Monday, July 31, 2006

Here's why I haven't been blogging...

Well, it's just that I've been going through my regular battle with God over my vocation. Sometimes we just go at it because I think that if God is going to give me a vocation, He ought to make it easy, successful at every turn, effortless, and endlessly gratifying. I mean, really, is that too much to ask?
Thing is, every time I rail at God on this topic, I get this message back:
Be Here Now.
Translated, it could be more like “shut up and do what you’re sent to do!”
I do worry it all to death- am I where I’m supposed to be? Am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing? Am I doing it right? Should I go be a toll booth worker on the interstate, or a letter carrier for the post office?
I’ve felt pretty sure (really, very sure) of my calling since I was a junior in high school. The vocation of Youth Ministry fit me like nothing else did. What’s funny about that, in retrospect, is that what I thought I was “getting into” is not very much like what I do today, at all. I never dreamed I’d be focused so much on faith formation- my vision of YM was firmly rooted in the 1980’s model of program planning; social, spiritual, cultural, service. I thought my days would be filled with trips to here and there, and events at the Church. Turns out I’m not that great at trips and events- but I have a heart for evangelization and catechesis. Go figure!
Oh, so, the reason I haven’t blogged much lately is that I’ve been grumpy about my lot in life, and couldn’t think of anything but complaints to write, and that’s not what I want this blog to be. But I’ve been put back in place by God (as always) and I’m ready to go…

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

pictures for your enjoyment

The afore-mentioned Morning Glories which are a perfect analogy to Youth Ministry...

the temperature IN my office last week.

Our cats just love each other.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I love the internet!!

It’s the perfect thing for the “abstract random” (an eerily accurate picture of me!!), because you can go from one thing to the next in an endless stream of inspiration and interest. Sometimes I have to stop and ask myself “how did I ever get to this page??”
This article I found from a link at the end of a test to see what kind of Catholic I am (that’s an Ignatian Exercises -Moderately Progressive- Catholic,
thank you very much.) I found the link to that quiz on D Scott Miller’s blog
, by the way. FYI, the quiz works better in Internet Explorer than Safari.
ANYWAY. About that article :
Although the author leaves a footnote un-angrifying the article a bit, I thought shesaid a serious mouthful. I’d never thought of this struggle in these terms, but the way she says what she says really hit me. I have worked with a few Pastoral Associates, and I do feel for them because their job doesn’t seem to have an actual description anywhere- instead, from parish to parish, the PA seems to be given the tasks that the pastor doesn’t want to do. Sometimes she’s lucky and gets to do actual pastoral ministry- sometimes she puts the bulletin to print and does the pastor’s Christmas shopping for him. (YES, I have seen that happen. Really!) I don’t believe anyone goes into Pastoral Associate School to do such things.
This church is blessed with so many gifted, vocation-ed people- lay and ordained. Our task is to figure out how to put these gifts to use in our parishes and dioceses.

Monday, July 24, 2006

And so it begins...

Saturday night my brother called from his 20th high school reunion. He’s a year older than me, which means MY 20th reunion is coming right up.
I went to my 5-year reunion, which was fun, but weird… no one had changed at all, and almost everyone was at exactly the same spot in their journeys- just graduated from college, not sure what we were going to do, where we were going. Some had boyfriends/girlfriends, some were married, and a few even had kids, but mostly we were all standing on the brink of a new world. There wasn’t much to tell, since most of our stories were the same.
When my tenth reunion came around, I skipped it. I was personally at another brink-point, and wasn’t feeling all that proud of what I was doing with my life. I don’t even exactly remember what I was doing with my life at the time, but I do remember that I had a bad boyfriend and wasn’t doing the job I wanted to be doing. I had no great stories to tell.
The thought of going to my 20th reunion has been on my mind lately- not like a constant worry but more like a mosquito that buzzes by my ear every once in a while. I’ve already started the process of losing some weight, and am trying to talk myself into thinking it’ll be a good time. This time, I’m happy with where I am in my life, and I have a trophy husband (and I mean that in every good way possible) to bring with me- at the very least he and I can sit in the corner and make fun of people if it’s not a good time, and he’ll make it fun.
My brother called to tell me he’d be calling back in twenty minutes with an old friend of mine on the line. She and I cheered together and I went to her wedding just after she graduated, and then lost touch. She was an absolute sweetheart and I really liked hanging out with her. When the phone rang later on that night, I kind of froze… this, you see, was the beginning of MY reunion experience. Here it comes, ready or not. (I was NOT.) I thought about pretending to be asleep. But Scott urged me on, and I got up to face my past.
Lonna is still a wicked sweetheart, and it was so nice to talk with her. It only lasted a few minutes and didn’t hurt a bit. I am glad I got up and answered that phone, and I feel just a bit encouraged about how this year will go now.
By the way, she told me that her son has just graduated from HIGH SCHOOL…. God, we’re old. I am interested to hear people’s stories, now that we’ve all actually begun to live.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

