Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Great Chair Experiment: Success!

So, here's the chair I started with yesterday:

Ikea only sells three colors of the slipcover for this chair. But the HobLob sells many colors of Rit Dye. So I bought some tan and some dark green, and did a custom color dye job in my washer. Here it is, now in khaki green, in place by the new computer armoire:

Some days I really do impress myself!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Reflections on the year

As 2008 slips on by, with me way behind on other people's blogs, I did find a minute to spot-check my Bloglines account today. One of the blogs I checked was Diane's, and it is from her that I hereby blatantly steal the idea for this post.

She put her reflections in 3 categories: Memorable, Disappointing, and Ambivalent. I'm not ambivalent about "ambivalent," but I am about the other two, so I'm changing their names.

1. Attending the RevGalBlogPals Big Event 1.0, and looking forward to 2.0 this spring.
2. Our church finally completing its new building and making the long, long move across the field from the building we'd already sold.
3. Being able to provide a home to Tuesday the dog, when the timing was so right it just couldn't be denied.
4. Getting opportunities to work with new people in my same job.

1. The death of my sweet girl, The Best Dog Ever, Cub. But thankful for the outpouring of sympathy, even from people I've never met.
2. The deaths of two clergy friends, one anticipated, one unexpected. Each of their absences leaves a hole.

1. United Methodist General Conference. As a rookie delegate, I'm still trying to figure out what I learned, and what kind of difference it made that I was there. I don't believe all of my time there was wasted, but I struggle with the apparent necessity of navigating tons of bureaucracy in the hopes of doing at least some good.
2. Deciding, discerning, which opportunities required a yes and which required a no.
3. Reacting to my sister's and my brother-in-law's deteriorating health. Not being sure if I've always made the right call. Trying to maintain healthy boundaries in these situations as we decide how to help.
4. Tiptoeing into other forms of social media. I got two more Facebook invitations today, both from family members, and I'm still not planning to join. On the other hand, Twitter is kinda nifty. On the other other hand, finding out through Twitter that a friend has just died is kinda odd. On the other other other hand, I got ReTweeted a couple of times yesterday, which I liked.

Time to get my new chair's slipcover out of its dye bath in the washing machine. We shall see whether the result of this experiment lands in Joyful, Sorrowful, or Ambivalent... tune in next time...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

RevGal Rewards

No, we don't have a frequent blogger program or anything like that, but occasionally one RevGalBlogPal will send another something special. Today, I got a prize for giving RevAnne's forthcoming nephew his blog name: Exceptional Two.
When I got home from a Radical Hospitality planning session late this morning, I found a package on my doorstep! Here's what was inside:

And here's what was inside of that:

Thanks, RevAnne! You're an awesome baker! (We've already had several... enough that we may just skip lunch in favor of an early supper.)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Five: Countdown to Christmas Edition

"It's true," writes Songbird over at RevGalBlogPals.

"There are only five full days before Christmas Day, and whether you use them for shopping, wrapping, preaching, worshiping, singing or traveling or even wishing the whole darn thing were over last Tuesday, there's a good chance they will be busy ones.

"So let's make this easy, if we can: tell us five things you need to accomplish before Christmas Eve."

I confess I fall mostly in the camp of wishing the whole darn thing were over last Tuesday! But after a marathon evening of shopping last night, here are five things I still need to accomplish before Christmas Eve:

1. Give a gift in honor of my dad to UMCOR's Sager Brown Depot, where he goes on the occasional mission trip. (I'm hoping the ink cartridges I ordered will arrive today so I can print out the card!)

2. Wrap just a few more things.

3. Meet up with my maid of honor and her other bridesmaids on Tuesday to help her shop for her wedding gown (I may be looking forward to this more than Christmas itself... Christmas comes every year, but true love for this amazing woman has been a long time coming).

4. Adjust my attitude more in the direction of joy.

5. Give the bishop's assistant an answer to a request (and thereby answer a question: Yes, you've recently turned down some things because you have a full plate. But there's always room for Jell-O; what if this thing is the Jell-O?)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Five: Windows of the Soul

Over at RevGalBlogPals, Sophia writes:

This Friday Five is inspired by my husband's Lasik surgery yesterday....He'd been contemplating it for a while and was pushed over the edge by the fact that we put too much money in our healthcare spending account this year and it would have been gone anyway. (There was only enough for one eye, but the kind people at the eye clinic figured out a way to divvy up the charges between surgery and followup in January=next year's spending account). So please say a little prayer for his safe recovery and share with us your thoughts on eyes and vision.

