Monday, January 01, 2018

christmas at katie's

katie has a giant tree.  they cut the beast down themselves at the end of november.  so giant that one cannot decorate it without a ladder.  brent confessed to me that he forgot to put the tree in the shaker, and that the house was full of needles when they brought it in.  when i got there it was sitting there majestically in the front window, almost shaped in tiers like a wedding cake.

i slept on the bunk bed in the family room downstairs.  katie found a little shelf for me to put my stuff and i hung my advent calendar by the bed posts.  it was a fine arrangement, the only downfall being the ease of which one could be mauled by the enthusiastic love of malachi at any given time.  but there are worse things than to be loved enthusiastically.

we cut snowflakes as is tradition.  natalie lugged in the ladder and hung half of them before running off to deliver her secret santa items, a task she was consumed with all christmas.  while her and elizabeth were gone, malachi sang 'said samuel' while laying on the back of the couch and slapping the time with his feet.  he surprised himself with how well he knew the words, so he sang it again and again and again.  i recorded him.

on sunday the missionaries came for dinner and brent and i both happened to open our eyes part way through the blessing to see one of the elders bowing his head almost right into his bowl.  those elders are both a little odd.

monday night for family home evening we did a classic drop and dash of christmas treats and some different people's houses.

katie has a low church table set up in front of her couch and that's where all the wrapping magic took place.  first i did a major organization of the ribbon box which worked out verrrry satifactorily.  i mean i was so so pleased with myself.  then i began to churn out wrapped presents in beautiful little packages of art and place them on the book shelf to be safe.  "auntie laura, presents go under the tree" malachi kept telling me. while elizabeth did her best to keep track of who had how many presents and from whom.

we did quick shopping trips so where i helped michealah chose some clothes for elizabeth and helped elizabeth get some jewelry for katie  and to the educational store where i helped natalie chose the exact same things for malachi that he got in his stocking.  exact.  lol.  ahhh....her face when he was opening his stocking! katie helped me pick out a shirt for brent and then we decided it would be a good idea to get him cheif's tickets.  katie and brent have become fans of their local hockey team.  so we went to the areana on the last day one could buy them and the lady told us of this great deal where you buy 4 vouchers from save on for 50 bucks, you bring them there, and they give you 4 tickets and a 25 dollar save on gift card.  sold. she threw in a magnet and a game schedule too.  i didn't know how to wrap that so i stuffed it in one of brent's doctrine books and wrapped that.

katie made ginger snaps and brent made fudge and caramels.  katie also made these yummy coconut balls that you dip in chocolate.  i helped her form them and actually mine were balls and hers were logs.

after much deliberation and pinterest searching i came back to my original idea for christmas dinner dessert.  home made ice cream sandwiches.  so one day i made the dough with elizabeth and malachi in which i turned them on to saying molasses like mooooooooLASSES!  malachi and i kept saying "i don't know if it's going to fit in there" which started with the flour but then we just liked saying it to each other.

the next day malachi and i baked the cookies.  well first he had a major melt down because i said he couldn't help until he cleaned his toys and he thought that was super mean,but after he got over that he did it pretty quickly. then he was the best sugar roller in the west.  we made 114 cookies.

was it the next day or the next day that i set up the ice cream sandwich station in the down stairs kitchen.  i was down there trying to create the most efficient set up that i could to streamline the process, because as you may or may not know ice cream melts.  so.  one has to work quickly when one is working with the medium of ice cream. katie texted me "what are you doing"  "setting up my lonely station" i said emphasizing that i was all alone in my project.  but she came and helped me and soon natalie did too and we got them all made and wrapped in wax paper and back in the freezer as fast as could be.  it was very satisfying to have it done days before christmas and to not have to cook anything or prepare anything on christmas.

one day elizabeth malachi and i played that we were reindeer and sometimes elves.  elizabeth's reindeer was minty.  malachi's was dasher and mine was lippy pip pop.  elizabeth did a very good job using make up to make her and malachi's faces look like reindeer.  my elf's name was zelda and she was very uncooperative but later she gave the other two   an ice roller coaster ride.

some nights we watched cheesey christmas movies while we wrapped.  the cheesiest might have been the christmas inheritance.  wow, it was bad.

so katie's van didn't start one night.  so brent put and new battery in it.  then it wouldn't start another time.  so brent put a new alternator in it and changed the brakes while he was at it.  his parents were over before heading to the island and his dad helped out.

christmas eve was a sunday and i had nothing i needed to get done.  it was weird.  the missionaries were once again over. bryan also showed up. we had perogies and chili and fritos.  after some waiting in the bitter cold at the first place, we met up with doug and delanie and sarah and kyle and sang carols.  then we sang to our requisite empty house.  then we sang to the tambres.  then  the van wouldn't start again.  this time 3 guys were hovering over the engine and trying this and that.  nothing worked.  so everyone left michealah and i there and katie went and got my car and picked us up.  meanwhile they caroled without us, which couldn't have been that good seeing as katie michealah and i were missing.  hello.   sarah missed us.  our last place was the kindly old retired mechanic in yarrow. who told them to bring their van in and he would look at it.

