Monday, 17 May 2010

There's No Theme Like A 'Hard Wood' Theme...

Today was a beautiful day. I took one of the ladies from the group home out for a walk and while we went along the path and looked at the birds and the stream and the flowers I was taken back for a moment to last summer.

I spent last summer living and working at Christian Horizons conference centre in Paisley. I worked as their program coordinator. The conference centre is quite large and behind the main building you will find what we call "the back 40", which is about 40 acres of trees and trail and a whole ton of bugs. We typically use the back 40 for staff games, hikes and wagon rides. Now one day I was informed that since the leadership staff wanted to look into other ways that they could use the back 40 and needed some advice on how to do that, there would be a naturalist coming in to give us some ideas. I was told that my presence and one of my recreation team members presence would be needed on this special occasion, along with our supervisor. The naturalist arrived and we headed out to the back 40 for what I didn't know would be 2 hours of enlightenment. The naturalist was an older man, a retired teacher and of course a lover of all things nature. The man decided to treat my supervisor and my team member and I like students in a class, an elementary class at that. He would walk and then stop and ask us to observe our surroundings. He would ask us things about what our senses were We pretty much could only walk a few feet before he would stop us. He showed us flowers and gave us the history on where their name came from. He talked about trees and animals and trees and rocks and trees and dirt and oh did I mention tress. Some of this was interesting and I must say that it all seemed more interesting before we reached the 1 hour point. The naturalist would occasionally ask us questions about our program. He asked about our theme. Last summer our theme was the Horizon Jungle and I tried my best to explain to him what that meant. I believe his response made the whole 2 hours worth it, for anytime I think about it I always smile. After I told the man about the theme he seemed somehow frustrated like the theme was no good. He kind of sighed and then went on a spiel about nature again and his final suggestion was with all of this nature why don't you do a hard wood theme? I'm sorry.....a hard wood theme? I tried to kindly respond by telling him that I didn't think that would fly. Let's think about this.......people spend all year waiting for their week at camp....thinking about all the fun they've had in the past and how much fun they will have this year and of course they arrive and find out this year's theme is hard wood. BORING!!!!! I mean I'm not saying that in the right EDUCATIONAL setting that a hard wood theme wouldn't be um, interesting but seriously at camp. Clearly this man was a genius when it came to nature and very passionate about it but perhaps he may had spent a little too much time with the trees. He was I think he may have offered to bring us some books and perhaps a display as well, which we didn't end up using. We thanked the man for his time and ideas and he was on his way.

I still remember bits and pieces from our hike but nothing can be clearer than the hard wood theme.

It's too bad it's too late to suggest the hard wood theme to this year's rec staff for their program. Could have been the best year yet!

Sweet Dreams,
~The Kindred Spirit

Thursday, 13 May 2010


I heard this song a few months ago. I've listened to it again and again. I find the lyrics challenging. It's one of those songs you want other people to listen to but you want to ask them what they think it means.
It's called Bloodline by Matt Morris....

She was a girl living in the city, clinging to old religion
Praying for electricity to keep it warm for the little ones
Nobody made her wise to the things a girl might find
In a belly of a hungry man who don't care nothing about his bloodline
She got lost in the bloodline
Heavy cost of a bloodline
She goes on she cries at night and keeps alive his bloodline
So much riding on a bloodline
Why is he hiding from the bloodline?
It aint right she cries at night and keeps alive his bloodline

She heard heaven is invite only, reserved for Christian soldiers
Not un-wed girls living in the city asking for change from strangers
But father said Jesus loves her even though she never married
God loves her more than the Christians do, she's part of His holy bloodline
She got saved in the bloodline
The price He paid for the bloodline
Changed her life she cries at night and keeps alive his bloodline
She believes in his bloodline
Lives and breathes by the bloodline
With all her might she cries at night and keeps alive his bloodline

I know I should have never left her to shoulder all the burden
She probably won't forgive me, God might not either
I made a cross and lay it on her back
But I never broke her spirit and she owes that to her bloodline
She stayed strong for the bloodline, I did wrong by the bloodline
But she went on she cried at night and kept alive the bloodline
Sacrifice for the bloodline, paid the price for the bloodline
For all her life she cried at night and kept alive the bloodline

Oh she cried at night and kept alive her bloodline 

Deep lyrics eh? 
I invite your thoughts, 

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

A Mother's Day in Paris...

So this past Sunday was Mother's Day. Now at Wainfleet BIC we think Mother's Day is a big deal. Mom's are a gift from God and they need to be recognized, celebrated and made to feel special! This year our Mother's Day theme was 'A Mother's Day in Paris'. We had an amazing team that worked to put this together and it turned out to be a fantastic morning. We had french music, french food, a Paris toilet paper fashion show where the Mom's got to strut their stuff and of course a couple of mimes.....does it get any better than that?!? The Mom's look fabulous and it was so awesome getting to see the kids having a blast with their Moms in Paris! I know I'm pretty lucky to have the BEST Mom ever and I don't think I tell her that enough. She has empowered me again and again and is a constant reminder of God's love for me. It would be my great ambition to be half the woman that she is. So thanks to all the Mom's who give and give and give some more. May you feel loved and blessed and realize that you enable your kids to SHINE! Happy Mom's Day to you. 

