Friday, July 25, 2014

It's 2 am.

Know what I'm doing?

Eating the last of the chocolate chip cookie dough that my sister handed me after she cut my hair yesterday. Oh yes I am.
And oh yes, I do have the best sister ever.

(Feels like sib-week. Saw my brother again (twice in the same month. WHOA) when he came to check on our flooded media room and non-working laundry-room tap.

He fixed it like a boss then gave me a ride to the freeway so I could walk back home. This is what brothers do.)

Getting back to tonight.
Know what else I'm doing?

I'm chatting with Jenn about Book 3 in the Outlander series.

It's our new thing. We check in at midnight most nights via Facebook PM. (Private Message) and talk about the story line. And Diana's amazing writing skills. And the upcoming mini series. (That starts in two weeks.)

And how Comic Con would have been The Event of a Lifetime to attend this year.

My twitter feed and facebook timeline are both bursting with Outlander/Jamie news.

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. An upcoming mini-reunion with a friend from forever-ago in October. I can hardly wait.

2. A mini-retreat with my writing group this weekend. (Pffft. We're just going to talk about Outlander, I think.)

3. A wedding this weekend. People still fall in love. I'm thankful for that.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Random bits from the weekend and beyond:

We’re both sitting at the table, dealing with files, (hers are actual - mine are digital) both of us wearing ear buds listening to our own playlists on our respective laptops. She’s at a Passion Concert, lifting her hands and singing worship songs with a bunch of Pentecostals. I’m in an Irish pub humming along to Galway girl.

We both take off our ear buds at the same time.
“We need to go to a Passion Concert,” she says.
“We need to go to Ireland,” I say at the same time. 
“OK," we say in unison. 

Have I mentioned my leg?
I think I snapped something in the back. Like, in my calf. I can bearly walk.
I checked online and either I am going to die in a few minutes of a blood clot or I will be forever lame because I’ve torn a tendon. Walking, not a sport for wimps.
Also, my dentist called. I need gum/bone surgery in my mouth.

Aging: the fun never stops.


Its only when you spend a lot time with other women that you notice (or its pointed out to you) how very 'different' you are from 'normal' women. 

For example:
(Well the biggest examples are, hello? Normal women are married. And don't live in the basement of their parent's place. But, in addition to that, there are other things I do that make me unlike most women...)

I like using tea towels as dish cloths. They are more efficient. (Use the largest tool for the job. A couple swipes across the counter, and you're done. None of this going back and forth a million times ...)
Most women, apparently, prefer small dish cloths, that when scrunched, fit entirely inside their hands.

I like keeping the dish soap under the sink. It's not a decorative item, it doesn't belong on the counter. Also, those Costco scrubby things with suction cups under their handles? I prefer to keep mine inside the sink when I'm done. It's not decorative  - why have it on display, upside down, on the edge of the sink?

I am a minority in this matter. 

And in others, as well.
Like, the smell of fresh basil? GAG.

Cilantro? The entire world’s most popular herb/flavor? NOT A FAN.

I think I'm going to make this a regular feature. 
The Minority Report: an ongoing list of all the things that make me unique/different/totally weird. 
Maybe it will help you feel less alone in your own individual quirkiness. 


On Sunday morning, instead of my usual sleeping-in-til-my-body-wants-to-get-out-of-bed routine, I set my alarm so that I could meet my kin and take some pics.

My dad's side of the family grew by one this week, and I was going to hold her...
Nothing like a newborn in your arms. NOTHING.

Meet Sadie Elisabeth:

These be my people:

My dad's brother, his son, his grandson, his great grandchildren. 
(In case you were wondering.)

And then it was my turn:

Happy sigh.


Today after work, my mom and I went looking for a vehicle for her ...

I sent the following text to Drew:

And then a few hours later, while we were at our first dealership, the conversation continued:

Then my sister texted me wondering where mom was.
"She's with me. We're sitting in a Cadillac."

Sent her this pic:

Drew arrived before we signed any sales agreement ...

... and made a few suggestions that were helpful.

We drove through a few more car lots then went out for dinner.
We were all in agreement... car salesmen are a breed unto themselves. 

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. New babies.
2. Time spent with my boy.
3. Happy surprises.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Husbands Who Travel ...

...leave behind women who are free to play. With me!

I am thankful for friends who's (whose?)  husbands go out of town.

Because of weekends like this one.

A (potentially) wet weekend at the lake with 172 DVD's, 6 bags of groceries, a ton of paper to be sorted (her) and a computer full of photo files that need culling (me).

