped in talking this nonsense. I had a difficult hand at the time and was working on how to bid so I just kept quiet.

Beulah turned to me and said, "Bostick, you wouldn't vote for a Muslim, would you?"

I told her I might vote for a Muslim if one was running for President this term. The girls gasped. I said, "Senator Obama isn't a Muslim, he's a member of the United Church of Christ."

I about got shouted down. I blame those silly emails old people send around to each other with wrong facts and goofy ideas.

I asked the table if they remembered Anne Yates' daughter, Linda. Of course, they all remembered Linda because she was the guest organist every summer when she came to stay with her grandmother in town. I asked if they remembered that when Linda started first grade, they found out she had a learning problem with her letters. It wasn't terrible but it slowed the little girl down while she was learning to read. About that same time, Anne and John moved to their new house over by Clark Road. Anne decided to move Linda to the St.Clavicle Catholic School because she knew the reading teacher there and was near their new house.

Everyone at the table looked confused. I went on to tell them that Linda stayed at that school until 7th Grade. She's grown up now and married to that Baptist preacher.
I asked them, "Linda want to Catholic School. Should she be called a Catholic now that she's a grown woman?" Everybody said, "No!"

I told them that when Sen. Obama lived in Indonesia as a little boy, he went to a Muslim school. That's all they had there, I suppose. Now, he's a grown man who attended a United Church of Christ Church in Chicago for twenty years with regular attendance. His little girls were baptized there. Does it make any sense to call him a Muslim now? The table was silent.

One of them piped up and said what about his name? He has an odd name! I got to giggling then. Good Lord! Like we don't have the strangest names in the South! We have names so strange, we think the names are normal!

I should have held my tongue. I said, "That lady from Alaska you all think is so cute, she named her children 'Trac', 'Trig', and, after an airplane!" "Let's don't discuss unusual names this year."

By the time we finished the last Bridge hand, I was hungry but could hardly enjoy my chicken because it was cooked until it tasted like a dry piece of paper.

I've got several errands to run so I'll stop and put this out for the mail.

Aunt Bostick
Just the thing to add to your worries~! Brit's home is on the market! Again!

The real estate is here.

Hope this helps today,


Hat Tip: The Luxist

Little Church restoration continues!

We have new stair railings, painted doors, columns and porch flooring, and new lighting!

Inside, the original wood floors are refinished and gleaming!

We found someone to restore the antique pews!

Thanks for your prayers! Extra pocket change appreciated.


St. Casserole, Pastor

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I don't eat reptile.

How wild is it to live where the local grocer offers Alligator for $5.99 a lb.?



Don't forget! September is National Alligator Month!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

11 a.m. Saturday Morning

I have:

made coffee, finished a load of laundry, cleaned the kitchen
gone to 5 garage/estate sales
painted a butler's table purchased at garage sale
fluttered around my sermon manuscript looking for holes
pruned monk's head hibiscus
been bitten by a hornet for my trouble
talked with Mr. C.

What is on my mind:

Why do people believe what they believe about their political party?
I know the usual answers but I don't get why people support the other party.
How can I understand why reasonable people believe as they do in their chosen political party?

What I've decided to do:

Contact the husband of my Brokah*. They are both serious, committed other political party supporters. Ask him if he will discuss why he supports his party and how his party speaks to his life situation. Tell him that I want to talk with him because I respect him, have no desire to argue or make snarky comments. "Just tell me", I want to say to him, "Why?"

The hornet bite stings, it's too hot to prune the hibiscus, the butler's table is ready for a third coat of paint and I'm stuck on my sermon.

I intend to nap this afternoon.


St. Casserole

*Hat Tip to LLS for "Brokah" and ICANHAZACHEEZEBURGER for the pic.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cooler weather! It's here!

Going outside before daylight, to drink coffee and pray, the air is cold! Wonderful!

I'll drive to a Presbytery committee meeting this morning with Pastor Giant. We'll take my car because his car has problems. I'll enjoy watching the folding of his tall frame into my wee car.

He's a beginning friendship although we are an odd match. He's feeling the pull of the Spirit to change how he sees the world. Fascinating to hear him tell where his heart is going in his new call down here. People and situations he ignored before are opening up to him.

The Spirit works this way if we pay attention.

Our hearts can change and grow into new understanding, full of compassion and discernment.

I'm grateful to find a pal in this Presbytery. In heaven, I'll be with all of you and won't even remember the isolation I've felt here. Until then, the Spirit opens doors for me.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Ike is 300 miles or so from here,on his way to Houston.

The winds are blowing enough to make Sister, the best dog Nanny in the Entire World, jumpy.
Fish, the Backyard Meteorologist Cat, escaped out the back door a few minutes ago. After testing the air with his freckled nose, he returned indoors.

I am worrying about Texas.

Ike is a big, bad storm.

Lord, have mercy.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mr.C. passed me the head cold he got at his office. I feel tired and rotten. No fever, just general complaints. I'll recover. Life will go on.

I'm taking today off from chores, work, duties, to-do lists. If you need me, I'll be at home being a lump.

I will keep the Vicar of Hogsmeade in my prayers along with all of our Texas pals.
The Vicar is defending herself with Ph.D. people. Our Texas pals are waiting for that durn Hurricane Ike.


