Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Happy For Mom and Dad

I had a nice chat with  my parents yesterday.  The had great news about their meals, after a most disappointing try with a new company that pre-cooks and delivers meals to seniors.  We all hoped it would be the answer they were looking for as far as not having to make arrangements to pick up food from a depot several kilometers away from their house, as they have had to do once a month over the past year.  We have a dear family friend who has been driving mom and her food cooler to the depot each time an order of food arrives.

After the disappointment with the food from this new company, dad thought they were facing an even bigger upset when he called in for the May menu from the first company and was told they are moving and shutting down all the neighbourhood collection depots.  Mom's friend would have to drive her far across the city to pick up meals. However, another change being made is that for seniors the food will now be delivered to their door.  Dad and Mom are thrilled about this and no doubt their long suffering friend will be as well. He no longer has to drive around the city late in the evening to pick up all that food.  I am so relieved about this new development.  Mom has a fair amount of cooking to do with this first company who prepares all the meals and gives cooking instructions, but she truly enjoys the fact that she still can do the actual cooking.  She and Dad can choose their own vegetables or salads to go with all these uncooked but seasoned and prepared entree dishes and Mom can retain the independence she craves.

I can relax now about their food situation.   They are happy and so am I.  The food from the second company has been so terrible that I thought I would be preparing a couple of months worth of meals to take with me when I go to visit my parents later in May.  I used to do that and really enjoyed doing it, but living a full day's drive away from them makes it a rather impractical solution.  The way things have worked out is truly an answer to prayer.

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Murmuring Heart

Mary continues to hang on to life on this earth.  Her son is due to arrive today from the USA to see her and to finalize funeral arrangements.  She is a determined woman at the best of times and no more so than now as she struggles to breathe until she has seen him.  There is no time to sleep as she continues the effort to keep her ever filling lungs clear of fluid so that she doesn't sink into a coma before he arrives.  I can't even imagine what Pete is going through right now watching his wife caught in the limbo struggle between fighting to live and fighting to die both at the same time.  He has had to pass off his church duties, funerals etc. to other clergy so that he is able to be with Mary every minute to assist her in any way he can.  May her dream of seeing her son be realized before she allows her body to be set free of the pain and of the fight to remain here. Thank you so much for your prayers for these dear people.

My own heart murmur is giving me trouble these days.  I can tell by the lack of energy.....the complete and total lack of energy....and yesterday's struggle with feeling depressed for no apparent reason.  My level of daily activity has increased sharply since we arrived here and my level of health has not risen to the occasion in some ways.  Other than a couple of attempts to have some company in for dinners this week I think I will take it relatively easy.  In fact maybe I will slow down for a couple of weeks and regroup.  I need to be more careful with this murmur than I have been.  The past 5 years were very good for my heart what with the low level of physical activity and a slower social life, but now I have to readjust.  The spirit is willing but the body is a bit weak.  I just need to be more careful and I will be...will pace myself better and pay better attention to my own body's reactions. Emotions are a great indicator for me of when it is time to slow down or speed up life's pace.

My husband, tired as he was yesterday after pub church, decided to take me out for dinner.  We went to a favourite little Indian restaurant that has large portions of good food for a reasonable price.  There are leftovers for dinner tonight. YAY!  It isn't gourmet quality but it is hearty and tasty.

I am resting this morning and then this afternoon a friend is coming from out of town to spend some time just hanging out together.  It will be fun and not overly strenuous.  The most energy consuming thing we will likely do is go out for tea, if we leave the suite at all before she goes home again.

Am thinking of doing some volunteering this fall.  I would like to go to one of the hospitals and hold babies who need some attention and care while they recover from illnesses or preemies who need to gain weight and strength before they can go home with their parents.  Barring that, there are any number of other volunteer services in this little city that I could participate in.

If the other singers in our new parish are not too professional, I may have an opportunity to sing in the small church choir.  I would really enjoy that if it is possible.

One of our parishioners is in a drum circle and that really appeals to me, if I can afford a drum to practise on.  I need to be doing something musical even though I can't really play my keyboard very well any more.

So for the rest of the spring and summer leading up to our annual holidays I will take lots of time to spec out volunteer and entertainment possibilities around here.  Perhaps season tickets to the philharmonic or theatres would be in order.  No point living here if we don't take advantage of what Regina has to offer.  Looking forward to the next show at the MacKenzie art gallery, whatever it may turn out to be.  It is a nice little walk to the gift shop in the provincial museum as well.

Life is good!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Torn...

My husband is speaking at our local pub church gathering this afternoon.  It is a cold, dreary, wet, depressing day and I probably should have gone with him to keep depression at bay, but I just couldn't do it.

I really wanted to go with him.  I really wanted to see and talk to the other people there.  They were expecting me.  I was so torn about what to do just before he drove away.

