Monday, June 22, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY 06/22/09...
Outside My Window... It is just RAINING. It's been raining, or misting, or pouring, or monsooning, for many many days now. The lawn is lush and green, or at least it looks like it from in here.
I am thinking... about our annual camping trip- out to western MA, where we'll gather and camp and then pilgrimage to Tanglewood to see our friend Garrison Keillor for A Prairie Home companion. There's much to do, lots of packing and inventory and then there are the cooking possibilities!! I'm thinking about rhubarb-blueberry pocket pies... How will I get it all done?
I am thankful for... for a mildly encouraging weather report. Thankful for my smaller body, of late, and the fun old clothes I get to wear again, and for the chance to take this trip every year.
From the kitchen... tonight, a lovely low-carb, hi-fiber meal, cooked without any trace of bacon grease.
I am wearing... winter clothes, practically... sweatshirt, new yoga pants... SOCKS. Where is Summer???
I am creating... Probably, those pocket pies! How can I help myself?
I am going... to dinner tomorrow night with friends, to breakfast Wed. with another friend, and then dinner with old friends Wed. night. I love weeks like this!
I am reading... not much! I did do my usual Summer reading shopping, and Mary Roach hasn't put out a new book, so I'm hoping to scrounge some books from my sister, and who knows what then?
I am hoping... beyond hope that the weather will clear up.
I am hearing... The Closer on tv. This is a GREAT show. Deputy Chief Johnson rocks.
Around the house... we have been cleaning and clearing spots for packing and stacking up gear for the trip.
One of my favorite things... is the lawn at Tanglewood. It's just perfect. And though you can't actually see the show from where we sit, we are surrounded by people lounging at picnic tables, sipping wine, and the grass is so pristine that you can walk around without ever stepping on a stone or twig. After the show, we all go into the shed, and do a big singalong that always makes me teary just for the sheer joy of it.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Packing, friends, cooking, camping, laughing, sunning, swimming, napping, reading, noshing, loving, relaxing, playing.
Here is picture thought I am sharing... it's the "view" from our "seats" at Tanglewood.

Friday, June 19, 2009

outlook: rain

We're t-minus one week on the big yearly camping trip. Here's the week's forecast as it was this morning on

Now, on second inspection, it looks like this:

So, THAT'S not really an upgrade.
On our wedding day, it rained like it's been raining around here this weekend. Monsoon-ish. It rained the kind of rain where you look out the window and think to yourself "it is IMPOSSIBLE for rain to come down THIS HARD for THIS LONG!!!"
As for this weekend, all I want to do is lounge, and nap- not a lot of energy going on around here, and I don't mind a weekend like that every once in a while, but I do hope and pray it'll clear up for Thursday and next weekend. We've been rained on at Tanglewood, and it's SO not as fun as when it's nice out. I don't mind rainy camping but I surely prefer dry camping. Before our wedding everyone told us to hang our rosary beads out our windows, or put religious statues in the windows. I ended up with one really wet rosary. Rain rain go away already!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New Thinking

I've been thinking about this upcoming year at the parish, and we're doing faith formation planning, and I've come to this resolution that I think we should make, as a staff.
I think we should agree to assume the best about our parishioners. I think we should remove from our conversations that sound anything like this: "oh, they'll never come for that." "They will be confused by that." "The people don't want to work that hard." "That is too much to ask." "They will resent us for pushing too hard (or asking too much)."
I think the truth is closer to this: people in our parishes are seeking for something. They want to learn more about their faith. They want to grow closer to God. They want to help, and they appreciate being needed.
I believe that thinking this way about our people can make a huge difference in how we treat them, and that will make a difference in their response.
But hey, it's just a theory... we'll have to try it to know if it works...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I've got the beat

