Monday, May 31, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook 20

FOR TODAY: May 31, 2010
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...the currents are currently closed

I am thinking...of how busy the next month is going to be and wondering how I'm going to get something done. Also trying to figure out how/when I'm going to get to Halifax to buy new running shoes.

I am thankful for...the girls (we meet for tea Monday mornings but its been too busy to meet for the past few weeks).

From the kitchen...I'm going to try a new recipe this week. It is part of the Apartment Therapy challenge. Any suggestions on what I should make?

I am wearing...clogs, jeans w/cute belt, and a blue-striped tee.

I am creating...a healthy home with the Apartment Therapy currently in week two. I'm also re-writing my 2009 nano novel "Across Eldamar." I've been "working" on a re-write since January but it's been slow going. Over the weekend I found a great resource "The Weekend Novelist Re-Writes the Novel" It's been helpful (I'm 33 pages in so far). The only problem is the book's method takes 17 weekends and I have a June 30th deadline for a free-proof copy.

I am the Running Store for new shows and then to Just Us Cafe for a meeting.

I am reading...2nd Chance (audio book), Apartment Therapy, the Weekend Novelist Re-Writes the Novel, S is for Silence, Prayer Works, When Nothing Matters Any More, Your First Two Years of Youth Ministry, Children's Ministry in the 21st Century, and Simply Strategic Volunteers.

I am survive the next week.

I am hearing...Eureka season 1.

Around the house...More "Apartment Therapy" projects...week two is all about the kitchen.

One of my favorite things...chasing rainbows which sounds a little nutty but I saw one last night that inspired a fun but short drive.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
For more daily photos visit the 365 Picture Challenge.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thankful Thursday #5

I am thankful for:

1) Phone calls with my family (love you much Mom & Dad & Sister!)
2) Facebook messages from my Aunt Sharon!
3) My writing group...they're the best!
4) The book "Apartment Therapy"
5) The CRC youth and leaders I meet this past weekend at their retreat
6) My camera
7) "!" how else will you know I mean it?

Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High.
-Psalm 50:14
If you want to participate in this Thankful Thursday, create your own "thankful" post, copy the post's link (not just your blog's link)and share the link here:

P.S. So You Think You Can Dance starts tonight; I am so excited for T.V. night!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook 19

FOR TODAY: May 24, 2010
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...the sunset

I am thinking...of the teens I met this past weekend at the spring youth retreat I spoke at

I am thankful for...the beauty of sunsets and flowers

From the kitchen...I commit to eat breakfast this week in my kitchen even if it's only a cup of tea or orange juice.

I am flip flops, black jeans, and a blue printed tee with a white tank underneath.

I am creating...a novel -I know I say that almost every week but it's just a really long process.

I am going...home

I am reading...2nd Chance (audio book), Apartment Therapy, S is for Silence, Prayer Works, When Nothing Matters Any More, Your First Two Years of Youth Ministry, Children's Ministry in the 21st Century, and Simply Strategic Volunteers.

I am hoping...for time to work on some sermons. I am speaking at a youth retreat this weekend and not feeling ready.

I am hearing...not much

Around the house...I stumbled across Apartment Therapy's website a week ago as they were ending their 8-week cure challenge. I was intrigued so I bought the book "Apartment Therapy." I began week one today. Looking forward to completing the home improvement journey.

