Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Any Prayer Warriors out there?

Our little Anglican church is having a rough time. We've lost almost half our regular members to jobs-out-of-state. Which means, essentially, we're starting over. We have about 10 ASA on a given Sunday, and we desperately need to increase that to stay viable.

So our rector issued all of us a challenge at Sunday's yearly congregational meeting, and prayer is at the top of the list. Besides our own fervent daily prayers, he asked us to find as many folks as possible who would be willing to "sign up" as Prayer Warriors through this April. We would send you regular emails sharing our journey and any specific prayer needs. We're not asking you to convert, or join our congregation, or anything like that - we just know that having a "cloud of witnesses" keeping our little church in prayer is the best thing we can do! Then as we share the Gospel with others and reach out to new members, we know we're being lifted up in prayer. (Which, for me anyway, brings a huge amount of peace and comfort as I am an introvert and sharing my faith is always a challenge!)

So if you feel called to such an endeavor, or if you want more information about our church, you can email me at susannas [dot] email [at] gmail [dot] com. And if you have any words of wisdom, those would be more than welcome!

Peace and blessings!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This is Really Cool

I'm a nerd. Have I mentioned that? I'm also a librarian, which means I get really psyched when libraries do really cool things that combine antique texts integral to the book world and high-tech technology.

Today I discovered that the 1640 Bay Psalm Book (the first book printed in British North America) has been made available free online. The book itself is housed at the Boston Public Library, but it is owned by the Old South Church. And it's not just in the old boring pdf-style, but in a new flash-based digitized version where you turn the pages and it's in full color. It uses a system called the Earlybook Imaging System, where you can do all sorts of book imaging that used to be severely damaging to brittle texts.

So go here and check it out!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'm going to Rant.

And I really don't want to offend anyone, or hurt anyone's feelings. But there are some things that just need to be said. ::grin::

It doesn't matter to me if you voted for or against Obama. But I am by golly So Tired of all the inauguration coverage. Can't we just get it done so he can get on with his job?

If it's going to be 12 degrees in Alabama, there really needs to be some snow. Otherwise, what's the point?

I don't like the newest trend in the Christmas Card world: no card, just a glossy photo with a generic text. Even more frustrating to me is when the picture only contains the kids (or the PET!) of whichever family the card is from. Don't you think it should at least be a pic of the whole family?

I'm really tired of updating Java on all the library computers every five days or so. Can't they just settle down and stay with the same thing for a few months at a time?

I'm really in a snit about the Bailout. Didn't it used to be that banks loaned money to people, rather than the other way around?

And thus ends my rant. For now. I'm going to have another cuppa and get back to work!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Well, well, well....the year is not off to a Good Start

It seems Sundays are our day for "bad things to happen." I was zooming along with my household chores yesterday, pulling my last load of laundry out of the washing machine. It was the quilt I made some years ago - hand-stitched and everything - and there was something.... Not Right... about it. It felt gritty. And the color was, erm, Alabama-clay-orange?

So I called the philosopher in, and he took a single look and headed for the bathroom. ("Hmm - it looks really bad, but not bad enough to hurl," I thought!) When I walked to the open doorway, he was running the bathroom faucet, and nasty orange-brown, thick, silty water was pouring forth. We've had a lot of rain the past week or so, and it looks like our 30 year old well may have gone to meet its maker (driller?) at last. We think there's a crack in the iron sleeve, which may result in either re-sleeving the existing well or the odious task of drilling a new one. And that, my friends, is not a cheap repair either way.

According to a well-drilling guy we talked to, there's a chance it will improve when the water table gets back to normal, but that cannot be a permanent solution regardless. So we're praying that it clears enough for showers and dish cleaning (we have a 3-part filter on the kitchen faucet for drinking water, but we can't even use that until the silt stops flowing), because otherwise it could be several weeks before we have usable water again, as it would take at least that long to get a repair (or new well) completed. There's also a slight chance we can get annexed into the small town we're adjacent to, but that still means at least 800 yards of city water line which have to be laid first, and I am sure we would have to pay for that too. Cylla and Charybdis, right?

