Thursday, December 31, 2009

Seventh Day of Christmas/New Year's Eve

The announcer on the radio this morning reminded me that in addition to today being the last day of the year, it's also the last day of the decade.

Which got me thinking of all that has transpired in the past ten years. I think this past ten years can be defined as "transitional."
From child to adult.
From high schooler to done grad school.
From "sweet sixteen and never been kissed" to happily married and "not-so-newly-wed."
From farm girl to thriving in the city.

I've learned a lot about myself in this ten years.
And I don't think I have integrally least not for the worse.
I like to think that I've become more myself.

This past year has been a time of significant growing up and changing as well,
with heart-wrenching pain as well as great joy.
Lessons learned; renewed reliance on God;
friendships strengthened; a new sister.

Most of all, through this year I have been thankful for relationships.
An introvert though I am, the deep meaningful relationships,
the wisdom and trust and love,
the joy of sharing sorrow and laughter,
these are what life is about.
The epiphany of knowing that others have experienced what I now do
or have endured things beyond my small world and are the stronger for it.

It has been a year of living relationally.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Christmas must be getting closer: The Christmas cactus in bloom and bud.
Our decorated tree.
Our Advent candle is melting downwards.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Third and Fourth Sundays in Advent

And Christmas marches ever closer. It's amazing how quickly December flies by. So fast I missed posting for the third Sunday in Advent and now it's the fourth. This morning at Church, our youth lit the Advent candle and as a youth leader, I got to read the prayer: Loving God, we open ourselves to you this Christmas season. As these candles are lit, light our lives with your imagination. Show us the creative power of hope. Teach us the peace that comes from justice. Fill us with the kind of joy that cannot be contained, but must be shared. Magnify your love within us. Prepare our hearts to be transformed by you, That we may walk in the light of Christ. Amen.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

These Feet Were Made For Walking

I call this one "Feet: 31 mm."

Friday, December 11, 2009

Second Sunday in Advent

In honour of the second Sunday in Advent, I give you the evening reading from the Book of Common Prayer for this day: Isaiah 1o:33-11:9. Behold, the Lord, The Lord of hosts, Will lop off the bough with terror; Those of high stature will be hewn down, And the haughty will be humbled. He will cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, And Lebanon will fall by the Mighty One. There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots, The spirit of hte Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. His delight is in the fear of the Lord, And He shall not judge by sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears; But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his loins, And faithfulness the belt of his waist. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea. Amen.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Facebook and Friendship

A fantastic article on the history of friendship and how modern "friending" via Facebook and other social networks has altered our meaning of friendship. It's a long article but worth the read from The Chronicle Review of Higher Education. "Friendship is devolving, in other words, from a relationship to a feeling—from something people share to something each of us hugs privately to ourselves in the loneliness of our electronic caves, rearranging the tokens of connection like a lonely child playing with dolls. The same path was long ago trodden by community. As the traditional face-to-face community disappeared, we held on to what we had lost—the closeness, the rootedness—by clinging to the word, no matter how much we had to water down its meaning. Now we speak of the Jewish "community" and the medical "community" and the "community" of readers, even though none of them actually is one. What we have, instead of community, is, if we're lucky, a "sense" of community—the feeling without the structure; a private emotion, not a collective experience. And now friendship, which arose to its present importance as a replacement for community, is going the same way. We have "friends," just as we belong to "communities." Scanning my Facebook page gives me, precisely, a "sense" of connection. Not an actual connection, just a sense.

What purpose do all those wall posts and status updates serve? On the first beautiful weekend of spring this year, a friend posted this update from Central Park: "[So-and-so] is in the Park with the rest of the City." The first question that comes to mind is, if you're enjoying a beautiful day in the park, why don't you give your iPhone a rest? But the more important one is, why did you need to tell us that? We have always shared our little private observations and moments of feeling—it's part of what friendship's about, part of the way we remain present in one another's lives—but things are different now. Until a few years ago, you could share your thoughts with only one friend at a time (on the phone, say), or maybe with a small group, later, in person. And when you did, you were talking to specific people, and you tailored what you said, and how you said it, to who they were—their interests, their personalities, most of all, your degree of mutual intimacy. "Reach out and touch someone" meant someone in particular, someone you were actually thinking about. It meant having a conversation. Now we're just broadcasting our stream of consciousness, live from Central Park, to all 500 of our friends at once, hoping that someone, anyone, will confirm our existence by answering back. We haven't just stopped talking to our friends as individuals, at such moments, we have stopped thinking of them as individuals. We have turned them into an indiscriminate mass, a kind of audience or faceless public. We address ourselves not to a circle, but to a cloud."