1. What color are your beautiful eyes? Brown, and thanks for assuming they're beautiful. Did you inherit them from or pass them on to anyone in your family? Inheriting brown eyes is easy; my mom had blue eyes, but didn't pass them on until her third grandchild. My brother and his wife told her about that pregnancy just hours before she died.

2. What color eyes would you choose if you could change them? Something really weird but only temporarily. I've always liked those cosmetic contacts that have creepy pupils or odd colors or patterns.

3. Do you wear glasses or contacts? What kind? Like 'em or hate 'em? This F5 topic is timely, as I have an optometrist appointment this afternoon. I've been wearing contacts pretty much any time I leave the house for years (except for early morning small-group meetings). My glasses are years overdue for an update, so I'm planning to choose some frames today that I'll be happy wearing with outfits other than my pajamas. I prefer contacts, because glasses get in my way, but I want some that I might actually be glad to wear, so I'll be more likely to give my eyes a rest.

4. Ever had, or contemplated, laser surgery? Happy with the results? Contemplated, yes, but I'm too much of a sissy. The Alpha did Lasik 5 years ago (I watched! on a big screen! creepy!), and is still happy with it.

5. Do you like to look people in the eye, or are you more eye-shy? I'm a fan of eye contact, within reason. Somebody staring me down isn't comfortable, of course.

Bonus question: Share a poem, song, or prayer that relates to eyes and seeing.
I don't have blue eyes, but The Alpha does. And I've always liked this Elton John song. (Sorry, can't get the video to embed!)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

5 minutes of blogging

I actually set a timer on my cell phone. Must head to work soon.

The band always gets crabby before any occasion in which we are to perform more than one anthem. I know this. So why is it still so frustrating?
Still haven't done the girly thing and had the good cry I need. It's at least a week overdue, and other cry-worthy stuff keeps stacking on top of it. Hope I can contain it until an opportune moment.
The Alpha's been sick all week. He got so desperate last night that he finally tried the neti pot! Said it helped him from bedtime until about 4 a.m.

Time's up. Dang, that alarm is startling.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Suburban Commando Bunnies

(And by "commando," I mean they are running around without any underwear.)

So, the other night we were driving home in the dark, and a white rabbit hopped off the curb a block from our house. Then we spotted a black rabbit of similar size sitting in someone's yard several feet from the white rabbit. These two were clearly not related to the ubiquitous neighborhood cottontails that The Boy so enjoys swallowing whole in their youth.

The Alpha pulled the car to a stop and I emerged with the hope that I could, with my oh-so-deft call of, "Hey, bunnybunnybunny," lure them close enough that a rabbit rescue might ensue. But it was not to be. They hopped up someone's front walk, though, so I figured I might as well ring that doorbell.

"Um, hi -- you wouldn't happen to be missing two rabbits, would you?" I don't know what most people expect when they open their front door at 9 p.m. to find a neighbor they've met exactly once, but that's what she got from me. No, in fact, my across-the-alley neighbor wasn't missing rabbits. I pointed them out to her, where they were sitting on her lawn, just to make sure she knew I wasn't hallucinating.

She thought, though, that they might belong to her new next-door neighbors, so I went to their front door. Turns out that yes, they were missing some rabbits! Victory, I thought. But no, the dad of the family didn't seem too interested in rounding them up. He looked their general direction and said something to the effect of "we'll never catch them tonight."

"Okay, guy, I realize you're new around here, but free-range domestic bunnies just aren't really a thing in our neighborhood." At least, that's what I said on the inside. On the outside, I shrugged and went back to the car.

And each night since, I've seen one or both bunnies, still on the loose. They still don't come when called. They still can't be neeked up on (so they must not be unique rabbits). So I'm reduced to hoping I don't see them smushed in the road.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Glory Be, Glory Be, Glory Be

The Rev. Kathleen Baskin-Ball