Monday, May 30, 2005

True to form

Click the button to visit "Camp Kawkawa Remembered"

Well, at least I'm consistent.

Once upon a time, many moons ago, little Hillary was up at Camp Kawkawa enjoying a fun filled week. She had been to camp before, and loved the canoeing activity option, so she signed up for it again. Out she went on the lake, dip dip and swing, dip dip and swing. She learned all kinds of new strokes, and even got to tip the canoe and learn how to do a boat-over-boat rescue. How fun! However, when she got back to the dock and went to get ready for dinner, she realized she was without one very important article... her GLASSES! She swore she had taken them off and left them wither her towel on the edge of the dock, but alas, they were nowhere to be found. She searched and she searched, frantic, but to no avail. She was just glad that it was sunny that week... maybe she could blame all the squinting on the sun. :P When she got home, her parents were very understanding (though I'm sure rather annoyed), and off they went to buy new glasses. They were sure to get the 2-for-1 deal this time... just in case.

Once upon another time, older and wiser Hillary was back up at Camp Kawkawa enjoying another great week. It was free time at the waterfront, and so she decided to go for a swim. Remembering the glasses incident a few years before, and determined not to make the same mistake twice, she had a great strategy: there was a covered shelf thingy out on the dock specifically for people to leave their valuables in while they went swimming. Out she went, reciting to herself, "Take your glasses off before you jump in the lake. Take your glasses off before you jump in the lake." She must have been so focused on her little chant that she forgot about the shelf, cause when she got to the edge of the dock she jumped right in. She felt the glasses come off her face and made a mad grab for them, but could only feel them slowly drifting down to the muddy bottom below. Frantic, and not wanting to have to tell her parents that he lost her glasses again, she went to the lifeguard and told him what had happened. After all the kids were out, he went diving for treasure. Her clear-lensed, black and dark brown tortoise shell glasses. He came and found her later that evening and handed over the glasses. YES! But wait... they weren't hers! Turns out another girl that week had done basically the same thing, but had been too embarrassed to admit it. Not Hillary, no siree... apparently she has no shame. So... take two for the staff member. Down he went again, and actually found Hillary's glasses this time! Man, was that ever a dumb move. She sure wouldn't do THAT again!

Or at least, she wouldn't do it again for a few years. Hillary was now a staff member at Kawkawa. Older, but apparently not wiser. She forgets the circumstances (blocked them from her memory, perhaps?) but into the lake she went, once again with her glasses on. And once again they were rescued from the murky depths. And I do mean depths. We're not talking about six feet of water here. It's more like 20 or 25. It's cold down there, and dark, and muddy.

We won't even speak of the time, also as a staff member, Hillary was getting cleaned up after a very muddy full contact game of bucketball and stepped on her glasses in the shower (there were no shelves anywhere, nowhere, not even a hook, to leave her glasses on. Silly washrooms.). Shattered the lenses. She ended up having to make an appointment for an eye exam in town and got a free pair of trial contacts to wear for the remainder of the summer. They were the wrong prescription. No wonder she was dizzy for two weeks.

Cut to this past weekend (and to a change in voice - I'm creeping myself out writing in third person!). I was now a guest at Kawkawa with my church. It was blazing hot on Saturday, and people were in and out of the lake all day. I noticed people diving up and down, up and down, with goggles on. Turns out a lady from our group had dropped her sunglasses in the lake. OH MAN! I could certainly empathize. I joined in the search (really, it was the least I could do!). I could see them, but they were too deep for me to get. Eventually a staff person got flippers and retrieved the glasses. Of course, that brought up all the (painful - *sniff*) memories. ;)

But apparently not for long.

A few hours later, after an afternoon spent hiking, kayaking, and swimming (during which time I hung my glasses on a hook on the swim board just before going onto the dock, I might add), I was on the dock talking to some friends. Dinner was soon, and I was pretty much dry, so I wasn't planning to go back in. However, the cool, sparkling water of the lake was just too tempting, so in a split second, "ah-why-not" moment, I dove in. The second I felt the refreshing sensation of the cool water surrounding me, I realized what I had done. Again.

