Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Are You Speaking My Language?

The subject of love languages came on my radar around 10 years ago, shortly after the time I became a Christian. I had not(and still haven't) read Gary Chapman's book(s), The Five Love Languages. Since the understanding of the concept of love languages came into my existence I have often used it a much more specific way than I have been told Chapman does. I guess I kind of create some sub categories. For instance, I would say that one of my Mother's love languages is food - she loves with the food she makes. I would say that one of mine is punching - I love with the punches I give to your face. That kind of thing.

It wasn't until church this morning that I actually got to hear what Chapman's 5 languages actually are (imagine my shock and awe when punching and food where not on the list!). They actually really resonated with me both as things that for the most part I think I successfully do, but also as things I very much crave in relationship. As a part of a sermon encouraging us to speak out our faith we were encouraged to listen, watch and learn what other people's love languages are (in A.Z. language - felt needs) and speak them (real deeds).

Chapman's languages are:
  1. Words of affirmation - aka encouragement
  2. Quality time - aka spending time with someone and making them the focus of that time
  3. Gifts - the giving, the recieving, the treasuring
  4. Acts of service - allieviating the burdens, meeting the needs
  5. Physical touch - we need this to survive and grow
I was really encouraged to hear these 'cause well, I think they are something I do pretty well. Relationships are something that for the most part I do well (I will admit to having made abominations of some relationships). Obviously there is more I can be looking for, more language to learn and to speak.

So as you're going through your life - take some time to think about those who are surrounding you; coworkers; family; friends; neighbours; housemates; community and see if you can listen for those languages. If you can't hear them, pray and ask that you would. It can't hurt to have a little more love in the world.

See, I Knew It Was Like That


Monday, September 29, 2008

B'ah, B.Ed

Sometimes I not so secretly resent the teaching profession and its self education for monopolizing so many people in my world.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

An Epic Night Of Memorializing and Sausages

Once upon a time I partook in an epic adventure with 3 very brave men. Most of their bravery was shown in the fact that that decided to spend an evening with me.

Phase 1: Felix and Laura go to Hamilton and pick up pizza

Phase 2: Felix, Laura, Dan and John head to Toronto

Phase 3: Felix, Laura, Dan and John watch the Jays

Phase 4: Felix, Dan and John help Laura memorialize her Grandmother

(it reads: RIP Grandma 1919-2008, Jays fan since '77, Yankee hater since 1919)

Phase 5: Felix, Laura, Dan and John eat lots of snacks, including Nana's Own Spicy Snack Mix

Phase 6: In Grandma's honour the Jays beat the Yanks 8-2 and celebratory street meat is procured

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Wanna Get Cultural, Cultural

Yesterday: The Taming of the Shrew at Stratford
Tonight: Choir rehearsal
Tuesday: cocktail reception for artists participating in London's "In Good Company" festival
Thursday: Jays vs Yankees
Friday: housewarming party for classy friends in London
Saturday: Fuente Ovejuna at Stratford
Middle of next week: The Pirates of Penzance at the Grand

Swine yes, uncultured, no.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Settling In

I've spent consecutive nights in London now. With Thursday night's sleep it'll be 5! Crazy. I spent part of last week in Hamilton because of meetings, appointments and baseball, and during that little romp I realized that I hadn't slept on the same mattress for more than 2 nights in a row since the 29th of August. That little run got broke when I fell asleep on Tuesday night.

Things are settling in here in London town. I have about 80% of my stuff unpacked. The bedroom looks like I live there now. Its funny how I needed to have my books unpacked before I could really feel at home in the space. I think displaying books is to university grads as peeing on things is to male dogs. If that doesn't make sense to you, I think what I'm trying to say is that those books are a pride thing - a lot of them are great references, but I totally could do with less of them here. But it does hurt me that there is still a couple bookshelves of them lingering in Brighton until I stop moving around so much. Someday my little bookies, someday...

Right, the settling - my housemates are pretty busy people, but I still see everyone at least once a day, if not twice. I haven't had supper alone yet either. I can't tell you how nice that is. I spent the entire summer eating all of my meals alone. Its nice to have nice people around. Nice. Nice. It was also really swell to come back from a week of funeral stuff to a house that was already set up and not just an entire house of boxes.

I have been slowly learning where everything is - this is the first time I've really joined a house in progress. So everything was already going. I love having a dishwasher, like so much. Past roommates if you're reading this - having a dishwasher makes me a better person. There is a really nice patio, so I/we have eaten out there. Its been nice being around food - aka having it in the cupboards and the fridge.

