Monday, December 14, 2009

.winter hit.

So this weekend Edmonton was the coldest place in Canada, hitting -46 (-59 with windchill)!
Thankfully, I was in Calgary, staying warm and cozy in my apartment (yes, with the yuletide fireplace channel on tv. I am a nerd). Jenn and I ventured out to a mall on Saturday, which was a bad idea considering all the crazy Christmas shoppers. But other than the parking being insane, the mall itself wasn't terribly busy, and we had some success finding sales for ourselves. (And yes, I do feel slightly selfish to have gone shopping for myself at Christmas time, but I haven't neglected my Christmas shopping, I was just really on top of it this year.)
On Saturday night I went to the Awaken Christmas party (we rocked some karaoke), on Sunday I stayed home all day and set up our psychedelic Christmas tree and baked muffins, and then went to church.
And then Monday arrived, in its glory.
My car is currently dead. Will not start. Steve suggested that I try swearing, as that may help. I decided not to take him up on his suggestion, and the booster cables also let me down. I tried calling AMA, putting that trusty CAA card into use...but their phone lines were busy. Too busy to even get put on hold. And then I got through once, to be put on hold, and they randomly hung up on me. And since I don't feel like waiting until midnight for them to fix my car, which is probably when they'd be able to get around to it, I'm going to "do as Calgarians do" and wait for a chinook. (and also try the jumper cables once more tonight.)
Unfortunately, in the mean time, I still have to go to schools to teach. Thankfully today I could use Jenn's car, and I'll probably have to use it again tomorrow. But I NEED my car to be working on Wednesday, because I'm going to be teaching in Carstairs, and she'll be teaching in Calgary at the same time.
So it's somewhat annoying that my car is dead, but not the end of the world.
But shortly after arriving at work, Jenn came running down the hall with the news that the bathroom is leaking sewage. Gross. The pipes froze, and the sewage is backing up into the bathrooms. So we immediately made some calls, but ultimately ended up having to close the Centre for the day. (It's tough to do pregnancy tests without access to bathrooms...)
The plumber did make it to the Centre to fix it...but apparently the leakage has spread into the classroom. Where we were supposed to hold our client Christmas party tomorrow. Not to worry, we have a backup location at a church just a few blocks down on the C-train line...but this complicates things greatly. We have TONS of presents and decorations and things to move there tomorrow, plus we'll have to redirect all our clients to the party.
Also, we've been calling the appointments to try to reschedule them, as well as continuing to make new appointments with clients phoning in today. Normally we've got an office full of people answering phones all day; today it was just Jenn.
So thank you, winter, for the chaos you have provided. You certainly keep life interesting!

Monday, November 23, 2009

.the end of an era.

I'm done with chicken wings.

Don't get me wrong, I think they're quite delicious. If I'm at a party and they're already made, I may indulge (hey, the chickens are already dead, nothing can be done at that point) but I'm done with buying them myself.

Tonight Tina and I grabbed some wings at a pub. They were only 30 cents because the Flames were playing, so we figured, why not? But they were big. I mean, the bones were the same size as normal, but these wings were meaty.

I began to think about these chickens being "raised" in crates stacked on top of each other, being pooped on by other chickens, being so overfed that their legs couldn't support them just so we could enjoy wings, while they had absolutely no quality of life. How many chickens die for wing nights? Way too many.

So I decided I'm done with them.

Friday, November 13, 2009

.Remembrance Day.

On Remembrance Day, Helen and I were wandering Bowness, taking photos. As I was photographing a little junkyard, a woman passed by and incredulously remarked, "are you taking photos of junk?" to which I replied, "yes, I am." She was shocked. "Why would you do that?" "Well, I'd like to find the beauty in the midst of it all."
I feel like that's a big theme in my life --looking for beauty in the junk and mess of life. Meera often points this out in her stories of people she observes and interacts with in East Hastings, and I am always full of hope in the midst of the despair after hearing (or reading) her stories. But I also want to find the beauty in the mess of my own life, as well as the people and places around me.
So, I decided to take photos of a junkyard. I can't say as I find any of my photos of it very beautiful. The pictures are busy with colour and shape mishmashed together in broken pieces. Yet, I wonder, if each piece was taken away from the rest of the junk, would there be more beauty in it as an individual? Can you find the beauty if you look closely enough? Or is there beauty in the fact that the brokenness has found a home together?
Remembrance Day is an interesting day for me. It's good to remember the soldiers who have fought for justice and freedom, losing lives, limbs, hearts, and families for the sake of others. But it's also the anniversary of my grandpa's death, and so on this day especially, I remember him. Although Remembrance Day is often sad, there is a beauty of hope in it.
Today, I feel sad, but I am determined to search for the beauty, to learn from the mess, to fully embrace life in its ups and downs.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

.grand gesture.

Last week was a very busy week with work...lots of classes, plus the banquet. I guess I had mentioned that a few weeks ago and Ed remembered. When I got home from my 14 hour day on Tuesday he came by with homemade soup and fruit and bread and only-slightly-outdated yoghurt. It made me feel so cared for! I love my family at Awaken...I think we are becoming such a wonderful community. Thanks!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

.peace in the fear.

I've been auditing a theology of suffering course this fall. As expected, I am being challenged, not only on my view of suffering, but also on my view of God.
I've been struggling with holding together seemingly contradictory parts of God. I don't know what to do with some of this, and I don't feel safe with God sometimes.
I don't really know how to put this all into words. (and I love words!)
When I was at spiritual direction earlier this week God gave me an image (which I don't know how to describe in writing). And although in some ways I still feel very unsettled, I also feel more at peace.
I don't know the answers to my questions. And my head doesn't even want the answers. It's my heart that needs to experience them. And I am trusting and believing that God will come through for me.
I know this to be true, in my head, and now my heart is on a journey of discovery with God. And yes, sometimes it may be scary, but my heart won't rest without continuing on. I am excited for the journey, wherever it takes me, and I am learning to trust God through my fear.

