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Stillwater getaway.

27 May

Last year, right around this time, I stayed at my first B&B in Grand Marais.  I went away to Stillwater this past Thursday thru Saturday for another B&B getaway.  Well, kinda.  Paige and I have joked with our Stillwater synod pal, Karen, for months that we would come to stay at her B&B, aka her house.  This past weekend we finally did.

Our accommodations were lovely at the B&B.  We were welcome to come and go as we pleased and were invited to sample the lovely cereal varieties available.  We were close enough to downtown to take a walking tour, including stops at the now closed theological bookstore, the daily grind for coffee, and the co-op for yummy sandwiches.  We ate dinner out on a patio overlooking the river with our hosts and devoured too much ice cream for our own good on a walk to Nelson’s.  Saturday morning was another coffee shop, relaxing by reading, and a late lunch on the screen porch before our departure.  It was all things lovely.

Eventually, the weekend had to end and we had to depart.  I didn’t even make it to the southern edge of the cities before Paige had to listen to me cry.  The weekend [well, Thursday thru Saturday] was so lovely that I didn’t want to go home.  Go home to Sunday sermon prep.  Go home where life isn’t like a B&B at all, where there are no patios to sit on, or friends to eat every meal with.  Go home and not have a long weekend like the rest of the world. [See screen shot of tweet above.] I think the tears are a symptom – I’m burned out.  I think I’m long ready for a vacation.  A full week off.  Luckily, that’s only two and a half weeks away.  Alaska, here I come.

Friday Favorites [from facebook]

24 May

I’ve had awesome friends posting awesome things on my facebook wall this week.  Case in point –

This article came to me via mi amiga, Carolyn, who posted it on my facebook wall.  I tease you with two lines.  First, the title: How garden gnomes are causing an uproar at one of Britain’s most prestigious events.  [heck yeah they are.]  Second, the last quote of the article: I’ve learned there is no place for gnomism in my life.  [sad life.]  You should read the rest for yourself.

Just when you think life can’t get any better [with or without gnomism in your life], this video shows up on your facebook wall.  Thanks to Sara dearest for posting it for me to watch and laugh and enjoy.  You should probably know the surprise party skit with Kristin Wigg from SNL for optimum laughter and understanding at this imitation.  Don’t know it?  Google it – watch that video – THEN come back here and watch this one.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

 

I will also share a photo, taken by a parishioner during worship on Pentecost.  I posted it to the church’s facebook page and it has received more likes than anything else.  It must be a favorite.

Sunday 5-20

The favorite things I did on Friday.

18 May

I didn’t post any favorites yesterday.  I didn’t even open my computer because I was busy doing some of my favorite things.  Favorite things like what?, asks the chorus.  Favorite things like this:

I slept in until 10.  TEN.  After a couple weeks of roofers waking me up by 7, it was needed.  And you have to love a dog that not only lets you sleep until ten but actually keeps sleeping longer.  Mabel is a sleeping rock star.

I ate breakfast and watched the SERIES finale of The Office.  The Office has been a part of my life for the last nine years.  It’s sad to see it end but it was good.  It was good.

I cleaned.  It’s been a long while since I’ve had a Friday morning/afternoon to be at home and tidy up.  Quite honestly, a Friday at home to clean is one of my favorite things.  I put away the boxes that came back with me from Geep’s and washed my sheets; unloaded the dishwasher and washed dishes.  It was productive.  And awesome.

Mabel and I went for a walk and then it was off to the cities for me.  A bit over a month ago, I got together with three college friends for a game night.  We scheduled a second one for last night and there is now a third on the calendar for June which will take place here in Austin.  I like what we have going on.  Last night we played Settlers: Cities and Knights.  it was at least a three hour game and lots of fun for a Friday night.

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Dear Lindsay of middle school,

24 Apr

As a pastor who loves working with confirmation-aged kids, I catch glimpses of my own past middle school experience as the confirmation kids share their own experiences.  I slightly remember* what it was like to be awkward and a seventh grader.  It wasn’t easy.

I was so incredibly lucky to have awesome friends.  More or less the same awesome friends I still have now.  [Dancing Banana shout-out!]  But there was still drama.  There was judging.  There is terrible shit that goes on in middle schools.  And I can’t imagine it if one doesn’t have awesome friends.

There are a couple gals in my confirmation class that often only have lows to share in the rounds of highs & lows.  A lot of time, those lows are there’s just lots of drama at school.

