Monday, August 30, 2010

R.I.P. Oleks

August 30, 2010.

Outside my, hazy and humid all week.
I am daughter's goldfish, Oleksandr died this week. We've had him 2-1/2 years. She had to bring him up to work with her while we were on vacation. I think he met with foul play from one of the campers, but we can't be sure. Poor Oleks. He loved me best; I could see it in his eyes.
I am thankful for...the past week at the Carey Conference. Such good preaching.
From the kitchen...meatballs, and yep, corn on the cob.
I am wearing...beige long shorts, and a cream and taupe top.
I am reading...A Quarter for a Kiss by Mindy Starns Clark.
I am get some answers to my health concerns, this month. I have a brain MRI on Sept. 18th and an audiology appointment on Sept. 10th Within the last month or so, I've noticed a big change in my hearing. It seems everyone is speaking so quietly. I mis-hear what people say or don't hear them at all. It's noticeable to my family. It concerns me because it seems so sudden. I haven't had any exposure to loud noises. My grandmother was very hard of hearing. I feel I'm too young to be losing my hearing already. I also can't read lips, so I'd be lost. Of course, working where I do, I've already imagined the worst case scenario, which would be some kind of tumour. I guess the MRI would show that. My husband says to hold off burying myself until I know for sure. He's a patient man, isn't he?
I am hearing...the train.
Around the mom's still in Finland for two weeks. Our girls are finished work and are home until school starts. We returned from vacation to a freshly painted basement. The main room is too yellow, so we'll have to have that re-painted. We were without our t.v. for two weeks, because the bulb blew. It's a rear-projection big screen. We had anticipated it, and ordered a spare bulb before World Cup, in case it happened then. It turned out to be a dud. We got the replacement bulb today.
One of my favourite things...having the speaker over for a meal at the Carey. It's nice to get to know them better.
Some plans for the eleven days off are over. Working four nights. The girls are having friends over this week, even though dry-wall dust coats everything. My youngest is at the EX today. My husband and I were at a soccer game on Saturday, next to the CNE. The last time we were at the EX was on our first date 26 years ago. When our kids were little, we couldn't afford to go, and when they were older, they went with friends. I'm planning a facebook page for our church as a supplement to the web page. It's more accessible to the members.

Monday, August 23, 2010

No More Children in the House

August 23, 2010.

Outside my window...rain for the third day in a row. So far this is turning into a rainy Carey Conference. At least we got wifi hooked up today and have been having friends in. The preaching and singing are great, as usual.
I am thinking...we just paid tuition for both girls in full. It was hard to do, but I'm so thankful if they could get through school without any loans to pay at the end of it.
I am thankful for...the Carey Conference. It's our 18th year. The main speaker is Bill James from England. He's very good. You can hear the sermons on-line at The singing is phenomenal. Coming from a small church where we only have a musician a few times a month, to hearing hundreds of people who really know how to sing is a little foretaste of heaven. It gives me goosebumps. I close my eyes and just drink it in. The theme song for the Carey is O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing with a tune where men and women sing different parts. It was taught to everyone years ago by the late Pastor Bill Payne. We also sang And Can it Be? which is my favourite hymn. Lovely.
From the kitchen...soup, BLT's, greek pasta salad, blueberry pie with ice cream.
I am wearing..jeans, a long sleeved purple top, and a black jacket. It's cold out.
I am reading...The Good News About Injustice by Gary Haugen, founder of the International Justice Mission. My youngest wants to work with them, one day.
I am hoping...this will be a restful, spiritual week.
I am hearing...people passing by outside the cabin.
Around the eldest just texted that Oleksandr, the Ukrainian goldfish, has died. She's had him for two years. He was currently with her up at camp, since we're away from home. She didn't seem too distraught. I think I loved him best, since I overfed him all the time. My youngest will be 18 on Thursday. She wanted to buy a blender to make her own lattes. I can't believe my babies have grown up. The painters arrived the day we left for Carey. They'll have to do it without my micro-managing. It'll be like being on a design show, coming back home to see the transformation. My mom left for Finland. This is our last full week of vacation for the year, except for Christmas, I guess.
One of my favourite things...campfires. The smell of the smoke, the taste of hot dogs, the stories, and the familiar bad jokes.
Some plans for the week...listen to twelve sermons this week, read, catch up with friends, have the speaker over on Wednesday, go home Friday, unpack, go to a soccer game on Saturday. I heard my favourite band, Casting Crowns, is in Toronto on Saturday, but we already had tickets to this game, and it's in the evening, which is a surprise. I guess I have to wait till the next time.

