Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2012

4 Recipes: Beth-Style

I love to bake and cook. It feels therapeutic to me. I love dreaming about what meals I could create. The only two things I dislike are the preparatory shopping (I can never find all the ingredients) and the need to follow a recipe precisely (usually because I’m missing at least one ingredient, due to oversight or grocery store frustration).

The result: no two recipes are quite the same! Sometimes this is a disaster, sometimes it is a great success. Here are some of my more recent successes – good luck duplicating them. Also, I have no photos. I think there is one on Karen’s camera of the bread…but that’s about it.

(I’m doing all the wrong things on this blog post: no photos, long entry, unhelpful ideas to duplicate.)

Artichoke & Tomato Pasta

Olive Oil
1 can artichokes
¾ yellow pepper
Garlic, crushed/minced
Fresh herbs (I used rosemary, salt, pepper. Would like to try basil)
Half a pint of grape tomatoes
½ c. White wine
½ c. Vegetable stock
Pasta (I use non-white)

Bored or Something Bigger

I'm bored of blogging.

Actually, as I think about this more, it's not exactly boredom.

I’m at my digital capacity. Maybe past it.

I need to rething this whole interweb thing. It was easy when I started, back before Facebook or Twitter or Flickr or Skype or GMAIL! And I’m not even on Pinterest or Tumblr or Instagram (yet!).

Back then, I blogged. And I emailed.

And now…now I do SO MUCH. Or I don’t do it all, but I want to, because I like staying connected to people, and I like feedback and encouragement (and bald-faced lies about how great I am) and…maybe someday I'll get famous off of this (yeah. right.), and...and …and all the things that are hazards of our current tech-savvy, real-time responding culture.

I took this photo back in January of 2008. I was bored. And unsettled. I am bored and unsettled again, although this round is different. Not worse, not better (maybe better), just different.

(insert intentional end to a ramble that could vaguely go on forever.)

ps. Tonig…

My Second Long Weekend

This weekend was full of food and people and food and sun and food and celebration and, did I mention, food?

I hardly had time to be un-full, and certainly never got all the way to hungry between meals. Thankfully I came back to a nearly empty fridge, so today will be easy on my tummy. It needs to recalibrate.

Despite its prevalence, this weekend was not about food. It was about laughter and joy and had a bonus topping of sunshine. Lots and lots of sunshine. A sunny day in Vancouver is one of the most happy-making experiences. Add on coffee and lunch and parties with delightful friends, and it is no exaggeration to say that I couldn’t stop smiling all weekend long.

Some other notes and thoughts:

1. Lynsey found us the perfect place to stay in Vancouver: Point Grey Guest House. Book a room that is at the back of the house, off 10th Ave. Breakfasts were a legitimate highlight, with fresh fruit, yogourt, homemade baked goods and blackberry jam from berries picked across the street! Delig…

A Rare Post About Dating & Love

I hardly blog about relationships and dating and love.

Three reasons for that:
 a. I have many opinions and much speculation but few (if any) concrete answers,
 b. I place a high value on privacy, both mine and the guys I date, and
 c. I do NOT want to become THAT girl who only ever talks about her relationships (or lack thereof).

These (almost) always outweigh my desires to share ridiculous stories, vent over perceived wrongs or philosophize ad nauseum about things out of my control.

And now I will say this: I have decided that I understand not even a third of what I once thought I knew about dating and romance. BUT I feel three times more sure of who I am, and increasingly clear on what things matter to me and what things are negotiable. I sometimes feel cynical and am often confused, but underneath, there is hope.**

Also, I will admit that I think often about these things. I have many, many thoughts. Here are three particular snippets that my mind continues to come back to:

 In Ja…

Mid-Week Music

Grouplove - Love Will Save Your Soul

First Aid Kit's "Tiny Desk Concert"

3 Kinds of Friends

My most recent theory: there are basically three bases (basises? basees?) for friendships:

1. shared history.
2. shared worldview.
3. shared life-stage/interests.

Sometimes you have all three in common with a person, sometimes you have a combination, and sometimes you just have one.

Also, you might have all three in common with someone, and two years later, you've only got the shared history left.  But in a few more years, maybe you'll be back to sharing other things too.

Friendships look different depending on which platform(s) you're building off of, and that's ok. So long as you don't expect your new-concert-best-friend to understand the total complexities of why you feel a little bit panicky in the post-concert exodus, or think that your friend-forever-and-new-mom will be up for a last minute weekend road-trip. Different relationships, different strengths.

What do you think? Is this accurate or way off base? How do you recognize & respond to these sometimes …


Dandelions CP
Originally uploaded by bethaf. Sometimes dandelions are lovely and fun.

I haven't taken photos for a long time, and it was fun to capture the hilarity and love of my brother and sister-in-law and their kidlets.

Women in Media: 3 Questions & A Quote

Last night I saw The Avengers. This is not a review, although I enjoyed it and think it was the first superhero movie I have seen in theatre. Superhero movies are a genre that is distinctly lacking in my life.

Anyway. Prior to the viewing, I was chatting with two lovely ladies who had already seen the flick, and of course, we discussed the women on the big screen (Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cobie Smulders). Karen brought up a very interesting series of questions that she asks about movies and their portrayal of female characters. They are:

Is there more than one female character?Do the female characters talk to each other?Do they discuss anything other than other male characters?

Huh. Insightful questions.

Reminds me of a conversation with Wendy back when I watched my first Bond movie, and I wondered if we really have come all that far in the world of feminism and portrayal of women in film.

The answer, I believe, is yes and no. I know there are a lot of complex factors (wome…

Hey Ocean!

