Thursday, May 31, 2007


Wish I could develop this attitude towards meal preparation:

"During the entire cooking process, it’s very important to have a positive and loving attitude – so we consciously do things that will help the cooks become more calm and centered.
We always offer a simple prayer before cooking and I never cook when angry or upset, as these vibrations will go into the food and the guests will feel it.
We treat the food with respect, love and focused attention. The way we handle it, the way we wash it – the whole process is done with care.
We play only soft and calming music.
I have a little altar in the kitchen with some flowers and maybe a candle burning to keep the mood sacred.
I allow Spirit to flow through me, through my hands and heart and into the food I am preparing.
Together with the guests, we bless the food before we eat as an act of appreciation and gratitude. We sing the prayer all together so the entire meal becomes an uplifting experience.
The most important ingredient for successful cooking is your own “vibration” If you cook with focused attention, joy, kindness and love, this will be reflected in the appearance and taste of the food and in the compliments you receive." Blanche McCord

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Daily Record Book

Remember those old Green Daily Plan and Record Books that teacher's kept on their desks. I keep one on my computer desk to keep track of what has sparked my interest on the web. I don't keep track of dates or everywhere I've surfed but it is a type of log. The reason I prefer the teacher's record book is because it is fairly big, a colour with associations and a big spiral binding so it doesn't disappear in the midst of the rest of the stuff.

Disney Couples

I'm a big fan of youtube because it condenses long movies into 3 minute music videos. Well I just discovered that if you type Disney Couples into the youtube search box, up comes the sound track of modern love music with video clips of the most romantic pieces from a jumble of disney princess movies. There are an amazing number of these videos and I'm sure there are countless more being compiled as we speak. Stephen and I didn't date long enough to have an "OUR SONG" so I'm researching possibilities. Thanks to weddings, I'm sure we have memories of dancing to just about everything. My favourite clips are alway the ballroom dance scenes. I don't know what other girls were looking for in a man but I was determined to never marry anyone who would prefer sitting and talking to being on the dance floor."

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Financial Considerations

Financial planners aren't talking so much about getting your house into financial order during the empty nest period leading up to retirement. Instead they are writing articles titled, "So Your Kid Wants to be a Rock Star" or "When Mom and Dad go to Iraq, Grandma and Grandpa live on Base" or "Who is the Alzheimer Patient and Who is the Caregiver - the 90 year old mother or the 70 year old daughter". There is an unanticipated trend for the snowbirds to fly back to Canada once their golfing days end which hasn't been budgeted for by municipalities. And with big student loans, the high cost of housing, the instability of relationships and the disappearing jobs, adult children and their offspring are either moving home or the parents are giving them financial aid to stay wherever they are.
So the talk around the baby boomer watering hole these days isn't about freedom 55. The Ontario Government has released a paper by LeRoy O Stone "New Frontiers of Research on Retirement" which is worth a look. When my friends began retiring, I stopped thinking about "What I want to do when I grow up". However, that might have been short sighted on both my part and those who retired early.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Weird Hair

What do you think of red hair with pink streaks or blue hair with purple highlights? Well I have very little hair on top and I think it's great when the young with their beautiful skin tones experiment and have fun with their hair. How long does youth last anyhow- maybe a minute and a half. Today on the internet they listed jobs that you can do with weird hair. So in case you're thinking that job hunting might be a bit of a challenge with weird hair, a stud through your tongue and all those tatoos, here's the jobs to consider: Barista, Cosmetologist, Massage Therapist, Server, Copy Editor, Theatre Worker, Softwear Developer, Web Designer, Art School Instructor, Photographer, Chemist and Sports Mascot. Basically they are either jobs where the artsy, edgy look is what they're after or jobs where most of the work is done behind the scenes so you're not a reflection of company image.