Havah, the Story of Eve by Tosca Lee

"This was a fictionalized story of the Biblical character, Eve. In favour of the book, I found it gave you a good idea of what life could have been like for Adam and Eve, both before and after the fall, in particular with the effects of sin and the drastic change in their relationship with God and with each other. It also showed the gradual introduction of idolatry with the descendants of Cain. It was told beautifully, from the first person point of view of Eve, with colourful writing imagery. I also liked that she didn’t present the fruit as an apple, which is incorrect. Sunday School 101, it was a tree unlike any other tree in the garden and it is not accessible to us now, nor is the tree of life. Artist’s rendering of a red fruit are not in line with the basic description of the fruit, which only says it was “good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom.” Gen. 3:6
I did find several things I took issue with. Writing historical fiction is challenging in itself, if you want to stay true to history for the most part. The standard for writing Biblical historical fiction, I think, is higher. While there’s enough to speculate about with the things that aren’t told to us, I don’t think it’s wise or safe to stray on things that are told to us, like the creation account, or the content of actual conversations. When the Bible says that in the pre-flood world it didn’t rain, or they didn’t eat meat, it can be believed. If God told Adam and Eve about creation, it’s not necessary for Eve to have dreams about what it was like, especially if it differs from the Biblical record. I feel the author catered to theistic evolutionists by including the idea of creation exploding into existence, instead of being spoken into being, in an orderly manner, as God said, and she even included a dream of a primordial mud pit with a creature arising out of it and taking form. Very disappointing. Also, the ‘no rain before the flood ‘was important because the “waters above the earth” formed a canopy that kept the whole world tropical, and the dew watered the earth. It was also one of the sources of the water for the Deluge and one of the reasons people lived longer.
Another disagreement I have with it relates to the punishment for the woman. When she is cursed, God increases her pain in childbearing, and then He says, “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Gen 3:16 I think when English speakers hear the word, ‘desire’ they automatically think ‘sexual desire’. But that isn’t a curse. It also doesn’t make any sense with the rest of the sentence. However, the word translated, ‘desire’ is the same one used by God in Gen. 4:7 when God addresses Cain. He says, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” The desire is for control. Since Eve made the decision to eat the forbidden fruit, she would lose the harmony they once had in their marriage, and her desire to control would be fought against by her husband who would rule over her. The battle of the sexes is the curse and it began in the garden. The author did a good job of showing that throughout the book, but missed the cause of it at the beginning.
I think she was too sympathetic with Cain. Although I’m sure that Eve’s heart would ache for him as any mother would, the author made it seem like Cain didn’t mean to kill Abel. In Scripture, it shows that he lured him to the field to kill him. Gen. 4:8 Then she has Cain apologizing for the murder, while Scripture shows him only being upset about his punishment. And later on, they have a reunion, while Scripture doesn’t record that. She also seems to think that Cain would be in heaven, along with all her children, even though many worshipped false gods.
There were many other things that made me scratch my head, or shake it. I guess this book made me realize that I know what I believe. It does matter whether it was a real garden, with a real couple named Adam and Eve, who lived in a real Paradise, until they disobeyed. If there was no real sin, we have no need of a real Saviour. But it was real, and we do need a Saviour. The effects of the fall are in evidence all around us."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Almost Vacation, Again

Date: August 16, 2010.

Outside my window...a beautiful summer day, with a slight breeze and no humidity.
I am thinking...I don't know who decides these things, but I think it's stupid to just welcome 500 Tamils into Canada just because they got on a boat and headed here. The message we're sending is clear: no questions asked. Meanwhile, the legal immigrants who have been trying to bring their family members here, are still waiting. I have nothing against immigrants; I'm one myself. Most of our country is made up of immigrants. But I don't like illegal immigrants, especially ones that may be terrorists (Tamil Tigers) or human traffickers. By the time they investigate, they'll be absorbed into the system and living in Scarborough.
I am thankful job. I like it when I'm there, but I also like that I get about eight weeks off per year.
From the kitchen...burgers,fries, and yep, corn on the cob.
I am wearing...jean capri pants, a light blue eyelet top.
I am reading...Havah, the story of Eve, by Tosca Lee. It gives you a real sense of what life was like for them before and after the fall, but I feel the author is catering to the theistic evolutionists with some of her descriptions.
I am hoping...our Pastor's wife will get better. She was diagnosed with breast cancer. She'll have surgery next month. She's still in shock, as are we all.
I am hearing...the GO train and traffic.
Around the husband and youngest daughter have two weeks off. My mom leaves for Finland on Thursday for three weeks. My eldest is at camp and had to be quarantined due to illness for a day and a half. There's also a lice problem there. Ewwww. My kids have managed to avoid it until now. I told her not to bring her 'little friends' home with her. The contractor was installing the cedar planks on the walls of the sauna today. It smells wonderful.
One of my favourite things...the Canadian Carey Family Conference. This is our 18th year. Such good preaching and fellowship. It will be more relaxing this year. We've done the admin. and finances for five years now, so we've passed the torch. If you need to find me, I'll be reading by the pool.
Some plans for the three nights, pack for the Carey conference, bake blueberry pies to take with us. We'll be gone six nights. The work will continue in our absence. The contractor can be trusted with a key.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summertime Living

