Friday, June 29, 2007

slumber par-tay!

i am finally so excited to go on this holiday. we could have never planned it in advance, but while i'll be in the golden horseshoe next week a blog-her slumber party has been created! yippee! i can hardly believe it!

erin, deb, connie & mike todd's sister lynne and i are all going to be luxuriating in the lovely niagara falls, ny for an evening together. i can't wipe the smile off my face!

now the only real hurdle to cross is the car. we took it in about a month ago right after we got our tax return and said "we need to take a huge road trip - and we have some $ - please go over it with a fine toothed comb and fix any and everything so that we know if we can afford to still go on vacation. they gave it the thumbs up and fixed only a couple minor things.

we took it to the store that shall not be named to get an oil change and the guy told us there were 3 things leaking (it is a 20 year old volvo station wagon) - yikes. was it someone trying to "sell us something" or was it a finer tooth comb?

we had ordered a rad hose that needed to be replaced and had picked it up in the states when we had the oil change done - the phone call came yesterday while they were replacing the hose (we told them to check the stuff the oil change guy said needed looked at) and it turned out that it wasn't just a rad hose, but a whole rad that needed changed and some other things. i'm so glad they caught it, and that it's not outrageously expensive (is there anything better than a mechanic you can trust?) so now we wait to hear if the parts get in today and if they can get it done in time.

they didn't think it would be a problem - but hey, they didn't catch it the first time either... sigh. every time i awoke last night i had thoughts of being broken down in the green mountains of vermont with a car that some rip off mechanic thinks "is not worth fixing"...

so needless to say the excitement of the slumber party is getting me through all of this - and my kids have now started to get in on the excitement of the trip and stopped picking at each other (and me) and are cooperating like they normally do.

i don't know the kind of access we'll have to the internet on the trip. we're bringing the laptop (hoping to get a chance to really write the children's book we've noodled during the week the kids are at camp). i'll post as often as i am able - please have a great couple of weeks! oh, and could you water the plants if you stop by! :)

UPDATE: "all" of the parts made it in this morning, but one of the parts wasn't "all there"... some flange for the radiator was missing and things looked like they wouldn't be sorted out until tuesday (as monday is a holiday here in canada) - but after i pushed them to source it over the river in the states they miraculously found a "whole" one at the same place that originally short shipped it and it's SUPPOSED to arrive here by 4:00... please pray it makes it and that the volvo is roadworthy. i told liam it was probably best that it didn't cause this much stress a month ago when we had it in because we might have canceled the trip all together... and for lots of reasons it's important we go. thanks for praying!

UPDATE 2: crap 4 crap. the second shipped radiator was also missing the SAME PART. so while they were waiting they repaired the old rad and are re-attaching that. can you say AAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH! so now i get to watch the gauge the whole trip... sigh. oh well - at least it will be done today. sometimes living simply and on the edge has it trials...

UPDATE 3: okay, they patched/welded the old radiator and tested it and it's doing just fine. we leave tomorrow a.m. as planned. sleeping in vermont tomorrow night and celebrating canada day back in canada. have a lovely long weekend, eh!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

how could a day that started out so badly end so beautifully?

what a day. highest highs and lowest lows. it was a day of extremes. but it ended with a walk filled with lightning bugs and lightning, a peaceful heart and a knowledge of the holy.

i don't know if i would have experienced the highs so deeply without the lows of the day. all i do know is that yesterday was a gift. and it was wrapped in a van gogh starry night by the end.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

perfectly anxious

i have so much to do and no brain to do it. i'm trying to make reservations, coordinate schedules, write "to do" lists and survive the "momcani" moments of my two kids being home for the summer. earlier this week we had lovely 70 degree weather - yesterday and today look to be in the 90's - as if i needed another reason to sit in front of a fan reading... sigh.

the worst part of being the grown up is that there is no one to come along to pick up the slack and broken pieces you leave behind... i know i'm forgetting things and leaving things far too long before they are done - but dang it's hot, i'm ovulating and i need a vacation from my vacation! this story today says it perfectly:

perfectly anxious

missing a perfectly good day
because she's sure
that she should be
anxious about something


oh, and if anyone tells me "to be anxious about nothing" i will snap. obviously they have never tried to occupy two kids in an apartment for the summer while all of their friends mothers were smart enough to put their friends into soccer/swimming lessons/camp. i know it's only 3 more days before we leave and only 10 days before my own are in camp - but dang these two are not as easy to distract, entertain and engage as they used to be... help!