The pub owners have so graciously welcomed the group into their establishment once a month under the condition that everyone purchase beer and nachos or some kind of food and that is only to be expected.  They are a pub, not a free public meeting ground.  However, I can't drink beer and I can't eat a meal at 2pm, particularly when I awoke at 6am feeling ravenous and just had to eat breakfast before 7am.  There is no way I could last until 2pm or later to eat lunch and a snack between meals in the morning throws my blood sugar into chaos.  I am not one of those people who feels they have some sort of inherent right to be somewhere to enjoy an activity but not obey the rules established in advance.

I remember many years ago when I first started attending church as a young adult and going along with the crowd for coffee or snacks at various restaurants in the area after services.  We would fill entire restaurants with our young, boisterous and generally financially depleted selves, order tea or coffee with little or no food and proceed to pontificate for hours while customers who could have come in and ordered large meals for the restaurant owners' profit were unable to even get in the door.  It always bothered me.  We were so full of ourselves and our newly discovered spirituality that we gave nary a thought to how much money we were losing for the restaurant.  As each place, after enduring several months of our inconsiderate behaviour, began to bar us from sitting down unless we ordered full meals and agreed to leave after an hour or two, it seemed to only anger my friends. They seemed to feel persecuted or hard done by.  I never understood it. The businesses we were treating in such a cavalier manner deserved better from us who claimed (and claimed loudly enough for half the city to hear) to be so "christian". They had to protect their own profits and their reputations among the clientele they actually wanted to serve.

So, despite feeling kind of lonely and depressed today, I didn't go to pub church.  Maybe it was wrong of me to stay home and miss out on the good friends and fellowship and my husband's good message, but all morning I couldn't help envisioning those old times, old friends, old inconsiderate behaviours.  Maybe next time I will work out my schedule so that I can go too, but today, torn as I was inside about what to do, I think it is best that I just stayed here at home.  

Veggie Chopping and an Excellent Movie

I was bored yesterday afternoon so decided to make a great huge dinner so my husband could eat heartily after a long day of working at home and in the office.  I decided on a stir fry, but wasn't looking forward to all the time it takes cleaning and chopping up vegetables.

So, I put my tv onto the Rock Anthem station and as the tunes played on I chopped the veggies in time to Run DMC, Stone Temple Pilots, Kiss, Aerosmith and Def Leppard.  O wow, it's been awhile since I blasted my ears out with any of those groups. haha  Never have vegetables been chopped with such frenzy as I chopped them yesterday.  The time certainly flew by.  Once again I am grateful for the somewhat decent soundproofing between our unit and the one next to us!! No doubt our neighbours are as well!!!

I also put together a side dish for my husband of various types of mushrooms, including his favourite enoki 'shrooms.  He was delighted and I felt good for taking the extra time to do it.

In the evening we rented "The Imitation Game".  I didn't know if we would enjoy it or not as we had originally gone looking for a comedy on our Maxtv rental station.  So happy we picked this movie as, although it is a serious drama, there is a lot of good British wit in the script.  We enjoyed the performances by Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley very much.  It has been awhile since we have seen a movie we could wholeheartedly recommend to others.

Of course it would not be a proper Saturday evening without watching a boxing match or two on HBO.  Last night we really enjoyed watching Sadam Ali vs Francisco Santana.  It was a most interesting match in that Ali was obviously the better technical boxer, but spent all 10 rounds backing up and backing up and backing up as Santana continued to advance, stay up close and move Ali into the ropes time and time again.  We were too tired to stay awake for the main event, but have it recorded to see today.  Last night's undercard was one of the most interesting we have seen in awhile.  It is going to be hard to discipline myself to refrain from watching the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight live on PPV.  hahaha My dear husband would flip out if I spent that kind of money on a televised fight.  Manny's my favourite boxer but a couple of Russians are right on his rear bumper as second and third choices for faves.

Awaiting an email update from Pete on Mary's condition but we are not certain she has lived through a second night of being unable to breathe and unable to clear the congestion in her throat.  What hell ALS is for the sufferer and the long suffering family as well.  O Lord, may it all end soon if it hasn't all ready.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

PLEASE pray!!

We received word today that my husband's predecessor at his job who has ALS and has done very well so far, all things considered, has developed a serious respiratory illness.  Of course it could be deadly as she has no strength in her chest muscles to cough and fight through this.  

Our Bishop drove all the hours necessary to get to her home last night and prayed Last Rites over her....it is very serious indeed.

Please pray for Mary and Pete...please.....may the Lord deal gently with them both at such a horrendous time in their lives.  May he release her from this suffering and bring grace to her dear husband who has stood beside her through this awful ordeal, suffering in a different but equally heart breaking way.

Thank you......will update when I hear news.

Cold and Wet

The word "yucky" was coined for a day such as this.

The weather is yucky: instead of the warm spring rains usually associated at this time of year in places like the west coast, we have a prairie rain, which is cold drizzle, driven by winds and creating a sheen of light coloured dirt on the outside of vehicles that isn't quite dark or thick enough to constitute mud and a visit to the car wash, yet keeps the vehicles looking scuzzy.  (There's another great word to describe this day!)

