Tuesday, February 28, 2006

My daughter says the funniest things...

Maryssa: Mommy, were you in Grammie's tummy?
Me: Yes.
Maryssa: Why are you here now?
Me: Ummm, not sure what you mean.
Maryssa: Did they give you away?

(February 18, 2006)

Monday, February 27, 2006

I liked this one...

An issue close to my heart

This is from Zenit:

Open Season on Christianity
A Little Respect Is Harder to Find

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, FEB. 25, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The recent publication of cartoons satirizing the prophet Mohammed brought many calls for greater respect of Islamic beliefs. Christians could rightly wonder when they, too, will receive some respect.

As controversy over the drawings continues, a television station in New Zealand chose this moment to show a "South Park" episode ridiculing the Virgin Mary and the Pope.

The "Bloody Mary" episode of the animated series has scenes showing a bleeding statue of Mary, whose spurting blood covers the Pope, reported the New Zealand Herald on Monday. Plans by the C4 TV channel, owned by the Canadian media chain CanWest, to show the episode brought strong protest from New Zealand's Catholic bishops.

The bishops issued a pastoral letter, read at all Masses last weekend. "The way in which Mary is portrayed in this episode is derisive, outrageous and beyond all acceptable standards of decency and good taste," stated the letter. "Pope Benedict is also insulted in this episode."

The bishops observed that last year the same company was responsible for screening "the offensive 'Popetown' series." The Broadcasting Standards Authority has yet to deal with the complaint made by the bishops.

In their pastoral letter the bishops explained that they wrote to CanWest several weeks ago, asking the company not to screen the "South Park" episode "because of the grave offence it would give to all Christians, including Catholics, and people of other faiths and cultures." Leaders of the Anglican and Presbyterian churches also signed the letter, along with figures from the Muslim and Jewish communities. Even New Zealand's prime minister, Helen Clark, a declared agnostic, commented that she found the cartoon offensive.

CanWest responded to the protests by bringing forward the screening of the episode, from May 10 to Wednesday this week. According to Wednesday's issue of the New Zealand Herald, the company informed the Catholic Church's communications director, Lyndsay Freer, of the decision at 5 p.m. Tuesday. She was asked to comment on it for the 6 p.m. news bulletin on one of CanWest's channels.

"Given that by far the majority of those involved in the debate have not had the opportunity to view the episode, we feel it is important to give the public of New Zealand that chance," said Rick Friesen, chief operating officer of CanWest-owned TVWorks.

The Church has called for a boycott of the television station. And Wednesday's Herald article reported that Patrick Quin, owner of the agency Max Recruitment, has withdrawn advertising worth about $4,300 a month from CanWest.

Insulting Jesus

The New Zealand case is far from an isolated episode. Last Nov. 8 the British newspaper Guardian reported that a French paper had won a court battle giving it the right to show a cartoon of a naked Jesus wearing a condom.

The daily Liberation was taken to court by a Christian organization after printing the image in April. A court in Paris described the portrayal as "crude" but said it did not contravene any laws.

Last Sunday another British newspaper, the Observer, published a commentary by Nick Cohen, headlined "It's So Cowardly to Attack the Church When We Won't Offend Islam."

Cohen described his visit to an art exhibition in London's East End by artists Gilbert and George. The exhibition is entitled "Sonofagod Pictures: Was Jesus Heterosexual?" The catalogue described the works as "an assault on the laws and institutions of superstition and religious belief."

"This isn't a brave assault on all religions, just Catholicism," explained Cohen. "The gallery owners know that although Catholics will be offended, they won't harm them." He added: "If they were to do the same to Islam, all hell would break loose."

Another case is that of popular Swedish jeans, which come with the logo of a skull with a cross turned upside down on its forehead, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Jan. 15.

"It is an active statement against Christianity," explained Bjorn Atldax, the designer of the jeans. "I'm not a Satanist myself, but I have a great dislike for organized religion." Atldax said that he wants to make young people question Christianity, which he called a "force of evil" that had sparked wars throughout history.

The jeans have been shipped throughout Europe and to Australia, and there are plans to introduce them to the United States and elsewhere, the Inquirer said. Around 200,000 pairs have been sold since March 2004.

Parody abounds

Attacks on Christianity also abound in the United States. Among the examples noted Feb. 15 by the Washington Post were: the latest cover of Rolling Stone, featuring rapper Kanye West wearing Christ's crown of thorns; "South Park's" "The Spirit of Christmas" short, featuring an obscenity-filled fistfight between Christ and Santa Claus; a radio show featuring comedian J. Anthony Brown and his "biblical sayings" from the Last Supper, in which disciples make outrageous quips.

The newspaper also recalled the 1999 controversy when then New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani tried to shut down a museum for featuring a painting of the Virgin Mary covered with elephant dung.

And, at the same time Christianity is held up to ridicule, believers face obstacles in proclaiming their own faith. A recent case is the decision on Christmas displays in New York's public schools.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it is constitutionally permissible for the schools to ban the display of the Christian nativity during Christmas, while permitting the display of the Jewish menorah and the Islamic star and crescent during Hanukkah and Ramadan. The Thomas More Law Center reported on the decision in a press release dated Feb. 3.

City authorities defended the policy by arguing that the menorah and star and crescent were permissible symbols because they were "secular," whereas the Nativity scene had to be excluded because it was "purely religious." The court judged that this argument was fallacious, stating that the policy "mischaracterizes" the symbols. But it still upheld the ban on the Nativity scene.

Further examples abound. In Britain a council-run crematorium removed a wooden cross from its chapel, for fear of offending non-Christians, the Times reported last June 9. Torbay Council in Devon also announced that the chapel would in future be known as the ceremony hall.

A local Anglican vicar, Anthony Macey, observed that the cross had been in the chapel for nearly 50 years. And Father Paul Connor, the Catholic priest for Brixham, said: "If the cross offends people they can cover it up. What about the Christians who are offended by its removal?"

Respecting beliefs

The Second Vatican Council's pastoral constitution "Gaudium et Spes" addressed the question of contemporary culture and freedom. Culture, it said in No. 59, "has constant need of a just liberty in order to develop." For this reason it has "a certain inviolability," which is, however, not absolute. It is limited by the common good and the rights of individuals and the community, the document said.

