Monday, September 1, 2014

Currently. August 2014

Things I am:

Obsessing over,

Working on, 
Thinking about, 
Listening to,
Praying for,
Happy about.   


Currently: I'm at the lake. 
(Watching Robert Downey Jr and Chris Helmsworth flex their muscles in Anvengers. So fun. But my favorite actor in this show is actually Jeremy Renner. Ever since Legolas got on his galloping horse by swinging up from underneath, I've developed an appreciation for the guy who uses the bow and arrows. )

Currently: It's 1:00 am.

Currently: Feeling optimist.


1. I am obsessing over:

  • Pffft. Same things. Like that was going to change. 
  • Also, I'm obsessing over hanging on to That Summer Feeling.
  • Getting a TV room set up for myself downstairs. 

2. I am working on:

  • Prioritizing my never-ending list of improvements I'd like to start making on the cabin. (Small things, mostly. Like cleaning out closets and cupboards. Getting back door replaced. And so on.)
  • Writing that production manual at work. (I got sidetracked with another spontaneous project in August, so I didn't get it finished.)
  • Adding another activity to my day. Walking is all good and fine, but it's not enough exercise. 

3. I am thinking about:

  • Our upcoming staff fun day. And how I signed up for horseback riding and archery. And now I'm thinking I should have taken rug hooking and book reading instead. 
  • My kids. And how it's been awfully nice to have them around this weekend. 
  • Church this fall, and wondering if I'm going to keep going to Northview on Sat nites, or if I should switch over to The Village on Sunday afternoons. 
  • The PNE and how next year I hope the Summer Evening Concert series has some of my favorites...
  • I am thinking about the ALS ice bucket challenge and how that fund-raising campaign exceeded everyone's expectations. 

4. I am anticipating:

  • Meeting Tricia in October! We are counting down the days til we see each other by re-activating our Right Coast - Left Coast blog with new mashed pics every day for the month of September. Hop right on over and have a peak. 
  • I am anticipating a weekend in Osoyoos, the MCC auction and sale, celebrating a few birthdays, seeing a couple movies, book club starting up again, and maybe a craft night or two...

5. I am listening to:

  • This TED talk:
"The best time to work on your marriage is before you have one, and that means being as intentional with love as you are with work. Picking your family is about consciously choosing who and what you want rather than just making it work or killing time with whoever happens to be choosing you."

  • It's Sunday night now. Listening to the kids watching The Aristocats.
  • And the wind in the trees. 
  • And the dishwasher. 
  • And I think I added this 'listening' category to record music I'd been listening to this month, not the sounds in my kitchen. I'll do better next month. 

6. I am eating:

  • What am I NOT eating. Holy cow. It's been a food filled day. I'm going to burst. There is nothing in my mouth right now, but I have been munching on summer foods all day long. 
  • Also, I've been craving samosas. I think I love them now. 

7. I am reading:

  • The Book of Summers, by Emylia Hall
  • The Fiery Cross, by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty
  • My Mother was Nuts by Penny Marshall

8. I am praying:

( I wrote out my prayer yesterday. Not much has changed since then. Saw this prayer on John Stackhouse's blog, and decided to make it my prayer today:)

I groan for you and call on you.
Direct me by Your wisdom;
Protect me and strengthen me.
I surrender my intentions to You, my God;
May they come from You.
May my deeds be done in your name
And my desires in your will.
Enlighten my mind, strengthen my will;
Purify my body, sanctify my soul.
May I see my transgressions,
That I may not stumble in pride;
Help me to overcome temptation.
May I glorify You
All the days of this life you have given to me.

(From a prayer written by Alexander Men)

9. I am happy about:

  • This day. All of it. From the unexpected sunshine, to the time spent with my kids. It's just been a lovely day.

Shalom friends,

Saturday, August 30, 2014

It's Still Summer.

At 7 pm on Friday evening (two hours later than planned), we met at my mom's house with no idea what to do.

So we just hopped in my truck and we started driving west.
And ended up here;

Where I parked.
And then we started walking.

We walked from Canada Place to Stanley Park, and just as we reached the park, the rain fell and the sky got dark.

So we turned around and got back to where we began just as a showing of Fly Over Canada was getting underway, so, what the heck - we're spontaneous as all get out,  we watched the show.