More from the Tour

A coupla days ago on the Tour (no, not the Rolling Stones tour, THE Tour…) we watched Floyd Landis pull to the front and win the Yellow Jersey (which denotes that he is winning the race overall). But what fascinated me about the day was the role of Axel Merckx. Axel is Floyd’s teammate, and he spent much of the day yesterday right in front of Floyd, doing hard hard work so that Floyd could take advantage of the wind he created. This guy kicked his own butt to make it possible for Floyd to save energy for the important part of the race.
I read, too, about the “watercarriers”, who are the members of the team who aren’t expected to win, or even be major competitors. Their role is (among other things) to ride back to the team car and pick up water bottles for the rest of the team- they stuff them in their shirt and hook them on their bike frame, stick them in their pockets… then book it back up to their team and hand them out. Now, to me, (and N.B. I am strictly an amateur bike racing fan) that sounds like he’s doing more work than the winner. In fact, a lot of the team is working REALLY hard, in their own ways, to get the “winner” across the line.
You know, of course, where I’m going here- this is an interesting model for team leadership. No one in a cycling team is unimportant, and without the supporting members who do seriously hard work, success would not be found. The trick though is, there has to be a strong leader who can take advantage of the work the group is doing and lead the team to the finish line. The gifts of the leader are very specific and the job is not to be the person who does all the work, or even MOST of the work. Their gifts include stamina and physical strength, but also (and maybe most importantly) Tactical strength. They keep the MISSION of the team in check, and the finish line in sight.
It makes me take a look at my position on “the team”, in ministry- I have the mission and finish line down, but how am I at relying on the rest of the team? I’m working on that this year, more than ever. I have not one, but TWO assistants in this parish and learning how to work with them has been a big learning experience for me- not because they’re not helpful, but because they ARE helpful- the challenge has been how to let someone help me. What responsibilities can I share with them? What tasks can I let go of? What happens if they do something differently than I would have done it? Now it’s time to bring more team members on board, form a committee, and get things going in a big way.
I pray for the gifts to be a good TEAM leader and team member.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

half a baby

Tonight, for the second night in a row, I wheedled Scott into taking me out for ice cream. YES, that is WAY off my diet, strictly verboten... carbapalooza. Monday, I'll be back on with a vengeance. But that's not the point of my post.
WHAT (here comes the point) is with ICE CREAM CONE sizes?? Ask for a "baby" size and you get something the size of a baby's head!!! Just who are the gigantic babies these cones are designed to feed?
One day long ago (okay last Summer) I was in line at a local ice cream place and heard the woman in front of me say "I'll have half a baby". Brilliance!!
Now I order half babies everywhere I go. They are what used to be a "medium" when I was a kid, and let me tell you they're plenty. Very reasonable, and not a mortal sin, just a venial. Not bad. But it does feel a bit odd to step up to a window and say "I'll have a half a baby please!!"

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I'm home again to work from here because my office at work is a whopping 87.6 degrees. IN the office. Rumor has it we may get an air conditioner, someday.
My hope for this week was to isolate myself in my office, and write write write all the things I needed to process from the Institute, get all the plans for next year on paper and into a binder (CMD style) and ready to go. I never would have guessed how much writing is involved in this job... or maybe it's just the way I do it. But, I've never found myself at the point where my porgram doesn't need to be revised at all, upgraded, improved, tweaked. Now I'm off to the bedroom, where we have our only air conditioner... to work on Scott's laptop...
Hope it's cooler where you are!