Here's a few pics from the morning...

Yours Truly,
~The Kindred Spirit

Thursday, 6 May 2010

When It Comes To MRI's.....why not make it a double?!?

Pace back and forth. Heart beating. Stomach churning. Watch the clock, no, don't even look at it.
I forgot the feeling from last time. I thought since it's my second time I'd be pro. I thought that until this moment. This moment where I realize the panic has set in and I'm so nervous.
Please don't let my IBS kick in tonight.

Over a year and a half ago I began experiencing very weird nerve sensations in the right side of my face. It began in my temple and then spread down my face. It was swollen for only about 2 days but the sensation has lasted almost 2 years now. It's as if I often feel like I'm two! I did light therapy on that side of my face for a few months thinking maybe I had nerve damage from a car accident I was in 5 years ago, nothing changed. I had tests done on my eye thinking maybe I had pulled something and it was affecting my face, everything was normal. I took loads of advil thinking it would help. I began going to the massage therapist, it felt nice but still my face problems lingered. I prayed my brains out asking God to take it away, but it persisted. Finally my doctor sent me to the neurologist. This large and friendly British man sent me for blood work and the dreaded MRI. One of two MRI' second I will be having this evening. I remember sitting in the doctor's office waiting for him to give me the results of my MRI. He said they had learned two things, I held my breath. "We've learned that number one, you have a brain, and number two, it's normal." Breathe out. Great news but again no answers for what the heck was going on with my face. He put me on a drug called Lyrica, often given for nerve damage. This drug was the answer to my prayers. The drug didn't take away the symptoms but it lessoned them so I could focus on other things other than my face. However, I also learned that when I was stressed or slept wrong or moved wrong then the symptoms would flare despite the drug. These days are difficult.

The neurologist told me to come back in 9 months and we would revaluate. I waited 11 but I don't think he noticed. After almost 2 years and still feeling a bit discouraged that these sensations are still very present I am still looking for answers as to what this could be. I feel like I may have even stumped the neurologist. At my last appointment him and the German med student decided they would send me for more blood work, another MRI and a blink test (what this does I have no clue) in hopes of solving the mystery of my face. The blink test is yet to come, the second MRI is tonight.

My last MRI didn't start out too well. I read the letter telling me the date and time of my appointment at the Henderson Hospital in Hamilton. I was sure the letter said 8:30 AM. We got there bright and early only to learn that the letter really said 8:30 PM. Ooops. Second thing was the Ativan that I was prescribed to calm me a bit (due to my slight difficulty with small spaces) didn't decide to take effect until after my MRI was over. So instead of me, the MRI machine and my little miracle pill, it was just me and the MRI machine., the MRI machine and the heart attack I was convinced I was having. So in case you don't know the ins and out of an MRI I will enlighten you (at least from my experience). Once you're sporting the lovely green scrubs then you head on in and proceed to get up on this table. They put these huge headphones on you that seem to suction to your ears. At the time I wondered why I needed such monstrous headphones, later on I found out that the MRI machine is extremely loud with the monstrous headphones, heaven forbid without. Once lying down on the table with the headphones on, they put this cage thing over your head and then you're rolled into a small hole where they begin taking images of your brain or whatever part of your body they are doing the MRI on. Once in the small hole you are to lie very still and try not to move at all. Luckily I read the booklet on everything MRI before I went in and was able to make myself a musical MRI mix. I could barely hear it with all the racket but occasionally in between hammering sounds I could hear the sweet reminders of God's love for me and His presence with me in that tiny hole sung to some of my favourite tunes. The people running the MRI test told me afterwards they liked my mix.

I thought I was doing pretty good in the hole and was wondering if the drugs had taken effect and if I was having an out of body experience when my chest started to get increasingly hot. I was panicking and trying not to move a muscle at the same time. The lady spoke to me through the machine and asked if I was alright. I told her it was hot. She turned the fans on. I was still hot.

Side note: you know how when you start to panic your brain comes up with a whole bunch of reasons as to what could be happening. Usually these reasons are completely out of this world and yet when you're in panic mode they actually seem like they could be possible. Ever experienced this?

So panic mode hit in the hole. I began coming up with possible reasons as to why I was so hot. Why my chest felt like it was on fire. I thought that maybe I was having a heart attack. My body was clearly telling me it wanted out of that hole. The lady said they were almost done. I convinced myself to hold on.

Finally it was done. They rolled me out, removed the cage over my head and took of the monstrous head phones. Of course my drugs had now taken effect and I was a bit....well....I guess you might say loose or funny. Seriously, could that not have started before the MRI.

