Thursday, June 30, 2005

Tagged Again!

Carol tagged me and so here is the result:

Five Things I Miss from My Childhood

1. Childhood innocence -- Life was so much more simple when I was a child. I never knew a day of worry where my next meal would come from or if a roof would be over my head and the worst thing that could happen was getting a bad grade in school. Schools were relatively safe places to be, there was little violence and no drugs to speak of. In looking back, I had a happy life then though it wasn't until later that I realized how good I had it.

2. My grandparents. I have such happy memories of the love of my grandparents on both sides of the family. Grampy Hannah had an old car whose make and model I never knew, but which would be a prize entry today in a classic auto show. I remember spending the night at Grammy and Grampy Hannah's home in Attleboro and listening to the snap of the heater in the living room, sleeping on the fold out bed in the grey sofa that used to be in our home, exploring the fascinating cave of their closet that housed not only clothing, but Grammy's stock of Avon cosmetics, and eating bedtime snacks of cereal with brown sugar with Grampy, who was diabetic. I don't have many memories of Grampy Savoy as I was fairly young when he died and our visits were confined to two weeks every summer until he died when I was in grade 2, but I have a lot of memories of Grammy Savoy. I loved the old cast iron stove in the kitchen which not only baked the most delectable homemade bread, but also served to heat the house. And going up the the Miramachi region to visit with Grandmere and Grandpere Brideau was also a treat. Grampy Brideau played the fiddle and I remember watching him play while Great Uncle Tony step danced in their kitchen and even tried a few steps myself.

3. Speaking of the Miramachi, I enjoyed my visits there to see all the relatives on my mom's side of the family when I was little. The smell of salt water, fishing off the wharf at Burnt Church, picking wild strawberries at Uncle Cecil's, and hunting for wild kittens in Great Aunt Gladys's barn and then having boiled salmon and potatoes for supper along with homemade bread and molasses -- that was the stuff of happiness. Part of the allure was also the fact that every time we travelled to New Brunswick, I got a new coloring book and crayons or some sort of craft type thing to while away the time it took to drive there from Massachusetts.

4. The Good News Chapel. This was the Plymouth Brethren assembly that I grew up in. At the time I attended it, it was a fairly small but active congregation of whom everyone felt like family. I have fond memories of the people there as I was growing up. I also miss Camp Berea, which was run by the Assemblies. I had a few good summers attending camp there.

5. The farmhouse in Dundas that my Dad grew up in. At various points different relatives lived there -- Grammy and Grampy would open it in the summer and I remember going to the brook with Grampy Hannah to get water in order to prime the pump for the well in the kitchen. Then Uncle Harry and Aunt Pat lived there for a while. Aunt Mae and Uncle Sherman finally took it over for good and one of my favorite things was to spend a night there in the summertime. The second floor bedrooms had windows on two walls and a cross breeze would blow in and when we built our present home, I insisted on windows on two walls for our bedrooms. The sight of the filmy white curtains billowing in the cool breeze, the feeling of generational continuity that permeated the house, the apple orchard, trips to the outhouse, the homey and comforting scent of hay in the old barn all form a three dimensional picture that still serves to give me pleasure when I think of it now.

Of course, things tend to assume a rosier glow in retrospect than what I probably experienced at the time I was actually going through it. And trips down memory lane are more fun for the person experiencing them than they are for outsiders who are only reading about them. Even so, I had fun doing this. Thanks, Carol for the few minutes of pleasure this gave me.

Remove the blog at No.1 from the following list and bump every one up one place; add your blog’s name in the No.5 spot. I've linked to their posts on childhood, with the URLs for you as well:

1. Black Currant Jam
2. Allthings2all
3. Tales of a Farmwife
4. Carol's Storybook
5. Reformed Musings
And pick four people. Thanks!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Book Finds

Today I had to drive Ben into town to take his provincial science exam. During the two hours he was writing the exam, I went and bought myself a few crochet hooks. Then James decided a snack was in order so out to the car I went to feed him and change his enormously poopy diaper. I don't know where he puts it all, but it poured forth like yellow lava from the diaper and through his sleeper.

When I finished cleaning up the mess I still had over an hour to kill before needing to get Ben. So I drove to a thrift store I don't usually patronize and proceeded to splurge $3.50 on books. I came home with:

The Complete Father Brown Treasury by G. K. Chesterton
The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas (which weighs about 5 lbs.!)
A boxed set of the last three "Anne" books by Lucy Maud Montgomery (so my girls can have their own copies)
A complete Glycemic Index in paperback
The American Way of Birth by Jessica Mitford

Don't ask me where I am going to put these treasures as my shelves are already overflowing!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Changes on the Comment Front

I got rid of the comment server that I was using. That means all the comments from before are missing off my blog, but that's ok. I have a record of them in my email.

I don't know how to put up a thing that says "comments" at the end of a post, but if you do want to say something, please click on the time stamp at the end of the post and you can post your comments on blogger's comment thingy.

And yeah, Jerry, you were right. That is a Nine Inch Nails song that Johnny Cash was singing. Here's some commentary that came with the link that I received:

Johnny Cash video rattles viewers
By Steve Beard

One of the surprising hits on Johnny Cash's lastest album When The Man Comes Around is his rendition of "Hurt" written by the dark and brooding Trent Reznor of the hard rock band Nine Inch Nails. I hurt myself today/ To see if I still feel/ I focus on the pain/ The only thing that's real, Cash sings. The needle tears a hole/ The old familiar sting/ Try to kill it all away/ But I remember everything--a poignant reminder of his dark years in the 1960s.

