Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Late Night Book Club for Me, Myself and I

"What? Who talking to me?"
"Yes. I am talking to you."
"I need to stop talking to myself...especially in two voices. It creates a picture of unsteadiness."
"You are side-stepping the issue."
"Ummm...what issue?"
"You went to bed late last night...again."
"It was for a good cause."
"Reading a whole book is a good cause?"
"It is. I'm....honing my vocabulary skills. I'm..."
"staying up til one am reading a book."
"Well, that wasn't the plan. I started it at 9 pm and I just couldn't put it down. Ok, I put it down once at 11:30 pm, but every time I closed my eyes all I could see was the character in Kenya and her fight against her bizarre kidnappers."
"You were at the part where she was safely in England studying birds."
"Now you're sidestepping the issue. The point is that I couldn't rest until I finished the book. So that's what I did. I read the whole thing from start to finish."
"And finished at one am."
"Yes. True."
"And your children wake up at 6 am, correct?"
"Yes. True again."
"And you remember how well you function on five hours sleep."
"Oh, shut it."
"ok what?"
"Ok, I won't read books after 8:30 pm any more. This time I mean it."
"We'll see."
"What? You don't believe me?"
Sigh. "I think you just need to be honest with yourself."
"Ok. You're right."
"And so?"
"I've resolved: to nap today."
"That's what I thought, too!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sorting Myself Out

My husband had an accident at work today.

He's fine. Don't panic. Well, sorta fine. His leg is in a rubber velcro leg cast and he's on pain medication.

We're all very thankful that he's ok and that his leg should return to it's normal size. Soon.

I was merrily chatting with my kids at the kitchen table earlier today. We're learning about germs right now. And I got a text message from him saying he was at the hospital, that I didn't need to come and he was ok. (Of course, we hopped in the van and made raucous noise in the ER room over our safe and wonderful Daddy-man!)

Moments before I was playing with my kids, having a grand old time. We had been at the library when we heard the ambulance go by. The ambulance that was carrying my husband. I was unaware that he was inside, even though I peeked out the window to see if it was a fire truck or an ambulance.

Sometimes I've known he's been in danger. And other times I haven't. There's this deep hope I have that because we are so connected to each other and share such a deep love that if he were to hurt himself I would instantly know.
But today I didn't know. I was blissfully unaware that while I was enjoying my life, he was being laying on the ground being made to laugh by the co-workers jokes . While I chased my one year old around, he was looking around the ambulance and wondering about all the people who've ridden in it before him.

I don't like that feeling.

I like being safe in his arms, his chin resting on my head as he strokes my hair.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Attention! Attention! She's at it again

Brambleberry Grace is making a whole lot of sense. Great writing, fabulous thought and, of course, something to make one smile. Read the jazzy hair post. Just do it.

And just for giggles, here's a clip of a song that makes us laugh. A family performed this last night at the Homeschool Variety show and we were all laughing so hard. At the end the whole audience was singing along. Fabulous!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Flashback: His glory revealed

My sister twisted both of her ankles once. We were supposed to dance our duet, a duet we had spent months working on. But you don't dance on twisted ankles.
We got together as a family and started to pray. My sister felt strongly that she was to get up and jump and praise the Lord. You don't jump on twisted ankles.
She got up,in faith, and started to jump. And then cry, laugh and dance.
"My feet feel like they are on fire. He's healing me. He's healing me!"
And she danced because He makes you dance on twisted ankles.

People die. Some never get healed. Some never become whole on this earth. It doesn't change the fact that He heals. That He is the Healer and the Great Physician.

Some people remain faithful to Him. I've been pondering a statement I read here:

During my dad’s journey with ALS, I had always assumed that a miraculous healing would have most definitely brought God the most glory. Until recently, I didn’t pause to consider that maybe, just maybe, my dad’s unwavering faith through one of the most disabling diseases out there could have glorified God, possibly more than a miracle healing. I don’t have the bird’s eye view of the mysterious ways of God but would it be possible that the faith of God’s people through the storms of life bring more glory to Him than a miracle?

I believe that both experiences bring glory to His name. We were made to bring Him glory and all things. In vacuuming, in serving, In working, in living and dying. It is all for the King!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Simple ways to say i love you to yourself

Lately I have been saying 'I love you' to myself in the following ways:

The crock pot. Dear sweet friend who does my cooking for you while Im out all day. You are good to me.

A few drops of essential oil of lavender on the pillow at night. Instant relaxation and a restful sleep in minutes.

Peppermint essential oil in the morning to va-va-voom the day

Wearing my big bling rings around and talking with my hands more

Chasing my son around on all fours

Calling my husband and talking to him on the phone and listening to him. Listening is powerful gift to give your marriage. I love what he has to say.

