Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Reading List

Only read 64 books this year. Didn't reach my goal of 75, but I did enjoy them anyway.

1. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
2. Flabbergasted by Ray Blackston
3. Leaving November by Deborah Raney
4. Betrayed by Jeannette Windle
5. Frasier Island by Susan Page Davis
6. Searching for Spice by Megan diMaria
7. Three Days by Melody Carlson
8. Just Jane by Nancy Moser
9. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
10. Just Cause by Susan Page Davis
11. Revealed by Tamera Alexander
12. Remembered by Tamera Alexander
13. Homocide at Blue Heron Lake by Susan Davis
14. Diamond Place by Robin Lee Hatcher
15. The Salt Garden by Cindy Martinusen
16. Finding Marie by Susan Page Davis
17. Inside Story by Susan Page Davis
18. Through a Glass Darkly by Gilbert Morris
19. Too Good to Be True by Trish Perry
20. On a Killer’s Trail by Susan Page Davis
21. Julia’s Last Hope by Jeanette Oke
22. Blind Sight by James H. Pence
23. The Tapestry by Gilbert Morris
24. Austenland by Shannon Hale
25. Fireproof by Eric Wilson
26. Until We Reach Home by Lynn Austin
27. The Secret Life of Becky Miller by Sharon Hinck
28. The Heir by Paul Robertson
29. Blinded by Travis Thrasher
30. Consent To Kill by Vince Flynn
31. Playing By Heart by Deborah Raney
32. Against All Odds by Irene Hannon
33. Lonestar Sanctuary by Colleen Coble
34. The Longing Season by Christine Schaub
35. The Guy I’m Not Dating by Trish Perry
36. Danger’s Hour by James Francis
37. Tides of Hope by Irene Hannon
38. Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell
39. He Chose The Nails by Max Lucado
40. A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist
41. The Justice Game by Randy Singer
42. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
43. From A to X by John Berger
44. Through the Fire by Shaun Grady
45. Beyond This Moment by Tamera Alexander
46. The Christian Lover by Michael Haykin
47. Jesus on Trial by Boice/Ryken
48. An Eye for an Eye by Irene Hannon
49. Beach Dreams by Trish Perry
50. Pirate Hunter by Tom Morrisey
51. Stepping Into Sunlight by Sharon Hinck
52. A Time to Surrender by Sally John
53. Out of Her Hands by Megan diMaria
54. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
55. A Vote of Confidence by Robin Lee Hatcher
56. That Certain Spark by Cathy Marie Hake
57. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
58. The Swiss Courier by Trisha Goyer
59. Pontius Pilate by Paul Maier
60. The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander
61. Fit to Be Tied by Robin Lee Hatcher
62. Chocolate Beach by Julie Carobini
63. Dear Lady by Robin Lee Hatcher
64. Random Acts of Kindness by D. Markova

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Quiet Night at the "Office".

Dec. 30, 2009.

Outside my window...a dark, very cold winter night. (Minus 25 C with the wind chill factor).
I am thinking...that the College of Nurses Quality Assurance gets more ridiculous each year. Now, instead of letting you decide what you need or want to learn related to nursing, they make you choose to learn something related to the two "competencies" that they've chosen for the year, such as Ethics and Infection Prevention & Control. So, being an honest nurse and a rule-follower, I do it, but honestly, I find it more helpful to learn about something directly related to my practice (Oncology Nursing). Being interested in what I'm learning is a huge factor for me in whether or not I retain what I've learned. Just saying...
I am thankful for...both our daughters. They are becoming fine young women. Our eldest is still in Kansas City at a conference. Our youngest and I had a great discussion the other day about politics and world issues. I'm so pleased that they have concerns for people around them and for the bigger issues. So many girls their age are only interested in boys, or gossipping or shopping.
I am wearing...my uniform. I'm at work. The O.R. is closed this week. Tonight there are only five patients for two nurses.
From the kitchen...ham, potatoes, asparagus.
I am reading...Dear Lady by Robin Lee Hatcher.
I am hoping...that I get New Years' Eve off after all.
I am hearing...a very quiet unit.
Around the house...I spent the whole morning on the phone, cancelling existing services and setting up new accounts for our new house. It's days like this I thank God that I'm not a secretary. I hate telephones and admin. But it did get me more excited about moving. Can't wait.
One of my favourite things...a warm house and bed on a cold day like this. We are blessed.
A few plans for the week...my three nights of work may change to only two. On New Years' Eve we're expecting to have only one patient left. They may do what they did on Christmas Eve and transfer them, close our unit, and give us the night off. I was looking forward to time and a half, but I wouldn't mind the evening off. My husband is bringing the New Years' message at church this year. Plus we have a potluck dinner and board games. It'd be nice to go.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Review of Resolutions, Schmesolutions

The beginning of a new year always brings about the inevitable questions about New Years’ Resolutions. Because most people are notorious for not keeping them, present company included, I’ve long since given up on even making any.
However, I do set goals for myself. I find if they are realistic and measurable, I can usually attain them.
I break them down into categories: physical/health, spiritual, professional/intellectual, relationships, household/financial, and hobbies. Then I think about what I’m currently doing that’s worth keeping, plan to continue that and improve in some small way in each category, so I’ll grow.
For example, when my daughters were still very young, I didn’t have much time for reading. So, back then my reading goal was for four books per year, because I figured I could manage one every three months if I worked at it slowly. It seems laughable to me now, since I’m currently on my seventy-third book of the year, and the year isn’t over yet. But, as I said, I made my goals realistic for how my life was at the time.
So, I think 75 books is a reasonable goal for next year.
As a Christian, I don’t think it’s unspiritual to set goals. I still need God’s help to reach them. But I do think that if your goal is to be a spiritually mature person, you’ve got to take steps to get there. It’s like saying, “I want to be a world-class pianist”, and then never practicing the piano. It doesn’t work that way.
So, that being said, I’ll share my goals, partly to make me accountable. I can check back at the end of 2009 and see how I did.


Here is my end of year assessment, written in CAPS.

Physical/Health:
(I won’t make any extravagant goals here, because I know myself. I can start out well, but then I quit. If you set your sights low enough, you’re sure to reach your goals.)
-Lose 10-15 pounds by whatever means, diet, walking, etc.-LOST 18 POUNDS, 18 INCHES WITH SURESLIM.CA THE ONLY DIET THAT HAS EVER WORKED FOR ME.
-Dentist 4 times a year, Doctor once a year. Yearly screening mammogram.-DONE.

Spiritual:
-Attend church twice a week.-DONE.
-Take sermon notes. (buy a new journal).-STARTED BUT DIDN'T FINISH.
-Increase weekly tithing amount.-DONE.
-Bible reading: a chapter a day. This works out to reading it through in three years. I know if I try to read through in a year, I usually quit at Ezekiel.-I DIDN'T GET FAR ON THIS ONE, AGAIN. I HAVE SO LITTLE SELF-DISCIPLINE.
-Attend Carey Conference and other conferences, if able.-CAREY, ANNUAL SGF ASSEMBLY.
-Continue with nursery, kitchen, cleaning at church. Find a new ministry at church.-DONE, AND WILL BE STARTING A COLLEGE AND CAREERS GROUP IN THE NEW YEAR. ALSO SPOKE AT LADIES' MEETING.
-Contribute to the church website—book reviews, testimony.-NOT DONE. HAVEN'T FIGURED OUT HOW TO INPUT DATA, NOT VERY USER FRIENDLY.
-Serve at Carey Conference for final year.-DONE. YAY!

Professional/Intellectual:
-Work full time.-DONE.
-Obtain at least 20 hours of oncology nursing continuing education hours to keep up my C.O.N.(C) certification.-DONE, AT ONS CONFERENCE IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS.
-Do the College of Nurses quality assurance requirements.-DONE.
-Hospital on-line inservices and continuing education as required.-PARTIAL.
-Read at least two books on current events/social issues.-NOT DONE, ONLY OTHER FICTION AND NON-FICTION.
-Watch the news. Stay current on world events.-DONE, ALSO NOW ON TWITTER.
-Read the magazines we subscribe to.-NOT ENOUGH TIME.

Relationships:
Marriage—continue weekly dates.-NOT QUITE, AT LEAST MONTHLY.
-Travel with my husband: south in the winter, to the cottage in the summer, and away for a few days for our anniversary.-MAYAN RIVIERA 10 DAYS, NO KIDS, ANNIVERSARY TRIP WITHOUT HIM DUE TO STUPID CITY STRIKE, COTTAGE AT CAREY CONFERENCE, BUT NO EXTRA TRIPS DUE TO STUPID CITY STRIKE.
Daughters—family trip in summer, Carey conference.-NO FAMILY TRIP AS THEY BOTH WORKED AWAY AT CAMP, BUT ELDEST CAME TO TEXAS WITH ME. YOUNGEST CAME TO CAREY WITH US.
Extended family—keep up socially, with facebook.-YES, ALSO ON TWITTER,
-Attend family reunions, events, weddings.-YES.
-Send Christmas letter update.-DONE.
Friends—facebook, blog.-YE.
-Entertain friends at least once a month.-YES, SOMETIMES MORE.

Household/Financial:
-Pay off main mortgage.-YESSSS! THEN DECIDED TO SELL AND MOVE TO AJAX.
-Refinance remaining debts.-DONE.
-Continue to support other charities.-YES.
-Set aside money for daughter’s university fees.-YES.
-Travel.-MEXICO, TEXAS, AND KINGSTON, ONTARIO.
-Repaint the main floor walls.-DONE, TO PREP FOR THE SALE OF THE HOUSE.
-Renovate bathroom.-PARTIAL.
-Buy two more bookshelves and reorganize.-DONE.