St.Casserole, Lump d'Jour

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hurricane Ike appears to be heading North Northwest as it leaves Southern Cuba.
Tracking projections send Ike west of us.

But, as we say around here, "it's too early to tell".


NOTE: Mr.C., the coffee this morning is so awful it makes my legs hurt.

Monday, September 08, 2008

I am pondering (see earlier post)why no Southerner is in this Presidential race.

We often have a Southerner on the ticket, not this time.

Have we lost our zest in the public eye or did President Bush (by way of Up East) with his Texas cowboy drawl dry up interest in people from the South?

I don't know.

One November day, I stood on a Manhattan street reading the New York Times. A letter to the Editor complained that Southerners, particularly Mississippians, paid very little taxes to the Federal Government but received tons of Federal aid. Why should a New Yorker pay for people in Mississippi? Good question.

I'd be provoked if I lived in Manhattan and paid my taxes to help a state with few unions, hideous tort reform for personal liability, favored businesses over workers, refused to teach people to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy and STDs, kept voting for non-progressive politicians, etc. etc.

Snake-holding in worship, literal understanding of the Bible, scared of women, beer-guzzling, racist, anti-intellectual, gun-totin', election buying....all these and more look like the South to people from around the country.

I am a Southerner. I'm jus' thinkin'.

St.Casserole, drinking coffee thinking deep thoughts

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Where are the Southerners in this Presidential campaign?

Will Cindy McCain continue to campaign alongside her husband when he is with Sarah Palin? I've noticed Mrs. McCain standing on one side of John McCain with Sarah Palin on the other side in videos and photos. Will Sarah Palin's husband campaign alongside of her when she is campaigning with Sen. McCain?

I'm riveted to politics these days. We are seeing an amazing Presidential campaign unfold. Politics is tough business but distracting during the last few weeks of hurricane season.

The lectionary passages today and next Sunday center on forgiveness and community discipline.

What a world.


Cat photo from Icanhazcheezeburger

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Our eyes are on Hanna and Ike. Look here to see the storms in real time.

Blessings and courage to the East Coast residents.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tuesday, September 2 6:49 AM CDT

The local newspaper has pictures of our area here

The birds are singing this morning. I'll put the bird feeders out for them later.

We slept well and are ready for today.

Thanks for standing with us,


Monday, September 01, 2008


Gusty winds and rain. I suppose we'll have this all night.
Took a quick nap and feel good. My stomach doesn't hurt anymore.

Thank you for your prayers and company during Gustav.

I'll go check on Hanna.


4:14 PM CDT

Nothing going on. The winds slowed. Rain stopped. Very quiet here.
We are under a hurricane watch and tornado watch but radar shows activity west of us, not much here.

I am praying for Louisiana and Hancock County(Mississippi). I don't know what is going on in Louisiana. I am worried. Big hearty wind gusts blew here. Wished I had a hand-held wind gust meter to catch the speed of several spectacular blows.

We are under a curfew until 5 AM tomorrow. People will get itchy to get out of shelters and homes to see what is going on. I had good company today with Mr.C. and LD who watched Netflix with me while I sewed. I'm surprised we have power.

Thank you for your prayers. Let's see what we can do to help the storm affected in the next few days.

I'll check in again later today.

St. Casserole

September 1, 2008

6:08 AM CDT Very windy, some rain, cats are alarmed. Sister, the dog, is staying close by. I slept well until I heard the wind increase. I'm grateful for several hours of deep sleep.

Gustav is about 30 miles from landfall near Houma, Louisiana, west of here. New Orleans, on the east side of Houma, will get misery. Hurricanes spin counter-clockwise so the worst wind and force is to the east of the Hurricane eye.

Jim Cantore, of the Weather Channel, is in Houma. Not.Good. We have a Weather Channel guy I've never heard of. Good.

God keep all safe in the Storm. God be present in the darkness of night. God be present in the early light and through the day. Holy Spirit, calm and defend the hearts of those in the Storm. Jesus, hold all those whose fears seek to overcome them with despair. Protect those who come to help and protect. May all wee creatures find safe haven. In Christ's name I pray. Amen.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

3:15 PM CDT

One brief, hard thunderstorm, then nothing. Sky is overcast. It is hot outside.
We drove around the neighborhood noticing that few of our neighbors boarded up windows/doors. Most yards are freshly cut and porches are bare of chairs and rockers.

We drove downtown. I kept thinking, "Holy Ravioli! Katrina's damage shows everywhere and we are preparing for another one???" We saw National Guard and Army vehicles moving to staging areas in parking lots. Most grocery and drug stores are closed now.
We ran to the grocery for vanilla ice cream and root beer to make floats over at P. and C.'s Tasted great. Their home is littered with storm supplies like our home.

Our neighborhood has many homes not repaired from Katrina damage. People don't want to wait three years but insurance, etc. etc. slows them down. I saw a few homes finished almost. I know those owners are thrilled with Gustav.

I'll update, every few hours, until the power goes off.

So glad for your prayers and company.


