Wednesday, October 31, 2007

how life swallowed October and facebook ate my blog

October was supposed to be the month that made up for September.

Instead, October was busy in its own octoberly way. Nine days in Ontario. A three day working weekend away at Semiahmoo(good place to have to be if one must spend the weekend working). Not a whole lot of studying or project time. I did set three more Anne Steele texts, but I really haven't spent the kind of time I should have.

Then there is the question of facebook. I know there are many opinions, but during these two months of craziness, facebook has been a great way to stay connected with friends and family even if I don't have time (or mental capacity) to string sentences together. I'm afraid, however, that facebok may be distracting me from writing profound things on my blog. My apologies. Then again, perhaps nothing I would have written here would have been at all profound anyway. :)

I have no idea what to expect of November except that I have a presentation, a worship service assessment and a paper due. Plus my Integrative project proposal. Okay, maybe I know a little of what to expect.

Happy Eve of All Saints.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

a new month, a new lifestyle

October has arrived and none too soon.

September was hectic and marked by much busyness, hectic days and unwanted separation. A three day Retreat, a two-day Celebration weekend, a wedding gig, oh and life and work and studies. (Studies?)

October is bringing a bit of a chance to slow down. I grocery shopped for the first time in weeks on Sunday. I cooked for the first time in ages on Monday. Saturday, we fly away to Ontario for 8 glorious days where our only "responsibilities" are to hang out with family and sing in a little choir for a family wedding. This we can do. And gladly!

I'm hoping that the colours are going to be in all there Ontario glory...hmm...must pack sweaters...maybe even buy a new sweater!! :)

So, we have a few hopes that October will be a more human month than September - and so far, so good. The calendar doesn't look like a war zone, so that's a start.

(And birthdays occur in October, so that can't hurt!)

Happy OCTOBER to you all!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

home alone

Gordon's in Montreal. Working terribly long days and not getting to enjoy a beautiful city.

I'm here. By myself (this is where you feel at least a twinge of compassion).

He's not the loudest person, but this place seems awfully quiet without him.

No humming from the den (which happens when he programs).
No "They have surrendered, my liege." (which is said by some guy on the computer when he's playing Medieval War Something-or-Other).
And, no one to help me procrastinate from doing school work. I've had to do that all on my own. (You'll all be quite relieved to know that I'm equally as gifted at solo and collaborative procrastination).

(Come home soon, okay?)

Monday, September 17, 2007

worship conversation

I have been uncomfortable with the "Jesus is my boyfriend" variety of worship songs for a long time.

I have had a particular gripe with "Let my words be few" by Martin Smith...If I were to use it, we would sing the following:

"You are God in heaven
And here I am on earth
So I'll let my words be few


I'll stand in awe of You
I'll stand in awe of You"

Well, we sang it AGAIN yesterday in church. (That's two weeks in a row!)

And I sang the above words and then spent the rest of the song confessing my contempt and disdain for these songs, searching for some sort of missed understanding, wondering if I'm just not as 'intimate' in my 'personal relationship with Jesus', and finally realizing that I'm not so sure I have a 'personal relationship with Jesus' but that I relate to Jesus as an individual, yes, but as an individual who has been grafted into the family of God. I'm an "I" in the midst of a family that stretches through centuries and across continents...and I like the "we"-ness of that too!

Well, John Stackhousehas blogged about the same experience. And with quite a lot of response. (I'm the ajt in the comments!)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

what's in a name...

Originally, this blog began when I was between jobs, between living accommodations and between relational statuses. (how does one pluralize "status"?) All was transition and in between seemed like the most appropriate name for my new blog. What I realized quite quickly is that we're always in between. I think I already knew this, but I re-learned it as I moved from dating to engaged to married; from a church job to the Regent job; from a temporary apartment to my brother & sister-in-law's place to Gordon & my condo. With all of these three major transitions "finished" I still found myself in between.

This past month has had a lot of that "in between-ness" to it as well. Time off that also had a list of things I hoped to accomplish (and mostly didn't). Waiting with my in-laws for visas that seemingly wouldn't come...three weeks of sitting on packed suitcases. They definitely were living in the in between. (The visas did come and they are off on grand adventure!) I went to Calgary for a week and visited family and friends there and found that this place I come from still has a place for me even though I don't feel so much that I belong there anymore. Regent life has resumed and I find myself walking the line between student and staff, fitting into neither category very neatly. I'm in between. New students have arrived and there is this strange sense of unfamiliarity and yet the knowledge that, within a very short time, they will be very much a part of things, offering us gifts of themselves that we've yet to discover. And with the return to the Regent community there are all sorts of joys and sorrows that are poignant reminders that in a cosmic sense we are living in the in between, the kingdom has already come, but not yet in full. We are rejoicing over the birth of twin girls to our dear friends Ben & Nickaela. We are gently welcoming back two faculty members who, last fall, were not able to work due to a stroke and a severe depression. But we are also reeling at the news of a cancer diagnosis given to an emeritus faculty member who just spent the summer with us and to the tragic death of a couple's baby boy the week before his due date. I cannot tell you how much this last item has shaken us. God's hand is hard to trace here, except in the support that I have seen their community fill in to give them.

