It's in!

By the grace of God, and the amazing support of my husband.

I. Met. The. Deadline.

Whoo, hoo! That was a *huge* 70 page paper. Lit review (thanks Tiffany!), project, tables, figures, conclusions, oh mine!!!

I actually sang "I am Free" (by the Newsboys) on my way home.

I should have about a week before the request for revisions come back. (D'hu!)

But until then... It's time to get this neglected apartment in order for my mom arriving *tonight*!! We're going to a fundraiser Luau on the beach, spending the weekend together, and taking up the sights and sounds of the big city and our small town.

It's back to work on Wednesday, but I'm going to enjoy the glorious weather and great company, until then!!!!


"In other news..."

"Seems as though the swine flu is still kicking and the recession is still taking it's toll."

"In other news, mac and cheese sales are through the roof!"

Totally unrelated, I'm sure.




We're ill.
We got the flu.
Not sure if we got THE flu, but we are whine-o's nonetheless.

Just thought I'd let you know.
I hope I don't have to let my supervisors know... if I have to explain why I didn't meet the deadline of a lifetime.

Shameless Self-Promotion... The "How-to"

Alright, here's how to donate the next five minutes of your life to supporting a great cause. Um, maybe that's a stretch, but it sure would be nice of you to do it anyways!!

Are you an AirMiles collector?

Are you interested in making someone's day?

Are you willing to take the next couple of minutes to vote for me?


1) Click here. (This will open a new window, so you can keep following this easy-peezy directions.)

2) Log in using your AirMiles number and PIN (your PIN was set up when you received your card. It's the same 4digit number you use when you phone AirMiles.)
If you're in, great!! SKIP TO STEP 3.
If you can't remember your PIN, follow these directions:

2) a) Can't remember your PIN? That's okay, click on the side "create my PIN"
2) b) And fill out this info.
Don't worry, you aren't providing more information than AirMiles already has. This info is just to ensure that you are, well, you.

2) c) Then click Here, and actually sign in.

3) Once you're in, click "Community" in the middle of the blue bar. Let me show you:

4) "Memories N' More" contest should be featured. Click "Vote Now"!

--> It may prompt you to become a Community member. No big deal!! This is easy (just sign up with a Screen Name, it will send an e-mail to you to 'activate your account', open your e-mail click on the link, an Viola!! It will bring you back.)

5) Go to page 3, by clicking on page 3. Here, let me show you where it is:

6) Click on "Maids of Honour"

7) Enjoy the story and click "I Like This" on the left side bar. It's right here:

And you're done making my my day!!!

!!!!THANK YOU!!!!!

Care to ask your mother, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, and neighbor to do the same???? lol


Shameless Self Promotion

Are you an AirMiles collector?

Are you interested in making someone's day?

Are you willing to take the next couple of minutes to vote for me?


Visit Airmiles.ca and log in with your AirMiles collector number (located on your card) and PIN number. Once logged in, click "Memories 'N More" contest and, although you may enjoy other entries...
vote for Lyla and my beautiful faces!!!


The top five entries, as voted on by collectors, will be entered into 'round two' of voting by a panel, and the winner gets 10,000!!!! We could use those!

So please, please, please take a few minutes for me?
And, if willing, contact your mother, sister, brother, co-worker, friend, and neighbor to do the same?

I will thank each of you in person if we win! ;)

Hopefully I will be able to provide better directions to get there very soon, just have to convince Tom to help me out a little with some screen captures...


Me Three

Stolen from Sonya and Tiffany


First the rules:

1. Respond and rework. Answer the questions on your blog. Replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, and add one more question of your own.

2. Tag other people.


Now the questions:

What are you wearing today?
P.J's. My fuzzy pink housecoat is an essential accessory.
I work from home (and love it!).

What's for dinner?
Ribs. At Tom's request. I'll be putting some tofu pieces along with them in the crock pot for me.

What relaxes you most?
My husband. Sappy, I know. It's just that any problem seems so much smaller when he's around. Maybe because he's capable of fixing anything.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would it be?
Watoto orphanage in Uganda, relieving a dedicated worker from her duties so she can have a break. Considering Tom's at work right now, I'd take MiL with me. She knows why.