And concerning these limitations, Benedict XVI commented on the importance of respecting religious beliefs, during his speech Monday to Morocco's new ambassador to the Holy See. "It is necessary and urgent that religions and their symbols be respected," the Pope said.

He added that this implies that "believers not be the object of provocations that wound their lives and religious sentiments." A principle valid for all religions, Christianity included.
ZE06022505

J'aime bien cette lecture...

Mon épouse infidèle, je vais la séduire, je vais l'entraîner jusqu'au désert, et je lui parlerai coeur à coeur. Et là, je lui rendrai ses vignobles, et je ferai de la Vallée-du-Malheur la porte de l'espérance. Là, elle me répondra comme au temps de sa jeunesse, au jour où elle est sortie du pays d'Égypte. Tu seras ma fiancée, et ce sera pour toujours. Tu seras ma fiancée, et je t'apporterai la justice et le droit, l'amour et la tendresse ; tu seras ma fiancée, et je t'apporterai la fidélité, et tu connaîtras le Seigneur. (Livre d'Osée 2,16-17.21-22)

A cold afternoon

It's been really cold this past week, which is great for rinks and stuff. Today we all went out, and I finished clearing the snow off the pond (Jean-Alexandre had started it last night). We didn't go skating, (I didn't feel like going back in, getting out the skates and trooping back out again...) but maybe we'll go tommorrow. I'd like to take them to the canal too maybe, to go skating. It's pretty cold, but when you make sure you dress warmly, then it isn't so bad. I had TWO coats on today, plus a sweater and I was just fine. My coats aren't really winter coats, they're more like spring/fall coats. So they're just no good in any weather below zero. I always wear a sweater underneath, and today I just added the second coat.

The pictures on the left are of the kids skating on the pond a few weeks ago, in early February. We were actually out there skating for over an hour. It was great exercise, even for me. Even Gabriel has skates, those little bob-skates that you tie onto the bottoms of your boots, the ones with two blades.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Phase IV - The Situation Gets Worse

This is probably all too much information, but this is my blog and I get to say dumb and uninteresting things on it if I want to.

I've mentioned before that my jeans are all falling apart either at the crotch at the knees or both. Certain tops are also getting quite worn at the seams and in the armpits. Well, my socks are mostly all worn at the heels as well. I throw them out when they develop holes, but most of them are so thin right now, they are see-through. I have had to do a zig-zag stitch on most of my underwear because it too is wearing out. (I know, I know, you didn't need to know this.) But the worst is, just a couple of days ago, I noticed that even my bra is wearing out! Now THAT I've never had happen before. Okay, maybe the metal support might come out and the strap might wear out, but I'm talking about the cup here! A little more and Nicolas will have direct access to milk without me having to unclasp anything! This is getting ridiculous.

Phase III - Progress

I discovered that the scale I was using was actually off about 5-10 pounds. Which means I wasn't 15 pounds overweight, I was 2o - 25 pounds overweight. That means that at the doctor's office, when I thought I saw 180 lbs, it was probably 180 lbs. Good news is, I probably went down to 175 pounds pretty quickly, but thought I was bouncing between 165 and 170. My sister gave me her scale since she never uses it, and I weighed in at 175 at her place but the next day I was at 170 lbs at my place (and 165 on the scale that doesn't work) so I threw the old one out.

Anyway, at the doctor's office, I was 180 lbs at one month post-partum. I could just do up my belt to the first hole. By that time, my uterus was pretty much contracted, so the rest was just fat. We are almost 3 months post-partum and on this new scale I am at 170 lbs and today I did my belt up to the third hole. So I've lost about two inches around the waist, and apparently 10 lbs on the scale.

Bottom line, I still have 15 lbs to lose. (And hopefully two more inches) But that's okay, I'm getting there, and at this rate, (with any luck) it shouldn't take too long.

I might just have to add a phase 5 to my make-over. I might actually get my teeth straightened. My two front teeth are especially worn, they (and the gum line) would need to be lifted higher, and the 6 front teeth on both the upper and lower gums would need to be pushed outward just a little for less crowding and to straighten the upper ones out. I would then need to have the worn part of my two upper front teeth replaced (filled in). Not sure as to whether this will actually happen or not. I think the kids need it more than I do. Both Dominic and Jean-Alexandre (especially Dominic) are heading towards having a bite that is crooked, off to the side. Mine is straight at least. My back teeth all line up properly. I am also not sure as to money for this. I mean, we don't have money for travelling and stuff, but this is all going to cost a good trip overseas each. Also, I kind of feel like my crooked teeth are part of me. It's who I am. They could be uglier. They don't really bother me. It's like, if I change that, will I still be me? Silly, I know... but when one has had them for so long,... one gets used to them.

We have a godfather

We finally asked A. to be godfather for Nicolas. A. is polish and although he is Marc's friend I had never met him until November I think it was, and one thing struck me. He kept telling Marc how he'd found himself a good woman, that very few women these days will accept to have so many children, and he was just so supportive of of the whole big family thing and valorising the role of a woman in that,... it was really nice to hear. I think that's worthy of Godparenthood. I don't know exactly how religious he is, but hey, he's Polish right? How bad can it be? (wink wink) It certainly can't be worse than some other options I had.

Now all that is left is actually planning the baptism itself.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Death

Got this from Jennifer over at A Voice that Carries


I am going to die at 84. When are you? Click here to find out!


Interesting Death Facts!

Interesting Fact #1: Eunuchs are MOST likely to be threatened by the mafia.
(Thank God I'm not an euneuch!!!)

Interesting Fact #2: Guys are 10% MORE likely than gals to answer random math questions.
(I answered the one on this test)

Interesting Fact #3: Guys are 8% MORE likely than gals to answer random math questions CORRECTLY.
(I'm willing to bet that I got it right too...)

Interesting Fact #4: Those who claim to "use to have guy parts, but now have gal parts" are predicted to die the soonest at 40; next are eunuchs at 42.

Interesting Fact #5: Approximately 3,500 people take this quiz DAILY.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Phase II - Photo



And just to remind you that I can look scarier than this when I want to...