Last night, I was all impromptu and fun and went to a mid-week "secret" concert. It was a mixed bag of a night. Here are my thoughts:

Mid-week concerts should start before 10pm. Who stays out past midnight on a Tuesday!?!?That opening band was awful. I rarely say things so bluntly, but I did not enjoy them at all. I don't know their name, and I'm not looking it up, because I don't want to bash them. I'm sure some people like them (obviously), but I did not. At. All. Concerts with Karen are fun. Anything with Karen is fun. There will be sarcasm and wit and random made-up scenarios. Last night, she began the adventures of "Gay Thomas and Totally-Straight Chad." I have a feeling I will meet them again. Selina is a Hottie-McTottie.I am terrible at meeting new people. I run out of questions far too quickly to establish any sort of meaningful connection. Hipsters. So many. So lovely. So...something. People-watching is my favourite past-time. Particularly w…

I Wish I'd Written These Words

The enthusiasms of my conversion have worn off. For whole stretches since the dream, since the baptism, my belief has faltered, my sense of God's closeness has grown strained, my efforts at living in accord with what I take to be the call of the gospel have come undone.

And yet in those same moments of strained belief, of not knowing where or if God is, it has also seemed that the Christian story keeps explaining who and where I am, better than any other story I know. On the days when I think I have a fighting chance at redemption, at change, I understand it to be these words and these rituals and these people who will change me. Some days I am not sure if my faith is riddled with doubt or whether, graciously, my doubt is riddled with faith. And yet I continue to live in a world the way as a religious person lives in the world; I keep living in a world that I know to be enchanted, and not left alone. I doubt; I am uncertain; I am restless, prone to wander. And yet glimmers of ho…

Bring It On: The Musical

48 hours ago, I didn't even know there was such a thing. Then I found was offered tickets, and I went, and I loved it.

Loved it.

Plot-wise, it was not at all the same as the movie. Similar framework (preppy cheer squad & an inner-city school with a dance crew), and similar level of intensity (none: a rom-com for sure), but otherwise, a completely new storyline.

Music/style-wise, the hip-hop influences and cultural references were current and grrrrrrrrreat. Nadine commented that in ten years, it will either feel really dated or a perfect slice-of-life...true. It is very much set in the pre-teen years of this century.

And dance-wise. Ho-ly cowwwww. The cheer moves knocked my socks off. INSANITY. Many of the ensemble were competitive cheerleaders, and I can't imagine how much training it takes to do what they did. On multiple occasions, I said to Nadine, "WHAT? HOW? If this were a DVD, I would need to rewind and re-watch that."

Here's a little montage:

There Was No Time to Run

A recap of my oh-so-full and oh-so-delightful weekend:

Meet with my spiritual director (a new and good addition to my life)
Nadine & Matt pick up their stuff. Great to see them. Sad that there is officially nothing "Nadine" left in my home.
Great convo with Karen about life and Jesus and growing up.
Dancing - actually had fun!
Home to bed at 2am.

Up at 6:30 to shower & catch the 8:30 bus to Guelph.
Take my parents' car, go visit Mere & Russ and meet their new baby! BABY WYATT IS SO CUTE.
Tea with a former co-worker/very-wise-woman.
Birthday party for my niece. Love this family of mine.
Late night drinks & life-conversation with Jesskah.
Bed at 1:30.

Church with friends.
Auction viewing with Mom.
Ice cream with super-preggo-Amber.
Visit with sister, dinner with parents (Moroccan inpired!).
Bus home.
Throat is ticklish.
Hangout with Karen & Jill & Selina.
Bed at 11pm.

Yesterday was my first 2012 sunburn. Apparen…

Oh, Also.

I booked a ticket to Uganda for the end of next month. I am going to visit my delightful friend Vanessa and her family. And I am going to have an adventure.

That is all.

Songs of the Week

These are the tunes rolling through my head today:
Mika - Blue Eyes
Motopony - God Damn Girl
Fun. - Some Nights
First Aid Kit - King of the World

I Wish That I Could Draw

This art project from Dallas Clayton has been rolling around in my head for the past week... what would you draw?

ART PROJECT Draw a picture
of the thing you love the most
and beneath it write a small description
of how and why.

Take that picture and make fifty copies
the size of business cards,
cut them out and put them in your wallet.

Each time you meet someone,
instead of giving them your phone number
give them this card.

Once the first fifty are gone,
make fifty more.
Change the picture and the description
as often as needed.
Repeat until you’ve met everyone on earth.

...and I'm eagerly anticipating the arrival of my Sketchbook Project book. I wonder how I will fill it up. A top contender is some sort of daily list, like I used to blog.

Update: Slacktivist to Abolitionist

Remember the time I emailed my MP about human trafficking and the sex trade here in Canada? (Here's why I did it.)

Well. Last Thursday, I got an email from her assistant; would I be available for a phone call with Dr. Bennett tomorrow at 10:30am? No…but after 12:30? 1:40 it is.

A personal phone call. From my MP. I was a bit nervous, let me tell you. I am not politically savvy. I am not well-informed. And people in positions of authority intimidate me.

Then I realized that BillC-310, the specific bill I’d mentioned in my email, was being debated at 1:30pm that Friday. Wait a second! I thought, If she’s talking with me, she can’t be at the debate! That seems counter-productive…

And then she called. And I was nervous. And it was fine.

Here are the take-aways from our phone call:

Ending human trafficking should be a non-partisan issue. Human-trafficking & the victimization of women and children through the sex trade is a multi-faceted, complex issue. The solutions to these pro…