Down floated my glasses once again, meeting up with their old friend, Kawkawa Mud. I came up out of the water shouting "craaaaap!" (and then realized the pastor was sitting right there on the dock, making me really glad I wasn't shouting some other word! :P ) But hey, at least I dove in at a DEEPER place than the woman earlier that day had done. (Do you sense my sarcasm?) Well it was too late to do anything now. I dove down a few times, but was too worn out from the afternoon to hold my breath for any length of time. I decided I'd ask the staff hero from earlier that day to try looking again tomorrow, and off I went, blind as a bat, for dinner. Of course, me not being able to keep my mouth shut, I told my friends on staff, who then proceeded to mock me relentlessly, knowing that this was not the first time I had done this. *Sigh* :P Thankfully I had brought my contacts with me!

So Sunday after lunch, I hauled a staff member away from his washroom-cleaning duties (kicking and screaming, I'm sure... I mean, who would want to jump in a nice cold lake on a blazing hot day when they could be cleaning toilets?? ;) and under the watch of about eight people, up and down he went trying to find my clear-lensed black wire rimmed glasses at the bottom of 25 feet of water. You could see the fluorescent flippers, and boy, was he a long way down. I was feeling bad for making him blow out his lungs and ears for the second time that weekend, and I was pretty much resigned to the fact that I was going to have to go glasses shopping this coming week, when up he came with my glasses in hand (to the cheers of all the folks on the dock, all women) !!! "Uh, excuse me, they're scratched!" said I, in my best rich-stuck-up-teeny-bopper voice. Heh heh.

Somebody get that boy a medal!

And somebody get me a brain!

My hero!

Jesse, my hero!

Sunday, May 29, 2005


Click the button to visit "Camp Kawkawa Rembered"

Even Though
~Stephen Toon~
I will worship you
Even though my soul be downcast,
I will lift my head to you
I will worship you
Even though my heart does wander
I will bring it back to you
You are worthy, O God
In whom else could I trust?
All is foolishness
Compared to you
I will worship you
Though the world is ever changing
Lord you still remain the same
I will worship you
Enemies surround me always
I will put my trust in you
You are worthy, O God
In whom else could I trust?
All is foolishness
Compared to you
What an amazing weekend. It was such a gift to me in so many ways. First of all, it was simply refeshing to be back at Kawkawa: to take in the absolute beauty of the place, to see familiar faces, to be received with love by the friends I have there. Second, taking a whole weekend to play was just what I needed in this busy season. I played games, swam, hiked, and kayaked. I joked and laughed and told silly stories in the company of friends. I played with some very cute kids and got to know some great new friends.
Most importantly, I learned something new about God and about myself. Or maybe I was just remined of this, I don't know. Either way, it was what I needed to hear. The speaker, Tony Dolfo-Smith, was talking about blessings and about the importance of moving from belief to trust in our faith. I won't go into details here about the specifics of his talks, but I do want to highlight what I feel that God was teaching me. A big part of it was that I need to learn to see his blessings differently. So often I see blessings as only good things that God gives (specifically, good things that *I* want). Since when do I get to tell God how to bless me? I want to learn to see more clearly the blessings I receive, even though they may not be what I want at the time, and even though they may be painful. This weekend showed me, among other things, that I need to (continue to) devellop a "God-perspective" and trust that he has only the best in mind for me. That way, even though things may not be gonig the way I'd hoped they would, I can know without a doubt that it's because God has something better for me. And secondly, I need to be less afrad of being "different." That's what God is calling me to be: radically different that what this culture expects or sees as normal (hee hee, well who says I'm normal, anway? ;)
I think, though, that the biggest thing that stands out for me, and it's not something new, is that God requires the complete surrender of my whole being, no matter the cost. That includes the plans and dreams that I have for myself. Tony said, "It is impossible to follow God and not be led away from something we love." It's hard for me to even understand what all that means: "complete surrender," "my whole being," etc. What do I need to surrender? How do I do that? And it's scary to wonder what it is that I love so dearly (or that I'm hanging on to too tightly?) that God will lead me away from. Yes, it's easy to believe. Much harder to act on that belief, that is, to trust. But it's not all doom and gloom: giving things up, living a life of surrender: "Whoever finds his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matt 10:39) Again, as Tony said, "The real blessing we will recieve is not the life we think we want/should have, but the real blessing will be God himself." I'm not claiming to understand this all fully, and I'm especially not claiming to be doing this. It's just what I'm going to be mulling over and asking God about for the next while (ha ha, more like for the rest of my LIFE!).
God, I do believe, help my unbelief.

Some pictures of Kawkawa

Kawkawa Lake

Kawkawa Lake

Kayakers on Kawkawa


Sunrise on Mt Hope

The sun rises on Mt Hope



My Favourite Place

My favourite place in the whole wide world.