"I think 'Hurt' is the best anti-drug song I ever heard," said Cash. "It's a song about a man's pain and what we're capable of doing to ourselves and the possibility that we don't have to do that anymore. I could relate to that from the very beginning."

He told USA Today, "I would have written something like that in the '60s, if I had been that good."

When the video for the song was released it became a fascinating cross-over hit, being played on MTV, VH-1, and CMT. Director Mark Romanek spliced together one of the most vivid and moving visual portraits of Cash's illustrative career. Footage was gleaned from his early years, prison concerts, walking through the Holy Land, and hopping a boxcar. Cash is shown sitting behind a piano as well as strumming his guitar in his all-so-familiar black apparel. Interspersed throughout the video is the backdrop of the famous House of Cash museum in Tennessee--sitting in disrepair, closed to the public since 1995. The museum serves as a metaphor for Cash's physical condition-which is weak and in pain.

Johnny is seated behind a grand table spread with a generous feast of meat and fish. With trembling hand, he pours a glass of red wine over the food as he sings, You could have it all/ My empire of dirt/ I will let you down/ I will make you hurt.

The face of Jesus appears; first, in a portrait and later in footage taken from Gospel Road, a movie on the life of Christ that Cash produced with his own finances in the 1970s. The graphic crucifixion scene is interspliced with concert footage and cheering prison crowds in order to poignantly emphasize that all of humanity carries the responsibility of Christ's death. Never before in the history of music videos has there been such a rattling reminder of youth, aging, and the sometimes agonizing trek through the twilight years.

"Mortality is a very unusual topic for this medium," Romanek told Rolling Stone. "But I ascribe most of the power to the Johnny Cash-ness of it all."

Trent Reznor was in the studio with Zach de la Rocha, the former lead singer of Rage Against the Machine, when he received the video. "By the end I was really on the verge of tears," said Reznor. "At the end of it, there was just dead silence. There was, like, this moist clearing of our throats and then, 'Uh, OK, let's get some coffee.'"

Cash's producer Rick Rubin cried when he saw it for the first time. "I spoke to (U2 singer) Bono and he compared what Johnny is doing now to what Elvis Presley did in the 1950s," Rubin told the Associated Press. "Then, Elvis represented a new youth culture and it shocked and terrified everyone because culture wasn't about youth before him. Now we live in a youth culture and Johnny Cash is showing the experience of a much older generation. It's just as radical."

Life, death, drugs, Jesus, pain, joy, disappointment, and success were all wrapped together in that video-the essential elements of Johnny Cash's career and life's work. "Life isn't just for living, it's for singing about," he wrote in the liner notes for his 1977 album The Rambler. "Loneliness is real, the pain of loss is real, the fulfillment of love is real, the thrill of adventure is real, and to put it in the song lyrics and sing about it-after all, isn't that what a country singer/writer is supposed to do, write and sing of reality?"

My daughter, Trista, mother to my grandbabies Posted by Hello

Friday, June 24, 2005

A Touching and Poignant Piece of Music

This song by Johnny Cash brings a lump to my throat.
Counting, 1... 2... 3...

When a computer problem hit the server which hosted my blog counter which recorded the number of hits I get each day, I took the opportunity to ditch the counter. You will also notice that only a very few of my comments have numbers attached to them as well. I have no idea why that is. In the beginning when the comment thingy was set up, it faithfully counted the number of comments people left in the comments section of each post. Now it does it intermittently and not very accurately. Again, I have no idea why, not being an html savvy person. People who don't bother to ever comment may not realize that there can be a number of comments on a given post, which is not reflected by a number in front of "comment" attached to that post.

I've decided not to try fixing the problem. This is not laziness. This is because I discovered that I had a problem with "numbers envy." I would read the blogs of some people and see the amount of hits they were getting and the large volume of comments left on their posts and think, "how come this person gets so many hits and comments compared to me?" And I would sulk.

As Judy Rogers reminds us in the song, Isabelle is a Pig, "a pretty little girl who likes to pout, looks like Izzy with a ring in her snout. All the buttons and bows and (something) and lace, don't look pretty with a grumpy face." Or words to that effect. I assume that if little girls who pout look ugly, then sulking middle-aged women look worse. The way I look is of less consideration in this though than the fact that it reveals a small but ugly sin that needs rooting out.

I never have liked math and numbers. And now I have one more reason for it.
Transmogrified by Babies and Hormones

I have a solution for women who are feeling tempted to get away from home, domestic duties, and childrearing to "find themselves" in a career: have a baby and nurse it as long as possible.

Ever since I got married nearly 25 years ago, the home has been the theater of operations for my life. Domestic engineering is just what I do in addition to teaching and raising children. Once the youngest child weans, however, my thoughts begin to turn outward from the daily tasks to the wider world beyond my door. I have never had a strong pull to leave the home, being convinced that children were meant to be raised by their own mothers, but there has been a yen for the mental stimulation of things beyond potty training, the multiplication table, and teaching the alphabet. For the most part this yen was fulfilled by reading books and studying, and in later years, by interaction with others on the internet and helping my husband build a home-based business as well as running a private alternative healthcare clinic from my home office.

