Friday, April 15, 2016

i'm here!  went on some wandering adventures, got a little lost, got offered a lot of tea!  it's only 7 but i must sleep or literally drop in the spot!

en route to istanbul

ma n pops arrived tuesday night.  dad drove me to work on wednesday and they came for lunch at work and ate falafel burgers with me.  the best falafel i have made yet!

for days the butterflies in my stomach had been growing into hurricane/whirlwind/tornado status.  it's like the time sarah, kyle and i went on the cruise, x10.  except that was a volcano that erupted the morning of departure, and involved missing sunglasses.  this is more of a major storm brewing, bubbling under the surface.  let that set the mood.

just before mom and dad came to pick me up from work, i knocked over the table with a mere whisper of my thigh.  the remains of my pre-birthday birthday cake slidd off onto the floor and all the pens landed on top.  while i was wrestling with the folding legs and heavy table, while trying not to strain my elbo, dad kept ringing from the parking lot.  meh.  i'm on vacay, i said to myself and leaned the table against the shelves and left.

mom and dad took me out to dinner for my birthday.  we went to the blue canoe.  it was a bit hairy looking for parking and a bit of my folding table incident rubbed off on my patience level.  but i got over it quick.  dad found a spot about a block away from the restaurant.  he was breathing heavy, and increasing in heaviness of foot by the time we got to the front of the restaurant, but we stumbled in alright.  a smiley man seated us on the patio, which was warmed by those happy heaters.  i call them happy so that's what they are.  the table looked over steveston harbour and each of our chairs had a lap blanket on the back.

i convinced dad to share the halibut ceveche with me.  i also nudged him towards the crab sandwich.  mom got fish n chips and i got the layered caesar salad with prawns.  the prawns were so delish.  my salad was layed out weiwd.  like whole romaine heart leaves with slices of parm and crumbles of bacon and five or six prawns.  the ceviche had canteloupe in it i think.  before our food came we amused ourselves by swapping mom and dad's faces.  it was totally hilar. dad looked kind of like himself but more cherub cheeked and a little uncle duncan-ish.  mom and dad gave me some owl stuffties and a travel belt thingie.  when were done the waiter asked if we wanted dessert or coffee something and dad said it was my birthday so our waiter said he would get me something.  he came by with this huge piece of pie on a raspberry drizzle.  he told us it was lemon meringue but it didn't look like any lemon meringue that i know about.  the meringue was so high and it was light brown throughout, like maybe it was made with brown sugar.  we all shared it and it was the best ever.

mom and i left dad sitting in front on a chair and picked up the car and then picked up dad.on the way back we stopped at the dollar store to pick up some white thread and to search for some shoe horns for dad who had been using my metal spatula to get his shoes on.  dad did his typical car snooze while mom and i went in.  shoe horn jackpot.  mom got him two long metal ones (his favourite kind,) and the piece d'resistance--an extendable telescoping shoe horn.

back at my two couch place mom began the long and arduous task of mending my garments.  heather phoned while she was and i mentioned it to her.  "that's like sewing cobwebs together!"she said.  too true, too true.  i may or may not have a few originals still in the rotation so... i'm sure i should be sheepish about it,but i feel kinda accomplished.

meanwhile i began to organize and pack.  i finished finally around 12. or 11:30.  i put some new pics on mom's desktop slideshow and i got a father's blessing from dad.  dad had spent most of the night snoozin and had a second wind for reading by that point.  mom cajoled him to bed.  i curled up on the flower couch and stared at my phone a good 3 minutes with fading eyes before remembering that i was going to text mom some phone numbers and addresses.  i set my alarm for 3:45 am and went to sleep.

i woke up at  5:24 because dad was saying my name.  it took a minute to register how late i had slept in.  my flight left at 7 and i had meant to be at the airport at 5 at the latest!  i jumped out of bed, threw my cpap cords into the suitcase, changed, and grabbed my toothbrush and laptop... dad started dressing, thinking he had to drive me, which i agreed to, until i remembered that my car had to go to the mechanic and that dad would have no way home and the bishop was picking them up at 7:55 to take them to the vgh appointment.  i called davethebigboss who i saw then, had called me 2 times.  he was supposed to drive me and is famous for being excessively early.  his first words were "you're freakin me out!"  i told dad it was ok and i took off for work, which thankfully is on the way to the airport, i was praying the whole time.  i was also speeding.

