Midweek Random Ramble016


1.  Did you notice the snowflakes here at Buddy Breathing? Wait for them… wait… there they are!  Aren’t they cool? I even managed to upload a photo as a backdrop to the snow… real Canadian Rockie Mountains… for your viewing pleasure. Yes, it’s winter here. For my friends down under, I will be thinking of you basking in sunshine while we are shoveling out again and again. It’s supposed to be a very snowy winter… La Nina and all that!

2.  #1 Son and I joined the choir at Trinity, our home church. This was to some degree ‘Carpe Diem’ inspired, plus being with #1 Son inspired (he graduates from High School this year), plus watching the choir and saying, ‘Boy, I’d love to sing in the Choir’ for 17 years inspired. Getting to participate in the Christmas Eve Services… definitely inspiring!

3. What is it about renovating and decorating that’s so on steroids? Back in the day I have no recollection of my parents upgrading our family home, other than to paint it from time to time. In their home now, they’ve done a few things, like new flooring, painting kitchen cabinets, even adding ‘wallpaper’, but the trend or the mindset or whatever you want to call it these days, is complete do-overs. Anytime around the 10 year mark of being in a home it’s ‘time to upgrade’. And that usually means ripping things out and starting over. I wonder why? I could easily be swept up into this mindset, consider how my tired kitchen could be completely replaced. But is that really a good and honourable and needed use of our dollars… I mean in light of all the other needs around us in our world. Just saying…

4. My Christmas (Holy-Day) Top Ten Favourite Things;

1.  Picking up a special coffee drink, and meeting a good friend at the local garden centre. Admiring all the lavish decor.

2.  Baking my Scottish Grandmother’s shortbread cookie recipe, dipping them partly in chocolate for something extra special. Eating them with family and friends. Baking other family recipes. Eating them. Ignoring calories.

3.  Planning our family Caroling Party. Thinking up party games that we haven’t played yet. Walking around in the darkness and cold, trying to read the words off the song sheets by candle light. Being greeted by surprised neighbours who sometimes join in the singing. Coming back home to warm drinks and conversations.

4.  Adding Irish cream to our Christmas morning coffee. Having a second cup! (Bob and I, not the kids!)

5.  Setting the table for dinner each Sunday night in December, lighting the Advent candles one by one… then lighting the Christ Candle in celebration of his arrival, so many years ago, and his presence with us, today.

6.  Opening Christmas cards from far away places, like Northern Ireland. Considering how good it feels to hold snail mail in your hand.

7.   Staying up late on Christmas Eve with Bob, wrapping gifts in the quiet of the house. Looking out the window for snow. Listening to  Messiah. Putting the gifts under the tree. Standing back in relief and gratitude that we pulled it together again. Anticipating the kids happiness in the morning. Falling into flannel sheet coziness for a long short winter’s nap.

8.  The smell of the tree (yes, real).

9.  Taking out all the decorations the kids have made over the years and hanging them on the family style tree (nope, no designer tree for us!) Trying hard not to cry.

10.  Listening to Handel‘s Messiah over and over again, at high volume, and singing along wherever possible!

Well that’s all for today, folks. I must complete some out of town gift wrapping and packaging and get myself to the Post Office before the morning is over.

Have fun with your own Christmas favourite things, and why not share them here with the rest of us.

Really, what are your Christmas Top Ten Favourite Things??

Sol deo gloria,

Lesley-Anne

I do remember…


My Grandfather’s father, Sgt. James Hislop Cook, A Company, 20th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. 1914 – 1919. Photo taken in 1918.

Note the insignia on his lower left sleeve.

CROSSED RIFLES: The crossed rifles identify him as a Marksman. This qualification entitled men to an extra allowance, which was welcome for poorly paid soldiers. Marksmanship qualifications had to be re-earned every year.

THREE STRIPES: These stripes are commonly known as “wound stripes”, and are rewarded each time a soldier is wounded in combat.

Thanks to my brother Joel for the use of these family photos and the explanations of their meaning.

