Sunday, October 19, 2014

Home At Last

We arrived home last night rather late after a most productive weekend away.  Our deacon is now fully priested and will be ready to take his own parish once there is a suitable one available for him.  As much as I have enjoyed all the travelling over the past few weeks, I have to stay home now for a couple of months and get my diet back on track.  Too many restaurant meals during that time, despite being as strict as possible in what I order, have resulted in too much fat and sodium, so my liver is all ready starting to react.  Time to slow down, take over my own cooking again and relax more.

Tomorrow I will blog more about the weekend's events....after going to the 'flu' clinic for a shot...after getting some paper work completed....after sending in some required information to the diocesan office........after.......well, I'll get to writing eventually. Yawn......zzzzzzzzz

PS did you know that bleaching and ironing albs and purificators is a pain in the butt?  Also, not the most fun way to spend a Sunday evening! hahaha

Thursday, October 16, 2014

On the Road Once More

It seems we have barely arrived home from Thanksgiving travels and we are heading out again in the morning for a couple of days.  Wow...does it ever end???  For my husband that would be a NO!  Next weekend he is gone again to teach at a Diocesan seminar weekend and then a couple of weeks later he has to hope and pray for good weather to drive far away for an Archdeacon's retreat.  I continue to hope and pray along with him for that good weather, particularly for dry roads!!

We have to get to 2 cities tomorrow, one for Communion wine and to pick up our scissors from the sharpening shop where we left them WEEKS ago. I assume they will still be there after all this time.  It is going to mean lunch in a very nice restaurant so that is always a nice thing for us.  I am not sure why we both enjoy eating out so much.  My husband didn't grow up with that and my family ate out so often it shouldn't be such a great treat for me at this stage of my life.  O well, it is going to be fun!

We were able to secure a lovely room in our favourite hotel in city #2. The rates have certainly gone down with the end of the summer season upon us.  I wish we could loll around in the morning until check out time and enjoy it, as that would line us up perfectly to get my husband to the ordination luncheon and rehearsal on time, but we have to back track about a half hour up the highway to the acreage of some former parishioners. They would like Dell to do a house blessing for them and that is always a fun ceremony.  I am grateful that once we get back to the city there is a good coffee bar/restaurant near the church for me to go to for my lunch until it is time for the ordination service to begin.

It is going to be rather late when we get home that night.  Driving that many hours in the dark is a bit daunting due to the amount of wildlife on the roads.  There are so many deer, moose and prong horned goats out at dusk and for the first hour after dark that it makes for a rather stressful trip, peering through the darkness into the ditches and surrounding fields for the tell tale flashes of wild animal eyeballs reflecting in the headlights of the car. It also amazes me how many inebriated drivers this province still boasts of on the highways despite all the education available and the high cost of police fines these days.

Up and early the next morning to do our regular round of church services, so hopefully we can both collapse in the afternoon....after a series of hospital visits that should have been done earlier this week if there had been time.  

Does this ministry ever slow down???  Apparently not...but we can at least say we are never bored or looking for something to do!!!

Temptation Over!

Yeah.....well, so much for the wasabi chocolate.  My blood sugar was just fine after I ate it, but I had the same old reaction emotionally within an hour of consumption: crabby, miserable and nasty.

Good to know that all this tracking of my refined sugar intake symptoms so closely is why I was able to recognize the reason I was feeling so peckish in the afternoon. It is worth the trouble to do it.

Interesting how simply having a negative physical or emotional reaction to a food will now be sufficient grounds to stay away from the offender.  I certainly have no desire left to ever eat the wasabi chocolate again.

Whew!  Dodged a bullet!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My First Real Diabetic Diet Temptation??

The other day I purchased a bar of Lindt wasabi flavoured chocolate for my husband to try, only to discover he tried it on one of his camping trips this summer and doesn't care for it at all.  I read the nutrition label this afternoon and thought I could certainly get away with trying one small square with only 4grams of carb, 3 of them refined sugar.

One big problem: of all the bits of dessert I have tried in the past year, none of which I really care to ever taste again, this one is the first exception.  I LOVE wasabi chocolate!!!!  Just in case it becomes a temptation I can't overcome well in the coming weeks, I have put the rest of the bar out of sight and hopefully by tomorrow out of mind as well.  

I am not a great fan of wasabi and find it difficult to have to eat it on sushi, although I do eat it on any sort of sashimi for safety's sake, but the mix with the dark chocolate is the perfect blend of warmth and sweetness. O my my my....delicious.

This is my first true temptation....may it soon dissipate and also end up being the last!!

Fa La La La La Etcetera.....

"Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm."
--Winston Churchill

Good thing, especially today for both my husband and I!