One of my favorite things...the smell of anything freshly cleaned like laundry or mopped floors.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
For more daily photos visit the 365 Picture Challenge.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rate the Fun: To Court the King

To Court the King is a dice-based game that has similar components as Yahtzee, or as another reviewer explained it's "Yahtzee the Gathering". It is recommended for two-five players; I've found three to be the ideal group. It can be played in about 45 minutes (a little longer when you're first learning the dynamics). Rio Grande Games releases the English version. The back of the box explains the play very well:
"The players are supplicants at the King's court and try, with cunning (represented by dice rolls), to secure the support of influential members of the court and community. On each turn, a player rolls the dice, lays at least one aside, and continues rolling with the rest until he has set all the dice aside. With the final result of the dice, he may be able to acquire a character car, which will give him special abilities for his later dice rolls. The first player to roll seven dice with the same number, earns the support of the King & Queen, which will give him advantages in the final roll-off to decide the winner!"
Players being by rolling three dice. Character cards can add dice to the players roll or give special abilities. Some of these gifts are turning the a dice to any number, adding dots to the dice, or re-rolling dice. Adding dice allows the player to "gain favour" with a more powerful character.

I do enjoy the game. I enjoy trying to earn specific character cards and find better card/ability combination. The only negative side can be the ending, earning the king does not guarantee the player wins. I also find that the final show down can almost be anti-climatic.

The Scores:

To Court the King = 7.5

Visit Board Game Geeks for more about To Court the King and for more of my game reviews visit the original Rate the Fun post.

Rate the Fun Scale:
10 = Outstandingly Awesome Game; Always want to play it and I expect this will never change.
9 = Excellent Game; Always want to play it.
8 = Very good game; I like to play. Probably I'll suggest it and I'll never turn down a game.
7 = Good game; Usually willing to play.
6 = Okay game; There is some element of fun or challenge; will play sporadically if in the right mood.
5 = Fair game; Slightly boring, take it or leave it.
4 =Not so good; It doesn't get me but I could be talked into it on ccasion.
3 = Bad; Likely won't play this again but could be convinced.
2 = Extremely annoying game; Won't play this ever again.
1 = Clearly broken; You won't catch me dead playing this.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Audience Participation

Jen's comment on today's Thankful Thursday post got me thinking...I love participating in Sunday Scribblings and The Simple Woman's Daybook. I like the meme’s because they encourage me to specially post weekly, challenge me to think, and allow me to share with a community of blogger. Why invite others to join me in Thankful Thursday (I also realize I am not the only person doing this so if you’re the founder of the original meme –sorry).

If you would like to participate in Thankful Thursdays here’s how:

1. On a Thursday write/create a post of someone or something(s) you are thankful for. This could be a list, a poem, a paragraph, or even a picture. I’m personally aiming for a list of seven things (minimum) each week.

2. Add a link back to this blog

3. Copy the "permalink" from your "Thankful Thursday" post. This is the actual post link not the link to the front page of your blog. This will make it much easier for others to find it instead of looking through the entire list of entries at your blog for your "thankfulness".

4. Come back here and add your name and link to the Mister Linky box.

Thankful Thursday #4

I am thankful for:

1) All the youth pastors, leaders, and adults who built into my life when I was an adolescent
2) My prof Marv Penner
3) The parents of the teens in my youth group
4) The students in my youth group
5) Sunny days and warm afternoons
6) New music
7) Munchies with friends

I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among throngs of people I will praise you.
-Psalm 35:18

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Julie & Julia Thoughts

A friend mentioned to me this week that since I read so much I should do short reviews on some of the books. So here goes: Julie & Julia

I finished reading Julie Powell's cooking challenge memoir back in February. In it she chronicles her attempt to cook through Julia Child's 524 from Mastering French Cooking. I made the mistake of watching the movie before reading the book. Normally that isn't an issue but in this case I preferred the movie and in turn found the book boring.

The book wasn't that it was dull, I just found it hard to read sections that I'd seen in the movie, particularly the lobster cooking crisis. I "knew" what happened so reading about the event seemed pointless. I say "knew" because there was an amount of details, thoughts, and even the time line (in places) that were that was different from the movie, which was only "based" on the book.

Another issue I had with reading Julie and Julia was the language and subject matter. She was raw and honest about life, which I appreciated but I didn't care for the cursing or continue connection to cooking and sex. It set a slightly darker tone that the lightness I imagined from the movie.

