july's 12 in '12


2012 july 12in12
July's 12 in '12

This is my July 12 in '12 collage. As I wrote here, for the remainder of the year I am journaling each month in picture. This picture is loaded with signficant and meaningful stuff irrespective of how insignificant it looks. 

1. St. Francis of Assisi is one of the great mentors in my life. I read something in late June that sparked a desire to re-read some of the things I've read on this great man. I wanted to rekindle some of the truths that I learned from him. In July I re-read these books.

2 and 11. These pictures are from Deborah's 13th birthday. I officially have 3 teenage daughters.

3. Hannah found this kitten near 7-11. It was meowing and she looked down at her feet to discover him there. She brought him home and nursed him back to health. This picture was taken after we had him over a week. He was tiny and had already filled out by the time this picture was taken. It is pitiful that something so small was all alone in the world. Hannah named him Haze and was diligent caring for him. He temporarily softened her heart and since we were desperate for Hannah's heart to be softened, it was a no-brainer that we keep him. He was much work though -- I think he was blind and he meowed nearly constantly. Hannah soon tired of the job and I took him to the Humane Society where I figure he found a good home. But for the short time he was with us, he touched us with his helplessness and his ability to soften a young girl's heart.

4. In June I went to a seminar and heard the benefits of giving up grain products. I checked some Paleo lifestyle books out at the library and on July 1 started eating the way a Paleo enthusiast would. It has now been 36 days of having no junk food, no fake food and no wheat products. Bonus, I lost several pounds in July.

5. This picture of Hannah was taken a few days before going into PChAD. In this picture, although it's a fine picture, the subtleties of her expression reveal her hardness of heart.

6. I love summer and I love my little container vegetable garden.

7. While in PChAD, Hannah resumed her former love for painting. She painted four pieces while there. It blessed my socks off to see her embracing a former love. It's probably been a year since we've seen this side of her.

8. Deborah has had nearly two good months of not cutting. However in July she had a huge upset and she cut again. I'll be sharing some big news on that front very soon.

9. Casanova!, what a cool cat. One day I came home for lunch and found him on top of the cabinet. I couldn't be mad, it was too cute. However, when I came home in the late afternoon, the cow, which was a gift from Stephanie, was shattered on the floor. Casanova was still on top of the cabinet.

10. This is the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC) sign that hung outside of Hannah's safe house for the PChAD program.

11. Here's Deborah with her 13th birthday cake.

12. This isn't just a silly vain picture of my hand. There's some significance here. When Hannah's behaviour started getting erratic and volatile, I read her diaries to try to determine the extent of her drug problem. One thing I read in her diary was how she hates her fingernails and wished they were prettier. I realized that was something I could help her with. I have never tended to my nails with affection, but when I read that I decided I'd begin to stock our home with nail supplies and offer to keep her nails manicured. And I have. As a byproduct of this commitment, my own nails have gotten lots of babying too. This is the first time I've ever worn red fingernail polish. I feel eccentric.

my 1000th post

Valentines morning
Howdy. It's a lovely bright day here in Alberta and I'm soaking up the sunshine. I hope you are enjoying this fine Friday as well.

THIS IS MY 1000th POST on this blog. One might call me verbose, but remember, I'm only verbose in written form. Usually, anyway.

I had a birthday. Turned thirty-fourteen. I'm not getting any younger and complained to Gordon that my face falls a bit more everyday. He assures me he'll still love me even if I have to carry my face in my purse to keep it from dragging.

He is an absolute amazing support and friend to me. This table is what I woke to on Sunday morning, my birthday and Valentines Day. The girls and I always feel so loved on Valentines Day. I was about to get my breakfast on this morning when I spotted the table. I said, "Awwh," forewent the toast and grabbed three cookies and said, "gotta jump start the ole metabolism." It was an amazing day. Thank you, My Love.

I got a special gift, my blog made into books. They are huge -- even I had no clue I said so much over the past few years. Now I'm busy editing, deleting, cleaning up my spelling and grammar. When I get done, I'm turning them into real hardcover books. Anyone want to buy an over-priced book? I say "over-priced" because they are expensive when printing so few, but once I get them cleaned up -- that's a very big and time-consuming job -- I'll be happy to print a few extra just for you. They will make great bathroom reading. My kids are fighting over the books and laughing out loud frequently. Gordon and I have done some of the same.

I'm taking a wee break from posting fresh new stuff. I'm going to devote my blogging time to editing my book. However, keep reading this blog because I'll still be here recycling old posts. To celebrate my 1000th post I'm doing reruns. I hope you'll enjoy them. If you have a favorite, just let me know and I'll put it out there again. 

So keep visiting. Who knows what you'll find.

funny book titles

IFunny book titles  spend a lot of time at the library and am often wonderfully amused by book titles. I've obviously copied some of these titles down wrongly as I couldn't find a couple on the net. However here is a little list of funny book titles, at least titles that tickled my funny bone.