Merciful God, shine your light of truth into me in the coming weeks and months, that I might more clearly understand what you're like and how you see me. Let my fears and pride be exposed for what they are, and keep them from distorting my picture of who you are. Give me courage, that I might face my true self, and hope, that I might face you. Help me see in you what Habakkuk saw, that "as you bring judgment, as you surely must, remember mercy." Amen.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


I arrived in Schiphol on Saturday morning after a slightly uncomfortable flight...and hopped on a train to Amsterdam Centraal. Then I walked the familiar streets to the Shelter City (only the Zeedijk is under construction and is all torn up, which makes pulling a suitcase somewhat challenging) where Jacoline was working a reception shift. I relaxed in the cafe for a while and chatted with one of the cleaners. After Jaco's shift, we grabbed her bike, Marco's bike, and my stuff and set off for her house. It was a bit difficult because we had to carry my suitcase along, and Marco's bike had a flat tires, not to mention the construction along the way (apparently Amsterdam decided to do a whole lot of construction at once!) but we made it. There I met Jan Pieter, Jaco's husband, got settled, and had lunch. Their apartment is really cute, and they made me feel right at home. We were talking about what I do, and I gave them a shortened version of the relationship triangle (keep in mind that this was on no sleep...) because apparently I really can't leave work behind me. Later JP's brother and his girlfriend joined us and we walked around a bit, went to a cafe, then came home to make dinner. I was really, really tired by now, but I stayed up until about 9:45 I think...I figured that I had been up for about 30 hours. Het is niet goed!

I slept really really well that night, and just relaxed on Sunday morning while Jaco and JP were at their Dutch-speaking church. Then I hung out with Ben at his house for the afternoon. We talked about life and relationships, and, of course, camera stuff. It was good. Unfortunately Teri was feeling sick, so I didn't really see her at all, but that's ok. Ben drove me back to Jaco's and we tried quickly to pump Marco's tire so I could use his bike to get to church, but it didn't work (we needed the french tip) so I borrowed Jaco's and set off for the the kelder. I got there a bit late, but that's ok. It was a good service, and I got to see so many old friends! I also saw many of them again on Saturday, so it was cool to see them twice. Elliot did not remember me at all, but he certainly wasn't shy about becoming instant friends! The Asp's have cool kids and it was neat to see them older (and to meet Cor for the first time!).

On Monday Jaco and I went to the Albert Cuyp Markt where I got the majority of my souvenirs. Sadly, the stroopwafel guy was not there (that's 2 years in a row I have missed him!) but I did take my picture with Andre Hazes, hahaha. Jaco and I fixed Marco's flat tire which, oddly enough, did not have a hole in it. In the afternoon we went boating on the grachts, and the weather was so sunny and was a lovely relaxing time. On our way to the boat I was riding Marco's bike, which is way too tall for me, and I dismounted rather smoothly, landing on both feet, but in the car Jacoline and I switched bikes. But she also couldn't ride it, so we parked his bike, and she and JP ended up sharing his bike as we went. After the boat trip we went to Dwaze Zaken for dinner and a little concert. It was fun to be back there again (and no, I did not take the stereotypical bathroom photo there. but probably I should have).

On Tuesday I headed over to the Jordan to see Ewout. It was, as usual, wonderful to talk with him again. I also talked with Jacob for a while, so that was nice too. The staff there right now are really friendly, and I just relaxed in the cafe and the garden for a while and read my book. It felt like home. After that, I went to the, that place is huge! I can see why people like to go there to hang out. For supper we made a lekker salade and ate it outside by the Amstel at the launching docks for the rowers. Then we went back and watched a movie, and then we played Uno and the Dutch version of Dutch Blitz, which is exactly the same only it's called Ligretto and the cards don't have little Dutch people on them. I schooled JP and Jaco at Ligretto, but they both schooled me at Uno.

On Wednesday I slept in, which was really nice because my throat started hurting (I was really hoping the Cold FX would pull through for me). In the early afternoon I met Samira at the Cafe de Jaren where we sat on the patio on the gracht. After that, we walked along the Kalverstraat so she could return some boots, and then we headed back towards Jacoline's. We stopped to grab a late lunch at Amstel Haven, a cafe on the water, and het was heel lekker! Then we got back to the apartment and I cut Samira's hair (just like old times, haha). Jaco and JP had small group coming that night, so I helped prep a bit for dinner (Meera, I chopped the vegetables. apparently that is my food prep calling, haha) and set the table. I hid away during their small group so they could chat in Dutch without feeling obligated to translate (plus, I really have no vested interest in helping them decide when and how often to meet). I really think I should have learned Dutch when I lived here. At least I can pronounce the language well...

On Thursday I did a bit of shopping (I tried to find the book Dat is Gevaarlijk with no luck, but I did get Marco and Claudia's wedding present) and then sat by the Amstel writing postcards and reading a bit. I enjoyed a delicious dinner at Eric and Marci's. We taught the kids the moonwalk (with the help of Michael Jackson and YouTube), and Elliot also began to learn how to walk/dance on his hands. It was lovely to catch up with them.

On Friday I walked to the market to buy Jaco and JP some beautiful flowers for their anniversary. Then I hung out with Nynke. We took some touristy photos in/on the I Amsterdam sign, and also ate poffertjes. That night Jaco, JP and I went to a 90's birthday party. As in...we brought out the track suits (i.e. I borrowed bright yellow sweat pants from Jacoline), side ponytails, and Jaco even did the dark lipliner thing (although she actually used eyeliner to do it). It was a pretty loud dance party, and I was thankful that some people came that I know. It was awesome to see Annemarie, since I didn't think I was going to be able to see her. And it was nice to chat with Suzy and Arienne.

On Saturday we tried to go to the Palace and up the Westerkerk tower, but we were too late to book them, so we went to another church (where we found a quilt on the wall on which someone had penned "Nynke") and a garden. It was nice to hang out with Marco and Nynke (again) but then I had to leave to go to the wedding! Marco and Claudia had a lovely wedding, and although it was all in Dutch and German, I could follow right along thanks to Eric's English translation. The party afterwards in the H88 was very fun too, and I got to chat with Kor and Gerard for a bit, which was cool, cuz I haven't seen either of them since I lived there (last summer they weren't around when I visited). I also got to chat with Heidi for a while which was lovely. So yeah, it was great to catch up with people again, as well as to celebrate Marco and Claudia. I'm so happy I could be part of their special day!

