Tuesday, January 31, 2006

template help??

hey all, i know we now live in lighthouse land, but i've grown really tired of the lighthouse template. i fiddled with the family blog template and screwed it up - i can't get our sidebar to stop centering... argh! it has rocked my confidence to change my template on this blog myself to the free skin that i've fallen in love with.

is there anyone with experience in this and a bit of time on their hands?? i'll even compensate you for your time??? any help would be really appreciated!

Monday, January 30, 2006

state of union street

i have been blocked in my writing as of late (if the dozens of referrals to others sites and articles hasn't been enough evidence of this...)

i'm not sure exactly why. is it because i'm afraid that this life we've built here is still so fragile that having to examine things lately will shatter it to pieces? or that writing churns up emotions and emotions will cause me to feel things, and feeling things could possibly set me off into a mid-winter swirl? or is it just because i've become so co-dependent with getting liam working that i have no life of my own to write about? probably all that and more...

i have truly enjoyed the move. our new location feels like home already. we LOVE our new church and the people here are truly special. the puzzle piece of income is a bit terrifying though. we're draining the savings dry and credit looms like an option and that is truly terrifying for me (us). there is the money set aside for school in the fall - but i REALLY don't want to borrow from peter to pay paul and end up in debt for school.

my recovery has been non-existent since i dropped out of CR back at our old church. there are some groups here in the area, but as i stated above my own life has taken 2nd place to establishing a job and income for liam. i'm back in secretary mode. it's familiar and i'm good at it, but it's really unhealthy for me and i spin from that rescuer/martyr/villain mode pretty quickly these days.

i have had some amazing conversations with some of my recovery friends from my past life, and the blogosphere - and i am so grateful for that. but when it comes to actually writing things down i am at a loss for words. there is so much to tell, so much i want to write about, but the distraction of the mundane usually strips away what small motivation i have, or the creativity i need to put words onto paper.

i thought it appropriate that living on union street now i write about my state of the union - my marriage with liam has grown during this sabbatical time. i know it's a very unreal life we've been living. i am greatly in fear that it can't survive 'real life'. that when liam returns to work all of the intimacy and bonding we've done over the past six months will be a memory. a wonderful one, that can probably sustain me for awhile, but only a memory nonetheless.

one of my biggest triggers is loneliness. i fear, deep in my soul, the quiet of having the kids in school and liam at work. i know i can find a job or keep myself busy, but the temptation to isolate is strong, especially in a new community. that is a deep, deep fear.

the school has a counselor and a spiritual director on staff. i know they would meet with me (us) to deal with these fears head on. i want to be intentional, i don't want to be on the down side of a slide and have to climb back up (again). moves can be really unsettling and i have enough experience with them, and my reaction to them to know what to do - i just really have to DO IT... and that takes some asking, asking for help and asking for input. it's hard not to want to be 'all together' in this new environment. wanting to appear strong and capable, instead of wounded and needy... god help me to ask.

one of the best things we have found here is the sunshine. i truly believed that winter meant grey - i forgot how the sun can shine in winter - it is truly beautiful here. it warms the front porch of the house so nicely that even though it's not insulated it's warmer than the heated part when the sun is shining. sitting out there with a book is one of my favorite times - soaking up vitamin d and keeping that seasonal depression at bay. it's glorious.

we also haven't taken any time to really be tourists here either. we're so looking forward to poking around and seeing the sites. it really is an incredibly beautiful area. liam was doing some job searches online and came across the new brunswick motto. it is latin - spem reduxit - unfortunately i never took latin, but when i heard it translated it brought me to tears.

Hope Restored

it is a beautiful thing.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

new (to me) blogger alert

just found a kindred spirit that i thought ya'll might enjoy as much as i am, her name is hanni and her blog is glory clouds and confusion - enjoy!

Glory Clouds and Confusion: At home...where I don't belong?

healing our memories

Forgiving does not mean forgetting. When we forgive a person, the memory of the wound might stay with us for a long time, even throughout our lives. Sometimes we carry the memory in our bodies as a visible sign. But forgiveness changes the way we remember. It converts the curse into a blessing. When we forgive our parents for their divorce, our children for their lack of attention, our friends for their unfaithfulness in crisis, our doctors for their ill advice, we no longer have to experience ourselves as the victims of events we had no control over.

