Friday, February 26, 2010

what is a Canadian

A Canadian is WILD about hockey. No! You don't understand. You have to experience it to know... hockey MATTERS. REALLY MATTERS.

A Canadian is determined and will rise to the occasion. Even if she gets crushed she will get up again. Stubborn.

A Canadian is stronger than she looks.

A Canadian woman can smoke a cigar with the best of them.

In light of all this Steve and I were PROUD of Canadians who jumped up in the stands, pounding and chanting USA!USA!USA! during the time Women's Hockey Team USA received their silver medals.

A Canadian is someone who, while having fought to win, wants to encourage the one that took silver, because everyone is a winner, and a worthy foe is a treasure.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


So... when the deer start moving in the back yard does that mean spring is just around the corner?

It has been the coldest wintery-est winter this year in my old Kentucky home. I have my Canadian blues. Trying to think of something brilliant to say.


I heard this on Monday. "Listening is spiritual hospitality." Henri Nouwen of course. David Benner, soul care guy, says that we usually listen with our ego - listening for what we think we know, or what is wrong, or categorizing what is said. This is ego strengthening and entrenches the false self. Such listening keeps us feeling safe, and small.

Listening with the spirit is open listening, being attentive to movements of the Spirit in our own longings and stirrings. What moves across my spirit needs to be attended to, since it is the whisper of God.

I know about this - listening to someone talk and a wistful wind tickles my spirit and creates longing.

Is this something you have experienced?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

O Canada

Well, a lot of Canadian juices flowing tonight. Every home in Canada has this game on, I promise you. It beats out the Super Bowl, any UK basketball game, even the last episode of Lost.

Steve would give anything to be in Canada with his friends watching the game and complaining and fussing and being brothers.

I on the other hand loved that it was so springlike today - and am very happy to be watching the Masterpiece Theatre presentation on KET. And I love that I can sit here eating a Cadbury chocolate bar brought back from the frozen north by my kin.

I love that Steve and the boys love this game. I love that they don't need me to love it. I love that we love our flag. I love that I don't have to go to Canada to love everything.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Let me introduce the Udotong family. Dad, William is a PhD student and Victoria a counseling student. Grace, Goodness, Esther, Blessing and Jeremiah complete the tribe.
Can I just say that it is families like my friends here that make life at Asbury so incredible. This family holds together the joys and trials of life with very little income, a lot of noise and deep spirituality. I am privileged to be their friend.

Friday, February 12, 2010

he's back and messing things up already

I've had four days to control my world. I've coped. Comforted myself by buying new shoes. Eaten dark green vegy's (and chocolate.) Listened to crazy music. Turned the heat too high.

And so last night Steve returned. I welcome him with a grunt from under the covers. I cannot stay up to midnight even to welcome the great stallion home from the wilderness.

Before I go to bed I cut a platter of cheese to bring to work for a birthday celebration. I know Steve loves cheese so I hide it way back in the bottom of the fridge.

Now this is the man who cannot find the mayo if it is behind a pickle. But when I take the tray out this morning ALL THE SHARP CHEDDAR IS GONE! Just to clarify, there is other cheese in the drawer. Just not cut into little squares.

How like a man. He comes home and eats the cheese. SHEESH.

(An old friend just reminded me of Steve telling the story about how our kids all thought cheese came with mold on it because when they were young we got moldy cheese from the grocery store for almost free... to keep alive. Those 'school days...' I laughed...maybe that is why Steve loves the cheese all nicely cut up and without mold!)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I know you wanted to see these

So sometimes I go into malls just to look for little girls about 18 months old... to see what they do with their hands, how many teeth they have, how they run and how they play. I do this to satisfy my gramma need to see my girls out in Portland. I call it baby lurking... sounds kind of creepy but really, it is more like worship.


Just heard from Big Steve - they are stuck in the snow. Well, there is no snow in California - just snow elsewhere. So I hope he gets home tonight. I always change the sheets when he is away so he comes home to a fresh bed... this week I just washed his pillow case. I figured I would just vacuum the sheets from where Walter has been roosting. HAH!
But maybe now God is saying I need to repent and wash them all or he will be stuck in Minneapolis to punish me. Isn't it funny how we can have crazy thoughts! I don't really think any of that just in case you feel the need to correct me. (My security disposition poking out.)

But I did just wash his pillow case. Too bad. I have other plans tonight.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

a quiet night after a day of nothing

I took today as a personal/sick day. Personally, I was sick. I woke at four am with a bad headache and it was still torturing me at 7. The weather is gruesome with blizzard and wind and I just thought, I need to hide today. I almost never do this, even though I teach it. Self care. Being your own knight in shining armor. But what does a person do in the middle of the week, alone at home?