On Sunday morning I went out for breakfast with Rosemary (although everywhere was closed and it took us some effort to find a place that was open) and it was great, cuz last summer we only had the chance to talk briefly on the phone, not to actually see each other. After breakfast I dropped her off (late, oops!) for church and walked back to Jaco's and JP's to say goodbye. Then I walked for an hour to Centraal Station, pulling my luggage. I'm glad I walked, though, so I could say goodbye to the city. I know, I'm a cheesy romantic like that, and in reality my hands began to blister, but it was still totally worth it.

And I have to say that it didn't rain the whole time I was there! Do you realize how amazing that is? So I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to have such a wonderful vacation.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

.seattle and onward.

Oh man...I have been remiss in my blogging as of late...considering Amy and I roadtripped back in...May? And school is already back in. *sigh*
So...Seattle. After Cannon Beach we headed back north, and we found Eric's relative's house where we were staying, but no one was home, so we decided to hit up a mall to kill a bit of time. There we discovered stirrup pants. But I also found very beautiful shoes that make me feel sexy, and Amy and I found a few tops and stuff, so it was good time killing...even if not financially.
Amy called Eric's relatives, but the only name she had was Ruth, and a guy answered the phone. Amy's connection wasn't very good and she couldn't hear a voice, just that the phone stopped ringing, so she said "Ruth?" and the guy was like "Nooooo" haha. Anyways, they were super nice, and it was wonderful to stay with them. We also got a personal tour of all the non-downtown touristy sites like Lenin and the troll.
The next day we borrowed change from grandma to take the bus downtown. We went up the tower (way over-rated), took pictures of funky sculptures, walked around Pike Place and saw the original Starbucks, and went on an underground tour. The underground tour was super interesting; I feel like I really learned a lot about the city and how it was founded. Which was mostly funded by prostitutes (aka "seamstresses" with no sewing machines). We walked around hotels where you could pay by the half hour, and one of the guys on the tour quipped that maybe the businessmen just wanted "power naps" haha.
After the tour we wanted to buy flowers for our hosts, but the market was closed, so we found a little flower shop nearby. The man who worked there is a major jerk. He kept insulting us and calling us stupid and ugly. He gave us a discount on the flowers, but if he wasn't the only flower place open we totally would have left.
Anyways, we were trying to find the right bus stop to head back, and it was kind of confusing, but this nice Seattle Ambassador on his bicycle gave us clear directions and we found home easily.
We decided to drive home through Montana, and what a wonderful choice that was! It was a beautiful drive, and I'm fairly certain that I would rather live in hills than mountains now. I mean, mountains are beautiful and stuff, I'm not denying that, but I really loved those hills! We stopped in Kalispell for the night, and chose a hotel with a hot tub and breakfast.
The next day we headed home, but the road was not clearly we didn't have any maps with us. So we drove around trying to steal wireless internet to check out google maps, haha. We were successful!
Then we wanted to go on Going to the Sun Road, but it didn't open until June, so we were given general directions of "keep going for a while, when you see this, veer left, but not sharp left" etc. But first we stopped to get huckleberry somethings...there was a store full of huckleberry honey, huckleberry jam, huckleberry tea, etc.
On our way we saw some really cool trees and stopped to climb them.
Our wait at the border was non-existent which was lovely.
And then we stopped at Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump to take some photos. was a lovely road trip. We had lots of adventures, but I must say...I'm glad to finally be done blogging about it! haha.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

.cannon beach.

So...back to my road trip.
Amy and I left Portland to drive on a beautiful road to Cannon Beach. We got there, drove to Sarah's house to make sure we could find it, and then went back downtown hoping to find a bathroom. It began to rain so we decided to duck into stores until we found one with a bathroom. We went into one that had some amazing photography and paintings, and there was a cafe in it too, but it was closed. But we still got to use the bathroom, cuz the lady there took pity on us. Then we went next door to the next store, and as we were browsing around all of a sudden I heard Sarah's voice, and she was like "Meghan? What are you doing here?" It was awesome...we accidentally bumped into her at her job when I didn't even know she worked in a store there. So then Amy and I kept wandering around in art galleries and shops until Sarah got off work.
We went to a local restaurant for dinner, and as we were leaving the guy working there was like, "see you later!" and I said, "probably not!" but it was supposed to be under my breath. Oops! It was bad though, cuz I think Sarah was shooting his son's wedding the next weekend.
She's got the cutest little house right near the beach. Oh, I adore walking barefoot on a beach! Bliss. It was really cold that night though, so we bundled up before our walk on the beach. We saw some crazy kid dive repeatedly into the ocean, and I chased some seagulls.
It was too cold to go surfing, plus there were sharks apparently, so the next day Amy and I naturally decided to go to a cheese factory instead. The Pacific Coast Highway is gorgeous. We had a nice drive, and we pulled over to stop at a thrift store. We parked at a deserted pizza place next door to it, and this guy popped his head out the window to yell at us for taking parking spots from his non-existent customers. We told him we wouldn't be long, and he said, "half an hour?" and I said, "probably 5 minutes?" and, well, based on the incredible finds at the thrift store, my guess was a lot more accurate than his, haha.
Oh, at one point we saw a cop driving behind us, so Amy put on the cruise control at the speed limit to make sure he couldn't pull her over. But he put on his flashing lights anyways and pulled us over after a few minutes. We were pretty confused as to why, and kind of freaking out a little, but as he approached the car he looked pretty sheepish. He told her not to bother getting her license out or anything and that we could just keep going. I guess he ran our plates and didn't notice that they weren't from Oregon, but my license plate is the same as a stolen vehicle in Oregon.
That night after a delicious dinner we set out to make a fire on the beach. Sarah had claimed a fire pit near her house as her own for the summer after some college students built it a few weeks earlier, but her recycling had just been picked up and we didn't have any paper to start the fire. We had some wood, but only little pieces for making a teepee, nothing really to burn once the fire got going. Plus it was really windy. So we searched in the dark on the beach for things to burn, and Sarah went to get cardboard boxes from her store. Mostly the fire was a cardboard fire, haha, but we did get a pretty decent blaze going after a while. Fire + beach + stars = great night.
We also went for a hike with Sarah down a cliff near God's Finger, and we got some fun pics. It was so great to see her again! It was a quick visit, but totally worth it. I love that girl!

