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This morning, Tyka, Maren, Maren’s dad, and I participated in an activity that shall not be named. I wished I had a camera so I could create a little photo essay for you. It would have looked something like this:

– a sign on the waterfront reading: “caution: water may be contaminated by sewage following rainfall”
– a gaggle of men fishing in a boat in our beautiful river
– a shot of our typically cloudy skies

Maren has the busiest social calendar of anyone I know. She had four eventful thing scheduled for today. When I have a free Saturday, it’s generally spent in sloth with some moderate socializing. I remain impressed by the maren-ness of Maren.

After our morning date with Maren, we proceeded to church where we were splashed with water, sprinkled with bay leaves, and fed the manna that is fruit, nuts, bread and port wine. It all leaves you rather exulting and living on a slightly different wavelength.

Caution: the following is what happens when you’re giddy and tired and you decide your god-daughter needs an Easter dress:

You go to the Hanna Andersson outlet, the most dangerous place on earth. You intend to purchase one (1) cute dress that fits an almost-two-year-old.

You deliberate between this (in pink) and a cute blue linen sundress (no photo, being outlet and all).

While deliberating, you notice that everything in the women’s section is 50% off. Hmm, you’ve been wanting some long john pants, you think. You find these in orange and white.

Then you find this for $15! Notice how much it costs on the website? Yeah. But for $15? Sold.

You grab a plain brown long sleeve shirt that’s practical. You make a last chance phone call to Toni hoping for words of wisdom. No answer. You can’t decide between the two dresses for Q, so you get them both.

And that, my friends, is why Hanna Andersson is cotton crack. Toni still says she wants to go there next time she’s in town. I think I’ll have to leave my wallet at home for that trip.

Even though I have not been with you, blogging, be encouraged that you have been with me. I have mentally composed many a blog over the past few days, and I fear I shall never get them all out.

There was much standing in church. There was much singing, and much laughing. Tyka and I are working on a series of faux troparia for your enjoyment. We intend to cover such topics as: banana peels, virginity, the head of John the Baptist, bridal chambers, and so forth.

We’ve noticed that there’s an awful lot of singing about bridal chambers. “I see thy bridal chamber…” which makes sense. In that one it’s a place we want to go. Bridal chambers are good things, right? I wouldn’t know, but I assume so. But then there’s “Jonah lept forth from the monster as from a bridal chamber.” Well, I sure don’t want a bridal chamber if it’s like being swallowed by a sea monster for three days! Huh. We’re presented with a very conflicting picture here.

Tyka and I were planning a joint blog yesterday, which will perhaps still come to pass, but I guess it won’t be a Good Friday blog anymore. We never managed to sit down together. Contrary to what it seems, we don’t really live together. We just pass like ships in the night. If we didn’t blog, I’m not sure how we’d keep in touch.

Part of the problem yesterday was the napping. There was a lot of napping happening and we just didn’t plan it right. Speaking of naps, that will be the activity that follows this blog. You know, to balance that whole staying up all night thing that will happen tonight.

To be continued…

Little Miss Q Posted by Hello

Admiring their chickens Posted by Hello

For Beege, a calendar of this week’s services:

Saturday: Matins 8 am, liturgy 9:30 am, vespers 7 pm
Palm Sunday: Matins 8 am, liturgy 10 am, bridegroom service 6 pm
Monday: Pre-Sanctified liturgy 6:30 pm
Tuesday: Matins 6 am, Pre-Sanc 6:30 pm
Wednesday: Matins 6 am, Pre-Sanc 5:30 pm, Unction 7:30 pm
Thursday: Liturgy 2 pm, Passion Gospels 7 pm
Friday: Royal Hours 6 am, Vespers 4 pm, Matins 7 pm
Saturday: Liturgy & baptisms 11 am, Reading of Acts 9 pm, Midnight Office 11:15 pm, Paschal Matins & Liturgy 12 am
Easter Sunday: Vespers 6 pm

There are maybe a few people who go to ALL of those. I am NOT one. Now you can console yourself. Oh, and keep in mind – if services seem close together, that’s probably because there’s no break in between. And the Holy Saturday liturgy & baptisms? I’d say I get home around 4 or 5 pm. And I tend to come back around 11 pm (because otherwise I’d fall asleep and/or not get a parking spot) and head home between 3 and 4 am.

But those two services? Those are my favorite out of the whole year. And they involve food. At the end of the first one, we bring tables into the church, loaded down with dried fruit & nuts, fresh bread, juice, and port. We’re SO hungry and it’s like the best thing you’ve ever eaten. You get a little tipsy from the port and an empty stomach, and you sit on the steps leading to the altar, and you talk and eat. At the end of the midnight service, we have a big potluck, so that takes up some time.

