Friday, October 29, 2010

One Whole Week

A whole week has passed since my last post.  Did anything worth writing about happen during those seven days?  Did I have an "ah ha moment" somewhere in there?  Did any creative juices flow resulting in anything lasting?

Three trips to the big city in one week.  That is something.  Months go by when I never drive the 120 km. to the Big Smoke.  One visit to the Hearing and Balance Clinic for testing, one tour of the Craft Show checking out long-arm quilting setups, and  a two and half hour shopping extravaganza bringing home the perfect area carpet for the new living room arrangement. 

Then there was the new ceiling installed, painted and spackled in the kitchen.   Something definitely new are surround-sound speakers wired and installed in the kitchen and dining room ceilings--a step in the right direction.  A visit from the mason on Wednesday resulted in an enlarged opening between the kitchen and the porch and horrendous red DUST, but progress nonetheless. 

As far as creativity goes, I am slowing mastering the art of the rag mop.  Did you know that dropped plaster on floors and walls dissolves with enough water and scrubbing? 

Saving the best for last:  the "ah ha moment".  This fall's bible study in the book of Isaiah has been wonderful.  Lots to learn about who God is, and how much He loves us and calls us to come to Him.  This week we delved into the 53rd chapter, all about the Suffering Servant.  So much there to chew on.  Looking at verse seven: 

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth. 

In all the years I have read this verse, I had assumed that meant He didn't cry out in fear or pain, or that He didn't complain, whine, or swear at His abusers.  Of course that is true, but it means an amazing lot more.  Referring to all the references where God Spoke,  or Opened His Mouth we see that incredible things happened each and every time. 

In Genesis One, God spoke and created the earth, and the whole Universe.  In Exodus chapters 19 and 20 when God spoke to Moses and the Hebrews, they were so terrified, they asked Moses to intercede for them from then on, because if God continued to speak to them all, they would surely die.  In John 11:43, we read of Jesus calling Lazarus to come out of the tomb and back to life, even though he had died three days earlier.  In Mark 4: 38 Jesus speaks to the waves on the Sea of Galilee and the storm completely abates.    Revelation 1:  11-16 speak of Jesus as He will appear when He comes again, and says that out of His mouth comes a two-edged sword.  Acts 8: 26 -40 Phillip teaches the Ethiopian Eunuch about Jesus starting from these same verses in Isaiah chapter 53. 

My "ah ha" was seeing that if Jesus had spoken from the cross, He could have called down legions of angels to free Him, could have overturned the Roman occupation of His country, could have put an end to the oppression and suffering right then and there.  But, He chose to be silent.  He chose to have the sin of the whole world laid upon Him.  He willingly, and silently suffered in my place.  He created an opportunity for reunion with God the Father for all the peoples of our earth. 

What an amazing moment.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I love studying the etymology of words.

Disease, meaning to make uneasy, discomfort, trouble, distress, misfortune.  Comes from two old words des, meaning without or away and aise, meaning ease.

Contageous comes from the word contagio which means contact.  Con meaning with, and tagio meaning touch.

Sick, meaning unwell, has a huge history. 

Old Frisian was a language similar to English, spoken on the North Sea Coast of modern Netherlands and Germany before the 1400's.  Their word for sick was siak

In the 600's - 1000's, the Old Saxon word for sick was siok.  A west germanic language, Old Saxon was the earliest form of low German.

Proto-Germanic is a hypothetical prehistoric ancestor of all Germanic languages, including English and their translation is seukaz.

Old High German, which is the ancestor of modern literary German renders it sioh.

The East Germanic language of the Goths, extinct since the 1400's says siuks.

Middle Dutch was spoken and written between 900's and 1400's.  Siec.

Old English: seoc.

In the Rosemary version, sick is made from two words:  is and ick, as in
Rosemary' s   ick.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I have been having an extremely difficult time trying to get my signature back.  Here it is at least, but why is it at the top and not the bottom of the page????????????    Can anybody help me with this?  Puleeeeeeease?  

Maybe if I keep typing, I will be able to move it around.  Maybe not. 

