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Thursday, January 26, 2006

New Store For Women Opens in Texas

A store that sells husbands has just opened in Dallas, TX, where a woman may go to choose a husband from among many men. The store is comprised of 6 floors, and the men increase in positive attributes at the shopper ascends the flights. There is however, a catch. As you open the door to any floor, you may choose a man from that floor, but if you go up a floor, you cannot go back down except to exit the building.

So a woman goes to the shopping center to find a husband.

On the first floor the sign reads: Floor 1 - These men have jobs.

The woman reads the sign and says to herself, "Well, that better than my last boyfriend, but I wonder what's further up?" So up she goes.

The second floor sign reads: Floor 2 - These men have jobs and love kids.
The woman remarks to herself, "That's great, but I wonder what's further up?" And up she goes again.

The third floor sign reads: Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love kids and are extremely good looking.
"Hmmm, better," she says. "But I wonder what's upstairs?"

The fourth floor sign reads: Floor 4 - These men have jobs, love kids, are extremely good looking and help with the housework.
"Wow!" exclaims the woman, "very tempting. BUT, there must be more further up!" And again she heads up another flight.

The fifth floor sign reads: Floor 5 - These men have jobs, love kids, are extremely good looking, help with the housework and have a strong romantic streak.
"Oh, mercy me! But just think... what must be awaiting me further on?" So up to the sixth floor she goes.

The sixth floor sign reads: Floor 6 - You are visitor 3,456,789,012,996 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping Husband Mart and have a nice day. The exit is to your right

Finalist for the year's best primipara!


I just got back from my latest birth. She was freakin' amazing! I'm so proud of her. I'm going to share some gory details for all my midwifey friends They're not so gory that it'll make you throw up if you're not used to this, but you might fall asleep. I'll keep it short.

She was due on the 19th, and would be induced this morning if no spontaneous labour. So I packed my bag last night, had my cell phone next to my head so that I'd be ready when she called in the morning to say she was en route to her induction. Fell asleep somewhere near midnight, but Jason was still awake. Suddenly, the phone rings. Not my cell, but the other one. I'm completely disoriented, still in a half-dream state, and I think it's probably someone from my small group. Luckily Jason's still conscious, so he jumps up to grab the phone. It's my client, of course. She's telling me she's been having contractions and is heading to the hospital. I mumble a few things to her that don't make sense, and say I'll meet her there within an hour. Two minutes later the phone rings again, and she says that her friend is driving her to the hospital, and she'll call and let me know if she needs me because her boyfriend is meeting her there. I'm fully awake this time and my brain has caught up to my mouth. :) Always a plus. Her friend calls me at 4:30 to let me know that she's been admitted and I can go on and meet her there. I get a breakfast together and some tea to take with me, and wake Jason so he can drive me.

I arrived at the hospital just about 5:30, met her boyfriend and the nurse. She was having some contractions, and they were nearly tolerable, but she wanted some demerol to take the edge off. I go to the nurses station and let them know, and within a few minutes she's got it. Things go better for her immediately, it's manageable, and she's even sitting in the recliner for a while (in between going to the bathroom [seriously] every five minutes). I'm doing some back & foot massage (she's had back labour since last night) for her. Her boyfriend is sleeping in another chair. My tea tastes like there's coffee and cayenne pepper in it (I really MUST wash that cup out better or maybe just not use it for tea), but I'm stubborn and drink it anyway.

At 7:10 the doctor checks her; she's 4cm and fully effaced. She asks him if the baby will be born by 18:00, and he says probably. Maybe as early as 14:00 or 16:00. Lets her know that if she wants the epidural (and she sure does!), now's the time because in an hour the anesthetist will be in surgery. She said yes quite enthusiastically. I'm happy she's getting what she wants, because that was one thing we went over several times, that she wants an epidural and before it's too late. I think that 4cm is a bit early, but she's made this decision with the doctor so I support her. The nurse tells us it will be 15 minutes. In another twenty minutes, she's in agony and is wondering where the heck the 'epidural woman' is. The nurse convinces her to try some nitrous oxide while we're waiting for the anesthetist. It works out pretty well for her, and at 7:50 the nurse says she's already 6-7cm.

