Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Savary Island

Tuesday, September 16:

First a good friend mentioned making a trip to Savary Island as a must-do when I told her where we were going. Then the lady at the Information Centre suggested it too. So Tuesday (Sept. 16th) found us eating an early breakfast, then driving out to Lund to catch a 9:00 a.m. water taxi for the 10-minute ride to Savary.

It's a little jewel of a place for sure and the sunny day we had helped show it off to best advantage. Once on the island we were on foot (it's a small island, 7.5 km. long x .3 - 1 km. wide); it would be perfect for a bike.

From the Government Wharf we walked down Malaspina Promenade past rustic cottages like this B&B.

We eventually found our way to Townley Walk, which led across the island to the South Beach Trail - a steep, switchbacky sand path that took us to a wide sandy beach.

And that's where we spent a good hour or two -- marveling at wind and waves strong enough to move the massive beached tree, walking barefoot in the sand, and exploring the driftwood shacks (quite a contrast to what's living on the hill just above).

We also had our snack -- a huge cookie and apple each, plus water. We'd been forewarned that with the end of summer the store and restaurant were closed and they weren't kidding. There is very little commercial stuff on the island to begin with and what there is was snugged away for the winter.

The east end of the beach is made up of very slippery algae-covered rocks, on which E. very nearly took a tumble. I stayed well away!

We eventually left the beach and explored a few more of the island's paths/streets. Then we made our way back to laze on the north beach within sight of the wharf to wait for "Comingtagetcha" to pick us up at 1:30. (But I want to come back someday!)

Back in Lund, we found Nancy's Bakery and settled at a table with another fabulous view to enjoy a delicious muffin and coffee.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Powell River - 1

Our very wonderful, much-anticipated summer/fall holiday began about 4:30 a.m. two weeks ago -- Monday, September 15th. We rose early because we had a reservation on the 7:20 ferry to the Sunshine Coast with our final destination Powell River. Though the city of Powell River is on the B.C. mainland it's accessible only by ferry (two of them actually.)

Maybe it was overkill, getting up so early, as we did catch our first ferry with time to spare and after disembarking in Langdale enjoyed a leisurely drive down highway 101 through Gibsons, Sechelt and past tranquil Trout Lake.

At Earl's Cove, the fog was still lifting on a beautiful morning as we waited for our connecting ferry to Powell River.

Once on board we spent most of the 50-minute trip outside in the bright sun and nippy breeze. Mountains rim the horizon of this picturesque boat ride past islands, with fish farms visible on the far shore.

We quickly got settled in our motel -- the Powell River Town Centre -- then went off to find the Information Centre. The lady there had lots of good ideas of what to do during the four days we planned to spend here and loaded us with maps and brochures.

We began our explore by hiking down the hill to Marine Avenue and the beach

where the water looked clear and inviting (love the jellyfish).

There were also murals, like these on the sides of several buildings,

funky signs,

and Silke's Market with its raspberry lemonades

and lovely view when we got tired of walking.

What a great way to begin a vacation!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

i'm home!

... although you may not even have noticed I was away (*grin*).

We've just returned from a fabulous 11-day holiday, exploring part of the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island (plus a couple of other islands too). Check back in the days ahead for a pictorial travelogue of this beautiful part of British Columbia (Canada).

Monday, September 15, 2008

I blogged here today.

Friday, September 12, 2008

news about Ray Boltz

The man who wrote this song:

has reportedly had a key change.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


(Mural in Duck Lake, Saskatchewan)


Thursday Challenge

Next Week: PLANTS (Garden, Vegetables, Fruit, Flowers, Trees,...)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

pray for India

Pray especially for Orissa State, where there is unprecedented persecution of Christians.

This from Earned Media:

India, Orissa's Christians Flee Genocidal Violence

Contact: Dr. Joseph Chavady, 306-684-2527

INDIA, Sept. 3 /Christian Newswire/ -- Orissa State has continued to bleed and burn for the past eleven days. Thousands of innocent people have fallen prey to diabolic insanity.

Since independence (1947 Aug 15), this is the first time such a massacre has been let loose on Christians. "It is a national shame", said Mr Man Mohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India.

