Thursday, August 30, 2007

To-Do List

I had four things I wanted to do before school starts:

1. Finish Michael O'Halloran
2. Finish my queen quilt's top
3. Finish my journal and get a new one. Decorate the old one.
4. Transfer the pictures off my flickr site to my computer

Michael O'Halloran is finished. Wonderful book. Cute and old fashioned, but inpirational. It's about five sets of people. First is Micky and Lily Peaches. Micky was an orphaned newspaper boy in the city of Multiopolis, and one day on his route he found an orphan girl, Lily Peaches. She was unable to walk because her now-dead grandmother hadn't taken care of her when she was younger. Micky took Peaches, and cared for her himself, with constant fear the orphans home would come and get her. The second is the Minturn family. The mom likes to go out and be social, and is rich so she hired help to take care of her children, so she doesn't have to. Mr. Minturn isn't respected at all, so eventually, he gets sick of it and leaves her, after he found out that the daughter was murdered by the nanny, and his wife knew about it. The third set is Leslie and Bruce. Bruce is a lawyer, and is engaged to Leslie. He helps Micky out one day, and then sets his mind to do the little brother program with him (unofficially adopt him). Micky tells him to, but takes a job with Bruce instead. The third set is Peter's family. I forgot their last name, but it's a family Micky meets out in the country when he's caddying for Bruce. Their son, Junior, is determined to live in the city, so in return for caring for Lily for a bit, Micky takes him. Lastly is Mr. Chaufner, who is the publisher of the newspaper Micky used to sell. He has secured Micky writing poetry for the paper, once he gets a proper education. The plot rolls out comically, with a good twist and good lessons learned. So Michael O'Halloran is finished

It is possibly impossible to finish my queen quilt's top, reason being unless I add an unplanned, large border, it won't be a queen. I finished all the patches early this afternoon, and have been stringing rows together. I finished 7 out of 19 today, and might get 12 done tomorrow, we'll see.

I have 10 pages left of my journal, and I'm gathering pictures from this year to decorate the cover. I have an idea of the ones I want to use, and I just need a good quality of them. I bought a new journal yesterday at Chapters, when I went there to meet Kim. She's a girl in 3/4 of my classes, who just moved up here from Sugarland. She's really smart, and very sweet. We're going to try to get assigned each other for split lockers (you pick who you want, but we're not in the same homeroom, so we're not sure), and going to eat lunch together starting Wednesday. Anyways, I now have a journal to write in when I finish my other one.

Yahoo photos decided they were going to shut down their photo system and transfer your photos to the system of your choosing, and I chose flickr. Only after I switched did it let me know I was only allowed 50 photos regularily, and I had 700. My free trial (unlimited pictures) ends sometime in September, but I don't remember when. I've been procrastinating, but I need to go through my albums and save my pictures, one by one, before they delete them. Or make me pay a rediculous amount.

Tonight Marcy and Chris are coming to visit. Courtney and I are in charge of picking them up from the airport, so wish me luck driving! I hate Calgarian left-turn-yield lights, because I'm used to Houston, and just go when I see green. Then I get scared out of my wits because there is a car rushing at me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Effects of Divorce

It's funny- there are some random things that I miss about my dad. I miss him ironing his shirts in the morning. I miss his tradition of making pancakes or waffles for lunch on Sunday. I miss him reading to me. He has not done any of those things for the last, at least 3 years. Maybe it's been 4 now, since the divorce has gone by. I think everyone's happier now. My mom is treated better (being treated by no one is better than being treated badly) and my dad is in a new marriage where he feels needed. But it comes at a cost.

I don't trust men, which is unfortunate because there are some wonderful ones who deserve my trust. Their happiness, and my happiness, really, is effected by the divorce, and that's not fair for them.

There is a woman at my church whose parents divorced when she was 9. She once told my mom, that in the back of her mind, something is always nagging her, telling her that her husband will leave her like her father left her mom. Her husband is wonderful- he would never do that, but because of the divorce, she's got that consistant worry.

I find I'm torn. Because of the divorce, I know that guys have no excuse for not treating me like God's princess. I am special. And I believe (I read this once) that guys will work up to girls expectations, but if girls set their expectations low, then guys have no drive to be better. They will never surpass our expectations. Think of school. If an A is a 90, you'll strive for at least that 90, but if someone who also gets a 70 gets the same 4.0/5.0 for their GPA, why work for those 20 pts?