back at home we had a nice candle ceremony and all the kids went to bed. natalie helped me wrap santa gifts for a while until it was time for her to leave if you know what i mean.  then i was a wrapping machine and katie brought things out for me and assembled stockings and such.  we were done by 12:30 which was amazing to us.  we sat and talked until 1ish and then went to bed.  i fell asleep but she apparently texted michealah until 2ish.

i think i woke up 7 thirtyish with a loud yell by malachi.  i came upstairs and then we awaited all the kids.  at katie's house each kid takes a turn taking something from their stocking and then when they are done each adult takes a turn taking from their stocking.  then they open the santa gifts and then this year natalie passed out the presents.  many good things were given and received.  i got some lippies, a teal eye liner, a beautufil colourful duvet cover, a yummy cookbook, some earrings, a painting and a stuffed dog i have yet to name.  part way through wrapping elizabeth was not feeling well and this was a baaaaaaaad omen of the plague to come.

after the tree we had perogies for breakfast. katie didn't want to but she did.  and she enjoyed it.  we went to have naps but i never had one.  eventually the time came to trek out to abbutsfurd for christmas dinner.  i went with katie michealah and malachi.  mic and mal had the just woke up grumpies. just saying.  just noting for posterity.

doug and del's house was alive as it always is when filled with 2 brothers families and 3 sisters familes (my family is the quietest).  the food was super yummy as usual.  after dinner we played telephone pictionary with up to 10 people and it was soooooooo hilarious.  we were in peals of laughter so often.  and so often it was regarding doug.  haha.    to me, it was the best family dinner we've had in a long time just because we played this game and interacted in a fun way.  i loved it.    i brought out the ice cream sandwiches part way.  people seemed to like them.  they weren't perfect though.

on the way home is when i started to wheeze and cough.  i didn't know it but i had just contracted the great plague of 2017.  katie's family, sarah's family, doug's family and jordan's all got it.  merry christmas to us.  it's now a week later and i'm just out of bed and out of the house for the first time.  it's like the whole week was a black pit of dispair and illness.  fevers, chills, coughing attacks, body aches ear aches, head aches, snot flying sneezes, food tasting like metalic and salt.  food losing all it's joy.

but i didn't say yet that i left on boxing day after watching despicable me 3, doing some clay mud masks, and after packing everything up and putting it in the car.  i had to work the next day.  when i got home it was only 4:30 and i did something that i never do.... i UNPACKED MY SUITCASE.  i'll just leave you stunned with that information for a while.

that night i tossed and turned with a fever and chills and the next day i went in to work as a deathly sick person and then i never returned.  the end.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

christmas at katie's: prolouge

it's the eve of christmas eve and i have this strange feeling.  it's this: i'm ready.  all my presents are wrapped, and wrapped well, i might add.  i made my christmas day dessert.  i have no projects, no pressing urgency of things undone.  it's weiwd.  a weiwdo feeling.

december 8th was my last day of work.  it was a doozy last day.  the day of our christmas party.  the day we cooked stuffed pork loins for 88 people and vegetarian lasagnas for 22 and mashed mountains of potatoes and roasted pans and pans of brussel sprouts and butternut squash. platters of baked goods etc etc etc.  it was a lot of work, and it was my last day before vacation so i had things to do to prepare my crew for my absense.  after the party was over and the members went home, the staff stayed a while and sat on the couch around the giant tv with a fireplace burning on it's screen.  some had drinks and some sprinted down the halls pushing others on rolly chairs.  i hugged a pillow.

december 9th i went downtown in a grey hoodie, pink hair, red lips and sparkly eyelids and watched the universal gospel choir's christmas concert at the queen elizabeth  theatre.  i saw them last year too.  me and mei lin went to the concert together and i locked my keys in the car and it was pouring rain.  this year i was on my own and i was newly on vacation.  i love their concerts.  they are so lively and full of joy.  i think it would be so fun to be in a choir like that.  during one of the numbers i looked around and there were groups of people up and dancing wildly.  that's the kind of person that goes to a gospel choir concert.  i felt like i was a reserved stiff person in that group.  and we know i'm not reserved.  we know that don't we?

after the concert i wandered around downtown looking at lights and christmas trees and then decided to go the german christmas market.  it was a little disappointing actually.  but i did buy a few little things.  they were my first christmas present purchases.

i made a decision to have red lips everyday until christmas.  sarah joined my bandwagon.

