Category Archives: stewardship

organisation (space efficiency); productivity (time efficiency); gluten (awareness of health needs)

Resources on Waldo Canyon Fire

Update: For an accurate news account of the most disasterous portion of the fire, see the Denver Post The only inaccuracy is in ignoring the Creator of the universe and instead bowing to “mother nature”.

When I got out of work today, it felt like I was in a movie. The entire sky above my head was surreal with sickly-yellow-before-black clouds. So thick you didn’t know how or where the smoke began or ended. The lot across the parking spot had earie fluorescent blue windows glowing.

The fire is scary!

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who cried on the way home when we heard the radio say the first houses across at Flying W. had gone up.

Trying to stay updated, I gathered this set of resources. I hope this collection is useful.

Accomodation  Updating with options that have available rooms

Map of shelters (note the Springs Church in the North was not available for overnight stays)

Mandatory Evacuation Map Note: official evacuation maps are on Springs Gov website below, however that site isn’t the most usable format.

Alternative Map Views

Register for reverse 911 calls 

Twitter (Finally, it is actually useful!)

Official City announcements

Official Incident (Note: 6/26 this website was down for a while, possibly due to unexpected increased traffic.  Today (6/27) it is back up.)

News Channels

American Red Cross service to notify people that you have got to safety (again, stay off the cellphones…):

Search google news by date (use the press down arrow):

Accessing pictures

Search google images by time (last hour/day)

  • Bottom left, click “show search tools”, then select time desired.

Nasa satellite images

Sample of images

Donations and help


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Posted by on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 in stewardship


The wiles and wonders of the emotional world


Photo thanks to rexquisite

Ever felt like you are going crazy? Then run with me on this one. Tell me if you can relate. How have you viewed the period of your life afterwards? What helped get you through?

Emotions aren’t always fair. Sometimes, like this week, they don’t come remotely close to reflecting the reality of my life. And… despite my knowledge of this, there are times when the extremity of our situations seems to throw things rather off balance. Not even in the direction of our choosing.

Would I be emotional?

So, yes, you’ve guessed it… I am crying my eyes out right now!

Yet there is nothing I am actually sad about. And this is the funny part. Usually I am sad about something or other. (If I want to admit it and talk about it, that’s a whole ‘nother story… but having the sadness-thing is usually there!) Ok, there’s one or two things that have upset me, but not enough to take over my whole sleeping schedule and Saturday thoughts…

Being sad about something makes sense. Being sad about nothing makes no sense. Especially when there are many things to be happy about.

I can only put it down to purely an overflow of stress… Being pushed over the edge, and then pushed and pushed and pushed…

This last ten days have felt like a dream. A fabulously exciting dream… my dream, logically, but someone else’s dream sensationally.

Many good things to enjoy – unbelievable!

This week, I should be brimming with happiness, at any number of blessed changes, that I have enjoyed and excited me:

  • I am an aunt for the first time: welcome to the world, James William Macleod!
  • Both my dear sister, and the new baby are doing great! Daddy has just graduated. Just brimming with celebration and thankfulness.
  • One of my best friends is in town this week. I got to have dinner with her, and spend time with her and one of her best friends.
  • I still have a job, despite the company financial planning leading to my job duties changing.
  • I got some weighty compliments for my ability to communicate this week: one, from a respected colleague who repeated two days in a row, in front of different people, that I was an exceptional writer. (You all know that, right!) But I still love to hear it. And then I won not one, but TWO prizes at Toastmasters for my public speaking abilities. Me, public speaking, you gotta be kidding! And I just done it on the spot with almost no prep time or anything.
  • One of my good friends and work colleagues got an exciting promotion. I’m intrigued to see how that will go, and create new job opportunities not only for him, but also filtering throughout the organisation.
  • I reconnected with a colleague from Scotland – a more senior colleague, who I previously believed knew nothing about me or my work, yet was eager to re-establish our conversation, and raised the topic of a pet hobby horse I was known for having in Scotland. I’m curious.
  • I got to attend the PPA graduation ceremony, and even got to sit next to two very dear friends of mine from church.
  • I finally got round to stopping off to try a new coffee shop – they even have gluten free menu choices! I sat in a comfy leather chair and did some writing.

Out of body, out of mind?

All in all, this is a pretty incredible week. I mean, every single one of these things would ordinarily be enough to keep me going with warm fuzzy for days, weeks even. And the new baby, for much much longer!

Yet I still feel as if I’m in a dream…. both the ups and the downs of the week just don’t seem to be real life. That, or they are happening to someone else and I’m not even part of them, I’m an invisible spectator with no say in how or why or when anything happens.

No say in contributing anything positive to the conversation.

The goal of my actions

But I want to say good. I want to do good. I want to bless others. It is not enough to sit watch this funny person live their life. It is making me frustrated to be so far away, so disconnected.

So, what is the matter with me then? Where am I, with all this happiness surrounding me?