dave was in the parking lot ready for me.  he grabbed my bag and we took off for the airport.  "i didn't even brush my teeth!" i exclaimed to him.  he gave me a pack of gum and said i could keept it.

dave dropped me off at international and i had a few minutes of quiet panic looking for the right place to check my bags.  but my first leg of the journey was to toronto so i made my way down to domestic.  another lady was going that way too and she saw my cluelessness and helped me.

even when i was printing my boarding pass i had moments of complete blankness of mind.  frozen not knowing what to do.  foggy brain.  panic.  heart thuds.  calm down.  think.  somehow i made it through, dropped off my bad which was not too heavy, praise be, and then i was left looking at my boarding pass--not able to read it.  i could not find my gate. and when i finally did, i could not find gate c.  i went one way, turned around went back in the opposite direction and that's where i saw the life size gate c sign which had been right in front of me all along. that's when i laughed to myself.  travel-nutbar....

once at my gate, i could came down.  they were loading the first class and i was the last zone to board.

i sat in 14k, window seat.  there was a little older japanese lady already sitting in the middle seat.  i stuffed my light backpack in the overhead compartment, and buckled in.  i wasn't paying attention when the aisle seat guy sat down but he was quite large. the japanese lady asked the flight attendant if she could have another seat.  harsh.  but she did get moved because there was one empty.  all the better for buddy and i.

i dozed the first hour.  then i indulged in an orange juice and a water.  then some more water.  then more.   i watched a sherlock holmes movie with gandalf in it.  it was about old sherlock who is dealing with dementia, it seems.  it was good.  my nerves flared up at the end of the movie when i realized how close we were to toronto..  no reason.  just excited, nervous, excited, and yeah.

once again my mind was not clear and sharp in toronto.  it took me w whle--a good while to figure out my gate, and my boarding time.  a good while.  when i knew where i was i ordered some food--a panini at a place called feta.  then i had only about an hour before loading and when i did load,i sat in 24k window seat, buckled in and waited.  and waited. no one came to sit beside me which is great.  what's not great is that the captain came on and said a pilot was missing and it would be an hour delay.  and so here we are sitting and waiting for buddy to show.  he should be here soon.

i can't keep awake.  i am on the verge of sleep typing.
 

Monday, April 11, 2016

a bud day is a good day

friday was a special day.  i went to the temple with my friend mei lin.  i went through for dad's aunt della.  she was grampa's older sister.  dad says that they were next to each other in age.  i never met my great aunt della but i could barely speak her name without feeling like i was going to burst into tears.  it was special to be a small part of joining our family together.

i drove us there in mei lin's car. she doesn't like to drive on highways and my car isn't highway ready right now, so together we solve both issues.  she brought us steam buns to eat on the way.  they were so yummy. after we got out of the temple it was dark.  it was that kind of soft spring night--cool and sweet smelling.  there was a surround sound chorus of frogs.  we walked slowly, breathing deeply, savoring the moment.

saturday was a special day.  i had a breakfast date with budster downtown.  fatima is a mom now, and it's an obvious statement to say it's changed her.  but this particular way is that she is now an earlybird and that is a little reflected in the time of our reservation at chambar--8:15am.  i got up at 6:45 and got ready fast and grabbed my camera before heading out the door.  there is something about being up and out on a sunny saturday that promises adventure.  i was at the skytrain around 7:15.  it was deserted.  i had time to take some shots.  i love mornings like this. they're full of promise.
 this is my head waiting for the train with anticipation.

 foot shadows...
 this me and my fellow early morning travelers.
 i transferred trains at waterfront.  on the escalator down to the platform i enjoyed this poster.  what will you DO? good question.