the next week was christmas shopping week. on monday i met with my work girls at a thai restuarant and we exchanged our gifts.  we all gave each other mugs. amongst other things. :)  on tuesday i got my toes done in the morning.  i asked for something christmassy on the big toes and she did these weird christmas trees... that looked a little...not professional.  i regretted it, but i accept it.  then i went downtown and had a councelling session.  i can get some free councelling through work and i decided to talk to someone about my egypt experience.  i was super nervous but my councellor was really nice.  it  was a good session and she gave me homework.

after i met fatima for shoppin.  we ate at the food court.  she had a poke bowl and i had coconut rockfish tostada .we did shops.  we did talks.

wednesday was my big shop all day day.  i got a lot done.  found some good deals.

thursday i spent procrastinating.  because that was the day i had to clean and pack.  and i did not want to.  and there was a lot of cleaning.  i wasn't done cleaning and packing and loading the car until 8:30pm.  i didn't even eat anything until 6pm.  i really hate cleaning my house.   then i jumped into a loaded down hot hips hoolipan and drove out to chilliwack.  arrived 10:30pm.

christmas had begun.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

the day i closed the windows

they've been open wide since april and now they're closed.  i might even wear socks some time soon.

my body is suddenly decrepit.  "what's up?" asked katie kindly as she stood waiting for me on the side of the steep narrow path up teapot mountain (some call it hill but it's a mountain to me). "i'm out of shape..." i mumbled trying to swallow back some of the fight or flight saliva pooled in my mouth. "you used to be able to keep up" she asserted.  i wouldn't say that was quite true but maybe more than now.  now  my heart was sledgehammering against the cavity of my chest like it was making a prison break, my left knee had a weakness and a twinge, my lower back/left hip was stiff and achy, my shoulders are continually hunched and my right foot felt like it had a torn arch.  if it was something involving arms, my tennis elbow and carpel tunnel would be at the party as well.  ugh.  i'm still in my prime.  back off body degeneration!  today we did yoga for our young women's activity.  well the young women did. i mostly had a moment of clarity when i was attempting to sit up straight on my mat with my legs crossed in front.  holding on to my feet i examined them up close for the first time in a while.  it wasn't pleasant.  yes a crusty heal is useful to scratch an itchy leg at times, but the level of crustation was, well a bit on the jurassic age side of fossilization.  i excused myself to the washroom to wash my feet and felt a bit better when i could actually see some pink skin. later while executing a simple forward fold i experienced the mild vertigo that is my constant friend these days

right now said feet are feeling a foreign sensation.  coldness.  i'm enjoying it.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

long weekend

i am posting this picture because a) katie is beautiful and this picture is irrefutable proof.  so pfffft to the leah sister theory.  and b)because i seek relief from the muggy heat even if such relief is not quite physical but visonary.

i think when i ventured out to buy myself a chicken shawerma this evening that i saw glimpses of actual blue sky.  maybe the smoke is moving on.  then again i see and orange full moon rising, so what do i know.

it's been a good weekend.  i needed a weekend like this.  on friday i did not have a nap after work and we all know what a super human feat that is for me.  it goes against my nature.  my nature is to nap...especially on fridays.  instead i got gussied up, packed a beach bag and an overnight bag and met mom and dad and katie and brent in langley.  we were too late for the 6 session.  (well i wasn't.  i would have just skimmed in there on time) so we met for vietnamese food at a place near the wendy's.  it was pretty good.  dad and i both got the villiage specail which was this crispy chicken on thicker noodles with coconut milk, and basil and sprouts etc.  pretty yummy.  brent got a curry on noodles and spent his time putting the basil in and then taking it off right away and eventually giving it to mom who can't get enough basil and sprouts.  basil and sprouts are her jam.  katie got the lemon grass pork noodle bowl i think and mom got chicken i think.  feel free to correct me for the sake of the future generations.

after a good meal we went to the temple and did a session.  there were only 5 women in our session and 4 guys.  so it's good we went to that one.  katie and i both felt sleepy during parts but i saw her doing the sign language trick i taught her and it made me proud.  katie said she never noticed how much taller i am than her sitting down.  yeah, that's where my tallness lies!  i got short legs and arms!  i'm like a t-rex...with short legs.  anywho, it was a really really nice time in the temple.  i saw the deyels there and donna took me through the veil which was nice.

after the temple i abandoned my car and jumped in the jeep with the others and headed out to c-wack-a-mole.  i figured heavenly father would bless my car to make it to the temple and i didn't want to push it further.  

at katie's and brent's i sat with the fan on my feet which felt GLORIOUS.  hallelujah!  and talked to natalie about blueberry picking and such.  she wants a photo shoot when she gets her braces off and i'm like yeah i can do that but don't expect 100s like back in the day with michealah and her 3 clothes changes.  like that just aint possible no mo.  like i'm an old woman.  i gots my limits.  katie and i talked until i was like, let's go to bed so you're not grumpy tomorrow.  she looked at me and said "i'm going to be grumpy tomorrow."  to which i asserted that one cannot trick me out to one's home only to be grumpy the next day.  

