i can't see you

As you might imagine, my dear mom is on my mind lots. Having been a victim of COVID lockdowns in the nursing home, she would hardly let us out of her sight when we finally got to be with her in the hospice house. On the day I took this picture she didn’t want me to sit down because sitting down meant she couldn’t see me as well. I’m glad I stood. Read more →


deborah shares

My daughter, Deborah, shares more about the work of God in her life. She says, “I really, really hope that this speaks to someone. Someone who is hurting, and who feels irreparably damaged.” I am a privileged person. So privileged. Not because I’m white, not because I’m a woman, not because of anything that can be brought down to worldly things. I am privileged because I have God in my life. Please don’t stop reading, because there is more to that statement than you think. When I was 13, I lost my virginity to rape. The boy I lost my virginity to was 16 years old. For so many years I hated him. I wished him dead. I was so damaged because of what I had been through, and no part of me ever wanted to forgive him. No part of me ever thought that I would be whole again.... Read more →


dear darian, meditation

Dear Darian,** When you are consistent in praying the rosary, you’ll experience a spiritual rhythm within the week. Tuesdays and Fridays will take on a more somber tone as they are the days we contemplate the Sorrowful Passion of our Lord. You may begin to look for ways to do penance. I’ve chosen stairs over the elevator, walked to the next bus stop, refrained from tempting snacks and things of that ilk because meditating on the sorrowful passions makes me want to participate in Jesus’ sufferings in small ways, even if it’s just giving up my desires to be on Facebook. Meditating on the mysteries of the rosary is so powerful. (Don’t let the word “meditate” intimidate you. It’s acceptable, to call it “thinking”.) Oftentimes I think about the day’s mysteries as I’m drinking my morning coffee and watching the sun rise, while making the bed, or showering. I can’t... Read more →


grateful

My poor mom was a victim of COVID. Although she had asymptomatic COVID at one time during the pandemic, that isn't what I'm talking about. She was a victim of the lockdowns. She was in a facility in Northwest Arkansas where she had enjoyed regular visitors. Mama was very social and all about family. With Alzheimer's, family visits were her best medicine. But when lockdowns were implemented, no one was allowed in to see her. Fortunately, we were allowed to FaceTime with her. She could hardly understand that and sometimes it just confused her more. She cried out for family members up to 12 hours a day, and was often hoarse from the effort. She declined rapidly. By six months into lockdowns, she had fallen twice, breaking a hip each time, she had two hip surgeries, and lost 26 pounds. But still, no family was allowed into the nursing home.... Read more →


affectionate love for jesus

I love worshipping the Lord in the mass. I’m so grateful that he’s put this great love in my heart. I remember well in 1995 telling him in prayer that I wasn’t sure I loved him. I knew I loved his comfort, his Word, his gifts, but I wasn’t sure I loved him. At the time, I wasn't sure what was missing, I just had a vague feeling there was something deeper, something more. I know now it was affection. Praise God, I’m now madly in love with him. I have so much affection for him, more than I ever knew was possible. I credit that love to praying the rosary. Contemplating the mysteries of Jesus's life on earth has drawn me into this glorious love affair with him. I can easily imagine him looking at me, looking at the crowds with pity and love, the gentleness and love in... Read more →


the eucharist

Recently I shared my conversion with a couple of protestant friends and they responded that they were happy for me and the joy the Catholic faith gives me. I appreciate the sentiment and their kindness, but it shows a tremendous lack of understanding of their Protestant and my Catholic theology. Our faiths, on a few levels, are incongruent. No Christian who understands their own faith should be happy when one of their own (Protestant or Catholic) moves to the other side (Protestant or Catholic), no matter how much joy it gives the mover. The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Catholic faith. The Eucharist IS Jesus. It is really, really Jesus. In John 6, Jesus says, "The bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." He continues, "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you... Read more →