Because I'm still working from home, I haven't been learning too much more of the city than what I already knew. Though that will change when I get another job at the end of my contract. And I think I have a decent lead on a job. But I'm not getting my hopes too up about that.

Just thought I'd let you know how things are going. I'm still pretty fricking sad about the loss of my Grandma and that is still hurting quite a bit. I'm slowly adjusting to life in a new city. Things are coming along.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm In Love

This past Christmas I got a brand new electric blanket. But I didn't end up needing it for the winter as the heating in my apartment didn't seem to require it. I believe the scheme for heating the building went something like this: no heat in the day. ALLOFTHEHEATINTHENIGHT!!!!

But fall nights are beginning to creep in one by one, and there isn't a need to start heating the house, but there is a need to start heating me. I get cold. Deep cold. Its a Stew thing.

I have sexy friend who before being married, referred to such blankets as "single girl blankets" because single girls (of the well behaved variety) have no one to keep them warm at night. I fall into that category. And friends can I tell you, that if it is possible to lust about a blanket, then I am lusting over this one.

My favourtite and most lust inducing feature - pre. heat. What? Yeah. Pre-heat. It says right in the manual - no more cold sheets. Wah. Mmm, digital control, colour blue, soft, fuzzy, mmm.

This might be the only good thing about winter.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We Are Related (Can You Tell?)

The oldest, middle and youngest granddaughters - Beth, Katherine and Laura


Friday, September 12, 2008


Today would have been Grandma and Grandpa's 69th wedding anniversary.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Good Grief!

It is little secret, that my Grandma Stewart, like many other women, liked to treat just about anything with food. So it is little wonder that I would seek some comfort as I grieve in an old standby - cupcakes.

I found myself in Hamilton last night, in the home of a group of friends and decided to share a new recipe with them - and thus I give you, Griefcakes:

Its pretty much all parts sugar as you can see in the pile of ingredients:

Then take one sad granddaughter to mix them up:



Add icing:


And eat:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Aging Well

Since I turned 27, I have been called babe, hun, honey, hunny, kid and kiddo more than ever before.

It must be the cheekbones.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A Moment From Yesterday

The funeral was yesterday and rather than 1 person delivering the eulogy we opted to have sort of an open mic of memories and stories. At one point my cousin Drew, who is a member of the band Jazzberry Ram came up to share a short story. He reminded us that the band played a lot of university and college gigs and the best time to get those gigs was in September and January. When they crossed the country they would always stop in Brighton and stay with Grandma and Grandpa on their way out east or back to the west.

One September, Drew was watching tv with Grandpa. Grandpa doesn't see all that well and sits very close to a large tv in order to get anything from it. They had the news on and a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. And then while they were watching, the other plane hit. Grandpa heard the noise but couldn't make out what had happened and asked "What was that?" Drew replied, "well Grandpa, another plane just flew into the building." The two men were sitting there trying to comprehend what had just happened when Grandma stepped up to them and said, "turn that off, its time for breakfast."

Drew said that Grandma's way of dealing with terrorism in a post 9/11 context was to have a big breakfast.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Process


This is the first big family death for me. I reached 27 years of age with 4 grandparents. That's pretty stellar. But of all the grandparents to go first, it just had to be Grandma Stewart? She was my second mother. This is hard.

Family have been trickling into town in the same manor that baked goods and casseroles have. (I should really chart that) I picked John up from the airport last night. It feels right that the 4 of us are here now. The rest of our family from British Colombia will be here by Friday night. We have found places for them all to stay.

I think my Dad is in shock - he told my Mom to buy new mattresses for the beds that John and I have here. If you've ever slept in the cocoon - it will be no more. My back and my neck are ecstatic about this.

Yesterday was the meeting to decide everything about the funeral. If you're interested in coming its this Saturday at 11am at Carman United Church, just north of Brighton. There is lunch after. (just leave me a message if you want directions) It took almost 3 hours to get things figured out. There are so many details and I don't even realize half of them, I'm just a grandkid. I can only imagine what is swirling around the heads of my Dad and his 4 siblings.

And my Grandpa. I ache for him. Grandma was his worldview. She was his lens. I don't know how he will see. At 94 can you do a paradigm shift?

I am thankful for the support I have been getting personally - the emails, the facebook messages, the text messages, etc. I am really thankful for the group that is coming up to sing at the service. That just reads love. I will also be glad to see some friends, some faces that know me. As glad as I am to be around extended family, these peeps from the Hamilton area have spent more time with me and know how I operate. They are a part of my extended family too and I am so grateful to have their support, and in such a beautiful way.

You'll probably get some more disjointed paragraphs as times moves on.

Thank you.