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I had a dream I stood beneath an orange sky

October 5, 2016

I feel like you haven’t heard from us in a while. Here’s a brief snapshot.

Meeting in ten. I should really start live-tweeting the meetings, especially when they get awkward. I feel like live-tweeting awkward situations/conversations could really blossom into a spiritual gift for me.

Not saying that all meetings are awkward. But we have to have all of our conversations. Just…every conversation. We have to have it. No conversational stone may remain unturned. That’s the blessing and the curse. So it’s a mathematical certainty that it’s going to get awkward or uncomfortable at some point. Get off your ath, let’s do some math.

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We were in talks to do a video blog, but then mono ruined all of our lives and especially Sarah’s. Desolation threatened to crush our spirits. I alone remained impervious. Thankfully, Sarah has been house-sitting this last month, so luckily we didn’t have to quarantine her. In this case a quarantine, complete with great dane and weirdly disdainful cat, had already been provided. As the days passed, I began to forget her face, her mannerisms. Does Sarah still live here, I wondered. I received a text one night that said,”Will you come over and read to me?” She told me I could let myself in, so I did. The downstairs was awash with empty gatorade bottles and the lingering smell of chicken broth clung to the air. It was sinister, and unsettling. Sarah looked like Voldemort. I crawled into her bed and read to her anyway. (I want to make some joke about how that’s not the first time I’ve gotten into bed with someone who looked like Voldemort, but that would be super inappropriate, so I’m not going to do that.) Then I watched That 70’s Show by myself in the hot tub. I can think of no better way to spend a friday night.

So with Sarah gone, and Steph gone forever (side note : Alessa and I have decided that the moral of that story is that you shouldn’t love your friends too much because they might move away), things are sparse. it’s just Matthias, Alessa and I at the house. We are making it work. We are keeping our spirits up. Matthias does most of the chores. 10/10, would recommend. Community dinners are still happening, through the grace of God and the generosity of Awaken, our church community. But the beacons are lit. Gondor calls for aid. (AKA please send us roommates. Immediately.)

In other news, one of our ex-roommates Paul got married to the lovely Laura. Get a load.

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STORY TIME!

Micah Bournes first came into our lives as a spoken word poet who would be staying at our house while he performed his wares about town. From the way his dietary needs were communicated to us, I assumed he was an 82 year old white man. I was not correct.

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Most recently, Micah has expanded his repertoire to include “blues musician.” I don’t know how he did it, but he did. His album,  No Ugly Babies came out this week – do yourself a favour and listen to it because it is so darn good it makes me want to high five everyone. For free.

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Next on the list of talented and delightful humans who have played at our house and released musical projects recently is John Gerrard, AKA Francis Cheer. Here is a picture of him in case you forget what he looks like.

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Here is another picture in case you like a more devil-may-care look.

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I would describe his sound as…upbeat melancholy folk pop? You can tell why they don’t pay me to write music reviews. In his own words : Lyrically I wanted to be both literal and abstract with varying degrees of honesty and poetic disguise. A lot of the material for this came from my struggles with Schizo-affective disorder whether directly or indirectly. I bring up my diagnosis because I want to help normalize, although I try to make art that stands on it’s own merit without knowing the artist’s context. I found a balance and a positive creative routine a few years ago, and I want people to know that it is possible. I think this lends some of the songs to a content or glad feel. While my painting is more of a reflection of the messy mind, music for me is a calming force, more of an ideal and fabricated space.

ANYWAY I REALLY LIKE IT A LOT GO LISTEN TO IT

Listen to it!

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Until next time.

As always, Community Dinner every thursday 7 pm if you wanna hang out, eat free food, and enjoy some sullenly muttered sarcasm from me.

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Captain’s Log

April 17, 2016

One week of the HOC, captured through the twisted psyche of one morally ambiguous Megan J. Biggs. Read at your own peril.