"The new group friendship, already vitiated itself, is cannibalizing our individual friendships as the boundaries between the two blur. The most disturbing thing about Facebook is the extent to which people are willing—are eager—to conduct their private lives in public. "hola cutie-pie! i'm in town on wednesday. lunch?" "Julie, I'm so glad we're back in touch. xoxox." "Sorry for not calling, am going through a tough time right now." Have these people forgotten how to use e-mail, or do they actually prefer to stage the emotional equivalent of a public grope? I can understand "[So-and-so] is in the Park with the rest of the City," but I am incapable of comprehending this kind of exhibitionism. Perhaps I need to surrender the idea that the value of friendship lies precisely in the space of privacy it creates: not the secrets that two people exchange so much as the unique and inviolate world they build up between them, the spider web of shared discovery they spin out, slowly and carefully, together. There's something faintly obscene about performing that intimacy in front of everyone you know, as if its real purpose were to show what a deep person you are. Are we really so hungry for validation? So desperate to prove we have friends?

But surely Facebook has its benefits. Long-lost friends can reconnect, far-flung ones can stay in touch. I wonder, though. Having recently moved across the country, I thought that Facebook would help me feel connected to the friends I'd left behind. But now I find the opposite is true. Reading about the mundane details of their lives, a steady stream of trivia and ephemera, leaves me feeling both empty and unpleasantly full, as if I had just binged on junk food, and precisely because it reminds me of the real sustenance, the real knowledge, we exchange by e-mail or phone or face-to-face. And the whole theatrical quality of the business, the sense that my friends are doing their best to impersonate themselves, only makes it worse. The person I read about, I cannot help feeling, is not quite the person I know."

Thank you for the food for thought, William Deresiewicz.

Friday, December 04, 2009

First Sunday In Advent (retroactively)

This past Sunday was the first Sunday in Advent. We've been so busy lately with various things that we kind of missed it, and didn't start lighting our Advent Candle until yesterday. That said, I've done some reading about Advent lately (in the book I recommended a couple of days ago--A Circle of Seasons). Ireton explains that each of the four Sundays in Advent has a watchword with a Biblical context associated therewith (p. 21). The word for the first Sunday is wait. How are we waiting and preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ? How are we awaiting and preparing for His second coming? These are the questions Ireton asks. She suggests doing something active in our Advent waiting. In Lent, when we wait the Lord's return, we often "give something up." She suggests that we also fast in some way during Advent to consciously choose to await Christ's birth. How will we spend the month of December? Overwhelmed by the many many activities and the food and the consumerism? Or can we somehow stop and ponder how we are preparing ourselves to celebrate the arrival of the One who saved the world? Somehow this month I want to prepare and anticipate. It's hard not to get caught up in the excitement--but often materialistic--activity of December. But today, for better or for worse, we were forced to stop. The sudden arrival of a winter storm slowed us down. It was beautiful but also caused an unfortunate change in our weekend plans. It would be easy to feel like we are waiting, just inside our front door, for the storm to end and we can DO again. But, Ireton quotes Henri Nouwen with a very thought-provoking idea: "Active waiting means to be present fully to the moment, in the conviction that something is happening where you are and that you want to be present in it. A waiting person is someone who is present in the moment, who believes that this moment is the moment" (p. 23). How can I be present in the moment and actively anticipate Christ's arrival--at this Christmas but also for all of my days?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

To Make You Feel My Love

Ok let's face it, I'm an emotional individual at the best of times these days. But this song really gets me for some reason. The artist, Adele, has a really gorgeous voice. As a side note, I've never really been a huge fan of Bob Dylan. But a number of times I've come across songs in which I'm really struck by the lyrics, only to find that the song was written by good old Bob. And this is another one of those cases. The words:

When the rain is blowing in your face And the whole world is on your case I could offer you a warm embrace To make you feel my love

When the evening shadows and the stars appear And there is no one there to dry your tears I could hold you for a million years To make you feel my love

I know you haven't made your mind up yet But I would never do you wrong I've known it from the moment that we met No doubt in my mind where you belong

I'd go hungry, I'd go black and blue I'd go crawling down the avenue There's nothing that I wouldn't do To make you feel my love