UPDATE 6.02 PM CDT Thunder heard in the distance. It's raining now. I can see the tops of our neighbor's trees blowing in the wind. I saw the small turtle, who visited us last week, making his way on the courtyard bricks. I hope he will be OK. I want all of us in Gustav's path to be OK. Waiting for misery is dreadful. No wonder people drink too much and get in fights. Here we are calm, well, Mr. C. is watching TV, LD is napping and I'm getting fidgety.

UPDATE 9:43 PM CDT Very light rain. Frogs singing. Watched the second season of "Heros". Sewed some. Ate cookies. I'm tired and going to bed. I'll update as long as we have power. Thanks for your prayers.

MSNBC has this graphic for Gustav.

5:52 CDT, Sunday August 31, here.

We are on the Eastern side of the storm.

The sky is clear and filled with stars.

I slept until Sister the Dog decided I need to get up.

My body is sore, not from use but from worry.

I don't want to go through this again. I lost myself in Katrina. I found myself, too, in the faces of family and friends but the search took months.

An Elder at Little Church will lead worship today. I'll stay here to avoid the traffic from New Orleans and Coast evacuations. The contra flow of the interstates began at 4 a.m. today.

More later. Thanks for your prayers.


I hear Sarah Palin and John McCain will be in Jackson, Mississippi today. While I appreciate their concern, I am not comfortable with their visit. Gov. Barber's energy needs to be directed to emergency management, not politics. If the McCain Palin ticket would pray for us and send supplies, we would be happy. I am concerned many people will say the Presumptives' visit is political and cynical.

The sky is overcast. The wind has picked up. The temperature is cooler with the breeze. The Presbyies across the street cancelled worship, so did everybody else in town. Some of us gathered at Church anyway so the Pastor read scripture, prayed and led singing of hymns. Just what I wanted.
Anything moveable outside is inside. I miss our greenhouse from before Katrina. Now we pile up stuff indoors. Those of you who know my home, imagine the family room where our dining table is. That side of the room is piled up with courtyard plants, tools and porch furniture.
Feeling calmer after worship.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The trip to LD's school went smoothly. Long drive on two lane roads in the country. I love having her home. Sister, the best dog in the world, and the Cats went wild greeting her.

It's early morning. NOAA says Gustav will intensify as it moves over the warm waters of the Gulf. Projected path includes my area on the Eastern side. We'll spend today doing the rest of our preparations then decide if we will evacuate.

I'm concerned, as an offical worrier, about getting to Little Church, then home again. The route is about 50 miles each way but coming home, I may meet up with evacuation traffic if New Orleans people are coming up the interstate. Government officials turn the interstate into a one-way corridor to move the greatest number out of the metro area. I won't be on the interstate, but good travelers know the back roads and I may have more company than I need.

I'll be preaching the Exodus text. When the lectionary people put texts together, they have no idea how often the texts hit home. The burning bush moved Moses toward a new life.

Glad for your company. Let us pray for all those in Gustav's path, particularly those in the Southern Carribean today.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Freezer emptied.

House Garbage taken away.

Laundry finished.

Bills and papers organized.

Cat Carriers ready. Pet food ready. Sister bathed.

Cars gassed up.

Going to get LD today and bring her home.

St. Casserole

P.S. SFgirlbythebay made this poster.

Third Katrina Anniversary

Reprint for the 3rd Anniversary of Katrina

Rewriting the History of August 29th : A Prayer

Thank you for letting me understand homelessness,
living without power, without television ,
without cool air in the heat.

Thank you for letting me understand hunger,
the pleasure of dry clean clothes
and the relief of place to sleep.

Thank you for letting me understand
the deep and overwhelming sadness when forces,
beyond our personal control,
take the loved, the familiar, the usual.

Thank you for my needfulness
andThank you for my newfound empathy
for those were homeless before the storm and homeless now,
for those hungry anywhere,
for those in need everywhere.

Thank you for the opportunity
you provided to help my neighbor,
to be my brother’s keeper,
to serve food, to patch roofs, to clear yards,
and to start mending that which was broken.

Thank you for the chance to change ourselves,
from a reprieve from the normal commercial day,
for teaching us to make do, to get by, to improvise,
for drowning our conceit, complacency, callousness
for silencing the noise ,
for stopping the clock,
and for the chance to act our best when the worst occurred.

Thank you for the people who reached in pulled out the living,
cradled the dead, comforted the broken and torn apart,
wept for the splintered and uprooted.

Thank you for the people who didn’t wait
who came right away, who opened their homes,
who emptied their shelves, their closets,
who cleaned, fed , healed, held us,
who told us our spirit was amazing,and who keep on coming.

Thank you for people who measure
their faith by their actions,
and measure their action
by its consistency with their faith.

Thank you for all the people we have met,
who are new friends, new loved ones,
new brothers and sisters, new neighbors.

Thank you Katrina.
Not for wind,not for water, but for the appreciation
of the things no storm can shatter,
no water can wash away,
no wind can move.

---Written by R. and Mr. C

If you wish the correct attribution, email me and I will respond.

St. Casserole

Thursday, August 28, 2008

This is post #1001 from St.Casserole.

We are watching Gustav. I have water, hurricane supplies and a heavy heart.