My dear husband drove over to the seniors' manor to do a Bible study and came away without his hat. He had all ready reached the hospital to do morning visits, but decided it best to return to the manor right away to get his lost item.  Back to the hospital he drove, did a communion and some visiting, then returned to the car to discover his keys locked inside.  Home he walked, borrowed my keys and headed back to the hospital to get the car.  By the time lunch time arrived he was all ready exhausted, but he has to get a move on to drive down to our other church for a vestry meeting and some other visting this evening.

I started off the day enthusiastically.  In fact I was a bit too enthusiastic when I arrived at the dentist's office all ready for my cleaning procedure. When I put my coat and purse onto the wall rack I was so jazzed that I put too much weight on the purse handles and pulled the rack right out of the wall.  Drywall dust was everywhere.....sigh....  My dental technician laughed until I thought she would fall down!  I didn't laugh at all.  Sigh.....

My morning improved from there though.  After a short session in the dental chair I walked downtown and did some necessary banking, was able to get a prescription refill I thought I was going to have to fight for, found some soda my husband hadn't been able to yet locate here in town and when I walked into the laser clinic to make an appointment they had just had a cancellation and took me immediately.  Very cool!  My hair dresser is able to cut my hair exactly when I want it cut next week, also very unexpected and cool!!

So now my poor exhausted husband is about to leave for the next set of today's ministry duties and I am going to watch a movie I have been wanting to see for a long time. Tomorrow and Friday will be laundry and packing days for our next trip out of town this weekend.  With all this travelling the weeks are flying by!  Soon the dreaded snow will once again be upon us, but for now we are taking every opportunity to be on the road out of town before the storms arrive.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Somewhat Stoned...How Long Has It Been?

Thanksgiving long weekend went very well indeed, at least until the last few hours of the holiday break:  2 excellent church services, perfect weather to drive back and forth to the city to see my parents, the joy of knowing we were able to help them out with some errands and shopping, cooking Thanksgiving dinner together to share with a family friend, an unexpected phone call from my son and some delicious restaurant meals, along with a restaurant adventure.

Although the trip there and back took place completely in post-harvest Great Land of Brown, we spotted the occasional field of voluntary canola or winter wheat greening up the scenery for a few seconds as we raced past it.  We arrived in the city earlier than expected and had time to have our dinner before going over to mom's and dad's.  

We opted for a newly renovated Himalayan venue that used to be a somewhat rough and tumble buffet.  It has been renovated into a much higher class, quality dining space with a marvellous menu and a fairly extensive wine list, the buffet now offered only at lunch time.  Reservations are normally required to gain entrance to the place now, but because we were rather early the maitre d' whipped a Reserved sign off a table for 2 and seated us immediately.  As it turned out the couple who had reserved the table for the evening phoned shortly after we arrived to let the restaurant know they would be half an hour late.  It gave us plenty of time to relax and enjoy our meal and the ambiance of the seating area.  I ordered basa fish with vegetables and my husband a lamb dish.  We were treated to papadum with a small tray of mango dip and sweet yogourt cucumber dip and we were given freshly made naan with our main course.  My plate arrived with a most appetizing bowl of cauliflower  in a hot tomato sauce and a potato/green pea/black eyed bean salad, saffron rice, while the basa fish with hot tomatoes, green peppers and onions came on a separate, steaming hot cast iron tray.  My husband's lamb stew was freshly made, lovely to look at as well and he enjoyed the same salad as myself.  We dawdled over our meal because the atmosphere was so pleasant and it was an unexpected treat.  Had we been unable to score a table we would have been stuck going to the chain fish and fries restaurant next door.

Thanksgiving Monday was a good day for my parents.  We took them to the recycle so they could get rid of a lot of junk and then shopping for some clothing and hardware store goods.  Dad managed to get out of the car and walk through all the stores but he was incredibly tired out when we got home.  In the afternoon we all cooked dinner together and a special family friend came to join us for the meal.  We had a great visit but I could see dad wilting by the time we all left for the night.  He was very excited that his grandson telephoned from the west coast. My mom was delighted that the "boy" would take time to call in the midst of his incredibly busy work schedule.  Way to go son! haha

This morning before we left I took mom shopping for a few more items.  Dad was so exhausted he really wasn't feeling well, so my husband stayed with him while mom and I got one of our rare chances to go out alone.  We even took time to go for coffee before we returned and mom said she felt like our short time together was a holiday.  She is so restricted with caring for dad and I feel badly for them both.  He can't get out that often and pays for it every time he does and she is bound to the house because of his needs.  He panics when she leaves to go out on the bus on her own because he is afraid she will have an accident and never come back and then what will happen to him?  (dad has reached the stage where everything is about him and him alone, but that happens often with age and we all just roll with it)  Mornings like this one are what make me wish I lived closer and could take mom out more...and dad too, to get him out of that condo more often for shorter periods of time.

