dual personalities

Category: prayer

“O come, O Bright and Morning Star, and bring us comfort from afar!”*

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Well, we have had a lovely relaxed time, taking it easy over the Christmas holiday. Since daughter #2 and DN left last Friday…

Unknown-3.jpeg…we have eased into our leisure time, going to lunch at some of our off-the-beaten-track favorites, like the Fiddlehead Fern restaurant…

IMG_0644.jpeg…taking afternoon naps, followed by a late afternoon glass of wine in front of the fire…

Unknown.jpeg…and watching movies…

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On Wednesdays we wear pink.

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The OM was in complete and utter hog heaven watching this movie. I really enjoyed it too.

I also went to the funeral of my dear friend Ruby. Daughter #1 kindly drove me to St. Charles, Missouri across the river where we found her Episcopal Church next to the campus of Lindenwood University. It was packed, because, of course, she was a devoted and active member. The service, which she had specified down to the last detail and saved in her safe deposit box, was Rite I and Rite II (the communion) and included her favorite hymns. It was lovely and nearly two hours long. Her ashes were buried afterwards in the memorial garden of the church, but not in a niche–in the ground. We all threw some dirt on top of her ashes (half of which are going to Wyoming) which I had never done before. I found it to be very meaningful.

Ruby was born and raised in the Flint Hills of eastern Kansas and she loved the wide open sky there.

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The Flint Hills, photo from National Geographic

She would get choked up talking about it. Several of her hymns reflected that:

The spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great Original proclaim.
The unwearied sun from day to day
Does his Creator’s power display,
And publishes to every land
The work of an almighty hand.

–Joseph Addison, hymn #409

Anyway, her funeral was a true reflection of Ruby, which is as it should be. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

Meanwhile, I was back at work Monday to check on things and go through 150 emails…Today we get ready to celebrate the new year: 2020! Can you believe it? Twenty years into the 21st century!

Then it’s back to the salt mine for real on Thursday. Speaking of salt mines, this made me laugh.

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Happy New Year! Make good choices!

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*John Mason Neale (1851)

One thing and another

As I have mentioned, I am reading the book of Luke, one chapter a day, in the month of December. I am enjoying it very much. It is all very familiar, but it is amazing how you forget specific things, such as this great passage in chapter 18:

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

What a great reminder to all of us that we Pharisees need to be mindful of being sinners ourselves. “God be merciful to me a sinner!” indeed.

Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 9.32.03 PM.pngIn other news, it took two days, but we finally got the big tree up! The boy came over twice!


We had to go to Walgreen’s twice to buy more  lights! Are we getting old or what? Don’t answer that!

It is that time of year when TCM Remembers all the Hollywood types who have died during the year:

There are a lot of familiar faces in there, including Valentina Cortese, Albert Finney, Rip Torn, Stanley Donen, and, of course, Doris Day. I was surprised to see Herman Wouk included–I somehow missed that he died in his sleep at the age of 103 in May. He was an interesting guy who wrote some good books that were made into good movies. Also, it might be time to dust off The War Wagon (1967) in memory of Robert Walker, Jr., who played Billy, the demolition expert, so affectingly.

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Anyway, I also just heard about a dear friend and fellow Episcopalian who died shoveling snow earlier in the week. Ruby had to be in her mid-eighties at least, but no one was going to tell her not to shovel her own driveway. I always said that Ruby would have made a good pioneer and, indeed, she died with her boots on, literally. I will miss her so much.

Into paradise may the angels lead you, Ruby. At your coming may the martyrs receive you, and bring you into the holy city Jerusalem.

On the brighter side, daughter #1 comes home for Christmas today. Daughter #2 and DN are driving here from Maryland and should arrive on Monday.

O God, our heavenly Father, whose glory fills the whole creation, and whose presence we find wherever we go: Preserve those who travel; surround them with your loving care; protect them from every danger; and bring them in safety to their journey’s end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Even I am getting excited.

Humble and hearty thanks

For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

– 1 Timothy 4:4-5 (NIV)

We have a lot to be thankful for! For instance, I was glad to see that they are still making Thanksgiving art projects (in pre-school) using a handprint as the basis for a turkey.

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I am grateful that the OM and I can make an evening out of a take-out dinner and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)–which we did last weekend.  Who needs a night on the town? Not us.

I am grateful that I have been able to do the lion’s share of my Christmas shopping online this year, because I have barely been in a store in the last six months! However, I plan to “shop local” this Saturday to support our local economy. I know retailers need that. The boy will be putting in a lot of hours this weekend at his small business!

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Speaking of the boy, I am thankful that we will be celebrating his birthday on Thanksgiving! He was born on the day after Thanksgiving 33 years ago–before the day was universally referred to as Black Friday.

