Friday, June 23, 2017

Ain't We Got Fun?

Yes, we do!

At 7pm yesterday we looked out our hotel room window and realized there is a theatre complex across the road. There weren't any movies playing that appealed to us, but we decided to see the latest instalment in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, "Dead Men Tell No Tales". It started at 7:30pm, so by the time we got ready to go we only had to sit through about five minutes of advertisements and useless blithering on screen, pre-movie. Yay for that. This movie, amidst the usual silliness, had a plot this time that actually was a plot...sort of....so that was a good thing. Lots of silly jokes made it fun as well.

While standing in line for tickets we met another couple also staying at our hotel. Fascinating! They are not much younger than ourselves and are cycling enthusiasts. They are pedalling their way across Canada. They began in Vancouver and are cycling all the way back to their home in Prince Edward Island. We didn't have time for a long chat, but it was fun meeting them. Yesterday's teeming rain drove them out of their campground and into the comfort of a hotel. She loves that, he wasn't that thrilled. haha. She claims to be a wimp....as compared to who I wonder! Cycling across Canada in her 50's?  Not wimpy in my opinion! He is making one concession to her perceived state of wimpy by taking a short dip across the border south so they do not have to tackle an apparently wicked ride across the north shore of Lake Ontario. We wish them well.

Came back to the great news that our son not only may have a gallery position for September, but now has temporary work for the entire summer with the same artist he apprenticed with on his last stay in the States. Cheney Thomson and his also artist wife, Eileen Quinlan, have been most supportive of Eli. He is blessed to know them.

So, off to breakfast and on to Calgary for lunch.  Why do holidays make me feel so hungry all the time? Yum!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Terrific First Day Out

Despite the consistently strong wind gusts and several hours of pouring rain along our route today, we have had fun! I did all the driving, allowing my husband to doze, philosophize and meditate for the entire trip. He needed that.

We stopped for lunch with the priest in Maple Creek, enjoying the excellent conversation and a meal of "better than" old fashioned small town Chinese restaurant food. Every meal in the place includes a choice of soup or juice and three or four choices in flavours of iced cream or banana custard for dessert.  How cute is that, right? There was too much salt in my meal, but several glasses of water took care of that....hopefully. There are better restaurants there, but the staff at this one were so friendly and attentive it made up for any deficiencies in the food. The veggies were perfectly cooked, slightly el dente, just the way we like them and my husband's Cantonese chow mein was loaded with meat. The barley soup starter was piping hot and delicious.

As we drove west from Maple Creek the rain reduced itself to a trickle. By the time we arrived at our hotel in Medicine Hat the sun was peeping out from behind the clouds and the streets were drying. After we checked into our hotel we went for a LONG walk, picking up a few books in a Value Village and some supper "fixin's" for a relaxed meal time in our room. Now we are just visiting, checking emails and phone messages and preparing for tomorrow's drive. I am so hoping I can go for tea with my mom, just the two of us, for an hour tomorrow afternoon while Dad is napping. Hopefully he will be able to come out for lunch with us first. He has his shower in the morning and that still tires him a bit.

So far this little trip seems to be coming together just fine!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy For the Turnaround

We are both so happy with the change in mood since we worked through our work related stress and depression last week.  Guess we just needed that down time to get over it all and get ready to move on.  YIPPEE!!  Movin' on...that seems to be a major theme in our lives.  

My husband spent 10 hours at the office yesterday.  It was a necessity and I was wondering how he would cope with having to return to work in the middle of his supposed month off.  He coped very well.  Whew!!  It would appear the place really can't manage longer term without him and I think his fragile ego needed that little boost, haha.  Seriously, he accomplished what needed to be accomplished before the end of this month and he came home very happy indeed.  He found people able and willing to deal with some other issues that don't absolutely need his hands on touch for the next couple of weeks so he was most grateful for that.  We spent the evening giggling at a comedy show on television and figuring out what we need to pack up for food items for Leg Two of our holiday journeys. 

It feels great to be over the whining and complaining that we weren't going to go anywhere more exotic or "big city" on our holidays this year.  It is irritating to be whining, that is for sure.  My husband's sister has reserved some live theatre tickets for a play I think we will very much enjoy when we are in Edmonton, there are some excellent restaurants near her home so no one needs to do any cooking during our short stay there, I am going to try to meet up with my former roommate from "the good old days", we are having lunch with a colleague of my husband's along the route on our first day out, my parents are thrilled we are coming again so soon, we are going to see some old friends in Olds, many many old friends from there at an anniversary party, we are visiting members of my husband's second family before going to Edmonton to see his real family and will be seeing other old friends at a church service on Sunday morning.  This afternoon we are supposed to be having coffee with seminary friends from Australia we haven't seen more than once in the past ten years. How exciting they are visiting our city this week and want to see us.  Hope it works out as they are so much fun. 

I think one of the things that was depressing me was that I thought there wouldn't be too many visits with friends this second half of the holiday, but the original scant few visits have morphed into plans to see people every single day of the trip. YAY!  NOW I feel better.