Hobbies:
-Read 75 books in total.-ONLY 65.
-Watch as much soccer as possible. (I love goals like this. Everything isn’t about work.). Take in a TFC soccer game, if possible.-SAW ONE TFC GAME, BUT WATCHED LESS ON T.V.
-Complete one of my inspirational romances, work on the others.-DIDN'T FINISH AS THERE WAS A PROBLEM WITH GETTING THEM TYPED AND I DIDN'T HAVE THEM FOR MONTHS.
-Continue to blog at least twice a week.-ONE TO TWO TIMES A WEEK.
-Write book reviews as I read.-DONE FOR ALL.
-Attempt another month of 100 words a day.-NOT THIS YEAR, BECAUSE OF THE MOVE.

Well, that’s me. I know that equals a busy life. Sure, I could sit around and watch mindless t.v. instead, but what is there to show for it at the end of the year? I hope this inspired you to make your own goals, instead of resolutions.

NOW I HAVE TO THINK ABOUT WHAT I'D LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH IN 2010.

Letting Go

December 27, 2009.

Outside my window...we had a green Christmas. Snow would have looked nice but I can live without it.
I am thinking...that potential terrorist attack on the plane on Christmas Day is a scary concept.
I am thankful for...a great Christmas, the last in our home of eighteen years. See the following posts.
I am wearing...a skirt and burgundy sweater.
From the kitchen...leftover turkey.
I am reading...Chocolate Beach by Julie Carobini, which is Christian chick-lit.
I am hoping...my eldest daughter has a good time at the ONE THING conference she's at in Kansas City. She drove down with other people from camp. I was quite worried about them being on the roads in winter, at night but I guess there comes a time when they make their own decisions and you've got to let them go and trust them to God's care.
I am hearing...an old Sherlock Holmes movie. My husband likes them more than me, but sometimes you just do things to spend time together.
Around the house...now that Christmas is over, I've started packing. Half the library is packed with very little effort. Four weeks should be more than enough. We've chosen a moving company and now are beginning to inform companies of our move. I'm sooooooooo excited.
One of my favourite things...Turtles, my favourite chocolates. Yes, I got more than I should have.
Some plans for the week...Shopping with my daughter tomorrow, work three nights, including New Years' Eve this year, attend our niece's baptism on Sunday.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Never Too Late

It's never too late to be who you might have been. - George Eliot

Christmas Day

Today was Christmas Day. We slept in till 10, then the girls opened their stockings and we goofed off until four. I only had to make desserts for the meal today. I made a trifle and a chocolate mousse pie, and brought along leftover Finnish desserts from yesterday. My sister-in-law made a great meal of turkey, salmon, ham, curried goat, rice and peas, sweet potato, carrots and peas, salad, stuffing, and appetizers, punch, and dessert. Sooooo good. Jamaicans live life loud, and the comparison in our family gatherings is sometimes quite funny. Lots of reminiscing about the old country, and many silly pictures were taken. More gifts, mostly gift cards, that will be helpful when we move next month. Also a book, music and wine.
Now my husband and I are relaxing in front of the big screen watching a soccer game. (It's only Man U and Fulham, so I'm fine with either team winning).

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

We celebrated our Finnish Christmas tonight. That means we had a ham dinner, along with a few other traditional foods, like mashed turnip casserole. It's better than it sounds. My mom cooked and my sister's family joined us. After dinner we opened our gifts. I got an electric blanket (to be used only in the day when my husband isn't with me), a book (Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin), a CD by Casting Crowns called Until the Whole World Hears, Turtles (my favourite chocolates), Tim Horton's coffee (another favourite), and gift cards for IKEA, Pier One, RONA, and Chapters. The first three will be helpful for our upcoming move, the last one will just feed my bookaholic addiction. No complaints, though.
One of the gifts my husband received was a Christian reggae CD by the son of a Pastor we know. He's a white guy, but it's amazingly well done, with catchy tunes and good lyrics. H also received gift cards, sweaters and socks.
For our eldest daughter, we bought a weighted keyboard for her to use at her house in university. It's supposedly got the feel of a piano. That was her main gift because it was expensive. Our youngest daughter received money, books, music, and movies. Her main gift was actually not for herself. She asked if we'd donate money on her behalf to International Justice Mission, which is an organization she would one day love to work for as a lawyer. The money was towards their ministry in South East Asia and is related to their work in redeeming girls from the sex trade. This is a ministry close to her heart. How can you say no to such an unselfish gift?
This was our last Christmas in this house. We'll start our packing after our Jamaican Christmas with my husband's family tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Make My Life a Prayer to You

This is a song by The Second Chapter of Acts

Make my life a prayer to You
I want to do what You want me to
No empty words and no white lies
No token prayers, no compromise

I want to shine the light You gave
Through Your Son You sent to save us
From ourselves and our despair
It comforts me to know You're really there

I want to thank You now
For being patient with me
Oh, it's so hard to see
When my eyes are on me
I guess I'll have to trust
And just believe what You say
Oh, You're coming again
Coming to take me away

I want to die and let You give
Your life to me that I might live
And share the hope You give to me
The love that set me free

I want to tell the world out there
You're not some fable or fairy tale
That I made up inside my head
You're God the Son
You've risen from the dead

I want to thank You now
For being patient with me
Oh, it's so hard to see
All that You have for me
I guess I'll have to trust
And just believe what You say
Oh, You're coming again
Coming to take me away

I want to die and let You give
Your life to me that I might live
And share the hope You gave to me
I want to share that love that set me free

Monday, December 21, 2009

Some Gifts You Shouldn't Give

We have a couple that are new to our church. They just had a baby, so we decided to provide a few meals to help them out. I had planned to make curried chicken and rice and peas, as she's from the Caribbean, but then I was reminded he was a vegetarian. I set aside the chicken for our dinner on Monday. Plan B was homemade macaroni and cheese, veggie burgers and buns. I prepped the mac and cheese and put it in the fridge.
The next day, I grabbed the food out of the fridge. It was already in a bag in the fridge. I told the guy that I had a meal for them and handed it to him. When I got home I opened the freezer and found the mac and cheese I had made for them. I couldn't imagine what I had given him out of the fridge. Was it leftovers? I called around and got his number, and then sheepishly asked him what I gave him in the bag. He said there was veggie burgers and buns, which they ate, and some chicken. I said, "I gave you raw chicken? That was supposed to be our dinner. Your mac and cheese is still in my fridge." I was so embarrassed. Who gives raw meat to a vegetarian? Luckily, his wife eats chicken, and will cook it, but I had hoped to help them out by doing the cooking for them, not giving them raw meat. Another blonde moment.

Friday, December 18, 2009

No Vacation

"A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing."
Eugene Ionesco

Poetry

"At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet."
PLATO

Monday, December 14, 2009

Different Perspective

Pontius Pilate
by Paul L. Maier

This was historical fiction based on the life of Pontius Pilate. Although I've read about the trial of Jesus Christ many times, this story, based on a Roman perspective, was refreshing and unique.
It helped me understand Pilate's strong political motivation to crucify Christ even though he knew Him to be innocent. While not excusing Pilate, because ultimately, he did what he wanted to do, it showed that when faced with the choice of doing what was right or saving his political skin, he chose self-preservation.
It gives great background into many other historical figures and events of the time. I highly recommend this book.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Almost Ready

Dec. 3, 2009.

Outside my window...a light dusting of snow. An hour north of Toronto they had a metre of snow within two days. That's just, wrong.
I am thinking...my Pastor shocked me this morning when I found he out he was an Infralapsarian. I'm Supralapsarian. I've agreed with him on everything else so far. Oh, well. Who knows? Those things are non-essential and we'll be corrected about many things when we get to heaven.
I am thankful for...the faithful preaching of the gospel at my church. I think our Pastor is one of the best preachers I've ever heard.
I am wearing...jeans, a burgundy sweater, and a grey cardigan.
Fom the kitchen...mashed potatoes, karjalanpaistia (Finnish meal with beef and pork), veggies and chocolate cake.
I am reading...The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander.
I am hoping...my ex-brother-in-law will come to his daughter's baptism is January. I'm so happy for her. We've taken her to the Carey Conference for years, and now that she's going to school in Hamilton, she's been attending Trinity Baptist Church.
I am hearing...the movie, Flyboys, which I've seen before. I'm more of a Navy girl, myself, but it was interesting.
Around the house...ready for Christmas. Cards are sent and I've sent care packages to the girl we support in Haiti and a soldier in Iraq. My husband was sick the past week and now he's off for two weeks so he can get a few things done around the house before we move. We had the youth over Friday night for the dessert part of a Progressive dinner.
One of my favourite things...having my family at home. I love that my daughters get along so well. They went to a different church together. I'm glad they want to go to church.
Some plans for the week...shop with my daughter who is home for a few days. Work Monday night. Ladies' meeting potluck dinner Tuesday, work Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

House is Sold!

