Monday, August 31, 2009

get paid for online writing

Turn your online writing into a little cash. I blog about how to do just that today at my writerly blog Line upon line (and I'm not talking Google ads):"Write 'free' content and get paid for it." 

Saturday, August 29, 2009

update on the kid

A month from Monday (July 31st) my baby looked like this. What happened? Read about it here.

Yesterday he looked like this. Isn't the improvement incredible?! How amazingly God made the human body to heal. We're so very grateful.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Victoria, BC - outer harbor


Thursday Challenge

Next week: FLIGHT (Birds, Insects, Kites, Helicopters, Jets, Boomerang,...)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

promptings potpourri

I haven't posted this kind of link love for a while. I'd say it's about time!

Recently Judith Millar, fellow Canadian and British Columbian has started blogging. Millar Lite is her humorous take on life where she tells on herself doing things like stalking Prince Charles on twitter and ramming her kayak instructor during a lesson. Check back each Wednesday for your weekly laugh.

Do you love the hymns? Then you'll love Robert Cottrill's Wordwise Hymns blog. His posts are a hymn-lover's almanac of sorts with all manner of hymn-writers' birth and death dates, along with their contributions to the world of religious music.

Do you or does someone you know suffer from chronic pain? Then you'll want to read "Heather's story: Healing Chronic Pain and Chronic Fatigue - 'My Experience, Strength and Hope!'" - moving and insightful.

Very soon it will be back to school. If you work in a school office - here's a message suggestion for your school answering machine.

Finally, kudos to me. I finished this afghan for munchkin number two a few days ago - and just in the nick of time. Baby is due in early September!

(Dimensions: 32" wide x 42" long. I initially blew it by making it too narrow, so added the borders on each side. It works, don't you think?)

Monday, August 24, 2009

rare visit with the Africa crowd

We had a visit with our nephew Chris, his wife Jane and their five sons on Saturday. Chris and Jane are in Canada on a short furlough from their work in Uganda. They are missionaries under Equip Canada and in Uganda Chris works on farming projects with several NGOs, including Orphans Know More, Bushfire and Farming God's Way. His website - Sperlings in Africa - explains these projects more fully.

A couple from their church offered Chris and Jane to live in the upstairs of their spacious house. The house comes complete with a large covered deck right off the kitchen where their active little boys can play ball hockey and generally be boys. In the back yard there's a swimming pool!

Jane grew up in Uganda. She tells interesting (and sad) stories from her childhood and growing up years. Several of her sisters have experienced tragic illnesses and premature deaths in their families. It's the kind of thing one typically hears about Africa - only it hits closer to home when it affects someone you know and love.

They'll be taking a road trip in September, visiting the churches that support them in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan. (It will be quite an adventure, traveling all those miles with five little boys!)

Andrew (Chris adopted him when he was a baby)

Kenny (5 or 6)

Albert (4-ish - and looking not very happy. He ended up feeling sick.)

Isaiah (about 3)

Ezra (11 months) and mommy.

(If you think of them, pray that some immigration documents Jane needs are processed in time for them to return to Uganda at the end of October.)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

a thought for your day

Saturday, August 22, 2009

on usefulness

Photo: planters on a dock - Victoria B.C.
"If I say -- I wonder if I am of any use -- I instantly lose the bloom of the touch of the Lord. 'He that believeth in me, out of him shall flow rivers of living water.' If I examine the outflow, I lose the touch of the Lord.

Which are the people who have influenced us most? Not the ones who thought they did, but those who had not the remotest notion that they were influencing us. In the Christian life, the implicit is never conscious; if it is conscious it ceases to have this unaffected loveliness which is the characteristic of the touch of Jesus. We always know when Jesus is at work because He produces in the commonplace something that is inspiring."

- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Friday, August 21, 2009

new poetry portfolio

In the last while I've been mulling over the idea of assembling an online poetry portfolio. I love other just-poetry sites that I often visit - sites like Poems by C. Van Gorkom, Christian Nature Poetry, and Real Poems.