What language do you want to learn?
Spanish, but boy howdy is learning a language challenging at times!

What do you love most about where you currently live?
That it's 'ours' in the sense that we built our marriage here.

What style is your current home decorated in?
Not sure what to call it... Beautiful Gifts from Wedding Guests Plus Stuff We Liked From Value Village.

What is your favorite color?
Pink, maybe?

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
A long brown sweater I found for $10
new, which is a bonus around this house. It was exactly what I was looking for in a 'Christmas shirt' this year.

What were you doing ten years ago?
July 1999. Hmmm....I was going into grade 10. I would have been working at Dauphin's SAAN store and cruising in my beloved first car:
The Road Runner.

What are you going to do after this?
Getting back to writing my project thesis. These kinds of things take a while. Apparently.

What are your favorite films?
Little Miss Sunshine, Armageddon (until I grew up), and Signs

What is your favorite book?

Do you collect anything?
Gaudy magnets from places we've been. Our fridge looks hilarious. I love it.

What makes you follow a blog?
Keeping in touch with people I know and/or entertain me or people I can learn from.

What was the most enjoyable thing you did today?
Made my husband a latte before work this morning. I love being able to do something special for him right before he heads out the door to provide for this family.

What makes you comment on a blog?
To encourage, send condolences, and just plain letting the blogger know someone's actually listening. Who likes posting blogs 'to a wall' ?

What is your favorite thing to do when you have free time?
take pictures, volunteer, and blog.

What is a talent you wished you had?
The ability to handle all the setting on the camera at once. I always forget about one or two until I get them onto the computer. Then all I see is that cranked up ISO.

Who is your favorite actor?
I have no idea.

Other than Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, etc. what are your most frequently visited websites? G-mail, pubmed, McGill's online library service,

What was your favorite subject in school?
Global health - mix of nutrition, water security, parasitology, midwifery, and development all in one.

As a child/teen how did you envision your adult life?
A husband, a house, and career where I'd have to dress up and my work would fly me places.
Thankfully I have moved from wanting to work for an organization that can do something good for me, to wanting to do something for a good organization.

How much time do you spend on your average blog post?
10-20 minutes. I suck at spelling, so I have to look things up or ask Tom.

If you could, would you want to control the weather?
Nah, someone would always be mad at me!

Tiffany's Question: If you could have any job/career you wanted, and money wasn't a factor, what would it be?
Health practitioner in a refugee camp.

Sonya's Question: What major event are you really looking forward to? The moments after my defense on August 27th!!!

Candice's Question: Will Lyla actually play along with us?

I'm tagging: you.


!!!!Happy Birthday Tom!!!!!

Today, the man of the house...

..is one year wiser!!!

Babe, I love you soooo much. And could post pictures and stories and mushy things about you all day...

But I don't want to make anyone puke

considering I'd have to talk and talk and talk

Because it would take a while

To express

how much

I love you

!Happy Birthday Babe!


Giveth and Taketh Away

Our kitties.

Two out of three were getting better. One was getting worse. Some sort of skin irritation was occurring and the one kept loosing more hair. It isn't surprising for foster parents to find extra health ailments in animals and I knew it was time I called the vet.

What I thought would maybe be an allergy or something, with an outcome of creams and ointments, would have been terrific news, in hindsight.

The kitties are gone.
For real.

Over the phone they were tentatively diagnosed with a skin condition... Transmittable (and easily treatable) to humans, but a real concern for cats. We were asked to bring them in for a diagnosis by the vet.

"So, after the tests I'll come pick them up and they'll stay with us again?" I asked over the phone.


"Candice... Treatment is very expensive... We just don't have the resources..."

Oh, no.

"Okay, so I'll take them to a different vet, and we'll take care of it. Is that okay?"

"I'm sorry, but treatment can take months, it's transmittable... And it's not pleasant for kittens to have. You'll have to bring in all three considering they have been in close contact with each other. I'm really sorry to have to tell you this."

I was shocked.

I felt like a traitor coaxing them into the cat carrier. Those three little tykes went in without a fuss (they were actually purring) knowing that I would never hurt them. Thinking that everything was going to be okay.

I picked up Tom from work, and we dropped them off together.




I'm not phased by having to disinfect our apartment (which my beautiful husband did, so I wouldn't have to find their toys and such), nor that I have, indeed, contracted it.