Well, first I sat on the couch with a cup of coffee and solved a couple Sudoku puzzles because I believe it helps my memory. hah! The coffee was lovely - thick and bitter just like I like it. I put on music - a crazy cd that Steve hates and put it on repeat. Ben called from Indonesia to say his books came and I had time to talk about little things. By then it was ten o'clock.

Do you ever feel like you are over exposed? Like you have been out in the fray too long? I felt so like that this morning. The day alone was healing. I didn't use any social media and I read. I ate some blueberries. I rested. I scratched Walter's belly. I schlumped around.

By 1 my headache was better. I mailed a little envelope of Valentine's to my kids in NC. I arranged some flowers on my dining room table on the runner I bought at the Peddler's Mall. I ate the last of the organic Swiss Chard.

I put three loads of wash through and dried them all. I put a skin mask on my face and let it crust and wiped it off. Heard very good news from Vincent and talked briefly with Steve. Found out my brother will be here next week.

That was it, mostly. I ended the evening reading Spirit Creator and writing in my journal. I feel blessed. Covered. Sane. Set my clock for 6:30. Tomorrow will be fine.

2 days

2 days til the olympics start in Vancouver.
2 days til the weekend.
2 days til the Valentine's movie comes out.
2 days til the blizzard is over.
2 days til Big Steve comes home.
2 days til Vincent comes for a visit.
2 days and it will be two more days closer to spring.
2 days and my very beautiful friend with a great sexy haircut has her birthday!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I begin my morning laughing

My dear assistant sent me this to read as my day begins. Personally, as one who started WW yesterday and the SAME assistant brought in FIVE BAGS OF GOURMET (READ CHOCOLATE) POPCORN I somehow related ... sigh. So today is day two. And it is the progress not the product, right?


I am passing this on to you because it definitely works and we could all use a little more calmness in our lives. By following simple advice, you too can find inner peace.

Dr. Oz proclaimed, 'The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished.” So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Tequila, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos, and a box of chocolates. You have no idea how freaking good I feel right now.

[I just re-read this now and I am laughing again.]

Monday, February 8, 2010

chronicles of being alone

Photo of train moving through Wilmore by Krissi. Captures how I feel this winter.

My man is in California. With another man. It's all okay. Just feeling a missing kind of feeling and can't find my phone so I can't really call him. Actually I can't call him at all. Such is the life of a woman in menopause. (I am doing Sudoku every night with hopes of building new mental synapsis.) I hope he reads this. I mailed the bills today and went to Jazzercise because it is good for me. I ate some of the organic swiss chard and loved it. Rounded it off with perogies. Probably not a balanced meal.

I have the fire going and it is supposed to snow 2 inches tonight and two more tomorrow. Usually it doesn't. They just say that to see if the women shopping in Kroger will have a cat fight over the last quart of 2% milk. (I myself have witnessed such an act.) You have to understand that Kentuckians are afraid of snow. When the weather is predicted the shelves in the grocery store are wiped out. People buy turkeys for heavens sake. I wonder if they consider that the electricity might be out. Of course, a smoked turkey is good eating. Anyway, no one starves in a snow storm in KY.

One other detail. The old clothing store by the Kroger is now a fabulous Peddlers Market. I walked through it tonight and loved every minute. Full of treasures and trinkets and just what we need here to spiff up our town of Nicholasville. I bought a red scarf and put it on our dining table to signify Valentine's day. Now I just need some tulips to finish the look.

Very very dismal here this winter. Not sure why it seems so hard for me. I suppose every winter is an opportunity to be blue, but this one is turning my inside into ice blue.

Tomorrow I am preaching in opening chapel. If I am lucky the storm will come in and school will be closed. Chapel cancelled. We can all have our fantasies, can't we?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Wisdom for Women

from I, Francis, by Carlo Carretto (1910 - 1988)

There is something new for women, too. Read carefully.

Today, a woman must hear the words of Jesus as a man hears them; and if Jesus says, "Go and make disciples of all nations," it must no longer be that a man hears this in one way and a woman in another.

How you must re-think everything!

And how I would like to say to women of today, "Go!" with all the force of which my spirit is capable, and all my anxiety for the immense needs of a world athirst for the Gospel. This is an urgent invitation.

...Let prayer reign [in your home,] good counsel, and peace. Let your toil, whatever it is, be illuminated by the power of your calling...

Do not copy men. Be authentic. Seek, in your femaleness, the root that distinguishes you from them. It is unmistakable, for it has been willed and created by God himself. Repeat to yourselves every day: a man is not a woman.

Waste no time in approaching men in order somehow to resemble them. Rather, seek to remove yourselves as far as possible from their model. It is not yours, and it is rather marred and muddled, even so.

... And one more thing.

Do not let yourselves be guided by men any longer just because they are men. If you let them lead you do so because they are saints, and do not disdain the help of persons like Clare [referring to Clare, friend of Francis of Assisi] - who, though she is a woman, can tell you things of utility and power.