Forgiveness allows us to claim our own power and not let these events destroy us; it enables them to become events that deepen the wisdom of our hearts. Forgiveness indeed heals memories.

do you have to ride the short bus??

can you pass 3rd grade?

take this geography quiz:

click here

Saturday, January 28, 2006

huge news for diabetes sufferers

many in my family (my father included) suffer from diabetes - this is good news indeed!

ABC News: FDA Approves Inhalable Version of Insulin

her voice was too loud

an informative and eerie look at the battle many east asian women are facing to find their voices.

Veil and a warning: "Her voice was too loud and her commitment to women's rights simply too threatening to be tolerated, and she was obliterated in the isolation of a suburban Oslo train station. Here was a woman who had lived in Norway for 20 years, a Norwegian citizen and a member of the Oslo City Council. Only Norwegian newspapers reported her death. The Pakistan Ambassador, so concerned about her political views in life, did not make any public statement about her death. The Pakistani community, otherwise so vocal in all matters affecting Pakistani-Norwegians, maintained a macabre silence."

Thursday, January 26, 2006

a million little lies? part 3 - WOW oprah

i hoped, but honestly never in a million years did i think she'd turn around like this - i'm so thrilled she took this stand. YAY OPRAH!

Oprah Calls Defense of Author 'a Mistake' - New York Times

a million little lies? part 2 - dear oprah

dear oprah,

please take a stand against this. do more than support his lies. fiction is a beautiful thing, but not when it's passed off as fact. hold him accountable for all of those misled addicts who think that 'hold on' could possibly help them battle with their own addictions. recovery takes brutal honesty and facing truth head on. lies only beget lies.

your credibility is on the line here - we need to know we can trust you when you tell us that the truth is the truth. when people make a living off their words lies and falsehoods crumble the foundations upon which you stand. please make a stand here for the truth in recovery. far too many people look up to you to do anything else.

James Frey to Reunite with Oprah | A Million Little Pieces, James Frey : People.com

Robert Cray Video "Twenty" : Wage Peace Campaign : AFSC

please take 5 minutes and watch this:

Robert Cray Video "Twenty" : Wage Peace Campaign : AFSC

which sports car are you?

I'm a Mazda RX-8!

You're sporty, yet practical, and you have a style of your own. You like to have fun, and you like to bring friends along for the ride, but when it comes time for everyday chores, you're willing to do your part.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

via jordan

mukhtaran mai petition & cnn appearance

1. Watch Mukhtaran on CNN at 8:30AM EST.

2. Please consider signing the petition to ask "why Mukhtaran visit
cancelled to UN". click here:


3. Please consider joining ANAA by clicking:


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

maggi dawn: A prayer for women

maggi dawn: A prayer for women:

"Creator God -

made in your image

may women stand tall and speak up,

shedding their history of holding back.

Word incarnate -

as prophets and priests

may women speak truths about their lives,

with gentleness and persistence.

Untamed Spirit -

released from being ‘good’,

may women discover you

in all their caring and daring."

beautiful maggi, thank you!

globalgirl dream meme

connie at dawsonwood has shared her answers to idelette's dream questions and i've been stumped with writing lately - so maybe this will jar something loose...

Three places I'd love to go

  1. Africa
  2. GB - i covet every year when everyone posts they are headed to greenbelt - i would one day like to join them.
  3. Vancouver - to see stephanie again for a time when she is not working so we can relax and play and maybe even cook together.

Three things I'd love to do

  1. like connie, i too would love to be safe enough inside my skin to dance in public - no ballet or performance, just freedom of movement without being so self-conscious and encumbered by my lack of rhythm.
  2. paint/sculpt/throw the clay - actually just to find my medium - i know it's out there, or in here, or somewhere - i just haven't found it yet
  3. to find those whales migrating through this season and feel the joy and freedom of their existance. it's as close as i'll ever come to being the whale rider - but it will be enough.
Three things I'd love to accomplish

  1. plant a community
  2. create a third space coffee house
  3. write and publish all of the books floating in the atmosphere of my brain

