Saturday, 16 December 2017

Izzy's not so great first play date.

We went to Sarasota's Ken Thompson Park, one of our local under valued treasures. (Family visitors from the U.K. - the Park is in the same area as the Mote Marine Lab.)

Izzy and I were there to meet my good friends  Diana and Fred, and their lovely dog "Gusty".  Izzy got very growly with Gusty.  (Maybe it's leash aggression).

Fred, Diana and I kept the dogs apart whilst we enjoyed not only the sandwiches we had taken for lunch, but also the pleasure of our friendship,

Diana tried to take some photo's of Izzy -  hard to do because the latter does not know how to pose!

But here's one (which I've cropped from the original )  showing Izzy in her gorgeous hunting dog beauty.

Izzy, a Catahoula Leopard Dog mix.

Izzy and I start training on Tuesday 19th December at

Friday, 15 December 2017

Binges in Advent (2) ... in which I break the rules (with impunity and with music)

The immutable laws of the Medes and Persians  (Daniel 6:15) are less severe  than one immutable law of the  American Episcopal Church viz:



I gladly flout that law every Advent.

Weary and deafened by the saccharine "Christmas Season": music which is inflicted on me inside (and outside) various stores, supermarkets etc I seek for an antidote to XMAS MUZAK.

I find such relief every year in Advent in the stirring, powerful and joyous music of J.S. Bach from his Christmas Oratorio.

In particular I binge on this version from the St, Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany.

 I rejoice in the passion of the Conductor, the Brass, and the Tympani.

See and hear it for yourself!

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Binges in Advent (1)

Tuesday 12th Dec

Lunch at  Oasis Cafe on South Osprey Ave in SRQ

with Ted Copland, former Rector at St. Boniface Church on Siesta Key, Sarasota, FL.

I ate Bean Cakes with guacamole and sour cream.  Delicious.


Wednesday 13th Dec

Lunch at Nellie's Deli , North Beneva Ave, SRQ

with Ev Walk, former Rector at St.Margaret of Scotland on Clark Rd in Sarasota.

I ate a turkey breast sandwich in a Croissant. Just O.K.


Thursday 14th Dec

Lunch at Pho 99 on Clark Rd,Sarasota

with Carla McCook, current Rector at St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Sarasota.

I had Vietnamese Spring Rolls  Excellent!


Food aside, I binged on the lively and edifying conversations with these three partners in ministry in the American Episcopal Church.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Hark the Herald Angels Sing? (No they didn't and can't). (Then some fun)

My friend and Wise Woman the Revd. Dr. Mary Luti has been publishing some delightfully wise and whimsical musings about Angels on her Face book page.

Mary reminds us that the Angels of the Bible don't have wings, nor do they sing.(We have confused them with Cherubim  - an entirely different heavenly order).

On a serious and important note Mary reminds us that we do not become Angels in heaven.  We will be resurrected human beings.

She and I also strongly resist one of the popular responses to death in the Christian or nominally Christian world is to say "God wanted another Angel".

That's a particularly cruel thing to think or say when a child dies. God wanted another Angel?  As if God didn't have enough, so God decided that my darling child should be snatched away from me to swell his Corps of Angels.  What a dastardly God that would be.


Angels don't sing so "Hark the Herald Angels sing is plain wrong!  In truth Charles Wesley did't write that.  He wrote "Hark how all the *welkin rings -  glory to the King of Kings"

 * an old word meaning "clouds"  which has passed out of use in English")

Wesley's hymn has been greatly mucked about with. It originally had 10 four line stanzas, that would make for 5 eight line verses, more than modern congregations could stomach.   It truth I think that many of us cannot  comprehend Wesley's theology, it's just that we lime belting out "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" at the end of each verse as we sing it to the familiar  tune which has been adapted from Mendelssohn!


One response to Mary Luti's entry was this 

"My dad grew up in East Boston, in those days that's where the ocean liners came in, and being an unsupervised kid he hung out at the docks. One year the British seamen were singing, "Hark the herald angels sing - Wallis Simpson stole our king."


And then there is this (some materials from Wikipedia)

Beecham's Pills were a laxative first marketed around 1842 in WiganLancashire. They were invented by Thomas Beecham (1820–1907), grandfather of the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham (1879–1961).