The stark reality

  1. Six weeks ago I knew I was burned out. Very burned out. I knew I had some significant duties on my plate, and I knew I had to find a way to face those duties with enough determination to see my way through them. So I took a long weekend. A fabulous weekend, no less wonderful because it wasn’t enough to obliterate burnout.
  2. In the intervening weeks, I have accomplished those remaining goals that were significant life requirements (financial; legal – immigration). This is a pretty major achievement.
  3. Then I have also accomplished other unforseen goals that landed on my plate, some of which I can talk about, others of which I cant…
  4. I have accomplished a very short term work project (2 months total), with all the normal craziness of a release, all intensified into that schedule.
  5. Four or five new friends have turned up in my life all at once, and I have invested time and energy to make them each feel welcome. I’m so blessed to have them in my life, and I want them to know that.
  6. I have worked the longest, most intense work schedule that I’ve ever done in my life. Including a last-minute loss of an entire Saturday, due to a manager request. As any working person will know, the loss of a Saturday is Immense, especially when it is unplanned.
  7. I had no opportunity to cook on Saturday, so I’ve been cobbling together meals all week. I’ve *almost* eaten properly, but not quite… No doubt the lack of proper bodily sustenance does not help good psychological balance. And I’ve not gone “above and beyond” to give myself that extra physical boost of cooking something special and different one day, or having extra snacks at work, etc, etc.
  8. I’ve kept up with my exercise schedule most days, but let myself off a couple of days when I was so physically drained I didn’t even know how I was going to make it through the day. The lack of exercise is felt by the lack of energy and warmth that I ordinarily get when I do exercise. While I don’t doubt it was wise to take a break, at the same time, it still has consequences.

And I’m not done yet. Even more unexpected items have come up in my life, not least of which is transitioning yet again to a new job role. Thankfully that’s not immediate (although some of the planning is pretty immediate).

Where next?

So now I’m figuring… if I was burned out BEFORE this last six weeks, what am I now? About to disolve the last remaining charcoal in a puddle of tears?!

Those special effects should be worth watching from my corner-of-invisibility!! So long as I have popcorn. And kleenez… don’t, my dear friends, let me go anywhere without kleenez!

My hope

Of one thing I am certain. Though I cannot see the pattern the Divine Weaver is weaving, He has reasons to link all these different-coloured threads together. He knows what He has been teaching me – oh, blessed truth! Not only the last six weeks, but for months altogether, He has been revealing more of Himself to me through a particular confusing Providence, and I can’t but revel in His goodness to me.

His Protection over me, in the days to come, will be surely manifest as in many times of old. To Him be the glory. The thanks for the safe arrival of James, and the care over my dearest special wee sister and her husband.

Can you hope in God today?

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Posted by on Saturday, June 16, 2012 in -not-ready-, encouragement, stewardship



The recommended daily allowance of salt is roughly this.

[Edit: Or 3 teaspoons like this, presuming correct/consistent terminology of my reasoning. Thanks, Anthony, for pointing this out.]


Now, of course, please don’t take this picture as license to go crazy with the salt shaker.

I merely meant it to be a useful imagining of the abstract numbers we get quoted on our nutrition labels.

Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 in stewardship


Soup: Ingredients Unknown

My latest experiment didn’t go so bad… considering 🙂

Pre-requisites: one fridge full of unspent vegetables, and one decent length holiday coming up

Problem Description: Veg will definitely be off on return from holiday

Solution proposed:

  1. Pick the types of veg you want to go together. (The more the merrier I say, as this means less individual types of soup.)
  2. Personally, I like to throw some fruit in there too – good mushy apple never hurts a sweet tooth!
  3. For each veg-group, cut up and cook until going mushy. (It doesn’t matter if it is particularly thick, this will be resolved by the post-holiday hunger needs)
  4. Box it up.  (My chosen technicque is to get a suitable-sized container, drape a freezer back over/inside it, freeze it (container and all), remove the container from the freezer bag gently when frozen.  Result: perfectly formed rectangular freezer bags, with handy container still available to use next time.)
  5. Go on holiday waste-free!  (The fun bit, of course 🙂 )
  6. Come home to a well-stocked freezer
  7. When hunger strikes, take out a suitable portion + begin heating.
  8. Add salt and either milk or cream to taste.
  9. Add hot water until desired consistency is reached.
  10. Pop some toast and enjoy!

Perfect 🙂 … if I do say so myself!


Posted by on Monday, January 17, 2011 in stewardship



nothing to waste

While scrutinising the thouroughness of the Which testing capabilities, I was rather impressed to discover the following (in reference to testing toasters).

“None of the toast is wasted. It is either eaten by staff at the laboratory or fed to the local wildlife.”

Not bad going really, a free lunch, and they get double-green-gold-stars out of it too.

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Posted by on Tuesday, August 31, 2010 in stewardship



different dinner

Spur-of-the-moment a friend and I went out for tea recently, and it fair put a smile on my face! 🙂 It has certainly got to go down in the annuls as the strangest meal I’ve ever eaten:

Starter: 2 haddock and a chip mountain

We drove out to Burnt Island and once we had caught a glimpse of the sea, the cravings for fish+chips followed suit.

The portions were definitely double-sized… the girl gave me a funny look when I tried explaining to her we actually we wanted our portions in separate packages. So I shut up and enjoyed both fish and (honest!)most of the chips .


Light entertainment of sea-gull feeding in the intermission.


Main: strawberry haribo – kids in a happy world!

Our cream soda came in an old-fashioned glass bottle with the message on the side “30p if you return me”. I dared my friend to ask for her money. She did, and was refused but more-than-compensated with sweets instead!


Wandered down the high street in the rain, getting our window shopping done.


Pudding: Orange sorbet in an exclusive Romany dining area.

One of our tasks for the evening was to decide on a suitable venue for a return-visit with an esteemed mutual friend. There was a cute-and-tidy little restaurant at the far end that looked like the poshest place in town… that would do, we decided.

Then my side of the dare came out… I was to go in and ask if it was ok for us to just have pudding there-and-then. We were on a budget, but the orange sorbet was just too tempting… 😛

So that’s what we did! The chap was very obliging and kind, and it was pretty delicious.

A highly recommendable excursion! I give it: 5 stars and a cupful of sand.


Posted by on Monday, May 11, 2009 in stewardship


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Fascinating frost.


I couldn’t quite believe this ornamental delicacy was still attached to the world above… but it must have been!

Amazing 🙂


Posted by on Thursday, January 15, 2009 in stewardship


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