We are in between great joy and deep distress.

We are in between glimpses of a kingdom and signs of the brokenness of a fallen creation.

For now, it would seem that in between is where we live.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

one of my favourite human beings...

Madeleine L'Engle died on Thursday.

From the NY Times article (linked above)
“Why does anybody tell a story?” Ms. L’Engle once asked, even though she knew the answer.

“It does indeed have something to do with faith,” she said, “faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically.”

Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday Five: Labour Day weekend edition

1. Share a highlight from this summer. (If you please, don't just say "our vacation to the Canadian Rockies." Give us a little detail or image. Help us live vicariously through you!)

We DID go to Banff & Lake Louise while we were in Calgary for a week visiting my family, but I promise that I'll pick another favourite.

2. Are you glad to see this summer end? Why or why not?

3. Name one or two things you're looking forward to this fall.

TWO classes in one semester. Haven't done this during my entire 5 years of working on my Masters degree. Makes me believe I might actually finish someday.

I'm also looking forward to year three in a job I'm enjoying...and that I finally feel like I have a handle on. It would seem that if the first year was focused on survival, the second was focused on development and I think this year might allow for a little experimentation!

4. Do you have any special preparations or activities to mark the transition from one season to another? (Cleaning of house, putting away summer clothes, one last trip to the beach)

Ooh. Not anything that I can put my finger on except maybe that there are a few "summer meals" that we only eat in the summer. (One being the Thai Chicken Salad) I was thinking I'd make it this weekend...and truly, that could be the last time til next year. Sad. Then again, I'm looking forward to soups and hearty fallish meals too.

5. I'll know that fall is really here when I buy school supplies.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

my August life

Well, I'm one week into my holiday time and I'm pleased to say that I have accomplished very little.

Oh, I packed up the hutch, moved it into the den where it awaits moving to its new home in storage. Tuesday the piano movers brought my mom's piano from my brother's house. (yay!) So I've played quite a bit, worked on a few hymns, a couple of Clementi sonatas, and lots of Bach.

I've managed to kill my thai basil plant and I think one other flowering plant is done too. Not going to post pictures of my dead plants. Maybe I'll stick to geraniums from now on.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Still here...22 down, 3 to go

And I know you're dying to know how my little balcony garden is coming along....It's done remarkably well. The geraniums are especially lovely - and so hard to mess up. I think that's why they're my favourite.

I've got 3 more chapels - Bruce Milne, David Gill and John Vissers. Yesterday was Lauren Winner. And did not disappoint. Tonight is her lecture: Autobiography of a Bookworm: Notes from My Reading Life. Looking forward to it.

Meanwhile, working on getting the piano moved into our place...I'll keep you posted.

Still writing up a small storm. Did another one on Monday. And it's one of those that I immediately love.

Have to figure out what I need to do for Tenth as I'm leading worship this weekend and am kind of in the dark on how things work there. Oh dear. It's already Wednesday, isn't it.

Okay. Bask in that garden photo once more before you close this window. :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

"Reunited and it feels so good..."

Skookumchuck has returned to Crowley Drive and it would appear that all is well with the world.

I intended to be very cold to the people who kept her in that awful place for almost three weeks, but then it was a different guy and he was very nice to me and said nice things like, "I hope we don't see you in here for a long time..."

And I lost my nerve.

It helped that I was holding a piece of paper that said they had put a $1200 part into my macbook. (Odd, a NEW macbook isn't much more) Also, he assured me that apple has had no end of trouble with the first round of logic boards from the early macbooks...and that the replacement part is better than the one I originally had.

I think they have a handbook.

1. Make sure a different person handles pick up than drop off.
2. Say nice things.
3. Be sure they see how much they aren't having to pay for.

Anyway, she's back. I'm happy. And, I even splurged and bought a new backpack-style computer bag yesterday as the old one was giving me shoulder woes. Think of it as an RV for Skookumchuck...and she's going on the road!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

12th day

I am starting into my 12th day without Skookumchuck.

(big breath)

Skookumchuck is my MacBook. And last Sunday he didn't feel very well when he woke fact he never really woke up at all. He's been in the hospital since Tuesday (blasted long weekend...) The worst part is that I don't even think they've examined him yet. Might have to call again today and beg.

Meanwhile, my worship maps have typos, I'm starting to automatically right-click, and generally, my 'coolness' factor has taken a dip.