After a dinner of salads (gag) we moved right into our snacks (Chocolate, me) (raw dates and coconut, her) while watching our first movie of the night: Pitch Perfect.

I smiled (when I wasn't cringing) through the whole thing. There's just something about watching teamwork and creativity that I absolutely love. Like, alot.

It's inspiring, no? To watch a group of talented, enthusiastic people come together to create something magical ...

Especially musical, dance-y people. I am such a fan. 

Every time they mashed a new song, I quickly found it on Youtube and added it to my playlist.


Me: I wonder if there are acapella competitions in real life?
Her: Uh
Me: I'm googling it.
Her: And?
Me: YES. ICCA. Regionals in Oregon in January.
Her: We need something to look forward to. Let's go.
Me: I'll get on the email list.
Her: Maybe google past events. See if any of the acts are on Youtube. We don't want to waste our time.
Me: Right. But if they're good, we totally should go.

We sang along to every song (she with a voice that sings. Me with a voice that talks low) and got up to dance/get more snacks when we couldn't sit still (her with a body that moves easily. Me with one that is more self-conscious and stiff.)

Me: You know how in Groundhog Day and Edge of Tomorrow Bill and Tom use the repetitiveness of their days to learn something? Like how to speak another language or become a great soldier? I think I should take advantage of my days' repetitiveness and learn how to swim. If I take lessons and practice everyday, I bet in ten years I'd be able to swim.
Her: It wouldn't take ten years.
Me: It probably would. I don't like getting my head wet.
Me: Or. I'd like to learn to dance.
Her: That's a better idea.
Me: Like, not professionally or anything. But I'd like to be able to move my body to a beat. Be loose. Free. Confident. And not look dorky. I want to learn some moves.
Her: Line dancing. Choreographed dancing. You should learn that. It's the best.
Me: Yeah, like 'be a part of something'. Everyone doing the same steps and I would be a part of the 'everyone'.

We put in our second movie of the night, The Best Marigold Hotel and settle in to watch kids at the other end of the age spectrum.

Me: I don't want to end up like Maggie Smith's character.
Her: Me either.
Me: I think I want to be like Judi Dench's character. Inquisitive. Friendly. Open to new experiences and new friendships. Remind me.
Her: K.

And then, half way through, the movie stopped. It Just Got Stuck. We restarted. We took out the disk and cleaned it. We blew in the Blu Ray player's opening. We tried everything. Finally we gave up.

Her: Do you have a Blu Ray player in your room?
Me: Yeaaaah.
Her: Let's try it on that. We can watch on your bed.
Me: Yeah, sure. (I said casually, like it's everyday I have someone relax on my bed and watch TV right beside me, possibly touching.)
Her: I'll get my contacts out and grab my pillow.
Me: (to myself) This'll be fun. Lookit me not being a wreck.

We set it all up and settled onto our respective half's of my bed.
I was doing this.
July 18.
Big day for me.

I am a moron.

And then the movie got stuck again at exactly the same spot, and we couldn't advance it past that so we gave up.

Such an anti-climatic end to our movie-watching day.

Will move on to Call the Midwife, Season 3 on Saturday. And maybe some Russell Crowe flicks. Possibly New Girl, Season 2. Walter Mitty. X-Men.

It's gonna be a fine weekend...

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Youtube. Hava listen:


3. Music

4. Talented people

5. Creativity

6. Time

7. The Internet

8. Texts from my kids. Well, not all texts. But ones that say, "love you", for example.

9. Hope

10. Toe nail polish

11. Memories

12. People who share their stories

13. People who share their passions

14. Kindness

15. Birdsong at twilight

16. Breezes

17. Shared joys

18. Patient people

19. Words

20. Buttered popcorn

21. Ice water

22. Frozen chocolate bars

23. Raspberries

24. Potpourri

25. Green

26. Blue eyes

27. Plans

28. Forgiveness

29. Friends

30. Music:

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Prayer. And Some Pics.

Last night I wore a hat and went into the ocean. 
Not at the same time. 
But still.

After work, Heather invited me to 'her' beach and drove us over there in her sexy convertible.
Thus the need for a hat. 
And a bathing suit. 
(Which were worn at the same time. In her car. With the top off. On that new freeway. Going fast. And heading west. Which was wonderful.)

Once we got to the beach, I took off the hat (I really have too much head for a hat) and accepted the floatation device she offered me, seeing as I cannot swim. Due to a strong incoming current and wimpy arms and a high level of fear when not being able to touch the bottom, I gave back the floaty and simply bobbed in the water. 

Me. In an ocean. In the evening. Getting wet. 
There are days I have to look in the mirror just to ensure it's still me inside this body. 