niece mindi eulogizes her mimi

My Mimi We used to gather at her home every Sunday after church, with all the cousins. She made a yellow cake (usually with chocolate frosting) and would let it cool as the adults sat in the living room with coffee and talked. I remember sneaking into the kitchen over and over to scoop up a finger full of melted frosting that would drip over the edge of the Tupperware container that it rested on. Occasionally my aunt Valerie would come in to do the same and I remember thinking to myself “she is the aunt that is the most like me”. She made the greatest “Mimi Burgers” of all time. The cousins decided that Mimi should open her own restaurant and call it “Mimi Burgers” or maybe “Mimi’s House” and only serve burgers and fries (which my PaBob would occasionally make in the garage in a deep fryer) and... Read more →


mama's obituary

Geral "Jeri" Dean Funderburk February 3, 1936 - September 5, 2020 Geral Dean "Jeri" Funderburk, age 84, of Mena, Arkansas, died Saturday, September 5, 2020, surrounded by family. She was born, February 3, 1936 to Philip Anderson and Elsie Lannie Keen Piearcy in Hugo, Oklahoma. Jeri was a committed Christian who modeled a love for the Word of God, a life of prayer, an ease of laughter and a great sense of humor to her offspring. Throughout her years of declining health, she continued to model prayer as her default. Even as her words became twisted and incoherent this past year due to Alzheimer's, she continued to call out to God in prayer. Her family takes comfort knowing that the words that reached her Father in Heaven, were not twisted to His ears, rather perfectly sound. The love for her family guided her life and filled it with happiness. In... Read more →


i'll miss her dearly

My beautiful mom. I will miss her warmth, humour, and unconditional love. I believe in the “communion of the saints” and that we are surrounded by a “great cloud of witnesses.” In that way, she’ll be closer to me than ever before. When Mama went into the nursing home, I was privileged to go through her most personal prayer journals and diaries. In those, she had written her deepest, darkest secrets. I was privy to her most saintly and least saintly thoughts. I learned of her greatest regrets (sins) and I learned of the serious sins that she wrestled with, and those that nearly snagged her. When I was younger, knowing she fought those temptations would have sickened me. But now, more seasoned in understanding human nature and profoundly aware of the darkness in my own soul, it did nothing but make me respect her more. She fought the temptations... Read more →


stephanie eulogizes mimi

This is by my oldest child, Stephanie. Mimi. It has only been since becoming an adult that I’ve realized that my childhood wasn’t normal, that the role my grandmothers played in my life was extraordinary and few people have the privilege of having the experiences that are so precious to me. It was a normal weekly occurrence that all my mom's siblings and ALL my cousins would pack my Mimi’s house. After church on Sunday was a given but it wasn’t uncommon to be over there other days of the week as well. Walking into her house the air would be thick with haze from smoke off the large griddle in the kitchen where she was making her “signature” Mimi burgers. Tony Chachere and lots of pepper were the secret ingredients but I swear I’ve never been able to recreate so...I think she may have had a “secret” secret. Regardless.....delicious!... Read more →


misty eulogizes her mimi

Mama left a legacy. My niece Misty wrote about some of it: When I was a little girl, I would often ask my mom why we believed what we believed and what different parts of the Bible meant. I was always amazed at how she would walk me through Greek and Hebrew roots and the historical context as she walked me through it all. One day I asked her how she knew all of that and she told me that her mom helped her and always taught her to seek truth and understanding. Today we celebrate that legacy as we mark my grandmother’s passing. Mimi’s house was an iconic feature of my childhood. My aunts and uncles would gather on the weekend and share life. It was there I learned the value of laughter, the joy of family, the power of a well-told story, and the importance of the Word... Read more →


hannah's wisdom

Nothing is as satisfying at seeing your adult children growing in love for Jesus, their Catholic faith, and wisdom. Today I want to share what my daughter, Hannah, just shared on Facebook. She is well spoken, bright, and articulate, but it's the wisdom that makes me smile. She writes: This is my daughter, Flora She is our third child and is already an absolutely delight. Right now she is just over 7 weeks old (on the left is a picture of her today). Just a few weeks ago she was brand new, as weak as you can imagine after being suspended and sustained for nine months in the womb. She was born a few days before her due date and was a little on the light side, weighing 7lbs and 4oz. My oldest, Holly, was 7lbs 11oz and one time, someone even asked me if she was premature! That's just... Read more →


