Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Will They Let Me In?

We're heading to Texas tomorrow! I'm so excited, even though it's a work-related trip. My friend, Kathy and I are going ot our second oncology nursing conference. Last year we went to Philadelphia. Now we're going to San Antonio. What's cool about it is that there are over 7,000 oncology nurses there from all over Canada and the U.S. Not just 7,000 nurses, but all oncology nurses. It's such a neat feeling of camaraderie. All the classes are work related and very interesting.
My mom and my oldest daughter are coming along as well, as a vacation. None of us has been to Texas before, except Kathy, although not to San Antonio. My daughter just finished her first year of university.
The reason my youngest is staying home is because she's still in high school. I'll take her with me another year. She also has to look forward to a concert in Toronto with her favourite band, so she'll be okay.
My husband is terribly busy with work and our annual meeting at church.
I would have preferred to take a direct flight from Toronto, for convenience, but we had to get a cheaper flight because of funding issues. There is a layover in Baltimore, and two and a half hour drive before and after the trip. I'm not looking forward to the drive since my "driver" is staying home. We're taking our van and parking at the airport. The price is reasonable.
We'll be gone five nights. We're staying at a historic, 100 year old hotel a few blocks from the conference centre and the Alamo. My daughter plans to make use of the rooftop pool to work on her tan.
My only concern is if they'll let me into the country. I was in Mexico six weeks ago, and now I have a cold. I was in the Yucatan, not Mexico city, and it was before the outbreak of the swine flu, which has got everyone so uptight about travel. It feels like a sinus cold. I don't have a fever. I didn't have a cough, until an hour ago, but I'm not really concerned. But the border patrol may be skittish. Who knows? I hope I'm not turned back. I've been looking forward to this trip for a while.
I also hope Kathy is not worried about sharing a hotel room with me. My mom and daughter will have their own room, since they can sleep in while we get up and go to our classes. Well, it's in God's hands.
I'm packed, lightly, even, so we can do some shopping. The weather is expected to be 27-33 all weekend. Nice.

Life Lessons at 45

Now that I’m half-way to 90, assuming I get there, I’ll share some of the things I’ve learned over my two score and five.

1.Kidney stone pain is worse than natural childbirth.
2.I will never have an hour-glass figure, no matter how much I wish it.
3.If there was only one spot on a life raft, my husband would give it to me.
4.When you talk to (read, yell at) your kids, you find yourself thinking, “Oh, no. I’ve become my mother.” One day they’ll do the same.
5.Marriage is worth the effort. Good marriages can become great marriages.
6.I’m a dreamer, but mixed up in those dreams are a few good ideas.
7.When I was young, I quit everything I started. Now, I finish what I start. That was a major change for me.
8.If your kids don’t laugh at your joke the first time, tell it again.
9.Things to remember during labour and delivery: A) Women have been doing this since Eve. B) It ends eventually. C) You have a better reward for your pain than a kidney stone. D) Epidurals are a girl’s best friend.
10.Women go through a mid-life crisis earlier than men. I was thirty. I’m SO over it.
11.Life is full of regrets. Live in today. (I’m still working on perfecting this one).
12.Entertain friends even if everything isn’t perfect in your home. Years from now, all they’ll remember is how they felt being with you, not what you served or if the dishes matched. Life is about moments like this.
13.Similar personalities clash more than opposites. My oldest daughter inherited her mother’s stubborn streak. Before we had kids, when my husband would be frustrated with me, he’d say, “I hope you have a daughter just like you!” He didn’t realize he was cursing himself.
14.Take heart. Not every teenager rebels.
15. Take a lot of pictures. Leave something lasting for the next generation. I always wished I had something my father had written so I could see his handwriting, and understand how he felt about things, or a video so I could hear his voice or see how he carried himself.
16.As you age, do what you’re comfortable with to feel better about yourself, i.e. hair colour, makeup, etc. T.T. Shields said, when asked whether women should wear makeup, “If the barn door needs painting, you should paint it.”
17.Secure the roof topper on your van when you go camping. Sleeping bags and air mattresses on the highway is not a pretty sight.
18.Get all the education you can get. It can never be taken from you.
19.Do what you love to do for a living, if you can. Life is too short to dread going to work.
20.Settle the big issues of life first; where you’ll spend eternity, who you’ll marry, what you’ll do for a living. After that, the small things settle out and run smoother.
21.Be thankful to God for all the blessings in your life.
22.Be a realist. You won’t always have your health, or your job, or your family around you. Hold on to the eternal things.
23.Learn how to balance a cheque book. I didn’t know how for the first six years we were married, and we lived like paupers. Then we discovered we actually had thousands of dollars due to my accounting finesse, and we used it as a downpayment on our house.
24.Always take carry-on luggage when you travel. People use our first cruise fiasco as an example of what NOT to do. We had NO luggage for 5 out of 7 days.
25.Never say never to God. He has a sense of humour. Remember Jonah? I said, “I’ll NEVER live in the neighbourhood near our church!” Guess where we’ve been for 16 years?