1. Thousands of Christians (the number could be 50,000) have fled to the thick forests for protection. They are managing without food, water, or shelter in the heavy monsoon. These forests are also home for wild animals like tigers, bears and elephants.

2. Hundreds of houses have been burnt after looting whatever could be looted.

3. No one knows exactly how many are dead.

4. Christians have been killed and their bodies been thrown into fire and evidence has been destroyed, the exact count is not known, over a hundred have died.

5. The State Government is hand in glove with the radicals and has not done anything to stop them.

6. The media is biased or hushed up. There are a lot of lies propagated.

7. Business establishments and shops were systematically destroyed.

8. Christians have been forced to bow before idols, and have been compelled to reconvert to Hinduism. Those who have refused to have been brutally attacked and killed.

9. Leaflets have been distributed urging Hindus to kill Christians. Their slogan is, "Become Hindu or else face death. India is for Hindus".

These are a few stories that have reached us:

* Mrs Kamalini Naik's husband was asked to become a Hindu otherwise the fanatics threatened to kill his mother. Seeing his mother under their grip, Mr Naik denounced his faith. Then they called his wife who was 7 months pregnant. She strongly stood for her faith in Christ & they immediately cut her and her 18th month old son in pieces in front of her husband and the other Christians.

* A Pastor was asked to become a Hindu, but he refused and declared his faith in Christ. His two hands were chopped off and he was given a second chance to deny his Lord. He refused right away and his two legs were cut off. His body was then thrown into the fire!

"There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood, stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless- the world didn't deserve them!- making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world"
The Message, Heb.11:36-40.

More stories:
"Two more killed in new clashes in India State" - September 5

"Police do little to protect Christians in Orissa" - Compass Direct, September 9

"On the feast day of Mother Teresa
, 3 camps opened for refugees’ from Orissa" - AsiaNews.It, September 9

Monday, September 08, 2008

canada's cutest rug rat

This week we're enjoying a little house guest.

Whenever we put him on the floor he's soon on all fours, rocking back and forth. He tries so hard to reach his toys. But he hasn't quite mastered that hands-and-knees coordinated forward motion, though he does go backward.

After trying and trying only to find himself farther from where he wants to be than when he started, it's plop - down on his tummy. How does this crawling business work anyway?

(He'd make a great little writer with his determined, try-again attitude.)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

finding one's place

The truth is not that God is finding us a place for our gifts but that God has created us and our gifts for a place of His choosing -- and we will only be ourselves when we are finally there.

- Os Guinness, The Call

Friday, September 05, 2008

book review: The Jewel of Gresham Green by Lawana Blackwell

Title: The Jewel of Gresham Green
Author: Lawana Blackwell
Bethany House (August 1, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0764205110
ISBN-13: 978-0764205118

In the Birmingham England of 1884 when a lecherous man starts eyeing one's four-year-old daughter, what’s a single mom to do but leave town? Jewel Libby’s parson refers her to his friend’s house in Gresham.

There, in the midst of the Hollis-Phelps clan, Jewel soon finds herself embroiled in conflict of another kind. In Lawana Blackwell’s The Jewel of Gresham Green we follow Jewel and members of the Hollis-Phelps family as they work through health and in-law challenges, advocate for a wealthy neighbor in the presence of a heartless and conniving heir, conquer self-defeating attitudes and, of course, find romance.

The plot follows the stories of many characters – stories that started in other books, I soon discovered (this is book four of the Gresham Chronicles). But though the plot has many threads, Blackwell manages to weave them together into a tale that is always captivating and contains just enough trouble to keep the reader off balance and wanting more.

Blackwell’s characterizations shine. She explores an array of characters in this book. Her portrayal – especially through life-like dialogue – of complex people that range from pretentious Londoners, to peasant farmers, to clergymen, to children is evidence of her range.

Blackwell’s storytelling style is brisk and efficient. She doesn’t over-explain and, given the large cast, at first I felt as lost as a new in-law at a family gathering – though by about a quarter way through I had my bearings.