Thankfully, I have Applecare.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Friday Five: Hasty Edition

Today, what are you:

1. Wearing - short-sleeved white cotton blouse, black cropped pants, little black flats and multi-coloured bead bracelet

2. Reading - trying to write notes on "Weeds Among the Wheat" for my spring school class...but lately at night I'm sneaking in a chapter or at least a few pages of Elizabeth Moon's THE SPEED OF DARK which is excellent! (google it, I can't remember the link code and I'm too lazy to look it's Friday!)

3. Eating - drinking a hot chocolate. Which is weird being that it's been hot hot hot and very stuffy in my office lately. But my nice friend lent me a fan and it's actually quite chilly in here today.

4. Doing - well, technically I'm procrastinating writing notes for my class, but we could think of it as a little "break"...

5. Pondering - what dishes Gordon and I should order when we go out for chinese food tonight...mmm...yummy.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Summer School: week one

Well, having recovered from the crazy journey to California, I'm now into the whirlwind that is Regent Summer School. It is amazing as students come from far and wide, young and old, first timers and hundredth timers. Daily chapels, at least 3 evening public lectures a week and many other lunchtime and weekend opportunities. (from round table discussions to kayaking in Deep Cove!)

I'm not taking a class until weeks 3 & 4 so these first two weeks should give me enough time to finish up my paper for the Spiritual Discernment class of Spring School. However, my mac died on Sunday so I'll take it into the mac doctor this morning...not great timing. All I can say is, "I love applecare."

So my world is a little jumbled by use of Gordon's PC at home & the usually unused PC on my desk at work. Strange machines. But I'm also enjoying (?) the break from constant email checking, and a little reprieve from facebook.

I'm off. To drop off the dear little computer, and then to head to Regent - to meet up with Jim & Rita Houston who are reading and speaking in chapel today. I love my job!

Monday, June 25, 2007

the tale of three cities...

So I've been all excited for the past few weeks about a sudden opportunity to go to Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena for a Colloquium with participants who are responsible for planning worship services in various seminaries around the US. I'm honoured, excited, and full of anticipation for what is now tomorrow's conversation.

Now, back up a few steps with me.

I'm not the smartest kid on the block, but I'm not exactly stupid either. I like making connections, extrapolating information or themes into other situations, etc.

My whole family has a range of passport related stories to tell.

Just this last week I printed out the forms from the internet so that Gordon and I could apply now, when we're not in any rush to get them, etc. (had that very conversation this past week). This also means that when I printed out my itinerary and various other documents for this trip, I had to separate them from the passport application sheets on the printer.

But it was not until 2 hours before my flight this morning, standing in the Vancouver Int'l Airport with Gordon that I realized I would need a passport to fly to California today.

Not the brightest bulb.

(Meanwhile, you must imagine the mixture of disappointment, embarrassment, shock, etc that was my heart. Gordon was SO calm and supportive - it was amazing.)

So, in the end, I drove to Seattle (read: 1 hour spent trying to get through the border line-up), got to Sea-Tac (read: stood in a 1 hour line-up to speak to a United rep), went through security (read; amazingly quick and painless...LESS invasive than Canadian airports I've gone through recently), sat and watched the folks with tickets board the plane I really wanted to get on (read: sat and watched grumpy stand-by passengers bug the nice lady at the counter, knowing that there were many folks trying to get to LAX this afternoon, including a family of 6, and then the clouds parted and she CALLED MY NAME and I was the VERY LAST PERSON to get on that plane!)

Greetings from the Westin in Pasadena. Lovely. Very long day.

Time for sleep.

The moral of the story, is that you should put 2 and 2's most helpful for navigating between three cities.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

a highlight & a lowlight

Did you used to start youth group or Sunday school classes with this?

Well mine were pretty easy for today.

I bought strawberries from the farm where they were grown today. If I had time, I might have picked my own, but I decided that the ones they had picked for me would suffice.

Audrey, (and any other Californians reading this) your strawberries are styrofoam in comparison.

I had to put them in the trunk so that I wouldn't eat them the whole way home.

The lowlight?

When I was moving things around in the fridge when I got home, I dislodged the last beer & cider from their resting place only to watch them fall to the ceramic tile floor. (read: SMASH!) Of course, I might have caught them, but my hands were full of the precious strawberries.

The best part of the lowlight? The flowing cider/beer puddle reached my computer bag...the computer's fine, but the bag now smells like a dirty old drunk.

I think I'll drown my sorrows in another strawberry.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Five: Books, books, books

1. Fiction what kind, detective novels, historical stuff, thrillers, romance????
Hhmm. Mainstream literary fiction is probably my first choice, but my husband has recently gotten me onto some historical fantasy & a few science my great surprise.

