Saturday, July 12, 2014

Divorcing a church.

This September will mark 3 years since we left our previous church.  We loved that church.  We had been there for 8 years, 4 with our now retired pastor and 4 with the replacement pastor.  We loved Pastor D.  He was a wonderful man and spoke to our hearts.  Pastor M was someone who didn't sit real well with us from the very beginning.  We thought it would iron out, but 4 years later and with much church drama, we quietly slipped out the back door.

You see, we were very frustrated by many things.
1.  The pastor would preach through one book/section of the bible at a time, not deviating for things such as holidays or events such as 9/11.  The last Mother's Day sermon we were there for was titled, "Gouged eye, severed hand."  It went on about wives needing to be submissive, addressing unfaithfulness in marriages and how woman, quite frankly, dress far too provocatively.  After the sermon, there was a line of people waiting to speak to him.  I chose to e-mail a letter telling him that those are sensitive subjects and that while anytime would have been a little tricky, to do so on a Mother's Day where moms have brought their children as guests with them, I probably would have chosen a less controversial and chewy subject.
2.  It was his way, period.  Because of this, he just removed people from their ongoing projects without speaking to them.  Those people left. I understand that people need to change things when they come in.  That's fine.  It's not fine to run the congregation over.
3.  There was a lot of talking behind the backs of others, particularly two women who had been cheated on.  They were not the cheaters.  Their husbands were invited to remain in the church while they were going to be asked publicly about the incident/s and asked to leave the church before the congregation. Hmmmm, my bible talks about unfaithfulness differently than his does.
4.  His wife never attended anything and if she did, she acted put out by it.  As a pastor's wife, I know you can't attend everything, but your attendance is required in some circumstances.
5.  They wouldn't leave their children with anyone for anyone to watch-- not even in our nursery that was manned by qualified parishioners.

We had remained removed from the church up until just a few weeks ago.  K wanted to attend VBS there and I was fine with it.  She went to 4 days of the 5.  The day that I dropped her off, the preschool director snubbed me.  When I went to leave, I reached out for her elbow and said, "I hope that you have a good day."  I was sincere.  Truly.  I was on the preschool board with her and we had done a lot of different things together in the church.  Her giving me the silent treatment stung, but I knew that I would get some of that when coming back in.

The end of the week brought the VBS family picnic of sorts.  We came up the back hallway, I waved at the youth pastor and he snubbed me.  I waved two other times at the preschool director and was snubbed again.  There were other folks that I saw and smiled at.  I didn't want to continue with the awkward wave thing.  There were some people who just turned away from me.  Quite Christianly of them for sure.

There is always a "however."
1.  K was treated wonderfully and truly enjoyed her week.  Her class was taught by the retired pastor's wife.
2.  One of the younger parishioners grabbed me up and hugged me.
3.  The woman who I previously directed VBS with grabbed me up and hugged me.  We got to talk for a good while.  I found out that she was co-directing with the preschool director.  "You know, I just haven't been able to catch Karen this week.  Please tell her thank you for me."

There have been times I've run into people from our previous church.  There were times that they were just wonderful.  There were a few people who attended the rummage sale that I was in charge of just 3 weeks ago.  There is a parent who I kept running into at the summer library programs. I've run into a few people at the grocery.

I did run into a couple at the grocery.  The husband was talking to me, the wife came up and started singing the praises of the new pastor.  I told her that I heard that he was just wonderful and how happy I was for them.  When I said that we were attending the Methodist church across the street and came forward for membership a couple of years ago, she literally turned on her heel and walked away.  Wow.

Will K attend VBS there any more?  Absolutely.  I have no problem with that.  She enjoyed herself and learned a lot.  Will I be jumping in line to attend anything there?  Nah.  I'm good.  We have a church home and people who accept us for who we are.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The wonderful sniffiness of line dried laundry.

I haven't been able to line dry as often this year as I usually do.  We are about 3 weeks behind on the growing season, which left us full of pollen for far longer than we usually have it floating about.  (As evidenced by my need to smile at my doctor and nearly jump for joy when he gave me my first ever allergy shot.)  I just can't hang the laundry out in that.