Ugh.  Drama.

What I want to say to them is much like what I would say to my own middle-school self –

Dear Lindsay of middle school,

Being popular doesn’t matter for shit.  Forget those queen bees.  They suck.  You should just be nice to everyone.  [And probably not say people suck.  That wasn’t nice, future Lindsay.]

Be friends with the people who make you happy and people with whom you can be yourself and silly.  Form a gang.  Call it Oatmeal.  Make cardboard necklaces for everyone in the gang with raw oats glued to them.  Your name as gang leader shall be Raisin. **

The boys are pretty cute, aren’t they?  But don’t worry about them.  Just because they’re eye candy doesn’t mean they’re worth crying over.

School work is important but trying to get straight A’s isn’t worth sick stomachs and sleepless nights.  And hey – good job on that newspaper writing competition.

Please, quit wearing the over-sized flannel shirts and carpenter jeans sooner than later.

That one day, after school, when marching band rehearsal gets out late and everyone sprints back to the band room – hold onto your flute a little tighter.  Trust me.

The drama will end.  It will be okay.

Signed,

Future Lindsay

I started to write this post before confirmation met tonight.  I finish it after confirmation.  After the one confirmand who-never-has-a-high-and-her-low-is-always-drama had a high that the drama has ended.  Hallelujah.  Confirmation was awesome tonight.  Not only did every seventh and eighth grader have a high – if not many – we threw out our lesson for the night because all they wanted to do was ask questions.  About God.  About the Bible.  About doubts.  We tackled a few tonight the best we could and they made a list for next week.  Here’s to the freedom to ask questions and doubt in church.  Important stuff.

* I quite literally remember NOTHING about my seventh grade year.  It’s a blur to me.  I remember some of sixth grade and some of eight but seventh?  Nada.

** True story.

A coffee cup.

22 Apr

I chose this one today.

 I miss my gnome friends.

[Both the ones who live in Gnome Park and the ones who worship and work at Grace.]

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Friday Favorites.

19 Apr

Favorite/current netflix obsession: Classic episodes of The Office.  Lately, all my current shows on Hulu + are in reruns and not new; hence returning to the old classic.  [“You can’t fire me.  I don’t work in this van.”]

Favorite confirmation moment: We were talking about birthdays and one young lady said that for her birthday, they always eat a trifle … which automatically transports me to the thanksgiving episode of Friends when Rachel makes [and screws up] a trifle … and so I said, “You guys are too young for Friends, right?” … to which they all looked at me like I was off my rocker.  “We have friends …”

Favorite upcoming weekend activity: Sewing & wine sleepover at Sara’s!  Mabel and I are hitting the road this afternoon to stay at Sara’s in the cities.  I’m taking my sewing machine and binding quilts is the name of the game.  Along with drinking wine.  And probably watching Pride and Prejudice.  Speaking of which –

Favorite Pride and Prejudice line of the week: As I reread a chapter or two each night before bed, I was delighted to read this gem again.  Mr. Collins to Lizzy – And now nothing remains for me but to assure you in the most animated language of the violence of my affection.  Violence of affection. Oh, awkward Mr. Collins.

Favorite sign of spring:  The snow.  Definitely the snow.  [That be sarcasm, dudes.  And I can’t complain.  Southeast MN has had it the easiest of all the MN quadrants.]

May the snow melt quickly.  Happy Friday.

A Saturday slump. And goodbye, Facebook.

13 Apr

Sometimes I think quitting facebook would be a really, really wise decision.  I read this article the other day and it has stuck with me – Instagram’s Envy Effect.   If you don’t want to read it, allow me to summarize.  When people post on social media [instagram, facebook, etc.], people share a partial truth about their lives.  A perfect family photo … but not the fight that happened five minutes before.  The perfectly decorated party … but not the mess that came afterwards.  Etc, etc.  It’s so true.  I don’t instagram photos of hacked sewing jobs before I take the seam ripper to them.

The other part of this equation is that we refresh our twitter/facebook/instagram feeds [I’m guilty of all three.] when we’re bored or feeling sad or lonely [yup, occasionally all three].  Right?

When you’re laughing at a meal with friends, are you scrolling through Pinterest? When you’re in labor with your much-prayed-for-deeply-loved child, are you checking to see what’s happening on Instagram? Of course not. We check in with our phones when it seems like nothing fun is happening in our own lives—when we’re getting our oil changed or waiting for the coffee to brew.