Dec. 2, 2009

Outside my window...a rainy day. Toronto actually got through November with no snow. That hasn't happened in over 100 years.
I am thinking...I need to compare moving companies and find a reputable one that won't hold our stuff hostage while they extort more money from us.
I am thankful for...the quick sale of our house. There were five offers, and we sold for almost $19,000 over the asking price. It was sold to our next-door neighbours. I'm glad they got it. They seem very happy.
I am wearing...my uniform. I'm at work.
From the kitchen...pork loin, mixed veggies, stuffing.
I am reading...Pontius Pilate by Paul L. Maier. It's historical fiction. It's very well researched and interesting to hear the familiar story from a Roman point of view.
I am hoping...my brother-in-law's house across the street will sell soon. They don't move until March, so they have a little more time.
I am hearing...a quiet unit.
Around the house...decorating for Christmas. We'll start packing in January. It shouldn't take too long, since we already cleaned out our closets and shed to show the house, so everything that's left if what we want to take with us. My Christmas letter is done, but my cards aren't addressed. Mostly I'll post it on facebook and save the hassle of mailing except to those without computers. Half our Christmas shopping is done. I haven't baked yet.
One of my favourite things...being organized. I seem to alternate years. This is a good one. Also I don't have to cook Christmas dinner this year, so less stress.
Some plans for the week...work four nights, again. Shop. Send out my Christmas cards. Get a haircut. Clean my house.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Showing the House

Nov.19, 2009

Outside my window...darkness and city lights. Such a nice view facing southwest from the lounge at work.
I am thinking...that I'm happy to hear that my friend, Kathy, who I travel to Oncology Nursing conferences with, is engaged. She chose a good guy and I'm sure they'll be happy.
I am thankful for...our house being on the market, finally. It's clean, tidy, and looks totally un-lived in. I guess with marketing, you have to remove personal effects so people can picture themselves living there. It's no longer our home, but an item on the market.
I am wearing...my uniform. I'm at work.
From the kitchen...lasagna, salad, and bread.
I am reading...The Swiss Courier by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey, a spy thriller set during WW2.
I am hoping...that my eldest daughter discovers the source of her allergies. Her eyes are swollen and red, the worst they've ever been. She's been to the doctor and now has a referral to see an allergist.
I am hearing...an announcement for Code Blue on another unit. Three a.m. Not likely to be a good outcome. They may have been dead at least an hour since last rounds. Also, I've heard that 3 a.m. is the "most popular time" to die.
Around the house...a steady parade of people interested in our house. Most are South Asian, okay, all are. They really want to buy in this neighbourhood; some to get out of the apartments, others to buy homes for extended family. I hope our next-door-neighbour puts in the best offer. They seem the most eager and have their financing pre-approved. Our real estate agent says the house shows well and he is expecting multiple offers on Monday evening when we open the bidding. He even has plans for an Open House on Saturday to accommodate all the inquiries.
One of my favourite things...having relatives who live across the street. I slept there today while our house was being shown. Now they've decided to move, as well, and bought a house in Ajax, too. They move in March. They won't be across the street, but close enough.
Some plans for the week...no sleep tomorrow morning, since we have to be in Burlington in the afternoon for the SGF Annual Assembly and Banquet. I'm looking forward to seeing friends. The usual Sunday, with church, but we need to be prepared to vacate the premises if the house is to be shown. People need to be free to comment without worrying if we hear what they're saying. We take offers Monday and make a decision by Tuesday morning. Then we can start packing. Work four nights.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Agnostics

"To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation."

Yann Martel
Life of Pi

Friday, November 13, 2009

Augustine quotes

A thing is not necessarily true because badly uttered, nor false because spoken magnificently.

Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked.

Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.

Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.

Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation.

Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.

Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.

Forgiveness is the remission of sins. For it is by this that what has been lost, and was found, is saved from being lost again.

God had one son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering.

God judged it better to bring good out of evil than to suffer no evil to exist.

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.

Grant what thou commandest and then command what thou wilt.

He that is jealous is not in love.

He that is kind is free, though he is a slave; he that is evil is a slave, though he be a king.

Hear the other side.

Moving on Up to the East Side

Nov. 13, 2009
Outside my window... an exceptionally mild fall day.
I am thinking...Wow, what's the matter with me? I haven't written on my blog for weeks. So much has happened. My husband didn't end up going fishing after all due to freezing rain, so we went house hunting. We found a house the first day. It's in Ajax. We move at the end of January. It's a beautiful,four bedroom, two story house near Westney Road. It's four years old. It's the last house on the end of the street and there's a cul-de-sac so there are no neighbours on one side, and a field behind. It has four bedrooms, hardwood floors, a hot tub on the deck, his and her walk-in closets in the master bedroom, three washrooms, stainless steel appliances, and a family room with a fireplace. My mom will be coming with us. She'll have one of the bedrooms until we build her a living space downstairs. We're planning to build a sauna first, in the unfinished basement. We are Finns, after all. We are sooooo excited to move. We've spent the last few weeks prepping this house for sale. We cleaned out closets and purged so much junk that we've accumulated over the years. We had the house painted this past week and signed the papers to list it next Wednesday.
I am thankful for...our new home. If I felt like a princess before...well....
From the kitchen...roast chicken, corn on the cob.
I am wearing...jeans and a burgundy sweater.
I am reading...Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
I am hoping...that I can sleep at my brother-in-law's place across the street this week when they're showing the house.
I am hearing...Flashpoint on t.v.
Around the house...we have to live like no one lives here for a week: nothing on the counters, spotless house. I think we can do it. Also our youngest daughter just got her interim report card and had a 91 average. She got 98 in Law, which is what she wants to study in university. So proud. My eldest was home sick this week.
One of my favourite things...hearing that my niece will be baptized in January.
Some plans for the week...more prep work, Ladies' meeting at church tomorrow, church on Sunday, visitation for the tragic death of our friend's 23 year old daughter, Anna. She just had a baby four days before, and then she developed a headache, and was air-lifted to the Western, but died within a few minutes, probably of an aneurysm. We knew her since she was a toddler. They don't know what's going to happen with the baby since the dad didn't want to be involved. Anna had made a profession of faith and was baptized but hasn't been living as a Christian. I have to hope that she called out to God when she first got these symptoms. The alternative is too horrible to contemplate. Her funeral is on Monday morning. I'm working three nights this week and heading to Burlington for the Sovereign Grace Annual Assembly on the weekend. We plan to start accepting offers on Monday evening. Our next door neighbour is very determined to buy it, but we'll market it and see what the best offer is. If he really wants it, he'll have to "show us the money".

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gone Fishin'


Oct. 21, 2009

Outside my window...darkness. It's one a.m.
I am thinking...I wonder if my husband will go on his yearly fishing trip this weekend or if he'll back out and go house hunting instead. I wouldn't begrudge him this trip, but it's a long drive all by himself, and I'll miss him when he's gone.
I am thankful for...my new laptop computer. Don't ask about the details. I only know it's a DELL, it's fast, and it's eggplant purple.
From the kitchen...chicken breasts, carrots and beans.
I am wearing...my uniform. I'm at work.
I am reading...The Last Song, by Nicholas Sparks.
I am hoping... that we can get house hunting some time soon. The house I liked the most has been snatched up. You snooze, you lose, I guess.
I am hearing...my co-worker tell her stories from the "old country", Czechoslovakia in the early days of communism.
Around the house...we had a man come and patch some cracks on our walls and remove the wallpaper in the bathroom to prepare for painting most of the rooms. Gotta get a MOVE on! On Sunday, we attended our neighbour's wedding. They are Indian Muslims. It was interesting and the food was good. We were especially honoured that they had us sit with them at the family table.
One of my favourite things...when things go smoothly. I spoke at our Ladies' Meeting on Saturday morning, on Radical Hospitality. I wasn't as nervous as I thought I'd be. There were 15 ladies present. Good feedback and discussion. I'll edit my notes and post them here. I'm kind of hooked on it now and have already thought of another topic. I've written most of it, but have some more study to do, yet.
A few plans for the week...work my third and fourth night shift, take my daughter to youth group, host her friends for a sleepover and then Medieval Times, clean closets and miss my husband. I'm such a baby.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Not So Meek and Mild

The Jesus You Can't Ignore:
What You Must Learn From the Bold Confrontations of Christ
By John MacArthur Jr.

In an age of political correctness and "dialogue" between people of differing religious views, John MacArthur demonstrates from Scripture that Jesus' dealings with false teachers and hypocrites was anything but meek and mild. His first appearance in public after His baptism is the clearing of the Temple. He bursts onto the scene with authority. His teaching is unique. Although He is gentle with individuals, He doesn't tolerate those who would lead others astray. MacArthur demonstrates that if Jesus were preaching today, it would probably be the religious leaders, again, who would be plotting for a way to get rid of Him. Christ speaks the Truth, not feel-good messages that keep people in a stupor as they continue on to Hell.
Jesus Christ is someone you can't ignore. If you read through the gospels, you'll get a truer picture of the real Christ than you'll get with Christmas images of a helpless baby or a dead man on a crucifix. We serve a Risen Saviour and He continues to challenge the world with His words.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Give Thanks


Oct. 11, 2009.