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Sands of Time Are Sinking

I love this verse in particular because it shows what our true priority will be in Heaven. I had told my husband I wanted this on my tombstone, but he said, "No way, you have to pay by the letter." So I said, "Okay, how about on the bulletin, or sing it at my funeral."

vs. 4

"The bride eyes not her garment,
But her dear bridegroom's face;
I will not gaze at glory,
But on my King of grace;
Not at the crown he gifteth,
But on his pierced hand;
The Lamb is all the glory
Of Emmanuel's land.

Anne R. Cousin

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Endings and Beginnings

April 25, 2009

Outside my window...we had a beautiful, hot day. 25C and sunny, which changed rather suddenly to dark clouds, heavy winds and a downpour. When the weather is unstable like this, I start looking for tornadoes.
I am thinking...why are there pet stories in the first ten minutes of the news? Is there nothing more important happening in the country or the world?
I am thankful for...my daughter's successful completion of her first year of university. We drove to Hamilton last night to help her move out of her dorm room.
From the kitchen...bbq chicken, roasted potatoes, stir fried vegetables and ice cream.
I am wearing...white capri pants, red tank top, and white gauzy blouse. I'm thinking "summer".
I am reading...Till We Reach Home by Lynn Austin, about Swedish immigrants, and The Secret Life of Becky Miller by Sharon Hinck.
I am hoping...that they find that kidnapped girl, Tori Stafford, safe and sound. The mom seems too calm to me. Something is suspicious about this case.
I am hearing...Murdoch Mysteries, set in Toronto 100 years ago.
Around the house...the contents of my daughter's dorm room were in my livingroom and took hours to clean up, especially since my daughter left to go to a Scott Mission Camp reunion today. She'll be back tomorrow after singing one final time until September at the church in Oakville. My youngest had a haircut and came home sobbbing at the result. We were able to salvage it, though. She is attending a friends' baptism tomorrow. My mother-in-law has to have a procedure done on Wednesday to correct a heart rhythm problem.
One of my favourite things...the feeling at the beginning of twelve days off. Did I mention that I loved my job?
A few plans for the week...church tomorrow, errands on Monday, visit to mother-in-law, pack, travel to San Antonio on Wednesday. We're planning to hear Max Lucado on the Sunday we're in Texas.

Friday, April 24, 2009


"Experience is a hard teacher
because she gives the test first,
the lesson afterwards."

Vernon Saunders Law

Earth Day/Neo-Paganism

I can't believe the hype over Earth Day. Well, in a sense, yes, I can. They say that when Christianity is pushed out of a culture, it only takes one generation for paganism to step into the vacuum.
In public schools, children are taught to sing hymns in praise of Mother Earth, thanking her for providing for them. It's neo-paganism in cheap disguise.
As a Christian, I believe we should be good stewards of the planet, but I won't jump on every bandwagon to be politically correct (who decides that anyway?)
I also think we don't need to worry that we will somehow, inadvertently destroy the planet before its' time. God is sovereign, and the only global warming to be concerned about will be when "the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up." 2 Peter 3:10

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Easiest Shortbread Cookie Recipe

I'm not big on Christmas baking, but this has become a yearly tradition since our girls were young. They had a great time rolling, cutting and decorating these melt-in-your-mouth cookies. And they're soooo easy, only four ingredients.

Cream 1 lb. butter
1 cup icing sugar
1 cup rice flour
3 cups all purpose flour

Mix together by hand. Roll into a ball and flatten with rolling pin. Use cookie cutter. Make depth ¼ inch. Decorate with sprinkles. Bake at 325 F for 40 minutes: should still be a pale colour.

This recipe can be halved or doubled as needed.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Stress Plus

April 17, 2009

Outside my window...21 C today. The warmest day of the year so far.
I am thinking...I can't believe how directionally challenged I am. I drove my daughter to Hamilton on Tuesday and got lost twice on the way. How pathetic is that? Maybe it's time to invest in a GPS.
I am thankful for...a friend who has started typing up my stories. She told me she's enjoying them, which is encouraging me to finish them up.
From the kitchen...we bbq'd chicken, vegies, and garlic shrimp skewers.
I am wearing...my black and white polka dot dress. It feels like summer to me.
I am reading...Fireproof by Eric Wilson. It's about making your marriage better. It's also a movie starring Kirk Cameron. It's often shown in churches because it is evangelistic.
I am hoping...that my daughter gets caught up with her homework and my eldest does well in her exams. I can't believe her first year of university is almost over.
I am hearing...Ice Road Truckers. I don't know why I find this show so fascinating. Big rigs drive over a road made on icy lakes in the Arctic.
Around the house...This has been a very stressful week for my husband and daughter. They are very much alike in temperament, and often have insomnia. My daughter actually broke out in hives because of the stress of all the assignments due at the same time.
One of my favourite things...bacon. It tastes as good as it smells.
A few plans for the week...shop, clean, finish our Carey admin stuff so we can mail out the brochures by the end of the month. We're having a luncheon at church on Sunday. Then I'll be working four nights before being off again for twelve days to go to Texas.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Stop the Revolving Door