She calls the doctor, and by the time he gets there (about 8 or 8:05), she's fully dialated, and five minutes later the 'epidural woman' is walking in. The doctor tells her it's too late, sorry. Push. Deep breath and push.

The baby's heartbeat is a bit decreased, and the doctor's concerned, so he whips out the vacuum. She's already got the head way down and almost out. The doctor just attatches really quickly, and in another contraction the head's delivered. She did SO AWESOME! I'm so proud of her! The baby turned then and looked at me. Well, her eyes weren't open, but if they had been, she'd have seen me. I've got tears in my eyes, and then the body's delivered with a hand tucked neatly up beside her chin which gave mom a small tear. I cut the cord. The scissors weren't very sharp, but I managed okay. Really awesome. Beautiful little girl, 7lbs 10oz. I'm sure she'll look just like her mommy. She still had that little fist tucked up next to her face when I left two hours later. Mom is doing well breastfeeding, well, teaching little baby how to breastfeed, and very tired but very happy. It was so good to see her go through labour so well, when she anticipated so much pain and agony into the night, and there she went at 8:20 this morning, signed, sealed, DELIVERED! I got to hold her while the doctor was suturing. Sweet child. Then I got the other very fun job of calling all the family and friends to share the good news.

I called Jason around 9:30 to come pick me up. Poor darling. Woken up by the phone for like the third time today. I'm so wide awake. I love this. It was awesome. I'm so proud of her.

Anyway, that's my blog of the day. Too bad it's taken me a week to update, eh?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Another Christina poem

The last poem I posted got such rave reviews (well, just one for the time being, but I know there's more of you out there who feel the same and won't post a comment [that's okay I'll still love you to wholeness]), that here's another by the same fine lady. I got a book of her complete poems from the library, and only had time to copy a few before they wanted the book back. Dangit! And there are so many more....... I'll borrow it again.

In other news, I'm now editing a friend's manuscript for publication! I'm so excited for him. But I can't give away any plot secrets, like the fact there are characters and a conflict and all those other sort of things. Sorry. Lips (fingers, I guess in this case) are sealed. But I will let you know when it's on the press and when you can get a copy. Should I even give away the name of my dear friend? No, I'll let the tension build, methinks. Hee hee. I'm devious.

Anyway, the poem. Yes, the poem. It really sums up what I think of love; God's love, pure human love, and friendship sort of love. You can form your own opions on it anyway.

Where love is, there comes sorrow
Today or else tomorrow:
Endure the mood,
Love only means our good.

Where love is, there comes pleasure
With or withouten measure,
Early or late
Cheering the sorriest state.

Where love is, all perfection
Is stored for heart’s delection;
For where love is
Dwells every sort of bliss.

Who would not choose a sorrow
Love’s self will cheer tomorrow?
One day of sorrow,
Then such a long tomorrow!

Christina Rossetti

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Tanzania Revisited

Remember at the beginning of December when I posted about Tanzania? I have a few more answers for the curious now.... (See post "Tanzania" in December archives)

I'm going in March! I just bought the tickets today. I'll be back the first week of April.

I'll be working in a birth centre run by the YWAM base in Dar es Salaam, the capital city of Tanzania, population: approx 3 million.

I'm learning Swahili right now.

I'm looking for people to come with me, if you're feeling led.

More later, my thoughts are all disjointed.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Love from the North

I had a love in soft south land,
Beloved thro’ April far in May;
He waited on my lightest breath,
And never dared to say me nay.

He saddened if my cheer was sad,
But gay he grew if I was gay;
We never differed on a hair,
My yes his yes, my nay his nay.

