Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Down Home

Got some welcome relief tonight from all the pressure with some down home Cape Breton fiddle music. Nice to get a little touch of home down here in the US.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Head Exploding

I'm currently going through one of those weeks (or series of weeks) where I'm getting really overwhelmed. I'm on the road for work a lot and have something going on every night. The evening stuff is all good, there's just a lot of it. The day stuff is pretty bad right now.

So if you're calling me and I'm not calling back - sorry. I'm desperately hanging on to the threads of my sanity. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.


Monday, February 26, 2007


If you recognize any of these phrases or use them in regular conversation you may just be from Tancook, or drunk. This is from my aunt.

This is your heritage. Teach it to your children. They won’t respect you anyway so you
have nothing to lose.
Barney’s horse gulp – eat too fast
Butz – to hit , bump
Doudle – to jiggle
Flutched – tired out , done in
Gramma Doots – unkempt , bedraggled
Gutzin – eat a lot
Herbie Herbie – You’ll be sorry
Klutzy – thick , heavy ( as in a cake )
Krutz – cut ( as with scissors )
Kooss - kiss
Loompygutz – feel sick ( as in ate too much )
Misgabor – misshapen , something that didn’t turn out right
Mollysogged – all messed up , bedraggled , ruined
Mootz – in a bad mood , moody , feelings hurt
Mowled – tangled
Mowlygooch – talkative
Rootch – wiggle or squirm
Row in your guts – looking for a fight or to pick a fight , upset
Sadie Arch – didn’t turn out they way you thought it would , “ now are you satisfied ? “
( as in : “ you’ve been up to Sadie Arch’s” )
Sallywynder – slap
Seen off – cheated
Shushally – silly, giddy
Sisagie – dilemma , a mess
Sivy looks good in anything – you always look good no matter what you wear
Souddle – rinse out , slosh , to lose something
Stood off - stale
Stoof around – stand around being useless , idle
Swift day for Eugene – had a really good time
Tearing a dirty gutter – going really fast (as in how Grampie does everything)
Yaymer – to whine , complain
With a roosh and a bang – to do something haphazardly , in a hurry

And people wander why I'm more than a little bit crazy!

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Evil Snowman

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Finally.... The Weekend

I don't know why this week dragged, but it did. I had Monday off, but the rest of the week felt like running underwater. Nothing bad, just draggy.

Tomorrow I'm off on a road trip with some friends, which should be fun. I know I have a camera somewhere....

Sunday (besides lots of church) a bunch of us are going to see Amazing Grace. I'm excited. I've been waiting for this since last summer. Here's a great article to get you prepared for the movie when you see it (I say WHEN because you must see it).

What are you up to this weekend?

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Are You Paranoid If.....

I was pretty disturbed at this news this morning. Yes, to the outside world it might seem like the not-so-surprising expansion of the American Idol franchise into summer camps.

What disturbs me is that this is on the campus of Northfield/Mt. Hermon. This is a school that was founded by Dwight Moody. From the website:
When Moody founded the Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies (1879) and Mount Hermon School for Boys (1881), he selected students who were talented but came from impoverished backgrounds. As he did in his revival campaigns, Moody drew his students from all over the world, from all over America, and from every race.

Dwight Lyman Moody died in Northfield on December 22, 1899. Condolences were mailed and wired from around the world, and an estimated 3,000 people were on campus during the day of the funeral, held on December 26 in the Congregational Church. He is buried on a hill called Round Top on the Northfield campus, the site of both his birth and death.

I know that there were other options for this unused part of the campus, including an international missions center.

So, a school that was set up by Moody with the intent to fuel international revival and missions is now being used to fuel "American Idol". Hmm.... no, that's not disturbing at all.

I've always been torn about American Idol. The name always makes me cringe. But, then there are some people that have come out of it who say that they are Christian and have released Christian (or crossover) music (Carrie Underwood and Clay Aiken, for example). Then there is the Canadian Idol who took a stand and sang "I Can Only Imagine" on Canadian network television. It seemed like God was playing a good joke by using American Idol to allow Christian young people to talk about their faith on popular television.

But this just really hits me the wrong way. Somehow it just screams of the work of the enemy. Laughing at the godly tradition of this place and twisting it.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007


My ever-humorous brother (who else sends Sarcasm Wednesday cards??) sent me a note today asking:
What are you giving up for Lent? Your New Year's Resolution? Your sobriety? Your good judgement and personal restraint?
which was a nice follow up to the suggestion at my small group last night to give up sin for Lent.


I read a great blog the other day about Lent which points to the importance of fasting, prayer and acts of service during Lent. I'm pretty sure fasting from your sobriety wasn't what they were thinking about.