dear darian, the rosary

Dear Darian,** Our imaginations are powerful and can be prayerful even if we aren’t engaging in prayer in a formal way. We may not say “Dear God” or “Hail Mary” but as we think of the mysteries of the rosary, we may be deep in prayer. If the rosary intimidates you in any way, know that you can begin simply by thinking about (meditating) on the mysteries. Allow your imagination to run wild. Be present with Jesus and Mary in the scenes. Imagine Mary taking you by the hand like a child and allowing you to see the scene through her eyes. What do you see? What is God seeing? What is Jesus thinking, feeling? What are the smells, weather, sounds? Who are you with? Who else is there? Try to look at the mysteries through the perspectives of those present. Allow all your senses to be involved. By God’s... Read more →


happy birthday, hannah

Happy birthday to our Hannah Kathleen. She was a delightful-beyond-compare child, and thinking about her childhood floods my soul with sweetness. She was - and still is - articulate, compassionate, and a thoughtful, deep thinker. She had a noticeable piety, even as a child, knowing spiritual things mattered. That awareness seemed to go dormant for a number of years, but it returned with a studiousness that is rare. Even in her childhood, I used the phrase “still waters run deep” when describing her. Her life still exemplifies that depth; depth of character, conviction, and purpose. She was named Hannah Kathleen after “Mrs. Hannah” (that’s what we called Samuel’s mother from the Bible) and Catherine Marshall, a godly woman whose spiritual writings greatly influenced me. Hannah has honoured her namesakes well. She is a praying woman, and a godly wife and mother just like “Mrs Hannah” in the Bible. And, I... Read more →


pius-vasyl assumptio

My cup runneth over with goodness. Rachael and Kyle had their baby last night. Meet Pius-Vasyl Assumptio Wirachowsky. I don’t think he could have a more Catholic Ukrainian name had they tried. Pius is after Popes Pius the 10th and 12th, godly popes they admire. Vasyl is after a Ukrainian priest martyred for his faith. Assumptio is for Mother Mary as August contains the feast day of her assumption. Welcome to our world Lil’ Pius. I think we’ll celebrate tonight by having perogies and sausages for supper. Read more →


dear darian, confession

Dear Darian,** When I was a Protestant, I didn’t loathe my sin like I do now. I thought it was impossible to be without sin. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s easy, but I will say the goal to be sinless is solidly in place. Now, there are short periods when, to the best of my knowledge, I have no unconfessed sin. (Jeremiah tells us our hearts are deceitful,[1] that’s why I added the caveat “to the best of my knowledge”. Also, please note I said, “short periods.”) Before my conversion to Catholicism, sainthood wasn’t a goal. I saw all believers as saints, although I could hardly imagine how I in my sin and others in theirs, could be saints. But now, I ask God daily to help me avoid sin and grow in virtue, to help me be a saint. Awareness and conviction of sin is... Read more →


deborah shares some of her story

My Deborah writing about her journey. I'm so thankful. She writes: I’m coming up on two years clean and sober, and I just wanted to take a moment to glorify God and all that He has done in my life. He held out for me, and showed me the love that I had been searching for throughout those many years of my life. As many of you know, I struggled with drugs and mental illness all throughout my youth. There was scarcely a time between the ages of 11-19 that my life was not at risk. I had very little regard for my safety, and absolutely no concept of my own, God-given, value. I was trying, in all the wrong ways, to cope with trauma and to get through each and every day by the skin on my teeth. I committed grievous sins, and lived my life for the enemy... Read more →


dear darian, guardian angel

Dear Darian,** Did you know that guardian angels aren’t simply a thing of lore? They really exist and we all have one. Jesus said, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”[1] Recently I was meditating on this and wondering what my angel is like. It would be so cool to have a relationship with him since he is always with me. As I thought about him, I realized with amazement that he knows me better than I know myself. He’s been with me from the very beginning. He remembers when I was born and my babyhood. He knows everything he has spared me from – something I’m not privy to – protected me from and allowed me to experience for my good. He knows my sins... Read more →