In recent years, I have been paying a lot more attention to what is happening to myself on a daily/monthly/yearly basis. This is not narcissim, though it may look like that to others. Rather it is observation -- in order to understand others, I should learn to understand and take note of myself and in doing so, can identify with other women and what they are experiencing.

Here is what I am observing about myself after having a baby: it has stimulated my domestic instincts to no end. All of a sudden I am going to the library and taking out cookbooks so I can try new recipes and plan meals. I nearly always cook from scratch as it is, but scratch cooking takes on a more creative flair when I am postpartum and nursing. I am also impatient about getting my sewing machine, which has sat idle for a number of years, back from the repair shop so I can sew some decent and girlish dresses for myself and my girls. Crochet hooks, patterns, and yarn have also developed a new allure as well as embroidery projects. Cleaning my house and organizing it is transformed into an interesting challenge. I'M WEARING DENIM JUMPERS!

Regarding the last, a non-nursing me would be horrified at the thought of wearing a denim jumper and looking the part of a Prairie Muffin, but a nursing me doesn't give a hoot. It is practical, hides the postpartum bulges, and with the aide of a receiving blanket, allows me to wear a dress that is more flattering than a skirt and top would be right now and still be able to feed a baby without providing a spectacle for perverts.

I think it is the oxytocin doing all this. Studies have found, in couples who are newly in love and still spoony about each other, that they produce oxytocin in their bodies. Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for boosting those lovely feelings and the desire to bond with the object of your affections. Oxytocin is also the hormone that causes the uterus to contract, as well as milk ducts, which allows the milk to flow to the nursing baby. Every time a mother puts her baby to breast and nurses him or her, she gets a lovely hormonal boost to love that child even more intensely. Mothers who have natural births un-augmented by synthetic oxytocin get not only a healthy dose of the bonding hormone, but they also benefit from all the pain-relieving endorphins that are produced in the brain, but which are not produced by the synthetic forms which can't cross the blood/brain barrier. This helps to explain the tigerish instincts of nursing mothers when it comes to protecting their babies not only from physical danger but even from the mere suggestion that their child is less than it should be.

Another side effect of these hormones is the increased sensitivity to others' sufferings. I can so easily grow hardened to the losses and tragedies of others when no longer tending a baby, largely out of self defense. But let me have a baby and the regular shots of oxytocin and other nursing hormones crumbles those defenses and changes this mama into an empathetic human who can cry over the obituaries of complete strangers. Birth, the beginning of life, has a strange way of reminding me of mortality and the end of life. I guess this is because babies can be so fragile and it is so easy to imagine the zillion ways in which their little lives can be cut off.

The transition from the strange, close, watery world of the womb to that of life outside it is a startling and drastic change through which all of us reading this have passed. The end of life is just as dramatic and more mysterious because none of us have gone there yet, though we likely know others who have. The change we went through as well as the anticipated change from life to death is one which points to how very dependent we are upon God for getting us through it. For me, at least, this dependence is both frightening, because of my lack of faith, and reassuring, because of the measure of faith I do have.

Natural birth (where intervention is NOT needed or planned for) and lactation are probably two of the biggest and best tools that God has given women for helping them be content in their covenantal and dominion-oriented tasks of raising a holy seed for God. It's really a shame when so many Christian women don't take advantage of them.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The US Center for Disease Control Covers up Vaccine Related Damage Study

If you don't find this alarming, you should. Since 2000 the CDC knew that thimoserol, a mercury based preservative used in vaccines was likely responsible for a dramatic increase in the number of children with neurological difficulties like autism, ADD/ADHD and speech delays. But instead of acting to protect children, they covered up the evidence and worked to protect the vaccine industry.

The federal officials and industry representatives had assembled to discuss
a disturbing new study that raised alarming questions about the safety of a host
of common childhood vaccines administered to infants and young children.
According to a CDC epidemiologist named Tom Verstraeten, who had analyzed the
agency's massive database containing the medical records of 100,000 children, a
mercury-based preservative in the vaccines -- thimerosal -- appeared to be
responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and a host of other neurological
disorders among children. "I was actually stunned by what I saw," Verstraeten
told those assembled at Simpsonwood, citing the staggering number of earlier
studies that indicate a link between thimerosal and speech delays,
attention-deficit disorder, hyperactivity and autism. Since 1991, when the CDC
and the FDA had recommended that three additional vaccines laced with the
preservative be given to extremely young infants -- in one case, within hours of
birth -- the estimated number of cases of autism had increased fifteenfold, from
one in every 2,500 children to one in 166 children.

...Even for scientists and doctors accustomed to confronting issues of life and death, the findings were frightening. "You can play with this all you want," Dr. Bill Weil, a consultant for the American Academy of Pediatrics, told the group. The results "are statistically significant." Dr. Richard Johnston, an immunologist and pediatrician from the University of Colorado whose grandson had been born early on the morning of the meeting's first day, was even more alarmed. "My gut feeling?" he said. "Forgive this personal comment -- I do not want my grandson to get a thimerosal-containing vaccine until we know better what is going on."

But instead of taking immediate steps to alert the public and rid the vaccine supply of thimerosal, the officials and executives at Simpsonwood spent most of the next two days discussing how to cover up the damaging data. According to transcripts obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, many at the meeting were concerned about how the damaging revelations about thimerosal would affect the vaccine industry's bottom line.