i got off at stadium station (fatima's favourite).  i stopped on this bench to text her and see where she was on her journey from surrey.
  m: where u.
  m: i'm at your station
  f: commercial the reso is under my name if u r there
  m: shud i go there or wait fer yah at da platform
  f: just go there
   m: bossy...
 chamber was literally and physically (wink wink jay) next door to the station.  i snapchatted sarah outside and then felt ready to go in.  i got seated and was just taking some shots when bestbudofmyheart walked into my frame and sat down.
our waitress was so cute. she had the cutest french accent and it went well with her lovely personality.  plus she confessed at the end of our time together that she loved my hair and so...obvs i like her. fatima got an americano coffee and i got the juice of the day which was pineapple, ginger apple or sumthin.  delish.  i think her skin looks so rich and beautiful in this shot.
 buddah doesn't drop a beat when i spend a lot of time taking shots of her while we talk.  she's what we call 'normalized'  you can be 'normalized' too.  i'll help you.
 our starter waffles.  i got pistachio white chocolate rosewater sauce.

 bud got milk chocolate lavender.  i think i liked hers better.  but we shared.  we even layered dips according to my instructions.  see those little chippits?  fatty and i were talking and she was pushing her plate away and suddenly mid sentence i'm all, hey eat those.  she laughed and said she knew i was going to say something about her leaving those, and dutifully ate them.

 i got :Brochette de Porc, aka: Barbequed bacon, mortadella, spicy andouille, saucisson de Paris, fried eggs, tomatillo & pineapple salsa, spiced potatoes.  scrambled instead of fried.  pineapple salsa?  yes please!
 the fat one got Gaufre au Saumon aka:Gravlax spring salmon, savory waffle, yuzu dill hollandaise, poached eggs, pea tips.  yep.
 when we left we were met with this man, a profanity written on his forehead.  i changed it to be more truthful.
 fats is so street.
 me not so much.  lol.  i think this pic is hilar.  it's going to be the cover of our album, buds.
 we wandered to the downtown and stopped to see the coi in the telus garden building.


bud shadows.
 the best shot of her life.
 we spent some time at pacific center, resisting the magnetic pull of the guy we met at the mall map who was going to the apple store.  we spent some time picking out earrings for fat's sis in law, and generally giving the jewelry section a thorough once over h&m.  that was fun.

we were thirtsy so we stopped at the food fair and got mojito smoothies with mint and almond milk.

then we made our way to the old navy flagship store. flag ship status is very important to fatima.  don't joke about it.  i tried on some tops almost all of which caused me to giggle to myself in the changeroom because of how short they were.  wide and short. there are some weird shapes in tops fashion right now.  then we went to the top floor of the oldnavyflagshipstore and scoured the onesie section for samah.  that was fun.

then i had some bathroom adventures/emergencies that may or may not have led me to try and pry the female products disposal bin off of the stall wall.  but all was right in the end.

winners downtown does not have plus sizes.  boo to them.  i found some good sporty sandals for my trip though and a beach bag, so yay, for that. i actually found the bag after i purchased the shoes.  i turned around and there they were staring at me.  i caressed the muted baby blue whale one lovingly and was going to leave it behind but last minute i turned back, grabbed it off the hook, strode down the cashier line and pushed it on the the counter where fatima was paying for something.  get this for me! i demanded.  uhhhh... do i know you?  groaned fatima.  all on one bill? asked the cashier.  as i plunked five twonies onto fatty's small brown palm.  decision made.

next we decided to do some people watching.  plus we were ready for lunch.  so we walked the gamut of food trucks down robson until we decided on mr. shawarma.  it was basically the spicy to go box that got our attention.  "i wonder if you can get it with falafel" mused fatima the vegetarian.  i sidled up to the counter to ask.  "can you get the spicy to go box with falafel?" i asked. "yep." said the really talkative guy "yes you can" said the more chatty lady.  "that's what she wants." i nodded my head towards budtothe7thpower.  then i asked if lamb or chicken was better.  neither of them wanted to commit. so fats told me to get the lamb because i don't get to eat lamb often.  so that's what i did.  we ate it on a bench and talked and talked as buds like us do.  they were so yummy.  they had fries, and rice, and all the sauces and pickle and pickled turnip.
 then we sat on the steps a while in the sun and talked and watched people.
w parted ways around 3ish. a good bud day accomplished.

