Friday, June 27, 2008

critical mass

As I was sitting home tonight, just after a friend had left and before my roommate returned, I heard a bunch of yelling in the street. Cautiously, I went to the window to subtly see what was going on. And, much to my surprise, I saw hundreds of happy bicyclists streaming by. Yelling, playing music, and generally having a good time.

Turns out, San Diego has a Critical Mass biking community, and, by my best guess, they came by my house tonight. It was lovely and happy.

Maybe I'll post a bit of video, if I get a computer that can do such things soon.

In other good news, I've been picking and giving strawberries out to little people passing by with their moms, which is pretty fun.

And, I can see the bananas forming on the lovely banana flower in the backyard.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

what a long strange trip

Since I posted last (sorry for the delay) it's been a bit of a wild ride. I was away at our annual gathering of clergy and lay leaders from UM churches in the area, sweltering in Redlands' heat. I love Annual Conference; despite the frustrations that come with it, I deeply treasure the time together with friends. This year, I definitely noticed the absence of two way-cool folks who had been my roommates in years past (Krista in Germany and Erika in pregnancy-land). But, of course, I'm quite grateful for the new and deeper connections I made with others. This time together is a wonderland for an extrovert like me.

And, I'm feeling good about my place in the church--deeply honored, even. The Reconciling Ministries folks gave me their annual award for my role at General Conference, advocating for a more full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered folks. That's a deep and unexpected honor. And, I'm now the Chair of our Order of Elders. Plus, my name got lifted up with a few others as a potential person to be endorsed as a candidate for election of Bishop. A crazy idea, which I've decided to read as lovely affirmation of my leadership. It's nice to feel valued, especially by a group of people I respect and look up to so much.

Riding high on all that, I came home to a nice visit from my brother, who's passing through in his summer travels. We don't get nearly enough time together these days, as he's all the way in Pennsylvania.

Unfortunately, while we were having dinner at my in-laws home, someone broke into our house again, this time stealing a bunch of stuff, including laptops belonging to each of us: my brother, my roommate and me. This time, it feels less like a disturbing personal violation, but more frustrating. I'm tired of this.

I'm trying to decide if my lack of a sense of violation speaks well of my reaching a place where possessions are not the most important thing, or whether I'm just numb from having too much to deal with. Happily, I got a call from Iraq today; talking with Matt certainly adds more comfort and assurance.

Plus, the banana tree in the backyard flowered, which means it's fixin' to make real bananas. And tomatoes are forming all over, growing and tempting us with hints of yellowy color as they promise to turn red.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

friday five: beach edition

I'm a little blog-post-crazy this morning, but, after posting my other two, found I couldn't resist this week's Friday Five on RevGalBlogPals.

Here goes:

1. Ocean rocks, lake limps? Vice versa? Or "it's all beautiful in its own way"?
It's all beautiful in its own way.  Oceans pretty much rock, but there's also little that can beat a pristine lake, high in the mountains.    Being a good Nebraskan, I'm also quite fond of rivers.  the Platte in particular.  (Bonus points if it's March and it's covered with migrating sandhills cranes.)  Being a southern Californian by choice, I'm drawn to the beach.

however: polluted oceans and lakes, industrial seaports, and contaminated rivers are lame.

2. Year round beach living: Heaven...or the Other Place?
Heaven.  When I first moved to San Diego, I felt like it was my duty to live by the beach.  I rented a little beach house two blocks from Ocean Beach, and loved it (except the parking and the loud parties on Saturday nights).  On still nights, I could hear the waves from my bed.  I suppose that was helped by my living in a rickety old 20's cottage, but it was still lovely.

3. Any beach plans for this summer?
Nothing dramatic, but I did got for a lovely walk on a pier yesterday.  (See 2 posts below)

4. Best beach memory ever?
Wow.  I have trouble with superlatives, 'cause there are just many good possibilities.  A pretty darn spectacular one was staying in a high-end yurt on the Big Sur coast with Matt before his last deployment--it was far-removed from development, and beautiful.