Monday, July 17, 2006

the ante is upping

When I decided to blog, I had some things to think about. I've read lots of blogs and there are lots of styles out there. The blog seems to be made for angry people, who feel suddenly free to express their nastiness with abandon. Now don't get me wrong, I have lots of nasty opinions and have been known to sling them. Recently PJ asked me "where is your righteous indignation???" (this was before the rail about my former parish...)
But I have read what happens when you get a-goin' and say nasty things on a blog in the assumption that you're anonymous. No one is anonymous forever, This I Know. So I try to write with the understanding that what I write today may be read in ten years, by someone who may be shocked to recognise themselves described vaguely in an entry. I've seeeeeeen it happen.
I also think about who is reading... that is, for the most part, I know who is reading. Some people happen upon this page in some random way, but for the most part it's family, friends, and some colleagues. Scott, lately, has been mentioning its existence to people and I feel a pang of anxiety... what will this person think about what I've written? It's a bit of a peek into my brain. Am I ready for that?
Last week Scott mentioned my blog to some of the people at the Institute, and they wanted to read it. Now, what will they think of what I thought about the Institute? Will they think I'm way off, crazy, wrong? I don't think my opinions on the week were that radical, but, you see, the ante has been upped. Un-anonymity calls for and brings accountability.
I was telling friends the other night that I am trying to be very careful not to say anything that might be read as too negative by whoever is the first person from my parish to discover this blog, and was assured that I'm doing an okay job at that. So... welcome visitors, friends, specific family members :) Comment away, let me know if I've crossed some line, pray for me to keep positive and responsible. And thanks- being read makes me feel mighty important!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Evolution hurts!!

At the Institute, I spoke with a fellow Youth Minister from Iowa. I asked him what he thought was the future of the youth ministry- something I’ve been thinking about so much lately. I’ve been predicting the end of YM as we know it, even more dead than it is now, if that’s possible, because of the end of Diocesan leadership all over the country and the dwindling number of parishes who are willing to pay anyone to do anything but religious ed.
I think maybe we’ll be “faith formation leaders” or “catechetical leaders” hired to specialize in the adolescent years… not a bad thing, necessarily, but I do worry that the Church will, in their focus on catechesis, neglect the other components of comprehensive YM and let them slide. I do to my very core believe that all 8 components are necessary, vital, to do church right for young people.
I asked him, “do you think YM is dying?” and his answer was a challenge and encouragement to me. He said “I think YM is evolving. And it’s going to be painful.” What a great way to look at it (I’m such a doomsayer!)! Of course, he’s right- things are changing because they have to change. I know God has a plan for what will happen in the Church for young people in the future, and although I don’t know what that plan is (I do have some suggestions, as usual) and it’s pretty scary being at this point in history, knowing what it was like in the past and looking at the great unknown of the future for my own vocation.
Did you catch any of that series last year, Invasion? It was sci-fi, about a bunch of alien-lights that come to earth in a hurricane to take over people’s bodies, etc. etc. etc… (what sci-fi show isn’t about that?) But what was interesting to me about it was that they weren’t taking over the people’s bodies/world out of hate, but because they were the next step in evolution. They had better functioning bodies (including being able to breathe underwater and heal fast!) and so, when you were taken over by this alien thing, you became yourself, only more advanced.
Maybe this is Youth Min’s future. A painful bite and transfer of our DNA to enable us to become Youth Ministry, only better. Oh, and there’s that Biblical thing too, “dying to self” ( )… maybe that’s involved here too…?

Friday, July 14, 2006

random notes

Here some of the things that I wrote and starred in my notebook this week- some are my thoughts and some are things we were taught, but in my own note-taking form:
* Learning is never neutral.
* faith development is like the rings on a growing tree, each layer building on the layer before it.
* In our parents’ days, there were 6 support systems for a family: Church, Community, Extended Family, School, AND the Entertainment Industry. (What a different world, huh?)
* The community is Always Teaching. What is our community teaching right now?
* The parish IS the curriculum!!!
* Education always transforms.
* Church is MISSION- not maintenance.
* Sacraments are a gift for the community- offered through a person.
* Is it really an “alternative model” if it’s rooted in the Church documents?
* CCD- Continuing Christian Development
* What if ALL Sacraments happened at parish Masses, and all were invited to witness? What if our Confirmation Masses were as packed as our Christmas Masses?
* Her pastor believes that anytime you ask someone to help in the Church, in any capacity, you are helping them to get closer to God. (!!)
* At some point you are going to run out of fuel- will you burn, or will you crash?
* “Where the hell have you been, Rip Van Winkle?!?”
* Resistance peaks just before the change tips.
* 5 questions until you get to the problem: Why? Why is that? Why is that? Why is that?,,,,, etc.
* Honor and respond to the problems and questions.
* You are the change you’re trying to make.