and so it was that i was in michealah's room, undressing and chitchatting with her a little bit before we both went to sleep.  which was quite soon truth be told.  

next morning i woke up early a couple of times and forced myself back to sleep.  until around 8.  i got up and went upstairs.  katie made me a yummy avocado and tomato toast sandwich for breakfast.  then we went together to drop natalie off at a ladies house.  i went in my pjs and no bra because i'm like that.  on the way there we made natalie read random entries from my 2012 and 2006 blog books.  on the way home we talked about the good and bad of the 3 refugee ladies that katie and her group sponsored.  we sat in the driveway a while talking.

then i helped mom download and learn how to use open office.  we practiced.  i opened a new page and dad, who was watching woman in gold, was my subject.  "dad is a potato" i wrote.  then i saved it as dadspud.  then mom attempted.  she opened a new document and wrote "laura is a zucchini". and saved it as laurazuke, but managed to save it in her ttap videos folder instead of her doc folder so we had to do it again.  then she kept her finger down on the mouse when opening a new document and accidentally opened over 40 new documents, which was its own kind of good time.  eventually i think we got all the kinks out.

we had mac n tom for lunch.

we got ready for the beach.

i helped mom empty her stuff out of the van and i went with mom and dad and queen e and katie took the rest in her van.  mom and dad needed gas and i spotted a teeny tiny place on the side of the road that seemed completely abandoned, but aparently a boy from the little corner store next door came out with a  portable debit and helped pops beet with his transaction.  mom made dad repeat the card pin to her.  it's the same pin he's had forever and he said as if i'd forget that!  i remember numbers!  sarah and dad are similar this way.

once we made it to the lake we parked in handicapped parking and found katie and kids at a nearby picnic table. they nabbed one between two families both with delicious smelling bbqs.  we ate cherries and spit the pits on a paper plate.  we read some more entries of the blogs while i was sunscreening katie and while she was braiding natalie.  dad left to drive michealah to work.  eventually we were feeling warm and ready for a swim.  mom wasn't going to do it but we convinced her and she put on her sassy little suit she got from sarah.  katie and i jumped off the doc but mom didn't want to get her hair wet so she waded in.  we bobbed around a while, but mom doesn't like to go over her head, so i made up a game.  mom had to recite a long scripture from memory and katie and i would swim out as far as we could during that time.  when she yelled stop we would come back.  so we did the forward crawl on the way back.  i led with my right and katie with her left, for some reason and we both went the same pace so we were head pop out and look at each other at the same time every time.  the next time mom's memory task was to name all her 46 grandchildren in order of oldest child's family and down to youngest.  she was to try for middle names but she didn't really know a lot of those.  that time we went out farther.  when we got back we tried to think of all the middle names.  there's a lot we don't know.  the next time her and natalie sang all the verses they could remember of how firm a foundation and that time we made it almost all the way to the buoy so we just went all the way.  we hung on to it on either side for a while floating and talking.  one eye peering at one eye through the sign on the buoy.  then we swam back.  

we ate croissants and rotisserie chicken and chips.

we borrowed a knife from our neighbour bbqers, getting the 5 year old natalie was babysitting to ask for it.

on the way back to the car it's a bit uphill.  not drastically so, but enough to poop out dad.  he stumbled up to the concession stand asking the lady how much for a popsicle.  she said it was a dollar something and he reached in his pockets and was like, "oh i don't have anything just my keys" sweat pouring off his brow, "oh i'll buy you one." said the lady taking the change out of the tip jar.  "you are fast becoming my favourite person." says charming dad, who it turned out had his wallet in his back pocket but forgot about it.  then on the way home dad bought the kids 1.00 cones.  he came back with one too, after just finishing a popsicle, and with michealah bringing him home a frozen yogurt.  mom was like wuuuut, and dad was like do you want this, and mom was like noooo, i'm getting a frozen yogurt! and we were like give it to katie, and katie took it.  

michealah brought me a coconut with mango poppers and skor bits.  i got dressed and after futilely trying to help mom put the seat down in the van i jumped in the jeep again with all my stuff and with michealah.  we dropped her off in abby at the mcdonald's. to meet up with her friends.  they went to the fireworks.  katie and brent drove me to the temple and i got in my car and drove home.  a good day.

big breath there's more.  sunday was fast sunday. i spent most of young women's time catching up on how trek went and such.  the girls had a lot to say.  the lesson was on families and we came up with a hieroglyphic from emojis of what family is to us.  

after church i napped because it had to happen some time folks.  then i had nuts and then soup with hot sauce. this is sooooooo interesting!

evelyn took me to theatre under the stars again this year.  i went with her and rob and their friend maria on alumni night.  we saw mary poppins.  it was great.  loved it.  