Our cars are gassed up. Pet carriers are clean and ready. Sister, the Best Dog Ever, went to the Doggy Spa last night for a bath. It's easier to evacuate a big "fresh" dog than a dirty dog.

Today is the third birthday of Whistle and Fish, our orange cat boys. Their mom gave birth the day before Katrina hit. Mom and kittens survived because a human watched over them.

Frequent readers know I don't do hurricane damage well. Here on the Gulf Coast, many homes and business are getting back after Katrina. Three years after devastation signs of Katrina's damage are everywhere.

The stress and grief from great loss remain with my people. Talking about our local paper's coverage of the three year anniversary of Katrina, the preacher group worries about the emotional lives of the population. One preacher said, "I asked a group of church ladies if they thought the church should have a remembrance service. One of the older ladies said, "No need, Pastor. We remember."

For a New Orleans perspective, you may want to go read the blog of LettyNOLA. She's adorable. Look for her here.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Our area is under a tropical storm warning. This means we will get heavy rain, wind and flash flooding in the next 24 hours.

Fay drenched Florida with heavy rain. We are next.

I'll check our sandbag situation, trench in the front yard and pray that the new Methodist parking lot improvements won't force water into our home. I don't think the Methodists considered anyone when they paved a new parking lot several inches above the street. We are across the street from the parking lot.

The damaged storm drain beside our property caved in during Katrina. The City hasn't repaired it. The orange warning cones and orange netting warning of the giant hole have grown over with weeds (and a four foot tall Pine tree sapling)in the past three years.

It's not easy for a City to prioritize repairs. When the majority of the infrastructure is damaged, where do repairs begin? Our small disaster area hasn't received attention yet. I say "yet" because we've contacted the City, seen the City Engineer and are waiting for help.

When I write about hurricanes, I can't help but wonder if my readers on higher ground think we are nuts for living here. The answer is we live here because we live here. We aren't in a federally mandated move area. We survived Camille and Katrina (we were teens when Camille came and not in this house). Mr.C. grew up here, his business is here and our lives are here.

I would like to move to higher ground in retirement. I can't imagine kicking my walker along as I board up windows in my 80's.

Watching the Weather Channel,


P.S. Someone stole our Obama sign. Mr.C. put the sign up, close to our home, far from the street in February. We thought no one would walk so far onto our property.

UPDATE: 11pm. CDT Looks like Fay, downgraded to a tropical depression, will bring rain tonight and tomorrow. We made our preparations, including stocking up on my Cokes and Mr.C's favorite beer. Not a drop of rain here yet. Blessings and safety to all those in Fay's path.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Week Three of the Empty Nest

Looking around the family room today, I noticed that one of my children left a message for me. The house was quiet, the kitchen sink empty, no tv's blaring out but, there up on the ledge on the high windows, I spotted one blue peanut butter M&M.

Good job, kids! I cannot get it down with the dust mop or the telescoping cleaning wand thingie!

I miss you.

St.Casserole, the Mom

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How to Act Like My Cats

Want early morning company and a full cat crunchies bowl? Get Dubby to put his big extra-toed paws on a human face.If that doesn't wake me up, start purring loudly then lean over and bite a nose with tiny kitty teeth.

Need your water dish filled in the Study bathroom? Put both front paws in the bowl then wail as though your tail is being pulled by a Ford truck.

Wait a few minutes after we fall asleep, get Whistle to run into our bedroom and cry out with such misery and grief the entire Angst of the Planet is summarized.If asked "Whistle, what's the matter?", look surprised and saunter out of the room. Do this several times then leave the room and play with a toy mouse.Repeat every night for two weeks then stop for three nights. Repeat.

Pretend you are Fish. Refuse to eat your cat crunchies out of the nice, clean bowl. Pull a cat crunchy out of the bowl onto the kitchen floor with your paw. Eat off floor. Repeat.

Never allow the beds to have smooth covers. Crawl underneath the bed covers and sleep. Use your paws to lift the sheets so that new, really stylin' sheets get torn with tiny holes. Repeat.

If you see someone reading the newspaper while drinking coffee at the kitchen counter, either sit on the newspaper or stand with your tail over the coffee mug. Look surprised when asked to move away.

Is it dark outside? Are the people asleep? Find something to push off the buffet in the dining room, a bookcase in the study, the bathroom counter, just anything which will break. Ask yourself, what makes the loudest and most disturbing noise? Glass or ceramics are good, but a book falling to the floor works, too.

Be like Dubby and stand on the kitchen desk in front of the window. Wait until a car arrives. Framed by the window, you look adorable and welcoming.

Find a trashcan, any house trash can will do. Tip it over. Pull out the trash, doesn't matter what you find. Spread it on the floor. No one has put food trash in a house trashcan since 1983, but, still, you can search. Dream of the day they forget to put the kitchen trash can inside the cabinet.

Tired? Bored? Stressed? Find Sister the Dog. Climb all over her big yellow lab body. Clean her ears. Lick her face. Fall down next to her and nap. Solves. Every. Problem. Everytime.

Did someone go into a bathroom and close the door? Didn't invite you? Stand outside the door and howl. Then stand up on your back legs and try to scratch the door off the hinges. Howl more. Stick your paw underneath the door and try to get the person's attention. Howl more. If invited in to stop the howling, beg to get out of the room quickly. Repeat.

