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Day 294 - An interesting weekend in Toronto . . .

>> Tuesday, June 29, 2010

So I'm sure I don't need to recap what went on in Toronto this past weekend. With it being all over the news and online, I'm sure it's safe to say most people reading this blog would know about the G20 Summit and what it's impact was on our city.

I knew things would get heated, and I knew things would probably get a little ugly, but I really didn't think they would get as heated and as ugly as they did. I was really, really glad to be far away from downtown this weekend, although it did affect a few people I work with who live downtown and weren't sure what to do when the subways and buses running through the core were shut down.

I don't want to say too much about the actual act of protests, as I'm a little conflicted as to whether or not they actually work - even the peaceful ones. While I do of course value our right to free speech, I think it's pretty clear that the kind of protests we saw this weekend did way more harm than good. The destruction of store-fronts, cars, and the violence overall were completely unnecessary. From what I've seen and heard, all it did was anger Torontonians and those of us watching it unfold on the news. It seemed a lot of the protestors using these "Black Bloc Tactics" (the ones doing the vandalising) were either from elsewhere in Canada or from the States. If they want to come here to protest the G20, fine. But to come here and cause property damage, assault our police officers and cause us to pay for, (with our tax dollars) all the clean-up needed to restore Toronto to it's pre-G20 state . . . not fine.

I personally found the spending on this "summit" outrageous and excessive. But it's now clear that the security budget was going to be high anyway due to all the protesting going on. Did it need to be approx. one billion dollars? Certainly not. Are they going to be able to justify it now with all the images and media of protestors clashing with police? Probably. Should the whole concept of the G8/G20 Summit be looked at for its true value, and what we as the public can do to hold them accountable to any and all decisions (and timelines) these leaders are making on our behalf? Definitely. But I was ashamed of what I saw on the news this weekend. And to anyone out there who vandalised and put other people's safety in danger? You should be ashamed. You did not make your voice heard, and you pushed aside the voices of those who did come together to hold a peaceful protest. If you came to make a mockery of yourself and the issues that really did need some media attention, well on that you most definitely succeeded. Congratulations.


Day 294 - Welcome to the world Benjamin!

A Big, BIG Congratulations need to go out to my friend Kim on the birth of her baby boy!! Benjamin Gravel was born on Sunday, and both mom and baby are doing well.

I am so excited for Kim and her husband Eric. They already have a gorgeous daughter named Claire, and I'm sure she's super excited to be a big sister!

The Gravel family is pretty awesome, so congrats again to the whole family on this wonderful arrival, and welcome to the world Benjamin!!


Day 292

>> Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 292??!!

How did it get to be day 292 already? Crazy!

Anyhoo - I found a new blog template I liked more than the last one, so once again - may I introduce my new blog design!!


Day 289

>> Thursday, June 24, 2010

I had the day off both today and yesterday - booyah!! It was not the most productive two days to be honest. I was actually kinda' hoping it would rain, as I wanted to clean the house, do some laundry, go grocery shopping, and just get caught up on a bunch of things - but . . . it ended up being a beautiful day both days and I am not one to miss a beautiful day.

I slept in both days (awwweeesommmeeee!!!!), swam a lot in the pool (and did my aquacise), hung out with my hubby for a bit, read quite a lot, watched some movies at night, did some prep for the Africa trip in August, and changed my blog template! It's not exactly what I want, but it'll have to do for now until I find one I really like. I was just tired of the old one and figured my blog needed some updating. What do you think?

I'm in huge denial right now that it's almost the end of June! How is it possible that time can go by so fast? I guess to some extent I am glad time's flying as I can't wait to go down to my parents farm in 2 weeks for a week-long vacation with the whole family. I can't believe though that we leave for Uganda in about a month and a half - crazy! We still have a long way to go for fundraising, but I know we'll get there. I'll be posting some details in the next couple of days about our next big fundraising event, our "Run for Uganda", so stay tuned for that soon!


Day 285

>> Monday, June 21, 2010

I have no idea what to write about today. I figured I should, as it's been a few days - but as I sit here I really don't know what to say . . .

Hmmmm . . . . . .

Ummmm . . . . . .

I liked the weather today - it was super hot & sunny and yeah, that was cool . . .

I had little mini tacos for lunch - yummy!

Everyone at work was grumpy, and that put me in really bad mood for awhile, and then I realized I too was now grumpy and could therefore be making someone else grumpy (who was in a good mood) and snapped myself out of it.