For those two reasons I would recommend just watching the movie. Plus I really like Amy Adams. The whole book wasn't a complete lost. Somewhere around the three-quarters mark I actually really started to enjoy the writing style. I enjoyed learning more about the details of the Powell life, their friends, and family. I also found that questions, more small details I was curious about from the movie were explained in the book. I appreciated a fuller resolution of Julia Child's dislike for Julie Powell and the epilogue. It was also my first Jess Point (see yesterdays blog post). Powell is explaining the process of gathering marrow for a cow bone on page 75:
“So there I was, scooping out the center of the center of things thinking mostly that it was some nasty sh---. Pink, as I think I’ve mentioned. Very wet. Not liquid, but not really solid, either –gluey clots of stuff that plopped down onto the cutting board with a sickening sound.

The boys looked on, mesmerized. “Someday,” Eric said, swallowing hard, “our sip is going to come in. We are going to move out of New York, and we are going to have our house in the country, like we’ve always wanted.”

I thought he was just trying to talk me into my happy place, but he had a point, and when he finished swallowing his bile, he made it.

“When this happens, we need to get ourselves a rescue cow. We will buy it from a slaughterhouse. And then we will treat it very well.”
It is the "rescue cow" that specifically made me smile and earned the Jess Point not the act of retrieving bone marrow. Powell goes on to say how even though she is a "fanatical eater of flesh" bone marrow was like a moral violation about life and animals that no one had the right to see. Either here or in the section about lobsters she made a point about seeing your meat alive change your appreciation for their life and the meal, or that is at least my interpretation of what I read.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jess Points

I have a good friend, Jess. We haven't seen each other since college but thanks to blogging and other social networking sites we've became closer friends. We have similar interests, hobbies, and taste in books. I've also discovered if she like a band or singer I probably will too. We also share a love for challenges. So, when one of us signs up for a challenge we invite the other to join us, like NaNoWriMo or the Gilmore Girl Reading Challenge.

Jess is also a vegan. She brought my attention to reasons and choices behind vegetarianism and challenged me to live 30 days without meat. Because I love and respect her I accepted and participated in the month long food challenge in September 2008. It was doable but hard and I missed meat almost the whole month. However, I appreciate experience because it helped expand my thoughts about food, farming, and the agricultural industry along with reading The 100 Mile Diet and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (which I haven't actually "finished" yet).

A few months back, while reading Julie and Julia I realized that I have been awarding myself "Jess Points" for vegetarian-related choices. This is new to Jess as well so you might be wondering "What exactly is a Jess Point?" Good question, they are a combination of a inner-smile, pat on the back, and a gold star all wrapped inton one that I mentally give myself for vegetarian thoughts or choices that I believe Jess would smile at or be proud of. The first "points" were award for simple acts like enjoying a reading paragraphs that are vegan-friendly or ordering the veggie nachos.

Today, a few friends from class and I decided to eat lunch together. We agreed on a small cafe style shop a few minutes walk from campus that we've all wanted to try -the Vegetarian Lunchbox. As I looked over the chalkboard menu I smiled to myself and thought, "this has to earn me a few Jess Points."

So Jess, if you ever want to come visit me in Nova Scotia, know that we can find a place to eat. And they had some yummy looking dessert.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook 18

FOR TODAY: May 17, 2010
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my a room with no windows
I am thinking...about at risk adolescents.
I am thankful for...the teens in my youth group.
From the kitchen...ate out today and will all week.
I am wearing...clogs, jeans with cute belt, green tee, jean jacket, and pink scarf.
I am creating...slippers, sort of. The slippers have been sitting in a bag for the past three months but they need to be completed.
I am going...from class to an annual church buisness meeting.
I am reading...1st to Die (audio book), S is for Silence, Prayer Works, When Nothing Matters Any More, Your First Two Years of Youth Ministry, Children's Ministry in the 21st Century, and Simply Strategic Volunteers.
I am hoping...for time to work on some sermons. I am speaking at a youth retreat this weekend and not feeling ready.
I am hearing...the prof lecture.
Around the house...
A few plans for the rest of the week…I am auditing a class this week at Acadia and preparing to speak at a youth retreat next weekend.
One of my favorite things...finding lost things

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
For more daily photos visit the 365 Picture Challenge.