Recently Kimberley Davis, a writer I follow on Twitter, wrote a blog post about doing just that as well. Her thoughts echoed many of my own feelings (positive about posting the poems with images, for example - her portfolio is here).

And so in the last two days, I've taken the plunge and put up Violet Nesdoly / poems. I will mostly put up poems that have already been published in other places. Of course it's not complete. I have yet to add more tabs, with pages for links, and other poetry-related goodies. I'll be adding a new poem about once a week until I run out of 'stock.'

So, if you enjoy poetry, I'd love it if you came by for a read!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Swan family


Thursday Challenge

Next Week: TRANQUIL (Quiet, Peaceful, Still, Calm, Serene, Garden, Forest, Beach,...)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

a prayer meditation

Just over two weeks ago our son had a scary fall from a roof, 20 feet down onto concrete. You can probably imagine the frantic prayers a parent prays at times like this. In fact, the hours of the first few days and nights blurred into one long prayer.

It's at times like that I really appreciate a little book I bought some years ago. Praying with Fire by Barbara Billett is a collection of prayers based on Scripture. The prayer for children is one I've been reading/praying over and over.

In the last few days I've also been meditating on the Bible passages these prayers are based on (they're listed at the bottom of each prayer, in the order they occur). Isaiah 54:13 is one of those verses:

All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
And great shall be the peace of your children.

ALL YOUR CHILDREN - children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren...

"TAUGHT BY THE LORD" - how does He do it?
- through nature.
- through the Bible.
- through the experience and counsel of others.
- through their own experiences - including tragedy, loss, sickness, disaster - and good times too.
- through miracles - dreams, visions, miracles, healings.

That's an interesting outcome. Not wealth or intelligence, favor, or joy but peace.
- A state of mental or physical quiet or tranquility; calm, repose
- Absence or cessation of war
- Public order - freedom from riot or violence
- Reconciliation after strife or enmity
- Freedom from mental agitation or anxiety

Lord, teach our children. Bring peace to them - and us. Amen.

A sampling of the prayers in Praying with Fire is on The Miracle Channel website. Here is the "Prayer for Children". Other prayers are linked at the top of the page.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

home again

Here's the kid on Thursday, two weeks after the accident. What a change when compared to the photo here.

Also on Thursday his friends from town came for a visit. Here they are, watching a movie on the ibook.

Yesterday included a visit to the cast clinic. The doc took out the staples, outfitted B. with a cast and then we moved him back to his city digs...he insisted he was ready, had stuff to look after, etc. (Sigh ~ at some times it's harder being a mom than at others)

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Nature's Frame

A few weeks ago we visited Butchart Gardens just outside Victoria BC. A cedar hedge rings the perimeter of this amazing garden. In one spot there is a hole in the hedge. It frames this (surprise!) ocean view.


Thursday Challenge

Next week: CURVED (Roads, Buildings, Shapes, Bowed, Arch, Bubbles,...)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Thanks again to all who prayed for our son. Here is proof that he's improving (photos posted with his permission).

July 31st - the day after his fall from about 20 feet.

August 6th - one week after the accident

August 8th - looking even better.
He's out right now (gotta love friends who rescue him from the tedium of convalescence), but sometime tomorrow -- two weeks after the accident -- I'll document his continuing progress.

Monday, August 10, 2009

book review: Mohamed's Moon by Keith Clemons

Title: Mohamed's Moon
Author: Keith Clemons
Publisher: Realms, May 2009, Paperback, 302 pages.

Beautiful medical student Layla thinks she loves Matthew Mulberry enough to accept his ring. Yet she senses there is something he’s not telling her. One day she comes face to face with Mohamed El Taher. He’s Matthew’s double but also a ghost from her past. After that, hers and Matthew’s relationship gets even more tangled. However, in Mohamed’s Moon Keith Clemons doesn’t create only a love triangle but brings the world of these Egyptian expatriates into collision with a cell of calculating killers that has infiltrated America’s highest office.