2. When you get a really good book do you read it all in one chunk or savour it slowly?
Depends. If it's long I dive right in. If it's short, I read slowly and just once in awhile.

3. Is there a book you keep returning to and why?
The duo by Madeleine L'Engle (written years & years apart) The Small Rain and The Severed Wasp. Because it is such a good story - with real characters and real life awful situations with real redemption and without everything being tied in neat little packages.

4. Apart from the Bible which non-fiction book has influenced you the most?
Ooh. I don't think I can pick just one. But my top few would have to be Orthodoxy (Chesterton), Mere Christianity (Lewis), Pilgrim Souls (an anthology of conversion/spiritual journey narratives) and... I'm sure there have been others, but those are what stands out.

5. Describe a perfect place to read. ( could be anywhere!!!)

Beach - not on a hot day, but warm enough that you're comfortable.

In a muskoka chair on a deck or long as it's big enough to bring your legs up without knocking your coffee/drink off the arm. :)

Bed. :)

Friday, June 08, 2007

I look like Jack Nicholson?

Friday Five: Getaway Island Edition...

Today's Friday Five is about a real or imagined getaway...ooh, I can do this!

Describe your location, in general or specific terms: somewhere quiet, with good restaurants nearby, and hopefully a body of water in some sort of close proximity.


1) What book(s) will you bring?
Hmmm...well, I think if I were to go right now, it would include my two textbooks from my last class. I know that sounds like taking WORK on vacation, but really it is that I'd like to spend some time reading them S-L-O-W-L-Y rather than in the usual "must get this done" fashion that a deadline can result in.

And then there would be a novel or two...perhaps I'd finally read That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis. Have read the first two in the trilogy over the past few months, but haven't had a chance to finish. And then sometimes a holiday is a nice chance to re-read an old favourite, so perhaps I'd take along the Catherine Fox novels. (Do you folks know about these?!?! Oh my, you really must try to get your hands on them...all about theological college, internships and such...but with such real and flawed human beings at the centre each story)

2) What music accompanies you?
Wow. A concoction of Paul Simon, Wailin' Jennys, Elgar, Bach and James Taylor. With a dash of some friends of mine - it seems a lot of what I'm listening to now is people I know.

3) What essentials of everyday living must you take (as in the health and beauty aids aisle variety)?
After sun lotion. Shampoo, razor, a couple of make-up essentials.

4) What technological gadgets if any, will you take with you or do you leave it all behind?
Laptop. Not for WORK, but for local restaurants, reviews, park trails, etc etc. Not to mention music-playing!

5) What culinary delights will you partake in while there?
Hmmm. Yummy breakfasts that happen a lot later than usual. Snacky sort of lunches that you can eat sitting outside or pack and take along on whatever the day's adventure is. And dinner made by someone who experiments with culinary delights for a living!

As a bonus question, what makes for a perfect day on vacation for you?
Easy. Sleep til you wake up. Coffee on a porch/deck/whatever with a book in hand - and maybe a crossword. Breakfast eventually. A few hours at the beach/going for a walk/discovering whatever is around. Back to the room to relax, shower and primp. Dinner out. Bed. Ahhhh.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Last chapel of Spring School

Yep. It's the end of week four of Spring School. And I'm hours away from being finished another season of my job. (sigh)

Three weeks from Monday the season of Summer School will be upon us and life will pick up its pace once again. Daily chapels for five weeks. Which can sound daunting, but then you start reading your email - the ones about confirmed speakers - and you get a little excited: Maxine Hancock, John Stackhouse, Bruce Waltke, J.I. Packer, Chris Hall, etc. And then there are a couple of folks on the "not yet confirmed" list that make my heart bounce a little including the author of several books I've loved. More on that to come.

Meanwhile, for the past two weeks I have had a Wednesday morning 'date' with a friend who hasn't been over to our place yet. The plan was for her to drop her kids off at school (which is closeby) and then to come over and if it was nice, we'd go for a walk. Well, the first week the traffic gods were angry and there were major accidents in strategic spots, so she called (from the midst of the traffic hell) and said she'd never make it before I needed to leave to school. So we re-booked. But of course, it was almost the time of her arrival when she called and so I'd spent a bit tidying up, putting things away that we'd tend to leave out when it's just us, but that suddenly when 'company' is coming seem to be infringing on your decor.

Yesterday was our 're-book'. Cleaned from 8 til 9 when I realized that this friend would NEVER be half and hour late without calling. So I sat down and checked my email - sure enough, there was a note saying that things were crazy and could we re-book.

Now, I'd really like to actually see this friend, but I'm wondering if she might threaten a visit for a few more weeks, as our place has never looked so consistently tidy. :)

That is my only cleaning secret: have people over.

Monday, June 04, 2007

a smattering of things...