February 14, 1916. (Valentine’s Day)
Dearest Sweet,
Just another card to your collection. Hope to find yourself in best of health as this leaves me well and looking forward to being with you very soon now – kindly Geo [his brother, George, also a soldier] was asking after you all, best wishes to the barnes [children] and not forgetting my wiffie, lots of love from your own husband Jim
xxxxxxxxx
’till we meet again lovy

Midweek Random Ramble013


1. I just came upon this video of Billy Shakespeare, performed by students from Kansas University. What a delight interesting experience to be able to watch this, listen AND READ SUBTITLES!!! If only this had been available when I was trying to read Shakespeare in High School Engish class. Just saying…

2. Amy, my hairstylist has been cutting hair for over 17 years. She’s young, and I can count on her to give me a style that is contemporary, not trying to look like I’m a teenager, and certainly not wanting to look like I’m old over 40ish! I asked her, among other things, what her favourite part of being a hair stylist is.  She said, “Well, it’s the instant gratification of the styling,” (you know, that part that I (you?) stress over each and every morning of our lives as we try to recreate what was looking sooooo good when we first had it cut). Seems that what takes me a lot of time and a lot of emotion to create, she finds to be both ‘instant’ and ‘gratifying’.  Hmmm… here’s the results this morning as I tried my best. It certainly wasn’t instant for me!

3.  I’ve committed to writing a manuscript of poetry. And I’ve almost committed to submitting it to publishers. Which means I’ve almost committed to writing a BOOK!!! I’m setting aside a time each week where I work on my poems, editing, fine tuning, rewriting them into something I feel happy with. Then I’ll go from there. It appears that I’m going to need about 64 poems that will be a substantial body of work that would be of interest to anyone. So, I’ll also be writing new poems too, as I’m not quite at the 64 mark. Just thought I’d mention it.

BTW, what’s your opinion on poetry? Does it feel rather distant, irrelevant, precious, uninteresting? Does it remind you of #1 where you struggled through Willie and didn’t quite enjoy the process? What if I told you that poetry was simply a story? To me, that is exactly what it is. My poems (which you read here every Poetry Friday) are about regular everyday people, places and things. So, when I say I’m writing a book of poetry… don’t let that put you off. I think you might like it when it’s done.

4. And here is what Halloween costumes looked like at our house this year, after a trip to Value Village and some digging around our own ‘tickle trunk’ downstairs…

… our own version of The Mad Hatter, complete with bunny…

…and a War Maiden of Celtic origins…

… and then there was Luke Skywalker…

5. Gotta go dust and vac. the house. The dog is all over it! Literally. Footprints and bits of leaves and other things Emmy has dragged inside.

Peace,

Out.

Lesley-Anne

Sol Deo Gloria

Poetry Friday027


To all those who have gone before us, and to those of us still here, missing them, and waiting for the day…… I offer up this poem I came across the other night while finishing up ‘The Shack‘, by Wm. Paul Young.

The poem is called, ‘Missy’s Song’.

Breathe in me… deep
That I might breathe… and live
And hold me close that I might sleep
Soft held by all you give

Come kiss me wind and take my breath
Till you and I are one
And we will dance among the tombs
Until all death is gone

And no one knows that we exist
Wrapped in each other’s arms
Except the one who blew the breath
That hides me safe from harm

Come kiss me wind and take my breath
Till you and I are one
And we will dance among the tombs
Until all death is gone.

Mid-week Random Ramble010


Chapman as King Arthur in Holy Grail

Image via Wikipedia

Gosh, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ramble these last few days. Seems most conversations have been purposeful and needed, and I’m growing a little weary from the weight of those. So, here’s my opportunity to just open up the top of my skull (remember Monty Python?) and let whatever is in there come dancing out!

1. Don’t you love Monty Python? Watching the ‘Quest’ with my kids is hilarious… listening to them repeat dialogue back is even funnier!

