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Showing posts from April, 2007


Arrived in Alberta sans problems yesterday, other than some electrical malfunctions with the car. I kept track of my gas by counting mileage when the gauge showed empty 20 kms after a fill up...Went through some rain, some snow, some sun. Slept out under the stars. Well, under a tarp, which proved itself useful since it rained on night #1 and snowed on night #2. Saw some amazing sights. Won a lot of games. Euchre. Cribbage. Word games. I won them all. Well, almost.

Isaac took hundreds of pictures, but I took fewer since I was driving. These are my current favourites.

A lone little pine at the Columbian Icefields.
Sunshine peeking through the trees in Jasper.

I love being in the mountains and just looking around. I like being quiet. I realized that I am more introverted than I used to think. Isaac and I had plenty of time to talk, which we did. But it left me feeling pretty tired. Which is when the word games were fun. Or silence. I like just looking and thinking.

I'm glad we went. Woul…

Leaving in a Malibu

In roughly 8 hours, I'm pulling out of Vancouver, leaving my "palace" behind, and heading towards the mountains. In store: one gigantic summer of adventure, starting with a weekend camping trip.

I am excited. And I am relieved that my earlier car troubles, which I thought may reroute this entire plan, turned out to be nothing more than an over-active theft-prevention device. Wendy's car thought I was trying to steal it and wouldn't let me start it. Good thing I remembered this tricky little attitude issue and was able to resolve the problem (although not without some duress and stress).

I have had thoughts in the last few days on conflict and misunderstanding and laughter and trying hard. But no time to blog about them all.

Until next'll have to occupy yourself with some other time-wasting internet scheme.

Aquatic Life Fascinates Me

Originally uploaded by bethaf. Isaac is in town visiting, and today he and Ian (one of his 4 brothers, whose names all start with "I") and I went to the Vancouver Aquarium. Super-fun times. Highlights include:

spotting the sloth in the tropical area - who knew there were sloths at aquariums!tagging along for kid-friendly info sessions - I learned about sharks and dolphins and otters and cockroaches (from a very good-looking guy, I might add)touching a Malaysian hissing cockroach - did you know that female cockroaches get pregnant for life!?touching a sea anemone (did you know that their anus and their mouth is the same opening!?)Click on the photo to find a few more pics. Most of them didn't turn out so great though.

Ooooh, also fun: all-you-can-eat chocolate fondue with my Bible study girls. My camera battery died...but Jane should be putting some pictures up on Facebook soon.

[postscript: I picked Isaac up from the airport yesterday and we watched game 7 with my …

Whistler, Sunshine, Fun.

1 condo in Whistler + 2 vehicles + 3 adults + 12 junior high girls = one fun retreat! Nachos and crepes (not together, of course). My favourite movie, Ever After (mock it all you want, and I'll defend it to my death. It's not an Oscar-worthy movie, but it is fantastic in many ways). Photo-scavenger hunt in the village! Talks on friendship. Driving the Sea-to-Sky. Playing 20 Questions. Staple questions: "Is she older than Laura? Is she younger than me?" I like making wild guesses that don't fit at all - like asking if it's Sinead O'Connor (whom I know the girls don't know, when in the category of famous-male-actor).

Over dinner on the way home, I discover that one of our girls is the daughter of the Canuck's owner. Sabrina comments, "Yeah, that's why [insert famous Canuck here] has been to our church a few times." To which I respond, "To be honest, I wouldn't recognize him if he did..." The car rides are my favourite part…

In Our Heads

I love my hilarious and fun girlfriends. And you know what they love? Talking about boys. Especially any that may intersect with my life...

A married friend emails me on Sunday saying only "I hung out with your future husband today." We chat this morning and she fills me in on the details of an apparently amazing guy that she thinks I'd enjoy. If he's amazing as he sounds, I'm quite sure he'll be taken by the time I get back from the summer, and even if he isn't, then what?

I am chatting with a friend online and say that I'm leaving to do some work at the cafe with the hot french barrista. She refers to him as my "lover" (he is off work by the time I get there, which serves me right for being so shallow).

I tell the girls in my small group about the "future husband" email. One tells me not to scoff - that she's heard of stories like that actually working out. Another decides to look him up online. She uncovers his full name and al…

Opening My Eyes...