But if at the same time, I expect them to fail by treating me like dirt in the end, what is the point of these expectations??? It drives my mind crazy. Talk about internal conflict.

Sometimes I think I give my heart away too easily, I trust too easily, but the truth is, I never fully trust. I trust that they're thinking of my well being for the time, I trust that they have the best intentions to be loyal, but I don't trust that they'll always be there.

Some days I wish someone would try to earn that trust. I know it's not impossible. Hard, but not impossible.

Monday, August 27, 2007

My New Job

This is Benjamin. He's 5 months old, almost 6. He can get a little fussy, but if you stand by a window and bounce him up and down while singing/humming, he's an angel. Yesterday, I couldn't think of any nersery rhyme songs except Rock a Bye Baby, which has a baby falling out of a tree, and Twinkle Twinkle, which was getting old, so I hummed hymns that I could think of, and I think the duffer's got a thing for Be Art Thou Vision. ;)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pampared Chef

Today was a cooking day. To start out, we were running bare on the edible food department, so we took a trip to Superstore, and stocked up. When we got home, I made my usual batch of granola (I've almost memorized the recipe. I've been making it so regularly that we usually have an ample stock of it). Then I was supposed to boil the chicken so that I could make King Ranch Chicken Casserole for tomorrow night, but ended up making it because tomorrow I start my part-time, part-time job. It's a secret what it is until tomorrow though... You'll have to wait till the post. I'm really excited though!
Anyways... then I gave the dogs a bath, and gave Lacey another bath because she rolled in the dirt while she was still wet from the first one and got muddy. Next we started with the peaches again. We have 12- 1 litre jars and 6 -1 pint jars. We are about half way done. Courtney and Mom are going to finish tomorrow... while I'm at work!
Mom is dying Court's hair right now; She's finally seen the light and thinks brunette is better ;) I'm in charge of cat-sitting Kiki while that process is going on, and she's a feisty thing. She's chasing her tail around and clawing things up (not so cute). Earlier today she was an angel though. She curled up next to Lacey and fell asleep. Ziggy's still not too sure about her though.
It's 14 degrees out right now (somewhere in the low 50s) and Monday it's supposed to be a high of 14 and rainy. I'm not looking forward to it. Anyways, I hear ya'll down south start school on Monday. Here's my schedule for the next week:

Sunday: church and work
Monday: results come out for Matthew's competition. If he makes it into the top 15, I'll go into more detail on here.
Tuesday: Rebecca gives her defence for her thesis, so pray for her! And I head up to the school to figure the place out. And work again. Yay!
Wednesday: Isn't August 29th someone's birthday?
Thursday:I get to pick up Marcy (my cousin) from the airport because her and her fiance are coming to stay with us for a bit.
Friday: Get as much sewing done as possible because school starts the next Tuesday. Eype!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"Engineering at Its Finest!"

Today took an unexpected turn. We started out the day playing with Kiki. She's such a doll, and it's hilarious to watch her explore the living room and intimidate the dogs. I headed over to Grandma's to work on my quilt, and got 9 more patches finished before Uncle Gordon showed up. He was heading out to the west quarter, and I said I would tag along. It's Grandpa's plot of land. His "farm" in west Cochrane. He's building a picnic shelter, and I knew he would need help today, stabilizing the main beam, whether he'd admit it or not.

At first, I was the official photographer, banished to the picnic benches so as not to get squished with the 3 ton timber. Then they needed me :) Of course, there are no pictures of me working, since I took all the pictures, but I earned supper tonight.

Here's when we got there:
Setting up the home-made tripod. Interesting? Definitely. Safe? Unlikely
Lifting the first main beam, and trying to place pillars and knee-braces:

There are lots more pictures, including some of wild raspberries I had for an afternoon snack, but here's the final product:

By the way, this may look like something we nailed together, but let me tell you... heh heh... when the father of three engineers is an engineer, you KNOW that every angle of that baby is 90 degrees, the floor beams all around, with the concrete pilings are level, the pillars are a perfect vertical level, and the notches cut in the wood to line up are perfect. This is the sturdiest picnic shelter in history. Actually, the dinner table tonight went something like this.

Uncle Gordon: You know, the weakest part of that structure is the shingles.
We'll have to replace those every now and then.