What do you do to say I love you to yourself?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Benefits of Human Observation

Sometimes I think about the girl on TV whose mother had her in two types of cheerleading and dancing six times a week.
She was 10, I think. Her coach made a statement that she was stressed and she had told the mom that it would make her daughter a better cheerleader if she cut back on the lessons. Her mother couldn't fathom that.
I wonder, 4 years later, does that girl talk to her mother now or just slam the door?

Sometimes I think about the woman at the bottle depot shop. She always grunts her answers with a frown on her face. As I ask her questions about herself and she responds bitterly to each one, I ask myself, "Why is she so mad at life? Why is she working at a job she hates so much?"
She owns it. Another situation of rock and hard place, I guess. She lives for the month of November when they go the Dominican.
As I drive away from the bottle depot, frustrated that they close down while they are gone, I wonder if she's happy. I can't picture her with a smile, though.

How random that there is a diaper left on the sidewalk. Did someone just leave it there on purpose? Was it an exasperated mother who couldn't take the stress of changing a baby in the car and as a small token of sharing her pain with the world she tossed it out of the moving vehicle and didn't care that it littered the roadside? I mean, how does a diaper get on the sidewalk?

Frost on the grass eking out an existence until the sun's rays consume it. A brilliant, short reminder that life is brief. I almost miss small things like that because I'm too busy, it seems, washing my dishes to pay attention to the world outside my window.

We all see things and wonder. We all make up stories in our head.

That's why everyone can write a novel.

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's that ojibway woman!

Last night I was chatting with my faithful blog reader (and a bridesmaid in my wedding) That Ojibway Woman on the telephone. I am a multi-tasking mama so I thought it only reasonable to make the icing for my daughter's birthday cake whilst on the phone.

Now, my last birthday cake for my eldest daughter was s.w.e.e.t. And I'm not saying 'sweet' in the way the young kids today say it either. I'm saying it as in in 'book a visit to the dentist's' sweet.
So, naturally, this cake has to be my redemption.

I told Tamatha about this on the phone and she lamented my cause and said if I only lived closer she'd come to my house and teach me all the things that she knows--baking and otherwise. I think this is good. I share with her how I am trying a new recipe that someone promised up and down that it is the most elegant and light icing concoction you will ever meet.
I follow directions. I almost have enough milk, but other than that I have all the ingredients necessary. Surge ahead.

Blend ingredients. Cream until fluffy.

(Quick interjection: My beaters are busted and I'm wood spoonin' it these days. Creaming things doesn't quite happen on Kitchen-Aid level of expert, if you follow me.)

Anyway, things progress and my conversation with Tamatha is suddenly interuppted with an "uh-oh!"
"Tam, please tell that the most elegant icing concoction is supposed to taste salty."
"Oh no."
"I wish you lived closer."

It's getting late. I say goodbye to Tam, and stick the icing in the fridge hoping that by morning some magic fairies will come and repair the damage.

No such luck.

Morning comes with a wave of sorrow over salty icing. I google "how to fix icing that's too salty". I end up with recipes about adding potato to soup or tabasco sauce, but be careful not to put too much or you'll be hooped when it comes to having a too hot stew.
I semi-contemplate giving the potato thing a try but reason I have only so much time and peeling potatoes doesn't fall into that category.

I google "too salty icing" and I learn that no one in Internet history has ever done this because there are no solutions posted. I go back to the soup posts praying that some inspiration will leap out at me. Nothing.

Oh no, wait. What's this? Oh cute. A little warning about paying attention when adding salt to a recipe and not to be distracted by talking, thinking or breathing. Thanks for that.

Then I google "how to make chocolate icing using cocoa powder" and I figure, "Chocolate could fix this couldn't it? Couldn't it?"

Over at the mixing bowl, things are getting interesting. I've added cocoa powder, removed some, almost added white sugar but thought better of it, and went with some powder sugar.
I have the kids test it.

"That's not bad. I would eat that."

Whatever. I throw it in the fridge and spy...dun...dun...dun "Whipping cream!"

My kids whip it up with those old fashion I-bet-Laura-Ingalls-used-these-kind of beaters.
I mentally go over if I'm trying to hard to make cake for my kids. I'm pretty sure I'm not. I'm after creating memories with them about their birthday, and one is decorating the cake together. It's hard to say...when it comes to food being prepped on a deadline, it's so easy to doubt every motive you ever thought was pure.

My daughter and I do decorate the cake. It's not the turtle that she wanted but it's green and we cover it in sprinkles in the shape of a teddy bear. She beams with delight as she is given her cake. She thanks me for her cake. Ah, memory making.

The day goes on until I am confronted with dinner. I open the fridge and spy the icing.

