Jun 032015
 

Odd spring.  Cooler than usual. if there is such a thing as “usual,” but my roses and peonies bloomed a little early. Here’s a pic of a favorite but somewhat tender rose – even planted next to the house on a south wall it dies way back every winter.  But the last two winters have been brutal.

scenty

It’s a pretty rose, though, a floribunda, heavily scented and delightful.

 Posted by at 8:33 am
Mar 202015
 

There’s some sort of kerfuffle amongst the barbarians because some Italian clothing makers deviated from the party line and wound up some Brit pop singer who reflexively called “Boycott!”  Now it’s the easiest thing in the world for me to boycott these guy’s clothing – I’m no where near their target audience or for that matter, size – just as I wouldn’t voluntarily listen to the singer’s product.  But why on earth we should be expected to look to either for moral instruction is beyond me.  Even more mysterious, that they should expect us to.

 Posted by at 7:13 am
Mar 172015
 

A  very little thought, maybe.  I’ve been reading The Everlasting Man for the first time in ages.  I’m struck by two things.  First, that criticisms and complaints haven’t changed much since Chesterton wrote.  Second, that it might be interesting to read this very closely along with CSL’s The Abolition of Man.  Three things.  Third, that it might be very interesting to use these two books as texts for a discussion with a group of, say, 18- to-20-year-olds, to learn what equipment they bring.  Hmm.

 Posted by at 7:35 am
Jul 282014
 

It seems that a lot of folks are not too happy with the President.  His tendency to try to rule by decree (they’re called “Executive Orders” now), his reluctance to actual deal with Congress (part of the job), and his deer-in-the-headlights approach to foreign affairs (hint:  Vladimir Putin is NOT AN AMERICAN “PROGRESSIVE.”  No sir, not one bit) seems to be wearing folks down.  All of this was utterly predictable.  The President’s political background is entirely within the strange world of the Illinois Democratic Party, and specifically Chicago, where the Mayor rules, the City Council approves, and everyone shares the moola.  As a state senator, his job was to do what he was told, which he did quite well.  It’s not a world where one has to engage other powerful leaders, negotiate, listen, and compromise.  Lousy training for the Presidency.

 Posted by at 7:13 am
Apr 302014
 

I am sitting at my writing station, looking toward the garage over a long bed full of daffodils.  I look east, where the sun in rising.  It’s a golden sunrise, pouring through bands of grey clouds touched with cream on their eastern edges.  Overhead, the clouds are solid, but rough-bottomed, the lower ruffles variously cream and very faint pink.  We are still mostly leafless; the trees are weeks behind the norm.

After the snow melted, after the air had begun to warm, I feared I had lost as many as 17  roses to the bitter winter, even the 23 year old Constance Spry at one corner of the house, an immense rose – even the unkillable Dr. Van Fleet that came as a cutting from my father-in-law.  The roses had not only the bitter cold and the three months of snow cover to deal with, but also rabbitty predations, with bark stripped up to three feet above ground level.  But now, life seems to be creeping back into some of those dead canes.  The mortality is still considerable, but I’ll take my time uprooting the losses.  Where buds start on the old canes, I’ll prune back and suppresses bloom this year – no matter what happens, it won’t be a very rosy summer.

The mortality amongst the herby perennials is harder to guess.  The clematis seems gone.  The peonies were reluctant to start but are moving right along now.  Some of the hosta have vanished, simply vanished, and in others the center of the root mass seems to have died but left behind the orbiting daughters.  Even in the depths of winter dormancy, I believe, there is a certain amount of sleepy metabolism that goes on below ground.  I suspect that the icy conditions reduced the oxygen exchange down at ground level, but maybe I’m guessing through my hat.  I’ve been thinking of converting the garden to daylilies, coneflower, phlox, and carefully selected hardy roses, maybe concentrating on the wonderful Griffith Buck roses that need little care beyond food.  The coneflowers don’t seem to have made it, though.  Gonna be a slow replanting.