Kawkawa in Winter

Friday, May 27, 2005


I get to go to my favourite place in the whole wide world this weekend! My church is having a retreat at Camp Kawkawa, just east of Hope. I have been going to summer camp there since I was a kid, and then every year as a staff up until 2002. It is the one place I can go where as soon as I step foot on the property, I feel like my soul can relax. So much of who I am today is because of the things I have learned and the growth that has happened while I've been at camp. It is the place where I have seen and heard God the clearest. It's always a place of refreshing for me whenever I am there. Plus, it's an absolutely beautiful location! Mix all that with 30 degree weather, and you've got the makings of a very great weekend! I can't wait!

Oh yeah, and I'm gonna dive in that lake jsut as soon as I can! :D

Click the button to visit "Camp Kawkawa Rembered"

Thursday, May 26, 2005

One on One

Look out, my issues are showing. :D

I have a hard time hanging out with guy friends, particularly ones that I don't know that well, one on one. I get all panicky and wonder what if there might be something behind it. Is he interested? Am I? Just what IS this, anyway?

In the past, I would have said without a doubt that guys and girls can just be friends with nothing else behind it. Though I still want to believe that, I have to say I'm beginning to wonder. Sure, there are the "safe" guys - either they're married (though a single girl hanging out one on one with a married guy, no matter how innocent, should be handled with great caution), or you've already dated them, found out it won't work, and are still friends, or there's just no possibly you'd be interested in THAT way, but they're still great people. With those guy's it's easier. But those guys are few and far between.

If I end up hanging out with any other guy, I start analyzing. And analyzing. And analyzing. It's a curse, a curse, I tell you! Might he be interested? Or is he just being a nice guy? (I should stop and point out here that I am a firm believer that there ARE nice guys out there - guys who will treat a girl with right because they are decent human beings, not for any ulterior motive.) Am *I* interested? Is there potential there? Or do I tell my brain to shut up and just enjoy the time spent with a friend? That last one is probably the best option, but it's easier said than done! :P

Now often those questions are answered fairly quickly. Either they mention an interest in someone else, or I get to know them better and realize that they're just really sweet to everyone, or whatever. But still, why do I put myself through all this wondering beforehand? It's enough to drive a girl crazy!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Like A Fish Needs A Bicycle

In my browsing, I came across a blog called This fish needs a bicycle. She's named it that in contrast to the famous quote "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." I read her blurb about what her blog is about, and it's got me thinking. Here's the description:

It's lovely to be a feminist and all. I have gotten in plenty a tizzy over the
inequity of the female role in this bizarre universe. Have even tried out the
independent, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" track, and been
quite good at it. Eventually, however, I settled upon this conclusion: This fish
needs a bicycle. If not for comfort, at least for entertainment's sake. This is
not about man-chasing or desperation. It is rarely even about dating. It's about
me deciding that I can be well-educated, independent and happy and still see the
need for someone else in my life. That's not desperate; that's real.

Well this fish needs a bicycle, too. And like her, it's not about being desperate, either. It's about the need to know someone and be known. I think she's hit it on the head when she says that no matter what she accomplishes on her own: education, independence, happiness, etc, she still needs someone else in her life. There is still a need we all have for connection with another human being. We weren't designed to live in isolation.

Over the last few years I've been learning a lot about that particular need. There is this desire I think most of us have to know someone on a deeper level than just the regular surface-level topics of conversation. And even more than that is the desire to be known on that same level. Of course, that kind of intimacy and trust takes time to build up. Obviously in a marriage, or even in a longer-term dating relationship, a person's spouse would be that primary deep relationship. But does that leave us single people hanging?

I don't think so.

As I've been learning more about myself (or maybe, more accurately, trying to figure myself out) I've been seeing how I've been trying to go about fulfilling that need. Some ways have been good. Other ways have been misdirected, and left me feeling particularly unfulfilled. The areas that have been amazing as far as filling that need to know and be known have been relationships with close girlfriends. With these people, I can truly be myself, and I'm not afraid to share not only the good moments in life, but the things I struggle with, too. I don't have to put on a face and pretend that everything is all right. I can talk about those parts of my character that I don't particularly like, too, or about my screw-ups, and not feel like I'm being judged by them. They are also people who will encourage me, and who will help me to see things about myself that I didn't know before. And most importantly, these are people who will pray with me and for me, and keep me accountable in areas in which I need or want accountability. I also strive to be that kind of a friend for them. In the absence of a spouse, I can be absolutely content with my life as it is because of relationships like these.