In my self-absorption, I have been failing to see what's going on around me. Friends in crisis, and I've been oblivious. Or I know and promise prayer, but fail to follow through. I don't stay in touch often with friends back home, and then all of a sudden...things happen.

Families in crisis.
Couples break up.
Couples on the verge of breaking up.
People doubting their faith.
Emotional turmoil.

Sometimes, I forget that life goes on when I'm not around, and others have struggles and hard times and moments of need too. I can't solve their problems, I know this. But I can definitely be more purposeful in at least being available. I can pray more than I have been. And I can stop saying I'll pray when I don't really think I will.

Weekend Report: Hiking and Bond

Originally uploaded by bethaf. I was going to spend the day reading on Saturday. Instead, I went with Andi and Wendy to Lynn Valley Canyon, where we walked across a suspension bridge (yup, still scared of falling), hiked a ways through the lovely spring woods, and stopped at the 30 foot pool, wishing it were warm enough to jump in for a swim. It was lovely, as the pictures show.

In the evening, Wendy and I watched Casino Royale. It was my first full Bond movie. I find them laughable - enjoyable, but not remotely believable: like how Bond is about to die from poison, but his fully loaded car has a portable defrib-thing. What's that? The wire isn't plugged in? He's blacking out? No worries! The Bond-girl comes to save the day. One plugged in wire, one push of a button, one big shock and voila! Bond is back in action and at the poker table! Amazing.

Speaking of Bond girls, we watched the special feature disc: Bond Girls Are Forever. An interesting look into the "privi…

Year End Banquet

Before I forget, a few highlights:

Nando's chicken. I was skeptical. It was delicious. All the food was.
Realizing that in six short months, I can get fairly used to having people around. And sad at the thought of not having them there anymore.The once-in-a-lifetime occurence of an earnest interpretive dance. It is a shame (and I'm still deciding whether it was an ultimately good or bad thing) that Canned Heat copped out on us.Being reminded that 'changing the world' is something that's done in little steps, by "dwelling in the land (aka being fully present wherever I am) and cultivating faithfulness (doing my best where I am)."
Joy's rap. Where is the Love? will never sound the same...I never knew Singapore could be so ghetto.Choosing to go for bubble tea with my students instead of watching Numb3rs by myself. Even if I did miss Bill Nye. Learning an Indian card game at bubble tea. Being told I was "in the white zone" with 2 other dancing girl…

The Fray

I am listening to their songs repeatedly. Constantly. Unendingly. My two favourites are Hundred and Look After You. In case you feel like reading the lyrics, here they are. But trust me, far more emotionally moving with the instrumental background. I think these guys are incredibly skilled. They're in Vancouver in July, when I'm unfortunately not around. Also, if they were, I don't know if I'd go. My last concert has stirred some thoughts on concert-culture, and I just don't know if I'm into it. But that is for another time. Without further ado or explanation as to why the lyrics resonate with me, the compelling songs:

Look After You (it's the first line that gets me every time)

If I don't say this now I will surely break
As I'm leaving the one I want to take
Forgive the urgency but hurry up and wait
My heart has started to separate

Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Be my baby
Oh, oh, oh
I'll look after you

There now, steady love, so few come and don't go
Will yo…


I just had a moment of epiphany. It concerns spiritual and phsyical feeding/eating.

When I am feeding myself wisely spiritually, seeking satisfaction in healthy avenues [namely God], at proper times and with consideration, it unintentionally carries over into my physical food habits. I eat proper meals with healthy food and limit my extraneous 'goodies.'

Conversely, when I'm gorging myself spiritually on things that don't fill me up [be it validation through friendships, boys, perfectionism, TV, blogging, etc], my relationship with food inevitably goes downhill. Too much sugar, not enough veggies. Three meals turns into a consistent 'grazing' pattern that leaves me perpetually hungry but feeling over-fed.

If I want so badly to fix the one, perhaps the key is to actually focus on fixing the main problem.

Table for One

Anybody know what day it is today?

No, I don't mean Easter Monday.
It's an anniversary of something quintessentially Canadian...
The 90th anniversary.

Still lost?

