Sunday, July 27, 2003

A Change is as Good as a Holiday

I return home to recuperate from my vacation in Edmonton. I had a jam-packed time visiting with friends and spent a wonderful afternoon and evening discussing theology with one of my elders. It is wonderful when someone hands you a key that unlocks all sorts of doors that were previously closed to you. And the real thrill comes from knowing that you are able to figure a lot of this stuff out without the use of commentaries or other specialized Bible tools! I'm exhausted from my trip, but eager to get back in my household routine of being Queen of the Mudroom and all the other parts of my domestic kingdom.

This next month will be devoted to painting a few rooms in the house, preparing for Queen Willy's visit, and getting ready for homeschooling in the fall.
Wonderful History Link

"For more than 350 years most of the original manuscript “Minutes” of the Westminster Assembly have remained unpublished. These official Minutes record the debates of the English, Scottish and French theologians at plenary sessions of the Assembly as well as the Assembly’s inner workings and resolutions. The large three volume manuscript of the Minutes is housed in Dr. Williams’s Library, London. These volumes contain 550,000 words and span the years 1643 to 1652. Much of the third volume was published in the late nineteenth century from an imperfect transcript.

This project intends to publish all three volumes of the Minutes from the original manuscript in Dr Williams’s Library and the recently discovered papers of the Assembly.

The publication of The Minutes and Papers of the Westminster Assembly will more than triple the available sources on the Assembly and will fill a major gap in our understanding of the Assembly and its documents."

Sunday, July 13, 2003

The Beauty of Libraries

I meant to blog about this the other day, but forgot in the daily rush of things until I read Carmon's blog today.

I got an unusual treat the other day -- some time at the library, free of babies. I love my babies, but having them with me makes it difficult to browse as they are such busy little people who hate being confined to strollers and who are a menace to the books if turned loose.

Being in the library literally causes me to have an endorphin rush. I love books. I could happily live in a library and spend most of my days reading and discovering. The other day I stumbled across a section that contained books on household hints for home management, how to budget properly, cleaning tips and related items. Several of the books there were reprints of old books published back in the 1800's. Looking at these books brought a nostalgic feeling as I remembered reading such things with delight back when I was a young mother and had only one or two babies under foot.

I always take out more books than I can possibly read in a month. This time I came home with one of the few remaining Georgette Heyer novels still in the library. I also got the first Poldark novel, one of Miss Read's books, a book on the HHV6 virus by Nicholas Regush, and one of the home management books. I still have a P.G. Wodehouse book to finish. In addition to all of the above (which I read simultaneously -- I have a book in every room for the few free moments I may get to read it) I have several books on herbs and natural healing that I am reading. Oh, and don't forget my books for the Lord's Day -- one on the martyrs of Bloody Mary's reign, and William Goudge's book, "Domestical Duties."

Does this qualify me as a bona fide bibliophile?

My pet peeve about libraries -- they always sell off the old classics to make way for junky, shallow, trivial new stuff. I can't find a single Elizabeth Goudge novel there any more. And Georgette Heyer has been reduced to only one or two books. Don't even bother looking for anything by Rafael Sabatini. Now THERE is an author who is worthy of reprinting!

Thoughts on the Incarnation

Mary, the mother of our Lord-- a young girl who had the derision and infamy of an unmarried pregnancy cast in her face and the face of her son, all of her life. Here was a girl who probably knew what some of the implications for her position would be, and yet who still said, "Yes, Lord."

Did she wonder what it meant when she was told that a sword would enter her heart? When was it that it happened? Was it when she saw her beloved son hanging on the tree dying? I doubt it.

I think the sword entered her heart when she realized that it was her sins that put him there.
Family Reunion

Yesterday was a bittersweet reunion with all my kids together for the first time in about 19 months. My eldest daughter, Patricia, came down from Grande Prairie for a visit and to see the baby sister she has never met. It was interesting to me to see how strong the bonds of blood can be as Patricia delighted in being surrounded by all her little brothers and sisters again and tried to make overtures to Elodie in the hopes that Princess Punkadunk would allow her to have a cuddle. (Nothing doin'.)

Patricia is staying with her sister in town and we went to visit her there. At one point all the children went to the park and I took group photos of them all on the playground equipment. I was so relieved to get those pictures and I pray they turn out well. You never know what life will bring and I would hate to never have a single picture of all the children together.

Last night I brought my granddaughter home for the night while her mother and eldest aunt went out for the evening. I returned Keiannah home to her parents and then guilted Patricia into coming to church with the rest of us. I don't know if it accomplished anything, but hope springs eternal that some part of the ministry would be a means of drawing a wayward child back to the Father.