Of course, I also think that it's not fair to a man to expect to find total fulfillment of this need (or totally fulfillment in general!) in him alone. So often people think that marriage will make us complete, then are disappointed when they find out that it isn't so. I'm just trying to figure out what it means to be a complete person BEFORE I get married.

Thanks to all my bicycles out there! I couldn't do it without you!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Life is good

I feel a little like I haven't been myself lately. Well, since December, really. And for various reasons that I won't get into now. BUT, I feel like I'm getting back to "me" again! I think this weekend helped a lot. I didn't worry about the "hafta do's" or "oughtta do's," I just did what I wanted. That involved working out (oh yeah, I finally sucked it up and joined a gym - it's really close to my work and I have a friend who goes, too. So far I've been every day after school. Three days and counting! :P ), spending time with friends, going for a hike, shopping for and planting my flowers, spending some time with God, a spur of the moment visit to my parents, etc etc etc. The extra day of the weekend (helped by the fact I got off at noon on Friday and today was a pro-D day - so work, but no kids!) was just what I needed, and I feel refreshed for the first time in a very long time!


And those report cards coming up (alarmingly fast)? Bring 'em on!

Bring it on

Monday, May 23, 2005


As of today, for the first time in my life, I have a garden! Well, I have flowers in pots, but same idea. yAhOo! Here are some pictures of the final product (though keep in mind the plants are still babies right now!).

The Pots

Grow little plants, grow! Bloom little flowers bloom!

My patio
My patio! The two pots by the door will be
covered in red blooms soon (I hope!)

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Six years ago today

It was a Saturday, and I was working at the Capilano Suspension Bridge. I had to work Sundays, and so hadn't been gonig to church too often, and I was really missing it. The church I was going to at that time had a Saturday service, so I decided to go. By the time I got off work, changed, and took the bus there, I was a little bit late. I had changed, but I felt all icky form a long day of gardening and cleaning. I snuck in and sat off to the side near the back. Maybe 15 or 30 minutes into the service, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I think I was in the middle of singing or something, cause it startled me. I turned around and it was my dad! I thought maybe he had come to go to church with me, but then he motionned for me to come with him into the hall. Maybe he had something to tell me. As soon as we got into the hallway, my dad started crying. He blurted out, "Papa just died." I would find out later that he had had a huge stroke earlier that day. I don't really know what my thoughts were at that point. I was more concerened about my dad. He and Papa were so close. My dad was a mess. He told me later that he hadn't wanted to tell me that way, but when he opened his mouth, that was all that came out. I'm glad he told me that way. It was such a human moment.

As we prepared for his memorial service, every member of our family wrote something, and then the idea was to combine them into one tribute. But when my mom went to compile them all together, she realized that they were all too personal to just be edited into one. So we read them all. Nana and I had both written letters. I remember my mom saying how she read only the first word of Nana's letter and she was in tears.

Nana's letter began, "Dear." That's what she always called Papa. I imagine throughout their marriage it took on many different tones ranging from exhasperated to loving, but to her, he was "Dear." Her letter was full of memories, many from before they were even married. I cried as I saw Nana in a different light - as a teenager falling in love, then getting married. After over 50 years together, two children, three grandchildren, now her husband and best friend was gone.

It was, thankfully, not an entirely sad ceremony. Papa loved Jesus with all his heart. We knew that he was finally home and that we'll get to see him again. In the meanitme, though, there are days like today when I think about him, and miss him so much. He was such a loving, tender man. He was goofy, and always had a story or a joke to tell. It didn't matter that he told the same jokes over and over and over again. We loved the them not for their punchlines, but for the joy Papa got in telling them. He loved photography and nature, things which I, too, love. Two things in paricular remind me of Papa. I have always loved looking at how the mountains fade off into the horizon. Range upon range gets hazier and hazier as they get farther away. I mentionned that to my parents one time shortly after Papa died, and my dad told me that Papa always said the same thing. The other thing that reminds me of him are old barns. He loved to take pictures of old, dilapitated barns - where the roof sags, or they look like they're about to fall over. It sounds strange, I suppose, but he saw the beauty in them. Once sturdy, now left as a memory of days gone by. He has photo upon photo of these old barns that Nana put together in an album for my dad. I love those photos. Whenever I see an old barn or farmhouse, I'm reminded of Papa. (For examples, click here and here - these aren't his photos, but it gives you the idea).

