Friday, January 30, 2009

25 Random Things

25 Random Things I get “homesick” for England, especially when I read/watch James Herriot. There are very few female musicians I like…most of my cd collection is male artists. It bothers me that anonymous people continually read our blog but don’t comment. Read if you want, but I want to know what you think about what you read. I have a strange inexplicable thing for banjo music. I have a strange inexplicable thing for hatchback cars. Especially Volkswagens. The nails on my pinkie toes grow at a 90 degree angle out from my toes. I judge people who don’t recycle. I can’t stand having long fingernails. I’m intimidated by women who are good at wearing makeup and doing their hair fancy. I used to want to have enough kids to form a three-on-three soccer or baseball team. I haven’t taken my toe rings off since 2003. I eat honey by the spoonful. When I was fourteen I knocked over a stop sign while learning to drive. Laundry is my favourite chore. I am not in the least bit embarrassed about wearing socks and sandals. I think leg-shaving is highly over-rated. I’ve always wished I could live like Laura Ingalls Wilder. I want to be a midwife when I grow up. And a farmer. And own a small independent bookstore. I am addicted to the endorphins from exercising. My favourite food is fruit. My favourite fruit is Granny Smith apples. Also mangos. Also raspberries. I would like to paint a wall dark avocado green. I crave deep friendships but I’m not very good at forming them. My favourite things to cook with are garlic, oregano and Worcestershire sauce. But especially garlic.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I set the lofty goal of making Theo a scarf for Christmas, but in reality I didn't finish it until mid-January. By the time I was finished, it was longer than I am tall.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Meditate on These Things

Philippians 4:8-9 (New King James Version) Meditate on These Things 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthymeditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Calgary Public Library

Check this CBC article out. "Calgary public libraries are doing a booming business, reporting record activity that puts them in the top six busiest civic systems in North America." And "Carole Marion, manager of the Forest Lawn Library, said branches expect to be even busier this year with the economic slowdown.

"That's very typical, actually, of people coming to the library when there is a recession," Marion said. "Because of the economy, people can't afford to buy as much material as before. But they're also looking at things like getting more information to upgrade their jobs."

One of these days I'll publish the long story I wrote about how important libraries have been in my life. I am very encouraged to read that the Calgary Public Library is doing so well. And that it is likely only to do better in the coming year. We're big fans of the library around here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Breaking News: Bookstand

[Start superdorkeypost] Yesterday I finally bought myself a book stand so that I can type and look at an open book at the same time. Trust me, holding a book open with your left elbow while you try to type from it is not easy. So I'm pretty excited about this newfangled gadget (what will they come up with next?). [/superdorkeypost]

Poor little kitten, who lost her mittens

One of my major knitting projects, these were a Christmas present for M. (And she, along with J, being thoughtful like she is, bought me a book called "Knitting in the Woods"!) Earlier this week I bought a book on different sock projects. I'm really excited to try it because since the awful giant grey sock that I quit when I got to the toe, I've not had any luck with sock-knitting. Also, I really need to learn how to cable-knit.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

On the occasion of the inauguration

Actually, my post has nothing to do with the inauguration, but we're watching/listening to the live broadcast of the inauguration right now. It truly is a momentous occasion. Now is the time to pray for the new leadership of the United States. Tonight is my lecture at Fort Calgary. Our pastor phoned last night to talk to Brent and I compared reading speed and sermon/lecture length with him. It made me realize that my paper was too short to fill an hour, so I spent last night adding bits and pieces. I'm hoping I'm going to hit an hour now. If you're not busy tonight, I'll be speaking at Fort Calgary at 7:30 on Danish Folk Schools in the city of Calgary in the 1920s. On Saturday we went for a skate and a visit with some friends from our lifegroup. We enjoy discussing things with them as they are in a similar headspace/life situation to us. They have a beautiful little girl who at two years old is learning to skate. I got the honour of skating with her. It was wonderful looking into her trusting brown eyes and encouraging her to keep balancing. Finally, CBC this morning released its top 49 song playlist on the occasion of Obama's inauguration: music about Canada. Check it out. I agree with a lot of the choices, with Joni and Leonard and Gordon...and the Arrogant Worms. Oh, and one more thing. Last night we had muffins for supper...(yes I know, that sounds very strange, but to our defence, they had almonds and apple sauce and whole wheat flour in them). I thought I would share the recipe because they were so darn good.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My dream house