“We’re knights of the Round Table, we dance whene’er we’re able. We do routines and chorus scenes with footwork impec-cable, We dine well here in Camelot, we eat ham and jam and Spam a lot……”

2. Planning the AfterGrad/DryGrad celebration for our eldest son’s grad class. The intent is to provide these young people with a safe and fun alternate to drinking and carousing and hurting themselves. Considering our son attends a Christian School, you’d think there might not be a problem in this regard. Yet, we still have our challenges. AfterGrad is going to be SO MUCH FUN! The planning is a busy, busy undertaking, but so worth it!

Yes, I am living with an almost graduated young man who used to be, only yesterday, riding a tricycle, dropping cheerios off the side of his highchair for the dog, pushing his pop pop lawnmower around the living room, and taking long mid-day naps. How did this happen… this rushing past of years and memories and now we’re at a place where we are looking at letting him go… where, I’m not certain, and neither is he yet. But the time will come when he will wave goodbye from the dorm door, or from the car window, or as he disappears through the security check-in at the airport, and he’ll be transported into the beginnings of his own independent future. I’m going to miss him so much.

3. Thanksgiving Weekend is upon us. My daughter asked me yesterday what the roots of Thanksgiving were. I explained as best I could, but thought maybe a refresher might be in order, both for me and my daughter, but maybe we all need reminding sometimes? Here’s what Wikipedia offers up;

The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Pacific Ocean. Frobisher’s Thanksgiving was not for harvest but homecoming. He had safely returned from a search for the Northwest Passage, avoiding the later fate of Henry Hudson and Sir John Franklin. In the year 1578, he held a formal ceremony in Newfoundland to give thanks for surviving the long journey.[2] French settlers who came to New France with explorer Samuel de Champlain in the early 1600s also took to celebrating their successful harvests. They even shared their food with the indigenous people of the area as well as setting up what became known as the “Order of Good Cheer.”[3] As many more settlers arrived in Canada, more celebrations of good harvest became common. New immigrants into the country, such as the Irish, Scottish, Germans would also add their own harvest traditions to the harvest celebrations. Most of the American aspects of Thanksgiving (such as the turkey) were incorporated when United Empire Loyalists began to flee from the United States during the American Revolution and settled in Canada.[3]

Don’t know about you, but my Thanksgiving is also about giving thanks. We take the time to acknowledge that all we have, our health, our finances, our things, our food and shelter… all that we have is from God. It’s not Thanksgiving without verbalizing our thanks to one another. We certainly savour, and are thankful for, Turkey and the fixings, and we decorate our home with beautiful offerings of Fall including coloured leaves, Indian corn, pumpkins and squash (horn of plenty type things) and we’ve even added a few little touches of our own. My daughter reminded me of one yesterday. She wants to do it again this year… so that sounds like a tradition has begun.

Last year I provided a hand turned wooden bowl filled with pencils and little pieces of paper, and placed it on our table the week before Thanksgiving. During the course of the week, everyone was given the opportunity to write down what they were thankful for on the papers. As many or as few as they liked. Then, during our Thanksgiving dinner, we took turns reading out loud what everyone had written down. It was funny, poignant at times, and good for our souls.

I’ll have to prepare the bowl today.

4. If you are a dog owner you probably know that chocolate is not good for dogs. Our old pal Buddy spent one lousy night on the laundry room floor, with me beside him, after scarfing down several boxes of Belgian Chocolates… a fundraiser at our kids school run amuck in our home!

Anyhoo, turns out chocolate is not the only food enemy of dogs… just found out that Turkey can have dire effects on our best loved friends. According to my dog trainer and supported by this article, offering large quantities of turkey to your dog, or treating him to the turkey skin this Thanksgiving, might just result in a visit to the vet and a big bill! Thanks for that tip, Liz Corgan, Emmy will be sticking with kibble!

5. And finally, I’m reminded of my personal Thanksgiving tradition. Every October I print off copies of a short story I wrote several years ago. Then I hand deliver them to people I know, neighbours, acquaintances, whomever comes to mind. It’s my way to sharing my heart of thanks with others. This then is my Thanksgiving gift to you.