And the Winner Is....

This has been one of the greatest Survivor seasons yet and one of my favourites. I liked the return of great players, the recycling of challenges, and trying to guess how everything was going to play out. Before the season a "boot list" was leaked and I've tried very hard to stay in the dark about the weekly out comes. I like not knowing; it makes watching fun. Tonight end didn't disappoint.

The first immunity challenge was a repeat from China. Players had to balance stacks of dishes. Colby came close but in the end Parvati won. When they returned to camp Colby gave a goodbye speech about not trying to scramble then proceeded to scramble. What drove me crazy was not that he tried to flip someone but that he went to Russell for help? What was he thinking? Was he thinking? Why didn't any of the heroes ever seek Sandra out? Together they could have taken Russell out before the the final five! Colby's efforts weren't enough and he became the 8th member of the jury.

The second immunity challenge was a maze. Players had to collect for necklaces found in the maze then exit and touch the pole the immunity idol was on while blindfolded. It was a nail bitter. Russell, Jerri, and Parvati were all within inches of the pole trying to be the first to find immunity. Watching was so intense, again I was talking to the TV because my encouragement helps the people on TV do better. In the end Russell found the idol first and was safe at tribal council. When they returned to camp it seemed everyone was set on Parvati going home. But somewhere before the vote Russell changed his mind and Jerri became his next victim and the 9th member of the jury.

At camp, just before council, Sandra burned Russell's hat. It was funny and strange. And I feel bad for laughing about it. I'd have been angry.

The Final Tribal Council was a hoot! So many good lines and questions. I giggled. There were some propts given to Sandra, respect given to Parvati, and more than a little roasting of Russell. But the best moment and greatest quotes came from Coach while voting, not sure the exact wording but it was something like "And now King Arther's quest is completed" The show would have been less with out Coach.

Jury Vote
Finalist: Russell
0/9 votes
3/9 votes
6/9 votes
Juror Vote







With that, Sandra won and was crowned the Survivor Queen she's played twice, never voted out, and the first two time winner. I am a little sad Parvati didn't win but super glad Russell didn't. The reunion was equally fun to watch but it's late and I am starting a class tomorrow and need sleep.

P.S. It was announced tonight that the Survivor Season 21 will be in Nicaragua. Looking forward to another season of Survivor predictions. Until then 'So You Think You Can Dance' posts might return.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Survivor: Final Five to Million Dollar Winner

The anticipated two hour Heroes vs. Villains Finale airs tonight followed by an hour long "reunion special." I am getting excited for it. My friends have agreed to pause the show till I arrive after tonight's youth rally.

The show is going to start with five remaining Survivors and end with one being crowned "The Greatest Survivor." There is going to be two immunity challenges and two elimination tribal councils. The final three will face the jury to plea their case on why they should have the million dollars. I think that is going to be the most interesting part. Every finale I've watched has had a final two; I am having a hard time imagining the dynamics of that last council.

The Final Five:
This is not the final five I originally envisioned and it is all Tyson's fault. Russell's alliance was weak and Rob had this great plan, three vote Parvati and three vote Russell, and no matter what one would go home. Only Tyson, to his own detriment, listened to Russell bit the apple and Eden was lost. Since then it seems Russell and friends are unstoppable. Everyone I wanted in the final are gone because of that choice. Now we have:

Colby: the only remaining hero, more because he's fallen through the cracks. I loved Colby in Australia but this time around he just doesn't seem to care. I wanted a hero to win but I can't see it happening. Past standings Australia -Runner-Up; All-Stars -5th Out.