Have I ever mentioned that I have music stuck in my head all the time? Like, always-- constantly. Whenever I tell someone this, they inevitably ask me "oh yeeeeahhh? What song is in your head RIGHT NOW then?" So, in case that's what you're wondering, right now it is the obnoxious theme song to Radio Boston, which I just hate. (It's really only two notes, played on and on.) This is an example of songs that I really try to avoid, because it's one thing to have a good song stuck in here, and quite another to have an annoying one. The only cure I've found to having a song stuck is to listen to another song. Many times in the car I've asked Scott to turn the radio on so I can replace whatever is stuck in there (here).
Usually it is not a whole song but some fraction of one, often just one phrase, so things like radio jingles and tv ads fit that bill perfectly- even little bits of music like a doorbell ringing will lodge themselves in until I find something better (this part is tough to explain to people who ask me what is in my head RIGHT NOW because the answer sometimes is "doooo-doo!".
I heard a story on Radio Lab that in a roundabout way made connections between this state and epilepsy, believe it or not- they solicited techniques from their reaLinkders for making songs go away and one that I've played with is to just stop the song on one note and let that one note go on and on and on until it all goes away. This doesn't really work for me, but it does give my brain a bit of a break.
It is not, as you might be wondering, agonizing. Right now I have the "Magic 106.7" song-let in my head, because I have been poking at our radio's buttons trying to find a song that I won't mind having on an endless loop in here- which reminds me, thank GOD for satellite radio- no commercial jingles at ALL and there's always a good song on somewhere. Regular radio is all jingles and not much music. I've had songs in my head since I was a very little girl- I remember being outside the Cone school and realizing that I'd had something stuck in for a long time- this might have been my first realization of it.
The only time it's been a problem has been in high-stress points of my life, like when I started at my former parish (should have been a sign of the trouble to come!). I had trouble sleeping because I could NOT get a particular Mariah Carey song out of my head. I don't remember what song, and no, I am not a Mariah fan- it just came in my head at the wrong time and refused to leave. I had nasty fever-like dreams for days where I was trying to get that music to stop or was being forced to listen to it or something like that. My stress really made that song stick and stick hard. I work hard not to get that stressed now.
So, here's to a musical life. Maybe I'll put it to work for me...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Oh yeah, I've got it.

PMS that is. Wanna know how I know I have PMS? Because, among other symptoms, I finally called to schedule a hair appointment for myself and the person who answered the phone at the salon told me that my hairdresser has left. Months ago, she left. Since then I have felt wrecked! I'm so bummed out that my hairdresser just up and left me behind, the one who knows what stupid rods to use for my stupid perm. And I'm at a loss- now to whom shall I go? I love Laura's perms but I don't want to go to Waltham for mine. I know people who know people who ARE hairdressers, but you know, that's tricky! Once you go to someone you know, you can NEVER LEAVE. You'll run into them at someone's birthday party and they'll look at your hair and know how long it's been since you visited their shop and they'll know.
Anyway, my crazy reaction to this news and the way it's making my day a gloom-fest, that's how I know I have PMS. Oh, and the simultaneous urges I have a) to assert myself and get my damned point across and B) to throw my hands in the air, exasperated, and say "you know what? Whatever."
Also I have a low-grade fever that Motrin is not touching.
I don't complain about cramps and headaches, I accept them as penance for not wanting to bear children. But PMS-nastiness, well, that's just a punishment on everyone. Sorry, everyone. But then again, you know what? Whatever.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

substance abuser

Last night we went out for a big fancy dinner to celebrate our 8th anniversary (we had a big gift certificate!). I threw all caution to the wind and went ca-ray-zee. No, not drinking-crazy...
I have been eating low carb since Ash Wednesday, or thereabouts, and have really liked it (see the bacon-flavored entries here on this blog). But every once in a while I do go a little carb-a-palooza. Last night was an extreme one. I had risotto (oh it was soooo good) and BREAD! White bread! I ate all the croutons in my caesar salad, and then... I had dessert. Creme Brulee. Oh God.
It was all wonderful, but it caused a serious shock to my system! When we got home, I was so sleepy I felt like I'd been drugged. I fell asleep on the couch by 9:30 and then finally dragged myself to bed. I could not believe how badly I was affected by that food. It made quite a difference in how I was feeling.
So, now I know even better how good I feel when I limit carbohydrates- after a meal like that I feel like I need some detox and was happy to get back to my now-normal eating habits. Somebody pass me the bacon!