The wedding hour was come, the aisles
Were flushed with sun and flowers that day;
I pacing balanced in my thoughts:
“It’s quite too late to think of nay.”—

My bridegroom answered in his turn,
Myself had almost answered “yea:”
When thro’ the flashing nave I heard
A struggle and resounding “nay”.

Bridemaids and bridegroom shrank in fear,
But I stood high who stood at bay:
“And if I answer yea, fair Sir,
What man art thou to bar with nay?”

He was a strong man from the north,
Light-locked, with eyes of dangerous grey:
“Put yea by for another time
In which I will not say thee nay.”

He took me in his strong white arms,
He bore me on his horse away
O’er crag, morass, and hairbreadth pass,
But never asked me yea or nay.

He made me fast with book and bell,
With links of love he makes me stay;
Till now I’ve neither heart nor power
Nor will nor wish to say him nay.

Christina Rossetti

Sunday, January 15, 2006

975 Places left to see before I die!

Have you heard of the book 1000 Places to See Before You Die? I think I'll have to live to be approximately 900 and win a million air miles to see them all. Crap. Here are the sites I've been to, and a few thoughts on them:

To preface: I'm a little upset that the city I lived in for three months in Australia isn't even mentioned in the book. Well, I guess it wasn't a must-see anyway, but the prison in Freemantle which they made the prisoners build (talk about cruel and unusual) with the flirty tour-guide should have made it. Also, Charminar (the seventh largest mosque in the world) didn't make it. I spend five months in India, and they didn't have the decency to put any of THOSE places in the book.
1. Mount Cook National Park, South Island, New Zealand
So here's where the book lists my first accomplishment--New Zealand. Mt. Cook is in fact the same as Mt. Doom in the LOTR movies. They edited out the snow and made it into a volcano, but it's this mountain. Beautiful. Saw it on a driving tour with my hot brazilian mamacita friend.
2. The Home of Bungee Jumping and Jet-Boating, Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand
Now it sounds like I've done something really exciting, but really, I've just been to Queenstown and saw a few other people jump off bridges and waterski and all that.
3. The Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, AZ, USA
This is no mis-nomer. Freakin' amazing. It's so incredible that it takes about half an hour for your brain to stop telling you that it's a backdrop. It's that huge and surreal. Beautiful.
4. Death Valley National Park, CA, USA
I'm not entirely sure I've been, but I think we drove through it once en route to my cousins' in LA. I remember it was hot. Very, very hot. Like death.
5. Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Seen the sign.
6. Monterey Peninsula, CA, USA
This is quite clear in my mind--I think I was eight or so when we went, and the best part is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where you can TOUCH MANTA RAYS AS THEY SWIM!! It made quite an impression on me. You can also pick up and play with the starfish.
7. Pacific Coast Highway, CA, USA
Breath-taking views the whole way.
8. The Million Dollar Highway and the Durango & Silverton, Durango, CO, USA
I've been on this train ride more than once, as it's in the area where my Dad grew up and we used to go up all the time.
9. Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, CO, USA
Just went last October (2004) with Jason and Sheryll & Floyd from the BAS. Beautiful. We saw more elk than you could eat in ten years.
10. The Las Vegas Strip, NV, USA
I think I was also eight when we drove through Las Vegas. It's like daylight even at night. Insane. No, we didn't stop over at any of the casinos. But we did stop over at my aunt's mother-in-law's house and swim in our clothes because we didn't have our suits with us.
11. Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta, NM, USA
Went to this like every year since I was four or five....except for the past four or five years. Too busy to do the tourist thing. Or too busy working to get up at five in the morning just for the heck of it.
12. Route 66, Albuquerque, NM, USA
I lived two and a half blocks from this almost all my life. It's less exciting that way.
13. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Carlsbad, NM, USA
I've been three times, most recently with my dearest love, Jason. We went in May/June of 2003 before I headed out to Australia. Really cool. You could spend days and not cease to be amazed.
14. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, Chama, NM, USA
My dad likes railroads.
15. Roswell, NM, USA
It's on the way to Carlsbad Caverns, otherwise we wouldn't have gone. Full of whackos and tourists. But if you ever go, my brother installed the windows on the MacDonald's that's shaped like a UFO. He's a glazer.
16. The Oregon Coast, OR, USA
We once drove all the way up the Western coast from California to Washington. Lovely country. Green.
17. Philly Food, Philadelphia, PA, USA
My sister flew out to New Jersey when she was 16 and brought us home a Philly Cheese Steak that she bought that morning in Philly. Excellent. I'd highly recommend one.
18. Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, PA, USA
I may not have ever been here, but I think I remember visiting Independance Hall. My mom would know. I was like three at the time. Valley Forge wasn't on the list, but that I actually remember. Should have made the list. It's so historical.
19. The Black Hills, SD, USA
Mt. Rushmore. Cool. Buffalo, etc.
20. Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA, USA
When I went out to WA for my friend Jenn's wedding, she took us here one day. Lots of fun--you can even buy a live lobster and have it mailed back live to wherever you came from.
21. The Mall and Its Monuments, Washington DC, USA
Another event we did when I was three or four, and I'd like to go again.
22. The Smithsonian and Beyond, Washington DC, USA
See above
23. Banff, Jasper, and Yoho National Parks, AB, Canada
I've actually been to Banff twice--once on Boxing day with Stacey's family (she wasn't back yet so her dad & step-mom took me by myself), and once after DTS with Jason. Beautiful. I'd like to go in the summer. We also went to Lake Louise, which should be on this list.
24. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver, BC, Canada
This is where I picked up almost all of my obscure facts about Chinese culture. Really cool. Vancouver is full of neat things. The Buschart Gardens should have been on this list (on Vancouver Island).
25. Niagara Falls, ON, Canada
Jason took me to the Falls on our first date. I've since been back with Amy, to show her the wonder. I suppose they felt obliged to list the seven wonders of the natural world.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Revelation at the econolube

