Sarah + Tim

a canadian, american and calico living in perfect harmony

In Flanders Fields November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day at the Vancouver Cenotaph, 11/11/07. Photo by Rob ShaerIn Canada, November 11 is known as Remembrance Day and marks a pivotal day in history when World War I ended.  On the eleventh day of the eleventh month on the eleventh hour, Canadians all over remember the price of freedom and the blood that was spilt on their behalf.

Remembrance Day always evokes memories of singing in the cold, dressed in black, for the cenotaph in Downtown Vancouver.  Hundreds would gather at similar cenotaphs nationwide with citizens dressed in black with red poppies.  As members of the Vancouver Bach Youth Choir, we would sing old war songs, Abide With Me and In Flanders Field.

In Flanders Field is a stirring poem written Lieutenant Colonel John McRae (1872 – 1918) who served in the Canadian Army.  He wrote it in the midst of administering to the wounded soldiers and mourning the loss of one of his friends.  It almost wasn’t published, but someone saw him discard it and recovered the poem, which was published shortly thereafter.

Original Copy of In Flanders Field

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If we break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

May we always remember and never forget their great sacrifice.


How to Avoid Illness June 6, 2008

Last week, Tim got the stomach flu. It was apparently going around the neighborhood and hit him hard. It was a six hour bug that he recovered from fairly quickly. Amazingly enough, I did not get sick!

I attribute it to three things:

  1. I do not kiss sick people
  2. I wash my hands like I’m OCD – particularly when those close are ill
  3. I take NutraNomics “Immunibuild”

NutraNomics is the company of a family friend, Tracy Gibbs, and the Immunibuild blend really kept sickness at bay last week – amazing!

As a fun sidebar, we had told Tracy some silly Newfie jokes a few months back. For those of you non-Canadians, Newfie jokes make fun of Newfoundlanders in Canada. In truth, some of Canada’s funniest comedians hail from Newfoundland. Here’s one my mom has been telling for decades – Where do Newfies keep their armies? Up their sleevies! bahahah! A few weeks back, Tracy happened to be with the Premiere of Newfoundland. He relayed this silly joke and said the Premiere laughed politely like he’d never heard it before. Hilarious!

Here’s to health and humor!


“Talking to Americans” February 25, 2008


If you want to have a good hearty laugh, check out “Talking to Americans” – in this video, spot a cameo by Mike Huckabee and George W. Bush! Penned by the Canadian (Newfoundland, to be specific) comic Rick Mercer of This Hour Has 22 Minutes and The Mercer Report, Talking to Americans is a hilarious documentary of how little our friends south of the border understand about Canada.

Mercer convinces poor unsuspecting Americans to help protect our national igloo from melting due to global warming, stop the seal hunt in Calgary (home of the 1988 Olympics – and completely landlocked with no water in sight) and congratulate Canada for legalizing VCRs, among other things.

During the lead-up to the fateful Presidential election in 2000, Rick Mercer even got in front of George W. Bush to say that the Canadian Prime Minister, Jean Poutine was standing behind him! George W. said, “Well, he understands I want to make sure our relations with our most important neighbor to the north is strong!” Unfortunately, Jean Cretchien is the name of Canada’s former PM and poutine is a delectable dish comprising of french fries, cheese curds and gravy. Oops.

Be prepared to LAUGH OUT LOUD! Pass it on! 😀

PS: Check out Rick Mercer’s blog!


To Vote or Not To Vote? February 18, 2008

If only it were a choice! Being a resident alien (there HAS to be some nicer way to saycanadian_flag.jpg this) in the United States, while entitled to live and work among Americans, one thing I am not allowed to do is vote. Having followed the caucus voting and primaries across the nation on NPR , I feel like I have a pretty good idea who would get my vote. At this point though, it doesn’t matter. After all this talk of presidential candidates, I’m ashamed to say I had to look up who the Prime Minister of Canada was! One thing I’ve observed is that world affairs covered in the American media primarily consist of the Middle East. And sometimes China. Hardly a mention of Canada. One can live in Canada and still be kept abreast of the happenings within the United States, though apparently not the other way around. The British rule in Canada apparently does much to keep our home and native land connected to the rest of the world.

Politics aside, the weather has been in fine form! One of my clients outside Nashville, Tennessee was telling me this week about the tornadoes that tore through his hometown, narrowly missing his home. Apparently one of his neighbors with a storm shelter was sucked out of the shelter by the twister, leaving his wife and children behind, and was carried by the tornado for several miles. After touching down, he got in touch with friends and loved ones via his two-way radio, reporting he was bleeding to death, sent his love and final regards. Thankfully he is alive, and though not well, healing in the hospital.

While we have had nowhere the tragic weather, Utah was hit by a snowstorm that came out of left field. While the weather men saw it coming, we’d enjoyed two days of sunny and warm spring-is-coming weather and no one wanted to believe the storm was imminent. While not much snow fell, the wind blew up to 70 mph and debilitated Utah Valley. We were without power in Saratoga Springs for hours and children were stranded at Alpine Elementary School and forced to stay the night because buses couldn’t get through the snow. Because of a 16-car-pileup close to our home, the police shut down major thoroughfares and it took us 3 hours to drive 10 miles home! One of our neighbors endured a whopping 6 hours trek home from Salt Lake!

Enough good news for one entry! This week I have been more productive with my time and waded further into Pre-Paid Legal. While somewhat uncomfortable to tip-toe outside my comfort zone, I was rewarded by meeting some astounding individuals.

a-good-year.jpgTim and I also attended our ward Valentines dinner and dance on Friday night and enjoyed a lovely evening of good food and company. Unfortunately all the sappy 80s love songs were first on the roster and they saved the good music till the end — but we were still there to kick off our shoes and cut a rug. It was a good night that ended with watching a Ridley Scott film called A Good Year and falling asleep on the couch. We seem to do that a lot lately. A lovely end to a full day.