Outside my window...another cool, crisp, but sunny fall day.
I am thinking...that this week, my favourite patient, whom I've nursed for six years, ended up in the I.C.U. He's 87, and I knew this would happen eventually, but it was still hard to see him there, intubated and unresponsive. In 23 years of nursing, he is the only patient I would call my favourite. He was a sailor during WW2 and his ship was torpedoed and he spent the night out on the Atlantic in a lifeboat. He has great stories to tell. We also read a lot of the same books, and after he reads them, he gives them to me. I stopped by to see him in the hospital across the street from ours. I talked to him and said my goodbyes, just in case he doesn't recover. I left a note for his daughter, but haven't heard any updates. I know that some nurses go to funerals of patients, but I never have. I tend to keep my distance emotionally, I guess, to protect myself from this kind of sorrow.
I am thankful for...my salvation, my marriage, my children (saved, smart, healthy, and sweet), my extended family, my job, my health, my home, my friends, my country, and my library. Oh, and I found not one, but two, beautiful party dresses. I'll wear one to the wedding next weekend, and the other to a dinner party I'm going to host at the end of the month.
From the kitchen...turkey,ham,curried goat, jerked king fish, rice and peas, veggies, salad, stuffing, gravy, apple pie, pumpkin pie and carrot cake.
I am wearing...a navy skirt and grey wool sweater.
I am reading...A Time to Surrender, by Sally John and Gary Smalley.
I am hoping...that we'll know when to begin house hunting. We met with the bank and pre-approved terms for a mortgage, and found out how much we can afford when we start looking. Now it's about timing. It was a good thing we went when we did, as the interest rates increased the following day.
I am hearing...the evening news. There was apparently a fire in the Ontario Legislature building at Queen's Park. That's across the street from where I work.
Around the house...my Mom is in Phoenix, Arizona, with my sister, who is on a business trip. I would've loved to go, but it's Thanksgiving weekend, and I am out of vacation days.
One of my favourite things...the display at church turned out okay, even though I had been searching for a cornucopia, to make it more Thanksgiving-ish. Here's a picture.
A few plans for the week...We're driving our daughter back to Hamilton tomorrow, and then beginning to prep our house for sale by cleaning out one closet at a time. Then I work three nights, and bake for the Ladies' Meeting at church on Saturday morning. I'll be speaking on Radical Hospitality. I thought I was done, but now I may tweak it a bit and fill it out some more. I'm getting a little nervous about the public speaking.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Support The Troops

Recently, the group, Thank A soldier, had been contacted by an individual who wanted to organize their child's school to write letters to deployed troops in Afghanistan. The parents' committee refused because they said supporting the troops would make it seem like they were supporting war. Here is one comment in response to that.

Robin Legere, PROUD wife of a deployed soldier Says:

October 6, 2009
Saying you cannot “Support The Troops” because it is supporting the war is the same as saying I cannot support the police because they are supporting criminals. It is the same as same as saying I cannot support firefighters because fire kills too many people. It is the same as saying I cannot support someone wearing a pink ribbon because breast cancer kills too many people.
SUPPORT THE TROOPS is just that.

The Soldier

The Soldier
By Charles M. Province

It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
If you can read this message thank a teacher,
If you are reading it in English of your own free will THANK A SOLDIER!
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag.
To all the brave men and women who have dedicated or given their lives
to protecting this country and it's freedoms:
Thank you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness

Oct. 7, 2009.

Outside my window...darkness. It's a cool, autumn night.
I am thinking...that this book I'm reading has an interesting concept. To help her recover from a violent event that resulted in panic attacks, depression and agoraphobia, the character in the book, Stepping into Sunlight, decided to try to get her focus off herself and onto others, by searching out ways to show kindness to at least one person each day. She wasn't doing it for merit, but to break free of being self-absorbed. She would record it in a book and she slowly saw progress. I don't suffer from those things, but I know I can be self-centred. This book led to the development of the blog pennysproject.blogspot.com which has ideas of kind things to do for people. Since this weekend, I started recording the small things I did, i.e. writing a letter of encouragement to a soldier in Iraq, or having guests over who needed some ministering to, because of a wayward daughter. I found that I got back more than I gave. Funny how that is, eh?
I am thankful for...my Mom's apparent conviction of sin. She is close to the Kingdom, but still on the outside. Please pray for her if you think of it. Her name is Leena.
From the kitchen...chicken thighs and cauliflower. Nothing too exciting. Orchard fresh apples lovingly picked by my daughter last weekend. She also baked her first apple pie.
I am wearing...my uniform. I'm at work, after all.
I am reading...Stepping into Sunlight by Sharon Hinck.
I am hoping...that more survivors can be found after all the earthquakes, tsunamis and typhoons this week in the Pacific.
I am hearing...the sounds of a quiet night at work. Such a change from last night!
Around the house...we met with the Realtor and it looks like we'll go ahead and sell the house next Spring. We're meeting with the bank this week to establish our price range. Getting very excited!
One of my favourite things...having deep theological and philosophical discussions with my daughters. My youngest is taking a philosophy course and has to articulate her positions on the big issues of life.
Some plans for the week...finish work week, bank on Friday, clean on Saturday, Doctor's appointment and shopping for a dress for our neighbour's wedding, and then church and Thanksgiving Dinner on Sunday at my Mother-in-Law's. I only have to bring dessert.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Does Iran Not Have Oil?

What the heck is the President of Iran thinking? Talking about wiping Israel off the map, test firing long range missiles and developing nuclear capability? They obviously don't need nuclear "power", for peaceful purposes, as he says. Does Iran not have oil?
Regimes like that are not threatened by sanctions or stern words. He needs to tread carefully, or he may receive a secret visit from some special forces from the U.S., the U.K., or Israel, to put his nuclear plants out of commission.
I fear that while the U.N. sends strongly worded letters, he will continue to work on his nuclear capability and one day, the world will wake up to a nasty surprise, and be outraged; all too late.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Moving On

Sept. 26, 2009

Outside my window...grey, cool, overcast. Looks like rain today. We're on the QEW from Toronto to Hamilton.
I am thinking...I feel sad for my mom. One of her brothers died this week. He was 62. He was a chain smoker since he was a child and had his first heart attack when he was 47, and now this fatal one 15 years later. I think my mom's thinking about her mortality and the fact that she's had cardiac issues this year, with chest pain and angioplasties. She deals with things by not dealing with them. Whenever she starts to get sad, she finds something to distract herself. An irony was that yesterday, she received a postcard from the brother who just died. He had been in Turkey the week before he died. It was kind of weird for her to see his handwriting.
I am thankful for...my family. I love them, I like them, and I appreciate them. Our eldest daughter was home from university for just one night, so we went shopping for fall clothes last night, and then for a manicure/pedicure and lunch this morning. Now we're driving her back to Hamilton because we bought her and her roommates a toaster oven and it's too bulky for the GO-bus.
From the kitchen...meatballs, okra, salad.
I am wearing...white Capri pants, a white camisole and a mauve cable knit sweater.
I am reading...The Jesus You Can't Ignore, by John MacArthur, about the bold confrontations of Christ.
I am hoping...that Oleksandr, our goldfish, will be okay in his home in Hamilton. Our daughter took him to live with her.
I am hearing...the radio, on our way home to Toronto.
Around the house...we've talked with my mom, who lives in our basement apartment, and have decided to sell our house next Spring/Summer. We have a Realtor coming over next Friday. He's the same one we used when we bought this house 17 years ago.
One of my favourite things...being able to buy my girls everything they need. It's such a contrast to most of my life. Such a blessing.
Some plans for the week...clean the church when we get back to Toronto, clean our house, watch soccer, go to church tomorrow, work three nights next week.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Celebrating Life


Sept. 22, 2009.

Outside my window…First day of autumn, but hot and humid. Rain yesterday, the first time all September. It’s been a pleasant month.
I am thinking…that life is good. I am very content. I’m also surprised that I’m so content. I am very blessed in all areas of my life.
I am thankful for…having to buy new clothes because I’m losing weight. I bought new dress pants and three pairs of jeans, as well as a faux leather tan coloured jacket that makes me look like a young chick.
From the kitchen…dinner out at Memories of Japan. My free meal of the week. Miso soup, salad, fried rice, sushi, stir-fried vegetables, cod, shrimp and filet mignon, wine and ice cream. My favourite place to eat out. We were celebrating our friend Leah’s new job as a full time College English Professor. It was eight years in coming.
I am wearing…black dress pants, a black and white top.
I am reading…Pirate Hunter by Tom Morrisey.
I am hoping…that I won’t regret that I offered to lead the next Ladies’ Meeting devotional. I’m a little shy, but I’m excited about my topic: Radical Hospitality.
I am hearing…a soccer game between Chelsea and Tottenham. I’m going for Chelsea.
One of my favourite things…a night off mid-week.
Around the house…We are planning to decide this week whether or not we’ll sell our house in the spring. As I said, I’m content and would be happy to stay, but we also know it’s now or never if we want to upgrade to a more modern house. I’m sure once we move, I’ll wonder why we waited so long. I’m especially looking forward to having a house big enough to build a sauna in.
Some plans for the week…work Wednesday and Thursday night. Go shopping with my eldest daughter. Go for a manicure and pedicure with her on Saturday, clean the church. Church on Sunday, of course.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Unexpected Depth

The Yada Yada Prayer Group
By Neta Jackson

This was my first time reading Christian chick-lit. I wasn't sure what to expect, and I wouldn't have even bought it, except for the recommendations of friends.
At first, it didn't seem to be 'about' anything, just a bunch of seemingly mismatched women, who are thrown together at a Christian woman's conference. So I expected it to be about the characters; an ex-con, a former drug addict, a real estate broker, a college student, a married mom of two, and several others. But it was also about the group growing together as a prayer group, in spite of their differences, to become close friends. The problems in their lives were real, but they all learned what it meant to be "just a sinner, saved by grace."
I found the race issues to be very typically an American thing, though, with worshipping in either "white churches" or "black churches" and never having anyone from another race into your home. I couldn't relate to that. The author brings those issues up in the discussion questions at the end of the book, as well.
This book blind-sided me with a depth of emotion I didn't expect from the whimsical cover and title. It was a great introduction to a series that I didn't think I would be interested in, until now.

The Love Dare

Fireproof
By Eric Wilson

I've heard of screenplays based on novels, but this is the novelization of a screenplay by Alex and Stephen Kendrick. I had heard about this movie being shown in churches, but hadn't yet had the opportunity to see it. It stars Kirk Cameron.
The story came highly recommended as an encouragement for married couples to hang on through the tough times and work to improve their marriage.
It's about a firefighter who, at work, lives by the adage, "Never leave your partner," but at home, as he and his wife make plans to divorce, he does what he wants. Unfortunately, people assume that if you have problems in a marriage, (and who doesn't?) that you have only two options: stay in an intolerable situation, or leave. There is a third option; make it better.
His father challenges him to "the love dare" a forty day experiment.
The story was realistic, heart-breaking, funny and heart-warming at the same time. It made me cry a few times.
The idea of a marriage being fireproof is not that it won't experience fires, but that when the fires come, they'll be ready for them.
It doesn't just assume that a few gifts or romantic gestures will improve a marriage, but that big sacrifices and small kindnesses every day, with God at the centre of a marriage, are the true secrets to a happy and lasting marriage.