And there it is.

Today was our fifth and final day at the Institute, and the focus today was on leadership- how to lead for change in our parishes, a quick look at our leadership competencies, strengths and “hopes”, and a great re-run (for me anyway) through situational leadership. That’s where you take a look at where your group is, competence and confidence-wise, and adapt your leadership to where they’re at, to help them progress. Every time I hear about this I find myself staring at the diagram ( ) and realizing that I have gone either way way ahead of where I should be, or have totally misread where the team is at. It’s always an “AHA!!” moment.
The most amazing thing about this Institute has been the input and questions from the other leaders in the room. In a neat trick that I’m sure was entirely intentional by our leader, the up-front trainers gave us the theory and vision, great direction, great support and affirmation, while the learners supplied most of the practical, hands-on, applicable ideas and stories from their experience on the “front lines”. These people knew their stuff, they cared, they had (have) beautiful and sincere dreams for their parishes and are inspired to make change happen, in spite of the fact that this is a very tough task.
(Have I written about this yet?) A few years ago at a conference I was diagnosed: a prophet. Now, I am not bragging, and you’ll see why in a sentence or two… It really did feel, when I heard this talk, that I had been given a name for my pain. The trainer said that a prophet is the person in an organization who makes a stink when things aren’t going right. They name the problems in a system and call leaders to accountability. They are the ones who are constantly calling a group back to the Mission. That sounded like exactly my trouble. Then he said: “if you are called to be a prophet, then you must be a prophet. But remember: Prophets are either followed, or KILLED.”
The room this week was full of prophets. It was like prophet flight training school, where at the end they’d pin wings on us and send us to our destinies.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Day 4

This institute is about 3:00 I feel saturated, as if I just won’t be able to process any more information. But, what we’re being taught is so inspiring, it’s hard not to be on-fire and excited to learn more and explore the possibilities. I feel like I have a lot to process. Tomorrow we wrap up and everyone heads back to his or her corner of the world, and I’ll miss our work and our week together. It has been very much like CLI without the icebreakers and games!
Today we heard the good news that one among us has been awarded, with her family, the title of National Soap Box Derby Family of the Year. ( )
She and her family were kicked out of their home into a FEMA trailer by Katrina, and they are so thrilled to have been chosen. She was describing the SBD program in their community to me, today- about how it all got started from one charismatic guy who shared his vision, and who saw the strengths of her family and asked them to help. About how it has gathered the community together- it’s become a focus for kids and their families, who work together to do a good job on their cars, help each other out, celebrate with special rituals, involve everyone (including the kids in their community with special needs) and she talked about how proud she was of her son- that he has used his participation in it to draw attention and prayers to the victims of the storms in his area.
I couldn’t help but think while she was talking that she was describing a great Church community. The excitement she was showing about the derbies and their community is what I crave to hear and see in and about my parish. I’m blessed to be in a parish that is more than half-way there--- way ahead, spirit-wise, than any other parish I’ve worked for or belonged to. The last missing piece is the youth and I am champing at the bit to get to work on that.

Day 3

One of the fun things about this week is getting to know the people in attendance. There is a great mix of Boston-people, as well as people from Kansas, Mississippi, Canada, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Iowa, Florida, and more and more. Some have been doing “lifelong catechesis” models in their parishes for a few years now, some are in the transition stages from old-fashioned CCD to this better way, and some have barely heard of the concept. I had to laugh on Tuesday when John was presenting the model of Generations of Faith and a woman asked “and this is supposed to WORK?” Change is hard and hard to believe in at the beginning stages. But it’s good.
The people here this week are a source of good hope for the Church- it has been fun watching the light bulbs go on above the heads around our work room. Everyone is catching on and getting excited about what we can do in our home parishes. No one is saying “this will be too much work” or “I like the classroom model better”. They are seeing the potential for creating environments of conversion and faith-sharing, for community-building and strength and growth. We are so happy to see this possibility finally here.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

oh, and...

It occurs to me I didn't really draw a conclusion in that last post. See, this is how I fall apart under such working conditions as this... really, I need to get more sleep!
My point is this- if the Church wants to reach this next generation of young people, they need to face this fact- if you want to serve consumers, you need to make their experience of Church "worth their money", so to speak.
And, we DO want to serve the young people, don't we?

