Monday, May 01, 2017

May 1 things

* Late in the day (after a period of calmer air and some sun) the luna moths were gone. I hope that means they successfully moved on to where ever luna moths normally hang out.

* Spitfire has a head and front legs now, and I started on the back legs for her. I think I'm gonna leave her "nakey" unless maybe I figure out how to make a little t-shirt for her...ooh, maybe even make one with the RAF roundel on it (which I *still* think should have been her cutie mark, given her name).

* I also finished all the sewing-of-blocks for the "tilted nine patch" quilt, but I have to cut all the left-leaning* blocks (trimming the edges diagonally so they "lean")

(*And heh, yeah: half the blocks are right-leaning, the other half are left-leaning. And there's gonna be a lot of sewing on the BIAS. (I slay myself). I should probably give the quilt a name like "Crossfire" (anyone remember that show?) or similar).

* Lots of stuff at church yesterday...we sang happy birthday to the new minister (his birthday was Friday....and he is a "baby," he is even younger than my "little" brother, as it turns out). And we got to applaud for a fairly new member who is getting her Master's degree. And they announced my award so I had to stand up. And the little kids from the day-care that meets at church came and sang....and we had lunch.

After lunch the nominating committee met (the group charged with finding new elders and deacons and the like to replace the people cycling off...) One funny thing: one of our committee members is named Dave, and something came up, and he had to leave before the meeting started, and when we were getting together to meet, I commented "Dave's not here" (not even really thinking of the old Cheech and Chong bit) and a couple other people giggled so I wonder if they thought of that. I did immediately after the words came out of my mouth.

And the person I was charged with calling (our potential new deaconess) was amenable to serving, so that's good. (We still do separate deacons and deaconesses; some DOC churches have gone to a "diakonate" where everyone does every job, but I think we're not quite there yet, and also, there are some women who might not feel comfortable carrying the heavy communion trays but who are happy to do the set-up and other jobs of that nature).

(I should probably also note for people in other branches of Christianity: elders, deacons, deaconesses are a MUCH more "casual" thing in Disciples of Christ, sort of in keeping with our "every member a leader" frontier attitude. There's not really the....examination and training period some denominations have (I think I am correct in my understanding that in the Catholic church, becoming an Elder is a BIG BIG deal - and also, it's only open to men, and there are also certain requirements to be met). In DOC congregations, usually "active member and not in trouble with the law" are pretty much the only requirements for things. One of the newer committee members asked if a person had to be a deacon before they could be an elder, and I kind of laughed because (a) most of our Elders are currently women, and women don't really serve as deacons, still and (b) my being chosen an Elder was fundamentally: "Hey, you're an active member who doesn't seem bothered by public speaking, would you be willing to do this?" And I have, for the past 10 or so years....pretty much once you're an elder, you're always an elder, even if you cycle off being on the Board - but because I'm Head Elder I don't even do that. Though if someone in the future wants to take it over for me - I wouldn't object.)

Though I probably need to set up a "logistical training session" in July for the new elders coming on, just so they know things about how the trays are handled and the like. We mostly serve at the table (weekly, because DOC does communion weekly, and that's one of the things I would miss most if I had to join a church of another denomination) and visit the sick/homebound and also help with decision-making. But serving at the table is the biggest and most regular thing.

* I want to try to finish Spitfire this week, and maybe the "Hermione's Everyday Socks" that I'm slowly working on....and I need to get back to Celestarium, but I think that's definitely going to be a "carry along for while on break" project, too. And maybe finish the "Grasse Matinee" sweater - I am debating knitting on it tonight so I get up to the point of dividing off the sleeves, which would make managing it while invigilating finals easier.....

* I'm also reading along in "Tom Jones" and am pretty much enjoying it. I like gossipy authors (I think that's a reason why I like Anthony Trollope, even though his style is very different from Fielding's.) I do find it requires more attention than many things because of the slight vocabulary differences (some word meanings have changed from the 1700s to now, and also, some of the words are STILL given in their "alternate" spelling in my edition) and the sentence structure is a bit more convoluted than what most modern writers use. But it's an entertaining book, big and sprawling (I like novels like that) and with enough "wink-wink, nudge-nudge" jokes to keep my inner 12 year old (who is kind of an egghead, to be honest) snickering.

I finished "The Stranger in the Woods." The book, at least the last third of it, made me kind of sad. Christopher Knight wound up in prison, which must have been Hell for him - I mean, yeah, he committed 1000 burglaries or something, but most of what he stole was cheap and practical stuff (food, cheap watches) and it does seem that his decision to live off the land (or, rather, live in the woods and off the camps around him) was perhaps slightly.....pathological? Not quite. Not the right word. But he seems like someone who doesn't really fit in to modern life, and stuffing him in a prison, which is like all the Worst Things of modern life combined and magnified....

I don't know what the answer is. No, I don't think you can just say, "Just let the oddball go" because that opens the door for other people to take stuff that isn't theirs and claim that they "don't fit in" but I tend to think some kind of "restorative justice" or maybe even something like hours of community service to try to repay for what he took might make more sense. I guess he wound up living with a sibling after his release, but that was still not a happy situation for him. I don't know the answer.

(To be honest, I found the parts of the book describing his life in the woods, and the whole "Robinson Crusoe" way that he managed, the most compelling. But then again: I read "My Side of the Mountain" too many times as a kid, and I harbored fantasies of running away and living in the woods like Sam. Granted, that book was a fantasy - Sam domesticated a falcon and taught it to hunt for him, he lived entirely off the land, so his situation was different from Knight's and may not have been strictly possibly - but it was a very romantic thing to imagine, especially as a tween who was teased and harassed by the richer, more-popular kids at school: "Yah? I bet you couldn't survive six months in the woods alone!" (I probably couldn't, either, but I liked as a kid to believe I could))

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