Anyhow, in answer to the question that's been weighing on all of your minds, I'm giving up refined sugar for Lent. Seems like a small thing, but to someone who appears to live on muffins, diet Coke, etc, it's a big thing. No sucralose. No asperatame. No sugar. No cane syrup. No high fructose corn syrup. Which makes having a bad sweet tooth a bit of a drag. So, kudos to all those companies who don't fill their products full of sugar. You're making my life a whole lot easier. Did you know dried fruit is full of sugar?? What's with that? It's fruit. Fruit has it's own sugar - why do you need to add more? Pasta sauce is full of sugar. Huh? Salad dressing? This is a conspiracy people!

Off to the Ash Wednesday service tonight. I'm thankful that the season of Lent is here. It's a good time to stop and focus again. I've been feeling a drift and it's time to get re-centered.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Worship at the Cathedral

So, I haven't been to a mall in a VERY LONG TIME. By very long time, I mean in Joy time, not necessarily in real person time. Like over a month. Probably not since Christmas.

I ducked into a local mall on the weekend because I needed to pick up my hair product at The Body Shop. I did duck into DSW for a minute, but for the most part I managed to avoid temptation.

Yesterday I went into the city to see an old friend. We met at THE MALL. That being, not just A MALL, but THE MALL. Hundreds of shops. Shops that we don't have near me. Shops full of all sorts of things I NEED to have. Seriously. How have I survived without that really cute top kind of need. Cute shoes need. Expensive kitchen appliances need. $20 cupcake mixes need.

And the place was packed. Full of people all carrying their many shopping bags, eating at the restaurants and generally worshipping consumerism.

In some ways it was fun. When I ducked in on the weekend I picked up a smoothie and thought about how going to the mall used to be fun. In the days before I had to go to the mall because shopping was the distraction in my life.

Yesterday at THE MALL I had a lot of fun because I was with my friend, but I was struck again with how easy it would be for me to go back to shopping every weekend or every evening. There's a lot of cute stuff out there and it's not buying itself.

It was quite a contrast to the weekend retreat with my small group when we talked about fair trade and the need to reduce how much we buy to what we need.

I managed to get out without too many purchases - 2 notebooks for work, 6 small bowls (to replace the ones Sir Mouse decided to defile with droppings), a travel knife and a business card holder (now that I actually have business cards). Perhaps there's some hope for my self-control yet, but I don't think it's a good idea to keep testing it.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007


I'm speaking in church tomorrow morning and I now have a Superman sign tattoo on my hand. Ha! I also have a tattoo on my arm, but I think it's too cold to wear a short sleaved shirt tomorrow.

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Friday, February 16, 2007


I have a zit on my lip. What's with that? It's the oddest thing. There's no way to cover it up - it's half on my lip and half on my upper lip. Can't cover it with make up. Can't cover it with lipstick. Instead I look like I'm in a Halloween costume or something.

Aren't zits for teenagers???

I'm just really thankful I don't have any big meetings today.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Chocolate Day

Since today is one of the biggest chocolate day of the year, I thought I would bring over a website that I recently found about chocolate. It's a pretty disturbing thought that our snack favorite is dependent on children being kidnapped or sold into slavery. Suddenly chocolate doesn't taste so good. I've done a little research and Newman's Own and Green & Black brands are both slavery free. I still need to write to Hershey's, Nestle and Cadbury to grill them on their policies.

So, enjoy Valentine's day, but take some time to think about what the real expense of your chocolate.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New Comfort Food

At lunch today I needed to run to the grocery store to pick up some stuff for the storm tomorrow. I decided to pick up a sandwich while I was there. Good choice - something new and a new favorite.

tuna, avocado, cheddar and tomato on wheat bread panini

Essentially it's a tuna melt with avocado. Very rich, but very good.

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Monday, February 12, 2007


Every year I vow that this winter will be different. This year I won't drop all my hobbies after Christmas and slowly retreat to my house - not to be seen again until April. Every year it happens again. I walk past my photography equipment and sigh. I'm sure there are nice things out there to photograph, a) I'm lazy, b) it's cold out there, c) I'm lazy. This year I'm not even cooking or baking that much. Yet, none of my hobby stuff comes out.

The first big storm of the season is supposed to hit tomorrow night. I'm guessing that won't help curb my instinct to crawl under the covers and not emerge until spring!

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Reality of 24/7

This afternoon a bunch of friends and I went to take part in a local week of 24/7 prayer.

Now, I've read Red Moon Rising and done 24/7 as part of a week in Liverpool, England, so 24/7 isn't new for me. I went on the 24/7 site and found that a local group was doing it and decided it was important to give it a try on American soil and also to support them.