First of all. I got to see Audrey. (see bloglist)

Secondly, we hung out with Santosh and his family (also see bloglist) which enabled this little glimpse into the distant future...gotta love it. Had fun strolling the seawall and checking out two parks - poor Adam had been waiting all afternoon for us to come so he could hit the park! Nice to catch up with Santosh in person for once...

And finally, the picture you've been waiting for...the first GERANIUMS of the summer!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

week 3 of spring school

Well...I guess I'm settling into the rhythm of posting once a week. It's not intentional, but there you have it.

This week is a bit nuts as I'm in class every afternoon for 3 hours. It's amazing how this can disrupt normal life. :) But it is a lovely disruption. The class is called "Spiritual Discernment" and it is being taught by fellow Christian & Missionary Alliance'er Gordon T. Smith.

More to come as a result of this class I'm sure, but for now let me tease you with his main two questions. (which must be asked TOGETHER)

1. What do you think Jesus is saying to you at this point in your life?
2. How do you know it's Jesus? (what are the indicators that lead to some degree of confidence?)

Wow. I have to admit that I'm often very uncomfortable when the first question is asked or answered, but now I realize that it is because the second question is usually neglected.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Middle of the week...

This week has gone by slow and fast all at the same time.

Monday the country paused to celebrate Queen Victoria, but spring school continued, so there was chapel. Marva Dawn spoke and she was excellent. I think I've heard her before, but this time I won't forget hearing her. She began her talk with a sentence something like this: "Well, since I gave Andrea my text, I changed my mind." (read: mild panic as I TOTALLY dwelt on her ideas of dark and light...) Thankfully, she didn't change direction, she just went one step further. So it worked really well as I dwelt in several psalms and then she went on to speak from John 1 about the light coming into the darkness and the darkness not being able to overcome it. (after a brief heart attack, all was well)

Yesterday I had my second session with my little opera composers. They're hilarious. We've written five songs now, one more to go. So now it's a matter of getting the music into my finale program and then trying to garage band some sort of practice cd for them. I think on at least one of the songs, we figured out we could use xylophones and some hand drums. (giving 7 and 8 yr olds accompanying duties...oh yeah!)

Today is a Regent office day. The morning to work on upcoming chapels and the afternoon spent in meetings. I'll use my summer UPass for the first time (just got it last week...) which is lovely as it cost me $50 again to fill up on Monday. Crazy. (Last July we both used transit all month and we didn't fill up in the entire month...that's looking like a great plan!)

This weekend my friend Rochelle is getting married ... and while I'm excited for the wedding and all its festivities, I'm REALLY excited about two friends who are travelling to Vancouver to be her for it. Audrey (of bloglist fame) and Margo (my doctor friend having many adventures in the Bronx). Can't wait!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

still here...just a bit silent

So, as you probably assumed, Pastors' Conference did indeed continue on.
And it was a good week in the end. Exhausting, but good.
Perhaps one of the subtle highlights was trying out a couple of my own 're-tuned hymns' on these folks and having them well-received and then fielding the "how can I get my hands on this stuff?" requests. Confirms that maybe I'm on to something the church might want and even need. I think my favourite part is that nobody knows how to categorize them...are they old? are they new? and the T and C words kind of go out the window. (If you are not aware, I belong to a school of thought that would like to completely remove the words 'traditional' and 'contemporary' from our worship vocabularies. More on that another time.)

Anyway. Now spring school is in full swing and we're figuring out how to run Regent Spring School out of Carey and St. Mark's. Next week chapels will be in VST's Epiphany Chapel to accommodate a large class that meets just before chapel. It's challenging to be out of our own space, but I LOVE that we're in every other seminary on campus during this month. It's so easy to completely ignore or forget these other institutions that are about the same business as we are...perhaps with different methods and systems sometimes, but ultimately these are our brothers and sisters! So, needless to say, I'm loving it.

AND I only have two more sets of lessons to teach. Today and tomorrow and next week and then it's the recital and BOOM! we're done til September. It feels like it's gone really fast. Meanwhile, I have embarked on an Opera project at Westbay school where my friend Heidi teaches. I'm the "musician" who is helping these 36 grade 2 students set their couplets to music. It's this Vancouver Opera Project which encourages teachers to teach a unit by getting the kids to create and opera. So they are learning about how animals are suited to their various environments and so we'll have 6 songs: Desert, Ocean, Fresh Water, Jungle and Forest. I'll have to keep you posted, but yesterday was my first session with them and we wrote three songs in 2.5 hours! :) Masterpieces, I tell you.

Ok. Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

greetings from Pastors' Conference

Pastors' Week: Day Two

Well, I'm pooped. And I've only survived Day One so far, but once again I'm marvelling at my job and the unique opportunities it affords. Day One was good and I'm excited about today because Joyce from Jacob's Well is our morning speaker.