These are your watchdogs, folks. They are supposed to be protecting the general public, not industry. Still planning on vaccinating your children? Think twice.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Why Saying "I'm sorry" isn't Enough

It is humbling having to ask your children for their forgiveness. Tonight I reacted too quickly as I am so prone to do and was inappropriate in a reaction to a childish mistake. The look of stunned hurt on the face of my son cut me to the heart, and when he returned to the kitchen after an interval in his bedroom nursing his wounded spirit, I pulled him aside and told him I was sorry for sinning against him and against God in my actions and asked his forgiveness.

Admission of wrong doing is an activity that none of us are enamoured with. The amount of time we spend justifying our wrong behavior and attitudes is reflective of the amount of pride that exists in our hearts. We just hate being wrong and having others see it, so we seek to convince them and ourselves that we had perfectly good reasons for the actions we took or the words we said. If we are pinned to the mat, very often our response is a wrung out "sorry" that conveys more of the idea of "sorry I was caught" rather than the idea of "sorry I sinned against you."

I'm no different than anyone else in this respect. I hate being wrong, and I hate admitting it. I was having a discussion with someone the other evening on this very subject. He brought up something which is an encouragement to me as far as persevering in the severe art of humbling myself. He asked me how I felt towards someone who had sinned against me and had sincerely repented and asked for my forgiveness. Did it harden my heart against them or soften it? Well in nearly all cases, it softened my heart towards them and did a lot to rid myself of bitterness. Furthermore, it cleared the way for establishing renewed fellowship.

If this is true for people outside our family, then the importance of seeking forgiveness of one's children is infinitely more important because of the close connection that should exist. Parents who admit their faults, who seek forgiveness and who make restitution for sins they committed are not likely to be objects of anger, hatred, and bitterness by their grown children.

There are very few things that are as distressing as having a child against you unless it is the guilty knowledge that it is deserved. How much better it is to circumvent that whole process while there is yet time and learn to both ask and extend forgiveness as well as set a wholesome example of Christian humility. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

You Learn Something New Every Day Department

A year or so ago I bought a bottle of Neem oil and promptly forgot why I bought it and what it was good for. Well now I know. Neem oil is a natural bug repellant that is completely non-toxic to mammals but which bugs hate with a passion. Voracious Japanese beetles would rather starve to death than eat soybean plants treated with the stuff. So if you are looking for a non-toxic alternative for Deet laden bug repellants that are harmful to you and your children, try your health food store and get yourself some Neem oil.

My Adorable Grandchildren... And of course the cuteness comes from our side of the family! Posted by Hello
Post Tsunami Corruption in Sri Lanka

How's this for compassion and mercy? Sri Lankan officials are making Oxfam, an aide agency, pay a 300% import tax amounting to one million dollars on vehicles that have been imported to transport reconstruction supplies to devastated areas that can't be reached with less hardy vehicles.

This is to prevent "market distortions" in a country that doesn't produce even ONE type of automobile or truck.

How much you wanna bet all that money is greasing gov't representatives hands instead of being used to rebuild the country?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

A Sermon for Cacophonytide
(Reprinted from the Schisminter Perish Magazine)

My Little Perishers:

Cacophony is the seedtime of the Polar Year. Not, of course, the dilatory seedtime of conquered and discredited Nature! But as from the refrigerator we cull fresh peas in December and ice cream in July, so we may plant the seeds of enmity all the year round, but especially in the Cacophonytide. Scarecly is Wishmas * over, with all its factitious heartiness and family friction, before bills and income-tax demands come in. Tempers are frayed, the weather is uniformly detestable; spiritually and physically, the mud is ready -- that rich unwholesome mud in which the Polar seeds can germinate. Plant those seeds now. Do not be discouraged if your opportunities appear limited. The smallest dispute, the most trifling misconception may, if sown with envy, watered with complaints, sprayed with clouds of verbiage, and artificially heated with unrighteous indignation, grow into a lofty and isolated Pole, up which you may climb to look down upon your neighbors.

Last week Stepfather Munchgrief gave you valuable guidance on the propagation of domestic strife; today I will say a few words on the subject of Polar apologetics.

Remember, when cultivating your coldbed of Polemic, never define, never expound, never discuss; only assert and assume. Where there is dogma, there is always a possible basis for agreement; where there is explanation, there is always the peril of mutual understanding; where there is argument, there may be victory and the dreadful prospect of peace. Again, it is often unwise, and always unnecesasry, to invite examination into the merits of your case; far better to rely on a devout invocation of the sacred authorities. "Science tells us -- "; "Progress demands --"; "Modern thought goes to show --." Phrases such as these, uttered with a condescending smile, are far less answerable and provoke infinitely greater irritation.

Be especially careful, when baiting Neo-Scholastics and other superstitious theologians, never to have studied their doctrines -- it will only cramp your style and offer them a handle for controversy. You need only pick up at thirdhand enough of their technical jargon to use it inaccurately and so make rational debate impossible. Follow the example of the Blessed St. Hydra, and when your adversary has hewn away (as he thinks) one misconception, let two sprout in its place; that will tire out his patience. Strive earnestly to confuse every issue; there are no injuries so estranging as those that are dealt in the dark by men who do not know what the quarrel is about.