I really need a hair cut.

I finished reading "The Passage" by Justin Cronin - pretty good! Too long though - was his editor on vacation or something?

The last two nights Franklin has fallen asleep while snuggled up against me in bed with his head burrowed into my arms. It's really, really cute - but he snores (and drools), but it's worth it.

I really like cantaloupe - I bought a whole container full of diced cantaloupe the other day. I promised myself I wouldn't eat it all at once . . . that didn't work out.

Mmmmm . . . cantaloupe . . .

Three more weeks of work and then I'm on vacay with my family! Yee haw!!

I have a car again - it's a used 1998 Volvo. I have named it Bob.

Hmmmm - okay, sleep time I think! Off to get covered in more drool from Frankers!

'till next time . . .


Day 282 - there's a change a comin'

>> Friday, June 18, 2010

I feel there is a change coming. I've felt it for a long time now, but it feels now like it's right on the horizon - I can almost see it or touch it.

From the time I was little, I've felt like I was meant for something big. Not big in the sense of money or fame or anything like that, but big in a more meaningful, impactful, kind of way. I find more and more now that I'm being called towards something bigger than myself. I'm beginning to understand now that perhaps that's why I've never quite felt "settled", and perhaps that's why God has given both myself and Chris the desire to not put down roots somewhere. Perhaps that's why I've always been able to very easily put myself in another's shoes and feel what they feel.

Chris and I often talk about what the next 5 or 10 years will hold for us. It always comes back to the same thing, the same place, the same idea - of using our voices to speak out for those who cannot, in places that are continually forgotten about.

I don't know for sure what context change will come in, but I know it's coming - it's the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing in my mind before I fall asleep. I don't want to write about it too much in detail here until I feel we've sussed it out more, but I will when the time is right.

I do know that a giant leap of faith is coming, and I think I finally have the guts to take it.


Day 279

>> Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I will not walk with blinders on
as you don't walk alone

I will not cast my voice aside
while you don't have a home

I will not sit, stand idly by
while your child cannot eat

I will not celebrate my greed
while you stuggle to sleep

I will open my eyes enough
to see what's going on

I will speak out on your behalf
until you have a home

I will invite you and your child
to my house for a meal

For we are one, both you and I
that much I know is real


Day 274 - Summer!!

>> Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ahhhh Summer . . . it's almost officially here, my favorite season! I personally think summer already started a few weeks back when we started getting amazing weather. We opened the pool back in the middle of May, and I've already made good use of it so far. I've also made very good use of our hammock, which is pretty much the best place to be on earth (in my humble opinion).

This summer is going to be a busy one, that's for sure - but it's also going to be a very exciting one. I'm spending a week in July down at my parents farm with pretty much the whole family, so I'm really looking forward to that and just chillin' out there for awhile. And then in August we go to Uganda for two weeks, and then Kenya for about 4 days. Exciting!! I'm really, really stoked to be going back to Uganda - I'll get to see the friends I made last year and continue the work we started with GIVE International. Then in Kenya, Chris and I are going to visit where he used to live, go to school, where his dad used to work, and some other places that were really significant during his childhood. In addition to that, we'll be spending some time meeting with people GIVE is working with to see how we (and groups here in Canada) can help facilitate them in some community projects and incentives. Both Chris and I can't wait to get to Kenya, as he hasn't been back since he left at age 3, and I've been wanting to go there for as long as I can remember! It's the summer of Africa, and I'm so blessed to be able to go back so soon after our last trip!

We still have quite a ways to go in terms of our fundraising - we held a very successful garage sale here at the church last weekend, and although we raised a lot of money, we still have over half to go! Our next big fundraiser is the "Run for Uganda" - a 5 or 10k run/walk being held in Toronto on the Don Valley Trail on July 24th. I've made the commitment to run, so I better get in shape and fast!! I still haven't decided if I'll do the 5 or 10k, we'll see how training goes in the next week or so!

Other than all that, I'm just excited that the warm weather is here. I really do wait for it all year, so I try and enjoy it as much as possible during the few months we get it. I have a great summer read I just cracked into the other day ("The Passage" by Justin Cronin - just came out on Tuesday and there's a lot of buzz about it, it's supposed to be the book this summer), so although my work schedule is a bit crazy this next little while, I'm lookin' forward to some afternoons on the porch, hammock or beside the pool, reading and just taking in some rays! (while wearing the strongest sunblock possible of course!)

Hope everyone is enjoying June so far!

'till next time . . .


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