Young Creative Moms

At the end of the day, I like to check out a couple of creative young mom blogs. I start with this list and randomly select a blog. If I like that blog than I check out a couple of the favourites posted there.
The major problem young moms have is that they are a bit invisible as unique human beings deserving recognition and enthusiastic response for their activities. So I'm all for it if they want to post a picture of that nutritionally balanced with kid-appeal school lunch they prepared and packed. They post a picture of their first attempt to knit a scarf or the picture they just painted or a card they made for a friend. It's easy to lose the individual, creative aspect of life when there's so much effort required to hold the whole good wife, good mom thing together. So I look at a couple of these "show and tell" blogs and I'm the silent cheerleader saying "You go girl!" I don't have much of an appreciation for art gallery stuff but I do get mommy creativity.

re: Interview David & his dad

There are 2 seaman from Windsor interviewed. My son is the second one. Stephen is talking a about how important it is to stay in communication. The Halifax isn't David's regular ship. He went on the recruitment cruise along the Great Lakes in order to get an extra trip home.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Cooking Styles

Peter and I had a tiff this week. Usually I don't care one way or the other if my kids are angry at me but this time I'm not so sure of my position. Peter wants me to teach him how to cook. He picked out a recipe and I was supposed to read the recipe, buy all the ingredients and follow the cooking instructions. Well I looked at the picture and basically it was meatloaf wrapped around hard boiled eggs with a sweet/sour tomato sauce on top so I was good to go.
P: How do you boil eggs?
Me: Well I know 3 ways, the cookbook way, grandma's way and mine which is a bit of both. Grandma puts eggs and water in pot covered with tight lid, brings the water to a boil and turns off the heat and lets the eggs sit for 25 minutes. The cookbook boils them until they are done which I think might be 7 minutes. I know an egg timer is 3 minutes because grandpa insisted we use it to time long distance calls. Grandpa thought anything worth saying required 3 minutes, I thought 30 minutes and you guys think 3 hours. And I think 3 minutes gives you a soft boiled egg so hardboiling is something longer. And anyway we had hardboiled eggs on toast for supper last night and I have enough extras for this recipe.
P: Don't put oatmeal on my meatloaf!!! Where does it say anything about oatmeal?
Me: Rolled oats is faster than fiddling around turning bread into soft bread crumbs. Wheat/Oats - both grains. Besides grandma preferred oats and I'm sure you'll like it better because it's one of those Scottish evolutionary things.
P: You just want to do it any which way to get it over and done with.
Me: yeah, duh.
I could have taught him bunches more but at that point he went upstairs and turned the volume up on his cd player trying to blast out his mom's misinformation.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

List of Lasts
This links to a journal prompt about lasts.
When I was in high school, the school librarian suggested that I keep a journal of firsts. Relax everyone, I didn't have the imagination to realize what an endless supply of firsts life has to offer and didn't journal anything. Lezlie has 3 categories of lasts: the lasts we looked forward to, the lasts we regret and the lasts that we didn't realize were going to be lasts. One of the bitter sweet things of being on the far side of 50, is that you have every reason in the world to enjoy everything to the hilt - the way you would if you knew for certain that it was the last time.

Justifying Upgrading

Thought I'd share 2 persuasive arguments to sell your partner on the need to upgrade technology.

While in high school, our daughter was dating a Mennonite lad. Her brothers' suggested that perhaps she didn't know herself very well. Not only do Mennonite women work extremely hard but even worse, there's no flopping in front of the tv to recover. Paula said there was no tv, but they did watch dvds on the computer. Well at the time, my computer didn't have a dvd player. Did I pounce on that one! I accept that I'm totally not in the league of cybergeeks but when I fall behind the Mennonites in cool toys, that's a definite call to action.

Recently I've been thinking that having an ipod might be fun. And guess what? Some kid did a study suggesting that the ipod may be a potential source of pacemaker interference. So obviously this is a purchase that can't be delayed indefinitely. Babyboomers of the world, get your ipods now because you never know what the future holds. And if you know some person who decides after receiving a pacemaker that what's needed is romance with a young one, well that funny feeling in the chest is not necessarily love. It could be the ipod in the young one's shirt pocket is the reason the old one's heart skipped a beat.

