Monday, July 30, 2007


Jim and I slept in, not officially arising until 8:30, although I was wakeful and cheated that late rising time by writing my Camelot Journal entry for yesterday and working on the Sunday crossword and double-crostic puzzles before waking up Mick.

We had our usual division of cleanliness and godliness for the morning’s activity. Jim got the house all shipshape while I sang the service at St. Luke’s. I wore one of my new dresses – new to me! – and felt so pretty! St. Luke’s is looking good too, after a solid two weeks of moving offices and cleaning and painting the old spaces for new uses in undercroft and Parish House. We sang a sweet anthem, “Remember Me” by Cesar Frank and a long version of “Dona Nobis Pacem”, sung as a round, lifted us up at Communion. The choir was thin this morning, at vacation time, with a tidy three on each part. It worked just fine.I like singing in smaller ensembles, where everyone can offer their special vocal gifts and make their unique contributions.

Mick popped in the film, “Miss Potter” with our luncheon and we were charmed and delighted by the sensitively done film. Renee Zellweiger was enchanting as Beatrix Potter. I grew up on Benjamin Bunny, Peter Rabbit and all the other beautifully drawn characters from her children’s books, so it was nostalgic for me. It was a wonderful movie. I was especially impressed with how Miss Potter actually used her earnings from book sales: she bought and donated to Britain’s Land Trust over 4,000 acres of unspoilt land, saving green space long before it occurred to most people what terrible blights occur when commerce is allowed to “develop” acreage for profit.

Mick took a break to fill out the application forms for the Kentucky Senior Games trials, which will be held this year in Ashland, Kentucky over the weekend of September 16th. He will again try for a place in pole vaulting. He held the Nebraska state school record for 12 years after he cleared 12 feet and some serious change during his high school career in Lexington, Nebraska and has always loved that sport.

Oddly enough, he shall have to vault without practice, as U of L will not allow him to practice there for insurance reasons, and all our high schools locally have forsaken the sport as it costs too much to build the needed practice pits. He says he is practicing in his mind. Jim had a powerful will and a strongly single-minded character and I would guess he is going to do very well with this unorthodox preparation!

Our second film of the afternoon was “Pride”, a film based on the true story of Jim Ellis, who turned things around for Philadelphia’s poorest young people in the 1970s when he created a swim team for his “Philadelphia Department of Parks” kids. Access to the park's pool made it possible, and the city, which had intended to tear down the community center, chose after his success with the kids there to maintain it, him and the swim team. Terrence Howard and Bernie Mac offered nuanced, finely drawn characterizations to head a marvelous ensemble. A great sound track backed impeccable production values, although I did think the costuming got a bit arty at times. That happens when a designer is so conscious of color values that the whole assemblage of a crowd scene is garbed in tones of one color. Two dozen kids just don’t show up all dressed in shades of orange, sorry! Except for that small defect the film was grand, heartwarming and powerful in its unassuming way. Jim Ellis could be the subject of one of my Difference Makers columns. I loved the film.

Again we paused. Mick wanted to go to the grocery for some needed supplies, and I gladly added some items to his list, so I can cook ahead during odd moments this week in readiness for next Saturday’s picnic on Avalon. I decided to make a yellow cake with vanilla icing and use blueberries and strawberries on top to make a festive, edible design, plus some baked beans with molasses (Yum!) and stuffed eggs. Carmen tends to bring watermelon to a cookout. We shall also take up burger patties to cook over the fire pit, and marshmallows to roast. Melissa will take everyone on a hike over the trails she has reconditioned along Avalon Farm’s sweet acres.

I whiled away the time while Mick was shopping by finishing a Georgette Heyer Regency romance, a delightful way to spend leisure time for me, as I love romances, especially those framed against the backdrop of Regency Britain. And Heyer is my favorite author in that specialized sub-genre. What a treat!

We started to watch Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto” but after about 40 minutes I begged off on watching more. I can take an amazing amount of violence when viewing a film if there is some justification for it. But when there is nothing but vulgarity, scatology and violence to meet the eye over that long a time, my patience runs out. I became incurious as to whether Gibson had written anything later in the film worth the drudgery of watching the constant toxic testosterone binge of his screenplay! So we turned that off and found some enjoyable TV to watch, including a Link TV special on folk music. Link TV has so many fine programs! If you have access to a satellite dish, which is how we came to be able to watch Link, by all means check out their programming.

Other than doing a tad of e-mail, keeping up with responses from Michele M on our book cover for Book of Days, my brother Jim on finding Mom’s missing journal pages from back in the ‘80s and Barbara B on editing the “Aaron/Q’uo Dialogues”, today was a completely leisure-time day.

We had such a good rest and a good time! It was lovely to note Jim’s improvements to our plantings in front and back gardens, which he planted yesterday. We still need to do a great deal of weeding to spiff up the garden before Homecoming. Mick assured me that while Gary and I are away at Mackinac Island, he will tackle the majority of the clean-up.

I offered the closing prayer at the Gaia Meditation and we turned out the lights at 11 PM.