So I went to the econolube today to change Ji-Heun's oil (that's my car), and I was assulted by a revelation of what I'm feeling. This is a good thing. I think. I was the only customer there (apparently most people don't make it to the oil change before eight in the morning--I had just dropped Jason off at work and it was on my way and on my to do list), so the guys met me walking in and pulled Ji-Heun right into the bay.

The mechanics are busily changing the oil, and there's one guy left inside to ask me what I'm doing this weekend while I'm trying to read a magazine. Then the other mechanic comes back in to tell me my air filter needs replacing, because it's been 20,000km. I tell him, "You just replaced it in June when I got her oil changed." He's like, "Yeah, but it's been almost 20k since then." I literally said outloud, "20,000km and I haven't gone anywhere! I'll replace it next time."

With a shock I realized those were my exact sentiments. Not entirely accurate, of course, because they're very subjective views. But you know, I've been here seven and a half months, and it doesn't feel like I'm any closer to getting landed, or a job, or anything like that. Where have we gone in seven months? To London, Paris and Ayr and back, to Toronto about twice, and to the States and back six times (if I counted correctly), but really no where. We haven't changed apartments or churches. Jason has the same job (although he has been promoted in this time frame and was able quit his secondary & tertiary jobs), I'm back to having little occupation.....I guess when it's all based on what we can see nothing's happened since we moved here.

Yet our real lives are this time I've made several friends where I thought there may be none for a long time. I found a church home. I've discovered more than a church home, an entire church family that has surrounded me and loved me and lifted me up before the Father. I've come into contact with people who have accepted me as I am and lovingly helped me change for the better--"come as you are and you'll be loved"--is their motto. God has been ever present with direction even when we seemed on the edge of hopelessness. Countless times He's shown the way to a paycheque, the way to do what I love, the way to work with Him doing what HE loves to do.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

What I'm up to.........