The Farmhouse by Reed Whittemore Our house is an old farmhouse, whose properties The town has gradually purchased, leaving it Only a city lot and a few trees Of all that wood and busheldom and breeze It once served. It is high and square, And its lines, such as they are, have been muddled by several Conflicting remodelers, whose care In widening, lengthening, adding on, letting in air Has left it with four kinds of windows, three porches And a door that leads to a closet that is not there. The city houses around us have borrowed from verse And the Old Dominion; their cosmopolitan Muddle is elegant next to ours. We think of moving, and say we'll add no more dollars To those already spent making a box Of what was, is and will be, forever, a box, When there's land. empty and unboxed, down a few blocks. Waiting. We say this as we pull down, pull up, push out And generally persevere with our renovating-- That is, making new again--knowing That houses like our house are not made new again Any more than a man is. All that growing Up and away from the land, that bowing To impersonal social forces that transform Wheat fields into rows of two-bedroom ramblers Must be acknowledged; but the warm Part of our country boy will not form. It remains, behind new windows, doors and porches, Hugging its childhood, staying down on the farm.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Farewell, dear Snow

This morning we walked to church. And the high for today was +15...which means our snow is (sniff) leaving rapidly. I hope we get some more soon! (Looks like maybe Thursday??) Dirty brown and grey Calgary is not very appealing at all!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Harmonica beatbox

We came across Son of Dave on a late night CKUA program, where he sang a cover of Low Rider that was really good. He also does a good cover of "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" that's worth listening to (click on the link to see it). Totally different than my usual folk/singer-songwriter interest, but definitely cool.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Not Only the Eskimos

Not Only the Eskimos by Lisel Mueller We have only one noun but as many different kinds: the grainy snow of the Puritans and snow of soft, fat flakes, guerrilla snow, which comes in the night and changes the world by morning, rabbinical snow, a permanent skullcap on the highest mountains, snow that blows in like the Lone Ranger, riding hard from out of the West, surreal snow in the Dakotas when you can't find your house, your street, though you are not in a dream or a science-fiction movie, snow that tastes good to the sun when it licks black tree limbs, leaving us only one white stripe, a replica of a skunk, unbelievable snows: the blizzard that strikes on the tenth of April, the false snow before Indian summer, the Big Snow on Mozart's birthday when Chicago became the Elysian Fields, and strangers spoke to each other, paper snow, cut and taped, to the inside of grade-school windows, in an old tale, the snow that covers a nest of strawberries, small hearts, ripe and sweet, the special snow that goes with Christmas, whether it falls or not, the Russian snow we remember along with the warmth and smell of our furs, though we have never traveled to Russia or worn furs, Villon's snows of yesteryear lost with ladies gone out like matches, the snow in Joyce's "The Dead," the silent, secret snow in a story by Conrad Aiken, which is the snow of first love, the snowfall between the child and the spacewoman on TV, snow as idea of whiteness, as in snowdrop, snow goose, snowball bush, the snow that puts stars in your hair, and your hair, which has turned to snow, the snow Elinor Wylie walked in in velvet shoes, the snow before her footprints and the snow after, the snow in the back of our heads, white that white, which has to do with childhood again each year.

Being married and dealing with this January crap

Today's song is a little dark, and rough around the edges. But, then, so am I these days. Talking to my mum between Christmas and New Year's, I told her that I didn't think I would deal with post-Christmas depression. But you know what, I think I am. Because I really did anticipate Christmas (partly because of Brent's crazy-Christmas-music-extravaganza that began in November). ;) And I also told myself that once the 2nd of January hit, I would begin on thesis writing FULL-OUT. Which, in turn, has stressed me out so bad that I can't sleep at night. Seriously. I don't need world crises to worry about, I create my OWN life-threatening earth-shattering issues. Who does that?? Brent and I have talked and talked and talked about this...rationally during the day when I can think rationally, and irrationally at night when I am freaking out about not being able to sleep. (More on this later). It comes down to 1) me needing to be disciplined to get work done so that I can be at peace with my accomplishments, 2) needing to rely on God for my strength NO MATTER WHAT and 3) needing to focus not on myself but on outside things. Caring about others and working for the betterment of the world. But most of all, this frustrating situation has made me love, appreciate and admire Brent's steadfastness. Because through all of my issues, he's stood by me like a rock. Thank God for Brent. So, without any further ado, Tom Waits' Please Call Me, Baby: The evening fell just like a star Left a trail behind You spit as you slammed out the door If this is love we're crazy As we fight like cats and dogs But I just know there's got to be more So please call me, baby Wherever you are It's too cold to be out walking in the streets We do crazy things when we're wounded Everyone's a bit insane I don't want you catching your death of cold Out walking in the rain I admit that I ain't no angel I admit that I ain't no saint I'm selfish and I'm cruel, but you're blind If I exorcise my devils Well my angels may leave too When they leave they're so hard to find We're always at each other's throats It drives me up the wall Most of the time I'm just blowing off steam And I wish to God you'd leave me And I wish to God you'd stay Life's so different than it is in your dreams.