The storms are raging on the rollin' sea And on the highway of regret The winds of change are blowing wild and free You ain't seen nothing like me yet

I could make you happy, make your dreams come true Nothing that I wouldn't do Go to the ends of the earth for you To make you feel my love

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Street On Which We Live

The street on which we live looks like this tonight: I think winter has realized that the first Sunday in Advent (more on this soon) was yesterday and so has decided that now is the time to make things look more wintery and Christmasy. So, hello, winter! I'm glad we got winter tires on Friday... makes the daily commute seem slightly less daunting...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Circle of Seasons

The Circle of Seasons: Meeting God in the Church Year The Circle of Seasons: Meeting God in the Church Year by Kimberlee Conway Ireton My rating: 5 of 5 stars By far, the most inspirational and thought-provoking book I've read in a while. I never knew there was so much symbolism and history to learn from the church calendar year. I am totally inspired to try out some of Ireton's ideas. Her anecdotes make the book very readable and her research was carefully done--she even includes a bibliography for further reading. View all my reviews >> First thing up, learning how to do Advent.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Continuing the love affair...

You may not know this, but I LOVE Volkswagens. My first car, a beautiful beautiful Rabbit named Svend, instigated this love. I love how they simply have a different look than a North American vehicle. I like the German engineering. I love how my 25 year old brown beetly front wheel drive diesel purred [except at temperatures below -15...]. And now, from Volkswagon, (We stole this from you, Kevan...thanks for sharing)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Oh yes, I sure did graduate with the cap and gown and hood and the whole bit. It was a really great experience...except for the sore legs from standing for an hours before things started, and then sitting for three hours through 500+ students graduating. But to be there as three out of four "Mistresses of History" graduating from our year (see the photograph) and to have finally, finally finished. Wow. But most of all, I was blessed by the love and support and encouragement of so many friends and family. There was no way I would have made it through the program on my own, and I loved that I could share what really was a momentous day with so many of my favourite people. We had some friends and family over in the evening of convocation--mostly people in close vicinity or who I knew wouldn't be able to make an afternoon convocation but who would come to an evening party. Two of my brothers and the third brother's wife drove up; both my parents and my in-laws came; an aunt and an uncle from BC planned their visit so they could be there; an old family friend came; Brent's siblings and in-laws all came; and some of our very good friends from the Calgary area dropped by. They came with hugs and congratulations and hand-made cards and food and FLOWERS and gifts. And most of all, with love. I felt so, so loved and surrounded by caring people. It took me forever to fall asleep that night, I was so busy thinking about what awesome people we know. Thanks, everyone, for your love. And thank you God, for making us relational beings, able to love one another. (My only regret is that we didn't take any pictures of the evening. Bah.)

Throwing out Food

News story for today: Macleans "What a Waste." How much food do you typically throw out? I'm sorry to say that we end up throwing out our share of mouldy or limp carrots and celery... Something to work on.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

CBC News - Calgary - Calgary family negotiates homework ban

Interesting comment on our education system. I know at least in the early grades, a lot of school time is actually time socializing children to be together. So why is homework necessary in those cases? Just one more reason I'm interested in homeschooling someday... CBC News - Calgary - Calgary family negotiates homework ban

Blowing Snow

This past weekend K and I managed to slip out of the city for a weekend away in Banff. We'll post a more thorough story of that, but I thought I'd share this one photo. While sitting in Starbucks for a morning coffee I was gazing out across the street and beyond to Mount Rundle. Though Calgary has little (or no) snow, Banff and the surrounding mountains have received a fair amount. The wind was blowing hard that morning and I noticed the snow was flying off the top of the mountain. It was a beautiful site, and I wanted to capture it. The sun was lighting up the blowing snow just right and with the dark clouds behind, gave the photo great contrast. More and more I am learning that to make great photographs you need to be in the right place and the right time, and in this case I think I was in the right place at the right time.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Something to think about: "What is family? We are family or not largely because of the way we treat each other...In a true family we honor each other. We do not control, dominate, manipulate. Power is not a family value. Family can be a movable feast. It can be a group of friends sitting around the dining table for an evening. It can be one or two people coming to stay with me for a few nights or a few weeks. It should be the church...Family can be our house churches, our Bible study groups, our prayer groups. Family ultimately means commitment. I am deeply committed to my family, with all its brokenness and fallenness. I am deeply committed to my friends, some of whom have been in my heart since I was a teenager, some who have come more recently. It is the commitment which makes family. The people we eat with, around the altar, or around the dining table at home." --Madeleine L'Engle, Bright Evening Star: Mystery of the Incarnation

Friday, November 06, 2009

Fall Warmth

It can't be doesn't feel like November today. It's not a scarf day. It's not a toque day. It's not even a mitten day. The golden sunlight casts its anti-shadow over the trees and leaves and grass and houses. Making everything warm. Thanks for today.