Thursday, July 02, 2009


God is Mystery. It's a part of him that I tend to wrestle with when asking the "why" questions. But it's also something I'm incredibly thankful for. If God weren't Mystery, then we could fully understand him. And if we could fully comprehend him, then he wouldn't be very big. And if he weren't very big then what could he do, and why would I waste my time worshiping him, or even trying to get to know him?
So Mystery is something I will embrace, because even though it means I do not and will not understand, and I may never have answers, that is a lot more satisfying. I am glad God is Mystery, that God is big, and that nothing is mystery to him.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


me: so...I may or may not have just flashed some Mormon missionaries...
Jenn: nice work! good for you!
Amy: haha, that's fantastic!
...changing on your balcony? i'm confused how this could happen
me: wrap dress and wind
Amy: ah. that'll do it

Sunday, June 21, 2009

.happy fathers' day.


A few years ago I was seeing a counsellor who asked me about you. After a few minutes he looked at me and said, "Well, you're never going to get married. Your dad ruined you because you'll never find a man as amazing as your father."
That wasn't really what I wanted to hear, but he's right that you're a really special dad and I'm so thankful for you.
I loved our Saturday morning breakfast dates at McDonald's, just the two of us. I still can't believe you coached my soccer team when you were the father of the worst player on it, but you encouraged me and made me feel like I was actually decent (I don't really know how I believed that considering in all those years I never once scored a goal).
Thanks for putting up the bookshelves in my room with me. That was a really fun project/birthday present and I was so excited to spend time with you, and also use power tools. Except I don't think you let me use them, just hold the wood, haha. Which probably just goes to show your wisdom. And also your patience with me.

Thanks for encouraging my love of reading and of learning. I loved going to the ROM or Science Centre or Casa Loma as a kid (let's face it, I'd still love them today) and learning about all sorts of things. Thanks for taking turns with mom reading out loud to us after dinner. That was always my favourite time of the day.

I know you've taught me a hundred times when to say "bring" and when to say "take" but I still say it wrong sometimes. But although that lesson may not have sunk in as much as you would have liked, another one did. I can still hear your voice admonishing me to "think before you speak, Meghan." I never was good at that, a little too on the impulsive side, but I have tried to take it to heart and consider the impact of my words before verbalising them. I think that has helped me in becoming a counsellor as well. You are a wise man. People listen when you speak because they know that what you have to say is worth listening to. I admire this in you, and hope to live up to it as well.

Thanks for giving us special treats. We always knew you had a bit of a softer spot than mom for letting us eat cookies instead of carrot sticks or something. But it was great, because it made those things a little more special. Even last summer when you and I picked up the kayaks, you got us hot chocolate and chips for our ride home. Good thing mom wasn't there to object, haha.

I have always looked forward to seeing you. I remember racing to be the first to see you when you got home from work every night. I always knew I could get a quick hug before running back to the dinner table. And I don't think I ever understood how hard you worked for us. But I thank you so much for all the sacrifices you made for us, to make our lives a little easier.

I never realized how stressful and scary it must have been when we moved to Owen Sound and you had to support our family with very little support around for you. But I'm so glad you followed God's leading, and I'm so glad to have grown up in such a wonderful town. Thanks for setting such a great example of a man who follows after God's heart, even when it doesn't always make sense or it's hard or scary.

Because you are so steady, I always know I can turn to you. Even if you shake your head at me because I am ridiculous, you are always there. Thank you.

Daddy, I love you!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

.ghost town.

So after Vancouver we drove down to Portland. First we stopped at the outlet mall near Seattle that Jenn raved about. She wanted me to buy her a coach purse, but they were all ugly. I mean, I don't really understand the whole coach/name brand thing to start off with but they did not look good. But I did find some pretty shoes. I do have an issue with shoes. I just love them so much!
Anyways, by the time we made it through terrible traffic on the Monday of the memorial day weekend, it was evening, and we hadn't planned where to stay. So we drove downtown to the peach district I had been told to visit, and popped into a Safeway to ask for directions to a cheap hotel nearby. The first 3 people we talked to all commuted in and didn't know, but one guy offered to use the GPS on his phone. I'm not really sure how that would help since we had no location, but maybe you can search for hotels and things on that? I don't know how they work. But anyways, one of the ladies at the customer service directed us over a bridge and thought there might be some hotels nearby, and sure enough there was one! However, when I saw it Iturned left into it on a street where I wasn't allowed to turn left. Oops! Nothing happened, so it was fine. There was a really cute Indian man who worked there who was a recent immigrant. I asked him if they accepted air miles, and he checked his list of acceptable credit cards and said no, just Visa, Mastercard, and AmEx.
We had a nice walk around town that evening, and nothing was open. There were no people around, except for the bikers who almost knocked us over repeatedly on the bridge. We found one cafe open, and the guy was really nice. We walked around and looked in the windows of a whole bunch of art galleries and made sure to check them out the next day.
The next day when we went to the galleries, there was one that had an amazing windown display but the display inside, about books, kind of traumatized us. We went in other galleries which were really great, and one that had some pieces by Picasso and Salvador Dali! But even on this day, the city felt abandoned, and there weren't many people around. We had lunch in a cute little tea restaurant, and then headed for Cannon Beach.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

.stranger with your door key explaining that i'm just visiting.

