Friday, June 26, 2009

one trash bin a year!

my favorite tip (at the end of the article) is to leave your house with your own take-out containers. why didn't I think of that?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

ha ha ha...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

sweet, simple jellybean lyrics.

If there are two kinds of people in this world (those think music exists for lyrics, and those who think the opposite), then I'm the first kind. this song is an example of why.

...sadly, dave'll have to wait till next Monday to check it out on you tube!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Hey folks,

The epaphaneia conference is happening again this year in March.

Last year they didn't have one, but I went to the one two years ago at the Meeting House in Oakville. It was totally worth the trip.

I think the keynote speakers this year include Stanley Hauerwas, Marva Dawn, and Walter Wink. (sweeeet!) (previous speakers have included brian mclaren, ron sider, shane claiborne, jim wallis).

It's a bit pricey, but I think worth it...If we get a group of 5 or more people, the tickets are $10 cheaper ($69 per person instead of $79).

Go here: to find out more.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I guess everyone has their own definition of success, but in the "volunteer-group-trip" category, my own definition includes plenty of new experiences, helping and being useful, making new friends, and good times all around. 

So...I'm happy to report that the first (but hopefully not last) Knoxite visit to Estonia was a smashing success!

The boys arrived Monday. The plane was slightly delayed (due to a number of circumstances, including misplaced library books, passports, and chicken wings), and although we didn't get to go out for dinner, we did have 'lihapirukad' on the road, which I think was almost as good (other new food experiences of the week included: four different kinds of porridge, rye-garlic bread, "kohukesed," tatrapuder, pilvi's sauerkraut, kiluv├┤ileivad). In fact, throughout the week, like true Canadians they politely ate everything that was put in front of them. (I was less polite when confronted with fish sandwiches for breakfast.)

On Tuesday, we visited a halfway house for Estonian and Russian boys. Alex, Patrick, Ken and Glenn played, sang, and shared some experiences. And, afterwards, the team mercilessly smoked the boys at a "friendly" soccer game.

Wednesday was manual labour day (lawn mowing and wood chopping mainly), and Thursday the boys led the Rakke congreation in an amazing service.  But the fun really began on Friday! Despite twisted ankles (Alex), sore backs (me), and sheer exhaustion, camp was lots of fun. Highlights included: unhealthy amounts of soccer and baseball, two campfires (including one massive bonfire), and the introduction of a previously unknown, yet timeless, camp activity: making gimp bracelets. Even before it was over, kids were asking about next year's camp! And the "teismelised" (teenagers) told us that camp was "lahe" (cool). 

Finally, our last weekend in Tallinn was everything a Presbyterian weekend in Eastern Europe should be! (...and if you don't know what that is, I'm certainly not going to tell). See the pictures that will be posted on flickr in the next few days, or ask one of the boys for more details. 

Next time you see them, be sure to thank Alex, Ken, Glenn, and Patrick for doing an amazing job representing Canada! And Knox! 

...I'll join you: Thank you!!!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

mowing the "lawn"

I have never loved mowing the lawn.

It's something that I usually do grudgingly when visiting mom in Scarborough.

So, when I was informed that part of my job description in Avispea would be to occasionally help out with this task, my smile of aqcuiecence was somewhat less than genuine. 

...When the day finally arrived, I resolved to get it over with as quickly as possible. "From the road to the house? no problem. (Then I'm done, right?)" Pilvi's response was yes, technically, but that I probably wouldn't get all the way to the house by myself. In my loud Canadian way, I immediately disagreed. Don't worry, I said, I'll have this done in a jiffy.

Over an hour later I had barely made a dent. In fact, it took nearly 3 gas tanks and nine hours to make it all the way to the house, not to mention a ton of water breaks.

...Strangely, though, each time I mow the lawn, I enjoy it more. Every time the gas tank empties, I sit on the step in stunned silence, marvelling at the flatness of the lawn I've finished and looking with fear at all the individual blades of grass I have yet to mow, (partly, wondering why we bother clipping and manicuring God's greenery anyway, when it grows back with mocking vengeance in a few short days). 

It's also a zen thing: one's mind slows down in a unique way when one's body is working for hours on end at a mundane and repetitive task. 

Consequently, if anyone offers to finish the lawn for me, I stubbornly refuse. Conquering this grass has become a point of honour. And it's a terrific workout.

...actually, I have yet to finish whole thing by myself. But, despite hands that vibrate for hours afterwards, spots in front of my eyes, intense dehydration, aching biceps, and calluses on my hands, I will persevere. I will mow the "lawn" all by myself before leaving this place.