Garden Tour 2015

A few people have been asking me how the garden is this year. Here’s an abridged tour of the Vicar’s backyard from this past spring, and now summer. Last fall, I planted five (5!) different kinds of garlic – each with an obscure name. Here’s my very accurate and detailed planting map: Four of the five varieties produced beautiful, […]

Suburban Cyclology

When I was growing up in Chicago, my dad taught me to ride a bike in the street with the flow of traffic.If I tried that in Bolingbrook I’d get run over.

Death On Campus

Here at Kenyon College, there’s a graveyard on campus. I’m here this week for a writing workshop and I stumbled across it on a walk. I found gravestones from the 1830s and the 1990s, including those of professors and alums. I’d never seen a college graveyard before. It must be a great source for campus jokes. But […]

What Do Vicars Do All Day?

Recently, someone asked me, “What about ministry, exactly, makes it so stressful? Is it all the counseling you do for people and their crises?” “Well, the majority of what I do actually isn’t counseling,” I tried to explain. It’s hard to explain the stresses of ministry to someone who can’t imagine it intuitively. Before I could say more she asked, […]

Don’t Know Much Theology

A parishioner once recommended to me a particular book on theology he was reading. I was honest, “Thanks, Vince. But I struggle with reading and comprehending most writing about theology!” He cocked his head, “Huh. That surprises me, Rev. Heidi.” His confidence in me was gracious, but theology classes were the hardest for me. And I went to […]

A Minty Memorial Day Weekend

I have become obsessed with my backyard mint project.  Over the holiday weekend, I tried seven (7!) different mint recipes. Adam thinks I’m nuts. He has also had to empty our dishwasher (his job in our division of home labor) like, eight times in three days. I might have a problem. I will share the results with you, […]

The Mint Project

My bucolic suburban homestead is slowly being taken over by backyard mint. I admit, I opened myself to this invasion when I bought two plants four years ago – one “chocolate” mint, one spearmint – and planted them. Not in a pot. Not in two pots. Not in a window box. In naked, unprotected ground. I planted […]

On Still Loving A Shrinking Church

I wrote a blog post for The Christian Century on the Pew Forum’s Religious Landscape Survey, which shows further declining numbers for mainline churches like The Episcopal Church. I feel pretty conflicted about all of this. First, I think, “Who cares about numbers? Jesus didn’t care about numbers.”  Then I think, “At least the people left […]

The Empty Side of My House

I’m a compulsive plant buyer. Just today, I looked up and realized I’d bought two giant pink geraniums and a lemon verbena. Not quite sure how that happened. As you can imagine (just ask Adam), over the past five years, the garden beds around our house have filled in. But I haven’t planted anything on the north […]

How I Make Bread

There’s something indescribably homey about good bread. There’s a kind of spiritual wealth in being able to carry out a few rituals of daily life that are both deeply meaningful and completely impractical. So, I make bread on an almost daily basis – because it tastes great, it makes me happy, and most importantly I have an EASY way to do […]