Sunday was a lovely day! It is has been my favorite day of the week since I started attending both morning services. For most of the time I’ve been at Church of Reconciliation I was a regular at early service (8:00 AM). Then I joined the choir and my attendance switched to late service (10:30 AM) because the early service is a contemplative service and doesn’t usually have music. When I conferred with my priest about my function as a verger in training he suggested that since I was the verger with the most early service experience that should be my area of focus. This was just great with me because there were friends I’d made at early service that I missed when I attended late service. So these days I head to church early, aiming to be there by 7:30 AM, so that I can be helpful if anyone needs assistance and step in to take over a role if the person who was assigned to it is absent and no substitute was arranged for. This is the function of a verger, to help things run smoothly.
The past few Sunday’s our newest member of altar guild has been arriving early and setting up when I got there. This gentleman is very nice and helpful. He says he’s still in training so that is why he has been doing the setup every Sunday. That fits in with my feelings about pre-service setup. There have been enough changes to the way we do things now, thanks to our wonderful associate rector, that I need to practice and remind myself how things go and what is different between the two services.
On Sunday I also ran into my verger/instructor who cleared a few misconceptions up about the way things were supposed to go in my training. The verger trainee who is most fully trained was there too and they are both going to send me necessary documents so that I can complete the sheaf of pages necessary for Robert, our rector, to read and sign off on when he returns from Sabbatical at the beginning of October. At that time we all want to be ready so that he can do an induction ceremony during one of the services.
Not long ago I finished my taxes which I’d filed an extension on when I was looking for some paperwork. I never found the paperwork but it wasn’t critical to the return so once I got the desk cleared off, for the umpteenth time, I did them online using the Turbo Tax free online software and efiled for free too. My refund hit my account in 2 weeks and on Saturday I went grocery shopping at WalMart. It was a lovely time and I over loaded the cart with good things. I’ve taken to using the store brands since they cost less money. My goal when buying groceries is to have each meal cost as close to one dollar as possible. I think I did a pretty good job of that and my pantry and freezer are over stocked with good things to eat again. Plus some snacks. I plead guilty on the snack thing as I bought a package of Oreo type cookies but they were store brand ($2) and I put them in the freezer and am only having them in 3 cookie increments. That's what the package says is a serving size and I’m sticking to it. I also got some of those mini cups of ice cream so that I can have a dessert which is portion controlled. Yay for Blue Bell who puts these things in bags of 12. That will last me several weeks before I run out.
The book I’m reading lately is Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore. It’s non fiction which has traditionally been hard for me to keep on reading after an initial endeavor. But this book is speaking to me in ways that have a lot to do with my need for understanding the concept of soul and its growth plus Moore uses mythology to illustrate his points and his story telling is like someone explaining a parable. It was the explaining of a parable that brought my belief in God to completion and I think this is working the same way. Instead of reading fast I find myself reading a paragraph, sometimes just a sentence, at a time and enjoying the meaning I’m discovering there. As a child I read all of Bullfinch’s Mythology and also Edith Wharton’s book on the subject so it delights me to find this excellent story teller using the story of The Odyssey and the story of Persephone's abduction to illustrate loss, searching, and journeys of discovery.
A couple of weeks ago I held a de-flea day. I went to the vet and got some Frontline Plus for my boys, a couple of pills that get rid of all the fleas on them in 30 minutes, without hurting the cats, and a huge can of carpet spray that kills fleas in just a few minutes and has a residual effect. After coming home and using all of the above my desk is now my own again for the most part. The boys still like to be close to me but they no longer feel they need to leave the floor to be comfortable and free of biting pests. I got this done early enough that Hyrum's ruff is saved for the summer. In the past the dermatitis he gets from flea bites generates enough scratching and grooming measures that it is thinned out by the time he feels comfortable. That might be cooler for him but it looks awful. His ruff and thick coat are a couple of his most attractive features and it takes a long time, almost a year, for that gorgeous fur collar to grow back in. So I’m very happy with this turn of events.
On the scrabble playing front, Sandi and I’ve are still using Pogo.com to play scrabble online, but we are now using their National Scrabble Association (NSA) game rooms and rules. This makes the game more challenging and fun. By NSA rules we each get 30 minutes at the beginning of the game. Your clock counts down from whatever is left on it when it is your turn to play. If you are slow and end up using all of your 30 minutes before the game is over you lose 10 points for each minute or part of as you and your opponent strive to complete the game. That drastically changes the scoring and speeds things up a bit. I discovered that I need to memorize the 2 Letter Word chart for the game. Apparently, serious scrabble players memorize quite a few charts and word lists. Or at least that is my impression. So I went online and found a table of 2 letter words and also some lists of 3 letter words. It’s the uncommon ones that you have to work on. Those are often the ones that get you the most parts. I’m not very good at playing by NSA rules yet. I get stuck in one word mode too frequently, looking for some place to play it. I also need to practice my word on word building skills. You can make much bigger scores by running a word right alongside of another word already played than you can by branching off perpendicular to that word and using up valuable open space on the board. While researching this I discovered that there is a NSA Scrabble club in town. Going to a meeting might be something nice to do and if they have training sessions there I might gain some added skills that would be of good use. Right now my rating is dropping and I’m at a loss as to how to bring it back up. Sandi’s is on the rise and she has achieved intermediate level according to Pogo.com.
That's it on the personal news front. I hope you all have a good week and don’t expire in the horrid heat we’ve been experiencing down here in south Texas. If you’ve gotten any rain of late please send it my way. Cheers!