October Valentine

She walked briskly along the path, unsure of what had brought her there this morning after so many months.  Yet, she had known when she left the house this morning, and had left a note on the counter saying where she was.  The sun was shining brightly, illuminating the fall leaves on the trees and enveloping her in colour.  The dog walked ahead of her, pulling on the leash.

She hummed as she walked, and then began singing.  Once in awhile someone would pass by, and she stopped singing until they were just out of earshot.  She sang and felt the sun on her face, the fresh air in her lungs, and an overall feeling of well-being.  And she thought to herself, “You are here God”.

Taking in the details of the trees around her, she began to admire the contrasting colours of the leaves more closely.  And as she turned back to retrace her steps to the car, she stopped to pick a red leaf off a shrub.  Then she reached down to pick up a yellow leaf from the ground, then another and another.  There were so many pretty leaves to choose from, and before long she had a leaf bouquet in her gloved hand.

It was then that she noticed the shape of the leaf;  a heart shape.  And, at that very moment, God chose to speak into her heart;

“I love you.  I love you.  I am here and I love you.”

She stood still, looking at all the leaves.  The heart-shaped leaves were everywhere, some still hanging from the trees above her, while others created a beautiful carpet under her feet.  She smiled.  It was simple and profound and personal, and she wanted to share it with her friends.

She collected more leaves and continued to walk, admiring the trees full of hearts and considering the depth of God’s love for her.  She realized now that the trees were poplars… fast growing weedy trees that, by some, were considered to be ‘garbage trees’.  Not highly valued, poplar trees were often planted first and then cut down when they were no longer needed.  And God chose those trees to display his love to her.  Not the mighty oak or the stately maple, but the humble, overlooked and often disposable poplar.

Armed with her leaves and God’s message of love, she drove home.

(Photographic illustration borrowed with thanks from here)

Mid-week random ramble 006


Jesse uses the Word of God

Image via Wikipedia

1. The family is together again, all 5 of us,… feels good. Now we have extended family with us… feels good too. A great opportunity for Grandparents and Grandchildren to bond for a few days before school starts.

2. My son’s wallet and backpack were stolen after he inadvertently left them on the ground in a small park near our house. He lost all of his money that he made blackberry picking this summer. He’s taking it pretty hard. I’m trying to not have judgement thoughts toward the individual who did this, and it’s not going very well. I’m hoping that I’ll be driving along some day and I’ll spot someone wearing Malcolm’s backpack. Then I’ll leap out of my vehicle and… what? Precisely… don’t think it would go well for anyone involved.

3. Went shopping with my hubby today, looking at various ideas for our upcoming bathroom project in the basement. Met him in my car at a plumbing store, then continued shopping with him until we arrived home a couple of hours later. Problem being that my car was still parked in front of the first store!

4. What is it about skin that is such a touchy subject? Words like rash and fungus and condition make me feel ashamed. Why not feel ashamed when I have a hangnail or a stomach ache? What is it about my skin that makes me feel so uncomfortable? I brought home a skin condition from Cancun Mexico when I worked there at an animal sterilization clinic last April. Prescriptions make it better for a little while, and then it comes back again. Makes me want to hide. Bob says, “Get over it!” In a loving kind of way, of course. I wish I could. Could it be… ringworm eczema? Could it be … contagious? Will I have to wear gloves? Why won’t that prescription cream work? And, why on earth am I telling you about it?

5. A theological question that I’m pondering… is this scripture in the gospel of John, chapter 1, verse ? that says,In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…” And I’m wondering why is the word ‘Word’ used here in the text? The Bible doesn’t say, “In the beginning was a spiritual being, or a force, or a thought or anything else… but ‘Word’… and then I’m thinking about how God spoke the world into existence, by his word… and how words are so important to God, his word, The Bible, being what we stand upon as truth and what directs our lives as Christians. And so I’m thinking about this and how words are also so important to us as humans, the source of much conflict but the source of much blessing/encouragement as well. And how writing words is such an incredible process for me personally, how it somehow fulfills me and to create with words is in me and who I am and who I was meant to be. How the creator and creativity and the creation are interlinked. And all this in a 24 hour period… any thoughts?