Captain’s Log

April 10, 2016

  • Went out to get ice cream for my sister-wife
  • Why does Maren say “BYE MAYDEN” when I’m not leaving?
  • She also says “HELLO MAYDEN” a lot. It cancels out.
  • Omg. I got the apple tv box working again.
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  • Maren’s down for her nap. Watching the second twilight movie (not even at my suggestion). Dag and Andrea will judge us for this. #worthit

April 11, 2016

  • Waiting patiently for Andrea to make me dinner. Tunisian Soup.
  • Query of the day : “Where did all our spoons go?”
  • Steph : I hate it when people say ‘food orgasm’
    Andrea : how about ‘food-related orgasm’?
  • Now somebody is making T-Rex sounds at the dinner table. I’m surrounded by ruffians
  • Guess we’re watching Eclipse tonight. Why is everyone really into Twilight right now
  • Date night’s about to start. Book-making with Andrea.

April 12, 2016 – The Night of the Estrogen Palace

  • Didn’t get home until 7:30. Came home to a living room of powerful women.
  • Sequence of events :
    1.Watched the mindy project
    2. Alessa and Steph squabbled. Sarah got uncomfortable
    3. Kate came home
    4. Listened to a cover of total eclipse of the heart
    5. Watched Eclipse – here is a play-by-play of the commentary

JUST PRETEND YOURE WATCHING IT FOR THE FIRST TIME AND SHUT UP
RUN YOU FOOL
Hahahahahah his hair. So much gel.
It’s T.S. Eliot, you guys. T.S. Eliot.
They can’t while he’s a vampire, he’ll destroy her. He’s too strong.
What are you guys doing over there? She’s recording it.
He’s got a wristband on.
I think he’s ugly.
I think he’s a bum person.
Oh, is this the part where takes his shirt off?
Aw, he writes notes instead of watching her sleep? That’s so cute.
I don’t remember what happened last movie. Somebody pause it and explain the entire plot of the last movie to me.
She can’t talk to her parents once she becomes a vampire. If she keeps a relationship with them it’ll be weird. Because she’ll want to eat them.
Victoria, I love her. Oh wait, it’s a different actress. I hate her.
Why don’t they make people sign CONTRACTS?!
The other one’s hair was better.
They’re seventeen, remember? THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN!
OH NO CHARLIE! Nothing bad happens right? I need to know. I need to know. I need to know.
Wow. They’re big.
Dolphin.

April 13, 2016

  • My turn to cook dinner. Things were simpler in the hunter-gatherer days when I didn’t have to learn how to cook tofu. Why is it so slippery?
  • The late great re-appearance of Dan Zepick. Is it just me or does he have, like, a different character voice for everything he says. He seems to have great expertise on keeping things weird, but in a good way
  • A bromance has just been struck up between Dan and Matthias. Not even Obama and Trudeau will be able to top this one
  • So tired after dinner that I just made puppy dog eyes at Matthias until he volunteered to do the dishes. God bless that man
  • Business Meeting Time. I’m chairing. Some say it’s because I’m the bossiest. Pretty sure that’s not the reason. It might be the reason. Pro Tip : When people are getting off topic I find it’s helpful to yell “MICHAEL BOLTON I’M REALLY GONNA NEED YOU TO FOCUS UP” Seriously though it is like herding cats in here tonight
  • Hot Topic of the Night : Can non-christians become core members of a Christian community? Well tbh I’m not sure why they’d want to, but anyway. Somebody open up a window, it’s getting all controversial up in this joint. At least only one person cried. I’m asking the tough questions! Dag is being too smart again. Somebody needs to take that guy down a few pegs. Come on, Dag. Why can’t you dumb it down for the working man?
  • Stock phrasing : “Nothing has been decided. We’ll table this discussion until a later time.”
  • Jesse has complimented me at least 18 times on the dinner I cooked. It’s nice to be appreciated…vociferously