happy birthday, deborah

Happy birthday to our beautiful daughter, Deborah Elizabeth. She is 21 today. She was the sweetest child who gave us nothing but delight. Then adolescent years hit and she went off the rails so bad we didn’t know if she’d survive - and I’m speaking very literally. God be praised, He sent her little Atlas. We were so scared, afraid of how the drama would play out. God used Atlas so powerfully. She got clean and sober and began the work of putting her life together. Now we once again have the incredible Deborah back. She is strong, stronger than we ever knew she could be, funny, a devoted mother, a student of the Bible, a leader, generous, empathetic beyond compare, and just generally a most delightful soul. I’m so thankful she survived. My world would be radically less bright without her in it. Thank you, Jesus. Happy birthday to... Read more →


dear darian, humility

Dear Darian,** As I meditate on the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary, I’m often struck by how each mystery has a strong current of humility. Everyone represented in the mysteries is humble. Mary, of course, is the humblest of souls. In her Magnificat she proclaims her low estate, her low degree, and her neediness. Elizabeth proclaims, “who am I that the mother of the Lord would visit me?”. Joseph accepts Mary even though he may have known he’d forever be in her shadow. Aged Simeon and Anna desire to see Israel’s Messiah even though they’re near death and probably won’t experience their nation’s improved status. The shepherds were among the lowest ranking in society, yet the heavenly host appeared to them, not to the religious or well-taught One would be hard-pressed to find a saint who wasn’t humble. Pride and sainthood are mutually exclusive. They don’t reside together. Mother Teresa... Read more →


easter morn

He is risen indeed. He is the great and glorious redeemer. He is the greatest joy and love in my life. He is not an imaginary friend. There are numerous historical proofs of his existence, that he was indeed crucified and rose from the dead. If I am wrong, what have I lost? If I am right and you view him as unimportant, you have lost the greatest blessing in this life and will gain an horrible afterlife. Please look into the historical proofs of his existence. He is a great source of love, joy and peace. Jesus, I trust in You. Read more →


no regrets

Thirty-five years ago today a little bundle just over 8 ½ pounds gushed into my world. My life was changed forever. I was only 19 and had spent nine long months hating my life. Pregnancy was the last thing I wanted, and I was convinced I’d ruined my life. In early pregnancy the thought of an abortion comforted; I imagined it a solution. I received a poem from someone – who knew nothing of my situation – and one of the lines of the poem was “I want this day to bring good, not evil.” Somehow, even though I had a hard heart and a thorough hatred for my situation, that line spoke to me and I knew I couldn’t abort her. I still loathed my circumstances and spent the remainder of the pregnancy hoping for a miscarriage. When a miscarriage didn’t come, I hoped for a stillbirth. The darkness... Read more →


debs on abortion

My daughter Deborah has been through a lot. Here’s a piece of her story. I’m so incredibly thankful she chose life for our little Atlas and that she didn’t heed all the advice to get an abortion. Our lives will never be the same again; we adore Atlas. Written by my daughter, Deborah: You know, after years of being an abortion advocate (regrettably) I finally sat myself down, away from the crowd I was following, and did some in depth research on abortion. I have watched the debates, I have watched Planned Parenthood lie repeatedly to appeal to the eyes of its audience, and I can safely say that there is not a single argument in defense of abortion that cannot be refuted. So I recommend to anyone who believes that abortion is "empowering" to rethink your beliefs because it is ultimately setting us back whilst committing mass genocide. The... Read more →


happy birthday, rachael

Today is Rachael Christine's 24th birthday. How she delights my soul!! When we learned we were expecting Rachael, I was not in a good emotional place. Getting pregnant seemed like the least logical thing in the world and it definitely was not something we would have chosen. God saw things differently. Shortly after learning I was pregnant, I read in Psalm 30, "You have turned my mourning into dancing." Rachael's life infused my sorrowing heart with joy. I'm so thankful for God's kindness in doing that. To this day, 24 years later, I cannot read that verse, "you turned my mourning into dancing," without thinking of my sweet Rachael. God used her so powerfully to restore my joy and purpose. She was a most delightful child and gave us joy beyond measure. Then she became a teenager, . . . and I went back into mourning as she participated in... Read more →