A benediction that I remember from my childhood: "Now may the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Amen. (also from Philippians 4). Today we received some good news that gives us a new sense of peace about the future. What has been an emotional week comes to a peaceful and fear-free end. Thanks be to God.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

God's Plan

"I don't need to understand miracles now in the midst of my human life. I have to believe that what happens to us will be used in God's plan for the universe. We are again tangled in the contradictions of human free will and God's will, but ultimately God's will indeed will be done." --Madeleine L'Engle, Bright Evening Star: Mystery of the Incarnation.

Mental Photographs

There are so many times on my drive to work that I wish I had a camera in my eyes and could capture an image to share. (Not so much on the drive home...I'm usually fighting to stay awake, let alone pay attention to beauty around me.) Yesterday morning, I was coming down the hill on 14th Street towards 17th Avenue, when a tall coppered church steeple caught my eye. It was lit up in the sunrise, and stood out magnificently against the blue morning sky, the way the church towers in Europe do. Seventeenth Avenue, even further away from downtown, has some lovely buildings, signs and a cultural feel. I wonder how that is all going to change when the C-Train moves in three years from now...

Monday, November 02, 2009


This is a bittersweet season for reasons that run too deep to explain in a public forum like this blog. But one thing I know from the past couple of days, is that God has placed people in my life who make everything a little brighter. To "brighten up even my darkest night" even when the nights are that much darker now with the arrival of daylight savings time. Whose presence and words seem miraculous in their timeliness.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Today we went for a walk in Fish Creek Park just because it was sunny. Today we start a months worth of blogging everyday. Can we do it? Sure hope so. Today we got to hang out with some really fun five year olds. Today we visited with some close friends and felt loved and taken care of.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Growing Pains...

"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
— Maya Angelou

Friday, October 16, 2009

How Many Ways to Shoot a Ring

I have been taking some photography courses and have really enjoyed them. One is a wedding photography class, but the other is an intermediate level general photography. For the general class I am given an assignment every week. This past weeks was "shoot a product out of its normal surroundings". So I thought for a while and came up with taking K's engagement ring around to different situations at shooting it. It turned out to be fun, till the last shot, for which I sat for 45 minutes taking 200 shots to come out with 5 that were sort of in focus... though in the end its a cool concept. Here are a sampling of what I took.

Monday, October 12, 2009


It's Thanksgiving, and I have so much to be thankful for: - For the leftover apple pie I'm eating right now--my favourite! - For the support and friendship of siblings. - For in-laws who love and support and show incredible generousity and hospitality. - For my job...fulfilling, well-paying and a blessing in the face of so much unemployment. - For our church family that loves, supports, encourages and stretches us in so many ways. - For being done university at long last, having completed everything to the satisfaction of both myself and my profs. - For having enough. Clothes, food, heat. We are provided for. - For physical health. For the ability to enjoy the outdoors; to move and be active. - For my husband, who love, supports and grounds me and with whom I absolutely love sharing life. - For sunshine that makes plants grow, makes things warm and light and makes my heart happy. - For being born into a country with universal health care, democracy, wide open spaces of nature, and relative plenty. - For music and how it expresses my soul. ...and there's so many more that I can't even begin to cover them all. These are just the ones that come to mind especially right now.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Wedding Dress Shots, Take Two

