Thursday, January 31, 2013

Feeling Defeated

I am feeling so disheartened, saddened, defeated, frustrated and angry with all the horrible shootings happening around the U.S. These are innocent people's lives - gone forever. It makes me sick when people brush off gun control because "guns don't kill people, people kill people".  Well, people are not perfect.  People are fallible and don't always act with control; despite what their background check may state.  Training doesn't guarantee that a person will always react rationally when under duress.  I can't understand how we, as a nation, continue to let these tragedies happen. Why do we allow these senseless deaths?!  It breaks my heart.

Friday, January 25, 2013

UUA Headquarters

I realize that I am late on the discussion, but I have been thinking about this for quite awhile and just want to get it out there.  I am deeply disappointed that the UUA hasn't given more thought to moving headquarters out of Boston.  While I realize we have history there and it would be difficult to move staff (if they even wanted to move...), I feel it would be best in the long run.  Where and Why?  Glad you asked!  I believe we should seriously consider the Midwest.  Obviously, I would love St. Louis, but really any Midwestern city would be appreciated.  Boston is FAR away and expensive to get to.  How many people have actually made the trek to visit it?  I will grant that it is easy to fly to, but flying is cost prohibitive to many and driving there can be overwhelming.  Additionally, staying in Boston is very expensive, as are most activities in that area. I can't imagine how much it will cost for the UUA to buy or rent new space in Boston.

The Midwest is a great alternative.  It is central, has major airports, easy car access, and is a lot cheaper!  Plus, it would just feel closer and not like some distant castle high on hill far away from its people.  If we are looking to grow UU, then we need to be in the thick of it with quick access to all areas.  I can't imagine living in the far reaches of Washington Sate and feeling any sort of connection to Boston.  In a time where congregants are looking for a sense of community both within their congregations and the denomination as a whole, the UUA should think seriously about making themselves more accessible and visible to the lay person and not just staff and board members!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Garden Dreaming in the Middle of Winter

(not my actual garden)
Every year, about this time, I start dreaming BIG garden dreams.  My dream garden often looks like the image above.  I think about all the amazing vegetables I will grow and how fabulous they will taste. I imagine that I will be the envy of the neighborhood with my awesome gardening skills.  This has never actually come to fruition.

This is a more accurate representation of what my garden looks like by mid-July.  It drives Husband crazy and is the reason why I still belong to a CSA.  I am not sure what happens, but I am pretty sure it has a lot to do with the incredible St. Louis heat.  Husband has declared that he is taking over the garden this year.  We will see.  He is also a lot of talk with little weeding follow through.  But, I am scaling back my dreams and hope to plant the following, minimal care plants:
Large Garden:
asparagus (already established)
rhubarb (already established and will add to)
2 types of tomatoes
Cilantro (only because I can't get rid of it!)
Lots of Hops (we homebrew)
Small Garden and along the house:
Strawberries (struggling so will supplement)
Blueberries (replace the ones that died)
Raspberries (already established)
3 more grape vines (I dream of having my own vineyard!)
Herb Box:
lemon grass
Medicinal Box:
self heal
mint (way over established)
calendula (have had bad luck with this, but will try again)
Another dwarf apple tree (three total)
Another 2 dwarf peach trees (three total)
Some nut tree but haven't decided yet

Plus tons of flowers!  We shall see how this goes.  Like I said -I dream BIG garden dreams!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I Hope It Lasts

I am not sure I want to say this out-loud, but lately I have been feeling really happy.  I feel like I am getting a handle on things.  Maybe it was because fall kicked me to the curb, but January has brought a sense of balance that I haven't felt in a long time.  I hope it continues and I am going to make every effort to help it stay that way.  I am looking forward to a lot of things this Spring: District Assembly, launch of Missouri Interfaith Power and Light, conference in DC, joining the Northwinds Concert Band, getting my GRI certification, and - most excitedly, starting my online business.  Additionally, the family has found a rhythm that is working for us.  The kids and Husband are doing well and I am looking forward to all the events coming up in their lives.  I am knocking on wood that this feeling continues!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Second Service Curse

strikes again!  I think I am just going to turn down any opportunities where the quintet is asked to play for both services.  EVERY single time, the second performance goes worse than the first.  This one, though, was by far the most embarrassing.  I don't know what happened, but we actually had to stop in the middle of the piece and begin again.  It was mortifying.  I think we all are still trying to figure out what exactly went so terribly wrong.  The piece was going along well, when out of nowhere we were just off.  So off, that we couldn't pull it back together.  Our only option was to begin again.  I am thankful that it was my home congregation and that they were very generous in their support of us.  I have to remember that we are human, we are not perfect, and kind words go along way (and to not play for two services!).

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bible Study IS fun!

I have been leading a once a month bible study for my congregation for about a year and a half.  This was not an easy sell for my UU congregation, and, admittedly, we are a small group. But, it has been awesome.  This has probably become my favorite part of church.  My comprehension of various bible stories has increased significantly while my connectedness to fellow students has increased exponentially.  I feel we have become a sort of Chalice Circle as we delve deeper into the philosophical ramifications of various bible passages.  All points of view are welcome.  We come from diverse backgrounds and have different levels of comfort with the bible.  This all adds to the richness of the discussion.  I usually think I have a good grasp of the topic, only to have my eyes open to a whole different level of understanding by someone else.  I encourage you all to think about starting or attending a bible study at your congregation.  I have been amazed where our discussion have led and the relevance they have on modern life.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Church Community

In what is probably the saddest Fall I have experienced, I had one more memorial service to attend last night.  A young woman in our congregation lost her fight with cancer the day after Christmas.  It is heartbreaking on so many levels; a life cut far too short, a family left grieving, young friends learning the hard realities of death far too early.  The memorial service was lovely, lots of her favorite things with beautiful rememberances.  There was not a dry eye to be found.

It was heartening to see our little church community come and grieve together.  She was a part of us and we all felt the loss.  I was glad that her family could see that they are not alone in this horrible loss; that we are there for them.  Times like these reinforce why I am part of a community.  We need each other. Life is hard and no one should have to go it alone.