It makes sense, then, that anyone else’s fun or beauty or sparkle gets under our skin. It magnifies our own dissatisfaction with that moment. When you’re waiting for your coffee to brew, the majority of your friends probably aren’t doing anything any more special.

But it only takes one friend at the Eiffel Tower to make you feel like a loser.

This happened to me this morning.  I already wasn’t looking forward to my day.  There were a couple things on my to-do list that weren’t real high on my I-want-to-spend-my-Saturday-doing-this scale.   I checked facebook only to find glimpses of more people engaged, more people having cute babies, and more people traveling and doing fun things while I faced my Saturday with less than any enthusiasm.  One more real life example of what the article articulated.

That being said, I’m not quitting facebook.  But you won’t see me there any too often.  We’re going to spend some time apart.  I think it will be good for me.  And then I’ll have more time to do other stuff.  Like go to quilt shops and go for walks with Mabel and call my mommy, all of which I did today and all of which were very good additions to my Saturday.  See, it wasn’t all bad.  But at 8am this morning when I was catching up with facebook happenings – those small, perfect glances into friends’ and acquaintances’ lives that make mine feel boring and behind compared to my age demographic – you would have thought the world was ending by my reaction.  Enough of that, lady.

Enough of that.

The Giant Mechanical Man and broken teeth.

30 Mar

Have you heard of The Giant Mechanical Man?  It’s a movie.  A delightful one.  It streams on Netflix if that helps you out, and is one my sister would definitely characterize as a Lindsay movie.  [Read: Indie-ish, odd, not mainstream.]

 

In the movie – in addition to a whole lot of other stuff happening with silver face paint and scenes at a zoo [I’m totally selling it, right? <sarcasm>] – two of the main characters have the same dream.  A dream about their teeth falling out.

I saw this movie weeks ago when Paige & Karen & I had a sleepover at the ROG B&B but it kept replaying in my mind this week again as my own teeth began falling out.  … say what?

Okay.  Not multiple teeth and not even a whole tooth.  It was Maundy Thursday and I had just gone to get the mail from the mailbox.  I was chewing gum.  La di da.  Sorting mail.  Blowing bubbles.  Opening letters.  Chomp, chomp, cho –

There is suddenly something very hard in my gum.  Upon further investigation, it’s a part of a tooth and it’s disgusting.  [Luckily, it doesn’t hurt.  A corner of a molar.  I have an appointment next week to get it checked out.]  Last year on Maundy Thursday, my heel broke during worship.  This year, apparently, it’s my teeth.  Should we cast lots for what breaks next year?  Maybe an arm or a leg?

Coffee with ladies and egg crafts.

26 Mar

After a busy Sunday morning of palm waving, hosanna singing, and personal care kit assembling, I went to the local care center to lead a worship service.  I gave them palms and then had coffee with a couple of ladies.  They fought and interrupted each other often.  [In the middle of one woman telling me about her great-granddaughter the other woman asked her loudly, “Are you going to get cremated?”]  It made me very uncomfortable.

Sunday night we [you know – we] gathered in our usual place at our usual time.  I was even early enough to read a story to a cute little almost-one year old before he went to bed.  We [you know – we] ate supper and then dove into egg crafts.  We had traditional dying on one end of the table [after we figured out what colors the pesky little tablets were] and filling hollow eggs with candy at the other.  It was egg-citing, egg-cellent, and an all around egg-ceptional time.

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game night (and an updated blog).

24 Mar

Three college friends – plus a spouse, a daughter, and a boyfriend – and I planned a night together last Friday.  We met in St.Paul and had only one goal : wear crazy hats.

It’s a game we played a lot in college and also in seminary.  The Great Dalmuti is its name and it requires crazy hats.  Friday night we had a lime green cowboy hat, an Arizona Wildcats foam hat, a bear headband, a hood, and my mother’s wedding hat from 1980.  Depending upon how well you do in each round, you may get to wear a really awesome hat or you may be forced to wear a really crappy hat.  [The wedding hat was declared to be the least great of the five; sorry, mom.]

We also played a little Spot It, ate pizza, and drank hard cider.  Our next get-together is on the calendar for May; we live too close to not get together more often and wear ridiculous hats.

As an aside, you may notice the blog looks different [again].  Surprise!  It was my sermon procrastination technique for Saturday night … I hope it’s easy to navigate and pleasing to your eyes.

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