josefa on humility

Jesus told Sister Josefa, one of my saints, that when she had two options, to choose the humbler one. I'm trying to apply this wisdom more and more often. I’m trying to embrace humility in various ways. My sweet saint friends, Francis, Anthony, Rita, Faustina, and Josefa all modelled humility in powerful ways. Their writings and lives have taught me a lot about humility, but I am still so proud. Pride rises up all the time. Every single day. Humility is simply not thinking of myself. I want to be humble. I want to become a saint, but there are no proud saints. Humility is a virtue of all the saints. Therefore, I need to remember what Jesus told Josefa: when you have two options, choose the humbler one. Little by little, day by day. Read more →


yip yip

Please consider purchasing my new book. Preschool children are raving about it. Haha. I’d truly appreciate your buying a copy or two. In Canada: Yip Yip https://www.amazon.ca/.../ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_UUtdDbJTA1RK3 In the US: https://www.amazon.com/Yip-Valerie-Dykstra/dp/152554229X Read more →


gimpy

I love the finches, chickadees and sparrows that visit daily. My cat, Casanova, loves them too, but in a sinister way. Several weeks ago, Jessica, my friend that lives in the suite downstairs, brought me a freshly injured sparrow, Casanova's latest victim. I felt a powerful compunction to pray for him. I probably held him for 15 minutes. His leg was broken, he had a tooth puncture on his head, and one wing looked gnarly. My heart ached for him. I was reminded that I could offer my aching heart to the Lord for the salvation of souls. And I did. I was comforted knowing Jesus cared for that sweet sparrow. As I held him and prayed, he seem to regain some strength. He couldn’t get aloft, so I put him in the forsythia, hoping and praying he would survive. I felt like power had gone out from me, a... Read more →


examen with st. ignatius

I've been on an eating binge. This is my sin of choice and the gutter I find myself in over and over is that of gluttony. How is it that I hate this addiction/vice so much yet still return to it over and over? I guess that is what addiction is. Yesterday I was doing the Examination of Conscience as St. Ignatius taught it and experienced some powerful imagery. (I was using a pamphlet I picked up at church, so the following thoughts are answering the questions in the pamphlet.) The first step of the Examen - Ask for Grace Ignatius asks: If I could ask God for one "spiritual gift" right now, what would it be? I will go with self-control. God, I desperately need self-control in my eating habits. Please give me that grace. My overeating is a food addiction. Addiction is lack of health. I need healing.... Read more →


adoption day

What a glorious day, one we've been awaiting. Today, my daughter, Stephanie, and her husband, John Mark welcomed three more children into their family. The adoption process is complete! I am happy to have three new grandchildren: Sydnie, age 11; Landon, age 8; and Rylie, age 6. They are now a family of 10, can you believe? What a journey they've had and will continue to have. It won't be easy, but they knew that when the process began. The kids have been living with them for quite some time, and a few years ago Sydnie and Rylie lived with them for a couple years. I'm thankful for families like theirs. Our world needs more of them. Read more →


2019 goals and such

2019 Yip, Yip published Spend prayer time every month on specific people (January: Sandy; February: Paul; etc) Eat low carb and no whites Pay credit line down to $5000 Almost finish Bachelors Degree, maintain a 4.0 GPA Focus on growth in fortitude, patience, and temperance Finish Bible Timeline study at church Read more in the evening and Facebook less Keep 3:00 prayer break No snacks between meals at work Park at Mall so I get more walking in every day. Spiritual reading at noon Embrace femininity more, for example, wear dress pants to Mass. Keep Tuesday adoration habit Things I was believing in faith would happen in 2018, but didn't, I'll carry over to 2019: 1. more crypto seed money, 2. D repent and turn to righteousness, 3. G come into the Church, 4. H take faith seriously, 5. S & J into Catholic Church Read more →