Grandpa: Those last 25 years! Lachlan can replace those! (My now 12 year old

Uncle Gordon: Ya, but the structure will last 500...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

"New" Friends and New Additions

Yesterday Grandma's quilting group went to go see the Canadian cultural quilt. Mom, Courtney, and I joined them. It is beautiful! They had a representative of each ethnic group make a quilt patch, and then they embroidered the country's name in its native language on the left, and in English on the right. The background for the patches is stripes of fabric organized like the rainbow. It's something like 147 feet long. Quite a piece of work.

I also re-found a friend! I met Rebecca last summer when she toured Courtney and I around U of C, but she came with her mom to the Glenbow museum as well. Unfortunately, she's going to Scotland for three years to teach in Edenbourough, but there's always email. We had lots of fun yesterday, roaming around the exhibits. She reminds me a lot of Ankita :)
Last but not least, *sigh* my mom gave in to my sisters begging (not that I'm complaining...) and we have a new addition to the family. Meet Kiki.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Peaches' Preference in Blessings

Superstore was selling peaches for $15/ 20 lbs, so Mom got the notion that we would can peaches. We've done one crate out of 5, and I must say, It's much easier than strawberry jam, but not as easy as green beans (I sound like a caning extraordinaire!). The only preference that strawberries have for me is the taste- peaches are definitely not my favorite. That and I smell like baby food, which is cute on a baby, but not me.

No, peaches are not my preference. The title of this post is from a chapter of Michael O'Halloran. The orphan girl that Micky has unofficially adopted is named Peaches. He calls her Lily though, which is what I'd call a daughter, if I had one. It's a pretty good book so far.

Today was pretty productive. I finished Anne of Avonlea, cleaned my room and did the vacuuming for the main floor, got a hair cut, and I am about to make some pear crisp. Here's some peachy pictures. In the first one, I am wearing my Hasta La Pasta apron, and I am peeling peaches for my crowd. In the second one, Mom is wearing my favorite sweatshirt of hers, and putting the peaches into a sauce, than tupperwares to freeze them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Stitch in Time...

The point of this quilt was to have a list of potential memory verses in an artistic design. I was looking through one of the many books in Grandma's quilting library, when this pattern was drawn to me. The different colored squares are called, in the quilting world, "stars," but because of the dark green, they looked like crosses to me. I figured it would be suitable.

First, I had to find fabric, searching through Grandma's many bins. We ended up going to a quilting store to hand-pick the golden for the verse squares, but other than that I was able to find everything in these beautiful, packed, color-sorted bins.

Next, all the cutting. This has taken me over a year, between me living in Houston, and the fact that this is my least favorite part of quilting. Give me a sewing machine any day, and someone else can mess with the rotary cutter, pins, and felt board. Part of the dilemma was that my quilt takes up more room than Grandma's felt board can handle (she usually has larger patches, so she can rotate through). We had to expand that. Then we tried to rearrange the stars and realized the pesky triangles were just too much to mess with, so I had to draw up a pattern with materials coded, and transfer the triangles to a table (they look like squares because they have not been cut diagonally).

I picked out verses and started embroidering them last summer, and they look like this:

The blocks are one of the following: gold with embroidery, solid colors, or diamonds with dark green diamonds and small colored triangles. Here's what it looks like so far:

Monday, August 20, 2007

Living and Learning

My general Internet-grounding is up, although facebook is still on. Although it hasn't been a burden, it is sometimes difficult to remember not to get on the computer- it seems when you spend an abundance of time on there per day, it is habit to get on. I've had to learn to turn to other activities, which was the point of this portion of my punishment. Here is what I have done in the last week or so:

I read The Magician's Nephew, by C.S. Lewis. My grandmother tried reading them to me when I was about 7, but we got half way through and I couldn't let her continue because I was too scared. Of course, now that I look back on that section of the book, it describes a world that is corrupt, trampled by sin for thousands of years. We didn't get to the refreshing part, that describes the creation of a new world, where sin is distant and still runs from God. It is an amazing perspective of Creation, and showed me some of God's great love for our corrupt world.

