Friday, October 31, 2008

Frustration, Joy, Anticipation...

FRUSTRATION: To celebrate November 1st and the start of Nanowrimo I planned to switch to an awesome hobbit themed template. The uploading failed and in the process I lost all my sidebar widgets. It is too late to fix tonight…grrr. Anyone have template suggestions I am tired of bloggers suggestions.

JOY: Heroes Unmasked went well. The kids had a blast, there was more than enough candy, people helped clean up, and I loved my costume.

ANTICIPATION:
Novel writing begins in one hour and three minutes.

New Dilemma

The costume crisis has been averted. This morning I did some creative shopping and with a bit of recycling and have almost completed my look. Pictures will be uploaded tonight after the Heroes Unmasked mayhem is over and cleaned up.

There is a new crisis: Scott even said I could wear my superhero costume to church this Sunday IF it fit will my children’s moment object lesson. I have no idea how to make batgirl into a teaching point. The children’s big idea is “A World Changer Trusts God.”

If you have an idea please let me know, leave a comment.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dilemma

Heroes Unmasked, the children’s ministry’s third annual fall-festival-“trunk or treat”-non-Halloween-on-Halloween-event is tomorrow night. Everything that could be set up a head of time is set up. The candy has come in, the games planned, the volunteers ready. Tomorrow is already scheduled and it is going to be a very full day.

Here is my trouble I need a hero (superhero or Bible character) costume for the night and no time or ideas on what to make…suggestions? I really want to be batgirl but no idea where or how to make that happen.

Thankful Thursday

There were roses on my desk this morning (its pastor appreciation week at our church there have been neat goodies like movies passes, Tim Horton’s dollars, etc)

New treasures from last weeks Ten Thousand Villages gift sale

Games nights, TV nights and my friends from small group

Good friends and neat emails with inspiring art possiblities (Robin this is you)

Good friends who send text messages of encouragement (thanks Aaron)

A church member loaned me her car to haul enormous cardboard boxes

Youth went well and we’ll be ready for tomorrows trunk or treat…I hope

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Waiting for the Weekend

November is almost here and I have a blank word.doc just waiting for storytelling greatness. I have the opening all worked out in my mind, I hope I can continue to remember the wording for two more days. Today, Chris Baty, founder of the event, sent out an overview of what to expect in the coming month. Here is an edited look at the first half:

October 31: Get the first pep talk email. You'll receive about three of these a week—one from me and two from our panel of esteemed celebrity pep talkers—throughout November.

November 1: At midnight, local time, start writing your book. You need to log 1667 words per day to stay on par. The site will be very slow for the first few days of the event, but with patience you can update your soaring word count in the box at the top of our site or on the "Edit Novel Info" page of your profile. Watch your stats graph fill. Send a link to your author profile to your friends so they can follow your progress. Revel in the majesty of your unfolding story. It's November 1! You are an unstoppable novel-writing machine!

November 2: Stop writing. Wonder if you should start over. Keep going. Feel better.

November 3: The first November episode of WrimoRadio goes up on the site, beaming out overcaffeinated messages of hope from Wrimos worldwide. We'll be podcasting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from here until December.

November 8: As the first full week of writing comes to a close, you will be at 11,666 words. This is more fiction than most people write in their lifetimes, and you did it in a week. Go, you!

November 13: Nothing really happens on November 13.

November 15: After the second week of writing, you will be at 25,000 words. This is the approximate length of such legendary works of fiction as Animal Farm, Death in Venice, and Gossip Girl: I Like it Like That. You're halfway to winning!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Food Friday: Food Discovery

I am thankful for brave people who try new foods and introduce them to me. Terry saw arctic kiwis at Sobeys and thought they might be good. I had seen the same display and thought they would be interesting but didn’t want to risk it…or go over the weeks food budget. When I was over for Thursday TV night (CSI and Eleventh Hour) she shared the “new” food with me. They are sweet, bite size, and decisions.

The fruit is a little larger than a grape. They have a similar taste to the larger kiwis like how both garden tomatoes and cherry tomatoes both taste tomatoey but at the same time they are different. The outside is green and less hairy compared to traditional kiwis. If you see them at your local grocery store I recommend trying them.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for hearts that praise the Lord and testify to the life he has give –we had a great choir visit our church Saturday night and 200 people attend their concert.

I am thankful for long distance phone calls and friends.