2018 successes and highlights

2018 Focused on growth in virtue, holiness, humility and fortitude. I definitely grew in those areas. I navigated executrix-ship of Daddy's estate pretty well. Probate closed and my siblings and I are still in good relationship. Daddy blessed us financially. Thank you, Daddy. I wish I had thanked you when you were still living, but we all know you were weird about money and may have taken my thanks wrong. I write that smiling because it was so true. Once he hinted to me about the money I was getting and I pretended I didn't hear him because I knew anything I said could backfire. I relived that conversation so many times after he died wishing I had said thank you. Doubled my investment in Bitcoin and got out before it plummeted. I'm still sitting on some, but I did withdraw my original investment plus 100%. Was able to give... Read more →


thursday thirteen

It is 2018. I have not done a Thursday Thirteen since 2012. I just reread some of my old ones and was impressed with how they allow a graceful catch up. So, in the spirit of catch up, here we go. 1. After coming back from Arkansas for an extended stay last year, I was hired as a business coordinator at my present job. I enjoyed the work and it looked like a promising move. While we were on holidays in April, everything changed. People were hired and fired with abandon, it seemed. I came back to work at what seemed like a different company. My whole job shifted enormously, and I was basically nothing more than a receptionist – an un-busy receptionist. I began to loathe the job because it was so boring. A few weeks ago, I was brought onto the sales team. I have a very small... Read more →


a blind date funny

I just remembered a funny from decades ago. A fellow and I went on a blind date and it wasn't too grand. Tipped off by a few things that indicated it wasn't going to be a fun evening, but, unwilling to hurt the guy's feelings by canceling, I wrangled my friend Edith into joining me in my stupid predicament. Her support meant the world to me. The poor fellow, a soldier just returning from the Gulf War, was not a good time. He talked lots, but didn't have a lot to say, if you know what I mean. At one point he asked, "Do you know what we did with our dung in Kuwait?" Hearing this, Edith could no longer feign interest. Perfectly deadpan and never changing expression she replied, "Let me guess, you're gonna tell us." Edith was a good friend. Read more →


2017 in review

What a full, and unusual, year 2017 was. The highlight of the early part of the year was our 24th anniversary trip to Cannon Beach, Oregon. We had an amazing time. The first morning we were there I did something I’ve never done before: I read, journalled, and had coffee in bed. I felt I was in the lap of luxury. Cannon Beach is very beautiful and I’d recommend it to anyone for a vacation. Surely it is one of American's prettiest beaches. It's certainly the prettiest I've enjoyed. It has a quaint, lovely village with lots of good shopping. It was still pretty chilly, which allowed us to beat the tourists. The cool didn’t keep us from enjoying the beach. We read and napped on the beach, but we didn’t play in the water except for our one daring escapade which was the highlight of my vacation. Several weeks... Read more →


daddy's obituary

Curtis Houston Callahan May 8, 1933 - October 20, 2017 Curtis Houston Callahan died peacefully of leukemia at the home of his son and daughter-in-law on Friday, October 20, 2017. He was 84 years old. He was born May 8, 1933 in Potter, Arkansas to Herman and Delia Callahan. He was a veteran of the Korean War era and was honorably discharged from the US Army in 1953. He married Geraldine Piearcy in 1956 and they raised four children on the same farm he was raised. As a young man, he worked in the timber industry in Colorado, Wyoming, and Arkansas. After all the children were born, he raised chickens and cattle. In 1985, he retired from farming and spent the next seven years working at Rich Mountain Manor nursing home, which he loved because of his penchant for caring for the sick and elderly. The last 10 years of... Read more →


my eucharistic miracle

This time last year, I was selling insurance and hating it. I asked Gordon what he thought about me going part-time and he was opposed to it. On the Sunshine Coast, there's definitely not an abundance of jobs to choose from. I lived for weekends and most nights I went to bed with dread at having to go to work the next day. After Gordon said no way to my going to work part-time, I sank to despair. I recalled the woman who was healed of her bleeding by touching the hem of Jesus's garment. I prayed something to this effect: "Jesus, I can hardly bear the thought of spending the next 15 years in this job. You can fix my heart and take away this loathing. Tomorrow at Mass, I will touch so much more than the hem of your garment. I beg you to help me. I'm sinking."... Read more →


