Archive | November, 2012

a thankful november: new gnome.

27 Nov
There was a package on my doorstep today.  It came from Alaska and had a gnome inside.
See, my brother, Ben, went to the local library book basket auction.  [I guess it’s a thing.]  There was a gnome basket for auction; it’s the one he went home with and the one he then transferred to a box to send to me.  There are gardening tools, seeds, a book on container gardening [perfect for me!], and a new gnome.
I was digging through the box, pulling the items out one by one and excited about the contents.  Whoever put the basket together for auction is awesome and quite possibly my long lost twin.  I set the heavy gnome on the counter.  I shall call him Gandalf the Green.  He has a walking stick. 
I kept going thru the box contents and found one last book.  It’s then that I realized the error of my ways – my gnome collecting ways.  That one last book?  How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack: Defend Yourself When the Lawn Warriors Strike (And They Will).  Shit.  My gnomes are going to kill me.
My collection of gnomes?  People sending me new gnomes for my collection?  And those poor people in Dawson, surrounded by gnomes!  I suddenly was aware that I wasn’t simply gathering cute and innocent gnomes in my corner curio cabinet.  I’m freakin’ helping them achieve their evil endgame by bringing them together.  The dark one is gathering all armies to him.  It won’t be long now.  He will soon be ready to make his last war that will cover all the world in darkness.  [Just a little LOTR for you.  To make Gandalf the Green feel at home.]
Needless to say, this package from my brother may be more than simple thoughtfulness and fun.  This package will help me survive the inevitable garden gnome attacks. 
This package may save my life.  

sh*t Molly does.

26 Nov
Emma and I dreamed and planned this blog post as we went shopping with cousin Molly and hung out with cousin Molly.  She does wackiest things and doesn’t care one bit what people think.  Oh, to be like that.  She talks about burying food in the backyard in case of the zombie apocalypse and quotes Dumb and Dumber along with the freaky horror movie preview we saw at the theater.  Molly is frickin’ hilarious and this is the shit she does.  [Not pictured: the bbq potato chip face mask she created at jimmy john’s.]

playing the organ at grandma & grandpa’s in emma’s old prom dress.  naturally.

four inch heels for a thirteen year old?

black friday shopping is exhausting.

they sell this at target.  not kidding.

a thankful november: trips home.

25 Nov
I am thankful for trips home.  For as close as I live [four hours away is the closest I’ve lived in four years] I don’t get home very often.  It’s good when I do.
I took a sanity day last Wednesday and headed for southern Wisconsin.  For this trip home, I slumbered at my grandparent’s house in Edgerton along with my mom and my sister.  [My mom’s new house is slated to be done right around Christmas time.]  Cousin Molly practically lived there too [even though her real bed is just one house down the street].
This trip home consisted of thanksgiving deliciousness, movie nights and shopping with sister Emma and cousin Molly, Target runs with Mom, a girl’s night out with high school friends, and family visits.  Oh, and I helped Grandpa Sid cut his pills in half.  He asked when Emma and I stopped by for a visit.  And he handed me a pliers to do the job.  All in all, a pretty great and exhausting time. 
It’s also a year to be thankful for technology.  My annual Thanksgiving Day Bake-Off cousin, Connor, is currently studying abroad in Ghana.  No plate of mashed potatoes with his name on it.  No bake-off this year.  [Rescheduled for Christmas.]  But we got to skype with him!  How crazy is it that you can see and talk to someone across the world in real time?  Technology is great.  [Know who else loves technology?  Kip.  From Napoleon Dynamite.]
This trip home was good.  And one thing that makes coming back to Austin not quite as hard is checking the mail after I’ve been gone for a few days.  I love mail.  I subscribe to a lot of magazines just so I have something in my mailbox.  I’m just waiting for the Christmas card season to start!  I got a surprise this time around – two, actually.  One – a card from my friend Amanda with a gnome magnet inside!  Two – an anonymous letter with a magazine clipping inside about how women shouldn’t be pastors.  Yay!   I love mail … most of the time.  Welcome back, Pastor Lindsay.

a thankful november: babies.

17 Nov
It seems I’m surrounded by babies.  All my friends have babies or are having babies.  [I don’t.  But this isn’t meant to be a lament … moving on.]  And I’m thankful for them.

I like babies.  I always have.  The joke in high school was that I was going to have, like, eight babies.  [I haven’t.  But this isn’t meant to be a lament … moving on.]  I love holding them and dressing them and playing with them, she says as if they are dolls.  I know they’re not dolls.  