He Chose the Nails--What God Did to Win Your Heart

By Max Lucado

I bought this book from the bookstore in Max Lucado's church in San Antonio, Texas when I was there recently. (I would have liked if it was autographed, but I digress). I had never read his books before. He is an engaging communicator and I found this to be very devotional and touching. It's the type of book that has so many fresh insights that you just have to share.
He takes you to the Crucifixion of Christ and draws your attention to things you may overlook--the soldiers' spit, the crown of thorns, the nails, the sign over Jesus' head, the two crosses on either side, the path, the garment, the torn flesh, the wine-soaked sponge, the blood and water, the cross itself, the burial clothing, and the empty tomb--and looks at them in a new way. I thought I had seen the Cross from most angles, but I was blown away by the beauty and depth I found in this book. It shows the depths God went to win your heart. To win my heart.
A study guide follows the book. The only chapter I didn't agree with was called, "I will let you choose". But then, I'm a Calvinist, and he's a confused Calvinist, I mean, an Arminian. :)

Jesus On Trial

By Phillip Ryken/James Montgomery Boice

There aren't too many books out there that focus on the trial of Jesus Christ. This is a fascinating and devotional look at the 24 hour whirlwind kangaroo court that sentenced Jesus to die.
Boice and Ryken explain some of the miscarriages of justice, like the unlawful cross-examination of Christ by the High Priest, and the wickedness of Pilate in sentencing Christ to death even though he admitted He was an innocent man.
They also compare the legal system to ours, and bring out the truth that Jesus allowed this to happen. He was innocent yes, but not a victim. He was in control, and went to His arrest, trial and execution willingly, because He knew, if He had saved Himself, He could not save others.
The book makes you make a decision about who Christ is and what He came to do. It was a beautiful look at the most important day in human history; the day when history was split in two.

Contentment

Sept. 17, 2009

Outside my window...darkness, except for the city lights. The beautiful skyline facing west toward Mississauga and southwest to Lake Ontario. I'm at work tonite.
I am thinking...that my co-worker, who was struck by a car a year ago, will not likely be returning to work, at least, not here. She's still dealing with the effects.
I am thankful...for a feeling of contentment with my life. My husband wants to move in the Spring. We probably will, but I'd be just as happy to stay.
From the kitchen...baked chicken breasts, green beans, corn on the cob and tomatoes from my daughter's tomato plant.
I am wearing...my uniform.
I am reading...Enduring Justice by Amy Wallace about the FBI and racially motivated crimes.
I am hoping...that we'll have a favourable response from my daughter's landlord about the newly discovered mold in the house she's living in at university.
I am hearing...a quiet nursing unit, except for the incessant bell ringing as they service 3 of our 4 elevators tonite.
Around the house...My husband is busy at work with the annual M.O.E. inspections, and we have alot happening at church lately, too. My work is threatening to change as well, with rumours that we may lose the surgical component of our unit altogether and have to be open on weekends, too. I'm not happy about either of those things at all, but they're looking at the bottom line, not what's best for patients. Our daughters are hard at work in school again. My youngest just became the co-chair for a business club she's involved with.
One of my favourite things...Lick's Burgers, done at home on the BBQ. That's my "free" meal of the week, tomorrow night.
Some plans for the week...finish my fourth night, bring my daughter to school, buy groceries, bake some cupcakes for the youth group at church tomorrow night, sleep a little bit, send in the numbers for Carey to the camp, attend a first Ladies' meeting at church on Saturday,shop with my daughter in the afternoon, have my mother-in-law over for dinner Saturday night, cook something for our church luncheon on Sunday.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Banana Banana Bread

I've searched for a long time for a moist banana bread recipe. I tasted this at work and got the recipe from a patient's mother. I made it yesterday. I used brown sugar Splenda, but you can use regular brown sugar. I'd attach a picture of it, but it's all gone. That's how good it is.

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2-1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas (4-5 large bananas)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake for 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into centre of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Attitudes Toward Service

On our way back from the Carey conference, I told my husband about a potential area of service in our church that's been on my mind for awhile. Over the past few years, I've been dropping ministries. I stopped teaching Sunday school after 24 years. I dropped the Treasurer position after five years. We're dropping the Youth group after 25 years (we've been leading Youth since we were dating). And now we're dropping the Carey Conference finance and admin. after 5 years. I've been thinking that our church had a group that has been missed; the College and Career age group. I also knew that I wouldn't be able to do it myself, as teaching of adults is involved. When I brought it up, my husband agreed right away, which confirmed it for me.
Most of the C&C age people are professed believers so the focus can be both on ministering to them, and mentoring them to find ways to minister.
I know that when it comes to service, sometimes it's not about what you feel like doing, but rather what needs to be done. "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might." That was the case with my teaching Sunday School. I never felt called to teach, but they needed a teacher, so I did it for 24 years. Yet I still felt like a quitter when I stepped down.
The same thing happened when they needed a Treasurer at church. I protested vehemently that I was the wrong person for the job. When we were first married, I didn't even know how to balance a chequebook. I hated filling out government forms, etc. But my husband believed I could do it, no one else volunteered, and so I did it, reluctantly. While I'll never admit to loving it, I did learn a lot, and I think I'm enough of a details person to handle it. My husband referred to me as a bean counter. When a banker became a member, I handed the job off to him.
For the Carey Conference ministry, I admit I went into it kicking and screaming, and I didn't have a great attitude for much of the time (something I wasn't pleased to find out about myself), and yet it was a good learning and growing experience as well.
I say all this to say that the idea of leading the C&C group with my husband feels like something that I don't feel forced into. It's a burden and concern on my heart that I feel God has placed there, and because of that in itself, I feel excited about it in a way that I haven't felt about any other ministry. The others always felt like my husband's ministries that I tagged along with by virtue of being hitched to his wagon. I like that distinction this time. I feel energized by it and can't wait to see if the leadership at church agrees.

Back to School

Sept. 8, 2009

Outside my window…a warmish day, but you can tell summer is over. The leaves are already changing on our Japanese maple. The summer that never was.
I am thinking…that long weekends go way too fast. We had gone to Hamilton to get our eldest daughter moved into her room in a house near the campus. Putting together her daybed and putting up blinds took two days and three trips to IKEA for missing screws. Then Sunday flew by as usual with church flanking my afternoon nap. Monday we cleaned our house, (long overdo) and had my husband’s brother and his wife over for a bbq.
I am thankful…for the fact that our daughter is living in a house with six other Christian girls that she knows from Campus for Christ. Also, our niece, who was not raised in a Christian home, but has come with us for several years to the Carey conference and retreats, is also going to Mac and is attending Trinity Baptist Church. Also, I had a nice surprise when I went to SUREslim to get weighed. I was the Biggest Loser last month. That's a good thing, right? I got a $25 voucher for free stuff, so I bought more seeds and flax. I've also dropped more inches, fat, (another whole percent) and my BMI (body mass index) is almost normal.
From the kitchen…Atlantic salmon steaks (I seem to make those a lot, don’t I?), beans, sweet potatoes.
I am wearing…a black and white sundress and a black sweater.
I am reading…An Eye for An Eye by Irene Hannon; a Christian FBI thriller.
I am hoping…that work isn’t as crazy this week as last week.
I am hearing…the birds chirping outside.
Around the house…back to school and work today. Our youngest is in grade twelve. Our eldest is in second year at Mac studying Health Studies and Social Work. It’s a double major so she’ll have a busy few years.
One of my favourite things…milk chocolate with hazelnut. (That could just be my PMS talking).
Some plans for the week…work three nights. I’ll see how the weekend goes. One weekend this month, my oldest daughter and I want to go camping together. I’ve never done fall camping. I just hope we don’t come across any hungry bears filling up before their winter hibernation.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Perspective

"Earth is all the believer will know of hell,
and all the unbeliever will know of heaven."

--John MacArthur--

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Great Canadian Inventions

I was feeling proud to be a Canadian, so I decided to list some of our accomplishments.

Health/medicine: Insulin, Pacemaker, Electric Wheelchair, Cobalt 60, CPR mannequin, TPN.
Clothing: Zipper, Push-up Bra, G-suit.
Food/cooking: Pablum, Poutine, Instant Mashed Potatoes, Bloody Caesar, Electric Oven.
Re: Sports: 5 Pin Bowling, Basketball, Goalie Mask, Lacrosse, Instant Replay, Birchbark Canoe.
Re:Machines: Ski-Doo, Electric Music Synthesizer, Snowblower, WeeVac, Self-propelled combine harvester.
Military: Marine Screw Propeller, Steam Foghorn, Explosives Vapour Detector.
Electronics: Light bulb, telephone, Blackberry, Electron Microscope, Canadarm, Walkie-Talkie, Alk. Battery, Radio Voice Transmission.
Random: Standard Time, Plexiglass, Paint Roller, Green garbage bag, Caulking gun, Java Prog. Language, Key Frame Animation, Robertson Screw.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Summer At Last!