Not too much time to write much else, but must tell you that I had dinner with John Stackhouse & Leonard Sweet last night. Always a treat to sit down to a meal with folks that we mostly interact with in their writings. John, of course, is familiar face from Regent and Tenth, but it was good to have extended conversation. And Leonard, for all his 'provocative' statements, really loves the church which was so great to see up close.

More to come...must go.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Friday links

Well, first of all HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brother Brian. He's 50 today which seems impossible except that Myrna already reached this milestone and re-defined 50 for all of us...I'm really glad you were born, Brian.

Secondly, I have a link to share... a Regent friend has posted some fantastic photos of tulips. Nice work, Matt!

Friday...and there's some sun out there...and I have new plants to replace my pansies...and an absolution from dear sweet Andrea Moller Bridges :) ... (see comments from yesterday's post)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

good news and bad news

Well, we'll start with the good news...My office is officially unpacked and organized!! Yay.

The bad news is that I've killed three plants. Yes, me who blogged photos of my lovely patio garden. The geraniums (hearty little brutes) are fine, but the pansies are laying-down-in-the-dirt dead. And they're not getting back up. And inside I've killed an ivy plant that I've only had for about a month. (after killing its predecessor)

Oh dear. So I'm not including pictures. The admission is hard enough. And I don't want you all to have to see the carnage. Maybe I'll dig them out on the weekend and replace them and THEN snap some shots.

Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

almost organized...

Well, I've been working on getting unpacked into my new office and after a good solid day of sorting and filing and re-organizing things that have just been lurking in the back of my filing cabinet, I'm feeling like I have a clean slate. There remain two piles of music and miscellanea on top of the filing cabinet, but I'll work my way through them in the next couple of weeks. I'll have to take some pics so you can see my new digs. :)

Took my huge Montreux Jazz Festival 2001 poster (on foam core) and put it on my big empty wall. Feels better already. And I've reorganized the way the papers 'flow' more to reflect how I actually tend to do stuff, rather than keeping things the way they were. This is tricky. But hopefully I've paid close enough attention over the past year and a half...

Meanwhile, Gordon and I went to TOSCA on Saturday night. Lovely. Great singing and an enjoyable evening all round.
Sunday we looked at a house we can't afford and, mercifully, didn't like it. You might ask why we'd even go look at a house we can't afford, but here in Vancouver, when a house in the city is this price, it's usually a teardown...and this one looked so good. And then you start trying to figure out how you could possibly squeeze more money out of your budget...But as I said, in God's wide mercy, we didn't fall in love with the house. I was certainly twitterpated by the idea of a house for the two and a half days between seeing it online and the actual open house...Coming home felt good though. We love our little place!

Ok. Must get off the couch and head for work. Now that my desk is clear, I need to get some concrete things planned for next week!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday Five: What Are You...

1. Wearing - yoga pants and an old tshirt...just did a pilates video. A new endeavour of Gordon's and mine - and I'm amazed at how it's melting tension from my neck and shoulders. The day I skipped, I was in pain. The days I've done it, I've felt really good.

2. Pondering - Pastors Conference 2007 @ Regent College. I'm leading worship again. How does one prepare to lead a community of people that isn't actually a community yet? I always find this challenging - it shows how much I value preparing to lead people I know...But I'm thankful to have one Pastors Conference under my belt as it reminds me that it can be done. :) Great theme this year too: Telling the Old, Old Story in a New, New Era. Might even be able to use some of my 're-tuned hymns' that I've been working on lately.

3. Reading - Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley. She also wrote Beauty. Both are tellings of the Beauty and the Beast story. She loves the story so much that she ended up writing it twice, with twenty years in between. Gordon read Beauty to me when we were dating...and having him read to me didn't hurt in the falling in love department. :)

4. Dreaming - I'm dreaming of a holiday in St. Maarten. My brother in law has just been accepted into med school there and so it seems logical to support him by visiting, don't you think? Prices are pretty high I'm wondering if we'll be able to get the money together, especially when all our extra money seems to be going towards my education. Let's see...6 credits or a week on the beach?

5. Eating - coffee. It's morning. What else would I want?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

an unexpected weekend

Sometimes a weekend just looks nothing like you thought it would.

I was to be on Galiano Island Friday and Saturday with my Christian Imagination class.
Gordon was to go paintballing this afternoon.
Sundays usually involve a church service of some sort.

None of the above.

Last week was so bad for allergies that by Thursday I was completely distracted by the question, "Do my eyes or ears itch more? Or can I concentrate long enough on those between noseblows?" Lovely picture, I know. I did manage to teach ALL my students on Thursday though...even Friday's, as I thought I was catching a 10 am ferry to Galiano.