Hey! I love them anyway,


Monday, August 18, 2008

The BLOGHER Reach Out Tour is coming to New Orleans October 25. Anybody want to go?
Want to have a meet-up? The RevGals need representation!

St.Casserole, ready to go to New Orleans

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Little Church looks beautiful! I'm sorry I don't have pictures to show you the painted walls and ceilings, the front doors painted red, the front porch columns are fresh white and the steps are a safe grey with grit in the paint to prevent slipping!
Oh, we are getting so pretty!

After the carpet was pulled up, we saw beautiful wide plank wood floors! No piecing of odd wood or damage, just old wooden floors ready for refinishing! The acoustics this morning in worship sound crystal clear without the carpet. When the floor work is finished and the pews are returned, I wish we would ditch the pew cushions to keep the lovely sound in the sanctuary.

When I first met Little Church, the pulpit had a microphone for the preacher. I never needed it and, with wood floors, no one who knows how to project her voice will need extra help.

Our singing sounded better and filled the space with joy.

Much more work to do in the coming months but I see and hear progress!

If you shake out your pew cushions and see extra change, send it to us...



Saturday, August 16, 2008

I am happy. Lovely Daughter is home! I drove to Hub City to meet her ride and brought her home! She's full of dorm stories, loving her teachers and enjoying her new school. Wonderful.

Mr.C. flew off to Houston for a meeting. He'll be home this afternoon. Lovely Son is working.

Sister and the Cats went wild when they saw LD.

When LD wakes up, we'll search for dance clothing. No, not a dance dance but a dance class she attends each morning. Tights and leotards and whatever girls wear for the class. This isn't the dance class for the actors but a dance class. I'm confused.

She's in all AP courses, on the Ultimate Frisbee team and happy.

I'm happy, too.,

St.Casserole, the Mama

Monday, August 11, 2008

Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.

We have rain! Lots of pouring heavenly buckets of rain right now. Our brick back porch is flooding, a reminder that I need to trench new areas of plantings. Only rain shows where trenches or french drains are needed. The new landscaping, added over the past year, changed the terrain.

Traveling mercies to SB and MB as one goes to a conference and the other returns home.

I won't be painting the wrought iron chairs and table today. I bought a charming set for $2 at a garage sale Saturday. With new paint, new seats and a glass top for the table, I'll have a great set for...somewhere...not sure where I'll put these.

I found an office sized shredder at the salvage store several weeks ago. At 90% off, I thought I'd give a cross cut shredder a try. My table top shredder cost more and does less. The tiny pieces look like the cat litter the humane society uses for cats, so I'm adding hand fulls of shredded newspaper to the Cat Boys boxes. Perhaps this shredded paper will be my new cat litter source. At least the local paper will have a use.*

I saw the new paint yesterday at Little Church. The interior is sheet rocked, sanded, and primed. At first look, I couldn't understand why the walls weren't the color we chose. Then I realized I was looking at primer. New sanctuary light fixtures look great! We are all thrilled! Far from finished, we can see what will be, God willing.

I'm missing LD all day long. She phones home but is distracted with all the details of a new place and new people. I'll fetch her on Friday for the weekend. Can't wait!

In 2008 Books Read, I finished the fourth Twilight book by Stephanie Meyers on Saturday. Now I'm picking up Julia Spencer-Fleming's new book.

I miss you,

*I sound like my Father. He crabbed about the local paper, too.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Yesterday was a "J" day. I bumped into my favorite children's teacher "J" during the few minutes she was in town. So good to see her! After we finished visiting, I heard my name and turned to see my local "J" and began chatting with her. Then, later in the day, I heard from "J" who I call by another name. We talked about kids, life and summer heat even when you don't live in the South.

Later on, while Mr.C. and I were watching MSNBC and minding our own business, I saw a crawler on the bottom of the screen. It said something like "in a poll, more women would prefer to carpool with Obama than McCain". Can I get a job making up polls like this one? I started laughing and wished the pollster would call me. I'd say for safety reasons, I'd rather carpool with a younger man with good physical reflexes. I'd rather carpool with a man who has an age-appropriate wife than one with a much younger trophy wife because I'd feel safer about his life choices. Finally, I'd rather ride with the calmer Obama than with McCain who has anger issues, according to his friends.

I'd like to give the Atwater Award this week to the Republicans who are criticizing Obama for being popular. Geez! In some ways, a one-eyed cat with few teeth running against the last eight years of our current POTUS would be more popular than a Republican candidate. What kind of wicked mind decides that being popular means one is a celebrity? McCain's personal wealth and history of grabbing attention is dollars and years ahead of Obama's.

That's all.


Monday, August 04, 2008

2008 Books Read

Stephenie Meyer, Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse Popular Teen Lit. LD read these first, then passed them to me.

Finished John Grisham's The Appeal. Very troubling story.

I'm keeping an eye on T.S. Eduardo. Follow along with me by going to the National Hurricane Center.

Eduardo is west of my home but worth watching.

God bless those in the path of the storm,


Sunday, August 03, 2008

Lovely Daughter is registered, moved in and THERE.