I played the piano more than I have in years. I took lessons from grade 2 till 5, and hadn't played much since then. Just after we moved here, I found one of my favorite hymns on sheet music in one of my mom's old books, so I struggled through it. For the last week or so, I have gone through a classical music book that I bought back in May. I'm starting to realize that, although my sight reading has improved to the point where I'm pleased with it, I need to work on the patience and endurance of perfecting a piece, working on the tempo and volumes. My favorites to play are Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach); Fur Elise (Beethoven); Minuet in G (Bach); Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Bach); and Chorale (Schumann). I started with pieces I recognize (hence all the Bach) and I'm starting to spread out to other pieces, now that I'm back to feeling more comfortable with it.

I worked on my quilt! Oh, it's coming along so well! I hope to get some pictures up here. It will (hopefully, if the calculations are correct) a queen-size when it is finished. I finished cutting ALL the fabric the other day (which I have slowly been working on since last summer) and I'm currently working on sewing the blocks. I only have 4 more of the embroidered blocks to do, but I am out of embroidery floss so I'll have to get some more. Then I have around 96 diamond blocks to do- that's what I started the other day. I hope to finish all the blocks before school starts, have the top sewn by November, and finished completely by the time school is up. I'm about to head over to Grandma's as soon as I'm finished this post to work on it more.

I found my camera, so I can take a picture of it.

I also read more of Anne of Avonlea, by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Charming story. I have 44 pages left. I wanted to finish both it and Michael O'Halloran before I pick up another book. I would like to leave you with a quote I found very insightful:

" 'Now my name just smacks of bread and butter, patchwork and chores.'
'Oh, I don't think so,' said Diana. 'Anne seems to me real stately and like
a queen. But I'd like Kerrenhappuch if it happened to be your name. I think
people make their names nice or ugly just by what they are themselves. I can't
bear Josie or Gertie for names now, but before I knew they Pye girls I thought
them real pretty.'
'That's a lovely idea, Diana,' said Anne enthusiastically. 'Living so that
you beautify your name, even i it wasn't beautiful to begin with...making it
stand in people's thoughts for something so lovely and pleasant that they never
think of it by itself. Thank you, Diana' "

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Trust, Deceit, and Forgiveness

Have you ever noticed how the more severe the offence, the more unique or complicated the punishment? For example, if you are late for curfew, you might be grounded for a week, but if you are late because you crashed the car, you are not only grounded for the week, but must repay for the damages by mowing the lawn. This example did not do justice to the point I am trying to make, as the only one I can think of is the specific situation I am in, which I'd rather not disclose. Therefore I encourage you to reflect on your own criminal record.

I have always been a "good kid." I have never been to a "high school party." I've swaggered around the top 5% in my class of 600-ish. I've never crashed a car. My most unique punishment is when I forget to turn off the lights in my room, I owe $0.50 (to help pay for the electrical bill). I actually LIKE this punishment, because it trains me not to do that... a useful skill when I live in my own house.

The other day I deceived some people I respect dearly, and broke their trust. My mom's favorite saying is "It takes a while to build someones trust, and one instance to break it." Although the couple I deceived are incredibly forgiving, I am, for the first time I can remember, feeling the full impact of that quote. Let me tell you, it stinks. I encourage you, if you are in a situation where you are going behind someone's back, to come clean with that person before they catch you.

Long story short, I won't be on facebook until school starts, among other things. And potentially not on this blog for quite some time.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Four Loves, by C.S. Lewis

I'm working on a scholarship where I have to tell of the "greatest literary work of all time." I figured the best way to judge this would be find the work with the largest application over the largest amount of people. What's better than love? Love influences all people, and my belief of that has only been strengthened as I read The Four Loves, by C.S. Lewis. As I mentioned before, I highlighted influential quotes as I went, but I will not be able to type them all here. There are simply too many.

Before one reads this book, it should be understood that C.S. Lewis writes from a Christian perspective. While many of the points he makes apply to a universal audience, he does delve into the representation of marriage in the relationship between Christ and the Church. It also assumes the reader agrees that God gave us the longings we have, and created everything. I encourage you to read all the quotes, even if you don't have the same beliefs I do. I do not expect you to change your beliefs because of these quotes, but I hope it will give you a better understanding of either the topic of love, Christian religion, or both. It is also amusing, as you read, to consider your own relationships, whether friendships, romantic relationships, or spiritual ones.