One final warning: do not fall into the error of intellectual intolerance. reserve your resentment for people, not for ideas. Polarity thrives upon the diffusion of irresponsible opinions, which -- if allowed to flourish unchecked-- may easily grow into ideological tyrannies and nourish feuds of global dimensions. Any effort to oppose a new idea on the specious pretext that it is nasty, false, dangerous, or wrong should be promptly stigmatized as heresy-hunting, medieval obscurantism, or suburban prejudice. If the idea is, in fact, silly or untrue, all the better; you will then be able to sneer impartially at both those who hold and those who condemn it, and thus to enhance that sense of your own superiority that is the sole aim and reward of all Polar activity.

Let us continue, then, on the up and up -- from rod to perch, from perch to pole -- till at last, by modern scientific use of our own bootstraps, we shall rise to our supreme height of lordly stature, no longer dependent upon any man, or even on the gods of our own invention, but every one of us in his or her own exclusive right exalted over every other.

*Wishmas. This festival, which has almost everywhere superseded the [equally -- CG] superstitious commemoration of Christmas, is celebrated by domestic aglomerations and by the exchange of cards, bearing wishes for the recipients' material prosperity, and frequently adorned with ice, snow, holly, and other Polar symbols.

Author: Dorothy Sayers

Cheryl adds -- the only thing she left out of Polar apologetic techniques is that when all else fails and it looks like your opponent has the stronger argument, resort to complaints about its tone and condemn it on the grounds that it hurts your feelings.

Oh the Cleverness of Her

For an Evening Service
This hymn is suitable for
the Vigil of the Enlightenment
The day that Nature gave is ending,
the hand of Man turns on the light;
We praise thee, Progress, for defending
Our nerves against the dreadful night.
As o'er each continent and island
The switches spread synthetic day
The noise of mirth is never silent,
Nor dies the strain of toil away.
We thank thee that thy speed incessant
Provides upon this whirling ball
No time to brood on things unpleasant --
No time, in fact, to think at all.
Secure amid the soothing riot
Of crank and sound track, plane and car,
We shall not be condemned to quiet,
Nor left alone with what we are.
By lavish and progressive measures
Our neighbor's wants are all relieved;
We are not called to share his pleasures
And in his grief we are not grieved.
They winged wheels o'erspan the oceans,
Machining out the Standard Man.
Our food, our learning, our emotions
Are processed for us in the can.
All bars of color, caste and nation
Must yield to movies and the mike;
We need not seek communication,
For thou dost make us all alike.
So be it! let not sleep nor slackness
Impede thy Progress, Light sublime;
Nor ever let us glimpse the blackness
That yawns behind the gates of Time.
(Tune: St. Clement)
By Dorothy Sayers

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Isn't he precious? Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

So This is Better than Back Alley Abortions?

A fetus eating abortionist is finally shut down in Kansas City, Kansas. If you are squeamish, don't click on the links to the pictures.

This is like something out of a nightmare.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Silly Survey

A is for Age – 44 – I never could understand the need to be coy about my age.
B is for Booze – Wine coolers like Rockaberry – I’m a cheap drunk.
C is for Career – Wife/mother/homeschooler first, kinesionics practitioner, second
D is for Dad’s name – James Robert Hannah
E is for Essential items to bring to a party– Food, glorious food.
F is for Favorite song – Psalm 63
H is for Hometown –Attleboro, Massachusetts–they say you can never go back, so I haven’t.
I is for Instrument you play - a bit of piano and very ill indeed
J is for Jam or Jelly you like – Raspberry jam or my mom’s strawberry freezer jam
K is for Kids – six boys and six girls
L is for Living arrangement – huh? Single family dwelling?
M is for Mom’s name – Constance Ann Savoy
N is for Names of best friends – Willena, Theresa, hmmm, Patricia (from my childhood) and Lynn (from my teen years)
O is for overnight hospital stays –only for having babies and what a stupid idea that was!
P is for Phobias – Terrified of my kids falling from high places
Q is for Quote you like - “ "History has never been dominated by majorities, but only by dedicated minorities who stand unconditionally on their faith." R.J. Rushdoony
R is for Relationship that lasted longest – My parents? I’ve known them the longest and it is still going strong.
S for Siblings – One sister -- Darlene
U is for Unique trait – I am a unique individual – just like everyone else :oP
V is for Vegetable you love – Edible pod peas – the fatter and juicier, the better. I also love steamed golden zucchini with butter and a sprinkle of Spike
W is for Wisdom you have been given – Find your happiness in Christ alone.
X - is for XRays you’ve had – Teeth, nose,ankle
Y is for Yummy food you make – everything I make is yummy.
Z is for Zoo Animal You Enjoy Watching - Chimpanzees

First job – Waitressed at Forestell’s Truck Stop
First funeral – My maternal grandfather’s when I was in grade 2
First piercing – Ears only and twice. I think I was about 13 or 14 the first time, and 43 the second time.
First tattoo – do the kind that come in bubblegum count?
First credit card – Visa – still haven’t used it.
First kiss – Mom? Dad?
First enemy – The kid who pulled out a chunk of Darlene’s hair. I could have cheefully have done bodily damage to that kid.
First favorite band – The Bee Gees


Last kiss – I can’t stop kissing the newest man in my life!
Last beverage drank – water – gallons of it. Takes a lot to feed this boy!
Last food eaten – some nachos to tide me over until supper is ready
Last phone call – My neighbor wanting to come for a visit and see James.
Last shower you attended – Baby shower for Geneva Carrico
Last CD played – Switchfoot? Great Big Sea? Telecast? I can’t remember but it was one of those three
Last website visited – Jody Soles’ blog – the place I got this survey, hahah.