Today we drive Lovely Daughter to her new school. New School, one of the State specialty high schools is 220 miles away. She'll live in a dorm room with two girls and these three roommates share a bathroom with three other girls. I doubt any of the suite mates have experience sharing a room or bathroom.

I'm not thinking of her adjustments to room mates. I'm thinking of our empty nest.
I realize adult and almost adult children return home but today is the beginning of a new portion of our lives.

I'm not happy to see LD go.

I waited my entire life for children. While I was unsure about how I'd do with marriage, I was clear I wanted children. When God blessed us with LS, then LD, my heart filled to bursting. Marriage to Mr. C. turned out to be a pleasure. Parenting with him suits me, too.

Now, they are leaving our nest. LS begins his junior year at University in a few weeks. He's moved to College Town and begun a job to get ready for registration.

I feel weak and whiney. Crabby and unsure.

We feel good about the specialty high school. She will be secure and safe there, at least, as safe as one can hope for these days.

The school requires auditions and a stringent acceptance policy. For the first time in years, she will attend classes with students who WANT to be at school. Her public high school here is filled with kids who are enduring classes to fulfill state attendance regulations.

Learning is better when students want to be in school.

We've thought this through. We signed the forms. We are ready.

But, I am not ready.

St. Casserole

Monday, July 28, 2008

Garden Report

The Courtyard garden squash-in-container experiment produced one yellow squash. The four new squash plants joined the Garden Triumphant after a bug attack. Watching these plants grow is a pleasure, seeing the plants wilted and attacked is not.

Verbena, the Courtyard Toad, stays in the pursulane where she thinks no one can see her. She sings at night in a deep toady key. Perhaps she is Mr. Verbena.

Sheep's Ear, hydrangea, begonia, herbs and tomato's are doing fine. My purple and blue theme looks great.

In the front yard, the bowling ball art installation looks great. Mr. C. is unsure what he thinks. The neighbors can't see the bowling balls behind the enormous azalea bed.

The potato vine thrills me! I've rooted many pots of the vine to give to friends.

The birdcage stuffed with tacky Christmas angel lights looks bad. Bad, I tell you. I have it hanging from a branch under the sculpted ligurstrum.

All the new bird feeders stay empty unless I fill them every day. My birds are delighted.

I water my courtyard pots once a day. The heat is despicable. We've had rain twice in the past three days. Thank you, God, for rain, plants, soil and time to enjoy outdoors!

St. Casserole, not really a vegetable farmer

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

filmAching invites me to a Meme

Thanks, filmAching for inviting me to play.
1. List these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog.

I like mechanical pencils.
I've preached in Scotland.
I'm growing decorative potato plants in my courtyard for the first time.
I don't know what the tiny ear flap at the base of a cat's ear is called.
I love laughing while reading David Sedaris' and Bill Bryson.
I collect vintage dime store nativity figures.
I use Anna Carter Florence's notebook method in sermon prep these days.

The third rule is to tag seven bloggers and notify them.
The eighth thing about me is my stubborness. As Bush's Dad, Old Bush, would say, "not gonna do it." I'm busy playing with mechanical pencils and reading David Sedaris.

Tag yourself and play along, if you wish,

St. Casserole


These words end NWS advisories for hurricane warnings.

I don't like to see those words.

I am praying today for all those in Hurricane Dolly's path in Texas and Mexico.

I bet Jim Cantore is standing in front of a blown over palm tree shrieking. I don't know because I can't bear to turn on the Weather Channel today.

St. Casserole

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

*Tropical Storm Dolly is in the Gulf. I check on Dolly and worry about Texans and Mexico.

*Verbena, the Very Attractive Toad in the Courtyard, moved from the Verbena pot to the Pursulane pot. She asks that I not speak, photograph or even think about her. Toad privacy is a big issue.

*I'm busy today with Preacher Coffee, Session meeting and etc.

*LD and I will fry an egg on the brick walkway soon. Photos to follow.

*My hairdresser said she has her face shaved when she gets a facial. Please explain this to me. She isn't talking about extraneous hair-age but her entire face. I cannot figure this out.

*I am making hand puppets with felted wool. These puppets look very silly.

*LD is off to specialty art high school in 13 days. I am not handling this well.

*LS moved to his University apartment. LLS commented he is young (a junior) to do this and she is correct. He called at 10:30 pm. last night to tell me his electric stove does not work and wanted to call the emergency apt. number. I suggested no one would come so late. He argued with me because I know nothing. I recall the days when I was the wikipedia and source of important information in the Universe.

*I am enjoying Summer but wilting from the dreadful heat.

*The kittehs are busy with bottle soccer, string play, popping each other in the head with clawy paws and naps.

*I'm listening to John Grisham's THE APPEAL audio book. I like unabridged versions of audio books. I'm on CD 7 halfway through the book. The story is compelling with all the classic Grisham totally good or totally evil characters, references to Mississippi towns and plot twists. The audio book reader is one of my favorites because he gets Southern accents right. I hope like the dickens Grisham's tale of bought and sold judges is fiction. The interference of outside groups to change the Courts to favor certain verdicts terrifies me.

