Friday, July 31, 2009


I'm starting this post without a clear idea of how I want to express my thoughts.

Verbal communication is a linear medium. Sometimes it's difficult to describe three-dimensional thoughts and feelings in two-dimensional words. There's so much that I want to get across all in one sweeping impression. The sequential nature of writing is frustrating.

A year ago I wrote a post describing my rudimentary psychic abilities. In the past year, with the spiritual protection of the loving force I know as God/J.C., I have felt relatively protected from the onslaught of emotional input that used to overwhelm me every day. However, those impressions not entirely gone. And they can still be temporarily overwhelming.

I've worked hard to try to understand how I am meant to respond to this type of input. I do believe that I have a gift, but it can feel like a curse when I don't handle it properly.

The first strategy that ever helped me at all was praying, so I continued to pray each time I felt overwhelmed by negative emotions. When there was a strong likelihood that these emotions were primarily originating from someone else, I would pray for "us", whether that person was a close friend or a stranger on the subway train.

That tactic helped. It was better than doing nothing at all. I was significantly more comfortable, but definitely felt that there was room for improvement. I still had many experiences of wishing that I could jump out of my own skin and run away from feeling other peoples' crap.

I believed the problem was that I didn't always pray very well. Sometimes I didn't feel like praying at all. Sometimes the words wouldn't come. Sometimes I felt awkward and self-conscious. I was trying to figure out the right words to say, but I couldn't find them.

A series of events began recently which led to an epiphany, which I believe is the answer I've been looking for since last June.

On July 19 the musical group I'm in lead the worship at my church. For the first time, we totally rocked the house. I haven't had such an incredible musical high since, no pun intended, high school. People were jumping to their feet, clapping, holding their hands to the sky, and some were even weeping. (From joy, you skeptics!) I was swept up in the intensity, and my heart flew wide open.

Since then not only have I been unable to contain my own emotions as strictly as usual, I have been much more susceptible to other peoples' feelings. Also, my thinking has been less linear. I have developed a hunger for the creative arts; poetry, music, and other things that don't make rational sense.

In the end, the problem became the solution. My real problem was that I was trying to think my way to a heart's solution, and that's impossible. My problem was that when my heart opened it felt so uncomfortable that I tried as best I could to close it up tight again. But really what I need to do is open it wider.

It came to me this morning, as an intuition. Instead of labouriously constructing a prayer from my head, I opened my heart and loved. When I was confronted with waves of anxiety coming from a nervous sales rep, I pictured myself physically embracing him with unconditional love.* Yes, it was a little distracting. I missed some of the sales pitch. But I was so uncomfortable feeling all his nervousness, I wasn't focused on the conversation anyway.

It worked for a while, so I stopped visualizing the hug and went back to listening. Within a minute, the anxiety was back. So I went back to my virtual hugging. I hugged that lucky sales rep (psychically speaking) for twenty minutes. Finally he was comfortable enough to relax and talk to me without constant energy-realm reassurance. It was pretty cool.

He reacted perceptibly each time I went back to the imagined hug. I was sitting completely still in my chair, just looking at him. Nothing changed except the energy. But each time he would get slightly distracted from what he was saying, and had to take a moment to recoup his train of thought. There was definitely something happening there.

It worked so well that I tried it on someone else I work with, to similar effect.

Finally, I get it! I couldn't, before, because my heart wasn't open enough. But now I see: I was coming at it from the wrong angle. I'm not supposed to start with prayer to get to love. I'm supposed to start with love, and from there prayer will flow naturally. If I care about someone with all my heart in a given moment, I won't have any trouble finding the words to ask God to love them, encourage them, and provide them with whatever it is they need to heal and grow.

I don't know if I'll be able to maintain this level of open-heartedness. But if not, I'll be asking God to take me back to it. This is the direction I'm meant to go in, and I'm so glad I figured out my next step. Incidentally, I've also been doing some simple exercises to practice clairvoyance, and the results are good. I believe that's another part of my gift that I'll be meant to use for God's work when the time comes. But that's another story for another day.

*It wasn't sexual, you skeptics! I'm smarter than that. If there were any chemistry in the air, I wouldn't be doing any hugging, energetic or otherwise. I don't need to play with fire like that. Life's complicated enough already.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I thank you all for your encouragement, and support. Please, keep it coming. My brains are still scrambled. One relaxing weekend is evidently not enough to undo months of stress. No big suprise there, I guess.