Three skills I'd like to acquire

  1. the ability to focus long enough on ONE project to see it to completion
  2. the drive to gather enough like minded people together to cast a vision and harness the power of the collective brain trust to bring light, life and hope to a community.
  3. the ability to trust those around me enough to allow them the freedom from my co-dependency so that i am not terrified they won't need me if they don't NEED me like they do right now.
Ten things I'd really love to have

  1. a location for our third space/coffee house/art studio/meeting room/performance stage
  2. a home that is really our's to stay/live/nurture/become rooted in
  3. financial security so we can share/build/give/create
  4. a new, comfortable mattress
  5. a nice long harvest table w/ sturdy, old, comfortable chairs to build new memories around
  6. current laptop & printer
  7. art studio w/ supplies
  8. pink & buck's bedrooms designed and finished like they dream of
  9. REALLY WARM SLIPPERS! (my feet are always freezing)
  10. 2 sturdy, reliable vehicles owned outright
Three relationships I'd love to nurture - wow, this one is harder than i thought it would be...

  1. the friendships made here online and at the path - amazing people all of you
  2. my daughter pink - my son's relationship seems more natural, i need to work at my relationship with my daughter, and i want to make that a priority
  3. our new community here, can't be any more specific than that right now i guess
this is only step 1 - the rest will take some time and meditiation. i may or may not share them with you all depending on how personal (or if i actually get it done).

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

3 guesses...

okay, what is it???
scroll down for answer....

i finally found the cable for the camera upload...

this is a picture of the mung i had to scrape off of the oven door handle (at our rental house) with a toothpick because it was so thick and built up for so long. the house is nice and clean, but i don't think the old lady who they bought it from EVER cleaned the outside of her stove. needless to say it was totally gross and liam and i gagged the whole time.

it must be a little known fact - stove knobs to pop off and can be washed in the dishwasher! yikes - we didn't take a picture of it all before we started, but when we got to this ick we just couldn't pass it up as blog fodder... pathetic isn't it?

the orchard of grace

What happens when we live God's way?

He brings gifts into our lives,
much the same way that fruit
appears in an orchard;

things like affection for others,
exuberance about life,

We develop a willingness to stick with things,
a sense of compassion in the heart,
and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates
things and people.

We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments,
not needing to force our way in life,
able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way.

Galatians 5:22-23
The Message

Monday, January 23, 2006

what will they do??

okay, maybe it's just because i'm jealous, but this makes me smirk. all of those 'black addicts' w/out their fix - what will they do??
High court rejects BlackBerry case - Jan. 23, 2006

Saturday, January 21, 2006

wayard christian soldiers

bob at the corner has posted a great nyt op/ed:

The Corner: Charles Marsh: Wayward Christian Soldiers

What will it take for evangelicals in the United States to recognize our mistaken loyalty? We have increasingly isolated ourselves from the shared faith of the global Church, and there is no denying that our Faustian bargain for access and power has undermined the credibility of our moral and evangelistic witness in the world. The Hebrew prophets might call us to repentance, but repentance is a tough demand for a people utterly convinced of their righteousness.
that last line just slays me.

Friday, January 20, 2006

i've lost 13 lbs!

in addition to loosing/letting go of our old life i have let go of the 13 lbs. that has been haunting me for the past year! yipee! it was painless. just a better lifestyle and better choices i guess. i've only got four to go to get to my lowest in years. i was very comfortable at that weight and have really regretted the slow addition of those pounds as they crept up on me through the stress of this past year.

we even took a walk last night as a family - this area is so beautiful and walkable - we're really looking forward to the warmer weather so we can really take advantage of it and see all of the sights!

please pray for liam, he's located a really amazing job that we think would be amazing for him - and it's hard not to want something too much even if it's not supposed to be what we want... does that make sense?? anyway - we're excited, and it would mean that i would be able to stay at home and sell on ebay instead of having to go and get a job outside. i'd like that a lot too.

well, that's all for now - pray all is well in your life today!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

my pancake looks like jesus

heard this morning at breakfast while i was scrounging the boxes for scarves for pink and buck to wear at recess (because yes, here in the great white north children are tough - they go outside for recess when it's REALLY, REALLY COLD!):

pink: hey mom look, my pancake looks like jesus.

mom: DON'T EAT IT! (thinking we'll sell it on ebay like the grilled cheese holy mother that went for $1000's...)