Here is the hippie picture again:



Ok, so this is not one of my better photos,... I hadn't done my hair at all, and I had no make-up on at all either, which usually I do... not to mention the lack of smile and the big eyes... but anyway... Now you see how scary I can look. Hee hee.

Of Mass...

I was talking with C the other day, about M entering the monastery, (and there was something to do with mass as well) and she happened to comment that M probably wasn't entering the monastery for the mass, but more for the prayers. This is the same person who talks about being a good christian and having a relationship with God, without necessarily having to go to mass all the time...

How did we get to where mass is this thing to be shunned? We might complain that masses (especially in Quebec) are pretty lifeless, and that there isn't much community within the parish, and I might agree with that, but since when does that make mass something to be put away on a shelf and forgotten? How can you even think like that?

First of all, mass is also a prayer, not some "Church function". Mass is the most important prayer of the whole Catholic faith. I think people have got it in their heads that they're going to mass to be entertained or to be fed comforting stuff like God loves you just the way you are so you don't necessarily have to bother to make yourself better...

I don't go to mass to be entertained. I go to mass because mass is sacred. So sacred in fact that it is the only prayer in the whole world in which one is both PHYSICALLY and spiritually in communion with God our Father. If you only pray one prayer in your life, it should be mass. I mean, Jesus said do this in memory of me. He instituted the mass for a reason. Those who say they "follow" Jesus and don't need Mass to do this, don't know what they are talking about, because Jesus ASKED us to do this.

I miss my parish back in Prince George. There were a lot of young people, young families, and a great feeling of community. Not because the priest went out of his way to be entertaining, although he did tell jokes in his homily, not because the mass was being so changed to fit what the general populace thought it should be like, but because there were still many young families, (that always puts life into anything) and because of the coffee and cookies we almost always had after mass, in the parish hall, which created a wonderful opportunity for people to get to know one another. That definitely improved parish participation in other functions like badminton games on Sunday nights in the Parish School gym, or spagghetti dinners to raise money, or retreats, or... etc etc... People really knew what mass was all about, and THAT itself gave life to it.

Godparent dilema

Just got a letter back from M in which he says he would rather not be godfather because he doesn't feel that he would be very present. So I am back to square one. No godfather. Unless we ask JF or S, I think I would prefer S, but Marc would prefer JF. It's just that, for someone who used to thrive on books on mystics and other mysterious saints,... I don't know,... maybe it's just an impression I have, but I think he's gone a long way in the opposite direction. I mean, I don't think he thinks mass is all that important,... I'm not sure what his morals are anymore,... I happen to know he's pretty much addicted to pot,... even if he is my friend, and I do like him, is that who I want for a godfather?

Phase II

Okay, I will now go take a (badly needed) shower, do my hair and take my picture AGAIN. Because phase two of my "makeover" is now completed. I received my new glasses yesterday. And I have to say, (more shameless self-promotion) I look pretty cool... :)

Self-promotion

I would make such a good godmother...

Just in case anyone is looking for one...

I would not only remember the child's birthday and Christmas, (typical godsanta here in Quebec, where most everyone gets their kids baptised, just because,... well it's always been done. Except mostly, the godparents don't serve any purpose except to buy presents for the godchldren on their birthday and at Christmas.) I would remember every baptism, first communion and confirmation anniversary with nice little religious gifts as well...

I would pray specially for him, bless her when I saw her, write him, ( at least once in awhile) ... etc,... etc...

Ahhhh, I would make such a good godmother, if only....

Nicolas's Baptism

We finally agreed to ask Auntie Rose Anne to be the godmother, and M to be the godfather. M is my friend that just left to enter the monastery. I am hoping that he can and wants to be godfather because I really want a godfather for Nicolas that has some faith. Once that is settled, I can start thinking about dates...

As promised...

I know you've all been in suspense since I left you hanging on the 14th... (not)

As I said, Marc happened to change the channel and we caught the end of someone talking about morality. Which I happened to think rather interesting... I only caught the last 2 or 3 minutes,... too bad.

The guy who was talking quoted St-Augustine, "Love and do what you will." But then said that we do not always love truely and properly. This is where morality comes in. Morality replaces love when we do cannot feel love or cannot love truely. Morality IS love.

He mentioned such phrases as "devoir conjugal", (Conjugal duty - an old expression used in French when talking about sex between married partners.) How void and empty that must seem when it is considered no more than a duty. Obviously this "duty" is one accomplished (or should be) with love. Such is morality. Morality is no more void and dull than one's "duty" to his/her married partner.

I wish I had caught everything. I wish I knew the guy's name. If he's written any books, (and there's a good chance he has, if he was asked to talk about the subject), I'd like to read them. Unfortunately, I don't even know what the name of show he was on is called. It was a Quebecois show, and a quebecer speaking. So I guess there still is hope even in Quebec. (Okay now I'm just being hard on Quebec.)

iAbolish

iAbolish - Ending child slavery in India

Two weeks ago I wrote to you about our most recent effort to rehabilitate child slaves in India through a collaboration with the South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude (SACCS).

I'm pleased to tell you that, since then, we have raised nearly $3,000. That already brings us three-quarters the way to our goal of $4,000! We hope to raise the last $1,000 by February 28 — the last day of our campaign.

Former slaves are rehabilitated at SACCS' "ashrams"These funds will directly support a program rehabilitating rescued child slaves in desperate need of the most basic care: food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and education. Our joint program will enable these children to experience a warm, nurturing environment conducive to a healthy childhood — a first for many.

To learn how exactly the money gets spent and what your contribution — whatever the amount — could mean for these children, please visit our website. Provide a child one month's medical care ($8), feed an a child for one month ($30), or provide shelter for an entire ashram, or rehabilitation center, for a month ($1,400).

How you choose to help is up to you; click here to donate what you can to help these young victims of slavery.

Our sincerest thanks for your generosity and continued support!

In Freedom,

Diane Nguyen
Diane Nguyen
Communications Coordinator
American Anti-Slavery Group

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I need 26 hours a day

Well, I didn't have time to talk about anything yesterday, and probably won't again today. I'm on the computer to look at messages, but can't take too much time... Maybe tommorrow?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

One more post before I go...