Sandra: has been in the villain minority since Boston Rob's departure. I think she's done well and made good voting choices. I hope she makes in to the end and I could see her winning. Past standings Pearl Islands: Winner

Parvati: I have this love/hate thing for Parvati. She's annoying but good. I hope she's in the final three. I can't see her winning again just because of who is in the jury but you never know. Past standings Cook Islands -15th Out (& 7th Jury Member) Micronesia: Winner

Russell: is always wearing his meanie pants. He's played the game like he's the king of the world which made for fun episode viewing but I believe will ultimately cost him the million dollars. Past standings Samoa: Runner-up

Jerri: just like Colby is different this time around so is Jerri. I hated her in Australia and All-Stars and thought she deserved the "Black-Widow" title. This season not so much. She's been more heroic...and a little wishy washy, which might be to her advantage. She is going to be a swing vote. Both Parvati and Russell think they can manipulate her. How she votes in the first challenge be a huge factor in the second. Overall I think she's slipped through the cracks but has friends on the jury. She could walk away with a million this time around. Past standings Australia: 8th out (& 2nd jury member) All-Stars: 7th out

Tonight's Predictions:
The final three is all going to come down to who wins the immunity idols. The mathematics say they each have a 20% chance of winning but past behavior and broken relationships lower (or raised) everyone's chances.

Both Parvati and Russell have made agreements with everyone about who is going to be seating at the last tribal council. Between those two, Parvati has maintained better relationships, manipulated more effectively and has been a stronger player in challenges. I see her being the dominatent player tonight.

I think a girl will win immunity in both challenges and Colby and Russell will be the final jury members.

In a Sandra, Parvati, Jerri, I think Parvati has the best chance. Sandra and Jerri have more friends on the jury for the social vote. Parvati and Sandra's past wins may be an asset showing they still can outwit, outplay, outlast. Or the jury might think Jerri deserves the money. However it goes, it's going to be interesting.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Survivor: The Battle for Power

Last week was so much fun to watch. I loved the double elimination. The challenges were a hoot, especially that two people jumped out one minute in for food. I loved that Rupert and Colby eavesdropped wisely and helped vote Candace out. That was a nice surprise. It felt like justice in a strange way. I was also super excited that I guessed Danielle's surprise departure. It really shook things up in the Yin Yang tribe meaning...

There will be fireworks tonight! The previews showed that the Russell-Parvati alliance has crumbled with each one out for the others blood. Everyone will be scrambling to stay in the game another day. Sandra might finally have a chance to vote out Russell. The final five spots will all come down to who wins immunity. And then after tonight there is only Sunday's two hour seasons finale -wow time flies.

This Weeks's Predictions:
As much as the previews hinted that either Russell or Parvati will be packing their bags; I can't see it actually happening. I predict that it will be the two reaming Heroes on the chopping block. Both need to win immunity.

If not, Colby or Rupert will be going home.

Thankful Thursday #3

I am thankful for:

1) Sunshine
2) Answered prayers
3) A good walk/run
4) Dinner invitations
5) Hand-me-down clothes
6) My church
7) My kitties

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
-Psalm 30:11-12

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook 17

FOR TODAY: May 10, 2010
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...gray skies

I am thinking much better the day feels when I am up and going be fore 6:30am

I am thankful for...friends that run with me

From the kitchen...nothing worth mentioning

I am wearing...flip flops, jeans, white tee, and a brown zippered hoodie

I am creating...Across Eldamar, a novel and I have a new plan and resolve to finish before July 1st.

I am going...for breakfast with friends.

I am reading...Amazing Grace (audio book), S is for Silence, Prayer Works, When Nothing Matters Any More, Your First Two Years of Youth Ministry, Children's Ministry in the 21st Century, and Simply Strategic Volunteers.

I am edit two chapters today

I am hearing...nothing

Around the house...its a disaster again...still?