Walking into the room it was nothing special - it was pretty spare. An old couch, a chair, a bench and a table with a CD player. A sheet of newsprint on the wall and a map of the world on another. No special formula and thankfully no scented candles.

Yet somehow there was something special in that room. No distractions. Nothing else happening. Nothing else to focus on. We spent 2 1/2 hours in that room spending time alone and then praying as a group. Pretty amazing.

It was exciting to see that happening in a non-descript building in the middle of a non-descript town. Equally exciting to me was that it was a Salvation Army activity. The Salvation Army that I grew up with didn't do 24/7 prayer. I'm glad to see I was wrong.

While the setting was underwhelming, it was good to see 24/7 starting to come to life in the real world. No bells and whistles.

A very cool way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Back to "Normal"

So, I've started eating real food again. Last night I had a sandwich with a little turkey in it. Nice and bland. Ease back in to life. Still no sweet tooth, but I'm considering that a plus.

Today I have a lunch meeting at a nice restaurant and I have to choose something I think won't irritate my body. What do I choose? Crab cakes. Yes - those fabulous nuggets of crab, peppers and whatever else was in there, DEEP FRIED and then dipped in a spicy mayo. That sounds reasonable. I have no idea why I ordered them. So far I'm not sick again, but it's clearly not due to any common sense I might possess.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Amazing Grace

In the summer of 2005 I heard Gary Haugen, President of International Justice Mission, speak at Soulfest. After a long day of good music, too much sun and enjoying ourselves, it was hard to take in his information about the world of human trafficking, slavery and the sex trade around the world. It was awful to think that you could be pretty well informed about the world and yet be oblivious to this whole other world. Why was no one talking about this?? He told stories about children in India who were indentured slaves for the rest of their lives to pay back a trumped up debt of their parents. Other stories were much worse. At the end of the talk they took an offering and we went back to the next concert.

But his talk stuck in my head the next year. I would occasionally go to the IJM website to check on their latest news or make a donation. Nothing huge, but it was stuck in my head.

This summer at Soulfest the Amazing Change campaign was there as part of the promotion for the upcoming Amazing Grace movie. If you want to feel humbled, listen to a 14 year old (Zach Hunter) talk about how he's changing the world and won't stop until he gets there. Again, more information about the horrors of human trafficking. This time there was a petition to sign that they are going to take to the US House and Senate (go to the Amazing Change site to download and sign it).

It's hard to understand the statistics because they make no sense to me. 15-20 thousand people trafficked into the US as slaves each year? How can that happen? Bonded labor is even more appalling:
Bonded labour affects at least 20 million* people around the world. People become bonded labourers by taking or being tricked into taking a loan for as little as the cost of medicine for a sick child. To repay the debt, many are forced to work long hours, seven days a week, up to 365 days a year. They receive basic food and shelter as 'payment' for their work, but may never pay off the loan, which can be passed down for generations.
Imagine being born into bonded labor and knowing this is your whole life.

I've been searching for some tactile thing to do and have found nothing so far. The Amazing Change site has a list of 10 things you can do, but they seem a little weak to me in light of the problem.

In the meantime, I'll definitely being going to see the Amazing Grace movie when it comes out in two weeks. I'm excited to learn more about William Wilberforce and how he took his heart for justice and spearheaded change. Awesome stuff. I hope the movie helps to raise awareness on this issue. Once you know about it, it's hard to forget.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

New Pictures

While I've been off dealing with Nasty Virus '07, I've been working on left over pictures from Soulfest last summer. Here are a few of them.

Third Day


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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Never Ending Nausea

I thought I was feeling better. I thought I could return to real life.

Not so fast. Now I'm nauseous again. Argh!

While I appreciate the time to work on pictures from last summer, I'd really rather be on my feet doing normal stuff. I'm hoping tomorrow brings a normal day!

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Or.... Not

I had big plans for this weekend. Today was a big work conference. Tonight a big prayer event at church (and I'm leading) and then the weekend sleepover/retreat with my small group. Lots packed in, right?

Except that I woke up at midnight violently ill. Like really violently ill. Haven't even been able to drink water since 9 pm last night. Not good.

You'd think I wouldn't be so cocky about big plans after reading this in James 4 the other day:

13Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.

So, it looks like a "quiet" weekend here. Yuck. I hate viruses.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Knock knock

Has anyone else been having the problems I've been having with blogspot? For the last week or so it's been adding an extra backslash to all my blogspot links and so I get an error message. Both from this page and also from my bookmarks.

This morning all blogspot blogs were down and giving error messages. I felt like the crossed BETA was mocking me. Now that it's no longer a beta nothing works..... hmmm....