First Leg:
So Amy and I recently went on a delightful road trip.
We left Friday morning and drove to B.C. This road had construction. And slow-moving cars. Which was really just a sign of things to come. Anyways, we also almost hit some elk that decided to chill in the middle of the highway. They are bright creatures. But thankfully they meandered to the shoulder and we scooted past.
There was no "WELCOME TO BC" sign for me to take a picture with, which was kind of sad. But we stopped in Golden for lunch and took pics with an inuksuk. The lady at the A&W was super friendly and promised to look into why iced tea costs 5 or 10 cents (or whatever the difference is) more than other pop.
Then we went out for dinner with Amy's sister and bro-in-law in Abbotsford at White Spot. They forgot my cashews in my salad, so I asked my waitress to please bring them to me on the side. She forgot, so she said she'd give me a discount. I figured that meant a few bucks, but didn't charge me for my salad at all! Free dinner is a great way to start a vacation, I must say.
We continued on to Vancouver where we followed a treasure map to find the keys to my friend Josh's apartment. Unfortunately he and his wife had left for vacation earlier that day so we didn't get to see them, but at least we had a little adventure getting in. We had to go to the south side of the building, to the garden, look under a blue milk crate, and then under a rock where the keys were resting amidst some dirt and earwigs.
Their apartment is super cute, and in a great area of town. And on one bookshelf all their books are arranged by colour. It was really pretty, even if that is pretty random. So we had a welcome letter from Josh with a long list of things we might need to know, which was pretty sweet. And it made me laugh. Apparently I hadn't mentioned that I was travelling with a female friend and he clarified that house rules were such that the bed could not be shared by unmarried people of the opposite gender.
We went for a few nice walks, we parked downtown and walked to Granville Island (which we made it to eventually...), and then we went to Stanley Park. I took some pictures of Amy in buttercups and told her to put one under her chin. She had no idea what I meant. I was like, you know, do you like butter? And she was like, what the heck? Apparently there aren't any buttercups in Alberta. Or Saskatchewan (Jenn hasn't heard of this either). But other people we talked to totally knew what I was talking about, and we found an old poster of it in a cheese factory in Oregon a few days later, so I felt less crazy. In Stanley Park we took pictures of the totem poles, and, father like daughter. Let's just say I got some strange/disgusted looks by an elderly couple as I pretended to defile one. As we were walking around there were some rude bikers who rushed at us from the roller blade lane (the roller blade lane was supposed to justify their presence). We also watched some sea planes taking off near a lighthouse, and then we went and played frisbee before heading back home. We made the most delicious pesto pizza with sundried tomatos and pesto we'd found at the market in Granville Island.
On Sunday we brought a blanket and the guitar to the park where we sang songs until we were forced to relocate due to a softball game. There was a guy on the one team who actually had the baseball socks. We thought it was really fun, and we wanted to get a picture of him, so we may or may not have looked slightly creepy trying repetively to get a good shot, haha.
Then Amy went and visited with some old friends from Bible college, and I went to Andy Lambkin's church with Jonathan and Judith. It was great to seem them (again) and I also really enjoyed their church.
After church I went and hung out with Amy and her friends. As we were sitting eating pizza in the park, I looked up and there was a guy on the hill wearing crotchless pants. I was somewhat shocked, and I said "That guy has crotchless pants!" and then I realized that he heard me. Oops! Well, if you're going to wear crotchless pants with neon green boxers in public, then you're probably expecting comments, right?
And...that is pretty much the end of our Vancouver adventure. More still to come...

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Last night as Amy, Jenn and I were walking back from playing frisbee in Prince's Island Park (I just bought a new frisbee and it's pink and lights up. I know that's ridiculous, but they didn't have any non-lighting-up frisbees, and I figured if it lights up I might as well go all the way girly and get a pink one) and we saw a guy across the river checking his watch.
Amy wondered if maybe he was waiting for someone. I said maybe he just wondered what time the sun was setting. Amy was determined to express that this could be a romantic story. We do tend to have fun making up stories about other people's lives. Anyways, she said that maybe he was waiting for his date. I was like, that's just creepy, meeting a blind date at a river, and Jenn concurred. Poor Amy was frustrated with us ruining her imagined romantic moment. She was like, "No guys, this is supposed to be romantic. You're missing the point. Maybe it was a scavenger hunt and he had her following clues all over the city, and the last clue is supposed to lead her to him!" and we were like Oh! That is so romantic! What a wonderful idea!
I think working at the Pregnancy Care Centre can make us rather cynical and jaded sometimes...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

.happy mother's day.

I'm writing this in the middle of the night because I can't sleep. I got food poisoning and I've been emptying my stomach. I can't remember the last time I vomited, which is probably a good thing because I hate it so much, but as awful as it has been tonight, I am also feeling somewhat nostalgic.
I know that I am mature and independent and responsible, but a part of me would like for you to be here right now like you were when I was a child, with a cool hand on my forehead, brushing my hair out of my face and the tears from my cheeks. It's not that I want to go back in time, just that I am becoming more thankful in this moment.
Thank you for those interrupted nights that you sacrificed your sleep to comfort one of us kids when we were sick. (Especially Steps, cuz when he gets sick...he gets sick!)
I think I've taken you and dad for granted a lot. You made so many sacrifices in your career for us. Thank you for staying home for so many years, baking with us, reading with us, encouraging our creativity through play-doh or painting or writing. To this day I miss your home made cinnamon buns, although I know that they often meant a night of insomnia for you. (I really hope that's something I don't inherit.)
I admire you in a lot of ways, mom. You are such a comforter and encourager. I don't think even you could count the number of times you spent your time off visiting someone in the hospital or bringing them flowers at home. You find little ways of making people feel loved and special. I appreciate randomly getting a card in the mail, being reminded that I am in your thoughts, and always in your prayers. Thank you for setting such a wonderful example for me to live up to.
I also admire your dedication and your love for your own mother. I know that it cannot be easy to see her every week, never knowing if she'll remember you or not, but choosing to spend time with her and love her anyways. You bring her a treat from home, either from your garden or your kitchen, and for those few hours you make Grandma feel so loved and valued.
A part of me is scared that when you grow old your mind will slip as well, and although the thought horrifies me, I can say that you have provided me with a beautiful example of how to show you love even if you're not the same mother I've always known.
Thank you.