August 9, 2010.

Outside my window...a rainy day, but we needed it.
I am thinking...we had a nice weekend. We went to a cottage in Huntsville. It belongs to the parents of my daughter's roommate. They live in Bermuda and spend summers in Canada. We only recently met them, so it was nice to get to know them better. He's a pediatrician and she's a writer. It was nice to talk shop with someone who is farther along in the journey than I am. She has an agent, and a completed manuscript with several publishers. I am still working on seven unfinished first drafts. Anyway, the kids went boating and swimming. We ate well and had a campfire. The trip home, which should have taken four hours, took seven, because of traffic, rain, and a detour to drop off our daughter at camp.
I am thankful for...making new friends.
From the kitchen...lemon and herb haddock, rice and corn on the cob. Yes, we've been eating a lot of corn, but then, it's summer. We picked some up from a roadside farmer's market, along with some northern blueberries to get us through winter.
I am wearing...jeans and a beige and brown top.
I am reading...Under the Northern Lights and Whispers of Winter by Tracie Peterson.
I am hoping...the strike by the GO train maintenance workers at Union Station will be averted, so the GO won't STOP.
I am hearing...conversations on the train.
Around the house...steady progress on the renovations. Electrical is done, base boards and crown moulding, flooring, and the paint colours have been chosen. The girls are working hard. My youngest has one week left, as does my husband, I have two weeks, my eldest has three. Then we're going to the Carey Conference. My eldest can't make it this year.
One of my favourite things...signs in rural Ontario. Hillbilly Camp, Varmint Control, and Do-it-yourself pig roasts.
Some plans for the week...I didn't have a very productive day. I slept in, didn't work out, took a nap, and made dinner. I'm working four nights this week. We plan to do some cleaning and organizing on Saturday, haul stuff to the dump and start packing for the Carey. I need to plan my menu for that week, but I've already made my packing list. This is our 18th year so I know what to take. I'm so looking forward to not having any responsibilities this year. If people need me, they'll find me reading by the pool. Sunday we'll be back at our church after three weekends away in a row. It feels like we've been away forever.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Stay-cation is Over

August 3, 2010.

Outside my, hazy and humid. Feels like 40C. The a.c. has been running all day at home.
I am should be quiet at work this week since the O.R. is closed. A nice week to ease back into work. It's amazing, but I think we spent more on our stay-cation than we would have spent on a little excursion out of the country.
I am thankful for...the three weeks' vacation I just finished. So relaxing. Back to work tonight. When I was at CURVES, most of the women were talking about their ideal vacation not including their husbands. Am I the only one who enjoys her husband's company?
From the kitchen...spaghetti and meatballs, veggies and dip, raspberry pie.
I am capri pants, a red tank top and a black and white printed top.
I am reading...Summer of the Midnight Sun by Tracie Peterson.
I am hoping...that the painting done by my friend, Anneli arrives safely from Alberta this week.
I am hearing...the train. Back to the real world, although I would happily give up work if we could afford it, much as I love my job.
Around the house...they were laying the flooring in the basement today. It's beautiful. This past weekend we went to visit the churches our daughters are attending. I'm so thankful for the work of grace in their lives, that saved them, and keeps them. I'm glad they want to go to church and that they've chosen well. My mom is going to Finland in a few weeks. She couldn't locate her passport since the move and renovation, so today she had to re-apply. It's a good thing she didn't discover the problem the night before here trip.
One of my favourite things...grilled bananas with brown sugar.
Some plans for the three nights, go to a friend's cottage on Saturday and to church with them on Sunday, up in cottage country.