Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Be Nimble, Happy Be Quick; Happy Happen Every Tock of the Tick

This is my second year to celebrate Christmas. I've watched from behind the scenes for over 10 years and it is interesting to finally be among those celebrating. People celebrate for many different reasons. Some celebrate to give; some to get; some just to celebrate; and mostly, because...  their parents and grandparents and great grandparents celebrated.

I love and hate things that surround Christmas. I hate the commercialization. I hate that some people must depend on Christmas for part of their salary or to keep their business above the red. I hate the entire "give me, give me, give me" attitude.

But I love more about this holiday than I hate.

I adore it when kids tell me that they are giving each person in their family three gifts and that they made the gifts. I love it when kids come into the store and search long and hard for the perfect gift for Mum or Dad. I love the giving aspect of Christmas. Don't tell me it doesn't exist and that all modern children are greedy. I know it's not true because I've seen the exact opposite so many times.

I love seeing people freeing themselves of current woes to be joyful. Their eyes sparkle and their lips smile and "Merry Christmas" aura floats around them like a blanket that warms everyone near them. I want to see this happen to people all year around. I don't think it's a fake attitude or one that should be frowned upon: happiness is to be welcomed at any time or place. But I wish for joy, everywhere, at all times.

The radio plays in the store on a popular station which plays many hours of music each day. Usually, it's music from the 70's, 80's and 90's, none of it remotely religious or spiritual. Yesterday, I heard a song about Jesus and I was amazed as I listened: the lyrics depicted his life, his death, resurrection and how we can be one with him. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

Any reason to celebrate something good is a good reason to celebrate. People get into the spirit and are excited. Some people don't. But then, those folks don't get excited about anything anymore...

That leads me to the last thing I hate about Christmas or holidays in general: they end. The radio plays music up until December 26th and then, it's back to regular fare. The stores take down their decorations. The gifts are all opened. The food is just leftovers (though I admit that turkey leftovers are awfully yummy). Can't Christmas or birthdays or Easter or any holiday at all last more than a day or two? As with anything, it all depends on the attitude. I believe it can. I believe Jesus lived each day as though it was a gift. Life is not easy most of the time. We are meant to struggle as well as be happy. But I think there is a spirit of love that each one of us can embrace, regardless of where we are or where we have been.

Sam and I got to talking about the holocaust last night. That evolved into genecides and mass killings. (I promise this all fits together... please keep reading. :-)) Sam said that studies show that these horrible things happen not because people are evil. It is because of the mindset of the society they live in: killing your neighbor or the people under your rule is simply a way to erase a problem.

We have all seen or perhaps even felt the effects of such a mindset. It's frightening to think where a simple lack of respect for life can lead you. And we could all be the guilty ones, given the opportunity. There is no right or wrong method to curve ideals like these but I think a good place to begin is by making every day and every person your priority. I don't know what that means for you or even what that means for me: life changes in a blink of an eye. But keeping that good-will-to-all-men spirit every single day of the year is a great place to start.

Don't do it because it makes you feel good. Don't do it to look better to others. Don't do it for any selfish reason. Don't do it because you're frightened of yourself. Do it because that's what Jesus would do. Do it because it will lead you to Truth. Do it because people need to feel that joyful, Christmas spirit every single day of their lives. Do it because it's the most right thing to do.

"It’s Christmas Eve! It’s… it’s the one night of the year when we all act a little nicer, we… we… we smile a little easier, we… w-w-we… we… we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be!" -- Bill Murray [Scrooged]

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas House

I like Christmas trees and ours is no exception. It's like bringing flowers into the house, except.. bigger.

 I found these lovely burgundy bulbs at the Pharmasave.

See the pottery tea-set? A wedding gift from a friend. We love it.

Deck the halls with... garlands and bows. :-)

My wonderful husband and our dearly beloved cat. Both vying for attention... and receiving it. :-)

Some of you have requested pictures of the new porch. Well, there it is from the inside. Haven't braved the cold air to take any outside.

I made the most delicious bean and tomatoe soup with sausage in it for supper tonight. We had toasted cheese sandwiches to go along with it. So good. :-)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Formally Over

News reports citing the formal end of the War in Iraq have been written and posted on the internet.

I am very much a believer of peace. I don't know what all went down and what I do know, I don't agree with. But I do appreciate the hardships of the troops and the hardships of the people.

When peace comes, I will be glad.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Smile! Smile! Smile!

A friend posted this on their Facebook and said it was their favorite short film, "If you have 16 spare minutes, I would recommend watching it." Well, I had 16 spare minutes and this is now my favorite short film. I am inspired. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

love: an ode to mine

The Fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the the world is single,
All things by a law devine
In one another's being mingle -- 
Why not I with thine?

See the mountains kiss high heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would  be forgiven
If it disdain'd its brother:
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea --
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?
-- Shelley

I know people who have fallen out of love. There are times when their pain is badly disguised. I feel it.. their longing for what they have lost. I do not judge them and I try to avoid pity. I believe there is a different path for each of us. If you are offended by this post of utter and complete contentment, forgive me. I have known my own pain and I have struggled through my own struggles. (I am me, of course, so I never stop learning the hard way.) But I have found a resting place, somewhere safe and I want that for everyone.

I have chosen a path to walk and by my side is the man I want with me forever. I have only loved for a little over a year. The varying of and the strength of this emotion never is the same - not even moment to moment. I have learned some things; I hope for much more over the years. This post is partly for me but I also wanted to put to rest some of the misconceptions about love.

Fear to embrace it, fear to not. Do not fear.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you

The love of all man’s days both past and forever:

Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours – 
And the songs of every poet past and forever.
-- Rabindranath Tagore

Love fills emptiness or holes in you that you didn't know existed.

Love is a partnership: it requires giving of yourself and receiving of the other person. While you need to be whole in yourself (your faith, your love, your abilities) you also need to be able to allow yourself to be made whole by that other person. 

