Saturday, December 10, 2005

update & books read

Now that I'm working 16 hrs/wk outside the home it's pretty tiring!  Plus we moved DS1 to his own bed 2 weeks ago (vs co-sleeping with us) and cut the night nursing so it has been a wee bit brutal to say the least.  The reasons are that it seemed like the right time, and because we're planning on "working on" #2 in the near future.  I don't want to be preggo and have DS1 in bed & night-nursing.  And I don't want him to feel kicked out because of the baby.  So we're doing it ahead of time.

Ok, so in November I skimmed through a number of books, including the following:
- The Vagina Monologues - this wasn't as good as I had expected it to be.
- Mompreneurs (Patricia Cobe & Ellen H. Parlapiano)
- Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons (Tracey McBride)

Stuff to explore further from Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons:
- Recipe for Irish Scones (p.10)
- How to Use An Egg Cup (p.44)
- Books to read: How to Avoid Housework (Paula Jhung), Confessions of a Happily Organized Family (Deniece Schofield), More Hours in My Day (Emilie Barnes)
- Gracious Tokens (p. 73) ... pretty teacups with saucers, or coffee mugs, in which you place tea or coffee, sugar packets, flavoured creamer, candies, an attractive silver-plated teaspoon, and a personal message written on a small piece of paper rolled into a scroll and tucked inside.
- Cookie Tins - use for CDs, books, gift certificates, freshly baked cookies, candies.
- Recipe for Papa's Tomato Sauce for Manicotti & Cheese Filling (p. 91)
- Recipe for Leisurely Garlic-and-Rosemary Roast Beef (p. 152)
- Recipe for Aunt Jean's Lake Ahmeek Stew (p. 157)
- Rosh Hashanah ... a time of meditation, commentary on the passage of time, prayer, penitence, and high resolution.
- Recipe for Challah (p. 162)
- Recipe for Arroz con Turkey (p. 171)
- Air & Drawer Freshener (p. 180)
- Recipe for Croissant Poulet (p. 194)
- Recipe for Angel's Bread (p. 199)
- Hanukkah (Feast of the Dedication) ... tale of faith triumphing over adversity, and of light, renewal, and freedom.
- Twelfth Day (Epiphany)/Feast of the Three Magi/Little Christmas
- Recipe for Chocolate Stirrer Spoons (p.251)

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Frugal Living For Dummies

Frugal Living For Dummies By Deborah Taylor-Hough
How sad is it that I have actually read this book before but didn't realize it until I was 1/4 of the way through?!  So I skimmed the rest of it.

Ideas to think about/try/whatever...
  • Cooking Cooperatively - sharing with a friend, exchanging frozen meals.
  • Make audio tapes/CDs of me/Nanny/mom/MIL reading books out loud for DS1
  • Thanksgiving - gratitude diary (write down 2 things every day); Thanksgiving jar - whenever something fun or noteworthy happens write it on a slip of paper and put it in the jar, read at Thanksgiving; Thanksgiving tree/turkey - write what you're thankful for on leaves or feathers and stick to the tree/turkey.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Body Worlds at Science Centre

Definitely not for the faint of heart or easily nauseated!  This was a really interesting exhibit.  My main criticism is that there were tons of male specimens and only a handful (if that) of females.  I would also have loved to have seem more on pregnancy, fetuses, babies/small children, and cross sections of my reproductive system and genitalia.  So, it was pretty ""male"" all around but I realize that it all depends on who donates their bodies for this type of thing.
See the Canadian Premiere!
Provocative. Awe-inspiring. Human. Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS 2: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies is a revealing and thought-provoking look at the hidden wonders of the human body.

Featuring over 200 real human specimens including entire bodies, individual organs and body slices, this exhibition offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see and understand our own anatomy and health. You'll gain a new appreciation and respect for what it means to be human.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Book review

Staying Home Instead: How to Balance Your Family Life (And Your Checkbook) by Christine Davidson
To be honest, I skimmed this book.  It looked really good but the subject matter for the first 4 chapters was already familiar to me.  Sadly, I didn't find I picked up anything new and in some ways the book seemed a little outdated (for example, there was a whole very basic chapter about home computers!)

Friday, September 23, 2005

Book reviews

Books for September:
"Frugal Luxuries - Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life & Comfort Your Soul" by Tracey McBride. This book was ok.  I didn't read every word but did flip through the whole thing and got the idea of it.  It had some nice quotes throughout.

I also listened to "French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating For Pleasure" by Mireille Guiliano on CD.  This I really enjoyed. Mireille read the book and her accent was charming and she had a great sense of humour!  The concepts in the book make a lot of sense... I have yet to get started on them though!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


So this summer my mother-in-law told me about "Mattahs".  I had never heard of them before and decided to investigate further.  There really isn't much info online about them, I only found 2 sites: and  Passion & Fire is the better of the 2 and is where my quotes are from. [link no longer working so go here instead]

It sounds like an interesting idea.  I really like the idea of banners already and so having something like a Mattah sounds up my alley too.  Now, before you have visions of me dancing boldly and gracefully with my beautiful banners... it's something that really interests me but that I don't do... yet.

The first banners or ensigns, or standards used by the Israelites were not the kind of flags that we see used in worship today. The original ensign, standards or banners were actually poles that may have had the name of the patriarchal father on it, or the Israelite Tribe name on it, or maybe something tied to the top of it to represent the authority of that Tribe.