August 14, 2009

Outside my window...Me! I'm writing on the deck. Well, actually, I'm writing on paper and sitting on the deck, but now I'm just being picky. I was cleaning the bathroom and then I thought, 'What am I doing inside on one of the first hot days of the summer?' So here I am, writing blogs and tweets and lists and stories, because I can.
I am thinking...that tomorrow will be 25 years since our first date. it can't be that long! It seems like just yesterday. We went to the CNE and I pretended to be scared on the roller coaster so I could grab his hand. Oh, the games we women play! The damsel-in-distress routine works every time.
I am thankful for...my washer and dryer. I couldn't imagine having to beat my clothes on rocks and drape them over bushes.
From the kitchen...No clue yet. Maybe eat out, or make chicken or fish with asparagus and corn on the cob.
I am wearing...jean capris and a red tank top. It's REDFRIDAY, and when I remember, I wear red, to support our troops.
I am reading...From A to X, by John Berger. I'm not enjoying it much, the prose is too flowery. I prefer plain speech to tell a story, but I'm half way through, and I'm a stubborn Finn, so I'll finish it.
I am hoping...that one day we'll live in a house with a sauna. My husband assures me that if we move, he'll have one built for me. I only get into a sauna once or twice a year, now. Sigh.
I am hearing...the a.c. working hard to keep our house cool, and the sounds of the neighbourhood.
Around the house...this is my youngest daughter's last day of work. Six weeks went by fast. She worked hard and made good money, and now she has two weeks to enjoy her summer before school starts. We'll see our eldest tomorrow. We're picking her up on our way to London for a family reunion, of sorts. My mom's sister is here from Finland for two weeks, and some other relatives are coming from Sault Ste. Marie. I'm looking forward to good food, lounging by the pool, and having my bi-annual sauna. My husband has two weeks off. I do, too, except for Monday night.
One of my favourite things...sweet summer corn on the cob with butter.
A few plans for the week...London this weekend, weigh-in on Monday morning, purchase perennials for my husband to plant in our currently empty planter boxes in the front yard, work one night, finalize Carey plans, pack for Carey, leave a day early to get set up.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Soldiers in a Totalitarian Regime

This quote is from the book,
From A to X by John Berger

"I felt old, I could still remember the time when soldiers were warriors, when mothers, however anxious, were proud of their soldier sons.
Across the world, uniformed, highly armed, commanded soldiers operate against unarmed civilians, temporarily isolated and surrounded. This is the new military profession. Soldiers have been transformed into bastards.
The old military orders of Advance or Withdraw or Offer Covering Fire have become obsolete because there is no front line and no opposing army. Nobody will say of one of these bastards that he died nobly.
If one of them happens to get killed, those close to him will mourn his death, but about its circumstances they will keep quiet, and say nothing.
The single word that counted on Wednesday was the one that came from the muzzle of a gun, addressed to somebody on their knees."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Longing Season

The Longing Season: The Amazing Story Of 'Amazing Grace'
By Christine Schaub

This is the love story of John Newton and Mary Catlett. John Newton was an infamous slave trader who was converted to Christianity during a storm at sea and then laboured to end slavery in England. John and Mary were separated for three years and alternated between longing and despair.
It has a mixture of fictional and non-fictional characters. I don't like when a book introduces a second love interest, especially when he's more charming than the one she really loves. I would have chosen the other guy, but then, maybe I'm just shallow.
Reading the life story of John Newton makes the words to the hymn he wrote more poignant. He really was a wretch.
This is the second book in the Music of the Heart series, which pressents the background stories of famous hymns and writers, in this case John Newton's Amazing Grace.

Monday, August 10, 2009

You Only Thought You Knew The Story

The Murder of Jesus
By John MacArthur

MacArthur takes the narrative of the suffering and crucifixion of Christ, from the Upper Room to Golgotha itself. He basically tells the story chronologically, by producing a harmony of the gospels, with commentary, background and application. They are essentially his sermons on the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Christ. It gives a more complete picture than you would get from reading each gospel separately.
But it's not what you'd expect.
While you get a feel for the INJUSTICE of the arrest, the mockery of the kangaroo court, and the cruelty of the scourging and crucifixion, MacArthur also shows the other side: that the JUSTICE of God was satisfied in the death of the Lamb of God. The Cross didn't just "happen" to Jesus; He came to die.
While it is the worst crime ever committed, because of the infinite value of the victim, it was also the best thing to ever happen. It was a "Good Friday" for us, because if Christ had not died, we would have no way to approach God.
The crucifixion of Christ is at once both the nadir and the climax of history.

Romance in the Bible?

Faithful God: An Exposition Of The Book Of Ruth
By Sinclair Ferguson

This book is based on a series of sermons preached by Sinclair Ferguson. The story of Ruth is a beautiful story on its' own, and I've heard preaching on it many times. But it always amazes me to hear (or read) it again and see things that I never noticed before. That's one of the things that sets the Bible apart from other literature; it's inexhaustible nature.
The book of Ruth is short, only four chapters, but there is much in little. On the surface, it is a love story of an unlikely woman, a poor widow from Moab, with a wealthy, honorable Israelite, named Boaz.
Ferguson describes how a personal ad would have appeared in the Bethlehem Star:
"Single Moabite woman, widowed, childless, with mother-in-law, seeks well-to-do Bethlehem businessman with view to marriage; must love mother-in-law."
The story is about the themes of returning/conversion, loving-kindnesss, loyalty and faithfulness. It shows how Ruth and her meddling mother-in-law, Naomi are saved by their Kinsman-Redeemer. It has an overarching theme of the providence of God in difficult circumstances to advance his kingdom. It was written a few generations after the fact to show how God used an unlikely foreign woman to be the great-grandmother of King David. Ruth is also listed in the gospel genealogy in Matthew to show that she is also in the family line of Christ. It shows the inclusion of the Gentiles (non-Jews) in the great plan of Redemption.
Ferguson also contrasts Boaz with Adam. They both seemed to have it all, but they were both alone, and that was "not good". They both went to sleep, and when they woke up, the woman of their dreams was there.
Ruth is always used as an example of loyalty and faithfulness. Her famous words (spoken to her mother-in-law) are often quoted at wedding ceremonies to show devotion.
It's a good book to add depth and insight to an already beautiful love story.

Mary; A Real Woman

Three Days: A Mother's Story
by Melody Carlson

This was historical fiction on the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. I find as a Protestant, we tend to steer away from studies on the life of Mary, due to the Roman Catholic tendency to make too much of her, which changes her from being a simple servant of God, to the "co-Redemptrix" or "Queen of Heaven".
Other than the fact that the book stayed true to Scripture, I appreciated that through the fictional writing, Ms. Carlson was able to present Mary as a real woman, dealing with life as a widow, who sees her son arrested and executed, and who has other children who are unbelievers.
Mary was an amazing woman, but she was also just a sinner, in need of a Saviour. "I rejoice in God, my Saviour."
The story begins right after the crucifixion and follows Mary's thoughts as she remembers key events in her life and in the ministry of Jesus. It goes through to the forty days after the Resurrection, to the Ascension of Jesus.

The Reasonableness of Faith

Reason to Believe by R.C. Sproul

Subtitled, A Response to Common Objections to Christianity, R.C. Sproul once again shows himself to be a master teacher and apologist (defender of the faith).
He takes difficult concepts and explains the issues in an understandable way. He doesn't explain away hard questions like the existence of evil or the problem of suffering in a trite, one sentence answer. That would be unfeeling. He's not afraid to admit that some things are unknowable, but they are unknowable to the atheist as well. The difference is that underlying the big questions of life, the believer has hope that the atheist knows nothing of. Suffering has no meaning to an existentialist who has only this life.
Sproul deals with objections to the Bible itself, the fallacy of thinking all religions are the same, what happens to those who have never heard, charges that the church is full of hypocrites or is only for weak people, the idea that we only have to try hard to do the right thing, the existence of God, the case for life after death, and the problem of evil and suffering.
He does an excellent job of demonstrating the reasonableness of faith, while showing the futility and illogical conclusions of Christianity's detractors.
Sproul explains these things in a way that we can retain, so we can "give a reason for the hope that lies within us." (1 Peter 3:15)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Injustice

"An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Civic Holiday

August 4, 2009.

Outside my window...a warm, summer day.
I am thinking...if President Obama really was born in Hawaii, instead of Kenya, as some claim, why doesn't he just produce the birth certificate and end the speculation? He did promise "unprecedented transparency and accountability".
I am thankful for...my job. I know I've said that before, but I really do love it, even on busy nights.
From the kitchen...steak, buttered noodles(not for me), and grilled veggies.
I am wearing...white capri pants, a black and white top.
I am reading...The Justice Game by Randy Singer. It's a legal thriller about gun control, which I didn't think would be very interesting, but it is. He's called the Christian John Grisham. I've read all his books.
I am hoping...that I can arrange to be off for Carey. I don't know how I ran out of vacation days without realizing it. I may be aable to use some stats to get that week off, but I had hoped to be off the week before as well. I guess I'm getting spoiled with all this vacationing I've done this year.
I am hearing...Law and Order, the original series. I think it's the best one.
Around the house...we hired an unemployed man from our church to do some work on our yard. He started while my husband was still locked in at work. All our projects were on hold that month because of the strike. I think if the Mayor was planning all along to give them the store, he should have done it early and saved us all the grief of a strike. It was a bad deal and our taxes will go up, again, and there may be layoffs down the road. The union was feeling the lack of pay and many were crossing the line or getting close to it. The City should have held out at least another month, speaking as a taxpayer, not as a spouse directly affected by the strike.
One of my favourite things...long weekends. We went to the beach at Lake Simcoe on Saturday.
A few plans for the week...Weigh-in Tuesday morning at SUREslim. I've been going for a month and have made good progress so far. I'm working three nights this week. Our O.R. is closed this week, which may result in us being overstaffed. One of us may have to float to another unit to work. That's very stressful to be away from our home unit.