Before my husband and I drove back through the Great Land of Brown we looked for somewhere new to have lunch.  My husband said he was in the mood for Lebanese food but wasn't sure where to go to get it so early in the day.  Only a few minutes after he said that I noticed "Genuine Lebanese Lounge" on a restaurant sign, so we whipped into the parking lot to go in and check it out. was a lounge all right.  It was a sheeshah lounge and the hookahs were in "full bloom" by the time we left the place.  When we arrived there was only one small party of young men enjoying their pipe of tobacco with mint oils and the place is well ventilated, so we hunkered down with our menus and ordered our shwarma meals.  To say the wait was long is giving the place too much was incredibly long, although the food was more than worth the wait.  The problem for me was that as we sat and waited with our drinks, more people were arriving to smoke. Along with the sharp mint odor, green apple and orange blossom smoke began to seep out from under the ceiling ventilators and make their way to our table.  Within about 30 minutes my head was beginning to spin just a bit and my stomach began to dance about somewhat dangerously.  Another 15 minutes and my husband asked me if I realized that my entire body was vibrating.  Ooh, yes, I certainly did realize it!!  About every 3rd sentence I would forget what I was saying.  Here I thought the 1970's had ended long ago for me, but here I was in a hookah lounge not even needing my own pipe to feel very strange indeed!!  About the time I had my wallet open to put down the money for our drinks and flee the place for fresh air, our missing waiter materialized with our plates of food.  It was quite fabulous fare but unfortunately I had to wolf it down rather unceremoniously to settle my stomach.  As soon as I downed the last bite I left my husband on his own to finish his meal and pay the bill while I stumbled outside.  

Was it my imagination or had the colours on the street signs and buildings reached a new intensity during my time inside the restaurant?  Did the air smell different than before I went in?  Had our car changed shape somewhat?  I fell into the car, rolled down the window and tried to just relax and stop vibrating physically and mentally.  When my husband returned he took one look at me and started laughing uproariously.  I mean, how embarrassing, how totally humiliating is it to be in that condition from simply sitting in a sheeshah bar and not even be smoking the hookah???????  

Obviously he would be driving us home, laughing all the way.  It took nearly 5 hours for me to completely regain control of myself.  I never HAD to actually do any drugs in the '70.  All I would have had to do was just be in the same room as someone who was smoking any kind of drug and blowing the smoke in my direction in order to buzz myself halfway into the following week.  

Sigh...... Embarrassing....humiliating....and at my age too.........I have never seen my husband so enjoying my discomfort.  Even the Great Land of Brown seemed to have taken on a more incredibly interesting appearance during the drive home.  I couldn't close my eyes to rest. It was like they were glued open.  Sigh.....  I am never going to live this down.

So, quite a weekend.  I am grateful to have been able to spend time with my parents; I just could have skipped the middle 6 hours of today, thank you very much!!! hohoho!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Joyous Sukkot

When we arrived in Japan to pastor our little church my husband asked his Japanese mentoring pastor if he had some advice to give about preaching to his new Japanese congregation.  Baba-sensei had only one sentence of instruction to give him. "Preach the Word with joy!"

A good word of advice that applies not only in Japan.

The Jewish calendar has taken  us into the time of Sukkot, The Feast of Booths.  After a time of repentence our Jewish friends have entered a time of incredible joy and rejoicing for the goodness of God who forgives and restores.  

As Christians we too should be rejoicing.  Joy is our witness of the goodness of God to the rest of the world.  Over the last couple of centuries we have given joy short shrift and replaced it with a form of godliness that doesn't get past the repenting and atoning, not only for our own sake but for the sake of  standing in judgement of what we feel others should also repent of and atone for.  Too often, pure joy has been treated as a suspicious attitude to have by us sinner folk, or it has simply gotten lost in our over burdened spirits as we focus selfishly on our own sin too much of the time.  We negate the forgiveness of God so easily by being wrapped up in the dark side of our lives.

Our own scriptures admonish us in a number of places to retain our joy.  A key passage contains the following verse, Philippians 4:4:

Rejoice in the Lord always...and AGAIN I say, rejoice!!

Start reading at Philippians chapter 3 and keep going to Phil. 4:9 get the whole context.

Then do some back up reading:
Ps. 33:1
Habakkuk 3:18
2 Corinthians 6:10
1Thessalonians 5:16

So many of us Christians spend our lives letting the world see our constant analytical reflection of our own walk with Christ. We are quick to discuss the failures and the concerns but rarely the joy.  Joy is the key in sharing Jesus' goodness with each other and with the rest of the population. Spending our time blabbing about whether or not something is "God's will" or not, going on and on about our own sinfulness and refusing to allow ourselves to rest in the joy of the Lord, leads to our own downfall in sharing about God's amazing forgiveness and love.  If other people don't see the joy our walk with Christ is supposed to bring us, why would they be interested in knowing more about him?

Do I hear a rousing chorus of "I've Got the Joy, Joy, Joy Joy Down in my Heart!"?  And don't forget to do the actions, okay?  heehee