To summarize, the book starts out grouping the different ways we love: Need-love (young child's love for mother), Gift-love (service), and Appreciation-love (simply loving something because it is the way it is). Then it delves into the ways this is expressed, essentially, the four types of love: Affection, Friendship, Eros, and Charity. They are elaborated in the following quotes (the chapter titles are bolded for organization).

* My favorites/ those I relate to the most

Likings and Loves for the Sub-Human (defines the ways we love)

"Need-love cries to God from our poverty; Gift-love longs to serve, or even suffer for, God; Appreciative love says: 'We give thanks to thee for thy great glory.' Need-love says of a woman 'I cannot live without her'; Gift-love longs to give her happiness, comfort, protection-if possible, wealth; Appreciative love gazes and holds its breath and is silent, rejoices that such a wonder should exist even if not for him, will not be wholly dejected by losing her, would rather have it so than never to have seen her at all."

"Nature 'dies' on those who try to live for a love of nature...Say your prayers in a garden early, ignoring steadfastly the dew, the birds and the flowers, and you will come away overwhelmed by its freshness and joy; go there in order to be overwhelmed and, after a certain age, nine times out of ten nothing will happen to you."


"But Affection has its own criteria. Its objects have to be familiar. We can sometimes point to the very day and hour when we fell in love or began a new friendship. I doubt if we ever catch Affection beginning. To become aware of it is to become aware that it has already been going on for some time."

"The more intimate the occasion, the less the formalisation; but not therefore the less need of courtesy. On the contrary, Affection at its best practises a courtesy which is incomparably more subtle, sensitive, and deep than the public kind."

"Change is a threat to Affection."

"If you need to be needed and if your family, very properly, decline to need you, a pet is the obvious substitute....Those who say 'The more I see of men the better I like dogs' -those who find in animals a relief from the demands of human companionship- will be well advised to examine their real reasons."

"Affection produces happiness if-and only if- there is common sense and give and take and 'decency.' In other words, only if something more, and other, than Affection is added. The mere feeling is not enough. You need 'common sense,' that is reason. You need 'give and take'; that is, you need justice, continually stimulating mere Affection when it fades and restraining it when it forgets or would defy the art of love. You need 'decency.' There is no disguising the fact that this means goodness; patience, self-denial, humility, and the continual intervention of a far higher sort of love than Affection, in itself, can ever be. That is the whole point. If we try to live by Affection alone, Affection will 'go bad on us.'


"To the Ancients, Friendship seemed the happiest and most fully human of all loves; the crown of life and the school of virtue. The modern world, in comparison, ignores it....Without Eros non of us would have been begotten and without Affection none of us would have been reared; but we can live and breed without Friendship....To those- and they are now the majority- who see human life merely as a development and complication of animal life all forms of behavior which cannot produce certificates of an animal of origin and of survival value are suspect. Friendship's certificates are not very satisfactory."

"It has actually become necessary in our time to rebut the theory that every firm and serious friendship is really homosexual."

*"Lamp says somewhere that if, of three friends (A, B, and C), A should die, then B loses not only A but 'A's part in C,' while C loses not only A but 'A's part in B.' ... Now that Charles is dead, I shall never again see Ronald's reaction to a specifically Caroline joke. Far from having more of Ronald, having him 'to myself' now that Charles is away, I have less of Ronald. Hence true Friendship is the least jealous of loves."

*"It is often called Friendship, and many people when they speak of their 'friends' mean only their companions... Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, 'What? You too? I thought I was the only one.'"

*"When the two people who thus discover that they are on the same secret road are of different sexes, the friendship which arises between them will very easily pass- may pass in the first half-hour- into erotic love. Indeed, unless they are physically repulsive to each other or unless one or both already loves elsewhere, it is almost certain to do so sooner or later...If one who was first, in the deep and full sense, your Friend, is then gradually or suddenly revealed as also your lover you will certainly not want to share the Beloved's erotic love with any third. But you will have no jealousy at all about sharing the Friendship. Nothing so enriches an erotic love as the discovery that the Beloved can deeply, truly and spontaneously enter into Friendship with the Friends you already had: to feel that not only are we two united by erotic love but we three or four or five are all travellers on the same quest, have all a common vision."

"The stereotyped 'Don't mention it' here expresses what we really feel. The mark of perfect Friendship is not that help will be given when the pinch comes (of course it will) but tat, having been given, it makes no difference at all."

*"In a perfect Friendship this Appreciative love is, I think, often so great and so firmly based that each member of the circle feels, in his secret heart, humbled before all the rest."

