October 30, 2012

Perry Pumpkin

I spent the evening carving a pumpkin. I put the stencil on, marked it, and then started carving. When I was done I was pretty happy with my jack-o-lantern, but what I noticed is that it didn't look very different from when it was just a normal pumpkin. What I mean, is that it looked a bit different up close, but from far away there really wasn't much of a difference. Even with a lit candle inside, there didn't seem to be any distinguishing feature making the pumpkin stand out. Then we turned the lights off. The difference showed through in the darkness. The light inside was so bright that it reflected the image. 

I think we might be a bit like pumpkins. We all look the same, but when the "darkness" comes, the light inside us shines brighter than ever. Our light shines through when we deal with conflict. Our light shines through when we face loss, and our light shines through in our responses to everyday experiences. It wasn't until my jack-o-lantern's light was shining in the darkness that I could clearly see just how beautiful my Perry was. Sometimes we find out the most about ourselves when our light is witnessed shining. We are called to be the light of the world, so why let our lights shine!

The whole time, I, the creator, knew exactly how I wanted my pumpkin to turn out,
before it became a Jack-o-lantern I had the pumpkin's plan thought up.
 This is the creator, having faith in the work of art,
and knowing that it will become more beautiful over time. 

Whether looking at a larger scale or a smaller scale, I think that all creation in someway reflects the creator. My jack-o-lantern reflects me, because of my adoration for Phineas and Ferb...and Perry.

This is the pumpkin, beautifully and wonderfully made. 

October 24, 2012

A Double Rainbow Day

Sunday was definitely a double rainbow day. It started with a great church service, and then a lovely walk home. Sometimes the hour, uphill walk can be...a little less than fun, but the weather was perfect and the Fall leaves added a very nice sound effect, and the company was pretty great. After Emerald and I climbed Mt. Everest arrived home, we received a call from her mother who was looking to take a spontaneous trip to Maine. I could over hear the phone call from my room and heard the words, "well I know that 'Emerald' really means, 'Emerald and Annie'." I knew that I was soon headed to The US of A. Now this meant cancelling plans, spending money, and avoiding homework, but sometimes in life you have to do things you dont want to do, to have a double rainbow day. 

The day was filled with driving, crocheting, shopping for snacks, picking up a few Christmas gifts, buying a rainbow unicorn pillow pet, seeing a display of Pluto (my favourite used to be planet), and best of all: seeing a double rainbow. 

It was a double rainbow day. 

October 18, 2012

Coming Full Circle

As many of you are aware, Taken 2 is now in theatres. Now, I usually try my best to avoid going to the movies. I think it is a waste of money and often a waste of time, but once in a while I find myself very excited to go. Last May it was when I went to see the Avengers during opening weekend, and Tuesday it was to see Taken 2. That's right, the newest movie featuring Liam Neeson (aka Aslan) and the sequel to a favourite movie of Dan and me. It has been out for a little while now, but Thanksgiving, and midterms got in the way, however, we finally made time to go see it, and to see it on cheep night. Don't worry, the story gets better.

As we were sitting waiting for the previews, Roommate was playing with her phone, and I was digging around in my bag (because I just never know what I'm going to find). I pulled out a mathematical compass, the thing I use in calculus to draw perfect circles. Dan starts laughing at the fact that I brought one to the movies, but I turn to my left, look him straight in the eyes and very seriously say, "Dan Stanley you NEVER know when you're going to need a compass." 

The movie starts and Liam and his ex-wife soon get taken. The daughter then must rescue them. Without giving away too much of the plot, I will tell you that Liam, or his character Bryan, rather, instructs his daughter how to save them. He tells her to get out his gun case, and gives her the combination. He tells her to get out the map and to draw perfect circles inorder to see where the circles intersect so that she can find her parents. Kim must use a sharpie and one of her father's shoelaces to draw the circles....this is the part of the movie where I elbowed Dan several times and abruptly exclaimed how she needs a compass. 

