Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Grad and Prom

June 29, 2010.

Outside my window...sunny, but with a cold wind.
I am thinking...we had some drama in our city this weekend. The G-20 summit was held in downtown Toronto and attracted protesters and spectators of every stripe: anarchists, communists, feminists, Natives, and others. While I wouldn't deny anyone a voice if they want to speak against a duly elected government, I don't approve of the vandalism we witnessed this weekend; smashed windows, spray-painted bank machines and burned out police cars. Some say the police were harsh, but I think they showed amazing restraint. I hope those who got out of control will be arrested and dealt with. I respect the police. They have a difficult job. They seem to get criticized no matter what they do. Some people even took their kids to go and see the protests. Unbelievable. In contrast to this past weekend, Christians are supposed to "pray for leaders and all in authority, that we may live quiet and peaceable lives." That doesn't mean we agree with everything the government does, or that there's never a time to disobey government. Paul wrote those words while Nero was Emperor, so he wasn't living under ideal circumstances. Anyway, I'm glad it's over. Now just the clean-up. Apparently, there was half a million dollars in damage. Whether the city, the province or the federal government pays for it, the tax payer has only one pocket.
I am thankful for...the grace of God in the lives of my children. My youngest daughter graduated from high school yesterday. It was a Christian school that focused on academics. She graduated with honours, 95%. She also received three awards: Law, Philosophy, and World Issues, which is my daughter in a nutshell. It reaffirmed her life goals to go into International Law and work for the International Justice Mission. We're very proud of her and thankful to God for saving her and giving her the opportunity to learn.
From the kitchen...leftover roast beef and potatoes.
I am wearing...jeans, my red San Antonio, Texas t-shirt, and a blue zip-up sweater.
I am reading...The Edge of Recall by Kristen Heitzmann, a mystery about a woman who builds labyrinths. I'm halfway through it, but not loving it.
I am hoping...my daughter passes her driving test tomorrow. She doesn't feel ready, but I think she's generally a nervous driver.
I am hearing....people conversing on the train.
Around the house...my eldest was picked up from camp yesterday for her sister's graduation, then we drove her back late at night. My youngest started her job this week, and my mom's going to London, to visit her brother and his wife who just moved there. They had purchased our old house in Sault Ste. Marie, ten years ago when my mom moved here, so it was kind of cool to still go back to it, such as it was, but now strangers live there. My husband will have a four day weekend after tomorrow. I worked out very hard at CURVES yesterday, and I'm a little sore today. I started on the CURVES smart program which monitors your workout and gives you technical feedback. On the day of my daughter's prom, she got her hair done, but didn't like it. She cried and they fixed it. The same thing had happened with my other daughter two years ago. Deja vu all over again. As you can see by the picture below, the end result doesn't give you a clue of the drama we went through. I brought her chocolate while they were repairing it, and when I told my husband about that, he said, "What would I have done if I was raising the girls alone? I wouldn't have known to buy chocolate." We had our contractor come in with the contract for the basement reno. Ouch! But he does a good job. He'll start next week.
One of my favourite things...this Sunday when my team (Germany) beat my husband's team (England) in World Cup Soccer.
Some plans for the week...work three more nights, which shouldn't be too bad, since our O.R. is closed this week so we only have chemo patients. We're going to see Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare in the Park on Friday night with a bunch of people from church. Then on Saturday, I'll plant, clean and cook. We're having an old friend over on Sunday for supper between services. Keep watching World Cup Soccer.


Grade Twelve Grad

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Earthquake in Ontario

Yesterday, I was sound asleep after a night shift, when I woke up to see the posts of my bed shaking. It was around 1:45 p.m. and it lasted about 30 seconds. I wondered first what was happening, if maybe a train or big truck was going by. I looked out the window but saw nothing. I could hear the wall vibrating. By the time I was awake enough and recognized what it was, it was over. There would have been no time to go outside, as you're supposed to. I guess it's kind of like watching an approaching tornado, there's a fascination and a sense of unreality. I looked out again and saw my neighbours had come outside and were talking to each other, probably to confirm it was real and not imagined. I went downstairs and asked my mom if she felt it. She was in the laundry room and hadn't noticed a thing. It made me wonder if it was real, but then it's not surprising to have the house shake more on the upper floors. I called my husband at work, who confirmed it was real. A neighbour there had come in to say that her bird started flying around and around in its cage when it happened. I guess they sense these things. Then, from the news I found out it was a 5.0 earthquake centred north of Ottawa. In the GTA there was no damage or injuries, but closer to the epicentre there was structural damage, like roads and bridges and some chimney's crumbling, but thankfully, no loss of life. I remember there being tremors like this once in the 80's and once in the 90's in Toronto, so that's why I figured it was an earthquake. It's not unheard of. We're apparently near a fault line that runs near the Ontario-Quebec border. Of course, the jokes I've heard since then on twitter were that it was Quebec's attempt to separate from Canada, that the earthquake triggered tsunami warnings in the fake lake built for the dignitaries of the G-20 summit this week, and that there was widespread disappointment in Toronto, that it was not the epicentre of the quake. The rest of Canada says Toronto thinks it's the centre of the universe, and they may not be too far off in that.
It was a bit of excitement, especially because there were no tragedies associated with it, so people just started asking, "Where were you when it happened?" and "Did you feel it?" My youngest was on a bus and missed it, and my oldest was working in a barn at camp at the time.
That same night there was a tornado (F-2) just northeast of where my eldest works. Fifty families were left homeless. They live in a trailer park, which is often the 'target' of tornadoes. Tornadoes happen occasionally in Ontario. We're in the tail end of tornado alley which sweeps up through the American mid-west.
The fact that the earthquake and tornado happened within 24 hours of each other, had me scanning the sky for a plague of locusts.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Good Deed of the Day