"I'm going to give you another chance," I say.

I taste it and it is the most elegant, the most supreme concoction of icing I have ever had the pleasure of, making!

Chocolate has once again saved the day. The need for the Ojibway woman has been delayed for the moment.

Although, I am baking muffins next week. The Good Food box arrived and I have loads of cantaloupe again! Oh, Ojibway woman!!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

How To Succeed in Getting Lost Without Really Trying

I had the fortunate opportunity to go to the BIG city this past weekend. Yes, the BIG city. The BIG city that requires four lane traffic and sometimes six lanes, possibly eight but I can't count that high. Here's my observations on traveling the highways.

1. Print off a google map.
2. Find a friend to explain the map. The map means nothing unless someone can say, "Remember we went to the Starbucks at this spot."
3. Start the car and lock the doors. You are, after all, in the big city. And while you haven't heard of any carjackers jumping in the cars at a stop don't want to become a statistic.
4. Memorize in your head the "signs" to watch for. (You'll cross this street, you'll see this exit and then watch for the big green sign)
6. Happy Ending

6a. If you have been foolish enough to think that there is a big green sign coming up that reads, "Take this one! This is the one you want. That's right, merge into the lane. Great job!" Then you are a fool. If this is the case, here's what you do.
7. Drive an immensely long way to the next exit. Caution: Pay attention that it's coming. Berating yourself at loud volumes causes you to lose focus.
8.Turn the old bus around and head back to your exit of choice.
9. Inhale deeply as you approach the exit. This time you won't be decieved. This green exit is INDEED the sign you are waiting for.
10. Merge! Success is yours.
11. Panic, meltdown, scream at the top of your lungs and freak out in the two seconds you have to decide which fork you take: North or South.
12. Expletives almost slip from your mouth as you realize that you have once again chosen your own adventure and taken the wrong direction yet again.
13.Repeat steps 7-10
14.Unless...when you take the exit you realize that you forgot to factor in that you were previously going east when you took the wrong exit and so you should take west. But you've taken east and you find yourself completely and utterly back at 6a.
15. Fight tears off.
16.Promise yourself you will never, never come to the BIG city again.
17. Unroll the window and yell at the highway, "You will not defeat me." Don't shake your fist, as other motorist take that personally.
18. Take calming breaths. And pray, pray,pray.
19. When approaching the exit obey the voice of Holy Spirit. Because when He's says go right, He's absolutely right. And even though you are fairly certain you are to go left, trust Him when He nudges and says go right.
20. Praise the name of Jesus! The Holy Spirit has once again got me where I needed to be and I've taken the right exit.

Hmmm...kinda like life,eh?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I will not forget

Thank you soldiers.
I will not forget nor will I let the future generations forget.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I did not say those pants make your bum look flat

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama.

I did not purposely post a blurry photo of me and my girl, Jacquie, having serious bedhead and major tired eyes. That would be a cheeky way to post a picture and I'm not cheeky. You have to be British to pull off a good bit of cheekiness and I'm Finnish and therefore uncapable of cheekiness. Plus, it's embarrassing to post tired and bedhead pictures on the internet and I never do anything embarrassing.
Jacquie is too dear a friend to embarrass. A friend who did not fit the perfect little grey shoes better than I did, so naturally she did not take them. And I never insisted that she did. I am serious about shoe shopping and I would never give up a pair of shoes if it pinched me in the toes ever so slightly. I don't have how-things-feel-on-my-feet issues.
We did not take this picture late at night, in our hotel after gorging ourselves on "the Works" pizza. We are civilized girlie-girls and gorging and pizza aren't things we do. Not even after a day that included massive retail therapy and buying nothing at full price. We are not hunters who stalk the prey of quality fashion and then kill it at it's most vulnerable moment (a slash discount sale). We couldn't do that--we don't even have hunting jackets to wear that would allow us to engage in a sport that requires such skill.
And we most certainly did not watch Hannah Montana for half an hour. Little girls watch Hannah Montana. And we're not little. Or girls.
We're women--mature,behaving ourselves, never giggling at sweaters that look like they came from the dryer lint trap women.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Flashback: My Grandma dances

I have the most incredible Grandma.
She has red hair, has never grown hair on her legs (a trait she did not pass down unfortunately) and an incredible sense of humor. She giggles and it makes me laugh.

She taught me how to make pie. She read goodnight stories to me while I was tucked under the blankets. Her soft voice would float around the room and then was carried out out the window to dance with the fireflies. Tea was our thing. She'd brew a cup of tea for us and we'd sit at the table while playing 500 rummy or a last minute Scrabble.

She taught me to love Robert Frost and took me hazelnut picking. Her hands pressed on top of mine as we rolled out the bread dough and made special treats for Grandpa. Her warm softness would swallow me up in a hug and she would dance with me.