I am thankful for coffee dates and my new favourite drink “London Fog” sooo good!

I am thankful for the wind –feeling it on my face today made me feel alive.

I am thankful for God waking up my heart –I don’t feel numb anymore.

I am thankful for God’s promises even when they impossible.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wolfville Write-In

Nanowrimo is almost here but it is not too late to sign up. Really you could sign-up November 29th at 11:59 pm as I read on the nano site “hope springs eternal” but I wouldn’t recommend waiting. I order the writing kit for ten today. I know all you writers are anticipating earning a novelist pin. Leave a comment letting me know you are interested in participating and/or add me as a nanofriend when you sign up.

The forums are up and running again. They are deadly procrastination traps. I could easily see myself spending more time chatting about writing than actually writing. After seeing that there were other valley wrimos on the Nova Scotia regional boards I offered to organizing a write-in November 1st for any Annapolis Valley wrimos at a local coffee shop. I am looking forward to meeting up with some of local writers. If you are in the area drop by Just Us in Wolfville at 2pm.

Writing mayhem is almost upon us and I am having a hard time keeping my ideas a secret. I am still keeping quiet about my plot and character ideas but I will say the genre this year is fantasy and the title is (drum roll please)…

Memoires of a Dream Rider

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cat Tales: Cat Nap

I listen to other pet owners tell stories of their beloved creatures sleeping in the same bed at night and I don’t understand it. I can’t do it. I love both my cats. They are sweet, wonderful, and cuddly. I enjoy a good afternoon nap with them and now that they are almost out of the kitten stage they no longer attack my feet while I sleep. But they do not spend the night in my room.

A few weeks back Kima sat at my door crying two nights in a row till I gave in opened the door and allowed her to sleep on my bed. It was the worst sleep of my life. I tossed and turned all night long. Every time she repositioned herself I woke up and time I needed to change my position I could because she was on my legs. It was horrible. I vowed never again…ha ha ha…you know what they say “never say never.” Last week she hid herself on the shelf above my bed. When I was almost asleep she pounced from the great height onto the bed. I jumped so high with fright then tried to make the journey to dreamland. It was another rough night. If you are a pet owner who shares your bed with a pet, how do you do it?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Make It Monday: Tis the Season

The Christmas Craft fairs are upon us. There were a number of sales in the area this past weekend and more in the coming days. I stopped by Horton High School’s 13th annual craft fair on Saturday. I love exploring the wares at craft sales. Who knows when you will discover that perfect gift? One girl was selling some giant frog, flower, and pumpkin shaped shortbread cookies beautifully iced in vivid colours, another table had homemade candles, still another hand painted tree ornaments. I picked up some wonderful gifts leaving only two gifts left to find (or make) and many in progress gifts to finish. This coming weekend I’ll be helping with the previously mentioned Ten Thousand Villages gift sale.

If you can’t make it out to a sale or crowds turn you off but you would still like to give something homemade try etsy.com, there really is something for everyone.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Victory

Project Runway is one of my favourite reality contests. The previews and editing focus on the interpersonal conflicts because that’s what “sells” but that isn’t what I enjoy about the show. The challenges challenging, the designers are always bring interesting dynamics, and when one or more misinterprets or just doesn’t “get it” the results can be hilarious (If you watched this season the whole Olympic confusion is a perfect example). I love the challenges, the shopping at Mood, the fabrics, and the finial runway.

Every season I have a designer or two that I root for and they never win. All that changed this season when my girl Leanne Marshall took home the prize. She had a gorgeous collection inspired by the ocean and waves. There was such a class and architecture to each piece. You can learn more about the show, winner and finial runway designs here.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Food Friday

Kim’s is organizing a Ten Thousand Villages gift sale at the end of the month. Ten Thousand Villages is an incredible organization. Selinda and I stopped into one of their shops a few years ago (Selinda if/when you read this it was that tiny shop we found on our Jesus to the Nations weekend). We were impressed by the quality and beauty of the crafts. What I have since discovered is that they are completely fair trade.

I helped Kim this past Saturday put up posters and hand out flyers at Just Us a local a fair trade coffee shop and the Wolfville farm market. Farmer’s markets are the best. I loved exploring each stand. There were homemade cheeses, fresh bread, vegetables upon vegetables, yummy coco treats, and some beautiful jewellery. As I walked about I saw how possible it would be to actually live on a local diet. I haven’t made fully decided to follow a 100-mile diet but since reading about others local food attempts I am strongly considering it. Here is an article I just found on ten reasons to eat locally.