"Affection obviously requires kinships or at least proximities which never depended on our own choice. And as for Eros, half the love songs and half the love poems in the world will tell you that the Beloved is your fate or destiny, no more you choice than a thunderbolt, for 'it is not in our power to love or hate.'...ree of all that, we think we have chosen our peers. In reality, a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain house, the choice of one university instead of another, posting to different regiments, the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting- any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret Master of the Ceremonies has been at work... The Friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of all the others."


"We use a most unfortunate idiom when we say, of a lustful man prowling the streets, that he 'wants a woman.' Strictly speaking, a woman is just what he does not want. He wants a pleasure for which a woman happens to be the necessary piece of apparatus...Now Eros makes a man really want, not a woman, but one particular woman. In some mysterious but quite indisputable fashion the lover desires the Beloved herself, not the pleasure she can give."

"Charles Williams has said something of it in the words, 'Love you? I am you.' "

"The very faces of all the happy lovers we know makes it clear. Lovers, unless their love is very short lived, again and again feel an element not only of comedy, not only of play, but even of buffoonery, in the body's expression of Eros."

"When natural things look most divine, the demoniac is just round the corner....Within which Eros, of himself, will never be enough- will indeed survive only in so far as he is continually chastened and corroborated by higher principles. But Eros honoured without reservation and obeyed unconditionally, becomes a demon...Of all loves he is, at his height, most god-like; therefore most prone to demand our worship. Of himself he always tends to turn 'being in love' into a sort of religion."

"Everyone knows that it is useless to try to separate lovers by proving to them that their marriage will be an unhappy only...But even if they believed, they would not be dissuaded. For it is the very mark of Eros that when he is in us we had rather share unhappiness with the Beloved than be happy on any other terms."

*"Theologians have often feared, in this love, a danger of idolatry.... The real danger seems to me not that the lovers will idolise each other but that they will idolise Eros himself....'These reasons in love's law have passed for good,' says Milton's Dalila. That is the point; in love's law. 'In love,' we have our own 'law,' a religion of our own, our own god. Where a true Eros is present resistance to his commands feels like apostasy, and what are really (by the Christian standard) temptations speak with the voice of duties- quasi0religious duties, acts of pious zeal to love. He builds his own religion around the lovers...It seems to sanction all sorts of actions they would not otherwise have dared...The pair can say to one another in an almost sacrificial spirit, 'It is for love's sake that I have neglected my parents...' These reasons in love's law have passed for good. The votaries may even come to feel a particular merit in such sacrifices; what costlier offering can be laid on love's alter than one's conscience?"

*"Spontaneously and without effort we have fulfilled the law (towards one person) by loving our neighbour as ourselves. It is an image, a foretaste, of what we must become to all if Love Himself rules in us without a rival. It is even (well used) a preparation for that...Can we be in this selfless liberation for a lifetime? Hardly for a week...But these lapses will not destroy a marriage between two 'decent and sensible' people. The couple whose marriage will certainly be endangered by them, and possibly ruined, are those who have idolised Eros... When this expectation is disappointed they throw the blame on Eros or, more usually on their partners. In reality, however, Eros having made his gigantic promise and shown you in glimpses what its performance would be like, has 'done his stuff.'...It is we who must labour to bring our daily life into even closer accordance with what the glimpses have revealed. We must do the works of Eros when Eros is not present.


*"The loves prove that they are unworthy to take the place of God by the fact that they cannot even remain themselves and do what they promise to do without God's help.... For when God rules in a human heart, though He may sometimes have to remove certain of its native authorities altogether, He often continues others in their offices and, by subjecting their authority to His, gives it for the first time a firm basis."

"This is what comes, he [St. Augustine] says, of giving one's heart to anything but God. All human beings pass away. Do not let your happiness depend on something you may lose. If love is to be a blessing, not a misery, it must be for the only Beloved who will never pass away...Of course this is excellent sense...To my nature, my temperament, yes. Not to my conscience. When I respond to that appeal I seem to myself to be a thousand miles away from Christ...To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal...I believe that the most lawless and inordinate loves are less contrary to God's will than a self-invited and self-protective lovelessness."