Instead I spent Friday sitting on the couch with a box of kleenex. Glamorous.

Saturday we both kind of moped around. Gordon hasn't been feeling great either these past few days. Did manage a yummy orange-shrimp stirfry for dinner and the lovely Heidi joined us for an impromptu dinner not-so-partyish party.

And then today we just puttered once again. I managed to get the worst headache by mixing the following ingredients: coffee + allergy-related sinus pressure + no food until 2pm. Standing in line at Home Depot I realized that I hadn't eaten anything yet...but I came home with a full propane tank so there will be GRILLING galore around here.

(on a side note, I'm quite impressed that our propane tank purchased on Easter 2006 lasted us until today...and possibly had another grill or two left, but I was concerned that I would run out in the middle of cooking for a big party on Tuesday evening...but really, $20 of propane for an entire year of grilling? That's fantastic. I figure we grill at least once a week, more in the summer and possibly a bit less in the winter...but not much...seems quite cost-effective, not to mention YUMMY!)

Anyway, this afternoon Gordon and I watched Stranger than Fiction. Good movie.

Then we put new ink cartridges in my printer only to have it go KAPUT. Couldn't it have gone kaput BEFORE we spent $70 on new ink cartridges? So in protest - and because Gordon is a follow-through kind of idea person - he spent the rest of the afternoon/evening installing a new laser printer ... that doesn't work with my Mac, except that he's brilliant, so it does. (but it's can ask him)

In the midst of wrestling with the printer, we tried watching the new series DRIVE. Partly because 'Mal' from Firefly is one of the main characters, but after 1 1/2 hours, we called it quits. Too depressing and not quite endearing enough. Oh well. There's still House. And one tv addiction at a time is enough.

Ok. Rambling post. But it's a bit like the bits and pieces of my weekend.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Monday?

I remember Easter Monday.

But apparently today is just 'Monday'. Both of us are off to work - and after a weekend of many events. Friday was our church's Good Friday service - sounds normal enough until I add that I led and Gordon sang with me...and it was our first time for each at our new church. (no pressure!) Saturday I had a rehearsal and a birthday party during the day and then Gordon and I became godparents on Saturday night at an Easter Vigil service at an Anglican Church. This is our godson!

Yesterday there was church and then we had my brother and sister-in-law and niece and her boyfriend over for Chinese take-out. Yummy. And nice to hang out with them. And nice to have our place full of people. Haven't had time to do much entertaining lately.

Anyway, I'm off to work - mostly packing boxes today as I think I get to move into my new office one of these days...

I'll leave you with an update on the balcony garden...I know you're dying to see it. :) OH! Except that I replaced the dead geranium on the left with two seedling geraniums and a pansy... so that little corner of death is all RESURRECTED!

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Classes & schedules and ALMOST the end of a semester

Clearly a new den is not terribly exciting in the blogosphere.

We're still excited about it around here. I can't stress the difference of having one room in the house that has enough room in it to actually lie down and do a tile-angel. Amazing. (You never read about THAT in one of those "small spaces" magazines)

Anyway, the term is winding down pretty quickly. Second last chapel today.

Had to figure out Spring/Summer last night...teaching schedule is affected by which course I take, etc. And my oh-so-generous-and-supportive husband looks at the two courses I was deciding between and says, "Take both." This had never crossed my mind. So I looked at it. Taking the first course of the two means I'd have to quit teaching 2 weeks early. (about $500 in lost income) Taking the second means I'm now spending almost double what we planned AND making less money than budgeted.

This is amazing. I believe in education and I think it's a priority in my life - and has been for the last number of years. But this is a whole new level. Having someone else believe in your education - and the kind of belief that puts money where their mouth is...

So I'll get another 5 credits done this summer...that will be 37! 4 or 5 in the fall. Possibly 9 in the Winter (one class and then my 6 or 9 credit Integrated Project) If I'm not careful, I might actually FINISH this degree.

Ok. Happy Tuesday.

Monday, March 19, 2007

home reorganization

Sometimes an idea strikes and suddenly all your non-fiction books are stacked in your living room. (they usually live on shelves in the den)But this means that you can change out the somewhat tall shelf braces for REALLY TALL shelf braces...which makes for a much better use of space.

Then, you can assemble Gordon's new desk and let it sit on a completely different wall. Ooh ahh.

And, if that wasn't enough, you can sit on your balcony and look at your FIRST TULIP of the season!!!

It was a good weekend. And we love our 'new' room!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

is it okay for time to fly by even during Lent?

Well, back from my 6th project with the Canadian Chamber Choir and trying to pick highlights as I really could go ON and ON.

Prairie skies. Calgary chinooks. Visits with family and friends. The choir. A sell-out crowd for our final performance.

And now it's back to life and normal schedules and assignments and a condo that seems to breed dust and laundry.