Tonight my husband was coming home from prayer meeting at church and he saw a car near our house, all dark and with the windows steamed up. He thought it was strange but wasn't sure what was happening inside. When he got out of his van, he saw a hand come up out of the car's moon roof and heard someone calling for help. He was hesitant to go over because it was dark and he wasn't sure it was legit. When he got there, the man said he was trapped in the car for hours. He gave my husband the key through the moon roof and asked him to unlock the door. When he opened the door, the man explained that it was his brother's car and the battery suddenly died on it, so he couldn't operate the power doors, windows, or horn. He was all sweaty and quite distressed. My husband then gave him a boost and he went on his way. Who knows what would have happened if my husband hadn't taken the risk?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day Weekend

June 21, 2010.

Outside my window
...the first day of summer. Beautiful. Sunny. Perfect.
I am thinking...it was a nice Father's Day weekend. All my husband wanted was to have both girls at home, so they were. We went to church twice, had a meal of bacon-wrapped filet mignon, jumbo garlic shrimp, okra, grilled veggies and chocolate cake. I made him a mojito, which he enjoyed when we were in Mexico, we had a nap, watched two soccer games, and stopped at Pho Dau Bo for his favourite Sunday night snack of Vietnamese noodle soup. Then he watched the space channel without a word of complaint from me. He was a contented man.
I am thankful for... a husband who is also a great dad. He's been supportive of me from my pregnancies and beyond. When I was pregnant, he started giving me rides to the subway. He said he "didn't want my little feet to touch the ground." I said, "What do you think they do on my 12-hour shifts?" He was great when the kids were sick or fussy or waking up frequently. He played with them, disciplined them, taught them and gave real spiritual leadership. Our youngest was saved when she was praying with him. Being a Dad is about more than fathering a child. He is a great dad and the girls love and appreciate him.
From the kitchen...fish fillets, Jamaican rice and peas, stir-fried veggies.
I am wearing...white capri pants, a black and white printed sleeveless top.
I am reading...Under a Cajun Moon by Mindy Starns Clark.
I am hoping...there won't be any violence with the G-20 summit this weekend. My husband is on call for the city's water supply and may be called in.
I am hearing...silence. The train is stopped and so far no announcements. I don't get stressed by delays because I leave so early. I'm never late, just less early. It seems the problem was a door that wouldn't close, so the train went out of service and we caught the next one. No worries.
Around the house...we bought some plants and flowers for the backyard but were only able to plant a few before the rain came. We got another contractor to come and give us some ideas for the basement. This guy is a family friend and has done work for us on our previous house. We know he does good work and can be trusted with a key to the house. We cancelled the other contractor because he never got back to us after promising to, three times. We need to get going on this project. Oh, and I must brag. My youngest got 100% on her mock trials along with a glowing review of her hard work and professionalism. She worked so hard. She wants to go into law so it meant a lot to her. She is also hoping to win the Law award the night of graduation next week. My eldest just started her work for the summer at Scott Mission Camp. She's a counsellour and life guard. She passed her lifeguarding course. My husband is trying to get through the next two weeks, but man, he needs a vacation.
One of my favourite things...my commute. It really is comfortable and convenient.
Some plans for the week...work four nights. Date night Friday. My daughter's prom is Saturday so I have to take her to various appointments to get her ready. Then we're going to our tri-annual dinner party with three other couples from church. Sunday is church. Our Sunday school is finished for the summer so we can sleep in a bit. We may have guests over.

Friday, June 18, 2010

More Time

"No, you wouldn't write a novel if you just had the time. If you're not writing one anyway, let's face it, you're probably not going to do it."

-E.J. Copperman-

Monday, June 14, 2010


June 14, 2010.