I have heard that repetition of certain behaviours or situations actually carves physical pathways into the brain. There is a neural equivalent to "a rut", and it's easy to fall into it. My rut is anxiety, hypervigilance, and self-effacement.

I learned it when I was young, through all the years I lived with my mom and step-dad. Be quiet. Stay out of the way. Don't do anything that might make someone else upset. For example: My mom used to become enraged when she had to do laundry. Therefore, I hardly ever put anything other than my socks and underwear into the hamper to be washed, lest I be the target of one of her rages. My efforts to be careful and not disturb the status quo were that detailed.

(And yes, even though I'm naturally not a sweaty person, my clothes weren't as clean as they should have been.)

It's something I always did, so I tend not to notice when I've slipped back into my old habits. It feels natural and normal to me. Always ask what the other person wants to do first. Don't have an opinion of my own. There seems to be a subconscious mechanism that kicks in, preventing any of my own feelings or preferences from showing up in my consciousness, when I'm in that state. It's a lot easier not to cause trouble when you don't have any preferences. They all go underground, and then I get writer's block, because it's tough to write a snappy blog post when you don't have an opinion on anything.

I can drift along in a fog of varying density for quite some time. I haven't kept track of the durations. I'd like to say that it gets shorter every time; that I'm getting better at coming back to myself. I don't know if that's true.

Anyway, that's where I've been, and even though I'm conscious of it now, I'm still automatically slipping back into those behaviours. It's my natural, unconscious reaction to stress. Once the fear is in me, it's not easy to let it go. I'm not convinced that I'm safe, yet. I wish I could just snap out of it. Trust me, if I could, I would. I need more time.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Much better, thank you

This weekend, I skipped everything. I didn't go to church. Ken called in sick to a friend's birthday party. I left the house once, on Saturday evening, to go out for dinner with some girlfriends. On Sunday I never even set a toe outside my front door.

Resting was heavenly. I was grateful for the almost constant rain, which removed all pressure to go out Have Fun.

On Friday when I got home, Ken had just finished setting up our new gizmo, the AppleTV. We spent all weekend luxuriating in the joy of blissful, media-induced oblivion. I'm not sure how much we racked up in downloading fees, but it was worth it. The complete absence of annoying advertising; the ability to press pause for a few minutes; and not being at the mercy of a network schedule were all priceless. Well, we'll see if I'm still saying that when the bill comes, but for now, I'm not worrying.

Soon enough we'll be hooking up our TV to a laptop so that we can watch some shows for free through streaming video websites. I'm also looking into the Canadian equivalents of Netflix, for reasonably priced DVD rentals. The thing that bugs me about the iTunes TV selection is that only blockbuster films seem to be available to rent. The documentaries I browsed through, which happens to be my favourite genre, were only available for full purchase, at $15 to $20 a pop. That's just a wee bit pricey for my liking, especially since I'm not a rewatcher. I watch a movie once, and I move on.

A few shows I like don't seem to be available anywhere but cable. You know what? I don't care. I don't love them that much. There are plenty of choices available through other means. And if I can't find anything to my liking, I might just read a book, or practice my violin, or call a friend.

Bye bye, cable. I don't think I'll miss you at all.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The breaking point

I've been giving too much to others in the past few weeks/months. It's knocked me into a rut from my past. I have an old, bad habit of progressively erasing myself until I almost disappear, as a cumulative response to escalating demands from other people.

Not that the other people are aware of what I'm doing. I'm not saying that it's what they're asking of me. It's not their fault.

This is what happens when I'm surrounded by people who are upset. They're not all upset about the same thing. Just life, doing what life does, has conspired to disturb a lot of people in my life at the moment for one reason or another.

The more emotional the other person becomes, the "calmer" I get in order to compensate. I instinctively focus on being the grounded, stable one. Except I'm not really grounded and stable. Well, sometimes I am, but lately it's been an act. I figure that someone has to be "the strong one". We can't all freak out, or nothing will ever be resolved. So I shove all my anxieties and sorrows somewhere into the back of my mind, and concentrate on soothing the other person.

Usually, in my own time, I can go back and unpack what I've shoved away, and deal with it. Except when a lot of stressful things happen one after the other, without enough of a break in between, for months on end, eventually I can't handle any more. I've reached that point.

