Tuesday, September 30, 2008

::Roots Scrapbook 2007::

4th family scrapbook! {And these books are FAT}
Must be a full, full life.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

::Leafy Reveries::

We have a predominantly oak-populated lot. When our very first autumn came around, I eagerly anticipated the glory of a fiery panoramic display in our yard. I was sadly mistaken. Oaks turn a muted yellow in the fall. What I didn't take into account, however, was the rapidity with which a forest transforms itself annually. Trees that were tucked into the forest's interior only two years ago are now basking in new sunlight and space. I am discovering bold maples along the edge of the clearing I never knew were there. They are stretching their branches outwards into the sunlight. This one maple, in particular, made itself known this year. And I am most happy to meet its acquaintance. Grow, grow, grow!

On this afternoon, our little maple seems to offer an invitation. We don our rubber boats and set off into the woods to explore. It never gets old. The moment the trunks and leaves block our house from view, it no longer feels like home. We are transported far away. We enter a land of gnarled and exposed roots, mossy fallen remains, deer-trodden paths through knee-high ferns...

Aidan and the older two are off. They romp ahead without looking back. Me and my Gabriel, we take it slow. Negotiating a way over networks of braided old roots and branches poses a challenge for tiny boot-laden toddler legs. Wanting to be like Dad, he takes possession of a large "walking stick" that only serves to inhibit him furthur. I hold his free hand and together we conquer the trail. At one point, all of us stop at the unexpected and arresting sight of a lone maple's discarded leaves. Surrounded by the soft, grey monotones of the oak forest, the deep red leaves are vibrantly conspicuous. They lie in a rough circle around the base of the tree. Many, still snagged in the bare branches of the trees around it. I had my camera in hand, but resigned myself to the fact that this was not something I had the skill to capture.

The moment our house comes into view we snap out of our leafy reveries. When we lie our heads down to sleep it feels like we have journeyed far. And in a sense-- perhaps the sense that counts most-- we have.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

::Oatmeal, Cranberries & Raisins::


I'm sure this has happened to you. At least, in a vaguely similar sort of way? Ok, maybe never, but try and put yourself in this moment. I was walking through Costco with two of my boys. They were side-by-side, one munching on a particularly tasty product sample. The other, gazing about wide-eyed, drooling profusely. My cart was full. I was 3/4 of the way through my list. And then . . . "Your little guy is sick," the lady in the hair net told me, pointing behind me at the cart, which was now covered in vomit. Elijah. But wait, there's more. It kept coming and coming. All over the floor. All over his baby brother, {who truly could not have cared less.} All over the groceries, including a die-cast BMW model car intended for Christmas.

There are a few me's in a crisis. 1. The me that starts to giggle. Yes, even when my little brother was chocking to death on a lifesaver, I giggled. It's just how my fear comes out sometimes. 2. I lose it and repeat the same few words over and over and over. For example; "Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear." Or perhaps, "Help. Help. Help. Help. Help." Most commonly, "Aidan. Aidan. Aidan. Aidan." {Since, he is my nearest, and most perpetual, source of aid.} Or, 3. The me that freezes.

On this particular occasion I exhibited signs of #3. There I stood, amidst the heaving and the crying and the spewing. And I couldn't figure out what to do. Did I run for a garbage pail? A mop? A hose? Did I reach for my hurling boy, or my hurled-upon infant? Did I abandon my groceries and bolt for the bathroom? Or did I sneak past the cashes with unpaid for, albeit now unsellable, goods to find a sink?

Apart from the smell, my senses picked up plenty of superficially sympathetic commentary. I say "superficially," because all of these lovely people, though kind enough to disguise their distaste, did not overcome it enough to actually help. Until Samantha, that is. "Can I help you?" And I knew she meant it because her shoes were inches away from the puddle and her arms were reaching for my baby. "Oh, yes. Thank You."

Together, we formed a plan. I separated the clean groceries into a fresh cart. Soiled clothes, booties, and chew toys were dumped into a cardboard box. Isaiah was stripped and placed in a cart with Samantha's son while I lead Elijah to the washroom. On the way, I snatched an $8 baby sleeper and $20 sweatshirt I never would have bought, had my children not been covered in throw-up. {"At least they're super cute clothes," Sam's sister said when the worst was over.} The clean cart was left with Sam's sister, which freed Sam up to follow me to the washrooms with Isaiah, whom she stripped, washed and re-dressed, {bless her heart,} while I puzzled out the best way to remove a chunky shirt with minimal hair-contact.

Dear, brave, wonderful women. "We saw you and you just looked like you really needed some help." Yes. Yes, I did. Thank You. Thank you. Thank You. Thank You. Next woman I see with vomit on her shoes, groceries and children; I'm there. No holding back.