Friday, July 31, 2009

How to Prepare for a Mammogram

1.Go into the garage on a cold winter night.
2.Invite a few strangers into the room.
3.Disrobe to the waist.
4.Have someone back the car over your right breast to the chest wall. No, maybe one more inch for good measure.
5.Repeat on the left breast.
6.Thank the driver for doing this.
7.Roll your breasts up into your bra.
8.Schedule a date to do it again next year.
9.If you’re American, you also get to pay for this privilege.

Monday, July 27, 2009

It's Finally Over!

So the strike by Toronto's civic employees has ended this week. That means that my husband, who is in Management with Water Supply, can finally come home. He's been locked in at work for 36 days, with only a few days off during that time. Thirteen people were doing the work of sixty. They lived and worked together, occasionally having personality conflicts, as managers who were accustomed to giving orders, had to take them instead. A case of 'too many chiefs, and not enough Indians'.
He said it felt like jail, with occasional day passes, and all they thought about was 'what's for dinner today?' and 'what movie is on tonight?' They were getting quite discouraged as they saw their summer slipping away from them. All vacation was cancelled and many important events were missed.
Our daughters only saw him a few times, and our household projects and social activities were all put on hold. When he'd come home for just a few hours, he only had time to do laundry and run a few errands, and then he'd have to return, reluctantly, to the air mattress in his office.
I don't think people in Toronto understand or appreciate the sacrifice made by these men and women, and their families, in order for them to continue to be supplied with water.
Water supply has long wanted to disassociate themselves from the Garbage collectors, who always seem ready and willing to go on strike. The reason the garbage collectors don't mind a strike is that even though they have to live on $200/week strike pay, afterwards, they make it all back in overtime when they clean up the accumulated garbage. Water Supply is different. There's no extra water being pumped after a strike. It's been there all along.
There are some benefits to this enforced separation, though. My husband and I definitely appreciate each other more. He missed two weeks of vacation with me and our anniversary trip to Kingston. I went anyway, and a friend and my Mom came with me. I also learned to be more independent with driving to Kingston, and to a provincial park to take my daughter on a youth camping trip. I also bought my first cell phone, which I used in Kingston. It's like a new toy, and I've been texting more than talking because it has a full keyboard.
Another benefit was that, while at work, my husband worked out with weights 3X/day and walked about 4-5 km/day. The result has met with my approval.
Also, I was able to get well underway with my diet without having to worry about cooking for everyone. This has resulted in the loss of 10 pounds, and 10 inches, which has met with my husband's approval.
Lastly, even though he doesn't usually get overtime pay since he's in Management, they did pay portions of the day and stand-by at a higher rate, so we are expecting a large cheque soon, which is just in time for our daughter's university tuition costs.
So, even though I wouldn't ever want to go through this again, it hasn't been all bad. There are blessings to be found, if you look.

Strike Widow--Day Thirty-Six

July 27, 2009

Outside my window...partly cloudy day. It hasn't been much of a summer, in more ways than one.
I am thinking...Mark my words. Polygamy will be the next thing to be legalized in Canada. Same-sex marriage was just the tip of the iceberg. You heard it here, first. My neighbour has two wives. Yep, really. On the news this week, a Muslim man in Kingston, Ontario, along with Wife B and his son, killed Wife A and three daughters. These were not consecutive wives, but concurrent. The media mentioned it without any comment at all. Not surprising.
I am thankful for...23 years of marriage, yesterday. He's definitely a keeper, and better than I deserve. We went out for dinner to Big Daddy's Crab Shack on Thursday when he was off.
From the kitchen...chicken and okra, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries.
I am wearing...jean capri pants and a burgundy top.
I am reading...A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist. I love her books.
I am hoping... that this strike would soon by settled. Windsor's strike lasted 101 days and just ended. The City of Toronto is trying to outlast the union. Both sides have dug in.
I am hearing...I Saw You First, by John Mellencamp. I laugh because it's so juvenile.
Around the house...My eldest was sent home from camp on Wednesday because she had fever and body aches. No cough though, so no swine flu. It's been going around at many summer camps. She's better now. My youngest is enjoying her job at the Day Camp, although she comes home exhausted every day. She liked her first pay cheque though. I'm finishing 17 days off. Back to work tonight. My husband had only 3 days off for his two weeks' vacation. Now they've changed it so even though he has to work 90 hours a week, he at least gets to come home every day. I'm thankful for that. I think we definitely appreciate each other more. Even the mundane, every day things are better when we're together.
One of my favourite things...hearing my daughters laughing together. I'm glad they get along so well. My sister and I used to fight all the time.
Some plans for the week...drive my daughter back up to work at camp, work four nights. Don't know about the weekend yet.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Finnish Emotions

Strike Widow--Day Twenty-Three

July 13, 2009

Outside my window...a cloud bank is moving in. Not sure how long I'll be able to sit out here on the deck today, but at least I went for a walk earlier.
I am thinking...that although it's nice to have another 17 days off (I have the best job in the world!),it's a bummer that my husband is still locked in at work because of this strike. My daughters are working, so I'm on my own.
I am thankful for...this new weight loss program I'm on. It's the only one that has ever worked for me. It's called SUREslim and it works to control your metabolism naturally, by controlling what food you eat and when. You have to wait five hours between meal, and no snacking. It took a few days to get used to it, because it's such a habit to reach for food, but I was ready to lose the weight and feel good about myself, so I'm determined to stick with it. I'm even tolerating the required seeds. I'm so encouraged by the success. In two weeks I've lost 6 pounds and 9 inches! It's the inches that matter more to me than the weight. I can see a difference. I've even lost my double chin!
From the kitchen...Atlantic salmon (I've been on a salmon kick lately, since I found frozen salmon that's as good as fresh), and I don't have my husband to cook for. They eat very well at work. I'm also making cauliflower, broccoli and beans, with raspberries for dessert.
I am wearing...jean Capri pants and a blue, black and white print top.
I am reading...Spring Rains, by Gayle Roper, although I wish I was reading one of the other twelve books (Yes, twelve) I bought this week. But I'll be good and finish what I've started.
I am hoping...that the strike end this week. We usually go away for a few days for our anniversary, and we already have a hotel booked in Kingston. If he can't come, I'm going anyway. My friend, Kathy has come to my rescue and will go sightseeing with me, at least for two of the three nights. It's nice to have friends.
I am hearing...the breeze blowing through the trees and the sounds of the neighbourhood.
Around the house...my eldest is up working at summer camp. She had a bunch of campers this past week with lots of attitude. She was in tears several times, but she said she prayed for them, and by the end of the week, they apologized to her for their bad attitude. She said they were also very moved and convicted during the messages. My youngest is finished her training and now has the day campers. Last week there were 26 and this week 40, partly because the public daycares are closed due to the strike. She is enjoying it far more than she expected, because she didn't think she'd like working with kids. Like teaching, there is alot of work to do at home to prepare for the activities, games, and lessons. My husband came home for his first 24 hour "shore leave". The ministry of labour told them they had to let them leave for 24 hours at a time. Before this he'd come home for just 6-12 hours. This was the first time he slept in his own bed in three weeks. He chose to come from Saturday night to Sunday night, because he missed coming to church. He'd only been away a few weeks, but people cheered him when he walked in at church, like he was a celebrity. Funny. For myself, I have set some goals and a to-do list for these days off; much of the list includes fun things, like the trip to Kingston, a TFC soccer game on Saturday with my husband, a family dinner at my mother-in-law's house, and a few beach days. But I'd really like to get some serious work done on my stories.
One of my favourite things...fresh raspberries.
A few plans for the week...other than what I just listed above, a beach day tomorrow. I'm going by myself to the Provincial Park an hour north of here, just to read and write. It's supposed to be 24C and sunny tomorrow. I hope so. I find it so relaxing to be next to the water.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Life Lessons from Bill Gates

Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1 : Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2 : The world doesn't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6 : If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault , so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7 : Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8 : Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9 : Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10 : Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11 : Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

If you agree, pass it on..

If you don't agree stick your head in the sand and take a deep breath!

If you can read this -Thank a teacher!

If you can read this in English - Thank a soldier!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pride and Shame

"Pride and shame. You'd never know they were sisters. They appear so different. Pride puffs out her chest. Shame hangs her head. Pride boasts. Shame hides. Pride seeks to be seen. Shame seeks to be avoided.
But don't be fooled, the emotions have the same parentage. And the emotions have the same impact. They keep you from your Father.
Pride says, 'You're too good for Him.'
Shame says, 'You're too bad for Him.'
Pride drives you away. Shame keeps you away.
If pride is what goes before a fall, then shame is what keeps you from getting up after one."

--Max Lucado--
He Chose the Nails

Friday, July 3, 2009

Criticism

“Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”

-Aristotle-

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What's So Great About Canada?

So, it's Canada Day, eh? Time to pull out the flag, and reflect on some of the positives of the Great White North. The Dominion of Canada, as it was formerly called, stretches from sea to sea to sea. That's right, we're practically an island, except for that large unprotected border to our south. Although we may seem to be much like our neighbours to the south, a Canadian is more than just "not an American".