Yeeha!  It is where I want it to be.  It works!  Thanx guys for all your expert advice and great help.  Just knowing you were there was all I needed.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Miss Shirley Stories #3

Miss Shirley's story began in 1862 when her great grandpa rode his penny-farthing bicycle from Morristown, Quebec to Windsor, Ontario to propose to the love of his life.

As it was with Adam and Eve, 2 people joined together and made a family, which grew, scattered and covered the earth.  Elders died and children were born to fill the ranks.

The last time there had been a family gathering was in 1962.  Over 40 years later, Miss Shirley and her three grown sons concocted the idea of a reunion.  It took 2 years to organize a workable plan.  As family archivist, Miss Shirley had the daunting task of tracking down the "new ones" and the "lost ones."

Children of children.  One aunt and her husband had died tragically in their early 30's leaving three children to be brought up by a French-Canadian grandmother in Noranda, Quebec.  Where were they now?  By last summer, these cousins were in their 50's with grown children of their own.  They had been raised without even knowing the extent of their heritage, that they had relatives looking for them.

The master plan for the Event slowly took shape. 
Sent and accepted. 
Discussed and decided. 
How many days? 
How many beds? 
How many meals? 
How many children? 
How many boats?
Ten volunteer leaders assigned 5 helpers each, one team for one meal.  Three hours duty from prep to clean up was their lot.
Name Tags:
Colour coded tracking the lineage and corresponding wall charts depicting the family tree helped people place each other.

Last year was the "non-summer" of the century.  Weekends washed away in torrents of rain.  Tents were out of the question and so the brothers gave over their 3 cottages on The Lake.  74 living souls needed room and board Thursday to Sunday, August 2009.  From Mexico, Copenhagen and all across the US and Canada they came.  Strangers in a strange land, Mother Nature smiled on them with glorious, miraculous sunshine and Miss Shirley welcomed them to the fold.

Teenagers marshaled the younger cousins for swimming races, boat excursions, hikes, crafts, fireworks.  Adults swapped stories photographs and memorabilia.  From the first breakfast to the last campfire, camaraderie and love welded the old family ties.

On the last afternoon, the "lost cousins" from Noranda made their tentative appearance.  They had demurred when their invitation had arrived.
-We don't know anybody and nobody knows us.  Well...we may come for a couple of hours.
They were embraced into their long-lost family.

Brought together again.

At two o'clock in the morning, they tore themselves away, brushing off the tears streaming down their smiling cheeks.
-We didn't know.  We want more.  Let's do this again."

This story (a tale with many missing or faulty details, created for your reading pleasure) embodies the essence of Miss Shirley for me.  A woman busy, living her life to the fullest extent of her talents and capabilities.  She smiles in the face of hurts and troubles, laughs her way forward, focusing on the positives and drawing those around her into joy.

Family and Reunion are healing words.  Do you agree?

For more Miss Shirley stories you can go here or here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I've Been Tagged--AGAIN.

Here I am, back in the house of horrors, after a lovely four days away.  New pipes that go nowhere and stick up and out at weird angles, new holes in the ceiling, newly patched hardwood floor, more plaster chips and sawdust and dusty dust greeted me on my return.  Next door has progressed as well, and now we have a 4 car garage two and a half feet away from our side fence.

Celebrating Thanksgiving with family is a lovely way to destress.  I continue to be amazed that my grown children are now parents themselves and still welcome me to share their lives.  Can hearts truly burst from happiness and too much love?  If it wasn't love, it would be the never-ending food orgies of the past four days that could be the culprit...I'm bursting at the seams.

Today's post is in response to Lauren who tagged me and wants answers to 8 questions.

1.  I began posting a blog last winter to update friends on the watery exploits of our Bahamian winter.  When spring came, I was in the groove and wanted to continue with the outlet for creative writing.  A ham was born and I couldn't stop.

2.  My favorite blog?  There are so many, but here are the top three:  K, Haupi, and Veronica.  These three women caught my attention in different ways.  K tells a whole story every day in just one or two sentences.  Haupi truly reads my blog and gives thoughtful comments.  Veronica laughs at me and with me over a variety of different things.  I am developing an alternate blog-family with these people and more.