A reminder to myself, to talk about this tommorrow:

Marc was watching TV just now and he changed the channel to watch something else and we caught the end of a show on morality. I'm pretty sure it was Catholic, because he quoted St-Augustine, and I liked what he said. To resume, when we love, we have no need of morality. Unfortunately, we do not always love truely, and morality is there to fill in for the lack of love. I'll explain tommorrow. (and talk about "devoir conjugal")

Nicolas

Nicolas is two months old now, and what a sweetheart! I am enjoying him so much. When he cries, I pick him up and he stops right away. This is not a sign of a spoiled baby. This, folks, is the sign of a baby who knows that Mommy will tend to his needs and he doesn't need to cry anymore because Mommy is there. He gets excited now when I put him in that position which means he is going to get something to drink. His breathing gets quicker and he waits eagerly for the shirt to lift so he can get his milk. That is so cute. The children love him to pieces. Even Toby wants to play with him. Toby (the dog) keeps putting his toys on Nicolas's lap when Nicolas is sitting in his little seat. Silly Toby.

Well, I think I have done enough writing today. I left Nicolas upstairs to do the male bonding thing with Marc, so now I think I will go and see how they are doing, and maybe have some of that porto with my husband?

Invitation

INVITATION À LA PRIÈRE
(par La Famille des Puits de Lumière)

Deux dates : 2 mars en famille
7-8 avril en couple ou individuel

PRIÈRE FAMILIALE (MESSE ET ADORATION) Le 2 mars 2006

Vous êtes conviés à venir vous joindre à nous pour un temps de prière familial avec vos enfants et vos adolescents. Une messe à l’Esprit-Saint sera célébrée suivie d’un temps d’adoration de 20 minutes. Les enfants et les adolescents seront au cœur de ce temps de prière avec des chants, des gestuels et une petite activité préparatoire à l’eucharistie. Donc, un temps de prière adapté pour eux !

Le temps de prière sera disposé comme suit :

À 19h00 : les enfants et/ou adolescents se retrouvent pour une petite activité préparatoire pendant que les parents débutent la célébration (15 min.). Les enfants reviennent à l’offertoire pour le reste de la célébration où nous les attendrons à bras ouverts. Les adolescents décident ou non de prendre la célébration avec nous du début à la fin. Selon leur choix ! Ensuite, c’est l’adoration.

Date: jeudi le 2 mars 2006 (semaine de relâche)
Heure: 18h45 accueil – 19h00 début de la célébration
Lieu: à la maison de ressourcement de St-Étienne-de-Bolton

Veuillez confirmer votre présence à La Famille des Puits de Lumière… question d’organisation. Vous pouvez appeller au (450) 548-2371 (au Québec) ou envoyer un courriel à Marie-Claude Pellerin: mcpellerin@cooptel.qc.ca

Suggestion : Une petite préparation en famille de ce temps de prière (soit en route ou avant) afin que les enfants particulièrement, soient disposés à la prière…

Que l’Esprit-Saint, cet Esprit d’amour et de paix soit sur chacun de vous !

Guys you want to avoid...

Gypsy Queen, where do you come up with these guys anyway?

Poor Gypsy Queen came visiting recently and told me of her most recent encounter with the species known as hominus malus. Gypsy Queen has been renting a villa, which she no longer desires to rent. So it was up for lease by the owner. A couple came calling the other day, to visit the villa, and have decided to rent it. The husband came back a few days later for some technical reason, and Gypsy Queen and he got to talking. They were apparently having a good conversation, when the husband started complaining about the mentality in this place, how friends couldn't "love" each other and whatnot. Gypsy Queen could see where this was going, and wasn't very surprised when the husband proposed.

His proposition was that since Gypsy Queen and he were now friends, she should sacrifice herself so they could have sex together. Gypsy Queen had a different proposition. He could open the door and leave. That woman he was with? Wasn't
really
his girlfriend.

This is not the first time Gypsy Queen has run into males afflicted with this kind of logics deficiency. So we are wondering if she has become a magnet, pulling them in. It seems it is time for her to move, and find different circles, where humans of the opposite gender have some class and respect. I am hoping that the city where she has leased a different villa will treat her better. (Especially the male part of it.)

Valentine Dinner

Marc came home early from work today, because he really wasn't feeling well. So it is a good thing that we are too lazy to go out and find a babysitter and a place to eat, because we couldn't have gone anyway.

Instead, Marc lay down and slewpt most of the afternoon. Since Gabriel and the baby both fell asleep in the car, there was no noise to disturb him until the oldest children came home from school. I sent them all downstairs to play, so it was fairly quiet for a long time.

I made French toast, cut out pieces of bread into heart shapes and then cooked both the hearts and the pieces that the heart had been cut out of. The pieces with the heart-shaped hole got filled up with fruit salad. I poured maple sirop over that and squirted on whipped cream too. Then I placed the heart-shaped French toast beside it and dribbled maple sirop on that. It tasted as good as it looked. Yum! For desert we had the leftover heart-shaped cookies and some ice-cream.

Maybe I'll go have some porto with Marc later... mmm...

Prisonner

I am a prisonner. I do not always feel it, I often forget it, but the fact remains, no matter how beautiful it is, no matter how content I feel on certain days, no matter how accustumed I become to the situation, I live in a prison. Lived in a prison. Perhaps I still do. One would think this desert island to be more of a prison than living in society, but liberty is a relative concept. Society is a prison. It is those who are different who realize it. I am more free here on the small island where space is limited than many places I have been before.

Repression, I have felt. I have been the target of attacks. Here, on my island, there is neither.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Last night (or should I say this morning?) I was up until 1:00 am making heart-shaped cookies and decorating half of them. I was already tired and would have gone to bed at 9:00 or so, but I was determined to do something to please my little munchkins and their classmates, and so I suffered, nay, toiled through hours of labour... but of course I enjoy doing this sort of thing, or at least I enjoy the thought of them getting some pleasure out of it. One must suffer for love you know. I will most likely be suffering for it this evening as well, and wanting to go to bed.

Nothing special tonight for Valentine's Day. I think we are just too lazy. You know, we'd have to find a babysitter for four children, and then we'd have to decide on a restaurant, (trying to find one that didn't have a 10-15 minute wait in line at the door would probably prove difficult), etc, etc,... and we are just too lazy to do that.