After we got out, we walked over to a Secret Neighbourhood Garden that is hidden between people's back yards and an empty, undeveloped lot at the end of a no-through road. It's a neighbourhood project that's been going on for years. IT IS A GEM. 

To conclude our evening together, we watched Philomena, which she hadn't seen before. She is a satisfying movie-watching-partner because she is so expressive during the emotional/surprising scenes. 

Know what?
Evenings like this (well, actually, most summer evenings this year) feel like mini-vacations. I don't have any summer holiday plans, but evenings and weekends have the ability to recharge my batteries nicely. 

Pictures of last night's adventure to follow in between the words of something I wrote out for a new friend who asked me to pray for her. I sent it to her a few weeks ago; and apparently she printed it off and prayed it, herself, every day since then. And while things haven't turned out like she hoped, she knows that God is in this. 

He is right there, in the pain. 
He is right there, in the healing. 
He listens. And cares. And He sees the big picture. We have to trust that.

(I'm changing the words of the prayer slightly to make it less personal. In case you're wondering.)

Me in the white baseball cap. 

Dear God, 

Someone I care about is feeling mixed up and lost. Could You help her with that?
She’s having a rough time with being separtate from someone she loves, and well, You know that. 

Could You comfort her during this time? Give her peace? And maybe some wisdom too?

What is Your will in this? Could You let her know?

Its' hard not being with someone you care for – could You help her fill her days with meaning and joy?

God? Who should she spend time with? What would You have her do? God, I pray that this summer would not drag on and on with unmet longings, but one filled with new/renewed relationships, new experiences, and a closer connection to You.

I pray that this season would be one filled with wonder. Open her eyes to see the things You want her to notice. 

Remind her that You’ve created her with a set of talents and gifts that are unique and needed in this world. Nudge her to use them this summer in whatever circumstances she finds herself in. Give her the courage to be the woman You designed her to be.

Fill her life with companions of Your choosing. Let her be a blessing to them. If she’s feeling lost, give her purpose.

If this relationship with her fella is Your idea, then I pray You would give them the strength to make it work despite the separation. Give them both wisdom to proceed with love and respect. And if this relationship is just for a season, and not forever, give them the wisdom to know that as well.

And God? 
If they are heading for a break-up, I pray that it would end well.

That they both would be respectful of each other's feelings. 
That they would end things with words of encouragement. 
That there would be kindness and good will in their parting.

Give them strength and wisdom and the right words.

While I’m at it, God, I’m going to pray for NA and AA communities in New West, Vancouver and England. 

I pray that You would protect those folks who are connected in a recovery community from temptations that threaten to overwhelm. I pray for their meetings. Could you post some of Your angels at the doorway and on the roofs so that evil cannot enter? May those who attend be welcomed and feel Your peace. May there be authenticity, healing and hope at these meetings. 

God I pray for those who are still struggling with addiction – could you guide them towards the NA/AA communities in their neighbourhood? Could you provide them with new friends who are in recovery, and who will walk alongside?

I pray that You will give those who are hurting the boost they need to get through another day.

I pray they'll feel Your love today.

And tomorrow.

And everyday.

Who's that, then? Haha. A mirror in the garden. For selfies. 


While I was working on this post, I was chatting with Jenn, my late night Outlander reading buddy, and she, reading my earlier post this evening (Links and Love) sent me a link to a song. I had been saying, (in regards to that last post) that I didn't add any original material to the already cluttered internet. All I did was regurgitate words that were already there.

This is the song - SAY SOMETHING...

I got goosebumps listening to it, while writing out that prayer above, because it was so timely. Jenn had no idea I was working on another blog post (seriously, TWO in one evening?) about aching hearts and broken relationships ....

"Say Something"

Say something, I'm giving up on you
I'll be the one, if you want me to
Anywhere I would've followed you
Say something, I'm giving up on you

And I am feeling so small
It was over my head
I know nothing at all

And I will stumble and fall
I'm still learning to love
Just starting to crawl

Say something, I'm giving up on you
I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you
Anywhere I would've followed you
Say something, I'm giving up on you

And I will swallow my pride
You're the one that I love
And I'm saying goodbye

Say something, I'm giving up on you
And I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you
And anywhere I would've followed you (Oh-oh-oh-oh)
Say something, I'm giving up on you

Say something, I'm giving up on you
Say something...

Links and Loves

I love pedicures. This color? Strawberry Daiquiri by OPI:


Here's a link worth checking out if you're looking for a book to read.