High Interest Books for Boys

Click here to see the full list
I'm not sure what the Guardian mean by a dedicated boys' bookshelf in the library.,,2080754,00.html
I would think libraries would start classifying books using video store categories: comedy, adventure, drama, science fiction, etc. if they want to be user friendly. Kids also prefer choosing paperbacks from those spinning racks over hardcovers stuck on shelves. You really can't knock any effort encouraging leisure reading in kids but nothing beats a librarian taking an interest in you and matching your interests to a book with a manageable vocabulary for your reading level.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

French Lessons

I'm absolutely terrible with languages so it would be pathetic if I forget my Gr. 10 French or my Gr. 12 Spanish. If I had my way, I'd watch every DVD with the French or Spanish subtitles on. I always get outvoted on that one although sometimes they'll agree to English subtitles if the dialogue is mumbled or there's a long phone conversation happening in the room (even though the cord is long enough to be in 3 other areas of the house) or Peter is drumming.
Check out this site She posts 3 times a week and only introduces a few French words into each of her blog posts. While you're there, click on "links". She has an interesting array of links for those who want to be more seriously curious about anything French.

Educational Leadership

To prove how crazy I can be, I homeschooled David and Peter for 2 1/2 years - Peter for Grades 4, 5 and 1/2 of 6 and David for Grades 6, 7 and 1/2 of 8. Then we moved and I plopped them back in school in March so David would have a the whole big deal Grade 8 graduation. Why? Because I wanted to figure out how they learned. Now the great thing about education is that there is an neverending supply of educational theorists out there. And the advantage homeschooling has over regular schooling is that you can test any theory you want and you and the student have a lifetime to experiment in.
Today I discovered the magazine "Educational Leadership". takes you to an archive of all their issues going back to Oct. 43. It's fun to check out what the hot topics were when you were in Gr. 1, etc. To access the text of all the article requires money. However, for free, you get the author and the title of all the article. For modern stuff, you can access the whole article. For the older stuff, what more do you need to find anything in cyberspace than a name or a subject? The goal is not the article. The goal is the theory behind the article. Happy surfing.

Books, Bloggers & Critics

My undergrad degree is in English literature so I'm allowed to be a book fanatic. publishes a daily digest of arts, culture and ideas with links to an array of newspaper articles. One of today's articles is about the relationship between critics, bloggers and book clubs. The professional critics are having to justify why they are still necessary. They've done some recent research on book club members and found the average member of a book club buys 40 books a year so the publishing industry really needs the book clubs. Personally I think bibliophiles are using everying. I participate in a local bookclub and know the basics about popular cyberspace bookclubs. Even better is popping into a thread where people are listing what they are currently reading or listing their favourite books or authors. I'll pick a couple and google the author's name. Usually the author has a website with a list of his/her books, links to first chapters, links to interviews and articles, etc. Yesterday I picked an author who had written about a dozen books and most of those books had their first chapter online. Read half a dozen first chapters and you've got a pretty good idea of whether or not you're going to keep an eye open for a book by that author. If there's a discussion group for your particular profession, and there always it, people usually get around to recommending books and it's a start for continuing education as the ones just graduating from university are more likely to know about the cutting edge stuff. And yes, I do read the newspaper critics but when the stone is thrown into the pool, my friends are the innermost ring of trusted advisors and the critics are the outermost ring. Why? Because I'm not an intellectual. I'm a person and I'm probably most interested in the same kinds of subject matter as the people I associate with either in person or in cyberspace.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is important because without it you just don't know. So much is written these days about not having to be stuck with the family you got - go out there and create a Friends family or a Cheers family or a Grey's Anatomy family - a group of people who'll understand the post traumatic stress surrounding a visit from mom.
So Mother's Day is my Oscar night. Out of all the people in the world they could have chosen for mom, the kids are honouring the one they got. And I'm doing a Sally Field - "You like me, You really like me". Oh yeah, there were lots of days (ok, every day) well moments in every day that they really hated me and to be honest moments when I really hated them as well but what counts is now. As young adults, do they think I did a good enough job for them to be an asset to God and country and their loved ones and themselves. We made it. We got through all those difficult phases of growing up and their father and I feel so privileged to have been a part of it all.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