This evening as I was helping Roommate and her mother decorate for Halloween, I realized that I needed to draw a pair of eyes. No problem! I had my compass with me! Look what it helped me to create! Roommie did roll her eyes a little bit, but I think the perfectly circular eyes added a nice touch. 

The compass comment coming full circle (pun intended) was honestly the highlight of the movie for both of us. I think we learned a valuable lesson about making fun of Annie's preparedness.... ie. not to do it, because some day it just may save your life, or at least improve your Halloween decorations. 

October 14, 2012

Reader Appreciation

That's right, this post is about you!

I have a pretty consistant number of readers now, 
so I'd to take this time to dedicate a post to you: my reader. 

I started this little project as a way to record things that I learn and goals that I try to accomplish, but it has become so much more than that. This blog has been one vehicle in which my relationships with many people have improved. There is just something about the written word that lets people inside the mind of the author. Writing is an expression of my identity, and I'm very passionate about my blog. The most sentimental compliments that I've received lately have been about my little corner of the internet. I can honestly tell you that I get SO excited when I see comments, viewer stats, and especially when people ask me, in anticipation, when my next post is going up. I have readers of all age groups, and from all over the country, and a few across the world. It's all thanks to you! 

So to thank you and to show you just how much your support means to me,  I will see to it that you, my faithful reader, will receive a surprise, a homemade token of my appreciation. All you have to do is leave a comment below and I'll get in touch with you to obtain your mailing address. 

Commenting is simple, (I promise).
Just scroll down and type your comment in the box, select "Name" in the "Comment as" menu, and then type in your name, and hit "Publish."

It is because of you and your kind words, faithful viewing, and recommendations that I have kept up with this little of project that started last March. Maybe you are a first time viewer to this little blog, and if so, THANKS for stopping by!  

Don't forget to comment below to let me thank you.

October 10, 2012

Annielocks and her new jeans

There is only one store in this city that sells jeans that fit me well; recently that store closed. Recently I realized that owning 2 pairs of jeans just is not enough. Recently I realized that one of my two pairs of jeans is wearing out. So.... recently I took a trip to the Mic Mac Mall on a mission to buy jeans.

I tried on 5 pairs of jeans at Old Navy: all too big.
I tried on 6 pairs of jeans at Garage: all too skintight.
(I like denim with my spandex, please)
I tried on 2 pairs at Eclipse: all too....fake looking.
I looked at American Eagle as I walked by, but I have yet to find something that fits me, my style,  and my price point in that store
I looked at Stitches, but their merchandise is well named... the stitches tend to show..then fall out.

I ended up buying two pairs of jeans from Bluenotes, and even though the range of sizes was very sporadic THEY HAD MY SIZE!  This still begs me to ask the question, why does buying pants have to be so difficult. Is this the same for people of all sizes? What about for guys? Is it just me? 

It would make my life easier if:
  • There were different stores for pants for girls and pants for boys.
  • The rules of the dressing room were posted, aka something along the lines of "please wait to be seated" or "seat yourself" (restaurants seem to have this figured out).
  • Employes had some kind of uniform instead of a black lanyard. I'd like to know who works there so that I can know who to ask for help.
  • The smallest sizes of jeans were not placed 8 feet up on the top shelf. (Usually the people with 30 leg length are not the ones that have the easiest time reaching the tallest shelf.)  
  • Jeans were sold with a leg-length shorter than 30, because who likes to hem? Certainly not a university student without a sewing machine in her little house, that's for sure.
So there you have it, a real life "fairy's" tale of Goldilocks. It took a full day, and it took a whole lot of patience, but I finally found the pants that were "jusssst right".

Here is a picture of me in my just right jeans. 