Our son completed his final day at his job yesterday and began the long process last evening of preparing his little suite for his subletter.  I cannot believe he will be leaving for NYC the day after we return from our own trip.  It could be 2 years or more before we see him again. I have such peace about it though.  Of course I am sad that he will be so far away, but it is certainly the right move to try to make at this time.  We talked about his chance to use this move as an opportunity to reinvent himself personally, not just in terms of his career.  He has some pretty big baggage to get rid of and heal from, so what a wonderful opportunity for him to do that.  In terms of distance from Vancouver, well, he will be about as "far as the east is from the west" if he is staying in North America.  I am most excited for him.

Off for breakfast and a nice visit with my husband over a cup of orange Tazo tea. Then the serious packing up of the rest of our stuff begins. As far as weather, it is one beautiful day in the neighbourhood and it appears we should be a day or two ahead of the forecast rains along the way!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Little Excited Perhaps?

We are not leaving for our next road trip for a couple of days.....and yet.....my suitcases are completely packed apart from my toothbrush and makeup bag. Sigh....guess I am overly happy to be leaving home once again. Teehee....ya' think?

Confession: I am so ready to leave again I have even arranged with two different friends we are visiting to use their irons during our brief afternoon visits at their homes to prepare my clothes for
other events later the same day! Blush.....

What can I say? I love going on trips, no matter how short the time away.

It's just the way I am......

Go! Go! Go!

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Return to Joy!

It seems whatever was bothering us over the past few days has completely dissipated and life is good once again.  Just left over pre-holiday exhaustion and stress getting to us, I am sure.

This morning we had fun running errands.  The computer clinic was able to get my husband's computer running again and fix him up with some replacement parts it needed so that was good.  Since a pharmacy is only a block away from that store, I ambled over there to pick up some needed items and had fun gawking at some of the newer cosmetic products just for fun.

My husband has a wonderful ability to turn such mundane tasks into a quasi-date, a super gift to have, so we decided on a whim to try out a rather dumpy looking restaurant in the north end called Classic Buffet.  The name and the outside look of the place made me think of other such buffets we have tried in olden times; somewhat scruffy decor, truly dreadful food, iffy clientele and table servers who think "youse" is an actual word.  Today we had a pleasant surprise. The food was simple, basic, as expected, but it was amazingly tasty.  There was the usual plethora of fried foods that we stayed mostly away from, except for a taste of the liver and onions that was one delish dish, but the other fried foods were easy to avoid because there was an ample salad bar selection, mashed potatoes as well as fries, beautifully roasted hip of beef that was tender and not overcooked, pizza and lasagna and chili that had some kick in the herbal blends used in their cooking...most unusual for the Saskatchewan basic "home style" menu....the desserts were pretty mundane: iced cream and cones, brownies, assorted gooey cakes and starchy looking puddings, but since we aren't eating desserts much right now we didn't care.  There were not quite enough cooked veggies, typical for here we have discovered, but with the good salad choices and the amount of cooked celery, onions, mushrooms, carrots, corn niblets and tomatoes in the pasta sauces and chili, we couldn't complain that much! hahaha  All in all it was a pleasant surprise.  We didn't try the veggie rice mix or the spaghetti and we stayed away from the fried gyozas and  potato wedges, the gravy and creamy sauces, but what we did eat was filling and delicious.  Definitely we will return there next time we are of a mind to "eat hearty" and enjoy some prairie style foods.  The restaurant itself was very clean, brightly lit without the huge overhead panel lights that seem to haunt many large buffets and the wait staff was efficient and extremely polite.  Yeah....a good meal for $12.25 a person plus drinks and taxes.  We ate a huge lunch for under $30!  My kind of cost!! hahaha We ran into a couple there who are parishioners of our denomination in another town where we presented a Spiritual Fitness seminar this winter.  They said the parish is hoping we will return soon to do another one and are just waiting for my husband's holidays to be over so they can contact him to set up a date.  That is happy news for us. 

We had a relaxing afternoon napping and getting a hotel booked in Medicine Hat for our first night away on the next leg of our holiday jaunt.  My husband is hoping to stop into Swift Current for lunch along the way and enjoy the company of one of his colleagues.  I don't care what we do, I am so relieved we don't have to push through all the way to Calgary in one day.  There is no point starting off completely weary by the end of the very first day!

Tomorrow my husband is going to work for the day.  It has to be done to handle an unexpected situation that arose and that needs immediate attention by himself.  That is okay. He will relax if he can get some work cleared up before we go again. I will start getting packed up to go.  It will be nice to have a few days to do that so I can make choices of what to take, change my mind a half dozen times and end up tossing everything into my suitcase willy nilly anyway at the last second, regardless of having had all that extra time! hahaha

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Travel....YEAH! Good Movies...Double YEAH!