The pills themselves were a combination of aloe, ginger, and soap, with some other more minor ingredients. They were initially advertised like other patent medicines as a cure-all, but they actually did have a positive effect on the digestive process. This effectiveness made them stand out from other remedies for sale in the mid-nineteenth century.

Wonderful pills indeed!

The hymn "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"  gave rise to some unofficial and free 'advertising" for them.

Sing alone with me!

Hark! the herald angels sing
Beecham’s pills are just the thing
Two for a woman, one for a child,
They will make you meek and mild.

Another version reads: 

“Hark the herald Angels sing, 
Beecham’s Pills are just the thing
Two for a parent, one for a child, 
half for a baby meek and mild. 
If you want to go to Heaven, you must eat at least eleven, 
If you want to go to Hell, you must eat the box as well, 
Hark the herald Angels sing, 
Beecham’s Pills are just the thing.”

Since Beecham's pills were a laxative I end with:

"And so it goes"

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Enough Already! (and fit me for heaven?)

Nov 30th  Heart Specialists of Sarasota

Dec 4th Routine Blood Draw for my Primary Care Physician.

Dec 6th  Dermatologist

Dec 7th Colonoscopy and Endoscopy

Dec 15th Vascular Surgeon

Dec 18th Dermatological Surgeon for yet more Mohs surgery.

Not to  mention visits to a Podiatrist and to my Dentist.

Maybe god is making me fit for heaven to live with god there (from Christmas Hymn!)

Not to mention the billing.  I will get three bills from Suncoast Endoscopy alone.  One for the Surgeon, one for the Anesthesia team, one from the Pathologist.

Medicare and United Health Care will pick up most of the charges, but I will be left with (small I hope) co-pays.

Single Payer anyone?  NO.  According to the loony American Right Wing (our current Lords and Masters) single payer is Socialistic.

Thoughtful Americans know that the Right Wing Claim is

Indeed it could and should be good and efficient business practice.   

Monday, 11 December 2017

The old Salt (and Priest), a splendid woman, and a new friend.

We visited the Chrismans this afternoon.

They are: 

Jack - an Episcopal Priest and U.S. Navy Captain (Ret.).

Donna - a fabulous and wise woman.

We were:

jmp, and the fabulous, splendid, unforgettable recently adopted Izzy.


Jack and Donna agree with me in saying that Izzy is both handsome and loving.

Jack holds the leash, Izzy looks adoringly at Donna, whilst I take the photo'


ohfirgoodnisssake (!)   

Why should I have been so fortunate as to adopt Izzy from HSSC? .  She is  bringing such joy to my life.


Sunday, 10 December 2017


Brisk long walk with Izzy at 6:00 a.m.  Cold by our standards  (43f).

It was an oatmeal and banana breakfast ,kind of day.

Another walk at 8:00; yet another at 10:00.  Izzy loves to walk and it's good for me.

Good visit with my friend Bob L. at his assisted living facility in Bradenton.

Had a  yearning for a Meatball Sub (or was it a Grinder, or a Hoagie, or a Hero?), so indulged and got one at Publix Supermarket.

So very unhealthy -  and soooo good!

Tried to walk it off with  another good walk with Izzy at Sarasota's Nathan Benderson Park.  She loved it -  so many new smells.

Nathan Benderson Park

Back home for a long nap, then one more walk with my fabulous beast.

Lovely dinner hosted by Bill and Pat at their home with other good friends:  Chris and Greg; John and Gordon, Rick and John; and Dennis and David.  "How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity"  (Psalms).

Back at home at about 8:00 p.m. took Izzy for her final pee walk.  She literally dragged me up the driveway at the home of  my neighbours Jesse and Bill
I rang their doorbell. They were delighted to see us and pressed me not very hard to have a glass of wine.  

They adore Izzy and were glad that she decided to drop in for lots of TLC!  They are her local uncles.

All this, and no Church on a Sunday!   Don't tell anyone.

The wonderful Izzy sits as she waits for a treat,.  She is so darned gorgeous,

Gwen Okes Manner speling

Unofficial sign on a dog poop box at Glen Oaks Manor