Thursday, June 27, 2013

Women your age........


I am done.


with the phrase "women your age"

lately it has been used often.

mostly by medical professionals

about women my age who
            have dry eyes
            clicking joints
            frozen shoulders
            high cholesterol
            yadda yadda yadda

I have looked everywhere, 

checked closely

and I cannot find my best by date stamped anywhere on me 

(yes I even checked my butt in the mirror)

So people.....

women my age (aka the fabulous forties)

may have the old ailment, creak or anomaly

but last time I was in the Dr's office, ER, physio, optometrist 

there were not only 40 year old women in there

Enough said.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Some of the places we will be

A sneak peek at some of the places we are staying at for the first few days in South Africa in December.....

Cape Town

Somerset West

 Knysna (Brenton)


Tuesday, June 25, 2013


The world, the nation of South Africa and I are collectively holding our breath.

An old, tired and sick man appears to be fading away.

His death is hard to contemplate.

Is he hanging on, clinging on because at some level he knows that so many cannot fathom a world, a nation, a life without him?

Nelson Mandela has lived an extraordinary life.

A life of pain and passion and triumph and integrity and humility and grace......  Many others will extol him with better words.

For me his life has been such an incredible example of forgiveness.

A bitter, angry man would have been understandable ...... expected even .... after all that was done to him, his family, friends, his people, his country... our country. 

But he chose a different path.  

He chose to be bigger than his personal pain, his personal injury.... he chose to take a path, not only for himself, but for South Africa that lead to democracy.  He chose not to be bitter, he chose to forgive.

He freed himself as he freed a nation.

I remember where I was the day he walked to freedom but I had left by the time he became the first democratic leader of my homeland.

I really wanted to be back on South African soil in December this year that also had Nelson Mandela on it.....alive and well.  That seems unlikely today as the vigil in Pretoria continues.

Madiba..... your example touched my life, the lives of place in history is sure.

Peace, deep abiding peace to you and to your family.

Hamba Kahle.

For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others
Nelson Mandela

Sunday, June 23, 2013

This weekend gets an F

Sometimes by this time on a Sunday I sit down and I am amazed at how full and busy two days can be!

I am sitting in the living room as the rest of the family watch an episode of warehouse 13 in the family room.  

We are all tired and in need of some zoning out.

Although busy this weekend had some of my favourite things......

Friends - a great dinner on Friday with the Vera' great to have friends you can just chill with - eat and drink and shoot the breeze....share our weeks.....

This photo texted to me from too far away pretty much made my weekend.  I miss this girl SO much!
So we texted her back with our secret sign

And tea with a dear friend in the sunshine in the backyard on Saturday afternoon...... living life together.... friendship is a gift

Fitness - a great workout with a great instructor.....though my body (arm and knee) remain pretty sore and I am still wearing glasses and not contacts (grrrr) - I am getting what I can was my 50th class this year on Saturday! Yay me.  I wish the running was's not.  I need to figure that out soon.

Fresh fruit - A drive to my beloved Westham Island for the field-fresh-sun-kissed strawberries.  18lbs.  Red stained hands, sweet smells and a freezer full of summer delights!  And then these little beauties Lindsay cooked up in mason jars!

Food...... a family dinner..... a celebration of exams over, baptism to come, just the opportunity to be together, blessed with our home and good food.  Summer? 

Fun - A bridal shower for a work colleague - I think the 15th staff bridal shower at my house.  Some great new games with much hilarity.....lots of great potluck food and a triple chocolate mousse cake.....

First -  This little monkey had his first birthday today..... win.... I love you!  For his birthday he had a private session with the ever amazing Scott Taylor - dog trainer extraordinaire and learned to walk a bit better in public.....we live in hope!

FULL = Happy......

Have a great week friends.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Act of Faith

When you are handed your brand new baby you are handed not only the weight of that infant but also the far greater weight of being in charge. Of making a million small decisions and some BIG ones.

I remember how utterly overwhelming that felt.

I felt unequal to that task in those early weeks.

I remember telling the Nurses Hotline through my tears of fatigue and fear that someone who knew what they were doing should take care of this baby and that was surely not I.

Sometimes I wish I was still eligible to phone the Nurses Hotline and hear that disembodied yet reassuring voice tell everything is going to be ok but I think they would hang up when I told them my baby is 16.

At every turn, as a parent, it feels a decision is needed.

What to do now, what to do next, when to introduce things, what to say about things......

Of course there are SO many people to help you, tell you what to do, how to do it, when to do it......

It is sometimes hard to distill it all down to find the balance between THIS child and THIS moment and YOUR parental instinct.......and all that advice.

Harder still to separate the emotion from the decision.

As a christian family, having grown up in the church (Allan and I came from very different traditions), me being a Missionary Kid......there were some expectations about what to do about the children and church.

There was certainly some pressure to baptize or christen them as infants.  As both Allan and I were.

We wrestled with this one. talked around and around it. prayed.

We had Lindsay dedicated in my parents backyard on a sunny summers day.  It was lovely, informal and affirming.

David suffered the dual fate of being the second child and also being born when we were not regularly attending a church and although we pray over our kids most nights - he got no formal anything.

We really wanted to leave this big decision about faith for our children to make for themselves.