Outside my window...warm, but cloudy. It'll probably rain.
I am thinking...the G-8 and G-20 summits held in Ontario this year are generating a lot of concern about security. The professional protesters,anarchists and communists will be stirring up trouble; the security preparations, costs and inconvenience are getting people annoyed, and the political fallout of the things they're doing to impress the world leaders (indoor fake lake) may yet come back to haunt the government.
I am thankful for...good times with friends. We had two couples over on Sunday night for soccer, subs, strawberry shortcake and hot tub. My team, Germany, beat Australia 4-0. Three of my favourite players; Klose, Podolski and Cacau scored. I was a happy girl.
From the kitchen...fish, rice and peas.
I am wearing...navy capris, and a navy and white printed top.
I am reading...Hot Tropics and Cold Feet by Diann Hunt. It's Christian chick-lit. I felt like reading something light and funny.
I am hoping...that my husband's semi-annual appointment with his Oncology surgeon goes well. I am always a little nervous about it, even after twelve years. Look at where I work. Mostly the appointment is to check his "replacement parts" and do a chest x-ray to make sure his cancer hasn't come back. It's mostly likely to recur in the lungs. We're always relieved when he gets a clean bill of health.
I am hearing...the train. It's Monday; that means blogging on the train day.
Around the house...our plans for gardening fell through on Saturday when my husband woke up sick and spent the day in bed. My eldest completed her highest level of lifeguarding. Now she can officially save a life. My youngest has her last day of high school tomorrow, before exams. It goes so fast. This fall, we'll have two in university. My youngest won another bursary this week. That decreases her tuition costs by half, so far. Nice. My husband is working hard and still one month from vacation. No wonder he got sick. He goes and goes and then his body shuts down and says, "No further. Rest."
One of my favourite things...date night with my husband. Marriage keeps getting better and better. We're almost at 24 years of marriage and more in love than ever. Sappy? Yes.
Some plans for the week...work three nights. I'm off on Tuesday so I can watch Portugal vs. Ivory Coast. Didier Drogba is the only player I know on Ivory Coast, but Portugal is strong. It can go either way and I have no loyalties in this match. Friday, my husband has to go to H-town for a meeting so no date night then. A relaxing evening at home sounds nice. Saturday, stuff around the house. Sunday is Father's Day. My husband doesn't care for breakfast in bed or gifts. All he asked for was time with his girls, so my eldest will come to town for that day. I think I'll make filet mignon and jumbo garlic shrimp, with a double chocolate cake. He'll like that. My husband's birthday is mid-week. He'll be 47 years old. He doesn't complain about aging. After cancer, he's happy to see each year.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


"Courage is fear holding out for just a few minutes longer."

--Marcia Byalick--
Quit It

Perseverance vs. Obstinancy

"The difference between perseverance and obstinancy is that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't."

--Henry Ward Beecher--

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Substitution at the Heart of the Gospel

"The concept of substitution may be said, then to lie at the heart of both sin and salvation. For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives which belong to God alone; God accepts penalties which belong to man alone."

--John Stott--
The Cross of Christ

Monday, June 7, 2010


June 7, 2010.

Outside my window...a sunny, but cool day, mild breeze.
I am thinking...yesterday was the 66th anniversary of D-Day. I was watching Saving Private Ryan. I find myself in awe of the men who faced that onslaught on the beaches. I especially fear flame throwers. They're terrifying weapons. I also noticed that in any movies about WW2, the Allies only have rifles, while the Germans have machine guns. It doesn't seem like an even fight. The Germans just mow them down. Anyway, I do appreciate my freedom, won for us by that generation, so we're not speaking German, or Japanese, or however that would have turned out.
I am thankful for...a good day on Saturday. We took the College and Careers group along with the Youth group from church, to a Christian camp called Fair Glen. We did team building games with low ropes, high ropes and archery. We had a bbq lunch. It was cool in the forest and my daughter received some mosquito bites. It was apparently much warmer in Toronto, two hours south of where we were. See the pictures of my husband and I, having a friendly archery competition. (I won).
From the kitchen...pork tenderloin, baked potatoes, baby carrots, sauteed mushrooms, banana loaf.
I am wearing...jeans, a white t-shirt, and my blue Riviera Maya hoodie.
I am reading...Whispers of the Bayou by Mindy Starns Clark. It's a mystery set in Louisiana.
I am hoping...to be consistent with my new exercise program. I joined Curves again. I'm familiar with their program as I did it about three years ago for over a year. I knew it would suit my shift work best and I know I get results, at least in toning, if not fat burning.
I am hearing...quiet conversation on the train.
Around the house...my eldest is coming home for the weekends for her life guarding course. My youngest is busy with her final weeks of high school. My husband is long overdue for a vacation, but still working hard. No movement on the basement reno. The contractor was in hospital.
One of my favourite things...World Cup Soccer. It starts on Friday. On June third, it was my husband's 12th anniversary cancer free. I remember him watching World Cup soccer in hospital. We didn't know if he'd make it to the next one, four years later. But he did, and the next and the next. Praise God, he's still in my life, instead of just my memories. In honour of World Cup, see my note, How to Watch Soccer Like a Girl, in the section, Much Ado About Nothing. So, I'll go on record that I'm cheering for Germany, although I also like the Dutch, the English, the Australians, the Swiss, the Spanish and Ivory Coast, if Didier Drogba can play with his broken elbow. I "know" players on every team since I follow the English and German leagues during the year. I also have no real allegiances, since neither Canada, Finland, nor Jamaica, have made it to this level. So I can just enjoy the games. Anyone, but Italy, that's all I ask. They dive so much it makes me crazy.
Some plans for the week...work four nights, date night Friday, yard work and housework on Saturday, church on Sunday.