*"It is probably impossible to love any human being simply 'too much.' We may love them too much in proportion to our love for God; but it is the smallness of our love for God, not the greatness of our love for the man, that constitutes the inordinacy....The real question is, which (when the alternative comes) do you serve, or choose, or put first? To which claim does your will, in the last resort, yield?... So, in the last resort, we must turn down or disqualify our nearest and dearest when they come between us and our obedience to God....It is too late, when the crisis comes, to begin telling a wife or husband or mother or friend, that your love all along had a secret reservation- 'under God' or 'so far as a higher Lover permits.' They ought to have been warned; not, to be sure, explicitly, but by the implication of a thousand talks, by the principle revealed in a hundred discussions upon small matters. Indeed, a real disagreement on this issue should make itself felt early enough to prevent a marriage or a Friendship from existing at all."

"We cannot see light, though by light we can see things. Statements about God are extrapolations from the knowledge of other things which the divine illumination enables us to know."

Friday, August 10, 2007

An Interesting Gift

My neighbors in Katy lived next door to us until about a year ago, when they moved closer to downtown. Mr. Sunny and Mrs. Barbara Tang were an amazing couple, and a wonderful help to our family. We used to take care of their cats when they went out of town, and they would get our mail when we did. Mr. Sunny had a doctorate in chemistry from MIT, so when it rained and poured, he would come over with his chem set and purify our murky-green pool. They had one son, Eric, who was eight years older than me. I remember when I was little, my bedroom window looked into his, and I would admire his soccer trophies and deltas. He and his friends would play basketball right under my window. As he grew up, he was very politically involved. He traveled the world for a semester on the sea, with UCLA, and had built a library in Africa. Recently he was traveling around Mexico, working at WWOOFers. His goal was to spend only $10 dollars a day, between food, housing, and traveling. When Sunny and Barbara moved, we continued to keep in touch, and they attended our neighborhood going away party. At the party, Mrs. Barbara mentioned that she hadn't heard from Eric for a while. They made plans to come visit us in Calgary shortly after we arrived.

Once we reached Calgary, my mom was able to check her email, and she had gotten one from Mrs. Tang saying that Eric had passed away. He had been at a national park where there was a waterfall, swimming, when he decided to jump off (looking at the pictures from the falls, I have no idea what inspired him to do that. It was horrifically tall). When he jumped, his body rotated, and he landed on his back, breaking his neck. Some girls he had met earlier that day pieced the information he had told them together, and figured out where he had been staying. They notified the Tangs, and they held the funeral a bit ago. However, Eric had met so many people from so many places, so there were memorials for him in California, New York, and even one in the town where he built the library. Both the California and Los Angeles Legislature closed in his honor, one day, reading a brief biography of him.

When the Tangs arrived, we took them out to Chinese food. Once at the restaurant, Mrs. Barbara pulled out two rings, and handed one to me and one to Courtney. Mine is pictured above. Mrs. Barbara had grown up next to a lady who also had no daughters. She had wanted to pass on this ring to a "daughter-figure," and therefore gave it to her. Mrs. Barbara only had Eric, and therefore she gave the ring to me. It's beautiful, and I've gotten in the habit of wearing it already, which wasn't too hard, because it's the finger I used to wear my purity ring on. I have been instructed to give it to a young neighbor girl of mine, one day. By that time it will be nearly 175 years old. It's interesting to think about what other women wore this ring. It's diamond, so it could have been used as an engagement ring at one point or another. In any case, it was a very generous gift.

Baby, it's cold outside... La de-da da

So this morning, I rolled out of bed first in the house (also a first for me) and went into the kitchen to look at the thermometer. 8 degrees. 8 blessed degrees. (about 46 Fahrenheit). Winter WILL kill me, just wait and see. I figured it was a good day to read, so I started C.S. Lewis's The Four Loves, to add to my library of knowledge for the scholarship. I'm highlighting quotes I find interesting as I go, so once I'm finished, I'll make a post of all of them. I also went to Chapters bookstore for a bit, and went through some literary essays, looking for other authors' opinion on the greatest literary work. Then I went through a book with different publishers, and contemplated becoming a free-lance writer, until the reality of my spelling struck. Eventually I settled on a book on speed reading, something that my dad and I have talked about looking into for years, and I figure it'll never happen with him, so I might as well do it myself (and now would be a good time, with all these books staking up). I walked back home in the freezing rain, and then made some yummy chicken picatta, inspiration curtosy of my craving for Hasta La Pasta.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

To the Saskatchewan

A poem by my great-grandmother, Dorothy Wallace. Written in 1912.

