Saturday, May 22, 2010

On Finding...

Most people who know me know that I'm not the religious sort. Indeed I profess undeniably that I am agnostic. In the past when I've heard that someone has "found religion" or "found God" I looked on them with infinite pity and some slight scorn. In their darkest times, they've needed someone or something to cling to when they've thought there was nothing else. It was die, or cling to a faceless being that may or may not exist - who had the power to provide redemption.

"How deluded, but sweet" I thought to myself. I knew that God had no "plan" for everyone, and everything happened by happenstance. My own story was classic - I was God's babe and he threw me into the pool of life to sink or swim, watching, perhaps with concern, from the side of the pool. Once I was in the pool I was on the own to make my way.

Last week I went to visit my Grandmother and she asked me how I was. I was honest in how I felt and where I thought I was and the report was quite bleak. She looked at me, loving concern on her face and said "God would never give us more than we are able to handle". I nodded through my tears, remarking to myself that I'd really never heard my grandmother speak of God.

Through the week that has stayed with me, and I've mulled it over in my mind again and again. I've come to a few realizations. The first one is that I know how wrong I was about those who've found God. I envy them that they are so strong in their convictions so that they can share and discuss it with others.

The second is that I was wrong about myself and God. I am not His babe. I am His child. He did not throw me naked into the pool of life to sink or swim. He is there with me, teaching me to swim. Like every loving parent who has done this task, and every child who was taught so lovingly knows - you will get wet, you may sputter, your head will go under, you may be scared and feel that you're not ready for them to let go. Although they will let you sink and feel the power and danger of the water around you, they will never watch you drown.  God is here with me, whispering sweet encouragement as I struggle to discover my own buoyancy in this pool. I won't drown because His hand is hovering under me, waiting to lift me when I truly need Him to - not just when I think He should be there. If He was there when I thought He should be, I would never learn to swim.

I don't believe I've found religion, but I have found God in my own way and it is a comfort in the darkness.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Painting Tips for Beginners

I started painting my sisters room tonight - and here's some wonderful tidbits on painting that I've learned. I'm sharing in case anyone decides to take that job on one day...

The things I've learned...

  • TV makes everything look easy.
  • Just because you saw it done on HGTV does not make you an expert.
  • No, it will not "even out" when it dries.
  • Sometimes you need more than one coat.
  • Paint spatters
  • Paint sticks to cats.
  • That funny looking fumes mask was meant for you.
  • Professional painters don't have paint all over them to look cool.
  • If you have a big butt, don't sit down until you change.
  • Small room does not necessarily equal "Small can of paint". Those big ones were meant for you...
  • When they say "use in well ventilated places" they really mean "Open windows and doors or you may pass out while using.."
  • The HGTV people don't need to work out - that fat guy in the show is the "designer" and does nothing physical.
  • If its your first time, give yourself at least two days, you will get done half of what you think you will.
  • If you don't want paint there, you'll definitely get some there.
  • If your paint brush "might" touch it, cover it up. That "I'll just paint right up to it, but not touch it" trick won't work.
  • Those outlet covers come off
  • They don't use the drop cloth for "ambiance".
  • Although the roller is faster, its not always the best tool to use...
  • If you can see the old wall through your paint, you need more.
  • If the paint is dripping, you need less.
  • Brush the same way (Up and down..)
  • "Oh, no one will see that anyways" is a lie. Someone will.
  • Your hand can go numb holding a brush
  • When they say "Stir well", they don't mean "Shake the shit out of it and hope for the best". They really mean "Stir it up with something..."
  • Don't dump the whole can into the roller brush basin at once, it will dry up before you use it all...
  • The roller brush basin was really only meant for the roller brush, and not your regular brush...
  • Be proud of what you've done! There was a first time for everyone!
I'll continue painting tomorrow and hope for the best. Now that I'm covered in paint, high from the fumes and completely exhausted, I think its time for bed!

    Friday, May 7, 2010

    Thoughtfulness is not hereditary...

    Its Friday and the promise of a nice day is in the wings - Sadly its windy and colder than I was hoping, but still sunny instead of rainy, so I'll take it.

    Winnie's preschool is canceled this morning because there is no school so the "big kids" will be in the daycare and there is no room for the preschoolers. So she'll be walking with my mom, my grandmother and I while we do our 30 minutes.

    Today is the day that we're supposed to start work on the new fence for my yard, although I'm skeptical as to how much we'll actually get done today. Like always, I just seem to have too much to do.

    Included in the "OMG THERE IS NOT ENOUGH HOURS" schedule is the fact that Mother's Day is on Sunday. Have you remembered? Did you get your mother something nice? As always I completely forgot any holiday until a few days before - I basically only remember Christmas and Halloween and that isn't even a real holiday. For the next two days I'll be racking my brain trying to remember "What did mom ever mention in passing that she'd like to have?". My mom is amazing with that stuff. I could have said "Ugh, I need..." or "Boy I'd like to have..." way back in January and the darn thing will show up at Christmas. I wish I had as much insight and thoughtfulness as my mom has in her little finger.

    Here's to hoping I get at least a fraction of what I'd like to do today done!

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    The Geneology Egg Hunt

    Among all of the other things I'm doing in life, I'm also researching my family tree as an amateur. Its so interesting to learn about where we came from that I'm completely addicted to it. I even got a subscription to so that I could see the original documents and look more in depth. I don't think I've ever had a viable addiction before, but genealogy might just be the crack I hadn't found yet.

    The search for my family brought me lots of places, although one branch of my family has stayed pretty stationary for the better part of 100 years. I've finally reached someone who may be from a different location, and that location is from Quebec. My first thought was "ah yes! They'll have some information at the Provincial Archives!". Off I went to their website - - From what I can gather so far, I have to pay for a membership to get any information. But the good news there is that by hopping around on their site, I find links to other great sites I never knew existed.

    For instance, did you know that the Canadian Encyclopedia is available online? I sure didn't. It can be found at

    There is also a site available from the combined efforts of the Historica Foundation of Canada and the Dominion Institute.

    These very likely won't have facts about your individual ancestors, but for me, it always helps to put into perspective what they were living through. For instance, the ancestor I'm currently researching was born possibly in Quebec in the middle of the Napoleonic Wars - Knowing information about that area at that time in history may help me find more information on him and his family. I am excited to learn!!

    I'll have to keep a record of the interesting sites I've found so I can share, now that I have a place to share them!