And if you're too lazy to click a link, (seriously?) here's her list:
(She has * the ones she's read. I'll bold the ones I've read.)

*1. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
2. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
3. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
4. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
*5. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
*6. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
*7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
9. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
*10. Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
11. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
12. Sycamore Row by John Grisham
13. Garlic & Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
14. The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
15. Open by Andre Agassi
16. The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
17. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
18. The One and Only by Emily Giffin
19. Hotel On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
20. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
*21. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
22. Serena by Ron Rash
*23. Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan
24. The Gift of An Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison
25. Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers
26. Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers
27. Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
28. The Yada Yada Prayer Group Series by Neta Jackson
29. The All You Can Dream Buffet by Barbara O’Neal
30. The House Girl by Tara Conklin
31. And Then I Found You by Patti Callahan Henry
32. Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand
33. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
34. A Southern Family by Gail Godwin
35. Through A Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen
36. Defending Jacob by William Landay
37. The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
38. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
39. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker
*40. The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan
41. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
42. Watermelon by Marian Keyes
43. Butterfly Palace by Colleen Coble
44. Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian
45. The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes
46. Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
47. I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution by Rob Tannenbaum & Craig Marks
*48. Bossypants by Tina Fey
*49. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
50. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
51. The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher by Rob Stennett
52. The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
53. The Professor by Robert Bailey
54. The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy
55. Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman
56. 11-12-63 by Stephen King
57. Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey From Homeless to Harvard by Liz Murray
58. Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
59. My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
*60. Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
61. The Century Trilogy by Ken Follet
62. The Walk by Richard Paul Evans
63. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
64. The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert Edsel and Brett Witter
65. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Steadman
66. Lower Than the Angels by Margaret Symmank
67. I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley
*68. Half-Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
69. Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim’s Tale by Ian Morgan Cron
70. The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett
71. Heft by Liz Moore
72. Handling Sin by Michael Malone
73. White Gloves and Collards: A Memoir by Helen Pruden Kaufmann
*74. A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel
75. One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus

But, don't be lazy. Go click the link and read the comments in her post. Her readers offer more great book suggestions...

Do you like street art? WHO DOESN'T? Cummon.
One of my favorite-ist afternoons in Montreal (when I was there with Clint and Drew in 2008), was when we stumbled across this:

Here's a link to some photos of street art around the world.


I love this dad's letter to his daughter, Julia:

"The struggle to impress our peers has invaded and consumed every minute of our lives. Julia, please understand this: of the entire population of the planet, only an infinitesimal percentage of them will ever be more than anonymous to you. Only the tiniest fraction will ever give you more than a passing glance. You should still love and respect these strangers, but you don’t need to impress them. Be a beacon of charity and truth to everyone, but you don’t need to worry about the opinions and judgments of every single person you happen across on the street."


This is my friend, Terry. She's sitting in a nice car, yo?

Friends of hers have started a new business: Scenic Rush
Got three friends? 
Each of you rents one of their exotic cars (Lamborghini Gallardo. Ferrari Spider. Audi R8. Nissan GT-R) for a driving experience (say, 2 hours along the Sea-to-Sky highway). But why drive just one car?  Take turns driving half an hour in each of them. 

Awesome milestone birthday present idea, no? 


LOVE the new pink addition to our family... I get to meet her on Sunday:

Sadie Elisabeth Klassen -

(My cousin's granddaughter...)


I can't indicate strongly enough how much I adore the Humans of New York page on Facebook. And if you're not on Facebook, he also posts his photos and stories to twitter and his blog. Seriously. My favorite site to visit every day.

Also, my favorite song right now? The Story of My Life by One Direction. Haha. Boy band. How old am I?

HOWEVER, I love the whole concept of Life as Story. LOVE IT. And this captures that for me.

(And this has me thinking...
I'm wondering about doing a mash up of the two concepts: Humans of Jane's Life...
A photo and brief 'story' of each of the people who make up my life...)

Will ponder this idea for awhile.


I love this girl. And her link. SO much wisdom:

These challenges would've been tough and exhausting enough without adding Joey to the mix, and with him they proved to be a stretching time in my and Stuart's relationship that involved plenty of laughter, anger, apologies, encouragement, discouragement, and creative problem solving and decision making. Oh, and major team work.  Through these experiences we learned a lot about how we take care of Joey in times of frustration and how important encouraging words and unconditional love and sacrifice are in times when every inch of you wants to scream or turn away in your seat and selfishly bury your head in a book or a pillow while your spouse struggles with a screaming, overtired child.


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. The people I work with. Such integrity and enthusiasm for the projects we work on. 

2. Salsa.

3. The internet.