Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Quote of the Week

"You wanted to know. Don't turn over rocks if you don't want to see the pale creatures who live under them."
White Oleander, Janet Fitch

Books & A Challenge

A family member asked me for book suggestions and I thought it would be fun to post my reccomendations. Let me know what you have read below and enjoyed (or disliked) and what books you love.

Books That Are Awesome (in no particular order)
Love in the Time Of Cholera
Fear of Flying
The Other Boleyn Girl
The Road
The Time Traveller's Wife
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Red Tent
Bel Canto
Life of Pi
Gone With The Wind
The Eyre Affair
A Farewell To Arms

Books You Likely Have Not Heard of But They Are Great
The Book of Lost Things
The Shadow of The Wind

Short Stories I Like
The Yellow Wallpaper (Gilman)
The Long Walk and The Mist (S. King)
Teddy, Franny, and a Perfect Day For Bannana Fish (J.D. Salinger)
Summer Challenge:
I challenge any of you (in Calgary) to read ALL of the following books that relate to women's issues this summer and then come together to discuss. If you are going to attempt this challenge please let me know so I can re-read them as well.
The Yellow Wallpaper
Fear of Flying
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter
The Red Tent

Happy Reading

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Finding Your Voice

When my 3rd daughter was around 1 year old she would chit-chat non-stop. The fact she knew no words meant nothing to her because she had a lot to say. I was jokingly complaining to my mother-in-law about the constant chatter when she said “She’s finding her voice”. I loved the way she said that! Finding your voice not only implies the sound your body can make but the capacity to let your thoughts and feelings be known, to express yourself fully.

Most adults reading this have found their physical voice. You can make noises verbalize thoughts but have you truly found your ‘voice’? In order to find your voice I think you first need to realize who you are and who you want to be. Let that marinate for a minute. If you are a Christian that also involves thinking of whom God created you to be.

Let me give you an example: one person may decide to attend every function they are invited to in order to show the person that invites them that they are valued. Another person may decide it is ok to say no to functions in order to have a balance of quiet nights also. Neither method is right or wrong, but the point here is the intentional thought process of making your decisions. Figuring out who you are involves looking at your priorities and making decisions accordingly rather than just making the decision that will make others around you happy or making decisions according to what is easiest at the moment.

Once you figure out your path ‘finding your voice’ begins to include vocalizing who you are. You will decide how you will treat others verbally, how you will communicate your decisions and how you will verbalize your thoughts.

Sure you might be talking today but have you found your voice? Are you speaking intentionally? Do you know why you make the decisions you do and do you have the courage to voice your true self?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

TV show of the Week

TV show of the Week

Battlestar Galactic (the re-imagined version)
Frack - It's good!
I don't think any other tv show has felt as much like a movie as this one
Special thanks to Patrick who loaned us his disks. We've been enjoying them for weeks.

SEARS sucks

Last year Chris & I bought a new washing machine from Sears. Within less than a month the computer that runs it completely crashed and they gave us the option of taking a floor model to replace it. So we did. I've never loved the machine, it had a few minor hitches but I had run out of options and figured it would last me at least a few years.

Today, it fell apart - litterally. The giant rubber piece you see when you open the inside broke right off along with some metal rings. Also, my laundry twisted all around it and I'm not certain yet if any of it was ruined.

The machine is ONE MONTH AND 13 DAYS past it's warranty. We bought a SEARS appliance because we figured it would be a quality appliance and if we ever needed to have it fixed the service people would probably be great. Never again. The lady on the customer service line just told me it was "bad luck" that it broke because this never happens. Interesting eh? The part supposedly should have lasted 8 years and for us it lasted one year, one month and 13 days. I don't think I can trust Kenmore appliances any more.

This is just a rant and a note of warning. Avoid SEARS appliances or you might have "bad luck" also.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Let's Talk Turkey . . .

Soup & Sandwich Contest – Sandwich Qualifications

Let’s talk turkey or steak or whatever meat you are planning to include. We should have some general consistency as to what we agree a sandwich is.

Wikipedia Definition
A sandwich is a food item made of two or more slices of leavened bread with one or more layers of filling: typically meat, or cheese with the addition of vegetables or salad. The bread can be used as is, or it can be coated with butter, oil, mustard or other condiments to enhance flavor and texture. In North American usage, sandwich may also refer to what is more commonly referred to in the rest of the world as a hamburger.

