- You learn to pace yourself for the long haul, so you can finish the race without burning out too early on.
- You learn to know your style, not getting caught up in trying to be like someone else. I'm such a bad sprinter and am a better long distance runner, so I don't need to freak out with my sluggish-start before I can really hit my groove past 10km/6miles. True to my form, it takes me forever to start at anything I begin!
- You learn to listen to your body, to hydrate, rest and recover adequately.
- You learn the value of having a training goal and plan, how structure and direction provide a good foundation.
- You learn how a seemingly impossible goal is achievable, one step at a time, slowly pushing your comfort zone bit by bit, mile by mile.
- You learn the value of accountability and having people to run with. There were some days my sister had to coax my butt out the door.
- You learn the value of encouragement, and cheerleaders along the way, especially in the really hard parts where you feel you have nothing left.
- You learn that having people to celebrate with at the finish line is much more satisfying than just accomplishing it by your lonesome. My sister and roommate running on the same day I did my first half-marathon made the euphoria grander, and the pain of laughing more joyful.
- You learn to enjoy the journey, to look around and see the bigger picture of where you are. I've actually stopped listening to music as I find there's enough around me to take in, observe and absorb, and pray for people and the city as I pass on by.
Monday, October 03, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Spontaneous poem written by my grandmother
For seventy three years,
we loved and watched out for each other
You were an energetic man with wings
We could not fly side by side,
like love birds in the sky
We were like intertwined vines on earth
Today you went ahead of me,
resting in the bossom of the Lord
But I still treasure your foot prints
Forever you will live in my heart
My portion of the eulogy remembering my Yeh Yeh on August 19, 2011
We all know my grandfather had a love of all things air-related -- airplanes, flight and skies. By the time my grandparents arrived in Canada, and by the time we were born, his flight career was a previous chapter of his life. And I want to remember him more than just what he passionately did for his career. I want to share more personally of the person he was.
My grandparents first arrived in Canada in the spring of 1976. That was the year i was born, in May. My parents decided to put them to work right away and left me behind in their care when I was one month old, while they went off to vacation in New York. He was my first care giver.
When I got older, he continued to care for me in practical ways. I am glad that I came to Vancouver to study 16 years ago, because of the opportunity to grow in my relationship with him. He gave me his first TV in Canada so I could watch TV while at school. He gave me a fabulous clothing iron from the 1950s that I still use today -- it's much better quality and built to last than anything you could buy today. He always told me he would care for me, that if I ever needed him or anything, just tell him, because I was his granddaughter.
But more than these practical ways that he cared for me, what I will treasure most is the spirit he exhibited especially in his last days. I thank God for what a clear mind and heart to talk with us whenever we came for visits. He was always in good spirits, joking with us, telling us what we were like as children when he was taking care of us. You could tell he was taking pleasure in us and enjoying us and his family. The nurses repeatedly commented on what a good and pleasant patient he was, joking with them, saying how good their care of him was. Despite his weakness, tiredness and physical struggles and suffering, he didn't complain about being in the hospital. In fact he joked about why he didn't come sooner to the hospital to enjoy such good quality care.
I really feel God gave him a softer, more tender spirit in his last days. He was always thanking and praising God for giving him such a good life with so many blessings, and bringing him this far. On one particular visit where I arrived around his dinner hour, I had the privilege to help him with his meal. In between bites he kept saying how glad he was for a family that loved him and granddaughters that cared for him.
My grandfather left us a good example of leaving this life well. He had made peace with God. When the pastor visited with him, he knew of his place in heaven and God's love for him. Despite the conflicts that life brings, despite the conflicts that our human nature and weaknesses can stir up in our relationships, he made peace with all his loved ones. He was grateful for a good long life filled with blessing. He was ready to go.
Last week my sister and I went to the hospital for another visit, which turns out was our last. It was Sunday, the day he passed away. He was sleeping so peacefully, breathing ever so gently. So I didn't want to disturb him. I sat down and watched him while I prayed for him. I thanked God for him and how much Jesus loves him. To see him so tender in his spirit, really showed me how God was working in his heart and life. I could see Jesus in him. I prayed for Jesus to be close and present to him even in his sleep, every step until the time he would call him back home with a big warm welcome. And then I said goodbye and left.