I am thinking I will make French toast tonight, with bread cut in the shape of a heart. Maybe cut up some strawberries to go with it, also heart-shaped... hmmm. I had just enough cookies left over for one each, so we'll have those too.

I am going to go now and get rid of the pile of dishes still lying on my counter from last night's cookie-making spree. And I need to sweep the darn stairs again. Toby sheds so much it's not funny.

Here's wishing you all a very happy day!

Complaints

I guess it kind of sounded like I was complaining about Marc in the last two posts there. The last one was supposed to be funny, you know, how lack of communication can get out of hand? And for the record, I will now set up a blog for Marc, in which he can complain all about how messy our house is because I don't actually do any dusting, sweeping, vaccuming, etc,...

So yeah, partly my fault for being such a lazy person... umm, oh, and tied down to a nursing baby too. (I can use that as an excuse for my laziness for a little while at least.)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Just take everything as a complement...

Marc: (in slightly surprised tone) What did you do to your hair?!
Me: (laughing while putting groceries away) I got it cut two days ago.
Marc: (now on the defensive) Well, I got in really late two days ago and I went straight to bed after coming home yesterday.
Me: (still laughing at him) You saw me in the mornings, and besides yesterday you were with me watching Jean-Alexandre play soccer before coming home.
Marc: (still on the defensive) Well, what did you expect me to be looking at at soccer?!
Me: (still half-joking and now indicating the groceries to be put away) So, are these going to put themselves away, just like that?

For the next 5-10 minutes I get the cold shoulder. Oops I guess I shouldn't have asked him to help out in quite that manner. Not to mention I made pizza for the kids but there's none for him, just that leftover horrible meat that's kind of tough and full of fat and that I really regret having bought, with a bit of rice. I suddenly wonder if, with all that, he actually liked my hair or not. I'm not quite sure. I decide to ask him later, once he's not mad anymore.

Finally...

Me: (starting to get impatient) How come you're so mad anyway? Is it because all the pizza was eaten? I didn't have any either, not much anyway.
Marc: (pouting) No. I give you a compliment and all you can do is criticize me...
Me: (in shock, jaw hanging) Whaaaa?!!!
Marc: (In high-pitched, tinny voice) "I got my hair cut two days ago, you didn't even notice, nah, nah, nah etc,..."
Me: (after gently replacing my jaw to normal position, in slightly higher-pitched voice than usual) That was a complement?!! (in shocked voice) "What did you do to your hair?"
Marc: (Sarcastic) Oh, yeah, I said it like that! (Hmmm, okay so I did exagerate just a little the surprise in the voice, but there had been some surprise in his voice,...)
Me: I didn't even know if you liked it or not! (Now I'm getting the brick wall, he's tuning me out.) That was not a complement. That was a question. A question isn't a compliment. (I'm getting nowhere fast. I give up)

So, now my advice to you world, is take absolutely everything as a complement. Even when it doesn't sound like it, heck even when it isn't one. We'll all be feeling good about ourselves.

And if you're a movie producer,... you've just found yourself the perfect scenario for your next romantic comedy in which awkward guy meets gorgeous girl (yes I am all that), tries to complement her, and gets it out all wrong.

Pre-spring cleaning

The rod upon which we hang half our clothes in our (Marc and my) closet is sagging in the middle because with the weight of all these clothes, one of the screws holding the middle support came loose and the support itself just straightened out until it is no longer supporting the rod at all. Something that can be easily fixed by screwing it back in again. But of course the clothes have to come off the rod first so we can lift it back up to where it is supposed to be. Since we're taking clothes of the rod, we might as well throw the ones we haven't put on in the last 3-5 years right? The ones I'll probably never put on again, unless I am really depressed, because they do absolutely NOTHING for my figure, look really frumpy, or I hate the pattern,... or whatever. I filled up two black garbage bags full of clothes to take to charity. That's two-thirds of my closet. Yes people, two-thirds of the clothes on my side of the closet were in there just taking up space, because I wasn't wearing them anyway...

Now, wouldn't it be nice if my hoard everything, never throw a thing out husband could do the same? HE has clothes in HIS part of the closet (and elsewhere) that he hasn't worn in almost TWENTY years (when he was still in his early twenties), that don't fit him, and that, even if they DID fit him, he probably STILL wouldn't want to wear. But he still keeps them, still lugs them around from apartment to apartment, house to house... If they mean so much to him, why doesn't he just get them framed and hang them up on the walls?

I keep threatening to go throught the children's toys and do the same, but I have a hard time following through. (Marc protests more than the children, plus half-way through, I get lazy.) But this house would look a LOT better with less stuff in it. I learned that when we were selling the house in Prince George. We packed up a bunch of stuff we didn't need into boxes and stored them in the garage and shed. My house was immaculate from November to April (when we finally sold). IMMACULATE I tell you. Since then, I have been trying (with much resistance from the part of YKW) to recreate this semblance of cleanliness and order, without much success. I mean, there is only so much I can get rid of that is mine. It only takes away a small percentage of the useless stuff lying around.

(I wonder if he'll notice if I start inconspicuously throwing out certain things here and there,... you know, the stuff he's forgotten he even had... It sure is tempting. Bad! Jeanne, Bad! Bad! Bad!)

What are YOU doing for Valentine's Day?

http://www.pictureframes.co.uk/pages/saint_valentine.htm


There are varying opinions as to the origin of
Valentine's Day. Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries. Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine". Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honour St. Valentine.

Gradually, February 14 became the date for exchanging love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. The date was marked by sending poems and simple gifts such as flowers. There was often a social gathering or a ball.

In the United States, Miss Esther Howland is given credit for sending the first valentine cards. Commercial valentines were introduced in the 1800's and now the date is very commercialised. The town of Loveland, Colorado, does a large post office business around February 14. The spirit of good continues as valentines are sent out with sentimental verses and children exchange valentine cards at school.

Last year at this time, I wasn't really interested in Valentine's Day, or in celebrating it. This year, things seem to be going a bit better and since Marc and I haven't been out alone in a long time, I thought maybe...