6. So, I’m sitting at the computer… just sat down and wrote #4, 5 and started 6, when the following conversation takes place from one side of the house to where I am…”Where’s the putty, Mom?” “It’s in the bag from General Paint, in the laundry room.” “It’s not here.” “Well, it should be there… I bought some and the man put it into the bag.” “Well, there’s a brush and 2 drop sheets and some paint chips and a big can of paint and a stir stick but no putty.” “Well then, I guess the man didn’t put it into the bag.” “I’M WRITING… CAN”T YOU SEE I’M TAKING A SHORT BREAK AFTER MAKING SUPPER AND CLEANING UP.” Brief interlude while Claire goes downstairs to ask Malcolm if he’s seen the putty. She comes back upstairs. “Oh, Malcolm says he has it in his room” “Oh, Good!” and I keep on typing and trying to focus on something other than family dynamics and lost items for another 5 minutes. Hang on, now why do you think Claire needs putty?????????

7. Time to take the dog for a run or she’ll never settle down for the evening. Did I say 5 minutes… well, maybe 2.

Peace, out!!!

LAE

Mid-week random ramble 005


Airtanker III - Martin Mars Waterbomber C-FLYL

Image by b1ubb via Flickr

1.  It’s smokey again… yesterday afternoon the sun took on an orange haze and the light levels dropped drastically… there’s this eery quiet that comes with that. Reminds me of 2003 Firestorm… remember those days… sounds of water bombers directly overhead our house, swooping low for another load of lake water. Sirens, always sirens. And then the night the knock came on the door and we had to leave. We returned to our home 5 days later, others were not so fortunate.

2. Sleeping in is becoming over-rated. I’m looking forward to the early mornings and scheduled days again. While summer is fun and laid back, it can also become aimless. That’s when I know I need to take on a task or think outside of my own needs and desires. Have someone over to the house, do a deed of service, plan something bigger.

3. When people go to the beach they bring towels. When people come to swim at our pool, more times than not, they forget their towels. I keep a lovely basket on our porch filled with towels most of the time. And they are available for everyone to use. So I’m not begrudging the use of the towels… just noticing an interesting phenomenon. I’m also noticing that I have a couple of towels that didn’t originate with our family. A poolside perk for us!

4. Emmy (our GSP puppy) chewed on played with my little 4 year old friend… just a little bit… and she cried, and then I felt terrible. The little girl’s mother, a dear friend, didn’t freak out… and there being no physical evidence of the encounter playdate, we dried her daughters little tears, got her a drink of juice and carried on. That’s true friendship… grace under fire!

5. Going through some bins in the basement I came across my high school report cards. Embarrassed to admit that my marks are slightly less than I remember them being. Malcolm suggested we post them on the fridge to establish a baseline for their report cards. Funny guy!!!

6. Enjoyed a lovely Tuesday evening (Aug. 17) at the Caravan Farm Theatre with Claire. We arrived early… she was the very first one at the box office when it opened. We spread out a blanket on the ground (carefully staying clear of evidence of large horses in close proximity) and enjoyed some sushi while we waited. We played a board game, ate some chocolate, laughed until we peed our pants cried, chatted to the other theatre goers that had also arrived early, and that was the first two hours. What followed was another two hours of magic! If you live in the Interior of B.C. and have never taken in one of the Caravan Farm Theatre productions near Armstrong, you really should. Their summer production, ‘EVERYBODY’ is a modern morality play in 7 acts… each one written by a different theatrical company from the Lower Mainland. The audience sits in a rustic wooden amphitheatre, and each one of the acts incorporates horse (large work horses!!!) drawn wagons of actors and stage sets which come and go in front of the audience. Dusk falls, temperatures become more moderate, lights and music and audience participation ensues… and it’s just magic.

Our only disappointment was the lack of conclusion after the miriad of virtuous and vice-like decisions were presented… but that’s postmodernism at it’s very best. Nothing definite, nothing tied up in a neat little bow… draw your own conclusions… don’t want to have any moral absolutes, do we? But, we Evan’s girls had a great time anyway… a teaching moment on how one can enjoy without having to agree on everything!