Monday, June 25, 2007

you really want to take an internet break?

oh the stats, they pull me in... since i've stopped blogging so much my stats have plummeted. google must have a "must publish" rule for directing people to your blog. my stats have dropped by 100 - and the "publish or perish" temptation pulls me in. why does it matter to me? why do i care that people i don't know find my blog? why do i care that my "numbers" increase? that they don't decrease? this is revealing something about me that i don't really like to admit.

with a vacation on the horizon i just keep telling myself that will keep me from blogging too - so let it go - but i am so tempted to post links, you tube videos and drivel just to keep my stats up (that's why people do that in case you didn't know)...

sigh. i guess deep down in my heart i want to be noticed. but trading my serenity for strangers reading my blog, even for really good reasons isn't worth it. so i will refrain from the temptation to post drivel and obsess about my blog (just for today!)

Friday, June 22, 2007

school's out

well, it's official - summer has begun. pink and buck had 1/2 a day today and brought home great report cards. we've never been high pressure on the scholastic end of things - just want them to do their best and improve, and they both did and got such nice compliments from their teachers. well rounded kids.

pink is in the middle of 'nobody likes me, everybody hates me' - so i guess that means she's ready for middle school, eh? buck has effortless friendships and lots of boys from church in our neighborhood. so far he hasn't hit any snags, so it almost makes it even harder for pink. they include her, but i know she loves frills and girly stuff - so she really misses a friend to do stuff with.

my mom used to stuff me with tons of food at this stage in my life. it helped us bond and we both felt too anesthetized to be sad anymore... it's so tempting to want to distract her with food, spending, shopping or activity instead of sitting with her in the middle of her tears. it seems counter-intuitive to allow her to feel negative feelings. it's almost like we've been programmed to insulate our kids from any of that. i just really wish that it didn't have to be like this - but know that medicating away the pain is what got me where i am. god help me to not be so uncomfortable with her pain that i feel the need to anesthetize us both.

we've only got a week of this before we head out for a two week holiday. we decided that linking both weeks of our family visits together saved us over 8 hours of driving/gas/wear and tear on the "sherman tank". wear and tear on us is going to be a different story. one week in ontario and then a week in pennsylvania (the opposite side to where we lived - scranton area).

the only thing motivating me to ontario is the possibility of seeing erin and connie - erin is a sure thing, connie i've yet to coordinate. staying a week at liam's sister's house is just not my idea of "vacation" - but anything shorter won't allow us to see family and friends. we're taking a day in the middle of that week and heading to the niagara great wolf lodge - so that should be a highlight of the trip. we attended a family reunion at the kalahari in the wisconsin dells a couple of years ago and it was so much fun, the kids still talk about it.

the week after we are headed to the camp my sister and her husband just started working at and the kids will be campers that week. i don't know how far we'll be from deb & jeff - but if liam and i can swing a supper visit i'm going to try.

so life is in full flux, i don't do well in these stages and i've been feeling pretty fragile lately. i'm finally starting to feel the excitement of the trip though and not just the overwhelming amount of work! :) hope your weekend looks bright and shiny!

Monday, June 18, 2007

one last week of freedom...

canadians tend to go longer into the summer with their school schedules than i ever remember in the states. my two kids have one last week of school left and i sit this morning realizing that i have one last week of daytime "freedom" left too. far too much is planned for this week to take me away from that freedom time, but i haven't been using it as well as i'd like anyway. maybe the new summer routine will bring about some much needed change.

pink "graduates" from elementary school tomorrow (still has to complete the week of school though) in a lovely ceremony at the high school. she is so excited and had the tour of the middle school last week. big changes on the horizon for her. i'm taking her out for a fancy lunch after the program tomorrow. i can't wait to celebrate with her.

i am glad to be past this weekend as one of my more involved projects is now past. and it was far more draining than i had hoped it would be. i realized in the couple of days before that i am still leary and weary of church programs and still don't trust that people in authority have my best interests at heart. i still feel as if they will be pulling the rug out from under me. it's been a good learning process and i have stood up for myself a couple of times, which i haven't really ever done before. it's nice when your husband isn't actually employed at the church so you can do that...