Until next time,

October 8, 2012

giving Thanksgiving thanks

Well it is 4:40pm on Thanksgiving Sunday [when I wrote this], and I've already eaten a turkey dinner (with seconds), dessert, AND all of the left overs. To answer your questions, no food is not the main thing I am thankful for, nor is it my extreemly large appetite and speedy metabolism. What is top on my list is the blessing that I am able to live in community with God's creation. Spending an hour with my church family, and spending a few hours with my grandparents and mom was well worth the 6 hours of boat riding, and 7 hours of driving that add up to a weekend home.

Here are some highlights of my weekend of giving thanks

-two of my youth in halifax. It was great to see them spending time in fellowship together.
-tears well up in the eyes of my adopted grandmother. She was happy to see me.
-a pumpkin that weighed the equivalent of 17 Annies.

-the scents of home, because "home" can't be found in the candle or perfume aisle.
-my Nan's stuffing in the oven.

-excited words from people I love.
-compliments on my blog.
-cheerful children running around the Pixar pumpkin people.

-many hugs.
-a warm, new cardigan.
-happy that the town offered fun festivities this year, including horse-drawn hayrides.

-the communion substances from my home church.
-the annual turkey dinner at the house of my grandparents.

-up an idea for my next sewing project.
-of one day having a space called home, and not living out of boxes. Not moving around every few months, and constantly wondering where I'll be living in September. 
-of the return of my best friend from back home, so that we may one day do the corn maze and actually accomplish it, you know, without cheating and just running through the corn stalks. 

Though I believe it is important to give thanks EVERYDAY of the year, I am very thankful that a day is set a part to encourage us to do so, and to spend time with the ones we love. So this is my post being thankful for Thanksgiving. What are some unconventional things you are thankful for? 

October 4, 2012

it's happy time :)

10 Things That Made Me Happy This Week!

(I know, it's a bit of a "lighter" post, but I usually just write what I've been thinking about, what won't leave my mind, and what I spend time reflecting on. Today it was happiness, so in random order....here are 10 things that made me happy this week)

1. Sing-a-longs: you know, the old fashioned Disney VHS ones with the lyrics that light up. Oh, and Veggie tales...lots of silly song sing-alongs.

2. Lots of rain: there has been so much rain lately, cold rain, warm rain, unexpected rain. It has been nice, it has been refreshing, and it has been nourishing to the soil and soul.

3. Good smelling food: I don't know what it is about the smell of food, but I think it is honestly half of the taste. My friend in my math classes always has the best smelling lunches, the other day was lean ground turkey with garlic powder, and sweet and sour rice.

4. Honesty: When a roommate asks you to be perfectly honest with them and throw everything on the table. Weight off my shoulders. Also, when you're told you no longer have to keep a secret. I don't like keeping secrets, in fact I'm pretty bad at it unless it's super important or for a job.

5. Forks: I really don't know why this made the list, it's just one of the first things I thought about. Forks are just so handy, I guess it's not a bad thing to be thankful for forks.

6. Bed time stories: My homework for Children's Literature involves reading a lot of fairy tales, this has pleasantly turned into either me reading or listening to my roommate read one before bed. (I almost always fall asleep before the ending).

7. Cue Cards: Making studying fun since third grade.

8. Healthy Guinea Pigs: Martha had a different day not too long ago. She spent a lot of time laying on her tummy outside of her little house. I lay on my tummy when my belly hurts, so I was concerned. Martha is doing much better now, so knowing that my pigs are in good health makes me happy.

9. Comfortable hair clips: I choose comfort over glam every single day of my life, so to find comfortable and fashionable hair clips makes me happy.

10. Letters from loved ones: Racing to the mail box everyday at 10:30, seeing my name on an envelope, and ripping it open with my teeth. Is there anything better? Yes. Reading the kind words, knowing that someone took time out of their day to send you a note, and then pinning the happy words up to surround you everyday. That's what makes me happy. What made you happy this week?

October 2, 2012

Go Figure.