Friday, March 25, 2016

thoughts on a good friday

this morning i lounged in bed for hours watching different youtube videos.  you know how one youtube video leads to another and on and on into infinity squared to the power of 2 to the 100 000th decimal point of .66....etc.  you know that right?  well i started off well and good.  amusing to funny, to interesting to to to..down to the rabbit hole of american politics and the horrid hateful things people say and do to each other.  i was feeling a major dose of the heavy ughs, icks and dreadful oh-no's.  my tummy was telling me that i didn't feel good.  with the darkness glasses on it felt like the world was such a hateful place.  so selfish and chaotic.  but then i clicked on a different kind of video.  i don't know how it showed up in the midst of the shadow gang of depressing videos, but there it was and i clicked on it.  first it was about 4 guys who put themselves between their girlfriends and that crazy shooter guy at the movies, and all 4 took bullets and all 4 died. i teared up a bit watching that. then i watched on about a cop who's last act of kindness was to buy this little kid some cookies at mcdonald's then he went out and got shot in his police car.  and then there was this video--it was footage of a race in 2008.  the big 10 championships for women's 600.  this girl heather was running in front her home crowd in minnestota.  she was in front and she fell down and everyone passed her  but she just got up and ran.  she ran like she was stretched out and free and light and she caught up and passed everyone just at the finish line and won the race.  the video was set to a spiritual song that i don't know, you are light, you are hope, etc.  and at the end it had the scripture i've been getting the girls to memorize lately "i can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."--philipeans 4:13.  i started to cry hard as soon as she got up after she fell and began to fly.  then i watched a video aptly named restoring faith in humanity 2013.  it was a compilation of people doing heroic things, kind things, saving people, loving people, all over the world.  i cried hard in that one too.  i curled up into the fetus position and watched it and cried.  it was exactly what i needed to watch.

 i learned something.  it is possible and maybe even reasonable to to despair.  to see darkness, like peter when he was walking on water and saw the waves and the wind and began to sink.  but it is so much better to have faith and look for the good.  because it exists all around us.  i want to be a part of it.  i want to be one of those people.  and i know most of us don't have those big huge moments caught on film and sometimes good moments aren't caught by anyone, that we know.  i think God knows.  and it's his work we're taking part in when we do good things.  when we spread light and cheer and kindness and goodness, give of ourselves, help save lost people, give hugs, help someone, see someone, listen... the ways of doing good are just as infinite as the ways of doing evil.  the ways of loving are greater and more powerful than the ways of hating.  it's easy and it's hard and it is sometimes tedious and boring, and sometimes it feels really good.  but it's all worth it.  i have a quote on my mirror. "your spark can become a flame and change everything"--ed nixon  sometimes--almost all the time, i don't know if my spark will even be seen, be noted, be for anything.  but i don't have to worry about that.  i just have to keep sparking along and believe and have hope and rise each time i fall.  and i fall all the time.   it can be so disheartening.  i may start to define myself by my falls.  but it's better to be defined by getting up, not giving up and crossing that line as a finisher and a winner.

those are some of my thoughts from today.

i was also thinking that it is one thing to be there when someone is in desperate need and be the one that helps in that moment.  a moment can be important.  but it is another thing to be at someone's side all along the way, as a guard, in a way against those desperate moments.  i was thinking about suicide in this way.  that in the moment of dealing with someone who is going through something very dark and lonely and scary it is so easy to be kind to them, and gentle and to give them love and unconditional support.  but it's harder when they are more safe and the things they may say or do may bug you.  then, when life or death is not so stark of a reality it might be harder to show up and do the good things.  but it's that kind of every day showing up--being a friend or whatever, that keeps people safe in the long run, that is the most meaningful....  i don't even know if i'm making sense.  it's just something i've been thinking about.  my social responsibility to others. caring is not just those intense moments of need.  caring is a way of life and all people need care, always.  and why should i withhold it?

