113341121637065799 Wednesday, Nov 30 2005 

Cathy gave me this awesome book today “A Question of Freedom” by David Butler. A couple of quotes:

“A Life of Reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action, not reaction.” -Rita Mae Brown

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

“The love of liberty is the love of others. The love of power is the love of ourselves.” -William Hazlitt

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113341045631486126 Wednesday, Nov 30 2005 

So what is happening in my life these days! First of all, I don’t like the gray days and we have not seen much of the sun lately, which does not bode well for me. The more gray days there are in a row, the more grayer I become, and it doesn’t feel that great either.

I am wondering these days why I am such a slow learner!! I seem to have to learn the same lesson over and over again. Why do these same old monsters keep rearing their ugly heads into my conscious life when I think they have been conquered! Am I just weak? I guess the truth of the matter is that I am weak and these uglies cannot be conquered on my own.

I am still pondering the whole love theme and have been reading a book entitled “The Jesus Creed” by Scott McKnight. He brings clarity to what the culture was like when Jesus lived and how Jesus radically changed the “law” of the Torah, which kept the Jewish people away from those who were not like them, by actually accepting and loving the misfits and the going into their homes and eating with them and rubbing shoulders with the “scrum and the sinners”. Many of the people Jesus associated with were not church people, but were the “rejects” and wouldn’t have been found in a church. So how do I love my neighbour? or, come to think of it, maybe I am one of the rejects!!!! That probably wouldn’t be such a bad place to be!!!

So another election! I am tired of the rhetoric already! Between all the Christmas rushing and election propaganda, I think I will lock myself into my house for the next 3 weeks and remove myself from the outside world. That’s what I am doing on Friday and Saturday…Jerry and I are going to do Christmas decorating and hopefully set up a Christmas tree. That is always interesting and usually includes some very animated conversations!!

The most encouraging part of my life these days is our new Women’s Collective, FIG (Female Image of God) which had it’s first informational evening at Lakeview on November 20th. Earlier this year, Nancy Yee and Cathy Johnson and me, began to meet as we were sensing a movement to put together a Women’s Collective at Lakeview. Every Wednesday afternoon Nancy, Cathy and I meet to discuss, pray, dream, plan, and just have a place where we can be real and authentic…know that we are loved and accepted by each other…a place that love flows even as we work through different issues. Our Team of 12 women meet every Thursday evening to do the same and this has been an amazing experience for all of us.

Nancy, Cathy and I worked through an Advent Liturgy this afternoon and it was just so amazing. I love the written word and Nancy had been able to find some wonderful liturgy that so moves us toward God at this Advent Season. We are having our first Sacred Gathering as a Collective on Sunday evening, so we will be experiencing this liturgy together as a group of women. I can hardly wait…it is going to be amazing. Just reading through the liturgy was so moving already. God is good!

Well, these are some of my thoughts. I have so many more but with the 5 to 10 trains of thought that go through my head…it is hard to simply write about one.

113211505072633214 Tuesday, Nov 15 2005 

My first day back at work after a holiday is always very difficult…I always come home after work feeling very disconnected as events take place while I am gone that often reinforces some of the feelings I think I have put behind me and they rear their ugly head again! I guess there are some things that one just doesn’t completely get over.

Had a great visit with Jordon, Wendy and Mark this afternoon…great conversation and great coffee…I came with no money so Jordon had to buy me a coffee…thanks!

I’ve been thinking and pondering alot lately on the whole concept of love. When Jesus was asked by a church leader (Pharisee) what is the greatest commandment, Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your mind, and all of your strength, this is the first and greatest commandment, and the second is like unto it, Love your neighbour as yourself.” Jesus then goes on to tell his disciples in the upper room that He gives them a greater commandment and that is to love one another as I have loved you. Jesus then prays in John 17 that we would come to know that God the Father loves us as much as He loves Jesus. Paul writes at the end of Romans 8 that nothing can separate us from the love of God that is through Christ Jesus our Lord. Paul also writes in 1 Cor 13 in the first few verses that we can have spiritual gifts in that we can give our body to be burned and have faith to move mountains, but if we do not love these gifts are worth nothing. Paul talks in Colossians about the clothing we are to put on like humility, forgiving one another…and end up with saying that overall we are to be clothed with love. God so loved the world that He gave…

I see so much judgment around me and also in me and am wondering if I am more about judging or more about loving?

Just some thoughts going through my head…

113200192057757064 Monday, Nov 14 2005 

We are back home safe and sound. I woke up this morning to snow on the ground and a blizzard doing its damage to the south of us. Stepping outside last night was my initial experience this Fall with the cold northerly wind blowing like mad!

Coming home always has its side effects of feeling down! That is where I am today…just surviving with doing laundry and trying to get my head around going back to work tomorrow morning. Jerry had to work early this morning, so I haven’t seen him yet today…I talked to him and he is coming home for a nap!