In a few days we will be hitting the road once again for the next set of travels.  Just knowing we get to see more friends and my husband's sister and her husband is adding to our restored sense of cheer.  We have decided we are just not very good at staying home when we are on a holiday break.  Twice now we have tried "stay-cations", the first time was about three years ago, and both have been absolute disasters for one reason and another.

Simply getting out and about for a decent walk, some church worship, followed by an enjoyable IMAX production, ("Dreaming Big"...all about present day structural engineering,fascinating to watch), we were then content to come home for dinner.  A nice glass of red wine accompanied our cannelloni and turkey breast leftovers and I made a rather terrific salad, if I do say so myself. teehee

The other cheery event was watching the movie, "The Grand Budapest Hotel".  HILARIOUS and filled with the most amazing cinematography!  O how we enjoyed it.  It is complete nonsense, but so well acted and scripted. The sets are amazing. It stars Ralph Fiennes and features cameos by practically every actor there is! It is definitely a movie for adults, not children!  Wes Anderson is a spectacular director of dead pan comedies. We can see why this one won so many international film awards in 2015.  What a fun way to wrap up the day!   

What a relief to be feeling better emotionally..have no idea why we have been feeling so blue over the past few days, but very glad whatever it was seems to have passed.

There! That's MUUUUUCH Better!!!

As my husband just said to me, quoting from the old Zero Mostel musical
"It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", "We've had enough 'appalling', now it's time for 'something appealing'....or at least mediocre!" hahaha


So, this afternoon we decided to visit a different church body, the local branch of Via Apostolica that meets in our own denomination's St. Matthew's church building.  It was just what we needed today. While it was tempting to feel completely out of place with a congregation composed entirely of young families, we received at least some kind of welcome from those of them who have been socialized to the point of not being afraid to talk to the more elderly who appear unexpectedly among them. The minister and his wife were certainly welcoming and we had a most uplifting time of worship, then receiving the Eucharist and teaching ministry. 

I enjoyed pastor Nico's sermon very much.  The church calendar year has just entered the season of Ordinary Time. Basically Ordinary Time is the second half of the church year which begins in Advent and continues on through the Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter and Pentecost seasons that tell the story of the life and ministry of Christ.  Now, in Ordinary Season it is time for believers to explore where their lives fit into Christ's life and ministry.

The sermon was a good reminder that God meets us in our ordinary lives...in fact being ordinary, wounded, sinful and scarred, is actually kind of a prerequisite for being able to see and experience God's forgiveness and experiencing his meeting us in those very places we feel the most useless and least special.  The recognition that we are indeed not sufficient in ourselves to accomplish the mission of God is the exact spot where God is able to step in and work his Kingdom through us to the rest of the world.  

Since I have been feeling useless and blaaaaah for some time now it was a most needed and excellent reminder that God isn't asking me to strive on my own to be less "ordinary", but to take those very areas of my presently boring life and let him meet me there to make the kind of transformation necessary to get me going once again in my somewhat stagnant spiritual life.  What a blessing to hear that idea once again today. I certainly did need a BIG reminder of that.

So, my husband and I are both feeling a lot better for having obeyed that "still small voice" that told us we should attend that service today after sleeping in too late to attend our own denominational services earlier this morning.

Despite the struggle with the music it was still fun to learn some new songs...the struggle coming from my problem with worship band music that is more preferable for a meditative band presentation than congregational singalong, but that is okay I think for the younger generations who are used to it and do not have much background in church music history.  It would also have been more conducive to worship...in my opinion and only my opinion...if the two beautiful and sincere gal singers had been less harsh in their vocal presentation.  I find it difficult to worship unhindered when I want to stuff cotton in my ears to protect my hearing! hahahaha YES, I know my age is showing, hahahahaha.  However, it was still fun to sing along.  The choruses are all so similar it is easy to pick them up immediately so that is a plus fer shur! 

After we arrived home to a nice Fathers' Day email from our son, my husband went online and discovered a film on over at the IMAX he wants to see. So, in less than an hour we will have a movie date, followed perhaps by dinner out.  It is wonderful to see my husband also feeling better physically and mentally today.  He has certainly picked up since he took his Vitamin B injection last night and will likely be even more perky by tomorrow. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly that injection works for him. Thank you Lord!  

Whatever doom and gloom seems to have been hanging over our heads has disbanded since this morning.  We had a long time of prayer together this morning and the weight started to lift.  We are not sure what caused our feelings of woe....well, we do understand the combination of irritating circumstances, but we don't understand why the depression seemed to be so deep and heartfelt in such a short time for so many days.  Wierd!

Onward and outward....to the IMAX we go!!!!! Hopefully we can walk over there, just like we had a great walk to and from the church this afternoon, but the rain is theatening once again.

Please shoot up a prayer for our son.  He has a terrible cold right at the busiest time of getting ready for his move.  Getting a cold seems to be his body's way of telling him he is not getting enough rest in the midst of stressful busyness. Thanks! 

I am going to try to remember the summer theme of the Via Apostolica congregation:  Ordinary People with an Extra Ordinary God in Ordinary Times!