More important than jokes and mountains and farmhouses, though, is the person Papa was and the legacy that he left. My dad grew up watching him an learning from him. The way Papa played, worked, worshipped, spoke, treated my Nana, treated my dad and my aunt, treated others: all this shaped who my dad is today. While I wish that Papa was still around and that now, as an adult, I could continue to get to know him, I can see so much of who he was in my dad, and for that I am so grateful.


On May 22, 1999, Papa finally
got to see his saviour face to face.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

My thumbs better turn green right quick!

... cause I just bought a whooole lotta plants! Inspired to spruce up my summer patio, I went out and spent a fortune on plants, soil, and some new plant pots. It's gonna be a beeeeautiful garden paradise by the time I"m finished with it. That is, if I don't manage to kill everything! (eep!) I think it will be good though. I've got drainage in my pots, a plan for keeping them fertilized, etc etc etc. Here's a rundown of what I've got:

* dahlias
* coleus
* blue lubelia
* white alyssum
* new guinea impatiens
* pansies

It's gonna be so purdy! Now all I need is some more dirt!

My flowers: waiting for a home

My flowers: Waiting for a home!

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Complimenting Commenter

What a fabulous idea for a blog! The Complimenting Commenter wanders around the blogosphere leaving compliments wherever he? she? goes! You should SEE the list of blogs that have been comlimented! This is so awesome!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Even more ridiculousness

This follows on the heels of my food rant from a few weeks back...

So remember me talking about the teachers who eat all bran and cottage cheese every day for lunch? Well, it DID look pretty healthy, so I decided to give it a try. You get the fibre, the protein and dairy, and with a pear or some strawberries on top, it's actually not too bad. So, I'm doing pretty good, right? I should be so lucky.

I actually had this conversation today....

Teacher 1: Ha ha, you've really converted people around here to this all-bran lunch!

Teacher 2: (laughing) Yeah!

Teacher 1: (pointing to the box of bran) And you've got the healthy kind, too.

Me: The healthy kind? There's an unhealthy kind of BRAN?!?!

Teacher 1: Oh yeah! All those other brands have sugar in them, and some are made with aspartame. That stuff is awful!

Teacher 2: Yeah, your body can't get rid of it and it bubbles up under your skin.

Me: Bubbles up under your skin?!?!

Teacher 2: Yeah, or something like that. I don't remember exactly, but it's bad.

Teacher 1: And it's been shown to cause cancer in lab rats!

Teacher 3: (my best friend at this particular moment in time for saying this) Yes, but they have also shown that ORANGE PEEL causes cancer in lab rats. You have to take those studies with a grain of salt.

Me: (in my head) Touche! Except of course, salt will kill you, too!

So there you have it. I bought a box of WHEAT BRAN. How much healthier can you get??? But noooo, apparently it's gonna make some chemical bubble up under my skin! Or something.

Oh yeah, and cantoloupes? You're supposed to scrub them with a vegetable brush under running water before you cut them, because it's the fruit most likely to give you salmonella. You're supposedly (according to the lunchroom ladies) at a higher risk of salmonella from a cantoloupe than from raw chicken.

My lunchroom 'education' continues. I think my eyes are going to fall out of their sockets they're rolling around so much! :P

For those of you who are going to caution me that aspartame really *IS* is bad, yes I know, I know, I know! It's always a general rule to avoid it. My incredulousness is the extreme that food choices are taken to!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Magic Gems

So I was just checking my stat counter, and it's always interesting to see how people find my blog. Sometimes it comes from search engines like Yahoo or Google. Usually the search words are something to do with my title (seeing as it's a song and all...). But today someone from Las Vegas found my blog by the most curious search string... I don't know if they found what they were looking for, but they found my blog! So what was it, you ask?

My blog came up third! Hmm....

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Not much going on right now. School/work (I still don't know what to call it!) is motoring by - six weeks left! ('Course then I"m teaching summer school for the month of July, but I'm trying now to think about that at this point!) I'm super tired right now, but I think it's not because I"m so crazy busy so much as because I've just gotton lazy. Or something. I'm so tired/frustrated/stressed after work that I get home and expend no energy, which means that in turn I actually HAVE no energy. Don't know quite how that math works out, but it's true all the same. I've got to get more active! I'm thinking about joining a gym (I had a freebie workout with a friend last week and it was so much fun!) but I'm having a hard time swallowing the $40/month price tag. It's just another bill and I'm not sure my budget could handle it. Hmm... Excuses excuses.