Driving the bit of the "lost coast" in northern California that is accessible by road, with my brother many years ago, was pretty fun, too.  Really, that was a pretty fun trip: I remember waking once in Oregon, to find that my brother had driven my car ONTO the beach, and we were headed directly for the water.  It was a startling wake-up vision.  He assures me he was going to stop, whether or not I woke up.

Then there's all the fun memories with friends: spring breaks past in Florida and South Carolina, bits of beach in Rhode Island and Texas, first visits in childhood...  Fantasies of beach living while walking the streets of Boston, eating ice cream.

Oh, but what can compare to snorkeling in Hawaii??!?

Geez.  Too hard a question.

5. Fantasy beach trip?
I have two primary sorts of beach trip fantasies:
one involving a long, relaxing vacation with my husband (who, in this fantasy, is also not in Iraq and out of the Army) somewhere beautiful and secluded
one involving a big beach house with lots of friends and plenty of time to hang out together

Bonus: Share a piece of music/poetry/film/book that expresses something about what the beach means to you.

Here's a picture from my North Carolina visit to Matt in April; I like that it feels like an invitation to future possibilities.

garden progress: june 14

Not that you asked, here's what the front yard garden is looking like this weekend.  :)

I'm quite pleased that the daisies I started from seed last year are blooming.  Mom and I have a long and lovely history of daisy-growing, and of transporting them from house to house at moves.  Maybe these particular plants will have such an illustrious story to share, one day.  (Not that I'm planning to move anytime soon.  I'm just thinking long-long term.)

lovely days

I spent a lovely day yesterday with my good friend, Erika.  (And, happily, a good bit of it with Joel, too; besides being exquisitely fun to hang out with, he taught me useful skills like how to play lego video games and wii bowling...)

Er and I build our friendship over shared ice cream cones (with occasional enchilada parties thrown in, but, really, that came later).  She walked with me through my own sense of call to ministry and through a variety of other college adventures; I like to think that I was a decent companion to her, too, as she journeyed through seminary and ministry internships and associated challenges.  And, almost always, there was ice cream.  I anchor our friendship into JP Licks, on Newbury Street in Boston, sitting in the teacup.

Now, in Southern California for the last 10 years, the ice cream more often comes with a walk on the beach or a pier.  (Not that the ice cream sharing is as frequent as I'd like, but you work with what you can get...)  I count it as sacrament.

Martin Luther, I'm told, did theology with a beer in hand.  I'll do it with a cone.  

I have no illusions of unraveling the mysteries of why it is so wonderful.  I only testify to my experience: that, when contemplated with the cool, smooth, usually-chocolate, creamy sweetness of ice cream, theological challenges always seem more approachable. 

Yesterday, contemplating how it might ever be possible to cultivate leadership in a system as diverse and wacky as our church, contemplating how we're called to teach people the openness of our theological tradition and how that can work when we're set in the midst of a culture that makes a whole lot of unhelpful assumptions about what "right" Christian theology is, I felt hope.  Talking about our own lives and hopes for the future, I felt assurance. 

I also suspect that friendships make ice cream better, and ice cream deepens friendships.

I think I need to take my problems for a walk in the sun, ice cream in hand and good companion at my side, more often.

I also felt new enthusiasm for this work of opening an ice cream shop in my neighborhood.  Perhaps its sacred possibilities will be accessible to many who gather there.

May it be so.

Monday, June 09, 2008

flickr meme: all about me

I am unable to resist this meme, which invites folks to answer some simple questions, and then search flickr with those words as the search string. From the first page of search results, here are my picks:

1. Little Painter Molly, 2. Chicken Enchilada Stack, 3. bulldog bus!, 4. Cute Tiger Moth Caterpillar, 5. Right before Jon shook my hand., 6. WIRED, 7. New York, NY, 8. Isaac tries a ice cream, 9. Word Clash _0722, 10. 133: SOTTS will make you jump!, 11. Bliss, 12. Transport

Name: Molly
Favorite Food: enchiladas
High School: North Platte High
Favorite Color: orange
Celebrity Crush: Jon Bon Jovi
Favorite Drink: coffee
Dream Vacation: New York City (at least, it's my dream vacation for today. with Matt.)
Favorite Dessert: JP Licks ice cream
What I want to be when I grow up: spoken word poetry queen
What I love most in life: grace
One word to describe me: brilliant (and humble?)
My flickr name: Mali's just west of Niger (I had to search for just mali, west and niger, 'cause my whole name turned up nothing)

made with this cool flickr tool

garden hoes

Friday, while I was working in the garden with my neighbors (ages 10, 12 and 14), I asked one of them to carry the hoe.  There was a moment of awkward silence.  Then the oldest said something about having just learned that there's a tool called a hoe, used for digging.  And I realized in a moment of startling sadness that my neighbors learned what it means to be called a ho long before they knew to use a garden hoe.   