What/Who do you miss? My mom and dad and my sister and her family. I think they should move out here.
Hair color: dark brown with Egyptian plum overtones.
Eye color: brown
What makes you sad?: too many things to mention.
Are you happy?: Top of the world now that baby is here. :o)
I'm Not a Poetess...

...but if I were, I would write a poem about

little curly ears
cheeks as sweet as a ripe peach
breath as soft as a whisper
delectable scent of newborn babe
cries that pierce the heart with wonder
taste of milky kisses
no treasure that can compare

Baby Toes are Sweet Posted by Hello

Monday, June 13, 2005

I've Been Tagged!

Thanks to the wonders of wireless networks and laptop computers, I am able to continue a life of ease from my bedroom while James and I engage in a baby lovefest. (Isn't it amazing the way you can spend hours just gazing at a newborn and doing nothing else?)

Q. Most books I have ever owned:

Goodness! It would have to be in the thousands. I have stacks of boxes and rubbermaid containers in the attic that contain my treasures, not to mention the bookcases that line one wall and which are filled with books I have collected over the years for homeschooling purposes. I do go through them on a fairly regular basis (like every couple of years) and cull out the ones that are no longer necessary, but the collection still grows. Books are a resource and an investment in my view. I also own a good thousand books of Puritan and Reformed classics on CD which I got from Still Waters Revival Books . It is a much more compact way of collecting books and requires less storage space, but you do need a computer to read them unless you print them out.

Some of the books represent stages of study I have been through. I have several boxes of books that represent my "doula and possible midwife stage" when I was actively doing labor support for women and learning to be a midwife's second. I even contemplated taking up midwifery as a career for a brief time and own a number of midwifery textbooks, books on breastfeeding, doula work, postpartum, etc. However, it is a very taxing calling when you are raising a family, and after seeing the number of marriage casualties and bitter children that resulted from midwives who didn't know when to balance their calling as wives and mothers with that of midwifery, I decided that I didn't want that much stress in my life.

Probably my biggest collection right now centers on natural healing methods because of the area of work I finally dedicated myself to.

Q. The last book I bought:

Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You To Know About by Kevin Trudeau. This book lays out how the big money interests in modern western medicine in collusion with the US federal government and the scientists they fund help to keep natural, non-toxic alternative forms of treatment out of the hands of consumers by making them illegal, or by discrediting them through poorly designed studies and news releases. Think about it -- do doctors and pharmaceutical companies make money when you are well? Cancer and AIDS support huge numbers of people in what has become an industry in its own right.

Q. The last book I read:

A Presumption of Death by Jill Paton Walsh and Dorothy Sayers

Q. Five books that mean the most to me:

I guess another way of answering this is to say which five books would I want with me on a desert island? With one notable exception, I would say this is the most difficult question to answer. So many books have been of great help to me. Some have opened up my mind to new concepts that helped me and others. So many entertained me and gave me needed rest in times of stress. So many provided answers to things I needed to know.

The Bible -- In dire straits or good straits, you always need encouragement, strength, wisdom and connection to the source of your life.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery -- this is the quintessential book for me that exemplifies everything that was ever wonderful about Canada and the innocence of girlhood. I read this book many times over the years when I was feeling jaded about life and it never failed to restore me.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis -- He may not have been reformed, but he was one of the best communicators of Christian thought that has ever written, imho.

The Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink -- what a Sunday School teacher started in my conversion from Arminianism to the more Biblical Calvinism, Pink completed. This book turned my whole view of Scripture and God on its head and made reading the Bible a whole new adventure. Knowledge of the doctrine of God's absolute sovereignty also forms the foundation of my life, my peace, my salvation, and my sanctification.

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible -- ok, there are 6 volumes but this is what I use on a daily basis for my private and family worship. Lots of profound thoughts and life-changing comments from a godly man.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Birth Story

This is the closest to my due date I have ever come -- just one day past. I attribute this to the fact that for the past year or two I have been working on and resolving a lot of issues that likely caused "emotional dystocia" in the past. This time I had no issues to deal with (which felt very peculiar and unfamiliar, but also very freeing) and I was even free of the usual stress about waiting and nesting in that I typically experience. It was like I couldn't get motivated to clean or cook to prepare for this baby. The difference this time was that I forced myself to do some cooking a week before with the help of my good friend, Milly, and only a day or two before James was born, I had a sudden compulsion to stock the fridge and freezer instead of doing this six weeks ahead of time and fretting the whole time I was doing it.

Thursday (my due date) was spent doing a huge grocery shopping and I filled the freezer and three fridges with food. I told my dh, "I am cooking andcan't seem to stop!"

Friday I woke up and had a slight pinkish tinge to my flow which made me go"hmmmm." I also noticed a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions but nothing serious. Later that afternoon I had a midwifery appointment and had the mw do a VE to check how things were. There was nothing to indicate anything was imminent and I resigned myself to at least another week or so of pregnancy.