Even if Trish got nothing out of the sermon, I did. Pastor Greg Price has been preaching a series on baptism and today's text was I Peter 3:21. One point that stuck with me was the illustration in Scripture of the ark that was the outward means of salvation to Noah and his family, yet proved to be only an outward form for Ham. I sat there in the service, at the back of the church nursing my baby and watching my older children in front of me. Grieving. Would this child or that child have only the outward form but fail to look to Christ?

My heart is heavy as I contemplate a daughter who is beautiful on the outside, but who demonstrates a shallow, worldly, and vain view of life. I fear for her eternal destiny. I know that if she is not of the elect, one day I will view her utter destruction with the knowledge that God is just to deliver her over to torment for her sins. But it isn't a prospect that can be faced with equanimity, even as I deliberately place my trust in God, that He does all things well.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

No Wonder unNatural Family Planning Doesn't Work!

No 'safe' time to avoid pregnancy
'Flabbergasted' scientists find they've been all wrong on ovulation

Sharon Kirkey
CanWest News Service

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

In a finding that is expected to rewrite medical textbooks, Canadian researchers have discovered that, for many women hoping to avoid pregnancy, there is no "safe" time for sex.

For 50 years, doctors have believed that about a dozen follicles, or egg sacs, grow at one time during a woman's menstrual cycle. From this group, only one follicle actually bursts and releases an egg, while the others shrivel and die.

But, in a finding that left even researchers "flabbergasted," University of Saskatchewan scientists have found this pattern of follicular development actually occurs two to three separate times during a woman's menstrual cycle. What's more, 40 per cent of women have the biological potential to ovulate more than once during a cycle.

"The old idea of one time per cycle is wrong," says senior author Dr. Roger Pierson, director of the Reproductive Biology Research Unit at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.

The results help explain for the first time why some women get pregnant while on birth control pills, and why the window for safe sex may not exist at all for many women -- because there may always be an egg sac waiting to release an egg.

"We all know people trying to use natural family planning, and we have a word for those people. We call them parents," he said.

The discovery could lead to more effective contraceptives and could boost success rates for women undergoing expensive and invasive high-tech infertility treatments.

The study, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, is published this week in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

For decades, the medical dogma held that a woman's ovaries behaved "one very certain, very specific, very predictable way," Dr. Pierson says. Normally, women have a 28-day menstrual cycle, and the belief was that most women ovulate once, around day 14. The cycle begins on the first day of bleeding. By about day five, the theory held, about 15 to 20 egg sacs start to mature and then, by day 14, the most mature follicle ruptures, releasing an egg.

But, those assumptions were largely based on blood samples and menstrual diaries. "We actually looked at the ovaries to find out what they were doing during the cycles," Dr. Pierson says.

The team tracked 50 women with normal menstrual cycles who volunteered to undergo high-resolution ultrasound every day for a month so researchers could follow the fate of every individual follicle.

They found follicles grow in waves "like you see in the ocean," Dr. Pierson says.

Forty per cent of women had multiple, major waves, while 60 per cent had minor waves, followed by a major wave.

"We were flabbergasted. We knew this happened in animal models (in horses and cows), but we read the books like everybody else and they said this isn't supposed to happen in humans."

Although the women all released only one egg during the study cycle, "they had the biological machinery to ovulate more than once." Two women with abnormal cycles actually ovulated twice.

"Many women will ovulate two follicles at once, typically on the same day. That's how fraternal twins come about," Dr. Pierson explains. "But these women ovulated at different times."

He says more research is needed to determine what causes some women to experience more follicle waves than others, and how long the follicle actually has a viable egg.

In the meantime, "it tells us why some women don't get along well with oral contraceptives." Most birth control pills are based on a 21-day treatment cycle, where women take active hormones, followed by seven days of placebo or "dummy" pills, which trigger menstruation.

Another study by the same team in the same issue of Fertility and Sterility suggests women can still get pregnant during their hormone-free interval, because there's enough space in the pill-free period that allows the development of a new wave of follicles.

Some fertility experts say the finding makes an argument for a continuous pill regimen. "It questions the need for women to have a pill-free week," says Dr. Arthur Leader, chief of reproductive medicine of the University of Ottawa.

The research may also explain why some women undergoing in vitro fertilization and other fertility treatments don't respond to ovary-stimulating drugs.

"We're probably giving at least some of the women drugs at the wrong time," Dr. Pierson says.

© Copyright 2003 The Ottawa Citizen

Saturday, July 05, 2003


For the past several weeks my dh has been working in a little town about an hour's drive south of us, called Quesnel. Because he has to be on the job early, and because the company pays out of town expenses, he had taken a motel room there. Last week he brought one of our sons down for a little road trip and son spent an enjoyable two days wandering around the town seeing the sights on his own. I drove down on day two to pick him up and my dh took us both out to eat at a Japanese restaurant that he had discovered.