... to be continued.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Here we have phase one:

The New Hair

This is how I have it styled today, but it can be styled in a number of different ways, so I think I will be having more fun with my hair (which is what a hairdresser is supposed to do, right?) than before.

Phase two: the new glasses. I should have those by next week.

Phase three: lose 15 pounds... Oh gee... I don't know when that'll happen...

Phase four: buy new pants/jeans to replace the old, worn out ones. (I could even replace the worn out tops as well.) You know you're going downhill when most of your pants are worn out either on the knees or in the crotch, and most of your nicest tops are worn out in the armpits or coming apart at the seams... Add to that the hair that hadn't been cut in 2 years, the saggy belly from just going through another pregnancy, the bags under the eyes from sleepless nights with a new-born... I think I looked just a little WORN out. (Hey! It's a pun!) My, how mothers can let themselves go!

Actually, though, I kind of liked letting myself go. It's the rebel in me... I'm the one who doesn't want to be like everyone else... The one who's proud of the out-of-date glasses, the five children trooping along behind her, the gasps when she affirms that "YES! they are all mine!", the toe ring, the long hippie hair... (OK, so even if I hadn't had the layers cut in, the hair DID need a trim...), the sling the baby's in that noone's ever seen the likes of before, hey! even the fact that she STILL goes to mass every Sunday is something to be proud of for this mama... (Note: she's not proud of the saggy belly. Hmmm, wonder why?) I guess I was just born to be different.

Or no, maybe it's because I just never fit in anywhere... The white catholic girl in the almost all-native, mostly protestant community, then the English-speaking girl in a French community, the Canadian in Paraguay... Have I ever fit in? Do I need to? Nah...

Well, having grown up in cultural adversity is probably what keeps me going now in the face of spiritual adversity. You see, I've already dealt with people making fun of me for being different. I can handle it. I haven't become the typical (these days) pro-choice, "love is all you need", catholic who doesn't believe you actually need the mass to be a good Catholic. As if real catholicism had nothing to do with mass. (No, of course not, Jesus was just talking in riddles when he said, at the last supper, "Do this is memory of me." He didn't really mean it like that.) Actually, sometimes I think; had I not been prepared for adversity from a young age, I might not even be Catholic anymore. That's a scary thought.

So, tell me this: How did the "go against the flow" girl end up with the "go with the flow" boy? I guess opposites really do attract.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Phase One of my "Makeover"...

I got my hair cut today. Just taking off that inch off the bottom did my hair a LOT of good. I hadn't had it cut in almost two years I think. And the layers look great too. I should have done THAT a long time ago. Maybe I'll post a picture soon.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Celtix

Dominic tried out for and was accepted into the training camp for the Celtix. They play at a slightly higher level than the Haut Richelieu Soccer Association, and he'll be getting training from them now, every Saturday morning at 8:00.

Jean-Alexandre's coaches say he would surely make it as well, but he doesn't want to be part of the team. I think he feels that those who are on the team are kind of snobby. He also apparently doesn't want to have to travel. I'd like him to try it out just for a year and see if he likes it, but I don't know if he'll want to.

Headache City - Part Two

Yesterday I was in Headache City, and last night, after "Two advil, two HUGE mugs of coffee and some peppermint essential oil (rubbed on my temples and forehead)" I couldn't get to sleep. I mean, I was tired enough, but just too high on caffeine. Problem is, when you have a two month old baby, from the minute you put him down for the night, every half-hour that goes by before you fall asleep is one precious half-hour less sleep for you. Nicolas went down at 10:00 last night. I went to bed at 11:00 because I just wasn't feeling sleepy, and then couldn't get my brain to slow down, got up to drink some milk. Got up again for something else. Finally I just got up and started reading a story. That helped, but still, it was close to 1:00 am before I finally got to sleep.

I suddenly jerked awake and listened. I heard nothing. I turned to look at the clock. It read about 3:30 am. That's about the time Nicolas has been getting up to drink each night. But he wasn't waking up. In fact, I couldn't even hear him breathing. I held my own breathe for a couple of seconds and listened very carefully, until I heard him sigh in his sleep. I then rolled over and promptly went back to sleep.

The child didn't sleep much at all yesterday and last evening he took a nice warm bath with his dad. So when he went down, he was ready to sleep. He didn't wake up until 5:30 am. 7 and a half hours! That's pretty much a whole night's sleep. Too bad I was so high on caffeine I couldn't take advantage of it... but for someone who got 4 1/2 hours of sleep last night, I'm not feeling too bad. Must have been quality sleep.

Monday, February 06, 2006

All right, I admit it...

Hello, my name is Jeanne and I'm addicted to What Not to Wear, A Makeover Story and 10 Years Younger. Not that I really enjoy the shows that much, I just like to see the transformation. I am a hairdresser and in the fashion business after all... If only we could see more of the actual techniques of some of the cuts. Actually though, half the time, I don't like the style of the hair. Sometimes I like the cut but not how it's styled. They have a tendancy to want to style the hair in the face too much, and much of the time I think the hair would look much better just a tad less layered. I don't always agree on what clothes are nice, but most of the time it's not too bad.

I usually never watch TV and now here I am spending half my day in front of the darn thing. You see, I sit down to nurse, and I put on the TV. I did that once, and now I'm hooked. HEEEELP!!!

I am also (slightly less) addicted to Trading Spaces, Clean Sweep and While You Were Out. It's the transformation thing again. I love decorating a house. But sometimes they have wild ideas...

This isn't the kind of show I mind missing if there's something else to do however... I mean, I wouldn't exactly tape them if I were going out or something... And I don't like the format of them so much... they'd be more interesting if they were less "reality show", (trying to go for the emotions), and more informative, (techniques, tips, etc...) instead.

While we're on the topic of makeovers, I think I need one myself. Not that I want to be on any of the above shows, I prefer to have a little more control over what happens to me than that, and I don't think I'm all that hopeless when it comes to style. In other words, when I make an effort, I do have style. The other day I went to choose a new pair of glasses because my sight has changed one level in my right eye and two levels in my left eye. I chose a pair that are avant-gardiste, (I wonder if my friend will approve) because I have a tendancy to keep my glasses a very long time. I want them to still be in style in 10 years.