Lordly Saskatchewan, swift flowing river
Flowing for centuries, flowing forever.
Thou findest thy source in the far western mountains.
Thy waters rush forth from the emerald fountains.
Winding and curving and winding again
Thou spannest the breadth of the great Central Plain
The trees to the edge of thy clear waters grow.
Thus lending their tints to the river below.
Perhaps in the years that are long past and gone
By this river some Indian Chieftain was born
Thy low sounding music then fell on his ear
Oh thine was the voice which first he did hear
And all through the years of his happy childhood
By the banks of the river he played in the wood
At night when he gazed through the gauzy cloud bars
Thought of the Great Spirit who made the bright stars
Heard the rippling streamlet which whispered to him
Of his glory to gain and his battles to win.
He soon grew to manhood, a warrior bold
And his eye was as bright as his father’s of old
His aim was so true and his sight was so keen
Such a great and good chief there was never yet seen.
He rode forth to battle one calm summer day.
His spirit was fearless his heart light and gay
As light and as happy as that summer air
Which fanned his brown cheek and tossed his dark hair
They ought all day long refusing to yield
Till the great chief lay low on the wild battle field.
There fell on his ear as he lay on the ground
A faint sighing ripple a musical sound.
A song so familiar and soothing and deep
T’was the voice of the river that lulled him to sleep.
Great river oh! many a tale thou couldst tell
Of how the white man first came here to dwell,
How he built his log fort on the beautiful land,
And planted his standard aloft on the strand.
Though it floats not so light on thy waters of blue,
The steam ship replaces the birch bark canoe.
The tools of the red Man are reddened with rust.
The fort of the white man is crumbling to dust.
While high on the river banks, fair to the view
With their towers and spires the Twin Cities grew.
The river still flowing will sing its old rhyme
Thus watching forever the changes of time

Calgary Thus Far

Kevin Leung has concluded that I need a blog, and seeing as he is Kevin, knower of lots, he just may be right. My argument that nobody reads them is weakened by the fact that I read his in my spare time.
It's really hard to believe I've been up here for more than a month and a half- an eighth of a year! It doesn't seem that long. I am doing well, for the most part, but I get to missing people when I don't have something to do, or late at night, so I keep myself busy. This morning I recieved the sweetest memo, causing me to reflect on the past 365 days. It's probably been my best year yet.
Today I cleaned up for the inspector to come see the house. Unfortunately, while he was here, I was cooking granola, and the process I use involves the use of every timer in the kitchen, so there were beeps going off every three or so minutes. The owners are refinancing, or something (I wasn't really paying attention) so they needed to know how much the house is worth. The inspector estimates just under a million dollars. Calgary's housing is ridiculous. Then I went and got a new license, and we all skipped over to the mall for an afternoon. After supper I went for a jog/walk and I've concluded that for me, running isn't hindered by muscle. My legs are strong from cheerleading and kept up from dance (Glen made sure we'd have thigh muscles guaranteed without workout till we're twenty, I swear). It's the breathing. I don't know if I don't breathe right while running, if possible, or just endurance that I need to work on, but either way, I find walking much more enjoyable.
A couple days ago, Sydney Adkins (Courtney's friend, sister of Lauren Adkins, who you THS & JET band people may know) arrived. They've been goofing off with photography, fashion, and a combination of the two in the basement, so the main floor has been pretty quiet, although as I say that, I hear outbursts of yelling from the stairs. Maybe they've included drama in their repertoire.
I'm also going to do an essay for a scholarship, on the greatest literary work of all time, so I'm going through audio books, about one every two days. Today I started Michael O'Halloran and it just may qualify. It's an adorable story (so far) about an orphan boy, who finds a lame girl who had also been recently orphaned. It's interesting to see their relationship, how she gives him a reason to be. He's constantly saying how nice it is to have something living when he comes home, and he seems honored by the responsibility of caring for her, and teaching her how to read. Though they're both children, and their relationship is far from romantic (he even jerked away when she tried to kiss him), I hope one day I'm blessed with a husband who feels that it's an honor to have me.
I'm not sure what the plan is for tomorrow. I probably won't update this every day, but we'll see how this turns out.