Anyway, on another topic, I just got back from voting. I went grudgingly, but I went. Really, who's the best option? The Liberals? I can't stand their bottom-line cut cut cut and ignore the effects on the people outlook (and cutting dollars and returning pennies doesn't count as increasing funding!). Not to mention the fact that that what they're donig in my particular profession is totally hurting kids and undermining the professional judgement of teachers. The NDP? Sure they'll pay more attention to people, but at what cost? Where does the money come from? At least the Liberals recognize that we can't just keep spending what's not there. And honestly, so much of the NDP campaign has been about pointing out how bad they think the Liberals are, and not nearly as much about saying what they're actually gonna do. The Greens? Sure, sustainability is the best way to go, but how realistic are the changes that they're proposing? I don't think they're ready to form governement. BAH! Who to choose? Well, I marked my X, but honestly don't feel like it'll make any difference. Though I can say I'm the most informed on issues than I've ever been before. I've actually amazed myself that I've even written so mcuh on this topic here already! Polictics. Bah. A necessary evil, I suppose?

And finally...



Nope, that's it. Thought I had something else to say. I don't. I'm gonna go do my dishes now. :)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Clear Messages

I really don't like this about me: I can't seem to escape the tendency to do a quick evaluation of any guy I meet to see if they might be someone I could be interested in. Why can't I put that selfish bent out of my head and just be content to have met another neat person? I feel like there's a disconnect between what I'd like to think I'm like with people - genuinely caring about who they are and what they care about simply because they're made in the image of God and are valuable human beings - and what goes on in my head: Either "Ok, this guy's not for me" or "Hmm, this guy's interesting!" And if I think the latter, I'm constantly evaluating in my head, running off a little checklist: cool, he likes ___, wow he's really ___, neat, we have ___ in common ... check check check. It's terrible! I feel like it's such a selfish way to think about people, and if left unchecked I could see how thought could easily turn into action: befriending someone only because there's "potential" there and then dropping him after discovering that nothing was going to happen. God forbid I ever do that. So how do I stop that thought process?

There have been a few times in the last few months where I've met someone and had lots of those little check boxes marked off. "Hmm! This guy could be interesting!" A mini crush has started to develop until, usually that same day, something comes up that makes me realize it's not right. I really think it's God quietly telling me "no" and whether I choose to listen to it or not, the answer is there. I have to think that I'll know if one day the answer is "yes."

Sunday, May 15, 2005


I've been thinking off and on over the past few years about what it means to be "ready" for marriage.

Back when I was dating B, I felt like I was ready. Then when we broke up (it was the friendliest breakup ever, and we are still very good friends - and I like his wife even more than him! :P) I realized some things about myself that made me conclude that maybe I wasn't ready. Mostly it was my selfishness. Not huge, gross, hoarding, all-for-me selfishness, but the kind we all suffer from: we're all so addicted to ourselves, and to really put another person first in a relationship is SO hard. I realized that I needed to be able to just let it go when he did things differently than me. I had slipped into not respecting him in some areas because he did things differently than I thought he should, or because of a few things he did I thought were, well, wussy. They weren't, his actions were just a reflection of a different outlook, but you see how that kind of thinking could get me in trouble in the "respecting B" department. And it's funny, now that I am in a similar situation as he was in when we were together, I do many of the things that I gave him such a hard time for, because, well, they just make sense (well, not the "wussy" things ;) !

Over the last four years, I've had lots of time to reflect and to grow as a person. I've done that to some extent - the past few years have been an amazing time of growth and change for me as I've come to learn so much about who I am, what I value, and of course, things I still need to work on. My close Christian friends have been an invaluable source of insight and challenge in that (oh yeah, and I'm a Christian, by the way! :D ). But it's funny, I feel so much less ready for marriage than I did four years ago. It's not a feeling that, "oh, I love my single life, I don't want to give that up!" but rather an awareness that I need to work on developing my character more before I would be ready to share my life in such an intimate way with another person. Maybe it's just because I know myself better now than I did before and am more aware of things that I need to work on. It is a good thing, I think, to have an awareness of both the of your personality that are strong and the aspects that need to be refined. But am I ready for the level of selflessness that marriage requires?

The other big pressing question (similar to the quandary I was left with in my "Needed: A Change in the Way I Think" post) is what does it even mean to be ready for marriage? Is a person ever ready? Maybe that's why it's so often referred to as "taking the plunge!" :D

If being ready means having an awareness that marriage is NOT a fairy tale, but rather that it is hard, takes lots and lots of work, requires the highest level of selflessness of any relationship short of being a parent, yet can still be so deeply satisfying and overall is a wonderful thing, then I suppose I'm ready. I have a romantic notion of marriage in many ways, yes, and think that's a good thing, but I'm also aware that getting married is not the easy route, will not solve all my problems, and is never ever EVER what I should rely on for my soul's satisfaction. If awareness is all that's needed, well then I'm there (though I'm sure my notions of marriage will continue to develop and change over my lifetime).