Clemons’ deft storytelling captivates as he whisks us between the present and the past, Egypt and California, and the viewpoints of Matthew, Mohamed and Layla. Through Mohamed we come to appreciate how a belief system intent on murder can make sense and have a steely grip on mind and heart. Somehow using his writer’s sleight of hand Clemons makes us sympathetic toward all three of the main characters, even though two are bitter rivals.

I especially enjoyed the parts where Clemons portrayed life in Egypt. Passages like the following have earned Clemons the label “atmospheric” storyteller:

“The wind blew incessantly, painting the sky a dirty brown. It had come up suddenly, a desert storm, whipping the sand into a froth, tearing at clothes, twisting hair, and scouring lungs. The man hid behind his camel with his head buried in the animal’s thick fur, using it as a wall against the assault. Smelly matted hair, like old rugs, soiled and musty and full of ticks, but the insulation kept him alive. The beast knelt with its eyes closed its legs folded underneath, hunkered down to ride out the storm.” p. 1

Clemons deals with some significant themes – inequality between rich and poor (including the amusing irony of the Lexus-driving Mohamed pontificating against America’s wealth to his rival, who drives a beat-up VW), forgiveness, and the clash between Christianity and Islam. Mohamed is thoroughly versed in the Qur’an and he and the cavernous-eyed professor Omar quote it often. When Mohamed obtains a Bible, its message of love and forgiveness shocks him. Could this be true?

Mohamed's Moon is full of surprises and suspense – a book with a taut beginning, middle, and end that’s hard to put down. This is the first of Clemons’ five books that I’ve read, but I’d definitely read more. It’s not every day you find a writer who tackles (with literary finesse) a timely and controversial issue in such a riveting a story.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

update on our current assignment

Our son continues to recuperate. Some days it seems like one step forward, two steps back. Yesterday was one of those. His rib area started hurting in the afternoon, got gradually worse, and he woke us at 2:30 a.m. in excruciating pain.

Hubby took him to Emergency, where they x-rayed his chest but found nothing extraordinary. The doctor thought it was the muscle... He's back home now, resting and waiting for us to fill his prescription for stronger pain medicine.

His face is still numb, and we're hoping it gets sensation back. Who wants to go through life feeling like you've just been to the dentist? But the swelling in his left eye is down and he can see out of it!! He really is a good patient too (though sometimes I fear too quick to get back to his social butterfly ways).

Above all, we still have him. These aches and pains are a small price to pay for what could have been a life-ending or life-altering accident.

After the boys left for Emerg early this morning, I opened my Bible to the next psalm and was totally encouraged by Psalm 30. Yes and Amen!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

life trumps blogging

When you get a phone call at 11:00 on a Thursday morning, telling you your son fell off a roof at work, you put your life (including your blog and twitter) on hold for as long as necessary. That was the situation here a week ago, July 30th.

Another call a few minutes later told us which hospital the ambulance had taken him to. When we arrived at Emergency and informed the nurse who we were, it was not a good sign that she hustled us into a "Family Room" with a social worker and the promise that a doctor would be in to see us shortly. So began a saga which is ongoing.

Our 23-year-old son fell about 20 feet onto concrete that morning. His right wrist and the left side of his face and head took the main brunt of the fall. In the intervening days the orthopedic doctor has plated and screwed his wrist together, the plastic surgeon has pushed his cheek bone back into place, and we're waiting for his puffy left eye to open to find out if he can still see out of it.

But it could have been so much worse. He could, of course, be dead, or paralyzed, or brain damaged. As it is, he can walk and use his arms (no neck or back injury apparently), and his memory - despite a concussion - is as good as ever. Except he can't remember the fall or the time immediately before it. And since his buddies on the job didn't see him fall, nobody knows exactly what happened - or even if he actually fell from the roof or from a ladder...

He was discharged from hospital yesterday and is staying with us for the next while. I am getting practice being a nurse and expanding my repertoire of soft food cooking since he isn't supposed to chew due to the healing bones in his cheek.

If you are a pray-er, please pray that his sight will return, and that this accident will work out for good in his life.

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