Oh my goodness, it was fantastic.
WAaaaaayyy too short, but so good.
I highly recommend it.

At midnight I dropped her off in Abbotsford in a remote corner of a unlit parking lot where she was going to sleep for a few hours in the back of her van, and I came up to the lake.
Where I was going to sleep.
In a house. In a bed.
So anti-climatic, compared to her plans.

Anyway, it's the long weekend.
And this was the weather forecast:

But this is what I was doing an hour ago:

Yes, that's the Bible and Book 5 in the Outlander series. Both my worlds colliding on the deck at Cultus. (In case you're wondering, Bible has 1142 pages. The Fiery Cross has 1442.)  And yes, that's my thigh. With no clothes on it ...

... because it's SUNNY and thank goodness I have old clothes up here. In this case, it's a 15 year old bathing suit with sagging support and neon colours like nobody's business.

By the time my kids arrive (some, later tonight, probably for a midnight supper, some tomorrow afternoon) I'll be dressed like a mom again. Probably.


An hour later:
I came in to make myself a hotdog (good hotdogs are all about the buns. And I picked up some fresh bakery buns from Safeway last night a midnight. SO good.)
I really should go back to eating salads.

Anyway, it's raining now. Pouring.
Like, thousands of rain drops dancing on the deck and splashing into puddles. It sounds wonderful. So I've opened all the patio doors and I'm basking in the sounds and smells of a rich summer rain. Also, I'm thinking of my next Currently post, which I should start working on tonight. And I'm praying. These circumstances (alone, in a cabin, on a lake, with the windows open, listening to the wind rusting through the leaves, with the lingering scent of summer in the air ...) these circumstances just seem perfect to have a conversation with God, no?

Dear God,

I just heard it.

I love the power behind that sound. Thanks for inventing it.

And thank you for this place.
I love being at the lake.
I feel so spoiled.
Thank you for choosing my parents for me.
Thank you for giving me a mom and dad who were/are generous with their time and their possessions. Help me to pay it forward. May my kids, someday, be able to say, "Thank you, God, for choosing my parents for me...."

(Ugh. That's one of my biggest fears. That I've blown it. That someday they'll ask you what you were thinking when handing out parents..)

Thank you for my boys.
Even though there are many times I've wished they were more like me, thank you for purposefully giving me three sons who are exactly, perfectly, clearly, decidedly, NOT like me.

I learn so much from them.
Most of it scares the shit outa me, but still.
Thank you.

May I use this new-found knowledge from them for Your purposes. Let these experiences not go to waste. These things I am learning from them? Show me how I should respond and what to do with it.

And while I'm praying about my boys, can I add a few things to my wish list. They might be too dumb to ask for these things for themselves, so I'm asking on their behalf, OK?
1. That You would reveal Yourself to them in a mighty, profound, incredibly personal way.
2. That You would call them into a relationship with You and they would respond.
3. That You would supply them with friends, role models, peers, mentors and co-workers of Your choosing. For Your purposes.
4. That You would provide them with wives who love you.
5. That You would fill them with wisdom, guide their paths, overwhelm them with love, protect them against evil and give them the desire and ability to love their families with abandon. God I pray that they would be extravagant with love. May my grandkids know and serve You because their dads showed them the way.

Use them, God, in building Your kingdom. Let many come to know you through them.

Can I pray for those people in my life (and outside of my life, too) that have drug and/or alcohol addictions?
Could you step in?
If they need to hit bottom, God I pray they hit soon, And hit hard. And that You'd meet them there.
God? Do exactly what needs to be done to get them on a path of healing and health.
Provide them with an escape from the bonds of addiction.
Show them the way, using all of Your creative means. Get their attention and point them in the direction they need to go.
Have people in place. Friends, sponsors, rehab directors, recovered addicts ... God -  line those people up and get them ready.

God? The next time they use/get drunk - could you enhance the negative impact? Like, make them really sick? Allow them to experience the full impact of their actions. Make it awful. Open their eyes to the decease. And open their eyes to an escape.

God, I pray for the families that are impacted by someone they love who is in addiction. I pray You would comfort them. Give them hope. And provide them with wisdom. They don't know what to do. Show them.