Love's a mystery. Sometimes there are feelings that are so deep and full that they cannot be expressed. Sometimes it's a crush of overwhelmed senses and wildly fluctuating emotions. Sometimes it's found in the easy camaraderie of two people who have established a friendship. But it can never be said, "Love is this. Love is that," and this thing be properly explained.

A true lover is proved such by his pain of heart;
No sickness is there like sickness of heart.
The lover's ailment is different from all ailments;
Love is the astrolabe of God's mysteries. 
-- Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

Love's story is different for every person. You might find yourself falling for your best friend, your worst enemy or someone you met on the street five minutes ago.

At the point Jesse and I met, I didn't think I was ready to meet HIM. I had prayed for years for a man who would be worthy enough for me to fall in love with. When I met Jesse I knew almost immediately that he was the one but I fought it. God had to really work on me. I cannot tell you how important it is to be of an open heart to His will. The places and people God leads  you to are for a reason. They shape you. For what end, you may ask? For better. For good. For love! But God won't force you to go where He wants you to go. As Jesse says, "A free will, the chance to choose, is the greatest gift God gave us." It's true. Of course if you're really headed in the wrong direction, He may put a wall of fire or a cliff in your path. :-)

Love never judges. Love accepts you for who you are, regardless of where you have been or what you have done. Love thinks you are perfect for Love. But Love never accepts that you are all that you could be. Love strengthens you, helps you, encourages you... to be more of you. 

Everyone says that you can't change a person. To a certain extent, that it the truth. But let me tell you, you can encourage people to go one way or another. People say that Jesse has changed since he met me. He has grown a lot, I know. But I never tried to change him because I like the way he is. I just believe in him and love him. I am a responsible person. I stress. I worry. I fear. I am an introvert. Jesse has gently but firmly pushed me to be more confident in myself and my abilities. For years, I had been expected to be a certain person and criticized if I stepped out of the role. Jesse hasn't changed me but he has helped me embrace who I can be. I am no longer just Naomi. I am Naomi. 

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: 

Love is living, growing, changing. Love would not have been worth it had it not been with my soul mate, my best friend. So much mystery, so much fear, so much unknown... but Jesse proved faithful and true every step of the way.

Each day I find myself praying for wisdom: How can I love Jesse more? How can we grow closer together? Love cannot help but change as I change from day to day. And I do change from day to day! I am a living human being, experiencing living human life. Jesse is the same. We are two completely different people. How can our love not change with us changing day to day? The prayer is that we will change for good. We may be perfect for each other at this point in life but will we be in 30 years? 13 years? 3 months? Love is the most difficult thing of all because we human beings are selfish by nature. That's why being committed to each other for life is so important for us.

Love has many faces. We love our lover. We love our friends. We love our family. We love God. Each love we experience helps us understand ultimate Love.

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart) 
-- e e cummings

I love this post by my friend Abigail. :-) It is very insightful.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

9 Cellos

I hope you enjoy this beautiful hymn of praise as much as I have this morning. It has made me glow. :-)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Of Professional Images, Birthday Cakes and Mosquitoes: Among Other Things

Due to our renovations and the rather busy-ness of our lives, we have not been able to install our washer and dryer in our utility room. So that means we have to run over to my inlaws and wash laundry there. Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate their generosity... but I can't wait to be able to wash our laundry here, at our house. Because we are us, we usually wait until we have worn most of our clothing before we decide to do anything about it and this time was no exception. Yesterday morning I had a towering mountain of dirty clothes and towels and such. It took me awhile to maneuver it into my inlaws' house. Of course, when it was all in, down the stairs and sorted appropriately, you can only wash one load at a time. I had some hours to kill.

Taro, one of my students, turned 17 yesterday. He and his brother and sisters are involved in this year's Dickens' play. Since the play date is coming up straight away, we are having regular rehearsals.... one of them that very night. So, I consulted my mother in law and we decided a cake was in order for the evening. I had run out of eggs so I simply brought everything else over to their house and proceeded to make a French Vanilla cake. (Yes, from a cake mix. No, I'm not ashamed. It's good cake. ;-) :-)) Btw, does anyone know how to make a French Vanilla Cake from scratch? Usually white cake is so bland but this particular cake is really amazing.

When I finally got back home, it was 3:30 and my first students were due to arrive very soon. I rushed around the house cleaning up and was just at the tail-end of it when they appeared on my doorstep. I was still in my comfy paint be-spattered bunny hug and they were a few minutes early so after I greeted them, I went and changed quickly. The shirt I chose is one of my favorites: last year's Kenosee Lake Kitchen Party ladies t-shirt with a really clever logo on the front of it. It's green. My favorite color. :-)

Two students and their mother later, I was greeting two more students and running for the washroom for a little moment. That's when I happened to glance in the mirror. Something was wrong. It took me a moment to figure it out.... then, light bulb. I had my shirt on backwards; the clever logo was etched across my back, mocking me. As my oh-so-professional image went down the drain, I couldn't help bursting out laughing. It is always great to get a slap like that and it be that funny. So, I turned my shirt around and ta-da, clever logo was clever once again. But it still amuses me whenever I see it. I wonder what my students thought... and I especially wonder what my student's mother thought. Haha!!

Last night's rehearsal went quite well indeed. It was supposed to be a semi-dress rehearsal but Doug (director) said it was ok if we interrupted it a bit. I didn't know how we were going to present the cake to the birthday boy but when I started gathering in-tell, Michele had a great idea, as usual. She thought we should spring it on him when we were in a scene together. It appealed to my love of awesome surprises so I went around and whispered the plan to everyone else.

My line goes like this: "Please Mr. Scrooge [insert southern accent], it's Christmas Eve, do you really expect us to go back to those people now and tell them that you are condemning those buildings, that those families are going to have to move, that the neighborhood recreational centre is shutting down and the church is going out of business? I mean... [grabbing Scrooge's wrist and pointing towards Taro] it's his birthday for crying out loud!" Then as everyone came out with the cake we all started singing happy birthday. The look on his face was really surprised. :-) Such fun!