 Posted by at 8:05 am
Mar 032014
 

Sounds like a 20s novel, Nashotah being a slightly wayward young lady of the author’s acquaintance.  Which is how some conservative Anglicans are treating Nashotah House seminary. Let’s keep this simple in the event any of my two or three readers are unfamiliar with the characters in this pageant.

1. Katherine Jefferts Schori is the top bishop of The Episcopal Church (TEC). They call her, “Presiding Bishop and Primate,” but if she had a Secret Service code name it would be “Red Queen.” She likes to sue people. It’s more than a hobby, it’s a way of life.

2. Nashotah House is a seminary, not quite a property of The Episcopal Church but almost sort of but not really. It is quite willing to train priests from The Episcopal Church and from its rival, the Anglican Church in North America (yay, underdogs).

3. The Chairman of the Board of Nashotah House and it’s Dean are both members of the House of Bishops of TEC. They’re both good guys, for TEC Bishops.*

4. Red Queen has received an offer to preach at Nashotah House. Consternation arose. Attitudes were struck. I believe imprecations were tossed.

5. #4 is not surprising, given #3.

Some of those who, like me, have with various degrees of delight left TEC, now fear that orthodox students at Nashotah will contract Episcopal Bishop Contamination Sickness (EBCS) and become little Spongs (see, Spong, John, and Spong’s Ego). I doubt this is a substantial danger.

Now were I a student at The House, as it is fond of referring to itself, I would certainly have been up to the wee hours memorizing the Acta of the 23rd DemiEcumenical Council of Arles (813 AD-902 AD)** and St Macer Adhaeresus’s Commentary on the 22nd Council,*** fueled by virtuous coffee and cookies.  The presence of Presiding Bishop Schori would mean nothing so much as “nap time.” The ability to sleep with eyes wide open is essential job skill, for many will be the meetings these protoclerics must attend at which nothing is said, often in a mumble, at great length.  Also, for those happy folks who have never had a progressive TEC bish talk at them, falling asleep is the first and most natural choice for personal survival.

Wake up there! Pay attention!

Wake up there! Pay attention!

If detected, it is best to feign nausea (feigning may not be needed) or, in dire circumstances, madness. In any event, EBCS is unlikely if the teachers have done their jobs.

However, as usual, the debate began to turn to the question, “why on earth would an orthodox Anglican Christian remain within TEC,” and that’s a contentious one that tends to exhaust the kindliness of either side quickly. To many who have left, remaining within TEC is as unimaginable as volunteering to be a judge at a Vogon poetry festival. I’m quite happy to acknowledge that there are those who believe they have a vocation to remain in TEC, or whose theology of the Church prohibit them from leaving, and to let them be, but then I am tired all the time and my lifetime supply of indignation is nearly exhausted and the remaining minims should be conserved.  It’s better used on those who devise such phrases as “gorgeous glowing Flutterfield Flutter Flower” for grandfathers to read.  That one destroyed by ability to compose for several days.
*It is tempting to go all Jeremiah on the TEC HoB, as a group. “Strutting peacocks of damnation” comes to mind. But Lent is nigh, temptation must be avoided, and I shall restrain myself by confining invective to footnotes.

* *The 23rd Council was convoked to deal with a controversy regarding the varieties of beer suitable for consumption by clerics. It was prolonged by the frequent tastings of various brews, as well as the introduction of issues of ceremonial. The Germanic delegates are said to have found the climate pleasant.  They prolonged the conference with the serial introduction of additional matters to deliberate, so much so that the final Acta ran to 1738 items.

***The Acta of the 22nd Council are lost, and are known only in  Macer’s Commentary. If it is a commentary. It might be a sheep herd book.  Opinions vary.  St. Macer’s Latin is so ungrammatical as to be nearly incomprehensible. 

 

 Posted by at 7:04 am