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!