Vimy Ridge ring a bell? I went for lunch today (a yummy peanut-based soup) and picked up the Vancouver Sun. I had been completely oblivious to this anniversary, but I read a couple interesting articles and stats about my generation's lack of knowledge about Canadian military history. Some trivia questions:

1. Canada's most famous single victory in the First World War consisted ofthe capture
Front. What was this battle called?

2. Captain John McCrae served as a medical officer in the World War One and wrote what is considered to be Canada’s most famous poem. What is the name of this poem?

3. Canada has produced a number of outstanding military heroes. Could you please identify the two famous Canadians from the following list:
Air Marshal “Billy”Bishop; General Douglas MacArthur; General Ulysses Grant; Sir Arthur Currie


Easter Related Reflections

Friday night is a reflective listening of Arvo Pärt's "PASSIO DOMINI NOSTRI JESU CHRISTI SECUNDUM JOHANNEM." That is, the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to John (in Latin). I have more difficulty paying attention than I'd anticipated. Probably due in large part to the fact that I spend little time developing the discipline of contemplation in my life. When I'm not breaking down the Latin grammar (we had transcripts and translations), thinking about my plans for the next day, or anticipating the Mini Eggs I know I'll be eating later, I am trying to hear something "new." I've been through the Easter story countless times, but the point of this night is not to glaze over it once more. [for a friend's thoughts from the same night, read here.]

What stands out to me the most is Jesus' dialogue with Pilate; likely because it took up half the choral arrangement. I am trying to get inside of Pilate's head, which is a tricky place t…


Originally uploaded by bethaf. It's Good Friday and I walked down a street lined with magnolia trees. They smell delightful. Tonight I'm going to a contemplative listening of a choral arrangement of The Passion of John (in Latin). I think it will be great. I want to do some real cooking and baking, but it is too much effort just for me. I am realizing how self-preoccupied my life is becoming. It is all about me. Me, me, me. At least, that's how I'm living. This ought to change.

In Case of Confusion...

Just to make sure everyone knows - this is an official disclaimer: the thoughts and words in my blog are exactly that - mine. They don't represent the organization I work for in any way. They just represent me. In some way.

In other news, I am eating too much sugar and not doing enough laundry. My feet/calves are still a bit sore from the weekend, and I have a strong desire to write something. Not just blog-writing, but creative fictionaly prose writing. If only desire = ability.

I have the beginnings of a cold and am taking a nap now. Or at least a rest.

Busy Busy Bee: Chapter 3

You'd think my days o' fun would be just about over...not quite. Saturday was less amazing fun, but there are still a few things worthy of note:

1. Drove Lisa to the airport, remembered how much I love driving, got really excited for my upcoming roadtrip to Calgary. The car I'll have even has a sunroof. *happy sigh*

2. Hung out with Ali and Amy - laughed, ate, talked about Pride & Prejudice (the BBC version with the dashing Colin Firth)...this only increases my UK crush.
[sidenote: Lisa and I (and maybe her sister Laura?) once watched the movie What a Girl Wants, a true teeny-bopper flick, merely for Colin Firth, who played the main character's father. If I had to pick a movie-star-that's-old-enough-to-be-my-dad to date, it would be him.]

3. Fellowship Dinner happened. I was more dressed up than usual, or ever, with the exception of weddings. I wore what I thought I would never be able to pull off: pointy, black, 2 inch heels. Apparently I "owned" them, a…

Lots to Do: Take Two

As if Thursday night's fun wasn't enough, Friday found me entertaining my cousin Lisa, at the end of a work conference that had her visiting the west coast. Smoothies in my new blender, a walk along the beach, quick stop in the SUB, supper at the Naam, and then...and then...

A ceilidh!!! (A ceilidh, for those who don't know, is pronounced kay-lee and is a Scottish/Irish country dance. I usually explain it as "kind of like a square dance, only a hundred times better.") Lisa and I used to ceilidh-it-up in during her uni years, and we were both looking forward to another fun night.

Lisa reminded me, as we sat at the bus stop, about our first ceilidh visit. She'd just turned 20, I was 17. At the door, everyone got ID'd to determine whether they got the of-age or under-age mark. Lisa gave her ID. And then her second ID. He asked her birthday. He looked skeptical. Eventually, he gave her the you-can-drink mark. I didn't pull out my ID. It would do me no good.…