heh.  deep thoughts.  today was the sing along messaiah with the mormon tabernacle choir.  the bishop brought some scores from ubc.  he handed me a fresh thick orange book when i walked in and sat next to my alto buds, melissa and tracy.  it was great to be in the midst of the singing and to successfully find the last couple of notes to every chorus we sang.  haha.  that's our thing.  we get the last note.  of course we were more prepared for the hallelujah chorus and for unto us a child is born than with others.  i'm wearing this kind of suade fronted navy shirt and when the night was almost over i looked down and all the previously fresh white and crisp edges of the book were covered in blue fuz.  it was hard to get off too, but melissa's tissue came in handy.

this was my good friday.  thanks to the Good Shepherd who always cared in the little moments and big and sacrificed himself for humanity in the most intense moment.  he doesn't stop caring.  because of him all that is death and darkness can be life and light.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

spring forward

this morning i was actually on time for ward council.  on the spring forward day no less!  i smugly waltzed in like being on time was my thing....and found the relief society room barren of everyone but a smiley bishopric counsellor, a crochety sunday school president, and two cute sister missionaries on their way out.  that's weiwd i thought, and sat down.  and nothing happened.  it was only by eavesdropping on the two men that i discovered that the meeting had been shifted to half an hour later.  apparently some unlucky losers (me, myself, and i) did not get the last minute 'memo'.  oh the cruelty of this happening on spring forward sunday!  at least i got half an hour more to ponder over my lesson.

over the last few years i've noticed a trend.  i get ideas, promptings and inspiration--revelation if you will, at church, especially during sacrament meeting.  so i've started a memo on my phone entitled sabbath day impressions.  when i get an idea or something of that sort, i jot it down on my memo so i don't forget.   then i look at it at home and remember the things i wanted to do.  for me it's just totally neato.  and that is why i deleted my candy mania game and also finally started on my personal progress amongst other things. (isn't amongst a word???)

i never did my personal progress when i was in young women's.  who's kidding who?  i never even did my home work when i was that age!  and i've been feeling like i want to do it now.  with my girls.  because you know what?  i feel so lucky to be able to spend time with them.  they are so bright and funny and good and shiny and i feel so blessed if even just a little of their light shines on me.  and i was thinking if i want to be even a little like those bright shiny stars, i should try to live like they live and do what they do.  it's like i'm working backwards.  i'm a benjamin button and that's just the way it is.

so i have been working on faith 1.  basically you read some scriptures on faith like hebrews 11 (wow, i got a lot from that!) some talks on faith and focus on your morning and evening prayers for 3 weeks, and write about it in your journal.  faith is just one of those principles, like love.  i feel like i never know enough about love.  no matter what i know, there is always more to know or understand or practice love in a better truer way.  and i think faith is like that too.  it's such a simple principle and yet it is so deep as well.  i think it's something i can take for granted until i really think about it and what it means, what it really means to me.  and suddenly i can see ways that i can improve.

in ward council i found out my friend mei lin was in hospital.  me and leilani visited her after choir practice.  she had a tumor in her colon that was blocking everything and she was throwing up so badly just like dad was.  it was 10cm long.  they removed it right away and used some of her small intestine to patch it up.  we had a nice visit talking about lots of things.  women time is good time.  women need women time.  beliebe it!  mei lin recently got her eyebrows tattooed.  i never would have thought of doing that myself, but actually it looks really good on her.

i came home from the hospital and had a quick nap and then went to dinner at tracy cromwell's.  i was late.  she said 5:00 but i kept thinking 5:30 and woke up from my 27 minute nap at the time i was supposed to arrive.  they started eating without me, but i caught up fast if you know what i mean.

got home around 8:30 and engaged in snap jubulilees with sawsaw.  lolo and sawsaw are snap queens.