How often does an opportunity like this come along? B's taking a wedding photography class at present, and he volunteered the two of us as models for the informal photoshoot session on SAIT campus. With the provision that my dress still fit. So, two weekends ago, we pulled it out. Fitting into it was no problem. However, there were several other rather large hitches. Major hitch #1 1) The corset-back ties may or may not have been run over as we left the wedding, and may or may not have ripped. Ok, they did rip. In two pieces. And had tire-rubber marks and dirt all over them. Oh yes, and for a few frantic minutes, we thought we'd lost them all together. 2) The dress had been tied up in a plastic bag for four years and was very wrinkled. Especially the lengthier train in the back. 3) I had never had the dress cleaned after the wedding and, seeing as it was an outdoor wedding, it was quite dirty. But at least I hadn't spilled anything on it! Oh well, we thought, these are all overcomeable with a little ironing, sewing and dusting. However, we left all of this until an hour before we were supposed to leave for the shoot along with getting all of Brent's stuff ironed, polished and tied (whoops!). But, thanks to my trusty sewing machine and a little creative cleaning and ironing, we managed to get the dress in working order. So the dress, we figured, was a go. What we forgot to account for, until the day before the shoot, was that I am completely incompetent when it comes to fancy hair doing. Ever wondered why I keep my hair long and at one length? Because it's easy to tie up in a braid or bun. And a bun or ponytail or braid just wouldn't cut it for this situation. So, major hitch #2: I am hair-doing handicapped. However, a good friend of mine stepped in for the rescue. We headed over to her house Saturday morning and while B and her husband visited, she handled the hair situation. It looked GOOD. Definitely as good as the original wedding hair-style, though a way more sophisticated look. (Thanks D!) So, with the addition of my far-east imported pearls (finally a chance to wear them, Rach!), some make-up courtesy of the Body Shop, my warmest leggings and fancy scarf, I was ready for take 2. The dress is now in DIRE need of being cleaned, however. I think I'm going to get dry-cleaned and packed up professionally. I don't think I'll be needing it any time after this. Wearing it once more and getting it extra dirty has been good incentive to get this looked after finally. Playing dress-up was one of my favourite activities as a child. Right up there with reading. Apparently I haven't grown out of either. :D Our real wedding pictures were a bit of a letdown. So hopefully some of the students' images turned out well and they'll pass them along to us. Obviously they won't replace the ones from the real day, but they're a fun alternative. In closing, I have to say I'm a little self-conscious of all the shots of just me, but, obviously, Brent couldn't be in the shots that he took himself. Hopefully we'll have pictures of him too later.

Friday, October 02, 2009

To The Mountains While We Can

Last Sunday we took advantage of the fact that Life Group was canceled and headed out to the mountains after church. The weather was so clear and the colours of the leaves and sky so gorgeous, it was an afternoon meant for hiking. Since we'd never done any hiking in the Bragg Creek area before, we decided to head out that direction and find somewhere to hike. It's not as far into the mountains as we would normally if we were hiking Three Sisters or Bourgeau, for instance, but it was far enough. The hike up Moose Mountain was quite reminiscent of the Coliseum hike out by Nordegg. You make a left hand curve as you hike through the trees and then out and along a ridge for several kilometres. Then up a steep steep incline to the top. At the top of Moose Mountain lies a fire look out station complete with a helicopter landing pad, a mailbox, a clothesline and an outhouse with a view. And a very friendly hospitable fire lookouter. We had lunch on the helicopter landing pad, enjoying the 180 degree view. It was absolutely beautiful in the late afternoon light.The way down was mighty chilly. We could see our breath for most of the journey. I put on every layer I had brought with me and I still lost feeling in all of my fingers. But it was SO worth it. We got down into Bragg Creek at around seven thirty and stopped for some high salt, high calorie snacks for the journey home. A day well spent!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Photo Processing

I really enjoy taking and working on photos. Slowly over the years I have learned Adobe Photoshop almost inside and out. In the process I felt like cause I knew so much I knew so little in turn. A running joke about Adobe Photoshop is there are 100 ways to do the exact same thing, so over time I've learned various techniques (workflows) in my processing. This morning I was working on a photo of J & M's wedding (I didn't take the photo). I felt like I had come to a good place with it, and looking back I realized I had created my own very quick work flow system. I wanted to remember this system, so I created a video of it. Most of the mumbo jumbo at the bottom of the video most pople won't understand, but the photo does come a long ways from SOOC (straight out of camera) to the final product. And so I share the video...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Farewell to the books

Today I returned the remainder of my secondary literature from my research. At one point I had close to 100 books out of the University Library, in addition to several from the Public Library and several more from Interlibrary loan. Now, I have approximately five books out, and none of them are thesis related.