From bondage to spiritual faith
From spiritual faith to great courage
From great courage to strength
From strength to liberty
From liberty to abundance
From abundance to leisure
From leisure to selfishness
From selfishness to complacency
From complacency to apathy
From apathy to dependence
From dependence to weakness
From weakness back to bondage

Charles R. Swindoll, Come Before Winter, 500.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Love of God

This hymn by Frederick M. Lehman has beautiful poetry, particularly this third verse.

"Could we with ink the ocean fill
And were the skies of parchment made,
Where every stalk on earth a quill
And ev'ry man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry,
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Tho stretched from sky to sky."

Beneath the Cross of Jesus

This is a lovely hymn by Elizabeth C. Clephane.
I love this verse especially.

"Upon the cross of Jesus
Mine eye at times can see
The very dying form of One
Who suffered there for me.
And from my stricken heart with tears
Two wonders I confess,
The wonders of redeeming love
And my own worthlessness."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Long Weekend

April 11, 2009

Outside my window...a sunny but cool day.
I am thinking...I like having my whole family at home. I enjoy hearing my daughters laugh together. I am very content, and thankful.
I am thankful for...the opening of a new Christian bookstore in Scarborough. all the shelves aren't filled yet, but I bought three books, my oldest daughter bought a new Bible, and my youngest daughter bought two cd's. Everybody's happy.
From the kitchen...turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, ham on the bone, cauliflower and carrots, and rice krispie nests with jelly bean eggs.
I am wearing...jeans and a purple sweater.
I am reading...The Tapestry by Gilbert and Lynn Morris.
I am hoping...to have a few productive days. Work was quiet. We were embarrassingly overstaffed for our 'emergency' weekend with three nurses for six patients. On Tuesday, I had seven patients, was in charge, and orientating new staff. Feast or famine, I guess.
I am hearing...an audio book called Austenland, by Shannon Hale. It's a book about a woman who is obsessed with Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and particularly Colin Firth from the BBC series. She is given a three week fantasy vacation on an English estate where she can live in the Regency time period. It's funny chick-lit.
Around the house...we have some admin. to take care of for the Carey conference this year. This year we're attempting on-line registrations, which will be a big deal for me since I don't like technology or change.
One of my favourite things...new bookstores. I think new bookstores have a smell, like new cars, only better. Maybe I should bottle it and make a fortune selling it to bookaholics.
A few plans for the week...shop with my daughters on Monday. Drive my daughter back to Hamilton on Tuesday, see the place where she'll be living next year, and take some measurements for curtains and furniture. Then I'm meeting with a friend who has offered to type my stories up for me.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Wonder of the Cross

April 10, 2009

Outside my window...a warm spring day, but this week it snowed again. Enough already!
I am thinking...that this weekend, I need to check out the new Christian bookstore, not that I need anything else, but my daughter wanted a new Bible. That's a nice thing to have to say.
I am thankful for...the willingness of Christ to go to the Cross. It is both the climax and nadir of history. See the song, The Wonder of the Cross by Vicky Beeching, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLSwigbVW6g. It's my new favourite.
From the kitchen...grilled steak and lamb, baked potatoes and vegies.
I am wearing...black dress pants and a black and white top.
I am reading...On a Killer's Trail by Susan Page Davis and Blind Sight by James H. Pence. See my reviews on chapters.ca
I am hoping...my husband has a better week. You wouldn't think a job in water supply would be this stressful.
I am hearing...a documentary on Germ warfare, in particular, Anthrax. Very scary.
Around the house...we've decided to renovate our bathroom. Now we have to find time to shop around for a vanity, tub, toilet and tiles. I've already bought the accessories.
One of my favourite things...Easter weekend. I think it's the most significant Christian holiday, and the least commercialized. I only buy an Easter lily and a little chocolate for the girls.
A few plans for the week...work three nights. Get a haircut. Go to our Good Friday service, work on Friday night (our unit is open this weekend because of a flu outbreak on another unit). I was volun-told I had to choose a shift. So I chose tonight so I could still attend our services on Good Friday and Easter morning. We'll have a breakfast at church. Then I'm off until Wednesday.