HMCS Halifax

The HMCS Halifax is on a Great Lakes tour. Yesterday it stopped in Windsor and Sarnia. Stephen and Peter were guests on the ship between those two points. I got to be the crazy mom standing on the shore waving like crazy to our son David while the ship pulled into and left port. I obsessively watch all those Canadian moms watching their fallen soldier children being carried off the plane from Afghanistan and I couldn't help celebrating like crazy that my oldest is alive and well and on an adventure. I've practically made a career out of embarrassing my children but this time I pulled out all the stops and really made a spectacle of myself. After the ship pulled away from Sarnia, Peter said, "Oh, by the way, this is from David". My wardrobe has been expanded to include another T-shirt and hoody sweatshirt with a naval ship floating across my chest. It was raining like crazy yesterday and all the crew had on those bright yellow two piece rain suits. Christmas is coming. Wouldn't my short, fat body look stunning in naval rain gear. Here's hoping.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

June Callwood: National Treasures

I decided the best way to honour June Callwood was to read one of her books. In National Treasures she interviews Margaret Atwood, Phil Fontaine, Rosemary Brown, Charles Pachter, Buffy Sainte-Marie, William Hutt, Maureen Forrester, Falrey Mowat, and Karen Kain. She says, "Every Canadian can make a list of people we consider national treasures. What I think most lists have in common is that people we admire are those whose lives reflect a sense of responsibility towards others...(people who) exemplify a good life, a useful life. The givers. The treasures."
So who are your National Treasures?

Eating Our Young

Tony Bennett has issues with Simon Cowell of American Idol fame. He thinks Simon should be taking some of those profits and opening tiny clubs across the country so the kids can break in and learn properly. Tony was from the generation that had GI funding to get a solid musical foundation and he's been using his interviews for quite a while now to express concern that this generation isn't getting the same developmental opportunities.
In the nursing blogs, there's a lot of discussion on lateral violence (older nurses being hard on young nurses entering the profession). Well as most of my readers are mega years post graduation, what's your feelings about those entering your field.
Here's the conclusion reached by in her post "Smack, munch,
mmm new nurses" "We as nurses do need to shut the hell up and stop putting new nurses through a gauntlet. Nobody's going to be tougher, or faster, or smarter for being abused. There are, however, *systemic problems* that I think are a larger threat to the profession as a whole. We need to spend the breath we'd use debating how, exactly, we eat our young, fixing those." Head-nurse has some pretty good advice in her blogs to help young nurses survive. There's a lot of wisdom in her first rule: "1. The first rule of nursing is (sing it, everybody!): "If You Have To Jack With It, It's Wrong." Remember that when you have to connect tab A to slot B through connector C and widget D." If what you're doing isn't working, well look again. You've probably got it wrong. If it's that hard, there is a better approach.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

In September I've agreed to perform a lip sync of Bette Midler style Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B. At the time, I didn't realize that Bette sings it double time compared to the Andrew Sisters so here's hoping I can move my lips while dancing that fast and live.
Go to and do a search for videos of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. There is so much choreography out there to choose from and some of the amateur stuff is really good. Bette doing it in the Mermaid costume blows me away but no way was the final flip imaginable in my wildest dreams even in youth when many but not enough pounds lighter. If you want to learn how to play it on the piano, youtube also has a series of instructional videos showing you how.