Friday, January 09, 2009

A long-winded account of our evening

Want to know what we did last night?
In addition to 1) a stop at Memory Express to get some parts for the grand computer rebuilding extravaganza occurring tomorrow 2) a trip to The Knitting Room to get me a needle for weaving yarn in [need this to finish Theo's Christmas present scarf] and some stripey yarn for my next project: socks (will finish these ones unlike the sad stretched oversize grey sock with no toe that I gave up on). 3) a trip to Starbucks: mocha for Brent, apple cider for caffeine at night for me these days... [Side note: anyone have any tips on teaching oneself to sleep at night: I seem to have forgotten how.] Oh, and to buy two cds. I'm a sucker for Starbucks music. We bought "Have you Heard" and "This is Us." 4) a quick browse of Chapters: Perusal of the photography books revealed nothing of interest for Brent...and I was still so enamoured with my cds that I forgot to look at books... But we did buy a new map of Calgary for the car. And finally, on our way home, we stopped by the outdoor rink we visited on Sunday, only to discover that it was covered in 3cm of snow. Oh, did I mention it snowed almost the whole time we were out last night? But it stopped when we got to the rink. So we rushed home, dropped off all our stuff, put on long johns, extra socks and toques and mitts and scarves, grabbed our skates and our snow shovels, and headed back to the ice. When we got back, there was a man out shovelling, so we asked if he minded if we helped. He seemed quite shocked that we wanted to help. Know what's fun? Shovelling snow on skates. It goes really fast. Except when you hit rough patches on the ice that you didn't know were there because they were covered in snow. It took us half an hour or so to shovel. And then we skated under the light of the street lamps; we had the whole ice to ourselves. It was lovely. But we decided that we definitely need to get our skates sharpened.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Brent got this game for Christmas. We've only played it twice so far, but we like how it requires strategy, and takes into account supply and demand.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Every winter the City of Calgary provides the necessary equipment to local volunteers to flood small rinks throughout the city. There are TWO just down the street from us--one that is enclosed for hockey purposes, and one that is just open. Sunday when it was beautifully sunny and warm, we pulled out and dusted off our much-neglected skates, and walked down to re-learn how it's done. It was wonderful.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


A quote from Jane Brocket's Gentle Art of Domesticity:
"Although I love the rush of enthusiasm at the beginning of something new, there is a lot to be said for gentle routine. It's a little like getting back to normal after the highs of the holidays. You know the routine has to be followed or nothing will be accomplished, and so, gradually, you begin to enjoy the regularity of cables, the movement up and down the needles with simple stockingette stitch, the simplicity of line after line of running stitch when quilting, the measuring and cutting of fabric pieces for patchwork" (110).
Yes ma'am, while my quilting experiences are still in the future, [note to self: must talk to Brent to see when we can budget in buying me a sewing machine] this statement is certainly true for me. I love the routine of getting up at the same time every morning, doing yoga, eating breakfast while doing devotions, a few household chores and then sitting down to my computer for the day's work. The rhythm of knitting. Making lists and crossing things off. (I've even been known to write things down on my list that I've already done simply so that I can cross them off). The fact that being married means always having a date. Even if the date is only a trip to the grocery store to pick up lettuce for supper. That I can count on CBC Radio to be there for a little happy morning music. The downside of my love of routine, regularity and rhythm is that I get REALLY grumpy at anyone/anything that upsets my pre-planned system, as poor Brent can attest to...

Monday, January 05, 2009


A fellow-blogger whose writings I peruse wrote about her 2009 by coming up with a single word that would describe her goals. Hers was focus. Mine is discipline. I/we have all kinds of hopes and plans for 2009. But, they require discipline to accomplish. Some of the big themes include the following: I need to remain disciplined in order to finish my thesis by fall. We want to run another half marathon in July, which is going to require disciplined training and an all-around more healthy lifestyle. Yesterday's church service reminded me that I need to have discipline in my walk with God, if I think I'm going to grow to be a better follower of Him, and a better person to those around me. I want to be a better friend, practice more on my flute, be able to do more of the intense yoga positions, read more books, be a more generous wife, knit [maybe also crochet?] more creative things, love people more loudly, and finish my thesis. All of which I think would benefit from my becoming more disciplined. In my spiritual life, in my relationships with others, in my work, in my personal activities. Discipline.