I am a qualitative being in a quantitative world. 
Yesterday I woke up and checked the weather. 30% chance of rain for the afternoon. There was sun in the sky, so I put on a cardigan and headed out for class. As I sat in Calculus class I listened to the professor go on...and on...about statistics. You know, percentages, etc. Leaving the classroom I looked out side. That 30% changed to a 100% very fast. I was frustrated, why isn't the weather forecast qualitative? Instead of 30% chance of rain, why not say, "It's a tad chilly, and you should probably take an umbrella with you." Let's just say that when I arrived home I was very happy to be in a house that was 100% warm and dry. 

I keep a copy of Antoine de Saint Exupery's "Le Petit Prince" (The Little Prince) in my room to remind me of this. The following is a passage, a very important one in my opinion, from the book. The English translation reads, 

"Grown-ups love figures. 'When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you, "What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?' Instead they demand: 'How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?' Only from these figures do they think they know anything about him..."
"But certainly, for us who understand life, figures are a matter of indifference" (17). 

The Little Prince is right. For those of us who do understand life, even a little bit, know that life has very little to do with numbers. This goes for living life well, and for being a good disciple. You think it's impressive to say you've read the bible everyday? Well good for you. You think it's of utmost importance to know how many chapters are in each book of the bible? Well la-te-da! We may not be able to make the weather channel go from quantitative to qualitative descriptions, but there is something we can do about our lives. We can to stop being defined by the details, and start defining ourselves by discipleship. A disciple is someone following someone else, learning to do what they do, so that we may one day do what they did. Discipleship is about learning, not gaining knowledge, but learning in the sense of being transformed. 

This week I was reminded that relationships are not about check lists. It is not about how often you call someone, nor how much you know about a person, nor how long you have known them. In the same way, a relationship with Jesus is not about how often you pray, how much knowledge you have about the bible, or how long he's been your homeboy. Relationships at the core are about love. Loving Jesus means dedicating yourself to be his disciple. That does not mean that praying and reading scripture are unimportant, they are. I just believe that the definition of a relationship cannot be based on numbers, I think that a part of understanding life means looking at figures as a matter of indifference, just like Le Petit Prince. 

One of these will always come first in my books. 

October 1, 2012

It took a child to raise a village

We have a desire, we have a desire within.
Recently as I sat talking with a friend, he was telling me about his plans for an ideal city.

Things such as these came up in conversation:
Communal vegetable gardens, 
People gathering to play board games on rainy days, 
People living as families, and part of one big family,
Jobs provided for those who can't find work, 
People genuinely loved and cared for,
a large group of people all with different skills, talents, and abilities
coming together for the greater good of the community. 

The more he listed off things, the more I smiled. This is exactly it. This is progress, and more than progress, this is the Church. This is exactly what Jesus came to do, he came to show people how to live life to its fullest, he came to show people how to live, and live in love. 

As our society moves farther and farther away from this, I think it's time to reevaluate our sense of the word "progress". Is it progress if we own a huge home, but our neighbours are hungry? Is it progress if we have the technology to bottle water, and the money to buy it, when thousands of people don't even have access to clean drinking water. Is it progress if we have a 5th generation iphone, but thousands of people are too poor to buy shoes. 

Our world is progressing in a negative way. Millions of dollars are put into research, development, manufacturing  advertising, and distributing new gadgets, but it is only the people on the top of the pyramid that are helped by these things. I like to believe that there is something deep within us that stirs up a yearning to go in the right direction. I really think that there is. Who knows if my friend has been to church within the past 10 years, or if he's ever been there? Who knows if he's ever read the bible? It need not matter, because he is listening to the needs of our world, and he knows that our world needs love. It just so happens that the way that he wants to live his life, is the exact same way that hundreds of thousands of people want to live too. It also just so happens that greed, pride, and envy happen to get in the way of millions of people living that way. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but what is really important is to know that it took a child, born in Bethlehem, to raise a village, a global village of people striving to live, and to live in love.