And if you are in the Kentville area on October 24 or 25th stop by the fire hall and check out the gift sale.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful that tomorrow is a new day.

Oh, and that Revellos were on sale.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Adding a Tim

16 days till mad novel writing begins. I have a plot outlined, a protagonist, and now possibly a Tim. I was checking out the wrimo sites weekly Q and A section. There was an interview with Tim Mitchell who keeps turning up in fellow Calgary wrimos’ stories…adding to there word count. He might just show up in mine.

There is still time for you to sign-up for NaNoWriMo. Writing begins November 1st. Check out the site it is full of information, breaking news, Q&As, forums, and a podcast. So far three people have mentioned they are interested or planning to participate. I’m going to order the group of ten kit tomorrow so there is still room for people to join us.

The New Face of Canada

I went to bed last night after hearing that Libral Scott Brison took the my riding with 44% of the votes, unsure who would be the countries fearless leader.

The new face of Canada seems very similar to the old face of Canada (with a slightly stronger minority). For a closer look at Canada’s voting habits CBC.ca has a great interactive results map. You can zoom in and see the voting outcome by province and individual ridings.


In my post election morning reading I found this great quote by defeated Green party Leader Elizabeth May, "We ran an exuberant, a joyful and a positive campaign. And if the kids five years up could have voted, I would have won by a landslide." I shared the quote with a friend whose response was, “Yes, and that is why we don’t let children vote.”

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Swazi Thoughts

Swaziland has been on my mind lately. I found a documentary about Swaziland’s monarchy at Blockbuster last time I was in. It was out, but I will rent it the next time. Has anyone seen it? Then the other day I was looking for a video of Swazi children I remembered Selinda up loading and found this video and I found this:



During our internship Selinda and I considered Babe Malaza’s (Pastor Walter’s) congregation our home church. I remember some of the children in this video. It is a weird feeling hearing his interview. I want to go back. The children's hope chest also has video promos for the book Red Letters, which I bought at Jesus to the Nations this year. I think I am going to start reading it today.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Make It Monday: Apple Turkeys

I’d like to introduce you to Herbert. I made him this afternoon with the Van Meekeren children before a huge, wonderful, traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

They are super easy to make and all you need is an apple, toothpicks, and some mini marshmallows preferably the colourful kind. There are no rules for its construction. The other turkey creations had more tail feathers and legs but I think that was so the makers could eat more marshmallows later.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Seeing The Outcasts

I always find it interesting when Hollywood makes a comment on God, the church, or meeting the needs. Some times they get it right or almost. For the longest time Hunchback of Notre Dame was for me the worst "Classic" of all times. Rewatching it has caused me to changed my opinion. It's still not my all time favourite movie/cartoon/Disney Classic but there are elements I liked and some that even remind me of what is important. Especially the song after Esmeralda has declared sauntuary in Notre Dame:

Esmeralda
I don't know if You can hear me
Or if You're even there
I don't know if You would listen
To a gypsy's prayer
Yes, I know I'm just an outcast
I shouldn't speak to you
Still I see Your face and wonder
Were You once an outcast too?

God help the outcasts
Hungry from birth
Show them the mercy
They don't find on earth
God help my people
We look to You still
God help the outcasts
Or nobody will

Parishioners
I ask for wealth
I ask for fame
I ask for glory to
shine on my name
I ask for love I can posess
I ask for God and His
angels to bless me

Esmeralda
I ask for nothing
I can get by
But I know so many
Less lucky than I
Please help my people
The poor and downtrod
I thought we all were
The children of God
God help the outcasts
Children of God

Music:
Alan Menken
Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz

Friday, October 10, 2008

Food Friday: A Cake Referral

Steph posted a five minute cake recipe on her blog. It sounds tasty. I was planning on trying it this weekend. Only she has warned me never to make the cake because it is too addicting.

I love fast and easy microwavable meals. Two years ago my cousin showed me this awesome microwavable lasagna recipe. I wish I still had it. Anyone else have favorite fast/convenient yummy recipes?

Warrick is Gone

CSI use to be the must see show of my week. After youth I’d go to Danielle’s to watch it. It was perfect because don’t have cable and my TV only picks up a very fuzzy Global. The majority of my TV watching is at other peoples places. Not that I am friends with people for the televisions. But after the writer’s strike last year we just stopped getting together on Thursdays. Life just got busy and hours of CSI were missed.