i am developing a new friendship that is exciting and looks very promising. it seems strange to be so hopeful that we both bring each other a lot of joy and much needed friendship. i find myself afraid to hope though, preparing myself for getting hurt somehow. i don't want to be that way.

the wounds of the past are still playing into my present. i don't really want that to be true - but i am owning them and processing them instead of pretending they don't exist.

blogging this a.m. because i know i won't be around a computer much today. hope your week looks hopeful and full of joy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

lost in space

as i opened my eyes this morning i said a prayer "god somehow i've lost the thread, i don't like it and i don't even know how to find it again. i can't figure out what has happened." i had the answer before i even knew it. internet.

i've known it and been in denial since before lent, but somehow today i was ready for the information. i have become addicted to the internet. this lovely tool that i use so well for so many wonderful things also steals and destroys and robs me of my clarity and sanity, and most precious of all, my serenity.

i know somehow there will be a fast. i fasted this morning so that i could get my proverbial shit together. i actually journaled - in my moleskine - which is saved for only very precious thoughts somehow. i faced aching, cramping hand to fight through for the thoughts that would help me frame this upcoming internet fast. i'm not quitting blogging. as i journaled this morning i realized that the beauty of blogging means that thoughts aren't lost in some random journal post - they are searchable and retrievable, and with this aging mind of mine that is truly important.

but i will be changing the way i am doing things. i think i will be using a word processor for my thoughts and any of them that are blog worthy will be posted here or on my other blog (email me if you don't have it and want it). i also realized that mornings are precious. it's when the real clarity is present and i can face the day organized instead of scattered.

blogging is truly one of the most disciplined things i do online - and i'm not even talking about any sexual addiction on the internet (i have 7 1/2 years of abstinence today!) - just random, time wasting internet. i am like a lamb with my nose in the sweet, sweet grass, grazing and wandering from place to place, never really looking at where i'm going, just following my nose - and shazam, a whole day is lost, i am confused, scattered and so ashamed that i have lost another day.

i am so grateful for the peeling back of the denial today and the serenity and clarity that came with the admission. i am an internet addict. oh they are just like trading cards, set one down, pick up another one... use the internet to avoid eating, use eating to avoid sexual addiction, and so on, and so on, and so on...

i love you all and love blogging here - but i need my life and my serenity back and i know that i need to clean the webs from my wide world to do it. i'm just too tired of being lost in space.

Friday, June 08, 2007

off to be tourists

our family is heading north to one of the larger cities in our province to be tourists. we are replacing the "school trip" my daughter's class was taking (6 days to a major city in 5th grade with only 4 chaperones - none of which are mothers of said 5th graders... nope, sorry, can't go... it was really the fact that 4 5th grade girls would be in a hotel room alone without anyone to empower them not to watch any little thing on television they chose to or 100 other things a mother thinks of that could happen. 5th grade alone is hard enough, let alone being far away if someone was cruel or one gets ditched at the mall, etc.)

so we're doing our own class trip of sorts. a friend is letting us use their home while they aren't there and it will allow us to be able to spend our $$ being tourists.

we'll take lots of pictures as some of the sites we will see (one in particular) is truly breathtaking. the weather also seems as if it will be cooperating.

have a wonderful weekend, back monday evening.

take vitamin d to cut cancer risk

heard on the cbc last night and found the article to link to here:

Boost vitamin D supplements: Canadian Cancer Society

"We're recommending 1,000 IUs daily because the current evidence suggests this amount will help reduce cancer risk with the least potential for harm," said Heather Logan, the society's director of cancer control policy.

"More research is needed to clearly define the amount of Vitamin D that will maximize health benefits."

As more evidence on vitamin D becomes available, the society plans to update its recommendations.

Also Friday, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed a 60- to 77-per-cent drop in cancer rates among postmenopausal women who took vitamin D combined with calcium, compared with a placebo.

more from the foggy day





Thursday, June 07, 2007

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A Better Storyteller

Just too many good links today not to post them - LOVE Donald Miller!

A Better Storyteller | Christianity Today

Hunger Awareness Day

helping with our local food drive tonight - please be generous in your communities - summer is the hardest time for the foodbanks to receive food.

