We’ve moved!

Follow us on over to blog.atransparentlife.com, where a new blog design is in the making… yay!

En Transici

As you can see, things they are a-changin’ here at A Transparent Life.

What you’re seeing today is just a template to get us thinking WordPress while the original design is being created and tweaked.

If you check back over the next few days, you might get to see the draft version, etc.

Layout Help Required

People, this generic Blogger layout is just not doing it for me anymore, but I have no clue how to get something personalized, or how to write the html myself.

So this is my official, helpless, pathetic, desperate cry for help: “HELP!!!

If you can, I’d be much obliged.

Gestation of Thought

Again, I apologize. My brain has been churning around many different topics, and I haven’t really sat down to focus on any. They’re coming!

Thanks for your patience while my thoughts take shape, and thanks for coming and reading this blog! Also, thanks for your written and verbal comments… please take the opportunity to leave comments to my posts if you can… I really appreciate your feedback, criticism, insight, etc.!

Needy Schmeedy

I hate putting people out, making them go out of their way, or pick up my slack. I resent the implication that I might not be… well, perfect. Of course I know I’m not, and that’s why it bothers me so much!

Maybe it’s a Canadian thing. Or maybe I’m fatally flawed. Or, more likely, it happens to more people than me.

If I’m acting strange towards you, it may be because I’m holding my neediness against myself.

Sorry. I’ll get over it eventually. Possibly when I get the chance to pick up your slack.

Wondering Why

This week was a tragic one for my town.

A five-year old boy whose family used to live here, a rambunctious boy who used to eat crayons and giggle endlessly, ended up in the hospital with kidney failure. They discovered that he only has one kidney, and the other one is riddled with disease. He’ll need a transplant.

Monday morning, after feeling somewhat sick all weekend, and even going to the hospital on Sunday, John stayed home from work. His wife called in sick for him, then took the kids, aged 5, Grade 4 and Grade 6, to school, then ran some errands. I should tell you that John grew up in this town. He was on the local high school’s winning football team in the seventies. He owned one of the town’s gyms, was my family’s first landlord in this town, and many other things that I was not fortunate enough to know about him.

Healthy, with three young children and a good job, John was dead before his wife got back from running her errands.

Cause of death? A burst appendix.

Why did the hospital miss the symptoms? We may never know.

What does one say to John’s widow and children? How do you begin to gain closure after such a death?

I honestly don’t know. I didn’t know what to say to John’s coworkers when they came into the store I work at to look for condolence cards and gifts, or simply to grieve after the funeral. I didn’t know how to respond to the teachers when they came in looking for memorial gifts to give to John’s kids.

I just stood there, shaking my head, wondering why. Why is it possible for a father and husband in the prime of his life to die so suddenly and quietly, not to mention alone? Why would the doctors be unaware that a five-year-old is missing a kidney, or that his only existing kidney was sick?

I don’t know. I wish I did. I wish I could adequately comfort people. I wish I had more than trite phrases to say. So I just stood there. And wondered.

The Results

Today must be a productive day, so I’m going to post mostly pictures… yay! I finally painted that spare room last night, or most of it. I’m about to do the trim this morning, then clean it up so that it’s livable.

So we’ve got before and after shots of the room so far, with and without paint.

Yesterday it stormed all day… the clouds couldn’t decide between snow and rain so it did it all, snow, rain, freezing rain, wind… it was a pretty icky day! I took some pictures of ice on trees last night… they didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, but I’ve put some of them on here anyway.

The view from the window of the spare room while I worked on it.
My footsteps outside when I went to take the dark pictures that didn’t turn out so well.
Blurry branch covered in ice.
Look at all those white patches… putty, sanding, primer… yeah. Good times.
iPod stereo.. .yeah, baby!

And introducing the beautiful Oakwood!

My Transparent Life

I recently decided to commit to living a transparent cyber life. I realize that’s a concept that’s foreign to many, but I feel that it’s sort of a ministry thing for me… opening up my heart and mind for God to speak through me, for others to learn and be challenged, for me to learn from others, for others to ask questions and criticize if they need to, etc.

I prayed over my keyboard the other night, that God would speak and teach through it, with me as his hands. Day before yesterday, I made four commitments:

1) I commit to being transparent.
2) I commit to admitting that I don’t have all the answers.
3) I commit to writing about things that don’t always have happy endings (and things that are difficult to read and write).
4) I commit to presenting challenges and to expanding the worldview of my readers.

This blog is also to get me in the habit of writing more, with the goal of writing magazine-length articles and seeing where I can go with that.

So keep coming back, people… let’s do it together!

Haste the Metal Day

I’m not a metal-head or a huge scream-o fan, but there are these certain friends of mine that just do it so well! Make metalcore scream-o music, that is!

I just heard one of their new songs on their myspace and was quite impressed. So of course I have to share it!

Go to: www.myspace.com/hastetheday and listen to “Stitches”.

Super Trees!!

A friend sent me an email with these pictures and a (poorly-written) explanation which reads:

These trees were grown in Santa Cruz CA, the year I don’t know , but the man
that grew them never told anyone how he did it . then in around 1999 the
owner of Nob Hill foods in Gilroy CA moved them to his park in Gilroy and
they are doing well.

Insane, huh?!?!