ILFF day 2

Man oh man I do not know how people do this early-morning stuff. This week the alarm goes off at 6:02 am (no, that’s not a typo, not 6:20… 6:02) and we slither into the shower and hit the road by 7:15 or so. There was quite a debate about how we’d be getting in there this week, by train or by car, and if by car what route? Plus, with our tendency to run late-ish, catching a train might be too tricky. Although, we’ve been impressively timely so far.
After yesterday’s review of the Church documents calling us to change, and a look at the pioneers of looking at faith formation in a new way, today we took a look at the alarming statistics that describe the state-of-the-church today. We heard things like that young adults “like being Catholic” but don’t exactly know what that means… and we saw poll results that showed that staggering amounts of young adults believe you can be a “good” Catholic while disbelieving in some of the core beliefs of the Church (like the resurrection of Jesus, and the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist) and that most people, across the generations (yes, even the elders!) believe you can be a good Catholic even if you don’t go to Mass regularly. How about that!!
Scott and I have talked about this for years- that the “pray, pay, and obey” Catholics are not going to be with us long (as they die off and go pay the price for starting to eat meat on Fridays in the 70’s), and that while the up-and-coming generation of consumers, while they may pray (and they do!) they are not going to pay OR obey. They really are consumers, ready to comparison shop and get the most bang for their buck- that is, this generation won’t be bound by duty to a church that doesn’t feed them.
We spent a lot of time today talking about marketing and businesses designed to give consumers an “experience” along with their goods and services. Think the difference between Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks for a good example of this. People are willing to pay $3.00 for a “tiny cup of burnt coffee” from Starbucks and sit in their comfy chairs because they FEEL good there. Interesting, no?
At my first parish we had a special Mass to which the Cardinal would be coming. It was a big big deal, and everyone got into gear- the decorations were beautiful, the choir was in place to make beautiful music, greeters stood at every door to welcome everyone, the worship aide was helpful. Why? Because we were expecting a special guest. What would the Church be like if we believed that EVERY week a special guest was to be with us. A special guest in the presence of Christ, at the very least, and then, 250-500 other very special guests in the form of our parishioners. What if the music/environment/ministers/homily were excellent EVERY WEEK because of this fact?
What a wonderful world it would be…

Monday, July 10, 2006

Day 1 at ILFF

Ooooh I spent a great first day at the Institute for Lifelong Faith Formation being held at the seminary in Brighton. It's put on by the center for Ministry Development, who are the geniuses responsible for Young Neighbors in Action, Youth Leader, Generations of Faith, and CLI. In fact, CLI (which stands for Christian Leadership Institute) was written in part by John Roberto, who is directing this Institute too. It was CLI that taught me so much about Youth Ministry and leadership.
The Institute, if today is any example, will be intense and inspiring. Today we looked at the Catechetical documents the Church has produced since 1971, and heard about the groundbreaking catechetical leaders and thinkers to whom we owe whatever progress has been made since Vatican II.
The resounding (and confounding!) message of these documents as we dug through them was that radical change has been called for since the late 60’s. Over and over, the people who paid attention to what was happening in catechesis were telling us that One-Size-Fits-All does NOT. For 35 years, we’ve been getting nudged to think not only about what the doctrine is, but WHO we are trying to teach and HOW we can do that better. They even have formulated some goals for catechesis, and guess what? They don’t say, “get through the book” or “have the kids complete 24 hours of classes”. They say things like:

The Good News of the Gospel should be taught to young people.
Faith is fostered by a community of believers.
Instruction must be related to the life of the congregation.
Family is sacred.
Catechetical leaders are the agents of the parish.
The teaching of doctrine is a means- not a goal.
The parish is the curriculum.
Education always transforms.
The paschal mystery can only really be understood by adults.
Church is MISSION- not maintenance.
And of course, the importance of catechizing adults primarily- not our habit of teaching kids only.

Seriously, this is what’s been talked about for years and years. WHY haven’t we made any changes? This stuff is not being pulled out of the air, it’s spelled out in the documents from Rome and our Bishops! It’s so frustrating to me to go to things like this and hear ideas that make so much sense, but are knocked out of the realm of possibility somewhere along the line.
I’m so excited for the rest of this week. I can’t wait to dig in and see what’s possible. I'm hoping for new hope.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

No prophet in his (or her) own land...