April 14, 2016

  • Community Dinner tonight. Just got home from work. Want to hide in my room in the fetal position all night. I will now take this hour to pretend that I don’t exist, and then emerge, like a freshly born calf, at precisely 7 pm
  • Apparently everyone is going to a Jordan Klassen concert tonight. On a school night? What fresh hell is this? Which means there will be a mass exodus from the HOC at approximately 8 pm. Thankfully Sarah has volunteered to stay behind to “look after the stragglers” – good thing because we all know I ain’t gonna do it. Being a team player is knowing when to let others take the…offense, insert some more sports terminology here, blah blah blah etc.
  • “Have you ever seen a hug like that before?”
  • Bruce just got out his battery-powered boombox. Now he’s drumming along to it. “Guess who’s debuting at the Ship & Anchor on Saturday?”
  • Other Bruce wants to know what I’m working on. “Is it an email? Will it put a million dollars in my chequing account?” Only time will tell, Bruce.
  • I’m always amazed by how good Sarah is at….talking. Her ability to carry on conversations is endless. This is why I always want to take her with me to social events.
  • “I come for the great company. It’s not good, it’s great.”
  • “That is the best picture I have ever seen in my adult life.”
  • Bruce just asked me if we were trying to kick Sarah out. Hahahha….not on my watch
  • “Is Sarah working tomorrow?”
    “I don’t know, Bruce. You’d better ask her.”
    “Why is it MY JOB to do EVERYTHING?”
  • Everyone’s clearing out already! The Good Lord is smiling down on me!
  • Kate is now delivering a monologue about Wendy’s chicken nuggets

April 15, 2016

  • It’s payday. Thank God. Mental note : Remember to buy Kate oranges
  • House deserted. How peculiar. How divine.
  • Went out for dinner with Dan and Steph. Got reprimanded by a waitress
  • Movie Night With Everyone Who Lives Here : Sisters, with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. It is so weird watching Ike Barinholtz in a role that is not mindy project oriented, but kinda cool too. Aw. He got a ballerina stuck up his bum. Been there! Nope. Haven’t been there.

April 16, 2016

  • Woke up at 11:45. Missed Ember’s birthday party. Balls.
  • Went shopping for “business casual” clothes with Steph. Another sober reminder of how we’re 30 now. Car died. Called Alessa to come get us.
  • Vitamin D Time. We have all congregated in the yard.
  • Cleaned the kitchen and the living room to the musical stylings of….Handel. And Paul Simon. And Taylor Swift. That’s my usual playlist. I kept secretly hoping Mariah Carey’s pop hit “Heartbreaker” would come on, but it never did.
  • Heard the dulcet tones of Maren on the baby monitor. Ran downstairs to get her but Alessa was already on top of it. I was greeted by a most relentless scent. “I did a big poop!” Yes you did, Maren. Yes. You. Did.
  • She’s really good at saying butter now. Butter. Butter. Butter. She can even yell it. BUTTER!
  • She kept telling me about her new bicycle but soon as we got her outside, “I don’t WANT it!” Maren’s catch phrases : “I want it” or “I don’t want it.”
  • I really like that she’s able to communicate her needs and wants now.
  • Kate & Nicole just showed up. Watching Maren eat blueberries.
  • It literally looks like she ruthlessly murdered one giant blueberry
  • Need to find my summer clothes in the storage room but it’s too hard so I’m just going to wait until they come to me.
  • Everyone went to get slurpies. Really hoping they’ll bring me one back.
  • Want Steph to stop calling me bae but not sure how to go about it

Recent Happenings

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Some of us climbed a mountain on Easter Sunday

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Steph started roasting coffee again.

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Ginger Enthusiasts Club

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flower girl

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hugs at the park

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special house guest

An HOC Update

November 17, 2015

Melancholy were the sounds on a winter’s night. I was really hoping this winter would be more….winter-y. For one reason and one reason only – Caitlin, hailing from the south of Canada (hahahahahaha but it actually exists) had never been fully exposed to a truly Albertan winter before. I rubbed my hands in glee, daydreaming of her horror and despair. Winter is coming, I told her. I told her daily. You won’t believe how insane it is! Us against the elements! I can’t wait! Now it’s the middle of November with no snow to be seen, and to add insult to injury it’s practically sunbathing weather. So much for my gloomy predictions. I really wanted her to suffer! Why is life so unfair?

I’m kidding, of course. I didn’t really want Caitlin to suffer. I just wanted to have a real-life chance to use my maniacal villain laugh. This seemed like the only palpable opportunity. As Anne of Green Gables once said, my life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes.

Onwards and upwards. I suppose I haven’t been maintaining this blog because…why do we maintain this blog? I don’t know. I’m unsure. Do people really want to know what we’re up to? Do you think we’re really taken notice of like that? Well, maybe it’s so.

Just in case, here’s what we’ve been up to.