I looked at myself in the mirror with these glasses on and all of a sudden I noticed how frumpy my clothes looked next to these glasses. The problem is, none of my nice stuff actually fits me now that I have the extra 15 pounds to lose again. And I want to lose the weight before I go out and buy nice stuff. I need new jeans because they are so hopelessly worn out, but I keep wearing them because except for a couple of pairs of pants, I can't wear anything else unless it has an elastic waistband, which usually means it is a pair of jogging pants... but I don't want to buy new jeans until I lose the weight... except what If I never lose it? Or what if it takes years again before I do?

Hair I can change now. I'm thinking take a couple of inches off the length to get rid of split ends, and then rasor it into long layers with just a few shorter pieces around the face that I can leave out and play with even when my hair is pulled back or put up... Thing is, I kind of like the hippie look, even though the hippie look is kind of boring (not great for someone who is supposed to be in the fashion business), and I'm not so sure about layers, I've had layers before and the thing with layers is, when you don't style it, it looks bad... am I going to want to style my hair every day?

This makeover story is... to be continued...

Headache City

I went to bed with Nicolas at 8:30 pm last night. Just as I was drifting off to sleep, Dominic came and woke me up. And then I couldn't get to sleep again. I was just too wide awake. In fact, I couldn't sleep at all until Nicolas woke up at about 11:00 to drink. He was up again at about 3:00 am and 5:30 am. I have to get the kids up at 6:30 for school, so I didn't get all that much sleep.

So by this afternoon, I was starting to get a major headache. I ended up having to banish the kids all outside for awhile after supper, because they were all making so much noise and hurting my head even more and it's always when I have a headache that I don't have energy to keep them quiet... Jean-Alexandre doesn't shriek anymore, but the others can't talk without yelling, they all still have high-pitched voices and half the time they are shrieking because one is doing something that the other doesn't like... so I had the baby crying, three kids shrieking, the dog running after the kids and barking... the TV on to boot... just not fun...

Two advil, two HUGE mugs of coffee and some peppermint essential oil (rubbed on my temples and forehead) later, my headache is gone, but the "tenderness" or the pressure is still there. My mother would say: "My head isn't feeling right." My mother gets migraines. I don't, thankfully. I just get bad headaches. I have the sensibility to light sometimes and definitely sensibility to noise, but I bet it's nowhere near as bad as when you have a migraine. It's always because I'm tired, and goes away with sleep. (Unlike a migraine)

Why do kids have to shriek anyway? My household is so loud. We keep telling them to talk more quietly, especially since the louder they talk, the higher-pitched their voices seem to get... I mean, we're right there, a few feet away and they're talking really loud at us, like we were 50 feet away...

Then (especially when I have a headache) I lose patience and yell at them to stop yelling. Now how hypocritical is that? (Of course, if I told them calmly to be quiet, noone would hear me anyway,... and usually by then, I have no energy to tackle them one by one...)

Is a quiet household one of those things you only think others have, a utopia that is unrealistic, or is it actually possible to have many children and quiet in the house while they are all still awake... How does one get this if it is possible? Were WE that loud? Whatever happened to "children should be seen and not heard"? How did those people manage to have kids that were seen and not heard? Well, I wouldn't quite want that, but couldn't there be some kind of happy medium?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Godparent Dilemma

Nicolas isn't baptised yet. We don't have a date set yet either. In fact, we don't even have godparents for him yet. R A has said she'd like to be godmother and I'd like her to be godmother, but I also really want at least ONE of the godparents to have some kind of faith. Not that R A has no faith, but she questions it and although I don't have a problem with that, (Maryssa's godmother is Marc's sister who is probably even farther off the Catholic path than R A), I'd like at least one godparent to have a STRONG faith. So who to ask?

My mother has been giving me suggestions, ahem, that... were I the only parent, I might consider... and some I wouldn't because, although they are very Catholic (without being too, ummm... weird...), I barely know them. Unfortunately I have a husband who would likely be less than enthousiastic about any of these suggestions so far. The last suggestion was for a couple I knew back in Prince George and that my mother met and really liked. Marc's reaction upon hearing their names was a resounding "No way!"

Well, you know, the husband DID try to convince a heathen anti-catholic that it was scientifically plausible that the world was created exactly the way it is described in the book of Genesis, in 6 days and all... Needless to say, said heathen was not impressed.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Tag

Four Jobs
1. Cook
2. Head-lice inspector
3. Webmaster
4. Ship's mate

Four Movies I Would Watch Over and Over:
1. Swiss Robinson Family
2. Veggie Tales Jonah
3. Star Wars
4. Castaway

Four Places I Have Lived:
1. Luque, Paraguay
2. House boat
3. Canada
4. This deserted island

Four TV Shows I Love to Watch:
1. Don't get much TV out here...
2.
3.
4.

Websites I visit daily: (err, not daily, but whenever the wind is right and my satelite phone gets charged...)
1. Coucoumellisms
2.
Two Sleepy Mothers (but I let Coucoumelle, AKA Jeanne, do all the commenting)
3.
4.

Fav Four Foods
1. lobster
2. macaroni salad
3. pina colada
4. fresh mango

Four Places I Would Rather Be:
1. back home in Canada
2. on the summit of a high mountain
3. Heaven
4. back on a boat

Four People I Am Tagging:
1. You
2. You
3. You
4. You

You have been tagged!

As a follow up to tagging:

Four people I am tagging:

1. Rose Anne, dear, get yourself a blog and start it off with this. It is unacceptable, totally UNACCEPTABLE do you hear (?!) for the professional writer in the family to be blog-less.
2. Jennifer, now that you have a new blog...
3. Juana la Cubana
4. Anyone out there who has a blog or who would like to start one up now. Just leave us a link, ok?

The Twilight Zone

Dear Chabot,

I am Barr. Don Mayor, an Attorney at law, and the Personal lawyer/friend to late Engineer M.A. Chabot , a foreigner who used to work with Shell International, Lome, Republic of Togo, Hereinafter shall be referred to as my late client/friend. As it may interest you to know, I got your contact through the internet professional Data Base by divine inspiration as I was going through some directories. I decided to contact you in order to champion a business of this magnitude without any problem.