today heather and i met up on commercial and had bao down.  i love bao down!!  i feel like it's the perfect food.  we got a flight of bao for $36.  heather had 3 and i had 4.  lucky i didn't eat anything before because 4 bao is filling!  i also got the guy to make me some kind of lemonade drink.  it was really good.  he put mint in it and i milked the mint and my lemon long after the drink was gone buy squishing them and swirling them in my water. heather and i had good chit chats.  it's been a while since we've been together.after bao which heather loved too, we went for rain or shine ice cream because heather had not tried it yet.  after that we sat a while on a bench in the heat and any will for walking left us and we parted ways.

long weekend. full.  i'm satisfied.  and my hair is super frizzy.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

sometimes you wake up with a start.  it's 8:30pm you're a hot slug on a bare bed and you have no idea how long you slept.  sometimes that happens to you.  and so the stupor is something you know about also.

this week has no hard edges.  it's all a soft and steamy forward blur of work in humid kitchens, pineapple sheets, dusky porches.  life goes on and i'm a participant somehow.  but i can't help but feel that parts of me linger in the past like ghosts.

these are the things groggy slugs say and it's not necessary to translate sluggish to english.  the slugs would rather you didn't.

i have a ramekin of cherry tomato jewels on my desk at work.  i collect the treasure each morning before i come in, scanning each plant and cooing sweetly to it as i pluck it's ruby babies.  i'm hoarding them for i know not what, but whatever it is, is going to be good.  i had a similar ramekin last week, except not so full and i came in monday morning to find it empty except with little curled green tomato scalps to witness of the carnage.

last night i watched a 4 part documentary show on netflix called the girls of destiny.  it was very good.  it's about these children from the lowest caste--the untouchables, in india, who get picked to go to a school.  this school is the work of an indo-american who sold his company to a fortune 500 and used the money to start this school.  his dream is to end poverty.  he takes one child from a family at age 4 and keeps them in his school for 14 years.  they go home twice a year for holidays, but other than that they are at the school and they attempt to give them the best education and a good loving environment and character building too, and to get them into good colleges and into good professions and in this way each child is supposed to raise up their family and give back to hopefully 100 others and so raise the people eventually out of poverty.  they follow around 4 girls on their journey as they deal with being different from their siblings and home villages, and the pressures of getting good grades and choosing wisely to be the saviors to their families and their communities and also trying to be true to themselves, and leaving the safety of their school to be in the outside world and facing prejudice about being an untouchable etc.  it was very compelling.  i watched all four episodes one after another of course.  the suffering of the peoples of the world can feel so overwhelming.  thinking about all the different people who suffer can be a flood of despair.  i'm so grateful to know about the people and organizations that attempt to heal save and rescue.  sitting here on my safe cozy porch in a privileged safe and free country, with all the opportunities i allow myself to have--i'm grateful.  and i want to be a part of movements like that.  i want to be a part.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017


reflections.  i've been thinking deep thoughts and stereo-typically much of it was in the shower.  deep thoughts and reflection--that's the type 4 in me.  having a billion thoughts at once interrupting each other and ten thoughts diving off the diving board of another thought and spiraling into many thoughts--that's the type one in me.

 i don't know if i can remember it all, and even if i could i made a turban out of my black long sleeved t-shirt that looks like it could be made out of lego.  there is no explaining this.  this is just something that is.

it's been strange days.  this morning the sky was smokey and the sun was reddish orange like that other time forest fire smoke wafted into our skies and i just so happened to be trying to take a family photo of the kyrah clarktton family in victoria and they all had this super weird light and all the yellows were neon.  it's just weird.  you know it aint right.

days at work have been weird without paskee and lindzee.  lil' brit is helping us out, and days go by full of hard work and heat and sweaty bodies.  sometimes ann, who is prone to lay a hand on me, does so, and her hand is burning hot and i have to say again "ann, for the hundredth time, don't touch me with your burning hot hand!"

i'm starting to force myself to think about all our stuff--what we'll keep and what we don't need and what has been dead weight for over 13 years.  sometimes it's hard to know.  other times it's easy.  like that 70s warming plate that i've never laid eyes on?  we can do without that.

i went to bed at a relatively good time yesterday and but i woke up with a start at 2am.  i felt the sting of an acute itch on my left wrist.  then i began to feel itches everywhere and my mind was instantly alert.  on hot nights i'm pretty exposed to mosquitoes.  i wear nothing but what i have to if you know what i mean, and i only pull a sheet over myself in the early morning hours when the air cools.  the thought of a mosquitoes sucking my blood, boils said blood.  i had to get up and douse my body in bug spray.  i have some aerosol bug sprays and i've decided that i'm very against aerosol bug sprays.  you breath in most of what is sprayed out and so you poison your insides and your outsides at the same time.

then i couldn't fall asleep until after 3am.  then i lagged in getting up.