God I pray for the NA and AA communities around the world. Protect their meetings. Send your angels to stand guard against evil entering those rooms. May Your will be done as folks in recovery help each other stay clean.

Oh, and God?

Those people I love who are un/under employed?
Meaningful work?
Opportunities to use the gifts and passions You've blessed them with?

You're all over that, right?
You've got a plan?

I pray, God that THIS WEEK, they will hear from employers with opportunities that are exactly perfect. I pray that THIS WEEK, their families would sigh with relief that this season of unemployment is going to end. I pray that THIS WEEK they would stop battling discouragement and despair regarding their skills and ability. I pray that THIS WEEK they would know that You had this under control all along. I pray that THIS WEEK they would meet their coworkers and would be excited about the people they'll be spending significant time with. I pray that THIS WEEK they would know, without a doubt, that You love them. That this job? Is a result of Your meddling. That these people at their work place? Are there by Your design, for Your purposes.That this specific role they are playing? Is because You've created and equipped them to do it perfectly. That this challenge ahead? Is being allowed because they need to stretch and grow.

God? Use the passions You've placed in them to nurture and grow in their new jobs. Open their eyes to things You want them to see and learn. God I pray their new jobs would be so much more than they expected. And I pray that they would be filled with peace, knowing they are exactly where they should be.

I know it's part of Your plan and all, but wow. Ageing sucks.
Can you keep an eye on my dad? I know he is still here because 1) His corner in heaven isn't quite ready yet. Likely You're still painting and sanding all the Victorian gingerbread that's going around his windows, or 2) You still have a purpose for him here, on earth. His work, or rather, Your work through him, is not done.

So, OK.
Could you help him feel settled? He's a people person, yet he doesn't seem to be engaging with the folks around him. Could you make it easier? Could both he and mom find enjoyment in his living space? Could friendships be formed? Could joys and sorrows be shared? Could they both feel at peace about where he lives, the care he receives, and the people he lives with? Let their days at the Lodge be filled with warmth and purpose and God I pray that they would be a blessing to those around them.

May other residents see You shining through them. Let them be a witness for You through kindness, patience, and service. Open their eyes for opportunities to be helpful and friendly. Equip them to be Your hands and feet in a place where there is so much need.

And God, I pray for the aches and pains that mom, dad, and all their friends are feeling. I pray that You would lessen their suffering. Give their doctor's wisdom in handling their health needs. And give them wisdom when recovering from surgery or taking meds. God, I pray that during these 'senior' years, they would have a deep sense of Your call on their lives. And I pray that they feel equipped and are excited to do Your work during this phase.

I feel like I'm two steps away from being a senior myself. Open my eyes to see what I need to do now, to make those years meaningful and purpose-filled.

You know.
You totally know what I'm thinking about. Again.
Your will be done.
Your will be done.

And maybe, if I'm not supposed to be thinking about this, could you give me something else, (something fun?) to occupy my brain space?

Thank you for thinking that books and plays and movies and paintings and photography and sculptures and designs and beauty were good ideas. Thank you for creating people who were good at those things. Thank you that creative minds are gifts from you.

Thank you for the people in my world who are writers, actors, designers, editors, photographers, videographers, make-up artists, hair stylists, set builders ... I pray You would be well-pleased with their work. Bless it. Provide them with inspiration when they need it. Open doors of opportunity at just the right time. Give them mentors to guide them. Shower them with praise when all their confidence wanes. Send encouragers and good reviewers when they are discouraged.

Let them be able to provide for their families doing the work they love and were created to do.

I pray Your blessing and protection on the entertainment and publishing industries.

Thank you God for legs that work and eyes that see and friends to share the journey with.

Hours later....
Three things I'm thankful for:

1. The washer and dryer up here. I've done 17 loads of towels and bedding and I feel like a housewife again.

2. The mixer and oven. I've baked a chocolate cake and a chicken casserole for those arriving at midnight. I feel like a mom again.

3. The bathtub. With bubbles. I feel like a woman again.

Shalom, friends,

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Couple of Stuffs

1. I googled my name tonight and searched for images. Doesn't hurt to see what kind of pics of me are floating around on the internet.
This is the first page:(click to enlarge)

Yes, those are mostly not images of me.
Jenn, Ali, Claire, Shannon, Mandi, Drew, Danica ...
Diana Gabaldon! Sam and Cait! (Jamie and Claire in Outlander)
Many strangers.
And oh yes. A selfie of me. The silly one; the one with the teeth.
And lookie there. My obsession (list from journal) is front and centre. What the heck.
Internet. You are so random.

