Saturday, September 17, 2005


I have just downloaded Blogger for Word. It allows me to write a document in Word and post it to my blog. I am not sure quite what the advantages of that might be. So this is just an experimental blog. Speaking of experiments, on The Splendid Table today was a man who recommends home coffee roasting. The Christian Education committee has been considering offering three events. One would be bread making. Another beer making. Maybe home coffee roasting should be the third. I’m sure we could think of some rationale for it. I’m not sure about Jesus but I bet Paul would have been a coffee drinker, if it had been around.

Espresso Alert

Today I was driving up Hampton and discovered that there is a new cafe in our neighborhood, just south of Holly Hills on the right hand side if you are driving north on Hampton. It caught my eye because they've stained the sidewalk a nice terra cotta color and have very attractive black cafe tables out front. Inside, the building has yellow walls and nice artwork and attractive floors (tile and wood laminate, I think). It is called Plato Cafe. The young man who confessed that this was his first solo latte said that he had started the business with his brother. He bought the building which "was a mess" a year and a half ago and has rehabbed it in his spare time. Right now they have sodas, bagels, coffees and cookies. They opened Monday. They plan to expand into sandwiches. Their coffee is good although it makes no claims to moral virtue (e.g. Fair Trade or organic). They don't sell coffee, only serve it. Anyway, I am now on a mission to encourage these recently arrived entrepreneurs. It is much hipper looking than The Sweet Life on Chippewa. Also hipper looking than most businesses on South Hampton. Anyway, I hope local readers and St Markans will stop by and give them a try. Maybe this will inspire us to revive Theological Cafe or be a good venue for a Shawl Ministry field trip.

Monday, September 05, 2005


Our lovely dog Belle was put to sleep today. She has been with us since 1996 when we adopted her as a puppy from the Missouri Humane Society and the girls named her for the female lead in Beauty and the Beast. She was a German Shepherd/ Beagle mix. She used to "roo" like a beagle. She was fierce in protecting our house, not always gentle with children, clear that she was Top Dog over our younger dog Sophie. She was intelligent and reasonably well trained. She was equally able to train us. For example, she used to play an elaborate game, refusing to go out into the garden without a lot of pleading. She had trained us to beg, to play this game of tag. She was sweet and affectionate.

In the last few years she developed a seizure disorder. We let her sleep in our room after that, so that if she had a seizure, we would know about it. This time last year, when we came home from vacation, she had multiple seizures and we had to take her to the emergency vet who, at vast expense, adjusted her meds and got her stable. In the last few months, she'd been having trouble standing up and staying standing, her walking was a little awkward. She tended to be slow to get up. Every now and then she'd surprise us-- dashing out into the garden with Sophie as Sophie chased rabbits and birds.

We were worried enough about her that we took her to the vet before we left town. He seemed to think she had arthritis and put her on another medication. But while we were away, Jim the dog sitter was worried that she was not eating, etc. and took her to the vet again.The vet drew blood and when I called on Saturday, he seemed to think that none of the blood tests were worrying. But by Sunday, she could not move at all, Lynn our other dog sitter took her to the vet who said that she had fluid in her abdomen and had septic peritonitis. John and I dashed home (we got the message leaving church in Holyoke MA at about nine a.m.) driving all through the night. We chose not to subject Belle to exploratory surgery and we kept her on palliative care until we got there at 6:30 a.m. today. Everyone at the Animal Emergency Clinic is incredily nice and supportive and aware of the complex emotional issues about people and their pets. They return calls immediately, they call you with updates on your pet's condition. I can't say enough about what great care they give to pets and owners.

When we got there, we told her we were home and we loved her. Her ears perked up and her eyes moved, which the vet said was more response than they'd seen all day, but she was plainly a very sick dog. So when we were done, the vet put her to sleep. She was a great dog.