I can't believe it's already the middle of March and am wondering where the time has gone. It's time to get the Good Friday service straightened out and I feel like I haven't even started into Lent yet.

In case any of you are feeling a similar 'lack of Lent' I'll leave you with a section of the Ignatian examen...possibly a very appropriate activity during Lent and certainly a helpful tool any time of year.

For what am I most grateful? Least grateful?
When did I give and receive the most love? The least love?
When did I feel most alive? Most drained of life?
When did I have the greatest sense of belonging? Least sense of belonging?
When was I most free? Least free?
When was I most creative? Least creative?
When did I feel most connected? Least connected?
When did I feel most fully myself? Least myself?
When did I feel most whole? Most fragmented?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Two years ago today I didn't even know Gordon existed. Wow.

more green...but still awaiting a BLOSSOM...

meanwhile, Gordon brought home an early Valentine's present last I DO have some blossoms in my world...

plus, someone anonymously left beatiful tulips at my desk yesterday...

so there are plenty of flowers!

Monday, February 05, 2007

oh dear...the pressure!

Well, Beth tagged me and now I have to write six weird things about me ... (the challenge is keeping it to six, I suppose)

Here are the rules:
Each player of this game starts with the 'six weird things about me' blog post. People who get tagged need to write their own six weird things post and state the rules clearly. At the end of the post, tag six more people and don’t forget to leave a comment on their blog to tell them they have been tagged and tell them to read your blog.

1. I love Extreme Home Makeover. Cry through each episode. Sometimes even in the previews. No excuses. (this added to my love for Dog the Bounty Hunter)
2. I'm a "rule-follower" except for when I don't feel it's important (which is determined in each a HIGHLY developed logic). My excuse is usually that I'm following the "spirit of the law" rather than the letter. :)
3. I will only eat small candies two or four at a time. One or three just feels wierd in my mouth. And if they are brightly coloured, I try to put them in colour combinations that are pleasing. (oh dear, I can't believe I'm publishing this)
4. When I wake up in the morning, I want coffee. If I don't, I know I'm sick. When I've been sick, I know I'm on the mend when I start craving coffee again. It's a good sign...
5. Um...let's see. I love organizational systems. Not SO good at keeping them implemented, but love the process of making order from chaos. Am working on the follow-through. But am also working in a place for a "pile" of misc. stuff within my systems so that I can do what comes naturally (that is, PILE) and then go on a major purge of the piles once a week/month. Works better for me. But it's wierd because it can look like things are terribly disorganized even though there is a 'system'...just ask Gordon. :)
6. I take pictures of the plants on our balcony fairly regularly. And then I post them on my blog. Pets, children, makes sense. Plants? I don't know. I think it's my way of encouraging my non-BC residents that at least spring is starting _somewhere_ ... and my way of reminding myself of the progress.

I tag Gordon, Santosh, Audrey, ... oh-oh...I don't think I know six people who blog. Beth would make four, but then she's already done it. Oh well, it fits well with number 2.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

You know you haven't posted in awhile when...

...your mom requests updated pics of your plants. :)

So for all of your viewing pleasure and for the satisfaction of your are a couple of pics...I can't make the first one you'll have to crane your necks or turn your monitors on their sides. Sorry!

Meanwhile, I am feeling much better. Actually figuring out how this semester's schedule will work, enjoying the Christian Imagination reading list, and feeling like it's a great idea to have part of my homework to be to sit at a piano and just be creative.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The most exciting part of my current life is clearly these plant pots...

Well, well. They're shooting up. (thanks to the greenhouse-like indoor temperatures vs. the frigid outside...and now the clay pot boasts a couple of shoots as well. Spring is here! I noticed a couple of weather-clueless cherry blossom buds yesterday too. Do these plants have no sense? There is SNOW on the ground.

Anyway, I don't mind. And the rains are coming...the temperatures are rising...and everything is poised to BURST into bloom.

I'm okay with that.

Feeling much better. But dreamed last night that I forgot to teach tomorrow. Forgot. How would that happen?

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Writing exegesis paper. Would rather be drinking tea in bed. Haven't had coffee since Monday. It is the litmus test of each morning...laying in bed and thinking, "Do I feel like coffee?" Alas, for the fifth day in a row the answer is a resounding "No."

And I'm feeling guilty that the third shoot is only because it's SO cold outside that I had to bring all my pots in. Not the mention the wind the other night just about tipped them all over.

Back to 1 Peter...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

spring in a flower pot...winter outside

Quite excited about the second one joining the first. And I have the intellectual capacity to watch them for hours. I'm sick. I can't think. And it's winter here. Alberta-style winter. Blue sky, below freezing temperatures. Wierd.

So I'll not try to write anything witty. Not possible today. Sorry.