But all that changed last night, a church family invited to watch the season premiere of CSI. Yay! It was a happy moment mixed with a very depressing episode. Why do we watch very depressing shows? I thought entertainment was suppose to cheer us up or something. Best part of the episode was Sarah’s return. Best cliff hanger/season premiere Nick Stokes trapped in the box and buried alive.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I thank God for his grace.

I thank God for the truth.

I thank God for a mother who prays for me.

I thank God for a friend who will listen to me late into the night while I clean even if I hang up (yeah, Aaron that’s you, and you know it wasn't cause I was hanging up it's a horrible phone).

I thank God for a friend who sharpens me like iron (Steph that’s you).

I thank God for a Sr. Pastor who is supportive and has my back.

I thank God for the youth leaders who have been encouraging.

I thank God for the strength and courage to admit to my youth group that I have not been in a place to be a spiritual leader and confess that I have been wrong.

I thank God for this life, this day, this new beginning.

I feel alive for the first time in a long time.

The He in the She

Did anyone watch Bones last night? The case was intriguing, the murderer unexpected, and the comedy side corny as ever. Normally I just watch to unwind, share my thoughts with a few friends, and then forget about it. Last night’s story was different. For those that didn’t here is TV.com’s episode summary:
“Booth and Brennan go to investigate a body found in the Chesapeake Bay. After arriving, they find only the upper torso, giving the team little to work with other than remnants of the victim's breast implants. Brennan and Booth are led to a small church in Maryland, where they find that the victim was a pastor. When the team finds the lower half of the body, they learn that their initial assumptions may not have been incorrect.”

Spoiler Alert:

My mind keeps coming back to elements of the story. The victim was the beloved pastor Patricia, who six years earlier was a mega church TV preacher with a “send us your money message” named Patrick. The response of the general Christian community to gay, lesbian, bisexuals and transgender individuals has concerned me. Sites like “God Hates Fags” make me sick. If this is the message people are hearing we have failed as ambassadors of Christ. “They we know we are Christians by our love” –yet its not love they are seeing (for the most part). Then I read articles like this and wonder “how do I respond.” It is an ongoing issue I’ve been wrestling with. I recently listed to podcasts by Bruxy Cavey the teaching pastor at The Meeting House on the topic. You can find all three on the site under Teaching: Sermon Archives: Hot Potatoes (1,2, and 3). The first was “Is Being Gay A Sin?” the second “Is Gay Marriage A Step In The Right Direction?” and the final “Can Queers Follow Christ?” Right now all I can say is I am doing more thinking and questioning then actual answering.

That was one thought Bones brought to the forefront. The other was the differences in the two churches and the journey of the son. “Patrick’s” church was large, flashy, rich, conservative, and condemning. While “Patricia’s” was small community church called Inclusion. It was a home of ex cons, former drug addicts, gays, and the marginalized and sanctuary for the weary, lost, broken, different, and struggling.

After “Patrick” went missing in Thailand the police told his family he was probably dead. Not knowing his father had had a sex-change the son took over preaching responsibilities till he had a crisis of faith. Booth finds a video of the sermon in which the son “snaps.” In the middle of condemning gays he says he can’t do this any more. He calls the people on the greed, lies, and pride, claims he can not be like his father or mother, asks God to have mercy on us, and walks off the stage. The FBI finds him working as a councilor in a rehab center.

There is this beautiful moment in the interrogation room. The kid is pierced and tattooed holding a bible covered in Christian doodles/graffiti totally different from the white suit preacher he had been. But he rips off the paper at one point at it is the same Bible. Before he leaves Booth asks if the son had ever considered going back into ministry. The episode ends with the son preaching a message at his father’s small community church. There were flaws and things through out the episode I didn’t like or agree with but there were elements of redemption and God’s forgiveness that were so clear to me -all from watching Bones.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Seeking Nine Brave Souls

Have you considered participating in Nanowrimo this year? I am looking for nine people to join me on the noveling quest. Nano was a great writing experience.

There is a personal challenge to it; it was me against me (and time) attempting writing glory. Okay, not “writing glory,” my first noval was far from glory. The event creators strongly emphases that this is all about quantity not quality. I loved being apart of the forums, word wars, the late nights, and watching my little nano word count bar fill up. Finishing nano is wonderful; the “prize” for competition is the warm feeling of success, a downloadable certificate, and bragging rights for a year.