But I am phased by the fact that these little guys had such a short life, ended by a simple condition that we simply didn't have the resources for. I am phased by the fact that, besides our foster home, these guys have had no home. So please, please, think of these kitties with me, just for a moment? They will be at the SPCA for a few more hours, can you offer them your thoughts, have them mean something to a few people before they leave? They have meant something to me, but for such a short time. Maybe that can be rectified by having more people think about them???

I am reminded to rejoice in trials. I am honoured that God entrusted us with the few weeks of their lives. It's better to have loved and lost than never loved at all, and I'm really feeling this. When we reach out and attach ourselves to others, it increases the odds for heart break.

I am reminded that human infants die everyday from simple conditions, with known treatments, due to a lack of resources.

I am reminded that death is inevitable, and it is not our physical health that matters, but our spiritual health.

I am reminded that seemingly 'unfair' things happen, but all for a reason.

I am reminded that it's time to throw the taboo of talking about Jesus out the window, considering everyone around us will die at some point, and we won't always be given notice, allowing a few minutes in the car on the way over to ensure our loved one has accepted Christ as their saviour and offered their life to him (assurance they will go to heaven).

I am reminded that there are those around me that, if they died tomorrow, I would feel forever guilty of standing idly by, hoping my actions and indirect words would prove sufficient... and they would come to me and ask to be ministered to.

I am so thankful for this reminder, for these kittens, and for this trial.

Rest in Peace


Ask and you shall receive

I've often struggled with this:
How is it possible that we are more than willing to open our home to discarded cats, while hundreds of humans live on the street, women are battered, and children are in fear their own homes?
I feel sick that we live comfortable little lives, in our comfortable apartment, and not really willing to *really share* with those who need it. We share, sure, from afar. But we aren't willing to get as 'inconvenienced' with humans as we are with kittens.

Feeling this conviction, Tom and I have looked into refugee and immigration programs that hook up people new to Canada to those that can offer a short-term place to stay. To our amazement, there are no any such programs in Montreal.

We've gone to an information session on foster care (for actual children, not cats) and learned about the process and entailment of being foster parents, but considering we were leaving within 6 months at the time, we were on no real use to them either.

So we've continued taking in cats.

But now I've been reminded that God prepares you for things to come. He lays passions on your heart before you know why.

And sometimes, you don't need to go looking for opportunities... One may just knock on your door.


Cat Names

Okay, so the voting is over an we've had a stupid tie. So I'm squashing "democracy" and naming them myself.

Scabby McWierdSpots I, II, and III. I'm not really worried about which one is which.

Seriously, they all have this crazy, patchy, flaky, spottiness going on and all I see is kittens that I have to take care of for so long that they end up and jump-on-my-leg-and-try-to-climb-it-y and run-around-my-apartment-and-hide-y and big-and-ugl-y. A couple of things that currently bother me in this world: kittens and cyclists.

I wonder what Candice is going to think about me commandeering the blog to rant.


Grad Photos

I got 'em done!!!

Were able to track down a gown and cap for the photo shoot, went out and got my hair all dolled up, met our photographer in the evening, headed to over to campus for a few hours, and had a lot of fun!

Expensive venture you say? Let's see, the cheapest price quotes I could find:

  • Gown rental: approx $35
  • Hair up-do: $32
  • Professional photographer: $100 per hour (x 2 hours = $200)
  • Prints: Pay per picture ($$)

Total = I don't think so.

  • Gown: We were able to track one down through a friend of a friend who didn't happen to return hers. It's not exactly a gown for McGill, but unless I didn't tell you that in this post, you'd never know.
  • Hair: A curly-do from a girlfriend of mine worked beautifully.
  • Photographer: Our camera (which was a gift to begin with), and a young budding photographer. She just turned 16 and loved the opportunity to get some experience.
  • Prints: Electronic (for now)
  • Cap: This one was the missing link for a while.... Until our neighbor moved out and in a frenzy asked us to throw out (or keep) anything that was left behind. Guess what I found???
  • 'Scroll': Rolled up piece of paper.

So, not only did we get grad photos done, but were able to hang out with friends, get additional informal couple shots, own the digital copies, and not break the bank.