Missy’s Definition:
A sandwich includes
Bread – or a bread like item. For instance, it can be a bun, pita, etc. as long as it is starchy and can be held in your hands
Meat – Sorry but seafood and pork has been eliminated. Also, hamburgers are not included in my definition. You can however use grilled meats, pot-roasted meats etc.. You can even go as far as serving sloppy joes because I think they would fit in the category.
Cheese – I think cheese is going to be essential if you want to go for the win. If however you think the best sandwich does not have it well, that can be your choice.
Condiments – This is where you can have tons of fun. Go for it. This section is really up to you.


  • You must make your own sandwich. No fair going to Earl’s for take out.
  • You must make enough for the judges to sufficiently try the sandwich and for all the spouses of contestants and judges to have a taste.
  • You can prepare things ahead of time. For instance if you want to make it a chicken salad sandwich it would be silly to make it all at my house but your spouse must verify that you in fact personally made it (with no help from your spouse).
  • Soups are completely free-style except of course for the meat restrictions.

    You better start practicing! See you at the contest!
    Also, let me know if you have any food allergies we must be sensitive to.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Under The Sun

"Everything Is Meaningless Under The Sun"

I (along with everyone reading Alex’s site) was challenged with the idea of a new human and how they would discover their purpose on earth. To see my original answer on his site please check out this link.


While typing my original response I was struck by a similarity to Ecclesiastes in the bible. Ecclesiastes is my number one all time favorite book of the bible. I encourage all of you to read it today (it is after all not very long). If you don’t want to bother please at least read the intro in you NIV student bible. I really can’t answer Alex’s challenge better than Ecclesiastes does or trust me, I’d try.

It probably feels like I'm giving all of you homework but it's like reading poetry.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Cheese of The Week

We have a tie . . .
Medium Gouda - Dutch Cash & Carry
German Butter - Springbank Cheese

Friday, May 9, 2008

Blogger Showdown

Oprah’s Sandwich Showdown has inspired me for our first blogger event!

I (Miss) challenge every blogger currently listed on Sublimation Blogification:
the BIG DC
To a soup and sandwich showdown.

The event will be held in mid June giving each of you time to perfect your sandwich and soup.

There shall be NO seafood or pork. The one exception is for Alex who began our blogging community – he is allowed to make Clam Chowder if he so chooses.

Three judges – will be chosen by Miss (hey, I make the game, I make the rules). Anyone that asks to be a judge will be instantly disqualified from the opportunity to judge. Gentlemen, email me individually or post a response to let me know if you are in.

See you in the kitchen!

New 'Love'

It began as a friendship. They knew each other for years, spent some time together, had some fun but then friendship was no longer enough.

It became a crush and then she started using the ‘L – word’, not in front of everyone but she was using it. She started enjoying the things he enjoyed, making decisions differently and somewhere along the way she lost herself – not in New Jersey like someone she knew - but she was lost just the same.

Her parents became worried. She is too young! This is too soon! She however was convinced he was the one.

Today she’s glowing, her eyes are sparkling and she can’t wipe the silly grin off her face.

As of today, Claire is under house arrest, I am enrolling her in an all-girl's school and Owen is temporarily banned from our house.

How many more time are Chris & I going to watch Claire fall into what she considers love?

With four daughters how many times total will this process unfold before our eyes?

If any of you have seen the movie DAN IN REAL LIFE, Claire is destined to be much like the second daughter in that movie.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Song Of The Week

Joss Stone
Tell Me What We Gonna Do Now

Discuss . . .

Alternate Titles: Damaged People Are Dangerous * Or Talk Amongst Yourselves

Some quotes to start a discussion:

. . . And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
BIBLE, Romans 5: 2-5 (NIV)

And a different outlook

Those who are lucky should hide. They should be grateful. They should hope the days of wrath will not visit their home. They should run to protect all that is theirs, and pity their neighbour when the horror strikes. But quietly, and from a distance.
DAMAGE, by Josephine Hart (a non-Christian book)

It is possible not all of my readers are Christian but likely many of you have felt hardship in your life or perhaps you are in that small majority that has never experienced hardship and somewhat wishes for it in order to grow.