If, however, practical application of this awareness is required, then I guess I'm staying single for the rest of my life, cause I'll NEVER be able to fully apply all of that. I think I'm safe, though, cause I don't think anyone else is able to do that either, and there are lots of healthy, happy marriages in this world. Selflessness, working out issues, and even learning to love another person more completely are all things that can be learned on the go, thank goodness!

I want to learn those things and develop my character in that way. I just need to find the person I want to do that with!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Brou Ha Ha!

My small group has recently changed dramatically. Basically, we finished the group as we knew it and began a new group - new format, new location, and lots of new people. We wanted to have a big final celebration that included everyone from our old group - a get together, a party... a BROU HA HA, if you will. So we picked a date far enough in advance that as many people could come as possible, and we made the plan: pot luck at my place, and then from there, who knows. Well, we had a night worthy of the name for sure! Here's the story, complete with pictures.

First of all, everyone brought tons of yummy food: pad thai, spanish rice, Malasian veggie curry and fried rice, chicken wings, Cantonese spring rolls, chicken pesto pizza... oh yeah, and salad (hardly any of that was eaten! ;) . Oh and we can't forget desert: strawberry rhubarb pie, ice cream, angel food cake, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream. YUMMY!

Laura says: It's OK - I've got my Lactiad!

Laura says: It's OK - I've got my Lactiad!

Jason and Laura

Jason and Laura

Suz and Steve

Suz and Steve

Jade and I

Jade and I

Terry (pretending to be grumpy)

Terry (pretending to be grumpy)

I even bought champagne, too, for our celebration, but I forgot about it! D'OH! I'll have to save it for next time!

Full to the eyeballs, we began contemplating what to do with our evening: do we go for a walk on the beach? OOH! Maybe we could build a fire on the beach (is that allowed? aw, who cares, let's do it!)! Or do we want to watch a movie? It took us nearly an hour to decide, but eventually we settled on heading down to the water. We'd park at the planetarium and go walk along the beach over towards Kits, or something like that. We were all in quite a silly mood, so whatever happened, we knew it would be fun!

When we got there, we realized that the observatory was open.

We (ok, *I*) asked some poor passerby to take this picture. They mocked us for being cheesy!

We (ok, *I*) asked some poor passerby to take this picture. They mocked us for being cheesy!

We decided to go look at the stars. Turned out we were gonna get some awesome views of both Jupiter and Saturn! I've never seen them through a telescope like that - AMAZING!

Jupiter - look off to the right and you can see two of it's moons! We could see 4 in the telescope, but it didn't come out in the picture. It was so cool, they were all in a row diagonally, two on one side, two on the other.

Jupiter - look off to the right and you can see two of it's moons! We could see 4 in the telescope, but it didn't come out in the picture. It was so cool, they were all in a row diagonally, two on one side, two on the other.

Saturn is farther away and so is more blurry, but there's no mistaking the rings!

Saturn is farther away and so is more blurry,

but there's no mistaking the rings!

As we were leaving the observatory, the laser show from the Planetarium was just letting out. Hmm... Laser Show... we went in and sure enough there was another show - Pink Floyd "The Wall" - starting at 10:45, which was in 10 mins. Sweet. Tickets in hand up we went for the show. The door opened and we rushed in like little kids to get the good seats.

"Seats" is a relative term. We decided that we wanted to watch the show lying on the stage. There were some (sketchy) pllows laid out so we claimed our spots and giddily (is that word?)waited for the show to start.

Lying on the stage to watch the show

Lying on the stage to watch the show

Jade and Terry - met at small group, and are now engaged!

Jade and Terry - met at small group, and are now engaged!

We decided it would be fun to take pictures of our feet. Like I said, we were pretty hyper! :)

We decided it would be fun to take pictures of our feet.

Like I said, we were pretty hyper! :)

Terry - the rock and roll junkie in our goup - was in HEAVEN! It was so funny to watch him soak it all in!

Terry - the rock and roll junkie in our goup - was in HEAVEN!

It was so funny to watch him soak it all in!