one of the things i was thinking about in the shower is how my feet are the dirtiest i have ever seen.  and i don't really care.  i mean i do try to clean them in the shower but at the same time i don't feel revulsion or shame about it.  it's just what happens when feet like mine spend all day working in flipflops.  and there's no shame in getting dirty when you work.  and my hair and feet reveal to the world my raggamuffin ways.  i am what i am.

that wasn't the deep thought though.  that was just a surface thought.  one of the other things i was thinking about was that of all the temptations that come to me on a daily, the most common and amongst the strongest is just the temptation not to pray.  to put it off.  to do it another day.  to do it later.  to just sleep this time.  i'm feeling this resistance all the time.  and it's a pull to wander from God.  not to do anything bad, just to wander from his presence, to distance myself in our relationship.  to wander life's paths on my own for a bit.  i was thinking about this urge, this temptation that i find myself continually grappling with.  there are some times when prayer is the first thing i want to do.  if i'm feeling the spirit, if i'm feeling grateful, if i'm worried about someone, if i feel a need for divine help, comfort, guidance or intervention.  but that's just the thing.  i always need it.  and a close relationship with Heavenly Father, a daily walking, talking and sharing with him, the ability to do that, the fact i know how, the fact that he's available--that's the beginning of everything.  that's the source of strength, resilience, inspiration, faith, diligence--it's everything.  so i know that there is a reason i feel such a great resistance to prayer sometimes.  and i purposely resist the resisting.  even if i'm tired, or feel unworthy, or mad, or sad, or bored, or dead inside, or lonely, or crazy, or lost or uninspired--there is no perfect time to pray--or i should say, they are all perfect times to pray.  there is no perfect mind set to wait for. all of the mind sets are right.  because i need God in every moment.  and there is no moment that won't be made better if i share it with him.  and my reaching for him can be imperfect.  maybe my prayer is a dud in all ways that people might judge it.  maybe my mind is dumb of the right thing to say to him.  maybe i'm not eloquent or lyrical.   that's just dumb.  as if God needs that.  God will literally take anything i can give him from my imperfect mortal self and accept it.  if i feel angry and even jealous or evil or prideful, or just wrong hearted in anyway and can't utter the most worshipful and holy words but manage to talk to him and tell him what i am going through and ask for his help and a way out or just even a softening of my own heart.  i have faith that God accepts that.  God will work with that.  and doing that is infinitely better than not praying.  so i fight to make myself pray especially when i don't want to.  and i have faith that Heavenly Father will make even that willing--unwilling prayer into something good for me.  he hears me in all my extremities and in all my depths and heights and in all my medium ho hums.  and he answers my prayers.  always.  he has answered me innumerable times.  it so often surprises me how generously he answers my prayers. because here's the thing.  i'm not holy.  i'm not great or super good.  i struggle all the time.  and i am always repenting and failing and repenting again.  i mean it.  i am not a pure worthy vessel of the Lord like i would like to be.  i have faith and hope that one day i can overcome this wretched mortal weaknesses and offensive bits of soul hanging on to the gold inner me.  i have faith that Christ can create lasting change in me.  but i'm not always the best at partnering with him.  i know prayer is key.  but my point is, even as a moldy stinking wreaking heap of a blackened mortal creepo that i feel like some days, the moment my heart and soul reaches out to my Father in Heaven in any capacity, even a lameo try, even a try hampered thoroughly by the weight of my fleshy mortality--that's all he needs.  he needs me to chose him, and i chose him and use faith any time i pray to him, that's all he needs to answer me, to be there for me, to send me help and light and inspiration and voices of wisdom and learning and comfort and everything i need and have the capacity to accept and see and understand from him.  he is that kind.  he is that merciful.  he is that consistent in his love.  he is that patient.  and he sees me.  he sees the mold and the dark and he sees the golden core.   he doesn't balk from the festering wounds and worm eaten neglect and stinky black and bleak.  that stuff doesn't bug him at all, if a child of his is turning to him, and chosing him, you, and by you, i mean i, better believe he is not deterred by that filth one bit.  he knows that he can heal that.  he knows that he can cure that.  he knows that he can purify that.  he knows that he can shine me all up and make me new.  and he gets to work on that every time i chose to let him into my life, my soul my terribly messy and messed up mortality.  the power of love is greater than any other power that exists.  God is love.  Jesus is love personified (God personified).  i am his mission.  we all are.