So a few months ago when I found out I would be going for another MRI I wasn't panicked. I thought no problemo....been there done that....oh and Dr., can I take one of those miracle pills a bit sooner this time? Well MRI day #2 is here and I'm super panicked. I know it has to be done. I want to figure this face thing out but I'm scared. I have my MRI mix #2 all ready to go, my Ativan in hand and my wonderful parents are even taking me to Starbucks afterwards. It's like the McDonald's trip after you get your needle. I'm still scared because I can't take someone in that hole with me. Yet I know that Jesus will be there and I trust that I don't have to face these things on my own.

So in about 15 minutes I'm going to pop my first dose of Ativan, in about an hour and a half I'll probably be in the hole and hopefully in about 3 hours I'll have my Starbucks in hand.

I sure hope I don't have a heart attack!

Yours Truly....AKA: The MRI PRO,

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane......NOT!

This will be my first summer in a while that I'm not coming home from something or leaving to go somewhere. I'm used to being home for a while and then leaving to go somewhere for a while. I've been home for 9 months now and this typically would be the time where I pack my things and head off to another summer at camp or some type of adventure. As much as I'm looking forward to being reminded of what it feels like to have a summer at home I'm also feeling a little antsy. I'm sad because for the first time I feel like I've landed somewhere and I'm not sure I want to be here. Don't get me wrong, I love it here and I love the people and my life is woven into this place in so many ways but I feel like something inside me is changing. Something in my soul feels discontent. I don't know what it means or what it's for and perhaps it will pass but I'm starting to wonder if what I'm experiencing is here for a purpose. It seems that those scary life questions that people ask themselves when they feel some sort of crisis are knocking at my door. The worst part of it is that I don't have the answers for those questions. I don't know what comes next. I don't know if the 'next' is here or there, wherever there may be?

It's weird when the place that you've known your whole life somehow doesn't feel like it used to. It's hard when the relationships that you've known and experienced begin to change. Your world keeps evolving and you feel like your running as fast at you can so you don't get left behind.

I hate this feeling of discontentedness. It's uncomfortable. It's like my life is over before beginning.

But what to do?

I suppose I'll just have to wait.

I guess my only option is to trust.

I really hope this is normal.

Hmmm.....then again, what is normal anyways?

Sleep well my blogging friends,
~The Kindred Spirit

Monday, 3 May 2010

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe...

I moved into my new house at the end of last summer. I have a very large and beautiful room which is painted an earthy green right now. The green is nice but it's not me. My room in my old house was a very vibrant yellow....which I attribute to my high school season. I loved the yellow but I'm trying to move on to a more mature look! I also have a few walls in my room that are wood.....since it is a century home. A while ago I went to the Benjamin Moore paint store and left with a ton of paint chips and thus a ton of choices. I showed people my top choices and took their opinions but I never really did come to a conclusion. I left it at that for a while. Today I drove my Mom to her hair appointment in town so I had to kill some time while I waited. I decided to cruise the shops along the canal. I found one shop that had some amazing decor items which are in the colour scheme I am imaging for my room. All of a sudden I found myself back in the Benjamin Moore paint store ready to make a choice then and there and with no paint chips in hand. I decided I was going to make a choice on my own without any help, although the man in the store did help me a bit since I know nothing about paint. The final colour choice is called cool aqua! It's not yellow but it's a vivacious bluish green that I think will look fabulous on my walls. I'll make sure to post some pics of the final outcome.

I consider this an important step in my career as an adult.


I live in a small country town called Wainfleet. The kind of town where if you don't know everyone personally you at least know of everyone. The local arena is the hub, the beervondale (as we call it) is the town's supplier for the locals beverage of choice, the ladies at my bank all know my name and smile when I walk in, and of course we have a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate our first traffic light. As much as I can complain about the rural life, it does have its benefits.

Last week after work I stopped at the Pioneer Gas Station in Fonthill to fill up my gas tank. I filled it up, went into pay and then got back in my car and drove off not thinking any more about it.

The next day my Dad asked me if I was missing my credit card? I looked at him puzzled. He asked me if I heard the message on the answering machine. I said no, ran upstairs to check my wallet and then proceeded to head to the small machine in the living room to have a listen to the message.

The message was from a woman in our community who I don't know personally but who I know of. She said her husband had found a credit card with my name on it and recognized the name. The card was now safe in their possession at their house. After looking in my wallet I was relieved to see my credit card still in it's place however my debit card not. I immediately back tracked in my mind to where I could have used my debit card and somehow lost it. The gas station was the only option. It must have slid out of my wallet on my short walk back from the store to my car. I went to pick it up and thanked the woman a million times for calling me and for keeping it safe.

What are the chances that someone would see the card, pick it up, recognize my name, find my number and give me a call?

Through this happening I am reminded of two things.

First: There are some real good people in this here town of mine and it can be a wonderful thing to be a part of a community where everyone knows everyone or at least knows of everyone.

Second: I have a Heavenly Father who cares about something as little as a lost debit card.

Cheers to the small town life,
~The Kindred Spirit