Then you have storms, or the chance of storms.  Now, a little sprinkle every now and then never hurt anyone's laundry.  However, if I have to bring laundry in that is wetter than it was when it went out, it may make me cranky.  The chance of storms has been high lately, so I've had to use the indoor lines in the basement.

Today, the weather smiles and I smiled with it.

It is 84 F or so. The sun is bright.  There is a nice breeze.  Humidity is tolerable.  With those things in mind, I jumped out of bed and started pulling sheets off.  I decided that today would be the day to wash the bedspread, too.  I always wash the blankets in the summer and leave them on the line.  However, I have a short run on my laundry line, so it usually takes a few weeks for me to get all of it done.

It is delightful.  I never sleep as well as I do on freshly laundered and line dried sheets.  They are sniffy and just scratchy enough, but not so much to be like sandpaper.  (We can't use softener due to skin irritations.)

I had enough sunlight time to put some other things on the line.  :sigh:  The season is back and we are happy.  :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Gardening Progress: The carcasses have been dragged to the tree lawn.

First, I decided to tackle the weeds in the driveway.  I spent hours and hours weeding the driveway on Saturday.  This is the worst of it.  I dug and picked.  I got probably 99% of the weeds.  Works for me.  

See?  Nice! 


Death and destruction.  We have come to the conclusion that this butterfly bush was no longer alive.  So sad. 

I tried to trim some away myself.  This is how far I got.  I also have a thorn in my paw.  I forgot to have Hubs dig it out.  :(

The milkweed took over the grill area.  The wild black berries took over, too.

Because we believe in keeping it real, I will show you that it got a bit weedy.  We were kind of letting the two back beds go a bit because I didn't want to jostle anything that may be coming back.  We're about 3 weeks behind in the growing cycle.  We had poke weed coming up.  Hubs made that go away. I left it because I was thinking that it is purposeful.  Nope.  Gone. 

Digging out the carcass was harder work than he thought. 

It took Hubs well over an hour.  His back is killing him.  So is mine, but I think it's from weeding. 

Gone are all of the funky reminders of death. 

The wreckage. 

Another weedy bed. 

Planting the new butterfly bush.  We just couldn't leave that space this year.  We have planted it, watered and mulched it.  I even fed the heck out of it.  Though I normally don't feed, I have to this year.  It was a horrible winter resulting in just awful loss. 

Look at how beautiful it is compared to the gacky death that was there just hours before.

Hubs edged and mulched.  We still had some mulch from last year.  It was good enough for a skim coat.  Fine with me. 

Inspecting his work.

Lookie loo!  So nice! 

And down here, too!  For those interested, we kept with the invasive run of wild blackberries and milkweed.  Butteflies are nectaring at the milkweed and we don't want to pull what could be baby monarch caterpillars.  The milkweed only lasts a few weeks.  We'll let it run its course and we'll pull what is in the grill area.  We'll leave the rest be.  That way, we'll be able to have s'mores at some point this summer. 

The side back bed.  Much better now. 

The tree lawn pile of wreckage.  K helped me haul it. 

The front.  Much nicer than what we used to have going on. 

Bee balm.  Fun stuff!

Perennial geranium.

Butterfly weed. 

Crown vetch, though it was pulled right after this photo.  A bit invasive.  Pretty, though.

White yarrow from Cj's farm.



Yellow day lilies.


Goosenecks, though I just found out today that they are a variety of Loosestrife. 

Baby tomatoes!

The pink yarrow up front. 

White coneflower. 

Cosmos.  Reseeded from last year. 

Purple coneflower. 


Lime green nicotiana that I originally planted in 2007.  I haven't planted it since. 

A new plant.  

My morning glories!  

A day lily volunteer.  Didn't plant it, I promise.

I didn't plant this one, either. 

The top of the rain barrel. 

My guard system for the corn.  The rabbits keep eating it. 

Beans and many lovely flowers! 

This wind is nice.  I wonder what that is over there?

Such a nice breeze to sniff.

Mom, you really have to put that thing away.

A butterfly!  A Great Spangled Fritillary.  It made our hearts happy to see that. 

The reason we didn't remove the extraneous milkweed. 


A Stag Beetle! 

Ewwww.  And a larval Stag Beetle.  

And a dragonfly.  

A lot of gardening was done this weekend.  Here's to hoping we'll get a lot of butterflies as a result!