It was SUCH a fun night! Good food, good friends, good times! Let's do it again soon, gang!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Needed: A change in the way I think

Time for a party. What to wear? I've never been a big party girl, and somehow missed the "style" lessons growing up (where oh where is what not to wear when you need them?). So of course, I have a major hissy fit when it comes time to find clothes to wear. All I have (ok, most of what I have) is cotton stuff, mostly from boring big box clothing stores. Sheesh! Every time I have to (want to) get dressed up for something, I head to the mall and wander aimlessly, only to be frustrated by nothing fitting right, especially tops. They're all SO low, or way too tight. Not good, especially on me. But also, I get sick of my style, and so go looking for something totally different. I always end up frustrated, though, cause after top after top after top after top that I'm way too big for, I come to the realization that I'm trying to be something that I'm not. I'm not the sparkly halter top (for example) kinda girl, I don't know why I keep trying to be.

I got thinking about that on the way home from the mall today, and came to a deeper realization that there's a flaw in my logic: I keep trying to be someone I'm not. Why? I would say that in general I'm happy with the who I am. So what's the deal? Obviously on some levels I think that who I am is not enough. The logical resolution to that problem is to learn to be happy with who I am. But who am I, anyway? And how do I just turn around and "be satisfied" with that?

Hmmm.... the "who am I" question. I suppose if I knew, it would be easier to be satisfied with that! Sigh.

On a side note, I *did* manage to find a cute article today. Though I don't have anything to go with it. I guess I do have something, but it's kinda marmy. I want to look a wee bit sexy tonight (not 'raunchy' sexy, but 'pretty' sexy). Guess that'll have to wait till next time. Or the next.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Reader, beware. This is a rant.

HONESTLY! We can't eat ANYTHING anymore without it being bad for you. All of a sudden EVERYTHING is off limits. Eat more of this, eat less of that. This causes cancer, that will make your hair fall out. No fat, no carbs, good fat, good carbs, no meat, all meat, low sugar. You think you've got a good thing going on then you find out it's bad for another reason. And there's no place like a teacher's lounge/staffroom to drown in the vast array of nutritional philosophies. Tell me, does the plate of spinach with a can of tuna dumped on top really do it for you? Or the cottage cheese, chopped up pear and all bran every day for lunch? Or how about the raw foodist's tub of green sludge? Nevermind that, how about the protein powder sprinkled on top of some lentil mush? And the plates and plates and plates of salads.

Now how's this for a nice, healthy breakfast:
* Multigrain Cheerios (see? No unbleached flour there!)
* Skim milk on the cereal (low fat!)
* A nice big class of orange juice (getting some vitamin C, a serving of fruit)

Low fat, well balanced, right? Nooooooo. Every part of that breakfast has been shot down.

Multigrain Cheerios: (after a comment about it not being a bad choice for a breakfast cereal cause it's got whole/multi grains) "Yeah, it's ok till you look at all the SUGAR that's in it!"

Skim milk: "Oh, I don't drink milk anymore. They pump those cows so full of hormones. I'm not interested in getting cancer, thanks."

Orange juice: "That's a caloric BOMB!" [ie. lots of calories]

ha-RUMPH! Now leave me alone, I have a burger and fries to go eat. And maybe wash it down with a nice big milkshake.
Super-Size Me be damned! :P

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

I am single

This is not an invitation. This is a statement. I am single. It has been four years since I have gone out with anyone. Most days this doesn't bother me. I enjoy my life - I like my job, I'm involved in things in my community (too involved at times , it seems), and I have a great circle of friends. But sometimes, I look around me and it seems like it's a married person's world. I'm 26 years old. Most of my friends are married, and many of them are now having kids. I have lots of single friends, too. But sometimes I feel like I'm being left behind. The world seems to be moving on without me.

In my head I know that I can't just sit around and wait to be married to get my life underway. SO often I hear - either from other single people or from within myself the sentiment that "oh, I'll do this or that when I get married." I KNOW that life happens now, so I'm going to live it.

I also know that it's better to be single than to settle. I have mighty high standards, and I believe there is someone out there for me for whom I will not have to compromise those standards.

I love my life, I live it now, I hold on to hope. But also, I crave to share my life with someone. I want to know someone deeply and be known by them. Some days that longing is stronger than others.

Either way, I've been thinking a lot about singleness lately, and wanted a place to hash out my thoughts. So here we are.

Welcome to my blog! I would love to hear you comments! Don't be shy! There are lots of people like me out there - living the single life. What are your thoughts? Thanks for reading mine!