I took my daughter Bethany to the mall to buy some earrings and we enjoyed a mother/daughter time having lunch and an ice cream before I headed home. When I got home, I was tired, was feeling cranky, and wanted my house clean. I got the older kids to work on cleaning things up, finishing up laundry, etc. We had supper and then afterwards I sat down to watch a video with the kids while I disentangled some yarn in a laundry basket that the kids had thoroughly mixed together.

All of a sudden the quality and intensity of the Braxton Hicks contractions changed. I went "hmmm" again and decided that maybe I should give my mw a head's up. So I called her and told her that I felt like my body might be kicking over into the real thing. Dawn arrived about 45 minutes later to have some tea and check up on me. She watched me for a while, did a check, and while things looked like they might be moving along there was nothing definitive to go on so I told her to go ahead and go home, that I would be fine and would call her if anything definite was happening. My last pregnancy I walked around for two weeks at 7 cm dilation, so we had no way of gauging how long this one was going to take. After all, how serious can things be if you can talk and laugh your head off through a contraction? And we did a lot of that.

She didn't get far. Soon after she left I went into high gear, called her back, and 20 minutes later had a baby. My intentions were to catch this one myself again, but when it came right down to it, I just let Dawn do the catch because I was too busy standing up and holding on to her shoulders. Baby came out in one whoosh that I had no intention of stopping and I really only had about 3 contractions that were serious. I remember saying to Dawn,'Okay, I've had enough of this!" and she replied, "You know what that means, right?" Mhmmm. Transition. I went and sat on the toilet and my water broke and baby was there a few minutes later. Marc later commented on what a stoic trooperI was through the labor, but truthfully, it wasn't that uncomfortable until the last 3 contractions.

Anyhow, that's about the long and short of it. Glad to have it over with, have fallen in love at first sight all over again, and I'm wishing they would stay little and sweet like this for a lot longer than they do.

The natural high that occurs when you have a baby is better than anything else I have ever experienced. I think I am addicted.

Elodie and the Evil Cat Baby Posted by Hello

Happy Boy Posted by Hello

Sweet Baby James Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Announcing.... Posted by Hello
James Robert
Weight: 8 lbs. 3 oz.
Length: 20 5/8 inches

We give thanks to the Lord for His covenant mercies and the safe deliverance of our 6th son and 12th child. In the words of big brother Garnet, "He's a winner!"

See if you can spot the real baby! Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005

It is Not Good for Man to Be Alone....

....according to studies that have come out. Isn't it interesting how an ancient text is so reflective of reality. Interesting too, that marriage is of far more benefit to men healthwise when compared to women. Statistically, men are healthier, happier, live better, have less problems, and recover better when they are married. When you look at the numbers for women, the results are nearly the same for them regardless of marital status. Marriage doesn't appear to have as profound an effect on the health/happiness of women as it does on men.

Since we know the "what", I would really like someone to sit down and write an insightful article on the "why."
The Black Hole of Blog Spam

I have one particular post that has attracted a lot of attention from those who like to encourage people to indulge in recreational activities involving the use of round balls and guessing if a particular numeral will show up plus other means of separating you from your hard earned cash. (I'm trying to avoid using words that will trigger another bout of spam attached to this post, so read between the lines.) At first I found this extremely annoying because I don't know how to get rid of the blog comment thing that was originally set up by a friend for me and to substitute the one that blogger now offers. I still don't know how to do that, so I thought I was afflicted forever with being spammed on my blog comments. But now I see that all the spam seems to be attaching itself to this one particular post and since it is now in the archives where people are unlikely to go, I think the problem solved itself.

At the same time, any techno-geeks who love to help people straighten out their blog comments section are welcome to apply for the job. ;o)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

What I Have Been Asked Today while Grocery Shopping:

1. When are you due (asked about 20 times). Answer: Today. (Typical reaction is to gasp and laugh.)

2. Are you having a boy or a girl? Answer: Yes.

3. So when are you going to stop? Answer: When I get an ugly one.

Tomorrow I see the midwife. I had a few hopeful pains this afternoon, but they petered out so I am not expecting anything great to happen tonight. Plus hubby is still away out of town. Castor oil is sitting on my dresser but I don't think I'll use it until maybe this time next week if nothing has happened by then.
Doggone Again

Well another dog is gone, but this time it was with assitance. Cyrus, the puppy we obtained last winter made a last and final trip to the vet, thanks to a kind aquaintance yesterday who offered to transport him and take him in.

Cyrus, though only 8 months old, was huge and promised to get huger. He was also a fairly submissive dog. However, the other day when my five year old Babesy Boy was outside playing, he fell to the ground and Cyrus bit his arm and drew blood. We don't know if he was just playing or if it triggered his predation instinct, but in any case, I am not taking chances. I have zero tolerance for biting dogs. Cyrus can now play with Cerebus in that Doggie Home in the Ground.

I think my rather utilitarian views of animals has influenced the children because none of them appear to be upset. Plus, they still have that goof of a dog, Bernie, our Chesapeake to occupy them and they were busy throwing a ball for him yesterday.

If it weren't for the bears and the need to protect the children, I wouldn't have a dog at all. I don't have the time it takes to train and look after them in the way they need. Cats are my animal of choice. You don't need to train them very much, they take a lot less care, but they aren't very good at scaring away black bears. So, while I have little people around, I'll endure a dog, as long as I can trust it not to turn on my babes.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Pregnancy Doldrums and Miscellaneous Thoughts

Now comes the hard part -- not giving birth, but waiting for labor to kick in.