And when I added my maiden name to the search bar?
My ex's pics got added to the mix.

What? Me?
Slow night?
Nothing to do?
What gives you that idea?


Are you on Instagram?
Can I follow you? Let me know your account name and I'll hunt you down.
My account link is over there - on the side -------->
(Mostly sunsets, to be honest.)

For a list of cool instragram accounts, check out this list.
I've decided to follow a few of them.
Love the creativity.


Today is Brenda's birthday.

Seeing it's her special day, I thought I'd ask all my readers to pray for her today...
Here is her post and prayer requests:

I awakened early this morning  (it was still quite dark outside) due to discomfort. This drove me to prayer right away. Isn't that an interesting thing? Discomfort brings most of us to our knees...especially unresolvable discomfort. Having anything going on that is beyond my scope to manage, puts me into a praying mood. Prayer is the best way for me to manage the unmanageable. 

So here is is how I am 'managing' today - first, five blessings then my concerns:

1. SO grateful to have a God in my life who knows me, who loves me, who cares for me, and who gives me hope.  Where would I be today without Him? Even my active imagination won't let me go there.

2. Where would I be without my family? My husband who can't do enough for me, my mom who packed up her life in Penticton to move in with me, my grown kids who bring laughter and tenderness to my heart, my grandkids who bring joy and remind me what it is to trust, my brother and sisters who bring comfort and a sense of 'normal' to this journey (in spite of their concern), and my extended family who are so supportive and encouraging. 

3. My 'close-in' friends who are there for me. They are a constant source of blessing - practical, emotional, and spiritual. They inspire me. 

4. My church. Even though I'm not there physically yet, I'm tracking activity, services, sermons, and I'm praying. I love and miss these people. 

5. The natural beauty all around me that make daily walks pure joy. Breathtaking!

Here's a list of the health-related things I'm praying about. It is my practice to voice my concerns, fears and tears once and thereafter to pray in faith and gratitude. I trust God is 'on it.'

1. Pain in my right chest and lung area, which makes it challenging to find a comfortable sleeping position. 

2. This pain limits some movement as well. 

3. Low grade headaches and dizziness which may be more related to mastoid effusion (fluid in the air pockets of bone behind the ears) which showed up on my last MRI. 

4. My digestive system has improved but still suffers from time to time. This is an unfortunate side effect of my chemo treatment. It means I need to think and plan carefully everything that I eat.. my carefree eating days are long gone :)

5. I have bursts of energy but I deplete quickly. I know many people with cancer who work full or part time jobs and seem carry on with life as usual. I am in awe. That simply is not my story but more of a longing. 

My next oncology appointment is September 3rd, when all of the above will be discussed and I know that God will lead the way. Thank you for praying with me. I hope I'm not taking the scripture passage too much out of context, but it spoke to my soul. 

Isaiah 57:18-19 (CEV)

I know what you are like! But I will heal you, lead you, and give you comfort, until those who are mourning start singing my praises. No matter where you are, I, the Lord, will heal you and give you peace.


Guess what!?
I'm (likely) going to meet Tricia of Daily Observations next month!
I'll be in Florida, which is only a 9 hour drive from where she currently lives, in Asheville NC.
I finally make it to Florida just after she moves away.

Tricia, with husband, Brewer and grandson, Oliver

Back when we both started blogging, when dinosaurs still roamed on earth, 
I stumbled across her blog and started following her. On National Delurking Day, I commented/introduced myself, and we've been blogging buddies/faebook friends ever since.

A few years ago, we had a photography mash up blog - that was fun ... 
Right Coast - Left Coast. Take a peak. 
It'll give you a glimpse into the differences/similarities in our lives. 

Oh internet. 
I really do love you.


I've just started following Huffington Post on twitter. Holy cow they post alot of links. 
Like every few minutes. A bit overwhelming. 
Nevertheless, this list was a good one for me to look at:
They're right. Those are the movies I want to see...


And lastly, here's a bunch of headshots/photos of women, in their 50's and 60's (?) 
who used to be playboy bunnies. Everyone ages.


