Thursday, 31 January 2013

Day 144: With Good Intentions

My post today was meant to be a fun, quick, organizational post, with the last touches for the tops of our IKEA shelving units that we organized on the weekend.

However, I went to two different stores and couldn't find a single small basket that I liked or worked for the project... so this story does not have an ending yet!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Day 143: Success at School

Doing my Master's degree has felt like a marathon, a never-ending one. Full of pain, yes, and shortness of breath at times but also experiences of small (or larger) triumphs. Today was one of those happier days.

Up until today I had only recruited 8 retirement home residents from 4 homes across southern Ontario. Today I spent the entire day at one retirement home and signed 7 residents up for my one-hour study, with a potential of having 2 more join later. Even if a couple aren't able to come for whatever reason, I have still basically doubled my number of participants.

Good day!! (really tired)

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Day 142: A Quote

“It is more Important to be of pure intention than of perfect action.” 
― Ilyas Kassam

Monday, 28 January 2013

Day 141: Pregnancy Announcement Inspiration

Here is the main photo for our my inspiration:

It's super cute! Made me want to own TOMs and buy some for my unborn child. However, we left the purchase of baby shoes until the last minute (week before Christmas, for our Christmas announcement) and so went to the children's consignment store and paid $1 for our pair of shoes.

Below is my replica modified picture:

Original photo.

With the announcement/effects added.

I also snapped 2 other photos and played with them a bit too.

Original photo.

With the announcement/effects added.

Original photo.

With the announcement/effects added.

Though I liked this one too!!

Weekend Re-cap Day 139/140

Saturday January 26th - A Little Night Music

We enjoyed an evening performance in Hamilton of A Little Night Music. Andrew's brother was Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm, the dragoon who needs to be taught how to be a more devoted husband :P Among other highlights was the dropping of his pants... not something we were expecting, but (no offense) we were relieved it was only the pants that came down (as I'm sure he was!). In all seriousness, it's great to see a group of people come together to put on a musical. I loved hearing them sing the songs from this Stephen Sondheim musical.

Sunday January 27th - Organizing the Games

We put together an IKEA Expedit shelf to match an already existing one in our dining room:
We then took the time to reorganize the existing shelf as well as the new one. On the existing shelf, we put the games we were most likely to use, as it's more easily accessible and closer to the middle of the dining/living room.

In the top sections of the new shelf we put other games and a couple puzzles that we like but use less often. In the bottom sections are my scrapbooks! They finally have a home and don't have to be stacked on the floor or a table.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Day 138: Robbie Burns

Today is a lesser known "holiday" celebrated by Scotsman - Robbie Burns Day. Traditionally celebrated as Burns Night, when a great feast of haggis and other food is served.  I grew up attending a Presbyterian church where we had the longest tradition in Canada of celebrating Burns Night.

I can clearly hear a wonderful man with his Scottish brogue reading the Address To a Haggis, with literally a small sword swinging down with a loud THUNK at the appropriate time :)

Address To a Haggis
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.
(sonsie = jolly/cheerful)

(aboon = above)
(painch = paunch/stomach, thairm = intestine)
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o' need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

(hurdies = buttocks)
His knife see rustic Labour dicht,
An' cut you up wi' ready slicht,
Trenching your gushing entrails bricht,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sicht,
Warm-reekin, rich!
(dicht = wipe, here with the idea of sharpening)
(slicht = skill)

(reeking = steaming)
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmaist! on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve,
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
"Bethankit" hums.

(deil = devil)
(swall'd = swollen, kytes = bellies, belyve = soon)
(bent like = tight as)
(auld Guidman = the man of the house, rive = tear, i.e. burst)
Is there that o're his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi' perfect scunner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

(olio = stew, from Spanish olla'/stew pot, staw = make sick)
(scunner = disgust)
Poor devil! see him ower his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro' bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

(nieve = fist, nit = louse's egg, i.e. tiny)
But mark the Rustic, haggis fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his wallie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whistle;
An' legs an' arms, an' heads will sned,
Like taps o' thristle.

(wallie = mighty, nieve = fist)

(sned = cut off)
(thristle = thistle)
Ye Pow'rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinkin ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,
Gie her a haggis!