I won't name any names, but there are five people whom I care about who have been going through a lot of crap lately. That's a lot of people. And when one might be having a good day, another is into his or her next crisis. It seems like it will never end.

I'm not sure how much more soothing I can do. Obviously at work I have to remain professional. I don't want to be mean. Except at another level I'm so fed up with it all I do want to be mean. I'd like to tell everyone to F off and leave me in peace. The truth is, I'm frustrated, because nothing I do makes enough of a difference. All these people I care about are suffering, and I can't bear to witness it anymore. Except that I don't have a choice. And I don't know how to handle it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

On Tuesday evening I had dinner with my mother.

She’s 65 now, and is starting to show signs of becoming a little old lady. She’s a little hunched over, a little smaller than she used to be. She putters around her old house, tending to her many houseplants, trying to keep dust from accumulating on the stacks of books that fill every corner of almost every room. She dotes on my adopted cat brothers, and laments the damage they do to her furniture. She likes a good, strong cup of tea.

We had a very civilized evening, discussing theology over homemade sheppard’s pie and roasted vegetables.

After nine o’clock, I decided I’d better start heading home. Even though it was dark and raining out, or perhaps because of that, my mom offered to drive me all the way home instead of letting me to take public transit. My home isn’t far from hers, but my mom is not a confident driver, especially at night, so it was going to be a bit of an ordeal for her.

(For anyone who doesn’t know: I don’t have a driver’s license. That’s a story in itself. Let’s just say that I inherited my driving genes from my mom.)

We set out in good spirits. My mom took her special route through a maze of winding side streets. She likes to stay off streets that are more than two lanes wide if possible, and completely refuses to drive on any highway. We made it most of the way to my house on the back streets.

Finally she had to go north on Yonge St., one of the central arteries of Toronto, in order to pass under the 401, one of the major highways. As we approached the 401, traffic slowed down. Orange signs and traffic cones directed all the cars to merge into the right lane. And then, lo and behold, ahead of us the road was completely blocked.

Traffic was being forced off to the right. At first all we could see to the right was the on-ramp to the 401. My highway-phobic mother gripped the wheel with white knuckles, thinking she’d be forced onto the highway. Then she saw that a side street branched off from the approach to the on-ramp. Saved by the skin of our teeth.

We turned onto the residential street and proceeded into the dark. We started out facing due east, but the road soon began to twist and turn unpredictably until we were both disoriented. Any intersecting streets also seemed to wind off at odd angles.

We were getting deeper and deeper into one of those fancy-dancy areas, where mature trees arch overhead and on either side there are wall-to-wall mansions with fountains and wrought-iron fences, spot-lit in the dark to look like movie sets. There was one other car on the road, following close behind us.

When we had been driving for quite some time with no apparent progress, my mom decided to pull over so that we could consult a map. The car behind us pulled over too. I guess they were following us in the hopes that we could lead them out of the maze. As I pulled out the map book and fiddled with the overhead light, they gave up on us, turned around, and went back the way we’d come from. We were alone.

In the weak light, I squinted at the map book. This book was a pocket version, which had approximately 3-point type. The tiny letters swam in front of my eyes.

“I can’t read this!” I wailed. “Can you read it?”

“I can’t read it,” said my mom.

Eventually, with much peering and frustration, I managed to find a map of the area. As I suspected, the street we were on essentially looped back on itself, as did many of the cross streets we were passing. It was all one big, elaborate cul-de-sac. Finally we decided that the best way out was to do what the other car had done: turn around and go back the way we came. At least maybe we could get back onto Yonge St., go south to the next main street, and drive around the construction.

Getting back to Yonge St. was easy. Getting onto it was not. The proximity to the highway which had just saved us was now working against us. The side street we were on came to a stop sign. Whooshing past at vigorously accelerating speeds, cross-traffic was heading up the on-ramp to the 401. A couple of cars ahead of us found brief gaps between the oncoming vehicles, and slipped through to the other side. Then it was our turn.

The rush of oncoming headlights seemed endless. Meanwhile I could see a line-up of cars growing behind us, wanting to get through the intersection. We were going to have to thread the needle.

“Holy shit,” said my mom.

Then a gap opened up. My mom reacted quickly, stomping on the gas and getting us across the dangerous on-ramp approach. We made it back to Yonge St. and, eventually, to my home.