The restaurant was called the Tokyo restaurant I had this wonderful soup with Udon noodles, veggies, chicken and an egg in it with some slices of yam and potatoe in tempura batter on the side. Marc also suggested that I try some sushi for the first time. Being in an adventurous spirit (but not TOO adventerous -- I couldn't bring myself to try the raw fish sushi) I chose the California rolls with imitation crab meat (pollock), avocado, cucumber, rice and the seaweed stuff they wrap it in. I fell in love! It was absolutely wonderful. I don't know how authentic it was, but it was sure good. I even learned how to manipulate chop sticks without making a mess. BQ and Emeth would be proud of me.

Recently, my second daughter introduced me to a Vietnamese restaurant in Prince George. I have to say that the Oriental people really know how to make good soup! I had the best bowl of soup I have ever had there. It was a hot and sour soup with a clear broth and delicate flavor that I couldn't place, and it had celery, pineapple, bean sprouts, rice noodles, chicken and green onions floating in it.

The soup was too good not to try making it for my family so I went to the library and found several books on Vietnamese cuisine. There was no chicken hot and sour soup, but there were recipes for fish hot and sour soup. I suspect that the addition of chicken was an adaptation for Canadian palates. At any rate, I used the fish soup recipes as the basis for creating my own version of it and I think I came pretty close to what I had at the restaurant. It was a hit with the family. And the secret to the flavorful broth was the addition of tamarind. Mmmmm..... Think I know what to make for supper tonight!
Cheap Medicine

When the year 2000 phobia had many of us in its grip, I acquired a book that I have come to really love. It is called, The Herbal Medicine Chest by Debra St. Clair. It is not a book about herbs and their properties. Rather it is a book about how to prepare these herbs into medicines once you have them. So far this week I have made an antiseptic throat gargle, slippery elm lozenges, and black cherry cough syrup. And they work quite nicely, thank you!

Herbal medicine is cheap, but it still costs money or time to acquire the herbs and then concoct with them. So what is the cheapest medicine available? My hands.

Or the hands of others. The other day I crunched my finger hard between two stools. After muttering incoherent sounds of anguish at the top of my voice, I noticed that my finger was beginning to swell and turn blue. I grabbed my son Nathanael and had him hold his hands on each side of the offended digit until we felt the electrical energy stop pulsing (meaning it had balanced out). It stopped hurting immediately and was back down to normal size within the hour. You can't even see any bruising two days later.

[For those wondering if I am into witchcraft, I will state categorically that I am NOT. I am a Calvinistic, Presbyterian Covenanter with no interest in the black arts. All I did in the example above was utilize the electrical energy system produced by our body to heal my finger.]

How about a cheap and fast way to relieve ear ache pain when your child is awake in the middle of the night? I used the tapping procedure called EFT the other night on my daughter Bethany. Earlier in the evening she had awakened me with a raging ear infection. I gave her tylenol and sent her back to bed. An hour later she was back howling outside my door and screaming inconsolably. So, I tried EFT. In three rounds of tapping the pain was gone and she went to bed and slept the rest of the night. In addition, she wasn't troubled with it anymore though she still had a cold.

I also used EFT to help a woman with back pain from an old injury. In several rounds of tapping, her pain, which was constant, was gone.

BTW, if you visit the EFT website, I don't endorse everything on it. There is plenty of false worldview stuff you need to sift through.
Feeling Virtuous Today

It's early and already my laundry is all washed and hanging out. But that isn't what makes me feel virtuous.

I picked wild red raspberry leaves early this morning while the dew was still on them. They are now in my dehydrator in preparation for medicinal teas in winter. Now THAT makes me feel virtuous.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Boo, Hiss

Vancouver has won the 2010 Winter Olympic bid. Now the taxpayers of this province can prepare to be soaked good and hard for tax money to build the infrastructure and sports facilities required for this event.

Why do I have this sense of deja vu? People preoccupied by sports and living decadent and depraved lifestyles?

Hail Cesear!

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Canada Day

Today is Canada's national civic "holy day" when all Canadians are supposed to show their national pride in their country.

I find little to celebrate in a nation that is more and more rapidly degenerating before my very eyes. In our misguided zeal for toleration, we have learned to tolerate depravity on a scale unprecedented in this country. Yesterday I read that American sodomites are flocking to Toronto to take advantage of our newly approved marriages of same-sex couples.

Abortion is rampant.

Divorce and common-law marriage rates rise each year.

Perversion is openly taught and promoted to young people in our schools even while grades in basic disciplines like math and english continue to drop.

Evangelical Christians comprise less than 6% of our population according to polls in recent years. Standards are so lax in the Church that Christianity is more of a country club with really nice versions of heathens rather than a Church militant that is shaking hell's gates.

Oh, Canada.