We were determined to model a christian life for them but we wanted them to come to a place of faith that was genuine and authentically theirs.

We trusted God not to let them go.

David chose to be baptized a couple years ago and we were delighted.

Lindsay has taken a longer journey.  In her mature and thoughtful way she has worked through these matters and tonight I attended her last baptism class with her before her baptism on Sunday.  Her confirmation will be a few weeks later.

I am so grateful for the village of people who have helped us and her over the years to grow her faith. My Parents, Anvil Island Camps and campers and counsellors who became friends and mentors and confidantes, Emmanuel Christian Community especially our Soupers, Youth leaders who taught and mentored, our new church family at St. Johns Richmond and all the other people who have loved and prayed.

I am so grateful to Allan for being such an amazing co-parent.....who showed what grace and forgiveness and redemption actually look like for me and for our children.

When I held that tiny new baby, scared out of my wits, I prayed over and over "Please don't let me screw this up"  and I am on my knees in gratitude that my God came through in so many more and amazing ways than I ever could.

So proud of a young woman that will make a declaration of faith in a world and culture and age that sees little value in that.

So grateful for grace.

Monday, June 17, 2013

1.5 hours

I had approximately 1.5 free hours this weekend.

I was solo parenting.

So it stands to reason then, that I would, of course, choose to take on a project about which I knew little, had no time to do and had to meet the deadline of a returning fisherman on Fathers Day.

Which also involved brown paint which we have now established I have some "issues" with.

As evidence that stupid ideas sometimes turn out well and that brown paint in not the evil of the paint world.... I enter the photos below.....

David is so much taller than when you last saw him!!!  

Ha ha ...or not...

The well sanded wood/metal/vinyl door is ready to be primed

Lindsay priming
As the sun set on Friday Lindsay and I had managed to get the primer on...mostly

The "stone brown" door looking good
All done including some of the worst window art ever seen
Amazing what 3 Byres can do in no time...literally.

Allan immediately saw the window art and completely failed to notice the door had been re-done.

Smile and nod...... smile and nod........

I had some other adventures this weekend, not as much sleep as I needed and I worked half of Saturday but it all ended well with a lovely Fathers Day Surf and Turf Dinner followed by Ice cream sundaes in the retro glasses Lindsay bought for her Dad.  

I bought him a lego R2D2....... and steak knives.

Good times!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Brown Paint - Take 2

I had to buy brown paint again this weekend.

It went better than this Brown Paint episode which I reprise here for your enjoyment.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


I truly detest that BFF thing.......

Maybe because I am older (hopefully a little more mature) I have no use for the grading of friends.

Best, closest, oldest........

I simply feel blessed to have friends that love me for who I am and I love them for who they are and we continue to invest in these friendships for what they bring us......friendship.

Having lived in this world as a girl, a teenage girl...... I lived the BFF rollercoaster...... I have seen my daughter and her friends ride it..... thrilling at times but often so unnecessary and unproductive....leaving one breathless and a little lost.

If only we could somehow get to the notion of friendship as the destination, the point, sooner in our lives (maybe others have managed that but  I suspect many women are often trapped in this unhealthy competitive and exclusive race for friends).

Tonight I had dinner with my friend Kim who appears in this blog in a way that mirrors our friendship.... infrequently but with a depth of life story that exceeds most of my friendships in Canada.

We have history.....which is a gift itself.....especially for me who moved across the world leaving many friendships behind.

We began our friendship in those intense years of the mid-late 20's when we were both young working Mom's living in a co-op in Marpole Vancouver......trying to figure out our to be mothers, working mothers, raise a family, be healthy, invest in our marriages,  not kill the other people in the co-op..... weighty things......things we hashed out as we walked to work in the morning from 70th and Granville to 4th and Vine.....a long way.....8km every morning until the Lindsay growing in my belly made me too slow to waddle that far.....

And how we ended that walk perhaps best describes us....... we stopped at the same spot everyday for breakfast.....a little place close to our offices called The Lazy Gourmet.  I, creature of habit and lover of routine, ate the exact same thing everyday to the point that the sesame bagel would be in the toaster before I walked in the door to a warm welcome by  my name everyday.  Kim, lover of change and studious avoider of routine, purposely changed her order everyday.  Eventually she even changed the place we stopped for breakfast.

I loved being a regular....Kim hated it.

And I love her for that.

We couldn't be more different and yet our lives are so often on exactly parallel trajectories.

We see each other face to face very seldom but its always ok .... we talk or email alot.....maybe not as much as in years past but we don't need the chatter as much....we know each other....we get what's going on...that life is busy, kids, marriage, career.....

I am not going to break into "Wind beneath my wings" here because its not a sappy friendship, Kim would either die laughing or punch my lights out.....our friendship is mellow and easy and deep and enduring.....and I feel so lucky.

We will talk non-stop when we see each other tonight. About everything. We will be honest. We will laugh.
She will tell me I need a change.  I will tell her she doesn't.

I will tell her I need a photo for this blog and for the fact I don't believe one of the two of us together even exists....... she will most likely refuse.....or maybe give in grudgingly...... because she loves me.

Kim  - your friendship has blessed my life for 20 years..... here's to many many more!