We'd always pretend to waltz and she would hum and sing as we did.

My Grandma is 82 today. And she is still dancing to her own song.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Under cover

We're under the weather
So we're under the covers
Sneezing and coughing
Spewing and sputters

We're snuggled up on the couch
Reading books, drinking tea
We read Shakespeare's Tempest
A man-made storm on the sea

We learned about germs
And our body's system of defense
Then we read Rudyard Kipling
And had a big rest

We listened to the Arabian tales
of fair Shahrazad
And said that snuggling while sick
wasn't all that bad

Robert Munsch entertained us
as we ate bowls of grapes
We looked up the word 'curtiosity'*
and fables of apes

Later, we did word puzzles
and coughed in our sleeves
watched avalanches on you tube
and talked of disease

Finished the Gospel of Mark
and ate crackers of graham
Then tried to stop squabbling
that broke out into mayhem

Now the day is all done
And was like any other
Because we cozied up on the couch
Under the covers

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It was not on purpose...this time I mean it

We all remember this conversation, do we not?

Well, I'm taking this Novel Writing thing seriously and last night, I decided to get writing. (I am writing everyday as outlined on the website). I started at 8:30 pm. I always write by hand first because there is something that is quite artistic and therapeutic about writing by hand. Plus, I can still only type 33 words a minute so...naturally I do my first draft on paper.
After a good session of writing, I felt it was time to go to bed and hoped that hadn't gone past my 10:00 pm bedtime.

Lo and behold it was 1 am!

1 am, folks. A.M. as in after midnight.

I was completely absorbed and lost all sense of time.

But I am pleased to announce that by a rough estimate, I have written approx. 7 000 words. Only 43 000 more to go!

Stay tuned, I need help naming a character and you guys get to name her.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Broken and Spilled Out

The woman with the alabaster box has always been a story that has connected with me.

I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I hope that, if I lived in the day and the hour that she lived in, I would be her. I would come to Jesus with oil that cost so very much and I would pour it on Him.

The Bible says she broke open the box and washed the Lord's feet with her hair. How intimate-how worshipful.

I think about when my hair was long I would wash it with flavored shampoo so that at night when I would go to sleep, my hair by my face, I would go to sleep smelling the wonderful smells of wildflowers or exotic fruit. And now, I think about this woman who washed the smelliest, dirtiest part of Jesus' body with this fragrant perfume-how did her hair smell that evening?

Did it smell to her like the picture of her life--smelly and dirty mistakes overwhelmed by the scent of His majesty?

She committed herself to the act of worship when she broke that box. The oil spilled out, never to be recaptured or contained again--it now had the purpose of serving the King of Kings.

How I long to live my life this way...broken and spilled out for the purpose of serving the King of Kings. I long to never be contained again with the way that I passionately love my Saviour. Never again to be afraid to share His name or the power and truth of His cross. Never to back down from giving Him glory...all the glory.

Lord, I commit my life to You. There is nothing You can't have. There is nothing that You ask for that I won't give You. There is nothing that I will withhold from the One I love with my life. Ask for any of it. Ask for all of it. I will freely give it to the One who is so kind and accepts all gifts.

Even those gifts that are broken and spilled.

Monday, November 2, 2009

In my defense, I was very...oh, I don't have an excuse for this one

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by Mckmama.

I did not make the remaining last bit of whipping cream in the carton all for myself. Nope. I am a woman of moderation and excessive use of dairy products is not something I do.
Nor did I run and get my camera thinking, "Hey, this would be a great blog post?" I do not think about my blog other than when I'm on my computer. That shows a weak constitution revealing that digital hobbies are starting to dominate other areas of my life. Me? Have a problem like that? I don't think so.
I did not take 3 big heaping spoonfuls of whipped cream and then gobble it right up and then put another 3 heaping spoonfuls of whipped cream before actually even tasting my hot chocolate. I wouldn't do that. That sounds like a crazy girl out of control with no moral-hot-chocolat-ish restraint. I am the picture of self-containment.
I never once ditched the hot chocolate for the bowl of whipped cream. There's something very childlike about that and clearly, as we all know from reading this blog, I am a very mature, reasonable and grown up adult. I don't "do" childish.
And I absolutely never bailed on the cup of hot chocolate and poured it into my bowl of whipping cream so I could enjoy it's creamy goodness and put an end to this time-wasting efforts of transferring whipping cream into the cup time and time again. While it is logical, I would never do that because, and I feel this bears repeating: although it is logical, it is very unsound in practical application and leads one to believe that there is a strong sense of whimsy nonsense going on in the kitchen.

And that never occurs at my house.