On the 21st of April 2002, my client,his wife and their two children were involved in a car accident along Kara-Sokode expressway while arriving from a Holiday to Lome. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives. Since then, I have made several inquiries to their embassy to locate any of their extended relatives and this has also proved unsuccessful. I am contacting you to assist in repatriating the funds valued at US$8.5m,(Eight Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars),left behind by my client before it gets confiscated or declared unserviceable by the company where this huge amount were deposited. The said company has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have his account confiscated within the next twenty one official working days. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 2 years now, I seek your consent to present as the next of kin to the deceased since you have the same last/surnames, so that the proceeds of this account could be paid to you.

Therefore, I will not fail to inform you that this transaction is 100% risk free. On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 35% of the total sum as gratification, while 5% will be set aside to take care of expenses that may arise during the time of transfer and also telephone bills, while 60% would be for me. All I require from you is your honest co-operation to enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.

Upon your acceptance to this proposal, I expect your urgent response indicating your full interest in this great business transaction to our both mutual trust.

Your telephone and fax number will be needed for our easy communication. Get back to me at my private email address: barr_dmayor1@yahoo.ca for "privacy" reasons.

Sincerely yours,
Barr. Don Mayor


Dear Mr. Mayor,

I was deeply saddened by the death of my good second-cousin two years ago. Your sudden letter has brought all the pain back. I was the one who introduced him to his wife you see. I was godmother to his first child. I even visited him once at his mansion in Lome. A beautiful place.

Truely, you were divinely inspired to contact me, for I can get you in contact with his half-brother, Mr. G. Chabot. I am sure he will be willing to step forward as a willing heir. As for me, I have no need of money as I am a close councillor to Queen Isabella of the Republic of Gaboo, and she pays me quite handsomely.

You can contact G. Chabot at the following "private" address: iamnotstupid@yahoo.ca He might insist apon receiving more than 35% of the funds however, as it would not seem fitting for you, the humble lawyer, to receive more in payment than than the actual heir of this "unservicable" amount of money himself. I am sure that you will find G. Chabot to be very trust-worthy.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely yours,
Chabot

PS. Could you give me the address of this internet professional database? I would like to take my name off their list. Thank you.

To adopt or not to adopt

Marc wants to officially adopt Jean-Alexandre. He's had me do some looking into how to go about doing this in the last two days. Jean-Alexandre already has his last name. But at school, Marc is only mentioned as his step-father. And anything official can only be done through me. So adoption would be a good thing.

A couple of years ago, when we were still in BC, we had thought of doing this and I was all for it, but we apparently needed to hire a lawyer to go through with it, because we had to have a lawyer exlpin to us all that this would entail. If we didn't, we couldn't go through with it. Which is weird if you ask me since we pretty much live as if Jean-Alexandre were Marc's. I mean, what could an adoption entail that having children together wouldn't? In terms of spousal support and custody and all the rest? Anyway, needless to say, we didn't go through with it, since hiring a lawyer would have cost a lot of money that we just didn't have.

But now, suddenly Marc wants to go through with it. True, we are in Québec now, and our friend S. is a lawyer. Probably he would help us for free, although I'd still want to offer him something. I looked up the ministry of Health and Social Services which sent me elsewhere, and apparently we would need Jean-Alexandre's permission for Marc to adopt him.

From The Guide to Government Programs and Services for families and children:

There are several situations in which the needs of a child may be met through adoption. The couple or single person without a child, the couple or single person who take care of a child that is not theirs or the person who wishes to establish a legal filiation with the children of his/her spouse may use adoption to bring a child into their family. Adoption confers the same rights and obligations as blood filiation. The new filiation of the adopted child fully substitutes his/her original filiation.

Exception: a father or mother who is the single parent of a minor child and gives his/her consent to the adoption of the child by his/her legal or common law spouse. Such an adoption does not break the filiation link that already exists between the parent and the child. A condition is however required for common law couples: the spouses must have lived in a common law relationship for at least three years.
I suppose in that last paragraph, that the filiation link that isn't being broken would be the one between Jean-Alexandre and me, and not the one between Jean-Alexandre and his biological father. His biological father is undeclared anyway, and has no claim, rights or authority where Jean-Alexandre is concerned. (Not to mention he lives in Paraguay and would be hard-pressed to claim anything anyway.)

The consent of the adopted child is necessary when this child is ten years old or older unless he/she is unable to show his/her will. However, when the child is younger than 14, the court may ignore the child’s opinion and grant the adoption even if the child refuses to consent.
I asked Jean-Alexandre if he wanted Papa to adopt him, because we need his permission, and he said, "Let me think..." So I wonder if he's joking or hesitating.

To be honest, although I think it is probably a good idea, I still feel a little hesitant myself, to let go. Even though in every way, I consider Marc to be his father. Silly of me I know... But not enough to actually abort the process... I still think it would be a good idea. And it won't change the fact that if Jean-Alexandre ever wants to meet his biological father someday, he could.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Hat trick!

I just heard on the radio this morning that Jonathan Cheechoo of the San Jose Sharks scored a hat trick yesterday, leading them to victory.

I had to smile. In fact, I had to grin with elation.

Jonathan Cheechoo comes from the same remote village I grew up in. In fact, I knew his parents. His father was paster of the Cree Gospel Chapel in Moose Factory. I went to his house once with the youth group. I saw Jonathan a couple of times, but never paid him much attention because he was this little kid I barely knew and I was in my late teens, so I didn't have much contact with him. But, like anyone from Moose Factory, I am extremely proud of him for going all the way to the NHL. There aren't all that many people from remote regions in the NHL, even less First Nations people. But he did it!

Way to go Jonathan!!

We went to Moose Factory in July, 2004 for the Gathering of our People. Jonathan Cheechoo happened to be coming home for this event, and was signing autographs and posing with people.


Here I am with Jonathan (It's funny how tall he grew because neither of his parents are very tall. I'm pretty sure his father is shorter than me.)

Here are the three oldest kids with Jonathan

This is my friend Greta and her daughter Desiree with Jonathan

I doubt he knew who I was, but if he's like most people from Moose Factory, he might have known I was a Chabot, just didn't know which one. Ha ha. (Chabots are famous in MF - or should I say infamous? Well, you know, when you're white in an almost all-native community, you stand out.)