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He has been through a lot in his 33 years…



…but he knows that adversity builds character.

I am thankful that two out of three of my children will be home for Thanksgiving and that we will enjoy a delicious meal followed by yummy pie and our annual viewing of Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987). (Daughter #2 will be far away but well taken care of.)

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I am thankful that I don’t have to travel anywhere this week.

Although I am thankful for my job and all those I work with, I am also thankful to have a few days off from that job! I will be well rested (I hope) when I start my radiation treatments (28!) after this weekend. I am thankful for those too, right? Yes, I am.

ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies, We thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks For all thy goodness and loving-kindness To us, and to all men; We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; But above all, for thine inestimable love In the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; For the means of grace, And for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, That our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, And that we show forth thy praise, Not only with our lips, but in our lives; By giving up ourselves to thy service, And by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honor and glory, world without end. Amen.

–BCP, A General Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mish mosh*


We had our first snow of the season yesterday and, in fact, I had to call off afternoon classes and send everyone home early.  It is always a bit weird, though, when it snows and most of the leaves are still on the trees. The temperature dropped 40 degrees from what it had been over the sunny weekend.

Daughter #1 came into town on Friday because she was part of the big Veterans Day doings at the Soldiers Memorial downtown on Saturday.

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Members of the Scottish-American Military Society

I liked what Chris Pratt wrote about his older brother, a vet, on his Instagram:

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And this great picture of the Queen with her poppies. She remembers.

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scottmeachamwood @Instagram

I had my last chemo treatment on Friday and it was a surprisingly emotional experience to ring that bell and say goodbye to all those nice people who work in the Cancer Center at Missouri Baptist Hospital.

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Well, on to the next phase.

Over the weekend I re-read Delano Ames’ Corpse Diplomatique which I thoroughly enjoyed. Jane and Dagobert Brown are very diverting amateur sleuths and Jane is always saying things like:

I glanced at him witheringly and risked no comment. But Henry did not wither readily.

And we watched The Ten Commandments (1956). It is hard to beat Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner together in a movie.

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Be still my heart.

This movie holds up remarkably well and the pre-CG special effects–the parting of the Red Sea in particular–are impressive. I will also note that Yul Brynner was also in the King and I and Anastasia in 1956. Seriously–wow–quelle year.

The wee babes came over Sunday night for dinner, but no one took any pictures!

Today I will remind you is the 359th anniversary of the day John Bunyan was arrested and taken into custody for preaching in a Puritan meeting house in England. He was convicted as a dissenter and spent 12 years in jail. While there, he began a book–The Pilgrim’s Progress.

“Mr. Worldly-Wiseman is not an ancient relic of the past. He is everywhere today, disguising his heresy and error by proclaiming the gospel of contentment and peace achieved by self-satisfaction and works. If he mentions Christ, it is not as the Savior who took our place, but as a good example of an exemplary life. Do we need a good example to rescue us, or do we need a Savior?”

No surprise that it is still in print and read all over the world. It’s a story that never gets old. My denomination is full of Worldly-Wisemen, that’s for sure.


Stay warm and drive safely.

*Yiddish for a motley assortment of things

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

We thank thee, O God, for the saints of all ages; for those who in times of darkness kept the lamp of faith burning; for the great souls who saw visions of larger truths and dared to declare them; for the multitude of quiet and gracious souls whose presence has purified and sanctified the world; and for those known and loved by us, who have passed from this earthly fellowship into the fuller life with thee. Accept this our thanksgiving through Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Redeemer, to whom be praise and dominion for ever.

–Kendall Harmon, A prayer for All Saints Day

So Halloween and All Saints Day have come and gone and we are on the downward slide to the end of the year! Zut alors, the year has sped by.

We had a lovely weekend visit from daughter #2 all the way from Maryland. She went with me to my weekly chemo session…

Screen Shot 2019-11-04 at 4.30.56 PM.png…and we managed to do some of our favorite things as well. Daughter #1 joined us from mid-MO and we went to estate sales…


…and went out to lunch. We frolicked with the wee babes…

IMG_3774.jpegIMG_3769.jpegWe watched Spy (2015), which we still think is hilarious,

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and a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie starring Jodie Sweetin which was part of the Countdown to Christmas. (Yikes.)

Screen Shot 2019-11-04 at 4.39.23 PM.pngAnd daughter #2 made her famous macaroni and cheese. In addition, we gave each other foot spa treatments and sat around and talked and talked. And went to bed early.

Nothing better, am I right?

It was a good start to November which is a month when we like to consider how much we have to be thankful for, including these guys.

Enjoy your week!

“Another fall, another turned page…”*

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Less than a week of October left! Can you believe it?