Friday, May 08, 2009

.delightful day.

So today was absolutely lovely.
I had a great morning, and great classes (even if they were a little on the quiet side) and then Pam's husband Matt had made banana chocolate chip muffins for us all at the Centre, and then I bought a bike. She's beautiful. And her name is Free Spirit. (It's written on the bike, I didn't make that one up. but I like it.)
So Amy came to my office after work, cuz the guy I bought it from lives near downtown so it was a quick drive. I'd found him on Kijiji and he has a ton of bikes for sale, but I'd already figured out which one I really wanted from the pictures. So I called him before I left to make sure he'd be home, and he told me to just come around back and he'd be there. I was making small talk with him because he has like 100 bikes in his backyard in various states of disrepair. I wondered where he found them all, and he got all shifty eyed and vague and answered "You really have to search hard for them." Then he showed me an Amsterdam bike and he said he visits there every year, so I asked him if he got some of these from there, and he said no. So I let it go. I just really hope no one ever comes up to me and asks if I stole their bike!!
Anyways, I don't have any bungee cords which proved to be a problem. We got the bike mostly in my car (I can flip down the back seat) but not quite, so I couldn't shut my trunk. So we wrestled with it some more and Amy ended up cycling to my place. Good thing she came with me! Also, she'd just bought a helmet. For the worriers out there.
Then we decided to grab food at The House because neither of us felt like cooking, plus I have no fresh veggies at the moment, and they make stellar sandwiches. So we got our sandwiches and London Fog's, and as we sat there, this beautiful man joined us. I wish I had a picture of him. He has a wonderful toothless grin, and a very animated face. He looked really old, but we found out he's only 52. He told us that he's pretty shy and is afraid of people, but we had a great chat, so maybe we're just really approachable? He started off his conversation with us by telling jokes that he'd found in Reader's Digest. He wouldn't tell an off-colour joke, like the ones some people might find in Playboy. In fact, he wouldn't even pick that trash up. But it's a good thing we were neither Muslim nor Jewish, and it's a good thing we could understand the Catholic joke even though we're not Catholic ourselves. Also, it's important to be careful who you tell these jokes to, because you might not know if they've got a relative who has Alzheimer's and might become offended. He was a good joke teller though, and had excellent expression.
At one point he asked us what we do. For me that's always a bit of a dangerous question and I never know quite how to answer it. If I say counsellor they might dump all their problems on me, or talk about the people they know who had counselling or need counselling, or rant about how it doesn't help (he'd already made a joke about how counselling doesn't work) and if I say teacher then they'd ask me at what school I work, and since it changes every day that's awkward, and if I say the Pregnancy Care Centre then they tell me their pregnancy issues. This time, I chose simply saying that I work at the Pregnancy Care Centre because it seemed the safest. Oops. He then began telling us that, speaking for himself only, he can't tell you about the other men in the room, he remembers every woman he's ever slept with. One was his common law wife who stayed with him for 3 and a half years. But he remembers them all. But he never had kids of his own, and he knows that for sure. And he figured this out all on his own, no one helped him, and it's because he's an alcoholic. So he's 52 and he's been an alcoholic for 41 years, and drinking every day made his semen come and go, so it was so full of alcohol that it wouldn't impregnate anyone. Sometimes he sees kids and feels sad because he doesn't have any of his own, because he likes kids.
One time, though, he came close to raising kids. It was in the '70s when he was a teenager. He raised huskies. He got his first one when it was 2 weeks old, and he took it right from its mother's nipples. By 6 months, this is how smart dogs are you see, by just six months his dog was so well trained. The dog knew that he wasn't allowed to go on the road. And he never had to use a leash or chain, never. He would go for walks with the dog, and he would walk right next to him, and if he stopped, even in the middle of the street, the dog would lie down and wait, and not get up and move until he moved (this was accompanied by a demonstration in the cafe).
Unfortunately we had to leave, but I do hope we'll run into him again sometime. Which is likely, because this is the only place he'll drink coffee. Never Tim Hortons or Second Cup or Starbucks. And you know why? It's because of the atmosphere at those places. You could overhear anyone there talking about this business deal, and this money loss/gain, but here it's not about the money. That's not the concern. Which I think is a cool observation, because The House definitely does have a different atmosphere (which I guess it should since it's non-profit) and it's also great because this guy is welcomed in with open arms.
Anyways, after this lovely conversation, we went to Eau Claire to see a movie. Sunshine Cleaning. Amazing movie. This has been a good year for movies. Anyways, I loved it. It was quirky and funny and sad (I shed a few tears) and beautiful.
Then we stopped by Steve's for the games night, which apparently was boys' night until we got there. We played a few rounds of 3s and then I needed to call it a night. I get a little loopy when I'm tired. So why am I writing this blog? I don't know. But I do know that my bed is calling my name.
Goeden nacht!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


So tonight at the community supper there was a new lady who I hadn't seen before. I guess she's been a few times, but just not when I've been there. So we were chatting for quite a while, having a lovely conversation about God and faith, and daily life, when all of a sudden she said "You know, your hair cut does nothing for you." I almost laughed out loud right then, but I just said "I totally agree. I just got it cut a few weeks ago but the hairdresser didn't actually do anything and it has no shape." She said, "Sorry, but I'm a hair stylist, and I think you've got great hair, but it definitely needs something more. I'm trying to think of what I would do for you. You need to go find someone who will take your face shape, and your lifestyle needs into consideration and get them to cut it." It was awesome. I love how blunt she was!

Monday, May 04, 2009


I had a student adamantly try to convince me today that once people have sex they are in love and can never be in love with anyone else because God has bonded them together and made the two become one soul, and therefore it is actually impossible to fall in love with anyone else.

I also think I set a new record (if that's the appropriate way of putting it) of student become client...taught a class, and within the space of an hour one of the students was at the centre for a pregnancy test. At least I know something I say is effective, and they realize this is a safe place for them to come get help.