and i think we so often make the mistake of attributing mortal emotions and reactions to God.  taking our own fears and feelings of  guilt or worthlessness or whatever it is that's negative.  maybe we can't see how God would be patient or forgiving or gentle because we personally can't feel that way about ourselves or someone else.  but God isn't limited like we are.  he is perfect.  and perfection isn't cold and accusatory.  it's not impatient and uppity.  perfection is the warmest purest sweetest love.  and yes it's true that God can't and doesn't accept sin but that's what his whole plan is about.  helping us to overcome and perfect and come back into his presence joyfully not because we are so great, but because we chose him, and we had faith in Jesus Christ and put our trust and faith in his atonement and used it.  and every time we fail we tried again and again.  and every time we repent he forgives us.  because he loves us.  and this is his plan.  his love is real.  it's not just a word.  it means something.  it means everything.  and whatever messages we receive that steer us away from him are just not true.  like it's too late, or i've gone too far.  or i'm hopeless.  or i can't change.  or he doesn't hear or see or know me.  or i'm not good enough.  or whatever it may be.  it's just not true.  he'll take us exactly how we are and at whatever level or spot we're at and our progress may take infinity.  he doesn't care.  he'll go at our pace.  he'll walk at our side.  he'll hold our hand.  if there is one thing i do know it's that God is real.  and he really is our father.  and he really does love us.  and there's lots i don't fathom.  but i do know that.  because he's shown me.  and i'm sorry i'm wanderer.  and i'm sorry i live beneath my privilege so often.  but i have hope that i'll get better and overcome the more i turn to him.  and that just act of turning to him in prayer is a step towards all that i lack and i refuse to let go of that.  thank God for  prayer.  i do.

well that was one of my deep thoughts.  and that's my testimony.  thanks for being here with me, i appreciate you.  i know readership is few and far between but i feel like i want to write anyways.  because first of all it's good for me.  and second of all i think of you all when i write even if you don't come here to read, especially my sisters,(including sisters in law) my friends, and my mom.  i'm writing to you, and i'm writing to me.

Monday, July 31, 2017

one for the posterity

lindsay and pascale are in calgary for two weeks for their master's program.  that leaves me with one staff and a borrowed summer-student who i like to call lil brittnay or lil brit.  we are entering the last days before our move to the new building.  things are coming down to the wire and change is imminent.  our new kitchen is all new state of the art equipment and there's going to be a steep learning curve.  before we move at the end of august i have to get rid of all our junk we've been holding on to for years and years.

today wasn't bad. just hot and stuffy as usual.  i really have nothing interesting to say.  when i got home from work i was so tired i could barely stand it and i collapsed on my bed and listened to youtube with my eyes closed.  somehow the youtube rabbit hole ended up on a brene brown loop and that woke me up.  i love listening to her stuff.  vulnerability stuff--it's good.  that's my tagline.  later i sat out on the cool porch and uploaded photos and watched the sky turn to a rosy peach cream.  my curtains are barely up.  the wind has done them in a bit but they still blow romantically in the breeze so that's all that matters.  

i ate over roasted baby potatoes and talked to heather, trying not to burn my mouth on the fluffy hot stuff inside each spud, my tongue playing hot potato with great skill.  heather is having a hard time with her sick kitty.  i feel for her. if there is anyone i know who does the all out max for her pet, it's heather.  she's got such a big heart, and big hearts are vulnerable to breaking, splintering, hurting... you know what i mean.  loves to my h.

so you think you can dance is only on fox and so i can't watch missed episodes. this bugs me in the bugger. it presses my bug button.  

feeling restless and unfulfilled.  gonna sleep it off.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

the works

sitting out on my twinkly porch at the end of a summer's day, listening to a guy talking on his cell in mandarin or cantonese as he walks through the park.  through my bamboo blinds i can see that the half moon is up.

it's been an interesting day.  i fell asleep after church after munching a handful of almonds, but in a surprise move, i only slept 2 hours.  keeping it random folks. ala type one.   when i woke up i could hear downstairs dave droning on to his new roomie, who i fear is a bit of a vagabond.  dave has no concept that i can hear his conversations like he's sitting next to me.  they were getting all hyped up about the politcs of marajoowanna.  later when i stumbled groggily out to the porch, i was trying to ignore the cronies down on the lawn while looking ups some solar eclipse details on the world wide web.  but my ears twitched and began to burn when new cronie asked "who lives up there?"  "laura," says dave, "you know, the big fat lady?"  wuuuuuut i mouthed silently to myself.  #bigfatlady.  i mean i know i'm pretty fat these days but it's one thing to know it myself and another to hear yourself described as such.  and dave went on to say "oh laura's really sweet"  and "laura's really nice"  too late dave.  the sweetness ends here.  well probably not, because when you're sweet you're sweet, but still. i can't believe he said that.  i mean chubby lady with curly hair--that's better.  there's a milion better things than #bigfatlady.  he doesn't even know he hashtag labeled me.  

so then i began to worry that they would realize i was up here, the #bigoafs, and that would just be awkward, so i began working my way silently off my chair that creaks and the porch floor creaks, and i was managing it fine, until half way up i experienced a sudden paradigm shift.  whatever, i thought, why should i feel awkward that dave is an oaf? and i waltzed through the screen door without care of noise.  