Now just to touch up and re-adjust the prints, and actually graduate!


Alright, let's pick 'em!

Sidebar voting, on now!


A Purpose Driven Life

Some time ago my friend gifted me this book. Although I feel guilty that it has taken this long to get started, now that I am started (and only four days in) I can already feel the impact. It's powerful.

I challenge you...Seriously... Whether you are a believer or not, to read this book. I'll even lend you mine if you'd like (but you must wait til I'm done!). The format is to read one chapter (like, 5 pages or 3 minutes) everyday for 40 days.

Really, why not?
have we got to loose? To gain?

Name those Kitties contest!

We have numbers 17, 18, and 19 here with us at the apartment, and I thought it'd be fun to have you guys name them!

Please submit suggestions for these three siblings, then I'll take my favorites and post them on a side bar for voting.

SO go on, name these (2 month old) kitties!

Number 1: A shy little girl, has upper eye infection and rhino (a cat cold)

Number 2: Easy going, cuddly boy. Always on the move, hard to get a still picture of! Has fur missing from face... Don't know why.

Number 3: The schemer. Her cat-cold doesn't slow her down from trying to attack anything possible... Including the dust pan (?) A quick thinker and jet black.


What are you lookin' at?

What a minute, what are you looking at?


The past 10 days

Here's a recap:

On Tuesday (last week) we drove outta town after Tom was done work and headed straight for T-town.

(Notice the laptop and rented GPS- symbols of our road trips... Not to mention pulling up to random hotels hoping for open access wireless)

We got into Mississauga around midnight. I was pretty excited for the next day. I've never been around Toronto and area before; I've only visited the airport on a few occasions.

When we did head out the next day (after submitting papers I was working on in the car and at breakfast) we headed out!!!!

We swung by the building I would be visiting the next day (!!!)

Then drove through Mississauga, Port Credit, downtown Toronto, and the High park area. *Then* we hit up Niagara falls...

And Hamilton, and Cambridge, and Guelph, then back to Mississauga to our hotel.

God graced us with a long day to allow us to get around to so many places. Do you know what I mean? Don't some days just fly by while others, although you would assume that they would, don't? And you're like "Well, I guess we have time for *this*." Which, in the end, *this* played a larger role in your life path than ever expected.

Like something opening and you get a peek inside.

We had our hearts open and just wanted to be 'spoken to'. And I want to say that in the least lamest way. We weren't expecting a postcard to fall from the sky with the name of our next home. But we also didn't expect to fall in love with somewhere we never planned on visiting. Why aren't we planning on staying in our beloved Montreal? Good question, but that's for another post. However I can honestly tell you our hearts are already breaking.

Bu I digress.

Now where were we?

Oh right, Thursday morning.

Tom drove home at 4:00am to make it to work (relatively) on time. I prepped for my interview and did all the background research I could on the lady I was speaking with.

The visit was nothing short of amazing. Their lunch room was big, bright, full of portraits of sponsor children and Area Development Projects from around the world. There was free fair-trade coffee, a chapel, you name it. I loved it. The lady I spoke with was fun and very experienced. I learned a lot, which was exactly what I was hoping for.

Then I flew home.

I had a huge deadline on Friday, which I actually managed to meet. I got The Green Light from my visors, and the umbilical cord has been cut. I'm on my own until July 31st - the hugest deadline of my life thus far. My entire project must be completed to enter round one of evaluations. Thankfully there will be round two after feedback before submitting for real. Did I tell you I have my defense booked as well? August 27th. Yes, August 27th this will all come to a close. (Well, one part of it will drag on). But the masters will be over. I will take my bow and escort myself from the building. This chapter will come to a close.


Anyways... I did what any good student would do when they are given a deadline of their lives... I took a week off!!!

Oh yes. Had a fantastic weekend. Then my cousin flew in on Monday and we've been touring around Montreal and our lovely West Island since. Among others, we visited

The Biodome

The Observation tower

The Notre Dame Cathedral

and Canada Day at the Montreal's Old Port.

She left his afternoon and now the fun's over, and it's time to get back to work.

Because that deadline is one week closer!

Happy (belated) Canada Day!

Spent the day at Monreal's Old Port.
More to come on the events of the last 10 days!