The grocery stores are yucky:  it is Saturday morning and no deliveries have occurred for produce departments for the past couple of days.  The fresh carrots are soft and soggy, the broccoli heads are mashed and yellowing, the unbagged celery is browning and mushy and the cauliflower is developing small patches of black mold.

Our property is yucky: trying to walk from the back porch to the car results in bits of muddy glop and dried dead grass stuck to the bottom of shoes and overly long pant leg hems because of the number of times the lawns have been aerated but never swept up afterward.

Our suite is yucky: we are trying to get the last of our junk sorted out, labelled and put away out of sight in the remaining cupboard spaces and on basement shelving. Once again the kitchen and a couple of the upstairs bedroom are in an uproar as my husband begins to realize he absolutely HAS to get rid of more of us unnecessary items.  Some more of my own "iffy" items have shown up in my bedroom....a box of little useless "thingys" that seem to be so easy to toss into a garbage bag now, but weren't so easy to dispose of when I was packing up for this move.  Who knows why???

I am yucky: the cold pouring rain did not inspire me to have my shower and style my hair or put on any make up before heading out for my discouraging grocery shopping trip.  There would have been no point.  My make up would have been running down my face, any hair styling would have ended up in a huge ball of frizz framing my face by the time I got home and clean clothes would no longer be that way after trekking through the puddles in the shopping center parking lots.  As it is, even pulled back in a pony tail and covered in a helmet of spray, my hair is escaping its rubber band and looks like a bad attempt at a retro '70's afro....and anyway, afros never looked good on white people, even in the '70's.

My husband is yucky:  he feels drained and exhausted and slightly nauseous after his innoculations the other day.  It isn't a horrible reaction, but it has slowed him down.  That on top of a scare he gave himself yesterday after making a mistake on his income tax preparation that left him thinking he owed Revenue Canada over three thousand dollars, (and thank you Jesus, he found his error and corrected it), and a meal last night that wasn't healthy for him, has left him looking and feeling kind of grey and fuzzy....oh, wait a minute....that fuzzy look is because he is in bad need of a haircut that he feels too gross to even tackle this morning.  This afternoon and evening he is working over at the office to get caught up on a backlog of emails and paper work he had to leave off because of other meetings.

Well, time to go and make lunch.  Hopefully when I start seeking out something to munch on I will find some good food, somethat that does not fall into the category of yucky!  

If we can get our act together before he goes to work later today, I think we will have some success at reorganizing our kitchen and that alone will be encouraging enough to remove the "Yucky Factor" from this day.


That and remembering the really fun time we had last night meeting the vestry members and their spouses from my husband's new parish.  What a great time and what lovely people.  I have been worried about our new church assignment, naturally it is always a stress until you meet the people, but last night put any fears or questions to rest.  They are a great bunch!!

Good memory: I am feeling less yucky all ready.  Once I have my shower and do my hair I will feel just great!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tired But Happy

My husband is so happy with his new position.  It is incredibly exhausting and some nights after work it is all he can do to stay awake until bedtime, but the variety is very enjoyable.

Yesterday he was able to organize some willing volunteers to come and do some clean up and other chores around the synod office after the construction company finished up a project of shoring up the elderly building's foundation. He went to work in his construction clothes, proudly bearing his tool boxes and big lunch box.  He spent about 12 hours on the project and the volunteers had a lot of fun working together.  It was also a pleasure for him to work with a construction company that has the kind of professional attitudes and work ethic he is used to, unlike the lazy, provincially minded rotters he had to deal with on his last renovation effort.  He was dreading dealing with more local construction companies but it turned out so very well. They actually realized the fact that taking instructions from the project manager is how it works in the real world and were more than happy to do the job expertly and properly even though my husband was not born and raised here.  A miracle!!!! hahaha 

Today there is a bit more to do on that project, some office work, an evening synod planning meeting, the day ending with the monthly staff and spouses prayer meeting at the office.  I think I will wander over there for that.  It is a good group of people with expectant hearts, just waiting eagerly to see how God answers our prayers. What a treat!! I have missed those times of deep prayer for others and the sharing of hearts' needs. 

Tomorrow is innoculation day for the upcoming African trip.  Hopefully neither he nor the Bishop will react negatively to their shots.  The Bishop has not had a yellow fever shot before and my husband isn't sure if the one he had forty years ago is still applicable or if the idea of it being a life long innoculation has changed.  Malaria pills also have to be chosen.  Fortunately my husband has all ready had everything else he needs due to past travels.

Friday IS income tax day!! It IS, it IS, it IS!!!!!!  The nice treat for the day will be getting together with the members of our new congregation for a "meet 'n' greet" where we can all get to know each other a little better before my husband starts working with them.

Saturday we are going to make the 3 hour trip together to the provincial ACW meeting.  Usually he would go with the Bishop, but our Bishop must travel on afterward to our former parish to do a confirmation service and work with them on hiring a new priest.

Not sure where we will attend church on Sunday.  It is our last Sunday to "freelance" before my husband begins his new incumbency here in Regina.

And then a new week will be upon us!! Where does the time go??