“Pat on the back for you!” I told my mom, and spent some time praising her driving skills. I was really proud of her.

However, maybe next time I should take the underground train. That’s a heck of a lot simpler (and it would have been faster too).

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Ever since we got involved with the church band, Ken and I have returned to some old loves that we thought were long past.

He unpacked his two guitars (one electric, one acoustic); had them repaired at a rather extravagant cost; and has been practicing again. I got myself a new violin, and have been practicing as much as I can without turning it into a hated obligation.

But we didn't stop there. No no. One thing I don't write much about on my blog is that Ken and I are pretty serious shoppers. We both like shiny new things: clothes, shoes, gadgets, and now, musical instruments. I could turn this into Spark and Ken's shopping blog without any fear of running out of stuff to write about or photos to post. That's not the kind of blog I want this to be, but sometimes... sometimes the shopping trips are worth sharing.

Like today. We went to Cosmo, the Musical Instrument Superstore. It's waaaaaay at the north end of the city, up where new housing developments are still breaking ground, and there are fields of corn growing between the strip malls.

We were like kids in a candy store; every section filled with delights. Our stated purpose for being there was to check out microphone booms for the church stage. (We don't have enough fully functional booms to properly mike the piano. The piano has a hand-held mike sitting inside the body of the piano on a piece of foam. It's pretty ghetto.) So we started out in the production section. Ken took in the new, compact sound boards, ten times better than the old one he runs at the church, with a covetous gaze.

Then we checked out the guitar section. Ken is scoping cool straps, but hasn't made his mind up yet. The ones he likes best have skulls and lightening bolts on them, but he's a little concerned that they might not be appropriate for church use. Hmm... For myself I can take or leave the guitars, but I yearn to own a banjo. I have promised myself that if I ever get back up to speed with the violin, I will get myself a banjo and learn to play. Don't hold your breath.

Next stop was percussion, where we banged gongs, crashed cymbals, plunked glockenspiels, clicked castenets, and said "Bubinga!" to each other with great enthusiasm. (Bubinga is a brand of drum that happened to catch my eye. You try saying it. Bubinga! See?)

We also breezed through the electronic keyboard section, where we tortured the sales guys by picking out one-finger tunes, trying out all the cool sounds on the Korgs. I was tempted to go for a hesitant, off-tempo rendition of Axel F, but I took pity on them. Luckily the keyboards were so cool they made all of our crappy noodlings sound like the makings of super-awesome Kraftwerk remixes. If I had a few grand sitting in the bank and a spare room at home, they would have had an instant sale.

We ended our exploration in the book section, where we really went to town. In the end our final list of purchases included a pitch pipe, two kazoos, an A tuning fork (I have an electronic tuner but I miss the old-fashioned way I used to tune in high school), a book of 100 songs of the 1980's for voice and guitar (yes, I will be singing 99 Red Balloons; be glad you don't live next door), a Teach Yourself Traditional Fiddle Techniques book (be doubly glad you don't live next door), and a couple of books on the ukelele.

That's right. I forgot to mention that when Ken went to get his guitars repaired, he brought home a ukelele. It was like this little baby guitar, waiting to be adopted into a loving home. Ken couldn't just leave it there in the store. Since then, in addition to practicing his two guitars, he's been learning the uke. I've got to hand it to him; he's a natural.

We need a third for an ensemble I'd like to create: ukelele, slide whistle, and kazoo. I'll play the slide whistle. Anyone who can hum can play the kazoo. Auditions will be next week. Anyone interested?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I have been altogether too busy lately. At work, my eyeballs are rolling in opposite directions by lunchtime. By the end of the day my brainpower is spent.

A manager's view of summer: everyone else takes their holidays. I work extra to fill in for whoever is away. It does not make for a restful season.

I have planned a couple of days off coming up; just a mini-vacation. I won't be travelling. Just sleeping in and relaxing.

I'm saving some vacation days in the hopes that I can take a longer holiday when the city workers' strike is over. It's been 24 days since garbage collection services stopped, and the city is becoming disgusting. This is what the overflowing trash bins look like on our main streets. Yucko.

We've been fortunate to have a relatively cool, breezy summer so far, but still, those trash bins stink.