There are certain things I appreciate about winter. One is that it's easier to sit and relax on cold snowy days than to sit and relax on hot sunny days. Because when it's hot and sunny, you feel guilty for wasting it by relaxing. (Of course, I don't think sitting and relaxing is wasting time but sometimes my better, more responsible side gets to me.) Another thing is that snow is so beautiful. There are simply no words for it. :-) And the best thing is that there are no mosquitoes. At least there shouldn't be. So it's not fair that every night before we go to bed, I have to kill at least three mosquitoes. We have no idea where they are coming from. It's cold outside. They should be all dead. Jesse wonders if they were already in the house somehow. Or... my latest theory is that they are coming up from the drains. Regardless, I really wish they would all go back and hibernate... or die. Or something. ::hates mosquitoes::

Well, I have some housework to do and some Christmas decorating to begin. I hope your winter is progressing as well as mine is. I pray for love to reach each heart. Just a little love. I think it would make all the difference in the world. The more I work "in the world" the more I realize that non-acceptance is the most natural, human reaction. People do not love one another. They judge each other. And wow. Did I ever get on that apple box quickly. ;-) I suppose God has been showing me a lot about this lately. Whenever I find someone particularly annoying, my conscience pops up...

Thanks so much for reading. It makes my heart brim with joy. Come to Carlyle and enjoy the Dickens Festival!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lives Lived

Place: Regina, Saskatchewan
Date: a couple days after September 10th.
Occasion: Honeymoon/after wedding celebration

Naomi had made reservations at a certain Regina Chateau for the night. Newlyweds had spent the day on the road since they had taken the ridiculous detour of going up to Endeavour first (saying goodbye to grandparents who were staying at N's parents' place before heading back to WA), then heading back down to Regina.

After a movie and sushi it was dark and they decided it was time to seek out their night's lodgings. Amusingly enough, they had never seen the hotel in real life. Naomi had just found it on the internet and they thought it sounded nice. They weren't really having a "honeymoon" anyways so they decided it might be nice to splurge and do something out of the ordinary.

Jesse was driving so Naomi was doing the navigating. She read the address from her notes and they proceeded to that section of the city. The closer they got to their destination, the more confused the couple felt. This was a very odd neighborhood for a nice facility like Regina Chateau... at least as it had been advertised as.

When they reached the place the street numbers matched those on her notes, the street lights were few and far between. People moved in the shadows or simply stood and watched them. It was getting rather nerve wracking. Finally Jesse slowed the car.

"1108... 1109... 1110." They stared in disbelief. On either side of 1110 Victoria Avenue were dumpy little houses, the typical 50's and 60's fair. But 1110 Victoria Ave was... an empty lot.

Being the kids at heart that they are, the two couldn't stop laughing for about five minutes. They didn't know if they had been scammed or if Naomi had written down the wrong address but it was hilarious.

Thankfully, Jesse always keeps a Regina phone book in the car so they pulled that out and looked for the Regina Chateau's listing. As it turns out, Naomi had copied down the address but had accidentally made an omission. The Chateau's proper address reads:

1110 Victoria Ave E.

Naomi had missed the E. part of it. Just one small mistake had led the couple completely astray. They haven't stopped laughing about this incident yet. Adventures of this type seem to befall them on all sides... like the first time Jesse and Naomi cooked together (he was courting and she was trying to engage his attention elsewhere than her by making him help her make supper) (it didn't work) and Naomi managed to accidentally pour all of Michelle's garlic powder in the soup and it boiled all over the stove. Or the time Jesse exploded the plate in our new kitchen, making everyone holler. Or the time they started on their trip an hour early so they would be on time for the orthodontist appointment (four hour drive one way) and they got stuck in construction.

Happily, I can tell you that Jesse and Naomi Twietmeyer discovered that The Regina Chateau does actually exist and is a wonderful place to stay. The beds are comfortable... so many pillows! Real sheets and blankets. And the hot water in the showers never runs out. Best of all, the rooms are clean and comfortable. It was the most comfortable hotel they had ever stayed in.

The End. (Until the Twietmeyers have further adventures of course.)

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. -- Soren Kierkegaard

Funny how a certain phrasing of words and the spirit of it uttered will catch my attention. The theory of this quote I agree with. The spirit of Soren Keirkegaard may be one of regret and wishing they could change the actions of the past. Of course, this emotion could merely be an echo of the music I am listening to ("Don't Break the Heart That Loves You" by Connie Francis). ;-)

Yes, the above story really happened. If you knew Jesse and me, you wouldn't have to ask the question. :-) I look back on this incident and can't help but smile. I am so thankful for every adventure, every moment spent together. Sometimes we feel so happy so that it seems it's impossible. I look back on the happiness which has enveloped us the past year and I still don't understand why I have been given this. I feel breathless.

There is so much about my past that I do not understand. The happy times and the not so happy times. The hurt and the agonizing, fierce agony. The times I felt I was leaping ahead and growing and the struggles to take a single step, feeling like it would be easier to die than to try to live. Was some of it really necessary? Though the healing is working in me, sometimes the pain of memories still threatens to overwhelm me. Then I know with every ounce of my being that, had it not been for my past, I would not have the strength or understanding I have today. I try to weigh between the pain of knowledge and the strength of character. Then I realize it doesn't work that way. If I had my choice, I wouldn't choose the pain.

Maybe. I mean, if I had known everything, I would have seen the wonderful closeness of my Creator. That I wouldn't trade, even in the face of great suffering. Perhaps I would have had the wisdom. But this is all speculation with no basis in fact. I am so glad that I cannot see into the future. This is a life being lived in the faith and strength of love because there is no other way of really living.

That doesn't mean fear and pain don't come to call but their visits are less frequent. I can't explain to you how happy I am. I can't explain the depth of my gratitude to God for bringing Jesse and me together. I am praying for many years together... for the grace to make each passing day better and more filled with love than the last.

Life is not without it's ups and downs. I know this. But when you are with your soul mate, your partner who excepts and loves you unconditionally... the bad times are much more bearable and the good times are better.

I love you, Jesse.