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The fall goes by in such a rush…and then it is dark at 5:00 p.m. and it is winter. Sigh.

Daughter #1 had work to do in town so she is home for a long weekend. One of her meetings was at Anheuser Busch and she got to hang out with these guys…


She’ll go with me to chemo today and on Saturday we’ll venture out to an estate sale or two and maybe…lunch! The boy is in New York for a wedding where he’ll get to wear a tux. I wish I could be there with him, but we do what we can do.

The wee babes have had a busy week at school and Lottie has worn a variety of hair bows.

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Teach us, O God, to trust your providence, ordered and sure; to accept your wisdom, unerring and true; and to rejoice in your love, unbounded and eternal; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

–Charles Simeon (1759-1836)

Paintings are (top down) by Nikolai Matveevich Pozdneev, Vincent Van Gogh, Winslow Homer, Norman Rockwell.

*Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose

“For he shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”*

This weekend I plan to do nothing but rest.

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O heavenly Father, you give your children sleep for the refreshing of soul and body: Grant me this gift, I pray; keep me in that perfect peace which you have promised to those whose minds are fixed on you; and give me such a sense of your presence, that in the hours of silence I may enjoy the blessed assurance of your love; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.–BCP

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Both daughters #1 and #2 are moving to new apartments this weekend and I wish them well. I wish I could help. I will be thinking of them from my couch.

This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.

Just a reminder that the Book of Common Prayer is a wonderful source for good prayers!

And here’s a little end of the week inspiration from Casting Crowns–love this new song:

Have a good weekend!

(Paintings are by John Singer Sargent,  Jacques-Louis David and Hippolyte Berteaux

*Psalm 91:11

“What ho, Tashtego!”

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Where did the week go? Daughter #2 and I went to work every day and got things done until about 1:00 and then went home and collapsed. This is my new normal. She made tasty dinners hoping I would eat them and I mostly did. We watched Lonesome Dove and Love With the Proper Stranger (1963).

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This movie was better than I remembered!

But we didn’t get much else done and that’s okay. DN arrives today while we are at chemo…

Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 10.07.50 PM.png…and we will put him to work, busting up chifforobes etc. Daughter #1 rolls into town later this afternoon, and then we will all go into Melville party mode for the big day tomorrow.

Have a great weekend! Don’t forget to toast Herman Melville at least once!

PSA: Just a reminder that August is the month for TCM Summer Under the Stars, wherein each day of the month is devoted to a full 24 hours of films featuring a single outstanding actor or actress. Returning favorites include June Allyson, Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, Kirk Douglas, Irene Dunne, Errol Flynn, Henry Fonda, Ava Gardner, Susan Hayward, Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, Red Skelton, Ann Sothern and James Stewart.

Check out the full schedule here and start setting your DVR.

And please say a little prayer for the wee laddie who is having another corrective surgery on his eye this morning. 🙏🙏🙏




Mid-week inspiration

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Most loving Father, who willest us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but the loss of thee, and to cast all our care on thee who carest for us: Preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which thou hast manifested unto us in thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

–William Bright (1824–1901), English ecclesiastical historian and Anglican priest

“Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure. The way you think about a fact may defeat you before you ever do anything about it. You are overcome by the fact because you think you are.”
― Norman Vincent Peale

“We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.” –Oswald Chambers

“Ultimately the only answer God gave to Job was a revelation of Himself. It was as if God said to him, “Job, I am your answer.” Job was not asked to trust a plan but a person, a personal God who is sovereign, wise, and good. It was as if God said to Job: “Learn who I am. When you know me, you know enough to handle anything.”
― R.C. Sproul, Surprised by Suffering: The Role of Pain and Death in the Christian Life

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.

–Psalm 116:7 (NIV)


“I haven’t lost my temper in 40 years”*

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Tomorrow is the 4th of July–let’s whoop it up some!

In the morning TCM is playing some great John Wayne movies…

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…and that night they’re showing some appropriate musicals…

Screen Shot 2019-07-02 at 8.14.38 PM.pngSet that DVR!

We will probably be taking it pretty easy here in our flyover neighborhood. We won’t be attending Fair St. Louis or anything big like that. (We’ll watch the parade on TV.) But the OM will fire up the barbecue and the wee babes will come over for awhile. (They have new outfits.)


We’ll dig out the sparklers and bang some pots and pans. Maybe we’ll play some patriotic music…

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And let’s all say a prayer:

Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Collect for Independence Day, BCP)

There are a lot of movies with 4th of July scenes, but lists almost always forget the classic finale of McClintock! (1963) wherein John Wayne spanks Maureen O’Hara and everyone cheers. Here’s another great scene featuring our quintessential American hero.

Have a good one. Make good choices.

*John Wayne in McClintock! (1963)