A few plans for the rest of the week…trying to get double the work done because I am auditing a class next week at Acadia

One of my favorite things
...playing board games

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

For more daily photos visit the 365 Picture Challenge.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Survivor Night

Sadness and frustration...and not because Amanda went home last week, which was also sad and frustrating. Team Heroes is slowly dying. My grief is because I going to be at Rally in the Valley* during the finale schedule on Sunday, May 16th.

That aside, these upcoming episodes are going to be grand. How can they not be? The villains appear to have control of the game with five. There are three remaining heroes and one has already joined the dark side. The game is ripe for the unexpected. I hope tonight has a huge blindside. I think those outside of the Russell fan club need to work together or they are all sitting ducks.

This Weeks's Predictions:
Immunity idol is next to impossible to guess, you never know what type of challenge it will be so it's hard to know who could do well at it. I am hoping that Colby or Rupert are protected. I read a Survivor blog whose author thinks there might be two going home tonight. We'll see but in case he's right I'll make two guesses:

I think Rupert is in danger.
And if there is two, I think Danielle will be blindsided.

*Rally in the Vally must be a popular name for youth events because there are two happening the same weekend. I'll be at the local-monthly-interdenominational-youth-worship-service not the Atlantic Wesleyan youth zone rally in Kings Valley, NB.

Thankful Thursday #2

I am thankful for:

1) My Mum
2) Lunch with friends
3) A good walk/run
4) Invictus
5) Plays and community theater (and friends to go with)
6) New friends and my writing group
7) Games nights

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
-Psalm 28:7

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook 16

FOR TODAY: May 3, 2010
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...a forest full of trees with new leaves.

I am thinking
...about forgiveness and reconciliation; I saw Invictus last night. Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman), in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup. I loved the movie!

I am thankful for...pharmacies -I feel icky today.

From the kitchen...No real plans maybe pasta.

I am wearing...PJ pants and hoodie -again I feel icky today.

I am creating...a novel.

I am bed.

I am reading...Cross-Country (audio book), Free-Range Knitter, Prayer Works, When Nothing Matters Any More, Your First Two Years of Youth Ministry, Children's Ministry in the 21st Century, and Simply Strategic Volunteers.

I am go for a run or something this week.

I am TV.

Around the house...I'm going to rearrange my bedroom once I feel better.

A few plans for the rest of the week…the normal: work, life group, bible studies, youth group. However whenever I think the week will be "normal" it never is so all my plans might go the window tomorrow.

One of my favorite things
...Doctor Who

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Saturday, May 01, 2010

"Event" -Sunday Scribblings

An Abby and Across Eldamar Story

The escort lead Abby through labyrinth of Elvenhold's hallways and corridors towards the banquet hall. Abby nervously rubbed her hands against the delicate skirt fabric. It was a beautiful green gown a young elf girl had brought her shortly after she had received a royal invitation to dinner from the King and Queen of the Elves. The pomp connected with this meal and the uncertainty of what is expected of her was causing her deep anxiety. She rubbed her hands against her skirt one more time escorts reached a grand stair case.

Abby scanned the scene below her. The hall was elaborately decorated for the evening’s banquet. There were two rows of tables set up with a large head table at the far end of the room. The space was filled with noble looking elves. She swallowed and felt faint but forced herself forward down the stairs to join the group. Every step required her complete attention or she was certain she would lose her balance.

As she reached the bottom step and new fear popped in her mind. She knew next to know no one, who would she sit with? She hated meeting new people. She never knew what to do or say. On top of that she didn’t know proper elvish etiquette or procedures. At any moment she could deeply offend everyone in the room. This is the reason she hated fancy events.

“Hello Abigail of Terra” a musical masculine voice sounded behind her. Abby turned to see the Prince she had seen earlier. He extended his hand to her and smiled, “Please allow me to be your escort this evening.”

Abby took his hand and somehow knew everything would be okay.

The End

For more event inspired writings visit Sunday Scribblings.