{P.S. Why the photo? It looks the way my brain felt at the time.
Why the post title? You don't wanna know...}

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

::I can see it coming back for you::

Britney, I’m sorry for the lies we told
We took you into our arms and then left you cold
Britney I’m sorry for this cruel cruel world
We sell the beauty but destroy the girl

Britney I’m sorry for your broken heart
We stood aside and watched you fall apart
I’m sorry we told you fame would fill you up
And money moves the man so drink the cup

I know love goes around the world we know
And you never see it coming back
You never see it coming back
I know love goes around the world we know
And you never see it coming back
But I can see it coming back for you
Yes coming back for you

Britney I’m sorry for the stones we throw
We tear you down just so we can watch the show
Britney I’m sorry for the words we say
We point the finger as you fall from grace

I know love goes around the world we know
And you never see it coming back
You never see it coming back
And I know love goes around the world we know
And you never see it coming back
But i can see it coming back for you

Yeah, it’s coming back for you
Yeah, it’s coming back for you
Yeah, it’s coming back for you

Britney, I do believe that love has come here for the broken
Here for the ones like us

I know love goes around the world we know
And you never see it coming back
You never see it coming back
And I know love goes around the world we know
And you never see it coming back
But I can see it coming back

I know love goes around the world we know
And you never see it coming back
You never see it coming back
I can see it coming back for you

Its coming back for you… yeah
-Bebo Norman-
{Hear song *HERE*}

I have never been terribly starstruck, {apart from that little Elijah Wood episode in Grade 6}. No People's magazine for me. I think, having been grounded in biblical teaching, I tended to move past the moments of envy to a deep satisfaction with my own happy life. But every now and then I am reminded that these people, way up there on the screen, are real people. And, more often than not, they are dashed and broken by the cruelty of Hollywood. Sometimes, I can't shake their brokenness. And it follows after me, urging me to do something; to be a balm far across the country they will never know is there, but may feel through the power of prayer.

When this song came on the radio, I was moved. It occurred to me that this may the first time I have heard compassion towards the broken girl the song honours. Since her debut, it is as though she has been used to channel all of the primal nastiness of the media. To my mind, there has never been such venom, or scorn for a single star. There are those who have enjoyed the entertainment of her fall. There are those who will say she made her bed and she can lie in it. Then there are those who have heard the slander, seen her shame, and want to see her whole again. I just want to see her whole.

When I came across *THIS* article via *THIS* blog, I decided to follow the promptings in the pink box to email Lindsey Nobles of Thomas Nelson Publishing. Having given my word that I will review the book and post about it, a copy of the book has been sent in the mail. It is, perhaps, through these small means that love can gain ground where, now, there is so little.

Friday, September 19, 2008

::Window Art::

A few weeks ago, I was heading home in the dark when a "FREE" sign, propped against a tree, caught my eye. {I have learned to never overlook such signs, and the hidden treasures they often lead to.} So I slammed on the brakes. Backed up, and found a pile of beautifully beaten up old windows. The paint was chipped. The glass had that telltale ripple. . . They were perfect. There I was, 10:30 at night, in heels and a dress coat, stuffing the car with as many as I could. Worth it!!! These babies have not been wasted.

First I painted two of the biggest windows black. And then I played at being a still-life photographer. A prop-stylist, if you will. Basically, I took posed pictures. I waited for sunny days. I dug through unopened boxes of household stuff in our loft. I clicked away a few afternoons. But I came up with 7 pictures I like enough to put on my wall:

I'm having trouble with the 8th picture. I may wait until I get my hands on some chinese lantern flowers or winter berries. Ideas?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I have been working on a home decor project for the past week. I will show you the finished product in another week, or so. Until then, these photos a sample of the work I've been doing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Christmas 2006
Christmas 2007
Christmas 2008
I spent some of today's quieter moments working on your Christmas ornaments. {Yes, I hope to continue this tradition every year, if time allows.} I desperately want to show you all, but don't want to ruin the surprise, so here's a hint:Curious?
You'll just have to wait and see...

Monday, September 15, 2008

::Her Roots::

When I began this blog I named it "Roots." I did so because, at the blog's conception, I was on the precipice of a big move. One that has since transplanted me from a life lived in the city, to an entirely new one in the country. Upon being asked about the transition, I have heard myself say; "I have come to believe that I can live just about anywhere." I say this with a conviction based, not on extensive experience, but on the-- if somewhat deluded-- sense of myself that feels I can make home anywhere.

I once created a cozy hideout in the basement of our childhood home. When I say basement, I mean the creepy, dank, cellar-type of basement. A basement even our dog avoided. I was content to nest there one summer with piles or Archie comics and my imagination. Home. I used to jog along the Ottawa river. On my way home I would climb up onto the railroad tracks, do my stretches, and curl up in the crook of two iron trusses. On several occasions, I fell fast asleep there; iron and sky above, rushing river below. Home. When I first set foot inside 63 B Havelock, there were open-faced newspapers covering the entire surface of the apartment floor. Why? For two ratty dogs to defecate on, or, as we later found out, to place over top of piles of defecation the current residents had no intention of dealing with. I saw past the waist-high piles of junk, the smear marks on all the walls, the smell of stale cigarettes in the paint. And I saw home.

It's a frame of mind, isn't it? Sometimes you have a choice in where we live. Sometimes you don't. But you have to build a life wherever you end up. Best to just embrace the soil upon which your feet are standing and send out as many roots as our heart, soul and mind can muster the energy to produce. Yes, in a sense, we root-growers must have a high pain tolerance. Tearing loose a whole network of established life-lines hurts. But the healing comes quickly in the re-growth. And there will be re-growth. In Christ, there is no barren soil upon which to build our lives. Tap into him; tap into sustenance that reaches to even the darkest corners of the globe.

I find resonance, and wisdom, in the writings of a girl in Liberia, busy growing roots of her own:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

::Black Coffee::

Playing with html looks like this:


More "Apple Day 2008" Photos coming soon...
{Same time, same place last year *HERE*}