Regenesis: The TV show

Regenesis is my absolute favourite tv show and it's filmed in Toronto. If you want the science that goes with each episode here's your link:
The show's mission statement is: The North American Biotechnology Advisory Committee is a trilateral taskforce from Canada, Mexico and the United States to investigate research in biotechnology including the related fields of bioweaponry and nanotechnology.
So every episode they are investigating some crisis caused by either faulty science or scientists implementing new processes without having thoroughly studied the effects of those processes on people or the environment. Unfortunately it's extremely frustrating if you don't start at Season 1, Episode 1 and work your way through as each story builds on the one that proceeded it. At the end of Season 2, there was a terrorist explosion in the lab and it takes all of Season 3 to figure out who was killed and what injuries the survivors sustained. You only find out about an injury when the scientist runs into difficulty performing his/her job because of it.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Queen, The Movie

I don't usually buy movies, but I'm considering this one. I wasn't a Diana fan mainly because I thought Margaret Trudeau was the edgier IT girl. Prince Charles, bulemia, Elton John just seemed quite conventional compared to Trudeau, manic depression, Keith Richards. So the Queen was out of touch with the emotions of her people and it almost brought down the monarchy - did it really matter in the end? Popularity contests are for politicians. Being Queen is a coronation - lifelong vows of faithful service to God and country no matter how she feels or how her subjects feel - it's about duty and responsibility - emotions just complicate things. Diana was the people's princess. Elizabeth carries the weight of the crown and accepts the loneliness of her position. She'll still be advising Prime Ministers and Archbishops long after Diana is a faded memory.

The Princess Phenomenon

Paula suggested I check out the group "Disney Gave Me Unrealistic Expectations About Love". It has 117,054 members so perhaps belief in Disney is the rival for belief in God. Disney Princesses are absolutely huge with the preschool crowd. The whole thing is so fascinating to me because when I was the age of the facebook crowd, the big excitement was the U.N. declaring an International Year for the advancement of Women. After 30 years of Women's lib, through facebook I've discovered why I slept way more than I advanced. Out of the mouths of babes:

OMG! I was like babysitting this 3 yr. old kid & she's like into this whole Disney things.. I will NEVER forget what she told me yesterday.
The Innocent Kid: " So, you are the Princess & you're going to meet a beautiful Prince"
Me: " Today? Tomorrow? or Later? "
The Innocent Kid : " Today "
Me: " Oh, really? Tonight? "
The Innocent Kid : " No, IN YOUR DREAMS because when you dream the world is yours "

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Creative Spelling

My kids are all creative spellers. And to tell you the truth, when communicating on msn messenger, it's all about getting the message out as quickly as possible and spelling doesn't matter. So when I was forwarded the following, I wondered what the big deal was. I can certainly read it as quickly and easily as conventional spelling. Twenty years ago, I would think the writer was either uneducated or mentally ill or someone just learning English but all those concepts about people who spell poorly have faded away and been replaced with "must have been too rushed for spell check".

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too. Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it.

Followup on Book Sale

Stephen and I were pretty equal buyers this year. We both bought approx. 40 books if I don't count the 5 Bibles and the set and a half of Interpreter's Bibles that Stephen bought. He's constantly prepared for someone knocking on the door wanting a Bible and he always has some preacher in mind who might not have a set of Interpreter's Bibles. So I say purchases that you already own and are only buying with the intent of helping someone else, don't count in the book total. I only compare our over the top self indulgent book buying tendencies. Hardcovers were a $1 and softcovers were 50 cents so our big annual extravaganza was around $120. Last night there were 3 people working at the sale and 4 customers. The first time we heard about it, Stephen was teaching a class and he sent his class to the sale to start their theological libraries. They need to have Iona and Canterbury send a notification of the sale to their religion students.

Friday, May 4, 2007

101 Things to do in 1001 Days

This looks like an interesting concept. I'm going to give it a bit of thought and if I come up with a list of 101 Things, I'll post it. Now that I'm no one's daughter and consider the kids responsible for their own lives, there's this sense of freedom to pursue whatever interests me. There's this desire to not waste those years while the legs are strong enough to carry you to wherever you might like to go and the brain cells are still firing in some kind of logical sequence.