Thanks, God. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Boring-ness That Makes Me Really Happy

Several times I have tried to sit down and write a post but something has always gotten in the way. But! Victory! Today, a student of mine had to reschedule her lesson to another day so I had an hour and a half before theatre. Perfect time to scratch out some emails and a much needed update for Treasuries. :-)

Major happenings? Not many of those. Just every day, beautiful life. :-) I think I prefer it that way.

 Lessons. 13 students. Progress. Happiness. I honestly cannot imagine anything more fulfilling than teaching music. It's like you're changing lives with every lesson. If I can keep these times full and interesting, fun and entertaining, hope-filled and progressive... well, these wonderful young people will go places. Not necessarily the stage but when you play  music, you are fulfilled. You can entertain and fulfill needs and desires... both yours and others. Each student is different... different home life, mind set, values, struggles and victories. But they are all important to me and music is becoming part of them.

Last night (15th) we went to a house concert in Forget and listened to Woody Holler and His Orchestra. It was such a treat. Daniel Koulack (he played at our wedding) plays bass in this band so it was another reason I really wanted to go. :-) They were amazing. It's a Western Swing band but they play all kinds of music. Some of it was old country (Woody sang in Spanish...), some of it was old cowboy (Don't Fence Me In, etc) and other stuff was very jazzy (Honeysuckle Rose). What a treat for the ear! Jesse video taped the second half of the show for them and in payment for his services, they gave us a cd. We got it signed by all the guys and promptly forgot it at Michelle's house. Lol! Thankfully we see M. often due to theatre practice so she get it to us sooner than later.

Speaking of theatre, it is going well. We have several of my students involved. Actually we have about five people who haven't been in our theatre group before so it has been interesting to try and find a place for everyone. But it is coming along great. The story is the usual A Christmas Carol but it has been Remixed. :-) Jesse is Scrooge this year. It's funny watching him be so nasty to everyone because he's usually so decent. Haha!

And then there's work. Two of the girls are leaving... one because of maternity and the other because... well, just because that's who she is. :-) I will miss her. Good news is that I *love* the floor manager (and she's staying!). She is an amazing human being who has problems like the rest of us but rises above them and treats everyone equally. She's gold.

They finished insulating the porch and tore down the door and wall the separated the kitchen from the porch. The house seems so much bigger. I love it. They plan to finish it when spring/summer rolls around again. I am  looking forward to the day when it is all finished and we have a brand new kitchen with all of our wedding gifts in it. Right now, most of them are upstairs sitting on one of the beds, waiting for their own little space.

Stuff keeps us busy: parties, Remembrance Day, picking up paintings from Jesse's Grandma's place, learning to live with the cold weather, trying to keep healthy.

I got the flu again a week or so ago. 11 days was how long the first one took... thankfully, the second bout didn't last as long. I actually started to write a blog post when I was down with it but decided not to. When I'm not feeling 100% I tend to complain about the fact. There is simply enough complaining in the world without me adding to it. (So say I bravely today!)

Those are some of the highlights of the life of Naomi. What has been happening in your life? Is the flu going down where you're at as well? What music has inspired you lately? Have you made a dish that you have been very pleased with?

Well, the evening is upon me so I should close this up. Cheers my dears! :-)

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Funny how you can know a person so well and find out something about them you didn't know.

Setting: Jesse and Naomi in grocery store carrying basket half filled with groceries. Jesse reads things off of list in hand while Naomi grabs them off shelves.

"Cream of wheat..." Jesse reads.
"It's my favorite hot cereal," Naomi replies.
"Yeah, it's my favorite too," Jesse says.
"No way!"

As it turns out, we prefer it above oatmeal, cracked wheat, corn meal mush or just about any other hot cereal. Life is good. :-)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

snaPshots of my LiFE

…every single time Jesse sees a picture of a cat he says, “Awwww..”

…almost every time I put down my plate or bowl or cup, Snow tries to eat or drink from it. That is so annoying. Ugh. At least he likes me. J
… I love that you can tell people’s mindset so clearly when they post a comment.

…And then there's the moment when Eli Eli posts a new song they recorded.

...I scratch Snow’s tummy and he enjoys it so much he falls off the couch.

…I open a letter from my sisters and it begins with “Dear Naomi, I love you!”

…the day I asked a student if they’ve had any lightbulb moments over the past week and they respond, “Uh no. Unfortunately not.”  Haha!!

…teaching a student and seeing the understanding hit them like a freight truck. So exciting!

… that dear friend who texts me and we have a chat about good times. Hello, Molly! Hi Lindsey. 

…seeing the sunlight dyeing the winter trees in red and yellow hues. One of these days I’m going to get a camera and take some real snapshots...

…staying up to all hours talking to my mother-in-law. Girl talk is brilliant.

…driving by myself. I love the feeling that I am no longer dependent on people to help me get to work or go grocery shopping, etc.

...hearing that my sister Hannah also passed her driver's test and has a Novice 1 license. Yes!!

…finishing 10 modules  (well, more because some of them were doubles) of a course that I was taking on Pharmasave. About 10 hours and 50 pages of hand written notes later, I am happy to say that I have completed the course.

…writing movie reviews while inspired.  In the past couple of weeks I’ve written and published three movie reviews on Ponderings. I love the feeling of accomplishment.

…Watching and listening to kids expressing themselves. The other night I was at Missoula theatre and was amazed at what two great directors can do with 30 children in a week. One of them, Kendra (age 8), hadn’t really ever sung in front of anyone and she pulled off a solo that was awesome.

…being happy sad all at once. I keep talking to people about Mya Dawn and how her memorial was so beautiful. She was 21 months old and had only known love her whole life. The accident was so horrible and the sadness that encompassed the community was heartbreaking. But the love that was expressed at her memorial was so wonderful. I can hardly explain what I mean. Little Mya Dawn, may you shine in the presence of our Lord.

…waking up happy.

…seeing my husband and feeling a burst of love that makes everything in life better.

…talking to Jesse.

…watching people during drama practice. The jokes are pretty amusing. J

…praying for wisdom, then receiving it.