I find it very irritating that some citizens of Toronto are continuing to "use" the public trash bins even though they're already overflowing. I guess people think it's OK to leave their garbage on the ground, next to the full bin? Like that's a responsible way to dispose of one's trash? They must know that the next strong wind could blow their coffee cup/candy wrapper/newspaper into the middle of the street. The cumulative effect of all the litter is sad to see.

I would like to confront the lazy bums who are dumping their trash on the streets. If you wanted a coffee so badly that you were willing to carry the cup in your hand as you walked down the street sipping it, then carry the empty cup home with you! By then it hardly even weighs anything! Put the candy wrapper in your pocket! Stick the newspaper under your arm!

The selfishness of those who litter really grinds my gears. This is a beautiful city, but it's becoming crappier by the day because of losers who can't be bothered putting their trash in their own trashcan. It's bad enough that I can't visit my beloved Island park because the ferry drivers are on strike. The rest of the city has to be like a garbage dump too? It stinks. Literally.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Night BBQ

The other day I wandered into the kitchen at 6:40 am, still rubbing sleep from my eyes. I had washed up all the dishes before I went to bed. Now there was a plate with BBQ sauce on it, and an empty Styrofoam meat tray in the trash.

Looks like Ken had himself a little midnight snack.

Later in the day I mentioned it to him. He told me that he got hungry at 11:30 pm, and took a walk to the 24-hour supermarket to buy himself a steak.

When he got home he suddenly began to worry that perhaps our condo complex might have a rule about BBQ use. We do have quite a few rules, like no roller blading on the property, parking restrictions, etc. But I've never heard one about BBQ's.

Anyway, he didn't want to cook the steak on the stove, because that would heat up the house, and plus, it would be so much less delicious. So he used our BBQ, which is on the front patio, but anytime he heard a car coming down the driveway he ducked down and hid.

I could just imagine him crouching down stealthily, tongs in one hand, saucy brush in the other, waiting for each car to pass. That's my man: Master of Ninja Stealth Cooking!

He succeeded. No authorities came by to give him a $200 ticket for Outdoor Cookery at an Improper Hour. And I'm told that the steak was very yummy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Mommy in Babyland

I brought my mom with me to Babyland on Sunday. It was her first time there.

(For my newer readers: Babyland is the nursery at my church. I volunteer there once per month taking care of the 0-4 years set.)

I thought it would be fun for her. She LOOOOOOVES babies. If life circumstances hadn't intervened, she would have liked to have had five kids. (I'm her only child.) To say that she was disappointed when she found out that I'm not planning to have any babies would be the understatement of the century. I figured that if I could hook her up with some baby snuggles it would be a good thing.

Usually what happens in Babyland is: Between 10:15 and 11:00 am parents come and drop off their kidoodles. We sign them in and give the parents a pager. Then any mobile children are allowed to run madly around the room, playing with the zillion toys available. The volunteers supervise but we don't offer any structured activities. Any babies that aren't walking yet are informally assigned to whoever checks them in. There usually aren't more than two babies under 12 months on any given day.

So basically it's controlled chaos. I usually wander the room with a baby on one hip, using my free hand to break up fights between two-year-olds who don't want to share with each other, and encouraging children who have climbed on top of the Play-Dough table to get back down to floor level. At 11:30 am we hand out Arrowroot cookies and watered-down apple-juice in sippy cups. At around noon the parents show up to collect their wee ones, and after we put the toys away, our work is done.

This Sunday when my mom showed up there were already a few kids there. There was my friend Matthew, and a choice selection of extremely cute, unbelievably good-natured toddlers. I thought that Mom would be in her element. She wouldn't have to contend with the sermon; she could just enjoy the children.

But what should happen as soon as she walked in? One of the little girls, who must be almost four, grabbed her and demanded to be read to. What did she want my mom to read? Stories about Jesus. Well, it's a church nursery. I suppose it makes sense that all the kids' books are Christian.

My poor mom. She is getting to like the congregation of my church more and more, as people, but she still can't bring herself to swallow the theology of Christianity. Bible stories really rub her fur the wrong way. By the time I caught up with her she was half-way through the second picture-book. She looked at me, her eyes pleading "Halp!" But what could I do? It was up to her to tell the little girl if she didn't want to read any more stories.

My mom spent a full hour reading Christian storybooks. I guess it was God's will?