Here are some reasons to be thankful to God for our country:

1. We experience all four distinct seasons (although I personally could live without winter quite happily).
2. Non-violent elections and (usually) a smooth transition of power. The recent attempted coup by the Liberals/Socialists notwithstanding.
3. Affordable post-secondary education. Both my husband and I were able to attend college/university even though we were from single parent homes.
4. You can live anywhere you want. Our neighbourhoods aren't segregated by race or religion. Our one little street has Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Catholics, Protestants and atheists. Our neighbours are Lebanese, Pakistani, Indian, Saudi Arabian, Ethiopian, Irish, Italian, Greek, Jamaican, Finnish and plain old Canadian, too. We all co-exist quite well.
5. We open our borders to new immigrants. Both my husband's family (Jamaica) and my family (Finland) have made a new life in our adopted homeland.
6. Freedom of religion, (so far), and freedom of speech (so far). You don't realize what a freedom it is to be able to criticize your government or vote for who you want until you see how many don't have it (Iran).
7. Free healthcare. When my husband had cancer 11 years ago, we didn't have any financial concerns. No out of pocket expenses! All of the hospital costs; surgery, chemo, homecare nurses, $4,000 injections--all covered. He also had full pay while he was off work for a year. The one expense we thought we'd have to pay; parking at the hospital, was also graciously covered by my wonderful co-workers who took up a collection for us every three months (Aren't oncology nurses great?). I can't imagine having to worry about finances on top of all the other issues, but, I digress.
8. You think you need a break from your country, only to find that when you're on vacation, you're happy to tell people where you're from (because everyone loves Canadians, right? or should I say, eh?), and you're always glad to come home again.
9. You boast about the differences we have with Americans, all the while being thrilled when we're mentioned by them. It's the little brother syndrome.
10. Our country has beautiful mountains out west, unforgiving Arctic terrain in the territories, prairies in the middle of the country, lakes and forests in Ontario and Quebec, and ocean front in the Maritime provinces. Whatever suits you, we have it, even beautiful beaches.

There are also many things that aren't so great about Canada, but that's for another day. Today is Canada Day, so we'll wave our flag on this ONE day, and then go back to our complacency again, sadly.

Strike Widow--Day Ten

July 1, 2009

Outside my window…a dark, clear night.
I am thinking…that I do not enjoy life as a strike widow. I don’t know how military wives do it. My husband has been locked in at work for nine nights so far, with no end to the strike in sight. He sleeps in his office, eats with his co-workers (about a dozen people), and has only been out to attend a party with me last Friday. I had to have him back by midnight, like Cinderella. But he hasn’t been home yet and he said “the adventure” wasn’t fun anymore. He really didn’t expect the union would actually go on strike, since they have our Mayor in their back pocket, but they did, and now they’re holding out. I don’t think they’ll get much public support or sympathy because of the recession. They should be happy to keep their jobs. Hopefully, the Premiere will introduce legislation to send them back to work soon and end my husband’s ‘deployment’. They are locked in, doing the work of 60 people, because even if people don’t get their garbage picked up, they seem to expect clean water to come out of their taps. I also learned through this experience that I’m quite dependent on my husband, and I didn’t even know how to turn on the a.c. or remove the seats out of the van. Those are just things he always did.
I am thankful for…my husband’s job. It’s secure, it pays well, and it allows us to live comfortably middle-class.
From the kitchen…Atlantic salmon, asparagus and salad. I started a weight loss program today called SUREslim that is supposed to correct your metabolism, mostly by the timing of your meals (at least 5 hours between) and no snacking. It’s a whole new way of thinking. I hope it works; nothing else has, and I’m 25-30 pounds overweight and quite discouraged. The hardest part is eating the extra seeds and flax. I also have to weigh out and plan my meals, which is time consuming. I really want to stick with it and give it a chance.
I am wearing…navy scrub pants, white top, short white lab coat.
I am reading…Lone Survivor by Mark Luttrell and Patrick Robinson, about Operation Redwing in Afghanistan that resulted in the largest loss of life among NAVY SEALs. I remember hearing about it on the news when it happened in 2005 and feeling very sad. It’s an amazing story; first about the training they undergo, and then the operation itself, where four SEALs were outnumbered at least 35:1 in a firefight. This book has made grown men cry.
I am hoping…that my daughters enjoy their summer jobs and learn a lot. Our eldest is at a summer camp for inner city kids, working as a counselor and lifeguard. Our youngest is at a Church Day Camp. She’s excited to be getting paid $9.50 an hour. I was earning that much 25 years ago as a nurse’s aide when I was still in nursing school! But that’s minimum wage these days, I guess, and it’s more than she has now.
I am hearing…the sound of silence. This week, because of Canada Day, the O.R. is closed so we have only chemo patients. Tonight there are nine patients and three nurses, which are pretty good odds, and the reason I have time to blog.
Around the house…our daughters are off to work, although my youngest has today off for Canada Day. My mom had her second angiogram yesterday. At first they thought she had more blockage, but then when they went in for the angioplasty, it was gone. They said it can spasm and look like blockage. So she’s home, but still without an explanation as to her chest pain, shortness of breath or fatigue. My husband will be coming home for a 12-hour “shore leave” on Thursday. I’ll pick him up on my way home from my night shift and bring him back when I return. Too bad most of my day will be spent sleeping. I miss him. I also made him a “Honey-Do” list. Isn’t that kind of me?
One of my favourite things…Twitter. It’s my new favourite thing. I have people I know on face book, and I keep it that way. But on Twitter, I follow my favourite authors and preachers, find out when their books are coming out, and see what people around the continent are thinking about. It’s private though, because, like my blog, I don’t use our names. My daughter set up my Twitter account, but she didn’t want me to ‘follow’ her because she uses that venue to vent her feelings, which is fine with me. Hey, maybe I should set up another, more anonymous Twitter site to say the things I can’t say anywhere else. Kind of therapeutic, I think. Naaah! Everything I think doesn't need to be written down.
Some plans for the week…finish four nights. Enjoy my brief rendezvous with my husband. Cook, pack, and then drive like a maniac to the Pinery Provincial park with my daughter for a weekend camping trip with the youth group from a sister church. My husband was supposed to be the speaker for it, but well, he’s indisposed so they had to come up with Plan B. I didn’t have the heart not to go. My daughter had a heart-breaking disappointment this week already, and wants to see her friend. The things we do for our kids! I hope we get there in time to set up our tents before dark, and that it doesn’t rain. The couple who are leading are good friends of ours and it would have been so much better if I wasn’t half-a-couple. (Sigh). But we’ll have fun.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Work or Play?

"Just remember, writers are the only adults who get to spend all day in their pajamas playing with imaginary friends."
-Paul Bishop-

What do Writers Do?

"What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he's staring out of the window."
-Burton Rascoe-

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Brevity of Life

"Farrah Fawcett (62), Michael Jackson (50) and 150,000 others:
"A flower of the field; the wind passes, and it is gone."

-John Piper

Pride

"Boasting is the voice of pride in the heart of the strong.
Self-pity is the voice of pride in the heart of the weak."

-John Piper-

Who Is Your God?

"When you follow the trail of your time, money and effort you find a throne. Whomever or whatever is there is what you worship."

-Giglio-

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Liar, Lunatic, or LORD?

"Liar, lunatic, or LORD?
Yes. And let your jaw drop at his wildly over-the-top claim: Before Abraham was, I AM (John 8:58)."

-John Piper-

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Strike Prep

June 20, 2009

Outside my window...a rainy day. With all the rain we've had this week, and the amazing forecast for next week, it makes me wonder if I chose the wrong week to take a holiday.
I am thinking...that I hope there's not a city workers' strike at midnight on Sunday. Since my husband is in management, he has to get locked in for the duration, to ensure we still have water supplied in Toronto. He had to do all of the Strike Prep shopping; purchasing cots and food for the dozen people who will be locked in to cover shifts.
I am thankful...that my youngest daughter got the job she applied for at a day camp at the church where she attends youth group.
From the kitchen...stuffed mushroom caps, steak from the bbq, parmesan and herb roasted potatoes, steamed asparagus, salad, and chocolate layer cake with pudding in the middle.
I am wearing...jean capri pants, a brown and white top.
I am reading...God's Gift by Dee Henderson, about a missionary on furlough.
I am hoping...my mom's angiogram is rescheduled for sometime soon. They had quite a few emergencies and had to cancel her at the end of the day on Wednesday.
I am hearing...a previously recorded TFC game that I already know the outcome of. Toronto beats Montreal 6:1. I'm still watching it though, because soccer games are scarce in summer, and they win this game and consequently, the Champions' League.
Around the house...we're just waiting for friends to visit to share some cake. Our friend, Leah (our Pastor's daughter) just became a full-time college professor today. She's been part-time for nine years, so we're all happy for the answer to prayer.
One of my favourite things...freshly shelled peas in summer. I just picked some up from the farm. I prefer to eat them raw. It's like eating candy, and it reminds me of my childhood.
A few plans for the week...a busy Saturday,cleaning the church, then cooking and baking for the providential dinner at church tomorrow. I wish it wouldn't have been planned for Father's Day, but hey, I'm coping. I'm bringing homemade macaroni and cheese, a layered salad, (see recipe and photo below), and marble cupcakes. We always have more than enough food, and a good variety. Because of the cultural makeup of our congregation, all of our dinners are International. Sunday evening I have to drop my husband off at work and keep the van, in case the strike is on and lasts a long time. I'll be a strike widow. Monday night, our niece is graduating from highschool. Hopefully, my husband can make it. Tuesday night I go back to work for three nights. My eleven nights off went by so quickly. At least we got my daughter's room in Hamilton painted this week. Having two other people to help me paint made a big difference. I'll post pictures once we've decorated the room.

Layered Salad



This is a layered salad that is like a trifle in appearance, but of course, it's healthy.
I list the ingredients from top to bottom, but, of course, do the reverse when you're making it.

Bacon bits (optional)
Dried cranberries
Blanched, sliced almonds
Layer of baby spinach
Concentric circles of creamy cucumber dressing, or a layer of Greek Feta dressing
Sliced radishes
Broccoli florets diced very small
3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
Shredded ice berg lettuce
Freshly shelled summer peas
1 carrot, finely shredded
1/2 cucumber, peeled, sliced and chopped
2 vine ripened tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 shredded romaine lettuce leaves
Sliced button mushrooms
1 scallion
Baby spinach