Sunday was my first Spanish lesson. No, I'm not taking Spanish lessons; I'm teaching them!! It's something that I now realize has been in my heart for a very long time--to teach. I love teaching. Remember (BAS girls) the spiritual gifts quiz we took in Hyderabad? Teaching is one of my top two gifts. And I love it. That's part of why I love midwifery so much--the big focus is not on baby catching, but on educating women on what's happening in their bodies, and what God is bringing forth, and what power and strength they possess and don't know about. If I can teach one concept to each of my clients, they will go and teach that concept to ten of their friends, whether they consciously do it or not. The beauty of teaching is that if done well, it multiplies.

Anyway, I have eight students presently. Four are from my small group, two are their children, and the other two I met at the New Year's party Jason & I attended. That couple will be moving to Nicaragua soon, within a few months, and they've been looking for someone to teach them Spanish before they leave. I'm still astounded at the complexity of what God's plan is like--little did I anticipate a New Year's celebration would bring on a whole new focus for my interim life (waiting for a visa). I'm completely empassioned and enthralled and freakin' ecstatic about teaching and preparing the lessons and seeing how much my pupils already know and what they need work on. It's no replacement for midwifery in my life, but it's a good suppliment.

The other new thing in my life is Swahili. I'm teaching myself to speak Swahili, with the aid of my good friend Ulani Trouble (McAdams). She & her husband are staff at a YWAM base in England, and they've just sent their DTS off to Tanzania. They had put together a Swahili language learning pack before they left, and shared it with me. Why? Because I myself am going to Tanzania in March! Unbelievable, eh? Yeah, me too. But that's where the next step is for me. I alluded to this a bit in a previous blog entry, but I don't think a lot of people got what I was talking about. I've been invited to spend a month at a birth clinic run by the YWAM base in Dar Es Salaam, helping their doctor and midwife. I'm pretty well excited off my rocker. I've always wanted to go to Africa, and away I goes! Well, that's just the short of it. More to come on this front.

In other news, I've finally received another update about Dagmar. She is still in critical care. Dagmar has shown some very positive signs, her eyes are opening and she is observing her surroundings. Dagmar has moved her leg and is squeezing the hand of those that are caring for her. Dagmar has been taken off a respirator. A concern is lack of movement on her left side and very minimal communication. Please pray for a complete recovery and continued healing of her body from her many and extensive operations. God is doing miracles in our dear Dagmar’s life.

Thanks all for your prayers, and if there is anything I can pray for you about, please email me or post it in the comment page. God is faithful. That's all I can say, really. I had a long conversation with my mate Stacey last night, with some stuff she's dealing with, and I told her, "I don't have any specific direction for you, but remember that God is faithful, stand firm, keep praying." There is hope for all 'hopeless' situations in our lives. I can attest to this.

We don't know the scope and the depth of God's plan, but we do know that He will be faithful to bring it about. Isaiah 46:9-10 & 13 says: "And do not forget the things I have done throughout history. For I am God--I alone! I am God, and there is no one else like me. Only I can tell you what is going to happen even before it happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish. For I am ready to set things right, not in the distant future, but right now! I am ready to save!"

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Good news!

We have seen many improvements over this past week. Erin (still in South Africa along with Dagmar and Sarah) has now been moved out of high care into a general ward. She is doing well in spirit, and has been improving physically. Sarah still remains in high care, but she is improving and we hope that she will be able to move soon to a general ward.

Dagmar's responses have increased. She has been opening her eyes a lot more, moving her eyes from left to right, and recognizing her mother when she speaks. We are still unsure of the extent of her injuries but have been greatly encouraged by her responses. She still remains in the intensive care unit and could be there for some time.

Thank you, God! I just got this news when I woke up today. He's really filled me with a sense of peace about the whole thing--a voice that keeps saying, "Trust Me, I have only Dagmar's best interests in My mind. I know what I'm doing." I'm so blown away by the Father's love for all of's limitless and free and unexpected and beautiful. How blessed we are to be called His children!

Here are some scriptures that God keeps bringing back to mind:
"Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with scoffers. But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants; day and night they think about His law. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail. Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper." Psalm 1:1-3

"Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8