…feeling God’s grace each moment of every day.

…little boys. There was one sitting behind me at Missoula. I think he was about 4 or 5 and his mom had him sitting on her lap because he couldn’t see the stage otherwise. About 30 minutes into it, he says quietly and really patiently, “Mom, I hate sitting still.”

…going to work and keeping busy all day. Though, of course, it is annoying when you’re trying to do three different jobs at once and an emergency interrupts every three minutes. Lol! Yesterday is was a paper jam which I couldn’t locate even after taking apart the machine. But at least I wasn’t bored!

...watching a great movie and not getting over it for months. One I watched this past week was "The Queen". I thought it was well done. I have always really like Helen Mirren but she was so good in this movie. I understand why my sister-in-law always calls her The Queen whenever she sees her in anything. I have joined the ranks. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Love Thy Neighbor

Disclaimer: This post has missed some very essential points. I do not have the ability or wisdom to express exactly what I would like to say. I have issues with the extreme of what you are about to read. Some quotes, some words; that is all I can do right now. My hope is that it will enable someone, somewhere, to think.

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

I consider myself blessed among women. My husband loves me. He views me as his equal. Love for him involves aspects I thought existed apart from love: respect, equality, cherishing, honor, faithfulness. When I prayed for a husband, I prayed for a man. I prayed that he would protect me and that I would be able to protect him. I prayed that we would cherish and honor each other. I prayed that I would be able to submit to him and that he would submit to me. I prayed that we would grow old seeking Truth together.

I have wanted to be married for as long as I can remember but about five years ago, I realized that I was not interested in getting married unless I met a man. I hardly realized what that meant until I met Jesse. To him, all men and women are the same. All have the same intelligence. All deserve to be treated with respect. That includes me, his wife. The longer I am married to the man, the more I realize how deep his belief rests in his soul.

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her... (Proverbs 31: 11 - 12) 
This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem... Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave... Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned. (Solomon's Song)
Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matthew 19: 4-6)

Mary Poppins and I had a date the other evening. I was sick with the flu and we had just purchased the movie (finally! I've been searching for a copy of that film for years). What better thing to watch when you're feeling sick and blue? At any rate, Mr. Banks and Mrs. Banks made me stop and think long and hard. Their relationship is probably more clear cut and exaggerated than real life but I believe we can learn some important truths through it.

Mrs. Banks was all for women's suffrage. She was out on the streets (neglecting her children) all day, singing her heart out and feeling very productive. She was finally expressing herself. At home, she was Mrs. Banks: wife of George, submissive, telling him what he wanted to hear, never arguing with him, mother to his children. She loved him and she loved them. But something was missing. She tried to fill it by asserting herself among her peers. When Mary Poppins' magic prevailed and Mr. Banks saw the light, he started treating his wife differently. He confided in her, he was affectionate with her, he treated her like she was his best pal... most importantly, his equal. The change in her was immediate and beautiful. No longer was something missing from her life.

One of the things about equality is not just that you be treated equally to a man, but that you treat yourself equally to the way you treat a man. -- Marlo Thomas

There are quite a few examples in the Bible of strong women and weak women. There were strong women who used their intelligence and charm for good. There were strong women who used what they had badly. There were also strong men and weak men in the Bible.... There are verses in the Bible on both sides of the coin on every subject imaginable. How to treat women, children, kings, prophets, enemies, etc., etc. We could treat people any way we wanted to, based on which way we read the Scriptures. Part of the reason for that is, in my opinion, God testing us to see what path we will tread.

Tell me, how did Jesus treat women? How did he treat men? How did he treat children? How did he treat those in authority? How did he treat those who were the sinners, untouchables? Unbelievers? Of everything else in the Bible, why can't we look at the two greatest commandments and follow those in every aspect of our lives?

We human beings do not think of people as equals. We think some of the same as ourselves, some are higher and some are most definitely lower. Is it skin color? Age? Walk in life? Religion? Sins committed? Why? Don't we remember that Jesus said: For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. (Matthew 22:30) Think of both sides of this coin. All those people we know of both in past and present who have expressed hatred. Now think of the ones who have allowed love to lead them.

If we were to select the most intelligent, imaginative, energetic, and emotionally stable third of mankind, all races would be present. -- Franz Boaz

I have known boys and girls who insult the intelligence that God has given them because they think they can't be a Priscilla (Proverbs 31 woman) or Aquila (man of God).  I know kids who are so smart and get bullied at school or don't receive the education they should because of some reason (whether at home or in public school). I have known men and women who wake up in the morning and feel nothing but bondage to their lives. I have read about, watched and known people who are "different". Abused. Ignored. Stuck. Never reaching the potential God had planned for them.

I have thought that I had been given a special understanding that 'unbelievers' don't have a clue about. I have thought that someone wasn't worth it. I have thought and said I can't understand why God would love someone so evil as that person. But I have been reaching for love and understanding. I have been seeking God for the ability to forgive. I have been accused of being friends with sinners. I have been told I am losing my standards and that I haven't been putting God first. I have found that Truth is often the opposite of religion.

And I have found that I don't care what your race, your background, your religion or your sex. I think lack of love is the worst curse that has fallen on the world.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond or free, there is neither male nor female for ye are all one in Jesus Christ. (Galatians 3:28)

O the depth of riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Treasuries of Joy

To my husband:  All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full... 
Ecclesiastes 1:7

My love, may you never stop seeking for Truth. May you always search. May your heart yearn for greater understanding.

To my sisters and brothers: I love you.

To life: Be truthful, nature only sides with Truth. -- Adolf Loos

You have thrown and landed some vicious blows but you didn't know something that God did. When you tried to crush me, I found strength. When you left me for dead, Something breathed life into me. When you pumped me full of bitterness, somehow Love crept in through the cracks. There was Truth... I could pull the plug on hate.  

To Marriage: Happiness is like a kiss: you have to share it to enjoy it. -- Bernard Meltzer

All the waiting, the uncertainty, the frustration... yes. But worth it. Worth every lonely night, every longing for someone's arms, each moment aching for true love, all the battles with doubt. Yes! Worth it. I cannot express my gratitude. 