And shortly after, he went back to his heavenly home into God's faithful presence, eternal and unconditional love for him. I know that he is enjoying an even better room than at the hospital -- he's enjoying the room and mansion that Jesus said that he is preparing for each of his children that love him. I know that he is joking with and enjoying God face to face. I am thankful that as we remember and celebrate Grandpa's life, we can have hope that we will see him one day again in God's presence.
"High Flight" Poem by John Gillespie Magee Jr, read by my cousin
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds -- and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of -- wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew --
And, while the silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the fate of God.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
- brew your favourite tea,
- add your choice of sweetener to your taste (while the tea is still hot so that it dissolves easily),
- then cool and refrigerate until it's ready to drink!
The perfectionist in me is also a huge procrastinator, so I've been waiting for "enough time" to post my last few rounds of recipes...Apparently I just need some accountability, which usually at work takes the form of deadlines. But for fun stuff, apparently all I need is to post it on my Facebook and get people asking for it!
So here goes... all are themed for some summer lovin'. And, as per usual the Justine-key-criteria, all are super duper easy, ready to be served in a pinch with spontaneous visitors, provided you have the ingredients on hand! :)
- 1 can of peaches
- 1 can of lychees
- Add some ice before blending. (This option dilutes the flavour a bit with the added water. The below two options preserve the concentration of the fruit.)
- Refrigerate the cans of fruit before blending.
- Freeze the fruit (or purchase already frozen fruit) without the juices. Then blend the frozen fruit pieces with the liquid unfrozen juices.
- 1 cup of frozen blueberries
- 1 cup of iced tea
- sweetener, to taste
- 3 tbsp of Caffe d'Amore Vanilla Smoothie Mix
- 1 cup of ice
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1/4 cup of Skor bits
- Try this also with Oreo cookies... yum-a-lum! Or I suppose any crunchy candy like Smarties or Reese Pieces would be a good bet too!
- You can buy the amazing Caffe d'Amore mix at Superstore which works magic in turning any liquid drink into a happenin' shake or smoothie. They also have a coffee frappe version if that's more your fancy.
- You can substitute cow's milk with almond or soy milk, though the drink mix powder does have dairy in it.
- Cut the watermelon into cubes about the size of an ice cube tray (2 inch cubes).
- Refrigerate half of the cubes.
- Put the remaining half of the cubes on a flat sheet separated slightly and place in the freezer, so that the cubes do not freeze in one giant mass which makes for easier blending.
- Once the cubes are frozen, place equal parts of frozen and refrigerated cubes and blend until smooth.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Despite the fact that I watch a total of only 1.5 hours of television each week, there are indeed perks to having a sister who works for a television station. Media outlets often sponsor large events happening throughout the city. This means they get "free" sponsor tickets to use, which are conveniently up for grabs via contests.
- 1 cup dried fruit (I did mostly blueberries, with a few cherries thrown in)
- 1 cup raw nuts (I used raw cashews)
- 1/2 cup nut butter (I used my all time favourite hazelnut butter, adjust for desired consistency)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 tbsp of liquid sweetener (I used agave, but you can use honey or maple syrup too, adjust for desired consistency)
- 1/3 cup raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- Combine all (save the sunflower seeds) in a food processor until well mixed.
- Turn the mixture into a bowl and fold in the sunflower seeds.
- Remove and press into an 8X8 foil covered pan.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Remove and cut into small chunks.
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
I'm intuitively a better cook than a baker. Cooking welcomes creativity and flexibility. Baking requires scientific precision. My mother drastically alters baking ingredients without thoroughly recognizing how it impacts the overall recipe chemistry. I inherited this trait, yet luckily my baking adventures result in delicious success sometimes.
Lychees are fragrant, but subtle enough to complement other foods, even savoury ones. One Thai restaurant cooks lychees in their tasty ostrich curry!
- 2 cans of lychees, drained and loosely cut into pieces, to your desired chunkiness
- 2 cups of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/3 cup of liquid (any kind of juice, left from the lychee can; the remaining juices from the can make a refreshing cocktail with a punch of lychee liquer!)
- 2 tablespoons of tapioca starch (or corn starch, any thickening agent)
- Heat the fruit filling ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Slowly stir in corn starch until thickened.
- Fill pie crust with filling. Cover the pie with a top crust, being careful to seal the edges. Poke the top crust with a few holes using a fork.
- Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. Cool to let set. Then Enjoy!
Sunday, February 06, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
- We admitted we were powerless over (our addictions), that our lives had become unmanageable.
- We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.