This serves as a stark reminder of all the less fortunate around the world who don't have running water, or even access to clean water. It is an inconvenience, and an annoyance, and a huge outlay of money we really don't have in a time when we need to be saving instead of spending, but it could be worse. We have food and shelter. We have friends and family. We have faith and trust in a God who gives us Living Water to drink. And really, do we need anything else?

Still, I ask for prayers for patience, and for a firm reliance on God. Otherwise I might just start crying in frustration, and who likes to see a bawling librarian?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Early Morning Escapade

Or should I say Escalade? (No, wait... it was a Lincoln Navigator. Never mind!)

But it was Sunday morning. And it was definitely Early. I woke up sometime before five - you know how you jolt out of a deep sleep for no apparent reason? As my eyes started to focus, I noticed a Very Bright Light shining on the bedroom wall. Which was odd, because no lights in the house were on, and there are no streetlights on our tiny slip of a road. I quickly deduced - despite my sleepiness - that it was Something Strange. So I staggered into the study, sans glasses, and peered owlishly out the window. I saw what looked like a car at the top of the neighbor's driveway, sitting there motionless but with its bright lights shining in though the window. I stood there for a minute or two, and decided to step back into the bedroom to get my glasses. As I did so, the lights went out. I went back to the window anyway, and looked again. I didn't *think* I saw anything, so I decided it was someone - very lost - turning around. I had no sooner gotten comfy again in my nice warm bed that... ZOOM... the light was back!

Out of bed I jumped, with glasses in hand this time, and went back to the window. The lights were much closer. Much, MUCH closer. And attached to a vehicle. A Lincoln Navigator, to be precise. A shiny white one, even. In fact, they were... in our yard??!? Not sitting calmly in the driveway, mind you, but sunk to the wheel wells in the muddy abyss that is our front yard.

Now, here's the curious thing. We don't know anyone who drives a Lincoln Navigator. And even if we did, anyone we knew would be kind enough to park it on the concrete, not in the mud atop our sceptic tank. I walked calmly back into the bedroom, and announced loudly "THERE IS SOMEONE DOING DONUTS IN OUR FRONT YARD." Which immediately propelled the husband out of his own pleasant dreams and into the hall where I was standing, still a bit startled at the events unfolding before me. He picked up the phone, about to call the cops. (We live in a quiet area, but there are some unsavory folk not too terribly far away. If these mud doggers were looking for them the police would have been a prudent first call.)

As we watched, a woman got out and sloshed around the vehicle. (Did I mention we'd received almost six inches of rain in the previous 24 hours??) So the philosopher decided to turn on the front lights and open the door.

"Excuse me, WHO ARE YOU? And what are you doing in our yard??!?"

It was obvious she was, erm.... "drunk as a cooterbug"? Yeah, that would be a nice way to put it. She wailed "I can't get my car out of the mud! I was going to cuss out my ex-fiance and I got stuck here! I am SO SORRY. I promise, I'll fix your grass!"

So eventually we invited her in while we waited for her ex-husband and his wife to come pick her up (it's better not to ask, we learned). We made coffee. We listened to her (slightly incoherent) tale of woe. After she left, we got ready for church, still a little dazed and disoriented at the extremely early start to the morning. Before we headed out, the ex-husband was back with a towtruck, and they winched the beast out of the mud. And left a slew of despond where our tidy lawn used to be.

We haven't heard back from her yet, but we have her contact info (and that of her ex, who works for the sheriff's department) and we will call if we don't hear anything by Friday. I suppose we should be glad that she ended up stuck in the mud, unable to drive. She could have driven into the large drainage ditch at the top of the hill, or wrapped around one of the large trees in our yard. Or smashed into the side of our house. Or worse still, she could have caused an accident that resulted in injury or - God forbid - a death.

So the moral of the story, kids, is Don't Drink and Drive. Especially if you feel the need to cuss someone out at 5 am.