pink: why - all i said was 'my pancake is in pieces'

liam and i laughed about our new careers as 'fry chefs' trying to recreate grilled cheese sandwiches with famous people on them... "hey, this one looks a tiny bit like ghandi??? how much do you think we can get for him?"

i think the 'no income' yet thing is getting to me... please pray that we can get our printer working properly so we are able to get the resumes out (and about) and generate some income. every time the furnace kicks on (and it's set really low) the specter of re-filling this oil tank looms at me.

could you also pray for us to be able to scrounge a kitchen table and chairs? we were unable to fit any chairs (or my mom's antique oak pedestal table) into the moving van and we're eating on folding chairs at a conference style table we were able to shove into the truck as an 'alternative'.

that was probably the hardest part of the move - we left so much. i can live without it, or live with replacements. i'm easy to please, but i am grieving the loss of things like a freezer, table and chairs, dressers and bookshelves. 26' trucks should just hold a lot more than they do! and we didn't even bring any appliances. i honestly don't need anything fancy as replacements - it's just hard to get organized when there isn't a dresser to put clothes into.

i keep beating myself up about grieving material possessions - i really try to hold things with open hands - it's just hard to give myself permission to be sad about junk, which most of it was - it was just my junk - most of it picked from the side of a curb and re-invented and re-used - but it worked well for us and allowed us levels of organization that we've never had. i had our home running like a well-oiled machine before we had to start packing for the move. something that has never happened in our lives before.

i think that is probably what is driving this emotion - fear - fear that organizational level will be lost to us if we don't get on top of it soon. fear of debt, that the big black hole we were able to climb out of would suck us back in again... fear that we were mistaken, that we were as insane as everyone in our last location (see i didn't use community) thought we were/are... fear that we'll have to eat our savings and not be able to do school for both of us like we've planned... fear, fear, fear... yucky, looming fear.

this is only a temporary stop on our re-settling. 6 months until we get to do it all over again. this time though we're praying that it can be a short hop to a place of stability and length - i don't know how god is going to work all of this out - but i know that he will. he didn't move us up here to bankrupt us, or to jerk us around.

elizabeth at beloved beginner blogged months ago about her parents creating 'ebenezers' from rocks their friends provided to help them remember all the way the lord had brought them as her mother bravely fights through a season of cancer. i remember the place we were in our story, just finding out about the 'sabbatical' time we were entering and the great amounts of fear we had about 'next'. i went outside to the garden and got myself a beautiful rock and wrote

"Thus far the Lord has helped us." (1 Samuel 7:12)

on the front of it and set it next to liam's bedside as a gift. we both used that rock as a touchstone during the 5 months prior to the move. I can't find it in amongst the boxes or i'd take a picture to post with this - but i know it's here - i know that even though my kitchen table and chairs are still in pennsylvania, that rock, our ebenezer has made it with us.

thus far...

thus far...

thus far...

new word: comity

google word of the day - comity


a state of mutual harmony, friendship, and respect.

i LIKE that!

Monday, January 16, 2006


Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity.
Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity.
It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful,
and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

a million little lies?

The Smoking Gun Article - A Million Little Lies - January 8, 2006

i never read the book because of his arrogance in dealing with his supposed addictions and slamming AA - i was sad that oprah was promoting it for that reason - and now after reading this article am really sad that far too many people have been influenced by his falsehoods and lies.

it's terrifying that better research wasn't done prior to his fame and fortune and influence. he reminds me of one of my favorite teens from our last church. great heart, but you couldn't believe a word he said. the stories were always grand, gross and filled with violence and his own bravado. the pathology becomes so repeated that i truly believe they begin to believe their own embellishments and lies.

oh the damage of a story when it is not true. i'd be interested to hear if anyone has read it, or been influenced by it, especially the recovery aspects he promotes - his 'hold on' mentality of white-knuckling your addictions while still living a lifestyle that is surrounded by the drugs and alcohol. i think it's a dangerous, dangerous claim.

let's do the time warp again...

what decade does your personality live in?

quiz brought to you by lady interference, ltd

thanks lisa!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

broadband is a glorious thing!

just a quick post to let you know we're connected!

it was really going to be a more difficult thing than it ended up being. originally the phone company (who supplies the only internet in our area...) told liam that there were no 'available lines' at the moment... yikes. we were going to have to go on a waiting list and hound them for the foreseeable future to find out when we could get online.