On to other matters! Tyka, wretch that she is, got “lost” walking home from work and stood me up at the library. Oh well.

I did wear the socks yesterday, with boldness and without condemnation. As I was walking up to church I thought to myself, “Self, this weather is much too fabulous for Holy Week. Where is the somber downpour? Whence the sunshine?” I ended up taking off my socks and shoes just to cool down a little. And lo, just as we began the Unction service, we were joined by the best thunderstorm I’ve seen since we left Indy in 1987.

According to my memory, thunderstorms in the great city of my birth involved me sitting in a large closet with a friend, carding wool. Yes, you read that right. And hey, another example of closet play! I always think of this when there’s thunder, and I’m pretty sure that’s why I love thunderstorms so much.

But this thunderstorm – it just kept going. First there was the rustle and the heavy spatter of rain in the parking lot, at which point we rushed en masse from the humid church (well, those of us who left our windows down). Then a lovely flash of lightening, and then a noise like God’s stomach growling. I could sympathize; mine was pretty growly, too.

Today I was scheduled to babysit the three youngsters, and instead of sitting around and making messes in the house, I took the younger two to OMSI where they rompted and played with sand and water and made pictures with stamps. I could barely keep track of both of them but fortunately they managed to not disappear on me. It’s always funny to go places like that where there are a ton of moms and kids but you’re not a mom. Especially since they’re young enough to theoretically be mine. But nope, I get to drop them off and say ‘that was fun!’ and go home and blog.

for you! Posted by Hello

Do you think it’s appropriate to wear boldly striped socks to church? (You don’t have to answer, I’m guessing anyone who reads this will say YES!) Because I’m going to. The ones you saw yesterday. And for the record, I only wore them briefly yesterday. And I’ve started this thing where I wear striped socks to the library whenever possible. You know, kids + fun socks. Except the only people who comment on my socks are my coworkers.

(I think I need to remember how to write in complete sentences. Wretch that I am.)

This is the plan for today: I’m working the afternoon at the library, and at some point Tyka shall visit me and we shall peruse the section on adoption books. Doesn’t that make it sound like we’re thinking of adopting? Surprise! Actually, the point is for her to get a sense of the books that are out there, aimed at adopted kids.

Then, I shall proceed to church and the final and glorious Pre-Sanc, followed by Unction, which is usually the point when it hits me. Whoa. It’s really Holy Week. (Beege, you don’t even want to know how many services I’m skipping. You’d faint dead away – not me skipping, but the number.)

One of my favorite things about church is all the connections between people. For instance, Tyka and Ann-the-speed-reader (wouldn’t it be great if there were a St. Ann the Speed Reader? Like Rufus the Obedient and Zachariah the Recluse?*) have the same godmother, who happens to have been my kindergarten teacher. Or, Q is my god-daughter. I’ve known her mom, K since we were 2. Before our respective sets of parents met, my dad and K’s mom went on a date. Stuff like that.

*I could talk for a really long time about hilarious saints’ names. Is that appropriate to Holy Week? Oh well. Here’s some (saints and various things that are noted on the church calendar) that make me chuckle:**

John the Cave Dweller
Onesimus the Apostle
First & Second Finding of the Venerable Head of John the Baptist (oops! we lost it! let’s go look for it again!)
Alexios the “Man of God” (the “” make it look sarcastic)
Hilarion the New
Simon the Zealot
Third Finding of the Precious Head of St. John the Baptist (really, we’ve got to keep better track of this…)
Sampson the Hospitable
Cyrus and John the Unmercenaries (as opposed to the ones who were mercenaries)
Lupus the Martyr and Slave
Carpus and Papylus
John the Merciful
Daniel the Stylite

You get the idea.

**And at the same time I chuckle, I deeply respect their sanctity. It’s a delicate art.

-jessmonster, the holy & mercenary blogger

I need to work on moderation. Between words and pictures. Not all at once with either one. I got a little carried away today. I’m the kind of tired where you keep asking yourself, “self, why aren’t you in bed?” but you can’t make yourself get up and go. I’m going to try now, very hard. Divert yourself with these photos, please.

Casting pearls before pigtails; or, a previously promised picture Posted by Hello

Me and Q’s mama, for the then & now effect. I’m pushing. Those are very ‘us’ faces, in case you don’t know us. Posted by Hello

April 2005

Flickr Photos