Babies are on the brain because yesterday I packed a box with two quilts inside to send to Montana.  I am thankful for babies because they give me a quilting purpose.  I am thankful for babies because these particular two baby girls fulfill a mommy and daddy dream for two of my favorite people.  I am so thankful that this pair of baby girls were born early this morning, healthy and beautiful!  I can’t wait to meet them.

a thankful november: today.

12 Nov
It’s Monday.  Nobody likes Monday.
But today was a good Monday for this pastor.  It started with quilting with the ladies, and by quilting I mean I had coffee with them and then, of course, potluck lunch. I brought cakepops to share.  I had many in-depth conversations about cakepops.  It’s cool.  I like to talk about them.
A communion visit and then coffee with my mentor?  Good.  Conversation with seminary roomie via mobile?  Good.  Good news via text from a pregnant friend in Montana?  Good.  Council meeting?
Council meetings typically leave me in tears.  I’m usually frustrated at my inability to lead.  They’re long.  Sometimes respect for each other isn’t there.  But tonight – it was good.
How did that happen?
First, we started with worship.  I normally lead devotions [read: lame] but tonight I wanted to give them a sneak peak at Holden Evening Prayer, a service we are trying during Advent this December.  The council didn’t seem entirely thrilled – especially the men – but they stuck with it.  It took a half hour – much longer than typical devotions.  I wondered if they hated me for it.
But I think they were okay.  Then I presented them with a possible mission statement for Red Oak Grove.  To get to it, I made them play hangman.  They guessed letters and I filled them in to get Gathering in grace, growing in faith, going forth to serve.  They humored me and then we had a decent conversation about the statement.
THEN the meeting was about to wrap when someone spoke up.  This person is one in charge of the church’s seminary endowment fund.  [a fund of money we can’t touch but to support future pastors in seminary with the interest gained.]  No one is using the fund right now.  Maybe our pastor could use the interest gained this year for her seminary loans?  It’s not much, she said.  It didn’t matter how much; I was humbled at the thought.  
We held hands [yeah. we do that.], said the Lord’s prayer, and the meeting was over.  The meeting was just over an hour.  That’s at least thirty minutes shorter than usual.  And then Paige posted this photo from last night on facebook.  Thankful for the feet of friends [and the rest of their bodies, too].
Good day.

I’m bored.

10 Nov
This is no thankful november post.  Don’t hate me –
But I’m bored.
I’ve felt this coming on for the past couple weeks.  Work has been … slow [knock on wood].  Slow as in I’ve been able to get my work done during the work day.  No long nights.  No weekend work.  
Hurray!  It’s what I’ve been striving for all along.  
Yesterday Mabel and I went for a walk and I went to Rochester to get an oil change and I watched a movie and I cleaned and I baked a couple cakes for future cakepops and I resisted spending $80 on Christmas cards.  Today I cleaned some more, read in the hammock, wrote snail mail, quilted, went for a walk, watched television, wrote a sermon, la di da.
One can only quilt, watch television, and walk so much.  I need some excitement in this life, otherwise this winter is going to be a long one.  New hobby?  More friends?  I don’t know.  Something.  [I realize it’s almost a luxury to feel bored.  I shouldn’t complain.  I know I shouldn’t.  But I think I just did in the tiniest bit.]

a thankful november: the three musketeers.

6 Nov
I’ve been gone.  Fall theological convention in Onalaska, WI, baby!  It’s a crazy time.  You might want to disagree.  A theological convention for pastors is crazy?  I don’t lie.  There were hot tub parties, dinners with crazy travel stories, Spotted Cow, and lots of laughs. 
I went with jD and Paige.  Are you surprised?
The synod staff sitting at the registration table wasn’t.  Here come the three musketeers, they chimed as we slipped on our nametags.  They had fun-size three musketeer bars on the registration table.  We each ate one.  It was fitting.  Then jD and I drank a Spotted Cow while Paige drank a cranberry juice.  Also fitting.
I really couldn’t imagine a fall theological convention without them.  In our last year here, we’ve made some new friends too; we weren’t an exclusive group of three musketeers [or the newly labeled kkk – kool kids klub].  We had a crazy late night in our friend, Karen’s, room, discussing the red flannel decor and the fact that I never smile.*   We went out to supper at Piggy’s in downtown LaCrosse with a large group of pastor friends.  The Sunday afternoon through Tuesday morning requirement went by fast.  A car ride home with a game of spill-your-guts:what-don’t-we-know-about-each-other ended the adventure.
I’m thankful for my fellow musketeers [and their families].  Without them, fall theological would be much more work, less fun, and life in ministry would simply be more difficult and lonely.  
We texted this photo to jD to give him a clue to our whereabouts.  His response?  Where the hell are you?  Exactly.