Our holiday was absolutely wonderful! Many awesome memories were made and sharing it with family is always the best!

113173993801663602 Friday, Nov 11 2005 

Well, the last day has arrived and we are all packed and ready to hit the road. We don’t leave Kauai until about 10:40 tonight, but we are going to spend the day taking it easy.

We have had an amazing two days…lots of sun…lots of water…lots of fish. I am not really a water person, but I have probably spent more time in the water this holiday than ever before. The trade winds were awesome which created some amazing waves and we had to much fun in the water. We have had wonderful sunshine except for one day and the humidity that day reminded me so much of Vietnam.

We also spent time in the water with the fish. There is a shallow cove here where you can stand in the water about waist deep and all the fish come swarming around you. We saw some awesome coloured fish. Jerry got a snorkel mask so I even put my head in the water and saw the fish close up. I never thought I would ever do that, but I took the risk. It was quite an experience. Dwight also did some snorkeling, but Joanne couldn’t put her face into the mask as she felt to claustophobic…but we could see the fish as the water was clear and with have fish food, they swarmed all around us. It was hard when the fish brushed on your legs and Jerry did get a couple of bites, but that is all part of the experience.

As I said, the beaches have been amazing. With the trade winds high yesterday, we sat on the rocks and watched the huge waves come crashing up on to the rocks below us. The water would spray go up 50 feet into the air…it was phenomenal! We sat for a long time just watching the waves and when we went to bed last night we could yhear the waves hitting the rocks along the shore. We also watched a couple of beautiful sunsets here…the sun goes quickly under the horizon, but it is an amazing sight to watch it set over the ocean.

The ocean is absolutely powerful…as you watch the waves and the amount of water coming on shore it is impossible to even think the amount of water the waves bring into the shore. The waves yesterday were up to 10 to 12 feet high and the force of the water as it came to shore and rushed over our bodies, the force of the water pulling us back into the ocean was so powerful. We learned how to read the waves to know which would be the huge ones and those that would break before they hit us. The first couple of times I got pounded into the sand…actually all of us did at one point or another…the first couple of days I would try and run out the waves which made Joanne laugh hysterically as I looked so funny…this old lady trying to outrun the waves… however, I did learn how to keep my balance as the water rushed back to shore.

We have had some amazing food here…we have really enjoyed one small restaurant in Koloa, a small town close to where we were staying. We have been enjoying the wonderful desserts and last night Dwight and Joanne had the Brownie sundae…which was absolutely delicious and Jerry and I had the Berry Cobbler which was sooooo good as well. I keep thinking of my co-workers in Saskatoon all on Weight Watchers…I will have to take some pointers from them when I get back as I show and feel a few extra pounds around my middle.

We arrived in Seattle tomorrow morning. We will then head to my brother’s place in Stanwood, WAshington, for a couple of coffee and a short visit. When we get back to Langley, Matt and Jesika are there for a wedding, so we will be able to hook up with them before we head home.

It is hard to believe that this holiday has reached its end. It has been an amazing time here. We have enjoyed each day and have experienced wonderful weather, lots of fun, great laughs, wonderful food, great ocean walks, great waves, lots of sun…just a great all around wonderful time.

Time now to “mahola” and see you again soon!!!

113151120247077603 Tuesday, Nov 8 2005 

We have spent another couple of great days! Monday was a beautiful day and I spent most of the day reading my wonderful book…which by the way does have some questionable material included…but what the heck at my age it really doesn’t matter any more…but I did finish the book “A Song for Arbonne” which took alot longer than I anticipated. I finished it late last night after everyone else was in bed.

We enjoyed the sun again on Monday. Jerry and Joanne spent a couple of hours feeding the fish…here Jerry will talk a bit…we picked up some fish food from a local deli and the coral reef was only about 3 feet deep. Met a couple from Nebraska who lent me their snorkeling equipment and while I snorkeled, Joanne fed the fish food into the water. Within minutes a couple of hundred tropical fish were swarming around our legs! I thought Joanne would freak out! As a result of all the fish the multitude of kids and parents came rushing through the water to see all the fish. Joanne, in one of her rash moments, threw some fish food in front a 5 or 6 year old kid, who at the time had put his head into the water to look at the fish. The result was a couple of hundred fish rushing toward the face of this young kid who practically crapped his drawers…what a great laugh! We are going back there tomorrow to see if we can scare a few kids. This time Dwight and Gloria are going with us.

The sun is simply wonderful here. I have spent so much time in the warm sunshine and with the breeze continually coming off the ocean…it is absolutely amazing. On Sunday afternoon we spent a couple of hours in the ocean playing in the breaking waves. It was incredible as the tide began to come in and the waves got bigger and bigger. Jerry, Joanne and I all ended up with sore legs, knees and ankles, from bracing ourselves against the waves.