the big thing that is happening in my life right now is that i am going on a trip.  to TURKEY.  i've been wanting to do it for a looooooooooooong time, and no one can go with me, but that's ok.  i'm going to go and it's going to be amazing.  i got a super awesome cheap flight too.  not that anyone has to get me a birthday present, but if you were thinking, you know, i want to give laura a little somthin somethin this year for her all important 42 milestone of life, save your thing and contribute to the birthday present i really want....


a balloon ride in cappadoccia!!! i want to do it on my actual birthday if i can.  it costs about 200 and something for the cheapest.  yay!!  this isn't crowd sourcing though so don't feel like oh, now i have to donate to the balloon cause. cause that's not the case.  i will be so happy to give it to myself as a present because i give good presents!  hahaha ahhhhhhh.

archie just bit izzy's leg as she walked by. what a rotten brother he is sometimes.

so i'm nervous and i'm excited and i can't wait for this adventure.  meanwhile my camera chooses now to stop functioning again.  what am i going to do???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????


Monday, February 29, 2016

light in everything

i feel unsettled in my stomach.  is it the looming new beginnings night that i feel unprepared for?  is it all the almond coconut butter wraps i had?  my tummy tells me that something isn't quite right.

today was our ward conference.  we were supposed to have meetings with the stake young women's presidency at 6:30 am.  but sister sloan is without a secretary and the times got all weird.  but it turned out alright.  because i wasn't sure if they would be there at 6:30 or not, i got there around that time and when they did get there we were able to chat about things on my mind.  and you know, i have a lot of things on my mind when it comes to young women's.  and it's nice to chat about.  and they are good mentors.  and then my jane and yumi got there around 7 and we continued.  i had been asked to give the spiritual thought.  and i talked about something i've been thinking about lately.

when elder johnston was here he told us that everyone in our life is in our life for a purpose.  everyone we come across in our day is put in our path for a reason.  that the people in our life are given to us to touch or reach out to... and that each of us is meant to touch each other in ways that only we can.  he said even our neighbours and even the people we meet at the grocery store etc.  so i have been thinking about that.  a couple of weeks ago, i took a two day intensive course through work, at the crisis centre.  it was all about suicide.  and it was a really good course.  we did lots of role play and i learned a lot.  and then this week a friend of mine came to me who was having those thoughts.  and i was ready to talk to him about it.  i feel grateful for that.  and i then i was thinking about how we are to be lights to others in our lives.  and how the story of the brother of jared who molted rocks out of a big rock and god touched them and made them lights.  and said how we can be those stones, children of god, and he can light us up if we go to him and ask him to make us shine.  and then men, women and children don't have to travel across the great deep in darkness...

so anyways, i've been talking on the phone all night to my gal pals, (karey's getting married!!) and i have to go to bed now.  on family day i went to wreck beach and took these photos.  basically it's mostly a study of light reflected in water.  i'm so in love with the light in the water.  soooo....they all may look the same to you.  but each one is special to me.  haha.


when i first got to the bottom of the stairs i sat on a log and i saw this guy out in the water diving.
 birds.
 i just think the waves look so gorgeous.  is it just me?
a portrait of a shell


this is the thing i can't get enough of.  it's so beautiful and magical to me.  the light...the sunset in the wet sand...











from a log...
gah.  i just love it.












let's take a break and look at the kids on the beach.  i think this girl is a one of the guys girl.
kids do funny things.  like pick each other up like a baby at the shore's edge.


my fellow sunset watchers.

i call this pic 'bros'

the diver
can you see the pic in the girl's phone?  she's taking a shot of her friend.
this is my favourite.  a solitary boy contemplating the great deep, the vast horizen, the fading sun.
just in case you missed my feet, here you go.




i was sitting in the sand right at the shore's edge taking some of my over 200 shots i took that night and this giant bear of a dog walked by.  later he was jumping the waves and left reluctantly but obediently on the cue of his owner.  she only had to say his name, not yell it, and walk slightly towards him.  he looked back over his shoulder longingly.
owner and goodbeardog.













the end.