Then tonight Amy and I were having an impromptu picnic supper at Bowness Park and a girl came up to me saying "Hey! you taught at my school!" and she seemed a little perturbed that I couldn't recall who she was or what school she was from. I wondered if she was from one of my classes today, but I didn't recognize her, and I usually try to make enough eye contact with each student to be able to recognize them a few days later. Anyways, she told me what school she was from and then we said our farewells, haha. Amy just laughed that all the young people in the city know me.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I've watched a few good movies this year, and so I thought I'd share my top few with you, in no particular order. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

1. Gran Torino
This is the most racist movie I have ever seen, but somehow Clint Eastwood's slurs are so over-the-top that it's almost funny. Anyways, it's really cool to see Clint Eastwood's character change throughout the movie to leave his bitter-Korean-war-vet self behind to embrace his Hmong neighbours and eventually (SPOILER) become a sort of Christ-figure in saving them. Very powerful story.

2. Slumdog Millionaire
What can I say about this movie that hasn't already been said? Incredibly sad, incredibly good. And it ends with a great dance sequence to help chase away the lingering depression you feel after watching such resilience through incredible pain.

3. Rachel Getting Married
I really had no expectations before watching this movie except that Anne Hathaway had gotten an Oscar nom. for it. And it was well deserved. A beautiful film about a dysfunctional family trying desperately to be functional without actually dealing with their crap. So, in other words, a story about a regular family (whose crap just looks different than someone else's).

4. One Week
I was very excited to see a Canadian film at a regular theatre in Calgary, and it did not disappoint. Not only does this movie show some great Canadian landscapes, but it also follows the hard and sometimes funny journey of Joshua Jackson's character as he travels west on a motorcycle after receiving news about an extensive cancer in his body, post-poning his treatment to seek the elusive grumps. It's a slow movie and his character isn't the most exciting (nor does he always make the best choices) but I like it because it seems more real. Most people are meaningful without being all that flashy and exciting.

5. The Other Sister
This is an older movie, Tina's favourite. It's a story about two mentally delayed people falling in love and experiencing independence. Juliette Lewis does an incredible job, and it is so easy to fall in love with her endearing character.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


So I have entered a hockey pool for the playoffs.  I know that if I have any readers, you're probably thinking "who are you and what have you done with the real Meghan?" but hey, people change.  It was kind of fun, picking out players and stuff.  I've never done a draft before, and I'm glad that  for this one more than one person could have each player.  I don't think I'd have the patience (or the knowledge) to do a draft where once a player is gone, they're gone.  
I think I will enjoy watching hockey this playoff season.  I know, it's me talking here.  But living with someone who is obsessed with sports kind of rubs off.  I mean, I watched football this fall.  And I am much less familiar with football than hockey.  And I ended up kind of enjoying that.  So, who knows?  Anything could happen. 
Jenn and I are going to work early today so we can leave early to watch hockey tonight, get the "pump you up" song, and everything.  Look out world; it's a whole new Meghan!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

.day off.

I took Friday off of work, and had such a lovely day. I made a list for myself of things I wanted to do this weekend, including things like "drink a london fog", "wear a scarf" and "write something creative". So I slept in a bit, and played some piano and guitar, and then Amy and I went to Inglewood.
We had a little adventure getting there...let's just say that "Zoo Road" is not very clearly marked. But, we made it and had a lovely time walking around in the gorgeous weather visiting some adorable shops and art galleries. We also grabbed lunch at Spolumbo's and I found out that Sanpellegrino's chinotto flavour is disgusting. The guy at the counter warned me that it was an acquired taste and said I could grab another drink if I didn't like it. And made me try it in front of him so he could see my reaction.
Anyways, I took some cute photos, and 2 cars intentionally drove in the puddles on the curb and splashed us. A lot. Huge splashes of dirty water that landed in our hair and all up our backsides. And my camera was out. I was less than impressed...but thankfully, the lens didn't get wet.
Then Amy and I wrote 2 songs. They're pretty great, if I do say so myself. They're very different from each other, so we're impressed that we're not the type of people who can only write one thing. 2 distinct tunes, and 2 distinct topics. Although neither of them are too serious, haha.
Plus we went and got london fogs.
So...a lot of things on my list got crossed off and it was a perfectly enjoyable day.
And today, I played guitar outside on my balcony. Oh, I do love spring! I just wish it was here to stay...

Saturday, March 07, 2009

.an occasion where it'd be nice to have a man.

So tonight I went to a friend's birthday party. It was Oscar themed, so I made myself pretty, and gave her an "award" for wise counsel and good listener.
I knew before going that I would probably not know anyone there, so I had hoped to rope a guy friend into going with me. Alack, alas, that did not happen, so I decided to go it alone and pretend to be an extrovert for a night.

*Side story* I was talking with my friend Steve (in Ontario) about needing a date for tonight, and he suggested me finding an escort service. While I appreciated his creative thinking, I didn't appreciate the direction it was heading. Anyways, a little while later my phone rang, and I didn't recognize the number. I answered it and the guy said "This is Kenneth...Prince Charming" and I thought to myself "what? who? how? Did Steve call some random guy and get him to call me and ask me out tonight?" and was generally quite confused for a few seconds until I heard "Whoa, sorry, dropped the phone. This is Kenneth from Prints Charming. I just wanted you to know your frames are in and you can come pick them up any time." Oh! Ok, that makes a lot more sense now. Funny moment though! *End side story*

It was a lovely party (I even got a few compliments that I have great legs) and we had some fun dancing, but as the night grew long, the snow began to fall. Before the evening it was a fairly mild day and the streets were quite clear, so I wore heels and didn't bother to bring boots. By the time I left, there were 4 inches of fluffy supermodel snow on the ground. As I made my way across the street to my car...I slipped. My dress was kind of short to begin with, but with each foot heading a different direction...well, I'm glad no one was watching (or so it seemed at least). I regained my balance and hopped in my car. My feet were covered in snow and I grabbed my snow brush to unearth my vehicle. A few slips here and there, the wind blowing snow down the front of my dress, and voila! a less snowy car. I was laughing to myself as I blundered my way around my car, hoping that at least God would be laughing at me right now since no one else was there to share my amusement at the situation.
My car was already warm by the time I got inside (or else I was cold enough that it felt toasty) and I drove home in my bare feet without mishap. The roads were slick, and you couldn't see where any lanes existed, but I had no major problems. Until I got home. And the slipping and snow covered feet occurred again.
But not to worry, I immediately towel dried my shoes to make sure that they don't get ruined.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


For the majority of January, I had trouble sleeping. This is not normal for me; usually I sleep deeply all through the night. This past month was filled with patchy shallow sleep and lots of weird dreams.