3.  Again, it is hard to settle on just one favorite season, but I love spring for the reawakening of life, and I appreciate autumn for the colour, the smells, and the chance to wear different clothes.

4.   Used to be, people told me I looked like Carol Burnet.  Then it was Diane, the one who played the wife of JR on Dallas.  Last week, I was mistaken for "the lady who works at the bank".  I must have a generic face, because I'm forever reminding people of someone famous, or someone they know from somewhere.  You get used to it after awhile. :)

5.  Cats and Dogs.  I have one of each at the moment.  My brother in law likes to ask if people like cats, and then asks if they want to swap recipes.  Nasty.

6.  My current favorite TV show is Hawaii Five O.  House is now in second place after Boston Legal got cancelled.  I am the fickle friend that moves on.  Davey Crocket was the all time fav when I was a kid.

7.  Italy!  No better place to visit, again and again and again.  Scenery, history, food, people, weather--all good.

8.  I think I found Lauren's blog just last week on a Friday Follow.  I choose to follow blogs that tell about life, or showcase a talent of some kind.  I avoid those that exist as mini businesses, selling and giving away things to get big numbers.

And now to tag a few others....

Only four questions, because I only chose 4 people:

1.  Where would you like to live if you could choose with impunity?

2.  What do you want to be when you grow up?

3.  What would you change if you could?

4.  Who do you admire most and why?

Have fun with the game and pass it on.  You are IT.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Facinator

I told people I was going to wear a hat, a feathered head dress, an adornment on my head...whatever.  

Turns out it's really called a "Facinator". 
Who knew? 

They're all the rage in Europe, so I've heard.  It was definitely a hit last night, as different people took turns wearing it.  I bet we'll see more and more of these cutsie things as the fad catches on.

Love this dress.  First of all, I got it at Winners (similar to TJ Max in the States) which means it was extremely reasonable in price.  Then, with a homemade crinoline, it got all swishy and swirly...great for dancing.

For those of us with a shoe fetish, these are the very best.  I pull them out on State and Holy occasions.

The celebration was in honour of a 25th wedding anniversary of good friends.  There was much feasting, red wine, chocolate, speeches, pranks and general hilarity--a good time was had by all.

Don't you just love to dress up?  What about dancing?  Do you?  Does your partner?

Friday, October 1, 2010

O, Ye of Little Brain

Dust Control--the eternal quest while in reno mode. 

It is an illusive ideal, one that springs perpetually to mind as I watch boot tracks thicken across the tile floors despite constant sweeping and damp mopping.  Every time a simple item is moved from repose on a flat surface, like a token left on a window sill, there remains a shining spot of cleanliness to remind me of my failure to stem the tide of encroaching filth.  Still, one does what one can....

At the foot of the stairs leading to the bedrooms.  We can't be sneezing all night while trying for a rejuvenating sleep.

Between the now non-existent kitchen and our camping dining room.

Protecting the plants in the porch, but hoping they can still breathe in there.

And then there is the added challenge of pets, animals with very small heads--ergo--very small brains. 

 Dog just stands on one side of the plastic sheeting and barks for what he wants.  Barks and barks and barks and barks and barks I said, a VERY LITTLE BRAINCat on the other hand, is extremely focused on his needs and will try various different ways to achieve his ends.  First, he sits and pleads pathetically for help.  When that ploy is totally ignored, he then attempts to peel back the plastic taped to the wall.  Some success is immediately met with swift retribution on my part.  Okay then, he begins to scratch and claw at the plastic.  I increase the volume of my rants and what do you think he does next?

He takes a running leap, plunges head first into the plastic barrier and comes tumbling through the other side to his, and my total astonishment.  Notice the many blue tapes at cat level in this next photograph.

As we fight the good fight here at home, construction proceeds apace next door.  Walls are going  up now giving us a foretaste of just how immense the sky-blotting structure is going to be.  For over 25 years we have lived next door to a green field.  Now, NEIGHBOURS just 10 feet from my kitchen window. 

The saying goes, the first sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again despite the lack of desired results.  Either I am going insane, or my little brain has to come up with a new way of dealing with this encroachment on my perceived space.  Wailing about it is not making it go away. 

For those of us with little brains, embracing change is difficult.