There's also this site where you pick 43 things you'd like to do some day. I think I prefer the deadline to the 101 thing concept.

Are you feeling this sense of greater freedom and what are you going to do with it?

Your Favourite Book Sale

What's your favourite book sale and is there one specifically designated for your special interest?
No hands down, our favourite book sale is in Windsor at Iona College. Our youngest son and his girl friend invited us over for supper tonight and we said no way - we'll be at Iona waiting for the doors to open!
The book sale at Iona College tonight, 7-9PM and tomorrow, 9AM - 3PM. Lots of books.
This is the book sale that we wait all year for. Iona College is the United Church College at The University of Windsor. I'd think the big book donations come from retired clergy or clergy widows. Last year, they forgot to notify us of the sale which they said was obvious in their profits. We literally go home with boxes and boxes of books. It's probably not the book sale for people interested in modern theology but it's the perfect book sale for priests with an undergraduate degree in history.
As for me, my preference is whatever is the largest local charitable booksale. Here it's the IODE book sale. This year it's June 9th. I'm not sure where the new location is. The old location was in walking distance of my house, so I used to go back and forth lugging books and magazines home. All the local stores are within walking distance of the rectory so everyone is used to me walking home carrying more than a rational person with her own car would attempt.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Photographs win

Researchers at the United Kingdom's Open University examined how much people's mood rose after eating a chocolate snack, sipping an alcoholic drink, watching TV, listening to music, or looking at personal photos (the researchers chose these behaviors for their reputation as popular ways to unwind). The music and chocolate left most people's moods unchanged; alcohol and TV gave a slight lift (1%), but the winner by a long shot was viewing pictures, which made people feel 11% better.

I don't look at pictures. In fact, I've never owned my own camera. Personal pictures don't make me feel better - they make me sad. They remind me of lives I've left behind - decisions that weren't mine to make. Instead I'm totally into magazines - imaginary perfection - far more restful than a complicated reality.

Fat Doctors

There's a discussion going on at medscape about fat doctors: Are they letting the profession down by not practicing what they preach? Do doctors need to maintain "appropriate" weight in order to be good healers? So if your doctors don't have rock hard abs, they just might develop their own body image insecurities and let you agonize about yours in peace.
So have you developed a wellness program for yourself? As I have the fitness level on a good day of an 85 year old, I'm working out at the Seniors' Center. If you want a free website with all the dieting bells and whistles, go to They have all kinds of tracking tools, menus, support groups, blogs, video clips of exercises, articles on just about everything, etc. My favourite article is: 11 Things Children Can Teach You About Weight Loss. Go outside and play. Be a super hero. Use your Imagination. Have Fun., etc. I'm also rather fond of any book that compares the WASP lifestyle with that of less driven cultures - the ones that stop to eat and aren't competing 24/7.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Self-Destructive Choices

Being a housewife, I have more time to read medical journals than people actually working in health care. Today I read "My Father's Daughter" written by Lara Devgan, a medical student whose father is an ENT surgeon with Type II diabetes. Her father doesn't use the running shoes she's given him and most of her memories are about his enjoyment of sweet treats. Here are 2 quotes from the article that I'll be thinking about today:
Her father tried to explain his behavior by saying "It's hard to be the person you want to be". So if I've disappointed you, well he's absolutely right. I had an ideal self but it was just too hard for me to be that person.
His wife tried to explain his choices this way:
"Sometimes doing what you like - even if it's self-destructive - makes you feel like you're young again. It helps you hang on to a past that's not there anymore."
If you want to read the entire article, I found it on I get lots of emails from medscape as each medical speciality produces a weekly email. I'm especially fond of reading the blogs of young medical students because once I was young and remember when many of my friends were young medical students or young nursing students.


I'm a disaster when it comes to keeping in touch with old friends who truly mean the world to me. As I'm a bit of an internet addict, blogging feels like the perfect way for old friends to be able to check in and see what's happening. It's also a way for me to record what I've found interesting on the net and how I've been inspired by what I'm reading.