From my own experience suffering sometimes pulls you closer to God, sometimes pushes you away but is never enjoyable. Sure you can come out a stronger person on the other end but you change and/or damaged and for most of us change can be scary.
Another favorite quote of mine is:
“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” – DAMAGE, Josephine Hart*
Someone once said to me “Don’t trust that it will not happen again, but trust that you can handle it if it does.” As a Christian I add ‘with the help of God’.

What are your thoughts on suffering?
Does this topic make you uncomfortable? If so I'll give you an alternate topic:
In the immortal words of Linda Richmond (Mike Myers in the SNL sketch CoffeeTalk)

Talk amongst yourselves. Here’s a topic: The peanut is neither a pea or a nut. Discuss. [she holds it all in] There. I feel better.

If you have no idea what coffee talk is watch this video:

Favorite Coffee Talk Topics:
(Taken from Winkipedia)
• "Ralph Fiennes is spelled neither rafe nor fines. Discuss."
• "Rhode Island is neither a road nor is it an island. Discuss."
• "The Thigh Master is neither a thigh nor a master. Discuss."
• "The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is neither Mormon nor a tabernacle nor a choir. Discuss."

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

When the lights went off the accompanist kissed her.
BEL CANTO, Ann Patchett

We have been lost to each other for so long.
THE RED TENT – Anita Diamant

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower), Stephen King

"The women of this family leaned towards extremes."
AWAY Jane Urquhart.

There were 117 psychoanalysts on the Pan Am flight to Vienna
and I’d been treated by at least six of them.

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

The first sentence of a novel has the opportunity to propel you into a different world. Every novel is a fresh start, a beginning. A first sentence either sweeps you off your feet or causes you to put down the book and move on to the next. Here is a challenge: Write a first sentence to a novel. Don’t be afraid it’s just a sentence. Either make it great or awful. If you are aiming for awful see the site below for guidelines. http://adamcadre.ac/lyttle.html

Not up to the challenge? Then just write a bizarre or interesting one. For example. The pickles bobbed in the jar before her but she didn't have the courage to eat even one more.

Even easier: post your favorite fist sentence of a novel

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Comfortably Numb

“Our sanity depends essentially on a narrowness of vision – the ability to select the elements vital to survival, while ignoring the great truths.”
DAMAGE, Josephine Hart

There is more to the above passage but let’s start there.

What are you narrowly visioning today? What are your elements vital to survival?

For me I am concentrating on feeding the kids - the fish - the frog - the husband, celebrating a loved one’s birthday, enjoying the fact I can wear a favorite sweater of mine because it is a bit chilly and rainy today. That is today’s existence on the surface. Much more lurks beneath (however I am not going to expose all my inner thoughts on my first blog – that would be too much like 3rd base on the first date).

What are WE ignoring?
Now we are getting somewhere.
What are WE going to spend OUR day without giving a single thought to?

For example: are you going to read . . .

Myanmar cyclone death toll exceeds 22,000

or like most people in North America (including me) would you rather read about . . .

Britney Spears & Kevin Federline Arrive in Court

Life is easier when you let yourself numb out a bit. In April 30th’s Calgary Herald I read: “Thousands of children are being ‘sold like cabbages’ to China’s booming factories as virtual slave labor.” Some of these kids were under 10 and were inspected by having their arms and stomachs patted. I kept this story on my fridge because I have a mushy spot in my heart for mistreated children but am I doing anything about it. Nope.

So, I will spend my day . . .

1) feeding my family better than the Chinese factory children have ever been fed
2) wishing my house was bigger while up to a million people are homeless due to the cyclone
3) reading People.com rather than thinking about the garbage going on in the world.

I have become comfortably numb.

Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?
Come on, now.
I hear you’re feeling down.
Well I can ease your pain,Get you on your feet again.
I need some information first.
Just the basic facts:Can you show me where it hurts?"
Pink Floyd

Additional Reading – Anything by J.D. Salinger but especially NINE STORIES. His fictional and highly intellectual GLASS family is unable to become numb to the world around them and this end in tragedy for some. If you have time to read a short story today choose A PERFECT DAY FOR BANNANA FISH or better yet TEDDY – not because they tie in to my blog but because if you have not read them you are missing out.

Let The Games Begin

Hello out there! I was challenged by a close friend to start a blog so here I am. I must admit I feel naked and exposed but hey, here goes . . .