If I Had a Hammer

Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary dies Shared via AddThis I've often thought that if I could have the voice of any female vocalist, it would be Mary Travers from Peter Paul and Mary. Strong and clear, tonal and tightly harmonizing, yet understated and best fit for a group, not a solo. I've learned a lot about harmonizing from Peter Paul and Mary.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Belgian farmers dump milk in massive protest

Belgian farmers dump milk in massive protest Shared via AddThis Wow, I don't know what to say about this except that (1) while I agree that it seems like a crime to waste all this milk when people in the world are starving (2) I admire these farmers' determination to make their case heard. In my opinion, governments throughout the world should take whatever steps necessary to ensure the survival of a local food economy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Significance of the Sweater

Perhaps the significance of this sweatshirt will be lost on you. Then let me present some enlightenment. I promised myself that before I was all said and done with my education at the University of Calgary, I would purchase a UofC hoodie or sweatshirt of some sort. To commemorate my time there. Consequently, presence and attire of said article of clothing means only one thing: I am officialy K, holder of a Master's Degree in History. And what a run it has been. Copies of the much-berated, oft-forlorned, and now small-revisions-from-being-completed thesis may or may not be obtained from the author.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Well Hello

Oh hello Fall. I see you've arrived.
Though summer seemed far too short, and August over far too quickly, I think I will like you too.
So long as you give us some gloriously sunny and cool days with evening sunsets hazy with harvest dust.
Breathe gold and yellow and orange and red into the leaves but don't blow them off the trees too fast.
Cover the grass in frosty icing in the morning that melts by the light of the sun.
Be cool enough for light jackets, but not cold for winter coats.
I hope you'll last at least until October 31st, please. Keep winter away at least until November. Halloween's more fun for kids when they don't have to wear winter coats underneath their costumes.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Laundry is my favourite chore. Nope, not kidding. I like sorting the dirty clothes into loads. I like adding soap to the washing machine. I like the rhythmic sounds made by the machine as it churns and spins. In the winter, I like pulling the dry clothes out of the dryer all warm and good-smelling. I like making neat uniform stacks of folded clothes, ready to be put away. But most of all, I like summertime use of clotheslines. I like clothespins with their funny little shape and practical purpose. I like hanging out clothes in multi-coloured strands or flags. I like seeing the sun shine on the clothes and watching the wind blow the clothes gently. I like the crisp feel and smell of the clothes after they're dry. They seem to take on the smell of the sun and wind. And too, I like the fact that it saves us money and energy by hanging things out to dry. Clotheslines should be legal everywhere, without question.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

To Waterton and Back

It's a good thing not very many people know how beautiful Waterton National Park is, because then it would be way more busy (she says as she writes a public blog post on the topic).
Well, I'll say it anyway: Waterton is breath-taking.
It helped that the weather was 100% cooperative while we were there, certainly.
We got a campsite overlooking the creek, overlooking the prairies jutting into the mountain valley, and overlooking the mountains themselves.
The campground had no showers and no hot water, so our bathing was done in the creek--fine by me! It reminded me of the good old days spending weeks at Kootenay Plains working at summer camp.
I've been wanting to do the Crypt Lake Hike for years, ever since I first read about it in the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide, and saw a picture of a guy climbing through the side of a mountain. Our route looking forward (Brent has added a red line where we walked): Our route looking backward:
In order to do this hike, you need to cross the lake by ferry. Then in addition to the usual switchbacks, valley-walk, creek-crossings and what-not, you have to climb a metal ladder and, crouching down, squirm through a 60ish foot natural tunnel in the side of the mountain, before emerging on the other side. Then you skirt around the side of the mountain, holding onto a cable if you're worried about the drop-off or are feeling unsteady on your feet.The following picture makes it look like the tunnel is huge. It's not. Brent pretty much had to crab-walk to get through.
Then a little further up and over the lip of the valley and you drop into a cirque where the ice-cold Crypt Lake lies. On the far side of the lake, part way up the scree slope, is the border between Canada and the United States. So we could almost say that we went to the US without passports...
We took the nine o'clock ferry across (you could also catch one at ten) and took the four o'clock one home (you could also take one at five thirty). The Waterton Shoreline Cruise Company ran the boats that took us across. The staff were friendly and entertaining and apparently the company does a number of other ferry-trips for hikers upon request (at a cost, of course.) Aside from the hike, the scenery in general was lovely.
We saw three bears and plenty of deer. Sunday morning we got up early so Brent could get some shots with the long-shadowed sunrise lighting and I just sat and took it all in: the scents of pine and berries and grass, the sunshine streaming across the prairie , the mountains and hills and lake, the wind whistling in the grass and trees....I would like to preserve that moment forever. God's creative power was visible everywhere.