To The Flu I Have Right Now: God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice.  -- John Donnes

Sometimes it's so hard to look past when we're not feeling well or are in an impossible situation. The light is there, though. It might be faint or impossible to see but it's there. Let it strengthen you for better things.

To God: But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. Psalm 71:14 

I do hope continually. Fear is my greatest fault. I want to live my life in joy without bowing to anxiety. Slowly, I learn. Always, I hope.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

when we cry

Please pray for the family of little Mya. She is safe in the arms of Jesus but we all need comforting.

May we treasure the moments and walk in love.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Life & Caramel Apples

This morning is all about getting ready for the afternoon. You get up, get dressed, clean the house, practice the piano, research, study, run errands... For breakfast, I ate some apple pie leftover from Thanksgiving: the top is still crackly with sugar and cinnamon. I adore apple pie. If I were Snow White, the wicked step-mother of the fairy tale would have to slightly change her methods of poisoning. "Here, love. Have a slice of pie." "Is it apple?" "Yes, my dear, certainly is." "Is it poisoned?" "Yes, love, it is."

Who cares about little details like that when apple pie is involved? :-)

I am officially into my second week of teaching. The students arrive in good humor and less shy than they were last week. Yesterday, they were all trudging up the driveway through the mud and landed on our doorstep two inches taller in ruined shoes. Poor peoples! Megan made me laugh when she left... she kicked her shoe and mud flew everywhere. Some of it hit the house... some of it landed high in the trees... some of it ended up on her mother. (Which is why I stopped laughing as soon as I could.) 

This has to be the start of my favorite season. I know why they have so many holidays in the winter: we need a reason to celebrate. The cold here can be simply unbearable and dull.. I so enjoy having a reason to bake and cook and buy gifts for people. On Sunday, we had Thanksgiving dinner with Jesse's extended family. We had chicken. Chicken is definitely my favorite fowl. It's moist and has that lovely chicken taste that (despite the rumors) nothing else in the world has. 

Next along is Jesse's birthday, Halloween, Christmas, New Years... 

I bought cream today so I could make caramel apples. Any friend care to join us? :-)

You know, when I began teaching I never thought I would be pushed so hard and so far out of my comfort zone. No one person is the same. I prefer folk, hymns, celtic... music I consider gentle and beautiful. And yet, I am endeavoring to each musicals, rock, country. If I am to teach these genres, I must find something to appreciate in them. I must learn to love something in them. Thank goodness that there are elements in every genre that I am already comfortable with. It does not matter what type of music it is, there are certain qualities that are always the same in good music. The fundamentals, the love and passion the artists express into the songs/tunes, talent, effort/hard work... and we all need to understand these qualities before we can understand any type of music. 

Back to the subject! I love being pushed far beyond my limits. I love getting advice from my husband and other musicians. I love it when I have to wrack my brain in the middle of a lesson to find the best worded answer. I love hearing parents tell how much they like the motivation their children are expressing. And yes, before each lesson, I am scared. I pray and search my heart (soul) and mind (intelligence/knowledge) for the best means possible of teaching this individual who has come to me to learn. 

Without teaching or performing (or some other form of musical expression) it is very easy to let what you have sit and mold in the corner. Because of my job, I am forced to grow in ways I never would on my own. In this way alone, teaching is a life changer. 

And now, I shall get off my apple box and get on with my day. If there are any students or their parents reading, thanks for helping me become a better person.

I am wishing you all the best of Wednesdays. May you find some joy today!

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. -- Thomas Jefferson

Monday, October 10, 2011

30 Days

All my life, my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name. -- Andre Breton

One month ago today, Jesse and I stood up in front of witnesses and very legally became Mr. and Mrs. Jesse and Naomi Twietmeyer. It was a wonderful day filled with wonderful, beautiful people... the joy of it will always be etched into my memory.

There are so many things I remember clearly throughout those days. One of the most amazing is seeing everything I envisioned come to reality. Throughout the months, I had developed some very firm ideas of what I wanted in a wedding. Since I am a photographer, I wanted everything to be picture friendly. Some things look very good to the eye and horrible in pictures. I wanted to avoid that. I really wanted to avoid that. Yay for Sam (sister-in-law) and Lindsey (best friend). And Paul (father-in-law). And Jesse (husband). And Dianne (mother-in-law). And Kate (Di's sister). And my family (my grandparents came a couple days early and my immediate family, the day before the wedding). Ok. Yay for everyone! :-)

While there are many memorable moments from those days, there are some that will never leave me. Small glimpses in time, snatched away to tuck close to my heart. I remember someone once telling that the days before my wedding and my wedding day would all be a blur... that I would too excited to notice or care very much. I thank them for warning me. I promised myself that if I could help it, the blur and excitement would not swallow me: my consciousness would be completely intact and God helping me, I would enjoy every minute of that day.

One of the Most vivid memories I have was right before the ceremony was to start. We had come back late from pictures and the wedding was supposed to be starting right away. I felt windblown and frazzled but everyone was assuring me that I looked amazing. Lol. Lindsey and I ran down the stairs the back way from the dressing rooms and into the kitchen downstairs. From there, it was quick washroom break and rushing to other set of stairs. Right as we were about to enter the Green Room entrance, the outer doors opened and some dear friends walked in. She was carrying her brandnew baby girl. The sight of my friend's smile and her mother beauty calmed me. Some moments are pure orchestration. That was no coincidence.

There was Another right before the processional. My new family was about as frazzled as I was but they still took the time to argue about what exactly was going to happen. This was going to happen... no! this was! It was quite funny. Furthermore, this is how they are: always have been, always will be. I kept laughing and trying not to smudge my make-up. I love them.