Anyway, the little girl was finally lured away at snacktime, by the cookies and juice. At that point I gave Matthew to my mom, so she could get in her infant cuddles.

She told me that overall she had a good time. And she might even go back. But I think she'll be hiding from that little girl.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I gots glasses

Finally, after carrying the prescription around in my wallet for two months, I got myself a new pair of glasses. They look like this.

It's a big deal, getting new glasses. Not as big as it was when I wore them every waking moment, but still very important. My eyes aren't complete without them, so I think of my glasses as being almost part of my body.

If you ever ask to try my glasses on, you'd better be careful. Don't get fingerprints on the lenses. That's as rude as sticking your thumb in my eye. I'm not kidding.

It's been 8 years since I last bought a pair of glasses. My prescription has changed. Styles have changed. I spent a full hour browsing the optical store, growing increasingly frustrated. The current style of rectangular frames doesn't suit my face. My other challenge is having a big head. Yup, it's true. I wear men's hats because women's hats won't fit. A lot of frames made for women are too tiny. By comparison they make my face look like the side of a ham. Seriously.

Anyway, I finally found my perfect pair. They're nice and wide. The slight upward tilt of the frames towards the outer corners is the key to why this style, of all the rectangular frames on offer, suit me. I also love that they're purple. Or rather, "Black/Berry". But I say: purple!

Last time I bought glasses, it took a month for the lab to prepare them and ship them to the optical store. Then when I went to pick them up I found they'd used the wrong frames, and it took another month to fix the problem. This place has a lab in the back room. Those sweet babies were done and on my nose within 15 minutes. It was awesome! They still smelled like burning from the glass-grinding machine.

I always go for the best that I can afford. I'm blind without them, so it's a good investment. I got the highest index lenses on the market - they just came out this year - to minimize the Pointdexter bottle-bottom look. The other options were scratch resistance, glare reduction, and UV protection. These specs are fully loaded.

I'm enjoying them right now. Woot! I can see!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Canada Day - Ah the memories...

Wednesday was Canada Day. Personally I would have preferred to move the statutory holiday to Friday, so we all could've enjoyed a long weekend, but I'll take any free day off that I can get.

I hadn't had a chance to settle down with a book for a long time. Sure, I read on the subway train sometimes, or at a restaurant if I'm eating alone, but those are public places and always filled with distractions. Yesterday morning I found time to curl up on the sofa under a cozy blanket, and read the first few chapters of The Shack. I approached it with fairly low expectations, because there has been so much hype surrounding this book, but so far it's delivering a pretty solid narrative.

In the afternoon Ken and I headed downtown for a walk. There's a city strike on at the moment, which limited our options. For starters, ferry service to Toronto Island has been suspended, so we couldn't go there. Normally that would have been my first choice. All the usual Canada Day festivities were cancelled. Boooooo! And the absence of garbage collection has turned many parks into impromptu garbage dumps.

When in doubt, go for ice cream. We rode the subway down to Yorkville and got cones at Summer's. Neither of us can eat proper ice cream, being various shades of non-dairy, but Summer's has other options. Ken got a lactose-free soft serve. For the life of me I can't recall the name of it. It was something silly like Moo Whip. (But not Moo Whip.)

I got watermelon sorbet. It's pink and contains "watermelon seeds" made of dark chocolate. Mmm... Summer's also rocks because they'll give you a freshly baked waffle cone at no extra charge. I've seen them baking them there myself. That's good stuff.

After ice cream we went for a walk down Yonge St. We figured all the retail stores would be closed, but it was not so. We window-shopped and browsed the spring fashions. We people-watched and dodged crazy homeless folks. What is it about holidays that brings all the nuts out into the streets? There are never that many when we're downtown on a Saturday.

We finished the day with dinner at Milestone's, courtesy of a gift card that was given to us as a wedding gift. Milestone's is an upscale bar/steakhouse with locations across Canada. They grill consistently good steak, and considering that my iron is still low I feel that red meat is justified.

For fun we decided to order some bizarre mixed drinks. I got an "Emerald Martini", which included rum, blue curacao, peach juice, and pineapple juice - I can't remember what else. It was very green, and very sweet. Too sweet for me. But definitely fun.

And there you have it! That was Canada Day. We walked home; I practiced my violin; then I fell into bed and slept like a log after all the walking, sun, fresh air, ice cream, steak, and rum. Now, that's a good day.