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Airmiles. (Cheap/free flights this fall.)

3. Tank tops.

4. Long weekends because:


Thursday, August 28, 2014

And again with the sunset pics.

It's still summer, people.
Just because the sun sets at like, 8 o'clock, doesn't mean we have to start thinking about jeans and sweaters and boots and falling leaves.

Monday night.
Sunset Beach.

Apparently this is my last summer of 'evening walks'.

All the cool people are riding bikes these days.
Friends are acquiring wheels.
Facebook is filled with stories of people going on urban adventures on their bikes.

I've been warned.

I haven't ridden a bike in years. Like, many years.
Since I was a kid.
(Well, OK. There was that brief moment when I was a new mom that I rode a bike. I'd requested a bike for my birthday so that I could take Clint out for rides. He hated the stroller, so I thought a bike was my ticket to freedom. Alas, it was not so. He objected to being strapped into a seat; stroller or bike. Didn't matter. He wanted to walk. Thus ended my biking experience. Haven't sat on one since.)

So now that I know I'm going to start biking next year, I am hyper sensitive to all the Facebook posts and real life conversations that take place around me regarding bike rides. Holy moly. Everyone really IS doing it. Everyone.

And next year? I will be cool too.

On this:

The blog posts next summer are going to be amaZING.
SO many biking adventures. NO MORE HIKING.

In the meantime, how about another sunset pic:

I wonder.
If I was married, would my husband want to walk along the seawall with me?
Do guys enjoy this type of activity?
None of my friends' husbands do. As far as I know, my kids don't.
So maybe that's an unrealistic expectation?
Wouldn't be my first one.

I am so thankful for summers.
Warm air just feels festive.
Like, warm air = holiday feelings.
Everyday is a vacation, even if I go to work. Because.
Warm air.
Outdoor evening activities.

Tuesday night was Maureen's and my annual visit to the PNE.
We went on Tuesday because this guy was the entertainer at the Summer Nights Concert:

Did you listen?
Didja catch the words? Love'em:

Take those boots off the shelf
Wipe that dust of yourself
Even if you’ve been through hell; you’re back
It’s time to separate the men from the boys
And the women from the girls
And the tools from the toys
Even if you’re freaking out: just relax

Hey, before it gets too late
Before the night is over, before the world’s awake
Everything will change

Hey, I feel it coming on
Starting like a fire, tonight you lit the flame
Now everything will change

Back when it used to hurt
Took you a little while just to find the words
Losing, well, it sometimes burns, but you keep moving on
You’ve got to grow strong like you’re leading the nation
Got to make the best out of this situation
Get your hands up like it’s a celebration
And you keep moving on

Singing hey, before it gets too late
Before the night is over, before the world’s awake
Everything will change
Hey, I feel it coming on
Starting like a fire, tonight you lit the flame
Now everything will change

Inbetween the following PNE pics, I'll post totally unrelated thoughts and links. Because I can. 
For example, this is a good link to click on.

Didja click?
It's a TED idea... How to turn small talk into smart conversation. 
I suck at small talk. Bores me to death. 
SO obvs I love this. 

Here are some suggestions:

Ask for stories, not answers

One way to get beyond small talk is to ask open-ended questions. Aim for questions that invite people to tell stories, rather than give bland, one-word answers.
Instead of . . .
“How are you?”
“How was your day?”
“Where are you from?”
“What do you do?”
“What line of work are you in?”
“What’s your name?”
“How was your weekend?”
“What’s up?”
“Would you like some wine?”
“How long have you been living here?”
Try . . .
“What’s your story?”
“What did you do today?”
“What’s the strangest thing about where you grew up?”
“What’s the most interesting thing that happened at work today?”
“How’d you end up in your line of work?”
“What does your name mean? What would you like it to mean?”
“What was the best part of your weekend?”
“What are you looking forward to this week?”
“Who do you think is the luckiest person in this room?”
“What does this house remind you of?”
“If you could teleport by blinking your eyes, where would you go right now?”