*If you were here, I'd give you sweet iced tea and be glad to see you.

Grace to you,

St. Casserole

Sunday, July 20, 2008

How Hot Is It?

It's hot. I wore street clothes instead of my lightweight alb in worship this morning. I've preached without vestments maybe 3 times in 30 years. I vest summer or winter, rain or shine, whether I look like a belted marshmallow or not.

The sanctuary air conditioner blasted Arctic chill but I was too hot to notice.

It's hot here, folks. LD and I drove north after worship to University Town. The Bank bill board showed the temp as 102 degrees. The sign is in the shade so I believe the car thermometer: 106 degrees. As we drove home, the temperature dropped to 97 degrees. Our Coast is several degrees cooler because of the Gulf.

Here's my question: is this the year I fry an egg on the brick walkway in our backyard? Every year I want to try cooking an egg on the bricks but I talk myself out of it by saying I'm wasting food.

Help me out here. Should I crack a raw egg on the back yard bricks or not?

I know that Sister the Dog will eat the cooked egg if I ask her. She doesn't get anything but dog chow for her diet although she has been known to have cat chow breath.

Please, your thoughts,

St. Casserole

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mama Mia! Loved this movie because of Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski and Julie Waters. Pure delight to watch! Beautiful scenery, great costuming, pretty people, amazing music. Loved it!

St. Casserole, seldom moved by movies

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Is it rude to take knitting, stuffie sewing, etc. to meetings? A reader asked Dear Abby yesterday. Abby says doing handiwork in a meeting is rude. We should focus on the speaker instead.

As I explained to Mr.C. yesterday morning, if I didn't have sewing stuff with me at presbytery meetings (including committee meetings), I'd be jumping on top of pews hollering.

Sewing focuses my thoughts on the speaker. With a quick look up I can assess the room if something in the speaker's voice or a sound around me catches my attention.

Our meetings are contentious or boring, take your pick. Sewing keeps me occupied, focused and calm instead of jumping out of my skin.

I guess it would be rude to sew or knit during a counselling appointment or doctor's visit. I don't like the idea of handiwork during a worship service.

Women sewing or knitting looks peaceful to me. It's quiet, for the most part, relaxed and doesn't detract from the event.

Any thoughts?

St.Casserole, armed with the BE 1.0 Swag Bag filled with felted wool, thread and needles

Friday, July 11, 2008

hey you hogsmead GPSing revgal,
send me your address so I can send you a package
if you don't do this soon, the stuff will be buried in my St.Casserole Study for the Weekly Preacher and Litter Box Officiants. Then, we'll be in troubles.

St. Casserole
Surrounded by Important Items or Something

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I saw an instructable/crafty/how-to/recycle plan SOMEWHERE on teh internets showing how to make vintage game board into a box. I cannot find it! Have you seen the plans? I've searched with no luck.

Do you know of an old church getting rid of a short piece of bannister with newell posts we can use at Little Church? Mr. C. said to ask you.

St. Casserole

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Paying Attention to the Wrong Things

We all do this.

No matter how attentive we may be, we miss many big things.

Praying this morning, I realized I passed up the chance to meet a new group of people because I felt overwhelmed with tasks and didn't have a face shot photo. Only today, weeks after the invitation and my rejection of the offer, did I realize what I'd done.

A colleague here in the Disaster Area got a blistering letter from a pastor. The pastor came down to put on a VBS for a church a few weeks ago. The visiting pastor believed that the church should be grateful, empty rooms for the VBS, provide particular housing, and have the colleague be present often. What she didn't realize is that my colleague serves a devastated congregation and his work is with them, not the visiting mission team. The mission team pastor paid attention to her team, her idea of a gift, her sense of how things should be done. Rather than realizing her needs were driving the week, she blamed the colleague. Wrong things.

The reality of living and doing ministry down here is this: if you come (and God knows we are grateful and need the help) come self-sustaining and handle your own stuff. The pastors and congregations are busy, exhausted and need to pay attention to their work, not your idea of the mission trip.

A child behaves in a way we don't understand. We grab the first idea we have for coping. Parenting involves pivoting to grasp what is needed for the child. I've learned this over and over with the Casseroles. Attention to the right things helps.

A church member blasts the pastor. What is going on? Could it be the member needs your attention? Is the member worried, anxious, losing hope for his future?

I'm not sure I'll ever get great at paying attention to the right things. I work on seeing and listening. I pray and listen.

St. Casserole

Interior of Little Church with sheet rock removed

Note use of different wood colors and re-cycled tongue and groove strips nailed to the wall studs.

We treated the down the street Methodists to a show Sunday. We were outside digging in the debris skip for pieces of antique wood. The Methodist drove past us sure we were nuts.

St. Casserole

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Great News! Restoration of Little Church begins!

We worshipped in a pew-less sanctuary Sunday. A Virgina Church sent us new folding chairs for a Sunday School room after the storm. We used these and our other chairs to make a cozy worship space. The sanctuary looked wild!

The old sheet rock is removed so that the wood underneath is visible. The walls and ceiling look like Joseph's coat of many colors with painted boards showing in green, blue and white. These boards supported the old sheet rock and will be used to hold the new work. We speculate the boards are salvaged from the old sanctuary which burned 90 years ago. Good old Presbyies! Waste nothing. Save everything!

