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.