Keep your eyes open for their Christmas production… in which the audience is borne on horse drawn sleighs (complete with jingle bells, hot cocoa, and cold noses) through the night-time countryside to each of several stage sets. It might become a tradition if you try it.

As Porky Pig so eloquently says… “That’s all folks!!!”

Lesley-Anne

Mid-week random ramble 004


1.  A full moon out tonight, we picked up ice cream and headed to the beach for a sit. Came upon a wonderful sight… 15 swimmers, dressed in wetsuits, strung around with glow stick necklaces, bracelets, headbands, and in some cases, earrings, heading into the lake for an evening swim. It seems they were celebrating a birthday as they indulged in a little cake just before taking to the water. A magical happening for us to watch from the shore.

2. God is all around us, putting on magnificent shows every sunset, serenading us with bird songs in the garden and froggie quartet’s at dusk, swirling the cumulus clouds just so, filling our hearts until they ache with a desire that only God can fill. If we could only see, hear, feel him. He is an infinite mystery and yet he is relational. He is more than our human minds can comprehend, and yet he is near, with us. He speaks to each of us in uniquely personal ways. Do you hear him?

3. Planning a Christmas holiday with the extended family is quite complicated but there must be a way to make it work…………

4. Made two runs to the dump today, and one delivery to our community ‘SHARE’. What a wonderful feeling to come home to a clear driveway and a less cluttered mind.

5. Summer isn’t over yet!!! Tomorrow we are expecting a high of 31 C. Sounds like a good day to head to the beach!!!

6. “The Time Traveller’s Wife” was an OK movie… 6/10 on my scale. We watched it tonight. Not as bad as I expected, but not as good as it could have been. Cinematography redeemed it somewhat. Didn’t read the book. Don’t think I will.

7. Speaking of reading books, for some reason I haven’t been able to read a novel all summer. A friend lent me “Little Bee,” by Chris Cleave. Can’t seem to open the cover. I have, however, read a couple of  non-fiction books and some poetry. And I’ve purchased several books of poetry, including “Belonging,” by Sandy Shreve, and “Blue hour of the day,” by B.C. poet Lorna Crozier. When we were in Tofino, staying in the winter home of local activist and long time resident Maureen Fraser, I dined daily on her prolific collection of poetry… and somewhere I have a list of poetry books that I would like to add to my own collection. I have to say that part of the attraction of Tofino for me, are the late nights spent up alone reading from Maureen’s collection of poetry chapbooks. Pure magic!

8. Selected a colour for the walls in Malcolm’s bedroom. A warm grey called ‘Seattle’ by General Paint. Hummm, I can feel the moodiness settling in already. Now a little bit of spackle and the transformation begins!

9. My parents arrive next Tuesday! We are beginning to make some plans, including compiling a list of possible eating establishments, entertainment venues, and a general buzz of preparation is growing. Jam making is part of this, as it gives me great joy to serve my Dad homemade jam. I’ve made both Raspberry and Blackberry Freezer Jam. They’ve both set well and have been test tasted with positive results. Maybe I’ll even manage to can some peaches too. Those little canning jars all filled and sitting in a row appeal to the ordered part of my personality. Does that make me anal?

10. Another poem is brewing… and because the time to write is at a premium right now, that little poem seed might have to stay in my journal for a few more days. Hint… (it’s about a tow truck and a fire truck…)

11. Things are very quiet around here with 2 out of 3 kids away at camp. The solitary child seems happy enough, but I’m going to be very glad to see the other two on Saturday morning!

12. Still no word the Mink 2 Go (M2G) experiment Claire and I initiated in Tofino. Sadly, perhaps she’s lost at sea, or swamped and sunk? Maybe another launch is in the future… here in a Lake in another bottle… with a lid that’s been waxed shut? I had hoped for some contact, but alas, nothing. Goodbye M2G.

UPDATE!!!!! Just in from our M2G facebook group, M2G is now in San Francisco, CA. She will be launched in the Bay tomorrow! Very cool… yes, indeed!