we talked to the local blogging/computer guru and he told us we needed to talk to a 'level 2 technician'. liam got on the phone and the guy actually said 'well, we have a line we've been holding for someone else, but i'll give it to you'! so, we are no longer on a waiting list.

the beautiful thing is that so few in our area are using broadband that it's lightning fast. faster than we've ever had before.

speaking of faster - we went to the provincial office yesterday to ask some questions and within 20 minutes we had 2 new drivers licenses, new plates and health insurance - and i had heard that i might have to wait up to 18 months to get on the insurance! god is good! the word "returning" has been my friend at both the border and the government office. i might not even have to reapply for a visa (would save us big bucks!!) it also means that i wouldn't have to work in the states - i LOVE the maritimes - the people and pace here are glorious, friendly and so 'us'. it truly feels like we've 'come home'.

i'd love to sit and blog/read blogs all day, but we're headed back over the border to set up a bank account and see what it is that we can see. it's a lovely warm, rainy day here, melting all the snow and tapping in such a musical way. our home is coming together nicely (although the size of the place is something i don't think i could ever get used to - i don't even get to hear pink and buck's laughter when the play upstairs and i'm in the kitchen - far too big for our family).

pray all is well with you, thanks so much for your comments- made my day to open my blog and see them all there!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

safe and sound!

hi all,

just blogging from the hotel in portland - we returned the moving van last night and are taking dad to the airport this a.m. (sigh...)

move was wonderful - i never want to have to have to be responsible for a 26' vehicle again - the different ways you have to think when you travel with a truck are exhausting!

border guards were fun and friendly and almost 30 people helped us move in in under ONE HOUR!! we feel very welcome, safe and HOME! yipee! the house is ENORMOUS and the kids are having a ball - there is even a secret passage out to the barn/garage in the upstairs - will be fun for pink and buck when the weather gets a bit warmer.

so, i have no idea when the cable goes in and i'll get another chance to blog, but i wanted to quickly update and thank all of you for your prayers, they are working!

much love!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

and we're off...

well, the computer will be soon - we will be (hopefully) in about 4-5 hours (please god!)

i have no idea when we'll get near internet/wi-fi anytime soon, but if i do i'll post. thanks for your prayers!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

pray harder please!

well, a flat tire, a towel in the wash sink that overflowed my laundy water all over the basement floor and a worker who misunderstood my dad and decided to come and install a bathroom sink today (instead of just get an estimate)... chaos is reigning at the moment - all else is well, but we'd really like not to have to be handling these extra balls to juggle right now.


one day!

phew - we pick up and pack the truck tomorrow - please, if you are the praying type, pray for us! we're prepared, but tired. and it really doesn't even start until we get the truck packed!

i don't know how long/if we'll have internet, so i'll try to keep you posted if i'm able. thanks for your support!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

happy is a yuppie word

i think the word happy is a weak word. wishing someone a 'happy new year' is a lot of pressure when you think about it. happiness can be so fleeting and random. joy is so much deeper and richer. happy means circumstances must all go 'my way' and feeling deep emotions will keep me from my goal, if it is indeed happiness.

i even struggle with the wording in the declaration of independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
i personally feel that the pursuit of contentment would be a much better goal. i wonder if it's having the goal and pursuit 'happiness' that brings so much ruin and disappointment to so many lives? is happiness really ever truly in our grasp? is it ever anything we truly have control over? how much less debt, depression and frustration might come if we changed our goal of happiness to something like joy, contentment and/or peace?

i even struggle with some translations of the beatitudes. 'happy are those who mourn'... really? that kind of translation smacks of delusion and rubs me the wrong way - it makes jesus sound like a sadist - like he's clueless and can't grasp how much mourning really sucks.

blessed is even a weak word. i've packed my library, so i can't quote it verbatim, but larry crabb, in the safest place on earth speaks of that word being 'an island of calm' - a place of safety where others are drawn to - i like that.

i think that's what i wish us all this year - that we can become 'islands of calm' in the sea of our communities - we can be the people that are stable and solid that others are drawn to. so, yes, may you find times of happiness this year, but may your new year be much, much more than just happy!