Hunger Awareness Day

Monday, June 04, 2007

just what i needed

yesterday was just what i needed. kind of like pushing a 're-set' button on my psyche. i know i have a lot of time in the week to have done what i did, but somehow i don't take it. yesterday a.m. my worship was orchestrated by god. it was incredible how tied together everything was.

i began here (i didn't know it at the time, i thought i was just reading erin's blog) and those three short videos reminded me (again) that yes, i am on the right track. god is with the poor even though the church doesn't seem to be. (please take time to watch them - the idea of jesus being a shadowman is vital).

i then sat at my family altar and lit the candles and spent time in solitude and silence. quieting my soul is hard for me. my brain runs a mile a minute and i don't immediately see the benefits of silent time until later in my day, but just breathing and being still prepared me for what was next.

earlier that morning i had began to fill a scavenged book shelf with all of my most favorite books. i was pulling them from piles and other shelves and came across a story book i hadn't seen before. i don't know where we got it and it was placed in a strange place, sticking out of some non-fiction as if the holy spirit said "here, this one". it is called "the sleeping bread". it was my scriptures for the morning. here's what one reviewer said of the story:

Set in a Guatemalan village, it tells the story of Beto, a kind-hearted baker, and Zafiro, a beggar for whom Beto always saves his crusts. Unlike Beto, the villagers want only to be rid of Zafiro, and as festival time approaches, they force him to leave. While Zafiro is bidding Beto goodbye, one of Zafiro's bitter tears falls in the baking water. The result — Beto can no longer make bread. The dough refuses to rise. All finally ends well when Beto persuades the villagers to invite Zafiro back to the village. The mystery is solved, the villagers feast again on Beta's wonderful bread, and Zafiro is given a place of honour in the festival procession.
after my love affair with "sleeping with bread" this so beautifully tied together my passions.

i went from there to some time with a book i had been avoiding, the cup of life - i realized upon opening it why i had been avoiding it... this chapter was on suffering. this meditation was on sitting with our empty cup and the consequences of the life decisions we had made, both the joy and the suffering. i realized that living my life as openly as possible has meant that i make people uncomfortable. it is a choice and it has consequences. i really want it no other way. would i love for more people to join into this life choice, most definitely, but until then sitting with the pain of the loneliness was important and i felt such comfort in knowing that being in the margins and shadows was a place that jesus dwelt.

so all in all, and in many ways i can't articulate here, my choice yesterday was important and i'm so glad i honored that nudge to "be" and let god minister to me. it was the right thing do to. thank you for your encouragement, it means so much to me!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

skipping church

i know it's probably going to bite me in the ass, but i just feel too fragile to be in community today. i'm angry, lonely and sad and i know that it will pour out of me today and i just don't want to do it in public. i have become increasingly frustrated with a couple of things i'm seeing - it wouldn't bother me in other churches, but here i really thought they "got it". too much to hope for i guess.

another reason is that it just seems to me that the only contact i have with anyone is when they need something from me. my closest friend i made here moved away a month ago and i am really feeling her loss. it wasn't like we saw each other every day, but when we did get together it was effortless. we were good for each other and it felt so nice to have a friend who "got it" and actually listened. lately i feel like people love to talk to me and at me, but not with me. i ask questions, remember what we talked of last time and reference it and really am in tune with their lives. it rarely seems to go both ways. when i start to share i find changes of subject, glazed over eyes and disengaged presence, so i just stop and turn the conversation back to them. immediately they're animated again and interested. it just hurts.

i think it's part of the examen process that helps me to realize how very little engagement i have that is life giving. so rarely are my interactions with people my "highs" or "bests". i am finding lately they are actually my lows. i think that maybe part of my dysfunction is to gloss things over and pretend like things are great when they really aren't. damn. it's easier to pretend sometimes. the examen doesn't let me and i don't really know what to do about it.

so, because it's communion and then there is a short information meeting after church for an event i've been working with and i'm not feeling heard on anyway i am avoiding going.

worship alone today. i'm lighting candles, putting on a meditation cd and spending time in solitude and silence. i know that avoiding connection when i'm feeling disconnected is probably very self-defeating, but i just can't seem to muster up the courage to be really fragile in community right now. it just doesn't feel as safe as it used to.