13. Bedtime

Peace, out!

Lesley-Anne

Photograph of surfside M2G, taken by Malcolm Evans

Photograph of night swimmer borrowed from here.

Mid-week random ramble 003


1. Most days I listen to CBC Radio 2 as I drive. My son Malcolm calls it ‘Smart Radio’… in a slightly derogatory tone. I like the commercial free sounds of a wide variety of music. As I was listening to J.S. Bach’s Oboe Concerto in D minor, I was moved to tears. Why does music have the ability to wrench us, bring us to our knees? Have a listen yourself…

2. Backyard movies on a hot summer night with friends, popcorn, chocolate covered almonds and cozy blankets are fun, even if the movie choices are less than what you thought you had chosen. Has anyone noticed how hard it is to find a creatively well done family friendly movie? Sexual innuendo does not go over the heads of teenagers…

3. Writing is a mysterious thing. Poetry can be elusive… especially when it comes to working with it to make it better. I couldn’t walk this road of developing as a poet without others reaching out their hands to me. I am thankful to many, including my neighbour and poet who has had me in to read to one another a couple of times. I could sit at her feet and listen to her read for hours. Wonderful words read with a soothing voice.

4. The dog hears my every move in the house, no matter how early I wake up or how quietly I sneak around, Emmy sniffs at the bottom of Malcolm’s door, crying to be released. This morning I ignored her… craving some alone time… without the dog… even for a few minutes.

5. Spent some time at a book signing. My friends Donna Lowe and Kimberley Parker have been PUBLISHED! Every writer’s dream… well, mine anyway. Their vision, hard work, determination and huge faith has resulted in their beautiful book being picked up by a publisher! Wow! You go girls! I purchased two copies and had them signed. Proof that I knew them ‘when’… You can check out their book Radical Love on their website, and order your copy online at Revival Nation, Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.

6. Malcolm let me use his camera last evening when we spent a couple of hours on the lake for a sunset cruise. He recently bought a digital SLR. A Nikon. Saved up for it. The sound of the shutter is a beautiful thing. The pictures Malcolm takes with the camera are really good, and I’ve posted some here today. I’m excited that he is discovering and exercising his creativity.

7. Did you know that Tim Hortons is now doing ice cream? Went last night and indulged in the Cold Stone Dairy ‘love it’ size selection of chocolate and key-lime with coconut… yummy. I found my treat to be a perfect blend of chewiness and melt on your tongue consistency. Good flavour, generous portions, and the price, well, not much different than a medium DQ Blizzard, and there’s no comparison to either taste or quality. And according to the Wall Street Journal, Timmy’s addition of ice cream may also be good for business.

8. A fun game of ‘Apples to Apples’ with our good friends tonight. A little wine for the stomach’s sake, and cheese because cheese is yummy. Couldn’t tell you who won, but we were all laughing as we slapped at the mosquitoes in the dusk of the warm summer evening. What, mosquitoes in Kelowna… yeppers… this year there are!!!

9. This week I’m going to the Caravan Theatre with Claire… her birthday treat to me! Can’t wait. Have never been in the summer, but their winter productions are awesome.

10. On Sunday afternoon I began to read my newest book purchase, ‘The Practice of the Presence of God”… it’s been on my reading list for a very long time, and now I have it! I’m excited to know how a 17th Century Carmelite called Brother Lawrence grew to know God in an earthy, humble, every detail of his life kind of way… stay tuned.

11. I’m eyelash challenged, while Bob, Graeme, Malcolm and Claire are blessed with long, dark, curly wonders on their eyes. Drew Barrymore recently promised me “the biggest, boldest lashes of my life”. So, I bought her promise and bought some ‘Covergirl Lashblast’… I don’t see any difference, do you see any difference. Hey, are those lashes real?… really???

It’s 9:36 am and Bob and Emmy just came downstairs. Malcolm soon followed. Claire is stirring upstairs. Quiet time’s done for now and with it the random ramble.

Gonna go drink some hot sweet java. Talk soon,

LAE