Jenn and I talk every evening, round midnight, via Facebook message. She introduced me to this band earlier this summer. Kinda loving them:

You'll be okay
You'll be okay
The sun will rise
To better days

And change will come
It's on it's way
Just close your eyes
And let it rain

'Cause you're never alone
I will always be there
You just carry on
You will understand

You'll be okay
You'll be okay
Just look inside
You know the way

Let it go
Fly away
And say goodbye
To yesterday

'Cause you're never alone
And I will always be there
You just carry on
You will understand

And I will be strong
When love is gone
I'll carry on...

You'll be okay
You'll be okay
The sun will rise
To better days

You'll be okay
You'll be okay
Just close your eyes
And let it rain

When you need it the most
And all you've got is a prayer
You must carry on
You will understand
You will understand
You will understand

You'll be okay
You'll be okay
You'll be okay.

Great Big World. 
Theme song to that new movie: If I Go:


I love summer evenings.
So hard.
It was a perfect night.
Noisy, happy people everywhere.
Good music.
Excellent snacks.
Blinky lights.
PNE - such a good tradition.

Speaking of traditions...

This one? In Spain? LOOKS AWFULLY MESSY, but colourfully fun:

Overripe tomatoes were hurled in a massive red food fight today in the town of Bunol, Spain. The La Tomatina festival -- held each year on the last Wednesday of August -- evolved from a street fight in the 1940s when a group of young men who wanted to participate in the "gigantes y cabezudos" parade used tomatoes from a vegetable stand as weapons. An estimated 22,000 people showed up this year for the food fight. 

And this event, also, an annual tradition, is like the total absence of colour, but just as beautiful:

Diner En Blanc in Vancouver: (Click link to see all 68 photos.)
Cool, eh?

Last night, over 3,500 people showed up in white at David Lam Park in Yaletown for the annual Dîner en Blanc Vancouver.
Twenty-five years ago, the event began in Paris and has since spawned to hundreds of other cities around the world. The Paris event now draws accommodates 14,000 participants while New York City’s event is capped at 4,000 participants.
Vancouverites were introduced to Dîner en Blanc in 2012 when local organizers held an event at Jack Poole Plaza for 1,200 people. In 2013, the event was held at Creekside Park adjacent to Science World and had a capacity of 2,500, with a waiting list of 12,000. This year’s waiting list soared to 35,000.
Following tradition, attendees last night were informed of the Yaletown location at the very last minute.
With incredible demand, organizers continued to increase the $35 ticketed event’s capacity, raising it to 3,200 this year. They also greatly improved the calibre of this year’s event with extravagant decorations, performances by Vancouver Opera, acrobatics, stilt walkers and a finer menu package catered by David Hawksworth.

One last link. 
No pics this time.
Just words. 
To single men.

"Man Up"

Here’s some brutal honesty for you: if you ‘aren’t ready for something serious,’ then you need to go get yourself ready and leave these ladies alone until you do. You can’t go out and have sex (I mean, ‘hook up,’ as the middle schoolers at the lunch table might call it) and then claim that you ‘aren’t ready for something serious.’ It’s too late, friend. Sex is something serious.

No matter what anyone does, or says, or thinks; no matter what we tell ourselves; no matter what society insists, romantic relationships are always serious business. Call it what you want — hanging out, talking, dating — there’s a woman’s heart involved in it. That means you have a responsibility, alright? You have a duty as a human being, as an adult, as a man.
She’s making herself vulnerable to you. You need to honor that, protect it. And if you aren’t looking for anything but cheap sex and another trophy of sexual conquest to hang on the wall in your studio apartment, then you need to protect her from yourself, because you’ll be bringing nothing but disappointment and chaos into her life.

If you’re hanging out with a woman and you feel like you might be into her, tell her. Call her on the phone. Take her out on a date. Say the words: “I’d like to take you out.” No ambiguity. Plan the date yourself. Women want you to be decisive. Lose the whole “so waddaya wanna do tonight?” schtick. Take charge. Pick her up at 7. Pay for the meal. Have a conversation with her. Go mini golfing or something. Go somewhere. Open the door for her. Put your phone away. Open up to her. Share your ideas, your dreams, your fears. Get to know her. Pursue her. Pursue her. Invest yourself in the process, as scary and unsure as it may seem. Take a risk, gentlemen. Go out on a limb for once. Be purposeful. Be desirable. Be a man.

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Blue cotton candy
2. Warm cinnamon mini donuts
3. Chocolate fudge

Shalom friends,