The last of the supplies (diapers) was bought today, my bed has a vinyl tablecloth crackling under the fitted sheet to protect the mattress, my house is relatively clean, meals made ahead (with thanks to my friend Milly who ably assisted me the other day), homeschool work in folders waiting to be mailed off tomorrow, and nothing left to do. Even my kitchen cupboards are clean and the laundry is all caught up. I have probably jinxed myself into three more weeks of pregnancy by being prepared.

I would like to spend the next few days in a warm swimming pool to relieve the weight of gravity off my tired bones.

I would like to sleep as much and as long as possible and not wake up until I am in labor.

Paradoxically, I feel both ugly and ungainly because of my expanded girth, and at the same time incredibly beautiful because of the ripeness of rounded fertility. It is uncomfortable to lug around and usually arrives places several seconds ahead of the rest of me, but I shall miss my belly when it is gone.

Perhaps tomorrow would be a good time to start a crocheted baby blanket.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Logical End Point of Religious Toleration

St.Lukewarm of Laodicea, Martyr

"St. Lukewarm was a magistrate in the city of Laodicea under Claudius (Emp. A.D. 41-54). He was so broadminded as to offer asylum and patronage to every kind of religious cult, however unorthodox or repulsive, saying in answer to all remonstrances: 'There is always some truth in everything.' This liberality earned for him the surname of 'The Tolerator'. At length he fell into the hands of a sect of Anthropophagi (for whom he had erected a sacred kitchen and cooking stove with appropriate ceremonies. By miraculous intervention, however, the water continually went off the boil; and when he was finally served up, his flesh was found to be so tough and tasteless that the Chief Antrhopophagi spat out the unpalatable morsel, exclaiming, 'Tolerator non tolerandus!' (A garbled Christian version of this legend is preserved in Revelation 3:16.) St. Lukewarm is the patron saint of railway caterers and is usually depicted holding a cooking pot."

Dorothy Sayers

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Pregnancy Related Recipes

Since I am now in serious "nesting in" mode, I thought I would share a few recipes that I have on hand to help get the baby here and to help with recovery post partum. This is for all you newly pregnant or soon to be pregnant mamas to file away for the future.

Labor Stimulator Tea

-- Cinnamon -- 1 medium sized stick
-- 10 Cloves
-- Ginger Root -- 1 - 2 cm piece

After simmering add:

1 Tbsp. Verbena oil OR
Verbena Tea leaves OR
5 drops of Verbena essential oil

Let sit for 10 minutes.

Mixture can be diluted 50% with OJ or apricot juice.
Sip throughout the day.


1 quart (litre) of water
1/3 cup honey, more or less to suit your taste
1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed, or your favorite fruit or veggie juice
1/4 tsp. salt (with hot weather labors, increase this to 1/2 tsp.)
1 crushed calcium tablet to equal 500 mg or the equivalent in a liquid calcium supplement

Mix all of the above together. You can make it ahead of time and freeze as ice cubes or popsicles. This helps to keep you hydrated with a good electrolyte mixture and provides the energy that hard-working uterus needs to work efficiently.

Perineal Healing Pad Soak (Freeze before birth so they are ready for use.)

1/4 cup dried comfrey leaf
1/2 teaspoon golden seal powder
2 cups of water

Bring water to a boil and remove from heat and then add in the herbs. Let the herbs steep for 4 hours and then strain them off. Place the infusion into a spray bottle and lightly saturate each menstrual pad. Place each one in a zip-lock baggie and freeze. If you cup-shape them in the palm of your hand, or freeze them in a bowl that keeps them curved, they "fit" better when you go to use them. Over soaking the pad will cause you to freeze your tissues and they over-melt and become heavy and soggy. You can save the herbs, blend them up and apply them as a paste to the pad as well, but some people find the odor to be a bit much.

This mixture of herbs promotes healing and the prevention of infection in the perineal area for "skid marks", tears, and stitches.

Post Partum Healing Herbal Bath

If you have never tried this before -- do try it next time you have a baby. You won't be sorry!

Some of the ingredients in this bath make the water aseptic so you are less likely to get an infection. Some of the herbs used help to prevent or heal bladder infections, cause wounds to heal quickly and prevent and controll excessive bleeding. If you bring baby in the bath with you, it will also help to heal the cord faster. This bath will also aide in soothing away aches and pains from giving birth.

In a large non - aluminium pot, mix together the following:

1 oz. Uva Ursi leaves
1 - 2 oz. of Comfrey Leaf
1 - 1.5 oz. Shepherd's Purse
2 liters (quarts) of purified or distilled, non-chlorinated water.

Bring water to a gentle boil and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes. Cover and let it stand for 3 or 4 hours and simmer a second time for about 10 minutes to get the full benefit of the herbs.

In a small blender, whiz up the following:

2 large bulbs of fresh, raw garlic with a bit of water

Add to the herbs. Now add 1/2 cup of sea salt.

Cover in a sealable plastic container and refrigerate. You can strain off the herb mush if you like and tie it up in a knee-high panty hose sock and put it in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Add the sock to the water or tie it to the spout and let the water run over it when your bath is being prepared.

To use: Have someone clean the tub with a 10 % bleach solution then rinse well. Fill the tub with comfortably warm water to hip level, adding the prepared "tea" and herb sock. Get in and enjoy with baby for about 30 minutes, adding warm water as needed.