We have welcomed a married couple, Greg and Andrea, into the fold. I don’t mind Greg’s taste in music when he’s in the kitchen. As I type this, he is humming serenely along to it. That’s right, Greg. I hear you in there. Nice guy, Greg. Has a ponytail. Likes philosophical discussions. Laughs at my jokes. It was his birthday yesterday. I told him I liked his gravitas, and gave him a birthday cookie. Today he wrote on our facebook wall, “Living with a two year old means I get to celebrate my birthday for the longest amount of time ever. Ember’s wished me a happy birthday three times today. And it’s only 2pm!”

Andrea is a maker of things. She made bubble tea from scratch the other day. She also gets points for laughing at my jokes. Andrea brings the wisdom, which she shares at her own discretion. Some of us have so much wisdom we can fling it around, willy-nilly. She has a giant peep. She’s vegetarian, but not obnoxiously so. She’s not a purist. She is wildly comforting. She cuddles Caitlin sometimes.

David & Ember have also joined us for a short time. David is a hippie. There’s just no way around it. I scoff at him, but I also high-five him, so I feel like it evens out. He makes delicious broccoli leaves with a dehydrator. I told him I wanted a lifetime’s supply for my birthday. My mom says he’s nice. At Thanksgiving he said he was thankful for birds. He’s skinnier and a better cook than me, but I try not to be jealous. It’s unbecoming.

Ember is the house’s only two year old. Not really “the house’s.” David is, after all, her father. I wouldn’t call Ember precocious, but I would say she has an advanced handle on the English vernacular. We are in awe of her. I like to read stories with her. I like to do anything with her. Sometimes we tell stories without books. This is how that goes usually :
Me : Once upon a time, a raccoon and a snake were walking in the woods…what happened next?
Ember : AND THEN A BEAR COME! AND EAT EVERYONE!
Me : That escalated really quickly.
Ember : Do you know about my friend Willy?
Me : Are we…wait, what? Are you talking about the movie Free Willy?
Ember : Yes.

In other news, I have shacked up with my best friend of seventeen (eighteen?) years. We are now residing in what has been dubbed “The Ladycave” by some, and by others “The Living Womb.” I prefer The Ladycave. My mom says that’s “rude,” but she doesn’t know how good she has it. One of my friends suggested we call it “The Vagina Hut.” Steph snores. I wear ear plugs every night. But I don’t mind. I love sharing a room with Steph. Except for this morning, when I had to get dressed in the dark and rammed my knee into my bedside table. I cursed flamboyantly under my breath, and hobbled off to work. Sometimes my exits are dramatic.

There was one evening we had, recently, that perfectly exemplified to me what it’s like to live in community. We started the evening out watching the gymnastics championships with Caitlin, because she is obsessed with that sort of thing. Then I topped the evening off by helping David butcher a giant portion of fresh animal flesh. The bottom line is simple : These are weird activities, and I would not be participating in these weird activities if I did not live in community.

If I did not live in community, I would not welcome conflict. I would avoid it. If I did not live in community, I would not bake cookies around a 2-year-old and 9-year-old while simultaneously singing Disney songs. If I did not live in community, I would not have hard conversations about myself and how I relate to others. If I did not live in community, I would not try jogging for two blocks that one time (thank you Kim), or watch gymnastics, or welcome people who are experiencing homelessness into my home. If I did not live in community, I would not try as hard to love people who are marginalized. I would not welcome them into my home. But I do live in community, and so those things are part of my life. As an introvert, I realize that my trajectory has been wholly unnatural for my personality type. I fell off the beaten path. Sorry, team.

Sometimes, it’s wildly exciting, and I feel exactly, wonderfully like myself. Other times, it does not feel that way. I’m tired, I get angry, I have imperfections that the others here are so well acquainted with that I know I would blush, if blushing was a thing that I did. I used to think it was weak and naïve, to let others see you as you really are.

Now I think that it’s just okay. It’s okay to do that. I think of all these things that I am now doing – watching gymnastics, having fights, listening to Steph snore, sharing life and dinner plates with people who I normally would never have met or cared to know – and I nod, satisfied, even though the alternate universe in which I envision myself might have more naps in it. Or a fireplace. Or a hot tub. Or jellyfish. Alternate universes can have anything in them, okay?  Time travel. My alternate universe definitely has time travel in it. And everyone would be able to do this.

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Just saying.

Until next time, I remain,

Megan
A loyal servant of the HOC

House Concert!

November 15, 2015

Come one come all!!!!