I will Never Forget walking down the aisle, holding Sara and Ruth's hands. Cilla walked down right before us, holding my bouquet. In the theatre, there are two aisles to walk down. We used the one to the right. I was afraid that the people seated to the left of the theatre wouldn't be able to see anything so I asked the marriage commissioner to announce that everyone was to remain seated. She forgot but it didn't matter. I think it was the sight of me with my little sisters that caught everyone off guard. :-) They didn't stand up until after I was almost down to the bottom of the aisle. The moment was the congregated, "Awww..." that rippled through the crowd when they realized what was happening. I definitely got the cute factor going with those sisters of mine. I love them!

There was another one, Earlier on both dressed for the big day, there was that moment: seeing Jesse and Jesse seeing me for the first time in our wedding clothes. Neither of us can figure out how we got so blessed. For me, the realization that there is actually a man in all creation who I can trust simply blows my mind. Add to that the fact that he loves me and I love him... well, I really didn't think it was even possible. I had given it up to God as a dream that would never be fulfilled. I would do whatever he wanted me to do with my life, even if that meant never being married.

We wrote our vows to each other. Jesse's was so beautiful. I have never heard anything so poignant and certain and full of love. (Afterwards, my dad said that when he heard Jesse's vow, he knew he could put away the shotgun. Haha.)


Few things are truly important.
I could throw away all my possessions and have lost nothing;
but your love is everything to me.
I stand before you now to promise you all that I am.
I make this promise with a full heart,
without fear or reservation,
for you are the only truly important thing to me;
I will stand beside you until the end,
because I love you.

The Peace I felt while saying my vows to Jesse. I had been so nervous that I would forget the words or falter. But when the time came, I was very, very calm. I meant those words with every ounce of my being and they came out like that. Thankfully. :-)

"Jesse, I love you. I love you  because you are my best friend. I love you because you are a good man. I love you because you seek Truth. I love you because you make me laugh. I love you because you are so annoying. I love you because you are God's answer to all of my prayers. But mostly I love you because I love you. You are the most beautiful thing in my life and it is with great joy that I pledge myself to you. I will pray for you. I will hope and dream with you. I will be with you as long as our lives shall last."

And what about the cake... talking with friends... the first dance... Michele's toast to the bride and groom... Lee-Amber asking me to open the card she had given me so I could read what she had written before she left... Samantha and Matt MC-ing... square dancing... coming downstairs after the ceremony to grab a drink of water and meeting up with Ray and Tahnis (squeal!)... talking with the grandparents... being welcomed into the family by Paul... The realization that we had actually pulled off a beautiful, gorgeous wedding for about $3000 (people were so generous)...  Jesse and I looking at each other around 11 pm, then sneaking off home without telling anyone (aside from Ellie).

What a good day. What a good rest-of-our-lives. It all began 11 months ago when Jesse told me he loved me.

I love my man. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Dear Lord; we beg but one boon more: Peace in the hearts of all men living, peace in the whole world this Thanksgiving. -- Joseph Auslandler 

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.  -- Psalm 95 : 1 - 6

To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do.  -- Victor Hugo

I love chicken. I would eat chicken fingers on Thanksgiving if it were socially acceptable. -- Toddy Barry

Best of all is it to preserve everything in a pure, still heart, and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving, and for every breath a song.  -- Konrad von Gesner

A lot of Thanksgiving days have been ruined by not carving the turkey in the kitchen. -- Kin Hubbard

All our discontents about what we want appeared to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have.  -- Daniel Defoe

Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. -- 1 Chronicles 29:13

Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts. -- Henri Frederic Amiel

Every heart that has beat strongly and cheerfully has left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world, and bettered the tradition of mankind. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

God has two dwellings; one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart. -- Izaak Walton

I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose. -- Woody Allen

I'm thankful for every moment.  -- Al Green

Forever is composed of nows. -- Emily Dickinson

Friday, October 7, 2011


 "I find the whole concept of being ‘sexy’ embarrassing and confusing. If I do an interview with photographs people desperately want to change me - dye my hair blonder, pluck my eyebrows, give me a fringe. Then there’s the choice of clothes. I know everyone wants a picture of me in a mini-skirt. But that’s not me. I feel uncomfortable. I’d never go out in a mini-skirt. It’s nothing to do with protecting the Hermione image. I wouldn’t do that. Personally, I don’t actually think it’s even that sexy. What’s sexy about saying, ‘I’m here with my boobs out and a short skirt, have a look at everything I’ve got?’ My idea of sexy is that less is more. The less you reveal the more people can wonder. - Emma Watson

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mysteries of Time and Doctor Who

Clocks slay time... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.  -- William Faulkner 

When we met, one of the first things he introduced me to was Doctor Who. Jesse loves the show. He has watched almost everything that has been made and is very well acquainted with all 11 faces of the Doctor. He was watched every episode of the 6 current seasons (yes, that includes the specials) and, as they are being released (whether on DVD or CD), the early days of the show, which strive to strain the patience the most appreciative fan with too many details about aborted escape plans, shrill companions and heroes who mean well but are absolutely thick until irrefutable evidence is thrust under their noses as they are almost killed (only to be rescued by The Doctor).

Thank goodness for Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat and whoever else is hired to exert their creative powers in present days. Brilliant stories. I find that I am becoming a bigger fan with each episode I see. Just for the record, all portrayals of The Doctor have had their own special magic but my favorite is and always will be Christopher Eccleston. (Matt Smith is a close second.) 

Rory: What's wrong with you? What has she done to you? 
The Doctor: Poisoned me, but I'm fine ... well, no. I'm dying. But I've got a plan.
Amy: What plan?
The Doctor: ... Not dying! See? Fine.
Rory: Doctor, River was brainwashed to kill you.
The Doctor: Well, she did. And then she used her remaining lives to bring me back. As first dates go, I’d say that was mixed signals.

But details of my preferences aside! This post is about Time. I have been amazed by the utter brilliance the show has encased so many times. It might be a line a character says or a situation; it might be a look on an actor's face, but there have been so many times I've had to hit the pause button and think or laugh... or shed a couple of tears. 