Why nine? While checking out the nano store, I discovered “the group of ten noveling kit.” I liked it. The kit has a chart that comes with completion stickers (which reminds me of Sunday school attendance charts) AND ten “novelist" pins for those who reach/surpass the 50k goal. It was the pins that attracted me, I started thinking this could be a fun group experience. It would make it more personal. I loved last year cheering on Jessica and having her encourage me. If there was a group there would be more encouraging. Also I’d like a pin. Pins are cool. I am strongly thinking about purchasing it if people are interested.

Last year more than 100,000 people around the world participate with more than 15,000 of them succeeding. This could be your year to write a novel, earn the glory of finishing, and a pin. What do you think? If you have already signed up my user name is Little1liz.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Cat Tales

One night, a few weeks back, I decided to take a walk to Avery’s a local farmers marker, convenient store, movie rental place all rolled into one. It’s a fifteen minute walk. Kima was at the door waiting for me to let her out (Inu would have been but he was already out exploring the big wide world). As soon as the door opened and she was gone.

It was a good walk. My apartment is on a remote road. There are only a few homes and very light traffic. I was able to enjoy the trees and setting sun. The walk helped me unwind, my thoughts wandered, I worked on story ideas, solved problems, realized neither the plots nor the solution would work. It was great till I had the sense that I was being followed. I turned and there was Kima following me. Not wanting her to mimic Mary’s little lamb and follow me across a main street all the way to the store turned back and headed home.

Though frustrated about not making it to the store, returning was cute. Kima followed behind me. If I stopped to let her catch up she would speed up and pass me, then look over her shoulder with a look that said, “What's taking so long.” When we got to the yard, the neighbor’s eight year old daughter looked up from her game and whisper to a friend “Look she took Kima for a walk.” With Kima back indoors I resumed my trip to Avery’s and my walk was saved.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Make It Monday

Last winter in the midst of Christmas shopping and New Years resolution making, I noticed a trend on many of the DYI sites and craft blogs I visit of making pledges and packs to create gifts, buy homemade, boycott mass produced stuff and malls for a seasons or year. The best example is the Homemade Pledge, which states: “I pledge to buy handmade this holiday season, and I request that others do the same for me.”

The pledge got me thinking…I could do that. I could give a homemade gift to my friends and loved ones. Not only could it be homemade, it could be hand crafted by me. By mid February I had decided, this Christmas I would made everyone’s gift. It was a great idea when Christmas was months away. I think I was delusional-ly positive, at the moment I am not so sure it can happen. I have 16 projects on the go and only 36 days before Nanowrimo starts. That isn’t even the biggest issue. I have three wonderful male cousins and no idea what to make them. Now of my ideas seem right. Any manly suggestions for a suitable project?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Food Friday: On Saturday

The menu planning I started last month has been a huge help to my eating, spending, and cooking habits. The time taken to sit down and plan has been worthwhile. The struggle is that when I sit down to choose the weeks meals I can’t think of any food options. My plans have lacked a variety of dishes.

So I am moving into phase two of the menu planning process. Sunday is now my new recipe trail day. Tuesday and Thursday are quick meals like take out or pizza. Saturday is about the leftovers leaving Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays undecided. I am trying to make a list of favorite dishes to rotate on those days. Still making the list of what those dishes will be.

What are meals/dishes would you put on the list?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for those who listen to me when I am hurt, frustrated, and not thinking clearly. I am not sure how I would have got through the week without them.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Just A Month Away!

Nanowrimo is just around the corner. It’s the challenges 10th anniversary and you can be part. Between now and November 1st anyone (over the age of 13) can sign up to participate in this years writing frenzy. I know it seems daunting but the founders always assure this is about word quantity not quality. The time pressure actually helps all the novel dreams to finish a story with a decent first draft. Check it out: Nanowrimo.

The Second Spiderwick Writing Activity: Imagine you had a Seeing Stone or goblin-spit in your eyes and could see the world of the faeries like the Grace kids? Would you go on wild adventures too? What kindof magical creatures would you discover? What kind of mysterious places would
you find? Write about what your life would be like if you could see all the magic happening around but no else could. Would you tell your friends or would you keep it a secret?