Saturday, June 07, 2008


I thought I'd share a few projects I've been working on lately.  Perhaps my sharing them will encourage me to continue on finishing some of the things I've started...

My quest to eat more locally continues.  This week, happily, it means making jam out of tasty youngberries from my wonderful inlaws' house.  Yum.  

I will not, however, post the picture of the front of my shirt by the end of jam-making. It turns out that people wear aprons for a reason.

I spent a bit of time this afternoon making new friends--with two sixth-graders who live across the street (next to the house that the police raided last week...) and who (as it turns out) like to garden.  Along with a neighbor from my side of the street, we planted beets and okra and cucumbers and some flowers.  And ate squash together.

This garden stuff is pretty cool.

All of which also helped push me to *finally* make myself a shirt featuring a picture of broccoli from my garden.  My first experiment with creating a cloth applique by running fabric through my laser printer.  We'll see how it lasts.  Half of the websites warned me IN ALL CAPS that running fabric through my laser printer was a HORRIBLE idea.  The other half said it was simple and easy.  So far, it's been simple and easy.  Here's hoping...
Do you think the broccoli-shirt movement will catch on?  Or, perhaps, it's a wear-what-you-grow movement.  Hmmm.
In other clothing-creating fun, I've been playing with quick and easy appliques using Wonder-Under.  Inspired, again, by my garden.  And babies.  Hooray for friends who are having babies.
The baby clothes pinnacle for today, though, has to be this attempt at wonder twins fun for a friend with new (you guessed it) twins.  I hope she doesn't read my blog.  Here's to Zan and Jayna!
And, on a less wacky note, I finally made myself some kitchen curtains from a vintage tablecloth I got in Nebraska.  I also dug my grommeter thingy out of the attic in the hopes that I might actually, finally, finish my living room curtains.

Now that I've written it in blog, maybe I'll have to follow through.

Tomorrow, though, much of my day will be spent in new excitement: I'm volunteering at our *new* City Heights Farmers Market in the morning, and helping with a workshop for some women who want to start a crafting co-op to help create a financial safety net as they seek to get out of poverty in the afternoon.  Good stuff.  

Oh, and still dreaming about my church's plan to open a coffeehouse in my neighborhood.  It seems it may be becoming an ice cream shop.  Which, in my book, is pretty darn wonderful.  But more about that later.  I've got to get to bed now, so I can be fresh for the morning market!

Sunday, June 01, 2008


It's Sunday evening, and I have no deep theme to weave through this series of thoughts, except that they're all outside:

1.  I had fun making some preparations for a baby shower for rad friends who are having a baby, preparations which including dyeing some baby clothes for later decoration.  I love dye baths.  And color! 
2.  My passionfruit vine is blooming crazy now.  I'm anxious to see when it will make fruit.  I still think it's a most outrageous bloom.
3.  I'm still a bit stressed about fuzzy green-ness in the aquarium, and grateful that part of my attempt at being proactive about reducing algae involves going to the la jolla to get ocean water out of a swell spigot by the scripps pier.  I like living near the ocean, and think it's pretty lame that it takes a water-gathering errand to get me there.
4.  The sunflowers have started blooming, and bear many, many signs of exciting bloom to come.

Perhaps these are all good reminders to counterbalance the temptation to play with the Wii my new roommate brought to the house...  ;)

I'm also enjoying ponder what it looks like to create digital puppets, thanks to tantalizing explanations from a friend at the above-mentioned baby shower.  He's working on Sid the Science Kid, which just looks pretty darn rad.  Real puppeteers and computer generated puppets.  WILD!!!!