(skinkin ware = watery soup)
(jaups = slops about, luggies = two-"eared" (handled)
continental bowls)

At the line His knife see rustic Labour dicht the speaker normally draws and cleans a knife, and at the line An' cut you up wi' ready slicht, plunges it into the haggis and cuts it open from end to end. When done properly this "ceremony" is a highlight of the evening.
Hope all the Scotsmen out there had a great Burns Night!!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Day 137: MLKJ Quote #2

Noun: Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings and misfortunes of others
Synonyms: pity, mercy, commiseration, clemency

It's certainly an interesting thought that our society produces poverty and one that makes sense to me. This thought makes me think of all the other things our society produces: intolerance, unhealthiness, anger and stigma, and many more... Then I ask the question (to myself) how do we go about restructuring a society? How do we instill the value of compassion into people? Compassion even for ourselves as well as for others?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Day 136: MLKJ quote #1

Noun: lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern
Synonyms: indifference, unconcern, torpor, listlessness

What part of our human nature allows us to sit by and let injustice happen? Why are we happier with no conflict for the majority than a conflict that brings true peace?

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Day 135: Reflections on Martin Luther King Jr.

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the U.S. I read a number of blog posts on the topic. I really enjoyed thinking about the messages from these:

-Good Grief Guru: Martin Luther King Jr. day, Errol Barrow day, and a call to action for Idle No More
-Buzzfeed: 17 Martin Luther King Jr. Quote You Never Hear
-Ignitum Today: Martin Luther King Jr. Hero and Prophet 

How can Martin (we're on a first-name basis) inspire us today? Using some of his famous lines from his I Have A Dream speech, I want to talk about the future I wish to see in Canada and around the world. I'll then look at a few of the "Never Heard" quotes from the link above and share a few thoughts.  Hopefully this won't turn too essay-ish.

Anyway, onward. Now is the time, for Canadians to question if democracy is being way-laid or upheld. Now is the time, for our society to become educated - and not just in a scholarly way but on the realities facing those living in Canada.

I have a dream, that poverty will be stricken, and all children will feel loved, and all people will have clean water and nourishing food. I have a dream, that easily eradicated disease will be gone from this earth, that suicides would be a thing of the past, that mental illness would not be stigmatized, that people would be valued for their existence and not measured by how they look, what their personality is, or what they do.

One hundred years later, will future generations look back on this day and wonder why we did nothing? How we allowed our country to be destroyed... Why we didn't protect our land, natural resources and waterways? Why we didn't fight for a true universal healthcare for ALL those living in Canada (Aboriginals and refugees and those living in rural communities)? One hundred years later, will our descendants be cleaning up the mess our generation failed to stop?

We can never be satisfied with the knowledge that we are able to do something as an individual to help someone (in this case many someones) and we choose to do nothing. We can never be satisfied with a government who knowlingly infringes on individuals human rights (government lawyer courageously blows the whistle)

With this faith I have, in God and in humanity, I believe that a better life, a better Canada, and a better world can exist. Will it be easy? Absolutely not. Is it idealistic to think this? I hope so.

Let freedom ring, in a triumphant win. What is freedom? I recently watch the Tom Cruise movie, Jack Reacher. In it, he comes back to America after "fighting for freedom" to see Americans who are living lives that aren't free. If we chose to be slaves to convention or social status, then we're chosing not to be free. As adults, we need to ask ourselves if we love the jobs we've chosen, or if they're a means to an end. Have we made a conscious decision on where to live and who to spend time with? Or is it an unconscious choice? How can we let freedom ring in Western culture, when even those who are considered "the most free" (namely the white middle/upper class males) are themselves locked in the chains of capitalism?

When will the day come when someone can shout we are free at last, free at last. And maybe equally important, how can we ensure that the freedom will last?

Well, this seems long enough! I'll look at the quotes over the upcoming weeks I think :)

Monday, 21 January 2013

Day 134: Announcements

♫ Announcements, announcements, announcements! 
♫ We sold our cow, We sold our cow, We have no use for your bull now 
♫ Announcements, announcements, announcements! 

That was a song we sang at music camp at announcement time every day when I was growing up :P

So there aren't really that many announcements, but they are exciting!!

I'm back from the blog-break. It was much longer than the intended break (a full 31 days). I've missed posting, but needed some extra time to get organized for the upcoming months of finishing school.

Over the holidays, we:
1. Bought Andrew a new mountain bike (yay for Boxing Week sales and happy husbands). He commutes to work by bicycle every day and is currently using his old mountain bike for that (even through the winter), which means it's pretty much destroyed for actual mountain biking.

2. Bought us both cross country skis! We've been talking about doing this for over 3 years, and finally just did it!

3. Told our families that we're having a baby!! Another post on our Christmas announcement and inspiration to come.