She does occasionally season her mostly plain-speech narrative with bits of fancy. Note this passage where Julia muses on her daughter’s youth: “Grace had much still to learn, simply because twenty years was not long enough for the whole curriculum of human nature…” And here’s Aleda’s writerly metaphor: “Even so, the story stretched out before her like a road dipping over the horizon. Her pen was the tortoise on that road.”

Parenting is a theme that keeps coming up in The Jewel of Gresham Green. Blackwell addresses it in Jewel’s mothering of four-year-old Becky and again in Julia and Andrew’s parenting of their adult children. Faith is another theme that pervades the book. Julia, Andrew and Jewel flesh out their beliefs by praying, attending church and finding comfort and inspiration in the Bible. But this is by no means a sermon dressed up as fiction. Rather it’s an entertaining tale of textured life-like characters with whom we experience the ups and downs of family and community life as seen through a lens of faith.

If you’re looking to spend a few enjoyable hours with Maeve Binchy-like characters in a historical English setting as fascinating as Jan Karon’s Mitford, The Jewel of Gresham Green is your book.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


From Line upon line

Tools in waiting


Thursday Challenge

Next week: SCHOOL (Students, Campus, School Building, Backpacks, School Supplies, Desks, Books,...)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

hrc's* - canadian freedom's no.1 enemy

*hrc's: Human Rights Commissions


From an August 18/08 National Post article.

"If the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) gets its way, Ontario's doctors will soon be stripped of their right to follow their moral convictions or religious beliefs when treating patients. In other words, doctors will risk losing their licenses if they run afoul of Ontario's human rights police.

If, out of moral conviction, they refuse to perform abortions, refer patients for abortions or prescribe morning-after and birth control pills, or if they refuse to help same-sex couples conceive children, their own governing body will take away their right to practice medicine.

- read entire Forcing our doctors' hands.

From an August 23/08 National Post article:
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario recently released a draft document on a potential new code of conduct for physicians.

Among other things, it states physicians will have to set aside personal beliefs "to ensure that patients or potential patients are provided with the medical services they require." It also said doctors who restrict medical service based on moral or religious beliefs may contravene the Human Rights Code and could be committing professional misconduct....

Don Hutchinson, legal counsel for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, said he believes the proposed document was heavily influenced by a letter sent in February this year to the college from the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

In it, the commission said it has concerns that the "religious or moral beliefs of health-care providers can have a discriminatory impacts on [Human Rights] Code rights relating to sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status and disability, among others."

It goes on to advise the college that the protection of one right cannot "be based on the total disregard of another."

"While the expression of their religious beliefs is essential for religious officials in the performance of their duties, secular service providers cannot claim that the performance of their job function is an expression of their deeply held religious beliefs."

- read entire OMA fears intrusion into MD's beliefs.

From a September 2/08 National Post article:
Will Ontario doctors be forced to ignore personal beliefs just to please a pompous human rights commission?

The sheer arrogance of human rights commissions will be their downfall (let's hope - and may they fall soon!!): their conviction that they have a superior understanding of rights compared to anyone else and that once they have pronounced how rights shall be interpreted, the rest of us should fall in lockstep with smiles on our faces and cheery tunes on our tongues, content that our intellectual betters have shown us the error of our ways and revealed the path to true enlightenment.

- read entire A handmaid's tale.


From a September 2/08 National Post article:
Should a man be forced to pay $17,500 to four individuals who felt offended by the flyers he distributed?

[...] Like the human rights complaints against Maclean's magazine for having published excerpts from Mark Steyn's book America Alone, this case pits Canadians' historic right to freedom of expression against human rights legislation that attempts to prevent hurt feelings.

- read entire There's no monopoly on truth.

Welcome to Canada where political correctness is the greatest virtue - no, it's the only virtue.

Monday, September 01, 2008

poet's classroom series

Are you one of those people who has written off poetry as just too hard to understand? I hope my newest article in the Poet's Classroom series, "Accessible Poetry and Poets," will make you reconsider.

If you don't feel like reading the essay, go straight to the sidebar where I've assembled a real meal deal - actually a banquet - of links (complete readings by Mary Oliver, Ted Kooser, Billy Collins, many great poems plus a short reading by Christian poet Jeanne Murray Walker)!

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