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You could’ve been getting down to this sick beat.

June 23, 2015

Remember when I said I was going to start a series of blog posts with Taylor Swift lyrics as the title? Did you think I was kidding? Well, I wasn’t. An elephant never forgets. I need to be part of her girl gang. SOMEBODY MAKE THIS HAPPEN.

Speaking of girl gangs, I’m starting to feel kind of bad for Matthew. I mean, five girls and one boy. It sounds kind of exciting in principle, you know, like “What a lucky guy! Five beautiful ladies and one dude!” In theory. But when the rubber hits the road, it’s all talk about tampons and the unlivable agony of menstrual cramps and hot doctors and angry hormones and gender inequality and chick flicks. Three of them. In a row. And chocolate and pizza and farting. A lot of farting. Sometimes crying. The other day he said, “I’m learning a lot about girls.” Ten minutes ago he said, “I do not think I will partake in this ladies night that you speak of.” But he basically has no choice, because every night is now ladies night….featuring Matthew.

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Matthew : a portrait of affectionate apprehension

Anyway. All this is to say that the six of us went on our first retreat as house fellows. Not my first house retreat by any means, but my first retreat with this particular group of people. One of the things about living in the house is the group dynamic is changing constantly. You re-learn how to be a family over and over again. You take the good parts with the bad. You have a honeymoon period, and you have a I Hate Everyone period. You emerge from all of these periods (and actual periods) and you move on into something deeper. Something that isn’t transient. The bond is steel. You can’t forget. You hold each other up. You annoy each other deeply. You learn to love deeply. Your inside jokes start to get weirder and weirder.

On our retreat, we went to the hot springs. A lot. Would I say too much? No. We also participated in Eric and Janess’s second honeymoon. (Only in the sense that we ran into them at the hot springs. That was as far as that participation went.) We watched four movies. Alessa cut Steph’s hair. Caitlin and Matthew listened to a lot of Taylor Swift. Kate and Jesse facilitated, kindly and awesomely. We went outside. We tried to rent a canoe but it was too expensive. We went to the hot springs again. We did a listening prayer together. It was intense. Matthew enjoyed some opaque clouds. We tried to define community. We talked about the things we do as a house, which are shared practices and which are disciplines. We asked ourselves some questions that maybe we didn’t have the answers to (via Rod). We drew some pictures. Sometimes we cried. We made food for each other. I read a book to Steph. As one does.

In the process of knitting yourself together, sometimes it’s painful. It might take something from you. But we might never have seen the peculiar beauty of this new tapestry if we had held ourselves back. If we had continued to care only for ourselves. There’s a better, more uncomfortable way. And it’s called socialism. (Just kidding, Dad. Just kidding.)

“But they were not really trying to develop a new kind of economy or forment a revolution or create a radical social system designed to disempower the nobility. They were simply doing what seemed natural to them: creating a kind of family.”

Scott Bessenecker, The New Friars

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Initial summer update

June 13, 2015

Hello friends its been a little while, here is a bit of a update 

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We had the most wonderful three couch surfers come and stay with us this month! They made us the most wonderful dinner!!

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Nicole made us the most wonderful signs for our home!!

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It was our dear friend Karl’s last day with us – I love this photo!!

Some of our new House Family Photos!! 

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We also had a big cleaning day recently! it was so good!

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Come over and hang out with us some time friends! 

Sarah

Soul Inspiring Mac & Cheese at The House of Commons

June 13, 2015

Last Thursday night dinner, we had the pleasure of meeting a lovely local blogger who came and blessed us by making a wonderful diner!!!
Check out what she wrote.

Secret Diary MOM

Walking into “The House of Commons”  I felt a sense of peace come over me. I was greeted by Alessa who was in the Garden helping some Bowness residents water their growing food plots. Her energy was peaceful and light. I was shown into the kitchen where we searched for the groceries that were on the list. Not finding exactly what I had planned I started to look around and see what I could improvise with. We chatted as she pulled things from cupboards and asked ” will this work?” I had almost come up with a new plan when Sarah came through the door with her arms full of groceries. All of the groceries that were on the list. Relief came over me, not that I couldn’t have improvised but it’s nice to have the things to make the perfect dish you’ve been dreaming of for days.

Sarah’s energy was bright…

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