Ten on Tuesday

1. I voted.

2. Juliette and I walked to and from church today, even though it was 37 degrees when we left the house and that is chilly for people who have been living in California. I want us to get conditioned to the cold before it really gets cold. On the way there, we stopped for doughnut holes at Kirschbaum's, and on the way back we stopped at the Baptist church so I could vote. We also kept our minds off the chill by skipping and walking backwards. It was altogether lovely.

3. Halloween was a big hit this year. Between two preschools, Juliette had a whole lot of Halloween festivities. She alternated between her old ladybug costume for the indoor stuff and the wonderfully warm chicken costume we inherited from Selam for the outdoor stuff.Considering that Juliette wore size 18 month shoes for her first Halloween, size 6 shoes for her second Halloween, and size 9 shoes for her third Halloween, I'm thinking we made the most out of this clearance 2t costume.
4. I just finished reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I liked the way she reframed common issues within the context of happiness, and I have already adopted some new practices that make me happy, and just as importantly, identified some simple things that make me unhappy that can easily be eradicated.

5. I thought that I had a total soupfail in the kitchen last night; not only did it take longer than I thought it would and so we had to eat a frozen Trader Joe's entree instead of homemade chicken and wild rice soup, when I tasted it after dinner the rice was tough and it was less than delicious. Well, a night in the fridge softened that rice up, and with a little extra water to replace the absorbed liquid and an extra dash of salt, it made for a yummy lunch. I'm looking forward to eating it again for dinner. Should I thank Millie?

6. I made hotel reservations for the Disciples of Christ General Assembly in Nashville this summer. I'm so excited to spend a week among Disciples - including many beloved former parishioners, colleagues, and friends - in Nashville, no less. Booyah. Ben and Juliette are coming along as well.

7. I finally remembered to bring my camera to church again. The ivy that crawls all over the buildings joins in on the autumn color extravaganza, and it takes my breath away every time I see it.

This is the window of my study. And here it is up close. Note the presence of Dedo, the Notre Dame gargoyle.And then the bell tower:There are a couple folks who watch over me from their post on the courtyard wall of the sanctuary. I need to find out who they are.

8. I love fall. How I managed to live in the Midwest for 22 years without really paying attention to it before is a mystery. Sometimes it really does take absence to make the heart grow fonder.

9. You should read this article about Xola Skosana, a pastor in South Africa who is preaching that Jesus is HIV+. It's fascinating.
"Wherever you open the scriptures Jesus puts himself in the shoes of people who experience brokenness. Isaiah 53, for example, clearly paints a picture of Jesus who takes upon himself the infirmities and the brokenness of humanity," he told the BBC.

He is also quick to emphasise that he is using the metaphor to highlight the danger of the HIV/Aids pandemic, which still carries a stigma in South Africa's townships.

"Of course, there's no scientific evidence that Jesus had the HI virus in his bloodstream," says the pastor, whose non-denominational Hope for Life Ministry is part of a growing charismatic movement in South Africa.

"The best gift we can give to people who are HIV-positive is to help de-stigmatise Aids and create an environment where they know God is not against them, he's not ashamed of them."

10. I heard back from Lara. We're going to get together soon!

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