I don't remember most of my dreams from this past month, but I do remember feeling like I was half-awake all night long, always semi-conscious of the dream happening, but not conscious enough to do anything about it. I would wake up frequently during the night and have trouble falling back asleep. One night I woke up, thought clearly to myself "It's ok, the baby didn't die this time, I can go back to sleep" and promptly did just that. I wonder if I had been having abortion dreams without realizing it?

I also had a nightmare that I can still recollect. It's the third time in my life, that I can remember, that I woke up crying because of a dream. I had been dreaming about my grandma and she was forgetting her sons and remembering a few of her grandkids, but also making up names of ones that don't exist which she was extremely insistent that they did. When I write it down here it doesn't sound so terrible, but in my dream I was trying so desperately hard to help her remember and she began to get really upset with me. And one of my uncles was there and he was ignoring her (which is very strange) because he was too busy packing up her stuff (also very strange). I know logically why I had this dream, but that doesn't always make it better in the middle of the night. I had recently talked to an old friend about his grandma's death, and how she had forgotten most of her family by the time she died, and how difficult that must have been for her, and for her family. I had also just talked with my mom about her visit to my grandma and she'd been doing worse. I understand how this dream happened now, and it doesn't seem so scary, but it was awful...that whole day I kept waiting for my phone to ring with my mom on the other line telling me my grandma had passed away.

The first time I remember ever waking up crying was when I was little and I had a dream that my grandparents died. I guess I haven't changed much...

Friday, January 30, 2009


I don't get it.
This craze surrounding Edward Cullen just doesn't make sense to me.
To be fair, I haven't read any of the books; I've only seen the movie, so maybe I'm missing out on something. But I just don't get it.
Edward is good looking enough, sure, but he's incredibly rude to Bella for the first half of the movie. I understand that he is trying to control himself and resist the urge to suck her blood, but there are definitely other ways of doing that. I especially appreciated the way he comes up to her and is talking to her and then tells her if she knows what's good for her she'd stay away from him. Wait, who just approached who here?
Although the movie is supposed to be all about self-control, it was extremely sexually charged. The first time she walked into biology class and had to sit next to him he clenched his fists and looked, well, like he needed to get off. When they would talk they could barely get the words out amidst their heavy breathing. I felt like I was interrupting. She eggs him on and pushes him to the limits of his self-control. What is that teaching teens? That it's ok for them as girls to push their guys because they'll be able to stop? No they won't. Or, that's it's ok for them to have sex with their boyfriends because they're not vampires?
I will say that every girl wants to be pursued and protected, and Edward does a good job of that. But he's right; she wouldn't be in that much trouble if it weren't for him, so it's his duty to protect her. His family treats her well and includes her (for the most part), even though she poses a serious threat, so clearly they have a lot of respect for Edward and want to support him, and Bella by extension. He can't protect her alone but he needs the support of his whole family, which is a good theme. And it's great that Edward chose not to turn her into a vampire, and that he makes her go to prom and experience the things a normal teenager should experience. But the whole thing is just strange. If she doesn't become a vampire then she will continue to age and it's not like they're going to stick together forever...what would a 17 year old guy want with a middle aged woman?
And she supposed to be an exciting character? Somehow all of the guys in the story are into her, but she has no personality at all. She is a loner who hardly ever has anything significant to say to others.
The only redeeming character in the movie, for me, was Jacob. He's a gentle, sweet guy who genuinely seems to care for Bella and have her best interests at heart. I know that he's just a minor character, but I was still wishing the whole time she'd change her mind and go for him. Plus, he's totally better looking.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Maybe it's just winter blues.
Maybe it's the death of friends' family members.
Maybe it's stress at work.
Maybe it's having high expectations and then not reaching them.
Maybe it's because I haven't been sleeping solidly for a few weeks.
Whatever the reason, I feel weary.
So, I will respond to God's invitation to come and rest.

Psalm 3:5
I sleep and wake up refreshed because you, LORD, protect me.

Psalm 4:8
I can lie down and sleep soundly because you, LORD, will keep me safe.

Here's a song by Considering Lily.

A little too much
Today was a little too much for me
A few falls too many and one win too few

A little too long
Today was a little too long for me
But someone is calling
Calling my name, calling:

"Come, come and rest
All who are weary, rest
Come, come and rest
All who are heavy, rest

Sometimes I try
Sometimes I try just a little too hard
Fighting the current and losing the fight

Sometimes I feel
Sometimes I feel like I'm swimming alone
But someone is holding
Holding me up, calling:

Calling me softly and sweetly
Calling me like I'm a child
Calling me though I'm not worthy
Calling me even now

Thursday, January 15, 2009

.death of a computer.

I know that January is supposed to be the month of new beginnings, but for me it is also a month of endings. One in particular. The loss of my computer. Yes, my computer is dead and none of my files have chosen to be resurrected by miracle man, so once I save up some money I'll pay an expert to retrieve them. So hopefully all will not be lost. It's not the happiest feeling for all of your files, all of the papers and projects you've ever written, all of your music, all of your photos, all of your videos are irretrievable. Jutta asked me if I wanted to slit my wrists, haha. I'm actually trying to remain quite calm about it and not panic...I am sure that someday I'll get my stuff back. Thankfully nothing is urgent that I desperately need right away. Good thing I'm done school!