hannah and darian's wedding

Our middle daughter, Hannah, married on May 7, 2016. It was a very Hannah-and-Darian type wedding; simple, sweet, and intimate. I was delighted that they chose our backyard to marry. Not only was it beautiful, it was an easy and low-stress wedding. My sister, Stacie, came from North Carolina to supervise (plan and cook) the reception dinner of lasagna. Everyone raved about it. Gordon's mom and brother, Grant, came from Edmonton. Darian's grandmothers, uncle, aunt, parents, brothers, and a couple of friends, as well as one of Hannah's friends, Jody, attended. It was intimate to capture a few photos with all the wedding guests. Hannah's two sisters, Rachael and Deborah, and her Junior High best friend, Jody, stood up with her. Darian's two brothers, Lyndon and Brendon, and his friend, Mackenzie, stood up with him. Gordon's pastor, Mike, performed the ceremony and did a beautiful job. It was very God-honoring.... Read more →


caribbean cruise

In March, we left the Edmonton snow and flew to Tampa to catch the Norwegian Sun for a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise. Our first port of call was Roatan Bay, Honduras. We took a catamaran about 30 minutes out to sea to snorkel. (I have to admit, I was uneasy as the waves were big enough to keep the others from my view at times). After snorkeling, we were treated to a Honduran picnic on the boat. It was roughly 400 degrees in the shade. We burned badly even though we used sunscreen. After showering, we went back into town to shop. The high-pressured sales removed all browsing enjoyment for me. Gordon bought some gifts and I bought a Christmas ornament to commemorate the trip, because, well, every trip needs a commemorative Christmas ornament. Our second stop was Belize City, Belize. We went zip-lining in the rain forest and, surprisingly,... Read more →


2014 in review

The end of 2014 is days away. It doesn’t seem possible. 2014 yielded some wonderful things, one of which is Jubilee in the weight department. Since August, I’ve lost 30 pounds and still progressing. I’m thankful for my friend Sarah’s weight loss and for her success having a powerful impact on me. She introduced me to U Weight Loss which has been the instrument used for my success. 2014 delivered me my job at Alberta Health. I started working there in 2013 but it was as a temporary employee. On August 11, I got hired into my present position. I never knew such great jobs existed. I love my job and am thankful beyond words for all the benefits that come with it. A great pension plan, sick days, four weeks of vacation, every third Friday off for my EDO, Canada Savings Bonds plan and more. I’m surrounded by bright,... Read more →


feeling prosperous - an exercise

I'm reading Julia Cameron's The Prosperous Heart. The assignment it to fill in the blank: I felt prosperous when _______. I felt prosperous when I was newly divorced living on Smith Street. Of course, I've never articulated that thought before. Upon moving in, I quickly began the old house's makeover. For wall paint, I chose pink and blue and it was a lovely, tasteful combination. The blue was called Mirage Blue and it was on the window and door trim. The wall paint was a mauvish pink called Ashes of Roses. Such a fitting name since I was recently divorced from a Rose. It was a character-filled home and I believed with all my heart God provided it. When I knew divorce was imminent, I started praying for specific things. I thought an "upstairs house," as Stephanie called them, would help her adjust to our new life as a family... Read more →


2012 in review

In a nutshell, 2012 was one of the hardest years of my life. Gone are the days of children who adore me. Gone are the days of being on the same wavelength with Gordon regarding parenting. Gone are the days of loving to be home enjoying my haven, my castle. I write this in a brand new year and I feel great. I think 2013 is going to be an amazing year. But it's far from traditional, and that's an understatement. More of that later . . . My first response when thinking of the past year is one of heaviness and darkness. But as I really thought about it, as I forced myself to on December 31, I recognized some bright moments and times of growth. That is my focus at this moment. This is my "Time with God" spot. ~ Started consistently getting up at 5:30 for extended... Read more →