* I was told to smile! in passing once more at the conference.  Strangers, synodical ministers, friends, you name it.  I apparently walk around with a frown on my face.

a thankful november: childlike surprise.

3 Nov
I went to Austin today to fetch sewing machine needles [it was a dire situation; my last one had snapped mid-quilt] and to return library books.  Oh so exciting, right?  I went to the fabric store.  La di da.  And then I went to Target because Target is right next to the fabric store and why oh why would I not go inside to see their fall decor on clearance?  [scored: a black metal jack-o-lantern lantern for 70% off]
Next I drove downtown towards the library.  As I drove past the Hy-Vee and neared my turn, in the open part to the my right was a hot air balloon.  You know – giant.  ‘uge.  I thought, well, that’s cool but nothing much beyond that.  I’ve seen that before.  Kept driving.
I returned my library books and as I was walking to my car again, a stranger – an older gentleman – was a couple cars away from me.  He yelled to me, Look!  A pie in the sky.  I first I thought, wow, this man is crazy and yelling about pie.  I followed his finger pointing to the hot air balloon, now floating above Austin.  Okay, pretty cool.  I smiled at him and said something lame about it taking off from over by Hy-Vee.  He said again, It’s a pie in the sky.
He was so surprised by the sight.  He was so excited about it that he shared it with me, a perfect stranger, in the library parking lot.  But he wasn’t the only one taken by the balloon.  As I drove away thru downtown, people had spilled out of the VFW and other businesses to stare up at the pie in the sky.  [This makes Austin seem pretty boring, if people go out of their way to watch a balloon.  SPAM, we need some excitement.]  
It was like a small child seeing Christmas lights, or an airplane fly overhead, or the delight a kid gets from seeing polar bears wrestle at the zoo.  If only things surprised us like that more often, eh? 

a thankful november: my bed.

2 Nov
Do you love your bed?
I love my bed.
Some people don’t have beds.  I’m thankful for mine.
As I wash my sheets and dream of sleeping in a newly-made bed tonight, I realize I probably spend too much time in bed.  I’m a solid eight-hours a night kind of gal, mostly due to boredom and a flexible work schedule.  Perhaps the washing of sheets will wash away the nightmares and dreams I’ve been having.  [Last night I dreamed that I went to the dentist and had nine cavities.  Then I was at McDonald’s and it took over an hour to get my fruit and walnut salad.  Then there was something about a kidnapping; I don’t quite recall now which is probably best.]
Simplistic statement though it is – I love my bed.  The end.
In other news, Paige and I saw Argo this afternoon.  I feel more intelligent for it.  

a thankful november: tator tots & two year olds.

1 Nov
Happy November!
[It’s November.  When did that happen?  Okay, fine.  I know.  It happened today.]
In an effort to become a more regular blogger once again and in light of the thankful hearts that are shared this month, I, Lindsay, pledge to blog on a [nearly] daily basis something for which I am thankful.
[Did you get that?  Mouthful.  Nearly daily basis?  There may be a few holes due to being away from computer, not for lack of being thankful.]
A thankful November.  I tried to be creative with the title.  Thank-vember?  Novemb-itude?  Then I gave up.  Onto the important part –
Today, November 1, I am thankful for tator tot casserole and two-year olds named Jackson.
I went over to a family’s house for supper tonight.  They are parishioners and ones I sadly haven’t gotten to really know in my year here.  Their second child is being baptized at the end of the month and baptisms are always my pastor excuse to invite myself over.  Their two year old is pretty subdued in church.  He’s a great kid.  Put him in his own territory – his own living room – and high on sugar from yesterday – watch out.  He was running around, making awesome dramatic facial expressions, and making slurpy noises when he wanted more to drink.  Absolutely hilarious.
It was great fun for this pastor to eat in a house with a crazy two year old.  I usually sit on my couch watching television while I eat; this was a great change of pace.  And we had biscuits with dinner.  Carbs.  [Yum.  Something I don’t buy myself.]
And so today, I am thankful for tator tot casserole around a table with fun parishioners and their crazy two-year old.
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