Tonight's Gospel reading included one of my favorite lessons- that prophets are never believed in their own land. I've seen evidence of that in my life and my ministry- it makes me think about how we never change our family roles- no matter how old and mature and wonderful we get, isn't it true that when you walk into your parents' house you become your 7-year-old self again? I remember once my Mom telling me how proud she was of how my older brothers and sisters had turned out, and when I asked her how she felt about me, she said "well, you haven't turned out yet!" I was duly insulted, feeling very much turned out and fairly impressive at that. But that's just the way it is.
When I worked at the afore-mentioned parish, I was working so hard to get the Youth Ministry committee to see things in a new way- to step away from the "old way" and try things differently- they thought I had no idea, that I was just... well I don't know. So, I hired someone else, a man... who worked for a college, had credentials,etc... to come and say to my committee exactly what I had been trying to tell them for months. Really, I sat with him before the talk, and told him what to say. My committee was agog. They thought he was BRILLIANT!!! What amazing ideas he had!! he inspired them to think in new and different ways! They would literally quote him to me in meetings. "Remember how he said we don't have to use textbooks?"
If it's true for Jesus, then I guess we have to face it. Even when the world is at our feet, at home we'll just be another one of the kids.


Today I go back to work. In fact, I should be on my way now, but Scott snuck ahead of me into the shower, and that old Doris Day/Jack Lemmon movie about the woman with the lobster business who sues the railroad and sings the Scout song "be prepared" is on.
I've got mixed feelings about going back to work, after a lovely week of vacation- naps, Tour, campfires, s'mores, and more naps. I go back today for one day/one Mass, then Monday-Friday my beloved and I go to Brighton for a five-day Institute on lifelong faith formation. Should be good, I reckon, and it has the added blessing of putting off "real" work until next week. It's not that I dislike work, and it's not even that I return to a confusing bit of negotiations left unresolved when I was there last time. It's just that I vastly prefer vacationing to working.
Why, there's Gene Rayburn, in the movie! Aww, I can go in a bit late, can't I?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Tour Fever

Two years ago at this time, I found myself unable to take Regis and Kelly anymore and started flipping around the tv dial. I found the Tour De France. I am no sports fanatic- I love the red sox and can watch a little football, if it's at a super bowl party. But something about the Tour caught my attention. I loved the commentators, who are all former competitive cyclists and know their stuff, but don’t talk above everyone’s head. In fact, one of the things that really made me fall in love with the Tour was that the commentators are teaching the whole time- they don’t talk down to the viewer, but they do teach little tidbits of information all the way through. I feel like I learn something every day that I watch, and as the information junkie that I am, I love that.
Visually, the Tour is so great too- especially on the days when teams ride together, taking turns up front and then falling back along the diagonal line of riders like a flock of geese, it’s a thing a of beauty. The riders are impressive, and speaking as someone who hasn’t been on my bike since we moved to the top of a small hill, I have immense respect for them.
Oooh and did I mention the crashes? AWESOME!!! And the scenery in France is amazing. The fans are unbelievably crazy, crushing in on the riders and slapping them as they go by, running alongside them and throwing water on them, it’s unreal.
OLN broadcasts the legs each day “live” in the morning from 8:30-11:30, then several times again throughout the day, with an edited version at night. Check it out!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Lazy? Yes. Hazy? Yes.

It's vacation week here on Lindall Hill. (We spent the first weekend at our beloved campground of course, and did you see us on the tv broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion? We were on the left, in the crowd, Scott in yellow and I in white... during America the Beautiful.)
Since camping and the big 3rd of July Fireworks, I've been doing a lo of nothing. Lots of napping, and I'm reading a nice book about Maine in the 1800's that makes me chuckle out loud, and trying not to think about my work worries. It's only Wednesday, after all, and next week I'll be at a week-long institute, so "real" work is a ways away yet.
My dearest has been much more productive than I have this week, leaping out of bed to tend to his lawn ("ten thousand little children who rely on him for water and haircuts") and making sure the lawn and the sidewalk meet at perfect 90 degree angles. I walk past my little gardens and deadhead the pansies, stomp on the earwigs, and call it a day. The morning glories are starting to climb in the back and I am impatient for them to flower!
But for now, it's rest and relax, stave off the stress, breathe deeply, sleep much. Ahhhhhhh.....