The old wood burning stove flue is visible. Up front, near the pulpit, the position of the stove must have comforted the preachers with warmth and shortened the sermon when the heat reminded the preacher of you-know-where.

With the sheet rock gone, the perfect acoustics of the sanctuary left, too. I had to use my ultra-powerful-seminary-trained-playground-supervisor Voice. Worshippers left with their eyebrows blown upwards.

Thank you for helping Little Church! Several of you sent money, one of you sent two large gifts TWICE! Your generosity helps us!

Those of you who contacted me about helping, call me back. Thanks!

St. Casserole, Happy

*pic is after the storm of a ceiling edge showing wood underneath. Imagine all dark wood! The sheet rock will be replaced after wiring, etc. etc. is completed!

Monday, June 30, 2008


I'm in my study with one dog and two cats. One of the cats is snoring.

Cracking me up,

St. Casserole, unable to be profound all the time

Friday, June 27, 2008

2008 Books Read

Christianity for the Rest of Us Diana Butler Bass

Resurrection Rowan Williams

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive Alexander McCall Smith
The Morality for Beautiful Girls
The Miracle at Speedy Motors

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Yesterday, I headed to the Mockingbird Cafe (thought of you Songbird, will smama and Little S.!) for lunch with two preacher pals. The city looks SO much better although the streets are torn up with infrastructure drainage, etc. repair. Along the Beach road, the lots are bare mostly. It's difficult to rebuild family homes when the codes aren't in place and the insurance companies say, "Oh, we didn't mean you had coverage for that..."

My pals were willing to hear a few stories from my past. I told about the day I was presented to presbytery for approval as a pastor. In those days, we were ordained where we had our first call, so the vote was for my ordination as well as reception into the presbytery. As the Committee on Ministry chair moved for my reception, the Moderator was asked by one of the commissioners, "Do we have to vote on this?" Not "vote on her" or "vote on Miss C." but vote on "this". Without missing a beat, the Moderator said, "No you can vote against it or abstain."

The vote was called for, and the motion to accept me passed.

Not one soul realized that I was the first Presbyterian clergywoman to be ordained
in the state.

Not one soul thought to apologize to me for the previous discussion.

Even I was oblivious. My eye was on the prize of being received by the Presbytery as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament.

This month of blogging about my ordination strikes me as self-serving, which, of course isn't ladylike or gentle. However, in the name of recalling what it was like 30 years ago, I've shared a few tidbits. Frankly, in some ways, clergywomen don't have it any easier than we did back then. Just sayin'.

But a call to ministry isn't about ease anyway. If you have the Call, there isn't anything to do but run through the thorn bushes towards the pulpit.


St. Casserole

(Photo: Songbird's Sandwich)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dear Aunt Bostick,

Thirty years ago today, I entered the sanctuary of the church where I served as the associate pastor, dressed in my Geneva gown for my ordination to the Ministry of the Word and Sacrament. It was a Sunday afternoon. My parents were in the congregation along with parishioners and my Commission from Presbytery. I wrote the service with huge chunks from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer interspersed with the 1956 Book of Common Worship of the P.C.U.S. I don't recall all the hymns, but we did sing "Be Thou My Vision". I remember that hymn because I've used it at each of my installations to new congregations since.

I was awed and happy to finalize all the steps taken to ordination. I was sick to my stomach with anxiety and, probably, lack of food. In those days, I didn't eat. Please do not comment that I've been healed of eating disorders "like a miracle!" (as I've heard you say) because I'm aware that I present in human form much differently than I did 30 years ago.

My Seminary professor preached the sermon. He is a Carolinian and his wife graduated from my college so our affinity began at our first meeting. He is at the Seminary still, writing books and becoming more distinguished looking as the days pass. He was kind to come to the Deep South and be with me for the day. I gave him a piece of the pottery distinctive to this area, the one with the black stripe symbolizing the Mississippi River.

I recall that you were there. You looked at me with amazement that I was becoming a pastor. Every pastor you'd even heard of was male and here I was, in your words, "a little girl". You wondered how ministry would be for me since most people found the idea of a woman in ministry odd and somehow upsetting. You were not quite sure if I should be ordained because you couldn't find the place in the Bible where it said I could be. When you told me this, I reminded you of the Biblical cites and that my denomination approved the ordination of women. Still, you weren't sure.

The local newspaper covered my ordination as actual news, not as the natural progression of a child raised in the church who was baptised, educated and given the approbation of God's people for ordination. After the article appeared, I received all sorts of angry letters from people who believed I was going straight to Hell. I saved mail from detractors in a scrapbook. The book didn't survive the 1985 hurricane so it is just my memory of those angry notes I recall today.

I began my ministry as happy as a gal could be. I was so ready, like a puppy, to jump into whatever God placed in my path, or whatever path God led me to walk. I recall joy so piercing that I could hardly stand it.

I am grateful today for all the good influences I've encountered along my way. I'm grateful, too, for my failures and roadblocks which taught me humility, sacrifice and resourcefulness. I thank God for my calling every single day.

Your niece,

St. Casserole