The Rod of God was used to divide the Red Sea so that the Israelites could safely pass through to the other side to escape from the pursuing Egyptians. The Rod in and of itself had no power or authority, but under God's instruction to Moses, it was used for many purposes. It is the same for us. These rods are simply dowel rods (my MIL is carving hers out out tree branches - much "wilder"!) that have been decorated with beads, strips of leather, feathers, ribbons or fur in order to express an attribute of God's nature. Of themselves they have no power, but in the hands of God's worshippers and intercessors in the midst of worship, the power of prayer and worship is of great power before the Lord. Just as Miriam worshiped with the timbrel when they had crossed the Red Sea, the Timbrel had no power of itself, but it was an instrument of worship in Miriam's hands. So it is when we worship with the Mattah, or Rod. 

The Mattah is not necessarily a worship instrument, in that it plays music, but it is an intercessory tool that proclaims Him in our worship and the many facets of His nature.

Every time we strike the ground in our worship with the Mattah, we remind the enemy of the territory that has been taken by our Lord Jesus and His authority at the cross.

Friday, September 9, 2005


Walk through the labyrinth -

 DS1 & I went this morning. It was a beautiful sunny day, just perfect. Last time I went in 2003 it was a grass labyrinth but now they have turned it into a stone one. I loved it when it was grass - I liked the "naturalness" of it, walking barefoot somehow seemed more in touch with God. And yet the perfect order of the stones with the black ones outlining it all called to mind God's perfect order.

I had DS1 in the sling for the walk in to the centre. At certain points the sprinkler would hit us and it was so refreshing. When we got to the centre I took him out and we paused there before journeying back out. Afterwards I let him crawl all over and it was so funny to see that he was actually following the path! How incredible that a 13 month old could discern the order and the path! We had so much fun!

We took advantage of being all the wait out there to visit my grandparents. It was so good to see them again after not seeing them for a few weeks. We sat and had tea and DS1 tore the place apart!

So, overall, a great day :-D

Labyrinths are currently being used world-wide as a way to quiet the mind, find balance,and encourage meditation, insight and celebration.

The labyrinth is not a maze. There are no tricks to it and no dead ends. It has a single circuitous path that winds into the center. The person walking it uses the same path to return and the entrance then becomes the exit. The path is in full view, which allows a person to be quiet and focus internally. Generally there are three stages to the walk: releasing on the way in, receiving in the center and returning; that is, taking back out into the world that which you have received. There is no right way or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. Use the labyrinth in any way that meets what you need.

What is a labyrinth?
A labyrinth is a sacred pattern,
An ancient mystical tool,
A spiritual pathway,
A walking meditation.

The labyrinth walk is a symbolic journey to the centre of ourselves. It is a walk that can refresh the spirit and nourish an often forgotten part of ourselves. An ancient path dating from the middle ages, the labyrinth is winding its way into our urban, consumer-driven society and is increasingly featured in parks, hospitals, schools and prison yards.

A labyrinth is...
a winding path that leads to a central space and then out again by the same path.
a wondrous pathway that may become a mirror for our own lives and metaphor for our spiritual journey.
a circle and a spiral, each a powerful and ancient symbol of unity, wholeness and transformation.
a tool of spiritual growth, healing and transformation of heart, body, mind and spirit.
a spiritual discipline of setting one foot in front of the other and following a path.
a calling forth of our intuitive symbolic mind and creative meandering spirit.
a deeply healing container where we can touch our joys and sorrows.

Walking the Path
There is no single, correct way to walk a labyrinth. The only choice you need make is to enter the path.
As you begin to walk, allow yourself to find the pace your body wants to go. This pace may change as you walk. 

If you share the path with others, feel free to pass around one another. Let other people move around you as well. 

The labyrinth is a two-way path. Those entering will meet those coming out those coming out will meet those entering. You may choose to acknowledge one another with a smile or a touch as you pass, or maintain your inward focus by refraining from eye contact.

Listen to your body
Does it want to walk, dance, skip or run the labyrinth? You may even want to sit quietly in a particular place for a time.

Over the centuries, people have patterned their labyrinth walk in this way:

Going in - releasing
Seek to quiet your mind, soul, heart and body. This is a time of letting go, of releasing, of emptying, of cleansing.

As you enter the labyrinth you may find it helpful to pause at the threshold, offer a prayer of thanksgiving for this time, and set an intention for your walk. It could be as simple as

I come to...
experience the labyrinth
center in my deepest self
pray and seek God's wisdom
enjoy the movement of my body
seek God's guidance with a decision
clarify my thoughts/feelings
honor a transition in my life
release a memory, despair or grief
express gratitude to God
ask a question

Arriving at the center - receiving
Enter the center with an open heart and mind. Come to this place of rest, prayer and reflection. Sit, stand, lay down, stay a long while or a short while. Seek illumination and inspiration at the center of the labyrinth, the center of ourselves, where we commune with God.

Going out - returning
When you are ready, walk out the same path you walked in. Carry your unique experience out into the world. It may be a refreshed spirit, renewed vision, calm, peace, gratitude, understanding forgiveness.

As you leave the labyrinth, ponder what touched you, inspired you, challenged you or surprised you. A prayer of thanksgiving may also seem an appropriate closure to this time. You may also wish to let the experience unfold as it will.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

new adventures for baby DS1

This past week while we were on vacation baby cut his 3rd tooth - top left.  Then on Friday right before we left for the 5 hour drive home he fell/was dropped and hurt his back and leg.  This morning I spent 4 hours at emerg and it turns out his right leg is fractured below the knee.  Sigh... now my baby has a temporary cast and on Wednesday I have to go back and get a fiberglass one that will be on for at least a month.  I feel like a "real" mom now having gone through this.  I was so upset... :'(  But he's ok, his happy little self - though rather annoyed at the cast!