Overworked and Under-laid, by Nigel Marsh

Help, I’m Married to Eyeore

Get Out of My Life, but First Can You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent’s Guide to the new Teenager, by Anthony E. Wolf

When Your Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’ll be Me, by Cynthia Heimel

I’m Not Mad, I Just Hate You: A New Understanding of Mother/Daughter Conflicts, by Roni Cohen-Sandler and Michelle Silver

How to Make a Baby with Tools You Probably Have Around the House

Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself, by Alan Alda

 Help I Married An Idiot


Babies and Other Hazards of Sex, by Dave Barry

Have you seen some titles I should add to my list?

my 2008 favorite books


I belong to Goodreads.com and I really like it. Put simply, it's a place to record what I read and see what a few friends are reading too. I used write notes about good books in a notebook. Now I don't have to do the notebook thing. I just record my thoughts or notes from the book on my goodreads site. Much easier to refer back to.

You'll see that my reviews usually aren't real reviews. They are simply my notes about the book.

From the books I read in 2008, these are my favorite. Drumroll please...

The Shack by William P. Young Read my notes from this amazing book here.

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert Read my gleanings here.

The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible As Literally As Possible by A.J. Jacobs I really enjoyed his falling in love with the sacred. Read my notes here.

Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back by Frank Schaeffer I laughed a number of times during this book. It's not for everyone and might offend some terribly but I really liked it. Read my review here.

Fit From Within: 101 Simple Secrets to Change Your Body and Your Life - Starting Today and Lasting Forever by Victoria Moran A nice easy read on a subject I love. Read my notes here.

Blackbird: A Childhood Lost and Found by Jennifer Lauck A touching memoir about a little girl who lost everything. Read my review here.

Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure A fun insightful read. Read my thoughts here.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith I didn't write a review but I loved the book and gave it 4 stars.

Unveiling Islam: An Insider's Look at Muslim Life and Beliefs by Ergun Mehmet Caner Not exactly an easy read, but hugely insightful. I learned a ton. Read my review here.


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birthday books

Gordon got me two books for my birthday. They didn't arrive for my birthday, so I got them today. Doesn't "Swinging By the Garden Gate, A Spiritual Memoir" sound like a good book? I love the title.

I opened the box and immediately read the back cover. "Uh, Gordon, this book is about the spiritual journey of a lesbian. It's about accepting your orientation."

"Humph, I guess that's not what we were expecting," he grunted.

We laughed. I skimmed the book to see if there were any dirty parts. There weren't. My birthday presents are being shipped back to Amazon tomorrow.

growing older under mrs lindberg's tutelage

I just finished reading Anne Morrow Lindberg's book called Gift From the Sea. From her book, one would never know of her accomplishments. Married to Charles Lindberg, the famous aviator, I was surprised to learn through an internet search that she accompanied him on his historic flights. She too had a well-established career in science and technology. If I had these accomplishments to my benefit, you can be sure I would find a way to bring them into my book. I was impressed by her humility and her femininity.

Her book, Gift From the Sea, (she wrote a number of books, but this one was her most well-known work) is a contemplative, slow-moving, thoughtful look at life and the cycles life brings. She explores different sea shells and draws lessons from those shells. It is definitely not a book for the easily bored or fast-paced reader. I read it twice. The first time I slogged through a few pages at a time and it took me months to finish. After the first read, which wasn't exactly pleasurable, I had a good idea of the book's purpose and overview and was able to then re-read it and appreciate the slowness of pace.

She thoughtfully explores the stages and cycles of life -- particularly a woman's life, and concludes that each stage is worthwhile. "Each cycle of the tide is valid; each cycle of a relationship is valid. And my shells?... They are only there to remind me that the sea recedes and returns eternally."

Toward the end of her book, she explores middle age, the empty nest, and growing older. She writes, "All the inner and outer explorations a woman has done earlier in life pays off when she reaches the abandoned shell (the empty nest). One has to come to term with oneself not only in a new stage but new role... woman must come of age by herself - she must find her true center alone. The lesson seems to need re-learning about every 20 years of a woman's life... Middle age," she writes, "like adolescence can be looked upon as a second flowering."

The book encouraged me to glean as much as possible from each stage of my life. Doing so will help prepare me for my future. One who accepts and embraces her circumstances and stage becomes better prepared for the next stage of her journey.

Intrigued by Anne Morrow Lindberg, I looked into her life a little. Her wisdom and depth didn't come easily to her. Her and Charles's first born child was kidnapped from their home as he slept. He was 20 months old. After weeks of searching, his badly decomposed body was found.

Her pain, like the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, forged its way through her. It left a magnificent scar, but produced something beautiful. She was the kind of woman I would like to be; wise, gracious, deep, thoughtful, and creative.


I'm still reading Walden and finding it challenging and thought provoking. Henry David Thoreau says: "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what it had to teach...I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so steadily and Spartan-like as to rout all that was not life... to drive life into a corner and reduce it to its lowest terms.... Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say let your affairs be 2 or 3, and not 100 or 1000." I like that.