yesterday when i was leaving downstairsoafdave asked me as he was passing me with 2 bags of groceries if i would park behind my other car (dead stella midnight) because sometimes he gets groceries and he likes to be able to drive all the way into the back yard.  ok.  so dave doesn't have a car.  no one does.  i'm the only one who has a car.... 2 cars, 1 dead and 1 barely alive.  i am not going to park all squished up because once in a blue moon you would like to drive into our yard downstairsdave.  but i just smiled and said "i'm leaving" and judy, who had driven mr.oafinpants to the the grocery store and parked behind me rushed to move her car.  pfffft.  #bigfatladyattitude

i was on my way to see #sarahlynnelizabethstratton, who was having a long wait at the ferry and invited me to join her.  well i wasn't doing anything at the time except for laying horizontally on my bed watching youtube videos of derrick jaxn relationship advice, so i got up put on some clothes, brushed my teeth and looked at my wild locks but didn't do much to them.  added a bit of mascara too, truth be told.

we went to saks fith avenue at the tssawwassen mall and like the last time we had both been there, which was christmas shopping, we were both drawn to the accessories area and spent most of our time there.  i found 5 sets of earrings that i could not live without.  i mean sarah was key in this and yet she pared her pile down neatly to one set of earrings.  

we didn't have much time for much else so we hightailed it out of there, touching and looking at various things as we walked out.

after i dropped sarah off at the ferries i drove back towards richmond feeling the hunger pangs bad.  it was after 12:30 and i had not eaten anything yet.  so i made the fateful decision to stop at mcdonald's drive through.  and that's when i made the even more fateful decision to get a large milkshake.  do you know how large a large is??  it's massive!  i never get a large and i was reminded of why not.  it's because, besides the gluttony point, which let's face it, is not the hugest concern for me, it takes up all the liquid reserves of you stomach.  there is literally not enough room for that much shake.  which isn't good because mcdonald's makes me thirsty and i couldn't drink much water for a long while after without feeling like throwing up.

i went home and suddenly it was 2.

my big plan for this weekend was to go to spanish banks and watch the fireworks from there, and have a bit of a beach day before that.  lately my saturdays have been horrendously lonely and boring.  i just can't wait for there to be people in my life for me to do things.  i need to just do things or i'll go insane, which some saturdays i feel like i am totally wacko just from a build up of loneliness and inertia.  i worry about the lonliness.  i keep hearing studies about how loneliness is so detrimental to your health, both mental and physical health.  and i keep hearing echos of uncle duncan saying at gramma b's funeral "i hope none of you experience terrible loneliness", or something like that.   and i don't want anyone to feel sorry for me.  i just want to figure this out.  and i want to deal with it.  and i want to learn what i'm supposed to learn.  and i want to #shakerattleandroll.

so around 5 i was all ready with my ginorma beach bag stuffed with goodies and i started my drive out to spanish banks.  i made it there in about 37 minutes thanks for caring.  and i quickly nabbed a parking spot.  then came the labourious sand walking and search for an empty log.  i found a good one next to a couple who had made a shelter with a blanket, some driftwood and their log.  as i set up my retro sleeping bag i knew that if i did not get liquids i would surely die.  so i abandoned all, took my cell and my debit card and trekked all the way back to the concession stand, bought two waters, and got two cups of ice all in a nice cardboard carrier.  

then i trekked back.

i sat on the log and poured water into the ice cups and drank it, on repeat until i drank a whole bottle and most of the second.  by that time my thirst was abated enough to allow me to lay on the retro sleeping bag, and read my 2012 blog book which i recently rediscovered, and eat ice chips.  so that's what i did.

time passed.

the tide was out coming in when i arrived and i decided to wait until it was in before i swam.

more time passed.

when the sun started getting low on the horizon i stopped reading to take some clicks without really moving from my spot.

this pic includes the sky which just looks delicious to me, and my next door log neighbours which were this big group/multi family.

 going the other direction you can see my other log neighbours had a propane tank for bbq and for a fire ring.  i ended up leaving my log closer to fire works time because they placed their camping chairs just so, in front of my view.  but that's ok because where i went was great and had a trusty log to use as a tripod, but i digress.  you can also see that there was a bride and groom photo shoot going on.  those photographers were also down by my fireworks photography spot later on.
 this is me.  my hair is ragamuffin and that's just the way it is.  i had these dark circles under my eyes too but i got rid of those via the magic of photoshop. but imagine them if you want to.

 just playing with solar flares, that's all.
 rock thrower

 then it was fireworks time.  part of me wanted to swim during the fire works but another part of me wanted to attempt to photograph them and that part won.  in the end i never swam the whole day.  actually i haven't yet gone swimming this whole summer.

i'm pretty pleased with myself.  this is just one of the maaaaany.  but i mean, one's enough.  next time i might find a different fireworks place for a different kind of shot.

after this i had the longest drive home ever because marine drive is closed and we all had to trail painfully single file down 41st and through kerrisdale.  ugh.