This reading captures my mind as I often think about woman's ways of knowing, of thinking, of understanding life, theology, God. These are unique. In feminist theology, a foundational sin of woman is her refusal to embrace her calling, fearfully choosing away from her gifts and strengths, and surrendering the responsibility for her own life to someone else.

In many ways it would be is tempting to have a man or men to carry all responsibility. But in healthy life there is an antiphonal aspect to women and men as co-workers and partners in the endeavors of life. I don't ascribe much value to alienation. But to be taught by unwise men, to bend away from women's knowledge for the sake of male thinking, or to concede choices to the whims of another without thoughtful interaction, what good can come of this?

I think I would like a stitching on my wall that simply said, "Prayer, Good Counsel, Peace." What more better could my life and home offer?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

generous living

This is my thinking 'the next day.' I am still weary and not on my feet, but I have these ponderings.

I want to live a generous life.
I want to be gentle in my life rhythms.
I do not like 'hitting the wall and sliding off."

I think that generosity does not mean giving too much away. The task is to somehow be generous even when we stop and take care of ourselves. Is it possible that generous living should include me?

These things I know:
1. I cannot do what I used to be able to do, energy wise.
2. I do not want to rescue the world, but I do want to be a life-giver where I am able.
3. There are signs when we are nearing the edges of our limits but generally I ignore them.
4. I cannot blame anyone else when my life goes over the edge. I have to own the choices of my own life.
5. God is not pushing me.
6. Sometimes we must schedule a massage.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

something real

So what does one write about when she feels spent and stretched and misunderstood? I usually do not blog about such things. My life has much censure, many commenters who know what it should be, or should not be. So I write about things like chocolate and birds.

Today I am seeking a quiet heart to hold me. Just a place where I can plunk my soul and breath. My mind has shuffled through a whole catalogue of places and people and eliminated them one by one. (Please don't take offense at this last statement.)

I wrote about this a long time ago... you can scan back in my posts. About feeling dislocated from myself.

But here's what it feels like. I wonder if you ever feel like this. I feel like I can't find a hold on my life. Like I want to cast out a line and hook it onto something real and holy and me and reel myself in like a big fat fish. I would reel myself into my self. Somewhere I got ahead of my own song. And like always, even though it seemed to cost a lot, it wasn't enough.

I open my computer and write this ... it is like scratches on a wall. Not thought out, just felt. I want to tell this to the breeze, to the sun, to the birds on my feeders. But they are not listening.

So I tell it to cyber air. And now I am going to cry. And maybe sleep a little. I think I need to sleep a little.

Monday, February 1, 2010

the Brits have spoken ... and I am amused

you mess with the chocolate you mess with the people.

George Tyndale, Birmingham Sunday Mercury: "Say goodbye to the delectable Creme Egg. Cadbury, one of the truly great British brands, has just been packaged up and sold to a tackey Yankee cheesemaker. That's right, Kraft, a firm famous for its plastic cheese squares, has bought up Cadbury, and our government couldn't do a thing to prevent it. So now we have to sit by and watch as British jobs go overseas. The Birmingham plant where Cadbury chocolates have been made for more than 100 years will surely be hacked, hacked, and hacked again by its new owners in the pursuit of profit. ... Kraft could easily ax any product in the Cadbury line, like Creme Eggs.

Joan Burnie, Glasgow Daily Record: "It's not as if Cadbury was in some sort of financial trouble. In fact, it was doing better than Kraft, which had to take out a huge loan to buy it. And here's the really painful kicker: Kraft borrowed the money from us, from the Royal Bank of Scotland. I suppose we'll have to accept the fact that our politicians won't do anything to stop this once proud nation becoming little more than an industrial corpse out of which the business vultures pick the choices bits. But at least they could tell those Yankees to bug off and look elsewhere for their filthy lucre."

Charlie Brooker, London Guardian: "This entire business couldn't be more distateful- literally. What if Kraft now tries to Americanize Cadbury? American chocolate is nothing short of revolting. When I first bit into a Hershey bar, I was plunged mouthwards into an entire universe of yuck. It tasted like carboard, but with a nastier, chalkier texture, as though this was a chocolate bar that had been found in the pocket of a Civil War soldier and preserved specifically for my disenchantment."

Anita Robinson, Dublin Irish News: "Americans just can't do sweets. Their most famous cookie, the Oreo, is two tooth breaking mahogany discs glued together with sweetened candle wax. Chocolate lovers everywhere can only hope that Kraft's bigwigs know how to appreciate Cadbury's uniquely creamy mouth feel, and don't try to change the recipe."

Andrew Clark, London Observer Magazine: "Takeovers happen. Stop tragically waving our union flags and calm down"

And don't you just want to go out and buy that dress?