We watched the local kids run down the beach and jump on their boards as they hit the water…when they hit the first breaking wave they were airborne and did flips in the air and landed back on their boards. I didn’t try it! This was a great place “to eat sand” and drink “salt water”!!!

We travelled on the east side towards the north side of the island today. We went up to Hanalei Bay where apparently South Pacific was filmed many years ago. There was mostly rain today, but it was so hot and humid you could hardly breathe sometimes. Jerry and Dwight both bought Hawaiian shorts today so blended in well with all the other tourists!!! We also went to a place called “Beezers” for ice cream today. The guy who ran the place was absolutely crazy and talked so loud…it was quite funny when he asked us what we all did for a profession…before this he had been swearing, asking about our sex life, and being relatively outspoken and gross…when it came to me and I said I was a minister, he just laughed loud, and it ended up that he had been raised in a strong Methodist home and had gone to a Lutheran College on a basketball scholarship…it was here he started questioning and is still on that road of questions! The whole episode was quite funny and we left having had a great laugh.

That’s about it for now! We are heading out to find a place to eat and then head back to our condo to either watch a movie or play some cards. We have had some great card games…the last time we played Joanne won…it was amazing! Jerry says “He let her win”! So typical isn’t it!!!

Thanks for all your comments! Matt,it is so good to read your comments…or were they yours Jesika! We haven’t heard from you Tamara!

113131801297855771 Sunday, Nov 6 2005 

The waves have been amazing here…I even tried to “ride” the waves with the help of Jerry, but this proved to be unsuccessful…I am just too afraid of the deeper water…so I just jump the waves…this is the first time I have even attempted to go into the water, so this is quite a feat for me…Joanne and Jerry love the water so they have spent lots of time there…the sun is hot and we have been using our 30+ sunscreen which has kept us from burning…Joanne loves the sun so we have spent lots of time there…there is always a warm breeze blowing which makes it really comfortable.

We have had lots of fun, Dwight, Joanne, Jerry and I, playing games and laughing lots…I think the people around us must think we are crazy as we get louder as the game progresses…always lots of jokes…we have also enjoyed eating…have tried different restaurants, which has been nice…we also have a full kitchen in our place so Dwight has baked chocolate chip cookies; Jerry has purchased lots of ice cream; Joanne has her pringle chips; and I just eat everything!

We are now at the Embassy REsort another awesome location as we sit on our patio we can see the ocean with palm trees along the way. We have a red cardinal, male and female, come and sit on our tree right outside our patio. We have seen other birds as well.

We went to one of the small villages the other evening and saw many works of the local artists…beautiful paintings of every kind; photography; woodturning; wood furniture; silk marbling…all done by local artists…many of the artists were there and we were able to talk with them…also snacks were served at every location which was great for the guys!!!

We have seen giant turtles…Jerry and Joanne saw lots of beautiful coloured fish this morning…but no whales. We have walked lots along the ocean and enjoyed the waves and the breeze. Joanne and I walked for 2 hours this morning. It was wonderful.

Jerry’s foot was not good for the first couple of days…but was better today and he tried walking in his runners. We have not been able to do any hikes yet, but hope to do some shorter ones in the next few days.

We still have lots to do. I have been reading a books given to me by Matt…Song or Arbonne…have been enjoying it…have also read lots of magazines…but most of all just enjoying God’s creation and the company of family. Our time together has been wonderful to this point…no major catastrophes…just good laughter…good food…good company…great holiday time together.

Even though this is the United States of America it is difficult to find internet available for the public…this is costing me $5.00 to send so hopefully someone will read it.

We do miss family and friends and wish many of you were here with us. This is an amazing paradise and there is no doubt that it is a privilege for us to be able to enjoy it the way we are.

Holidays Sunday, Nov 6 2005 

Greetings from Kauai! We arrived on Tuesday Noon after a long flight via San Francisco. It was wonderfully warm as we came out of the airport and picked up our rental car. We then headed out to Kihuna Plantation to register in our ocean view cottage. It was amazing…in old Hawaii style with just louvered screened windows so the breeze was constantly blowing through our place. It was an amazing way to sleep. The temperature has been to a low of 73 at night to a high of 87 in the day. We have lots of sun with some rain. Jerry and Joanne ran out in a heavy rainfall to experience warm rain. It was awesome! The three days at this resort was beautiful…the grounds were covered with lush foliage and the lawns were so green and would have been great for a putting green or for the game of botchee! There was a beautiful orchid garden with over 450 different orchids which had been planted and is cared for by one of the locals. We had an opportunity to talk with him and he was so proud and loved his babies…as he called his orchids. It was absolutely amazing to see the many different orchids that grow out of volcanic rock, gravel and bark.