Aside from these details, it has been because of this show that I have been having serious thoughts about Time, Dimensions, Right & Wrong, Immortality, Love. The Universe is so much bigger than we can comprehend. Even if you don't believe in God, or the existence of an Ultimate Truth, it is still enough to startle our little world. [Now, add God. :-)] This show asks questions so many times. There are moments when it tries to answer (and does a fair job of it, I might add) but most of the time, it seems that the writers only wanted to raise the questions, to make us think. 

Life is a contradiction in many ways. Nothing is. Yet Everything is.  We are nothing, insignificant. Yet, we are Everything. Nothing is All. All is Love. I don't understand it and until I quit this dimension, I never can. But I can wait. I will rest content in catching brief glimpses of Truth through this brief lifetime...

And when is there time to remember, to sift, to weigh, to estimate, to total?  -- Tillie Olsen

The Doctor: Through crimson stars and silent stars and tumbling nebulas like oceans set on fire, through empires of glass and civilizations of pure thought, and a whole, terrible, wonderful universe of impossibilities. You see these eyes? They're old eyes...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Apple Pie

The past few months have been really busy. Working, teaching at camp, wedding preparation, Kenosee Lake Kitchen Party, visitors, getting ready to move into my new home... everything added up into one big, gigantic conglomerate that was... LIFE.

And it has exploded again. :-) I am glad we took two weeks of semi-honeymoon to rest. We needed that downtime. However, life, in all it's horrible busyness, is rich and full and marvelous. My beloved and I get to spend time together. That alone adds color and beauty. 

..for small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.. -- Carl Sagan

Adventures. Yes, we have already had several. Some of them included: *Going in for my driver's test and passing. Now I can legally drive. Yay! *Working on the porch and basement. *Jesse falling into the hole in the dark and twisting his knee (that happened three days ago). *Jesse getting a wall dropped smack dab on his other foot and thinking perhaps he had broken it (that happened last night!). *Jesse dropping a 2x4 on his head (that happened this evening). *Finding that the cat had thrown up in the living room, on my favorite chair. *Forgiving the cat (it was quite a journey for me... :-P). *Waking up to Jesse asking me to go put some food in the cat's dish because the cat was eating a puzzle. Noisily. (Trying to get the message across.) (Jesse would have done the chore except he had hurt himself and couldn't walk very well.) 

His name is Snow, btw. He is quite a lovely animal and I am fond of him. Firstly, for Jesse's sake, then for Snow's sake. 

There is something quite amusing about Jesse getting hurt so much. Wait. That sounds heartless. It isn't really funny. But it is. Jesse never falls. In fact, at the wedding, the best man made a point that he had never had never seen Jesse fall for as long as they had been friends. (Matt has known Jesse since he [Matt] was a newborn.) Then, Jesse fell into the hole. It was dark and he did land on his feet. (Therefore doesn't really count of as a fall, according to Jesse. :-)) Then they dropped a wall on Jesse's foot. Lack of communication. They weren't supposed to both drop the wall at the same time. Then this evening, Jesse get's hit by a 2x4 dropped on his head. That was a working in the dark thing again. He never got hurt before he met me!! :-P

I have been having some adventures in the kitchen as well. They have all turned out quite happily in the end so it has been exciting. :-) My first culinary delight was Spicy Meatball Sandwich. It was good. I made a couple changes to it but made the basic recipe. My next success was from the same website (Tammy's Recipes never fails to provide delicious, healthy recipes... I've used many of her recipes and have always been pleased) in the form of apple pie and homemade pastry. 

Without bragging, pastry used to be my specialty. I remember when I was about 14 years old, my mother delegating the pie making to me because "your pie crust is always good". That's high praise on several levels. Anyways, that was with whole wheat and butter: two things that make pastry difficult to accomplish. I have always like my mom's recipe except that it always seemed very salty and vinegary. So I wondered if Tammy had a recipe.

 Voila!  Foolproof Pie Crust. I was at first amazed at the similarities of this recipe to my mother's. This is, however, one slight difference that I believe makes the entire crust a different thing: a tablespoon of sugar. I was so pleased with this recipe. The first day, I didn't refrigerate it long enough. It was a little difficult to work with; sticky. (I didn't use wax paper for rolling it out... just flour and table surface and wooden rolling pin.) However, the end results were definitely worth every bit of work. This crust is delicious. Mmm! And guess what? I didn't have enough apples to make three pies so I saved most of the pastry (in balls). First, I froze it, then over the course of the week, it was moved from the freezer to the refrigerator and there it sat... Yesterday, I finally had a chance to work with it again. Guess what? It was much easier to roll out, tasted just as good and I am definitely giving this recipe a #10 rating. It is indeed foolproof! 

And as for the apple pie, again, Tammy's Recipe's had the recipe: Perfect Apple Pie. Since we don't like things too sweet, I cut down on the sugar. Jesse is very particular about his fruit and pie... especially apple pie...  so I was waiting on bated breath when he took a bite. :-) The emoticon says it all. Lol. He loved it. 

I have learned a couple tricks of the trade regarding Apple Pie. 1: Cook your pie at 450* for 10 minutes to cook the bottom of the pie. (I learned this from my mother-in-law who is an amazing pie maker...) 2: When they say "thinly sliced apples" take them seriously. Apple Pie takes a long time to cook without thick, unevenly sliced apples. I learned that one the hard way! :-) 

Other than that, well, I worked five days last week at Pharmsave. The money is nice and my boss is nice and my co-workers are nice. :-) But it was crazy busy in there. For five days, I tried to wash windows. Every day I tried to wash the windows, something came up... stocking shelves, working photolab, working at the cash register, etc. I believe Friday was the worst day. I worked most of the day at the till and by the time I got home, I was hurting all over so bad. Concrete floor is hard on the feet. But, it was nice to get some days in before music starts. 

Speaking of which, that begins tomorrow. Am I excited? :-) Oh yes. It's a big job and something that takes a lot preparation. But it is worth it. I love what I do. :-) 

Anyways, I should go empty the cat's water dish. Last night when I filled the food dish, I accidentally poured some of the food into his water. He doesn't like the water when there has been food in it. :-P I can't say I blame him...