Judith Rae Curtis, 1940-2009

Judy, my mother in law, died last Wednesday at the Mater hospice. As many readers know, she had been suffering from various cancers for some time, so her death was, in the end, a relief.

A private cremation service was held yesterday (Monday 26 October) in which Judy's close family members (my wife, myself, our two children, Judy's sister and brother-in-law) and a close friend attended. A public memorial service was held today at our church. I contributed with the opening prayer and with a eulogy, the text of which follows:

Opening Prayer

Lord God,

We gather here today to worship you and praise you for the life of Judith Rae Curtis. We thank you for her, Lord. We thank you that you worked in her to touch the lives of so many, including those of us here today. We thank you for:
- her smile,
- for her insights,
- for her professional skills and knowledge that taught so many to treat others so effectively,
- and for her transparent love of Christ which gave her joy and meaning in life in her youth and in her old age, and in times of joy and in times of trial.

We praise you that she is now in paradise with Christ. We ask this day as we celebrate her life, that we might meditate upon our own lives in the light of eternity, and that you might speak to us and teach us about what it means to be a disciple of Christ.

This we pray in the name of Jesus.


My memories of Judith

My memories of Judy naturally begin around the time I met Anna, so I don't remember the exact moment I met her, but certainly the feelings of nervousness that accompany a guy who is meeting his girlfriend's parents for the first time. In fact I remember more clearly meeting Anna's dad than meeting Judy – which, as many of you know, is quite understandable.

Anna was the light of Judy's life. Her only child. Naturally Judy had reasonably high expectations of whatever guy would end up marrying her daughter. Did I meet those expectations? Of course not. But Judy was generous nonetheless, and wholeheartedly supported our decision to marry.

I remember one time during our engagement when Judy came up to me and said some very kind words. Like most mothers with adult children, she looked forward to grandchildren, and with tears in her eyes she spoke of this.

Of course it took us a while, but once Aiden and Lillian came along Judy was delighted. One of my favourite pictures of Judy on the montage at the back of the church shows her playing with a 2 year old Anna. Judy's mouth open, the big smile – they were present when Anna was a little girl, and they were present again whenever Lillian or Aiden was around.

I know that Judy achieved much in her life professionally. I never saw any of that. I never saw Judy as teacher or lecturer or tutor or colleague. Instead I saw her in her role as mother and grandmother. The way I look at it is this: As an academic and health professional, she was able to improve the quality of life of many. As a mother and grandmother she gave much to Anna, Lillian, Aiden and myself.

The last few months of Judy's life were tough, but I am glad that we were able to be there for her. She was surrounded by her family at the end of her life. We'll never forget her.


Rice and Lentils for Breakfast

I've been planning this for months and finally this morning I made the decision to make it. Here's the recipe:
  • ¼ cup Rice (Basmati... though long grain would work)
  • ¼ cup Red Lentils
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

  1. Place all ingredients into small saucepan. Stir.
  2. Place on stove at high heat until you see the beginnings of boiling.
  3. Put stove setting on low.
  4. Place lid on saucepan.
  5. Wait 10-12 minutes while it slow cooks.
  6. Eat.

  • Cooking a hot rice breakfast may sound weird but rice is a cereal and cereal is a good food to eat at breakfast.
  • There is very little fat in this meal.
  • The rice provides lots of complex carbohydrate while the lentils provide protein. Both are high in fibre.
  • The amounts listed above are enough (probably more than enough) for one person. If you wish to cook for more than one person, simply multiply the amounts.
  • Measurements in metric. 1 cup = 250ml.
  • Other lentils may take longer to cook, so I suggest you stick with the red ones.


Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize???


OSLO — President Obama today won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.

"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," the committee said. "His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population."

Obama's name had been mentioned in speculation before the award but many Nobel watchers believed it was too early to award the president.

The committee said it attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

"Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play."

This is ridiculous. Seriously.


Redditors have gone crazy. Here are some samples:

  • Let me say sincerely: WTF
  • Fox News is gonna LOVE this
  • Fox news will simply say, "Of course he's a communist. This award was given out by a communist country."
  • Well there goes all the credibility that's left in the entire nobel-thing.
  • Credibility? That hasn't been there since Yasser Arafat won it.
  • Eh, at least it makes more sense than that Grammy that he won.
  • Now he just needs that Super Bowl Ring.
  • Stop the bitching, he won it because Sarah Palin is not the vice president.
  • Norway/Sweden = Socialist. Norway gives award to Obama. Obama = Socialist
  • My god, there goes my monocle!
  • Take that Drudge, Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck, et. al. So tell me again how losing the Olympics was an international rejection of Obama?
  • yes, award the Peace Prize to a guy who won't close Gitmo, sends more troops to the sinkhole that is Afghanistan, maintains almost all the Bush military, continues to send US tax money to Israel to pay for arms while watching American jobs flood away, but allows money-losing banks to award billions in bonuses paid for by taxpayer-funded TARP. What a guy. What. a. guy.
  • It's good to see the Nobel committee moving on to winners of the US Presidential election. Remember when Al Gore won the peace prize for a slide show?
  • No seriously, this isn't an article from "The Onion"?